Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

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flopsies
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Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by flopsies » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:10 pm

I was looking at the SOTS 2 Codex, and according to the damage tables, the regular blue mass driver does more damage than the upgraded ones. Is this true?
Twas the night before Zuulmas, and all through the cluster
The races engaged in their usual bluster
The Tarka called everyone upstarts and pests
The Hivers all swarmed to defend their deep nests
The Liir stuttered about and left messages cryptic
The Morrigi hid both below (and above!) the ecliptic
The Humans they lay all smug in their beds
(While visions of sige drivers ran through their heads)

But deep in the void
Was the gathering storm
For a weasel alliance
Had started to form…

Azrael Ultima
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:14 pm

More structure damage, sure. But look at the armor pattern, they have a much harder time actually getting down to structure.
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Aranador
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by Aranador » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:12 am

Each of the three weapons have their place.

Normal drivers are good against lightly armoured enemys, or enemies that have had their armour removed.

AP drivers are good against the heaviest armoured enemies, with tier layer penetration and damage patterns.

HEAP drivers fall somewhere inbetween, being pretty good against armour, with more damage below the armour layers.

Indeed - every weapon in the game that isnt otherwise a direct upgrade (like green laser to blue laser) in general has its place, as how they do things is notably different.

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Resok
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by Resok » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:10 am

Same discussion came up in SOTS1. AP (and to a lesser degree HEAP) mass drivers have always had a lower raw damage potential than the base weapon. However where the HEAP and AP rounds make up for this is in several ways:

1. More accurate (Twice as accurate)
2. Longer range (+25% range approximately)
3. Better armor penetration (AP value - ignores 1 blue armor layer)
4. Deeper, narrower damage matrix compared to the wide matrix of the non-AP drivers
5. Much lower armor deflection values

If you try them out in practice, you'll find in almost every case the AP and HEAP drivers will win against similar Mass Drivers-armed ships. This disparity only widens when you get to DN and LV eras, and widens further with armor upgrades which will cause the non-AP Mass Drivers to deflect more often.

Now that's not to say that non-AP Mass Drivers don't have their place. They're still better at planet bombardment due to higher pop damages as well as higher base ROF. They're also better raw damage output against a large unarmored structure like a station.

AP and HEAP drivers also tend to have a lot lower mass and thus won't move enemy ships around as much which can in some ways be both good and bad.
- Resok

flopsies
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by flopsies » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:42 am

So, is HEAP better than AP?
Twas the night before Zuulmas, and all through the cluster
The races engaged in their usual bluster
The Tarka called everyone upstarts and pests
The Hivers all swarmed to defend their deep nests
The Liir stuttered about and left messages cryptic
The Morrigi hid both below (and above!) the ecliptic
The Humans they lay all smug in their beds
(While visions of sige drivers ran through their heads)

But deep in the void
Was the gathering storm
For a weasel alliance
Had started to form…

Azrael Ultima
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:28 am

It's entirely dependent on what you are shooting at.

HEAP is better at destroying structure, but worse at penetrating armor(but still loads better than basic drivers), AP is better against armor, but less effective against structure.

On heavy drivers, AP will ignore 2 blue layers entirely, while HEAP only ignores one.

So for unarmored ships, you use the basic drivers, light to medium HEAP, heavy armor AP.
For Liir with phase dislocation and adamantine you hope for Meson torps.
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The zeppelin of bluster Feldman excoriated Freddy with suddenly popped into a cloud of humility. (David Grand, The Disappearing Body, 2002)

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wingren013
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by wingren013 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:29 am

Regular drivers are also pretty much a hard counter to early loa cruisers.
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Alehandr WS
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by Alehandr WS » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:48 pm

wingren013 wrote:Regular drivers are also pretty much a hard counter to early loa cruisers.

How so? Why?

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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by wingren013 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:07 pm

Really thin armor on the command section made worse by the fact that early Loa fleets often skimp on armor to lower cube costs. The knock around effect is also very powerful because the Loa are usually outnumbered significantly in early engagements. Thus allowing MDs to prevent the Loa from organizing or retaliating.
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chris0101
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by chris0101 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:38 pm

Only against a stationary target with low armor are regular MDs better than AP or HEAP.

The reason is because the accuracy of MDs against moving targets drops and the actual dps from the shots that hit the target drop precipitously.
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by The_Founder » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:16 pm

Azrael Ultima wrote:For Liir with phase dislocation and adamantine you hope for Meson torps.

Or Rippers:
http://sots2.rorschach.net/Ripper
Or Torpedoes, wich do wonders at gettig npast blue layers:
http://sots2.rorschach.net/Fusion_Torpedo

It might be best to mix weapones. Some to crack the armor, some to destroy waht is below.
For example a Stormer will be totally unable to even get past the Blue layers of a Levi (non-heavy doesn't even budge a Dread or Cruiser with one extra Blue layer).
But, once the Armor layers are totally eliminated and an attack hits that area, blue layers are ignored and those "Flat profile, high damage" weapones will devastate the structure. Also, weapons with high Crictical chance may desrupt enemy operations, kill crew and the like.
Karnak Modules helps with hitting that area, as may Manually targettign an area.

The weapon mxi varries by faction:
Zuul and Liir ships have suffciently low structure that even AP Drivers can kil them.
Against Hiver better mix (heavy Armor Cracker weapons, medium vs structure).

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wingren013
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by wingren013 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:53 pm

A mix of AP mds and Hds should suffice throughout the cruiser and dread eras. They have somewhat similar range and the HD is very very good for gutting ships. Beam weapons also cause lots of critical damage.
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chris0101
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by chris0101 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:01 pm

wingren013 wrote:A mix of AP mds and Hds should suffice throughout the cruiser and dread eras. They have somewhat similar range and the HD is very very good for gutting ships. Beam weapons also cause lots of critical damage.


It depends on if the other ships have extra armor. And if you're facing leviathans. Against leviathans with adamantite, go all AP/HEAP. Don't use MDs.
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wingren013
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by wingren013 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:49 pm

LVs with addy don't follow normal rules. They need entirely new tactics to defeat.
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chris0101
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Re: Regular Mass Drivers better than AP and HEAP?

Post by chris0101 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:36 pm

wingren013 wrote:LVs with addy don't follow normal rules. They need entirely new tactics to defeat.


High penetration weapons would be a priority. Liir with phase disloc and addy LVs supported by 3 Zuul BBs too are very lethal.

Even when facing DNs, I'd actually recommend going all AP or AP/HEAP versus Heavy drivers. Armor and accuracy mean that the AP will do more effective damage.
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