Back when Star Trek Online launched, there was only one absolute truth: you began your time in the game on a Miranda.
The Miranda-class ships have been in since the beginning; the very first tutorial ship. Sure, people who had bought the game with the pre-order Constitution-class could fly those at the low levels, but you couldn’t swap ships in the tutorial. And technically, there were other ship parts available so when you got your random ship, you could just as easily be in a Centaur-class or a kitbashed mix of both. Regardless, it was the Miranda that was most frequently seen, so it gets top billing. (Not to mention it was a wee bit more infamous being the ship class of the USS Reliant, best known for being captured by Khan back in the day.)
So the painfully slow moving, slow turning Miranda-class vessel was the very first ship new players flew. This was back when Klingons couldn’t be created until you had a level 6 Starfleet character and had unlocked an accolade for completing a certain mission, and when Romulans weren’t anything more than another opponent for both factions to fight. You could eventually get into the ship tailor after the tutorial, and either swap to your pre-ordered Constitution or fiddle with the appearance of the ship. As time went on, C-Store options became available to fly a more tactical or science oriented low level ship, but that was that.
The Klingons didn’t have it much better. At level 6, they were flying Birds-of-Prey, and that was it. When the Romulans came to play, they got the T’varo light cruiser. The one thing these ships had in common was that players generally wanted to get away from these ships as soon as possible. Even if the appearance appealed, the lack of weapons and bridge officer spots just made using them painful.
The light cruisers, in other words, got no respect. The Bird-of-Prey got some, since its general appearance kept following along at almost every tier of starship for the Klingons, and the T’varo got a retrofit version which allowed it to play with the big boys. The Federation, though? Nope. No love for the Miranda.
With the recent patch, a trio of light cruisers-one for each faction-has been given the Tier-6 treatment. The Klingons get the brand new QeHpu’ cruiser, the Romulans get the equally new Deleth warbird, and Starfleet updates the Miranda to new specs with a new appearance-and adds a new light cruiser of the Reliant-class. (Aside: I’m really surprised Starfleet was willing to name a class based on that ship; I mean, it’s famous, but look at what it’s famous for: being captured by Khan, nearly destroying Enterprise, and finally being at ground zero for the Genesis torpedo explosion that created the short-lived Genesis Planet. Not exactly a thrilling career, right?)
As usual with C-Store ships, they’ll have a unique console, only usable on these cruisers, and as T-6 ships, they will have access eventually to starship traits that your captain can slot. Since the bundle contains ships for each faction, the ships don’t have a shared set of consoles to create a 3 ship set bonus like you’d see with, say, the Odyssey bundles. Given that they’re in different factions, it’s probably not hard to see why. It…probably goes without saying that you can purchase these individually as well as in a single bundle; I know many players tend to stick with one faction.
With every other starship that’s been on the big and small screens having T-6 variants, it was only a matter of time before the Miranda got its turn; if there are any others out there that haven’t, I’d be hard pressed to name them. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be going out of my way to comment on a C-Store release unless it was to deliver a rant, but the arrival of this once-lowly ship to the top tiers of the game was something I felt was worthy of commenting upon. I’ll be very interested to see just how many of these ships I see in the queues-not to mention in orbit near Earth Spacedock.