Besides mission content, ship variety in comparison with our UFP opponents is one of the areas that the KDF is somewhat lacking in...
I wanted to throw this out there for thought...to be perfectly honest, I hope that this idea is something that the Devs are already working on...that would be a dream come true...
Ship - Classes and Variety.
One way to "fix" this is to implement an idea that actually popped up in another Trek-related game - basically, it is a modular design concept that was unique to the KDF. The idea was to intentionally build ships to be modular in that a single design, say a D-7, could be fitted out with a particular module -- like hangar bays or some such -- and instantly become a new class of ship -- for example, a D-7 with hangar bays would become a D-7V. With this idea, KDF faction players would theoretically be able to take any ship from any Tier, and upgrade it to T5, retrofit, and Fleet status, by working within a certain framework or following a set of imposed rules. This would allow for KDF battlecruisers with strong science or tactical emphasis, the ability to take lower-tier Gorn Sci ships and upgrade them to fleet status, etc. Essentially, the Klingon philosophy of ship design would be practically implemented within the game -- the idea of having a low overall number of ship classes, but with infinite variety through refits and modules within each class. Essentially, this would provide our faction with instant parity with our Federation opponents without introducing a single "new" ship design...of course, modular design is all about compromise, which would be needed to maintain balance within the game...but the KDF is the perfect faction to testbed this idea.
It would also put to rest the idea that the Devs won't make any KDF ships because such ships are not "profitable." If KDF ships are not profitable, then by introducing modular design concepts to the KDF, you create a situation where the KDF - through innovation at the player level - is designing and flying vessels that provide parity with the Federation without introducing a single new ship. The universal modules could be sold in the C-Store, much like fleet modules currently are. A player would "buy" a universal module, then provide additional resources to create the module needed to transform the ship to whatever tier desired, as well as whatever type ship flavor (tac, sci, eng) desired -- this would be simply another application of a version of the current reputation system. Also along with the module would be the ability to modify BO stations and levels - once again within certain guidelines, and with compromises firmly in place.
Just an idea. The down side is that this could suppress future introductions of new ship classes for the KDF, such as the K'Vort, etc...so maybe it is not such a good idea after all...
Q: (tpai99) Will there be a Fleet version of the Vesta? What about the new ships that you guys design yourself? Will there be more possibilities to create your own ship?
Dstahl: We haven?t made a final decision on the Fleet Vesta, but it is one of the ships we are considering for a Fleet refit. We do have several new ship designs in the works, along with some older designs from both the TOS and Enterprise era. One of our long term goals is to allow Fleets the ability to customize and/or create their own ships, but we want to make more customization parts for existing ships before we implement that.
Yep Starsvoid -- that particular quote from a recent interview is one of the ones that caught my eye, and in which I am hopeful that this idea -- or some form of it -- might be under development.
The place where I first saw modular construction implemented for Klingon vessels was the pen and paper Star Fleet Battles, and to some extent, the computer game Star Fleet Command.
There's been talk about upgrades for quite a while now.
On the old forums there were ideas floating around like allowing people to "craft" upgrades.
I think somehting similar would probably be the best solution.
While it could end up rather costly, I think the possiblity to incrementally upgrade ships from one tier to the next and then the next might be the most flexible approach.
For example you take a T2 Raptor and you get 3 basic "upgrade recipies", one for Tac, one for Eng, one for Sci.
Depending on which one you take, your ship's stats change.
When you take Eng, you get the highest hull boost, a mediocre shield boost and you sacrifice a bit of agility.
The Console slots you get are focused on Eng.
And of course your new or stronger BO slots are focused on Eng as well.
You take Sci and you get a bigger shield boost but only little hull etc.
When you do that incrementally over each tier you can get a decent mix of abilities out of your design just the way you want it.
The further "down" in the tier structure you start the more you can change the ship from the baseline.
At max-level you might get additional "recipies" avilable like your hangar upgrade.
Of course some upgrades chould (should?) be restricted even though this might turn out to be a bit weird.
For example the D7V in SFB only works there because in SFB starships don't have a warpcore (power is generated in the engines) which means there's more space in the hull itself to house the fighters.
Also the fighters in SFB are rather small compared to those from STO, more in line with an STO shuttle.
So Cryptic might end up with restriction depending on the size of the ship's ingame model or something...