The biggest downside to being a support class right now is that the game seems to reward based mostly (entirely?) off of damage dealt.
In looking at it with a science officer guildmate who does a lot of healing, we think healing counts towards your rewards (XP, medals) but definitely not 1 to 1 with damage. And utility abilities like tractor beams, holds, deployable shields, etc, don't give you any points.
In fact, one ground match he was with me the whole time, throwing heals, holds, exposes, etc, and ended up with much less reward than me and even less kills. It seemed like he could throw a hold on someone, trigger an expose, I'd vaporize the guy in one shot and I'd get all of the credit -- he wouldn't even get kill credit since he didn't do any actual damage.
That problem is in my signature roundup of Klingon issues. Be ready to dish out all the DPS you can, even as a support class, or you'll end up shafted on XP and medals.
I'm almost 100% certain that it adds damage done and healing together to determine a post-game ranking where the top player receives the highest skill point rewards on down. There is way less potential for healing and way less ways to heal verse dealing damage so that still won't be enough to boost players over the top.
It also only lists damage and healing done to hulls and ignore anything involving shields, so that also means support abilities like Extend Shields and Transfer Shield Strength will not gain any credit.
The difference between the rewards in a PvP match is not that great but they could improve it a few ways, like making the highest healer gain a bonus too or something. It's way more important that they add a bonus reward for winning a match, though, since currently that's a huge issue ruining many PvP encounters. Also, rewards for damage is a much bigger issue in PvE content like Fleet Actions. I'm not sure what kind of solution will work for that.
the problem with healing being added to the XP is people would exploit it somehow.
Cryptic knows this and that is why the system is so simplistically based on damage only. This is why even losing the match gives you a little less, but nearly the same XP. In fact, if you are top damage on the losing team, you are getting more XP than the lowest damage on the winning one lol
I would like to "bump" this post but also to add I dont think my engineering abilities give any base advantage to my ground shields. I can do the tricorda to shield buff but thats my one and only special I get from being an engineer I would like to see a pasive buff to being a medic or engineer as the tatical officer gets to base damage.
The really terrible thing is it doesn't split the rewards, either. So I'm grouping with all my guildies, I'm the only Tactical, they're all science and engineers. I get +130 XP for every T2 ground match because I'm always top damage and they all get less.