I agree on your Mir/Cons analogy. I consider the two to have very different roles. One for exploration, diplomatic missions, projecting power, etc. The other for specific science functions, fleet sensor support (evident in that TNG episode), and offensive fleet functions (TNG: The Wounded [I think it was]).
The biggest cause for dispute is undoubtedly the Galaxy saucer section. But once you remember that saucer designs are almost identical for ships of the same era, you start to realize that the Neb is a quite capable and unique design in her own right.
I always got the impression that the Nebula and the Galaxy were supposed to essentially have the same role as the Miranda and Constitution - many structural similarities, probably some structural modules in common, etc.
I always thought of the Nebula as being a "budget Galaxy" - able to do 80% of the same work for something like 60% of the cost. This is pretty evident on the Miranda. However, with the Nebula class, it may be disputable, especially considering the massive top-mounted module it can carry. Considering the sheer size and utility of it I could see it being able to RADICALLY alter the capability set and mission abilities of the Nebula in ways the Galaxy class couldn't even hope to match.
I agree with you on the Nebula's relationship to the Galaxy as being very similar to the Miranda/Constitution relationship (which is part of the reason why I like the Nebula and Miranda: they're concise versions of the bigger designs). As for the top module, there have been instances in the TV shows where a different module is installed.
Member since November 2009... I think.
(UFP) Ragnarök Fleet - Logistics Division Vice Admiral T'Phira; Captain Selena; Captain Altecha; Captain K'Kera; Lieutenant Aydihe Tefx; Subcommander S'ena
(KDF) Lieutenant General Vokno (aka Lady Vokno); Lieutenant General Raylene
Main problem of the nebula is that its console / boff layout is offering only pretty narrow playstyle - tank/heal, while other roles will be mediocre at best, at least compared to what other ships are capable of. But this has been discussed to death I guess.
While the boff slots aren't conducive to primary dps roles, the ship's stats (namely the fleet version) and boff slots make it a pretty fun hybrid ship to play. Its capable of great support/control roles if you'd like it to be, it can also heal, and it can still put out some (not awesome) numbers depending on what you slot in its hardpoints.
Am I saying its an escort? No. Am I saying that you can use it like a blank canvas to create something interesting and viable? Absolutely.
EXACTLY... I have various setups for my nebula depending on what my team mates need all I do is moce around a couple consoles and bridge officers to fit the parameters that my team needs at that time.... its a LOVELY ship if you look past the fact that it acts like a down gunned cruiser....
and even with it acting like a down gunned cruiser its still enough of a problem that it takes 3 to 4 people to focus on it to kill it in PVP....
but seriously I digress, the Retrofit Nebula and the Fleet Nebula are fine ships for a science captain if you would like to try different things with your build until you hit on something.....
The sci damage gimp is noticeable for sure. I find it fun outlasting opponents though. I'll never be able to burst someone down in it, but I can definitely outlast people while being really annoying to everyone else.
It comes down to my own playstyle I suppose.
Its definitely a nice change from flying a fleet defiant and s******* all over stuff.
I dont know with the addition of the Polarized Disruptors and Advanced Fleet weapons I can do a fair amount of burst damage to one target... Beam Overload 2 on Dual Beam Banks (advanced fleet versions [dmg]x3 and [Acc] ) use the subspace jump console that now EVERY fed can get via the lockboxes, hit BOII and fire... takes down a shield facing pretty nicely....
@sphinx175, I do PvE, not much PvP so your mileage may vary on this. I'm a big fan of the Nebula
I pretty much only run my SCI officer in a Neb-R or more recently the Fleet Neb-R variant and have just really enjoyed using it. I mainly have it setup for a support role with Hazards, EngTeam, Extend Shields, Shield Transfer, and Science Team since I like to try and keep all the real damage dealers up and running. Dropping a lot of heals at once seems to result in quite a bit of aggro but that's where the big hull helps.
But, even with an emphasis on healing, I still want to give it a little "oomph" which is why I leave a Tac officer in the Universal Lieutenant slot. That lets me employ a TAC Team and Torp Spread. With the Fleet Neb's bigger hull I sometimes get a little frisky and will employ fire at will just to see what kind of punishment it can withstand (spoiler: quite a lot)
A combination of Gravity Well and Torp spread is wonderful and if the target shields subsystem procs works it can result in some pretty impressive damage against a grouping of ships in Fleet Mark runs or against Spheres in an STF.
One thing I would HIGHLY recommend in the Neb-R or the fleet variant is drop in the Point Defense system console that comes with some other ship in the fleet store. That console is excellent against small craft, Borg Probes, or the generators that you see in Infected Space, Khitomer Accords Space, and I think the power generators on Cure Space.
I will add though that I think only adding some additional hull strength and a fourth engineering console slot to the Fleet variant wasn't exactly worth the cost. I was hoping for maybe change in the BOFF layout or maybe even making the Universal slot a Lt. Cmdr but perhaps that would have lead to it being a bit much... But it only cost me one Fleet module and not four so.....
tl;dr? Ok.. Neb's nice, focus on TWO things to do (not three or four), get the point defense system.