MAG launchers

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Xephyr
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Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:22 am

The MAG launcher is competitive throughout the entire game, and ammo is cheap.

Definitely my favourite launcher.
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Atarlost
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Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:00 pm

The biggest problem the MAG launcher has is that NAMI ammo is free when it would be at its most useful. You don't really need missiles before Drakes and Charon Frigates start appearing and the MAG stops being good around the time Tripolis stop appearing.

In CC you're not pushed so hard towards the NAMI. In EP you're pushed pretty hard towards anything ED or APD.
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Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:34 pm

Another problem with MAG launcher is it is level 4. Level 4 is rare in New Beyond, and a bit more common but still rarer than level 5 or 6 weapons in Ungoverned Territories. An early Rasiermesser station helps make MAGs a bit more common, but not by much. Also, NAMI launcher is ubiquitous, and enemies drop ammo freely. MAG launcher more expensive than NAMI, and most users of MAGs are friendlies. Player probably will not loot the launcher, and not much ammo. MAG launcher is too expensive when I need it, and by the time I can find and afford one, enemies are laughing off blast damage. Also, slow and no tracking hurts. Still, if I am lucky to loot one early, it is effective brute force against tougher enemies.
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Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:44 am

I'd definitely say that the biggest thing that tips the game in favor of the NAMI launcher is the free ammo. Longbows are excellent for early demolition, and don't have any real cost. The free stilettos from pirate ships are better than any other ammo of that approximate level, and appear in high enough numbers to sustain even the most trigger - happy players until around the middle of midgame. It's hard for anything else to compete with that in the New Beyond.

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Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:05 pm

Ok, slightly off topic here because this isn't a modding/suggestion topic....but perhaps then we should see about getting some alternative launchers onto enemies?

I also find the level 2-4 bracket to be....very difficult to find anything uncommon or rare in. And there's a lot of rare stuff at level 3 or so. Partly it's down to the game throwing level 5 and 6 gear at you as soon as you leave Eridani (and that does need looking at....but is a different discussion). Short of annoying the Black Market it's tricky to get MAGs.....Corporate Command does provide a (small) source of Burak ammunition but it's not that easy to work with. The Makayev launcher is used exclusively by friendly(-fire) Manticores....

But there's nothing that compares to the vast supplies of NAMI missiles. Especially now that their mass and value got reduced across the board. Thus, plus being able to craft XM900s....makes the launcher seriously unbeatable. It makes the effectiveness drop off rather quickly when it starts becoming obsolete, sadly.
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:40 pm

Shrike wrote:Ok, slightly off topic here because this isn't a modding/suggestion topic....but perhaps then we should see about getting some alternative launchers onto enemies?
My thoughts exactly - this is a major part of what inspired me to try to make fighting the Black Market viable. Giving the Kobol a bit of a larger role might serve a similar purpose in late game. In early game, I'm not sure what enemies we could add different launchers to, however. There aren't many early game launchers in vanilla other than the NAMI.
I also find the level 2-4 bracket to be....very difficult to find anything uncommon or rare in. And there's a lot of rare stuff at level 3 or so. Partly it's down to the game throwing level 5 and 6 gear at you as soon as you leave Eridani (and that does need looking at....but is a different discussion).


I think that's a major part of it. Level 1-3 weapons might get some more attention if we couldn't buy much better ones after one or two systems.
But there's nothing that compares to the vast supplies of NAMI missiles. Especially now that their mass and value got reduced across the board. Thus, plus being able to craft XM900s....makes the launcher seriously unbeatable. It makes the effectiveness drop off rather quickly when it starts becoming obsolete, sadly.
I think making them 'lighter' might be the way to solve this. Reducing the damage and tracking of the Longbow and Stiletto while decreasing cost and slightly increasing rate of fire could let them keep their role as an early boost to firepower while introducing the drawbacks of faster ammo consumption and less devastating Stiletto missiles. I'd also make the longbow a bit faster, given how the Drake's declined in threat level over the years due to the ease of shooting down and dodging its missiles.

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Atarlost
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Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:35 pm

The only way to make MAGs stand a chance is to remove some of the NAMIs from Charon Pirates and Marauders.

I'd suggest turning the Drake into a fixed axis howitzer or ballista platform and the Tripoli into a pure beam platform. That would restrict large quantities of free NAMI ammo to frigates, of which there are a limited number.
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Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:38 pm

Either lower MAG launcher level to 3 or raise it to 5. In my experience, level 2 and 3 devices are more common in shops in the New Beyond, and level 5 and 6 devices are more common in early Ungoverned Territories. Level 4 devices are relatively rare, and too underpowered in Ungoverned Territories except as linked-fire weapons for capitals (in mods that feature them), and maybe launchers if it is good enough.

Also, add enemies with MAG and Makayev launchers. Goron in Eternity Port have randomized weapons. Seeing that Charon pirates are the primary enemy of the New Beyond, perhaps Charon and Marauder capitals can have randomized launchers. (This has the bonus of making mod launchers a bit more accessible too.)

EDIT: Maybe some Sotho ships can have MAG launchers. They seem to be the bigger version of the Oromo, and the heavy gunship versions of many factions have a launcher upgrade over the baseline ship. (e.g., Revelations with Reapers, Atonement with more NAMI, Tundra with micronukes) All Sotho gets is an Omni DK10. Also, maybe T55s escorted by Meth Enforcers can have a (MAG or Makayev) launcher too.

EDIT #2: How about Ranx dreadnought with Makayev launcher or, if sadistic, Rasiermesser launcher. That could make the dreadnought really nasty.
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JohnBWatson
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Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:13 am

@PM

For Marauders, I like the idea of randomizing their launchers. It'd serve to differentiate them from Charon, and make them much less predictable to fight. For Charon, I don't think randomizing their weaponry is particularly great, but they do give out far too many NAMI missiles right now. I think the best way of dealing with that is to make them a bit faster and quicker reloading at the expense of tracking rate and damage, while cutting down on the number of missiles stored on Drakes and standard Frigates(along with allowing them to reload at Charon stations once that feature arrives).

I really like the idea of giving the Outlaws some heavier weaponry. They're somewhat pitiful right now towards the later end of where they show up.

The RDN is definitely also in need of an upgrade - it shows up far too late to be competitive. I like the idea of giving the Ranx some other ammo weapons when they're expanded, though I'd say that the Kiloton could use an upgrade first and foremost.

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TheLoneWolf
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Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:57 am

How do you randomize equipment? I have randomized only cargo hold items. Is it done in the same way?

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:05 am

JohnBWatson wrote:@PM

The RDN is definitely also in need of an upgrade - it shows up far too late to be competitive. I like the idea of giving the Ranx some other ammo weapons when they're expanded, though I'd say that the Kiloton could use an upgrade first and foremost.
I second this up. Right now, all fragment weapons do 0 damage on impact, and only their frags deal the damage. There must be something like the original warhead has its own damage, but the fragments have some too.

The Kiloton cannon is an area affect weapon. It doesn't affect a small ship, like playership, the same way it does Capitals. So it also needs a good non area weapon. I added such a weapon in my mod. Its called the Ranx Eruption cannon (seriously, like Kiloton, the name seems natural)

Maybe we should range up the Akans on the RDN.

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:07 am

JohnBWatson wrote:For Marauders, I like the idea of randomizing their launchers. It'd serve to differentiate them from Charon, and make them much less predictable to fight. For Charon, I don't think randomizing their weaponry is particularly great, but they do give out far too many NAMI missiles right now. I think the best way of dealing with that is to make them a bit faster and quicker reloading at the expense of tracking rate and damage, while cutting down on the number of missiles stored on Drakes and standard Frigates(along with allowing them to reload at Charon stations once that feature arrives).
The main reason I suggested Charon is they are ubiquitous in the New Beyond and alternative launchers and ammo from them means NAMI launcher dominates less. MAG might be too high level/value for Drakes, but not Charon frigates (though Kronosaurus should retain its KM500 Stilettos). When Marauders show up frequently in Ungoverned Territories, the usefulness of NAMI/MAGs varies. If you get a bunch of blast-vulnerable enemies like Dwarg or more early-game enemies then launchers may still useful up to about Jiang's Star. If player gets a lot of blast-resistant enemies, then maybe up to about halfway.

Launchers are most useful from early-game to about mid-to-late Ungoverned Territories.

I do not have a problem with NAMI launcher and ammo per se, but I have no incentive to use anything else, not even my own mod launchers due to how easy it is to get NAMI stuff either cheap or free from loot. Low level enemies aside from Battle Arena gladiators use nothing but NAMI missiles (and Buraks if Curators are in).
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Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:55 pm

I'd really like to see randomized launches and weapons too. It'd give us a chance to experience mod weapons from the other end of the barrel, and we wouldn't have to buy those weapons to see what they look like in combat.

Some capital ships are currently pretty weak because their missiles are underlevelled. The Tripoli destroyer and Ranx dreadnaught come to mind here. If they could have randomized missiles that are at the same level as other capital ships, that would make them both harder to kill and worth farming. The Tripoli could get random level 5 missiles (the same level as the Nadao bolt), and the Ranx could get level 8 missiles (the same level as the Kobol).

It would also be great if we could have some weapons with learned abilities. For example, here's a launcher that be taught to shoot any level of missile:

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7577

The same code could be used to create front-firing weapons that are "blank" when they're first bought but gain abilities by being fed missiles or other weapons.

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Shrike
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Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:30 am

gunship256 wrote:I'd really like to see randomized launches and weapons too. It'd give us a chance to experience mod weapons from the other end of the barrel, and we wouldn't have to buy those weapons to see what they look like in combat.

Some capital ships are currently pretty weak because their missiles are underlevelled. The Tripoli destroyer and Ranx dreadnaught come to mind here. If they could have randomized missiles that are at the same level as other capital ships, that would make them both harder to kill and worth farming. The Tripoli could get random level 5 missiles (the same level as the Nadao bolt), and the Ranx could get level 8 missiles (the same level as the Kobol).

It would also be great if we could have some weapons with learned abilities. For example, here's a launcher that be taught to shoot any level of missile:

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7577

The same code could be used to create front-firing weapons that are "blank" when they're first bought but gain abilities by being fed missiles or other weapons.
This is probably too complex for vanilla NPCS. We've got a lot of weapons (and shields, and armor, and misc devices) that currently aren't used by NPCs. Plenty of room to move those in. The other problem with randomisation is that it can be ill-fitted to the theme (or lore) of a faction. I do generally agree with the sentiment though. It's worth moving over to a proper discussion about equipment diversity.


The Tripoli I personally feel needs a stronger missile. In Shrike's Mines and Missiles (my current builds of it anyway) this is done by changing the awful stock missile setup and replacing it with a choice between the KM550, the XM400 (a non-tracking XM900) and the XM900 itself. I think vanilla could use something like the XM400 as a missile for ships like the Tripoli.

In terms of the Ranx Dreadnought.....personally, I modded them to have rasiermesser enhancers. This is surprisingly effective even in the lategame, although they do lack firepower at range.
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