The different weapons types, what do they mean?
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Join Date: Dec 2007
02-07-2012, 10:41 PM
Since previous posters already described the energy damage types, I'll give you a breakdown on torpedo damage types. Please be aware that torpedo launchers fire individually with a global cooldown, so you can not for example fire two torpedoes simultaneously by having two launchers mounted facing the same direction--multi-torpedo salvos are what the Torpedo Spread and High-Yield torpedo Bridge Officer abilities are for.
Photon: These have the quickest refire, but do only moderate damage. With a 5-second cooldown on torpedoes, they are most useful if you believe that you will have frequent chances to fire a second volley in a single pass.
Quantum: These do 20-30% more damage per shot than Photon, but have an 8-second cooldown, so second volleys are less common. However, their higher damage per volley makes them superior if your flying style involves quick passes or your ship turns so slowly (Galaxy or Odyssey classes especially) that the enemy may be outside of your torpedo launchers' firing cone before the cooldown on Photon torpedoes finishes.
Plasma: Like the gun-type weapons, Plasma torpedoes have a chance (33% per volley even though shields) of setting fire to an enemy. Such fires can be extinguished immediately by using the Hazard Emitters ability (Science Bridge Officer ability), so plasma fires are less useful against players than against NPCs who do not tend to employ this ability frequently. The High Yield torpedo ability, instead of launching 2-4 torpedoes like with Photon or Quantum torpedoes, produces a Heavy Plasma Torpedo (as seen used by Romulans, such as in the Original Series episode "Balance of Terror"). The Heavy Plasma Torpedo deals damage matched only by Tricobalt torpedoes, but can be targeted and shot down, so it is best fired from a range of 2-5 km rather than farther out.
Transphasic: These deal slightly less damage per volley than Photon torpedoes, and have a longer cooldown, but the advantage is that they deal 30% damage through shields instead of 10% (or 25% instead of 5% if the opponent uses Resilient Shields). This makes them viable for using while the opponent's shields are still up, whereas Photon and Quantum torpedoes are nearly useless in such a situation. The Rapid Reload Transphasic torpedo launcher (available from the Breen Special Episode missions) has a cooldown of only 8 seconds, comparable to Quantum torpedoes, and may be the preferable choice over standard Transphasic launchers for some players.
Chronitron: These have a 33% chance per volley of briefly reducing the target's mobility as though you had hit them with a Tractor Beam. This can happen even with the target's shields up, so if you use these, it is worthwhile to fire them constantly instead of just when the target's shields fall.
Tricobalt: The high-risk, high-reward torpedo. Tricobalt devices deal more than four times as much damage as comparable Photon torpedoes. The explosion is an Area-Of-Effect blast damaging all targets (including yourself) within a radius of 1 km, and stuns said targets for 2-4 seconds, and thus is dangerous even to shielded targets. However, all Tricobalt devices are targetable and destructible, so you must balance the need for staying outside of the blast radius with the need for staying close enough that your torpedo will not be shot down easily. Also, the long cooldown time (30-60 seconds) generally means that you will not get a second volley against weaker targets, as they should already be dead by the time the cooldown ends. The High-Yield torpedo ability causes a subspace rift to appear upon detonation, resulting in enemies being temporarily immobilized similar to the Gravity Well or Tyken's Rift abilities.
Hargh'peng: Despite a 15-second cooldown and the inability to use torpedo-related Bridge Officer abilities, these are often considered overpowered due to acting like a non-destructible "light" version of Tricobalts. The initial impact deals slightly more damage than a Quantum torpedo, but has a 100% chance of inflicting a radiation damage-over-time effect (dealing up to 892 radiation damage for the Mark XI launcher). The radiation damage is why they are considered overpowered, as it makes it worthwhile to spam them. The lack of any need for special tactics or Bridge Officer abilities to employ them makes them highly useful, but some PVP matches ban them. They can be acquired as a mission reward for the mission "The Doomsday Device" for Federation characters, or Klingon characters can craft them (bind-on-pickup, so they can not be traded or sold).
The mine-laying Bridge Officer abilities are Dispersal Pattern Alpha (lays tight clusters of mines so that the entire cluster will hit a single pursuer) and Dispersal Pattern Beta (lays them in a flat wall to hit as many pursuers as possible).
Photon and Quantum mines tend to do little damage unless they strike a target on an unshielded side, so they are more useful to just drop as an obstacle for opponents to dodge rather than to directly damage them. Like with torpedoes, Quantum mines inflict more damage but have a longer cooldown time in comparison to Photon mines. Photon mines get an automatic +2% critical hit chance per mine strike, and Quantum mines get an automatic +20% critical damage per critical hit per mine strike.
Plasma mines have a chance to set fire to a target
, which means that a full volley of them almost guarantees that the target will catch fire. This makes it somewhat worthwhile to dump them in the face of pursuers as often as possible.
Chronodynamic mines, like Plasma mines, have a chance per mine to trigger their special effect, and so a sufficient number of them will ensure that a pursuer succumbs to their effect. Also like Plasma mines, their main appeal is for the special effect rather than direct damage (which is 90% reduced if the enemy's facing shields are still up).
Transphasic mines, like their torpedo counterparts, get 25%-30% shield penetration instead of 5%-10% for most kinetic projectiles. This makes it worthwhile to use them for direct damage against shielded opponents. Players who favor transphasic mines might want to use the Breen Transphasic Cluster Torpedo, which upon being fired splits into
Transphasic mines as opposed to the normal eight.
Tricobalt mines-layers release a single projectile that is unaffected by Bridge Officer mine-laying powers. As such, the Tricobalt mine-layer is nearly indistinguishable from the Tricobalt torpedo other than being unable to use torpedo-type Bridge Officer powers.
Tractor Beam mines are a mission reward from one of the Reman Special Episode missions, and release three cloaking mines that will snare any enemy that passes near in a Tractor Beam. Being snared by one mine will slow a target, and two will totally immobilize it. However, these mines can be targeted and shot down easily by a player who is caught by them once they have decloaked.