I had some ideas for changing or revamping the starship system in STO which adds some more variability and tries to increase the viability of all ships at the VA level. This is for the FED side but could easily be applied to the KDF faction and any future factions. I haven't completely worked out how the BOFF slots would work, it's not inconceivable that they could remain as they are. Alternatively you could have all escorts using a tactical Commander level, with varying LtCmdr. slots based on their current formatting. Ultimately the idea is to get people using more variety of ships, if they choose, and adding a little more Trek to the game.
This system attempts to remove a lot of the stats associated with the ships themselves and instead turn the focus on the equipment to customize the experience. Part of my goal is also to "force" people to make a choice on equipment, currently the only real limitations are based on the cost of items, if I want the best gear I just need enough EC or dilithium to purchase it. Instead I would hope to have players have to make a choice between having higher stats in a particular area, while also having a larger penalty in another for that choice. Ideally you'd see two people flying the same ship but in complete different ways.
Because of the changes I'm proposing, which I hope would make the game more varied for people, I don't have a way to test the proposed changes as they aren't part of the game so I don't have numbers to attach, just general ideas for different equipment.
I will also state upfront I don't play PVP at all, so my solution could very well be the worst possible idea from a PVP perspective, I don't know but would certainly appreciate any input players have.
The first thing I think STO does right on the KDF side when it comes to ships is the way they are categorized. Not into, escort, cruiser, science and carrier but based on the relative sizes of the ships. This is something I think could be done with little trouble on the fed side and is the basis for a lot of the changes I am suggesting. The classes would be as follows, along with the VA ships that fall into each category. Additionally the cruiser section could be split between light and heavy cruisers and I have done so, but could easily just remain as a single category. For the purposes of this post I have not included the lockbox or winter event ships, but they could easily be placed into these classes as well.
Escort: Defiant, Dervish, Saber, Aquarius, Nova
Light Cruiser: Cheyenne, Olympic, Luna, Intrepid, Prometheus
Heavy Cruiser: Vesta, Nebula, Trident, D'Kyr, Excelsior, Chimera, Akira (Akira class is separated from the Armitage/Thunderchild which would remain as carriers)
Dreadnought: Odyssey, Sovereign, Galaxy, Dreadnought Cruiser, Avenger
Carrier: Atrox, Armitage/Thunderchild
The reason for the changes in categories is because of my proposed change to ship equipment and what it means for each category. I would introduce a few new ship equipment slots, alongside the deflector, impulse engines and shields. You would still have differences between common, uncommon, rare and very rare/ultra rare items, with improved bonuses and lowered penalties based on the rarity of the item.
Hull Plating: ships would no longer come with a set number for their base hull (HP) instead they'd be able to equip hull plating, specific to a particular class that sets the ship's hull and turn rate. Each class would have access to certain hull plating not available to the other classes. The hull plating for example on an escort would have a lower rating for hit points but a higher rating for turn rate, compared to cruisers. Within each class there could still be multiple MK categories. MK I - III for escorts, MK IV - VI light cruisers, MK VII - IX heavy cruisers , MK X-XII dreadnoughts & carriers. For example MK I having the lowest HP but also the lowest turn rate penalty, and MK III having the highest HP and highest turn rate penalty within the designated class. In other words an escort with a MK III would still have a lower HP value than a cruiser with MK IV hull plating but also a lower turn rate penalty. This way players could choose how they wanted to play within each category. You could choose to be a more "tank" like escort or a more "nimble" dreadnought, relatively speaking. Additionally you could keep the current naming of the various plating, armor & alloys, though a new material would need to be created to have 12 available, perhaps Roddenium. A change with the plating is that it no longer imbues any kind of damage resistance. After all we are talking about plates of metal and alloys, which in reality would provide no resistance to a torpedo anyway, all kinetic and energy resistance now resides in the shields. In this way two people could fly the same ship, but with this change and those to follow could have completely different setups, with neither one being better or more efficient than the other. So hull plating decides the ship's HP and the penalty to turn rate. The penalty to turn rate on the heavier plating should be such that it can't be overcome simply by slotting in the highest MK impulse engine.
Impulse Engines: The change to impulse engines comes because of the change to hull plating and it's relation to turn rate. Again you'd have 12 MK levels for impulse engines, separated just as with the hull plating between classes, but in this case the lowest MK levels, again designated to escorts MK I-III would have the highest turn rates , where as the highest MK levels IX-XII would have the lowest turn rates for dreadnoughts and carriers. In this case, MK I would have the highest turn rate and the largest penalty to engine power where as MK III would have the lowest turn rate, for this class, and the lowest penalty to engine power. As before a MK III impulse engine would still have a higher turn rate than a MK IV, designated for the light cruisers.
Warp Engines: Warp Engines would be a new equipment slot and are now divided, not between classes but instead between the subsystem they give a bonus to. The categories are Weapons Warp Core (+15 weapons power and +5 engines power), Shields Warp Core (Shields and Aux), Engines Warp Core (Engines and Weapons) and Auxiliary Warp core (Aux and Shields) with the bonuses being the same. Each class of ship could employ whichever type of warp core they wanted with no penalties being applied. This further allows for customization of a ship, you could have a super weapons focused escort, which also has heavy hull plating and faster impulse drive.
Tractor Beams: Firstly the ability of the Danube class shuttle to use a tractor beam would be stopped, have it switched to Jam Sensors, which itself could be improved, that way you'd still have the Danube filling the control role for the hangar pets. Tractor beams would be a new equipment slot, standard on all ships as is the case anyway rather than a BOFF ability. The difference is that each class of ship could only tractor it's equal class or lower and one class above it. In other words an escort could only tractor other escorts or light cruisers. Heavy cruisers could tractor escorts, light cruisers and dreadnoughts. Only dreadnoughts could apply a tractor beam to carriers. Again you could have varying MK for tractor beams, with the lowest MK in each class giving the least effective beam, damage and slowing ability but also with the lowest penalty to AUX power when active.
Shuttle Bay: Each ship should have at least one shuttle bay. Escorts would have one shuttle bay capable of launching one pet, they are additionally limited to type 8 and 10 shuttles only. Light Cruisers would have one shuttle bay, capable of launching two pets and in addition to the type 8 and 10 shuttle would have the delta flyer available, since it was created on board the intrepid. Heavy cruisers would have one shuttle bay launching three pets, however the pet types would be the same as with the light cruisers. Dreadnoughts would have two shuttle bays each launching two pets and could include all the previous pets plus the Danube class and repair drones. Finally Carriers would have three shuttle bays launching two pets each and would have access to all previously listed pets and would be the only ships that could launch fighters. This way every ship would have the option to at least use a shuttle pet which would be normal but also give the carrier the extra punch being the only ships with fighters of any kind and also with three shuttle bays, the player could use different pets for different roles, attack, control and repair.
Shields: Shields would act much like they do know, providing resistance to kinetic damage as well as energy damage. Rather than have some kind of modifier attached to each ship, I would again place MK values on each, so MK I escort would have the lowest shield HP, but the largest shield Regen, MK III would have the largest shield HP, within the escort class, but the lowest shield Regen. I suppose there would be a sort of hidden modifier in this case as the escorts would have the lowest shields of all the classes, while still perhaps giving the more "Science" heavy vessels the larger shield modifier, meaning the ships with a Science command BOFF.
So that's what I have at this point, I'm still trying to imagine what could be done about the BOFF slots and other ship consoles as well as additional ship equipment that may benefit from some kind of overhaul, perhaps a Electronic Warfare system of some kind. In any case let me know what ideas you have. If you think my ideas are good or terrible, again I don't play PVP so it could totally break that experience. Would you even want to see some kind of system like this and what might it look like?
Last edited by pmadi32382; 02-11-2013 at 04:53 PM.