I think it's a great idea to be able to improve the lower class ships.
I am still using my Nova class at Tier 5 and it's great fun.
It makes the game a bit more challenging.
However it would be great if I had access to all of my bridge officer abilities.
I hope Cryptic adds this functionality into the game when season 2 comes out!
I'd love to be able to upgrade. Though I think there should be limits - No T1 upgrades above T3, for example. Otherwise it just looks a little silly seeing a Nova alongside a Galaxy in a slog-a-thon against Klingons...
While it's an interesting proposal, I'm more keen on a more subtle adjustment on current ingame mechanics.
* As you level up, you gain access to all previous tier ship customizations for each category.
* Science ships would be limited to science, cruiser to cruisers, etc.
* The ship customization UI would be modified slightly. A drop down showing all ship tiers you have access to opens up, and you can select a tier. Hate the tier 3 science ships? Choose tier 2, and make your customization selections from those normally available to tier 2 science ships.
* Bought a ship skin on the C-Store? Those become available in the general category they fall under at the appropriate rank. Future ship skin/costume releases on the C-Store should be available to lower ranks (Excelsior and Ambassador come to mind).
* Biggest PRO - this system is already mostly in place. Far less work for the devs to do to make it happen. (from my armchair dev point of view)
* Special unlock ships (TOS Connie and Galaxy-X at the current time) are ineligible. Any future special unlocks would also be ineligible.
* To allay the fears of PvPers, clicking on your target will show the ship type (assault cruiser, advanced escort, etc.,). The way PvP is gated, you know automatically that the guy in the Connie Refit is within 5-10 levels of you, within the same rank.
Honestly, while they willl likely introduce a few designs already ingame with higher tier stats, this is probably the best way to go. It should be far easier to implement new ships this way, especially lower tier skins.
You see, I don't like this. The Nova is not an Olympic, and shouldn't have the same capabilities (which is what you'd have if you just made the Olympic look like the Nova).
* TOS Enterprise, commanded by Pike and then Kirk, five years each. Small refit between commanders, internal systems stuff and weapons upgrades.
* Kirk promoted to admiral, Captain Decker assumes command to oversee refit. Massive refit, basically redesigning the ship from the spaceframe up into the Connie Refit we have ingame.
* Small refits over next several years, internal systems and such. Entrerprise assigned to Starfleet Academy as training ship, Captain Spock commanding. Subsequently destroyed over Genesis planet.
* Kirk demoted, given command of the newly christened Enterprise-A. Many systems refits over the next fifteen years. Even with advent of the Excelsior-class ships, the Enterprise is still the flagship of the fleet, with Kirk in the chair.
Now I do see what you're saying, that an older ship design shouldn't have the same capabilities of a newer ship. However, this game is more about playability than sticking to canon. If you look back to the Dominion War, old ships were taken out of mothballs and refit as quickly as possible, most upgrading weapons and other key systems if possible. This is why so many people love the Excelsior, most of the ships were able to be upgraded enough to not only still be in service, but effective combatants in the DW, even when there were far newer ships being built.
My proposal is easier to implement into the game I think. You would have the same end result as if the devs designed a new tier 6 version of a lower tier ship from the ground up.
When you rank up, a refit button lights up on your current ship and allows to to now use weapons and systems equal to your current rank. Perhaps a new console slot also appears and a new BO slot opens up too. Structure points also go up to reflect your rank? Also, this refit option can only be done near a Starbase or shipyard.
I also would prefer to keep my Constitution class all thru the game. Kirk didn't upgrade ships every time he got a new rank (well I guess he kinda did when he hit Admiral, he got the refitted Conny, but still....)
Thank you for all of your replies.
I hope that something comes with Season 2 that is similar to what many of us have asked for.
My original post was not designed in mind with having the lower tier ships being the exact same as the upper tiers as that would not be anything other then a skin refit, and feels lazy. Its not the same ship anymore.
The idea behind my suggestions is having your older ships be able to last longer, be harder to hit, have a more experienced "crew," if you will, that allows it to stay in any fight far longer then what we would ordinarily deem possible.
They wouldn't hit as hard, but would be around long enough to make a significant impact, and their weapons would be hitting harder per beam then the upper level ships would. But since they don't have as many beams and torps as the upper level ships would, they wouldn't be over powering anyone. But hopefully on par.