So far, I like the Odyssey as is on Tribble but I was let down with the ship interior. The bridge is nice but I was hoping the ready room and the rest of the ship would be better than the standard interiors. I guess I was expecting something towards the TOS constitution bridge pack.
The problem with the Odyssey, as I see it, is that it an end-game ship that isn't very good at end-game PvE - specifically STFs, as that is really the majority of end-game PvE right now. This lack of capability is particularly galling when compared to the Bortas.
Why is the Odyssey Bad at STFs?
It basically comes down to lack of damage. STFs, as they exist today, require a certain level of DPS to complete optional objectives, and this ship appears to be pretty weak when it comes to hurting things. That's a pretty serious problem for an iconic ship that people will want to fly. Having only 2 tactical consoles is a real hinderance, especially when compared to the Bortas.
You could argrue that increased survivability makes up for less damage, but the truth is that it does not. 15 second respawn timers, combined with the fact that competent escort pilots can tank normal mode STFs means that extra survivability has little to no value in normal mode STFs. Survivability in elite STFs might make up the difference, but not even cruisers can realistically tank elite tactical cubes. Extra survivability doesn't really help when all it means is that it takes you an extra 2 seconds to blow up.
So, what can be done to fix this?
Well, you could change STFs so that having a tough ship actually has some value, but that would likely require a complete STF redesign. It might also move you more toward the MMORPG "trinity" concept than you would like. So, while I would welcome this type of change, I suspect that it isn't really practical at this time.
An easier and faster alternative would be to change the Odyssey design so that it would be better at STFs. This really means more damage. A third tactical console is pretty much required, although additional improvements would not be out of the question, considering the Bortas. That would still leave it 15 weapon power and a tac console behind the Bortas, but at least it wouldn't be completely terrible.
The Console Disparity
A side issue to all of this is the disparity in the value of console types.
Eng consoles are useful even if you have few engineering abilities, as they improve damage resistances, shields, power flow, turn rates, etc.
Tac consoles are useful even if you have few tactical abilities, as they improve your damage - and damage is king in this game.
Sci consoles are only useful if you have a bunch of high-level science abilities, as the only thing they do is buff science abilities. And even then, the long cooldowns means that even then you are probably not getting your money's worth.
One of these things is not like the others...
In order to properly balance ships, Sci consoles need to be improved in such a way that they are still useful when you are not using science abilities - and it needs to be done in such a way that they are beneficial in both PvP and PvE.
The Escort Problem
When designing new ships you, obviously, must take into consideration the existing ships in the game. And when it comes to STFs, it is really all about escorts. They do the most damage (often by a lot), and have the best maneuverability. The price they are supposed to be paying for that is poor survivability. However, that isn't really the case. At least when it comes to STFs, escorts are really no less survivable than cruisers. Due to the way EPtS and Tactical Team work, they typically have no survivability issues at all in normal mode, and nobody's survivability is really sufficient in elites unless you have the tac cubes power drained.
So, even if you fix the design of the Odyssey, this problem is still going to exist. I'm not really sure what to do about, but I think that it is high time that something be done.
The Star Cruiser? Really?!
I still don't get why you think that people want to fly an upgraded space whale. Unless you are really into PvP healing (a very acquired taste, IMO) then the star cruiser isn't really that interesting of a ship. That's why I don't understand why you would design the new iconic "enterprise" around it. It just isn't very exciting.
Yes, I get that Trek lore dictates that the federation is all friendly and wants to go out an explore the galaxy, but that doesn't really jive very well with a game that is all about blowing up other space ships. Heck, it doesn't even jive with your own STO lore. Isn't the federation under attack by the Borg, Klingons, Undine, etc.? Under those circumstances, why would their new flagship be a toothless exploration vessel? It just fails to make any sense on so many levels.
So, that's my take on it. Hopefully you can do something with it to improve the game.
I like the idea of versatility built into the Odyssey (and the Bortas) but this guy brought up some very good points I hadn't thought of.
As far as feedback goes, I, personally, won't have much of a chance to test it out (and tbh I kinda want to wait until I can get it on holo...I like 'release day' excitement). At first I thought a 3, 3, 3 console setup would be the answer but...it's a cruiser. It NEEDS all 4 engineering console slots. So then the easy answer is to give it a universal console slot. Ok, maybe. I'm not even sure if it's POSSIBLE to make a universal console slot in STO as we've never seen it before but I think that would be something worth considering.
I submit this...
+15 to Aux +5 to Shields
Same Boff config
This way, you A) Maintain the versatility that you're going for, B) Give it the firepower it needs, and C) Maintains the 'sciencyness' the Star Cruiser is all about. The boost in Aux makes up for losing a sci console and it already has the 1.15 shield modifier, making up, in a way, for the +10 to +5 drop in shield power.
I think this will make everyone happy. We get our (very durable) cruiser, we get our firepower that a ship on the front line of the Klingon War and the multitude of other conflicts should have and we can crank out those science skills with the +15 Aux power.
It seems to me the Star Cruiser's layout was designed when those INSANE science consoles still existed and three science console slots really made a difference. Nowadays, as Vexiom pointed out, science consoles really only help a ton if you're ACTIVELY using science powers. And since the Odyssey was built with versatility in mind, not everyone's going to be using a ton of sci powers.
So, I've offered my two cents,
and for those TL;DR folks (I'm one of them), this is what I think the Odyssey's layout should look like and still offer versatility
I am confused. We were hinted at getting a new bridge for the Odyssey, but the bridge in use on Tribble appears to be one that has been pulled from the Foundry, with some of the worst scaling I have seen for the longest time. Strictly speaking, that bridge is far larger than Ops at DS9! No starship bridge should be larger than a Starbase's control centre.
So I must ask: Is that the bridge we will get, or is the actual bridge being held back in the same way as the ship costume is?
Note: The MSD looks pretty good though, its a small redeeming feature in a vast calamity.
Both flagships have a bad turn rate. Since they're meant to be essentially dreadnaughts, I am ok with this. In a perfect world (sic) they would be able to turn too, but we don't want the ship to replace every other ship. That said, the flagship probably should have as much firepower as a ship hundreds of years old or the flagship that came before it. In a time of war I don't believe the Federation would make a new flagship that is weaker in firepower than the one it is presumably replacing. This is especially true when the KDF has a flagship with more damage than its predecessor.
I'm not saying that the Oddyssey needs to be so good it replaces every other ship. But in some sense it is replacing the Soverign as a flagship. I believe it must have the same amount of firepower or more. The Bortas is it's competitor. It has more firepower than a Negh'var or a Vor'cha retrofit. It's weakness is either matched by the Oddyssey (turn rate) or is not important for a cruiser in practice (sci consoles). I do find it a bit ironic that the supposedly defensive minded feds get a ship with less hull than the offensively minded KDF, but that isn't that much of a factor for me. DPS is king. I have characters designed from the beginning to fly each of the t5 ships. But that's just the completist in me. In reality of gameplay, no cruiser with 2 tac consoles compares to a cruiser with 3. If you are a healer in team pvp, then there is a niche role for such a ship. Outside of that, it's simply inferior. The Galaxy X got a spinal phaser lance and cloak to make up for it. It's still not as good as an Excelsior when it comes to finishing off enemies or completing missions. In many ways the science vessels are worse. I've ran timers doing the same set of fights using different ships. Even when you are fully specced into science, it still takes longer to accomplish anything in a sci ship than a 3 tac console cruiser. And any cruiser takes longer to accomplish the same task as an escort.
So in the end, even though I have flown every ship in the game, this is an escort driver's game at endgame pve. STFs are much more easily finished with a team of escorts than a team of tanks. And I think this is by design. Escorts, while fragile, are still stout enough that you can mostly survive in them, except in circumstances that would kill any other ship too. And any fight you survive by definition means you had enough defense already. Extra defense, especially at the cost of offense, gains you little.
The other factor in this is the competition that the Oddyssey will face in pvp. The Bortas on paper appears to be superior in every way that matters. I think the two ships should be balanced against each other. Whether that means nerfing the Bortas or buffing the damage on the Oddyssey, they should be balanced. I'm for just giving the Oddyssey the same firepower as the ship it is replacing.
Bridge: Over-sized, but the layout is better than any of the other Cryptic bridges.
Turn rate: Fine, considering the other perks.
Consoles: Needs to be 4/2/3 OR 4/2/2 with 1 Universal slot. The latter being the best option, this would probably need some sort of special tech.
Power levels: Would be better with +5 across the board since the theme of the ship is "versatility". The coolest way to do this would be to have the ship's power levels change depending on what type of bridge officer is in the lieutenant commander slot. +5 across if engineer, +10 weapons +10 engines if tactical, and +10 shields +10 aux for science. It would require some fancy tech, but it would be optimal and it would create some interesting variations for all gameplay styles. Fancy tech like this could lead to some new c-store ships as well (wink wink nudge nudge)
I tested the Odyssey a bit now and I came to the conclusion to stay in my Excelsior Refit.
+ Awesome BoFF seating. But this only because of the Universal Slots.
+ Good survivability
- The turn rate is terrible - even with consoles
- The Firepower is a clear desaster
- Tactical Consoles must be increased to 3. 2 are not nearly enough.
- Not a single special ability...yeah I know it is saved for the Store version, but seriously? This is a damn most advanced federation ship...even the basic version must have something special
and the Bridge....this is what honestly disappointed me. I really hope that it is a placeholder like the final design. It is simply a c&p of the Star Cruiser Bridge only with a new MSD of the Odyssey class. You had how many months to work on this now? Since August 2011?
In comparison with the KDF Ship the Odyssey clearly fails.
This ship was build to defend the federation against threats right? Borg/Undine/Klingons? How does Starfleet wants to achieve this? By sitting and letting the ship defend itself until the enemies give up?
I think of the STFs and have to say many Teams failing due severe lack of firepower.
I'll be honest. If this is what Starfleet came up and declare as "Most advanced" I laugh. Even a retrofitted Excelsior puts this ship miles behind...
My proposal would be:
- change Consoles to 3/3/3
- add a simple special feature for the ship. I don't care if it is a pure Copy and Paste skill, but do something...
- lower or remove passive stats and add a bit more turn rate.