Drakon, are you in support of the Aquarius being a playable escort or not?
Playable its a problem because simply put it cannot and should not be on par with other escorts as it was designed as a auxiliary craft, the closest thing to the Aquarius would be the Captain's Yacht but the Aquarius is much bigger and carries 10 times the crew of the Yacht.
Simply put, its a T5 ... "something", if its put as small craft it would simply steamroll the mission as it was designed to engage in combat starships in support of its mothership as a starship on itself it simply not designed to operate on its own, it ends up falling under Tier 2 ship because its simply a light duty craft.
Or are you just saying no at my ideas? Why be so negative instead of just stating what you'd prefer rather than putting other ideas down? (unless the message actually is: no, I do not want anyone in this game to ever pilot an Aquarius escort... but then, why?)
Let me put this way, some of your ideas throw balance right off the window ... like giving it turn rate 30 and barely worst hull that a T5 BoP.
Problem with the "Aquarius escort" is to simply put, they are not going to give away a T5 ship and I think they realize if they make it a T5 ship and make people pay for it we will have a small revolution because people would payed for the craft as a combat pet and suddenly they would fell they would be having to pay for it again.
Now as a T2 ship without the extras ... maybe but then comes things as hull and there is also the problem you would have a T2 ship at VA, its would not see much use.
...so I'm pretty certain we can survive the suspension of disbelief of seeing the Aquarius show as a Tier 4 or 5 ship.
And again, the issue is they are not going to give you a T4 or T5 ship on top of a T5 ship ... its 80,000 Dilitium/ 1,200 C-Points we are talking about.
Padding the price to include those in the Aquarius' purchase would also make it less attractive on their own. In any case, I also don't see how not having both of these items would be such a turn off on what is otherwise a wonderful looking ship.
And again, its a pricing issue and the fact not all consoles are equal, you could sell the Aquarius as a T4 ship with the console that could be put on the Odyssey but that is not the path they taken, right now you can either pay 2,000 C-Points and get the Tactical Odyssey along with it or pay 4,000 C-Points for all the Odyssey variants.
They cannot sell the Aquarius as a T4 ship with a console to put on the Odyssey became then what would happen to the other Odyssey variants? there is no Science ship they could put the Worker Bees console and Saucer Separation right now is on a 1,600 C-Point ship
If we look at pricing we should have a craft with a console we could only use later on another ship at 1,200, a ability from a 1,6000 ship and then the Odyssey itself that would have to carry the burden and be a 2,000 ship.
The stances idea is just ... I originally was going for 25k and 22 turn like a Bird of Prey for the Warp stance and then thought "why not make it more like a fighter?" just for kicks.
And the kicks would be the usual suspects raising a hellstorm about the new "P2W" ship.
Regardless, I don't want to make this a balancing discussion. Those specifics are up to the Devs. So, I updated the original post to convey the idea rather than the numbers you so focused on.
I am pretty sure the idea of being made as a small craft and as separate playble craft have crossed their minds ... problem is all those factors that simply put would tip the scale.
Al Rivera was pretty clear when he initially brought the idea of the auxiliary ship for the Odyssey-class that he wanted something that would raise the bar far above the Captain's Yatch. He was thinking about a heavier craft that could be launched and be an actual ship capable of doing heavy-duty tasks on its own in a role the Odyssey did not support - the comparison was drawn with the Defiant several times, if only in relation to its size. There's a reason why the Aquarius is called an escort, after all.
Source? STOked interviews awhile back, so there's nothing I can exactly quote. Though there's is this in the dev dairies that allude to it being 'heavy' - http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2527 *shrugs*
The mention of it being a shuttle in this thread is mostly because if we could have nothing else from it, having it as a shuttle at the very least would be okay. However, I'd much prefer have it as an escort. The golden glow behind such a ship, to me, is the chance of switching from the Odyssey to the Aquarius without returning to spacedock. Want to go with friends to do an STF and have a DPS role? Then you switch out from your Odyssey to the Aquarius and help gun stuff down. Want to go back to supporting your team in a PvP match? Switch back to the Odyssey and run it as a tank/support vessel. There's playstyle versatility there of a kind I appreciate.
To support that idea, the Aquarius needs to be powerful enough to be Tier 5. Hence my position in supporting it becoming playable as an endgame escort. I think it's a great looking ship and I'd enjoy piloting it in that capacity far more than I do the Defiant. The Defiant's capabilities are good, but I've never been a fan of it. I am a fan of the Aquarius, though, and there's not enough in your arguments save assumptions to 'make it stupid to want that'. Something with 24k hull and 50 crew hardly seems to match any lower tier escorts anyhow. It appears to have a solid niche in Tier 4 as far as potential capabilities go, and if the Defiant could go to Tier 5, so could it from the start.
Back to the stance thing, I'm going to make it simple. It's an idea. The animation is there and it could be a 'cool gimmick'. Nacelles tucked = maybe more resistant. Nacelles deployed = maybe faster/nimbler. Game balance numbers = left to the people whom earn a living doing that.
Finally, it's pretty clear that if the Aquarius comes out at all, it'll have to be as a C-Store purchase (Al Rivera already alluded to such, even if it was a big "maybe"). Either as its own thing, or an alternate configuration for the Defiant, a skin, whatever. Also, it's a pipedream to assume it'd come with the Quad cannons and the Point Defense Console - other ships offer that, so, that's that (and as a client whom purchased those before, I don't feel they should be offered with other purchases, unless they're offered differently to the other faction). As far as how to price it? That's up to Cryptic's marketing people so I'm not even going there.
I definitely want the Aquarius as an Escort. Yes, the tactical is a iconic ship, but I'm sorry, it's ugly. In it's best of configurations it looks like a squashed gnat, in it's worse, a dead trout. The retracted version isn't pretty, but it's got a nice look to it, and when those nacelles come out it looks absolutely awesome. I would love to see this ship be available as a stand-alone vessel, and I would not hesitate to buy it if it's base stats were comparable to that of the Defiant.
It's the same for me. The Defiant has great capabilities but I'm not a fan of it in the looks department. The Aquarius, on the other hand, is both gorgeous and really dynamic-looking thanks to that nacelle-deploy animation.