Even with free to play being released today(yay!) I thought I would toss out yet another one of my hair ball ideas.
Add "Shooter Mode" to ship combat. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know it would certainly make space combat a bit funner for me, just as shooter mode made ground combat much more entertaining for me.
Oh lord, I can see it now, the flood of people who will be against this. The ones who will write novels to try and explain to me how this is a bad idea, and will only serve to show me that they really didn't pay any attention to how the game works. Ground shooter mode is a toggle option. You don't like it, don't use it.
The first way was, exactly like ground shooter mode. Press key, reticle comes up, left mouse button fires your phasers(unless changed), right mouse button fires torpedoes(unless changed). Acts like both mouse buttons are pressed at the same time where the ship tries to orientate itself to face the same direction as the camera(would be handy for escort pilots that have a lot of forward facing weapons). W, A, S and D function as before, ship will do a half strafe in relation to camera orientation, much like if you were holding both mouse buttons and tried to use the W, A, S or D keys. Q and E would still control the speed. Change key binds as needed.
The second way was, Press key, reticle comes up, left mouse button fires your phasers(unless changed), right mouse button fires torpedoes(unless changed). Ship does not follow camera and must be orientated manually via the W, A, S and D keys. All other keys the same, unless changed by the player(could be handy for cruiser pilots so they can keep a broadside even if their camera is facing the target)
Personally though, I would like both versions added, or the ability to set up both versions, give space shooter players the choice on if they want cruiser style or escort style.
I just explained how it would "work". If you mean on if it would work well or not, I can't answer that as it's not in game. I can say that I've rigged up something close to a rudimentary version of shooter mode for my Escorts. Even have left mouse firing phasers and right mouse firing torpedoes. So I would say that, so far it would work good if you know what your doing.
But from a canon standpoint, target lock has been a Star Trek mainstay since TOS.
From a game play standpoint, I'm a mouse flyer. So, my keeping the bad guys in my crosshairs would be tough, at best. Now, if I converted this to a joystick, that'd be a different story. But, then it's just be a flight sim with starships. Heh.
I'm not sayin it MUST NOT be. I can tell you, I'd never use it.
I can think of three places where it's been done - the space battle sequences in Interplay's adventure games (25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites), Starfleet Academy and its Klingon counterpart, and (as others have mentioned) Bridge Commander. Was it well done? That's up to you to decide... but anyway, there are your examples.