Thursday, 24 January 2013

STO Vesta class

Some time ago now Cryptic introduced the Vesta class to Star Trek Online. I didn't get round to reporting it at the time, so felt it was long over due a mention! STO's launch of the Vesta class came in three flavours, with two new variant designs coming along side the original Vesta. The game designers had fun pulling all the minor details mentioned in Destiny out into technologies to play with in the Onlineverse, as they explained in a blog announcing the new ships:
For those of you who have been following the progress of the Vesta, this line of ships has been a long time in the making. Our ship artists, Jeff Miller and Adam Gibson, have worked for some time to capture every detail originally envisioned by Mark Rademaker, and we think you will be very pleased with its appearance. But the ship model is not the only detail we wanted to get right. The “Destiny” novels focus on the U.S.S. Aventine commanded by Captain Ezri Dax, a ship that was was key in defeating the Borg in the novel series. Simply put, this ship has a pedigree and we wanted to make sure we accurately represented its rich history and lore in as much detail as possible.

Designing the Vesta’s capabilities was a bit of a challenge. We spent a lot of time researching its specs and reviewing the novels. It was important to us that fans of the “Destiny” novels felt like they were commanding a Vesta class starship. But let’s face it; the Vesta is a technological marvel with every factory option known to Starfleet. It even has Intrepid-style landing gear! In game terms, the ship is a little over-powered. So the challenge was to bring to life as much detail as possible without breaking the game.

We first needed to decide what kind of ship the Vesta was. It’s big like a cruiser, it has cannons like an escort, it has a hangar bay stocked with a fleet of Runabouts like a light carrier, and it has advanced sensors and technology like a science vessel. We settled on it being a Science Vessel, but we decided to make a new class of science vessel. The novels classify the ship as a Multi-Mission Explorer, so we decided to call the entire line Multi-Mission Science Vessels.

The original Vesta class is described as follows:
The Multi-Mission Surveillance Explorer: Vesta Class features a bonus Science Console slot, and bonus Auxiliary Power. The Vesta Class also comes equipped with a Sympathetic Fermion Transceiver universal console. The Sympathetic Fermion Transceiver creates a large Fermion Field around your ship. This field will continuously repair you and your allies’ hull and shields while also providing a buff to Starship Particle Generators.
Vesta class with fermion field
I've not managed to track down orthographic views of the STO Vesta, but the original Vesta designer, Mark Rademaker, did send me these orthographic views of his model ages ago, which don't appear to have ever made it onto the site. So have a close look at these views, the orthographic images created for the feature on the USS Aventine in the Star Trek Magazine a couple of years ago:

The first variant is named in honor of our first Vesta hero ship, the USS Aventine:
The Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Explorer: Aventine Class features a bonus Tactical Console slot, and bonus Weapon Power. The Aventine Class also comes equipped with a Quantum Field Focus Controller universal console. The Quantum Field Focus Controller can reroute main power to the Deflector Dish and fire a high intensity Quantum Field Focus Phaser through the Main Deflector.
Aventine class using the quantum field focus phaser
The excellent The Jefferies Tube blog posted orthographics of this sleek variation:


The final variation is named in honor of Mark Radermaker:
The Multi-Mission Strategic Explorer: Rademaker Class features a bonus Engineering Console slot, and bonus Shield Power. The Rademaker Class also comes equipped with a Multidimensional Wave-Function Analysis Module universal console. Multidimensional Wave-Function Analysis Module can create a Multidimensional Graviton Shield which protects you from control effects such as Gravity Wells and Tractor Beams. It can also repel close targets and reflect the damage of weapons that deal kinetic damage such as torpedoes.
Rademaker class with multidimensional graviton shield
Again The Jefferies Tube blog posted orthographics of this wider version of the class:


There are also several features common to all three classes in the Vesta family. Keep reading after the jump to find out more:

STO's general overview of the Vesta class family:
The most technologically advanced line of starships in the fleet, the Multi-Mission Science Vessels come with a myriad of new technologies. Originally designed as a testbed ship for the experimental Quantum Slipstream Drive, Vesta type ships have been successful in combats against the Borg. One of the initial Vesta class ships, the U.S.S. Aventine, is commanded by Captain Ezri Dax.

Multi-Mission Science Vessels come standard with a Mark XII Auxiliary Dual Heavy Phaser Cannon. This cannon is designed to utilize Auxiliary power instead of Weapon power. The vessels also feature Sensor Analysis, Subsystem Targeting, a hangar bay stocked with a wing of Danube Runabouts hangar pets (other carrier pets may also be slotted), and is the only Science Vessel that can equip dual or dual heavy cannons. They also feature Universal Lieutenant Commander and Universal Ensign Bridge Officer Stations that can by operated by any Bridge Officer class.
Vesta class firing phaser cannons
Vesta class runabout pad
The extra abilities detailed in each class can in fact be swapped around the family. Additionally there are bonus abilities if you install multiple systems:
The two-piece set bonus grants you Chroniton Integrated Quantum Slipsteam. When this set bonus is active it will upgrade your standard Quantum Slipstream. Chroniton Integrated Quantum Slip Steam is the fastest Slipstream Drive in the Federation and offers a 4X Slipstream turn rate modifier.
Vesta class in chroniton integrated quantum slipstream
The three-piece set bonus grants you a Quantum Focused Shield Bubble. A Quantum Focused Shield Bubble is effectively a perfect shield. While active, your ship’s hull is invulnerable and will take no damage, including damage caused to yourself from Ramming Speed. Your shields too become hardened – the more Auxiliary power the more resistant they become – up to 100%. However, while active, all weapons are offline.
Vesta class with quantum focused shield bubble

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