Lord Revan wrote:I'm not claiming that 2410 ships aren't better then 2370-2380 ships, what I'm saying is that the diffence isn't like between the 2160s and 2260s ships, where we have in canon that a pair of Mirror NXs couldn't make a dent on pre-refit constitution, while the connie swatted them like flies.
Also when I said that True Way is considered a threat I also didn't mean it's major thing that needs top of the line ships but it's not like the ships in "Outrageous Okana" [that were seen as a joke]. Instead True Way ships are treated as something that can harm a Starfleet or KDF ship and hostile action from them should responded in kind.
Okay, fair enough.
mr friendly guy wrote:Now optimised ships are certainly not the bog standard of the STO powers, although I will argue even without reputation gear, a tier 6 ship should wipe the floor with a Dominion Dreadnought from the 2370s. The other thing that is interesting is considering the the RR, UFP and the KDF are now hiring what amounts to mercenaries, er I mean players and letting them run amok...
Look, things which are purely consequences of game mechanics are the LAST thing we should evaluate. In this case, the hordes of players are a consequence of STO being a massively multiplayer computer game. The canonical 'plot' is the single-player mission content. And there really isn't room in those for more than one of these special super-captains, if only because there is ONE series of missions. There can't be a thousand people who all have super-ships and all defeated the Voth, the Vaadwaur, the Iconians, and whatever, there's no way to actually have that happen because they'd have to all
have been present for the critical events, which would make no sense.
At most, we might assume there is actually one such 'PC'-level character per faction
, who is one of the most successful captains in their respective fleet. And in terms of reputation, they would be on par with the captains of the 'flagship' vessels Enterprise
, and Lleiset
. Comparable to Kirk or Picard or Sisko in their respective eras, in terms of their reputation for 'get weird impressive stuff done.'
Credit for the mid- and endgame content would logically have to be distributed among the three of them, then- i.e. only one of them discovers the Preserver archive, only one of them discovers the truth behind the Vaadwaur by infiltrating their bases, only one of them accompanies Worf through the Iconian gateway in Sphere of Influence
, and so on... and it wasn't the same person
doing all these things.
You could subdivide things further, but you would logically have to distribute credit for success further and further. You COULD imagine a case where there are a few dozen 'PC' captains, each of which was only responsible for completing a few of the big dramatic missions (say, six or seven Federation captains who collaborated in bringing down B'Vat, a bunch of Romulan captains who jointly experienced the events of the Romulan campaign separately
, and so on).
But then that would be near the limit, and each individual PC captain is sounding a lot less impressive and badass.
Back to the Iconian question, I suspect most of the ships destroyed by the Iconians in the disastrous battles, ie ones not commanded by players weren't necessarily of higher grade. We could make a reasonable assumption that tier 6 ships are reasonable threats to Iconian vessels one on one, and in a few numbers could destroy their dreadnoughts. This of course would mean that the Iconian ships would pretty much be screwed in a straight up fight with the Empire, unless as you postulate, they use things like viral matrix and the gates to attack the Empire ships.
Honestly the Iconians are screwed in space no matter what happens. They just don't have firepower, their ships will be getting exploded left and right. At best they could maybe lurk around lightly populated regions and use their information warfare abilities (what you keep calling "viral matrix," for those who don't play STO) to hack isolated ships and take them down.
They could, at best, win firepower duels with the lighter ships. An Iconian raider or cruiser might be able to cross swords with a Lancer or a Corellian Corvette or something, and their big battleships and dreadnoughts maybe have the muscle to handle some of the lighter frigates. A ship like an Acclamator would just be too much gun for them to handle without swarming tactics.
However, the Iconians do have very large numbers of ships, and by all appearances, nearly unlimited mobility
. If they develop a realistic picture of the tactical situation and start avoiding the ships they can't fight (and there may well be 'only' a few tens of thousands of the big star destroyer types in the galaxy, let alone anything heavier), they could cause a great deal of inconvenience. Especially if the Iconian fleet numbers less like a million ships and more like a billion.*
The Iconian ground armies are also a serious threat. The real question is, how many foot soldiers do the Iconians have? We never see evidence of them being in danger of running out of troops, but they'd have to rely entirely on their Heralds for this (Elachi and Solanae are rare, lurking creatures, and the Vaadwaur just aren't numerous enough to conquer on their behalf outside their home quadrant). Did they create enough Heralds to win ground campaigns in parallel on millions of worlds? Clearly they haven't been using that many soldiers against the Alpha Quadrant powers- and why would they leave 99.9% of their strength in reserve?
It sort of makes sense that they might do so with starships, because starships are energy-intensive to operate. It would sort of make sense for the Iconians to spend immense amounts of time building a fleet they knew
would be unstoppable Come The Day. They are immortal after all, so there's no reason not to just keep building ships for millenia. They're not in a hurry to extract revenge and conquer the galaxy. But they might very well decide to only use as much of that fleet as they think they need to totally, rapidly overwhelm all resistance in the region they're trying to conquer, because of the metaphorical fuel bills.
But there is no similar logic to ground troops. If the Iconians breed trillions of combat Heralds they have to feed them whether or not said Heralds are busy conquering the galaxy. So there's no reason NOT to use them to massively invade every planet they attack, with armies overwhelmingly larger than the entire population of the target world (i.e. one Herald per living Klingon on Q'o'nos).
I guess then the limiting factor on the infrastructure would be gateway technology. Gateways are energy-intensive. Opening at most a dozen or so is enough to fatally drain the energies of an Iconian who is nigh-immune to Star Trek hand weapons due to her physiology, and who can casually spam high-end, arguably tank-busting energy attacks of her own with little difficulty and NO perceptible loss of her vital energies. So it might not be possible to invade Q'o'nos with a trillion Heralds, even if that many Heralds physically exist, because you can't open a billion portals for them all to march through. And if you 'only' open, say, ten thousand portals... well, your invasion will be delayed and bottlenecked by the time it takes all those Heralds to physically walk through doors of finite width. A much less numerous enemy could conceivably 'bottle up' much of your invasion force in this way.
But this limitation would also apply to fighting Star Wars.
*I simply do not believe the Iconians have enough ships to block out the sun everywhere in a Dyson sphere
, if only because then they could win by default by the simple expedient of materializing a thousand ships over every inhabited world in the galaxy with tons left over as strategic reserves. It makes more sense to believe that the Iconian fleet had massed over the one area that Sela and the PC had arrived in, and were blocking out the sun there