...And what is the point of HIDING weapons? You either have the engine power to fire them, or you don't. You don't magically gain firepower from spliting up. They could have put all those weapons were they were exposed on the hull in the first place and the ship would have been MORE dangerous by the standards of the setting (and in-game).
While not a fan of MVAM, I feel I should make a point here.
You can only fit so many weapons on a ship because of it's surface area.
After the ship splits, there's more surface area, where there are weapons that could not have been put on the outside of the whole ship.
The ships are already so armed to the teeth that the Intrepid can fire phasers from its nacelles, truth be told, I think it's more a matter of surface area vs how many phaser strips fit on it in this day and time.
I personally think the perception of teh Escort feeling weaker in STO is merely a missconception based off of the portrayal of the escort class in the TV shows that shows them being tough, hard to diasble vessels in combat and not the often squishy glass cannon that they are in gameplay.
Unfortunately I see no way for the Dev's to make the escort " the tough little ship" from the shows without unbalancing them versus the other 2 ship classes.
Well, the defiant wasn't that mega tuff either.
Odyssey held much longer in the engagement vs jemhardar attack fighters then the defiant.
Lakoa would have creamed the defiant if it had used its quantum torpedoes at all, which the captain refused, while the defiant did used them.
After playing a bit fed escort for a change i don't think that escorts need any uptuffing at all.
But what would be nice if cannon and beam skills for BOs would share the same ranks, and not cannon skills start one rank higher.
Escorts still kill stuff fast in normal mode pve. They don't work as well in pvp anymore because everyone got a shield and hull buff.
Since I play pve, I haven't complained about the escort's power. But I do think another balance pass is needed; the science ships are too tough defensively and too weak offensively; perhaps that's more canon but makes every pve mission with a sci vessel take longer. Since I don't die in pve with my escorts anyway I don't need the additional toughness of the sci vessel and I quit flying them. Escorts should be able to take on a sci vessel in pvp; right now it seems pretty futile one on one. Playing one one one challenge it is impossible for my escort to bring down my brother's sci vessel; by the time I weaken him much his heals have recharged and I just have to use superior speed to run away.
Cruisers also aren't offensively powered enough and perhaps too defensively powered. My main complaint with the cruiser is the boff slots. Only the Excelsior gives you Beam Overload 3 and such; it is the only Fed cruiser I play because of the boff slots. It rankles me that the biggest ship in the game can't use the biggest offensive capabilities, cannons notwithstanding.
Is it too much to ask that at vice admiral level you should have some say in how your skill layout and boffs are set up? This is your flagship; you should be able to spec out for tactical during a time of war. Universal slots is the way to go for top level ships. Universal console slots should also be allowed with caveats that there are limits on stacking consoles.
I figure in a year or two the game will go that direction. Patience is a virtue, but I admit to being bored right now flying the same ships the way they are now. Hopefully new ships will offer new gameplay options beyond the one special power they get now. The Excelsior was a good start; now we need boff layouts with other ships that compare.
You only ever see one 'true escort' in the shows, Defiant.
Granted that the defiant has a hefty load of firepower, but even then it never destroys any cruiser sized vessel in one attack run. Usually its Dom bugships, and hey, you CAN destroy bugships in STO in one run.
Prometheus, is an escort in STO, but not in actuality. Advanced experimental assault cruiser, or somesuch. I would expect it to have more firepower than any escort really.
The Escort is a little underpowered compared to a cruiser. (but then what isn't in this game. It is Cruiser Online after all..... stupid devs and boosting durability cycles even further every time we turn around..)
However it is only that, a little underpowered. I think most of that comes from the fact that the cannon skills are too high ranked for what they do and provide for a ship while the Beam Skills are sitting exactly where they need to be. Fix that and alot of the escort's problems would go away. I'd also argue that certain eng skills need to be in Lt. Like warp plasma. (why? DEM is an LT skill and is just as powerful as Warp Plasma 1... it certainly would make that LT spot more competitive.....) Giving escorts more access to zone control. If I can do it in my BOP there is no excuse even fathomable, as to why an Escort shouldn't be able to as well.
Couple that with the fact that there are alot of kindergarten level gamers in this game, trying to fly what they think looks cool getting owned constantly by gamers that have been playing videogames since they were 5 and you really end up with fun little situations. "My cruiser is too weak it needs to be buffed more!"....unfortunately for the rest of us... Cryptic rather than telling these people that frankly they have more than enough already, actually gives them more. (Aegis set being so damned good for cruisers for example). The real problem with this, is as much as this sort of thing helps the kindergamers, it benefits us hardcore gamers even more, as we min max the hell out of it. Putting an even larger gap between players rather than leveling the playing field.
Yep....the biggest mistake people make is to ASSUME that escort are built like crusiers. Escorts were never meant to survive as long as a Crusier in terms of time in battle. Escorts are heavy on first strike but low on survivability. That is EXACTLY what is in game now. In fact, before they were tuned back a bit, Escort were probably the most feared and strongest ships in the game.