I use the star cruiser with my max level engie. Have 4 polaron beams front, 3 aft plus one tricobolt in back. Got consoles to boost beam weapons.
I always try to keep my ship sideways to the target so all beams are hitting at once. Also I make sure to keep the power level up with EPS power transfer/Nadion etc. I also use the Emergency Power to Weapons I ability which gives me 8% damage boost.
Even with 7 beams and max power I'm still not doing enough damage. Bops and Raptors shields often barely seem to move.
What can I do to boost damage output without sacrificing a ton of defense?
Engineer in Star Cruiser is almost entirely stricken to support duties.
Even with broadside beams, I would be able to stay at or near 100% with nothing but 2x EPtS, Engineer Team, and balancing my shields.
To be openly blunt... no, there isn't a way to do any sort of meaningful damage with a Star Cruiser. Even Beam Overload will only affect 1 of your many beams and won't be enough by itself to actually do anything even if your enemy does get careless/stupid enough to actually let one of their facing shields slowly widdle away.
Yeah I rolled the engie to focus on support so I knew I was going to lose alot of DPS. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any tricks in my attempt to squeeze all the firepower I could out of my ship.