More advanced dogfight styles, like start-stop to throw off a pursuer.
And bombers that actually defend themselves. That is, if it's possible to solely increase the accuracy of bomber turrets, not capship ones. Or have bombers pursue the occasional fighter when under attack.
One interesting thing to note is that turrets on bombers only attack the bomber's current target. That means that bombers who go straight for their target get ZERO use out of their turrets. Maybe bomber turrets should simply attack the closest target in their FOV?
Do Shivans suddenly engaging lateral thrust to beat your agility count as start-stop?
Here's the funny thing: that lateral thrust thing is NOT part of any "evade" maneuver in the code, even though it looks like that's what they're doing! In reality, there are only TWO places where sliding happens in the code:
1. Avoiding collisions. I think this is what you see those Maras doing: they're trying to get somewhere, your ship is in the way, so they use sidethrust to try to avoid a collision. In other words, the sidethrust you see from Shivan fighters now is more or less an accidental side-effect that happens to work pretty well in the game. AI code is like that.
2. Moving towards a waypoint, along a path, or towards a ship. If the ship hasn't rotated all the way to point directly at their destination, they use sidethrusters (if they have them) in the meantime to move them more in that direction. I'm actually not sure exactly how this is working (or even if it is) but I know for sure it has nothing to do with evasive or combat maneuvers.
In other words, there are a LOT more places where sidethrust could be used in combat and evasion but currently isn't. Thus item #2 on the wishlist.
If I have my way, you'll eventually be able to dogfight ships that make full use of sidethrust (and glide) and make your life extremely miserable when trying to shoot them down.
Of course, you'd have to enable the appropriate AI_Profiles stuff first, but the option would be there...