I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most STO players play the game for ships; heck, it’s pretty clear that’s Cryptic’s main source of income! And who can blame them/us? Flying starships in the Star Trek universe is what sets the game apart from every other MMO out there, so we should all proudly embrace this!
There are literally hundreds of playable ships in-game now. It’s a mixed bag of canon ships seen in the TV shows and movies, a handful of non-canon designs used in Trek-related works, and original Cryptic designs. There are a lot of very good-looking, sexy ships, but also a good number of absolute stinkers. Here are my top and bottom 5 choices!
Also caveat: Like any beauty contest, this list is entirely subjective! So with no further ado, here are my Top 5.
No. 5 – Vorgon Ships
I don’t know, maybe it’s because we just got the Ryn’kodan that I’m ranking the Vorgon ships so high… but both the carrier and last year’s Xyfius rock sleek and attractive designs. The Ryn’kodan looks almost like it’s a Babylon 5 design, or a Mon Calamari MC80 cruiser (it’s a Trap!), and it’s beautiful.
No. 4 – Klingon Pilot Raptors
Arguable the best-looking Klingon ships by far, these sleek machines look like the sports car version of the Bird-of-Prey, flattened to be aerodynamic, fast and deadly. With their native black hulls, the Klingon pilot raptors are sinister-looking. My only complaint is that they’re really tiny; if they were a bit bigger these guys would be intimidating!
No. 3 – Xindi Narcine
I loved this design the first time I saw it on TV. Wow, it’s so different than everything else seen before and the flowing contours even manage to convey the aquatic nature of the… well, Xindi Aquatics.
No. 2 – Romulan Vastam Command Battlecruiser
I just got this over the weekend and WOW! This thing is a beauty! Actually the Deihu is just as pretty, with the too-bird-like Baratan trailing behind them, but overall they all look great. The Vastam has now replaced my Reman captain Xymok’s Kara — I actually quite enjoy the fat War Owl, but it turns so poorly I needed something else. In addition to its top-tier trait, the Vastam fulfills both form and function, a rare combination!
No. 1 – Odyssey/Sovereign
So I’m cheating a bit here by double-dipping the Odyssey and the Sovereign, but they share many design elements: oval, elongated saucer, a streamlined silhouette, stretched out hull and nacelles. If the Sovereign is representative of Star Trek TNG movies, then the Odyssey can be considered the literal “poster child” of Star Trek Online. Both take the most identifiable aspects of traditional Federation designs, and improve upon them.
Hold on a minute! No Connie, or Konnie on this list? What blasphemy is this, you say? Well this is actually a good opportunity to discuss the problem I have with the Kelvin Konnie’s design.
In profile, the Konnie looks awesome. Based on that I would rate her second to the Odyssey, maybe even first because of the iconic look. The part that I don’t like with the design is the placement of the nacelles; the top view shows how close the nacelles are to each other. It gives the impression that this ship has a narrow center of gravity, and will probably tip over if you nudge it. The pylons come up at too steep an angle, causing this odd look. If only they angled the pylons properly like the original Enterprise, this would’ve been a perfect ship.
Having soothed your eyes (and soul) with such sleek, sexy designs, it’s time to look at the opposite end of the spectrum. And when I say opposite, it doesn’t necessarily mean ugly (though it helps), but that some of them are just unattractive or uninspired. Here are the Top (or Bottom) 5 Eyesores of STO ships!
No. 5 – Klingon An’quat Command Battlecruiser/Federation Envoy Class
There are any number of ships that can go in this slot, but I picked the An’quat Command BC. I’m not sure what happened here, when the Romulan Command BC’s look soooo good! This thing looks like it’s got a bunch of trapezoid shapes bolted together, and a fire extinguisher nozzle stuck in front. Yuck. What is this, a vacuum cleaner?
I suppose I could also put the Envoy class cruiser in this slot. It’s a variant of the basic Exploration cruiser, and that thing is just a hot mess. The worst part is you can mix-and-match parts with the other variants and create some truly hideous designs.
No. 4 – 31st Century ships Chronos/Eternal
This one is going to be interesting. Every time anyone asks for advice on what ships to buy, this pack invariably comes up. Frankly, I don’t disagree – these are all top-tier ships in terms of stats, but unfortunately they look like crap. I own this pack but I just couldn’t stand using them for long; they are not as much ugly as they are generic, uninspired, and boring! In fact I have Nessi flying the Eternal for a while because it was the best bet for a Klingon Science Captain, but I kept wanting to ditch the thing. If I can’t get excited about a ship in Star Trek Online, why am I playing, right?
No. 3 – Sphere-Builder Ships
All the Sphere-Builder ship designs are terrible. ALL OF THEM. But for this list, I’m going to pick on this guy, the Denous class dreadnaught. I actually don’t even know where to start with this: it looks like some misshapen Borgified sex toy! What the hell, it even comes with a… giant… ball…. hanging beneath… oh never mind. I don’t want a R-rating on my blog. Next.
No. 2 – Krenim Ships
I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but… all the Krenim ships are terrible. ALL OF THEM. Yes, including the Annorax (which both looks and sounds like a designer brand of Anal Probe). Seriously, all the Krenim ships look like some sort of weird power tools, and the Krenim warship literally looks like it should be hauled away as garbage. Bleagh.
No. 1 – Enterprise-J
The number 1 spot predictably goes to the Enterprise-J! I absolutely loathe this thing! And I loathe its existence in STO as a playable ship. It’s a horrible design that shouldn’t have made it to the TV show, let alone the game when you can actually fly it. With its involvement in the Temporal Cold War, couldn’t they gone back in time and redesign this horrible eyesore?
Those are my picks. What are yours?