Best Drone Weapons?

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ZedF
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:05 pm

khamul wrote:It may depend on what you're fighting: Morrigi drones vs human or Zuul DEs, I find I get a lot of overkill on the lead couple of ships, and by the time the drones are back and firing again, the enemy's in contact with the carrier fleet.

You can fix this by having your ships target different enemy DDs to distribute fire. Drones will still tend to follow targeting orders for their carriers when possible. If you are having overkill problems with beamer weapons, it's worth the micro and will definitely get UV beamers to outperform X-ray lasers, IMX. I haven't tried this yet but it may be the case that putting the drones in their own weapon group and using fire only on my target could force fire distribution exactly according to specifications.

Haven't tried x-rays on 1.6.3 yet, but on 1.6.1, I found they were spreading damage better than continuous beam weapons.

X-ray lasers, like all bolt lasers, need a pretty much constant targeting lock to maintain effective DPS. Since drones tend to zip around and lose targeting lock a lot, I've found this cuts their DPS too much compared to beamers or emitters, especially in 1.6.3 where beamers have much fewer problems maintaining fire than previously. I've found that the higher burst damage of beamers tends to result in higher effective DPS, when mounted on zippy drones. This tends to cancel out any spreading issues IMX, especially with good target selection.

I can see UV beamers edging out X-rays vs cruisers and larger. Reflective coating probably makes a difference too.

Definitely. :)

Emitters are an effective choice, no question, and certainly value for RP on a drone. I'd certainly pick them over green lasers, and probably over UV. Over UV beamers - not so much.

Yep, I'd place them between UV beamers and green beamers for overall effectiveness, though effectiveness in any given fight is obviously dependent on what they are going up against. Probably comparable with X-ray lasers for overall effectiveness, though for very different reasons.
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Mixtures often work better... ;)

Post by silvaril » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:26 pm

Heya

Anytime I've had two light mounts in the Drone, I've mounted either a Light Emitter or a Beamer in one and my best burst Laser in the other.

I've found the mix in range from doing so across a deployment of Drones has worked quite well so far...
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GammaPaladin
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by GammaPaladin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:48 am

ZedF wrote:
GammaPaladin wrote:My opinion is that drone weapons for small mount drones go in about this order: pulse phasers > UV Beamers > X-Ray Lasers > Green Beamers > UV Lasers > Green Lasers > Sniper Cannons > Red Lasers > Gauss, although the ordering of the last two is probably arguable.

Don't forget light emitters. They are one of the best early weapons for drones and are nice and cheap to research. They are probably somewhere between UV and Green beamers for effectiveness, depending on what you're fighting with them.

I'm not fond of emitter drones... For one thing, it's only ever useful at the DE stage, because emitter damage actually kind of sucks, so if it's not arcing, it's useless. For another thing, with a mass of drones generally near what they're firing at, they tend to blow each other up entirely too much due to friendly fire arcing. Which is just annoying.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:55 pm

I have never seen friendly fire arcing with emitters actually hurt friendlies. I have seen it hurt allies, and I have seen allied emitter arcs hurt my ships. If you've seen friendly fire arcing with your own emitters blowing up your own drones, report it as a bug.

Against cruisers, emitters will certainly arc less than they will against destroyers, but they usually do arc some as enemy formations turn into furballs of relatively densely packed ships. As far as damage goes, even without arcing it's on par with green beamers if the enemy has any kind of reflective coating at all. Moreover, emitter arcs tend to shut down enemies that try to use missiles, which the AI does a lot. Even with a cruiser-based enemy I might prefer light emitters to green beamers... but I'd certainly prefer UV beamers to either.
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by GammaPaladin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:45 pm

ZedF wrote:As far as damage goes, even without arcing it's on par with green beamers if the enemy has any kind of reflective coating at all.

Of course, if you're using emitters heavily, anyone with any intelligence (And I'm assuming the AI as well) will just research hardened electronics, at which point they're armored against your emitters too.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by martinl » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:00 pm

GammaPaladin wrote:Of course, if you're using emitters heavily, anyone with any intelligence (And I'm assuming the AI as well) will just research hardened electronics, at which point they're armored against your emitters too.


You have to roll it. Don't over-invest in emitters vs. fish or birdies.
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by GammaPaladin » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:18 pm

Truthfully I'm just not a fan of emitters in general. Low rate of fire, low damage, vanishingly small range... I feel I get more DPS out of beamers, even when enemies have heavy refcoats, due to the fact that they fire so much more often and do so much more damage.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:45 pm

They don't, though. Not the green ones, anyway.

8s recharge vs. 10s is not that big a difference. The range difference between light emitters and green beamers is trivially small; both are very short-ranged weapons. Damage-wise, green beamers are a lot easier to blunt with ref coat than light emitters are with hardened electronics, both from an availability PoV and from a cost-to-research-defenses PoV.

Now if you want to talk purely about UV beamers, those do have a range/damage advantage over light emitters, and I've already said as much. But don't lump all beamers in one basket when comparing to light emitters. Under most circumstances where either light emitters or green beamers are prone to be fielded in quantity -- i.e. early in the game since these are early-game weapons -- light emitters will equal or beat green beamers for damage output.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by patton1942 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:45 pm

question: how do pulse phasors compare with beamers in the latest version?
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by ZedF » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:15 pm

Pulse phasors? They haven't changed, really.

They have much better range than beamers, pretty good accuracy at long range and excellent accuracy at short range, and do more damage per 3-shot burst at beamer ranges than beamers do and recharge faster, plus aren't reduced nearly as much by reflective armour techs. So they're pretty much superior in every way, except that they aren't instant-hit weapons.

Not too surprising given they are an AM tech.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by EntropyAvatar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:54 pm

It would be nice to have an AM-era version of beamers to put on my drones. I find UV-beamers more aethetically pleasing than pulse phasors (and easier on the CPU in big battles), but can't justify them against the shear attack power of pulse phasors. X-ray beamers, anyone?

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by winginson » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:53 pm

I'd like a AM beamer option, if only to stop my poor old processor from melting.
(Although it could be good if it did, I could get a new PC then)
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by TrashMan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:37 pm

A AM era beamer would either be a X-Ray beamer or a Phasor Beamer.
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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by Mysterius » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:25 am

TrashMan wrote:A AM era beamer would either be a X-Ray beamer or a Phasor Beamer.


A Phasor Beamer... so, like Phasor PD but offensive? :wink:

"Phasor Beamer" just sounds... redundant.

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Re: Best Drone Weapons?

Post by GammaPaladin » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:33 am

Micro-phasers? Unlocked by pulse phasers, perhaps.

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