Speaking of authority, it seems as if the Starfleet Admiralty has a disturbing tendency to be made up of admirals who are either incompetent, insane or alien parasites. Out of all admirals I've seen in the series, only Maxwell was anywhere close to being competent.
I'd argue most Presidents were in the "well intentioned but naive" category.
Oh sorry, I got Maxwell mixed up with Ross (although the former isn't all that bad).
That being said, it seems to be something of a 50/50 chance that a named Starfleet admiral will turn out to be nuts.
Maxwell had his screws loose, but the episode he appeared in was structured in such a way so as to make his position entirely understandable (and through the later lens of the Maquis and DS9 arcs, he was probably right the whole time).
To be fair, I don't think the "bonkers guest officer" is rank specific. If you didn't come from the "host ship" (Enterprise, DS9/Defiant, etc) there was a very good chance you had serious issues of one sort or another.
granted, he was barely ever seen onscreen, but i don't remember him ever being classed as 'bonkers'
It wasn't meant to be an exhaustive list by any means, but I agree. From what little I remember (I haven't rewatched VOY recently) he was more of a counterpoint for various crew members (usually Tom) to play off of than a "crazy old man" type character.
But from a story standpoint, it is equally acceptable to state that Starfleet does not have nearly as much experience operating cloaking devices as those two, and have had trouble integrating them on their ships.
Yeah... that's an excuse that could last all of 6 months. And that's being generous.
The Federation already has experience in placing cloaking devices on their ships and they have hundreds of years of case history available for their engineers to use in figuring these devices out.
It could also be said that the Federation has decided not to invest into cloaking devices, for the same reasons why they do not pursue development of technology that they may consider underhanded (and all things considered, a cloaking device is rather shady). That being said, I don't think that Starfleet should be completely deprived of cloaking devices, and that the whole "phase cloak" thing shown in TNG should make an appearance.
And that's an excuse that loses any punch when you realize that not having that strategic option means men and women die. Smug moral superiority is nice and all, but lives are on the line.
As for a game mechanics standpoint, I think it's just another case of "why does he have that, I want one too".
I guess it could seem that way, if you're silly enough to let yourself get locked into an 'us/them' dichotomy. Since I play both factions I have a different perspective.
Well the question is what the story reason is for the Feds not having a cloaking device, and it's political. Hence the presidents and admirals.
My thought has been and still is that extensive cloaking makes the KDF distinct as a faction, and the choice to keep it that way can and should be justified in the writing. If real-person gameplay suffers because a bunch of make-believe people choose to do something the tail is sort of wagging the dog.