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.
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.
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