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I suspect this has been brought up before... I am primarily a KDF player, but I decided to level a Fed engineer. I am now a RA Upper half....and am confused about the Fed cruiser lineup....TBH, it looks like the Excelsior Refit might be the best cruiser for my playstyle...I don't see any advantage to flying any of the other cruisers -- on paper the Excelsior Refit has the same number of BOFF powers, a tighter turn radius, and a more aggressive officer layout...yet I tend to see more dreadnoughts and star cruisers in the game, rather than the Excelsior refit.
So...I figured I might be overlooking something...is there some quality or attribute that the other T5 cruisers have over the Excelsior Advanced Cruiser Refit? If so...what is it?
The Star Cruiser is a tank - opposite orientation to the Excelsior. Fits a different niche. It and the assault cruiser are also not C-store purchases, and a lot of people have little to no C-store spending.
The Dreadnought has a cloak (since you're mainly KDF it's easy to overlook why that's a big deal to a lot of primarily Fed players), a reasonably good special weapon, and it and the Galaxy-R both have a more iconic look than the Excelsior. There's also a non C-store path to get both.
I have a hard time seeing appeal in a cruiser besides the Excelsior, too, but not everyone's looking for the same thing in a cruiser, and I can't fault anyone who doesn't like the look, I've never cared much for it.
The Excel' is the closest thing the Fed's have to a battle cruiser. In exchange for a better turn rate and the better tac BOFF/consoles, it gives up the tankiness of the assault cruiser and the extra science ability of the star cruiser. If you like a more aggressive playstyle, the Excel' is your best bet.