Thursday, 20 October 2016
More on tracking
In an earlier post I compared Gatling Pulse Lasers II and Dual Light Pulse Lasers II on a Succubus (both loaded with Scorch) and found that unless we wanted to fight in overheated T2 scram range, the GPL actually applied more damage than the DLP, despite having a lower raw dps.
This started me thinking about damage mods v tracking mods. I had not given much thought to the rest of the fit because I was not interested in absolute numbers, but in relative numbers. As long as the fits were identical, the test was valid. For the record, however, the Succubi each had two Heat Sink II and Small Energy Collision Accelerator I.
The above graph, then, shows us the original GPL Succubus (red) orbiting the original Kestrel (who is again trying to orbit us to mess with our tracking). It also shows us a Succubus with the Collision Accelerator swapped out for a Metastasis Adjuster (green) and a Succubus with a Heat Sink swapped out for a Tracking Enhancer (blue).
Interestingly, the tracking rig out performs the damage rig at every possible range. In this situation, at least, a tracking rig is much better than a damage rig (and also uses up less calibration).
The Tracking Enhancer, however, massively under performs compared to the Heat Sink, except at ranges where we we shouldn't be using GLP anyway. To be fair, this is probably because the Tracking Enhancer splits its bonuses between tracking and optimal/falloff, and as our brawling Succubus can already hit all the way out to scram range, we are not interested in additional damage projection. For other weapon systems, the Tracking Enhancer could have much greater value.
Performing a second test, I pit each of these Succubi against an afterburner fit Merlin charging into range as the Succubi try to orbit him.
Here, things are less clear-cut. While the Tracking Enhancer still massively under performs, the damage rig pulls ahead of the tracking rig - very slightly - at the range we most want to fight at. However, if the Merlin manages to get closer than 8 km, the tracking rig starts to do more damage. Significantly more damage, in fact, once the Merlin reaches 6 km.
So for fighting on-size targets, the tracking rig is probably better than the damage rig. It offers clear advantages against opponents who try to use their piloting to mess with our tracking (ships not relying on turrets to do damage), and situational advantages against against pilots that are trying to close with us. The downsides are minimal, and only occur in a flight pattern where we should be winning anyway.
Depending on the rest of your fit, the reduced Calibration requirements could also be an advantage. Two damage rigs mean that you can't fit a third rig. Two tracking rigs don't have that problem.
Of course, I do need to point out that this all goes out the window once you start taking on up-sized targets. Assuming you have a cruiser+ webbed and scrammed, tracking is simply not going to be an issue. At that point the question becomes whether or not you can break their tank, and damage rigs clearly do more for you in those circumstances.