This is in General Discussion because I don't have any specific suggestions- but there has to be a better way to do engagement range than what we've got at the moment. I was mucking around with railguns and built a "sandblaster" type 1g slug gun that's accurate enough out to 500+km, and the accurate range for capships is listed at 100-200km, but I'm routinely spawning combat instances inside 70km and getting beat up by AI ignoring range. If I drag along a laser boat with its arbitrary engagement range slider set to max, I can use the railgun the way I want to. This is dumb as heck. AI ignores range properly now, so it seems like maybe engagement range should be doctrinal for AI and perhaps completely arbitrary (to some maximum value) for player ships. Anyone have any better ideas for how this should work?
Ironically the new ignore range rules make conventional guns a lot more valuable.
That is if you can survive long enough for the chemically accelerated slugs to cross the gap.
A slightly modified nuke turreted gun can be pretty amazing.
Yeah, agreed- one of the things I've had floating around in the back of my head is a hiveship rework, which is now way more viable. Laser dominance doesn't look quite as assured anymore. I haven't played with it too much, but flybys that have closest approaches of 100s of km that would have been useless before could be a decent way to strip rads before doing a merge pass to mop up, too. Overall the game is playing way better, I just wish the way combat instances spawn tallied with the long-distance deadliness of the weapons we've got now.
I have a bunch of lasers and I start at 1Mm unless I turn them off
Are there ever instances where you start closer? For a while it seemed like I was mostly-consistently getting 1Mm starts but when I was messing around with a Mars sandbox level last night I couldn't get a single one. I think I'll start trying to document this stuff better to see if there's something specific causing the problem.
and some guns have wonky behavior when the launch speed is low. I really don't see why a missile cannon needs more then 10m/s of throw when I'm shooting missiles with 3km/s dv + 10ish Gs of acceleration.
Well, I can't get my megameter ER red laser to spawn engagements outside 50 or so km at all anymore. I have no idea how the hell this system works.
OK- I think found the specific issue with this ship. I'm pretty sure that the engagement ranges for weapons are not being polled properly/consistently at the start of sandbox scenarios. Example:
Started sandbox mission around Mars, 1x MyShip with 1mM red laser and some kinetics vs 3 corvettes. Plot intercept with enemy fleet and get intercept as follows:
You can immediately tell that this is going to be a short-ranged intercept because the icon appears very close to the enemy fleet and a small number is given for closest approach. I go into my fleet screen and toggle the red laser off and then on (it starts on, this is the beginning of the mission, there's no gameplay-related reason for this to be happening afaik), then go back out into the map screen and cancel trajectory, and presto I get this:
You can tell this is going to give me the full engagment range because the closest approach is ~1Mm and the intercept icon appears distant from the fleet. Tbh this is a good example of the jankiness of the intercept system- the map intercepts seem to partially refer to the point at which the engagement will spawn, so even if you line up a perfect intercept with an actual closest approach of 100m, if your engagement range is 1mM, you'll never see that in the intercept dialogue.