I found this “hit rate” formula in an old post: (1-(ship speed / tracking speed))*(0.5 + (ship size / 256)*0.5)
Based on that formula, it seems tracking speed cancels out ship speed on a 1-for-1 basis, but doesn’t help against a non-moving target.
No, it’s not a function of distance. In general terms, tracking speed cancels out the speed of the opponent. The opponent’s speed will reduce your chances to hit them, and your tracking speed reduces this benefit.
Distance doesn’t play into it unless the target comes within your minimum distance or past your maximum distance, at which point you will not be able to shoot them at all.
Ah, this one’s easy for me. I’ve been looking at this a lot lately.
At minimum range, your weapon inflicts 50% damage. It will gradually increase in percentage as you get closer to optimum range, so that at optimum range you are hitting for a full 100% damage. As the target exceed optimum range, damage will be incrementally lowered again until the maximum range, which is always 50% damage. So the closer you are to optimum, the more damage you are dealing.
Of course, this only applies to weapons that have an optimum rating.
Range is not a factor when it comes to ‘to-hit’ chances. It just effects how much damage you deal, how likely you are to target a ship, and whether you can shoot them at all to begin with.
It affects both. The size of the ship is the base chance of an opponent hitting when they shoot you. There are two general ways to prevent getting hit: to be small, and to be fast. Length and current speed (not just the maximum speed) are used to determine the basic likelihood of getting hit.