View Full Version : Talk to me about basic weapon types.

10-11-2013, 12:49 PM
This is in regards to the Beam, Missile, and Ballistic types of weapons. Here's my understanding:

-Beams have an advantage in that there's no projectile to miss (outside attack/defense, I mean) with or have it outrun/shot down. Their drawback seems to be that they lose a lot of their punch unless you're close range.

-Missiles are long range and track a target but can be outrun or shot down.

-Ballistics... I don't know. Damage seems to be about the same but no guidance system and slow (relatively) projectile means a lot more misses than something like a missile.

So far I've found beams to be the go-to weapon for me. They shoot fast which is very helpful when the damage overkills a target, which is what I find happens with missiles a lot. At the same time the overall DPS seems to be the same as the other weapons so if I need to burst something down it's a matter of getting close enough.

Missiles are alright but they tend to have low ROF, which is not good when you're getting swarmed with lots of light units where each shot is a lot of overkill.

Ballistics... I don't know what these are good for, that's one of the main reasons for me making this post. Why do I want to use stuff like railguns? That's a genuine question, btw, not rhetorical.

So, can anyone kind of explain the pros and cons of those three base weapon types? It's highly likely I'm missing important information and maybe you all are rolling your eyes at the noob who thinks beams are the bee's knees. :)

10-11-2013, 01:43 PM
Nope, you got it completely right. Missiles and ballistics are situational weapons. Beams, on the other hand, can be your only weapons from sector level 1 to 200, although that is not the most effective way to go.

Beams, and their first cousins the the virus weapons are the most effective single target weapons, by far. EM Bursts are great and fill the same niche, but they stop dropping about one quarter into the game, so you cannot get high end versions. It's a pattern with EM weapons - EM pulses, EM blasts and EM shockwaves are the best weapons at the levels they commonly drop, but stop improving around levels 16, 32 and 40, and hardly ever drop later than that. They are still so good that most of my builds still use EMSs as secondary weapons at level 100, and I have a ship that uses a EMP for energy collection.

What you may be missing, at low levels, is that later you will need area weapons, and beams do not become a substitute for area weapons unless you work very hard at it. That said, my most powerful build is laser and viruses all the way. But enough about beams.

Ballistics and missiles, as I said, are situational.

Ballistics are great for destroying planets while dodging their defenders at far range and for the time honored tradition of butt-torping. Basically, if you don't like to get at knife range (also known as laser range) ballistics can be your weapon of choice.

Missiles are even less effective. They have worse damage per energy, they are subject to overkill, they can be disabled, and even turned against you, and they can be outrun by a lot of enemies. They are OK for butt-torping, or for taking enemies outside the range of their sensors without losing stealth. If you customize them, they become a lot more effective... but if you customize enough, you can go through a level 100 sector with a level 15 EMP, so what? Dump 80 million credit into a Omega Torpedo, and you will have a great weapon... that's about a quarter as good as a Death Ray in which you have invested 20 millions.


By the way, the above applies to automatically targeted ballistics. Manually targeted ballistics have their niche - they are the most effective way for a no-accuracy build to engage single targets, as they ignore your attack stat, and your target's defense stat. Once I sold all of my main computers by mistake, and used manually targeted ballistics to take out some very high defense Overlord ships... so medium slot ballistics have a purpose.


And finally, an example of why missiles are a joke. What you are looking at is a ship with a Weight/Thrust ratio of about 6. By running away from missiles, and then making a sharp turn and a full stop, I can make the missiles orbit the ship until they run out of fuel. Sometimes, monsters do that by accident.


Tyrax Lightning
10-11-2013, 02:53 PM
EM Bursts are great and fill the same niche, but they stop dropping about one quarter into the game, so you cannot get high end versions.
Actually, this is not true... similar to how the Bomber Bay Components 'evolve' into Heavy Bomber Bays, the EM Burst eventually evolves into the "Lightning Cannon". I know, cause my prior Utopian Character (may he rest in peace) was built around the EM Burst + Virus Weapon combo for fierce debuffage, & eventually the Lightning Cannon took over the EM Burst's Slot, since it was obviously continuing along the EM Burst's stat path & how it works. ;)

Alas... My Utopian died at Lvl 97 from lethal amounts of getting chain killed by large battlegroups of foes... there's STILL no Aimed AOE Weapon in the game to fight such things with... :( (& I still stand my ground that a Computer & Attack Build + Non-Aimed Weapon is complete & utter total build synergy fail.)

Before I gave up on Aimed Weapons forever & refused to ever touch the Computer Stat ever again, the EM Burst & Lightning Cannon was my absolute most favorite Aimed Weapon of them all. It's pointless for the Beams to have that greater than 19 Range if the damage at that 20+ Range sucks, so screw Beams. :p

10-13-2013, 06:58 AM
Me i mostly use Swarm missiles + web slowing enemy and reduce they def. Beam are cool but need to run after enemys for close range or they energy cost dps climb highter that missiles.

I stay away of enemy, i get less dmg from enemy, i offen out-range them for they shoot me whit laser, time to dodge bullet and time for anti-missile to work.

Missiles do they dmg at any range and lock on target. I use marine on backlash or shoot them afar so they skill not work and good missile they need offen 2 shoot of anti-missile to blow it. Those new swarm missile whit energy leech are lovely.

Still need to see if my build is viable at highter lv im at lv 50 atm whit my dryad ship.