Weapon Lore & Roles

The next major release is going to let you create custom ship loadouts. These include picking from a large variety of weapons – 47 and counting, as of this writing. But if you’re going to pick weapons intelligently, you need to know what they do.

Weapon Lore

Cold, hard numbers are great when you’re comparing the finer points, but for an initial “just what is this” moment, you need a description. Therefore our resident lore master, Ivaylo, has been working night and day (or so he tells me) writing them. I thought I’d share a couple.

Heavy Machine Gun
Primary role: point defense
Mount size: medium

A workhorse of patrol craft across the sector, this weapons system features a reliable, centuries-old blowback firing mechanism. Safety features include a positive cook-off safety for open bolt clearing and double ram prevention. The weapon is typically mounted on a relatively heavy base to help absorb recoil during prolonged bursts of fire. ย Calibers vary, but are usually in the 17-20mm range. The heavier projectiles do not shatter upon impact like lighter ammunition and present a credible threat to frigate-class vessels. Extremely accurate, though slower-firing than a vulcan cannon.

Sabot SRM (Short Range Missile)
Primary role: close support
Mount size: small

Sabot-class class missiles are short-range, two-stage KE weapons. A guided missile first stage projects a secondary assembly to within striking distance of a shielded target. A targeting computer then ignites the propellant for the KE penetrator. This “sabot,” as it is commonly called, is typically a narrow, laterally stabilized projectile manufactured from an ultra dense material such as depleted infernium. ย Excellent at bringing down enemy shields and causing an overload. Standard ship armor is spaced and thus the damage the sabot causes is largely contained if it gets through the shields.

“Mjolnir” Micro-singularity Cannon
Primary role: assault
Mount size: large
A very advanced design, the Mjolnir is technically a magneto-gravitic shell projector, not a standard cannon. The micro capacitors within each shell are able to deliver enough energy to create a localized singularity with a Schwarzschild radius of 1.8 millimeters. The built-in gravitic lens devastates all nearby matter, especially dense objects.

Weapon Roles

A key bit of information when checking out a new weapon is its primary role. Most weapons are useful in a variety of situations, but the primary role reflects the weapon’s intended design and ideal circumstances for its use.

The weapon has a high damage output, but limited range. Assault weapons are usually good on well-armored ships that can afford to take a beating to dish one out – or on faster ships that are hard to hit.

Close Support
The weapon has a good range (generally, up to 2x that of assault weapons), but is limited in some way – overall damage output, ammunition, rate of fire, etc. Depending on the specific limitations, close support weapons excel in many situations ranging from harassment to delivering a killing blow against an exposed enemy.

Point Defense
The weapon has a sophisticated targeting system that allows it to automatically target enemy missiles. Other common characteristics (such as a high turret slew rate) make point defense weapons good against fighters as well.

There are several other roles – strike and fire support, to name two – but I’ll let you guess what they are. The first person to guess correctly wins a prize, which is the satisfaction of being the first to guess correctly and winning a prize.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 17th, 2011 at 12:14 pm and is filed under Development, Lore. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. I can’t wait for this game to be a little bit more fleshed out. It’s looking to be a great game. Keep up the good work!

    by sandwiches
  2. Strike: Weapons that hurt a whole lot but don’t have much ammunition and a relatively huge flux cost? IE. Anti matter cannons.
    I’m guessing fire support belongs to missiles. Long range, and indirect.

    by Horrigan
  3. Going to agree with the strike, the high power low ammo weapons and fire support being missiles and those very long range lasers (which seem to run the gambit of point defense/fire support)

    by Adam Ca
  4. Good guesses, guys. You both win!

    “Strike” is anything that’s good vs large, armored targets, but not fast ones. By that metric, the Anti-matter Blaster is actually a hybrid of strike and assault roles – not quite as damaging as a torpedo or a bay full of bombs, but on the other hand, useful vs fast targets.

    “Fire Support”, as you guessed, is ultra-long-range stuff. At this point, it’s two of the missiles (“Pilum” LRM and “Huricane” MIRV), but there’s an idea for a long-range laser kicking around. The current long-range laser is considered “close support”.

    by Alex
  5. whats the chance of any large naval type cannons, like a 200-400mm cannon?

    by theShadow
  6. The Hellbore Cannon features a 510mm barrel ๐Ÿ™‚

    by Alex
  7. I was waiting for something like this ๐Ÿ˜€
    So does this mean you are going to add custom games too?
    Or will it still be random battles?

    by misterjscape
  8. Custom battles (where you pick the ships/loadouts for both sides) are planned for the next big release.

    Hopefully, that’ll add some replayability to tide things over until the open-world sandbox is in ๐Ÿ™‚

    by Alex
  9. And will there be map selection?

    by misterjscape
  10. Will have to see what makes sense – but probably, in some form.

    I was also thinking of adding a “Quick Battle” mode where you don’t have to deploy your ships, there aren’t any objectives, and the fleets start out close to each other – just a quick melee to try out a new ship loadout.

    by Alex
  11. Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ can’t wait.

    by misterjscape
  12. Don’t try to put every weapon in a distinct category. Better think of all these categories as properties and most of the weapons are very deep in ~2 properties/categories. If a weapon ever is in 4+ categories, it is overpowered and too boring ๐Ÿ˜€
    Keep it coming! I can’t wait to see the free play mode!

    by BlacKcuD
  13. I agree with Blackcud on this one, the idea of having a weapon rated in various categories would be awesome, although that would probably be difficult to do.

    by Cyphr
  14. Well, if I understand what you’re saying, it already works that way.

    Categories (or “roles”) result from the weapon’s stats, so naturally most weapons have some capability in multiple roles.

    For example, in addition to filling the primary point defense role, the Heavy Machine Gun is a credible assault weapon.

    by Alex