If we go waaaaayyyyy back to the beginning of STO, the Cruiser was the ship of choice for the engineer. Escorts were for tactical, and science vessels obviously for science officers. As the years have rolled on, and my have they rolled 7 going on 8 in fact, new ships that blurred the lines between career paths have arrived. This is not a bad thing, my friends.
If you are an engineer and you fancy yourself as a Scotty, LaForge, Torres, O’Brien, or Tucker, perhaps you live in the game vicariously through the episodes of your favorite Star Trek series applied in an interactive sense right here in STO.
Well each of those famous Star Trek engineers had their own unique personality, but they also all flew on fairly different ships. O’Brien became an engineer on DS9 rather than a ship. Starting with Scotty, he ran the ops on Enterprise 1701, 1701a, 1701b and even Excelsior albeit briefly. There is no Constitution Class end game ship, but there is an end game Excelsior class ship. Scotty made it clear in TNG “Relics” he preferred the older class, smaller and less ‘sophisticated’ ships.
In general you’d think an engineer’s dream would be running the biggest and most sophisticated ship. The flag ship of the fleet type ship. But some of Trek’s canon engineers were fairly clear about how they felt. Of course Scotty was already old and now transported to a time where he would have been 120-130 years old in “Relics” So much of his negativity towards Enterprise D and fondness for the Enterprise, “nay bloody A or B or C…” may have been nostalgia more than particular preference.
La Forge was a classic by the book engineer. Referring again to the TNG episode “Relics” there is a distinct contrast between the two styles of Scotty and Geordi. La Forge types should seem comfortable on big cruisers like Galaxy Retrofit, Galaxy Dreadnought, Odyssey, etc. Geordi La Forge was also a great fit for Picard just as Scotty was a great fit for Kirk. Scotty was not ideal for Spock and would likely drive Picard crazy.
Torres is tough, she is half Klingon after all. A battle cruiser could be a natural choice if tapping her warrior side. Her Canon ship of course, is Janeway’s Voyager, the intrepid class. There is an end game version of Intrepid which is convenient.
‘Trip’ Tucker flew in the earliest days of StarFleet. That old NX class ship which is featured in the game and even has a 900 Lobi T6 version available. It is basically an escort.
O’Brien was officially the “chief engineer” for the Defiant, but his rank was enlisted so I am not certain he ever had a command position in the Star Trek universe.
Most of the engineers in Star Trek’s main series were able to go swashbuckling more than one might expect from a engineer. Scotty in the JJ-verse and LaForge did not show a strong aptitude for kicking ass, but Scotty in TOS, Tucker in Enterprise, and Torres in Voyager could lay down some whoop ass in a pinch.
Based on my take of all these engineers, here is a list of the ships I think they would command in the 25th Century Setting of Star Trek Online Federation.
- Trip: Avenger, NX Refit, Excelsior Retrofit, Kelvin Constitution, Chimera Destroyer
- Scotty: Avenger, Kelvin Constitution
- Scotty Alternate: Avenger, Kelvin Constitution, Excelsior Retrofit, Eclipse
- La Forge: Galaxy Retrofit, Star Cruiser, Assault Cruiser, Odyssey, Command Cruiser
- Torres: Avenger, Excelsior Retrofit, Eclipse, Chimera Destroyer
What do you think these engineers would want to command?
In the STO-verse there is a great deal of shooting and battle. I have lamented the idea of so much battle and so little exploration in the game. I still think Cryptic could keep all the battle stuff for the battle hungry warriors out there but also create a PVE environment that allows for a less militaristic interaction. Imagine a PVE mission that was either diplomatically exploratory or scientific research and the 5 players in the PVE which each get a vote on how to proceed as decisions points arise in the mission. Each player could have a “pressure” token that could be used once per mission to apply a double vote on an issue particularly important to that player. There could be scenarios in which no combat is even needed or if the decision takes a turn for the worse combat might be necessary. This idea is not suggested as a replacement but rather an enhancement of the STO experience and it would bring a little Gene Roddenberry to compliment the massive load of JJ Abrams we have in this game right now. See “Star Trek Spirit”.
Imagine a mission whereby the ship is dispatched to help a colony build infrastructure destroyed by a major natural diaster event. It could be a situation where an enemy approaches and the player has to engage in diplomacy that will either work to alleviate the threat or result in a battle with said enemy all while the engineering team is planetside fixing things. The rewards of the mission would be different depending on the outcome. The diplomatic outcome could yield career specific benefits and the battle outcome would yield a more military style reward.
Of course science themed missions of this sort could be created as well. And both single player and multi-player missions could follow this idea. The multi-player is where the team decision process of voting would happen.
Perfect World Entertainment has announced the launch of Season 13 ‘Escalation’ for STO. I spent some time in Tribble checking it out but I haven’t seen anything yet looking openly different. Changes could be passive an not immediately apparent, which I would prefer, personally. My concern is that characters will again have to be redone to support the new system. That is a painfully long process for those of us with multiple toons. I hope they can avoid that! From what I read, the rebalance could be as benign as changing the actual effects of various abilities already in existence rather than creating a whole new system of character development. I hope I am right on this.