For example, polarizers have a base damage of like 200 or something (on medium caps) the problem is that this is also their minimum damage (what they do vs. targets with 0 armor)
This is WAY too small.
On high caps, epic combat style they do 48*mk per shot, with MinimumAttackMultiplier = 4 and MaximumAttackMultiplier = 100. They fire once every 2 seconds, too. So their minimum cap-dps is just shy of 18k and their maximum is about 470k. 30k is normally as low as we want non-bonus to go, and 300k is normally as high as we want bonus to go (i.e. a ship with 10x) multipliers (for reference, a type with no multipliers usually gets around 100k for everything). The polarizer is outside that range so it can be a bit more special. And they hit anything with 10k armor or higher really
Also, since their attack is multiplier by the square root (precalculated, before you ask) of target armor, even something with only 150 armor (the usual minimum for a fleet ship that has any) gives a 12x multiplier, or 54k cap-dps. And against that same ship, if that ship is mkIV (600 armor) the multiplier is 24, or 108k cap-dps. And some fleet ships have 300*mk, 450*mk, 600*mk, or even 750*mk.
In other words, mathematically, I don't see how they're really _that_ bad. But we can tighten up the range if it will make people feel better.
IREs have a non-multiplied cap-dps of 14.7k, but their minimum multiplier is 5, and maximum is 30, for a real range of 73.5k to 441k. They do minimum to anything <= 5120 energy, maximum to anything >= 30720 energy. But even a consistent 73.5k across the board is better general damage than most ships get, and 441k is well outside the range non-special fleet ships can typically achieve.
So IREs have a higher "floor" but get off that floor less regularly than the polarizers (who get off it as soon as the target has 25 armor or more).
I say make the balance the impulse reactors and the polarizers such that they do 25-35% of normal fleet ship DPS against their most unoptimal targets (0 in the stat their damage scales with). This way, they can still be noticible when not it their "target situations", but still be weak enough in those worst case situations such that you would want to try to put them in situations with armored/high energy using targets.
Possibly something similar with vultures.
Vultures have a non-multiplied cap-dps of about 3k, with minimum multiplier of 10 and maximum multiplier of 90, for effective range of 30k to 270k. That could probably stand to be about 25% higher due to the special nature of the range. On the other hand, they will typically experience their max-ish range (firing on stuff with 10% or less health) in any given fight. I might give them an insta-fire attack (like snipers, but without the infinite range... though that would be interesting, albeit not as much due to sniper immunities out there).
Anyway, just making sure we're working with the same numbers here