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Hitting with Burst Laser Cannons.


HyperspaceTravel

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Hi. I've recently unlocked BLCs on my Flashfire and I'm experiencing some difficulty using it. After trying it out for a couple of games, it seems that about only 1/3 of hits go through/actually do some damage even at 500m - 3000m range and at max range, it doesn't seem to hit at all. Not to mention you have to maintain a very close position with your target while aiming at the tiny reticle. Does it have to be upgraded before it becomes effective? Is there some kind of trick to it? Or perhaps it takes a while of getting used to? I need some constructive advice from experienced BLC users, please.
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Definitely takes some getting used to. The comment above about getting to the 3rd/4th tier is relevant, but not all of it.

 

My advice would be to get an offensive crewmate that has Pinpointing and Improved Kill Zone (For Pub side, that's Qyzen Fess, although I'll note that I use B-3G9 for the Hydro-Spanner copilot ability. Pinpointing is definitely the more important of the two). It's probably the cheapest way (in terms of total req spent) to get a baseline boost to accuracy.

 

The other thing that took me forever to really get used to is that BLCs perform much better for me when I point and shoot than when I just hold the mouse button down to get a "stream". My thought process there is that the rate of fire for BLCs is quite slow compared to pretty much anything other than the Heavy Laser Cannons (and even there, the Burst's ROF is slower), so if you're firing continuously, I think that you end up firing while you're chasing the enemy's reticle, and when you've actually got the shot lined up, you're not firing. The rate of fire is roughly every other second? Or at least, it feels that way sometimes. (EDIT - The more I think about it, the ROF is probably something like 1 shot/second if you stream your shots... But another problem with doing that is that it's horribly energy inefficient.)

 

For me, at this point, using BLCs is a pretty clear "Click, click, click" as I track and shoot at a target. Once I started picking my shots like that, my accuracy with them got a lot better.

Edited by nyghtrunner
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From what I gather the range capacitor can also help since it will increase the ranges where you have higher accuracy. Your extreme range accuracy will still be poor but it will at least mean you won't have to get as close to an enemy to be within effective weapon range.

 

This is correct, though the accuracy gain is likely minimal (the falloff will be 10% slower, I think). Other forumites (specifically Alex) are better with numbers than I, though.

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Numbers wise what it boils down to is that the accuracy gains relative to stock BLCs are extremely small, in terms of additional shots hitting that otherwise would have missed at ranges less than 4000 meters.

 

You'd get ranged capacitors because you wanted the extra 400 meters of range, not for the pathetically small increases in accuracy within the cannon's normal range.

 

So if you're planning on making a lot of shots between 4 and 4.4 km range, it's a very good upgrade for BLCs.

 

If you're planning on using it to increase your accuracy at ranges of 4 km or less, you're basically wasting a component slot and would be better served by using frequency or damage capacitors.

Edited by Ramalina
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Numbers wise what it boils down to is that the accuracy gains relative to stock BLCs are extremely small, in terms of additional shots hitting that otherwise would have missed at ranges less than 4000 meters.

 

Correct. But the damage gained is NOT small, and that's a combination of the accuracy and the damage.

 

You'd get ranged capacitors because you wanted the extra 400 meters of range, not for the pathetically small increases in accuracy within the cannon's normal range.

 

Incorrect. You get ranged capacitors if you want to extend your deadly zone. Shooting someone at 4200 meters is pretty worthless with a BLC with ranged cap, just like firing at 3800 is pretty sad with a damage or freq cap.

 

What it does is this:

 

1- Your falloff doesn't start until 550m, not 500m.

2- Your falloff is a slightly slower slope, going doing from amazing to meh over the course of 2750m instead of 2500m.

3- Your falloff from mediocre to sad is on a slower slop as well, going from mediocre to bad over the course of 1100m instead of 1000m.

 

So if you're planning on making a lot of shots between 4 and 4.4 km range, it's a very good upgrade for BLCs.

 

Actually, if you're planning on making a lot of shots between 4 and 4.4 km range, it's the ONLY upgrade for BLCs, because the others won't let you do that.

 

What you mean to say is: If you're planning on making even OCCASIONAL shots between 4 and 4.4km, ranged capacitor will BY FAR outperform similar capacitors.

 

I did some math some time ago:

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=729222&page=15

 

The short version is:

 

If you take a decent number of shots above 1600m, ranged capacitor will do more damage for you than any of the other options.

 

An easy way to understand is that the relative damage increase at 3200m is understandably massive in ranged's favor- you have a decent amount of extra accuracy AND damage, while the boost damage has over ranged at 1200m and below is never really that amazing, so unless a ton of your shots are super close ranged, you'll do better damage with ranged.

 

If you don't want to clik, here's the meat of it right here:

 

 

At 400m, your default is 933 dps versus a dumb target with either capacitor. It's .87 * 933 = 812 versus an evasive target, and .67 * 933 = 625 versus a highly evasive target. Ranged capacitor boosts your damage by 0% at 400m versus all targets.

 

At 800m, your default is 896 dps versus a dumb target with no cap. It's .834 * 896 = 747 versus an evasive target with no cap, and 568 versus a highly evasive target with no cap. Your default with a ranged cap is 905 dps versus a dumb target. It's .843 * 905 = 763 dps versus an evasive target, and .643 * 905 = 582 versus a highly evasive target. Ranged capacitor boosts your damage at 800m by 1% versus a dumb target, 2% versus an evasive target, and 2.5% versus a highly evasive target.

 

I'm not going to type out all those words. But I will give you this table of increases:

 

Range: Percent increases versus net evasion: 0% 30% 50%

400m: 0 / 0 / 0

800m: 1 / 2 / 2.4

1200m: 1.6 / 3.3 / 3.9

1600m: 2.2 / 4.7 / 5.6

2000m: 4.0 / 6.3 / 7.6

2400m: 6.7 / 8.1 / 10

2800m: 8.4 / 10 / 13

3200m: 12 / 15 / 20

3400m: 14 / 18 / 24

3600m: 16 / 20 / 28

4000m: 20 / 26 / 40

4400m: INFINITEH

 

It takes awhile, but once the accuracy falls below 100% versus a dumb target (one with no net evasion versus you), the range starts helping a bit in that direction too.

 

You can see from this that ranged absolutely DOMINATES the 10% and 15% options from the other caps at many values of ranged and evasion. Do you spend more of your time at those ranges, and versus those targets? And this is also not counting the extra boost you get when it comes to shooting mines and other strategic targets that Armonddd brought up, many of which have a 3500 trigger radius- the capacitor about doubles the ranges from which you can actually shoot it down (3510 to 3990 to 3510 to 4390).

 

But of course, when you are close, the boosts are trivial, even versus evasive targets. You don't beat damage cap until around 3000m versus targets with no evasion, and even the high evasion scout type build is around 2800m as a tie. Off target shots gain value at around 2400.

 

 

 

If you're planning on using it to increase your accuracy at ranges of 4 km or less, you're basically wasting a component slot and would be better served by using frequency or damage capacitors.

 

Incorrect. As the math shows, you gain benefits way before 4km is reached. Past 4km anything BUT ranged is worthless, so it's not even worth analyzing- if you even kind of care about those ranges, ranged is your capacitor on BLC. The better analysis is how much of your damage is at sub 1000m (where you can get a few percent extra for using ranged) versus 2000m+ (where ranged quickly blows away the other options, the accuracy and damage combo just being unbeatable).

 

 

Specifically: A target with 0% evasion, ranged starts winning at 3000m. For a target with 30% evasion versus you, that value dials down to 2800, and ranged is twice as good as damage at 3600m. For a target at high deflection or popping cools- with 50% evasion- ranged ties at 2400 and doubles at 3200m. Ranged can tail damage by a 10% boost from base, but damage can tail ranged by a 20-40% boost from base, not counting the infinities past 4000m.

Edited by Verain
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Ah, well I did more or less the same analysis, only by graphing the piecewise functions of accuracy for the different capacitors instead of using a table.

 

The area defined by Ranged - [other capacitor] is not really all that big compared to the total area within stock range.

It's that difference that doesn't really impress me all that much.

 

The area past 4000 m is very large on its own, and impressive if you add the increase it give at the tail end of stock ranges.

 

If you're shooting mostly within stock ranges (and admittedly it can depend on where in that range you take most of your shots) then the gain is a lot less impressive. To the point where the other capacitors are likely to edge it out if most of your shots are 'good' shots.

 

I just don't think that the accuracy gain below 4 k is enough to justify the capacitor on its own. With the accuracy beyond 4 km it is really quite good.

 

Edit: Ok Verain, I see where you're getting the very good for ranged. It's not really the accuracy, it the damage drop off with range. When I use the buggers at all it tends to be on my GS and I'd forgotten how sharply the damage falls off with range. Apparently their "laser shotgun" is firing laser birdshot.

 

I suppose for the original poster ranged might have some additional benefit in that they're probably taking more shots at near max range or near the edges of the weapon's cone of fire, and so their shots are more likely to benefit from the accuracy gained from a ranged capacitor.

Edited by Ramalina
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If we had something that could record our shots taken, including damage actually dealt and the range it was shot at, and get enough stuff for any one person, we could tell them with CERTAINTY which capacitor they should be using. The capacitor option is one of the deepest choices in the game, because once you do the math you are left with a set of conditionals that describes which is better when.

 

Can you tunnel a target point blank? Ranged.

Take snap shots point blank? Damage.

Your enemies spend just enough time that you will, on average, get an extra shot with frequency? Frequency by a mile, an extra shot is just so good.

You find yourself between 4km and 4.4km with your weapon able to take a shot? Ranged, an extra shot is just so good.

You find yourself at a diverse number of ranged, dealing half your damage at ranges greater than 1500m? Ranged will squeeze out damage.

Same situation, but for a long period of time? Frequency could win, but change the numbers a bit and ranged does again.

 

 

And this sort of analysis holds for ALL the weapons.

 

 

 

So, what do I recommend? I recommend everyone try Ranged with BLC, because I consider the math at moderate ranged surprising. When I was doing that math, I was expecting ranged to pull ahead in some fringe cone, just like ranged has no benefits at 500m or less, but instead ranged really starts to whip llama before you are even at most of a cone. I know from experience that while the memorable shots at 600m happen, I take more than one shot to kill most enemies, and many of those other shots are the enemy getting away at high deflection and closer to the edge of my cone. I can't prove it because I don't have the tools, but I'm absolutely certain that ranged is better for me on my BLC ships.

 

 

But is it better for you? I have no idea. I would say that if you find those numbers surprising, try it out and see if you like it. You can always switch back. The new guy? Again, I recommend ranged- though I agree with you that the couple hit percent aren't what's making him post a "how to hit with BLC" thread.

 

 

 

 

Anyway, to try to track back to target because I took a "help a new guy" thread and turned it into crossposting math garbage:

 

 

1- In general, aim at the reticule. You can actually lead the reticule a small amount at very short distances (<500m), but this advice is controversial- not everyone will agree.

 

2- Because BLC has such a long recharge time, it's totally worth taking a bit of extra time to be sure that your cursor is over the target. If you were shooting a streamed laser or rapid fire laser, you would probably begin firing as you moved into position (in case they dodged INTO the stream), and then try to hold the cursor on them. With BLC, you move your cursor over their reticule and it changes (it grows turgid around the edges or something, just watch it closely and you'll see), and then take the shot. With practice, you will be taking accurate snap-shots at enemies.

 

3- As before, ensure you have adequate accuracy. The game won't tell you whether your shot was YOU (the player) messing up, except you'll have fired with the targeting cursor in a flaccid state, or whether you (the character) rolled a "miss" on your to-hit table. This change would do a LOT to help new guys, but we probably won't see it for awhile, if ever, so you'll simply have stay focused. If you believe you are taking more and more correct shots but your accuracy isn't coming up as you would like, consider your target. If this is happening versus bombers a lot, or strikes, then you probably are not aiming right. If it's happening versus the much harder to correctly click on scouts, it COULD be that, but evasion is HUGE on scouts. The previous advice about getting pinpointing is totally correct (I strongly recommend Jaesa Williams for Empire and Qyzen Fess for Republic), and I'd add that you should try actually running Wingman as your copilot ability (look under tactical for your wingman guy- the baseline Salana Rok has it for Empire, and Republic has the amazing Akaavi Spar and the good-guy Lieutenant Iresso). ALSO consider making your system component targeting telemetry. This powerful component is not as exciting as blaster overcharge, but it is the mainstay choice of my team, and those guys are all way hella better at scout than me. It doesn't truly shine until you get it mastered (the final talent makes for some nonsense crits), but it helps with evasive opponents immediately.

 

4- Watch your ranges and deflections. Between shots, try to move your nose to the target, or, if that makes you uncomfortable, get used to the pacing of the shots and when you think you've taken the last one you can make (because the enemy will get out of range or leave your targeting circle before the next one), switch to turning or boosting to keep them in range. Remember with BLCs that you are always trying to take shots at 500-1500m when you can. Mentally reward yourself when you take a shot at these ranges, whether or not the game considers it a hit, and you'll find yourself doing it more often. Your accuracy and damage will go up. Don't punish yourself for taking shots outside of this range- there's no problem with that at all, and you need to do so to score most kills, but if you are always looking to take the close shot, you'll naturally find yourself in situations with more close shots, more often. Your ultimate goal as a player is to be IN those deadly ranges more often, as often as you can manage.

 

5- If you can, map "boost", "accelerate", "toggle throttle", and "decelerate" to mouse buttons. If not, ensure you can reach these at any time on your keyboard. Boost immediately gives you max throttle and accelerates you to boost speed instantly, but costs purple. Accelerate takes you to max throttle and gets you to that speed slowly. Decelerate takes you to a min throttle and lets you turn better. Toggling your throttle off will let you stop, and if you alternate between "toggle throttle" and "min throttle" you can make some really sharp turns- beware that once you go below a certain speed you lose your turning rate and gain that of a tugboat. Once you are pressing these a lot, you'll notice that more of your time is spent at good ranges.

 

6- When dogfighting, you will likely have F1 or F3 active. F1 will give you a bit tighter of turns while also giving you extra blaster damage, while F3 can help you skate after more elusive foes but should be used rarely.

 

 

 

Good luck!

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