Theres no starship tanking in the traditional sense. The most useful cruiser captains I've teamed with play it out like DnD clerics: throwing buffs and heals around while engaging the most heavily armed ships in the mob, while the rest of team takes out the smaller ones first. Healing and buffing actually does seem to draw aggro a lot, based on what I've seen. Bad news is that just like most of the game, the team window is frikking bugged and doesn't show all teammates shield status, so communication is key.
I would have to agree...
Communication is more important here then any other game I've seen....Which almost demands the use of voice comms....because it's not exactly practical to stop and type "Help...I need shield recharge!"
Cryptic really needs to figure out a way for tanks to actually hold threat in space. especially if they are going to have raids where you fight one big boss as a group.even if they just gave cruisers an innate damage x 2 = threat output it would make a difference.
Sol the summary as far as I can read is: Use science officers to boost friendly shields and just tank the big ones as best as you can
Essentially. It's not just Science officers for the buffs, though.
Science officers get Science Team, which is a very good Shield Buff. They also get Transfer Shield Strength, but that requires aux power levels - as a Cruiser, you likely don't have that.
However, Engineering officers get Extend Shields, which works similarly, and is boosted by your shield skills. Which should be high because you'll want them for your own shields too. Engineering also has Engineering Team, which is good as a hull heal.
And so on. The healing buffs are actually split between Science and Engineering.
The good thing is a lot of the ally heals also work on yourself - like Science Team and Engineering Team.
Personally I use tykens rift, it is an aoe energy drain, only drawback is that it a sci officer skill, kind of wastes a valuable bof skill early game, however, later when you have plenty of skills available it is great for pulling aggro. As it also slows the enemy down while they are affected, they cannot chase you effectively; pop tykens rift, and then fly away, the enemy will attempt to chase you ignoring team mates for quite a while, just make sure not to gain too much distance or they will switch fire.
***EDIT*** Should point out it is only useful to initiate combat before the enemy group has split up, the range is limited