Advanced Mechanics part 3 - Turrets

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Advanced Mechanics part 3 - Turrets

Post by CptSnuggles » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:39 pm

Hello space friends, and welcome to the third (and possibly final) installment of Advanced Mechanics! This time I’m focusing on turret statistics, what they mean, and how each turret works.

First things first: this guide is all about the numbers. Some turrets have better numbers than others. That doesn’t mean that they’re hands-down the best weapons in the game. Pulsar is a PvE game based on trying out multiple ships and playstyles, meaning that the “best” turret will vary based on your ship, your playstyle, and personal preference.

When you look at the tooltip for a turret, you’ll see a number of stats. Be aware - when viewing the item in a shop, you only see the base stats. When viewing it on a ship, either equipped or in cargo, you see the stats with all ship and crew bonuses applied. Here are the stats:
Damage - Damage per shot. Most turrets fire multiple shots; lasers have two or three “ticks” of damage, and projectile turrets often fire in bursts. Damage type, which affects shield and armor penetration, is listed here as well.
Recharge Time - Time between shots, not including the time it takes for the firing animation to complete.
Power Draw - The amount of reactor output the turret uses when recharging at its maximum rate. If there is less power than that available, the turret will recharge slower. Reducing recharge time (through ship and crew bonuses) does not affect power draw. Turrets only use power when recharging.
Range - The range at which the AI will fire the turret at the targeted enemy. Most weapons can hit beyond this range. Lasers typically hit just slightly farther, whereas projectile turrets often have 2-3 times the stated range.

The tooltip also tells you the turret’s level. For each level, damage increases by 15% of the Level 1 value. Additionally, for energy turrets and Defender Turrets, power draw increases by 20% of the Level 1 value.

There are three important stats that are derived from the tooltip but not actually stated anywhere. First is volley damage, which is just damage per shot multiplied by the number of shots per turret activation. Second is damage per second (DPS), which is volley damage divided by recharge time. Third is armor penetration, which is based on damage per shot. Armor blocks a flat amount of damage (either 0.33 or 0.6 per armor point, depending on damage type) up to a maximum of 87.5%. Therefore, every shot will do 12.5% of the stated damage or whatever the opponent’s armor cannot block, whichever is higher. See my armor guide ( ... f=5&t=4083) for detailed information.

Shields are much simpler than armor. If they are set to “modulate”, they block a set percentage of energy damage. If they are set to “static”, they block a set percentage of physical damage. The AI will try to switch between shield modes based on the most recent damage type, so it can be useful to equip multiple types of turrets.

In general, all damage types are equally powerful against shields, whereas lasers are stronger against hull than physical weapons. Notable exceptions are Lightning Turrets (bonus against shields, penalty against armor), Phase Turrets (penalty against both), and Defender Turrets (bonus against armor). In addition, energy turrets have better accuracy and effective range than projectiles. On the other hand, physical weapons typically have higher volley damage and DPS than energy turrets. They also use dramatically less power, especially at high levels.

Main turrets have to be manned, usually by the Weapons Specialist. Secondary turrets auto-fire when the captain targets an enemy ship. Any crew member can man those turrets, but only the Weapons Specialist gets bonuses when doing so. Otherwise, there’s no difference between auto-firing and bots manning the turrets. However, humans can be much more accurate with projectile turrets than the AI, so you may want a friend manning your physical weapons.

The rest of this guide gives detailed stats on each secondary turret, plus my personal notes. I tried to keep my notes as objective as possible. If you notice any mistakes, typos, or other issues, please let me know!

Damage: Base (+ level bonus) x Shots / Recharge = Base DPS (+ level bonus) [Damage type]
Power draw: Base (+ level increase)

------Damage: 45 (+6.5) x 3 / 4 = 33.75 (+5.06) [Beam]
------Power draw: 6200 (+1240)
------Range: 8000
------Accuracy: High
------Notes: A cheap early-game weapon. The standard laser turret is efficient but is outclassed in every other way by every other energy turret.

Focused Laser
------Damage: 100 (+15) x 3 / 6 = 50 (+7.5) [Beam]
------Power draw: 12000 (+2400)
------Range: 8000
------Accuracy: High
------Notes: A good all-rounder, its only downside is its high power draw.

------Damage: (220 (+33) x 1 / 3) x 0.65 = 47.67 (+7.15) [Phase]
------Power draw: 14000 (+2800)
------Range: 6000
------Accuracy: Very high
------Special: Deals 35% reduced damage to shields and hull, but deals extra damage to ship systems.
------Notes: Highly accurate with a useful bonus. Deals up to ten damage to enemy systems per hit once shields are down. Its obscene power draw is the only downside.

------Damage: 80 (+12) x 2 / 6 = 26.67 (+4) [Lightning]
------Power draw: 7500 (+1500)
------Range: 8000
------Accuracy: Very high
------Special: Double damage to shields. Hitting hull has a chance to shut down enemy ship.
------Notes: Great shield damage, a very useful bonus, and decent power efficiency make this a top-tier energy weapon.

------Damage: 90 (+13.5) x 8 / 6 = 120 (+18) [Physical - special]
------Power draw: 9300 (+1395)
------Range: 2000
------Accuracy: Very low
------Special: Homing rockets
------Notes: This weapon has the highest damage output in the game by far. Its range is considerably longer than what the tooltip says; the rockets have a total flight distance of about 6 km. However, the rockets have strange flight paths and a poor turning radius, giving them surprisingly low accuracy. Best when fired by a player rather than the AI.

------Damage: 80 (+12) x 4 / 5 = 64 (+9.6) [Physical]
------Power draw: 6500
------Range: 7000
------Accuracy: Low
------Notes: The burst turret is a well-rounded physical weapon with good range, high damage, and low power draw. The only drawback is its hefty price tag at specialty shops.

------Damage: 75 (+11.25) x 1 / 1.3 = 57.69 (+8.65) [Physical]
------Power draw: 4500
------Range: 5400
------Accuracy: Average
------Notes: The railgun is a cheap and versatile option in the early game, but it suffers from poor armor penetration at high Chaos levels. Same for the Auto-Railgun.

------Damage: 80 (+12) x 1 / 2.1 = 38.1 (+5.71) [Physical]
------Power draw: Low
------Range: 4000
------Accuracy: Average
------Notes: Plasma turrets work very similarly to railguns. They have slightly higher base damage and lower power draw, but their fire rate and range are significantly lower.

------Damage: 32 (+4.75) x 24 / 7.5 = 102.4 (+15.2) [Physical]
------Power draw: 2600
------Range: 3400
------Accuracy: Very low
------Special: Can fire three bursts of eight projectiles before recharging.
------Notes: Has the worst accuracy, effective range, and armor penetration of any weapon in the game. On the other hand, it is cheap and energy-efficient, and it deals high shield damage at point-blank range. Would work well with the Bio-Hazard if that turret is ever debugged.

------Damage: 40 (+6) x 3 / 4 = 30 (+4.5) [Beam]
------Power draw: 3200 (+640)
------Range: 8000
------Accuracy: High
------Special: Can fire missiles if manned.
------Notes: Works like a very wimpy main turret. It may be useful if you have an extra crew member to man it.

------Damage: Very low (bugged)
------Power draw: None (bugged)
------Range: 2200
------Accuracy: Good
------Special: Sets the enemy ship on fire. As an added bonus, sets the player ship on fire (bugged).
------Notes: This turret works perfectly even if its power is shut off, so it effectively has zero power draw. Unfortunately, it only does a miniscule amount of damage. So, if you’re interested in a low-power run where you can’t destroy anything and your ship is constantly on fire, this is the turret for you!

------Damage: Very low (bugged)
------Power draw: None (bugged)
------Range: 2200
------Accuracy: Good
------Special: Makes the armor number on the enemy ship’s stats screen go down, but does not actually lower the enemy’s armor (bugged). Poisons the enemy crew.
------Notes: The Fart Emitter 9000 has the same power draw and damage issues as the Flamelance Turret. If the armor reduction bug is ever patched, this turret will be useful in combination with other short-range weapons.

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