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Particle Cannons and Customisation

I'm writing this as a result of some of my more inventive ideas and testing results, and one could almost consider it as a pseudo-complaint about the current state of particle weaponry and how they function - and how currently (though of course all in all it may be just me) they are really niche in function despite all the supposed customisation options provided.

I'll explain what I mean below.

[Image: a71b0d20328c0d0f935cedf59696589c.png]

This is my testing particle cannon ... thing. The name is non-withstanding, but I built it with the purpose to test out the concept of a fast firing, short range, high damage particle array. Much like a lightning shotgun. Or a tesla coil. Because those are fun. It's fitted with five tubes of near-equal length (as close to 32 as possible) each ending with a secondary particle lens for even more beams.

[Image: 2b2337a5aa52218f1a48c405bb6804dd.png]

I calibrated it for EMP effect, and the settings shown. As one can see, it is giving estimates of a four kilometre range. Fast firing, and high damage yield at the cost of accuracy.
And this is where things get weird.

[Image: ac82a9e9665edade183813331d73a979.png]

As you can see, that four kilometre range is not at all an effective range.

- And in fact, probably doesn't even have an effective range of over 50m because of how the particle cannon figures out it's 'inaccuracy.' As shown the particles fire straight forward in a beam before the inaccuracy then kicks in. This effect looks something like this:

[Image: 96b7a778be83e66a217a113e6b8495aa.png]

The particle beams fly off in haphazard wild directions literally miles away from their target, which makes the weapon absolutely useless - with more explanation to why coming up after the next batch of testing.

Why not we try actually hitting something for once, then, and set the slider the other way so as to maximise our accuracy and hopefully get something out of our fast fire-rate particle cannon. I calibrated the array appropriately, reversing the damage/accuracy slider.

[Image: d3ca157b37e85a9f4d687595f392220e.png]

- Which brings our damage from that hefty 600 down to a meagre 30.
Only thing to do now is test our new Partickle Accelerator Cannon and see the difference in it's accuracy compared to the first iteration.

[Image: ebaa9239f6be523747891b9dcb555619.png]

This is the result, which in my opinion cannot justify the now severely hindered attack power of the array itself. However, I have tested this away with maximun charge time with damage set to full - and the playing field changes entirely. The particle cannon is accurate enough to engage easily at kilometre distances, and can fry electronic systems in almost one blast.

And as a final nail on the coffin for particle weapon customisation,
I created a 54mm 6 barreled belt fed advanced cannon weapon to tie against the more accurate version of the fast fire rate cannon (aka, the only one that can hit anything at any decent distance).

[Image: 9a13e79807191a116a5ce15566f28ee6.jpg]
Before I even fired the shell, I already out-damaged the weapon, exchanging the high energy costs instead for smaller ammo stockpiles.

[Image: 7a1641d0e6e8f113eab2cb027f848a3f.png]

On top, the accuracy is far more pinpoint than the particle cannon could ever be at maximum fire rate.
And here are the two costs between the weapons alone, no added parts:

[Image: fed657bdb9ba3335fd6fc4fd5f5f3112.png]

[Image: fb04123015022e95f3e6a609b8a5dc94.png]

The advanced cannon comes out as the obvious choice for a fast fire rate EMP based weapon. And even if I wanted more damage out of the PAC, I would need to build it larger. Making it more expensive - but what's the point, when I can simply max out the charge time and make the cheap PAC not only viable but terrifyingly powerful?

Which then brings up the question of - what is the point of the particle accelerator cannon's customisation options when the weapon is only effective in a specific setting? It's a strange design choice in a game where almost everything goes and everything can be custom design down to the very ammunition you fire - and can be viable. Yes, some designs may work better than others, but at least they still work in their own special way.

In comparison, the particle cannon looks like it belongs in the basic weapon.
And with fast fire rates, it does not work at all.

I don't have any ideas on how to really fix this - but I would maybe begin with suggesting on the re balancing of how the particle cannon figures out inaccuracy, or perhaps targeting. The clouds of electric particles buzzing in the air are a sight to see and feel amazing - but it really is just a light-show in the end, and don't pose any threats at all.

That's pretty much all I have currently.

I've found the same thing when comparing PACs to other weapons but the good part about PACs is that they have no counters except range
(2017-10-09, 09:22 PM)Captain_Fox Wrote: Go take a shield generator, slap that on your ship and turn the bugger up to max.

KV-2: Derp Lord of the universe

Forward broadside is only broadside

I feel that the material cost itself is enough to justify that they cannot be countered. This particle cannon in the demonstration is 100% capable of engaging targets at long-medium range when it's charge time is put to maximum, with all other settings exactly the same.

There just currently is no reason to use lower charge times - not even with overclocking, as then the power costs ramp up to ridiculous levels. Fast fire-rate PAC's have no place, and I personally found that to be very disappointing. Especially seeing the concept is a fun one.

They will be counterable in 2.0.

Nevertheless, APS does a better job at higher ranges, energy whip PACs are always shortrange weapons, see WF AotE builds for reference.

PAC is imho the CRAM of energy based weapons, a low energy setup with high fire rate is somewhat unrewarding.
(2018-03-12, 05:51 AM)Chunkblaster Wrote: @Lord O' Talons What Anime is that?

(2018-03-12, 01:22 PM)Lord O Talons Wrote: BM effects and docking stations.

---lolwhat Big Grin

Indeed, for the cost, a PAC is the least viable weapon, imho. "It's not counterable" is countered by the fact I can have two ships with weapons of superior de facto performance. Even with range and charge time set to max, you can only target one ship at a time with one PAC. "Well I'll just add another PAC." Then I add two more ships for the same cost, and the problem just stays the same.

My own experimentation has determined that particle cannons have way too many weaknesses to be even remotely viable, given the investment needed for them:

  • There is no defense against them currently
  • They hit instantly

  • HILARIOUSLY inaccurate past a hundred meters or so.
  • The entire system must be completely undamaged (or thereabouts) to function at all. Worse, it may even cause further damage to itself.
  • Root block is asymmetrical, as well as bulky (as in, among the largest blocks in the game), which makes building the system a chore
  • Damage attenuates with distance.
  • Having any amount of accuracy will render the weapon worthless damage-wise. The opposite is also true.
  • Overclocking only increases damage, and nothing else
  • As a whole, a fairly sizeable (but space efficient) PAC system can use huge amounts of power (too much to recharge in one firing interval, even if a significant portion of the vessel is dedicated to power generation), take several seconds between shots, be unable to reliably hit a near-stationary target that is only 1Km away, and do only minimal damage when it does.

So, what makes these good again?

To counter a few of your cons, I'll share some of my own experience with PACs: you can get them accurate to 5-10 meters up to 1.5km away without too much difficulty. As far as a damaged system goes, if it uses lenses, it will not damage itself, no matter how damaged it gets. I've tested this on the Perforator (I think it is anyway). Also, the inaccuracy and attenuation aren't as bad when the firing rate is slower. Make it fire every 10 seconds (the max you can set it to), and the accuracy will be much better. Set it to 0.1 and you get a lightshow.

The other advantage is their sheer damage against any target, particularly impact or piercing. I suggest that you find a good mid-sized ship that can defend against the Perforator in a dual at 500m-1km. A good piercing PAC with lenses can shoot several beams straight through a ship's AI, ammo, or turrets with manual control.
(2017-04-20, 06:54 PM)Hikari Wrote: I made something that has an impact of a type 1a supernova. The projectile already breaks laws of physics by going way past the speed of light.

2000mm HE Dakka Enthusiast

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