Dvalin's Ion9 is disappointing

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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Kourtious
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I've played a couple runs and each time I've gotten Dvalin's Ion9. However, I'm always disappointed by it even after I significantly enhance it. Its most potent feature is its shield buster attribute, but it's quite meaningless as the tougher and more dangerous ships often have internal hip points, meaning WMD should be the focus of most player's weapons by this point in the game. This means the Ion9 should be used as an anti-fighter weapon but it even fails this too. Since the weapon is a cloud, only partial damage actually hits its targets, meaning its real dps is likely lowering than its nominal stated dps. I tested weapon against the Sandstorms and Ranx Gunships many times and I often find it more useful to use the extra missile to do the job much quicker.

The only other minor issue is its relatively short range, which is okay. The weapon from what I can tell is meant to destroy lighter ships and less importantly, shields. Fighters will close in on you so they will likely be in range.

My suggestion would be to make the hitbox of each particle larger. This makes it more likely that the cloud would not disperse around the target and increase its real dps closer to its nominal stated dps. Straight up increasing the damage is also fine but is a boring method to do it.

It's definitely not a bad weapon for the stage at which you get the weapon but it's definitely not a weapon you would want to use when facing the later half of the Outer Realms.
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The biggest problem with Ion9 for me is 500 MW reactors are not available when I can get it. I acquire the Ion9 before Jiang's Star, but no one sold any reactor bigger than 250 MW anywhere in Ungoverned Territories. After Ion9's 200 MW footprint, I have less than 50 MW left - not enough for a level 7 shield and possible Titan drive. This means I cannot use Ion9 effectively (without giving up other devices) when I get the reward. Either Ion9 needs to be more efficient out-of-the-box (150 MW) or 500 MW reactors made available in Ungoverned Territories.

Shield buster is nice for anti-Luminous drones. Those with ion-resistant shields will crack under Ion9.
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Ferdinand
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I also use the Ion9 mainly for it's shieldbuster properties, it also gets rid of incoming missiles from the front as well. I always use it in tandem with whatever launcher I have available. Indeed, luminous drones are not a problem at all when equipped with the Ion9.
Kourtious
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Are there are more competitive weapons that you guys have found to Ion9 near the start of the Outer Realms? From my experience, the Katana Star Cannon and the Thermo Cannons are great choices for leading into the lategame.
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I do not care if I have level 7 weapons. (In my last game, I got some bundled with the Minotaur I bought.) If I go through the trouble of completing Dvalin and get his reward, I want to use it! Before the last Dvalin rebalance, Ion9 came too late (because player can simply buy or loot level 8+ weapons, and probably needed to denote level 10 Ares or Iocrym stuff to earn enough XP for Ion9). Now, it comes too early by virtue of being unable to use it due to lack of reactor power. Honestly, getting Ion9 by Jiang's Star or a little before comes at the perfect time of the game (player can also get Qianlong archcannon elsewhere, another level 9 weapon), but 200 mw is too high when the most the player has when he can get it is 250 mw. I have at least 50 mw shield, and (if my ship is non-Wolfen) Titan drive for another 20+ mw.

Other ship rewards: Player finishes Huaramarca, he gets level 9 Qianlong that only uses 10 mw (but needs Longzhu spheres). Lamplighter at the end of the game is 200 mw. Pretty good. Ion9 takes 200 mw when player is probably limited to 250 mw when he can get the Ion9. What good is a quest reward if player cannot use it (easily)?
Download and Play in 1.9 beta 1...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Play a classic arcade game adventure, with or without more features (like powerups)!
Playership Drones: Buy or restore exotic ships to command!

Other playable mods from 1.8 and 1.7, waiting to be updated...
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
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