Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
07-17-2010, 09:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
My Tier 5 Excelsior Suggestion

Bridge Officer Stations
Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Tactical, Lieutenant Science, Ensign Science OR Ensign Universal.

Consoles: 4x Engineering, 3x Science, 2x Tactical.

Hull Strength: 39000.

Shield Strength: Identical to Assault/Star Cruisers.

Device Slots: 4.

Crew Compliment: 500-600.

Turn Rate: 7 or 8.

Weapon Slots: 4/4, or 4/3 with Universal Ensign slot.

Unique Power: Transwarp Drive (as listed in above quote).


My suggestion has the Excelsior on equal footing with Tier 5 Starfleet Cruisers (no better or worse), and specifically designed similar to a Star Cruiser with Officer station layout and consoles -- which I think is more fitting of her lineage and purpose. It will also give those who do not like the look of current Star Cruisers (like myself) something to fly that is more traditional but with the desired power layout. Lesser crew is a balance and lore point (but I admit I do not know how much crew an Excelsior is supposed to have) and would allow for a marginally better turn rate (especially if the 4/3 weapon configuration is chosen).

Thoughts, anyone?

Any further comment from devs/GMs, are highly welcome!
Overall, I agree with your suggestions. By the time the Exclesior has been developed, it certainly more filled a role like the Galaxy did when it was new: Exploration, though armed very good. The Sovereign IMO was much more designed for combat in mind, no wonder: With active threads like the Borg or the Dominion it was a logical solution to outfit a new large cruiser with a larger combat layout.

I'll start right off with the special ability here:
While the Transwarp Drive sure is a nice touch, we should keep in mind that this is a total out of combat ability. Unlike the Phaser Lance, the Cloak, the Saucer Seperation or the blative Armor - which all actively change your actual combat power. So you basicly only benefit before action begins - or only when it is already over. Also how long will the cooldown be?
I think because of the non-combat nature of this ability, it should be rated a bit lower in terms of balancing out the ship.
  • Hull: 39.000 - I think all T5 cruisers should have the same amount of hull.
  • Crew: 650-700 - Most sources I read about stated 650-750 crew members. I think for balancing reasons with the Sovereign, using 650 crewmen is fitting.
  • Turn rate: 8 - the Excelsior has less mass and crew than the other three T5 classes, so we can improve the turnrate a bit here.
  • Shield: Same as all T5 cruisers
  • Weapon slots: 4x fore, 3x aft - Taking a look at the original ship, most phaser arrays are placed around the saucer section, with only a few covering the aft of the ship. Thanks to the better turn rate, it is also easier to line up the forward slots.
  • Devices: 4

BO Stations:
  • Engineering Commander
  • Engineering Lt. Cmdr.
  • Tactical Lt.
  • Science Lt.
  • Universal Ens.

Consoles:
  • 4x Engineering
  • 2x Science
  • 2x Tactical


To do some summary with the two standard T5 Cruisers:
Pro:
+ Spacial Ability: Transwarp Drive (keep in mind this won't help you in combat though!)
+ High turnrate of 8
+ Universal Ensign allowing for a more individual mission setup


Cons:
- One less Weapon slot
- Lowest crew of T5 cruisers
- One less console slot


Compared to the Galaxy-X you keep the same console and weapon configurations. The Gal-X turns a lot slower, but has a much higher crew. While the Gal-X comes with a fixed Tac Ensign, you have a Universal Ensign station, you'll only have a not-combat special ability, compared to two (three) combat relevant abilities of the Gal-X.
Virtually the same goes for the Galaxy Refit class compared with the Excelsior.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
07-17-2010, 11:25 AM
I am very much in favor of introducing some different Bridge Officer seatings for new ships. (Of course, that might cause concerns that once again C-Store items exist with unique mechancis that can't be gotten elsewhere. I hope that dstahls plan to find a way to pay such ships also with tons of merits will go through with accounting. )

Excelsior (Tier 5)
Equipment and Consoles
4 Device Slots
4 Engineering Slots
3 Science Slots
3 Tactical Slots

Weapons
4 Forward Weapon Slots
3 Aft Weapon Slots

Turning Rate: 9/sec (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Hull: 36.000 (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Shields: Same as Federation Tier 5 Cruiser.

Bridge Officers
Commander Engineering
Lt.Commander Engineering
Lt. Tactical
Lt. Science
Ensign Universal

Rationale:
The Refit Excelsior is still smaller then most equal tier cruisers. That allows it to be more maneuverable, but it can't carry as many weapons nor can it achieve the same hull strength. Still, shield emitters are quite capable for its size.
To compensate the hull and weapon losses, it gets one more console overall then other ships of its tier.

Unlike the Klingon Neg'Vahr, it doesn't have the ability to field cannons.


To compare, this is how I might stat up the Nebula Class.
Nebula Class(Tier 5)
Equipment and Consoles
4 Device Slots
3 Engineering Slots
3 Science Slots
3 Tactical Slots

Weapons
4 Forward Weapon Slots
3 Aft Weapon Slots
Special: Can use Cannons.

Turning Rate: 11/sec (That's approximately the maneuverability of the Engineering Section of the Galaxy Refit, IIRC.)
Hull: 36.000 (same as Klingon Battle Cruiser)
Shields: Same as Federation Tier 5 Cruiser.

Bridge Officers
Commander Engineering
Lt. Commander Universal
Lt. Tactical
Lt. Science
Ensign Universal
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
07-17-2010, 12:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
My Tier 5 Excelsior Suggestion

Bridge Officer Stations
Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Commander Engineering, Lieutenant Tactical, Lieutenant Science, Ensign Science OR Ensign Universal.

Consoles: 4x Engineering, 3x Science, 2x Tactical.

Hull Strength: 39000.

Shield Strength: Identical to Assault/Star Cruisers.

Device Slots: 4.

Crew Compliment: 500-600.

Turn Rate: 7 or 8.

Weapon Slots: 4/4, or 4/3 with Universal Ensign slot.

Unique Power: Transwarp Drive (as listed in above quote).


My suggestion has the Excelsior on equal footing with Tier 5 Starfleet Cruisers (no better or worse), and specifically designed similar to a Star Cruiser with Officer station layout and consoles -- which I think is more fitting of her lineage and purpose. It will also give those who do not like the look of current Star Cruisers (like myself) something to fly that is more traditional but with the desired power layout. Lesser crew is a balance and lore point (but I admit I do not know how much crew an Excelsior is supposed to have) and would allow for a marginally better turn rate (especially if the 4/3 weapon configuration is chosen).

Thoughts, anyone?

Any further comment from devs/GMs, are highly welcome!

The Excelsior was built as a Battlecruiser so it should be more tactical.

BO Stations:

Tactical - 1 Ensign + 1 LT Commander
Engineering - (2) LT Commander
Science - LT

Consoles: 4 Eng / 2 Sci / 3 Tactical

Hull Strength (Maximum Skill): 38000

Shield Strength: Capx3 Covarient at Admiral - 8000

Crew Complement: 600

Turn Rate: 8 (should have slighly more manuverability than the Sovereign)

Weapon slots: 4 Front 3 Aft

Overall: Strong offensively, but not so much defensively.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
07-17-2010, 12:53 PM
These are some good suggestions for the Excelsior, it seems to me we're all on the same page and are looking for the same thing -- that tells me it's a good thing.

Teslanar,

My only concern with your suggestion is losing a console... combined with 4/3 weapon loadout, and lesser crew... I am not sure the extra turn rate would make up for the power loss over other T5 Cruisers. The Universal Ensign slot doesn't really add any "power", but increases versatility (there will already be a Cruiser of every Ensign flavor). I agree with you that the Transwarp Drive should not be taken into consideration when balancing this ship, as it's not a combat power in the slightest.


MustrumRidcully,

I also like your suggestion, it gives the Excelsior more of a Battle Cruiser vibe. Weaker hull, one less aft weapon, and lesser crew (500-700 seems to be the general consensus) would seem to hold up pretty well in giving the Excelsior 1 extra console, a better turn rate, and an Ensign Universal slot.


Azurian,

I agree, Battle Cruiser strength hull and appropriate turn rate (8-9), and a smaller crew compliment, are good balance points. But your officer station layout doesn't list any Commander-rank stations, and I feel that would be a severe disadvantage and weakness in a ship that should be as strong as other T5 Cruisers.


That said, I don't believe the Excelsior should exclusively have a Tactical focus. Here is a quote from the Memory Alpha wiki, link here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Memory Alpha Wiki
Once fully integrated into the fleet, the Excelsior's sister ships were used for a variety of mission profiles, ranging from deep space exploration and terraforming missions, to patrol duty, to courier and transport runs.
This seems to me the Excelsior class should be as well equipped for Exploration as Combat. I think an Ensign Universal station is very appropriate!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
07-17-2010, 01:37 PM
Here's how I see it. The refit Defiant, Galaxy and Intrepid all give up something in exchange for their unique combat powers - the cloak, the saucer separation, and the armour.

The thing is...while the Excelsior has a unique power, it's not a unique combat power. It sounds like we'll be getting a better sector space transwarp. That'll improve quality-of-life, but it won't affect how the Excelsior performs in combat.

So if it gives up anything in exchange for that transwarp - fewer weapon slots, fewer devices...then that's potentially worrying. I dunno. This probably really ain't an issue for the T3 Excelsior. But if they do a T5 Excelsior, and I really really hope they do, then balance versus the other T5 ships becomes important.

Particularly for PvP.

I think it's unlikely the Excelsior (or Nebula) will get a universal BO slot of any kind. That's thus far been the exclusive province of the Bird of Prey...a lot of Klingon players cried bloody murder when cloaks came to the Fed-side in the Galaxy-X and now the refit Defiant. Giving a Fed ship a universal BO slot is going to cause that same angst all over again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
07-17-2010, 02:01 PM
Agreed, balance is very important.

Universal Slots have been the sole domain of Birds of Prey, this much is true. But considering the Excelsior and the Nebula, if there were ever two ships of Starfleet who should have at least a Universal Ensign slot, it would be these two. I don't believe them having a Universal Ensign slot would undermine the Bird of Prey, which has Battle Cloak (unique, no other ship has this) along with Universal slots of all stations (no other ships have this, either, in any form).

Excelsior is obviously not going to get Battle Cloak, and I don't think Klingons are going to get up in arms about a Universal Ensign slot. I have a BG5 I play regularly, and it certainly doesn't bother me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
07-18-2010, 04:48 AM
Didn't it have twin launchers upfront?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
07-18-2010, 05:46 AM
Just adding that the Crew of a Nebula is also 750, which is perfectly sensible seeing as it's 20-25% smaller than a Galaxy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
07-18-2010, 08:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingMeSoftly
Teslanar,

My only concern with your suggestion is losing a console... combined with 4/3 weapon loadout, and lesser crew... I am not sure the extra turn rate would make up for the power loss over other T5 Cruisers. The Universal Ensign slot doesn't really add any "power", but increases versatility (there will already be a Cruiser of every Ensign flavor). I agree with you that the Transwarp Drive should not be taken into consideration when balancing this ship, as it's not a combat power in the slightest.

That said, I don't believe the Excelsior should exclusively have a Tactical focus. Here is a quote from the Memory Alpha wiki, link here.



This seems to me the Excelsior class should be as well equipped for Exploration as Combat. I think an Ensign Universal station is very appropriate!
I tend to say the Excelsior is more of an Exploration ship, just like the Galaxy. They have been built in a different time than lets say the Sovereign. There weren't any real threats or even active wars back then. The current situation is a different one.

Yet I agree with you on my layout. The question is what to change? I'd now add a thrid tactical console for this ship. Then we would have 4x Engineering, 2x Science, 3x Tactical. The universal BO slot is really a BoP thing, the question is now what else to add there? Since the Gal-X already offers a Tac Ensign as a second ship besides the Assault Cruiser, the Gal-Refit offers an Engi Ensign slot it would be more logical to have it feature another Sci Ensign slot besides the Star Cruiser.
Maybe even ditch a second station alltogether and instead give us an Lt.Cmd. station instead of a Lt. one. So either Tac. Lt.Cmd. or Sci Lt.Cmd. but I am not sure if that might be too much.

Problem with the Transwarp Drive is still that it is an advantage. Lets say we'd make the Excelsior like the Star Cruiser, people would choose Excelsior because the Transwarp Drive adds some comfort ingame.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
07-18-2010, 10:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teslanar
Problem with the Transwarp Drive is still that it is an advantage. Lets say we'd make the Excelsior like the Star Cruiser, people would choose Excelsior because the Transwarp Drive adds some comfort ingame.
How good will this Transwarp actually be? If it is the same you get with Diplomatic Content, then it's not really that relevant - most people will probably try that anyway and level up to get the new Transwarp Locations. If the Excelsior gives them for C-Store points, we basically have something in game we demanded all along - the ability to get a C-Store item with in-game activity.
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