Need more info on how differing Laser and Shield module work


Has there been a thread on this? I’m still a bit confused on the differing Laser modules, and also exactly how the shield modules work.


Search for “reflective shield” or “multiphasic shield” in the forum search to get all the threads on this topic. Keep in mind that Cliffski has been proactive in correcting even minor balance problems so check the dates on posts, the numbers posted may be different in the latest version of the game, etc.


Firing on a shield works roughly as follows:
(1) Check to hit. If miss, stop here.
(2) Check to see if shield penetration is at least as high as the highest shield resistance of any shield module equipped (expect this to change, it’s considered a bug…), if it is, continue, if not, shot is reflected and does no damage at all.
(3) Pick a shield module at random. If this module’s shields are down, the shot penetrates to the armour/hull.
(4) Deplete this shield module’s remaining strength by the value of the hit (my testing suggests the amount by which you defeated the resistance is of minor or no effect)
(5) If this module has been taken to 0 or below, this section of the shield fails permanently (it will not recharge again.) I’m not sure if excess damage from this hit goes to the hull or is wasted.

Shield module strength is tracked independently, and recharges independently. Individual modules can fail without the whole shield going down (this is why you start to see some hull hits before a heavily shielded ships shields have failed completely.) Shield strength is effected by the efficiency penalty of multiple modules. Shield resistance is NOT effected by the efficiency penalty.

Destruction of the shield module itself, on the hull, does NOT bring down the shield.

Shield resistance is based on the BEST resistance on the hull, not that of the module actually hit - expect this to change in the future (although apparently it’s non-trivial to fix, so we might be waiting a while for this one.) For this reason, it’s an efficient approach to use ONE reflective shield and the rest multiphasic, since the multiphasic’s rubbish resistance is not used in this configuration.

EDIT: I corrected the order of (2) and (3), thanks to the comment below. The above should be correct now.


I think #3 currently happens before #2. Ships with some shield modules down still appear to reflect all beams, while high penetration stuff is getting through.


Wow this is complicated hehe.

So, for example on a Cruiser you’re suggesting a person use 1 Reflective Shield, and then 2 Multi-phasic shields? Skipping the use of normal shields altogether?


I don’t think so, I’ve seen plenty of beams that would’ve been reflected, punch through and deal damage. Easily tested… Back in 5 minutes with a definitive answer, I guess :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: You are correct. Sometimes the beam reflects directly back on itself, which made it look like it wasn’t reflected. I’ve edited my post to correct the order. Well spotted :slight_smile:

EDIT2: And I let the ‘battle’ play out, and found a couple of interesting things… Damage/Destruction of the shield modules on the hull itself have NO effect on the shield itself. The engines and life support were the last things to go on my test ship, yet the shield stayed up for the duration. It was kinda of strange seeing a ship blow up without seeing the shield collapse graphic. (The ship design was 5 light shields, 4 reflective shields, 2 power III, 2 engines, 1 life support. The six plasma cannons and 2 pulse lasers it was facing, smashed through the light shields easily (I think 1 or 2 plasma hits were enough for each one) but were completely unable to bring the reflective ones down, since each one was hit rarely enough that they could regen.))


An observation about multiphasic shields: if your ship is going to survive under fire for more than 100s or so, it’s better to pick fast recharge shields.


I hadn’t considered light shield modules. It might even be beneficial to throw on a light shield that was easy to collapse in with the rest of the shields - then a certain percent of shield penetrating fire is going to hit the hull instead of whacking on the shield… which will keep the craft virtually immune to beams longer.

Very “tree that bends in the wind”, but it sounds kinda wrong.


Yeah, I was thinking about that, when I saw these reflective shields stay up so long.

Thing is though… Is the light shield enough cheaper to make this worthwhile compared to just using the slots for more multiphasic or fast regen sheilds? Having NO fire come through sounds nicer than letting half through.

Also, bear in mind the incoming fire was quite light. Only 6 plasma cannon. A bit of focus fire across a fleet, and even ridiculous shielding will fall in short order.


On a shield related note, is one multiphase, one fast recharge and one reflective a good design?


If your shield is going to hold for IIRC at least 60 seconds then fast recharge is strictly better than multiphasic.


Is that a comparison on cost, or just on how much fire the shield can soak? If it’s the latter, it should be even faster than that :slight_smile: But the fast shield is more expensive in many different ways.


Are the recharge values subject to diminishing returns or is it just shield strengths?

It looks like you could potentially have a new type of tradeoff between strength/recharge by doubling up on the lighter generators.


Question: do shields resist weapons with the same penetration as the shield resistance? IE: 24 pen. Proton vs 24 resist Shield?


No, they will get damaged.


I don’t care about cost/weight.


It depends on what you’re letting through.

I was playing around with it a bit and occasionally a ship got lucky enough to keep a shield up through light cruiser laser spam, (which bounced off underlying armor) giving an effective immunity to the standard beam/CL combo until something else nailed the armor or the shield luck ran out. Interesting, but very random and very expensive.


Yeah haven’t answered the question: is multiphase, F.R and reflective a good design?



i don’t think that any shield below shield generator 2 is it worth using, at least if you can afford the energy and crew for the better ones. just compare the light shield with the fast recharge…
also multiple shields suffer from stacking penalty, which is 19% for two shields for example.

i don’t see how throwing in a light shield would do any good, since if it collapses and then some shots penetrate the hull as you stated, chances are high your modules get destroyed, including shields and weapons.

so yeah, better letting no fire through for some seconds than a little bit fire for some more seconds.



They are good for Tribes ships since the 16 resist negates a ton of damage from fighters.