When EVE Online's faction ships were introduced to the game they were, by design, a cut above the rest in addition to lending a certain amount of bling to being a pilot in New Eden. Faction ships had stats that made them worthy of the high amount of Loyalty Points required to obtain such a ship, the risks entailed with mission running in lowsec or 0.0 space, or alternately the high ISK costs to obtain them. But as Tech II ships, Marauders, and other advanced or specialized ship classes entered the game, it became apparent that faction ships in EVE Online were becoming antiquated.
CCP Games would like to get more players to actually fly those ships again instead of relegating (a few of) them to shiny hangar ornaments. EVE game designer CCP Ytterbium looks at the changes CCP Games is making to navy and pirate faction ships with the Dominion expansion and explains the reasons for these changes in his dev blog "Adding Flavor to Your Faction Meal". Have a look at the dev blog for Ytterbium's discussion of the various ship bonuses, new slot layouts, aesthetic changes, and how CCP envisions these faction ships rising to greater prominence in New Eden in Dominion and beyond.