One thing I find kind of frustrating about the lockbox ships is that while they have great skins, as a general rule their designs are good but uninspired. They're fairly standard, with one or two interesting stand-out features (like the D'Kora's changing shape or the Galor's Spiral Wave Disruptors). They're basically regular ships but better.
Now I'm all for regular ships but better, but I think the designers are doing a great disservice here because the lockboxes could be a way to explore new, unusual designs in a way that STO hasn't dealt with before, or ships that are built heavily for a particular role. Their uniqueness would both encourage people to buy them (or more than one, because they'd all be cool! and different!) and would allow the design team to explore funky designs.
For example (and these are just rough ideas, not necessarily scale balanced):
Batelle-class Heavy Torpedo Penetrator
4x fore weapons
0x aft weapons
+20 power to engines
May only load torpedo launchers
Console: Enhanced Torpedo Loading Systems- For the next 15 seconds, all torpedo launchers have their cooldown reduced to one second and ignore global cooldowns.
(named after the admiral who oversaw the Defiant pathfinder project. Visual would be based on a modified Nova-class).
Special Power: Sensor Sheath- Renders vessel undetectable (and untargetable) beyond 8km unless it is firing its weapons
(Named after Baran's mercenary raider class from TNG: Gambit)
Galaxy II-class heavy fleet carrier
1x fore weapon
1x aft weapon
May only mount beams
(because everyone wants a new galaxy!)
Reyga-class fast reconnaissance picket
4x fore weapons
2x aft weapons
+10 power to shields and engines
Shield modifier, 1.6
Special shield: Highly Resilient Metaphasic Shield; takes no bleed-through damage and prevents status effects from affecting the vessel while shields are intact (plasma fire, etc). Reduces all energy damage to shields by 20%.
(named after Doctor Reyga, who invented the metaphasic shield....)
Add your own favorites. I know I'm kind of tired of everything being basically the same.
The problem I see with your idea, is you are basically talking about Starfleet ships (one you even say is based on the Nova design). So you would have an insanely crazy outcry of people as to why these ships couldn't be in the C-store, and Cryptic would have no retort.
My understanding is that the Lock boxes are reserved for IP inappropriate designs. Hence nonaligned species (Galor, D'kora, Tholian) or in the case of the Temporal lock boxes, Ships that are actually 500 years in the future.
what you are suggesting is perfect for a C-store type ship. Though I am not sure that it is a smart idea to create too specfic a ship.
one of the great things about STO, and really any MMO is that they cater to all different playing styles. While Escorts benefit most from Tactical Captains. They don't have to be. In fact I recently flew a BoP with a Engineering Captain and found that it made it significantly (from my point of view) less squishy. Getting something too specific, might limit who can effectively play it, and thus have the opposite effect you want.
one of the great things about STO, and really any MMO is that they cater to all different playing styles.
This is exactly what I see as the problem.
There's a difference between 'catering to all different playing styles' and 'making everything the same'.
I have...every lockbox ship except the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship. I have a D'Kora and a Mobius and a Wells and a Galor and a Recluse and a Chel Grett and a bunch of others and they're all the same.
Yes they have different skins and the console layouts are not identical but when it comes down to brass tacks there really isn't a substantial difference in playing style.
The only major style difference is carriers and other ships, but even there, the carrier commands are so bad and the pets so limited that even flying a carrier isn't much different from flying any other science ship.
I have four Chel Gretts... each is built differently. Each has a different style of play. Even the two Engs fly vastly different ships requiring a different style of play.
The same can be done for most ships, regardless of whether they're free - Z-store - lockbox - Lobi...etc, etc, etc.
I'm not sure at what level of abstraction that you're feeling that the ships are all the same. I mean, if one were to step back...back...back - it would be easy to see that. In the day to day flying though...er...um...
...and that's precisely why the ships aren't that specialized - so folks can personalize them as they see fit.