Cruiser Laser: why use anything else?

I bought this game off of Steam just a few days ago, and I’ve been loving it. The learning curve is a bit steep and there’s a lot of intricacies to all the stats and numbers I haven’t figured out yet, but while exploring, I discovered something.

I was curious about the power of each of the weapons in the game, so I got out my calculator and divided the damage dealt by the fire rate of each weapon to determine which is the strongest, and the Cruiser Laser was twice-and-a-half times stronger than anything else. I promptly loaded up a cruiser with only Cruiser lasers and deployed eight cruisers in a few missions. They perform beautifully, but I feel like I’ve broken the game. Why are they so powerful? Is this a game balance issue, or am I missing something?

You’re missing my massive amount of fighters, flying up underneath your shields and tearing you to bits while you fire helplessly, never hitting them.
You’re missing my even more massive amount of frigates loaded down with plasma launchers and engines, utilizing the always move command, tearing you up while out of your range.
You’re missing my equal amount of cruisers loaded down with powered armor bearing down upon you, while you stare in fear at the “no effect” letters popping up around them.
You miss much, my friend.

Ignore the above pissing contest.

I’m pretty new myself, having just beaten the campaign and several online challenges. But I think I can still offer some insight. It’s true, cruiser lasers are very good and probably slightly overpowered, considering they will let you cruise (pun) through most of the campaign on expert, no problem. But they have two glaring weaknesses:

  1. penetration: it is much too low. More specifically, against heavy shields, you won’t be doing any damage at all. This is even more of a problem against players, who use only the best shields.

  2. range. Actually, range won’t be a problem unless you are going toe to toe against mass armadas, which honestly, doesn’t happen too much in the campaign. But it’s common RTS knowledge/mathematical fact that when the number of units increase, the “range” stat becomes increasingly important. On a 100,000 resources player challenge, it would be absolutely suicidal to use cruise lasers, and you would almost assuredly be better off using missiles.

Actually, on a 100k budget challenge, you’re best off designing some cruisers with built in guidance scramblers to be able to ignore most of the missiles in missile spam fleets :stuck_out_tongue:

Cruiser Lasers have one of the best shield penetration ratings in the game. Even the CLs 15 armor penetration on the is good enough for probably all of the ships you will face in the scenarios that comes with the game. I find that even on player challenges, armor is ridiculously easy to destroy.

The 490 range is the only problem with CLs. You need to be fast to get into range with your CLs, missile spam and fighters work well vs CL spam. CLs are very attractive and could probably use a very slight change but I don’t think they are OP.

I just finished the campaign about an hour ago. There are definitely a few missions where CL do not penetrate - I needed to switch to missiles to win.

Range, penetration, cost, weight, tracking.

It barely has more range than Fighter Rockets, it can have trouble damaging the more heavily-armored FRIGATES in a fleet, there’s ONE non-missile weapon it’s cheaper than, the Megaton Missile is the ONLY heavier weapon, and .9 tracking means that particularly fast frigates can pass its accuracy threshold.

Does that explain it adequately?

Just equip a single weapon that does the most armor damage.

If you’re so confident in your pure CL-ness, post some challenges and drop the challenge numbers in here :wink:

Or try using a CL fleet in the SAC Challenge viewtopic.php?f=24&t=4392

The complaints about CL fleets stem from one simple and undeniable fact: it’s very, very easy to quickly build a CL fleet that will roll over a much more careful deployment, provided the second deployment is not built with CL spam in mind. This is not the case for any other type of spam: missiles are defeated by scramblers, fighters are defeated by anti-fighter frigates, plasma is defeated by speed.

I’m no longer so sure they’re as overpowered as I used to claim, but I still think that the fact that they lack an obvious single counter (supposing you build a CL cruiser with, say, a bunch of CLs and one or two beam lasers to punch through the armor) is what makes them look like they are.

Beating a challenge is much easier than making a challenge. CL spam is no exception. You can beat many online challenges with just that (and 1 or 2 lasers), but if you post a CL spam it will get killed.

Best counter vs CL spam is frigate spam. At lease, Ion Cannon/EMP crush every CL fleet I encountered. If you don’t believe me you can try my challenge #4590775 with a CL spam.

It’s entirely possible to beat CL spam with just missile spam and nothing else. In fact, I just did it against an RCIX challenge. In that case, I think it entirely depends on how many scramblers your opponent takes, but if they take none at all, missile spam wins.

True. I also had a retreating fast missile deployment with decoy that beats ever CL spam I encountered. The problem is that range need to be set to 1700 for them to emulate retreat, and will therefore die to stuff with longer range because they won’t engage. I won’t call missile spam a hard counter without emulating retreat though, since I beat many missile spam challenges with howitzers spam (without scramblers).

Post a challenge and leave the number here and see if I can close in with my howitzers.

Damage/time is only the maximum possible DPS.

First off, the tracking is poor.

A 0.9 tracking weapon has a roughly ~37% hitrate against a 90m frigate moving at 0.41 speed. ~58% against a 160m cruiser at 0.26. That’s not great.

Secondly, CL’s are subject to optimum range.

A shot only does the full damage if it lands on a target exactly 400m away; being further from this value can reduce the damage done as far as 50%. You can see this with damage numbers up.

Missiles, in comparison to CL’s, can be painted as to have no tracking/size accuracy penalty whatsoever and are not subject to optimum range stats.

CL’s are basically big fat chunky bludgeons intended for high-risk-short-range combat against big fat chunky cruisers. A high potential DPS is somewhat necessary for them to perform this function.

May I ask how hit rate is calculated?

The man himself.

Lol thanks. Now that I included this into the equation I really wanted to update my tribe challenges again.

ive been a enthusiastic anti-CL player… to a point that for a while i decided 2 ban my fleet completely of CLs…

even now i still only use then little at a time, they just feel like a gamebreaker 2 me…

especially in smaller battles where you cant have 2 many missile spam in the 1st place

and when there’s a little limit in pilot

it seems as tho the only way u can beat them is by spamming CL right back…

or going mass EMP

will try 2 illustrate that point with a challenge soon…

Well, reflective shields meant some of my silly fleets (15 1-SPEED FAST MISSILE FRIGATES GO) weren’t going to cut it, so I just jumped straight into a real fleet and beat it despite fucking up the orders on my front-line ships, causing them to chill behind my armor/plasma/EMP combo ships.


I still won. :I