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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-13-2010, 07:37 PM
II: Caveats-- How Weapon Power Actually Works In The Game

In terms of the actual game mechanics, things are not quite as simple and straightforward as the explanation I provided above. There are a quirks which reduce the energy drain from firing multiple weapons, and which make firing more weapons slightly more efficient than it otherwise would be.

First of all, not all of your weapons fire at the same time. Instead they start firing in a staggered fashion. When you start firing your weapons, your energy also doesn't drain out immediately on the first shot, but instead slowly drains out. The combination of these two factors means that your first few weapon shots actually do close to full damage. From that point, damage per shot declines in a stairstep pattern until your power bottoms out. You can actually see this pattern if you look at a graph of a combat damage log. Click here to see an example of this stairstep pattern.

With weapons that have a short firing time and high base damage, like Dual Heavy Cannons, more of their shots end up being made at close to full power, and their energy efficiency is a lot higher because of this.

The other thing is that weapons aren't firing constantly. When a weapon goes into cool down it no longer drains power, so other weapons that are firing do so at a higher power level. Using the in-game auto-fire or "fire all" function, usually weapons start firing at close to the same time and then end up in cool down at nearly the same time, so this isn't as helpful as you'd expect. Theoretically you will see increased damage if you get your weapons to fire in a more optimal pattern, but this requires using an outside macro program rather than the in-game auto-fire.

Weapons that are in cool down a greater percent of the time are more energy efficient. Once again, Dual Heavy Cannons benefit the most from this mechanic as they are in cool-down roughly half the time. If you haven't guessed it already, the combination of these two factors makes DHC the most energy efficient weapons in the game, even though their energy drain of 12 is higher than all other weapons.

In any case, these factors mean that all weapons are more efficient than in the simple example above. Some are more efficient than others, but two weapons firing at the same time do closer to 95% of their full damage, rather than 90%. Three concurrently firing weapons do closer to 87.5% damage each, and this continues out along the entire curve.

You can see the actual impact of these factors in the damage scaling graphs linked below.