Walt The 0.14.5 PD still seem less broken than the 0.14.4 PD.
I'm not sure I agree with you (though I'm not sure if I disagree with you either). On 0.14.4, it takes roughly 2 PD to shoot down 1 missile launcher. On 0.14.5, 1 PD can shoot down nearly 2 HE launchers, provided those launchers are >~100 away (if side-fired) or >~175 away (if forward-fired) - and 0.14.5 PD costs less than 1/3 of 0.14.4 PD because it uses drastically less power. That's a staggering increase in PD lethality, and might change PD from an occasionally-useful afterthought (0.14.4) into a de-facto missile range nerf that hits side-fire missile barges especially hard. That's just a possibility though, I'm not at all certain how this will be impacted by human piloting.
Walt I'm open to proposals, though I don't think I want to delay 0.14.5 while we figure this out.
Yeah, I agree that it's been quite a while since 0.14.4.
In the interest of speed then, here's a very specific suggestion:
- lock-on delay removed
- now can also target ships, dealing 20 damage per bullet
- damage vs missiles reduced 2000->250 per bullet
- range reduced 250->75
- power drain per shot 10->15
- renamed to plasma repeater(?)
- visually, batteries now appear "depleted" when the PD is low on power (since PD only has 1 battery slot, it looks full of ammo all the time)
The idea is that PD would be a useful small-ship weapon, with reasonable damage, while retaining the ability to shoot down missiles far more cheaply than it costs to fire them. They could be used to duel a fighter, flank a capitol ship, defend yourself, or defend an ally, and IMO making PD a weapon fits the idea of smaller ship weapons having shorter range. Having a dedicated small ship component also makes for a useful balancing tool, in case small ships get too weak or too strong.
But it would be less useful as a main weapon/defense on large ships because of it's horrible surface area usage (worst in the game by ~2.5x) and it's short range. Large ships could use it as a cheap rear defense part, both to shoot down PD and to defend against flankers/clingers. They would be more useful in this role than other weapons are because 1) PD would be multipurpose and 2) most of PD's cost would be in power, which can be drawn from pre-existing engine reactors. IMO that fits the trope of large ships having some weaponry on all sides.
I think it would be really cool if PD could debuff the enemy instead of dealing direct damage - something like a "molten" effect that makes parts more vulnerable to damage, that stacks very high so it's more effective vs armor. In general I think that buff/debuff supportive weapons would be good to have. But this probably wouldn't make sense to do for 0.14.5, because it would be a whole new mechanic in an update that's already huge.
EDIT: it might feel weird for PD to fire so many bullets for so little effect. If this is an issue, maybe double/triple PD damage per shot, but have PD fire in bursts so that it's overall DPS is unchanged.