There is a fundamental problem with the rear/front stacked cannons on ships. A real ship outfitted this way would sink/flounder/hog(look it up if you dont know what hogging of a wooden ship is). Basically putting all the weight on a ships front/rear, made it unsailable, and or sink very fast. I understand this is a video game, and if they want to deny real life physics, they are more than welcome to. But the front/rear loaded meta has suppressed the naval combat, and made it frequently a game of who can kite who. By no means am i suggesting that war ships had NO front or rear cannons, typically the captains cabin was put in storage and a cannon was run out in its place. But this one was or maybe 3, with the other cannons being in the broadside. Similar with chase cannons. It was not for lack of desire to have more front cannons, it was the effect the weight had on the ship that prevented designs like we have seen in atlas. I have 2 solutions to radically change the naval meta.
1:Weight on the front/rear of ships has an effect, IE if not balanced the ship is 25%slower, or some type of system that addresses the unrealistic stacking of cannons on the front/rear of ships. To this end, side loaded ships with only cannon on one side should also be penalized, as this is also a ship that would not sail, or at least would not sail well. I am honestly open on this one, but SOMETHING needs to be done to address how the weight is balanced on a ship.
2: Heavy cannons can only snap to LARGE gun ports, period. NO heavies on decks, and a galleons broadside would be what it should be, longer ranged, and harder hitting than the other classes of ships.