Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?  (Read 3996 times)

Quillithe

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« on: May 26, 2023, 08:09:20 PM »

First off, I'm no means as experienced as some of you on here - but I just can't figure out why I would use the Arbalest Autocannon really.

I know it's cheap and easily available, but it just doesn't hold up to the competition as far as I can see.

Compared to:

Light Autocannon - you pay twice the OP for 67% more damage and a loss of accuracy.  This can be okay sometimes, but if you ever end up short on OP the light autocannon is a lot more value for the OP.

Light Dual Autocannon - you pay 3 more OP for a fairly negligible damage boost, worse turn rate, slightly better accuracy, worse flux efficiency and 100 range.  I'd say it's mostly a wash except for the range.  And as a fun note, they have equal range if you happen to be using Ballistic Rangefinder.

Heavy autocannon gets another 100 range and a pretty solid damage bonus for 2 OP and loss of efficiency a bit, if you do want to go with a bigger, longer range gun.

The big comparison for me is the railgun.  Exactly the same damage per second, same range, much better turn rate and accuracy.  The tradeoff?  150 flux/s instead of 125.  But it costs one less OP so unless you're full of vents it's really more like 140 vs 125.

I just feel like I usually either need accuracy and want railguns, or I'm planning on getting slightly closer or shooting at large targets and am just better off with the light dual autocannon.  Or I'm putting very cheap weapons on an under-OP carrier and am probably better off spending my few OP elsewhere and just using light autocannons maybe.  Not comparing needlers because they're rather different, or the HVD because that's a much more expensive and long ranged weapon.

Especially given the bias towards larger slots being used for HE and not kinetic weapons, maybe Arbalest needs a little love compared to the rest?  Or am I missing some situation where you'd ever use it over railguns or light dual autocannons except availability early game?
Logged

Lawrence Master-blaster

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2023, 08:30:58 PM »

For kinetic weapons, efficiency is usually the most important stat and accuracy matters little because as long as you hit the shield - which is about twice as large as the ship - *anywhere* you're fine. That said the Arbalest also does 200 damage per shot which means it doubles as a poor man's anti-armor/hull weapon which can be useful in some situations.

The only odd-one out on the list is Light Dual Autocannon which was recently buffed and is now stupidly good. 43% more DPS compared to the Light Autocannon at barely any flux difference.

Especially given the bias towards larger slots being used for HE and not kinetic weapons

That's backwards.
Logged

Dri

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2023, 09:03:16 PM »

Pretty sure Alex flat out said weapons like Arbalest and Heavy Mortar are meant to be very "meh" weapons you can find almost anywhere for cheap.

So yes, the Arbalest is a low tier weapon you're meant to upgrade out of.
Logged

Quillithe

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2023, 09:40:25 PM »

I can see that accuracy isn't too critical, but it feels like it gets beaten out by the light dual AC pretty badly then, since it's more efficient and almost the same DPS for less OP. 

And the light autocannon is less damage, but the extra space for vents makes it functionally more flux efficient if you're really scrimping on OP.

And although the Arbalest does do high damage per shot, which I didn't consider, it's still not too effective on armor except against frigates and fighters where the accuracy really starts kicking in.  The railgun on the other hand is actually pretty effective against fighters even at long range.

I guess I'm feeling like the options are:

Budget anti-shield, rather have light AC
Plan on fighting closer in or larger targets, rather have light dual AC
Plan on larger targets at long range, probably worth the heavy AC?  Though maybe I'm iffy on that one too.
Want something that can double as anti-fighter and less odds of missing frigates at relatively little loss in efficiency (after adding a vent it's .75 f/d vs .84 - if you miss 1 in 10 shots they actually even out in efficiency.

Also I guess I'm way off on the HE/kinetic.  I thought you usually wanted to put HE in larger slots because more damage/shot is helpful on armor.  In small slots you have the Heavy Mortar (which is fine, but very much a budget weapon) and the LAG which has a rather low damage a shot that'll be pretty ineffective on heavy armor.  Where the medium slots give weapons that are much, much stronger against cruiser armor.

Not always of course, if you want to shoot frigates mainly or something and you don't want to be at 500 or less range the LAG is probably better than missing with the heavy mortar or spending twice the OP for 2/3 the dps in the heavy mauler, but as a general trend at least I tend to put kinetic in small and HE in mid instead of the other way around, I thought.


Fair enough that it's meant to be a 'meh' weapon.  I do think the Heavy Mortar at least has a little bit more claim to usage though since it's actually pretty high DPS HE, at ~3x the light mortar, almost twice the mauler, and over 50% more than the LAG. 

In particular if you plan on fighting around 700 range so that you don't want the chaingun and it's not worth paying more for the mauler, I think it holds up pretty well - the LAG is for smaller targets, the heavy mortar is for larger, and the light mortar is if you're desperate for OP and basically just want a backup anti-armor weapon for when your missiles run out or something.
Logged

CapnHector

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2023, 10:29:06 PM »

The Arbalest has respectable flux efficiency, but its most notable quality is high hit strength. For example vs a 200 armor ship the Arbalest will do 33% damage to armor while a Railgun will do 20%. I personally still think Railgun is generally better because the shots hitting the same point on the armor will probably result in greater penetration.

Funnily enough I just collected some real combat data for Arbalest on Venture LP where I chose it over Railgun due to flux profile, and it was by no means clearly worse than other medium kinetics: https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=26913.msg399748#msg399748

Also I'd like to add that kinetic in medium and HE in large is better due to considerations of hit strength as you thought, in my opinion, and also because you generally want HVDs in mediums because they are a premium weapon unlike Mark IX and better at hitting at long range.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2023, 10:32:16 PM by CapnHector »
Logged
5 ships vs 5 Ordos: Executor · Invictus · Paragon · Astral · Legion · Onslaught · Odyssey | Video LibraryHiruma Kai's Challenge

Princess_of_Evil

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2023, 10:44:03 PM »

I would like to point out that everyone is comparing a medium Arbalest Autocannon to small kinetics. At that point, why not have flak in medium, which can destroy more targets than vulcans, and stuff much more plentiful smalls with small kinetics?

(And by "why not" i mean i actually do that. With railguns.)
Logged
Proof that you don't need to know any languages to translate, you just need to care.

Quillithe

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2023, 11:35:36 PM »

Interesting that the arbalests held up so well to the other medium kinetics.  Honestly except for the HVD I don't tend to like medium kinetics - it's not necessarily the best 1v1 weapon due to bad flux efficiency but the extra range makes it easier for ships temporarily backing out or repositioning to continue fire and doing EMP damage means ships can't even tank it on armor very well.

And I agree about just putting the light kinetics in the light slots - that's part of the point.  Usually a larger weapon slot tends to be more valuable, but for kinetics it feels like in any situation where I might consider arbalests they're so closely competitive with light weapons even in a medium slot that I'd rather just put light kinetics on instead.

The railgun in particular is just so close.  It's really such a small loss in efficiency for such a huge bonus in accuracy and tracking, while even using a smaller slot potentially.  I'm still not sure what loadout I'd take arbalests in mid and vulcans or HAG or whatever in light instead of just railgun or light AC in smaller slots and flak or mortar/mauler in mid.

I don't think they need anything big, but I'm wondering if they could get a 1 OP price reduction or something.  At that point their .75 f/s vs the .9 of the railgun would be a solid advantage.  But like I said, due to the extra vent it's now a functional .75 vs .84 and that's assuming a continuous fire rate all battle and no venting ever! 

Spending any time out of range between engagements, venting, etc make the railgun very competitive for efficiency while taking a smaller slot and being more accurate (which IMO balances out the lower damage per shot since it makes hitting the small targets where that matters most easier - arbalest isn't going to hit fighters for example).

Thanks for the interesting discussion everyone!
Logged

Princess_of_Evil

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2023, 11:50:02 PM »

Arbalests hold up well with medium kinetics because they're either really low on DPS (Arbalest, HVD), have melee range (HMG), terrible soft stats (HA) or are Heavy Needler.
Logged
Proof that you don't need to know any languages to translate, you just need to care.

Doctorhealsgood

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2023, 07:45:14 AM »

Arbalest is alright. I don't think i ever used Heavy autocannon though.
Logged
Quote from: Doctorhealsgood
Sometimes i feel like my brain has been hit by salamanders not gonna lie.

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3012
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2023, 08:33:33 AM »

Arbalest is alright. I don't think i ever used Heavy autocannon though.
In this version, same. Other things got better and you rarely need 800 range specifically. You either combo 700 range weapons and maybe with energy mounts if it's a midline ship, or go full 1000 range sniper, and again, midline ships can use beams in such builds. 800 range is useful if the mount is positioned so far back it effectively has 700 in the end. So far I only used them a bit on the Executor until I found something better, and that's because the energy mounts are further back.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

PsychoThruster

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2023, 08:35:08 AM »

Heavy autocannon is awkward, but they can be useful if you specialize ships into kinetic and HE instead of running mixed ships. Triple Hacs triple grav eagles supported by double mauler hammerheads are effective.
Logged

BigBrainEnergy

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2023, 09:59:44 AM »

I'd like to see the heavy autocannon get its recoil halved just like the hephy. Right now it's not competitive with other medium options and part of that is the high recoil combined with relatively poor flux efficiency (only hvd has worse efficiency but it has fantastic accuracy so less of it goes to waste). I would only ever consider the HA in a hardpoint, but as grievous pointed out 800 range puts it in a weird spot where I'd rather go cheap and get an arbalest or go expensive and get a heavy needler.
Logged
TL;DR deez nuts

CapnHector

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2023, 10:28:27 AM »

For me after studying the kinetics (see link above, I am also working on 10 more Ordos and the results are looking similar) it is the Heavy Needler that is the odd one out. It does not have 50% more damage than a HAC yet costs 50% more and does no armor damage at a shorter range. Wasn't better in combat testing either. Note that for most ships you can get AWM to reduce recoil for free if you pick HAC rather than Heavy Needler. Or +5 vents to far offset the flux cost. For close ranged ships it does not look like a great deal and for longer ranged ships you want the HVD.
Logged
5 ships vs 5 Ordos: Executor · Invictus · Paragon · Astral · Legion · Onslaught · Odyssey | Video LibraryHiruma Kai's Challenge

PsychoThruster

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2023, 10:30:05 AM »

I think people worry too much about range, I've never had my ships fail to close to HAC range when equipped with beams for instance. Even things like the chaingun get used when mounted on my eagles with a heavy needler and gravitons. I think as long as kinetic has longer reach than your HE OR they are comparable you'll be fine, having short range kinetic with long range HE will cause problems though.
Logged

Quillithe

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Arbalest Autocannon too weak?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2023, 10:52:20 AM »

I feel like needlers are different enough in goal they aren't too comparable.  For sustained fire stats they should be worse than the autocannons, but the heavy needler does 3k burst damage to shields per shot so you can force a ship to drop shields and take HE missile hits.  A combo of heavy needlers and reapers can absolutely trash a cruiser within seconds.

Whether or not it's actually good (going to guess AI don't use it well) it at least has a clear role.

Same with HVD, whether or not it's better than the 700 range options it has a role to pair with the heavy mauler if you're trying to make a long range ship.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3