Guide to Ships in Star Trek Online: Tier 3 Vessels
by: Benjamin Sell
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Check out our guide for the full rundown on the Heavy Cruiser, Heavy Escort, and Research Science Vessel. Complete stats, including weapons slots, bridge stations, and console upgrade slots. Don't choose that Commander-level ship without first reading our guide.
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After slogging through the first twenty levels of Klingons, Gorn, and various other enemies of the Federation, players are rewarded with their second ship upgrade, the Tier III ship. To receive your Tier III upgrade and promotion to Commander, simply reach Lt. Commander, grade 11, and spend all of your skill points. You should receive a message from Admiral Quinn advising you to return to Earth Starbase for promotion.
Turn in the mission in the Admiral's Office, then head to the door above the shipyard to be taken to ship requisitions. Lt. Laurel is the one you want to talk to to receive your new ship.
Check out full stats for the Tier III Heavy Cruiser, Heavy Escort, and Research Science Vessel:
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The Starfleet Heavy Cruiser is one of the few ship designs to have more than two nacelles. With four, the Cheyenne, Stargazer, and Dakota class ships have a very imposing appearance.
Fans of Star Trek may recognize this class of ship as one that was involved in the disastrous battle against the Borg at Wolf 359, in which the captured Jean-Luc Picard was forced to use his knowledge of Federation technology and tactics to wipe out an entire fleet before being rescued by the crew of the Enterprise-D.
The Heavy Cruiser, like the Cruiser before it, is best suited for soaking up and dishing out massive damage. Multiple Engineering stations allow Heavy Cruiser Captains to quickly repair damage or send boarding parties onto enemy ships. The Heavy Cruiser is no speedster, and the slow turning rate makes rotating shields or lining up weapons with limited firing arcs very difficult. Of the Commander Rank ships, the Heavy Cruiser makes the best overall tank.
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The Heavy Escort comes in three variations, the Akira, Oslo, and Zephyr classes.
The Akira-class escort saw heavy action during the Dominion War, and fans of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 may recognize the design as several were stationed near the station.
Fans of the Tier II Escort will find more to love in the Heavy Escort. Check out the full stats:
The Heavy Escort makes an even more effective gunboat than it's predecessor, the Escort. Those who favor quick attacks and dealing out massive amounts of burst damage will love this ship. With multiple tactical stations and console upgrades, Heavy Cruiser Captains can really concentrate on doing the most damage as quickly as possible through abilities and consoles that grant bonus damage.
All this firepower comes at a price, however, as even the Heavy Escort doesn't really have the ability to soak up a lot of damage. Disabling the enemy before they have a chance to mount a concerted counterattack is the best strategy for a Commander in one of these ships.
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Research Science Vessel
The Research Science Vessel should be instantly recognizable to anyone who remembers the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale episode, "All Good Things." In the possible future timeline presented by Q, Captain Beverly Picard was in command of the Olympic-class U.S.S. Pasteur.
Research Science Vessels are easy to spot, thanks to their enormous spherical saucer sections. They come in three variations, the Olympic, Hope, and Horizon classes.
Like all Science Vessels, the Research Science Vessel is a master of buffing and debuffing. With so many science stations and consoles, a Commander in charge of a Research Science Vessel can disable his enemy's shields, drain their power levels, or hold them in place, all while recharging his own shields or reversing shield polarity to allow enemy fire to recharge them for him.
Research Science Vessels also have massive shields, and with so many abilities that allow them to recharge, they can take a lot of punishment in battle.
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The Tier III ships in Star Trek Online are not as recognizable as the Light Cruiser or some of the tier IV ships (including designs made famous by the Enterprise-D, Defiant, and Voyager), but each is aesthetically pleasing in it's own way and serves a distinct purpose in space combat.
Those who found themselves attracted to a certain type of Tier II ship should find no reason to switch when moving on to the rank of Commander, as each ship continues to fill the same basic role.
Whether you're looking for information on tier 2, 3, 4, or 5 ships in Star Trek Online, our complete guide has got you covered. Check out full ship stats, and see which ships are available at Lt. Commander, Commander, Captain, and Admiral Ranks.