Moloch is a poor excuse for a Shivan vessel and an even poorer excuse for a corvette. A Lilith poses more threat to allied forces than this big target. Its only saving grace is its ability to carry fighters, but it's never enough to turn the tide of battle.
The Moloch is an opponent to be taken seriously, despite all the negative commentary, and the statement a Deimos can take one on successfully is somewhat debateable. Shivans use much more effective (and faster-cycling) direct-fire beams, of which the Moloch has three SRed-types. Like most Shivan capital craft, its antifighter defenses are rather less impressive then those of a comparable Terran ship, but the Moloch's defenses are nonetheless probably the best, pound for pound, of any Shivan capital craft, and its well-posistioned flak guns can be very dangerous to the unwary.
Some people think of the Moloch as a joke, but the joke is on you when its fighters come out and tear you to pieces. The SCv Moloch is not a vessel to take lightly. It may not be able to hurt you as badly as the Terran Deimos, but that's what its fighter bay is for.
The fighterbay is never used in the Freespace 2 campaign. The Moloch has by far the worst firepower and anti-fighter defenses of any corvette, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a niche. The Moloch is a cruiser hunter, easily capable of destroying one of the best cruisers in the game, the Aeolus, which the Moloch survives without suffering any real damage. However, when faced with a cruiser and a wing of heavy assult fighters, as in the demo mission Crisis in Capella the Moloch is in deep trouble, provided the fighters can destroy its main beam turrets quickly enough (they can). Under few circumstances will a Moloch prevail over a GTCv Deimos, unless the Moloch launches bombers, the Deimos's many flak guns and AAA turrets add to its total firepower, and although the SReds are definitely more accurate, the TerSlash does 2.2 times the maximum sustained damage, and the Deimos has four, as opposed to the Moloch's three. However, if the Moloch is a good distance away, its accurate SReds will be more effective than the TerSlash beams of the Deimos. Still, in a poll, it was found few people actually consider the Moloch superior to the Deimos.
The Moloch is not the best of all the corvettes, but it is fairly deadly, and it can do serious damage to a Hecate class Destroyer if you don't pay attention to it.
I don't wanna insult anyone, but everybody who says this ship isn't dangerous has never fought it! :) The plating of its turrets is more than poor in comparison to the over corvettes, yes. But:
Firstly: Its anti-fighter missiles can hit yout everywhere. At a Sobek, I can hide beneath the rear side and it won't hit me if I just take out one single flak gun.
Secondly: The convoluted design of the Moloch makes it much more difficult to disarm than a Sobek for example. At the Sobek I can park two klicks above and eliminate almost all of its turrets, including the main beam cannons. At the Moloch the antifighter and beam cannons are evenly spread all over the ship.
My conclusion: Maybe not as good as the Deimos, but definitely better than the Sobek - which is already deadly!
Do not underestimate the Moloch, just because of the distorted image the main campaign gives of it. They also misused the Aeolus!