But I couldn't help but wonder if the game couldn't work most of the time with auto-allocating soft targets.
The description of that would be a huge wall of text so... I guess I'll just show you.
- The red ship is closest to the HUD circle so it is the default target.
If target info like range or speed are displayed, they would be referring to the red ship.
- The red ship enters the HUD circle.
Lock-on is starting.
- Red ship leaves the HUD circle before lock-on is complete.
- The green ship is now closer / inside the HUD circle and becomes the default target. Lock-on is starting.
- Green ship stays inside the HUD circle long enough for lock-on to complete.
- It is now "hard targeted".
It can leave the HUD circle and will still remain the current target until destroyed or until the player forcibly changes targets.
Instead, it's just a swish of the mouse to make another ship the soft target - closest to the HUD circle.
You only need to keep it inside the circle for 1000-1500 ms (whatever) and you can choose your next target without even needing a "next target" key.