Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hey, everyone! I figured I'd try and make a single thread where we could all post our ideas to help the development team with fleshing out a Tier-5 Excelsior ship for the C-Store. I humbly ask that everyone keep things civil and on topic, thank you!~

Here is the information we have so far, a direct quote from dstahl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl
The details haven't been completely ironed out yet - so I don't have all of what you're asking for but here's what I can share.

The models for the ship are nearly complete - it is just a matter of adding the powers/class configs to the ships and then getting approval.

These ships are currently slated to have slightly different configurations with at least 1 intersting unique ability (Nebula will have some sort of awacs like power and excelsior gets transwarp to any sector ability)

We are heavily considering a suggestion posted earlier where acquiring these ships unlocks both a T3 AND T5 version. So you can fly it at Captain and then a Refit version at Admiral. (love this idea btw)

And as mentioned earlier - I'm also arguing for a way to get alternative ways to unlock these types of things in game so that there are other ways to get the ship rather than via the C-Store.

Price is completely up in the air and set by the C-Store team.

My Tier 5 Excelsior Suggestion -- **Updated!**

Bridge Officer Stations
Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Tactical, Lieutenant Science, Ensign Universal. (Ensign Science is acceptable if Universal is not).

Consoles: 4x Engineering, 3x Science, 2x Tactical.

Hull Strength: 35000.

Shield Strength: Identical to Assault/Star Cruisers.

Device Slots: 4.

Crew Compliment: 500-600.

Turn Rate: 9.

Weapon Slots: 4/4.

Unique Power: Transwarp Drive (as listed in above quote).


My suggestion has the Excelsior on equal footing with Tier 5 Starfleet Cruisers (no better or worse), and specifically designed similar to a Star Cruiser with Officer station layout and consoles -- which I think is more fitting of her lineage and purpose. It will also give those who do not like the look of current Star Cruisers (like myself) something to fly that is more traditional and sleek but with the desired power layout. Lesser crew is a balance and lore point (but I admit I do not know how much crew an Excelsior is supposed to have) and would allow for a marginally better turn rate.

Thoughts, anyone?

Any further comment from devs/GMs, are highly welcome!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
07-16-2010, 02:59 PM
A thought I just had in relation to this ship prompted by your post. Why not offer both a Star Cruiser and an Assault cruiser variant of this ship to make both sides happy?

Unless Cryptic is willing to make this ship an hybrid that does both well at the same time and stick it under the new cruiser refit skill (unlikely I'm guessing).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
07-16-2010, 03:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparhawk_Mike
A thought I just had in relation to this ship prompted by your post. Why not offer both a Star Cruiser and an Assault cruiser variant of this ship to make both sides happy?

Unless Cryptic is willing to make this ship an hybrid that does both well at the same time and stick it under the new cruiser refit skill (unlikely I'm guessing).
The way it was used in the past movies, it looked to be more of a star cruiser than a tactical cruiser. Who knows, that could be one option. I would gladly pick up one of these if they offered it with similar specs to both the tac and star cruisers currently available at T5.... The TW to any sector is a great idea...but then again...if you use this vessel at VA...you can use slipstream...so it saves some time...but I would ant something that is a bit more useful than what is slated. Don't ask me what skill I had in mind...that's not my department...lol
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
07-16-2010, 03:31 PM
This is why I offered the suggestion of a Universal Ensign station, allowing you to have Tactical or Science (or Engineering if you are so inclined). The only real issue would be the consoles, since there's no such thing as a universal console (at least yet)! Perhaps the Excelsior can be the first ship with a Universal console slot!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
07-16-2010, 03:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
This is why I offered the suggestion of a Universal Ensign station, allowing you to have Tactical or Science (or Engineering if you are so inclined). The only real issue would be the consoles, since there's no such thing as a universal console (at least yet)! Perhaps the Excelsior can be the first ship with a Universal console slot!
***Spock raises his brow***

"Fascinating...."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
07-16-2010, 08:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
This is why I offered the suggestion of a Universal Ensign station, allowing you to have Tactical or Science (or Engineering if you are so inclined). The only real issue would be the consoles, since there's no such thing as a universal console (at least yet)! Perhaps the Excelsior can be the first ship with a Universal console slot!
They certainly could add a universal or semi-universal console slot. I'm guessing they would just restrict it so you couldn't add a fifth engineer console though (which would be fine).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
07-17-2010, 04:46 AM
hmm...
A universal console... what a novel idea, easily program the sytem to allow only X number of certain types. or make it only be a tac or sci slot, restricting it from even accepting engineering.

Myself I hope that they do come out with this as a T5 varient as well as a lower Tier ship.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
07-17-2010, 08:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
My Tier 5 Excelsior Suggestion

Bridge Officer Stations
Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Tactical, Lieutenant Science, Ensign Science OR Ensign Universal.

Consoles: 4x Engineering, 3x Science, 2x Tactical.

Hull Strength: 39000.

Shield Strength: Identical to Assault/Star Cruisers.

Device Slots: 4.

Crew Compliment: 500-600.

Turn Rate: 7 or 8.

Weapon Slots: 4/4, or 4/3 with Universal Ensign slot.

Unique Power: Transwarp Drive (as listed in above quote).


My suggestion has the Excelsior on equal footing with Tier 5 Starfleet Cruisers (no better or worse), and specifically designed similar to a Star Cruiser with Officer station layout and consoles -- which I think is more fitting of her lineage and purpose. It will also give those who do not like the look of current Star Cruisers (like myself) something to fly that is more traditional but with the desired power layout. Lesser crew is a balance and lore point (but I admit I do not know how much crew an Excelsior is supposed to have) and would allow for a marginally better turn rate (especially if the 4/3 weapon configuration is chosen).

Thoughts, anyone?

Any further comment from devs/GMs, are highly welcome!
Overall, I agree with your suggestions. By the time the Exclesior has been developed, it certainly more filled a role like the Galaxy did when it was new: Exploration, though armed very good. The Sovereign IMO was much more designed for combat in mind, no wonder: With active threads like the Borg or the Dominion it was a logical solution to outfit a new large cruiser with a larger combat layout.

I'll start right off with the special ability here:
While the Transwarp Drive sure is a nice touch, we should keep in mind that this is a total out of combat ability. Unlike the Phaser Lance, the Cloak, the Saucer Seperation or the blative Armor - which all actively change your actual combat power. So you basicly only benefit before action begins - or only when it is already over. Also how long will the cooldown be?
I think because of the non-combat nature of this ability, it should be rated a bit lower in terms of balancing out the ship.
  • Hull: 39.000 - I think all T5 cruisers should have the same amount of hull.
  • Crew: 650-700 - Most sources I read about stated 650-750 crew members. I think for balancing reasons with the Sovereign, using 650 crewmen is fitting.
  • Turn rate: 8 - the Excelsior has less mass and crew than the other three T5 classes, so we can improve the turnrate a bit here.
  • Shield: Same as all T5 cruisers
  • Weapon slots: 4x fore, 3x aft - Taking a look at the original ship, most phaser arrays are placed around the saucer section, with only a few covering the aft of the ship. Thanks to the better turn rate, it is also easier to line up the forward slots.
  • Devices: 4

BO Stations:
  • Engineering Commander
  • Engineering Lt. Cmdr.
  • Tactical Lt.
  • Science Lt.
  • Universal Ens.

Consoles:
  • 4x Engineering
  • 2x Science
  • 2x Tactical


To do some summary with the two standard T5 Cruisers:
Pro:
+ Spacial Ability: Transwarp Drive (keep in mind this won't help you in combat though!)
+ High turnrate of 8
+ Universal Ensign allowing for a more individual mission setup


Cons:
- One less Weapon slot
- Lowest crew of T5 cruisers
- One less console slot


Compared to the Galaxy-X you keep the same console and weapon configurations. The Gal-X turns a lot slower, but has a much higher crew. While the Gal-X comes with a fixed Tac Ensign, you have a Universal Ensign station, you'll only have a not-combat special ability, compared to two (three) combat relevant abilities of the Gal-X.
Virtually the same goes for the Galaxy Refit class compared with the Excelsior.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
07-17-2010, 10:25 AM
I am very much in favor of introducing some different Bridge Officer seatings for new ships. (Of course, that might cause concerns that once again C-Store items exist with unique mechancis that can't be gotten elsewhere. I hope that dstahls plan to find a way to pay such ships also with tons of merits will go through with accounting. )

Excelsior (Tier 5)
Equipment and Consoles
4 Device Slots
4 Engineering Slots
3 Science Slots
3 Tactical Slots

Weapons
4 Forward Weapon Slots
3 Aft Weapon Slots

Turning Rate: 9/sec (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Hull: 36.000 (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Shields: Same as Federation Tier 5 Cruiser.

Bridge Officers
Commander Engineering
Lt.Commander Engineering
Lt. Tactical
Lt. Science
Ensign Universal

Rationale:
The Refit Excelsior is still smaller then most equal tier cruisers. That allows it to be more maneuverable, but it can't carry as many weapons nor can it achieve the same hull strength. Still, shield emitters are quite capable for its size.
To compensate the hull and weapon losses, it gets one more console overall then other ships of its tier.

Unlike the Klingon Neg'Vahr, it doesn't have the ability to field cannons.


To compare, this is how I might stat up the Nebula Class.
Nebula Class(Tier 5)
Equipment and Consoles
4 Device Slots
3 Engineering Slots
3 Science Slots
3 Tactical Slots

Weapons
4 Forward Weapon Slots
3 Aft Weapon Slots
Special: Can use Cannons.

Turning Rate: 11/sec (That's approximately the maneuverability of the Engineering Section of the Galaxy Refit, IIRC.)
Hull: 36.000 (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Shields: Same as Federation Tier 5 Cruiser.

Bridge Officers
Commander Engineering
Lt. Commander Universal
Lt. Tactical
Lt. Science
Ensign Universal
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-17-2010, 11:53 AM
These are some good suggestions for the Excelsior, it seems to me we're all on the same page and are looking for the same thing -- that tells me it's a good thing.

Teslanar,

My only concern with your suggestion is losing a console... combined with 4/3 weapon loadout, and lesser crew... I am not sure the extra turn rate would make up for the power loss over other T5 Cruisers. The Universal Ensign slot doesn't really add any "power", but increases versatility (there will already be a Cruiser of every Ensign flavor). I agree with you that the Transwarp Drive should not be taken into consideration when balancing this ship, as it's not a combat power in the slightest.


MustrumRidcully,

I also like your suggestion, it gives the Excelsior more of a Battle Cruiser vibe. Weaker hull, one less aft weapon, and lesser crew (500-700 seems to be the general consensus) would seem to hold up pretty well in giving the Excelsior 1 extra console, a better turn rate, and an Ensign Universal slot.


Azurian,

I agree, Battle Cruiser strength hull and appropriate turn rate (8-9), and a smaller crew compliment, are good balance points. But your officer station layout doesn't list any Commander-rank stations, and I feel that would be a severe disadvantage and weakness in a ship that should be as strong as other T5 Cruisers.


That said, I don't believe the Excelsior should exclusively have a Tactical focus. Here is a quote from the Memory Alpha wiki, link here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Memory Alpha Wiki
Once fully integrated into the fleet, the Excelsior's sister ships were used for a variety of mission profiles, ranging from deep space exploration and terraforming missions, to patrol duty, to courier and transport runs.
This seems to me the Excelsior class should be as well equipped for Exploration as Combat. I think an Ensign Universal station is very appropriate!
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