a) Fix the game so that escorts are not the favoured children. Balance!!
They already are, cruisers heal almost 25% faster than escorts, they have a shield mod of .25 or higher, they have higher hull numbers, more crew and more engineering slots/consoles. They're no more a dedicated warship than your family Toyota is a nascar racer. How would you balance an escort against a cruiser, make it even thinner skinned, or remove tactical consoles and Give it more eng/sci consoles. Once you neuter the escorts you'll be complaining the sci ships shields are too strong and they need balancing. Escorts are only favored because they're fast moving sledgehammers and once they're gone something else will replace them as the 'new' favored child, and likely we'll all be tickling each other beams while our shields never get dented. Of course destroyers get totally overlooked ATM but I see them becoming the new escort soon.