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I thought that this topic might deserve its own thread.
In a recent interview regarding upcoming changes to STO -- presumably for Season 8 (although they are not calling it that anymore I think), Mr. Stahl stated the following:
[GB] Space combat is definitely one of the strongest game features, any plans for further improvement?
[DSTAHL] With the constant flow of new ships coming out of the shipyards, our next major update to ships will be to incorporate warp core design into how a ship performs in combat and what types of power it can bring to a fight.
This fascinates me...because in a way, it mirrors some previous, older game concepts that can be found in Star Fleet Battles (pen and paper) and Starfleet Command (computer game), where the warp core of the vessel determines how much power there was to allocate to various weapons and systems...
In thinking about this, I really don't see how they can go to a power allocation type of scheme without seriously redesigning space combat...that is, if they plan on doing it right. Otherwise, you will end up with two classes of vessels -- ones with weapons and systems driven by warp core energy, and ones which are not. The warp-core energy vessels will presumably be superior in many different ways to non warp-core vessels.
And then there is the whole concept of sub-system targeting...if you successfully target engines, will that shut down EVERY system (weapons, shields, etc.) being powered by a warp core on an "enhanced" vessel?
Bottom line - this sounds to me that the future of space combat will potentially radically change. Introducing something of this magnitude -- where you are tinkering with the basic power levels of ships in the game, could be a major game changer.
In any case, just some thoughts...and at this point pure speculation, since we know absolutely nothing beyond this small snippet from a recent interview.