I have been playing my Tactical captain a lot recently and it has really stuck out to me how bad the cannon shots are animated.
When firing them at an enemy ship we expect them to hit, and they do but in a very weird way. These bolts will hit at both the front and rear of the enemy ship. Half going to the front and half going to the rear. This seems to have no rime or reason when firing at an enemy from the side. It isn't the closest one they are evenly split half go left and half go right to the bow and stern of the enemy ship. Additionally these bolts also curve like a golf ball struck by Charles Barley.
Needless to say this looks very strange and brings you out of the game. To remedy this I propose the following.
1. Have cannon shots leave a mark where they impact on an enemy ship. This only needs to be tracked
client site since this is purely visual.
2. Have the cannon shots travel in streight lines only. No cuving shots!
This can be managed by having predictive aim. Aim the bolt at the spot where the ship is going to be.
Most ships move slow enough that having a shot aim to the place where the targets current vector says
it is going to be should usually be pretty accurate. When a shot does miss slightly have it explode to
show that it still did damage to the target.
3. Speed up cannon shots. Go back and look at DS9 footage these things are way too slow. The shots are
suposed to go from the ship to its target much faster.
4. Have our cannons fire at a normalized location maybe the nearest perpendicular line between our front
aiming point and the center axis line of the target. Remember that the left to right tracking is more
important than the vertical tracking since combat has been flattened.
Just imagine with thise improvements we could leave a series of bullet holes in the side of your favorite enemy ship. Just like when the defient did a strafing run in Startrek First Contact.
I am just saying that right now I can fire repeatedly at an enemy ship and as long as the enemy ship is above 75% hull it looks no worse for wear. And my shots will zing left or right wildly when I am at close range and attacking from the side.
The current cannon shot system is visually comical and unsatisfying to this gamer.