Sadly real beams will be invisible active denial beams. Very contentrated beams might be rather like an invisible Jason Voorhees looping through victims with monofiliment lines.
I think we will have visible beam energy weapons eventually.
I know because I have 2 of these in the video and they are fucking dangerous. The brightness of the diffused reflection when they hit the wall is actually about 10 times more than what you see in that video (the camera just filters out the brightness to what the sensor saturates with)
In the next 10-20 years there will technology powerful enough to make beams like these as deadly as bullets, or deadlier.
Laser/phser fights seem more like squirt gun fights with the beam splattering on contact with people, where they just grad their chest and fall down stunned.
I wish that was all that ever happened on the battle field.
I chalk this up simply to the fact that they don't want to show people actually getting killed on family oriented entertainment like Star Trek. We have seen episodes where people are cut right thru when the phasers are set high enough to do more than stun.