Two of the fighter weapons are unusable because of their weight: the target painter and the torpedoes.
The target painter alone is 25 weight. With the fastest fighter I can wrap around that (Rebel Icarus with 2x Engine IIIs and a Power Generator) is 0.98 speed. Not only is this fighter going to be destroyed quickly, all it can do is paint a target for other ships’ missiles.
The torpedo isn’t much better. Though it does have much better shield and armor penetration than the other fighter weapons, the 15.0 damage with a 5200 firing interval pales in comparison to even the laser cannon’s 4 damage, 300 interval (that’s 2.88 DPS vs. 13.33, assuming the torpedoes aren’t shot down). The only thing this might be useful for is ganging up on a ship to reduce its shield (16 fighters could do a combined 46 DPS against even strong shields, dropping shields at a rate of one fast-recharge generator in under 6 seconds). Again, with a weight of 15, this weapon results in slow fighters, which is basically a death warrant.
Anybody else find these two weapons useless because of their weights?
The advantage of torpedoes is that they can be fired against frigates and cruisers from long range and still be useful. So you can put a group of torpedo bombers on Escort and it will amplify your battle-line firepower without requiring any stacking. Speed isn’t so much of a problem in this case because every laser that’s shooting fighters isn’t shooting your ships. Laser fighters suffer in this role because they are useless against shields and they don’t get many strafing runs while on Escort. Rockets do work…but not against cruisers with their defenses up.
Torpedoes also cost 0 power even though they weigh a lot, so you can pair them with lasers on 2-hardpoint fighters. Such fighters are expensive but they make good cruiser escorts since they can toss torpedoes at enemy ships and shoot lasers at enemy fighters. Dual use fighters do suffer from torpedoes being wasted on enemy fighters which is a shame.
The problem of torpedo bombers being slow is just the flip side of the too-fast fighters… theoretically, bombers should rely on armor instead of sheer speed but noone mounts armor because A.) it costs a lot B.) you take more hits from being slow and C.) it doesnt protect much anyway.
I agree that the target painter is useless, since 16 fighters don’t seem to do any better job of target painting than a single Cruiser target painter turret. At least in my experience. And they cost a lot more too.
I think that the target painter is useless, and I haven’t bothered to use torpedoes since I started playing survival mode.
especially if more is done to make the very fast nippy fighters easier to destroy, more will also need to be done to make torpedo fighters viable
imo this is, like some people have noted in relation to larger ships, partly to do with maximum vs minimum ranges
given that a fighter can launch torpedos from longer range, it should make more of an effort to stay at that longer range, or even, ideally, to go evasive and head away from the enemy while the launcher is cycling. Torpedo fighters making hit and run attacks could be very interesting tactically (their slow speed might not be an issue vs. larger ships, as they’d be staying out of range mostly, which would also leave interceptor-style fighters as the counter to bombers)
I never use the target painter on fighters, that really is a waste of one of their precious slots (and you’ll get 16 of them, huge waste). Torpedoes on the other hand are excellent in my opinion, fighters’ laser cannons take years to penetrate armour of any thickness and will never get through shield regen (JamesCooper you’re not taking into account the shields’ damage resistance mitigating each 4 damage shot, penetration isn’t cumulative). A single good volley of torpedoes will tear through shields, then armour soon after. Fighters are better for finishing the job of course, with higher raw dps, but torpedoes are the weapon for busting through an enemy’s defences.
I do indeed wish the fighters wouldn’t lemming into their formation after firing their payload though.
Later last night I tried a few tests with torpedoes against an anti-fighter cruiser. It’s true, torpedoes do break down shields and armor quickly. However, against something with fast weapons, the much-slower torpedo fighters get torn to shreds. Compared to some decently-fast laser cannon fighters, the laser fighters lasted longer.
It may well end up being a matter of finding the right combination. Torpedoes rip through defenses, which is great. Against ships with lower tracking speed, they’ll beat laser cannon fighters. Against fast weapons, you’re better off with laser fighters and leave the job of dropping shields and armor to another ship.
Another thing to keep in mind: laser fighters can bypass shields entirely because they fly so close. This means that, realistically, all they have to overcome is the armor.
it depends on what they’re shooting. against most frigates laser shots will hit shields more often than not. against those big Empire cruisers they can strafe to their hearts content.
I did a lot of testing with Rebel Odin frigates vs. fighters, and laser fighters would routinely drop their armor and blow them up very handily. True, it looked like at least half their shots were reflected by the shields, but it only bought the frigate another ten or so seconds of life. Basically, torpedo bombers can do a good job of knocking down shields, but there’s no really good reason to choose torpedoes over lasers or rockets given their weight and consequent hit to fighter lifespan.
once again, try using torpedoes in a battle line situation since they can hit from afar MUCH better than rocket or laser fighters can. Laser fighters HAVE to close in order to strafe which renders them vulnerable to behind-the-lines antifighter. With uber speed fighters that doesnt matter much but that’s because uber speed fighters are horribly imbalanced.
Odins are quite large frigates. There’s also a lot of variability depending on the number of frigates in an area.