To clarify a bit in regards to power drain, I was kind of figuring on it working largely as it does now with the understanding that a slight adjustment might be necessary if the "spikier" damage was out of line. I was picturing a single shot for each single beam array at a cost of 10 power. The Beam Array would no longer have a 4 shot cycle, but if you wanted 4 beams you just use 4 beam arrays (they'd be stronger of course, but graphically slower).
I tried to keep it about as simple as possible because I personally fear change, and we all know how resistant people can be to major overhauls. I don't feel like this is necessarily all that major but I do feel like it has pretty big potential to at least somewhat satisfy the needs of the Trek Canonists out there.
Beam Overload is something I'd prefer to see addressed. Ideally, whichever array (or dual beam bank) is used in the overload would be disabled for a certain amount of time. There would obviously be a DPS penalty due to being down a weapon slot, but it wouldn't really hurt other energy weapons. So ideally, even an 8 Beam Boat could use Beam Overload without suffering a huge loss because they'd still have 7 fully functional Beam Arrays at their disposal.
The disable could be repaired with an Engineering Team, disable time could be reduced with the Maintenance skills, a battery, or something along those lines. In the end, that might be too much like a nerf to Beam Overload which already suffers a pretty heavy penalty by being kind of an all or nothing ability. I hadn't actually considered the idea of drawing power from all arrays in a arc to power a Beam Overload, but that does sound kind of interesting.
Beam Fire At Will could actually make use of the current 4 shot cycle (screw that extra fifth free shot) providing a greater number of shots at lower damage and accuracy. Beam Fire At Will really doesn't need to be the primary beam DPS tool since beams in general would offer slightly greater spike damage and Beam Overload already takes care of the damage component. This would make BFAW a reasonable spam and proc tool without being the OP garbage it offers now.
I believe this was proposed months ago in another thread. The big debate there was if all beams counted as one, the DPS would be really high. There would be a 4 second delay like current to fire that beam again. So full power hits around 900 on a beam now, if you took 4 shots per cycel, that would be like a 3k beam shot per array. So, 4 arrays if not hit with power drain could fire 12k damage at once. 4 seconds later and another 12k. No shield could recover in that time. I forget which dev got in it but it was discussed.
Hmmm, that sounds awfully severe. As in your example, why doesn't it do 12k damage in the current state? Is it because it figures in so much for misses? Beams are already insanely accurate as it is but shields are getting by (barring some broken skills). Perhaps it would require a slight adjustment to the length of the cycle to accommodate the higher spike potential? Maybe a greater penalty to DPS or weapon power for firing off multiple arrays at the same time? It might be a bit of a punishment for space bar spammers, or it might not, but it could allow for strategy to play a bigger part.