Is one particular particle type, i.e. phaser, antiproton, tetryon, etc, better over the others in dealing with different enemies. For example, in The Vault event, which type would you choose to arm your shuttle/fighter with? Currently I have the Phaser XI-S and a Plasma Torp XI [CrtD] [CrtH] paired with a Mk-XII Ambiplasma Envelope console. (I also have a Heavy Plasma turret). While going over my weapon choices I realized I don't have the slightest idea of what works better on whom (besides the obvious numerical strength and recharge times). Sorry if this sounds noobish (I'm at 750+ days so I'm far from it) but I'd never really seen this discussed before (granted I don't go to the forums all that often) so any insight would be appreciated.
All weapons are essentially the same in base effect, excluding torpedoes. The only real difference is the proc that has a slight chance of happening.
Phasers: disables a random subsystem for a brief period of time. It's really nice when the system it disables is shields.
Disruptors: debuffs your target's damage resistance. Note: all players can benefit from this on the same target.
Plasma: adds a plasma burn effect to your target, damaging it over time.
Tetryon: chance to reduce shields on all facings by a small amount.
Polaron: drains ship power temporarily, reducing its general effectiveness.
Antiproton: additional passive critical severity.
It's important to mention that, aside Antiproton (because it isn't a proc, it's just a passive bonus), none of these weapons can benefit from stacking procs. The most disappointing one to examine is plasma: the slow-acting burn can only occur once on a ship, and subsequent burn procs only refresh the timer, not add additional multiples of damage. Disruptors as well can only debuff the target once; a second proc merely lengthens the time the disruptor breach is active.
Tetryon weapons, while effective at adding a shield-stripping effect, have no additional use against an unshielded target. At that point, they could be just about anything else and have a greater effect. If shields are your biggest hurdle, though, these may be for you (and the white/blue weaponfire is nice to watch).
Polaron weapons drain a chunk of power and benefit from power-draining captain skills if I recall correctly. A ship with no power is dead in the water, but rarely will the Polaron weapons be the sole reason a ship is in dire straits. It's great in conjunction with other drains, though.
Antiproton is often considered the "best" as its ability is an inherent boost above and beyond what other weapons have. In reality the difference may appear subtle, but as with all things dealing in numbers, small amounts add up over time and in the end Antiproton can be considered the highest damage-dealer.
The most popular weapon types I see out there are Phaser, Disruptor, and Antiproton for their overall usefulness in every circumstance.
Wow, thank you all. Very useful information. I appreciate the time you took to write it.
The other question I forgot to ask is do consoles stack? If All my beams and cannons are antiproton, does it benefit me to have 3 or even 4 antiproton mag regulators (on a Defiant) or does it cap off at some point.? Then if I add the directed energy console which adds a 15% bonus to all energy damage apply to just the base figures or the augmented ones?
usualy the dimishing returns start after the 3rd mag regualtor (or weapon type boosting console), you can still stack to the max you can carry but it's recomended you start boosting weapons such as torps and abilites where you can.
on a side note: ACC or accuracy once you hit 100% in your status anything added after is overflowed into critical chance and severity (this is another reason people prefer the AP over most other types)