STO enhancements -- Part II
To follow up on my “give the game a more Naval” mood.
Cruisers are the capital ships of the fleet and as such are the largest and most powerful and in some ways are intended to fight outnumbered. Because of their size they have more weapon ports and more space for redundant power stations and capacitors, so they not only have more weapons but they can hit moderately harder and slightly more often. The same applies to shield emitters and shield capacitors. Same applies to hull armor as well as having a decent inherent damage resistance buff. The downside to the Cruiser would be a poor acceleration rate that has no bearing on top speed and poor turn rates, which worsen as the ship accelerates. The cruiser is tough and intended to be in the middle of a battle, in gaming terms, a damage dealer and a tank. An additional skill or power would be the ability to select multiple targets, a primary target that your reticule is on and a secondary target that you select. When either ship moves into an available weapon’s arc it gets a face full of phaser. To balance this out and keep cruiser from being an “I win” game choice, because the ship is so large it has truncated firing arcs. Instead of 4 foreword weapons and 4 aft weapons, it might be 2 foreword, 2 Aft, 2 port, and 2 starboard weapon ports, most of them limited to 90 degree arcs. The cruiser hits harder and faster per gun port, but can’t bring all of its weapons to bear in an alpha strike. On the one hand the ship doesn’t turn so well, on the other hand there is no such thing as a safe approach. Klingon vessels being offensive in nature might be a 3, 3, 1 and 1 weapons configuration.
In STO escorts are considered the damage dealers, in D&D parlance, and they still can be. These ships are substantially smaller than a cruiser and because of this might, although probably not, have less weapon ports and the weapons would hit slight less hard than the cruiser’s weapons. The same would apply to their shield emitters; their shields would be less strong, although they might not bear any hull armor penalties. Because they are smaller they would enjoy a substantial increase in acceleration and maneuverability at high speeds, in Star Fleet Battles parlance, they are Nimble. As a nimble ship they would also enjoy an inherent and scalable Defensive bonus, scalable in the fact that the faster they are moving the greater the defense bonus. The Devs would need to balance the native defensive bonus with the weaker shields to make the Escort competitive with Cruisers. To make the escort the damage dealer of the fleet even though its weapons would be somewhat weaker than the cruisers you would give them wider weapon arcs and higher concentrations of fire power, basically like they are now, 4 forward, 3 Aft, 1 360 degree waist port (could also be a defensive fire gun port). Couple their wider firing arcs with their superior maneuverability and they could compete head to head with the cruiser and win.
In STO, science vessels ostensibly are your support vessels, basically they provide buffs, debuffs, and control or in other words, they are a force multiplier. As such, I would suggest these are mid-sized ships and all their stats are shared at the mid point with the cruiser and escort. So they get both a slight resistance and defensive bonus natively, their weapons are weaker than an escorts but their shields are stronger. Additionally, as their inherent power they might have a nature EPS buff and more available Aux energy. Their weapon port configuration are 3 forward, 3 aft, and 1 waist, or 2 forward, 2 aft, 1 port, 1 starboard. As a support vessel their role is to supply their teammates with buffs, mob control, and supplementary offensive fire support, so really what they are is a deflector dish with a warp drive strapped on to it. Their buffs should be more effect, with greater range, and available more often than what cruisers and escorts can provide, not to mention perhaps another consoles worth of available powers over what they already have. This ship is the hardest to conceptualize since most games require damage output to win, playing Science might need to be specifically a teaming only vessel, but that does appeal to many players.
These ideas are intended to give the game a more naval feel as well as to further delineate their roles while operating in a fleet. Cruisers tank, Escorts close and fire, and Science hangs out in the rear doling out buffs and debuffs like a capricious king.