an extremely well-presented post, with a clear argument and rationale to back up the suggestions.
unfortunately, I don't think anyone from Cryptic will notice it here -- their attention seems to be on the test server feedback forum right now. and while it's too late to get included in the last batch of pvp balance feedback there (I think that starship has already sailed) it's a good basis for the next batch, whenever that happens. late summer, I guess, after episode 2 has been out a while.
I've always felt that ship PvP combat in this game was a bit faster than it should be, mostly as a result of thin shields + massive hull damage from torpedoes.
You really HAVE to have stuff like Science Team II in this game because without that big shield resistance buff, you'll lose a shield facing in just a few seconds, especially in the face of something like a cannon escort using Rapid Fire.
But yeah, Cryptic does not read PvP forums, as evidenced by the fact that they are only now learning about the queue issues, despite us having numerous posts about it since beta. If you want Cryptic to read something, especially a balance issue, you'll need to post it to the Tribble forums -- then there's a chance.
I think cruisers are balanced despite the short fight durration, Cruisers actually make the durration longer by healing ships and keeping the fight going. Plus an encounter can only be as short as it takes to kill the last man, the cruiser.
If shields had meaning it would prolong the fights somewhat. I think the problem is if cruisers get more shielding then what do you do with the already easy PVE side of the game. It's a damned if you do damned if you don't issue. This would really require a monster balance pass over to increase fight duration in PVP without screwing PVE.
I would have to disagree with you on the length of combat. When 2 ships start pounding on each other with the intent to destroy the other the battle is not going to last very long.
You are correct in that a 1v1 battle generally only lasts about 45 seconds. This does not heavily favor the escort as you have stated in your well thought out post. You failed to factor in player skill.
I have noticed that when it comes to PvP and people wanting to make adjustments they always fail to factor in player skill. I play a RA5 Federation Engineer in a Star Cruiser. 1v1 against a BoP or a Raptor is no contest except in the few occassions that the other player is better than I am. When it comes to a cruiser v cruiser battle now that is a long and drawn out battle and generally who knows their ship better and what skills are readying up. I have come out of those with barely 5% hull victory or a loss with the other at roughly the same.
I also play a RA5 Klingon Tactical in a BoP. As you have stated my intent is to destroy you before my attack pattern Alpha, rapid fire, attack pattern beta wears off(which is about 15 seconds I believe). Again I generally get my pray 1v1, but there is that occasion that the other player is more skilled than I and fends me off then destroys me (provided I can't speed away and cloak out, with a skilled player though that does not happen).
So in essence 45 seconds is about right for a ship on ship battle. Where in any Sci-fi movie has a ship on ship battle lasted longer than a minute? Other than two very large cruisers pounding on each other?
Torpedos are not OP when the enemy ships shields are down. They are working properly. Again, when in any of the movies have you ever seen a torpedo bounce off of the hull of a ship? Generally it rips right through the ship ripping a huge chunk from it. Now with shields on the Torpedo just makes a bright flash as the shields deflect it.
So to summerize. Ship combat is fine. A few skills need tweeking. But the major factor that everybody forgets to factor in is........ wait for it........... "PLAYER SKILL"
Don't even compare PvP with PvE. Two tottally different monsters. You can't judge how good you are or your ship build from PvE. You have to PvP to do that. Computer AI(at least in this game) is no match for human skill.
I'm not really sure where you come up with these numbers. It seems like you kind of pulled them out of thin air.
Honestly player skill and power loadout does come into it big time. I've taken my escort captain a number of times through cracked planet maps without ever dying once, outlasting the cruisers on my side and the like just because of my tactics and the enemy's tactics. And with no RSP either.
But I can certainly agree escorts are not built for endurance fights. Although I'm not fond of cruiser tanking abilities either. Science ships actually seem to have some of the best endurance with the right powers.
I also agree with the ultimate point you try to make in that fights should last longer, and I've been saying this since beta. This is especially true at later tiers where all the BO powers and focus fire can add up to basically insta kill pretty much anyone before they can react. I'm worried the crit changes on Tribble will really hurt PVP in the short term, making quick deaths even quicker at high levels.