Reply To: Disrupter Scout

Thomas Avirson

Without details on a proposed cycle time or range, I can really only think of a two use-cases for such a device at the moment:

1. Disabling vessels when you want to reduce the risk of significant damage or casualties. This use-case isn’t particularly common, but it certainly does come up now and again.
2. Running continuous disables to assist another vessel engaged in Delta maneuvers; ideally, disabling beams on enemy vessels before they get within firing range and/or their impulse drives to prevent clustering when you intend to clear with beams (IE helping the lead vessel avoid engagements in multiple enemy arcs). In this use-case I’d recommend against such a lightly equipped vessel engaging in operations against certain strong “loners” with strong weapons and/or special modules, as getting tango could quickly prove disastrous for said lightly equipped vessel (even with another friendly vessel to assist it). This isn’t too different from certain TSN ships having “bad match-ups” against specific types or enemy craft, but the danger may be relatively higher for it.

The worth of that second use case, at least when compared to another fully-equipped vessel, is debatable – at a glance maybe it’s great for reducing the fleet’s rate of attrition and recovery times, but then time-to-kill is comparatively increased so it might not break even in terms of energy expenditure.

Drone clearing is largely a limit of cycle time and quantity, while range is typically less relevant until you get to the extremes. For a supporting craft the range is likely instrumental to helping it avoid a pitched engagement but is not, ultimately, a good metric of its drone-clearing capacity.

On a note relating to the previous section, I haven’t personally witnessed drone clearing being a significant issue unless they’ve been ignored for too long (built up to extreme amounts) or were being handled ineffectively (slow targeting, beams not cooking, helm not scraping on asteroids; IE operator errors). Even vessels with below-average beam cycles can deal with drone clouds if handled correctly – in my opinion, it’s more of an officer skill/experience issue than one that requires a design-end solution… but, I’ll get off this soap box for now.

In summary, while the weapon sounds interesting and does have niches it could fill, there are a lot of factors that could determine its relative worth. For a support craft, it is, in concept, a great method for it to contribute without being too strong in its own right.