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Rapid Fire Lasers are a shocking embarrassment, need buffs.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Rapid Fire Lasers are a shocking embarrassment, need buffs.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
02.17.2014 , 01:32 AM | #21
Quote: Originally Posted by Korithras View Post
All the numbers and technobabble of the OP and he can't grasp the concept of merely mousing over the rapid-fire laser cannons to realize "they have the lowest power draw but the least mount of damage" concept.
I bring this up, and I'm not going to repeat my section on this. Having the lowest power draw isn't really worth the tradeoffs, and it certainly isn't all by itself worth swapping weapons for on a strike.

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These guns are weak for a reason, ok?
Design oversight?

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They're meant to be there so you can hold down the trigger forever, and for people who may not have the best aim when it comes to putting the one circle over the other.
The other guns are actually better for people with bad aim- rapid fire lasers have the hardest time doing any damage. If you have "not the best aim when it comes to putting one circle over the other", why take the weapon that requires you to do that more than any other weapon?

If the goal is that it's a 'training weapon', then it needs some way to enter "real mode" when the training is over- not just be a horribly weak weapon. Remember, this is 25% of the Type 1 Strike's potential armament choice, and it's pretty obviously meant to be the "good at close range" gun... but it isn't good at close range.

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That and you're not meant to use them alone, you can use them in conjunction with missiles and torpedoes.
This is true of every other gun. I really don't see how this applies.

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I use them on my scouts and I have zero problems with how they function.
You are the first one reporting in with no problems, I want to point out, after asking everyone I play with and the rest of this forum. So to get this correct- you have these mastered on your scouts and play them a lot? Have you tried light laser cannon on those scouts?

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The X factor you left out is the pilot's skill set. Clearly, yours does not fit for using these cannons. Now get over it.
What's the skill set that is good for the cannons? Enjoying underpowered guns that need buffs? Also I'm not sure, are the guns for bad pilots, somehow, or are pilots who don't use them bad, or am I bad because I pointed out a flaw? I'm not very good at figuring out the insults, is all.


"get over it" indeed. The arrogance.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
02.17.2014 , 01:44 AM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by Gavin_Kelvar View Post
I agree with all of the points in the OP. I've honestly found my fully upgraded heavies (armor + shield pen) is more effective at point blank than rapids.
This is a big part of the problem- the fact is, you are loathe to swap out unless the gain is at least moderate, and the rapids barely offer that at the range and angle they are supposed to be good at.

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IMO rapids need a serious damage buff. If lowering their ROF is needed to balance out the increased damage so be it.
Lowing their ROF would itself be a buff. If the guns shot at 120 instead of 240 and did double the damage per shot, the gun would be better. I'd prefer to keep the ROF and they simply make the gun worth the investment, however- the arc of this gun is cool, fun, and awesome looking, and the gun SHOULD be good should you start nailing someone with all the shots.

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Another option would be to give them a high base crit chance (say something like 32% base + the 8% upgrade for a total possible 40% crit chance).
I mention damage buffs in my post. Crit buffs are essentially the same thing as damage buffs- they just have a different flavor (this isn't quite true if your base damage is 1600 and your crit is 2400, but if your 200 shot crits for 300, then it's more for flavor). I'd be fine with that too- a straight damage buff keeps the job the same but rewards you more for playing to the gun's intended strengths (which presumably is not just to be able to hold the button down longer).

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you'd be relying on RNG luck to do the bulk of your damage unlike other guns that reliable do higher base damage.
With such a high rate of fire, it wouldn't really matter. Ex:

Gun A shoots once per second and has a 20% crit chance. It hits for 1000. The average damage per shot is therefore 1100, and the average dps is 1100.
Gun B shoots ten times per second and has a 20% crit chance. It hits for 100. The average damage per shot is therefore 110, and the average dps is the same as Gun A, 1100.

What are the odds that you fire for six seconds and don't see a crit? For Gun A, which has an 80 percent chance of not critting but only six shots, the odds are 0.8^6= 26%. You could very much not see a crit in six seconds of shots. Your average damage over that time is still 6600, but you will go on many cold streaks.
For Gun B, who has the same chance of not critting, but 60 shots, the odds are 0.8^60)=.00015%.
Both are the same bell curve at different resolutions. With 4-5 shots per second on the rapid fire laser, you would definitely see a good mix of crits and non crits, and it would be much more similar to a straight dps boost than is "lumpier" damage like slug railgun.

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Also it seems that as it currently stands just about every other blaster is completely serviceable without any upgrades but rapids seem to need the upgrades before they'd really become decent.
This is my problem as well.


If the gun really is supposed to be all about training people, then one of the upgrades should offer a choice between, say, -20% energy used per second, or +50% energy used per second and also (apply whatever buffs are needed to make this weapon actually used, plus whatever budget this talent would normally have). But I don't think the cost is what is holding it back- that's not really much of a perk.

HoloGrinder's Avatar


HoloGrinder
02.17.2014 , 03:27 AM | #23
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
Of the eight ships in this game, Rapid Fire Laser Cannon is present on the three who make their living with their blasters- both scouts, and the type 1 strikes (I initially posted this with the type 2 missile strike included- but he gets the superior light laser cannon). Despite this availability, it remains an awful cannon, chosen almost never. Rapid Fire Laser ends up in competition with EVERY other laser in the game, and it is almost always strictly worse, and is never chosen.


Rapid Fire Lasers have a short range, a moderate dps that drops off rapidly, and a medium-low tracking penalty. In this category they are joined by burst laser cannon and light laser cannon, both of which are better.

Here is a graph of weapon by accuracy that someone kindly created for the GSF forums in another thread:
http://imgur.com/a/L4LFq#1

You will notice that light lasers rule on dps (not damage per shot), with burst right behind. While burst cannons do drop off sharply with distance, lights an rapids fall off at similar rates. There's no point you'd want that rapid fire laser even if it wasn't encumbered with other bad features.


That essentially rules it out for both scouts- if you want the short range laser, you will pick light, which is more damage per shot and per second, but you are more likely to pick the burst on the type 2 scout. I'm not aware of any pilot who runs it on their scout, and I've seen serious attention given to laser cannon, quad, and light, in addition to the likely over budget burst laser cannon.


Which leaves the type 1 strike as the big tragedy, however. The Type 1 strikes have four weapons, and it's vitally important that they do, as their entire system ability is swapping guns- they have the low range niche shield weapon ion cannon, the quad laser (functionally quads and laser cannons are almost identical except that quads offer 7% more damage but consume 15% more energy), the long range armor piercing heavy laser (with huge tracking penalties and a tiny targeting circle)... and of course, the rapid fire lasers.

Which very few take. I have mastered ions and rapids on one of my type 1 strikes (Gladiator), specifically for finding out if there's some hidden reward. The simple fact is, this weapon is weak for the job of being close and doing stuff, and with the build that I used on that one (ion/rapid/cluster) I spend almost all my time close (the targets that I can't take close I simply don't engage). But, you would expect that heavy/rapid and ion/rapid would both offer you something cool in that spot...


But they sort of don't. Both the builds that could use the RFL don't seem to be as effective as they could be (ion/rapid/cluster, heavy/rapid/any), and this is sad.





Here's the problems with this gun:


1- The strengths of this gun are done better elsewhere.
The gun has a lowish tracking penalty- 0.8% per degree. Burst does this better, with 0.5% lost per degree. Both have a 34 degree firing arc, but burst is much more accurate at the edges (-12% for burst, -22% for rapid fire, and this is on top of upgraded RFLs having 110/85/75 versus 117/87/72 accuracy ratings). Both have the exact same ranges and the same short range.
For light lasers, with the narrower firing arc, you might expect better performance. At 30 degrees (the most for light laser), it has a -25% penalty, a point at which rapid fire lasers still have -19%. That's not a sizable advantage.

2- The hidden strength of this gun sucks.
The gun's design purpose appears to be low power consumption. With a base 16 and a ludicrously mandatory talent of 8% reduction taking it to 15.6, this gun can do a lot of damage per magazine. "That's great news!" said no pilot, ever. To have the decreased power reduction be mandatory (one of the top three) instead of optional just makes this worse (if it was swapped with the 2 degree increased firing arc / 5% less tracking penalty, that would be a great improvement). This likely means that the gun is intended for new pilots, but if a weapon should have such a low baseline power the later upgrades should eventually make it competitive at the higher end, but in fact it has the same upgrades as other guns- it just leaves out the good ones (shield piercing, armor ignore) and puts the bad ones in the mandatory line (less power consumed).
I wanted to point this out early because a dev COULD be reading it, and it's clear that this is both the intended strength of this gun, and one that no one is interested in at all, nor does it help, nor is it good, and nor does it even make SENSE for the type 1 strikes, who will NEVER have the thought of changing to a MORE EFFICIENT weapon. Most players don't care much about this number- there are high consumption guns that give players pause, but a low consumption gun is about as appealing as bringing a Prius to a rally race- high consumption guns are interesting because they let us trade in resources. Low consumption guns aren't, because we don't go OOM on our normal weapons that often- certainly not enough to justify a niche. If you, no matter WHO you are, are thinking that this niche justifies the rest of this, then keep reading, because it totally doesn't.

3- The weaknesses are crippling (weakness: short range)
The scouts don't see this as a weakness. They have one option each that is better at range- laser or quad laser- and the rest have the same range as RFLs. For them, it's just a matter of taking the better gun, which is NEVER rapid fire laser. For type 1 strikes you can consider this in addition to the slighlty longer range ion, or in addition to either of the longer range options. The problem here is that the tracking penalty only adds up near the end of the arc, and quads are higher dps than rapids starting at less than 1km, and go much further than rapids. Many pilots will stick with their slightly less than optimal shots rather than switch to a low range weapon, because the moment the enemy pilot hits boost they will again be firing a suboptimal weapon and have to swap back.

4- The weaknesses are crippling (weakness: low dps)
The scouts, again, don't care, because they just don't pick this pickle of a gun. The strikes can not really afford to switch in a low dps weapon for the narrow situation it beats their existing cannon on damage. At no point do you find yourself wishing, even with a steady bead on an opponent at 800 meters, that you were wailing away with rapid fire lasers. The dps is just not good enough to worry about. In the best case scenario, the dps is only a few percent better than the quad option, and often isn't even that much more than heavy! And remember, the moment you open fire you are already behind on damage compared to those. This is because:

5- The weaknesses are crippling (weakness: rapid fire)
When you are flying around not shooting, I want you to picture your guns having a charge. This charge can be spent when you click the button. Bampow! You dealt damage. This opening salvo is sometimes all you can get. It's clearly one of the strengths of the burst laser cannon- the ability to say hello with a solid blast of damage- but EVERY gun has more charge than the rapid fire laser, and it suffers greatly for it. A quad will be around 350, a light 400, a burst over 700, a heavy over 360, but your rapid fire laser is right around 200. This means your second shot, when it lands, will only put you a bit over the quad, light, or heavy option you gave up for it, and you better hope you have that bead.

Your opening salvo:
Time 0:
Heavy: 400ish 0.5
Quad: 355ish 0.37
Light: 400ish 0.3
RFL: 225ish 0.23


About a quarter second in (0.25-0.23), the RFL has shot a second time.
Heavy: 400ish
Quad: 355ish
Light: 400ish
RFL: 450ish

At this point, with both shots having hit, the RFL is only barely above the others opening salvos.

About a third of a second in, everyone else gets their second shots except for heavies, who aren't even supposed to be in this close range race:
Heavy: 400ish
Quad: 700ish
Light: 800ish
RFL: 450ish

By the time we're at half a second on target, the RFLs have had three shots, and everyone else in the game has shot twice:
Heavy: 800ish
Quad: 700ish
Light: 800ish
RFL: 675ish


Now as time expands, we WILL approach the dps numbers in the chart or on the table- numbers which also hate the rapid fire laser cannon, but not by as much. But this is important- over a half second firing window, or MANY of the low time period firing windows, the RFLs are either dramatically behind or barely even. Shooting fast is a HUGE downside, and needs compensation!



6- The weaknesses are crippling (weakness: rapid fire)
"You just did this one, Verain!"

Oh, I'm not done yet.

Forgetting about the fact that you walk in to battle with a fifth of a second of damage ready to go instead double or triple that as the other GOOD lasers have, we have another issue. This one is subtle. When you are flying, your reticule both aims your lasers, and steers your ship. Unless you have a steady bead on someone, these two things are at odds. Flying around a satellite in particular frequently involves wanting your ship to move in a different direction than you are shooting. But this penalty is not paid equally by all! Burst lasers obviously excel at this- with a firing rate of about every 2/3rds a second, you can quickly take your mouse, track to the opponent, fire your laser, then move back to where you want to fly, and the better of a pilot you are, the less disruptive this is to your intended course. The Rapid fire pilot, with around a third of this time, simply has no choice but to hold their cursor over the enemy until such time as they are concerned their ship will crash or the enemy flies LOS, at which point he tries to adjust.

This means RFL ships are less maneuverable than ships with any other laser.

LESS maneuverable!


7- The weaknesses are crippling (weakness: high skill required)
"You just are bad, learn to aim!"

Well, maybe... but why don't the other guns have this restriction? It stands to reason that if you opt in to a harsh restriction, there should be some reason for that. But, there isn't (as demonstrated above). Simply put, it's hard to hold the cursor on someone for every single shot for any period, especially if they have high lateral movement relative to you (turn fight / dog fighting / boosting). The other points all just assumed that you are ok exhibiting the high degree of skill necessary to land multiple hits on a target, but I figured I should bring this up too- it's much easier to fire, take aim, fire, take aim, with any other gun but this one. In fact, your firing reticule might be in the correct position BETWEEN shots, while the quad user would have been able to deliver a solid second shot because he released his click and then pressed a new one. It's clear that that playstyle isn't designed for this gun, but that playstyle is substantially easier- successfully doing the harder one should be a bit more rewarding on the gun that demands it (you get a good reward with ANY gun should you be bead on perfect for your whole attack run, but this one falls off entirely should that not be true, but the others do not).




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HOW TO FIX:


There's a bunch of ways to fix this.

1- Keep the strengths and weaknesses, but make the cannon more rewarding. This could be done by boosting the damage and accuracy of the gun. There should be some range or situation where you think "AH I HAVE RAPID FIRE LASERS YES". Right now, that situation is "flying slowly at close range towards a stationary or disabled target", and, of MUCH importance, you would STILL rather have any other laser in that case- burst and lights are more dps by a lot, and quads are only off by a couple percent in that situation. It's certainly not an opponent at the edge of your generous targetting circle- your RFL dictates you turn towards that direction, which is often not what you want. With a substantial accuracy and dps boost (say, 10% to all accuracies, and 10% to damage at medium and long with a 15% boost to short), the RFL left to the few tasks it is good at will actually feel rewarding.


2- Emphasise the strengths, especially the intended ones.
There's no way to emphasize the power consumption strength. It could be removed, or not. It is without concern to any but the newest pilot, who is still much better off taking a different laser for learning, and also accidentally dealing damage when he DOES line up a light, quad, or burst hit. But the other strengths- such as a lower tracking penalty than most, and a big area of fire to sweep- could be emphasized. Drop the tracking penalty to 0.3, less than any other gun in the game, and mildly up the dps at low range (5%) and at medium range (10%). Now if you can see it, and it is in range, you can likely hit it for some damage.

3- Mitigate the weaknesses while keeping the gun interesting.
In this case, we choose to up the range of this gun a bit, changing the long range to 5000. We up the dps by a decent amount, say 10% at all ranges. Perhaps we change the accuracy from 110/85/75 to 110/90/80, more similar to quad lasers. Perhaps we swap out the power consumed (mandatory tier 2) with a more powerful version of itself (-20% power consumed) available at tier 4, colinear with the 8% crit choice- that way if some madman actually wants to not go OOM, this laser stands alone in that regard, while the rest of the sane pilots don't have to pick the weakest buff multiplied by the weakest number for the one cannon in the game that least needs it. If the enemy flies away or dies when you have 40% of your battery remaining or 46%, who cares? No one goes OOM and wins with that last shot with RFLs.

4- Add something cool to this gun. Most of the guns that people like have something cool in the mechanics, on the regular chart or talents. Maybe they pierce shields, or go really long range, or make a bunch of damage immediately, or are good if you can hold on them for a few seconds at close range (something RFL sounds like it would be good at but is not). But, pretend that instead we add a specific debuff to this gun, where being hit with it makes you take 5% more damage from the next rapid fire laser shot, stacking to five. The debuff lasts, say, six seconds (and a talent could maybe make it last 9). Now you have a situation where, with a full stack of this, the damage you take would really hurt. Alternatively, give the gun very good evasion piercing, in the same way other guns pierce shields or armor. In this path, you add something NEW to the gun.







Please don't leave it like this. This gun being so weak hurts type 1 strikes most of all- they don't have a good close gun option, with light lasers and burst lasers denied them, and they really want one- but it being so weak also means we never see it on a type 2 strike, and scouts of both types have less build diversity as they never want a rapid fire laser.
When it comes to rapid fire lasers the old saying "You can't polish a turd" comes to mind. I know I have tried and they can't be made to be good maxed out with any capacitor also maxed. I will say this though if getting assists is your thing they can do it because hitting everyone and killing no one is what they do.

Korithras's Avatar


Korithras
02.17.2014 , 04:03 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
What's the skill set that is good for the cannons? Enjoying underpowered guns that need buffs? Also I'm not sure, are the guns for bad pilots, somehow, or are pilots who don't use them bad, or am I bad because I pointed out a flaw? I'm not very good at figuring out the insults, is all.


"get over it" indeed. The arrogance.
OK one? I was not insulting you, I was making a valid point. Different players have different styles, preferences, and inclinations which adhere to their skill sets. "You" took it to mean as a personal insult against yourself, so that makes you the arrogant one here, not me.

And two? I wasn't saying they're for bad pilots, good pilots, etc. I'm saying they're for those who want a ship that's never going to run out of ammo in terms of it's blasters unless you hold the trigger down forever. I use the rapid-fire cannons on my Flashfire/Sting and have no problems with them. I'm frequently near if not "at" the top of the leaderboard with these cannons.

The problem here however, by your reaction as I see it, is you just want everything handed to you. You don't want them balanced, you want blasters that have the least amount of power draw to have no drawbacks to using them. I for one love the damage of quads but I "hate" how much quickly they drain my blaster's power pool. It's why I use the rapid-fire cannons, I don't have to worry about running out of power at the most inopportune of moments i.e. when I'm shooting at somebody and trying to gain a kill before they turn to try and avoid me or start shooting back.

So once again, I repeat, they're not for everybody. If you don't like them, don't use them. Just because the majority of people you've spoken to does not like them does not mean that is the opinion of the majority as a whole. In which case, you need to get over yourself as I originally stated, and just use a different blaster for your starfighter.

MadJackJack's Avatar


MadJackJack
02.17.2014 , 07:43 AM | #25
The only time I ever had much success with Rapid Fire Lasers is using it alongside Sabotage Probe, since it makes the target much easier to hit. Otherwise, a target that is jinking all over the place is usually too difficult to hit repeatedly, which is what you need to do to inflict any significant damage with RFLs. Bombers are much easier to hit, since they are a nice, fat slow target, but it takes bloody ages to kill them with RLFs, during which time you are a nice fat slow target yourself.

Of course, when I switched to Light Lasers, I could inflict much more damage on anyone I hit with Sabotage Probe

Kuciwalker's Avatar


Kuciwalker
02.17.2014 , 08:44 AM | #26
I fundamentally agree with all of the above, but I will note that high rate-of-fire (especially when combined with low power consumption) does have one strength: if you are bad at timing your clicks for when your cursor drifts over the leading indicator. You can better afford to just hold down the trigger and try to connect.

Zoom_VI's Avatar


Zoom_VI
02.17.2014 , 08:57 AM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by Kuciwalker View Post
I fundamentally agree with all of the above, but I will note that high rate-of-fire (especially when combined with low power consumption) does have one strength: if you are bad at timing your clicks for when your cursor drifts over the leading indicator. You can better afford to just hold down the trigger and try to connect.
The disadvantage of that is that it gives you away. Heavens knows I've had people sneak in on my six, but I still get away without a single scratch because I saw the tracers as they where lining up. And those tracers point straight back to my attackers location...
Crinn

Sanity is for the weak minded.

Nemarus's Avatar


Nemarus
02.17.2014 , 09:17 AM | #28
Great analysis OP. Though I'd recommend coloring/highlighting main and/or damning points.
Shayd / Callem / RK-4X / "Trynt" - Leader of <Eclipse Squadron>, The Ebon Hawk
http://EclipseSquadron.enjin.com Imperial GSF-focused guild

"Serve the Emperor above all others."

Kuciwalker's Avatar


Kuciwalker
02.17.2014 , 09:50 AM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Zoom_VI View Post
The disadvantage of that is that it gives you away. Heavens knows I've had people sneak in on my six, but I still get away without a single scratch because I saw the tracers as they where lining up. And those tracers point straight back to my attackers location...
The other disadvantage is the "you're bad at aiming" premise. Of course it's suboptimal, the benefit only accrues to people who are at the lower end of the skill range.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
02.17.2014 , 10:22 AM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by Korithras View Post
Different players have different styles, preferences, and inclinations which adhere to their skill sets.
Agreed but... does this really have that niche?


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And two? I wasn't saying they're for bad pilots, good pilots, etc. I'm saying they're for those who want a ship that's never going to run out of ammo in terms of it's blasters unless you hold the trigger down forever. I use the rapid-fire cannons on my Flashfire/Sting and have no problems with them. I'm frequently near if not "at" the top of the leaderboard with these cannons.
This is surprising tbh. If a pilot needs to avoid going oom, IME they are missing a lot of shots, and rapid fire lasers will just make that worse, because their very few hits will be for not much.

If you are topping leaderboards with RFL, I have a challenge for you: try out your light lasers. I bet you anything that you will do way better with them.

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The problem here however, by your reaction as I see it, is you just want everything handed to you.
Sigh. No bro, I don't like to look at an underbudget gun that helps no one. The Type 1 Strike needs a weapon like this to be good, because its whole thing is weapon diversity. The sting and flashfire have the superior light laser (and the amazing burst laser cannon), and the novadive also has this gun. I strongly suggest you try that out, I bet you get more damage for sure.


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You don't want them balanced, you want blasters that have the least amount of power draw to have no drawbacks to using them.
While you carefully avoided quoting the parts of both of my posts that addressed this (one of which was right to you), no, my argument is that, as a niche, this is bad. I would be fine with a talent offering extraordinary rebates (such as 20% blaster energy reduction) as long as you could opt out of it to make it a real boy. If the devs think that having a base 16 energy consumption cannon is good, my argument is that they are valuing the energy consumption way too much. Light lasers at 21 per second are a good gun. RFLs at 16 per second are not. But I'd be fine with a talent that upped it to 19 or 22 or whatever it takes to allow it to be a good gun.

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I for one love the damage of quads but I "hate" how much quickly they drain my blaster's power pool. It's why I use the rapid-fire cannons, I don't have to worry about running out of power at the most inopportune of moments i.e. when I'm shooting at somebody and trying to gain a kill before they turn to try and avoid me or start shooting back.
Quads at 22 are more expensive than lights at 21, which should be your compare (quads have a bad tracking penalty, but a much larger range- quads are more for a different role, light laser is the one that basically blows RFL out of the water).

I'm just surprised that this matters to you. I've seen so many good scout pilots man, and I've NEVER seen anyone doing what you describe- deciding that their power consumption rate is worth throwing away all the good damage for. The other scouts in this thread don't share your experience, and neither do I. IMO you are underperforming based on weapon choice and won't realize it until you try lights substantially or the RFL gets brought to the level it deserves to be at.

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If you don't like them, don't use them.
I don't "not like them". The problem is, they are not as good as they should be. Simply put, they need to reward you for all the hoo-haa you have to go through to use them properly. "Can fire into empty space" is not a niche!

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Just because the majority of people you've spoken to does not like them does not mean that is the opinion of the majority as a whole.
My sample size is... moderate? I wouldn't try to publish it in Nature, but I've talked to around a couple dozen pilots and you are the only proponent of these guns. I'd basically say, you're misled or confused. I doubt there's some huge population of guys using RFLs and loving it, because it has a visually distinctive fan that I see very rarely and look for constantly.

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In which case, you need to get over yourself as I originally stated, and just use a different blaster for your starfighter.
No. The devs need to fix THIS blaster so that it has a niche versus lights on scouts, and so that it actually does a good job filling its niche on strikes.