Monday, 12 November 2012

Star Trek Online's new pop-up starships

A couple of the latest new starships added to Star Trek Online are exclusively for use by a thousand day veteran users of the game. As every there is one each for the Federation and Klingons, and this time each design features huge pop-up weapons ports.


The Klingon design is the Peghqu' class heavy destroyer:

 

Here's how they describe here:
An engineering team at the Empire Shipyards have designed a heavy ship with increased maneuverability that is nimble enough to outmaneuver a cruiser but strong enough to take a barrage from an escort. Only experienced ship commanders with the backing of the High Council will have the chance to fly this ship.

As a 1000-day Veteran, the Klingon Defense Force has granted you command of this unique new starship — the Prototype Heavy Destroyer: Peghqu' Class.

The Peghqu' Heavy Destroyer is similar to a Raptor, but it is much more versatile. While in its innate Regenerative Mode, excess power is transferred to the Auxiliary System and you gain a bonus to Starship Shield Systems. It comes equipped with a prototype Dynamic Tactical System console (or DTS). This console allows you to transform your ship between Regenerative Mode and Tactical Mode. In Regenerative Mode, your Tachyon Inversion Beam is enabled, which can siphon shields from multiple targets. Activating Tactical Mode transfers power to your Weapon Systems, and increases your ships Starship Targeting Systems skill, granting an Accuracy bonus. In Tactical Mode, the DTS console enables a powerful multi-targeting Lotus, which is capable of piercing multiple targets. However, while in Tactical Mode, your Starship Shield Systems bonus, Auxiliary Power bonus and Tachyon Inversion Beam are disabled.
And her she is with her pop up mega-disruptors blazing:

 

The Federation meanwhile get the Chimera class heavy destroyer:

 
Starfleet Corps of Engineers (SCE) has been working on a special new destroyer class starship, designed for high-level combat situations. The project was so secret that access to the Utopia Planitia shipyard was restricted for months while the project was completed. Now, Starfleet Command decided to offer the ships to its most experienced captains.

As a 1000-day Veteran, Starfleet has granted you command of this unique new starship — the Prototype Heavy Destroyer: Chimera Class.

The Chimera Heavy Destroyer is similar to an Escort, but has many qualities of Light Cruisers and Science Vessels. While in its innate Regenerative Mode, excess power is transferred to the Auxiliary System and you gain a bonus to Starship Shield Systems. It comes equipped with a prototype Dynamic Tactical System console (or DTS). This console allows you to transform your ship between Regenerative Mode and Tactical Mode. In Regenerative Mode, your Tachyon Inversion Beam is enabled, which can siphon shields from multiple targets. Activating Tactical Mode transfers power to your Weapon Systems, and increases your ships Starship Targeting Systems skill, granting an Accuracy bonus. In Tactical Mode, the DTS console enables a powerful multi-targeting Lotus, which is capable of piercing multiple targets. However, while in Tactical Mode, your Starship Shield Systems bonus, Auxiliary Power bonus and Tachyon Inversion Beam are disabled.
And she too has massive pop-up phasers:

 

The Chimera class was originally submitted to STO in the Design the Enterprise-F competition. Comments from the designer, Jason "Vektor" Lee after the jump:

I’ve been a huge Star Trek fan ever since I was a kid and I started designing my own Trek ships about the time I first discovered crayons, so when I heard Cryptic Studios was holding a contest to design the next starship Enterprise for Star Trek Online, I couldn’t break out my digital tablet fast enough. I’ve been working hard for the last couple of years to improve my skills as a digital artist with the hope of one day breaking into the industry, and this was too good an opportunity to pass up, in addition to being a Trek fan’s labor of love.

I started sketching concepts and zeroed in on my final design very quickly. I’d been tinkering with the basic look for several years, an elongated primary hull with a set of compact but powerful looking warp nacelles. I didn’t give much thought at the time to conventional expectations of what a ship named Enterprise should look like. It had to belong in the Trek universe and match with the STO aesthetic but I didn’t want to simply reinvent the wheel, I wanted something that would set itself apart from its predecessors and from the field of competition for the contest. One of the ways I chose to do that, perhaps unwisely in retrospect, was to go with four nacelles. Normally this is one of the surest ways to turn your design into a fanboy monstrosity but I took it as a challenge to find a way to make it work and make it look cool. It was probably the wrong choice for a new Enterprise, as reflected in the outcome of the contest, but I think it succeeded on its own merits and may have paid off in the end.

So now, a year and a half later, my ship has made it into the game after all, not as the Enterprise but as an all-new ship sub-type called the Chimera class, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m frankly amazed at how faithfully they reproduced my original design while managing to make it even more badass with two alternate configuration modes. The Cryptic design team really took it to the next level, doubling down on unusual elements like the quad nacelles and the stacked primary hull to create something even more unique and dynamically awesome. This ship is definitely going to stand out and I can hardly wait to see how the game community reacts to it.

Speaking as an artist and a Trek fan, contest prizes are all well and good, but seeing your hard work realized in such a satisfying way is the best reward by far. I want to thank the people at Cryptic Studios for bringing this little piece of my imagination to life and I hope everyone has a lot of fun with it.

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