This has been rattling around in my head for a while now. We've seen Klingon ships in canon enter the atmosphere to raid targets on multiple occasions. Most notably is the cavalry raid on Trelka V in DS9s "Once More Unto the Breach", where a wing of Birds of Prey attacked a Dominion starbase located on the planet.
I was thinking, this would make for some very epic, very Klingon gameplay, and not just for Birds of Prey.
Before I start, yes, I think this should be Klingon only. If Feddie players want to do this, they should roll a Klingon.
Also a disclaimer: I don't pretend to be a dev. If they make atmospheric missions, I don't expect they will use all, or any, of my ideas. If they choose to, great, but these are my ideas and I don't claim they are anything but.
There are three basic principles needed for atmospheric assault missions.
Firstly, speed and maneuverability. We already know that the devs can make your ship maneuver differently depending on your zone. The differences between sector and system space are the obvious example here. In atmosphere, all ships except the Vo'Quv would suffer a slight penalty to turn rate, to simulate air drag on the starship (the Vo'Quv already turns slow enough).
However, they would also suffer a penalty to pitching up and down. Birds of Prey and Raptors would suffer almost no penalty to pitch, while battlecruisers would suffer a heavier penalty to pitch, and carriers would be almost impossible to pitch up and down, instead gliding menacingly over the landscape.
Likewise, in atmosphere, top speed would be capped to an appropriate level, fast and fun, but not too fast. Full impulse would be disabled. both of these are there so you couldn't zip across the entire map in two seconds.
Hitting the ground should cause extreme damage over time, quickly leading to defeat. Birds of Prey and Raptors would be most susceptible to this, considering they would have the best ability to bank down and make attack runs on ground targets.
Atmospheric maps should be populated and interesting. The ground should have all the terrain types available for walking on, just miniaturized for enjoyment in a starship, this means mountains, rivers, lava, water, etc., etc., etc. There should be cities with huge skyscrapers. There should be military bases with air strips, fighter and starship launch facilities, and turret emplacements. There should be monuments, and ruins. Like I said, it should be interesting. Missions might involve looting ground based cargo convoys via transporter technology, shooting down enemy craft, bombarding cities or military bases with torpedoes, etcetera.
These missions should provide a type of gameplay that is unique and compelling.
There should be two new UI elements just for these missions, representing sensors. Firstly, an altimeter, to tell you how high up you are. Secondly, a range finder, to tell you how far your nose is from a solid object in a straight line. So if I am 10 KM up and I am taking my Bird of Prey in for an attack run on an installation 12 KM away and pointing directly at it, the altimeter will read 10 KM, while range will read as 12 KM. These would be 2 pieces of extremely important information.
I imagine the shadow of an immense carrier slowly spreading over a city as it glides a few kilometers overhead, dwarfing the massive buildings while it launches waves of fighters to attack AA batteries and fires its array of cannons to assist in the bombardment.
I imagine a wing of Birds of Prey and Raptors engaged in dogfights with lesser craft and then making attack runs to sabotage a critical ground-based freight convoy traveling along a road to a capitol city.
I imagine Battle Cruisers sliding overhead, angling down and launching salvos of torpedoes to annihilate military bases and other targets of opportunity.
This could be so amazing. These are just my ideas, my wants for the system. I imagine if the devs really did this, it would involve a lot of tweaking and play testing, and hopefully at least be fun.
I think this is an awsome idea!!,, however I dont think cryptic would do it because of the feds that wine about the klinks anyway. but I hope they do, it would definitely be fun, in fact cryptic give us this kind of mission I would not ask for anything else till season 6=)
However i think it might be unrealistic to expect that large ships such as carriers and battle cruisers could enter in and out of atmosphere ... It would be more realistic to have smaller craft such as BoPs, shuttlecraft and fighters launch planetary attacks while larger ships stay in orbit for orbital bombardment.