Recoil compensated cannons are awesome: they have a lot of alpha damage, a lot of range and when your enemy is hit by them they actually feel it; what could possibly be wrong with these awesome guns?
So let’s start with the obvious, the recoil:
Not only is it a ridiculous amount of recoil (300m/s backward impulse, some frigates can’t even go that fast with their afterburners) and does it always push your ship in the same direction no matter where you are aiming (always backwards of your ship orientation) but it also seems to completely ignore your initial velocity; i can be moving forward at over 600m/s with my energy sharing module (or whatever it’s called, it makes your LRF move at 160% speed at the cost of RoF) and a single shot will still put me back into 300m/s reverse speed.
Now i get that the recoil can help you keep distance from any enemy trying to get close to you, but this is a Jericho weapon, and unlike empire LRF’s, Torpedo frigates can’t rely on their special module for damage output, they need to be able to stay in a fight; this problem is only made worse by the fact that Torpedo frigates need to always have good positioning that gives them adequate cover, and it’s already mostly useless as a defensive weapon when you get ambushed by a Cov Ops because the DPS is low.
Speaking of DPS, let’s talk about effective damage:
So the main competitor to the RCC is obviously the Positron Cannon; both these guns have lower DPS but high projectile velocity, accuracy and range; let’s do a bit of a comparison between these weapons and find out what their respective strengths and weaknesses are.
So obviously the PC is an EM gun where the RCC is Kinetic, meaning the PC is more suited to dealing with shields while the RCC is better for finishing off unshielded enemies.
the PC has higher alpha damage even without taking the weapon charge into account;
On my Zealot AE the PC 8 deals 2434 damage to the RCC 9’s 2352.
the PC can (and should) of course charge it’s shot to gain full accuracy and double the damage, and can follow a charged shot up with a second uncharged shot very quickly; the Positron cannon has a big advantage here, being able to pump out 2434x3=7302 damage in less than half a second from the first shot (with proper timing and charge management), though the second shot will be less accurate and as such will deal marginal damage at long range.
DPS is where the RCC theoretically shines when compared to the Positron cannon: it has 60rpm where the PC has only 48, giving it a dps of 2352 to the Positron cannon’s1974.
This is however where spread comes into play:
Where the Positron Cannon can deal it’s full DPS while maintaining it’s 0.2 degree accuracy the Recoil on the RCC increases quickly with each shot, and, depending on the range and the kind of target, you can only fire in bursts of between 1 and 3 shots before having to let the spread reset; even at very close range you can not afford spamming this gun or you will start missing shots against anything shy of a frigate (and if you spam shots against those you will gain enough distance to where it becomes impossible to spam again), which means that you will _never _be dealing your full DPS.
The RCC has 2% higher critical hit chance and 50% crit damage, where the positron cannon has 70% crit damage, those 2% make less of a difference than those 20% in my experience.
Now for the RCC’s main advantage, however: S** tunlock for days.** the RCC applies a knockback effect on it’s target AND temporarily reduces their speed by a whopping 75%, this means that, especially at long range, the RCC can often hit multiple consecutive shots on a single target while increasing the time it takes them to find cover significantly: got 3 frigates pushing to a point? now there’s only 2 pushing to a point and one sitting immobile somwhere out in the open: this one benefit *would* make up for all the other downsides were **if not for the ridiculous recoil** that you cannot fight against that always pushes your ship out of position and often pushes you completely out of their range.
the RCC also has by far the superior range, which helps somewhat mitigate the problem of being pushed out of your enemy’s range by the recoil and gives it a nice over the PS as a true sniping weapon rather than more of a high damage shield stripping gun that also snipes.
Fixing the problem:
the easiest way to fix this gun is to make the recoil manageable; it’s a fun idea but the amount of recoil is completely out of proportion with the damage this gun does, and the way the “recoil” works is also stupid; it should be an impulse vector that adds to the ship’s current movement and that goes in the opposite direction of the projectile rather than just straight backward of the ship’s hull.
Most important would be to make the recoil not stop your ship from moving in it’s current direction, if i am moving forward at 600m/s it should slow me down to 300m/s forward, not slow me down to 0m/s and only then apply the recoil and push me back to -300m/s; of course 300m/s recoil is absurd in and of itself though, and should probably be reduced to something along the lines of 150m/s; this would allow you to (partially) counteract the recoil by using your afterburners and would allow you to use this gun without it forcing you out of your position.
Making the recoil work opposite to the projectile instead of opposite to the hull orientation is the least important thing, but it would make them a lot more interesting.