As much as I loved switching damage type back then, that mechanic was a bit OP for plasmas over time. It still doesn’t feel balanced now, and ceptors before that patch were hell of a lot stronger, simply because you could infini-pound others with em damage and switch to kinetic
TLDR; just adding my useless reiteration of the speed ping discussion, because I am also interested how others witness it.
Note: This is my interpretation of what I read here and observed myself. Correct me at free will.
While you for sure could handle the calculations with higher speeds, higher pings give you as player a delayed reaction time.
You can warp faster than 700m/s, because you cannot change the outcome of your travel much once you engaged, making you “precalculable”.
Imagine you fly to an asteroid and steer the ship between them. You want to make a hard curve in the last second in front of the roid. Once the ping is high enough, your course correction comes in late, so the server already lets you collide with the asteroid - or has to reach a compromise of some sort - or even result to a resync of your ship, which isn’t fun for others because it means you blink on their screen. I have only witnessed this twice actively, except the warp ins.
I know there are several tricks for compensating these effects but each of them only works until a certain breaking point or creates secondary effects.
At least for me at >600m/s with some 90ms ping you can feel a wobble on your ship, because the steering happens “layed back”, where I blame my ping, and also, because the game engine runs on a specific frequency recalculating the new positions, and every turn you miss has already happened. This means, every time your course correction comes in, you already have flown a little bit further than you anticipated - and it’s more further if you are faster - which results in your ship constantly “moving too far” in a specific direction at each mouse movement, even if the server tries to compensate as much as it can by interpolation or calculating in the future, or other forms of integrating your personal movement into the official gamestate.
(And each Ceptor pilot thinks: “Suddenly strafing seems like a good idea.”)
700m/s is probably the speed in the current engine, where this effect won’t affect you with good ping too much, most likely measured by experiment. But if you are above the ideal ping for the engine, you probably should use slower ships to have less “drag”, and create less tension to the numbers.
As I remember, the cap was a bit lower or higher for a short time, and I also heard rumors of the cap not being part of the early game engine.
For shots it’s a bit different, because of the travel time and the delay of weapons, which makes Positron still very accurate at high pings, making a Frigate still quite nice in a latency fight.
Still, I use piercing missiles and if we have to take them into murrican servers, it means, I have to press shoot a bit earlier than I intend it to shoot, probably in a more stable situation than usual, and whishing I had missiles.
Another issue arising at high pings seems to be how shots are fired, Rapid Fire Plasma loses a lot of shots on high pings, besides the aiming issue on a wobbly ship. Not sure about the details here tho, does not happen often.
As far as the engine goes, compared to what I witnessed in BF4, SC is quite cool with pings, but more servers and probably some more optimizations would not hurt (or IPv6 support in europe, because pings are better there). Even if the gameplay is different, seeing an FPS engine released in '13 with a network tickrate of 10Hz, where even an RTS usually has 16 just makes me shiver while I get shot around the corner by a guy which was looking at the sky on my screen with 20 ping. It’s just embarassing.
To the entry topic: the pictures were a bit confusing to me until others posted others.
I also miss having two missile slots or switching damage types in general, but I hope they increase micromanagement tricks in other areas, I have kind of got used to the current system. And hell, what a fun Stilettos were with Mines…