Rush to Judgment – Why the Jupiter-class isn’t DOA…. yet.

Prejudging a ship before we’ve had a chance to get our hands on it comes with a risk, especially when that ship involves an entirely new mechanic. I made assumptions about Pilots ships without knowing their actual value in-game. Fast forward to today, and the Icarus class Science-Pilot ship still outclasses just about everything that has come after it (I’m looking at you T6-Defiant).

In an era of new abilities and technologies, there is a growing sense of entitlement that we’re going to get ‘something more, something better’ than the last release. Add that expectation to the rampant and unabated power creep of the last 18 months and it’s hard not to see why the responses are unenthusiastic.  

My response to the T6 Defiant was exactly that. Not bad, just meh.

It’s important to note we’re also at a stage in the game’s development that it’s possible to make any ship into a serious contender. And I’m not just talking about DPS. It’s not the build, but rather the captains skill as a pilot (positioning, using your build to best advantage, knowing your opponents weaknesses) that determines a players success. While the VAST majority of players struggle with even basic concepts of starship loadout mechanics, we’re left with the ugly reality that more (weapon slots, tac consoles) IS perceptively better in the minds of most players.

Enter the Atrox Refit Pantheon Omega Jupiter-Class Science Carrier

The Jupiter-Class skin was the result of the Pantheon project led by @LaughingTrendy. Community members were invited to vote through a bracket-style competition for the design of the starship. Over the course of two weeks, we winnowed the ship designs down to a final pair, very aptly named Alpha and Omega. While the design options contained a number of unique (and very cool) designs, the communities choice by a fair margin was the design that was closest to the older ‘Jupiter-class’ dreadnought. Beyond the design, the community has no input as to the loadout or features. It should be noted that STO is planning to repeat this promotion for the KDF and Romulans, and IMO this level of community involvement was a good move on Star Trek Online’s part.

Kudo’s to @LaughingTrendy for spearheading it.

We knew early on that the stats would not be too dissimilar from likely be identical to the Atrox, a Caitian carrier introduced in Season 5 (if memory serves it was added in early 2012). As it was Federation carrier, it would also be science focused. Given that it was T6 we’d expect it to have additional boff abilities from increased seating and rank. The Atrox came with 11 12 boff powers (Lt Tac, Lt.Com Eng, Lt.Com & Commander Sci), while the Jupiter is blessed with 13 (primarily from dropping the Lt.Com Sci to a Lt., and by adding a 5th universal Lt. Seat). The Jupiter also benefits from a hybrid Lt.Commander engineering / Intel seat.

Console arrangements for the standard T6 Jupiter are also identical to the Fleet Atrox (T5-U) at 3/4/4. The variance is that the Fleet Jupiter gains an additional +1 Engineering console. This has garnered it’s share of disappointment as many of us hoped that this carrier would indeed be a science carrier with 5 science consoles.

The Jupiter also matches the Atrox in that it does not include a secondary deflector. Adding a secondary deflector would go a long way to improve the ships capabilities. I may be straying into the realm of fictional head canon, but I recall an argument from 2012 about why the Atrox lacked sensor analysis at the time, and that answer was that it was built by Caitians, and not the Federation. If anyone can verify that for me with a link to the source, it’s a good argument for the Jupiter to get sensor analysis.

I’m also scratching my head on the size of the Jupiters hull. Don’t get me wrong – I like her size. She’s an imposing beast 😉 For a ship who’s volume is 2x as large as the odyssey, it only has 20% more hull. She must have a huge empty space (beyond the flight decks) in the middle 😉 But that may be the reason why the Jupiter has a higher turn rate for something that large. The inertia is slightly higher but I still believe she could do a power slide quiet easily.

The Jupiter’s shield modifier is 1.25 to the Atrox’s 1.2. Fleet versions have the Jupiter at 1.375 and the Atrox at 1.32. Minor improvements inline with other T6 relaunches.

As with the Atrox, the Jupiter will not have Sensor Analysis. It will have subsystem targeting.

The console did catch my attention:

The Jupiter Class Carrier comes equipped with the Fleet Coordination Matrix Universal Console. Activating this console provides a boost to damage and accuracy to allies. Additionally, affected allies will receive a large amount of temporary hull hit points for the duration of this console’s effect. This console also provides a passive boost to Accuracy and Shield Hit Points. How much and how far is the first major questions.

So we’re talking about a console that will boost damage, accuracy and temporary hit points for all of your allies in a yet-to-be-determined region, in addition to a passive bonus to accuracy AND shield hit points. This ‘could be’ the element the defines this ship. Having only one unique console is a benefit, allowing players to get creative with a number of different builds. The Atrox doesn’t come with a unique console (if memory or the wiki serves).

As for weapons, nothing new to report. 3 aft and 3 fore weapons, and the Jupiter does support cannons although with it’s immense bulk it’s doubtful the average player would use them successfully.

As for pets, Frigates were a reasonable possibility. The choice of ‘Light’ escorts was an acceptable compromise, and it helps differentiate the Jupiter from other carriers. I actually like this compromise, and I’m eager to see how effective they will be.

The starship trait Insult to Injury is an unknown factor at this point.

“While this trait is slotted, and you activate either an Intel Bridge Officer ability or Tractor Beam I, II or III, you will allow your pets to use Torpedo: Transport Warhead.”

The intel skill of ‘Transport Warhead’ is at best a color ability to add to the immersion of the game. As a practical DPS skill, it’s something most players drop after the first few uses. The real question is whether 4 ships using this skill produces a more desirable outcome. My impression of pets so far says no, it won’t have a measurable effect. Although you have to agree theres a certain irony in naming the ship trait Insult to Injury.

Oh yeah, I went there.

lootcritter

So what is the T6 Jupiter? At the moment I’d say it’s a mixed bag that’s potentially good. First off it is a FEDERATION-looking CARRIER – saucer, nacelles and the like. Regardless of your stance on whether the Feds even have carriers, it’s a huge addition to the game. In terms of it’s capabilities the Jupiter is only a slight improvement over the existing Atrox ship, with a number of unknown elements – namely it’s pets (looking good), access to intel skills, the console (could be cool) and it’s ship trait (based on a less-than-favorable intel skill).

So what could have been done better? Without going down the rabbit hole on that discussion, I’d argue a true science carrier with secondary deflector and sensor analysis would have made this ship a TRUE federation ship rather than just an Atrox Refit. I almost get the impression that a T6 Atrox was already in the works when the opportunity presented itself to engage the community for the design.

Phil “Gorngonzolla” Zeleski closed his announcement post with the ubiquitous DISCLAIMER: All information in this blog post is subject to change.

I’m hoping it does 😉

My Two Bits

Lootcritter

#makeitatruesciencecarrier

16 thoughts on “Rush to Judgment – Why the Jupiter-class isn’t DOA…. yet.

  1. After reading this, I’ll agree: It sounds like an “Atrox refit” that couldn’t use a redesigned Atrox skin. When was the last time the Federation got a non-Starfleet design of ship for the C-Store? Oh, yeah…the Atrox itself.

    For it to stand out, it does need to be a truly Science-based carrier. Sensor Analysis and a Secondary Deflector are musts here.

    If that is how the community perceives it (just the “Atrox T6 refit”), then all we’ll really be doing in the future is picking a skin for the KDF and Romulan versions of this exact same carrier.

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  2. I love how it all came together. Very cool interaction between player and Cryptic. It was fun. In the end, I’m not a fan of a few things, what I would call opportunities lost.

    In a post war galaxy, Star Fleet would only build a carrier if it had serious humanitarian capabilities, so a science carrier makes a TON of sense to me. However a console, instead of a special very powerful secondary deflector, was an opportunity lost.

    Carriers have the most power of any other ship. Power output… is a thing. Again, that plays into the secondary deflector.

    In the end, I’ll wait and see, but this one didn’t appeal to me even though I did think the process in which it was born was unique and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, something nagged at me about what you wrote regarding the “post-war galaxy”.
      I wonder if (in game) this is the case of Starfleet fighting the last war, rather than truly looking ahead (as happens in today’s world) and planning for the next one (I know, Starfleet be explorers and peaceful and junk).

      If this ship was conceived/designed/built during the Iconian kerfluffle, then it makes sense to have the new Jupiter designed as it is; to counter Iconian carriers and support fleet actions.

      Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense in the “new galactic order” to have a ship like this; some will probably argue otherwise, but they could’ve just upsized the Atrox to T6 and started popping them out of industrial replicators.

      Of course, this is the limitation of a game that is 5+ years old in RL time, yet only 22 months have passed “in game”; I don’t care how magical replicators and transporters are, the game years should be ticking upwards to reflect all that’s happened, and to be more realistic; then you can account for ship designs that seem out of place once a new season rolls out (IMO).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the first I heard that the other races will be subjected to the same process for their T6 carriers, so that means no cross-faction pack anytime soon. The CFPs have actually encouraged me to buy ships for the first time in ages, so I’m in no rush now. Plus I feel like carrier pet AI and survivability (or at last some mechanic like flying back for repairs so it doesn’t feel like I’ve lost dozens of fighter in a single instance) has to be significantly improved before I’ll drop real currency on a dedicated carrier.

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  4. “The intel skill of ‘Transport Warhead’ is at best a color ability to add to the immersion of the game. As a practical DPS skill, it’s something most players drop after the first few uses. The real question is whether 4 ships using this skill produces a more desirable outcome.”

    It’s also going to be hilarious when twelve Scorpions or Peregrines beam their torpedoes to a target at once…though, I’m certainly grabbing myself some Elite frigate pets when it comes out I might just have to try out that skill with some proper fighters.

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    1. I don’t disagree. In theory it looks cool, but I’m skeptical that will come together as planned. Still planning on buying her, and IF the pets transport warheads each and every time I tractor something, this will be cool.

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  5. For some reason I was lead to believe that the community would have a hand/choice in every aspect of the ship’s design.
    We got to choose the look of it, even if the community always voted for the most ugly design, but I ,as well as a fair few people I have spoken to, thought we would get to choose the weapon, boff and console layout’s, as well.

    The ship is kind of meh for me. Would have preferred a Dreadnought carrier loadout, like the Narcine and Jem Dread, but we ended up with an Atrox refit, instead…

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  6. I’m sure the reasoning is (and I agree, personally), giving the carriers SA & 2nd Deflectors will just wreck the niche of non-Carrier science ships. A “regular” Science ship becomes a heck of a hard sell if a Carrier can do all that plus launch fighters.

    In isolation, this seems like a nice ship, but I’m terribly disappointed were going back to “Feds first, KDF & Rom can catch whatever crumbs are left later”. Over the past year STO had been really good about releasing stuff for all 3 factions. That was nice while it lasted…

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  7. Console sounds interesting, but the rest…As a science player from day 1, Just not sure if it’s going to be a fit for me.

    It seems less and less science to me the more I read about it.
    The 2ndry def and SA, MAKE science ships, with out them, a ship only has a “sciencey feel” in my eyes.

    Just don’t think a big heavy straight up carrier, with a sciencey feel, is gonna compliment my play style.

    Also, I was NEVER a fan of the npc Jupiter one bit, I was not one of those players that steered it’s development in that direction.

    I hope this ship has design/part options, else I’m gonna stick with my Annorax, A TRUE science ship.

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  8. My question for you would be if they did add SA and a secondary deflector, what’s to keep this from being immediately better than the existing science ships? What would you take away? Because turning like a drunk pig doesn’t really impact a broadside that badly.

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    1. The easy answer is that there isn’t a T6 Science ship yet. The Intel Scryer is a close choice, but it comes with a cloaking device, +10 weapons and special sensor probe swarm console. The Dauntless is an experimental science ship, again with +10 to weapons and a decent turn rate. Both of these ships come with 5 science console slots. The Atrox II / Jupiter would have only 4 slots, and a reduced science seating.

      I’m not asking for a 4/4 ship AND the SA + 2nd Deflector. Just something better than the current Atrox, and that it look like something we’d see in Star Trek. The SA + 2nd Deflector would do that 😉

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      1. “The easy answer is that there isn’t a T6 Science ship yet. The Intel Scryer is a close choice, but it comes with a cloaking device, +10 weapons and special sensor probe swarm console.”

        I’m really not seeing your argument here, sorry. The Scryer also has Cmdr Science seating, 3/3 weapons, +Aux power, SA, SST, and a Secondary Deflector. None of the things you list keep it from being a Science Vessel. Claiming the Scryer isn’t a Science ship seems to be willful denial just for the sake of arguing that the Jupiter should become more than it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeesh, terrible choice of words on my part – the point I was poorly making – was the science ships we have been getting are in someway special. Each was net-new in some way, and came with something that made it stood out. The Scryer has integral cloak and a decent bonus to weapons on top of the usual science ship goodness. Why can’t the first carrier be special?

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    1. Okay. That’s a much saner statement (😀), but it’s still predicated on the idea that “Carrier = Science Vessel”, which isn’t *quite* true. The two classes admittedly have a lot of overlap, but it’s not 100%, and as I and at least one other guy stated earlier, a Carrier that did all these things would render all other Science Vessels obsolete the day it launched.

      Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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