First Impressions: Hands on with the T6 Connie – Temporal Light Cruiser 5/5

Update(s):  1. The builds I post used to contain some sort of disclaimer recommending you don’t take my builds seriously.  I’ll add that back.  My builds are for fun, and I strongly recommend you check out the builds advice on r/stobuilds for whatever you’re looking for 😉 2. In the original text I said the Annorax was obtainable from the Infinity Box, which I’m now told it wasn’t.  Text removed until I can verify either way.

Where do I begin?

From the day Star Trek Online entered into beta, the one unrequited request was when will we ever get a T5 (and then T6) version of our favorite starship, the TOS Enterprise?

No bloody A, B, C or D (E & F as well).

The question came up so often in conversations and interviews with the developers, that the ship – or lack of a ship – developed it’s own mythical status in the game.

The Urban Myth was that CBS did not want to see a T5 version of the ship. There is some truth to the rumor. One could argue that it was whoever was in charge of the game back then simply decided it didn’t fit into the goals of the game. While the design was beloved by the fans worldwide, it just didn’t seem practical in today’s meta.

Or, they were saving it for today 😉

A lot has changed since the games release. CBS’s relationship with Cryptic Studios has grown, and what Star Trek Online can do next is anyone’s guess. In a conversation I had with STO’s executive producer Stephen Ricossa during STLV50, Stephen was very open about the status of the license, and the longevity he see’s for one of the industries most unique IPs. While our conversation was off the record, as a fan, and as a player, I came away extremely happy. More on what I learned from meeting the devs in my next post.

Finally, an End-Game TOS Enterprise.

Ok – there are plenty of ships available in Star Trek Online that look sorta like, that are themed like, or as in the case of the Kelvin-verse, a close proximity of the actual Enterprise. Regardless of when you joined Trek fandom, deep down we all wanted to see an end game version of the Connie.

There is only one Enterprise. She was a living character.

With the expansion of the license, Star Trek Online added the Kelvin-verse as part of the overall STO Universe. For many of us, we saw this as the last chance to actually get an end-game version of the Enterprise, that resembled what we’ve been clamoring for since the games launch. While STO never claimed it would be ‘the only T6 Enterprise’, many of us assumed that this was going to be it. Leaked images of the Connie skin on the JJprise, and alternate nacelle coloring further suggested that this was going to be as close to our dream ship as possible. Add to this fanboy speculation about all of the cool new TOS-themed ships – well – I was convinced we’d never see a T6 Connie.

One cannot help but feel the timing of the most-requested ship in the history of the game was designed for maximum financial impact. Kelvin lockboxes were extremely successful for STO – likely the most popular promotion released to date. I suspect that’s about to change.

T6 Temporal Light Cruiser – 5/5 Stars

Released along with a TOS Klingon D7 and T’Liss Warbird as part of a limited-time R&D Pack Promotion, lucky winners would find themselves with a universal box that when opened by a player of a particular faction, they would be graced with the appropriate ship. This change in how a ship is rewarded is the best improvement to the lockbox/ R&D Pack lottery to date. The Kelvin Lockbox could have benefited from this.

lockbox

Side note: I think the Klingon and Romulan ships from the last 2 promotions SHOULD REALLY BE Lobi ships – even at a reasonable price increase.

I like R&D Promotions.  I’ve had better luck with them, and I buy them periodically for Research boosts.

When I got mine on the 26th R&D box opened, I was flooded with offers to buy her. Within an hour, prices on the exchange maxed out at 750 million, and they were selling as fast as people posted them. The drop rate for me was very similar to the Annorax and many of the ship collectors I play with all reported they had no difficulty in acquiring them without paying EC. I suspect that while this promotion is up for the next 30 days, prices will likely subside before the next Infinity box.

The only downside, and it needs to be addressed, is that these are faction ships that are not account-wide.  They could be account-wide, and still be a rich source of income.

I can still Kick your ass
I can still kick your ass Big Brother 😉

The Temporal Light Cruiser uses the same model that was recently updated for Agents of Yesterday but does not come with the TOS bridge. The default bridge is the 31st Century Universal. If you already own the TOS bridge, you can apply it in the tailor.

Space Barbie

The great news is that yes, space Barbie is strong with this ship, with access to the Refit, Excalibur, Exeter and Vesper styles if you already own them.  A couple of minor issues though – the default Constitution style isn’t available in the drop-down although you can select the parts individually, the ships registry is modern (although this will be fixed shortly), and a few Hull textures are missing. Some players have gotten the name bug, but this can be reset fairly easily by visiting the ship tailor again.

You can swap the saucers, pylons, nacelles, necks and engineering hulls with relative ease. My favorite is a small change to the original Connie by adding the refit neck for some torpedo tube goodness.

pew-pew
Other than torpedo tubes, why mess with perfection?

 

Admiralty Card

Admiralty Card

Console – Ominous Device – aka The Corbomite Maneuver

console

The consoles icon is a nice rendering of the Fesarius’s scout craft from the original TOS episode. In the simplest of terms, it enables you to get away from opponents while giving yourself a small series of buffs while debuffing your opponent(s). I found it handy in the new Mirror Incursion event, but I get the distinct impression it’s a console I could live without. Many talk about it as a PVP console, and I’ll leave it to that community to decide it’s value. I chose to drop mine for the Broadside Emitter Arrays console because I like to make things go boom.

Starship Master Unlocks

  1. Absorptive Hull Plating (+25 physical and kinetic damage protection)
  2. Rapid Repairs (10.1 hull or 1.25% of your current max healed every 3 seconds in space, doubled outside of combat)
  3. Enhanced Hull Plating (+25 all energy and radiation protection)
  4. Armoured Hull (+10% max hitpoints)
  5. Built to Last (+ Regen, – Weapon Cost +0.3 Hull Generation for 20 seconds -33% Weapon Power Cost for 20 Seconds)
    CrypticSpartan further clarified on Reddit that the Regeneration value is a range from 30% to 90% hull regenerated per minute, based on Hull Strength at the time of activation.

Seating

seating
There are FOUR SEATS!

Seating seems basic, but it has the same number of powers as the Kelvin timeline ships (Intel Dreadnought & Heavy Command Cruiser). The biggest difference is a Lt.C Hybrid Command/universal seat, and the Commander Engineering/Temporal Hybrid seat. From my perspective, this is the best possible layout placing Temporal powers front and center, while giving me the most flexibility for build choices.

This Enterprise – my Enterprise – can be anything I want it to be. And Yes, I’ll eventually have all of these seats filled with TOS Holoboffs.

Build

default
Default ‘Out-of-the-box’

The ship comes with TOS-themed weapons and it includes TOS dual beams which I thought replaced by the dual array.  Apparently, I was wrong. The drawback is they don’t upgrade, and while I’d love to use them, the differences between XIV and X are too wide to consider using Mk X.

But I would if I could. Hint Hint. cough New R&D School cough

final working build
My ‘anything goes’ build.

The ships turn rate easily allows for the standard DPS AP dual beam build – which I started out with for my first runs. While the ship does support single cannons, this is the Enterprise.  I’m old fashioned – so just as I don’t wear white after labor day, my Enterprise doesn’t use cannons. So after a few runs, I went back to my tried and true arrays, with torps front and back.

vengeance

The real truth is that builds can be almost anything today and still work well in the game. I had little difficulty matching performance numbers with more established builds. In fact, I’d go as far as saying this ship performs better that my Vengeance.

The seating is awesome, 5/3 weapons layout and it’s centered around temporal abilities.  It has a LtC Science seat.

And it’s the freaking Enterprise.

I am very satisfied 😉

It would have been 6/5 if it had the TOS bridge 😉 But that’s nitpicking and other than it’s availability (more on exclusivity later in another blog post) I could not be happier.

In Closing

Star Trek Online has effectively rewritten the book on how they sell ships. The methodology on the Kelvin box – regardless of its success  – was hideous. Want a KDF D4x? Open the boxes on a KDF toon, or buy it from the exchange.  At least with the current R&D promotion you can choose which toon gets to open the ultimate prize. I hope they keep that format moving forward not just for ships, but for consoles as well.  The infinity Lockboxes work well that way.

Another concern is the focus on the Federation, and I will agree that it is a Fed-based game, and the players overwhelmingly prefer it that way. So maybe we cut the Reds and Greens some slack. Offer these reward ships as Lobi options instead. I guarantee you’ll get more players playing Red if they know they can get a D7 easier than the Connie.

Where do we go from here?

The once forbidden end-game Connie is in my hands now. Does that mean playable Borg, also a no-go, may be possible? Or maybe the slow step-by-step quiet update of Cardassian assets means we’ll see a Cardassian expansion next?  Mirror T6 Connies?  T7? I’m just guessing here.

Star Trek Online managed to pull off a number of surprises with this release.  I’m excited to see what’s up their sleeve to top this 😉

8 thoughts on “First Impressions: Hands on with the T6 Connie – Temporal Light Cruiser 5/5

  1. I always sweared for myself that I would not fall in temptation for a bloody lock-box/R&D ship. And my reasoning was: starfleet would never allow ships like the bug ship or the Annorax do routine missions. Well… With this ship… I’m changing my mind! That is, if I manage to have funds to buy it 😛

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    1. Since I HAD to have it on the first day I ended up paying a lot for it. But I’m not disappointed. My first ISA run I did in it parsed 115k while tanking the instance with 60%+ of the attacks in and that was not fully dialed in. I was able to tank a SB24 and never died. The ship is a beast. And it’s better than just a DPS tanking monster, it’s FUN!

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  2. Wonder what your acquisition experience was?
    Mine was not get one in 90 or so boxes. I really wish this one ship was not put out in this way. It’s criminal and a slap in the face to the fans.

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    1. I don’t know the drop rate. Initially I had planned to test 1000 on Tribble, but access to tribble is offline atm.

      Could this have been handled better? Hell yeah. But I need to point out I’m operating in the dark – I don’t know if CBS had restrictions, or what the goals were with the release. If was only to generate revenue, they’ve succeeded.

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  3. Thank you for this review. I always enjoy reading your blog. Agree or not the way this ship was released (no matter who is responsible, Cryptic, CBS) is a huge slap in the face to the many dedicated players of STO. This is a prime universe, faction specific ship that should have been in the C-Store. They broke their own rules for the sake of a possible limited time R&D gamble box cash grab. These kind of moves will not get new players to play or old players to return. It shows a very short sited business model for a quick cash grab but no player retention.

    I am only a single player so saying my wallet will be closed going forward does not do much. I would have bought a 3 ship cross faction pack in a heart beat. This is the way these ships should have been released. Maybe along side a R&D gamble box with T7 versions of these ships? Or advanced versions with say truly universal seating. Any powers could be placed in the boff seat. Then all players could get their T6 Connie but the whales and anyone else who wanted to gamble could try for the ultimate starship on this the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Such a missed opportunity and sadly so disrespectful to the many players of this game.

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  4. *Warning: The following post contains personal opinions and may contain potential bias. Anyone sensitive to someone else’s opinion may want to look away now. But thanks for reading anyways!*

    So, where do I begin? A backstory perhaps? All right; I have been playing Star Trek Online since less than a month after the Free to Play switchover (and in the process missed out on the free Odyssey and Bortas, which though disappointing I have since gotten over). I have been a fan of Star Trek since, oh, sometime in the 90’s as a child but only as a passive fan in the “Oh, hey, this is neat!” aspect, and an active fan since I started playing Star Trek Online and having more or less abandoned Star Wars out of the realization that the franchise was being geared more and more aggressively towards children; in addition to the whole, you know, “Whoring out [The Force]” thing.

    Okay, I’ll tangent here real quick: Why do I have a problem with Star Wars? Simple: Look at what it was, and what it has become from the 80’s to today. I have heard a lot of people say that Empire Strikes Back was the best movie, to which I disagree; I see no single movie as the best, all of them have very high and very low points to me, such that if you combined the last third of A New Hope, the first half of Empire, and just the space and ground battle of Jedi, that would be my perfect movie. Okay, yes I am biased against “Space Wizards”. But hence, this is the biggest reason for my shift into the Star Trek fandom.

    Okay, backstory out of the way, that brings me to the point of this post: An End-game TOS Connie. Like the vast majority of the playerbase I was also convinced it was never going to happen, and I was okay with that. I have purchased FAR too many ships for my own good as I do consider myself something of a ship collector. It started small of course, buying C-Store ships that I thought looked cool, my first purchases being the Tier 4 Intrepid refit and the Guramba Siege Destroyer. I’ve since bought way too many bundles and with the help and generosity of friends who play or used to play, gotten my hands on some pretty rare ships as well: Tal Shiar Destroyer and Battlecruiser, Wells and Mobius, Annorax, Vengence, Narcine, and Meshweaver, just to name a few. I love all of the ships in my collection and have flown them all proudly at least a few times. I tinker with them, make them fun for me to fly, try out different builds, buy new weapon sets to hold on to (of which I’m particularly proud of my Vaadwaur Polaron, Kelvin Phaser, Herald Antiproton, and Elachi beam and cannon sets). Sometimes I’ll even build around a theme, such as turning my Fleet Aquarius into a torpedo boat, my Kobali Samsar into an homage to a ship I read about in a story, and styling my Vorgon escort after a Covenant Corvette like the example seen in Halo: Reach.

    Now, I’m not saying this to try to “show off”, there is a point to this: The single most common choice I make when it comes to playing the game is an aesthetic choice. “How do these ship weapons look?”, “What alternate parts does this ship have?”, “What shade of blue are these phasers?”, “How big is that ship compared to other ships?”, “Is there ANY ship the MACO shields look good on?”. I ask myself so many aesthetic questions when looking at a ship, weapons, hull materials, and so on and so forth.

    When I first heard about the T6 Connie, the only real opinion I could form of the ship was, “I like it, but I don’t Tier 6 like it.” As a Tier 1 ship, it has plenty to offer: Unique weapons, better bridge officer seating, and a slight buff to durability over the Miranda. I liked it there, it was like being a young fledgling captain being given an old hand-me-down starship to try and make a name for myself and explore the galaxy. As a Tier 6 ship, I have tried and failed over the past few days to justify it’s very existence, as awkward as that statement may seem. On the one hand, I’m practically overjoyed the ship exists so that the screams and tears of impotent rage can subside because they don’t have “the precious”. On the other hand; in my opinion not just the Connie, but all three ships included in the promotion, to me are an aesthetic disappointment at Tier 6 at best. Regardless of the stats of the ships, which I have been hearing are damn near the best in the game, I cannot imagine any way I could make these three ships look like they belong at Tier 6 in my eyes. Are the designs timeless? Absolutely, they represent the very origins of the franchise and I respect that, I flew the Connie at Tier 1, and I flew the T’liss at Tier 1, I can pick those ships up and fly them any time I want. Are the designs striking? Personally, I don’t think so, I think any other ship at this tier looks far more striking than any of these three. They’re all dwarfed by even the smallest Tier 6 ships and that just doesn’t feel very “End-game” to me.

    And finally, there’s a couple other caveats with these ships; from a gameplay standpoint, again, there’s the visual appearance. I’d be willing to bet that since Tier 6 Connie’s and T’liss’ exist now, there’s going to be some increase in PvE trolling since, you know, the Tier 1 versions are completely indistinguishable from these. But the second one is a bit more speculative and potentially more financially damaging in the long run: Now that the single most requested ship exists in the game, where do you go from here? I’ve talked to a few in-game friends who are very adamant about never flying another ship again now that they have the Connie; even though just a few players in my circle of friends is a drop in the bucket compared to the playerbase as a whole, I do have to wonder how far this mentality spreads, and if it might actually have an impact on future ship releases. Personally, I’m not one of those since I’m still going to collect ships regardless but I find myself in the vast minority in that regard. At the very least I suspect it’s possible that future ship releases will have noticeably reduced impact within the community because those that have been pining for the Connie for so long will have their dream ship, and be uninterested by anything else. But hey, this is just speculation after all, and only time will tell what happens from here.

    Now, I fully anticipate that a lot of people aren’t going to like my opinion, and for the simple fact that people are only going to read the parts they want to read, judge it as an “Anti Connie hate rant”, and move on. In which case, I just want to say I’m sorry; I’m sorry I think these ships don’t belong at Tier 6 for reasons that are solely my own. I’m sorry this particular promotion has left me feeling very underwhelmed, despite what your personal opinion may be, in which case I’m sorry again that, surprise! Other people tend to have an opinion that is different from your own. And I’m sorry if you’re “triggered” by one person’s opinion, because I left a very clear notice at the very beginning of the post that you failed to take notice of.

    *Sigh*

    Well, this has been an awfully large wall of text, and I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say, so I’ll just leave it here. What do you think will happen now? In reality, probably nothing. But this particular ship has been hyped for so long, and the community had been very wholly conditioned to accept that the ship is never going to exist, that I just can’t help but wonder about the consequences, if any, might arise from it.

    But hey, again this is just one person’s opinion; if you agree or disagree, more power to you. Enjoy your day, and carry on.

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  5. I have to agree with the Critter, this is an AWESOME ship and with the new AoY/Deep Space K-13 fleet upgrades, I personally think it will get even better!

    As a feedback for the Universal Console that comes with the T6 Connie – it’s an it depends kind of console and I’ve gotten partial to it. I’ve recently taken to grinding a lot of advanced STFs using this ship to get my boat load of FMs (there’s new AoY BOFFs and toys to get you know so I need to get FMs and convert them into FCs!!). If I were to classify it, for those not using any form of shredding AP build, this console is perfect for soloing and doing the advanced space STFs. So in my grinds I like the console because in a CCA (for example) you can hit the Corbomite Manoeuvre and the Tholians and shards start flying the other way while you hit them a bit harder. In this current build I’ve done a bit of a self-nerf with the retro blue phasers because there’s no way the ship should shoot anything other than blue pew pew lasers. That’s one reason why I’m excited about the new station holding but that’s neither here nor there. But going back to the console, it works in that context and for those moments where you have to indulge your inner Leroy!!!!!!! Because when you indulge your inner Leroy!!!!!! as this ship sometimes encourages, having that trick up your sleeve when you realize that no matter how juicy your FAW is, you’re in a bad way and need an out – this console is that out when you don’t want to go boom boom bye to respawn because it sucks re-building Entropy to use in a crippling move against some bigger, meaner enemy.

    But I just have to ask Lootcritter about three of the five gold consoles in your build I don’t recognize, one each in Engineering, Science and Tactical. I know one of the golds in your Engineering is an RCS and the one gold in your Tactical is an Exploiter (+chance iirc). But what are those other three consoles?

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