While this may a bit of fanfic (I'll post it there too) I thought it'd be nice to give a little history to some of these designs in STO. Doing so is fun and adds to the deepness of the game. I also hope that maybe if we get a bit more into how each class could be different beyond simply #of consoles and weapons, that we could find space for this game universe to grow. (as if there isn't enough already. I'd love to see some episodes that require specific class ships perhaps especially at RA. Especially as we are getting more mission variety (thanks devs!). Anyway let me know what you think. Thanks!
Dervish class and variants
In 2397 an admirals commission was formed to investigate the high casualty rates among all deep space class vessels operating on the edge or beyond Federation borders. The commission quickly concluded that Starfleet lacked a ship class with both the high fire power and the capabilities of deep space that was proving essential in turbulent deep space. The current defiant class was unsuitable for long term deployment owing to it's limited engineering and living accommodations and the prometheous class required regular shipyard visits to maintain its elaborate systems. So an order was put out for a new class that could act as a projection of Federation policy and maintain a semi permanent deployment far from home. *
The result was the Dervish class. Its cobbled together design came from the Jupiter ship yards designers taking the parts of deep space cruisers and weaving them into as small and powerful a package as possible. While not an elegant design it did have its advantages. The central location of the warp core allowed for short direct plasma conduits to be run to the ships forward phaser banks. It also allowed the impulse engines to be placed at the ships centroid. Allowing the class to match the maneuverability and speed of the much smaller and famed defiant class. The longer nacelles also allowed for greater efficiency in warp, extending the range and cruise speed of the ship.*
While these choices seemed sound for tactical reasons the inclusion of the highly habitable saucer section drew the most attention from fleet captains. Owing to the experience of past deep space missions such as both Enterprise Expeditions and the Voyager Return the designers recognized that the ship would have to provide similar living conditions as those found aboard *cruiser class starships. And since the dervish might function for up to 5 years without entering a friendly port it also needed to have accommodations for families as well as necessary facilities for diplomacy and engineering. While these elements did not override the tactical functions of the ship, often creating many awkward flex spaces, they were necessary for the ship to be a long term projection of federation intent in deep space. Many families and crew of dervish class ships compared serving aboard them as being akin to moving to a distant planet, rather than as a simple ship posting.*
Upon its first commissioning in 2408 the class was quickly derided by traditional escort captains for its "softness" and "ugliness." But it proved its worth in the gamma sector deployment of the Indefatigable in 2409. The projection of the front deflector gave it an obstructed 360 view of space, making it both excellent for deep space cartography and to be used as a "mast" for eavesdropping on enemy positions and signals. The shuttle bay pod also functioned as an excellent deployment and staging area for the small detachment of federation marines. And the extensive engineering section proved essential in the famine of the Three Moon colonies, and the diplomatic facilities were key in the beginning negotiations for the Dominion Disillusion Treaty. Postings for the deep space vessel are now rewards for only the best and most capable escort captains in Starfleet. One last bit of design worth noting is that while the dervish class was designed to enter planetary atmosphere only the NX-Dervish had landing capabilities. Though the lack of landing gear did not end up saving space as Starfleet chose to instead include a light deployable starbase on board. * **