I don't mean to say there's a bug or anything - the missile defense auto-targets missiles just fine.
Here are my issues:
- Target switching: when there are three missiles incoming, the defense doesn't re-target once missiles are destroyed. i.e., one missile goes down, and you need to press the button again to get a fresh lock. This totally defeats the purpose of 0.5 sec. reload, unless I want to break my keyboard.
- Initial target lock: like any other weapon, there actually needs to be a valid target on screen to get a lock and fire. The problem is that missiles are fired in salvos in hot-combat situations. This requires a level of attention/dexterity at the keyboard that's unfriendly to say the least, particularly when you're already concentrating on other stuff like steering and firing real weapons. This may be a personal problem though - I'm more than willing to admit that I hate games that generally tax my dexterity. If I were playing this with a joystick, I might care less as I'd have a half dozen different buttons under my thumb. With a keyboard/mouse setup, it's kind of frustrating.
- No, that doesn't mean I'm lobbying for joystick support. *shudder*
- Specific problem of anti-missile-missiles: they fire forwards only, and are subject to general missile problems, i.e. the turn radius. The weapon needs to fire in front (bearing in mind that's usually not where the enemy is in this game), circle around the player, and sometimes even catch up with the incoming missile after circling behind it.
I honestly think anti-missile defense is a fantastic concept. As it is, I find it's too close to ordinary weapons in the way it works, which means it's competing for the same player-resources to activate and use in terms of concentration (might appeal to some, matter of taste), but more critically it's competing for the same slot with less efficiency for its own purpose.
As a means of defense, I believe what it needs is some degree of automation. Perhaps make it like a time-limited active boost that fires at incoming stuff for a while or something along those lines. Once more though, this is clearly a personal thing - it's clearly your baby! I'll probably just fit a lightning field or an EM shockwave instead anyway...
I'm willing to bet that no one actually uses them as they are though. Well, not unless they fly hive. Which they probably don't, 'cause it's equipped with these. I don't have much in support of my bet, but I'll put a collection of smileys up as a stake:
You can have them if two of the forum zom- *cough*, forum regulars post here saying they love missile defense as it stands.