Ship Weapon choices in the Era of capacitors (patch 3.14 and beyond)

Ayeteeone

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3.14 did what every good pie should do, it teases your senses for a while then hits you right where you live… (for those of us who eat, anyway).

The Tier 0 implementation of Capacitor gameplay, along with a few other key changes in this patch, has accomplished several the goals that the Vehicle Experience Team set out for it:
1) Slowed combat TTK
2) Brought combatants closer together
3) Created meaningful choices for the player, both tactical (in the moment) and strategic (before you start).
4) Leveled the playing field considerably between ships, with the result of skill and choices increasing in importance.

Those last couple of concepts will be explored a bit here, with some simple math. The goal is to provoke questions and exploration rather than provide a guide.

RESOURCES
Erkul did a wonderful thing in hosting their dev build, which fairly accurately shows the relationship between a ship’s capacitor value and how energy weapons consume that. The number shown here correspond to what I see in game.
https://www.erkul.games/
https://dev.erkul.games/live/calculator


BASICS
Let’s start with the Mighty Aurora MR, a ship that every TESTie either has now, has had, or should be saving for.

The attributes of the MR that apply to this topic are its capacitor regen value of 4500 units, and the 4 size 1 weapon hardpoints. No other components affect this as of yet.

The 2 stock CF-117’s: On the Erkul dev build, we can pull up the MR and see that the base fitting provides 81 shots for each weapon, with regen split evenly 33/33/33.

2 weapons x 28 alpha damage x 81 shots = 4536 damage possible before the cap is exhausted and needs to be recharged.
It will deliver that damage over ((60 seconds /720 rate of fire) x 81 shots available) = 6.75 seconds.
The ship will then recharge the weapons capacitor based on the selected Power Triangle setting. For 33/33/33 that will take about 4.5 seconds.

Before, if you wanted MOAR damage output, you’d simply add 2 more guns. So let’s do that in dev.erkul. Or in ‘verse, your call.
4 weapons x 28 alpha x 41 shots = 4592 damage possible, delivered in 3.4 seconds.

So what just happened?

The capacitor controls the potential output with energy weapons. The number of weapons it is feeding determine how fast it is drained, and thus Burst DPS. Notice that 4 guns deliver functionally the same amount of damage as 2, but in half the time.

Yes, this scales across the weapons. The vaunted, shiny and somewhat fragile Talon has 2 size 4 hardpoints and can mount a pair of CF-447 Rhino’s. This is the same weapon that makes the Hammerhead a fearsome death machine. BUT, the Talon has the same capacitor size as the MR..! So it finds itself in this position:

2 CF-447 x 80 alpha x 29 shots = 4640 damage possible, delivered in 3.6 seconds.

Let that sink in a moment. 2 size 1’s equal 1 size 4 (with energy weapons) and the basic MR does equivalent damage to a premium light fighter. Other considerations aside (like weapons size) this popped a circuit breaker in my brain.

LASER CANNONS
Laser Cannon were said to have better efficiency than repeaters. This is borne out by looking at a Behring M3A fit.

4 M3A x 85 alpha x 27 shots = 9180 damage possible, in 6.75 seconds.

In words, energy cannon do twice as much damage vs energy repeaters for the same capacitor charge. Not because of higher DPS, but because they drain the cap at half the rate, lasting longer.
This damage advantage is offset somewhat by the projectile speed being half that of the repeater, making it more difficult to use in some situations. Generalizing heavily, cannons are good against ships that are larger and slower than what you are flying. Repeaters work well against ships that are smaller and faster than yours.

You are probably thinking either “What about ballistics?” or “How the hell do I get more damage?!?!”
Glad you asked, because I’d hate to have wasted the last three days at work..
Sticking with our venerable MR for a moment, let’s change up 2 hardpoints:
2 Buzzsaw x 43 alpha x 200 shots = 17,200 damage possible, over ((60/700) x 200) = 17.1 seconds.

In the interest of keeping projectile velocities matched, add these in with the stock 2 CF-117s. In practice, this provides 1685 DPS on one point-of-aim until the Bulldogs run dry (in 6.75 seconds) and need to recharge. On paper (pixels?) this setup gives 3 bursts at this level before the Buzzsaws are done. Happiness is a powered-roller-fed weapon. Until it’s empty.

SCENARIO
For some ships, a mix of some kind is unavoidable and in some situations, there are distinct benefits. Let’s look at using the Avenger in 9Tails Lockdown as an example.
The ship has 2 size 3 weapon hardpoints + 1 size 4 hardpoint, and has a typical 4500 unit capacitor. How do we fit to deal with the chaos in this mission between PvE content and PvP players?
We want to be able to hit the PvP players hard when they engage. Ballistics work best for this, but obviously run dry quickly. Using just ballistics takes us away from the fight to reload far too often.
We also want to stay with the Terrapins as they move and be able to engage the many 9Tails ships that attack. Time-on-station becomes critical as the mission progress doesn’t wait for the player to reload/repair.

A potential fit:
1 Revenant x 69 alpha x 240 shots = 16560 possible damage over 16 seconds. Reserve for PvP/must destroy NAOW situations.
2 CF-337 x 28 alpha x 60 shots = 4560 damage in 4.5 seconds. Happily smoke 9Tails small ships.

OR more PvP focused:
1 CF-447 x 80 alpha x 57 shots = 4560 damage in 7.1 seconds. Still quite viable but obviously slower TTK. Long strings of hits are quite satisfying.
2 Shredder x 93 alpha x 135 shots = 25110 damage in 16.2 seconds. Positively wrecks fighters.

Adjusting the Regen Rates
The last consideration I’ll talk about right now is adjusting the regeneration priority. THIS should deeply influence your tactical choices, and probably your overall fit. No recommendations will be given beyond LEARN TO USE IT and how it affects your ship/playstyle second-by-second.

All the numbers in the discussion so far are from using the default 33/33/33 center position. Understand that changing this in any direction means one or two systems will recharge faster, at the expense of the other(s). It’s quite possible, even likely, for shields to be depleted using 100 weapon/0 shield /0 boost. There are keybinds available to quickly switch between 100% priorities, a potentially useful ability.

Back to our beloved, battered stock MR. Clicking the priority over to 67 weapon/17/17, the number of shots available climbs to 90. That’s not a huge improvement over 81, but our recharge time drops from 4.5 seconds to 2.5! That’s roughly how long it takes to get nose back on target after a jousting pass, meaning that in a fight you’d be full up when it’s time to shoot again.

Note that weapons do NOT shoot faster, but the extra shots mean the burst lasts a bit longer. So you potentially spend more time applying damage and less time waiting for your energy weapons to be ready.

tldr: No meta, because Yogi said so.
 

Talonsbane

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From my perspective, I prefer energy weapons over ballistics for their convenience & not having to worry about possibly running completely out of ammo in the middle of a fight. I'm still getting use to the capacitor changes where you have to be more careful with your shots, but I'm thinking that until CIG restores the shields to working as they're meant to that I'll have any definitive preference of weapons & shields combos.

This being said, I do like how this post was thought up, calculated through & laid out. It's great food for thought since CIG is starting to get serious about wanting to make players to get serious over each of their decisions in game.
 

Cugino83

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Huuu nice work on the math @Ayeteeone!
I had the feeling that biggger weapon will provide about the same total ddamage as the smaller one, but in a more "concentrated" way, glad to see my initial feeling ware right.... actually impressed by the fact that the Aurora is actually as capable (if not more) then the Talon.

For the ship load out I start to use the Deathbolt cannon both on the Vanguard (S5) and the Avenger (S4) with pleasent result: it provide a good range, a hell of a punch and free up some juice for the 2xS3 laser repeater on the wing.

Also all the weapons now feels like they are "owerclocked" by default since the rate of fire, even for cannons is very hight, makeing them a viable alternative to the ballistick repeater having a good compromise of ammo count, damage and rate of fire with the advantage, do to the slower ROF, to be albe to either shoot in burst or single shot providing a better control and limiting the ammo wasting.
 

Shadow Reaper

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Great analysis. Where do we find capacitor data? I'm not seeing it on erkul.

What happens when a turret isn't used? Do the turret capacitors in the Vanguard and Cutlass add to the caps the pilot controls when there is no turret gunner, or when the turret runs ballistics?

Are we expecting to ever be able to modify ships and add capacitors where we like, or is that set in stone with ship design?
 

Zookajoe

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Great analysis. Where do we find capacitor data? I'm not seeing it on erkul.

What happens when a turret isn't used? Do the turret capacitors in the Vanguard and Cutlass add to the caps the pilot controls when there is no turret gunner, or when the turret runs ballistics?

Are we expecting to ever be able to modify ships and add capacitors where we like, or is that set in stone with ship design?

Try the Dev Page of Erkul.
 

BUTUZ

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I have not read this all as I am very drunk but I did notice straight away in the new patch that the MxA series of weapons were formidable currently wheras for a long time they were forgetful. I guess all this capacitor nonsense means they literally use less energy per DPS than repeaters which used to be king daddy.

Is this really balance? Gatlings are useless. Repeaters are half lame. Cannons are still overwhelmingly underwhelming. And the weapons that literally no one ever used is now viable? I suppose it is balance, just not quite the right one......more work.
 

Ayeteeone

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Great analysis. Where do we find capacitor data? I'm not seeing it on erkul.

What happens when a turret isn't used? Do the turret capacitors in the Vanguard and Cutlass add to the caps the pilot controls when there is no turret gunner, or when the turret runs ballistics?

Are we expecting to ever be able to modify ships and add capacitors where we like, or is that set in stone with ship design?
As @Zookajoe said, the dev page for Erkul. Usually the link is shown at the bottom if you reload the regular page.

Turrets have their own capacitor, save for a couple of ships like the Superhornet (and that's probably a bug). They do not combine with what is available to the pilot.

Not remembering who said it, but eventually capacitors are supposed to be a regular item we can upgrade.
 
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Ayeteeone

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I have not read this all as I am very drunk but I did notice straight away in the new patch that the MxA series of weapons were formidable currently wheras for a long time they were forgetful. I guess all this capacitor nonsense means they literally use less energy per DPS than repeaters which used to be king daddy.

Is this really balance? Gatlings are useless. Repeaters are half lame. Cannons are still overwhelmingly underwhelming. And the weapons that literally no one ever used is now viable? I suppose it is balance, just not quite the right one......more work.
Correct sir, take another drink!

This is NOT balance, this is rebuilding the foundations so a balance can be worked toward. I can see a bit of the genius on the Vehicle Experience Team coming through, and am impressed.
 

BUTUZ

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Correct sir, take another drink!

This is NOT balance, this is rebuilding the foundations so a balance can be worked toward. I can see a bit of the genius on the Vehicle Experience Team coming through, and am impressed.
Thanks boss, I'll take two, as I am just following instructions, from the boss.

I think the problem is, the weapons are not differentiated enough. Previous patch you could almost use any weapon and get a similar effect. This patch is bgetter but way off right. Laser repeaters should be like n000b weapons, easy to buy use and easy cheapy to run but not massive damage to anything shield or hull. Laser cannons should be very hard to land the hits but much more powerful against shields and hull really. Gatling's should be hull spreaders but not really capable of piercing [stronger] shields. But hey if the shields are down go to town. Ballistic cannons should be like a kinda meta weapon, capable of piercing shields and doing big hull damage - but very limited ammo an expensive ammo. Nothings any where near balanced at the mo and I can't see itsmuch better but i have not watched the hour at a time dev vids lately I will admit.
 

GPcustoms

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This has been a very useful thread and has certainly helped me to weed out ships that no longer serve my type of game play.
However with that said I will have to sit on the ones pending the upgrade of melt until the weapons load out/ammo count etc..has settled. :like:
Its been fun so far and looking forwards to the wipe and changes yet to come:o7:
 

Ayeteeone

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This has been a very useful thread and has certainly helped me to weed out ships that no longer serve my type of game play.
However with that said I will have to sit on the ones pending the upgrade of melt until the weapons load out/ammo count etc..has settled. :like:
Its been fun so far and looking forwards to the wipe and changes yet to come:o7:
Happy to hear that my mental meanderings have been helpful :)

There are more iterations to come; while the community response seems to have been mostly positive, there's been nothing yet on how CIG views the results thus far.

So waiting it out is probably wise. (Full-ish disclosure - these findings led to some major changes in my own hangar as well).
 

maynard

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Is this really balance? ...
This is NOT balance, this is rebuilding the foundations so a balance can be worked toward. I can see a bit of the genius on the Vehicle Experience Team coming through, and am impressed ...
There are more iterations to come; while the community response seems to have been mostly positive, there's been nothing yet on how CIG views the results thus far.
all this

periodic balance adjustments and the adaptations of weaponry, fleet composition, and tactics are what will keep ship combat fresh

how well CIG handles the process will be make or break
 
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Grimbli

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From my perspective, I prefer energy weapons over ballistics for their convenience & not having to worry about possibly running completely out of ammo in the middle of a fight.
I think this will change over time when we get more physicallized things that allow us to carry crates of ammo in our cargo hold or have support ships to rearm closer to the fight. Unless you're talking about going solo into deep space, but fighters probably shouldn't do that in the future.

Of course, most things now will change with time since it's a ways to release and we don't have a lot of the features in.
 
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