I have to admit, though, that in terms of LOOKS it appears to be a cruiser. The "pods" could be weapons pods, possibly even cannons, which would explain its place in STO as a "warship". But I would think its bulk would make it as difficult to turn as the Akira, without having the Akira's size. (Meaning, it would not have as much crew)
THose are torpedo bays. nothing more.
THe New orleans would of made the perfect tier 3 cruiser.
hmm dont know about it being an escort however. that line is very well covered.
The hole in that theory is we already have a Wolf 359 wreckage ship in game...the Cheyenne. That was the only time it was ever seen on screen.
That is right. It is a hole. It was a hole in the heavy cruisers that needed filled, when they stumbled across the U.S.S. Cheyenne as a wreck in space, and said to them selves, "Hmmmm... Maybe".
So we have a "Weak" Canon ship as the matriarch of Heavy Cruisers.
Not saying it isn't possible for the New Orleans class, just saying there are MANY more DESERVING Classes of starship.
Of course it's being considered. It will be easier to render than a Steamrunner which would require designing an original model that gets little to no customization like the Excelsiors
The New Orleans Class is a modified kitbash of the Galaxy Class using the saucer, nacelles, pylons and neck from the Galaxy.
It will be a much easier build to make than say... the Yeager which uses the Intrepid saucer/part of the hull and the Marquis Raider/Peregrine Fighter withe the nacelles moved to the end of the wings.
In the end the Devs are gonna do what is easiest... Which is a T5 Akira!... After the "New Defiant Variants" of course.