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Author Topic: The most imba weapon?  (Read 2251 times)

Wyvern

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2020, 08:34:29 PM »

I don't think the heavy blaster is unbalanced at all. If a ship has the dissipation to use a heavy blaster, it could easily use multiple other weapons to get much higher dps and efficiency.
This... does not match my experience; you're overlooking the heavy blaster's vastly superior armor penetration.  If you've got a ship that can reasonably support one or two pulse lasers (but doesn't have a large energy slot), it's likely to perform better with a single heavy blaster, even if that means leaving one of its medium energy slots empty.  This doesn't change until you get up to the Aurora, where you can reasonably install a heavy blaster alongside other more efficient guns.
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FooF

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2020, 09:21:24 PM »

It does penetrate armor very well but unless you have another weapon to get through shields, the HB hurts you more than it hurts the enemy due to its vastly inferior efficiency. Most ships will flux themselves out before they get through a roughly equivalent enemy's shields unless there is a lot of venting involved.

I also agree with intrinsic_parity's opportunity cost argument. The HB is only the "best" option for a given medium Energy mount if the ship you're putting it on can reasonably support sustained fire. Most ships can't. A Wolf, Tempest, or Shrike, all built around a Medium Energy, are hard-pressed to use a HB. Even a Medusa or Sunder can only reasonably use 1. A Phase Lance or Pulse Laser is usually a better fit because of the lowered flux profile.

The real litmus test is what you would put in a Medium Universal on a Destroyer or Cruiser. I don't the the HB out-competes a Heavy Needler, HVD, or Heavy Mauler on most of my ships. Heck, I might put in a Dual-Flak, Sabot Pod or Reaper Launcher over a HB. That's not to say the HB is bad but I don't think it competes favorably against most elite Ballistics and some Medium Missiles.

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Wyvern

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2020, 09:45:51 PM »

Wolf doesn't really have the flux stats to support a single pulse laser, nevermind a heavy blaster.  Shrike's debateable.  Tempest?  A tempest with a single heavy blaster (and literally no other weaponry) performs very well indeed; in my experience, much better than one that uses other vanilla weaponry.

As for medium universals?  Well, yeah, if you've got more than one such, or other medium weapon slots, then specialized ballistics (or -maybe- missiles) are the way to go (for a ship with sane flux stats, at least).  I mean, that's obvious.  Not a good 'litmus test' there.

Now, consider instead a hypothetical destroyer with one medium universal and a handful of small slots.  What do you want there?  Well, if you're looking for a specialized role, then a ballistic or missile weapon will work nicely.  If you want something that's just generally going to kill things?  Heavy blaster has no serious competition (short of maybe an SO build with an assault chaingun).  And this is what I mean about the HB constraining design space: a ship that would be reasonable with other weaponry becomes very quickly unreasonable when it's suddenly doing 500dps with high armor penetration instead of the tradeoffs you'd have to have with literally any other weapon.

There are no destroyers with that weapon layout in vanilla, so it's not a vanilla balance issue.  But it's a good example of what I mean about the heavy blaster's existence skewing what's safe to design when you're modding.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2020, 10:31:25 PM »

I mean the problem with a destroyer with only one medium slot and enough dissipation to fire a heavy blaster in sustained fire is that you haven't given it enough weapon slots to utilize all of its dissipation, so the heavy blaster represents a way to dump flux through a single mount (which is exactly what it is meant to do). That's just a poorly balance ship IMO (basically has destroyer+ dissipation but frigate mounts, which doesn't make much sense to me). Even then, with a single universal and small energy, I would still probably go for a heavy needler and use small slots for AM blasters or something like that, and for a medium universal with small ballistics, I would go for an assault chaingun and light needlers/railguns. It would depend on maneuverability and other stats though, but I don't even think the heavy blaster is the best load out for that hypothetical ship in a lot of cases.

I actually prefer pulse laser + phase lance to single heavy blaster on a tempest. That's my goto SO tempest load out. It has slightly higher raw DPS, lower flux/sec and the phase lance works better with the ship system IMO (and has very good armor pen). I've also used single HB a lot and I think the loadouts are very comparable.

I guess the heavy blaster theoretically is unbalanced on ships with much much better dissipation than mounts (who are also limited to energy mounts), but that just seems like a very small subset of possible ships, and its easily solvable by adding an extra mount or two to allow for other loadouts. It just doesn't seem like such a big problem to me, but I guess we can agree to disagree.
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Grievous69

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2020, 12:11:25 AM »

@Wyvern
I think the word you were looking for the Heavy Blaster is game changer. As was already established, it is in no way imbalanced. I honestly both love and hate the weapon at the same time. Because on some ships HB just works really well, but you're gonna be really hurting with flux. Some people call it the HE medium energy weapon in disguise, which I kinda agree with. In my mind it's ''what if Safety Overrides was a weapon'', and there you have it. Weapon clearly not on par with other medium options, yet not really a large weapon either. Someone already tackled this ''problem'', ships with few mount options. If a ship has enough dissipation, why would you not put Heavy blaster on it? For me that ship is Shrike, everywhere else I can see doing some other medium energy combos but here I always roll with this: Heavy Blaster, Sabot Pod and PD all around. Now the question is why am I going with HB everytime if it clearly has 3 small energies also pointing forward, it's not really a mount problem on paper. But in reality all small energies suck for assault, and having PD in them is far far better. This is just due to the energy options with have, with HB being a ''controversial'' energy option that can get what you want but for a price.

If you think that design is a bit weird, imagine a destroyer with a single large ballistic mount, just with some small ballistics around. If the ship had enough dissipation for a Mjolnir, would you not use it every time? I'm sure you could make it a support ship with a Storm Needler or something but having a ship that can do everything with high DPS is just the easier way.
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Burvjradzite

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2020, 01:10:50 AM »

Heavy needler, anti-matter blaster, pulse laser, ir pulse laser
Four harpoons pod on falcon (P), four harpoon racks on drover
Double hurricane
Dagger/trident
Sparks, ofc
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Grievous69

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2020, 01:13:40 AM »

Heavy needler, anti-matter blaster, pulse laser, ir pulse laser
I seriously can't tell if you're saying these are OP or UP. Neither with Hurricanes actually.
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Megas

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2020, 06:29:09 AM »

Re: Heavy Blaster
It was much better with more OP, stronger skills (more flux and dissipation), and various exploits (fading shots did hard flux among others) in previous releases.  Today, with weaker stats, cowardly AI, and tough enemies like Radiants, flux inefficiency is a real killer.

As a Wolf playership I prefer Heavy Blaster over Pulse Laser.  It cannot support either well, but HB can punch through armor and no windup makes it better for hit-and-run.  AI is a lost cause and should just use beams.  (In old skill days, it could handle one HB without too much trouble.)

For Tempest, I consider the HB and Tactical Laser combo superior to two pulse lasers because DPS is close and costs less OP (16 OP instead of 20 OP).

Shrike and Medusa can handle one heavy blaster.  I like Shrike (P) for being a budget Medusa.  Normal Shrike needs to graduate to being a Shrike (P) with five more OP.

Aurora can handle two if built for it.  It lost flux stats in 0.9.x, so it really needs to sac other weapons and min-max flux stats to support those two.  (In the old skill releases, Medusa could handle two.  Today, we pay 30 DP to do the job of what 12 DP used to do.)

Doom can handle two.  That and some burst PD to pick off missiles, that is all it needs, thanks to the mines system doing a lot of the work.

Apogee, Sunder, and capitals should get plasma cannons instead.  Well, Paragon might want blasters if player wants the four lance loadout.  (I like four lance playership against any enemy that does not have Radiants in it.)  Conquest should stick with more efficient 800+ range ballistics.

The real litmus test is what you would put in a Medium Universal on a Destroyer or Cruiser. I don't the the HB out-competes a Heavy Needler, HVD, or Heavy Mauler on most of my ships. Heck, I might put in a Dual-Flak, Sabot Pod or Reaper Launcher over a HB. That's not to say the HB is bad but I don't think it competes favorably against most elite Ballistics and some Medium Missiles.
For a ship with only one significant mount (such that mixing kinetic and HE is impossible), Heavy Blaster is good enough to pass the test.  Before with better skills and fighters-as-ships, it was a good all-purpose weapon for Heron.  Heron was super Wolf back in the day (when Wolf was strong enough to solo capitals).  Today, with weaker stats and good fighters costing OP to equip, Heron cannot afford HB loadouts (at least not without destroying the point of using it, which is use good fighters).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 07:12:36 AM by Megas »
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FooF

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2020, 08:15:10 AM »

My last comment on the Heavy Blaster:

To be clear, if a ship can sustain the Heavy Blaster's flux profile, it is by far the best single Medium Weapon: not just Medium Energy, Medium Weapon. The only downside it has, if flux is no longer the limiting factor, is its lower range. No other weapon can pull double-duty as well as a HB in terms of getting shields down and punching through armor. However, as we've said, most ships can't reach flux parity with even a single HB so using it against shields is wildly inefficient. With SO, sure, but that has its own downsides independent of the Heavy Blaster itself. That's why I still call it balanced: the flux profile is such that you either need to devote the entire build to the HB (which has opportunity costs) or the ship can naturally support it (i.e. Aurora) which is more of an issue with the ship being an outlier than the Heavy Blaster.

I'm not arguing the Heavy Blaster isn't terrifyingly effective, it's just that vast majority of use-cases can't use it to its full potential. I think that's the point: you fire it in bursts or at times of opportunity. To just open up with indefinite sustained fire, it's on the verge of being overpowered (i.e. maximally efficient: no other alternative competes) but I still don't think it's imbalanced (i.e. pros vastly outweigh cons).
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Igncom1

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2020, 08:36:16 AM »

Yeah it's basically a midpoint between being a large energy weapon and a medium one in damage, while being as expensive or sometimes more then a large in flux costs. It's horrifically over the top for a medium mount, but is still weak and underpowered for a large slot.
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Megas

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2020, 09:18:40 AM »

The only downside it has, if flux is no longer the limiting factor, is its lower range.
That is a big weakness.  It was when more ships could use it to its full potential in earlier releases.
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Daynen

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2020, 09:49:27 AM »

Sounds to me like the HB isn't imbalanced.  There's enough experiences in every direction here leading to various conclusions and we all agree that the significant cost and lowered range make it a demanding weapon, albeit frighteningly effective when used properly.

Sounds kinda balanced to me.

Now, the thumper on the other hand...that thing is outright junk.  By and large, I see people pretty much agree that it's strictly worse than any other weapon in its class for virtually every case yet does NOT cost less of your build than any other weapon in its class.  THAT is a balance problem, simply because there's basically a consensus that there's NEVER a practical reason to use the thumper if ANY other choice is available.
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Igncom1

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2020, 09:52:58 AM »

Sounds to me like the HB isn't imbalanced.  There's enough experiences in every direction here leading to various conclusions and we all agree that the significant cost and lowered range make it a demanding weapon, albeit frighteningly effective when used properly.

Sounds kinda balanced to me.

Now, the thumper on the other hand...that thing is outright junk.  By and large, I see people pretty much agree that it's strictly worse than any other weapon in its class for virtually every case yet does NOT cost less of your build than any other weapon in its class.  THAT is a balance problem, simply because there's basically a consensus that there's NEVER a practical reason to use the thumper if ANY other choice is available.

But that's the thing, you don't always have better choices. Not that I would reccormend it as it can't really deal with anything other then fighters. But yeah early for a player, and the pirates/luddites, rarely have access to the kind of equipment that they might like, if enough of it to properly outfit their fleet.

So long as it's better then nothing, which I am not convinced it is or is not, then it should be fine.
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Megas

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2020, 09:57:14 AM »

Thumper is bad, but not so bad that it is worse than nothing.  It will shred early-game pirates, or my weakened starter ships for that matter, that lost armor.

Few weapons may be so bad that no weapon is better than equipping them due to OP saved.  I consider Pilums to be one of them.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 10:00:32 AM by Megas »
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Goumindong

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Re: The most imba weapon?
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2020, 11:43:45 AM »

I don't even know about the Thumper. Does it really shred hull compared to a Heavy Mortar?

Low end on the "armor" scale of frigates is 300(for ships where armor matters, this is a Lasher, many other ships have 500 armor). For 15 minimum armor before skills. So a thumper does  25/40 x(506 DPS) = 316 DPS /9 OP = 35.13 DPS/OP

A heavy Mortar does 220/235 x 220 DPS = 205.95 DPS / 7 OP = 29.42 DPS per OP.

Now the Thumper is slightly more efficient in terms of flux (if we ignore the 2 free OP) but isn't so much better vs hull that you should think "oh yes i would definitely prefer this over another early game kinetic or HE weapon". You would have to literally have nothing else, not an arbalest, or a mortar, or even a small weapon to make the thumper look particularly good.

And if you run into an officer that has some armor tanking skills? Well then your thumper really really suffers.

Over all i think that Frag Damage for non-PD roles really suffers and should probably be taken out of the game* If you want to chew through hull/armor you want HE. If you want to chew through shield you want Kinetic. If you want to hit both you want energy.

*Or restored to its old hull shredding glory of the pre-minimum armor days by making its hit strength vs minimum hull armor non-penalized. The "PD" only structure however can kind of work in that you can make the weapons specifically anti-fighter, as fighters have very little armor(highest is 200, second highest is 100) and so very little minimum armor, and no skills that boost their armor. This lets you have very efficient anti-fighter weapons without significantly threatening frigates and above with their current paradigm.  But the Thumper neither has the AI profile nor the accuracy nor the turn rate in order to be a good anti-fighter weapon (especially compared to flack)
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