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Author Topic: Beam weapons need a buff  (Read 3987 times)

sotanaht

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Beam weapons need a buff
« on: April 06, 2021, 05:22:14 PM »

Not Tachyon Lance, that thing is powerful enough.

Every other beam weapon though, particularly Tactical Lasers and Graviton Beams, ESPECIALLY Gravitons, simply don't do enough damage.  I realize that they can function for zoning AI, but considering how weak they are that seems more like an exploit/bug than a proper feature.  If the AI were smart, it would simply ignore those beams completely.   Even without shields, Tactical Lasers aren't really a threat, even focusing several on a frigate can take upwards of 10 continuous seconds to kill.  Gravitons are even worse, since they practically only do "damage" to shields, and that damage is so low it would be negligible as a small mount at half the cost.

I've been testing with (most) beams modified for 2x to 3x damage and they still feel kind of weak, but once in a while they can actually hurt something so maybe that's good enough.  As a mechanic soft flux is so much less effective that I think it deserves to be much more efficient in terms of cost to fire, and this sort of multiplier seems to work alright.

Edit: For the most part I don't actually use beam weapons on my own ships, except the Tachyons.  My testing mostly consists of seeing what it feels like to go up against beam-heavy enemy fleets.  Without changes, they are so pathetic I actually feel sorry for them.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 05:26:28 PM by sotanaht »
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Chthonic One

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 06:17:28 PM »

I think the point of beams is to force the enemy to lower their shields, so that you can then use anti-armor to pierce their armor next. If you didn't they would let the anti-armor weapons detonate uselessly against their shields.

Once the armor is down, those weapons deal just as much damage as the anti-armor weapons to the hull. What you are having issues with is that those ships you are fighting have armor as well as shields.

Bring something to deal with the armor as well as the shields.
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bobucles

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 06:24:25 PM »

Beams are snowball weapons. When a handful of beams pressure an enemy, they shrug it of and nothing happens. When TOO many beams pressure an enemy, death is inevitable.

For defense, any number of beams is fine. For offense, it's all or nothing. If the beams don't overwhelm the ship, they won't do the job.

sotanaht

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 06:46:25 PM »

Beams are snowball weapons. When a handful of beams pressure an enemy, they shrug it of and nothing happens. When TOO many beams pressure an enemy, death is inevitable.

For defense, any number of beams is fine. For offense, it's all or nothing. If the beams don't overwhelm the ship, they won't do the job.
That number is too high.  Even massive AI fleets can't focus enough beam firepower to blow up frigates (again, ignoring Tachyons).  If a dozen ships are focusing a frigate it damn well should die.

I think the point of beams is to force the enemy to lower their shields, so that you can then use anti-armor to pierce their armor next. If you didn't they would let the anti-armor weapons detonate uselessly against their shields.

Once the armor is down, those weapons deal just as much damage as the anti-armor weapons to the hull. What you are having issues with is that those ships you are fighting have armor as well as shields.

Bring something to deal with the armor as well as the shields.
If anything the point of beams is to force the enemy to keep shields up, because shields shrug off anything but the most overwhelming concentrated attack with beams.  Gravitons don't damage shields OR armor, and for 9 OP and a medium slot, that's unforgivable.  Tactical Lasers can damage armor slightly, but again even at frigate level the damage isn't very noticeable.

In any case I think that the AI behavior should reflect player behavior.  If the players don't think beams are worth worrying about, they will be frustrated when their AI ships pussyfoot around in fear of those same beams.  So either buff beams so that players behave in the same way their AI ships do, or change the AI to behave the same way that players do, the former is easier to accomplish than the latter, and the latter leaves beams as entirely worthless instead of just weak.


One thing I haven't really thought about much is the new hard flux beam hull mod.  Buff beam damage too far and that could be overpowered.  As it is, beams aren't nearly strong enough to justify being among the shortest range weapons after that hullmod, AND paying an extra OP cost for the hullmod itself.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 07:02:45 PM by sotanaht »
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Baqar79

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 07:27:56 PM »

Phase Lances I thought were pretty decent as far as medium beam weapons go.  The High Scatter Amplifier hull mod is interesting in that it converts beam weapon damage to hard flux, but the range penalty seems excessive enough that I haven't used it (as an idea perhaps it could be made mutually exclusive with the ITU and Advanced Optics instead of the range penalty so that smaller ships would benefit more from it).

I guess with energy weapons they are supposed to be more generalist and do 100% damage vs Shields & Armour as compared to ballistic weapons specialization into both Kinetic and High Explosive damage variants.  There are however 2 oddities to this; the Graviton beam (Medium anti-shield) and High Intensity Laser (Large anti-armour).

I think Medium and Large energy mounts have a good selection of beam weapons (Tachyon Lance & HIL for large or Phase Lance & Graviton beam for medium), but small energy mounts are pretty much limited to the beam weapons tactical laser or point defense.

While I'm just thinking of what I would like and throwing numbers around that look fair; I would like to see a small energy slot version of the HIL (~7 OP cost), short range (500/450 units) at around 150 high explosive damage (eg 75 damage shield, 300 damage armour), increase tactical laser damage from 75 to 100 damage and the Graviton beam damage from 100 to 150 (300 damage shield, 75 damage armour).
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Ramiel

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 08:52:34 PM »

They really do, Tachyon and phase lances, and pd lasers are the only beam weapons worth using.....
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Warnoise

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 09:02:55 PM »

Not Tachyon Lance, that thing is powerful enough.

Every other beam weapon though, particularly Tactical Lasers and Graviton Beams, ESPECIALLY Gravitons, simply don't do enough damage.  I realize that they can function for zoning AI, but considering how weak they are that seems more like an exploit/bug than a proper feature.  If the AI were smart, it would simply ignore those beams completely.   Even without shields, Tactical Lasers aren't really a threat, even focusing several on a frigate can take upwards of 10 continuous seconds to kill.  Gravitons are even worse, since they practically only do "damage" to shields, and that damage is so low it would be negligible as a small mount at half the cost.

I've been testing with (most) beams modified for 2x to 3x damage and they still feel kind of weak, but once in a while they can actually hurt something so maybe that's good enough.  As a mechanic soft flux is so much less effective that I think it deserves to be much more efficient in terms of cost to fire, and this sort of multiplier seems to work alright.

Edit: For the most part I don't actually use beam weapons on my own ships, except the Tachyons.  My testing mostly consists of seeing what it feels like to go up against beam-heavy enemy fleets.  Without changes, they are so pathetic I actually feel sorry for them.

No they don't need buff...
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sotanaht

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 11:36:32 PM »

No they don't need buff...
Care to explain?  Let's focus on Graviton Beams for now, since they are the most egregious problem.  If you can explain why they don't need buffs, it probably covers everything else as well.
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Scorpixel

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 03:11:25 AM »

No they don't need buff...
Care to explain?  Let's focus on Graviton Beams for now, since they are the most egregious problem.  If you can explain why they don't need buffs, it probably covers everything else as well.
Gravitons do hidden work, as they constantly reduce the flux available for the enemy. 2 gravitons is -400flux/s which can seriously cripple the offensive power of most enemies, useful when you want to save op for high quality weaponry and win the flux war.
It's a 1000 range pressure armament, of course it's not going to single-handedly kill anything with it's damage equal to that of a LR-PD against armour.
The simplest beam combo would be Tachyon Sunder with two gravitons.
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TaLaR

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 03:17:21 AM »

Gravitons have 2 use case:
1) On a 4TL Paragon, to simply overwhelm enemies with soft flux.
2) On a ship using hard flux weapons, to reduce amount of flux enemy has for weapons.

In both cases you need to be wary of enemies with super efficient shields. You spend 75 flux for 200 raw shield damage. If enemy has shield better than 0.375 (not accounting for Targeting Analysis/etc) you are losing flux war just by firing the Graviton beam.
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sotanaht

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2021, 03:38:03 AM »

No they don't need buff...
Care to explain?  Let's focus on Graviton Beams for now, since they are the most egregious problem.  If you can explain why they don't need buffs, it probably covers everything else as well.
Gravitons do hidden work, as they constantly reduce the flux available for the enemy. 2 gravitons is -400flux/s which can seriously cripple the offensive power of most enemies, useful when you want to save op for high quality weaponry and win the flux war.
It's a 1000 range pressure armament, of course it's not going to single-handedly kill anything with it's damage equal to that of a LR-PD against armour.
The simplest beam combo would be Tachyon Sunder with two gravitons.
Except that's not how it works at all.  Beams do not cripple the offensive capability of anything.  Ships keep firing until they run out of flux, or the AI fears they are about to run out of flux.  Beams don't cause that.  At best, they might make it happen faster, but that's what every weapon does.  Beams are simply worse at it than every other weapon.  What they need is a higher DPS number until they are able to accomplish the job.
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Scorpixel

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2021, 05:12:22 AM »

Except that's not how it works at all.  Beams do not cripple the offensive capability of anything.  Ships keep firing until they run out of flux, or the AI fears they are about to run out of flux.  Beams don't cause that.  At best, they might make it happen faster, but that's what every weapon does.  Beams are simply worse at it than every other weapon.  What they need is a higher DPS number until they are able to accomplish the job.
Which is the price for being a long ranged perfect accuracy, fast turning, instantaneous and continuous weapon type.
There would be no reason to use hard-flux weaponry if those were less effective than the soft ones in every way.

And yes of course i'm talking about flux denial, just forcing the shields and reducing the on-paper available flux at a guaranteed pace and ratio mean that the AI derps once at high flux as is doesn't know what to do and just stands there not firing and shield-flickering until it's too late.
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Immahnoob

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2021, 05:35:53 AM »

Use High Scatter Amplifier.

Problem solved.
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Megas

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2021, 06:19:18 AM »

Use High Scatter Amplifier.

Problem solved.
With the range reduction, it turns them into worse IR Pulse Lasers that cost more OP.  Just get IR Pulse Lasers instead.
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sotanaht

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Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2021, 06:46:13 AM »

Except that's not how it works at all.  Beams do not cripple the offensive capability of anything.  Ships keep firing until they run out of flux, or the AI fears they are about to run out of flux.  Beams don't cause that.  At best, they might make it happen faster, but that's what every weapon does.  Beams are simply worse at it than every other weapon.  What they need is a higher DPS number until they are able to accomplish the job.
Which is the price for being a long ranged perfect accuracy, fast turning, instantaneous and continuous weapon type.
There would be no reason to use hard-flux weaponry if those were less effective than the soft ones in every way.

And yes of course i'm talking about flux denial, just forcing the shields and reducing the on-paper available flux at a guaranteed pace and ratio mean that the AI derps once at high flux as is doesn't know what to do and just stands there not firing and shield-flickering until it's too late.
Beams suffer from BOTH soft flux and low damage.  If it were just one, they wouldn't be too bad.  Both though makes them worthless.  Graviton beam is 100 dps, for a medium slot with 9 OP.  A pulse laser is 300 DPS in the same slot for 1 more OP that does hard flux.  Soft flux alone would be enough of a penalty for the range, losing two thirds of the DPS as well is overkill.
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