Well, after playing the game for a few days after the FAW changes hit live, I am glad to say that I was wrong about the skill ruining the game or being unbalanced. It seems that as a parting gift, Snix increased the drain rate on beams when FAW is active, essentially making it into an awesome AOE skill that still gives good (although not as good generally as not using it) single target damage. This is a good change, and has all but eliminated spam from the game. It's perhaps a little bit too effective when a 5-man group is running it, but worst fears of teams being instant killed are unrealized and over all the game is better because of the changes. Heck, killing spam even fixed scramble sensors (no more mines for my sci team to slip away to). Sci has been in long need of a downward adjustment, and the FAW changes make photonic fleet weaker which helps balance the classes better IMHO.
Myself being one of the most vocal critics of the new FAW before it hit live, I feel somewhat silly saying this... but Cryptic, job well done and I apologize for the giant ruckus I created!
That being said, there are a couple of perhaps unintended consequences to the new FAW that may warrant some adjustment:
Tricobalt (mines and torpedos) as well as HY plasma torps are far too easy to shoot down -- even when you are not trying. An increase in projectile speed, or even some kind of native defense bonus to projectiles may be warranted to make these weapons useful again
The new FAW destroys all spam, and carriers are included in this. It may be time to look into reversing some of the carrier nerfs now that there is a very common power that deals with carrier pets
And aside from that, there are some other minor balance issues that I see as outstanding:
With the new FAW, Cannon skills should be brought in line to follow the same cooldown mechanics. 15 second duration, 20 second global. As opposed to 10 second duration 15 second global
The beta section of the MVAM is more powerful than the whole ship, which is kind of silly on the face of it. Instead of an overpowered ability on a long cooldown, a better implementation might be weaker sections (at the very least equal to but different from the full ship) with far shorter cooldown time
Besides team skills, every other skill has a higher global when you have two of the same (eg. EPtS + EPtS) as opposed to two that are merely related (eg. EPtS + EPtW), maybe reduce the global cooldown on team abilites to 10 seconds except when it is the same type of team ability in which the 15 second global still applies. This will also encourage more build diversity
Ablative armor is still very powerful. A decrease in duration, a decrease in resistance, or an increase in cooldown may be warranted. Or perhaps make it vulnerable to subnuc like RSP is
Vorcha and excelsior should have the same amount of hull as both ships are otherwise very equally matched. Either bringing the Vorcha up to other cruisers or the Exclesior down to the health of the Vorcha
Galaxy-X got fixed (kudos) but the B'rel needs fixed even worse. Having incoming friendly heals not reveal the B'rel would go a long way to changing it from *deathtrap* to *viable*
Again, thanks for the FAW change and apologies for causing a fuss. Here's to more good changes in the future. You (Cryptic) may not realize it, but the PvP is special, unique, and has a lot of promise. Keep up the good work for PvP balance and STO might become a serious E-sport some day -- it already kind of feels like one due to the focus on 5v5 team arena matches.