So I sorta fell in love with the Close Combat Specialist kit, but I'm starting to wonder exactly how to get the most out of it. I'm a Tac, specced into all of the appropriate skills that increase melee damage (well the single skill that does anyway) and I've increased skills that effect personal shields and armor (as everyone does).
What else does anyone do to get more of a kick out of this kit and melee in general?
Having a good melee weapon for starters. I'm a fan of the sword, but those are hard to come by. It's easier to find a Lirpa or Bat'leth, usually from the exchange.
In a game dominated by range combat, melee can be a bit difficult. You must be standing still to use melee, but your enemies may always be moving. It can get frustrating trying to deal damage, having to keep up with your target. For solo play, you may want to invest in bringing Boffs with stuns and holds. Also, make use of your standard melee attack as much as you can, since it's capable of knocking enemies down, giving you time to get a few strikes in.
Melee weapons can perform combos by alternating your first and second attacks in various ways. I think there's different attacks for different weapons, so experiment and see what works best. For equipment, Physical Augmentation armor improves melee damage. Having a PSG with [PBKB] (chance to deal knockback when damaged) or [PBDmg] (chance to deal AoE when damaged) is also recommended.
This game needs more melee love. IIRC, melee used to go through shields 100%, but that changed with Season 4, down to 50% shield penetration.