For a while now, people have asked why is Tractor Beam not an Engineering skill? But lately, I had to question, "Why isn't it a general purpose skill?" After all, Tactor Beams are just as common as Warp Cores and Impulse Engines with Star Trek starships.
I for one would love it to be a general skill and not a science ability.
Of course, to prevent it from being a tool of misuse, there should be drawbacks like it taking weapon system power, so that nobody can tractor a ship and just waste it at point blank. Or science abilities don't work on a ship that's undergoing tractoring.
I would agree that tractor beam should be on all classes, it's just a power that everyone gets like Evasive Maneuvers or something. I could care less about canon or not, that's not the issue. It should put a small drain that can only be compensated by a low-level EPS Conduit, gaining more drain power with higher levels of Tractoring and ship captures.
As to what type of power it should drain... I think Weapon would be a good one to use. If you drain Auxillary, that doesn't affect Engineers or Tactical to any real degree. Weapon affects everyone.
I use tractor beam 1 every time an enemy is within the 5k range in PvE. I fly a cruzer and it keeps the enemy at a nice spot to pound him with front weapons. It is a nice skill to have in a group, it seems that everytime I use TB it slows the enemy way down to almost a stop. Very handy if grouped with someone with an escort.
In-game, the tractor beam is a pretty powerful tool.. which is probably why every player can't just use it without having made some sort of an investment. Used correctly it can really ruin another ship's day.
What I'd like to see is tractor beam and tractor beam repulsors (which needs to be made more useful) combined into one combat skill, and then another variant of the tractor beam ability made available to everyone else as a non-combat only tool. It could be used, for example, by slow turning cruisers to pull certain physical anomalies in closer for collection rather than having to spend time maneuvering into range of them. Or, as a story tool, like towing other friendly craft during rescue missions rather than having them just follow behind you.
So, opened up to everyone for general non-combat usage, but reserved as a combat tool for those who choose it as one of their science skills.
Tractor beam is simply too useful to ignore, especially for cruisers. It occurs to me that it was probably kept away from the general skills because in PvP, it would pretty much force everyone to take polarize hull, taking away a valuable science slot which could be otherwise reserved for things like Hazard Emiters or Jam Sensors which would **** a lot of people off.
Clearly there's a cannon issue, if a useless skill like Abondon Ship was put in almost purely based on the cannon, then it's obvious tractor beam should be there. As far as balancing goes, if an active tractor beam were to steadily drain auxilary energy and then stop once the energy level reaches 0, it would force people to reduce power to weapons in order to maintain a decent tractor beam