I have made some calculations in Open Beta. From the largest shield with slow regeneration to the smallest one with fastest regeneration the smaler one pays of after 2 mins of fighting. Not calculated are skills or faster rechargerate through more energy into shields. So if you think the fight would take more than 1 or 2 mins then take the regenerative one.
If you have lots of engineering power which gives you lots of shields back in an instant the larger one would seem the better option.
If you find yourself running with high shield setting at any time in combat the regen rate is tripled. So if you're really getting hammered and set to your defense setting, the difference between a high and low regen shield is triple what is listed (which is quite significant).
I have come to the conclusion that regen is generally the better shield if you're playing a cruiser, simply because you can soak damage longer. If an encounter is difficult enough that your choice of shield even matters, then it's going to last long enough for the regen to come out ahead.
On the other hand an escort, which plays more hit and run, might be better off with capacity, especially because their shield strength is lower to begin with.
its a coin toss really between resilient and regen, if cruiser is forgoing hull repair moves then resilient may be better if their natural hull regen cannot cope with the 10% bleedthrough, otherwise regen is better.
Resilient on science is a bit more reasonable as they don't tend to have the natural hull regen to counter 10% bleedthrough.
If i may be so bold, i think when you have shields equiped the tooltip is agumented by your stats to affect the value of the shield output.
Try unequipping them both and compare them side-by-side.
I may be wrong here but it was something i noticed during OB.
I unequipped the uncommon Mark III [cap] and moused over the tooltip and it had the same stats. I have not bought the rare Mark IV yet to test it out would cost me over 300 badges and if it would be a fail I would most definitely /facepalm
BTW - Im am setting my T2 Cruiser up to "tank". I want to be able to withstand 1-2 mins in PvP against 2-3 enemies. Are even the Covariant style the shield for me?
I actually find that standard shields (those with higher regen rates than covariant and resilient, and higher capacity than resilient and regenerative before extra bonuses) work quite well on my cruisers. The mix of the regen rate and capacity means I can take a better alpha than the regen shields, but I restore faster than the covariant.
One thing I noticed about the tooptip is, if you have your character screen up and your inventory up and you mouse over an item in your inventory to compare it to something you' have equipped....it'll display the exact same stats as the item in your inventory only with the names changed.
I had to mouse over each individually to see the different stats with only one window open (Mk I Engineering kit compared to a Mk II green Engineering kit). I did file a bug report on it.
Uncommon will have one bonus or stats of a higher level
Rare will have up to two bonuses and/or stats of a higher level
Ultra Rare will have up to three bonuses and/or stats of a higher level
most of the time when there like the MK IV it means that its stats are
that of a MK V or higher. I've seen rare cannons during beta that had
the stats of MK III or IV but where only MK II that you could but in a non