By support I am not just referring to the 'healer/tank/cc/whatever' I am talking about enhancing the capabilities of your team. And even in PvE their does exist several ways to do this.
Resistance Debuffs Ex: Attack Pattern Beta, Sensor Scan
These abilities drastically increase the hull damage taken by the enemy from the entire team. A -50 resistance translates into the target taking an extra 45% damage roughly, a -180 becomes a damage increase of 125% roughly. You can never bring too much -resistance to the fight as the enemy will only explode when it's hull runs out.
Holds Ex: Tractor Beam, Eject Warp Plasma
An enemy without a defense score will suffer more critical hits for higher damage. Always a helpful thing to bring to the party although it can be a bit of a catch 22 as the enemies worth using holds on tend to die fast enough and/or be so many that it is difficult to hold them all.
Energy Drains Ex: Energy Syphon, Subsystem Targeting
The lower the enemies subsystem power levels the lower their shield resistance, regeneration, defense, and energy damage output becomes. Unfortunately the boss enemies it is most useful against tend to be extremely resistant(immune?) and against the swarms it hardly seems worth it.
Stuns Ex: Photonic Shockwave
Great for removing the enemies defense(?) and to break any 'channeled' abilities they may be using on yourself or a teammate. Not to mention they stop shooting! Suffers the same issues as energy drains though in practice.
Heals Ex: Extend Shields, Hazard Emitters
A ship waiting to respawn is a ship not dealing damage. However the damage output of NPCs does not necessitate a dedicated healer role especially when a team knows how to crossheal since each and every ship should be packing at least one or two that can be directed to an ally. Just don't be selfish and make sure to toss a hazard emitter on that poor ally who has 6 plasma fires on them.
As of this moment many of the high damage output ships are also the best support vessels and you can see this when you watch the 'record run' videos. Bring some attack pattern beta and be sure to cross heal and support your team to victory!
Yes it does strike me as odd that viral matrix is resisted so intensely by a lot of enemies worth using it on but attack pattern beta is slapped on everything and makes for epic win.
What also doesn't help is that to make some of them worthwhile or useful again you must use a doff. I wouldn't mind if they contributed to getting the mission completed quicker but most of the time they do not.
Also a note about force multipliers to those that start screaming about it. A force multiplier is something that helps complete an objective for a team as quick as it would take for having a multitude of teams or a larger team.
In other words if a ship, class or packing all these, some or non of these abilities would not lead to a faster completion time then it is not a force multiplier. In PvE the objectives are clearly defined, if having attack pattern beta at a higher rank and on constant uptime helps you complete the objective 3 times quicker than without it then it has a multiplier of 3.
Add in that of say using an AoE to put beta on multiple targets and spread damage out and the multipliers stack or even synergise.
APB and heals are about it. Everything else is a waste of time. Much faster to just use CSV and torpedo spread ... or CRF and THY. Escorts and aux2bat cruisers welcome ... all others are drag on their team.
I say this even though I fly science/vesta (drain build), cruiser/engineer and tac torpedo boat. Cryptics MOAR DPS NOW design makes the rest of us practically useless.
They need to start by reducing the increases to defense via speed I.E. "speed tanking"
THEN they need to look into reist levels to everything, 1 point of resist to drain shouldn't counter 6 points of flow caps.
THEN they need to make straight DPS pull less threat than being fully specced in THREAT, with 3 or more +Th Embassy consoles.
I mean it is all well and good to be harder to hit, but its ridiculous, and i think all single beam arrays need an innate 2.5% - 5% accuracy.
It is way to easy to resist science abilities with little to no work, but super hard to build an effective build that can be countered by a second point in spec, or a simple addition of a console, which is unnecassary due to fleet skill boosts....
Inertia just means you can do Powerslides in you carrier!
I am Il Shadow and i approve these Shennanigans!
As far as PvE goes EptE is having some completely bonkers effects but no Cryptic won't tone it down, just make it last 5s, poor PvPers.
Most enemies are heavily resistant to disables and even then what's 4s when your ship lacks the tactical abilities or drains to get through shields?
Confuse and placates are not terrible but either are highly resisted or just don't do enough due to high health to damage ratio.
Damage from science abilities, oh best not let that go unchecked, they may destroy some frigates!!
Just about the only thing worth using are drains where half the time we don't know if they're working right and the other half the time you need to stack 2 just to open up shields on 1 tiny target for torps. Repeat every 20s for the other 5 targets.
All the while my tactical flies around with her escort and trolorons debuffing and mutilating anything unfortunate enough to be her enemy in 20-30s flat.