Beams 'pulse' multiple hits (4?) just like cannons. I am 99% sure that the proc chance is only one chance per weapon firing, not once per hit.
The effects may or may not stack. But the procs are rare enough that its not even worth worrying about. It is only a 2.5% proc chance. That translates into 1/40 shots will proc. Furthermore, in the case of Phasers, when you do get the proc, it can be any one of the four subsystems. So for your phasers to drop your enemies shields, it is roughly a 1/160 chance to proc. And then, the duration only lasts a few seconds.
So its not like you are progressively stacking up more and more effects with each shot. The weapon procs are just a nice little bonus that you get from time to time. For the most part, you will not even notice your procs. Phasers taking down your enemies shields is the only one that is really visible to you.
I have come to a point where I am thinking that mixing a bit weapon types cannot hurt and can only help, but i am torn between Tetryons beam (for their Blue Color which would be more Cannon for federation ships), and Disruptors (fed ships using disruptors is not consistent with Star Trek, but have a nice proc effect).
So I started asking myself about the procs, it is not something I actually payed any attention too, i use Phasers because these are what the federation uses, i never liked the fact that we can use other techs that are not part of ST lore..but it is an area of the game that is not Star Trek and was done so purely for game play reasons which I am willing to accept and overlook up to a certain degree.
I would still have preferred that the Devs actually remained more Loyal to the Lore, and had invested a bit more in developing weapons so that there could be Phasers Type A (Subsystem Debuff), Phasers Type B (Damage Debuff) ...etc etc...and same for Klingons, so that at least Factions of both remained visually and technically true to the ST lore from one side while still offering gameplay possibilities and areas to "specialise" in to the Skill Tree etc...
these could even have had slightly different graphical effects...but no need to talk about something that was never created as such...the current system is what it is and we have to live with it...
...yet I would not like to look like a rainbow when I am shooting either...
So...long story short, I am wondering if, debuffs stack, because for some of them like the Disruptors it can be really advantageous if they do.
I mean, if 5 ships are shooting the same target and all 5 Pships get 1 proc out of their multiple weapons, does that mean that the target is now at -50% resistance to damage?
Wouldn't that like destroy an enemy in half the time it takes for them to destroy their enemy?
I have been giving a lot of thought to the weapons myself in the last few days, and what it really comes down to, is they aren't that much different.
Apart from the different graphic and different (minor) proc effect, they are all the same. Exact same damage, same firing arcs, same cooldowns, same power consumption rate, etc.
The most significant difference between the weapons is the skill point cost. Phasers and disruptors are by far the cheapest flavor of weapon. They each only cost 2,700 skill points, to max out the skill at 9 points. That is a 54% damage bonus, on top of the bonus from the two previous skills.
However, Plasma and Tetryon will each cost 3,600 to max out.
Polaron and Anti-proton will cost 4,500 to max out.
And in the end, those are all just a 54% damage bonus. Thanks to the skill point cap, we are far too limited on skill points in my opinion. You can save a lot of points by sticking with Phasers or Disruptors instead of the higher level weapons. The same rule applies to the projectile weapons.
In my case, I stuck with just phasers and quantums. They are good weapons, and I saved a ton of points to invest in other valuable skills.
The chances of proccing are like gutter end low, and yes, it is per weapon firing, not per weapon hitting. So assuming you have all 8 weapons firing of the same type, you've only got a 16% chance per 5 second cycle, if you're lucky enough to have a 5 second cycle. That means, odds are after 30 seconds, you're going to get one proc, with 8 weapons, and an unrealistically small cycle. Woo.
Just go for the skill. Or if you feel like avoiding the obvious choices for damage resistance, go for something a tier higher. They really need to fix the procs. Make it proc per hit, or increase the chances. Or hell, pretty well just change them. Make some do more shield/hull damage and toss in more hull tanking skills. At the moment, people will ONLY take weapons which do more shield damage because, well, when's the last time you had problems cracking hull? Most people just dump a HYT into the hull, and that's it pretty well.
So yeah tl;dr;
No point in choosing for proc
More hull tanking skills
If it is per weapon firing, some weapons like turrets have a 2 second firing Cycle, compared to teh 4 second Firing cycle of beams.
So you get double the chances to proc with turrets.
What is important to note also is that the Chance to Proc Maybe Low and "insignificant" but the proc Effects themselves are not, and some can be better than others.
In The case of of Phasers it may not be advantageous as much as Disruptors in some circumstances, for instance, it has happened to me several times in a Cruiser where I am broadsiding the target that a proc Happens and the target's Shields Go Down...
I never have the time to turn the ship to fire off torps and take advantage of that proc.
On the other hand If I was a Klingon Cruiser, I would not have to turn around (in spite of the fact that i could with more ease than a Fed cruiser but this is another issue), because the Disruptor Proc just enhances the damage and I could keep on pounding and do more damage and take advantage of the Proc.
So...it is most probably better for Federation Cruisers to use all disruptor Weapons...since they can't turn around fast enough, they could just continue broadsiding and doing more damage.
Or is it not?
I would just start losing interest in the game honestly...because it alienates the established guidelines of Star Trek Lore...Federation ships do not use Disruptors it is a Klingon, Romulan and Cardassian Weapon mainly.
Part of the interest in playing a game is how well the game expresses the setting it is supposed to recreate for the player to experience. if we start changing the established Lore (cannon) of too many things then it simply seizes to be that Setting and becomes something else.
Present and Future Storyline is not Cannon, it changes it evolves, the framework in which the storyline exists and evolves from however is made up of certain elements which are axiomatic and cannot be changed to suit other needs without causing the Framework to alter itself as well.
I do not know if it bothers many but if you are even a small fan of star Trek you would be bothered by the way weapons are setup in the game....I chose to ignore it up to now...but I am not sure that this is the case for everyone, because it is like having a bunch of US Soldiers armed with AK-47's instead of M-16's...there is just something wrong with that picture.
That being said, there have been Phasers that could have a Disruptor Setting and there have been Disruptors that could Emit Tetryon particles, but these remained, Phasers still and Disruptors respectively.
So again would have preferred if there were several Phaser Types and several Disruptor types which kept the main characteristics as per Lore and provided different effects.