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Author Topic: The Problem of Energy Weapons  (Read 4264 times)

Wyvern

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2019, 12:51:36 PM »

If I were going to change the mining laser...
  • Burst-damage beam, fires a single 200-damage pulse.
  • Burst duration set to 1/2 second, giving it a to-hit strength of 200 for armor penetration calculations - slightly above that of burst PD, and well ahead of any other small energy weapon that's not an antimatter blaster.
  • Fire rate of one burst every five seconds, for 40 DPS.
  • Flux cost increased to 40 flux/s, improving flux efficiency to one-to-one.
This makes it great at, say, shooting down one salamander missile or one incoming fighter, but terrible for any sort of sustained defense, and very vulnerable to being distracted by chaff (be that fighters with flares or just something like swarmer missiles).  It also gives it a secondary niche of "armor-cracking vs frigates".
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Goumindong

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #181 on: September 10, 2019, 02:20:33 PM »

There's really no need to change the Phase Lance as it is now, since it fills a nice role of short range burst armor stripper. Would be kinda crazy with that much range. Agree with everything else.
I like to see phase lance be more efficient (no worse than Pulse Laser), if nothing else changes.

It might be a good idea to rename its role to something like Defense (anti-ship), seems it is good at picking off fighters and small ships that try to swarm the defender.  It stinks for general-purpose assault on its own (except as a strike weapon for Harbinger), unless it has extra range and help from other weapons.  Rather use pulse laser for assault.

Phase Lances already ARE more efficient than pulse lasers.

Pulse laser Flux/Damage vs 500 armor: 6.6 Flux/Damage
Heavy Blaster Flux/Damage vs 500 armor : 2.88 Flux/Damage
Phase Lance Flux/Damage vs 500 armor 2.40 Flux/Damage

Flux/Armor and Hull Damage efficiency breakpoints
Phase Lance > actual Armor is greater than 43.89
Phase Lance > Hull minimum armor when maximum armor armor is 877

Note that 800 is not a lot of armor.

Do not that this overestimates the flux/damage of phase lances because the fact that its a beam pushes it towards the optimal tick rate to reduce damage (that is. If you could do 1 damage every 1/500th of a second at penetration 500 you would do more damage to armor than if you did 500 damage every second at 500 penetration).

Phase lances are the best armor penetration flux damage for energy weapons in the medium energy set. They're not as good as Heavy Mortars (1.34 vs 500 armor) or Assault Chainguns (1.25) but heavy mortars may have some other disadvantages that are relevant to their ability to penetrate armor (like their "ability" to hit said armor) and assault chainguns may have similar issues and also may be hilariously OP and need to be nerfed significantly.
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Megas

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #182 on: September 10, 2019, 04:45:25 PM »

Quote
Phase Lances already ARE more efficient than pulse lasers.
Only for anti-armor as you point out, which I guess is fine if anti-armor is the only reason to mount them.

1.2 efficiency is not good if I am looking for a cheaper weapon than Pulse Laser to support (because Pulse Laser eats a bit too much flux for comfort), and the next thing that could substitute for it, Phase Lance, is nearly as flux-hungry.  High-200s is less than 333, but may still a bit too high for comfort.

No hard-flux and 600 range really hurts, so unless I have ways to mitigate the weaknesses (like kinetics on the ship, bypass shields like Harbinger, overpower weak shields due to lance spam) or really desperate for lower flux load, I rather use pulse laser for general-purpose use.  At least pulse laser will put hard flux on shields and make it easier to win the flux war against (AI) targets that can tank a lance strike or two on shields, then dissipate the soft flux if I cannot keep the pressure up.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 04:54:32 PM by Megas »
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Embolism

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #183 on: September 10, 2019, 05:11:40 PM »

It will basically turn off an entire broadside of a capital ship with *one* good salvo. What else does it need lol? The spread is actually beneficial for that. Anyways any buffs would make it far too easy to declaw everything it shoots at.

The problem is an ion cannon can do a good enough job against an exposed, shieldless ship at considerably less cost in flux and better range. The AI will 100% use an ion cannon better than an ion pulser, and in player hands it's in the funny place where you have to rely on the AI to do some shield-breaking and then play the opportunistic, short-ranged flanker...
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Goumindong

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #184 on: September 10, 2019, 05:26:07 PM »

Quote
Phase Lances already ARE more efficient than pulse lasers.
Only for anti-armor as you point out, which I guess is fine if anti-armor is the only reason to mount them.

But its not. They're also perfectly accurate weapons with blazing projectile speed. They turn any moderately fluxed frigate into a dead frigate when that frigate would otherwise be able to retreat, from say pulse laser fire, and when you're not fast enough to catch them.

They do not miss and absolutely shred fighters.

It baffles me that you don't use them because i hoard phase lances like nothing else. I like them more than tachyon lances*.

*Tachyon lances have the same raw flux efficiency but cost 2.5x the OP for only 60% more DPS. They do have more range(and EMP) but 2 phase lances has more burst than a single tachyon and their lower range can be an advantage due to target discrimination.
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Megas

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #185 on: September 10, 2019, 05:40:34 PM »

If I need them for PD, like on an Eagle, then sure, lances are good.  If my target is anything and everything (especially same-size opponents or larger), then phase lance stinks, unless I have other considerations (Advanced Optics, kinetics, mass stacking).

Quote
They do not miss and absolutely shred fighters.
If they are locked on target, then yes.  If not (I move the ship the moment it fires) and the whole burst misses, it hurts.

Quote
*Tachyon lances have the same raw flux efficiency but cost 2.5x the OP for only 60% more DPS. They do have more range(and EMP) but 2 phase lances has more burst than a single tachyon and their lower range can be an advantage due to target discrimination.
I like the range and especially shield penetration.  Tachyon Lances are a near automatic choice for ships that can mount ballistics, due to being semi-unblockable.  Unlike Ion Beam, the damage and EMP that leaks through is significant.
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ZeCaptain

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #186 on: September 10, 2019, 07:14:04 PM »

I think energy weapons are fine as is, tach lances and mining blasters are also fine.

Mining blasters are good high powered burst weapons, and lances are good for hitscan long range damage.
Great for killing small annoying ships before they get in range like kites, wolves, and hounds that dance around your ships before they get in range.

They're also among the few reasonable responses against onslaughts and battle carriers, and a good response against pirates in general.
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Thaago

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #187 on: September 10, 2019, 07:55:47 PM »

Don't nerf my phase lances by giving them 200 more range at the cost of 4 OP! 600 range is good for Eagles and Falcons. The 600 range lets the main guns build hard flux first with the efficient kinetics, before firing at armor - it also saves the blast to swat down pesky frigates and fighters.

If you really feel the phase lance needs a buff, buff its turning speed, especially turning speed while firing! At present when ships activate a maneuverability system they can be thrown off target. Fixing that would further improve their fighter killing dominance.
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SCC

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #188 on: September 10, 2019, 10:39:21 PM »

Crucial part of the phase lance change I proposed was "if a medium tactical laser was needed", and it's because phase lance already is a weapon for ships that have ballistics to deal with shields, or need something better than pulse laser to deal with fighters. That makes Tempest, Medusa, Falcon, Eagle and Paragon. Medium taclaser would obsolete phase lance for all ships, save for Tempest and Medusa.

xenoargh

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #189 on: September 10, 2019, 11:01:57 PM »

I have been testing a Medium Laser.  There's definitely a niche there.
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Goumindong

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #190 on: September 11, 2019, 01:32:33 AM »

Quote
Phase Lances already ARE more efficient than pulse lasers.
Only for anti-armor as you point out, which I guess is fine if anti-armor is the only reason to mount them.

1.2 efficiency is not good if I am looking for a cheaper weapon than Pulse Laser to support (because Pulse Laser eats a bit too much flux for comfort), and the next thing that could substitute for it, Phase Lance, is nearly as flux-hungry.  High-200s is less than 333, but may still a bit too high for comfort.

No hard-flux and 600 range really hurts, so unless I have ways to mitigate the weaknesses (like kinetics on the ship, bypass shields like Harbinger, overpower weak shields due to lance spam) or really desperate for lower flux load, I rather use pulse laser for general-purpose use.  At least pulse laser will put hard flux on shields and make it easier to win the flux war against (AI) targets that can tank a lance strike or two on shields, then dissipate the soft flux if I cannot keep the pressure up.

So from my perspective what it seems like youre asking for is uber weapons. You want weapons that are good againt armor and shield and deal hard flux.

But you just cant have weapons like that. Energy weapons are already “in the middle” in terms of armor/shield dpf. The unique advantages they bring is that they’re simultaneously as good as a combination of HE/Kinetic weapons while bringing other advantages like projectile speed and accuracy and tracking to the table.

They cannot really stretch to be the weapons you want without being hideously OP or losing those accuracy/projectile speed/recoil advantages. And if they do lose those advantages they will potentially be obsolete compared to the specialized weapons.

Part of this is because the weapons you want in support seem to already be there. You can gun down to IR pulse if youre having AI issues at 333. All the way down to 152 flux for 1 to 1 damage. Or if you were concerned with adding additional shield pressure instead of hard flux you could spend 75 flux for 200 shield damage from a graviton*. But for one reason or another these weapons dont work for you and i dont understand why. When presented with the alternative that does the thing you want you always find some reason to not like it. Either it does too much flux a second or too little flux/second sometimes for the same weapon. You want a bigger laser instead of just fitting two**. And if you did that i can see your complaint about the lack of shield damage already.

*while the graviton does not do hard flux its also the best efficiency kinetic damage in the game at .75! To 1000 range! On a beam that doesnt miss!

**as a semi-aside, stacked tac lasers are really powerful. Especially on fast ships. The damage is low but the accuracy and range mean you have trouble getting away and an ease of dealing damage. Each tac laser deals a minimum of 11.25 armor damage/second. Which doesnt seem like a lot until you try to take a 10 second vent getting hit by 5 of them. A 150 dps tac laser would just destroy ships. It would be hilarious.
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Megas

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #191 on: September 11, 2019, 05:18:54 AM »

Quote
You want weapons that are good againt armor and shield and deal hard flux.
That is energy's gimmick, at least those that do not exceed 500-700 range.  I want one my ship can use without filling up on flux too fast, especially against ballistics users or enemies with tough shields that would have no problem winning the flux war unless two or more ships gang up on it.  All of the medium weapons are a bit too flux hungry for some ships (midline, some high-tech with bad flux stats).  Heavy weapons do not have this problem.  The medium ones are really annoying due to bad efficiency.  (Pulse laser is the closest, but not all ships can support it comfortably.)  Small only has IR Pulse Laser, which is too short-ranged for assault (but is decent as PD for big ships).

I do not want uber weapons, just better variety of gap fillers (or the existing ones buffed).  This is not unlike medium HE when Heavy Mauler became the only viable medium HE weapon when Chaingun became a SO-only melee weapon (450 range instead of 700).

IR Pulse Laser has terrible range.  If I had 600 range, it might be okay.  As it is, too short-ranged (and not powerful enough, if IR Pulse Laser already struggles against light ballistics) to substitute for medium weapon.

I would be perfectly happy with a low-end medium or high-end light 600 range hard-flux weapon that did low-200 DPS and have no worse than 1.0 efficiency.  It would be useful for Wolf and midline ships, those that have trouble supporting the current weapons.

Quote
**as a semi-aside, stacked tac lasers are really powerful. Especially on fast ships. The damage is low but the accuracy and range mean you have trouble getting away and an ease of dealing damage. Each tac laser deals a minimum of 11.25 armor damage/second. Which doesnt seem like a lot until you try to take a 10 second vent getting hit by 5 of them. A 150 dps tac laser would just destroy ships. It would be hilarious.
This is where I disagree with the others that brought this up before.  Few ships can stack that many on their own, and even those that do, they are not that strong, especially to give up other weapons like PD to make it work.  Six tactical laser Eagle is one, and the kill speed is not very fast.  If it was very effective, I would use it more.  As it is, I prefer other loadouts partly because I do not like giving up PD, and the sacrifice is not powerful enough for the trade to be worth it.  (No IPDAI to add PD.  IPDAI on Tactical Lasers kills the stacking, and is too slow to work well.)

P.S.  If I really want an uber weapon, I would want a Defender-style smart bomb or Gauntlet potion powered by Wizard that flashes the screen and all enemies on the map explode and die instantly, for an instant win.  That is even stronger than those '80s arcade games since they only kill the screen and not the whole level.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 05:47:24 AM by Megas »
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TaLaR

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #192 on: September 11, 2019, 08:29:29 AM »

**as a semi-aside, stacked tac lasers are really powerful. Especially on fast ships. The damage is low but the accuracy and range mean you have trouble getting away and an ease of dealing damage. Each tac laser deals a minimum of 11.25 armor damage/second. Which doesnt seem like a lot until you try to take a 10 second vent getting hit by 5 of them. A 150 dps tac laser would just destroy ships. It would be hilarious.

Tactical lasers don't make or break *any* good builds. TL Paragon and Sunder are the best ships to go for mostly pure soft flux build (due to sheer flux stats of Paragon and HEF for Sunder). TL Paragon could leave out Tacs and still work as a build, Sunder doesn't even have slots to use them.
For other ships Graviton+Tacs is way too slow at killing and meets fairly low hard ceiling of what it can't kill ever. Wolves are cheap enough to afford being just an annoyance, but a soft flux Medusa or Aurora is too much of DP waste.

If you try to combine tacs with ballistics instead of pure soft flux pressure builds, you just waste flux on Tacs most of the time. If you can't overpower dissipation (which is the case for such builds) and enemy has 0 soft on top of their hard flux, firing Tacs just wastes your flux.
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Thaago

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #193 on: September 11, 2019, 10:06:07 AM »

Tactical lasers are ok for forcing light ships to keep their shields up, but unfortunately do not work as expected with IPDA vs missiles due to their slow extend speed. They aren't awful, but aren't nearly as good as they look on paper.

I'd rather just mount LRPDs. 800 vs 1000 range is a downside, as is 50 vs 75 DPS, but they have significantly higher uptime thanks to their faster extend speed: it wouldn't surprise me if the real DPS of LRPDs was higher than tacs against multiple long range targets. The lower flux cost (30 vs 75) is also rather nice. For anti-fighter, the higher DPS really tells though: tactical lasers kill fighters faster.

I like tactical laser as the front small of a Wolf if I don't have an Ion Cannon - it forces enemy light frigates to keep their shields up while the Wolf vents off the excess flux from a pulse laser, letting them take advantage of their superior speed. My only complaint is that I wish the AI would turn it off when firing said pulse laser.
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Goumindong

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Re: The Problem of Energy Weapons
« Reply #194 on: September 11, 2019, 10:20:55 AM »

Quote
You want weapons that are good againt armor and shield and deal hard flux.
That is energy's gimmick, at least those that do not exceed 500-700 range.  I want one my ship can use without filling up on flux too fast, especially against ballistics users or enemies with tough shields that would have no problem winning the flux war unless two or more ships gang up on it.  All of the medium weapons are a bit too flux hungry for some ships (midline, some high-tech with bad flux stats).  Heavy weapons do not have this problem.  The medium ones are really annoying due to bad efficiency.  (Pulse laser is the closest, but not all ships can support it comfortably.)  Small only has IR Pulse Laser, which is too short-ranged for assault (but is decent as PD for big ships).
Sorry by "good" i mean better. Because if they do, according to you, do good armor and shield damage and hard flux, with great shot speed and accuracy and recoil... then what are you complaining about?

They use too much flux? Fit fewer of them! They aren't efficient enough? I thought you just said they did good armor and shield damage...

And high tech ships with bad flux stats? We just had this discussion there is only one high tech ship with worse flux stats OR worse flux stats DP for DP. And its the wolf*. The shrike has more, the medusa has more, the aurora has more, the Apogee has more, the Odyssey has more, the Tempest and Scarab and Hyperion have more. In many cases a LOT more.

*and OK paragon probably falls in terms of "per DP" to the conquest but not the onslaught.
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