The Vesta, with her cannon capabilities, is probably the highest DPS science ship in the game. I don't believe you'll find a science ship that can do more direct damage. Of course science ships aren't about DPS. They're about weakening from within through various debuff abilities - they weaken their foes so that their DPS hurt more.
As far as getting 1-shot by a Borg Cube: it happens to everyone at times.
STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
Not a science ship, and right now not in a box, but soon you'll be able to buy fleet modules when the fleet chimera becomes available, its uni lt cmd slot gives you enough science to useful, but not overly wasteful like sci vessel, plus escort style weapons and abilities.
You definitely already have the best PvE sci ship with the Vesta. The Ens. uni lets it mimic both the Recon Sci and DSSV, as well as their Mirror versions, plus the T5 Intrepid, and the dual cannons and Aux DHCs boost its capabilities enormously. That said, sci ships in general are not in a good place right now, sci abilities generally are weak, so there's a lot of merit to the common suggestion that everyone should run an escort (and the Mirror Patrol Escort is nice and cheap if you want to try it). If you want one of those with some sci capability the MVAE and Fleet Advanced Escort both have LtC sci slots, so you can pack a GW with some standard escort capabilities.
Last edited by jadensecura; 04-10-2013 at 05:55 PM.
If you want to be all about damage as a Sci Officer, put your captain in an Escort. The Feds have a GREAT selection of faction specific escorts to choose from, depending on your tastes. After all, this game is heavily, heavily slanted towards "DPS or Nothing," judging by instance time and kill requirements that permeate this game. I won't blame you for stuffing your Sci Officer in one.
If you want to use alot of Sci abilities, Starfleet has a great stable of sci vessels. Within these ships you'll see different groupings depending on BOFF assignments. The list is here.
In general, there's 3 styles of Sci Vessels, depending on what they're slanted towards.
TAC - A good dose of TAC BOFF assignments. Fleet Nova (Fleet Science Vessel Retrofit) is an excellent example and an actually tempting choice. Other than being the only Starfleet designed Sci Vessel with TAC BOFF slot higher than Lt, it boasts a nice turn rate of 15, which is Escort territory.
ENG - A good helping of ENG BOFF assignments, makes for a much more rugged Sci Vessel and options for toying around more with subsystem power. A good example is the underrated Fleet Adv.Research Vessel Retrofit (Fleet Nebula). Can be made quite rugged, which is a nice plus in PVP and ESTFs. The Fleet Research Science Vessel Retrofit is in a somewhat similar role with the Nebula as having nice Engineering, but it is also more nimbler than the Nebula but less hull. The Fleet Nebula is the closest thing you will have as a Fed in STO to play alot of Sci stuff but still want to have the "feel" of a TNG style of Cruiser. Nothing else in the Fed lineup will bring that immersion.
SCI - All in for Sci BOFF abilities. If you want to sling out Science abilities like Escorts throw out torpedoes and cannon fire, than these ships are what you want. Examples include the Intrepids, Fleet Reconnaissance Science Vessel, and ever popular Fleet Deep Space Science Vessel