By PWE_BranFlakes @ February 18, 2013 at 12:00pm
Designing the Andorian Kumari Escorts
The Andorians have been in need of a ship for quite some time. Rightfully so, they're awesome. And at last, it was time to build it. I have to be totally honest, I was very excited about it. Nobody can say "no" to a ship with two huge wing-mounted cannons, especially three of them. The brainstorming meeting about the ship was actually pretty easy, everyone agreed that the cannons were going to be an important part of the gameplay of these vessels, and the new look would be heavily inspired by the Kumari, the most familiar Andorian ship seen in Star Trek: Enterprise.
The new look that was decided upon was that of modern "super" cars and jet fighters. The entire visual design got that treatment. A dark glossy blue/black, with a mostly blue/red accent was the way to go, as these ships needed to look sleek, aggressive, and strong. The light, matte gray seen elsewhere wouldn't give us that feeling. Maybe overly flashy, sure, but the Andorian Kumari Escorts pack a punch. The very large cannons on the wings were a big point of interest, and they make up the basis of the ships' powers and abilities.
The variants of the Andorian Kumari Escorts include the Khyzon, Charal and Kumari class vessels. Though the variations are subtle, they do have a point. Here at the studio we like to call it the "Excelsior Treatment" — namely because the Excelsior and the Excelsior refit were fairly subtle changes to parts of the ship, but I think most people agree, the refit looks cooler!
Each Andorian ship has some slight modifications befitting the role they might fill on the various battlefields of the galaxy. The Khyzon is the most reminiscent of the ship we've seen in Enterprise, and has a slightly more "sciencey" feel compared to the others. Next, the Charal boasts armored-up hull sections, beefier, sturdier wings, and bulkier cannons, as it will most likely fit the role of a more engineering focused vessel. Similarly, the Kumari Class is the tactical version, and it boasts larger forward dual cannons and sleeker, longer, wing cannons than the rest, with a slightly more aggressive stance. Mixing and matching parts, with paint patterns and varied hull materials will allow players to make some pretty interested mash-ups. Also, each ship comes equipped with the new Andorian bridge and a unique console that has an awesome ability – more information about these, and each ships’ stats, in an upcoming Dev Blog.
They say a picture can say a thousand words, but seeing these ships in action is something that not even a million words can describe. I hope to see all of you out in space soon, hopefully sporting one of these fantastic escorts, letting those cannons spit out destruction upon anything in your firing arc.
Ian “JamJamz” Richards
Star Trek Online