Would like to point out that the Fleet Research Space Science Vessel has a shield modifier of 1.22, and retrofit of 1.1. The basic model has a shield mod of 1.3. So the retrofit and fleet versions have a negative value on shield strength than the previous model.
Goes the same with Science vessel to retrofit and fleet. (Nova)
So, the descriptions should say, increased hull hit points and reduced shield strength lol
Yes, it is true that the FRSV has less shields than other comparable ships. If you look on the list you will see I benchmark it against the D'Kyr and against that it has -7% Hull and -6% Shields. Against other science ships its hull compares better but its turn rate advantage is less. Overall the drop in shields is small enough that I am willing to give this one a go, considering the turn rate boost it gets.
As to the other ones you mention, they are Tier III and I haven't got to those yet, but as you might guess my rating for them is not very high.
Fyi, you only get the 75% discount if you purchased a T5-level CStore vessel. So if you bought the 1000 Zen Nebula, you won't get a discount. Same with the Gladius, or Bellerophon.
And honestly, the science ships were poorly done in regards to their console additions. While the escorts/cruisers generally obtained the proper console addition, I think you could only say the same for half of the fleet science ships. The Nebula, LRSV, and DSSV all got stupid bonuses that don't line up with their stations. So I would automatically deduct one star from those three unless you were planning on slotting a universal console in the addition.
The Hope is an odd ship; you can technically recreate it with a Nebula, sans turn rate. I'm sure you can use it for plenty of odd roles, but I doubt it'll fill a niche like the DSSV or Recon. The Nova, on the other hand, is a nifty craft that will be fun and effective to command. Aside from the Recon, the Nova might be the most balanced of the science craft.
For one thing I must disagree with your evaluation of the fleet heavy cruiser retrofit. Its a great cruiser with good maneuvrability and comparable console to ody tac cruiser which I have also. I'm an engineer and its great as a support/attack role. Add an RCS console and your close to sci ship maneuvrability. The extra ensign tac permit me to have 2 tt and 1 faw. Which help for support and/or survability and faw for threat control (blockade with freighter for instance, better to have ennemy shoot at you than freighter) and many at once (ka probe).
Since I load 3 DB up front and 5 beams. The extra maneuvrability helps to keep those high punch beam on target much easier than any other cruiser I have. The extra maneuvrability and speed also help to target Ejact warp plasma accuratly with evasive. Can get a maximum of ship in fleet event in no time and I don't have to worry to much about overshooting when using it which you have to be real careful with the ody or even assault cruiser.
To finish I love the look of the ship, some ppl mistake it for an advanced escort and ask me why I put only beam on an escort They only thing I wish I could do with it is put DHC up front. So, for an engineer, its a great support ship with decent firepower comparable to or superior to any other cruiser (3 tac console) save dreadnought maybe and something you need saucer separation to get with any other cruiser, maneuverability.
The other one I not really an accord with you is the fleet defiant. I has 5 tac console so my tac toon with the defiant will be even more deadly ( already a 4-6k+ dps monster, always get 1first place at starbase 24 in every fleet event we have). And, since I already have the retro defiant I will be able to use the cloak without sacrificing anything compare to regular version which in my view is a good advantage. On top of that you get 3k more hull which will help with survability.
Other than that great writing, even if I don't completely agree with you doesn't mean I don't appreciate the work you do
Hmm, can't think of a time when 600 hull difference woulda meant anything. lol
Love the FHCR, But still think several of these fleet ships could use a bit more to warrant buying them over account wide C-Store ships.
I mean I coulda bought the Excelsior and my toons coulda shared it. No Grind needed.
Just looking like the "Best" fleet ships are pretty much the ones that also have a C Store Variant.
Unless your like me and Really want a endgame version of a ship you enjoyed at early levels. Loved the Heavy Cruiser when leveing but how long that last? 2 nights maybe at that level? lol