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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hostile Activity (09/01/22)

Author Topic: High Scatter Amplification's impact?  (Read 1907 times)

Yunru

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High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« on: May 28, 2021, 12:38:05 AM »

I'm pretty sure this hullmod's new to 0.95, but I haven't seen much discussion involving it.

For those that haven't seen it, HSA halves the range of beam weapons, but makes them do hard flux to shields.

My first instinct is to combine it with the Tachyon Lance, once I get one.

KDR_11k

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 12:48:20 AM »

I think weaker lasers like the tactical or graviton would benefit from it more, the tachyon lance already produces a large spike that gives the target very little time to dissipate that soft flux. Also the TacLance mostly goes on large, slow ships that would have difficulty getting into range with that massive reduction, TacLas and Grav fit on smaller, faster ships that aren't very effective if they just stay at regular beam range anyway.

Granted, the TacLance will do its EMP arcing stuff when building up hard flux but overall I think it's a weapon whose main strength is its range.
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AcaMetis

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 03:37:45 AM »

Personally I've yet to find a use for it. -50% range brings the longest range beam weapons to barely above SO limits, unless you spend even more OP on (reduced) range extensions, and HSA just doesn't do enough to justify that big a penalty. Might be good for an SO build, but as far as I've managed, not much else.
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Yunru

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 03:45:50 AM »

I must admit, I was expecting... More. It seems like only a fraction of the damage goes to hard flux?

Retry

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 07:02:21 AM »

All of the HSA damage goes to hard flux, HSA is just bad.  Crippling all your beam-based PD (all of vanilla's energy PD) just to make your beam-based anti-ship weapons work like worse projectile weapons is basically the Star Sector equivalent of fixing a bug while creating 100 more.

HSA really ought to work in a similar fashion to Energy Weapon Mastery: Full Hard Flux within X range, no hard flux beyond Y range, and partial hard flux between ranges [X,Y].
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Daynen

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 10:16:05 AM »

All of the HSA damage goes to hard flux, HSA is just bad.  Crippling all your beam-based PD (all of vanilla's energy PD) just to make your beam-based anti-ship weapons work like worse projectile weapons is basically the Star Sector equivalent of fixing a bug while creating 100 more.

HSA really ought to work in a similar fashion to Energy Weapon Mastery: Full Hard Flux within X range, no hard flux beyond Y range, and partial hard flux between ranges [X,Y].

I think you're onto something there.  A scaling hard flux percentage based on decreasing range sounds like it would be quite appropriate for a hullmod; used properly by the pilot it grants a new and powerful function, but used improperly it at least doesn't penalize you.  I could see the AI not really using it properly except on accident but this would definitely make it a less punishing choice.
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Megas

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 10:32:36 AM »

Tried the hullmod with various beams.  Was better off with IR Pulse Laser or Plasma Cannons instead in any case.  More DPS for less OP spent.  The hullmod is a trap.

Tachyon Lance without the range was underwhelming.  Ditto for Rift Cascade weapon Tesseracts used.  Plasma cannon was simply better.
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Badger

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 11:27:39 AM »

Have never found a use for it that was better that just using a projectile weapon and hasn't been for lack of trying.
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prav

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 04:17:12 PM »

The range penalty is so hefty that the question immediately becomes "Why wouldn't I just use a pulse laser?"

There is no answer. Just use a pulse laser. I do not believe the hullmod is good enough to use even in corner cases, or at least, not except for the novelty factor.

With mods there may be a ship or two that wants to try hardflux tachlances.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 04:18:59 PM by prav »
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Histidine

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 06:21:14 PM »

The one use case I encountered was a Hyperion with Phase Lances.

Restating something I've said before: Most beams have poor damage, so to be competitive at half range they'd need to get a damage buff from HSA, say 50% or so. (But this would get pretty messy with High Intensity Laser).
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Yunru

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2021, 05:03:49 AM »

I've found a very niche use for it while mod testing:
Ion suppression - An opponent faced with just HSA Ion Beams will vent to get rid of the hard flux, letting the beams straight against the hull.

Whether this behaviour holds up with any other ships present, let alone actively fighting, I don't know.
If it does, SO vanguards to disable the opponents as an opener, maybe?

Kahnmir

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2021, 08:47:39 PM »

I think in order to get the value out of the hull mod you need two things:
a ship with lots of energy weapon mounts
a brawler that can get up close and personal.

A pretty narrow criteria I think.

one potential candidate is the scarab:
Mount a bunch of tac lasers and use it as an anti-frigate ship?
If you have the op you could even try install integrated point defense AI, I imagine it would be pretty good against fighters, especially shielded ones.

I suppose you could also try something involving an eagle and three graviton beams, trying to capitalize on that (combined) 600 hard flux DPS.

But the problem with both of these, would it be better than what you would ordinarily do with these ships? Probably not.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 08:49:19 PM by Kahnmir »
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Retry

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2021, 09:05:17 PM »

I've found a very niche use for it while mod testing:
Ion suppression - An opponent faced with just HSA Ion Beams will vent to get rid of the hard flux, letting the beams straight against the hull.

Whether this behaviour holds up with any other ships present, let alone actively fighting, I don't know.
If it does, SO vanguards to disable the opponents as an opener, maybe?
The question naturally becomes: Why not just use an Ion Pulser to shatter the shields and ion the crap out of the ship once it fails?
one potential candidate is the scarab:
Mount a bunch of tac lasers and use it as an anti-frigate ship?
If you have the op you could even try install integrated point defense AI, I imagine it would be pretty good against fighters, especially shielded ones.

I suppose you could also try something involving an eagle and three graviton beams, trying to capitalize on that (combined) 600 hard flux DPS.

But the problem with both of these, would it be better than what you would ordinarily do with these ships? Probably not.
Indeed.  HSA Tactical Laser Scarab loses out to IR Pulse Scarab (which is a popular build at the moment) in raw DPS, flux efficiency, and armor penetration.  As for Eagles, that DPS from HSA Gravitons are exceeded by a single Heavy Machinegun (the theoretical slight range advantage HSA Gravitons might have in theory are eliminated by their turrets being mounted far back), so why not just use that and put real CQC weapons in the energies such as Ion Pulsers?
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ElPresidente

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2021, 11:41:37 PM »

My personal experience with it is that it's not worth it. It costs too much and the downsides are simply not worth it.

Hullmods in general really fall into a wide range. Some are flat-out improvements without ANY downsides (aside from OP cost), while some come with hefty downsides to boot.
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Deshara

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Re: High Scatter Amplification's impact?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2021, 02:57:33 AM »

i think the long & skinny of it is that beams doing soft flux is not as much of a big deal as they're made out to (aside from for triggering shield arc-thru), and thus are not worth losing half your range. The only ships who are put in any worse of a position vs a beam ship that does hard instead of soft flux are ships with way higher flux dissipation than their weapons can use, which is... what, a hound with a vulcan on one of its 2 slots? Basically any ship that HSA gives you an edge over is necessarily so little of a threat as to be not worth building against. The only use-case for HSA is if you want to mix beam weapons into a non-beam loadout without the beams messing the AI up. For example; I build an Odyssey using HIL & Tachyon(for emp) on one side with all its small slots on that side loaded with antimatter blasters, a triple autocannon on the front, 2 sabot pods & a large HE missile (didnt matter which), and nothing on the right or back. I put HSA on it so the lasers would have the same range as the AMB's. If HSA didn't give any benefit & just cost 1 OP I'd have still used it, and any build where I need the benefit that it does give, I just... use a different gun

edit: like, I'm trying to get this thought put together right; unless your enemy has way more dissipation than its guns use, beams already basically do do hard flux at half their range anyway. They only do freely dissipatable damage when ur outside of an enemy's range, (again assuming the enemy is a warship kitted with more guns than it has dissipation for (which it should)) once the enemy gets into range to attack you their flux is going to start going up from soft flux just the same as if they were taking hard flux damage. So HSA doesnt... do anything... The only thing it really Does, aside from line your beam ranges up with your non-beam ranges, is allows you to run an ion beam with a graviton or tactical beam setup, which is still not viable even with this hullmod. You could replace it with a free hullmod that just instructs AI to keep their beams weapongroups off until they got in range of their non-beam guns & it'd achieve the exact same thing
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 03:17:23 AM by Deshara »
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