The runabout is great fun to use, and I recently started to new char to use 1 as a replacement for the miranda in the early missions and PvP. (Also made "Danube Lieutenants" fleet for low lvl pvp with a least 1 runabout in each team).
Makes for REALLY challenging early missions, such as when u have to take on a BS by yourself or defend against a Dreadnought till help arrives.
-COST should not cost as much a Captain ship and should be more accesible to Lt's so cost around 30K maybe available at Earth Spacedock
-2 Universal BO stations (I'm sure we have seen 3 people in a runabout before - makes them slightly more versatile and gives em more chance to survive)
-Damage output is way too low - Cannons at point blank arent gonna have the damage output of beam arrays on a Miranda
-Hull and Shield - scaled up a bit (Even with my PvP team spamming Eng and Sci team on the Danube it still goes down too quickly)
-Starship Command should affect Runabout, and maybe some higher level Tactical ship skills
Yes the runabout is very maneuverable but it isn't actually that fast so doesn't have much chance of running from a BoP or maneuvering out the way of their fore cannons.