ST: New Horizons
Harel  [developer] Jul 25, 2018 @ 12:20am
New Horizons Dev Diary #2: Starfleet’s Archetypes
Hi everyone, this is Harel again, balance lead for Paradoxical.

In our last dev diary, I discussed our planned overhaul for ship classes. If you haven’t, its strongly recommended you read the previous diary first – most of the materials discussed here will make little sense to you otherwise.

In a nutshell, we are moving away from our current core six ship classes to a more flexible system where every ship class in Star Trek is its own, individual, New Horizons ship class, with its own components, modifiers, tactical advantages and statistics.

Since this is a very nuanced process that requires rebalancing the entire mod, we are starting by changing the Federation ship roster. We will extend this concept to some other races in time, while others may simply have their own version of the “six core” classes (say, for example, a Ferengi battleship may be something a bit more agile, light yet shield-heavy). The majority of minor species, of course, will continue to use the existing “six core” classes.

What are we going to talk about today, and what is going on with the overhaul anyway?

We originally hoped to release the overhaul a few months ago, but personal issues for myself and other members of the team delayed things again and again. Most of the content and the balance work for the overhaul has been done; that being said, there is still some bugs and modeling work that needs to be completed, but I can say we’re close. Or as we like to say, release is Soon ™.

But since the overhaul is well underway I thought we would share more information about what you can expect to see upon release and talk to you a bit about archetypes.

What are archetypes?

There are going to be a LOT of different Federation classes for you to build – well over forty, currently.

Players will finally have the freedom to compose whatever sort of fleets they want. It also gives us the freedom to include some ships that some players found controversial, such as Discovery period ships. Players can now simply choose to ‘skip’ the ships they do not like.
That being said, forty ship classes are a huge number – it requires some categorization. Here are where archetypes come in. Archetypes are basically a laid-back version of the previous ‘classes’ – all federation ship classes are divided into archetypes, and inside that archetype, they share some unique advantages, access to certain components and modifiers, and are aimed toward a certain tactics.

Mind you, there is still a great deal of variety inside each archetype. Two ships inside the same archetype could act decidedly different. For example, the Akira and Norway are in the same archetype and are even unlocked at roughly the same tech level. However, the Akira would focus on offering a player a medium-heavy ship with either a carrier or torpedo launcher capabilities, while the Norway will be a lighter, agile ship capable of fielding some surprisingly heavy beam weapons.

Those two ships, however, do share an archetype – the multi-mission cruiser, a type that focuses on giving players access to a wide range of weapons and sections.

The Eight

Now that we got all of that out of the way, let us introduce the eight arche-types. You will note I am not going to mention most of the ships that belong to each archetype. This is in part because we are still refining the final list of models, but mostly because we also want to surprise you with the new models that are coming.

Let me also clarify in advance, since there will be sure to be a long debate about the archetypes themselves and the ship selection to each archetype, that no categorization of such a diverse range of ships from hundreds of years of lore could ever be completely perfect and agreed on by everyone. There are a lot of considerations that go into both the archetypes and the ship selection – a mix of canon, available resources, gameplay, balance, rate of progression, technical limitations and more.

  1. Frigate – the lightest ship in Starfleet, those ships usually focus on light weapons and bonuses to sub-light and warp speed.

    Example: Saladin class.

  2. Light Cruisers – similar to the ‘destroyer’ from the ‘core six’ classes, light cruisers are heavier frigates with emphasis on point-defense weapons, picket sensors and ship behavior, high tracking bonuses and torpedo-heavy loadouts.

    Example: Saber class.

  3. Explorer – a variant of light cruiser that is a bit sturdier. Those ships are meant to be long-serving ships in Starfleet and enjoy a small reduction in upkeep cost, but also bonuses to sensor range and speed. They can equip snares such as tractor beams, gain extra science utilities and have more advanced computers and thrusters.

    Example: Intrepid class.

  4. Multi-Mission Vessel – medium cruisers that are meant to serve as the workhorse of your Starfleet. They are meant to be very flexible designs produced in bulk – they are cheaper to build and to maintain, and offer an impressive flexibility in term of weapons, also supporting fighter craft, spinal mounts and some point defense. They have a wide “tech range”, which means they don’t become obsolete soon, have a wide range of section options and a very powerful utilities variant option (meaning their various secondary hull variants offer extra customization). They also can field ‘debuff’ auras that weaken the enemy.

    All of this being said; this diversity comes at a cost and their bonuses tend to be generic and rather less major.

    Example: Nebula class.

  5. Heavy Cruiser – a brute of a ship, a heavy cruiser is meant to be a combination of a tank and damage dealer – and are often your frontal flagship. Those ships are expensive to build and have a higher naval capacity cost as well, but they have very big bonuses to hull, shield and weapon damage, and come supplied with a skirmisher sensor and extra engineering utilities that make them even more powerful.

    Example: Constitution Class.

  6. Advanced Cruiser – Advanced cruisers are a being to themselves; they are the only ship that has access to sophisticated FTL solutions (such as the spore or transwarp drive), and have better shields, thrusters, computers and warp engines as well as a very serious weapon-heavy loadouts, sniper sensors and spinal mount weapons. However, they are extremely expensive and have a high naval cost capacity too.

    Example: Crossfield Class.

  7. Exploration Cruiser – A variant of the ‘battleship’ from the ‘core six’ list, exploration cruisers are slow, large ships serving as tank and support. They can field fighters and a support aura, as well as extra AUX utilities. The result as the heaviest, most shielded ships in Starfleet – and in the game.

    Example: Galaxy Class.

  8. Heavy Escort – A light warship with pure combat capabilities, the Heavy Escort comes with a blitzer sensor and extra tactical utilities. These ships are small, but heavy extra powerful shields, warp core and thrusters.

    Note that the ‘core six’ class of Heavy Escort is actually being changed, becoming a “heavy raider” – lighter than the current heavy escort and the future federation heavy escort.

    Example: Defiant.

A few surprises

You will also find that a few classes will have access to unique consoles, sections and weapons. For example, the Intrepid Class will have a variable geometry pylon component that will increase warp speed, while the Miranda class could mount unique burst phasers on their ‘rollbar’ – which is available as a unique section.

You may also find a few period specific weapons, with their own weapon effects. In time we hope to extend this, based on your feedback and suggestions. This system is incredibly versatile, dynamic and extendable, so let us know what you are hoping to see in term of weapons, sections and components, and we will see what can be done!
Last edited by Harel; Jul 25, 2018 @ 12:23am
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Showing 1-15 of 32 comments
Ruin Jul 25, 2018 @ 12:57am 
This sounds magnificent... Can barely wait to see this in-game...
Sinjen Blackstar Jul 25, 2018 @ 6:21am 
this is awesome.
Commodus Jul 25, 2018 @ 6:30am 
Soon has become now, well at least if you ask govenor tarkin:P now does sound good^^
Gen.Victim Jul 25, 2018 @ 9:59am 
Hello! The last Announcement hinted at the possibility of mothballing obsolete designs. How do you plan to tackle the even higher amount of ship types in the game?

Being able to skip types is nice, but then I for one would need to see their performance in the first place which will certainly take some games.

Or to put it another way: Currently the Ship Designer features classes (PT, DD etc.) which may become irrelevant in the later game, yet which cannot be deleted due to being 'last class- design', will the new system declutter the Designer?
Harel  [developer] Jul 25, 2018 @ 11:14am 
We addressed that in the previous dev diary, Victim.
AlphaAshIsAWeenie Jul 26, 2018 @ 12:55pm 
Love You!
sleigers1 Jul 26, 2018 @ 7:15pm 
Very nice! Looking forward to these changes and hoping the Sovereign class is coming at some point. :)
Harel  [developer] Jul 27, 2018 @ 5:31pm 
The Sovereign has been in the mod for well over a year, Sleigers.
Commodus Jul 28, 2018 @ 7:09am 
How soon is soon:D
Harel  [developer] Jul 29, 2018 @ 5:38am 
Soon you will know.
moneypoww Jul 29, 2018 @ 9:43am 
Have you got a date that we're going to be given a release date?
Harel  [developer] Jul 29, 2018 @ 3:04pm 
*chuckle* guys, stop trying to squeeze a hint. It will be done when its done and we will announce it as soon as we can.
Corvus Belli Jul 30, 2018 @ 6:07am 
I noticed that your list of the eight archetypes covers the combat vessels, not the construction ships, colony ships or, most importantly for this discussion, science ships.
How will they be handled, given your new system? Will they still be tied to the current era-system (meaning no building Oberth-class ships after the TMP-era) or have you some other idea in mind?
Really looking forward to the new system, and I'm curious what new classes you've been able to include; you've mentioned the Norway and Crossfield classes so far, so can I be cheeky and ask if there's much chance I'll see the Walker-class? I really like the design, and I think it fits perfectly between the NX and Miranda-classes. It's also the only other Discovery-era ship we've gotten a particularly good look at.
Razial Jul 31, 2018 @ 4:02am 
what about other class types for other races like for romulens/remans schimitar class ? it was created same time as the soveriegn class or in game "assault cruiser"
Harel  [developer] Jul 31, 2018 @ 8:05am 
There will be no change to civilian ships. They are hard-coded.
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