I have 1 of each type of career at VA and i have come somewhat to the conclusion most ships can be well captained by any career type as long as you have the correct BO skills, however with the exception of science in escorts a player is always more effective in the recommended ship class.
I have a tac in a Negh'var battle cruiser. Damned lovely combo. I can pop even other (unprepared) cruisers in seconds from cloak.
It can be a disappointment if you expect to be a tank, but if you view yourself as a super heavy escort, damned it can be a nice combo.
Outside of klinks though, with their more maneuverable cruisers, probably not as useful....
This is really the heart of the problem. Ships like the Galaxy X have the turn rates of an Oil tanker, but the weapons loadout and intention of a fighter. They're essentially the Negh'var of Fed side. I haven't tried out the Spinal Lance since they upgraded its damage output. This might make it a more worthwhile ship. I simply can't understand why they allow a dual heavy cannon loadout on this ship when you can almost never put an enemy in the crosshairs with it anyway. The Negh'var is a better ship. I'd rather my good old beam arrays on the galaxy X and treat it like a normal Crusier. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. This ship is an example of that.
I've tried every combo on the Fed side, purchased every ship and spent an embarrassing amount of money on respecs.
In the end, I found I was always MOST effective in the ship type of the captain. I.e. Sci/Sci, Eng/Cruiser and Tac/Escort
That being said, it in no way means that the other combos were bad or ineffective, but to take full advantage of the character, it was much easier to do in their own class' ship. While I LOVED flying a Star Cruiser with my science character, he shines most when in a science ship. While I really enjoyed my Engineer in both escorts and science ships, he shines in a Cruiser.
And, in keeping with this thread, my Tactical officer was amazing in a cruiser (to the point of giggling in his captain's char), but nothing beats the damage he can do in his escorts. If your mindset is "Damage" "Damage" "Damage" then I'd say a cruiser is not for you.
It's a matter of accepting that you will have to give a bit (or a lot), to gain a bit. Finding the balance of what you are willing to sacrifice vs what you are willing to gain is key. All combos "work".
My Tac flys the infamous Excelsior retrofit with 6 beams and two torps in PvP. With the extra engineering console slots i have more options for power and survivabilty. I have a Defiant and I love it when im lone wolfing in cap and hold however surviving in a Defiant means hit and run tactics. I prefer to stick it out with my team and hold my ground. It works for me and I made it work. Im glad I did because at first I was like everyone else saying itll never work.
This is the issue with Star Trek Online, Akira Class Ships, which are escorts in this game, which are counted as cruisers in the shows and also, the Akira is just as manuverable as the Sovereign, from what i have seen in shows and movies.
I just think its a huge mistake to seperate the starships like that, i was expecting the character you play that decides if you are the dps or the tank or the healer, i just thought that was more of a good idea, since then you could pick what ship to use based purely on your preference.
Thats how i see it, i just find it funny how that a Constitution Class, an Akira Class and a Nova Class Ships, that are practicually the same size, have such different turn speeds, i really don't think Cryptic was thinking when it came to that part.
I can understand ships as big as the Negh'Var or the Sovereign would be slow at turning, but the smaller ships should turn faster, just my opinion, not that it matters.