My vote goes to the Norway for the diplomatic vessel. Any other cameo vessel shown in TNG just looks rediculous. I apologize to anyone here who likes them, but a vast majority of those ships shown at Wolf 359 are creative nightmares. I rank them down with the Yeager class from DS9--you know, that hideous combination of Intrepid and Maquis raider...
While there is no real evidence as to the role of the Norway, we do know that it has a very low profile and most of it's weaponry seems to be mounted forward, which would indicate some type of destroyer status. On the other hand, Starfleet isn't in the business of creating pure battleships, and there just doesn't seem to be enough interior square footage to support long-term scientific or exploratory missions. It doesn't seem to have enough weaponry to fulfill any type of dedicated defensive role, like patroling or escorting. The Nova fills in the short-range and planetary survey aspect of Starfleet, so that really only leaves the Norway with diplomacy. It has some teeth but, I imagine, is ultimately decked out for the brass and foreign dignateries, with numerous spacious conference rooms, gathering areas, and high-end living quarters. With that said, that makes it a bit less useful in combat situations in this particular mod when compared to a ship like the Steamrunner or Miranda.
Oh, and I'm all for TMP-era ship getting bumped out of the mod completely. I like the ships just as much as the next guy, but come on. We've seen a century pass, been through several wars, one of them devestating, and a couple of borg incursions. Does anyone honestly believe that there are still a respectable number of these ships left in service? I seriously doubt there are ANY ships left in mothballs, as I would assume those were all pulled out and retrofitted for the first Domion War. And, assuming there aren't a significant number of these older vessels around, why would they continue to build them when they have much more advanced designs like the Saber, Steamrunner, Norway, Defiant, and whatever they've come up with in the two decades since those debuted? One or two may be needed just to fill in gaps for ship roles, but I don't think any more should be added. At least, not while we have newer, more advanced designs that still aren't incorporated into the mod.
...Luna Class *nudge**nudge**wink**wink* It really is a nice looking ship once you get it into a 3d model.
So, now that I've given my opinion, what does the diplomatic ship do, exactly? I think someone mentioned no weapons, so would that make it similar to trade ships or constuction drones? Would it be possible to add weaponry? Just curious.