One of the things I always felt was lacking was the Engineer. I REALLY wanted this captain type to be viable, even necessary, the way that sci is necessary for its on-demand subnuke or how tacticals are necessary for their DPS potential. But the science captain can, if put in a Tholian Recluse or Odyssey, tank and heal just as well as an engineer. So an engi is NOT necessary or really even useful at all.
I think this really needs to change. While we're on the topic, most cruisers these days are just extends throwing machines. That's all they really do, and they can toss out bigger heals, but they're also some of the flimsier targets to shoot at. What is usually the toughest target to bring down? The Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, a tiny little escort. NOT the Odyssey, a huge honkin' cruiser.
I have a few suggestions that may or may not fly (in no particular order):
1) Engineer Ability: Nadion Inversion
This skill could be improved to provide an IMMUNITY to energy drain of all kinds, and be on a 2 minute cooldown and last 30 seconds. This will serve two purposes: suddenly engineers have an immunity to siphon drones and aceton assimilators, the bane of PvPers everywhere.
And also, it would serve as the engineer's Attack Pattern Alpha/Sensor Scan. With a full immunity to energy drain (including weapon drain), the engineer can push out quite a lot of dps during those 30 seconds if he's on an escort, without having to worry about any sorts of drains whatsoever. Suddenly engiscorts are viable again. (if you think this is OP, I would argue it's no more OP than Subnuke or Attack Pattern Alpha).
Even if he's on a cruiser it still helps, since energy drains can seriously impact your ability to heal. And before you say, "but Nadion gives a huge boost to energy drain resistance!" let me remind you that a full energy drain Kar'Fi carrying siphon drones and acetons will STILL drain you to zero, Nadion or not. In this instance, for at least 30 seconds out of every 2 minutes, you're immune, so you have a chance of doing something about it.
1) Cruiser Hull Buff
A cruiser is a massive starship, intended to be the core of any group of ships. It's hull is supposed to be the thickest and most impenetrable, and it's supposed to be able to take a hell of a beating even if shields are down. That's not the case today. So what about this instead.
Cruisers should get a native +40 energy weapon damage resistance. So in other words if an escort brings down a cruiser's shield facing, his energy weapons won't do very much damage to the hull; it would require a torpedo strike to finish the ship off.
This would serve two purposes. Firstly, I think it makes sense (and I think canon supports me) that a cruiser's hull would be highly resistant to energy weapon damage. Especially the later ablative hulls on the Sovereign class and later models, which were INTENDED to be able to take a few disruptor shots and keep on ticking.
See: DS9 - Defiant. When Sisko was rescuing Dukat from the Klingons, the shields went down and several shots from the Klingon disruptors impacted bare hull. The ship survived, and that was an escort. The Sovereign class is supposed to have a tougher hull than the Defiant.
The same could not be said of a torpedo strike, in almost every instance I've seen in the show, a torpedo hit on bare hull was a hull breach. Thus, the cruiser should NOT get any kinetic damage resistance. This leads to purpose number 2: it would give people a reason to bring torpedoes again.
First I would just like to say that I think engineer/cruiser is very viable now. However you do need to go all out on being the healer.
Immunity to all energy drain would add more to damage in the game then healing. Just think about an alpha strike with no drop in damage output from energy drain. People could get 2 or 3 BO 3 in a very short time. I am not saying this is a bad idea but maybe just have the immunity for Shield, engine, and aux.
Cruiser hull buff I like it but I don?t think it?s a good idea. It will make good healers impossible to kill. With buffs I can already hit 60% resistance this might let me hit 75%.
What you could do is give cruisers their own boff power like sci ships have. Say every cruiser come with ES II , RSP II, and AtS II. So you could shield heal or hull heal anyone.
Power drain immunity? Any counter with 2 minutes downtime is basically useless, when the attack is more or less constant. This is also addressing a current imbalance in the game, that is more or less gamebreaking for any profession. Fixing these powers should be the priority.
Making the strongest ship clas even stronger? I'd be totally opposed to this!
If anything, engineer captains need the following:
Engineer Pattern Alpha: Giving it's weapons 10-15% more bleedthrough. This would give good synergy with cruiser abilities like EWP and DEM. In short, make engineers best at bypassing shields.
On the same note, give Sci captains:
Science Pattern Alpha: A +100 skill boost to particle and graviton generators.
(Both should have CD like APA has for tac captains.)
Enigineers and Cruisers already have a purpose, and its not as a primary damage dealer.
Power drain resistance??
NO. Normally I would agree, but while the Siphon Drone is slated for a nerf in the near future the dreaded Tractor Beam Danube got a buff.
So, NO. While the feds get thier wish for siphon drone changes we KDF get shafted by another buff to a fed toy that has been complained about just as much.
Nadion Inversion buff?? This doesn't bother me.
+40 Damage resistance?? LOL
NO. There has been no evidence ever that a Cruiser is a more durable vessel than any other vessel choice in the IP and besides with the numerous Engineer slots on Cruisers and proper skilling your resists should already be near topped out.
1) Synergy: the engie class has next to zero synergy with anything but a heal cruiser. Sci scorts fill a roll, even Tac/sci. But engie can't even fly a decent DPS cruiser.
2) Gameplay: tanks are worthless in pvp, and thats what the eng class is by design if they were healers, they would be able to cast heals on others, which they don't. most cruisers tend to be tanks as well. From a gameplay perspective this is really boring. A tac gets to roll as many times as he wants until the tank blows up. While the tank has no chance of killing the dmg dealer. Imv, the crew mechanic was at some point designed to address this. if the dmg dealers fail to deliver the burst to kill a tank, the tank should be able to kill its target by a 1000 cuts method. This doesn't work, just like the crew mechanism. After tanking for prolonged time, the dmg dealers should become more vulnerable.
I'm not sure how the OPs suggestions would achieve anything like this.