I saw on a recent episode of STOked one of the developers indicated that the optimal configuration for beam arrays was between 4 and 6. Beyond this the weapon power drain becomes excessive and as such you start actually crippling your DPS.
As such, I'd like to ask the general opinion of people here - is 4 beams better, or 6? Or 5, and if 5, should the 5th be on the fore or aft weapon array?
If you are an engineer you can do 8 beam arrays and fire at will without any significant drain by using nadion inversion. Otherwise you might want to keep the number of concurrently firing beams at 6 or less.
I am currently trying a Tac on an Excelsior retrofit with FAW 1 BO2 and BO3, using 2 dual beam and 2 beam arrays on front and 4 arrays on the back, ensuring that more than 6 beams are not fired at once, unless using fire at will to clear mines, plasma torps. and similar pests. It seems to be working well so far.
This gives me 6 beams on 3 facings. I find it too difficult to use torps on something as big as a dreadnought, and my gut feeling says 6 beams is adequate for power management. Furthermore, I chain EPtW and EPtS as per Dragon build, which does buff recharge rate a bit.