Before you try and crucify me, allow me to elaborate a little.
Rapid Fire may not be overpowered across the board, but it's too much burst damage in its current implementation. To me, too much burst damage is exactly what ruined Arena PvP in World of ******** - going from 100% to 0% in ~5 seconds was dumb, and happened even in top notch gear. I've seen the same thing happen sometimes in STO, and it seems to be almost exclusively due to Rapid Fire.
Now, a straight nerf to rapid fire would probably be a bad idea, and may encourage people to ditch cannons all together. I don't have any specific numbers to suggest, but perhaps reducing the rate of fire and increasing duration would be a decent solution. Or maybe add some secondary effect while reducing the damage it deals. Either way, the front loaded damage is simply too high, and will really start having an impact in future organized-vs-organized games (specifically by giving the Klingons too much of an advantage).
Extend Shields gives too much regeneration/healing with no noticeable downsides. In fact, it's not so much an extension of one person's shields to another, as it is a straight shield heal. I can go from, "Oh no I'm about to die because everything is on cooldown and I'm getting hammered," to, "I can go afk and still live." (that said, I still <3 people that use Extend Shields on me)
I think this ability needs a change so that it actually is an extension of shields, at least to some degree. Say...gives some shield regeneration/healing (less than current), and also redirects X% of damage back to the shields of the person doing the extending. In this way it would still be quite helpful as team support, but it wouldn't be near invincibility, and the user would have to be wary of getting switched to.
But really, Extend Shields and other shield repairs, like Science Team and Transfer Shields, should count for healing done so people can get a real handle on what it's doing. ES certainly is incredibly powerful, but saying it doesn't have downsides is improper. It highlights supporters who can be focused with shield system disables (we call this and do this in games, it's not a theoretical "well you could possibly" thing.). It also has a short range, if you go beyond 5km you will break the connection. Skills that can push players only require you to get between the healer and the supportee. Skills that induce CD's or lack of control, notably SNB and VM, will break the connection. Also, as a side effect but more impacting on logistics, it keeps you in combat for the duration of the skill. This is highlighted when you win an engagement, since anyone healing/being healed cannot join the group for a full impulse travel. You end up with stragglers, which means people engaging the opponents will have much less of an advantage.
I haven't used Rapid Fire in awhile, but I can attest to its cousin, Beam Overload, which is vastly underpowered compared to it. I heard they were buffing Overload, thankfully. I think the safest change would be to remove abilities from proccing off turrets. This would demarcate beams to semi-burst and utility, and cannons to superior damage. At the moment you can fit all cannons, turrets and torpedoes and still be able to use all the beam utility skills because of turrets. Not having rapid fire on a 360' platform would help the problem a little. Not a ton, but a bit.
Really? extend shields isnt actually sharing shields...and it works from 5km? Thays just too much. It should certainly reduce the shields of the extending vessel with each hit, it should integrity/resiliency the farther its extended.
So basically extending shields is sticking your neck out...plus, the act of extending should reduce the actual shield hit-points. The reduction should increase dramatically with range...max rank should be 3k and hit points reduced by 75%. At the shortest range it should be reduced by 25-33%
Being able to extend shields over half the effective weaons range is too much. Mobility should severly hampered by this skill(which for the Fed ball isnt an issue).
* Your ship has no strength of its own -- all strength comes from allies.
* Increases in weapon damage via skilling up outpaces increases in self-survival via shield and hull upgrades.
Rapid Fire doesn't cause these problems, but it does make them more obvious. In the end it feels like we're flying paper mache cannons instead of starships. We're deadly damage dealers who can't take a hit -- at least not without tons of support from our allies.
I kind of miss Pirates of the Burning Sea, really. In that game, every ship was a fortress that could stand on its own. There were strong hulls, weak guns and mediocre self-heals on long timers. There were group buffs but no quick reaction allied heals like in this game. When I heard STO was going to have "tall ship combat" I thought it would be more like POTBS. Instead it's a lot closer to being a fast paced arcade game.
I'd really love to see them nerf all damage and all healing and see how the game plays out then. It might be nice to have more time for strategy and tactics.
All the balances and pace of combat the devs said they wanted fell through. The whole "thinker's", calculated combat is a farce.
I bet the only reason they could have thought they were going to pull it off was because they only using Fed ships.
Think about it, of course two circle-jerking, Fed turtles would feel "paced" and thoughtful. As I stated in my thread in the Combat Forum, the skills and benefits of rank go too far. A Lt Com 2 might as well be in a tin can againts a Lt Com 9.
Everything through out progression is too "big" and grand. Skills, gear and rank bonuses stack to well, stack too high. Victory in a battle between level 1 and level 10 of the same rank should be player choices...not gear. The disparity between level 1 and 10 shouldnt be so much that you neede to avoid players who are +3 or +5...engaging a -3 shouldnt be a cake walk...-8s shouldnt be speed bumps.
The way extend shields is, using rank III of it at about 100~ resulting defense power is just about enough to keep someone safe from beeing shot into oblivion. It's fine. You can even counter it, CC the "healer" or push him a little with a repulsor and gone it is.
As for cannons, so many people are already trying to be damage dealers in cruisers because they just want to pop alot of RSPs and whatnot. If you nerf the existing burst damage of escorts, they have no reason to exist and there won't be any escort players around. At least until they tried to pvp a bit.