We are still in the midst of arranging for mom’s funeral, but as many people keep telling me, it’s just as important to get back to our daily lives. In that sense, STO has been very helpful; it’s something to keep my mind busy so that I don’t (unhealthily) overthink about real life.
As you probably all know already, Cryptic released a new line of “Miracle Worker” ships recently. There are some controversy over them and it’s time for Heidy to take a look at them.
So first of all, the name “Miracle Worker” Ship sounds a bit silly. Are they designed to be captained by Moses? What training do you attend to become a Miracle Worker, exactly? They should’ve called these “Advanced Technical Vessels” or something.
In many ways, the closest comparison to these ships is probably the Flagships. Like the Flagships, there are a Tactical, Engineering and Science version of each ship, for each of the three factions for a total of 9 vessels. Well I’m not going to post their stats here since with 9 ships that’s going to take up way too much space, but let’s use the Fed Tactical ship, the Tucker Class, as an example:
- Tier: 6
- Faction: Starfleet
- Rank Required: Vice Admiral
- Hull Strength: 45,000 at level 50 and 60,000 at level 60
- Shield Modifier: 1.15
- Fore Weapons: 4
- Aft Weapons: 4
- Device Slots: 4
- Bridge Officer Stations: 1 Lieutenant Commander Tactical, 1 Ensign Engineering, 1 Commander Engineering/Miracle Worker, 1 Lieutenant Science/Miracle Worker, 1 Lieutenant Commander Universal
- Console Modifications: 4 Tactical, 4 Engineering, 3 Science, 1 Universal
- Base Turn Rate: 6
- Impulse Modifier: 0.16
- Inertia: 50
- +10 to Weapons and Engines, +5 to Shields and Auxiliary
- Console – Universal – Crimson Forcefield
- “Innovation” Ship Mechanic
- Starship Mastery Package (Cruiser)
- Absorptive Plating (+Kinetic and Physical Damage Resistance)
- Rapid Repairs (+Regeneration)
- Enhanced Plating (+Energy and Radiation Damage Resistance)
- Armored Hull (+Maximum Hull Capacity)
- Redirecting Arrays (Starship Trait)
- Cruiser Communications Array
- Command – Strategic Maneuvering
- Command – Shield Frequency Modulation
- Command – Weapon System Efficiency
- Command – Attract Fire
Some folks started saying these new ships are way Over-Powered and effectively Tier 7 – and in a certain way, you might say that. But having flown these in the last few days, I can make some educated comments on these “Tier 7 stats”, so let me break it down for you.
- The “Innovation” Mechanic is similar to the CBC’s Inspiration Mechanic — The official write-up explains it this way:
This mechanic will be represented by a new UI element that will appear on the players’ viewscreen while piloting any Miracle Worker starship. It is comprised of two primary elements:
1) Ability Sequence Requirements
These are represented as a series of Blue, Red, and Gold lights, corresponding to Science, Tactical, and Engineering abilities respectively. This informs the player which profession’s Bridge Officer abilities need to be used in order to trigger the Innovation Effect.
Ability Sequence Requirements are randomized each time the mechanic refreshes, and individual requirements may be doubled, or tripled. As a few examples, valid sequences can be:
- Engineering, Science, Tactical
- Science, Science, Engineering
- Tactical, Tactical, Tactical
Players may activate the required Bridge Officer Abilities in any order to satisfy the sequence. As soon as the third and final ability requirement is satisfied, the Innovation Effect will immediately trigger (as long as you are in Combat).
2) Innovation Effect
One of six possible Innovation Effects will be randomly selected each time the Innovation Mechanic refreshes.
- Instinctive Rerouting: Bonus to All Subsystem Power
- Containment Layering: Temporary Hull (based on Max Hull)
- Heisenberg Decouping: Secondary Shields (based on Max Shields)
- Plasma Purge: Self-Targeted AOE Plasma Damage-over-Time
- Ingenious Solutions: Bonus to Recharge Speeds for Bridge Officer and Captain Abilities
- Barclay Maneuver: Photonic Copy of your starship which uses Ramming Speed on a nearby foe
Which Ability Sequence must be activated, and which Innovation Effect is triggered are both randomized each time the mechanic refreshes. It will refresh after a brief lockout period which follows each triggered effect, or whenever you first enter a new instance.
Now what I find is the Innovation Effects are just too random to be especially effective in reality. Yes, it’s great to get bonus Subsystem Power or additional Shields/Hull, but you just can’t count on it as a reliable tactic. While seeing a Photonic copy of your ship ram an enemy is fun, this mechanic is more gimmicky than useful. I kinda wish they find a way to let you choose which effect is triggered, like the CBC Inspiration mechanic, which would make this much more useful.
2. These MW Ships have more Subsystem power than any other T6 ships, with a base of +30 than the usual +20. This is a nice advantage but by no means an overpowering distinction.
3. These ships also have higher base Hull than just about everything else short of the Heavy Temporal Dreads. Again, a nice advantage but not overpowering on its own.
4. These ships boast the full set of Cruiser commands – not unique for Federation cruisers, but a first for Klingon vessels. This is actually a significant advantage over the KDF flagships, because the lack of Attract Fire command has always rendered the Bortas’qu line subpar as Threat Tanks, a role that you would think they should excel in.
5. The MW ships have expanded Quantum Slipstream abilities – they seem to last a lot longer which make them really really fast in Sector Space. I haven’t tested how quickly Slipstream recharges though; if they’re normal then these ships may be particularly useful in doing “Tour the Galaxy” missions.
6. The biggest selling point of these guys, in my mind, is the addition of a 12th console, which also happens to be a universal slot that can fit everything. This is also what made a lot of people claim that these are Tier 7 ships. I expect most folks (like myself) will fit a Vulnerability Locator or Exploiter in there, or in Kala’s case, the Chronometric Capacitor which she didn’t want to bump a Locator for.
So how overpowered is this? Surprisingly, not that much. While it does boost weapon damage output, I don’t find an extra Locator more powerful than some of the other ships’ unique bonuses. The aforesaid Heavy Temporal Dreads already had the additional bonus of being 8-weapons cruisers AND having two hangar bays; the Molecular Reconfiguration ability of the 26th Century and 31st Century ships, I feel, is still superior to an extra console because it allows you to choose a suite of passive boosts. The Fed Intel ships have built-in cloaks — granted those are standard cloaks and not particularly useful, but the fact is it would’ve used up a slot just to get a cloak (see the original Defiant).
Also keep in mind that Escorts have already received an extra Experimental Weapon Slot, and Science Ships got their Secondary Deflectors. So sure, compared to base line T6 ships, these MW cruisers are a step up, but they’re comparable to many more “advanced” T6 ships that are already in existence.
Even though I don’t think these ships are a major step up in power, it is still true that they are pushing the upper boundary of current power. Between their higher hull, higher subsystem power, extra console and full suite of Cruiser Commands, the MW ships pretty much combined the best of the Odyssey and Bortas’qu lines and improved on both. These guys are better than the Flagships in every way except for one: the unique MW Ship Console set is kinda garbage compared to the top-tier Flagship Consoles, but it is a significant enough disadvantage that keeps the Flagships relevant.
I should also mention the Starship Traits. “Stay at your posts” reduces recharge time of Tactical BOff abilities, and “Redirecting Arrays” prolong BFAW’s duration when hit by enemy fire. Both are pretty good for DPS, and I would judge both as top tier Traits for beamboats.
The other initial controversy have been about the design aesthetics of the new ships, especially the Fed ones. There was a bit of an outcry from some players about how ugly these guys are, especially in profile. See that thick neck and the huge undercarriage? Yeah, they hate that.
That said, I actually quite like that design. No it’s not pretty, but hey it’s different and unique. It also makes these ships look like sturdy warships, rather than sleek speedboats. After flying around for a few days, I’ve grown to enjoy their looks, so much so that now I find the Odyssey (which was my top design choice before) so vanilla by comparison!
In fact, I think that in profile these ships bear a strong resemblance to humpback whales…. and I think that’s a good thing. The aerodynamic silhouette of the whale is one refined by nature for millions of years, and it’s nice of STO to honor that look. Hey, millions of years of evolution can’t be wrong, you know? I have to admit that I have found the recent bunch of flat 2D ships offputting, like the fugly Enterprise-J and some of the 26th Century Temporal ships. Have you seen the Klingon Durgath? It’s gigantically long but paper-thin; that ship looks more like a giant tapeworm than anything else.
It’s actually the Romulan MW ships that I have a problem with! And it’s not about the design of the Romulan MW Warbird — it’s about its size.
The picture above was submitted by a poster on STO Reddit, comparing the size of the Fed MW cruiser to a Romulan MW Warbird. Now we know Romulans tend to over-compensate and build huge ships for no apparent reason, but these MW Warbirds have massive heads relative to their hulls/wings, that make them look like newly-hatched chicks. So instead of looking like mythological Rocs that can pluck whales out of the ocean, they look like ridiculously out-of-scale canaries next to toy whales. It’s like the Jungle Book Credits scene where the Jerboa is comically bigger than the tiger!
So far I’ve moved a couple of my toons (Kala Kendris and Gortusk) to the new MW ships, and ground out Ship Traits for a few others. I’m not sure I have seen a noticeable increase in performance, except for survivability — they both have significantly more hull and are really tough. Having ground out Ship Traits on R’Jal, I can say with some confidence that the MW Warbird still doesn’t match the DPS output of his Scimitar — then again, the Romulan Flagships are still in a class of their own. Overall these are very good ships, but not the end-all-and-be-all “Tier 7” monsters that some players are worried about.