… uh. I mean, here I am, trying to unlock stuff (I’ve only upgraded from the demo ~4hr ago) and I’m looking at the stats and it looks 300 weaker than the stock tractor beam … also, I saw it reported as a bug for 1.19 when searching this forum …
So um, what’s going on?
Lower is better! Confusing, but ok.
Cliffsky has simply forgotten to feeex it the midst of all the other beta stuff. Feeeeeeex plox.
Its an inside beta joke, ha ha noob
Please unconfuse me
Also, is it me or are all the unlockable ships kinda … weak?
beampower is the length of time (basically) that the tractor beam remains active when grabbing something. Thats different to the beamweight, which is the beams ‘stopping power’. Higher weight means it can stop faster ships, but it wont hold them quite as long.
takes hat off again
Long post coming up… Skip to the end for the conclusions…
I did my tests with a set of ships at the top, a set in the middle, and one at the bottom. Each group of four cruisers (square formation, small gap between each ship) faced off six squadrons of speed 2.68 fighters, speed 2.99 fighters, or the insane speed 4.40 fighter design. I tested with a 1 grid gap between the cruisers, and 2 grid gap. I ran tests with different combinations of weapons. I ran each test several times. The rankings came as follows (from fastest to kill their group, to slowest.)
One ship gap, vs 2.68:
7x Cruiser Defence laser (I was expecting this one to perform worst, not best!)
Finally, for a laugh…
Two ship gap, vs 4.40 (absurdly fast single-rocket fighter design):
3x Tractor beam, 4x Cruiser Defence Laser
3x Supercharged Tractor Beams, 4x Cruiser Defence Laser (ironically, the gap was larger…)
7x Cruiser Defence laser (miles behind - had only killed 4 fighters when both the others had finished.)
The supercharged tractor beam is marginally better in tight formations, and marginally worse in loose formations. Given it’s more expensive in every way, I can’t see myself using it again.
The cruiser defense laser is actually pretty good against even the fastest laser fighter design, but it struggles with the raw speed of rocket fighters (i.e. your frigates will die.)
Speed 4.40 fighters make a lie out of the supercharged tractor beam description - they have a habit of getting out of it’s shorter range before it can bring them to a halt, making this beam actually inferior at dealing with the most excessively fast fighters.
If you permit your main damage dealers to fire on fighters, or expect to face rocket fighters, then the tractor beams look good. Otherwise, Cruiser Defence Lasers alone are superior.
Given these results… I’d suggest that perhaps the range of the supercharged tractor beam should be increased to match that of the normal one, so it’s not inferior when used on a ‘area defence’ style ship. It feels wrong to me that a dedicated anti-fighter cruiser is better off using the ‘cheap’ tractor beam, due to the extra reach.
The other solution might be to boost the stopping power of the supercharged beam, that would help because sometimes those super-fast fighters take a while to slow down. If you shoot at them while they are still breaking you don’t get the full tractor effect.
I think I might boost it’s range and the stopping power of this module for version 1.24…
Well, I haven’t been playing enough to make informed discussions about balance, but my impression is that the choice is that if you keep the range shorter to make it an either/or choice depending on the fighters you’re up against, then it has to be cheaper and easier to fit, about equal to the normal beam.
Otherwise, if it costs and fits like something “better”, then it … well, has to be better, really