I haven’t really done a big cruiser showdown for the Feds yet. The Federation is the king of cruisers, they have more traditional cruisers than all the other factions combined. If you like flying the iconic cruisers of the Star Trek universe, the STO Starfleet Shipyards have you covered. I wrote about the significance of these iconic cruisers in a post a few years back, here.
There are so many cruisers to choose from, so I had to narrow the field a bit to make it manageable. I could not ignore the Federation Flagship, Odyssey Cruiser. Seriously, that thing is still a boss. And now that fleet versions of the T6 Cruisers have arrived, it seemed like a fair fight to toss them in the ring with Starfleet’s biggest ship.
These cruisers are the ships that change the outcome of a volatile situation without firing a shot. You show up to a squabble over mining rights in one of these bad boys, and the belligerent parties suddenly seem to find common ground. Yeah nobody really wants to test the strength of all those phaser arrays.
Ideally engineering toons are the likely candidate to fly around in these behemoth ships. I however also fly some of them with a tactical captain as well. There is some sharp contrast in these ships as well as some definitive similarities.
Starting with the Odyssey I will immediately disclose that I only own the Tactical version of that ship. There are some subtle but significant differences in the three big bad Odyssey models so I included them all today.
The Tactical Odyssey is a ship I have discussed often on this blog. I still like that ship. The first patently obvious contrast between the Odyssey ships and all the others in this showdown is the enormous crew count difference. The Odyssey is the largest starship ever designed by Starfleet. It is a 1000 meters long and has 2500 crew. I have bemoaned the large crew as less advantageous than Cryptic would have us believe in other posts including the one referenced at the start of this article. But none the less the Odyssey is jam-packed with crew, most wearing red shirts, but hey, they are trying 😉
The three variants of the Odyssey offer different console layouts and special consoles. The science version even gets a sensor analysis ability like real science ships have. The biggest perk is really that big, fat, and juicy, Lt. Commander Universal chair on the bridge. That sweet sauce sings a heavenly tune. You can really change the attitude of a ship with that universal seat. Cruisers are notorious for having weak tactical abilities but the Odyssey did a serious job at bringing the pain train to the cruiser-verse. For for players who like a simple tactical layout the Odyssey can still offer that by using the big universal chair for an engineer or science officer. The BOFF Flexibility rating on the Odyssey remains quite impressive with that 1.667 score which is the best of the bunch. Read about my new Flexibilty Rating here. The Odyssey cruisers however have a total of only 12 BOFF abilities and the T6 ships have 13.
Should you buy all three ships, you can equip all three special consoles to one ship and gain the set bonuses: Enhanced Engineering Systems and Enhanced Chevron Separation. These are decent perks but probably not worth consuming three precious consoles slots for. I have always been disappointed with the Aquarius Escort console on the tactical ship. That little ship is just not tough enough considering it has a long 4 minute cool down. All these Odyssey variants offer the Advanced Slipstream Drive that doubles the slipstream to a full minute. With the new maps this is a very usable and convenient feature.
The T6 ships are a mixed group of very similar ships. All three ships are between 1000 and 1100 crew. They all have a BOFF flexibility rating of between 1.385 and 1.308 which is weaker than the Odyssey but still pretty good. They offer 13 total BOFF abilities versus only 12 for the T5-U Odyssey and they have either Command or Intel seating as well, which is absent on the big flagship.
Looking at them independently, I’ll start with the Dreadnought. Full disclosure, I do not own the dreadnought T5 or T6. I have thought about it, but just haven’t brought my self to drop the coin on her. The Fleet Dreadnought can use the Federation Cloaking device from the T5 Dreadnought or Tactical Escort Retrofit as well as the saucer separation console from the T5 Exploration Retrofit ship. The Dreadnought has the powerful Spinal Phaser Lance ability built-in. No console required 🙂 This is a strong ability but has a really long cool down. The Dreadnought is tied with the Exploration cruiser as the toughest of the six ships on hull at 58,666 base at level 60. This ship does offer a hybrid chair at Lt. Commander with engineering and command officer able to use it. Although the Dreadnought shares many features and stats with the exploration cruiser it is different in many ways. The mastery ability package is unique compared to the standard cruiser package. This one subs out kinetic and physical resistance for the “devastating weapons” perk found on escorts and destroyers. The Dreadnought has a hangar bay equipped with type 8 shuttles. This is the only one of the six ships offering a hangar bay but it comes at the expense of two Cruiser Command abilities and no special console.
The Exploration cruiser is the classic Picard Galaxy class ship all spiffed up for the new century. I have the T5-U version not the T6. Although the T6 version is standard with a new 25th century look the Galaxy skin is unlocked for it. This ship is similar to the Dreadnought but has all the standard cruiser goodies instead of the aggressive destroyer-like setup. The saucer separation console will work on this ship. You will get the same Lt. Commander hybrid chair for an engineer or command officer. If you are looking to tank this could be the ship.
The Guardian is interesting. It is the most maneuverable of the six. It’s turn rate is only a tad better at 6.5 dps but the inertia rating of 35 is much better and this ship does not slide around nearly as bad as the others. No you will not be dog fighting a BOP with it, but it is pretty tight on the corner for a big clunky cruiser. This is the only one of the six that offers seating for an intelligence officer, but it is a lowly Lieutenant chair. This Guardian has the least flexible BOFF setup but does offer 13 total BOFF abilities like the other T6 ships in this comparison. The Guardian is an interesting ship. I flew it for quite a while with Admiral Rodanna, Level 58 Engineer until switching her to a Command Battle Cruiser recently. I actually liked the ship, I just decided to run her as a Command specialist and thought the command ship was a better fit. For a pure engineer looking for a little more light-footed ship this T6 Guardian could be the ticket. I wish the hybrid chair was at the Lt. Commander level, but that’s OK. I would run the ship with two instances of Intelligence Team but I am a tactical leaning player. I like having the ship partially cloaked for half of the time. It adds a nice layer of battle resiliency.
Engineers will have a tough go of it picking between these awesome ships. They each offer some unique advantages despite their similarities. I would say that the Dreadnought is probably least desirable for a pure engineer.
Science toons will not like any of these ships but if you had to choose, the Science Odyssey offers the Sensor Analysis ability and that is as sciency as you will get from this batch of ships.
Over all I still think that attack oriented tactical captains are best served by the Odyssey cruisers in particular the Tactical Odyssey. Science and Engineering oriented Captains can also revel in the majesty of the Odyssey class as well and that makes it a great ship to buy at the C-Store because it is an account wide unlock. When spending 2500 zen or more on a ship it is nice to be able to enjoy it over multiple toons. That said this is why I spend the money buying the standard version in the C-Store then spending 500 zen to get the fleet version of the ship. This way I still get the account wide unlock for the standard version and the fleet version for the toon that unlocks it. Fleet ships are not recoverable if you delete them, C-Store ships are and again they are account wide!
There is no Fleet Version of these Odyssey ships and the fleet Odyssey is essentially the same ship with no special consoles. The Odyssey Star Cruiser offers no advantage to the standard C-Store ships other than the fact that is is available without spending any Zen (200,000 fleet credits). Although it is acquired through the Fleet Shipyards it is not a true fleet ship in that it does not offer the bonus to hull and shields like other “Fleet” ships do. Of course I have a chart. Take a peek at the ships stat for stat.