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One of the things I always felt was lacking was the Engineer. I REALLY wanted this captain type to be viable, even necessary, the way that sci is necessary for its on-demand subnuke or how tacticals are necessary for their DPS potential. But the science captain can, if put in a Tholian Recluse or Odyssey, tank and heal just as well as an engineer. So an engi is NOT necessary or really even useful at all.
I think this really needs to change. While we're on the topic, most cruisers these days are just extends throwing machines. That's all they really do, and they can toss out bigger heals, but they're also some of the flimsier targets to shoot at. What is usually the toughest target to bring down? The Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, a tiny little escort. NOT the Odyssey, a huge honkin' cruiser.
I have a few suggestions that may or may not fly (in no particular order):
1) Engineer Ability: Nadion Inversion
This skill could be improved to provide an IMMUNITY to energy drain of all kinds, and be on a 2 minute cooldown and last 30 seconds. This will serve two purposes: suddenly engineers have an immunity to siphon drones and aceton assimilators, the bane of PvPers everywhere.
And also, it would serve as the engineer's Attack Pattern Alpha/Sensor Scan. With a full immunity to energy drain (including weapon drain), the engineer can push out quite a lot of dps during those 30 seconds if he's on an escort, without having to worry about any sorts of drains whatsoever. Suddenly engiscorts are viable again. (if you think this is OP, I would argue it's no more OP than Subnuke or Attack Pattern Alpha).
Even if he's on a cruiser it still helps, since energy drains can seriously impact your ability to heal. And before you say, "but Nadion gives a huge boost to energy drain resistance!" let me remind you that a full energy drain Kar'Fi carrying siphon drones and acetons will STILL drain you to zero, Nadion or not. In this instance, for at least 30 seconds out of every 2 minutes, you're immune, so you have a chance of doing something about it.
1) Cruiser Hull Buff
A cruiser is a massive starship, intended to be the core of any group of ships. It's hull is supposed to be the thickest and most impenetrable, and it's supposed to be able to take a hell of a beating even if shields are down. That's not the case today. So what about this instead.
Cruisers should get a native +40 energy weapon damage resistance. So in other words if an escort brings down a cruiser's shield facing, his energy weapons won't do very much damage to the hull; it would require a torpedo strike to finish the ship off.
This would serve two purposes. Firstly, I think it makes sense (and I think canon supports me) that a cruiser's hull would be highly resistant to energy weapon damage. Especially the later ablative hulls on the Sovereign class and later models, which were INTENDED to be able to take a few disruptor shots and keep on ticking.
See: DS9 - Defiant. When Sisko was rescuing Dukat from the Klingons, the shields went down and several shots from the Klingon disruptors impacted bare hull. The ship survived, and that was an escort. The Sovereign class is supposed to have a tougher hull than the Defiant.
The same could not be said of a torpedo strike, in almost every instance I've seen in the show, a torpedo hit on bare hull was a hull breach. Thus, the cruiser should NOT get any kinetic damage resistance. This leads to purpose number 2: it would give people a reason to bring torpedoes again.