||01-25-2013 10:52 AM
Consider the Vesta Bundle.
I know, right? Crazy!
But really, after flying nearly all FED cruisers in the game, trying to find a decent mix of tank, support and dps, in the end I decided to use Vesta for PvE purposes.
3x Dual (Heavy) Cannons front, 2x Turrets back and 1x Cutting Beam - using only Tac Team and Cannon Scatter Volley 1, plus Emergency Power to Weapons. Believe me, it's surprisingly sufficient when it comes to overall damage, even on a sci ship.
Other boff slots allow you to use numerous healing and supporting abilities, such as ET2, HE3, AuxSIF2, EPTS2, TSS2, ST1. Add to that a couple of crowd control skills, like the GW3 or TB1, and perhaps EPTE for more speed and swift battlefield control.
Not to mention, the ship can actually turn! FEDs currently have no real battlecruisers while most cruiser-type ships can barely turn. It's not that bad, sure, but when you play a lot of PvE, you get annoyed easily when you need to take a minute to do a 180 degree turn, or are required to go back and forth from place to place. No such problem with the Vesta.
Oh, and let's not forget the hangar (numerous possibilities, from fighters to shield repair units) and really useful consoles (basically, team aoe hot, aoe repel and dot phaser, as well as 3-piece immunity from all damage).
When used properly, the ship can shield-tank really well. The only true disadvantage of this setup is the hull and only 6 weapon slots, but it's still enough. Trust me, I can solo 3 Raptors in Cure Space Elite with time to spare to damage the nanites, or help the rest of the group.
I know it's a risk and you'd probably want to try a proper cruiser first, but speaking from experience I find myself doing much better and having more fun with an engineer in a vesta, than in any other ship. That is, until feds get a proper battlecruiser.