Fast, dynamic, joystick-style space combat is coming to MMOs soon with Jumpgate Evolution from NetDevil. Jumpgate Evolution producer Hermann Peterscheck has written a dev blog for MMORPG.com titled "Iteration on Ship Design", which focuses on a crucial aspect of creating the game -- defining the roles that ships should fill and how they should handle in performing these tasks.
He explains how NetDevil went from having 'a multitude' of ships with different capabilities but with minor differences between them, to a more complete system where ships have clearly defined roles, but don't lock a player into that role, as a class-based system would. However, this clearer separation between ships entailed scrapping some of the designs they'd created.
Peterscheck writes: "We ditched the idea of a medium fighter and took what was cool about it and split it between light and heavy. Suddenly it was much more distinct and fun to fly the two different classes. At first this decision hurt a bit as we thought of it as removing variety from the game. The opposite turned out to be the case. Variety comes from the ability to distinguish difference."
Peterscheck also discusses how all ship designs are tested in PvP scenarios before PvE considerations and balances are made. If you're looking for some more info about Jumpgate Evolution, check out Hermann Peterscheck's dev blog "Iteration on Ship Design" on MMORPG.com.