Lasers rework



A small topic about something that I judge as badly designed and need to be reworked : Lasers.

Lasers have 0 spread and no projectile speed, you would think that they are powerful against fast small ships because easy to aim right ?

 But it’s in fact the opposite. The hitbox of lasers is a point, so it’s nearly impossible to hit a small ship. In fact, even if that ship stands still, it’s still hard to damage him especially at long range.

IMO, it’s a paradox. Even worse, it feels quite bad to use for the player :

  • It destroys your hand because you need to be reaaaallly precise constantly

  • You feels like you do nothing against a small fast ship, because human’s reaction time isn’t enough to even hit an interceptor for half a second.


So I think we can have something between Th’lith (No damage auto aim) and a long range laser/ion (extremely hard to use).


Here’s my suggestion :

Give lasers a “spread” line Th’lith, something like 0.5deg, enough to actually hit something when you hover the target. 

The laser would stick to the closest target in that “spread” to the actual aim (so it hits only one target instead of everybody like Th’lith).

Reduce a the damages damages accordingly.


So I won’t need to stop playing after 10 minutes because of how unhealthy for the hand lasers are.


We can even think of a new laser gun :

Same DPS as what a laser currently have, BUT with slow barrels.



Any comments ?

I suggested something in the direction of this:
As you are within the big circle(the normal aim circle for all projectile speed weapons) you would be ‘centered’ at the ship. But I got flamed hard being aim Ace etc.
I like lasers, but this point hitting - especially on distance - is something that annoys me that contradict their perfect aim ability(as you need to aim perfect as well).
+1000 to this.

Use shift+enter when writing, my ocd is through the roof so dont mind me i just had to say it.
When you know about lasers and optics and stuff, you will realize that theres not much stuff you can do, maybe spread like a shotgun flickering but we have that mechanic with thilith already… As for the general spread, it will cause a dramatic fall of dps with the spread, so theres not much options available from the reality and physics, maybe science fiction?

All i can add to this to help out is wiggle with your aim on your target, do some X’s or the infinite symbol kinda movements with your aim and you will score better. Or just scribble the target real fast like i do ;D

I don’t think making lasers easier to aim is a good thing, especially at greater distances - they already fine in short-mid ranges, even vs interceptors since enemy’s ship model is relatively big and bigger in size than aiming reticle+aim assist area, so technically it is easier to aim than a projectile guns.

The thing is that projectile weapons leave the room for your opponent, even if you land a perfect hit into leading reticle, opponent still can dodge it, which creates all this - build for faster projectile - build for better agility (and learn how to control it) race. Beam weapons on other hand leave no chance for opponent - your dmg is directly scaled with your aiming ability. Back when 200+ rotation was way more popular way to fly an interceptors lasers were pretty much the only answer, since with them you did some dmg to them, rather than completely missing them with pretty much everything else.

Currently I don’t find issues aiming at Frigates and fighters at mid-long ranges, inties are hard - but that is where mouse DPI settings come in, well tuned mouse goes a long way already. Plus Ions have that mechanic for dmg increase with continuous dmg - making easier aiming with those would unnecessary boost its effectiveness out of proportions.


The thing is that,shields are easier to take down as they are a “perfect” sphere and have a much bigger hit box than the hull,so they are a bit more effective against Jericho ships,but putting that aside,you have Pulse Laser,a bit of spread but still does the job,right?Well,that cause you are forced to do it at short ranges,if you do want to at least scrape your enemies at long ranges with Beam Cannon or Ion Emitter try lowering your mouse sensitivity,mine has 2 extra buttons assigned to that,try 800 DPI and keep spinning around that value until you find a comfort zone.

Also,don’t eat that much sugar,it contributes to involuntary hand shaking.

I agree that aiming lasers puts a lot of effort on my wrists and I need to make frequent pauses when using them. However I feel this is worth it in exchange for long overheat time, instant damage application and ignoring of resists.

So what you basicly suggest is a similar system for them, as Elite has with their Gimballed Lasers doing some slight auto aim on a target.

Now, Lasers and Ions, and stuff like that actually have the upside of being 2d hitscan weapons if you hit the dot on the marker. So someone, who indeed has a lot of skill following the ship on his screen while firing ions or lasers, will have extreme accuracy; In the past, there were often times, where e.g. the pulse laser was so overpowered lacking any spread, nobody even dreamt of using another weapon on an interceptor.

Almost all other weapons have leading requirements. Now true, leading and spread might be used to your advantage, but it might also become a great disadvantage, especially with ping. Ions, etc. still have the big upsides of being relatively ping agnostic, having good range options, and decent enough damage.

To be honest, all weapons shoot at some point, and leading weapons do too. Why should it be easier to hit the current position of any ship instead of a future position?

From me a clear no. I can sympathize a bit, but actually all I would change is increase ion damage slightly. Also, I can remember, it took me a while aswell to learn point weapons (wasn’t used to that at all), and while they definitely need a bit more activity, it is clearly just a question of exercise, without being particullary hard per se.

The problem with lasers is that their hitbox is a point line, not a box like can be railguns and stuff. Which basically means that if the pixel right under the mouse doesn’t touch the hull collider exactly, then you don’t hit it. While for all other guns, a projectile passing slightly next to the target still deal damage to it because the projectile is quite big.

So with lasers you need an extreme precision.


Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that they are unbalanced. I’m saying that it is badly designed :

Lasers put a lot of pressure on the wrist, especially when you don’t have a button to reduce sensibility. It is painful  to play lasers (and same goes for the command gun with the left click spam). Which is why they need a rework.

The one-pixel-size-laser-collider also makes it very frustrating to use at long range, because you can hover the target and still deal no damage to it ; just because the laser actually aim 1 pixel on the left of your target.

it is not 1 pixel size

Feel free to have some one shoot lazers at you from 4km distance in Custom, stay a bit further form them and make a screenshot of a focal point

4 minutes ago, xKostyan said:

it is not 1 pixel size

Feel free to have some one shoot lazers at you from 4km distance in Custom, stay a bit further form them and make a screenshot of a focal point

It’s not because the laser don’t visually hit the hull that it isn’t one pixel size.

The hull collider isn’t the same as the hull model (better for perfs). The focal point is actually the hull collider.

Let’s not talk about the co-op bots aim with the lasers,the PvE bots have it so much worse,why that?

Well I think the problem arises from the fact that lasers don’t have any form of aim-assist. I mean yeah they have object focus detection, but that doesn’t really help in terms of hitting interceptors when it considers their shield to be a persistent object even when it is down.

or perhaps getting a “machine gun” firing laser (like railgun, but without proyectile speed), which is different from pulse lasers and all other beams:


As far as I know, hitting the 2d hud prediction marker, which is clearly more than one pixel, will aim your guns for that ships mesh-center, without a further client 3d raycast. Which can become a problem, if you miss it slightly, as it can cause travel time for your turret, to the actual object hit by the following client side raycast, causing you to miss in close quarter encounters, because the turret is between where you point, and where the prediction marker said the ship would be (illogical shrapnel shots)

Lasers become way more ping tolerant because of connecting right after the raycast hits the target, while I assume, projectiled weapons only hit once the projectile has traveled. So on the same page, lasers become less ping tolerant on freeform shots over projectile weapons, as lagging behind and not hitting the target via marker will possibly create outdated shots on fast moving targets, while they can do it continously. Some weapons like the Positron additionally have something like a plane sized projectile, so sometimes even if the front doesnt hit the target, the back of it can, giving it an edge on fast movers, while lasers apply damage gradually, to compensate for the fact, that its basicly a raycast every tick, which would - if laser had some kind of high per-tick damage just like projectiles - probably make everybody never use anything else, really.


Note, I added a lot of assumptions, which I still think are close to correct, but I don’t really know the code, so it’s just a guess.

I still think from the aiming point of view, this makes all weapons work pretty equally.

Note, that personally, I am not totally against the ability to lock your laser on a target, and the game being more about movement, per se, but I think in SC, autoaim lasers would basicly circumvent the mechanical limitations, especially, the “increased damage the longer you keep connected to the target” one.

I personally find RF Blasters way more rewarding, and also harder to play, and I think the glorious thing about e.g. positrons is that sometimes an intuitive shot can do better, than only going for the prediction marker.

When I said spread, I was thinking of nothing more then the target reticule. That’s  really small. But just enough so that when you hover the target, you actually hit it instead of being totally unpredictable.

It’s nothing big. Skill still be a HUGE part.


It’s just so that it won’t feels like “WTF man, I’m 5km away from an interceptor, it’s barely more then 4 pixels on my screen, and you expect me to perfectly hover it to deal damage with no assist at all ?” 

how is the prediction marker different from any other weapon in that regard?

except, that it stays on the ship?

59 minutes ago, g4borg said:

how is the prediction marker different from any other weapon in that regard?

except, that it stays on the ship?

Lasers are one point. It’s a raycast from the turret to the aim point. 

Other guns aren’t one point, but a 3d box/sphere. 


So two big difference : 

Bigger hit box means much easier to hit them -> Railguns are the must for medium/long range attacks.

Lasers are far worse with ping because a difference of a few pixels with lasers represent much more then with railguns/singularity for example.

Lasers have a smaller impact zone, although they are much more reliable with high ping (since you hit where you click (notice: its not when the laser is displayed)). any other proyectile weapon instead have a considerable delay in relation with ping (they will shoot where you clicked a while ago), meaning you have to extra lead/predict more, unless you use the lead marker, working more or less like lasers (instead of dealing dmg after delay, they fire at the center of the target after delay), which will often guarantee you a sure miss.

a ray is still a ray, it’s not a point, it’s a line.

the prediction boxes on your hud aims straight for the center of the mesh in both cases. if you are close, you may even want to avoid the hud box and aim directly for the hull, at least thats how i operate my curved ions. on range, just use the box. it’s better for ping aswell, as the coordinates get substituted on the server (which you can see if a shot suddenly jumps after a blinking lrf)

the ray just has to hit the mesh. the difference is really only, that the laser travels the whole range each tick, while projectile weapons will travel only tick by tick.

it’s really easier to hit things with the laser, it just takes practice with the movement, holding the ship steady, as you want to keep the lasers connected as long as possible. the real downside of lasers (as the frig weapon) is probably their amount of damage on most frigates, but I remember times, where all laser weapons were nearly OP, and they are best played in larger amounts (where they just become deadly focus fire).

I find lasers are really easy to aim tbh. pulse suffers more from low damage and overheat, everything else is imho subjective (RF still needs longer time to get an enemy ship down, and you miss a lot more, but each hit just hurts more aswell) - I understand what you mean (hard to aim since aiming for small points), but i realized, changing weapon sometimes also changes your expectations of damage.