A friend of mine (we have been doing various MMOs for ~8 years now) and I both made captain last week. Neither of us are really min/max type players and the story like nature of STO has allowed us to mostly ignore our builds so far. At the same time it would be nice to start optimizing my escort for DPS since my friend is playing a cruiser/tank.
I have initially loaded up with 4 dual heavy cannon disruptors up front, but now read that may not actually be the best way to go. Honestly, any pointers on BOFF skills, consoles, captain skills, and loadout are all greatly appreciated.
Well, it's not a bad idea. Generally high DPS on an escort means abuse of dual/dual heavy cannons up front, plus a decent quantum torpedo launcher, and turrets at the back. For STFs, at least - which you'll do loads of when you reach RA, that's the best build. Have attack pattern omega and two tactical teams on rotations on your ensign tactical skills, and shield and hull heals - I use transfer shield strength, emergency power to shields and reverse shield polarity.
The rest is up to your choice, but make sure to fill your tactical consoles with damage improvers for your weapon type, and one console to improve torpedo damage. You must have at least one Science - Field Generator console to improve your shields.
But until you get to VA, just do the missions and save up ECs. Don't bother too much with buying stuff.