The excelsior and the nebula were released as tier 3 versions (for energy credits) and the c-store tier 5. These are the only two ships to be done this way, and probably because many people, including I, made such a fuss about not having such iconic ships available c-store only, and because they both felt like smaller and less advanced that at the time the tier 4 galaxy. So tier 3 ships made sense with tier 5 being the refit version.
Now has this practice of releasing tier 3 versions now stopped? or will be see it again for the ambassador, another iconic ship that really should be a tier 3 in the canon sense of the ship list.
Can we get this back for other future ships because I personally enjoy playing alts and having different ships to play at the start, tier 3 and tier 5 make the levelling enjoyable. We've had plenty of starter ships recently but are now lacking in the tier 3 department.
Klingon could also benefit greatly from some tier 3 versions.
Is this something people would like, or are tier 5 only acceptable?
While this is not something I'm opposed to, there isn't a lot of time spent at the T3 levels. I like the idea of new T3 ships but they just aren't too feasible to use at the T5 levels.
Personally, I'd like to see more time taken between Ensign and VA (and eventually Fleet Admiral) thus making ship choices at a given Tier more meaningful, as in a ship you work with for a longer period of time. But that ship, pardon the pun, has already sailed. =)
I guess all that being said, sure, bring on more T3 ships. =) More variety is almost always good.
I think the reason for adding the Excelsior and Nebula classes as tier 3 ships is that so many people disliked the default Cheyenne/Olympic options for cruisers and science. Escorts haven't really had that problem, since the Akira has such a strong following (although as a Steamrunner fan I'd much rather have the original over the Zephyr "replacement"). So, by that logic, since people have the option to fly something other than the hated golf ball in the third science tier, the devs may have felt that there was no need to add a T3 version of the D'kyr. This is all just speculation on my part, though. You'd have to ask them for a definite answer.
As for future ships being added as T3 and T5, I'm all for it. More ship options at all tiers is a good thing, IMO.
I dare say the ambassador class might get a tier 3 or 4 version, It could be a nice choice to give the cruiser captains at tier 4 a half decent turn rate rather than forcing the galaxy's god awful one on them.
I always assumed that putting the ships at T5 is just what made sense from a game perspective; because that is where we end up spending most of our time. Then putting them in at T3 as well is more a nod to canon; where Cryptic thought they best fit in the hierarchy of ships.
Doesn't really matter to me where the 'standard' model is; could just as easily be T2 or T4. It simply depends on where the ship fits according to Trek lore.
Now that the Nebula is in at T3, I wouldn't mind seeing an alternative to the Intrepid (I don't care what Cryptic says; the Intrepid is NOT a step up from the Nebula :p).