Details about sweeping changes to space combat in version 1.8 and beyond. Weapons, armor, shields, point defense, critical hits, and more.
There are now 29 new ship weapons among 3 broad categories: cannons, beams, and missiles. Cannons are short-range shield-skipping weapons. Beams are medium-range weapons with a wide variety of special effects, but often do less damage against shields. Missiles are long-range high damage strategic weapons that are defeated by ‘point defense’ (as long as it lasts…).
Critical hits have been introduced. Some just cause double damage, but others will knock out specific ship systems or even kill your crew! (critical hits that hit systems do *half* their normal hull damage)
Each weapon has a crit chance, from 0-100%, and some weapons guarantee a certain kind of crit. Important note: most weapons need to hit the hull to inflict critical hits… so keep those shields up!
“Point defense” is a new passive stat to keep you safe from missiles. It’s based on your installed weapons, and some is used up every time they intercept an attack. And it’s not perfect either: some of the damage still gets through. So when you’re getting pelted by missiles from beyond visual range, at least you have some time to figure out what to do about it.
Small, medium, and large weapons are a thing of the past. You can put any weapon in any slot, as long as your reactor can handle it (the number of weapons you can mount is still controlled by your reactor).
If you want your only weapon to be a massive railgun that can only fire once every 25 turns, you can do that. Or you can mount 3 rapid fire laser turrets an a huge ship. It’s up to you.
You can even change your installed components (including weapons!) during combat, as long as the item you’re trying to replace isn’t cooling down.
Read on for more details.
Rapid-fire kinetic slug-thrower. Short range, penetrates shields, great for point defense.
Damage: 40% | Range:3 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:5 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:1
Fires a burst of explosive shells that impact on shields but can also pierce armor and cause critical hits. Adequate point defense.
Damage: 175% | Range:3 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:4 | Crit Chance:10 | Sector Available:1
Fires a heavy projectile at extreme velocity using magnetic acceleration. Ignores shields. Little PD application.
Damage: 110% | Range:4 | Cooldown:3 | Point Defense:1 | Crit Chance:15 | Sector Available:1
A multi-barrel weapons array that shreds the target with thousands of hardened projectiles. Skips shields. Great point defense.
Damage: 185% | Range:2 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:6 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:9
Launches a toxin-laden shell that skips shields and armor, killing crew and potentially damaging other internal systems. No contribution to point defense.
Damage: 30% | Range:3 | Cooldown:4 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:15
A heavy railgun accelerator mounted along a ship’s central axis. Slow firing, shield-piercing, and very likely to cause critical hits. *Can’t hit targets at point blank range!*
Damage: 250% | Range:5 | Cooldown:6 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:50 | Sector Available:20
Fires a shell containing hungry nano-bots which weaken a ship’s armor, increasing the chance of critical hits by 50% for 10 turns (“Weakness to Crit”). Completely neutralized by shields, minimal PD.
Damage: 150% | Range:3 | Cooldown:3 | Point Defense:1 | Crit Chance:20 | Sector Available:15
If a spine-mounted mass-driver just isn’t big enough for you, try hurling a mini black hole instead. You won’t be disappointed.
Damage: 500% | Range:8 | Cooldown:25 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:100 | Sector Available:50
Rapid-fire laser weapon. Good for point defense, only does half damage to shields.
Damage: 100% | Range:5 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:5 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:1
Fires a burst of charged particles designed to disrupt electronics, and is capable of inflicting critical hits even when shields are up.
Damage: 90% | Range:4 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:3 | Crit Chance:25 | Sector Available:9
Focused plasma stream that heats up the target, causing increased damage with each successive hit. (“Weakness to Blister”)
Damage: 40% | Range:4 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:3 | Crit Chance:10 | Sector Available:5
Weaponized gravity manipulation to pull targets closer to you. Best coupled with short-range shield-penetrating weapons. Not recommended for point defense.
Damage: 20% | Range:5 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:9
Fires a sustained burst of gravitons, pushing the target away from you. Can deflect incoming missiles, contributing to PD.
Damage: 45% | Range:4 | Cooldown:3 | Point Defense:3 | Crit Chance:20 | Sector Available:15
Nearly useless against armor, this weapon does 20 times damage to shields! No effect against incoming missiles.
Damage: 20% | Range:4 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:5
Exotic energy field that temporarily knocks out engines and slows the target significantly.
Damage: 25% | Range:4 | Cooldown:4 | Point Defense:2 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:9
Broadcasts a mix of jamming signals and invasive programs to disrupt internal systems, inflicting critical damage. Completely ineffective against shielded targets, but great at knocking out missiles.
Damage: 15% | Range:5 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:7 | Crit Chance:50 | Sector Available:9
Long-range beam weapon that interacts with higher dimensions and gains force as it propagates. *Can’t be used at range less than 3*. No PD application.
Damage: 280% | Range:7 | Cooldown:4 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:15 | Sector Available:20
Bizarre forces accelerate decay, causing damage and draining supplies.
Damage: 75% | Range:4 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:1 | Crit Chance:15 | Sector Available:20
Fires a stream of anti-protons that violently reacts with matter (aka ‘everything’). Provides minimal PD. Equally effective on shields and hull.
Damage: 140% | Range:5 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:2 | Crit Chance:20 | Sector Available:9
Fires a beam of energetic neutral particles that ignores shields and is very deadly to organic life.
Damage: 85% | Range:6 | Cooldown:5 | Point Defense:1 | Crit Chance:10 | Sector Available:20
Accelerates a stream of heavy particles to relativistic speeds. Partially deflected by shields, reducing damage by half.
Damage: 210% | Range:4 | Cooldown:2 | Point Defense:2 | Crit Chance:30 | Sector Available:5
Pirate technology. Opens a micro-wormhole in an attempt to steal cargo.
Damage: 40% | Range:4 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:1 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:50
Standard rapid-fire long-range missile. Vulnerable to point defense, impacts on shields.
Damage: 180% | Range:7 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:1
Fires a short range barrage of unguided rockets that streak to the target from multiple angles. Provides some point defense.
Damage: 410% | Range:4 | Cooldown:3 | Point Defense:3 | Crit Chance:10 | Sector Available:1
Evasive missiles designed to deplete point defense and cause double damage to shields. No PD application.
Damage: 80% | Range:6 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:9
Top-of-the-line missile defense system that can be used as a ship-to-ship weapon at point blank range.
Damage: 280% | Range:1 | Cooldown:1 | Point Defense:10 | Crit Chance:0 | Sector Available:5
If it breaks through point defense, this antimatter warhead explodes in a blinding flash that overwhelms sensors.
Damage: 90% | Range:7 | Cooldown:5 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:5 | Sector Available:15
Once locked on, this missile uses warp technology to evade point defense and strike a devastating blow.
Damage: 200% | Range:7 | Cooldown:5 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:35 | Sector Available:20
A hit from this weapon not only skips shields and kills crew, but it pollutes space with radiation!
Damage: 150% | Range:6 | Cooldown:8 | Point Defense:0 | Crit Chance:25 | Sector Available:99
(I just got hit by a few “sapper missiles”.)
Point defense reduces incoming missile damage by over 80%. It’s listed with your shields in the format (current / total). Missiles have a “hardness” stat, and your “PD” is reduced by that amount when it intercepts a missile.
PD is calculated from all your installed weapons (and one device), and you don’t need to worry about those weapons being on cooldown, or actively targeting missiles: it’s all done automatically.
If you don’t use PD for 5 turns, it will start to recharge by 20% per turn, back up to its maximum.
Beware: the warp missile ignores point defense!
A critical hit that does something other than extra damage will actually cause only half damage, unless the striking weapon is of the “cannon” type.
Some weapons are guaranteed to inflict a certain kind of crit (the toxic penetrator kills crew, the inertia projector knocks out engines, etc.). These weapons can actually cause 2 crits from the same hit… look out!
The nano-cannon is an especially insidious weapon that can weaken the hull of its target and inflict
+50% chance of critical hits for 10 turns!
Shields now consume supplies while recharging.
All shields now have a “SUP” stat that indicates the supply cost per turn of recharge. The slower they recharge, the lower the supply cost, and vice versa.
Wait, that’s not the biggest change…
SHIELDS CAN HAVE POWERS!
Ok, that’s a big one. So far there are only a few, but they work. Shields can also modify the amount of damage you take from different classes of weapons. For example, “kinetic shields” reduce incoming cannon damage by 30%.
Some shields very rare, or aren’t available until sector 20, 50, or 100. When crafting, (for now,) you can only build “normal” shields. Here’s more info:
Standard energy shields, providing a first line of defense against most kinds of damage. Begins to recharge after a cooldown period.
An upgrade from standard shields that gives more defense for slightly more supply usage.
The pinnacle of normal shielding, providing excellent regenerative protection for a modest supply cost.
Designed to minimize supply consumption, these shields still provide adequate protection from most types of weapons.
Exotic energy field manipulation allows these shields to absorb some of the energy from cannon strikes, reducing their damage by 30%.
These shields provide less overall protection, but are designed to deflect incoming beams and other energy weapons, reducing their damage by 30%.
These shields reduce the damage from missile weapons by 30%.
These shields are always on! Slowly but steadily, they are constantly recharging.
Gravitic manipulation bends space around your ship. This reduces all incoming weapon damage by 10% and gives a +1 stealth effect.
As soon as the cooldown period is over, these shields are back to full strength (if you can sustain their supply usage).
After their long cooldown and recharge periods, these shields provide unrivaled protection.
These shields can be focused into a small area and used as an offensive weapon, allowing your ship an extra attack by moving into enemies.
A cutting-edge shield that borrows barely-understood principles from Firax tech and reduces damage from cannon and missile strikes by 15%.
Armor can also grant you powers or damage resistances, but the shots have to actually hit it to be affected.
Just like with shields, some of these are very rare, and only a few are found in the early game. When crafting, (for now,) you can only build “normal” armor.
Standard exterior starship hull reinforcement, equally resistant against all types of damage.
Cheap light-weight starship armor. It even costs less to repair, but it’s vulnerable to beam weapons, taking 10% more damage.
This multi-layered impact-dispersing armor reduces the damage from cannon strikes by 50%.
This armor is designed to deflect a broad range of the energetic spectrum, reducing damage from beam weapon strikes by 50%.
Built-in anti-missile systems reduce damage from missile strikes by 50%.
This thick reactive armor vaporizes upon impact, deflecting, dispersing, or otherwise interfering with whatever strikes it. It can’t be repaired, only replaced.
Using a combination of memory-materials, organics, and nano-tech, this armor is capable of rebuilding itself over time.
Infused with heavy metals, this armor protects against radiation belts. The increased mass will reduce your speed by 20, and offer a 10% damage reduction against cannon strikes.
Abosrbs visible light and sensor frequencies, reducing detection of your ship by 1 tile. Also soaks up the energy of beam weapon strikes, increasing damage from beam weapons by 25%.
This high-tech armor hugs the contours of space itself, increasing ship speed by +25 and allowing your ship to navigate safely near black holes. It is expensive and rare.
Constructed of nearly unobtainable materials, this armor is extremely resilient, reducing damage from all weapon strikes by 25%. It is exceptionally rare.
Upgraded materials and construction result in more durable armor with equal protection against all weapon types.
Enormous sheets of graphene and other endlessly-chaining materials form tough armor that relies on molecular bonds for protection. Reduces the chance of receiving critical hits by 30%.
Alien Ship Changes
Aliens also have access to exactly the same weapons as you, and will mount 1-3 of them based on their size and how far into the game you are. Tentaculons favor beam weapons, the Syndicate and Eaters like missiles, while Gruff and Sigorn prefer cannons.
Be especially mindful of the fact that *aliens can attack you from outside your sensor range*. This was not previously true. If you come under fire from an unknown source, you’ll have to decide whether to take cover, call for help, or charge your assailant!