Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

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

Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: The heavy mortar deserves a buff  (Read 1400 times)

Ruddygreat

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 246
  • Seals :^)
    • View Profile
The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« on: June 26, 2022, 06:12:20 AM »

(alternative post title: nerf the heavy mauler)

I've been thinking about this a bit recently & in the comparison between mauler and mortar, the mauler wins basically every time.
While I get that the mortar is meant to be the "budget" option, it's so much worse that you may as well just upgrade to a mauler - for 5 OP you gain:
  • 300 (~40%) more range
  • 90 (~80%) more damage per hit
  • 400 (~80%) more shot speed
  • much lower max spread (5 vs 20), lower spread per shot (1 vs 5) and better accuracy recovery (10 vs 5)
  • and the mauler has a lower flux/s (120 vs 180) to cap it all off
while losing out on
  • .18 flux efficiency
  • slightly better sustained firepower And even then I almost consider this to be in favour of the mauler, I've seen the ai drop their shields to vent only to get sniped by a mauler barrage before they could get their shields back up.
To actually offer a "solution" to this, imo the mauler deserves a nerf & the mortar deserves a buff at the same time.
For the mauler, I'd up the op to bring it in line w/ the HVD & lower accuracy recovery (and / or max spread) + shot speed (maybe also damage per hit?), to force it into more of a bursty / opportunist role that falters under sustained firing.
For the mortar, at minimum I feel that it deserves an increase in range (to 800 or so, like the hac?), per-shot damage (to 160 or so, with a corresponding increase in flux/ shot) & maybe OP cost (to 8 or 9).
A more radical solution would be reworking the mortar into something like a medium hellbore/hephag hybrid somehow, maybe giving it a magazine could let it get away w/ having a much better hit strength? not really sure, I've not put too much throught into it ngl.

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1900
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2022, 06:45:01 AM »

For the quadrillionth time we just need a HE weapon that's somewhere in between. Mauler is designed to be a premium weapon and it certainly doesn't need a nerf (after it had been underwhelming for a long time). Heavy Mortar is just the cheapest available thing you get if you want HE in a medium mount (which you ideally should), at most it maybe deserves better damage per shot, and that's it. It's absurd to have 2 extremes for such an important role. Tons of ships with ballistic weapons don't have access to large mounts, so usually the role of punching through armour is given to a medium mount or two (alongside missiles). And please don't tell me the Assault Chaingun is that weapon in between, it's an SO weapon with not enough range for anything else.

There's so many nice kinetic options for mediums but for HE we have to choose between 700 and 1000 range. Even if Heavy Mortar somehow gets more range, the projectiles would be far too slow to hit anything and AI would waste a lot of flux on nothing.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

SafariJohn

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2593
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2022, 07:06:03 AM »

I think the gap between Mortar and Mauler exists because it reduces the number of options to deal with low tech ships.
Logged

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1900
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2022, 07:11:07 AM »

I think the gap between Mortar and Mauler exists because it reduces the number of options to deal with low tech ships.
I would agree if there weren't 20 types of missiles to annihilate slow moving ships. And also new laser missiles we'll be getting are a giant middle finger to a lot of ships which either don't have super long PD range and/or good shields, which is majorly low tech.

But low tech ships are in a good place now, I don't think another HE weapon would shake things up much. I am in no way saying it should have crazy stats, it could even have lower damage per shot than Mortar, just give it 800 range.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 07:14:35 AM by Grievous69 »
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 6543
  • Harpoon Affectionado
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2022, 08:11:56 AM »

For Heavy Mortar vs Heavy Mauler: they just fill completely different roles. The Mortar is a cheap, mid range, DPS weapon that deals decent armor and hull damage efficiently. The Mauler is an expensive, long range, burst anti-armor weapon that doesn't have enough sustained firepower to be very good vs hull. I'll note that the 'slightly lower' sustained firepower of the OP is 220 vs 133, a 60.45% reduction, much more than the difference in shot size is going to account for vs residual armor and even most pristine armors.

Both are imo good weapons and I don't see any reason to buff the mortar, as its already one of the best weapons in the game in its role/pricepoint.

Lets see, if I was going to theorycraft a gun between the mauler and the mortar, I'd continue the line between light assault guns and hephestus: 800 range, 80 shot size, pretty high accuracy, 240 DPS, 10 OP. 80 shot size is faster scaling (so slower firing) than either of the other 2 in the line, but 60 shot size seems too anemic for a medium HE weapon.
Logged

FooF

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 966
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2022, 09:06:15 AM »

Hate to say it (for the quadrillionth time :P) but there's a reason there isn't a "middle option" for Medium HE Ballistics: Missiles. Alex went to great lengths to explain that some time back. Missiles exist in the gap of HE Ballistics (i.e. note that almost all Medium Missiles are 10 OP). A 10 OP, 800-range HE Ballistic that is also relatively accurate would be optimal almost every time. I mean, who uses the Arbalest unless they can't find a HAC?

The Mauler being a 3-shot burst was closer to what people were clamoring for in a Medium HE Ballistic, it's just that it costs 12 OP and doesn't have great overall DPS.

If it weren't for the slow shot speed, the Heavy Mortar would be the best pound-for-pound HE weapon in the game. I don't think it needs a buff. It's intended to have a drawback for being efficient, low OP, and hits at a decent damage/shot. As Grievous points out, extending its range isn't going to help because you'll just waste flux on inaccurate slots.

The only weapon that needs a buff among medium HE right now is the Assault Chaingun. With the proliferation of Low Tech bricks in the game, the low damage/shot on the ACG is woefully inadequate for the task it's supposed to perform. There was a time when it was 600 DPS and I think we could return to that now.

Alternatively, make the ACG the "middle" option. Extend it to 800 range and reduce the shots/minute to 300 (from 400). Increase damage/shot to 80 (exactly in between LAG and HAG). It drops the overall DPS (from 500 to 400) but it also makes it less flux-hungry (from 400 flux/sec to 300). After experimenting a little by adjusting the weapons.csv, I lowered the max spread from 20 to 15 because it gets ridiculously bad after a bit.

I'm not going to lie, it feels really satisfying on a Hammerhead. It's still extremely inaccurate but paired with a Heavy AC, it's like a mini version of a Mk. IX and HAG. I'd compare it to a Heavy Blaster: it's great if you can afford the flux cost but 300 flux/sec is a big ask on an Enforcer, for example.

Still, it feels maybe a bit too good to be true, especially at 10 OP, and we lost the old ACG of high damage/short range, so...we'd need another weapon.

Edit: I was experimenting when Thaago posted but how funny we came up with nearly identical solutions. :D
« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 09:09:57 AM by FooF »
Logged

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1900
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2022, 09:12:19 AM »

I did say "alongside missiles" because I also remember Alex saying he's not a fan of adding another HE medium ballistic. But you realistically can't rely on only missiles to do the job, AI is meh with most of them and doesn't use them when it should. IIRC the biggest concern was being too good versus smaller ships at that range, and that' easily solved by tweaking accuracy and shot speed.

Don't know why you're dissing the Arbalest, it's pretty good now and I regularly use it when I want to save OP.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10766
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2022, 09:14:08 AM »

Mauler has been nerfed enough.

Mortar's main weakness is lack of range when everything else used on the ship has 800-900 range.  Otherwise, Mortar is fine.

The main problem is there the only option between Mortar and Mauler for range purposes is Light Assault Gun with Ballistic Rangefinder or ePD+IPDAI.  Not ideal, but it works if the mount is a ballistic and not a hybrid or composite.
Logged

Amoebka

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2022, 08:47:03 AM »

I want an 800 range HE weapon simply because there's nothing to pair with HAC. The only way to range-match HAC is using ballistic rangefinder, and it drives me up the wall. Also, heavy mortar's sprite looks damn ugly.
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10766
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2022, 09:09:37 AM »

And if I use range mods to boost LAG to get 800+ range, I have more incentive to use Railguns instead of HACs for kinetics.
Logged

Ruddygreat

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 246
  • Seals :^)
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2022, 02:17:42 PM »

Mauler has been nerfed enough.

(lol, it can strip an onslaught's armour in ~6 bursts (not the best comparison for the mortar but eh, the mauler will still outperform vs lower armour values))

For Heavy Mortar vs Heavy Mauler: they just fill completely different roles. The Mortar is a cheap, mid range, DPS weapon that deals decent armor and hull damage efficiently. The Mauler is an expensive, long range, burst anti-armor weapon that doesn't have enough sustained firepower to be very good vs hull. I'll note that the 'slightly lower' sustained firepower of the OP is 220 vs 133, a 60.45% reduction, much more than the difference in shot size is going to account for vs residual armor and even most pristine armors.

Both are imo good weapons and I don't see any reason to buff the mortar, as its already one of the best weapons in the game in its role/pricepoint.

Lets see, if I was going to theorycraft a gun between the mauler and the mortar, I'd continue the line between light assault guns and hephestus: 800 range, 80 shot size, pretty high accuracy, 240 DPS, 10 OP. 80 shot size is faster scaling (so slower firing) than either of the other 2 in the line, but 60 shot size seems too anemic for a medium HE weapon.

(thanks for doing the maths! ngl I didn't bother because the difference didn't feel that big! (And imo it doesn't really matter due to the hit strength difference, against high armour values it'll still fall off heavily))

As a clarification on my OP - I know that they serve different roles, it's more that the role that the mortar serves is so heavily overshadowed by the mauler's that I can't think of a valid usecase where I'd want to use the mortar over the mauler.
It's a similar case as the hepaestus & the hellbore - the hephag is theoretically pretty good, but the hellbore is so much better at what you (well, I) want from a large ballistic HE that I rarely consider it for use on the current set of vanilla ships (though some modded ships are good with it & the retribution coming next update will probably be nice with it as well)

I also don't want a new gun to be added to fill the gap (hence why I recommended reworking / buffing the mortar), it definitely feels like it's intentionally unfilled & filling it would just make the mortar an even worse option.

(hopefully this makes sense lol, I'm always awful at writing my thoughts down for the forums)

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10766
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2022, 02:59:40 PM »

Mauler has been nerfed enough.
(lol, it can strip an onslaught's armour in ~6 bursts (not the best comparison for the mortar but eh, the mauler will still outperform vs lower armour values))
Mauler has lost DPS over releases.  It also has that new burst fire, which is annoying when I want suppression, but it is the only option available with more than 700 range and cannot use anything better.

I also don't want a new gun to be added to fill the gap (hence why I recommended reworking / buffing the mortar), it definitely feels like it's intentionally unfilled & filling it would just make the mortar an even worse option.
Mortar is quite strong for 7 OP.  If it was any stronger, it probably would need to cost more OP and maybe kicked out of the Open Market for being too good.  Mortar is better than Assault Chaingun was when the chaingun had 700 range years ago.  Worse efficiency, costs 10 OP, and less DPS (about 200-something).

It's a similar case as the hepaestus & the hellbore - the hephag is theoretically pretty good, but the hellbore is so much better at what you (well, I) want from a large ballistic HE that I rarely consider it for use on the current set of vanilla ships (though some modded ships are good with it & the retribution coming next update will probably be nice with it as well)
The main problems with Hephaestus are flux cost and competition from Mjolnir.  It costs too much flux for budget or frugal loadouts.  Any loadout where I could support Hephaestus can probably support Mjolnir instead with slight modifications, and Mjolnir is a better weapon.  The only time I use Hephaestus is when I want to use Mjolnir but do not have one yet.  If Hephaestus had a bit less DPS and better efficiency (so that its flux/sec does not exceed Mark IX), I would use it more.

Hellbore is simply the cheap and effective option.
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 6543
  • Harpoon Affectionado
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2022, 05:57:17 PM »

The reason you use a mortar over a mauler is to kill things quickly and efficiently: many targets have lots of hull that needs to be chewed through, and 220 penetration is enough for that job. It also kills medium armor (destroyer to light cruiser grade) fast enough that its perfectly good as a primary anti-armor weapon in that weight range. Also, you save 5 OP per weapon.

As long as you can mitigate the mortar's downsides (horrible recoil, poor shot speed, poor range) its base stats are really darn good. Typically it takes some hullmods to help, or a ship really well suited to them like the Hammerhead.
Logged

BigBrainEnergy

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2022, 06:04:41 PM »

If we're talking about the hammerhead, then the best dps setup you're realistically gonna get is double railgun double mortar. Mauler works fine if you pair it with an hvd but then you're sacrificing a lot of damage for range. Putting mortars in hardpoints and picking up elite ballistic mastery goes a long way to improving its hit rate.
Logged
TL;DR deez nuts

Draba

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
    • View Profile
Re: The heavy mortar deserves a buff
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2022, 03:44:35 AM »

I think heavy mortar is mostly fine, the one thing I miss is a ballistic HE option between 450 and 1000 range with a decent projectile speed.
That could be mortar, a ~20-25% projectile speed increase probably wouldn't make it too strong (still inaccurate).
Would make its use a bit broader.

I mean, who uses the Arbalest unless they can't find a HAC?
The arbalest is really good now, less accurate/more efficient railgun with double the hit strength.
Play arund with it, you'll be surprised how much hull damage it does on top of being a standard kinetic gun.

It's a similar case as the hepaestus & the hellbore - the hephag is theoretically pretty good, but the hellbore is so much better at what you (well, I) want from a large ballistic HE that I rarely consider it for use on the current set of vanilla ships (though some modded ships are good with it & the retribution coming next update will probably be nice with it as well)
The main problems with Hephaestus are flux cost and competition from Mjolnir.  It costs too much flux for budget or frugal loadouts.  Any loadout where I could support Hephaestus can probably support Mjolnir instead with slight modifications, and Mjolnir is a better weapon.  The only time I use Hephaestus is when I want to use Mjolnir but do not have one yet.  If Hephaestus had a bit less DPS and better efficiency (so that its flux/sec does not exceed Mark IX), I would use it more.
Hellbor is very slow turning, very low projectile speed, low DPS.
Extremely good at cracking medium-heavy armor, but a completely different use case.

Same for mjollnir, 667 flux/sec for 533 energy DPS vs 480 for 480 HE.
Mjollnir is good for ships with better flux stats/fewer mounts to get kinetic from.
Since strippign armor takes longer in this version I think the heph is a good general weapon for ships with enough mounts, IMO the main competition is devastator.
Devastator is usually worse for general use, but the burst is really nasty at close-medium range and it also functions as turbo-PD.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3