My current load out on my Heavy Cruiser (which will change drastically once I reach Tactical Cruiser):
Fore: 2x Dual Cannons (Heavy Cannons require 3 to maintain constant fire rate), 1x Torp.
I didn't think you could put cannons on anything but an escort.
Tactical Lt. Cmr 8
High Yield Torpedo I
Cannon: Rapid Fire I
Jam Sensors I
Emergency Power to Shields I
Tactical Team I
Plasma Dual Cannons Mk IV (Rare) x2, Front
Photon Torpedo Launcher Mk IV (Rare), Front
Plasma Turret Mk IV (Common), Rear
Eng. Console: EPS Console (+1 power transfer)
Sci. Console: +10% alive crew and crew resist
Tac. Consoles: Plasma Infuser Mk IV x2 (+12 to Plasma weapons)
I was using Disruptors until just recently. Found steals on the Exchange for the Plasmas so switched to those for now. I prefer Disruptors.
Just FYI, if you're looking for stuff check the Exchange. Yeah, most stuff is way overpriced but on the second or third page you can find some good stuff dirt cheap.
For most of Lt. Cmr I've rarely died and pretty much dominated encounters with three enemy ships or less. In fleet battles, I would place second or third to people +4 or more above me. Lately, I've found it more difficult against the Romulans (+2 to me ATM). They hit hard and their escorts (Mogai?) are freaking sports cars mated with a spider monkey gymnast. I am sorely lacking Polarize Hull and Reverse Shield Polarity. I was going to take Mask Energy Sig, but have heard that you're visible out to 14km from target, making it useless (in OB you could literally bump enemy ships and they wouldn't see you). Jam Sensors breaks tractor beams placed on you, and that is the Romulan standard operating procedure (in the 12 combats I've had with Roms, any ship larger than a BoP tried to Tractor me within the first 3 seconds of the fight). Tactical Team is a great skill, and as a bonus you can use it on an ally in a pinch (your Boarded teammates with thank you). I use Photons over Quantums because Photons have more DPS (they're listed as having more), probably because they fire faster. Who knows.
I have Engineering Team II and Polarize Hull II on queue for when I hit Cmr. Any recommendations between Polarize Hull and Reverse Shield Polarity?
I've watched beam escorts in Space Encounters and they take longer to finish opponents than cannon escorts. I personally would not use beams on an escort but if it's fun for you, go for it. Also, the damage listed for ship weapons assumes your ship has 100% weapon power, so if you run balanced power in an escort then your weapons will do 60% of their base damage + skills + equipment mods (like consoles) - range.
Cannons (and turrets) do max (listed) damage (assuming 100% weapon power) out to 2km and drop off 8% per km after. Beams do max (listed) damage (assuming 100% weapon power) out to 1km and drop off 4% per km after. After learning that stuff, I started running with full power to weapons. Huge difference.
P.S. - The weapon range drop off info is from a website I saw. Credit where credit is due. No, I can't remember the url.
It's probably a hopeless cause, but if you're going to be demeaning to women, especially one that featured so prominently in a Star Trek series, could you at least spell her name right when you refer to her as a prostitute?
Jeri Ryan is her name. Not Jerry Ryan. Jerry Ryan sounds like a dude who probably isn't an escort, and I'm sure he'd be offended too.