Penetration and distances


First off, sorry if this is in the wrong section. It’s not–directly–modding related, but it does have modding applications. Second… yeah, the title sounds funny. Entirely unintentional, I swear.

Anyhow, from what I understand of game mechanics, damage is dealt in a certain order. That is, shield -> armor ->hull. (Not counting fighters hitting from inside the shield bubble or shield-collapsing disrupter rockets).

Sometimes, though, I’ll notice that some of modded weapons will seem to bypass shield and armor, or do partial damage. Let’s see… I have a weapon that does 1600 damage at optmial distances of 1500. (it does have a minimum range of 1400 and a reload time of 18 seconds, though). It has 250/250 armor/shield penetration. During testing, I notice four occurences.

One, target is hit, and shields hold. I figure that’s normal (well, kind of).

Two, target is hit. Shields are broken, armor is stripped, and damage is done to the hull. I figure that’s also normal.

Three, target is hit and shields are drained. However, some armor still remains, albeit damaged, and some damage is applied to the hull.

Four, target is hit, and and damage is done to shields, hull, and armor. Shield and armor are still intact.

For instances three and four, I have no diea why that occurs. Is it because one shield or armor module is immediately killed, but the others are not? That’s the only reason I can think of. Which makes me wonder if there’s other applications to this. Would there be a way for a weapon with high enough penetration that completely bypasses armor and shields and does immediate hull damage?

And, for my next question, is there a way to increase attack distances for orders? Right now, the max distance for attacking fighters, frigates, or cruisers is 2000. Is there a way to increase this max parameter? I know there’s a way, for example, to increase zoom by editing a variable in the config file. Is there something similar for attack distances?


Nope, no way that’s modder-accessible. Such a terrible shame, because I would love to make fuller tactical use of extreme distances.

The things that are tucked “safely” away in the core GSB codebase were conceived of in an environment that never even remotely dreamed of the sorts of things we modders have since evolved and would like to refine further. :confused:

And remember that whatever range number you dial into a ship’s orders, what’s actually going to happen is that it will drive such that it’s actual target is one-half of the range value you selected. Ergo, ships ordered to thrust to 2000 and then hold station there are actually going to break thrust and keep the distance set as close to 1000 as they can.


Hmm. I thought that ships went to that distance, but retreated at half.

For example, let’s say I wanted to do some missile spam from 1200. My cruisers will stop at the 1200 mark and spam away. However, if the enemy ships close to 600, and no further, then they’ll run away and try to open th distance back to 1200.

Hmm. More testing required, then.


Considering that I’m awake past my bedtime and my head feels like it’s full of cotton, I may have expressed myseldf poorl;y. I’ll gladly defer to anothger knowledgable veteran who’s more awake than I am right now.


Yes, it stops at full range of the drive target (which can be different from firing target) and attempts to U turn at half. For most practical purposes moving FORWARD to make that U turn is worst than not moving.

Of course, which ship gets targeted can be quite another matter.

You can “save file edit” beyond 2000 range for any saved deploy, but you cannot do it in game.


I see then. Thanks for confirming that Stw. Any idea on the penetration anamolies, though?


XDDDD YES SOMEONE HAS NOTICED!!! Alright, from what I have seen the ship isn’t counted as a whole so to speak. It is counted as modules. (sorry for spelling) If you look at the bottom of your ship design page on your GBS you will average armor. Mine usually says 20-30 average armor, this means that each module get 20 armor points before you get to that individual module. So you could have punched through the armor but only in that one spot. Same with hull points. You could lose all armor and hull points on that one module but the rest of the ship could possibly be unaffected. Sweet huh?


I’ve been trying to figure this out as well, and this brings up another question that has been bugging me as I try to figure out what kinds of numbers to give modded weapons. Am I correct in understanding that it’s the Penetration value, and not the Damage value, that determines whether a weapon deals damage or not? From what I’m able to discern, the Penetration value of the weapon is compared to the Resistance value of whatever defense it comes in contact with (this is why a Proton Beam, for example will still deal a small amount of damage against two nested Fast Recharge shield generators, but will never deal any at all against a Fast Recharge nested with a Reflective, because the combined shield resistance is higher). So no matter how high the damage on your weapon, if the penetration value is zero for both Shields and Armor, you’ll never deal damage until all defenses are stripped away, correct?


correct . .

This is why (for example) the shields on a Unity Fighter have a RESISTANCE of Zero, since some Anti Fighter weapons have a PENETRATION of Zero. If i did not do this, then the sheilds would be immune to the anti fighter weapons, except for the “lucky shot”

Another example of the RESISTANCE vs PENETRATION is found in armour tanking.
If you can get the armor of a ship into the 70’s then it will be able to shrug off most weapons.

For more information on this subject 123stw (who is the communities foremost expert on Competitive Play) Has written a Comprehensive GSB Guide which covers this and more. Very useful for modding as it helps you understand how to balance your mod and to make challanging missions.


Im interested in the part of this question that asks why and how can a weapon deal armour and hull damage to a ship when its shields are still up?

I’ve been noticing weapons dealing armour damage to ships even when they still have active shields. How is this possible and what makes it happen?


In this case i recommend you read the manual that came with GSB - on the last few pages is some rather good reading on how shields work. It will explain why armour can be damaged while shields are still up.


I’ll go have a look at the manual.
Didn’t even realise there was one!


Thanks darkstar.
So am I correct in understanding that the hull/armour damage while shields are still up is entirely to do with damage+luck and nothing to do with penetration values. (assuming the value is above the shield resistance to begin with).

The OP seems to suggest a penetration value of 250 instead of 50 may have a bigger affect on damage getting through the shield. I don’t think this is the case. Is it???