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Author Topic: Mechanics of EMP  (Read 6335 times)

TheWetFish

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Mechanics of EMP
« on: July 01, 2017, 10:47:07 PM »

What are the mechanics of EMP damage?

Broadly speaking it does nothing to shields (usually) and disables weapons & engines if not blocked but what are the more exact mechanics?

Will the EMP shot turn off weapons randomly, or weapons near the point of impact first?
Does the size of the EMP shot have any impact on what is disabled?
Do different mounts sizes, weapon durability or other variables impact how much EMP it takes to disable weapons?

There's a lot of hearsay information floating around and the wiki is conspicuously light on the subject, for now
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The Soldier

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 11:57:41 PM »

EMP can arc through shields depending on the hard flux of the target at listed percentage rate on a given weapon, I think.  There's weapon health which I believe is fixed based on the size of the mount (though I don't remember the exact health values), and then there's EMP damage which is set for any weapon as well as listed in-game.  EMP damage ignores the armor of the target to damage weapons and engines (which other weapons have to go through before damaging weapons and engines), unlike more conventional fire, which is the reason why it knocks out those systems so easily.  The EMP effect occurs around the point of impact, if the bit above didn't make that obvious.  There's also EMP arcing when it hits the surface of the target, which I think can arc to other parts of a ship and affect those areas, though that was added (relatively) recently so I couldn't tell you much on that.  I think *some* EMP weapons also have the ability to briefly overload a ship when it makes contact with the hull, though I think the only weapon currently capable of doing consistently is the Tachyon Lance, though the Ion Cannon might also have a small chance (but I don't remember all the patchnotes).

All you really need to know to use EMP weapons effectively is that you have to target weapons and engines and, the higher the hard flux of a ship, the better chance EMP will have of arcing through and disabling systems regardless.
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TheWetFish

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 12:52:18 AM »

EMP can arc through shields depending on the hard flux of the target at listed percentage rate on a given weapon, I think.  There's weapon health which I believe is fixed based on the size of the mount (though I don't remember the exact health values), and then there's EMP damage which is set for any weapon as well as listed in-game.  EMP damage ignores the armor of the target to damage weapons and engines (which other weapons have to go through before damaging weapons and engines), unlike more conventional fire, which is the reason why it knocks out those systems so easily.  The EMP effect occurs around the point of impact, if the bit above didn't make that obvious.  There's also EMP arcing when it hits the surface of the target, which I think can arc to other parts of a ship and affect those areas, though that was added (relatively) recently so I couldn't tell you much on that.  I think *some* EMP weapons also have the ability to briefly overload a ship when it makes contact with the hull, though I think the only weapon currently capable of doing consistently is the Tachyon Lance, though the Ion Cannon might also have a small chance (but I don't remember all the patchnotes).

All you really need to know to use EMP weapons effectively is that you have to target weapons and engines and, the higher the hard flux of a ship, the better chance EMP will have of arcing through and disabling systems regardless.

That broadly gels with my anecdotal experience.  Hard numbers on size of point of impact, how much durability mounts have and arcing all over the ship would be excellent

Not sure about regular EMP damage arcing through shields or overloads (but not certain either) 

Ion Beam & Tachyon Lance are a bit odd as they have scripted effects.  Their .wpn files include something like;
Code
	"beamEffect":"com.fs.starfarer.api.impl.combat.IonBeamEffect",
and peaking inside shows a lot of code regarding target's shield status and piercing chance, inside
   \Starsector\starfarer.api.jar -> impl -> combat -> IonBeamEffect.class

I can't see anything relating to overloads scripted, although the Tachyon Lance is quite capable of causing a regular overload via regular damage if the AI snaps it's shield up to block it (upwards of 2K damage bursts will do that).  The Ion Torpedoes from the Ship & Weapon Pack mod actively add flux to targets on hit (via script) but I'm not sure anything else does.  A whole ship knocked out by EMP does look very similar to an overload, to me
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FooF

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 03:07:45 PM »

IIRC, the only EMP weapons that can penetrate a shield is the Ion Beam and Tachyon Lance, and only at high flux. Ion Cannons and Ion Pulsers do not, or at least I can't ever recall seeing them do so. Ion Beam and Tachyon Lance explicitly say they can do so in their descriptions.

I'm not sure how arcing works but would be interested to know.

Since I don't know how much HP a given weapon has, I've never known if "400 EMP" damage is a lot or not. It would seem most Ion Cannon shots tend disable a weapon or two within seconds of firing so I have to assume they have less than 1000, perhaps closer to 500 before being disabled. Perhaps Small/Medium/Large have their own HP pools. It also makes Armored Weapon Mounts a little nebulous because outside of "more" HP, I don't know if it has a practical effect against EMP damage.
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Megas

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 03:15:30 PM »

Only Ion Beam and Tachyon Lance can arc through and penetrate shields, and the chance for that varies by the target's hard flux.  Other standard EMP weapons do not penetrate shields.
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Alex

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 03:16:08 PM »

For reference, small/medium/large weapons have 250/500/800 health, and double that if in a hardpoint instead of a turret. However, EMP damage is inexact because it depends on the proximity of the impact to the weapon, so for example weapons set further into the hull take less damage, both EMP and otherwise.
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FooF

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 05:24:49 PM »

Is it some function of EMP Damage * Some multiplier = EMP Damage at X Radius from impact?

Whatever the case may be, a single Ion Cannon usually is enough to disable most of a ship once shields are down. On things like an Onslaught, I have noticed that it takes an awful lot to lock down the interior of the ship so my suspicions were confirmed.

Oh, and if you're in the telling mood, how is Engine HP calculated? Does each tiny engine exhaust have the same HP and some ships just have more than others? If EMP damage is a proximity thing, it would make sense why a Salamander would knock out multiple engines in one strike.
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Alex

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 06:40:54 PM »

Yeah, pretty much. IIRC it follows the damage pattern for armor cells, except it does half-damage to the primary/secondary cells and quarter damage to tertiary.

For engines, there's a base HP value - 100/200/400/600/800, from fighter to capital. Call this baseHP. The actual hitpoints of the engine are then:
maxHp = baseHP * (0.75f + (size/100f * 0.5f));

Where "size" is engine glow width + height, clamped to [0, 100].
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TheWetFish

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 07:05:29 PM »

That's exactly the sort of information I was after, thanks a lot!
Wiki updated; http://starsector.wikia.com/wiki/EMP

How does arcing work? 
Occasionally it looks like small hits at the front can arc to the back and disable engines or other, far away weapons.  Possibly after weapons near to the point of impact are already disabled.

Does the amount of EMP damage impact how long a weapon will be disabled?

Does EMP damage bleed off, if insufficient to disable a weapon?
If it takes one 50 EMP shot and then several seconds later another 50 EMP shot, will it stack up or will the initial damage have subsided?
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Alex

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 11:04:30 AM »

How does arcing work? 
Occasionally it looks like small hits at the front can arc to the back and disable engines or other, far away weapons.  Possibly after weapons near to the point of impact are already disabled.

It's more likely to pick nearby weapons/engines (weighed linearly) but could arc anywhere, including already-disabled weapons.

Does the amount of EMP damage impact how long a weapon will be disabled?

It doesn't.

Does EMP damage bleed off, if insufficient to disable a weapon?
If it takes one 50 EMP shot and then several seconds later another 50 EMP shot, will it stack up or will the initial damage have subsided?

It's just like other damage to weapons/engines - taking damage will stop it regenerating hitpoints for 5 seconds. So for example repeated small hits will eventually disable anything, if there's no break long enough for it to start repairs.
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TheWetFish

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 08:57:25 PM »

That's a great many questions solved.  I think these are the last ones, from me at least

Under what conditions does an arc occur?
For example can an Ion Cannon trigger an arc?

What is the base repair rate for weapons & engines?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 10:10:57 PM by TheWetFish »
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Ranakastrasz

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 11:16:59 AM »

So all EMP weapons cause arcs?
Is the chance of arcing through shields based on shield arc size, distance to shield edge, efficiency, current flux, or what?
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Megas

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 12:52:24 PM »

So all EMP weapons cause arcs?
No.  If they did, HVD and Mjolnir would be even better than what they are, and they are already among the best of weapons.
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DeMatt

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 02:26:11 PM »

So all EMP weapons cause arcs?
No.

There are three categories of EMP-causing weaponry:
  • Localized EMP only (Hypervelocity Driver, Mjolnir Cannon, Squall, Salamander).  These do not cause any arcing at all, and thus only apply EMP damage to what they hit.
  • Standard EMP weapons (Ion Cannon, Ion Pulser, Sabot (second stage only)).  These can cause arcing FROM their impact point TO turrets and engines, but must hit the hull directly in order to do so.
  • Penetrating EMP weapons (Ion Beam, Tachyon Beam).  These can cause arcing through shields, again targeting turrets and engines.
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TheWetFish

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Re: Mechanics of EMP
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 09:02:08 PM »


There are three categories of EMP-causing weaponry:
  • Localized EMP only (Hypervelocity Driver, Mjolnir Cannon, Squall, Salamander).  These do not cause any arcing at all, and thus only apply EMP damage to what they hit.
  • Standard EMP weapons (Ion Cannon, Ion Pulser, Sabot (second stage only)).  These can cause arcing FROM their impact point TO turrets and engines, but must hit the hull directly in order to do so.
  • Penetrating EMP weapons (Ion Beam, Tachyon Beam).  These can cause arcing through shields, again targeting turrets and engines.

Interesting! Based on observation or code?
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