All the folks saying no to this suggestion are only coming from the tactical escort point of view.
Like I said, you can't mount single cannons on a cruiser, even. You can't mount much on a battlecruiser, either.
The cannon EQUIVELANT of beam overload is rapid fire. The EQUIVELANT of fire at will is cannon rapid fire. It's severely handicapping the use of cannons to make them 1 rank higher than the beam EQUIVELANT.
I tried running a bortasqu' as an eng cruiser tank with single cannons and it wasn't possible. I could only mount a single CRF skill, plus 2 tac teams. I had no other options. On my beam cruisers of the exact same setup I can mount one AoE skill and one boost-firepower skill. I can't do that on my battlecruisers or my cruisers, or even when I have a spare tac ENS slot on escorts.
It doesn't balance anything. It's illogical. It's punitive, like much of the stuff in this game that's a massive oversight.
EDIT: P.S. Your "works as intended" has a double meaning in this game. In STO that means it's a long-standing bug or oversight that the devs are too lazy to address. Doesn't mean anything is actually working as intended
Last edited by rodentmaster; 10-30-2012 at 02:29 PM.