On microtones and special scales…
Cubase can do it, but you’ll have to build your own scoring framework in these cases, in correspondence to whatever instrument(s) you are using. You will need to understand the micro-tuning capabilities of your instrument(s) that Cubase will be sending messages, and teach your scores how to do it properly.
I.E. If all you want to do is use a different tuning scale, but stick with conventional 12 tone notation, then you might just load a scala map (or something similar) into your virtual instrument. Some synths might not have internal scale mapping, but they might support changing the scale with RPN events over MIDI. In this case, the score itself is dumb in respect to the scale/system it will be triggering. You’d do that in your virtual instrument. I.E. Aria (Garritan) instruments let you load up a ‘scalia map’ to define the fundamental pitches of each note in a scale in a text file. if you want to go from equal temperament 440A, to a Pythagorean 422A JUST tuning system, and so on. Cubase doesn’t know the difference, and doesn’t care. Such tuning schemes are done in your instruments themselves.
Cubase also has an assortment of track inserts where you can micro tune using MIDI commands (provided your instrument supports it). Either via RPN events, or pitch bend commands, (as well as more modern VST/i 3 note-expression commands). With these sorts of Cubase 'MIDI Insert" effects, you can do things like, retune each individual note in a 12 tone scale (again, if the instrument it is connected with understands the RPN or Pitch Bend events it will send to change the scale).
If your score needs more than 12 theoretical notes within an octave through advanced micro-tuning (I.E. Quater tone intervals, perhaps notated using special symbols in conjunction with the traditional lines/staves/sharps/flats), then you will need to build your own system, perhaps through special expression maps attached to your own custom symbols that will instruct your virtual instruments to ‘do the micro-tuning’ in real time as a score plays. I.E. You could make a score symbol that sends an explicit pitch-bend event, or even RPN/NRPN MIDI events as the score is playing. OR, you could just open the track in key-edit, or list-edit, and manually enter the tuning events there.
Another method pretty common for strange or complex scales that involve more than 12 pitches within an octave is to use multiple tracks/staves for playback, and have each track set to different tuning systems. You might have hidden ‘play-back’ staves that look a whole lot different from the ‘printed score’ that you’ll be giving real musicians to interpret and play.
I.E. You could fake a 24 tone scale by having two tracks, one tuned to equal temperament 440A, and another tuned to equal temperament 453.08A, and do your quarter pitches from a different track. Later you could merge the tracks into one if you like, and mark up your quarter tones somehow for display purposes in your score, but ultimately preserve the channels so that the notes are still sending over the respective MIDI channels.
In short…if you can dream it up, Cubase usually has more than one way to tackle the problem. Cubase is pretty dumb on its own, but it is flexible enough to make it do what you want to hear and see, if you’re willing to ‘think it through’ and ‘build the template’ that fits your needs.
There are of course some short commings in working with Cubase Score. Obviously it doesn’t make the best looking printed scores out there. Some of its faults are pretty simple things that could/should have been fixed or added a long time ago, but get ignored in favor of pushing ‘new features’ that we already had hundreds of plugin options for, but alas…it is what it is. A very powerful and flexible editor.
At the end of the day, Cubase Score is still one of, if not THE most flexible scoring system ever devised. I’m amazed to this day at how well it coordinates with the rest of the DAW, and how easy it is to customize and fine tune how it will interpret a score and play it back.