Just some spelled-out descriptions about each weapon type. Concerning the ships, my blog already tells about the different types and their main purposes and strength. Also, here I collected some technical info on everything, and here more about it in the forum.
- Pulse lasers; default weapon with good damage, fires regular symmetric-timed pulses of visible red light.
Burst lasers; supposed to do more damage but not sure, however, the
burst lasts a bit longer than with the pulse laser, with a slightly
longer break between bursts. This is why I prefer them because they
enable me to apply more weapon energy on the enemy in a shorter amount
of time, which is good because sometimes firing positions open up in
only very brief windows of opportunity.
- Beam lasers; the
laser fires a continous beam until its capacitor is depleted.
Technically the best damage-to-time ratio, however, previous experience
showed that this gun heats your ship up a lot and thus is not as
sustainably to fire as the previous weapons, i.e. after a while, it
stops firing despite of capacitor still left because your ships heat
exceeds 100% (or close to this value).
- Railguns; fires a
blue pulse after a brief charge up time. Needs a brief recovery period
before it can be fired again. Heats up the ship like crazy. Technically
much more damage potential than a laser, however, more than two or three
shots are not possible before your ship exceeds 100% of allowable heat
threshold. Used to be the most powerful weapon in the Elite alpha client but was nerfed for the beta client.
- Multi.-cannons; fires "multi"... it´s a heavy multi-barrel machine gun. Needs a brief moment to get going, needs reloads from time to time. Bullets take travel time to the target, i.e. you need to lead your aim. Because of this, does not pair well with instant-hitting lasers (except when gimballed maybe).
Cannons; heavy hitter, 20th-century gun. Needs lead, fires slowly.
Nevertheless the weapon of choise for high "alpha strike" damage, i.e.
damage applied in one intial burst.
- Plasma launcher; handles very similar to a cannon. Still testing.
- Heat sinks: In
theory, both beam lasers and railgun could be fired sustainably by
firing off heat sinks from a heat sink launcher, but so far, it was not
worth the hassle. Also good to drop heat for maintaining a low heat
profile of your ship (stealth), or to accelerate cool-down after a hyper
jump heated up your ship. Unfortunately, there is a bug which makes
your heat sink ammunition deplete without having used them, so in doubt
you will always be out of heat sinks.
- Chaff: Supposed
to deviate missiles. Did not test them yet; the few situation where I
was confronted with missiles, I was overtasked with other things i.e. I
did not remember to fire them, or the missiles were so close and fast
- Point defenses: Are not to be included into fire groups, are supposed to work automatically. Still testing.
The higher its weapon class (C), the more punch the weapon has. (Doh!)
- Gimballed versions (G) allow for a slight tracking of the target, so that
you do not have to aim precisely; in return the weapon does an about 20%
weaker damage than a non-gimballed version. The always have a uneven number for weapon class.
- Turreted versions (T) independently track and shoot at enemies.
You need not include them into a fire group. The rightmenu, last tab,
has a line where you can switch its programmed mode. Beware, after each
drop into normal space, the setting is reset to "fire at will", i.e. it
will fire at yellow targets, too. While they have even-numbered weapon classes, they can only be mounted on mounts of the next higher class.