I am currently flying a Defiant Retrofit and i like a relatively close zoom. Problem with that is you can't see a thing when it comes to massive egagements. Sometimes more than 8 beams plus special ability affects are painting my ship at a time. Even with bloom completely disabled i can't see a thing. Sometimes i use evasive maneuvers only to get out of that gleaming mess, what a waste of an important ability.
People were asking for Bridge combat which is not gonna happen anytime soon if at all. So the only "easy" option left is first person combat. Technically we are not watching the viewscreen we are watching the tactical screen that's why i never bothered with the sector space grids, they are a useful navigation tool.
I always wanted something that makes me feel like i am in that thing on my screen, which occasionaly happens when you are flying alongside a sector border, lol.
Now to counter above mentioned problems a first person view could solve a lot of issues. I think a virtual cockpit could be it. Wherever the bridge is, the camera should be in the middle of it and a little above.
Remove the physical model from display and replace it with a holographic version (blue Fed, green Klingon) but leave a huge circular hole in the middle so we can look up and down unfiltered. The holographic image shouldn't take more than the lower fourth of our screen. Now the entire ship is virtually surrounding us not blocking up and down view. In a cruiser you can clearly see the forward part of the holographic dish in front of you from a much lower perspective and behind you the warp nacelles and the rear fuselage.
So you never lose your orientation. Because the holographic image is not physical you can't see the effects that hit you. Especially in a Defiant it's a very spectacular sight seeing your cannon bolts firing from the bottom left and right corners of your monitor toward the enemy. Wish i were good at editing screenshots to show you exactly what i have in mind but unfortunately i am not.
If that's too difficult to realize maybe no virtual cockpit at all but 1st person plus a little holo image of our ship that rotates with camera movement could be a first step. I'd move that to the bottom center of my screen and heading/bearing comparison shouldn't be an issue.
Well, i hope something happens which improves my feeling of actually being in my ship without getting blinded whenever i take hits, we'll see.