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Ion Cannons: to use or not to use? And other battle stuff :)

 
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Kalessin



Joined: 28 Feb 2009
Posts: 142
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Ion Cannons: to use or not to use? And other battle stuff :) Reply with quote

Hay guise,

I've been doing some testing with my Nighthawks against Reaper Pirate Packs (also known as Reaper Pack, or Reaper Rudel), to try and find an ideal configuration for my ships. Here are my findings so far:

- Lasers are very important: they are now the #1 way to disrupt shields, and shields protect ships very well (they prevent like 80-90% of the normal damage) until they are completely dissolved. Using a good amount of lasers can shorten a battle considerably, as the shields will go down and the other weapons can start doing hull damage. Especially handy when the ships you will be facing contain heavy shields (like Reaper Stingers do).

- Scorps (or projectile weapons in general) can finish a Reaper Stinger in just a few hits, once the shields are down; until then, they are rather useless doing only marginal damage to both hull and shield. I would recommend not using too many of these, a few well-aimed hits at the end of the battle is all you need.

- Shields are nice in theory, though my 25MW shields were taken down by the Reaper Stingers in a mere one or two hits. I'm not sure if this is because their main weapon is considered to be a laser class attack, but they didn't protect my ships very well. Fortunately, the Stinger attack didn't do too much hull damage.

- Impulse seemed to help as the Reapers missed a fair amount of attacks on me, and the damage to their aiming units from my Ion Cannons made it easier to evade. Especially if you'll be facing heavy hitting enemies, don't cheap out on engines.



Which leaves me to one question... are ion cannons worth it nowadays? Let's review:

* Ion cannons damage aiming units: each 10 damage to aiming units will result in a 1% lower chance to hit you. Each round (you can think of fleet combat as turn-based) this regenerates by 2%, so you will need to do at LEAST 20 damage to a ship's aiming unit each round to get a stacking effect. If you wish to seriously impair a ship's aiming ability, you will need to do hundreds (if not thousands) of damage to their aiming unit. Because of this, adding 'just a few' ion cannons to your fleet will not have a very large impact.

* Ion cannons deal some pretty decent damage once shields are down, but a simple lowly Scorp dealt up to four times more damage (on several occasions, it wasn't just one lucky hit). Relying on them as a major damage source doesn't seem like a sound plan either, unless you combine it with their ability to disrupt the enemy's targeting and use this heavily.

* Although I can't back this up using numbers, ion cannon hits did not seem to reduce the opponent ships' maneuverability. Therefore I don't think they affect engines, and they don't affect shields either (ignoring the neglible shield and hull damage any attack would do).

So here's my dilemma: use ion cannons or not? From what I've seen, it looks like it's an all-or-nothing issue... just a few ion cannons won't impair the opponents much, but a lot might. On the longer run, I plan on creating a bunch more ion cannon Nighthawks to test this theory, but I figured I'd ask if anyone already has, or has other interesting combat info to share as I haven't done too much in that department yet.

Cheers, and discuss! Smile
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Starrchild



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 282
Location: Wigan, England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand...
Ion cannons increase hit rate.
Projectiles do hull damage
Lasers do Shield damage.
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Kalessin



Joined: 28 Feb 2009
Posts: 142
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid it's not quite as simple as that.
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