Ophiuchus wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:53 pm
not especially good at downing early comsats (for that role it is like three MD2 condensed into one so you can save PP on ship hulls, but with more research cost).
Right. Per cost, it has almost the same efficiency at taking down (early and reinforced) comsats than MD, the only difference comming from the slots (hulls) occupied. And the same goes for any possible target other than comsats, because it emulates the damage of 3 MDs spread over three shots, so it's effectively 3 MDs.
When upgraded to upper tiers it begins to spread the damage over more shots, and so becomes the real multishot weapon that we wanted (better against unshielded, worse against shielded, when compared to equivalent singleshot weapon).
The culprit is trying to make it a single-part, multi-tier weapon like the hangars.
I think it also cannibalizes MD instead of being complementary.
In practice it doesn't because of research and PP costs: if you plan to build early ships with MDs, you won't be waiting to research the multishot weapon and then having to pay 60 PPs per each one to build really expensive ships. Tier one of the multishot weapon will be competing (in the research strategy) against lasers, and in the battlefield will be better than lasers if facing unshielded, chaff and small enemies and worse facing shielded enemies.
Also I am not sure what "Pilots inc." and Ultimate values mean.
"Base" is the base damage per shot of the weapon (with average pilots). "Pilots inc." is the increase (or decrease) of damage-per-shot per each level of the Pilot species trait. "Ultimate" is the damage-per-shot with ultimate pilots (+3 levels of damage). There were several errors in the table (edited in the previous post), but I see the problems you point out are not solvable in my initial approach with upgradeable-till-the-end part weapon.
Let's make two weapon parts, each with tech upgrades, one equivalent in cost and efficiency to laser (good for comsats and small chaff, acceptable as flak, bad vs early shields, innefective vs late shields) and one in between of plasma and death ray (good against any form of chaff and small hulls, acceptable vs early shields, bad vs late shields and as flak):
(All three shot)
Multishot A: 30 PPs, base dmg 2, +1 per tech upgrade and pilots level up to 8.
Multishot B: 50 PPs, base dmg 5, +2 per tech upgrade and pilots level up to 17.
Multishot A is like some kind of flak on steroids, with a function among the SR weapons similar to the multi-role of the Fighters
among fighters. Best counter against comat spam and small chaff in general. Countered with mid game shields.
Multishot B is the late-game SR weapon best suited against unshielded targets in general and specially against fleets of small but numerous ships (those that cause Death Ray to overshoot). Black shield is the only hard counter against a ultimate pilot species abusing these.
One multishot B kills exactly the same than 3 laser with same upgrades and pilot, with 55.6% of the PP cost. Fully upgraded with ultimate pilots, versus unshieldes targets, it does 51 damage per bout, against the 45 that do the death ray. Against black shield, it does 6 damage, against the 30 that does a death ray.
Multishot A unlocked from start (hanging from Mass Driver 1, I guess).
Tech: 40 RPs, 10 turns.
Upgrade 1: 30 RPs, 3 turns.
Upgrade 2: 45 RPs, 3 turns.
Upgrade 3: 75 RPs, 3 turns.
Mutishot B unlocked by Multishot A and, maybe, something else that fits the fluff and helps balancing it if necessary (otherwise just multishot A seems just fine).
Tech: 750 RPs, 15 turns.
Upgrade 1: 400 RPs, 5 turns.
Upgrade 2: 800 RPs, 5 turns.
Upgrade 3: 1200 RPs, 5 turns.
With infinite, RPs, you can get Multishot B in 25 turns, and Death Ray in 26 turns. Rushing death rays is mostly as hard as rushing multishot B. Due to RP costs per turn and opportunity costs, it's probable that most players will get plasmas before multishot B, which delays researching multishot B but does not delay death ray (unless spending into plasma upgrades).