The writers never taught about the Federation-Klingon conflict so deeply, it was not the focus of the film.
And the Vengeance was not something like the Defiant but simply the repetition of a pattern that works.
Isn't it strange that the "Khan(copy) plus giant dark juggernaut" pattern was kicked off by one of the worst Trek movies? One the one hand you can give them props for decoupling the idea from NEM and thus making it more decent / freeing it of being associated with a bad movie, on the other hand borrowing from a bad flick might not be the smartest idea and the very ingredient you borrow might not have been neutral but contributed to the badness.
Better borrow from the giants like The Bard as they did in the good ol' days of TOS.