Tuesday 16 February 2021

Star Trek Online introduces cool new variants of classic starships

Star Trek Online have launched their latest big starship offer, the 2021 Anniversary Legendary Bundle. This set of ships includes every existing variant, plus a brand new take for each of the Starfleet Ambassador class and Excelsior class, and Klingon Vor'cha class and B'rel class Bird of Prey. Continue below to check out the new and classic designs.

First up, surely the snazziest of the ships in the bundle is the new Horatio class variant of the Ambassador class, which brings the ship best known as the USS Enterprise-C up to date to STO's 25th century aesthetic. Perhaps most notably this includes giving it a duel neck between the saucer and engineering sections.

Here's STO's in-universe intro to the design:
Recent efforts to revitalize an old set of plans for the Ambassador class yielded the Narendra-class Support cruiser. While the Narendra performed well during its initial deployment, the Advanced Starship Development Board felt the design’s use of early-24th century assumptions put it at a bit of a disadvantage compared to newer cruisers. Starfleet still desperately needed more medium-sized units to backfill its long-range exploration and support needs, and a medium-tonnage cruiser meant more ships could be built and crewed faster. Starfleet engineers took the lessons learned from the Narendra and iterated on them in a new cruiser design, the U.S.S. Horatio. The Horatio is a very flexible long-range exploration and support platform meant to fill the gap of mid-size units that Starfleet needs to fulfill its various mandates inside Federation territory and beyond.
And a couple of additional beauty shots shared by the Ship Talking podcast:

The bundle also includes the classic Ambassador class, including the Yamaguchi class which represents the other on-screen version of the class seen. Plus the Narendra class, which is based on Andrew Probert's concept art version of the ship.

The Ambassador, Yamaguchi, and Narendra classes have also all recently benefitted from being the latest ship classes to be remastered, with much more accurate versions now in the game than before.

The next new ship is the USS Repulse, a 2250s proto-Excelsior class, designed in the style of the Discovery 23rd century Starfleet ships.

While the Excelsior will go down in history as an ambitious but failed experiment, it was actually the culmination of decades of advances in subspace physics and warp field research. The Excelsior launched in the 2280s, but Starfleet had been experimenting with the technologies it would use for decades. The U.S.S. Repulse, built primarily as a testbed for these technologies, saw limited service as a top-secret test vehicle in the 2250s and 2260s. Research and iteration made on the Repulse’ warp engines would inspire even more advanced systems on Excelsior.
Additional images again via Ship Talking:

The bundle includes three canon variants, the NCC and NX versions of the Excelsior, and the refit (aka USS Enterprise-B) Sao Paulo class, plus another an STO twist on the class, the Resolute class.

The Vor'cha class variant is decidedly more subtle, K'mpec's Qo'nos One, which adds some features and repaints what is otherwise a fairly normal looking Vor'cha class.

In his youth, K’mpec was a powerful warrior, and an even more cunning politician. He managed to wrangle the ambitions of the great houses of the Klingon Empire and unify the Empire under one banner for a longer rule than any other Chancellor of the High Council had before. After the successful launch of the Vor’cha-class battlecruiser, K’mpec had plans drawn up for an even more powerful variant of the Vor’cha to serve as his personal flagship. Ultimately K’mpec died before the ship could be built, but its plans were recently discovered in the Imperial Archives.
You can find even more views on Ship Talking's Twitter, including these:

The bundle includes a big selection of variants for this class. Alongside the regular Vor'cha and this new Qo'noS One variant, there's also the "Beta", which is the old version of the STO Vor'cha, and there's also a mirror variant of that version. Plus the Tor'Kaht, Vor'Kang, Vor'Ral, and Kamarag classes!

Finally the Klingon Bird of Prey offers us a chance to bring a canon class into the game, the 22nd century version of the ship from Enterprise, known here as the Vo'n'talk class

The Vo’n’talk-class Bird of Prey patrolled the Empire’s borders in the latter half of the 22nd century. Bristling with weapons and sporting powerful engines, the Vo’n’talk was a fearsome predator and its crews would often enjoy impressive bounties from campaigns of piracy and looting in the unaligned systems that neighbored the Klingon Empire during its heyday. 
A couple more images via Ship Talking:

This pack is otherwise centered on the class B'rel class, and includes a fleet variant of that, plus the B'Rolth, Koloth, and Kor classes.

If you'd like to get your hands on these, check out the details of the 2021 Anniversary Legendary Bundle on the STO website. And do check the links to the tweets from Ship Talking above for additional images of each of the new variants.

For more Star Trek Online coverage, check back through my STO tag.

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