I am not normally a fan of game changing super weapons but the Ion cannon in Homeworld Cataclysm was a little different requiring considerable skill to use effectively.
- It took a great deal of time to research, develop and build.
- It was one shot with a lengthy regenerate time.
- It had to be manually targetted in 3D space and you had to anticipate where your target would be some time into the future.
- It was very slow in transit to the target area giving observant opponents time to “warp” away or even move away if they were quick enough.
- Despite it’s power it couldn’t destroy everything.
- It could be used effectively to win a stalemated game.
- It could be used as a feint, panicking the opponent to do something rash.
- Whilst exceptionally powerful only a direct hit (which was difficult) would destroy a top of the line ship. Blast radius, however, was large.
One of the reasons I liked this weapon so much was that it could be used to turn the tide and fool an opponent. There were a number of times in MP I lured an opponents force with a much smaller force to an area I had already targetted, sacrificing my small fleet. I also liked it because only the mothership could build it, you couldn’t have more than one and the regeneration time was long.