,, ok there can't be an absolute to this.
I am an engineer flying yes .. a crusier I am NEW and only LtC8 so only at tier 2 ships ( SOON T3!!!)
i only have 2 forward and 2 aft weapon slots.
I am using TP HY1 and getting around 1500 dps out of that volly with target no shields I use one Quantum aft and one for with science tactical module adding 9.4 to quantums, I have found the small ships come into arc angle for me with out me doing to much work, I just have to keep my eye on target to see which way its banking to turn, I found smaller fast ships trying to be cool pilots and doing all kindz of tricks which ultimatly bring them into firing arc.
Utitlizing my shield ups I found to stay in a fight a long time but.. DPS is still a concern.
I do not even think about my slowness anymore.. I think I just accpeted to be heavier and slower and let the fast ships do ther thing which allows me to do mine.
Eng + Cruiser moderate Dmg, very good def.
Eng + Escort good Dmg, moderate def.
so, if you are going for DPS with your Eng, then go with escort. maybe go on Tribble, and try out yourself.
If you are trying to transform a cruiser into a DPS-machine...yeah, its a try, and maybe sometimes a good one, but it only stays a try. only my opinion.
As an Engineer you have some Def-abilities (Rotate Shield Frequency, Miracle Worker, Eng-Fleet) and some Dmg/Energy boost (Nadion Inversion, EPS-Power Transfer). So you are able to perform good on this little dmg-machine.
R- Defiant for my Engineer. Why?
- all togehther 8 Tac abilities >> 2 Beam, 2 Torpedo, 2 cannon and 2 Attack-pattern skills
- all together "only" 2 Eng abilities >> if you add your own (you are an Engineer!!), there are some more
- all together only 2 Sci abilities
with a good Skill/Weaponloadout its a funny, interesting and sometimes very suprising combination.
But my major hint: go on Tribble, try out new ships and stuff. take some advice from other players in forum/friendlist/your fleet. take your own experience and build your own playstyle/strategy.
just my 2 cent...
And yeah, i read that you are on an Assault Cruiser. but this is more a dps-support / major tank ship.
If you wanna raise up your dps, maybe bypassing shields is a good idea. >> 2 copies of Directed Energy modulation + Transphasic Torps.