For the record I have a level 50 eng that I do really well with,
Been trying to get into a tac officer and fly an escort but I just cant figure the darn thing out. It hits like a wet pillow and blows up if someone looks at it cross-eyed. *shrug* perhaps I am just not cut out to play a tac officer...
Anyways here are the vitals:
got to level 21, starting up on the romulan missions. got the thunderchild variant ship (that point defense console doesn't work BTW) and just keep getting spanked hard in missions. I have a full set of phaser dual cannons in front level 6 and a pair of turrets in the rear, one photon launcher in the front as well.
boff powers are cannon rapid fire 1, tac team 1 x2, scatter volley 2, torpedo spread 2, hazard emitters 1 and 2, emergency power to shields 1 and 2.
specific complaints: the ship is very very easily damaged. the shields are about at tough as tissue paper and the hull is even worse. the turn rate is at least as bad on this ship as on my cruiser (granted I am still filling out powers but they are about what you would expect at level 21...) *shrug* not sure what else to put. like I said I am probably just nto cut out to be an escort pilot...
I was very much like you at leveling my Tac, I avoided escorts like the plague instead sticking to sci ships instead. When we got season 5 however and all the STF's got revised I actually jumped in my escort and have stayed in it exclusively for STF's.
The biggest problem I would say with your build is that all your heal skills share a common cooldown so maybe worth swapping one out to an emergency power to structural integrity. Offhand I cant remember when it becomes available but reverse shield polarity may be useful as well to get your shields back up quickly.
It's turning slower then your cruiser? I don't even know how that's possible. I could take the impulse engine off my Akira all together and still run circles around my Excelsior.. :p
But in all honesty, it just takes some getting used to. An escort CAN tank, and don't let anyone tell you it can't. I run my Akira, which is a tier 3 ship, as my primary STF boat and rarely die--and when I do it's from massive spike, like being too close to something when it pops, or a horrendously OP plasma torp crit, or something along those lines. Even with 2 engineering slots and a Tac captain I can still tank decently well. I've been thinking about trying an Akira on an engineer, but then I lose my HYIII and I'm not a happy panda.
Power-wise, I generally just run max power to weapons and don't worry much about the rest.
I recommend going with the Efficient Impulse and Paratrinic Shield you get out of Past Imperfect (You can replay it to get the new Mk at every tier) along with a Positronic Deflector (Preferably a [ShdS] [SIF] blue) and maybe a damage resist engineering console, but the rest is up to you. Escorts are probably the 2nd most flexible ships in the game behind the BoPs. You can cannon-vvhore, you can beam-vvhore, you can torp-vvhore, you can do anything you want.
Your skill layout doesn't look bad, nor does your weapon layout. Is everything you have MK VI at this point? Also might want to try a quantum instead of the photon.
In any case, I've leveled up all the classes in all the ships, and I have a MUCH worse off time with Cruisers and Sci ships at lower levels than with Escorts. Mostly cause they don't kill things fast enough!
How are you flying the Escort? Are you keeping your nose pointed at said target and pounding your hotbar to keep your weapon skills active along with those two tac teams and EPTS skills? Or are you spending a lot of time not facing the enemy?
Against ships like the Romulan Warbirds and such, just face up with them and fire away until they are dead. Try not to pull every ship in the sector, take on just one group at a time.
The build does not look all that bad. I might switch the CSV 2 and to CSV 1 and the the CRF to level 2. For your science powers use HE 1 and TSS 2 . Make sure that your are continually chaining the 2 copies of EP2S as well as the distribute shields. It is very helpful to use keybinds to bind these commands to your fire buttons.
For ship power levels make sure that you have full power to weapons, leave your AUX at 25 and then find the balance for shields and engines that suites you best. Look for some Covariant [CAP]x2 or better shields. All of your tactical consoles should be the phaser ones. Engineering ones should be a mixture of armor and the EPS Flow Regulator to switch from the attack power preset to the Defensive when necessary. The whole idea of an escort is to load all your buffs to get enough spike damage to drop a shield facing and then to launch your torps.
Also think about some of the attack pattern abilities as well as SCI Team. Omega is nice to break tractor beams and SCI Team can negate a lot of Science powers that the Romulans like to use. How are you dying? Is it the same way every time?
Don't take this the wrong way, but are you set on "Attack" power settings? New ships always come set in the "balanced" power setting. I sometimes forget, and sit around scratching my head wondering why I can't kill things until I realize it's my power settings.
Also, make sure you are lined up. For an escort to work, you have to line up your firing arc. The basic mantra is "kill IT before IT kills YOU". With CRF2, things should die very quickly. Also, for best effectiveness, you need to be closer in range. Firing from 9km is not nearly as effective as firing from 4 or 5 km. There are 2 basic strategies: 1) Do a strafing run firing until you fly past the target, or 2) slow down or stop before you fly past and just tank it until your CRF buff wears off. I usually do #2, but that's personal preference.
For the record I have a level 50 eng that I do really well with,
Been trying to get into a tac officer and fly an escort but I just cant figure the darn thing out. It hits like a wet pillow and blows up if someone looks at it cross-eyed. *shrug* perhaps I am just not cut out to play a tac officer... ...
Now my main character is a Engineer, I normally fly Cruisers, and always had problems dying quickly with escorts, having to 'Kamikaze' an approaching mob to bring the front bearing cannons to bear...
Until I changed setups, and went with Beam Arrays and Torps.... Fly at a distance and carefully choose your target, knock down a shield facing, then toss a Torpedo High Yield swarm down the hole...
And when running from a mob, you can fly in a 'S' pattern to bring your broadside to bear on the leaders to accomplish the same goals. (Which becomes useful with the more advanced escorts, when theres enough weapon slots for a rear facing Torp launcher...)
Wow hey I really appreciate all the super helpful replies. you guys rock Now, I am still puttering about a bit with the escort and I will do my best to take all or y9our tips and insights into account. Thanks again for all the great responses guys!
Funny I was always an escort pilot and I once got into a cruiser for one tier and thought... Hm, what's all the fuss about, I could spit on them harder and I don't seem to be any more durable than I was in my escort. :/