So a little explanation: The dots with white text represent in-game ships, gold is c-store, and red is a limited-edition ship. If you see a smear around one ship, it's a ship with a universal slot. This acts like a wild card and can skew the build placement. In these cases, I pretended that they had those slots filled with the native specialization and centered it there. Some ships tend to hug the line between ranks. These are +1 ships and VA ships that really are only slightly better than their RA counterparts. In fact the only ship that really centered in the VA line was the galaxy-X which has two special powers.
Disclaimer: I didn't use any math to determine the positions, just my own interpretation based on the BO slots and consoles.
So now I curious to hear your thoughts. What do you think of STO's current spread? What do you think the future should bring? What ships would you like to see fill missing roles?
What I'd like to see is a spreadsheet showing all the "gaps" that exist in ship builds assuming the defined rules are maintained. I think we're getting to the point where there just *aren't* enough variables to create distinguishable ship builds.
Now, that said there are a number of things that could be done to change that;
Double the number of weapon slots, halve the damage of each weapon.
This makes it possible to have 8/8, 8/7, 8/6, 7/7, 7/6 and 6/6 builds at T5, instead of 4/4, 4/3, 3/3.
More weapon slots = more flexibility, greater demand for dilithium to buy weapons.
Add new weapon firing arcs, or weapon slot types.
With port and starboard weapon mounts, you add a pair of variables to distinguish ships by. If you add things like dedicated "spinal" weapon mounts for those ships that need them, that's another variable.
A simple solution would just be to offer one ship in each tier (cruiser, frigate, and battleship) with universal BOff slots in the 3/4/5 configuration and equal slots 3/4/5 for weapons and consoles. Some really neat and unique design would be ideal - something that people would want for more than just the open configuration.
So, I wanted to hold off giving my own opinions until everyone had a chance to view the chart and draw their own conclusions. But here's what came to me:
1. I see you guys picked up on the no mans land that exists between Science and Tactical. It's so obvious as to almost be intentional. But this has me curious. Is it there because Cryptic thinks there isn't enough demand for a Tac/Sci or Sci/Tac hybrid, or is is a case where they think such a ship would be to powerful? I suppose from a canon standpoint, science and military might rarely mix except in cruisers. Anyway, tons of room for expansion here.
2. Moving on, with the recent release of the Odyssey, it is now possible to have a Eng/Sci Hybrid. While one could argue that this is a limited edition ship, I have no doubt that C-Store variants will be hitting soon. It'll be interesting to see if they keep a similar build or if you see things like a Tac leaning variant or an Eng themed variant.
3. The Nebula and D'kyr already function as a Sci/Eng Hybrid. In fact I was really surprised at how similar these two are. I suppose the D'Kyr is really just meant to fill the Vulcan-themed ship rather than cover a build type.
3. Obviously we have the Excelsior covering the Eng/Tac hybrid, but there isn't anything of a Tac/Eng hybrid. The is of course the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, but it's extreme rarity combined with it's bizarre build leads me to rule it out. I would like to see something along the lines of the nebula except as a Tac/Eng hybrid. My personal vote would be for a T5 Akira since it's already half way to a cruiser in size, but there are several cannon escorts that have yet to make an appearance such as the Steamrunner and Norway.
4. Another interesting point that the chart brought out is the number of C-Store ships currently available. There are 7 science ships, 6 cruisers, and 5 escorts. If you only count Admiral level ships, that drops down to 3 science, 3 cruisers, and 2 escorts. Obviously if/when they release a C-Store variant of the Odyssey, that'll bump up the cruiser numbers. I just thought that was interesting.
5. If in theory we were to fill all the hybrid roles, where do you think things could move from there?
1. a Science ship with an Ltc Tactacle station.
2. an Escort with an Ltc Engineeruing station.
3. an Escort with a universal station. (I don't count the bug, since it's just a bit too rare).
It seems to me that the Andoreian ship should be #2. It's a nice counter-point to the Vulcan ship and it fills a notable gap.
As for Science/Tac That's a tough one. You kind-of need a frigate (more guns than a civilian ship less than a cruiser, and more speed than a cruiser) to put in that role, but most of those ships end up being escorts. Cryptic might need to make up a ship for that.
As for an escort with a universal station, that should be easy. Just make the next random escort have an Lt universal slot (like the Nebula) and you're done.