So you want to be a Combat Pilot! – Part 2

So you want to be a Combat Pilot! – Part 2

So we’ve got the basic outfitting of ships out of the way.  Now we can look at the more complicated subjects of weapons.

Weapons, like modules, come in different sizes.  Class 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Weapons do NOT come in different Grades though.  They are assigned a grade, but no other grades are available for that particular weapon, so if someone refers to a C2 Gimballed Multicannon, they mean a Class 2 Gimballed Multicannon.  The grade of this weapon is F but this makes no difference.

Different ships have a different number of hardpoints available and these differ in size.  They also greatly differ in their placement on ships.

To take the Viper and Cobra as examples, the Viper has 2 x C2 and 2 x C1 hardpoints, all closely packed allowing for good weapon convergence when using fixed weapons in all 4 slots.  The Cobra has the same hardpoints but the 2 x C1s are placed out on the tips of the wings, meaning that they don’t offer the same convergence with fixed weapons.  This means that an effective load out on a Viper may not be as effective on a Cobra even though they can fit the same weapons.

Weapons have a power usage, just as other modules, that add to the draw on the ship’s power plant.  Weapons also have a second power usage that is not listed.  This is their usage of the ships cooling system.  This is represented as the weapons power reserve in the power distributer display on the right of the sensors panel in the cockpit.

When this reserve is depleted then weapons that draw more than the recharge rate of the distributor will be unable to fire.  Also firing weapons when the reserve is low can lead to overheating of the ship.

Weapon Mounts:

(FIX) Shown as a Crosshair symbol.

Pros:

  • Maximum damage.
  • Slight gimballing allows near perfect aim at long range.
  • Unaffected by chaff.
  • Unaffected by target lock.

Cons:

  • Hard to hit small targets at close range.
  • Hard to target sub-systems.
  • Hard to hit target if in close strafing battle


(GIM) Shown as a two ovals crossing symbol.

Pros:

  • Easy to hit small targets at close range.
  • Easy to target sub-systems.
  • Easy to hit target if in close strafing battle.
  • Can be unlocked from target to fire straight ahead like fixed, though they do not gain from the slight gimballing effect that fixed have.

Cons:

  • Inaccurate against small targets over 800m away.
  • Affected by chaff.
  • Affected by target lock.
  • 20-25% less damage than Fixed variant.
  • Only 1% less cooling system power usage than fixed variant

(TUR) Shown as a small tank turret symbol.

Pros:

  • Hardly affected by chaff.
  • Can hit targets out of view.
  • Can be placed in ‘Fire on Target’ mode.
  • Can be placed in ‘Fire at Will’ mode.
  • Can be placed in forward fire mode, though they do not gain from the slight gimballing effect that fixed have.
  • Easy to hit small targets at close range.
  • Easy to hit target if in close strafing battle.
  • Uses approximately 40% less cooling system power than fixed variant.

Cons:

  • Affected by target lock.
  • 50-60% less damage than Fixed variant.
  • Inability to change fire modes quickly.
  • Inability to stop turrets firing without retracting weapons.
  • Turrets may hit ‘Friendlies’.


Weapon Types:

There are three main types of weapons, Thermal, Kinetic and Explosive.  Thermal weapons are lasers and kinetic weapons are projectile weapons.  Explosive weapons are mines, missiles and torpedos.
I’ll discuss below the variants of each and then discuss the few weapons that lie outside this basic view.

 

Mine Launcher:

Lays a mine in the hope your enemy will fly into it.

Dumbfire Missile Launcher:

Fires a missile at your target.

Heat-Seeking Missile Launcher:

Fires a missile that will track your target.

Torpedo Launcher:

Fires a slow moving missile at your target.

Utility Mounts:

The other modules you can fit on a ship are the Utility modules.  These have no Class sizes but may have E to A grades.

Some of these items work at all times, others only work when weapons are deployed and may have to be assigned to a fire group.

These boost the maximum charge of your shields.  They do not speed up the recharge rate, and if shields are lost, they will increase the time before shields come back online.

  • They can use a large amount of power and can add a bit of weight to your ship.

These turrets will automatically attempt to shoot any Explosive weapons in the area.  They have a large ammo clip and are fast firing.

Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)

When used it will destroy any heat seeking missiles within range.  Range is increased the longer you hold the fire button down.

  • This can be assigned to a fire group.
  • There is a cool-down after each use.

Chaff Launcher:

Chaff can be used to stop gimballed weapons from locking onto you.  Chaff also stops scans from other players, although currently doesn’t work against NPC scans.  It also seems to not always work against NPC weapons.

  • Chaff Launchers require to be assigned to a firegroup or a hotkey.
  • They require ammo.


These are used to quickly cool your ship.  They can be used to prolong silent running or allow the continuous firing of high heat weapons.

  • They can be assigned to a firegroup or a hotkey.
  • They require ammo.

Scanners allow you to scan other ships or their wakes. They can only be used when weapons are deployed (Wake Scanner can be used in Supercruise) and have to be assigned to a fire group. All three scanners are available in E to A grades, with each grade increasing the range by 500m but also doubling the power requirement.

Well that is it for Part 2.  I know this was just another boring factual instalment, but now that we have all the basics to ship outfitting sorted, we can get into the more contentious issues of good ship load outs.

5 thoughts on “So you want to be a Combat Pilot! – Part 2

  1. Avatar

    Good article. I know I learned a few things.
    One question. Are there really C3 Gimballed Beam Lasers out there as indicated at the end of Part 2?
    I haven’t been able to find one.
    I’m currently running 2xc2 Gimballed beam lasers on my Vulture, I’ve been looking to replace them with 1xC3 Gimballed beam laser and 1x Cannon of some sort.

  2. Avatar

    Yes they do exist.

    High Tech systems are the best places to find all equipment and modules.

    In the ‘View’ tab of the galaxy map you can select to view systems by ‘Economy’ type. You can filter your search to just show High Tech systems.

    Switch back to the ‘Info’ tab and have a look around at high tech systems in your area. The higher the population of the system the better. Systems with populations over 1 billion generally offer everything.

    In areas with high CMDR traffic, popular items like this tend to sell out. It can be worth checking High Population Industrial systems, as these are second best for outfitting, and as most players search the high tech systems, these may still have stock.

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