Sometimes I will break the grouping of my weapons down into single, double, triple and even quad groups.
A single group would represent a single battery, much like the 5-inch guns on a destroyer or in some cases, twin 5-inch guns. A triple group would represent a cruiser, battlecruiser or battleship group, a quad group, definitely a battleship grouping.
Bonuses and penalties for grouped weapons should be applied.
For a single group, 1 weapon, the weapon would have the max bonuses applied to the weapon. But as the number of weapons increases in a group, attributes for tracking, re-loading times and optimal range would receive a penalty due to the command processes linked to the group taking longer to manage each weapon in a group that has been designated as a single battery and fires as a single battery.
New types of Boosters could be used to offset the penalties and actually make the grouped turrets function better than a single weapon group but only for the amount of time the Booster is active, which would be no more than 30 minutes.
The concern I would have with this would be it would encourage keeping weapons separated with a big temptation for ignorant or dishonest players to use automation to give a single click to fire them all.
Probably justifying it to themselves a “CCP wouldn’t give a bonus to this if they didn’t want you to use automation…” 'cos they don’t want to call themselves cheaters.
There already is a bonus to ungroup weapons: less overkill damage (if you hit a target that only has 10 hitpoints left with a weapon group that would deal 1.000 damage, 990 of the damage potential is wasted).
So, if a target gets weak, you can disable one or two of your weapon groups and already can begin to shoot the next target, making sure the last kill hits with as little overkill damage as possible.
Also you can fire on multiple targets at once, what is a big benefit especially in PvE to clear up small stuff that doesn’t require many hits anyway.
So, the current solution is already fine. It offers options for pilots aiming for perfection and convenience for those who want a simple interface.
That’s a very good argument - and applies especially with missiles at long range where you may just to plink out a little damage rather than committing missiles and time of flight.
I’ve done it - then realised I’m lazy…
Yeah, there are some ships where it is definitely worth splitting. Pulse Paladin (2 groups) for example or HAM Tengu (2-3 groups, depending on what size the majority of the targets are).
Attacking multiple target at once can really increase total damage output under certain conditions, I regulary also use it on my Abyssal Ishtar, sending the 5 Wasps to different smaller targets (well it’s also some sort of “weapon group” when using them all with one hotkey, not? ^^).