Personally, I find it funny that the B'rel-R got made into a Fleet variant.. making all the other Fleet Varients pretty much even more Obsolete. Why bother with any of the other BoPs when you can just wait to Tier 5 (Or find a KDF fleet at Tier 5) And get one that way.
You think that your beta test was bad?
Think about this: American Football has been in open beta for 144 years. ~Kotaku
There is a bait and switch feel to it... as folks hit T5 Fleets; T6 gameplay will have arrived.
Now some might say Cryptic wouldn't do anything like that to their customers... and I might ask in return if this was their first day playing.
Oh yeah, buy advanced heavy cruiser!, buy advanced heavy cruiser retrofit!, buy fleet advanced heavy cruiser retrofit! buy advanced fleet advanced heavy cruiserretrofit! and finally buy elite fleet advanced heavy cruiser retrofit! Let the cow be milked eternally!
5 fleet ship modules makes more sense as a price. People will buy the C-Store ship and get the one FSM. Same price, slightly more value.
4 eng consoles for the B'rel just makes sense, its shields are down often. Giving it offensive consoles (sci or tac9 would have made it OP, probably. My first guess for a good setup would be one Emergency Force fields, 3 Neutronium.
They use the Imperial Skin for the Fleet Regent. Which is a nice use of that one.
4 tac console makes the fleet Regent a good tactical cruiser for an offensive role. The baseline Regent is acceptable already with 3.
Fleet Varanus with a 3rd tactical console makes sense for torpedo boat builds... and it is understandable that the Gorn, being forced into this direct-damage-oriented KDF, slowly adapt their builds to the Klingon line of thinking.
The two most famous b'rels were science heavy for sure imo. The first one went on the genisis investigation, and the second one managed the the scientifically ridiculous feat of firing while cloaked. Give it a fourth sci console for all the neglected Klink sci's and maybe the shields to last till you can recloak.
On the plus side, you could also use the new console to do what I do, and give as much power to whatever subsystem you think needs it. Why not do your alpha strikes with near-constant 125 weapons energy, or strengthen your sci abilities with more aux power.
Also buff that sov hp a bit.
The Somraw, K'tinga, D'Kyr, D7, Kumari, Xindi carrier, Xindi escort, and the T'Varo are all older than the Constitution Refit and yet they are tier 5. The Constellation is made up primarily of Connie refit parts and it is tier 5, there is no logical reason whatsoever for the no tier 5/6 connie rule.
I dont see really the problem with the 4th engineering console for the B'rel
In my opinion it makes a cloaked torpedo/mine dropping build even better because its more durable with an additional neutronium alloy.
Imagine this boff setup with the dual AtoB. I stay cloaked all the time, and don't even need shields. 4x neutronium alloys and HE2 cycling with PH3....
LtCmdr tac: Whatever you like
Lt eng: EptA1, AtoB1
Lt Eng: EptS1/ET1, AtoB1
Cmdr sci: Blabla, HE2, PH3, main sci ability (VM?)
The with diminishing returns max hull resists isn't so high that you couldn't run your torp/mine build with 3 eng consoles and basically have the same hull resists as running 4. Assuming you're running things like a mix of he, aux2sif, ph, apd, aux2damp etc you'll have high hull resists. You also would have the option of Hazzard doffs.
You're also forgetting the main defensive benefit of running EBC, when you're exposed and uncloaked from using some Boff powers or weapons you maintain your cloak defense bonus.
In the end Tac would be better for that build since it boosts your mine/torp damage.
Imo, 4th Sci would most likely make your build better as well; since, even if your build doesn't have a Sci skill which could benefit you could always boost your shield buffer and/or even use add in utility console like a biomonitor to keep your crew levels up, or power insulators, or intertial damps, etc.
Also, with the lack of real decent Sci options for KDF a 4 Sci console B'rel would have helped fill that void nicely. This was the worst possible console addition option for the B'rel. I'd have rather they gave the 16k hull ship an EBC and called it the B'rel upgrade tbh.