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Laser Missile Defense mechanics


First time posting here.

I just got done with some research on the Laser Missile Defense mechanics and thought I'd share my findings. I appoligize if this is explained somewhere else or if this is the wrong section of the forum. Also, I'm new to the game, so please feel free to tell me if I've made any mistakes. Smile

Testing was done in alpha version 1.923

When you're building a Laser Missile Defense system you should always use 4 Q switches, but you only need 3 stabilisers and 2 doublers. I'll list the reasons below.

Regardless of the range listed when viewing the Multipurpose Laser block, the maximum range of the Laser Missile Defense is exactly (or atleast very close to) 500 meters (500 blocks). However, the range listed seems like it does matter, but in kind of a confusing way. With low range (below 500), your laser will fire, but when they hit a target beyond the listed range, they won't do any damage. Luckily, the range is dependent on the damage and with 120 damage or more, your range will be well over the range of the lasers, so it's nothing to worry about.

The accuracy of your lasers doesn't seem change regardless of what modules you're adding. However, they do become more accurate the closer a missile gets. Therefore, it seems like they don't have a % chance to hit, but rather rely on something like minute of angle, same as the cannons.

Laser Cavitys both store the power needed to fire your laser and increases the damage it does. Keeping all your cavitys in a single line is best, because, while you'll need a long ship/fortress, it requires less block space overall. The damage isn't effected when you split up your cavitys in to different lines. However, in addition to the connectors to connect the lines to your lasers, you will need a new coupler with 4 new Q switches and 3 more stabilisers (in total, 8 blocks or more), for every new line of cavitys you have.
Missiles have about 100 health. I read a post by someone who said that at max range you need 116 damage to still do 100 damage with each hit. I haven't tried to confirm this exact number for myself, but my other experiments seem to support this. The problem is, however, that your damage also decreases when the energy in your cavitys are drained by the lasers. This also means, in order to keep your damage stable, you will want as many Laser Pumps as possible, preferably 4 pumps per cavity, to refill them with power as fast as possible.

You shouldn't use more than 3 Laser Stabilisers, because they become less and less effective the more you use. They also make your lasers require more energy (per shot) the more of them you use. This makes them less efficient in regards to points of damage per points of power used. However, the worst thing about using more than 3 stabilisers is that after the first few shots, your laser pumps won't be able to keep up with the energy drained (even with 4 pumps per cavity). This means while your initial damage will be higher, your damage will actually decrease rather than increase after the first few shots.
Stabilisers only affect the cavity line they are directly connect to, so if you split your cavitys in to different lines, you'll need 3 more stabilisers for each line.

Missiles have 1.5 armor. When your AP is double the armor of the target (1.5 in this case), you will always do full damage. Therefore, you only need 3 AP, which you get from 2 Frequency Doublers, because each doubler will increase your AP by 1 and the Laser Missile Defense starts at 1 AP. This is true even when you have more than 1 laser per system or divide your cavitys in to different lines, because AP is shared between all connected lasers.

Laser Q Switches change your laser from a constant beam to a pulse weapon and with every switch, the energy used per shot decreases. It also changes the color of your beam from blue to green. When a Laser Coupler is connected to a Multipurpose Laser or connector and a cavity, the maximum number of switches per coupler is 4. Due to the inaccuracy of the laser, you should always have 4 Q Switches on every coupler, because the more shots your laser fires, to higher the chance of hitting the missile before it hits you.

To consistently do 100 damage per hit against a constant stream of missiles, with 2 doublers and 3 stabilisers, the number of cavitys (with 4 laser pumps each) you need depends on the number of lasers connected to the same system (provided they are all firing at the same time). Here's a simple list:

1 laser: 9 cavitys (starting at ~130 damage.)
2 lasers: 10 cavitys
3: 12
4: 15
5: 19
6: 24
7: 29
The number of cavitys listed here are the minimum number required to consistently get 100 damage hits, which means you might occasionally get hits below 100 damage. If you really want to be super, extra safe, just add 1 more cavity (with 4 pumps, as they are the important part).
If you need more than 7 missile defense lasers (that will all be firing at the same time), rather than connect them all to the same system, because of the diminishing returns it will require less blocks to divide them into different systems (for example 4+4), than to keep adding to the same system.

Everything I've written is entirely dependent on your ship/fortress having engines capable of providing the power needed by your laser pumps. For example, 6 lasers firing at the same time will require roughly 5000 power, in addition to the power required by your other systems like shields and propulsion.

If you're still here, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you found it useful.
I haven't written this much on a single topic since school. Smile

Messages In This Thread
Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by relic - 2016-03-04, 04:16 AM
RE: Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by Ixos - 2016-03-04, 01:31 PM
RE: Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by relic - 2016-03-04, 01:42 PM
RE: Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by relic - 2016-03-04, 03:19 PM
RE: Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by relic - 2016-03-04, 02:55 PM
RE: Laser Missile Defense mechanics - by Normal69 - 2017-07-25, 10:36 AM

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