I flew a Thorax with 5x Medium Hybrid Turrets and my normal activities are not PvP or fleet fights, however I endeavoured to concentrate on the specific aspects of the test.
A) Mechanical Movement Sounds
I listened for these very intently during the fleet actions around the Tatara and in the fleet fight and couldn’t hear them. I could see the turrets moving as I was locking and unlocking targets, changing targets, and swinging my ship around to force the turrets to traverse longer, however I couldn’t hear the audio above all the other noises even after turning my audio volume up well above normal.
After the fleet fight I experimented in a quiet location, targeting a cargo container, and then I could hear the movement sounds. From that testing I think the sounds are too quiet in general, but also that they are audible from a bit too far away.
It’s hard to specify how far, however I’d suggest perhaps a 10% reduction in audible range, but a hefty boost to audio volume whilst in range.
As for if they would be overwhelming in a fleet fight, I’m leaning towards no – if I could hear the audio in the fleet fight and I was only hearing my own ship’s turret movement sounds, the turrets don’t spend enough time in that mode even with rapid target switching. This may be different for a ship with much slower turrets.
B) Could I to tell the difference between the sounds of impacts hitting shield, armor and hull?
For shots hitting me, no, in the fleet fight there was too much other audio and the only sounds that stood out for my own ship were the low shield and armour alerts.
For shots hitting other ships, yes I think I could tell there was a difference although it’d take time specifically listening to that audio to be able to say, blindly, what was associated with what.
C) Do I feel like I can hear impact sounds when zoomed to far out? Or, do I feel like I need to zoom in too much to hear them?
At the Tatara, particularly when shooting at CCP’s dread, I was ~44km away and all I could hear (either focussed on my own ship, or on the dread) unless I zoomed way out were impact sounds.
They were far too loud, audible at far too great a range.
The audio also didn’t seem to fade with distance – I’d zoom out and I could tell that the audio was abruptly dropping off, esp. on the Tatara and larger ships. The effect of this was that the audio was very loud, then one more zoom notch later the audio just wasn’t there, when I’d expect a smooth transition from very loud to very quiet as I zoomed in and out.
I hope the above feedback is of use.