When I say a shot in Ashes is a real projectile I mean that literally, it might as well be a unit on its own. It has its own model, light source, physical behavior. It's not just about firing arcs. Units won't just shoot into the side of a hill because every single unit has multiple fire systems with their own firing solutions. So now, what we're doing isn't "old" news. It's never been done before in an RTS.
re weaponry, the difference is a particle effect vs. an actual game object. A shot might as well be another unit (a tiny fast moving one). But this sort of thing matters because it allows for true LOs (which. Either SupCom or starcraft have).
re multiple weapons, because it allows us to design units that are more versatile, this will matter more in the future. But, for instance, in starcraft, units have 1 weapon and can only fire at what they're pointing at. In ashes, the better units have weapons with different firing angles (I.e. Turrets swiveling). It's not multiple of the same weapon. This opens the door for us to allow lots of unit upgrades.
Maybe I'm getting your meaning confused, but these (simulated projectiles and multiple weapon systems on units) are both things that existed in Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander (and others, such as Planetary Annihilation). The visual representation of projectiles may have sometimes been a particle effect, but they were entities ("actual game objects") in the game engine that were simulated just like units, and especially in Sup Com's case could be scripted via LUA for absolutely arbitrary behaviour. Both games could also support multiple independently targeting weapons. Sup Com even used this exact mechanism for it's commander upgrades, and there's numerous other examples.
There must be something you haven't told us yet about how they work, or not shown us yet, because so far everything we've seen in AotS can be demonstrated in TA or Sup Com, which I have to admit makes me cringe a little when I hear the claim that it's never been done before.
Your comment about shooting into the side of the hill hints that you are talking about units being a bit smarter in how effective their shots are (something I agree Total Annihilation was better at than Sup Com, because they tried to maneuver a bit if their shots were constantly being blocked), but Sup Com's ability to allow custom LUA scripting actually led to such behaviours being modded into it at one point, as were area commands - copying those found in Sup Com 2 after it's release.