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Posts: 198
Reply with quote  #1 
I've seen some conflicting accounts of how beams work and are affected by Engineering settings, Manual Beams, and Tauron Focusers, so I decided to grab a stopwatch and try it out.  I have a feeling that I'm just recreating what someone else has already done, like Starry, but I couldn't find it laid out, so here's my explanation.

First off, beam damage per hit is not affected by any of this.  The only thing that gets changed is the length of recharge time, which affects Damage Per Second (DPS).  Second off, recharge time's effect on DPS is a nonlinear function, meaning that reducing recharge rate from 6 to 5 seconds has a much smaller effect (only 20% improvement) than reducing the recharge rate from 2 to 1 seconds (giving a 100% improvement), even though recharge rate only changed by 1 second in both cases.  The closer you get to zero, the more each increment affects DPS.

I'll give the mechanical explanation here and then show the effects on the player weapons below.
  • Auto Beams:  This is the default that everything else is compared against.  Beams in Auto mode fire as soon as they are able to, but only one beam at a time, staggered.  So a Battleship with 4 beams will fire beam 1, then beam 2, then beam 3, then beam 4, then wait for beam 1 to finish recharging, then repeat the cycle.  This can mean that beams which are highly sped up can run into limitations (such as a Ximni Battleship rapidfire beam with Engineering boost or Tauron Focuser) where it never fires beam 3 or 4, because beam 1 is recharging so quickly.  This delay between beams is set in the artemis.ini file as playerBeamDelay and it defaults to 0.3 seconds.  If you lower this delay, it lowers this limitation.
  • Engineering Settings:  The beam recharge rate is affected by the Energy Level for "Primary Beam" in Engineering by dividing the base recharge rate by the energy level.  For example, a 6 second recharge rate at 200% power is [6/200%=] 3 seconds.  This means that energy below 100% makes a longer recharge rate.  For example, a 6 second recharge rate at 51% power (because exactly 50% isn't an option) is [6/51%=] 11.76 seconds (50% would have been 12 seconds).  250% is the highest level that can be maintained with starting coolant.  300% is the highest possible energy level.
  • Manual Beams:  If beams are switched to Manual mode they apply the Engineering Settings effect twice.  For example a 6 second recharge rate at 200% power is [6/200%/200%=] 1.5 seconds.  This means that switching beams at 100% power to manual has no effect:  [6/100%/100%=] 6 seconds.  In manual mode, all beams fire at once, not in sequence.  This removes the limitation that Auto Beams have for quick firing rates.  This means that beams at 300% energy and manual mode has a DPS that is 9 times higher than the base damage at 100% energy.
  • Tauron Focuser:  The tauron focuser lasts for 5 minutes (300 seconds) and halves the base recharge rate of a beam before the effects of Engineering Settings and Manual Beam are applied.  For example, a 6 second recharge rate is reduced to 3 seconds.  Add 200% power for [6/2/200%=] 1.5 seconds.  Add 200% power and Manual Beams for [6/2/200%/200%=] 0.75 seconds.  This means that a beam using a Tauron Focuser, at 300% energy, and Manual mode has a DPS that is 18 times higher than the base damage at 100% energy.
All of the calculations for the four main types of player beams (TSN standard, TSN Heavy, Ximni Rapidfire, Pirate Fast) can be found here:

Here is the standard TSN beam with a damage of 12 and a recharge rate of 6.
TSN Standard Beam
TSN Light Cruiser
Beam EnergyAuto/ManFocuserRecharge (s)DPS

You can see the full calculations in the linked spreadsheet, but the Pirate Fast Beam are the same DPS as above and the Ximni Rapidfire Beam (on the Battleship) and the TSN Heavy Beam (on the Dreadnaught) max out at 60 DPS with all modifications.

In addition beams cost 1.5 energy per shot.  This is regardless of the damage of the beam, meaning that the TSN Heavy Beam is four times more energy efficient than the Ximni Rapidfire Beam, for instance.  This cost per shot is not modified by the Artemis.ini file.  This is in addition to the energy required to keep the Beams system "hot" (the energy consumption when it's not firing).

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Posts: 47
Reply with quote  #2 

I recall Starry and a few others doing experiments to determine all this in the past, but I don't know that any of it has been publicly documented, so thanks!

I will note that an important additional factor is damage done to beam nodes. I don't know for sure if anyone's tested it, but I believe the recharge rate is multiplied by the system's health (e.g. x100% or x50%)

If you have time, it would probably be helpful to many newer players if you contributed to the wiki articles describing the information you've garnered:


Commander Matthew Vaj

Commanding Officer, TSN Viper, 2nd Space Fleet, 4th Light Division

TSN RP Community - Listen to our Fleet News Service!

Intelligence Officer of the Cygnus Campaign


Posts: 198
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks mattssheep4.  Yeah, I wanted to post it here first before the wiki in case anyone spotted any improvements to be made.  Good call on adding system damage to the mix.

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #4 
I plan to update the wiki myself, as soon as I do some testing of my own. I always assumed that system damage was applied to the power output (so a system with 200% power and 50% damage has 100% power) and I think that's the way I described it on the wiki. I will double check, though. 

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