let's change the weapon systems around a bit. give us the option to face weapon slots to the left and right, also. this could be done at the space dock where you select and customize your ship. that way, if you prefer the beam banks of the older era, you don't have to give up 100% of your flexibility. instead of having a huge damage dealing 3 forward beam banks, you'd then have the option to have i face forward, one right, and one left. or even have torpedoes mounted to fire broad side. it's still a compromise.. with a 90 degree arc you'd still only be able to fire 1 bank at a time. maaaaybe 2 if they overlap some.
but to clarify ... you wouldn't say, be able to face a weapon in the forward slot backwards... that would defeat the purpose of the back slots.
what also WOULD be nice though, is to be able to customize how many slots are forward/back... if i'm in a akira class maybe i want 4 forward and only 1 aft... or 5 forward and none aft. or if i'm in a cruiser i might prefer 4 aft and 2 forward, because i get hit from behind often and can't swing around and face them. this would be great for PvP... there would be a little more caution because you wouldn't exactly know how your enemy has his bird of prey loaded out.