I am not so much looking for a 'tank' style such as wow or some such, but def looking to be able to absorb maassive amounts of damage, yet still deal enough to '****' off enemies enough so that they focus fire on me more so than science vessels or escorts. This is of course 'aggro' 'threat' etc, but not even sure what kind of mechanics the game has for this or not.
My main concern with being a tactical officer vs. an engineer is at higher levels you can 'train' your officers of the same class, and for a 'tank' ie. survability situation it probably makes more sense to train your engineers than your tac officers am i right?
Yes you are right in a sense - it really is up to you. All I am saying is from what I have experienced, when you output a massive burst of damage the enemy will often times turn to focus it's fire on you. If it is convenient for the enemy to start firing on you now because the other target flew out of it's main damage window, it will often switch as well. There really is no fail safe way to keep an enemy firing at you, which is what my understanding was the role of WOW tanks. Most people who use the wording Tank on here want to be what a WOW tank was, so I apologize for misunderstanding.
But like I said, if you want to soak a lot of damage then cruiser is probably your best bet. If you want to do enough damage to keep an enemy consistently firing on you, then a Tactical captain can best achieve this assuming he has spent his skill points wisely, uses the right equipment, and then uses his Tactical only buffs.
Lastly, training your BO's seems to be a big concern for people. Honestly, you might find by the time you are getting to your skills which when you cap allow you to train something, you simply don't have the skill points to actually cap that skill without handicapping yourself in another area. It sounds like you already have a friend or two you play with (the science vessel) so you can always get others to train your engineers for you. Like you could train their tactical officers for them. It really is up to you however.
i have done tac officer /cruiser in ob it worked reall well and now i'm engineer in cruiser. and it works just as well i'm finding out. if anything i can take a bit more of a beating in engineer as as for dps it about the same and i have finished quite frequently in the top 3 in both pvp and fleet actions as far as dps is concerned.
so it appears it mainly depends where you have your space skills trained and how your ship load out is.
the biggest difference i've noticed tho is with the ground game tac officer does more dps than engineering.
so mu conclusion is class mainly matters on the ground not so much in space as with space you can compensate for ship weaknesses with training the right skills and have the right load out on the ship
I dont mind not having a "tank" specific role it forces your team to learn how to manage aggro in a different way. And you can conduse the enemy with switching off who is doing more damage to it so they keep switching targets and not killing any 1 person.
I have played Tac/cruiser Tac/escort and Eng/cruiser you definately have to alter your play style depending on ships skills etc and what types your teamates are.
As a Tact/Escort many times I have drawn the aggro of entire groups due to dps burst damage. This forcess me to either
A: run away/ around in circles drawing enemies after me so teammates can mop them up since they are not being fired at
B: have the science guy heal the crap outa me so I can stay in the battle and dish the damage
C: blow up and get back fast as possible while team is still alive to help out
Not having specific class/ship designated as tank can make for very different and interesting group dynamics and gameplay
How you play is ultimately up to you but there are many ways to get aggro off you without a specific skill which seems to be what you are after.