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Author Topic: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff  (Read 1316 times)

Retry

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Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« on: April 16, 2021, 10:30:52 PM »

Arbalests are one of the unloved low-end weapons in Starsector.  An 8 OP medium ballistic, they're frequently compared to the two premium small ballistic options of the same cost: Light Needlers and Railguns.  Both match the Arbalest's range, The latter matches the anti-shield DPS and the flux cost of the Arbalest with a strong (and critically, accurate) up-front burst, the former exceeds the Arbalest's damage and is pin-point accurate while remaining fairly efficient.  Players frequently state a preference for either small weapon to replace an Arbalest even in a medium ballistic slot.  Within its size class, one only needs to scrounge around for 2 OP more to find the Heavy Autocannon, a ballistic weapon with more range and far more DPS which makes it far more difficult to replace with a small ballistic.  Seemingly surrounded by all sides with solid weapons, the Arbalest can feel like its role is a bit crowded out.

In my opinion, the Arbalest can be made significantly more appealing simply by emphasizing its strengths just a bit more: namely its relatively heavy damage per shot for its size and flux efficiency.  I suggest increasing the damage/shot of the Arbalest to 200 (from 150) and increasing the flux/shot to 150 (from 120), while increasing the refire delay by ~0.2-0.3 seconds (from 1.0) to keep the raw DPS in line with the original.

Such changes would result in only a minor DPS increase (~160, from 150) and flux efficiency increase (~0.75, from 0.8 ), but it does help the weapon stand out against smaller premium ballistics while not flipping the table of weapon rankings within the medium ballistic bracket.

For instance, compared to the Railgun, the tweaked Arbalest is just within spitting distance in terms of overall damage output (160 vs 167) while maintaining a moderate advantage in flux consumption (0.75 vs 0.9) and a large edge in hull damage and armor penetration.  There may still be reasons to under-size a mount with a Railgun, but that decision is far more difficult to make with only a simple change.  Importantly, the relationship between the Arbalest and the other medium ballistics does not change from this minor tweak: The Arbalest remains a flux-sipping, a short-ish ranged kinetic option with fairly hefty individual shell weights, while other ballistic weapons (Heavy Autocannon namely) tend to be more premium and well-rounded.

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Helldiver

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Re: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2021, 03:32:40 AM »

I think that the Arbalest is intended to be a somewhat underpowered and obsolete but cheap and easily found gun for medium ballisitc kinetics. I find that part of the problem is that railguns and needlers are easy to obtain so you rarely have to go with the cheapo option past the start of a playthrough.

Though I do think orienting the Arbalest towards higher damage per shot to make it a bit more all-purpose could help differentiate it from the Heavy AC and give it a more of a niche for ships with fewer mounts so thumbs up on the general idea.
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Trensicourt

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Re: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 01:30:04 PM »

I agree with this idea. My personal take on the Arbalest is that they should be powerful to deal some significant armor damage to destroyer level armor. Right now, an Enforcer doesn't feel Arbalest hits.

Personally, I would reduce the Arbalest OP cost by 1, and instead add a heavier hitting version of the Arbalest. Let's call it the Onager, after the Roman Siege engine. The Onager would cost 11 OP, deal 300 damage per shot, fire at 800 range, medium accuracy, slow turning speed, 1 flux/damage ratio and 3 second refire time. While, it doesn't have the accuracy of a HVD, the Onager would deal more damage upon hitting armor is still relatively flux efficient against shields.
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Alex

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Re: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 04:09:27 PM »

Wanted to say that I'd just buffed some of the lighter ballistics (the LACs and the LAG) and was looking at the Arbalest, thinking, hmm, it really needs a buff. Then I changed it to 200 damage, 150 flux, and 1.2 refire delay, to emphasize its niche without powering it up too much. Then I thought, I remember seeing a suggestions thread about the Arbalest at some point, let me find it and see what it said! And so, here I am.

(Either my subconscious has a disturbingly good memory, or <insert something about great minds think alike> :D)
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 08:33:39 PM »

Great!
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Arcagnello

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Re: Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 06:07:22 AM »

As a fan of the Arbalest all the way back to the time I did my last modded Luddic Path themed campaign in 0.91, I approve of this thread.

Making it cheaper than it already is would make people use the Railguns/Needlers instead even more, making it more flux intensive in exchange of more damage with the same flux efficiency is the way to go here.

Can't wait for the weapon to become as useful as the Heavy Mortar on ships with both Gunnery Implants and Elite Ranged Specialization!
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