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    Has anyone designing our ships seriously considered putting a Gatling on one of our ships? It’s a version of the beam weapon that, if we had them, could require interesting new tactics. On a light cruiser hull, I’m thinking, maybe give it a narrow arc, add a stern-mounted point defense secondary beam with a wide arc, and to balance power, lighter shields (power having been diverted to the Gatling) and one tube with two mines to deal with fighters. A similar trade-off would apply to larger hulls, but those have more things to trade away.

    Jemel Eahain

    Lancer has gattlings, 2 short range beams with lightly less damage per shot to a normal light cruiser but a much higher rate of fire, we also have 1 slightly longer but very narrow beam arc that does more damage per shot but much slower rate of fire,
    Lancers front Shields are similar to a scouts so 60 points but only 40 points on the rear,
    We use our speed and maneuverability to get into position try to snipe our thengineer enemy weapons with our long range beam then move in for the short range beams

    It’s also funny when pirates try to tractor us as we have discovered our gattlings are better than there’s


    We have two of those front beams, actually 🙂

    There’s something in vesselData.xml I find strange though; the front beams of “IX Lancer” are set to deal a whopping 10 damage each, but there’s no “playerdamage” entry. Meanwhile the old Interceptor’s front arcs deal 1 damage and 10 playerdamage… What’s up with that? A mixup? It sure doesn’t feel like the poke beams hurt 10 times more than typical beams either, at least not per shot.

    John van Leigh

    When Xavier announced we would be deploying new cruisers (now Viper and Horizon), the idea was to have specialist light cruisers that would be similar enough to the Artemis class that an officer could afford to change ships without having to relearn an entire set of tactics, as would happen, for example, if you switch from a battlecruiser to a scout.

    I then presented him a set of drafts for a cruiser that would be oriented to aggressive beam tactics, i.e., something very similar to what became the Apollo class. To preserve game ballance, I wanted to sacrifice a lot of shields (~40-50%) but to incorporate either the beams of a battlecruiser, or to just add another standard array (and to overlap the beams). Instead, the Apollo class has the typical two arrays with a faster firing rate and overlapping arcs. She also incorporates other of my proposals, that is, to allocate to the front shields some of the capacity of the rear shields.

    Adding the gatlings is not that bad of an idea, but it raises two questions:

    1. What do you do so that the resulting ship remains a light cruiser? This means you have to be able to perform similar tasks on an Artemis, Apollo, and Valkyrie class, even if the ship is different.

    2. What do you sacrifice to preserve game ballance? The increased rate of fire needs to be counterballanced. Keep in mind that if you kill too much manouvering power it will be hard to aim.


    @jemeleahain, I knew Lancer was a beam-based ship, but didn’t know that detail–cool!

    , I was envisioning it would be best in any fleet attack pattern using beams rather than heavy ordinance. I’m thinking in particular about the new coordinated “one ship takes tango, the rest pounce from behind” pattern (fox?), or degrading extra-large fleets by quickly picking off the smaller ones and stragglers while the other ships target the bigger ones. Also, it would be the go-to ship to take out elite enemies, as Jemel said, which might have things like tractors and anti-torp to make another ship’s efforts harder. To balance, I’d remove its torpedo tubes altogether. No tubes would also mean energy management is more important than usual, as there aren’t any homings to rely on. Does that make sense?

    John van Leigh

    @bruceg, that’s exactly what Lancer was at first. But the interceptor is basically a DPS oriented scout, while a light cruiser is a small battleship. I’d love to see more light cruiser classes, though.

    As I see this, the model for a CL is the Artemis class, which is a small, heavily nerfed battleship (really!). The Valkyrie class is an hybrid between Artemis and a missile cruiser. The Apollo class is an Artemis refitted for heavy beam combat. But you can use the three classes for basically anything. Some will have a harder time, sure, but a captain can execute every single combat order on the book using them.

    We could stick some gatlings to an Artemis and see what happens, but removing her tubes seems excessive. Maybe by cutting the beam range, so that the beams are indeed very effective but only at absolute knife range? You could compensate by adding a small cannon and boosting manouver. That’s got to be fun.

    You could also sell it as an “exploration-based” light cruiser that’s mostly defensive.

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