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Question regarding GSF and the latest flavor of the month weapon: ion cannons

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Question regarding GSF and the latest flavor of the month weapon: ion cannons

Akabelleth's Avatar

02.01.2019 , 04:33 PM | #1
Greetings to all and sundry,

I am curious to know the general opinion of my fellow pilots regarding the following item: Strikes w/Ion Cannons. I am noticing this seems to have replaced the previous flavor of proton torpedo builds. Recently in a TDM match I was killed at least 4 times in a row while flying support in a bomber by a Rycer that was likely packing maxed out ion cannons, while this isn't really anything that surprising what is that I was pretty much dead within about 3 seconds of being engaged which I suspect was due less to the ion cannons but the ion cannons combined with a concussion or cluster missile strike.

On an other note I am noting that matches are becoming very one sided again...alas I keep offering the gsf community resources to new pilots but not sure if it is having an effect. Just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this and any suggestions for countering especially in support craft like bombers would be much appreciated.

Ramalina's Avatar

02.01.2019 , 06:01 PM | #2
Ions? FOTM? Are you SURE?

Ions are amazingly good at destroying shields, but destroying shields is the only thing they do*.

With every other blaster option for the Starguard/Rycer being very good at destroying shields, very good at destroying hulls, and in some cases shield or armor piercing, there's really not much reason to take Ion cannons right now. I say that as someone who really enjoys using Ions.

Might be someone just trying Ions out, or more likely an old hand at GSF who just felt like messing around with Ions a bit and knew that the handicap from taking Ions isn't really that big if you know what you're doing.

Strikes are just generally a difficult problem for bombers right now, and to a large extent that's by design. Standard advice applies: stick close to cover, and move around that cover to break line of sight to the ships targeting you as much as possible.

*Technically not true, but they do so little of the other things that it hardly counts.

As far as why they had Ions in the build at all, with protons there's little point to trying to destroy shields. Just pair the torpedo with shield piercing option on HLCs and kill the target with piercing while their shields are still up. There is some piercing available on the other missile choices, but with them if you want a quick kill you do need to drop the target's shields. Ions are the fastest way to do that.

Quads are almost as fast though, and if you use the "piledriver" technique of blaster swapping that Drakkolich wrote about, Quads are probably better than Ions more often than not because with Quads you can "piledrive" shield and hull, where if you "piledrive" with Ions it only works until shields are down.

Utimately Ion cannons are the flavor for people who love glowy blue shield annihilation at medium to close range. Pew-Pew in blue, without buying blaster color mods.
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Nightmaregale's Avatar

02.02.2019 , 08:27 AM | #3
A Rycer or Starguard with Ion Cannons is definetly viable in my opinion. As far as I know the damage output and time to kill is comparable with the classic piledriver build. I think the weapon energy consumption is also a bit better than the piledriver (correct me if I am wrong) and you get additional bonus effects. The downside is being stuck with ions when sliced or EMPed. Also the other missiles are still usable in a Rycer / Starguard. Additionally I think this build is easier to use than the piledriver.

As for flying against Strikes in a bomber:
If it is a Starguard / Rycer I would recommend staying close to structures and your mines. Try to turn a lot so that you aren't in his center since his Damaging LCs like HLCs and Quads have a small arc and a high tracking penalty. As for the missiles try to break the lock or use a missile break if available (e.g. Engine power converter). Another trick for survival is to use Charged Plating in the T1 Bomber if you are sure they aren't using armor penetration. The most effective thing is evasive flying through or close to your mines and drones.

If you are attacked by a Pike or Quell the missiles are most dangerous normally, which means again using line of sight not staying in the open or using missile breaks if available. If the Pike or Quell is not using HLCs Charged Plating is again an option against Blaster fire. If they are using HLCs try decreasing his accuracy e.g. Suppression (crew) or by forcing him to take off center shots at you.

If you are attacked by a Clarion or Imperium it is basically the same. Though Charged Plating is way more reliable since RFLCs are pretty uncommon these days. The only note is RS which takes away some of your engine power and mostlikely will stop you from using system and engine/shield abilities. Since you normally don't use your afterburner much the loss of engine power is not as a sever restriction especially if you are close to cover. As for the lockouts don't be afraid! If you are using drones your drones are most likely on cooldown anyway. If you use mines they are already deployed or you just loose a few seconds of usage (though you still have your main mine). Since your shields or engines can also have a large cooldown and are partially deployable the restriction isn't as sever. In general try to use your stuff if you see a RS strike fighter closing in.

If you are using an EMPf sledgehammer or decimus EMP them ;D

- Use things that interdict or slow the strike (Interdiction Mine / Drone, seismic Mine)
- Use missile breaks and other defensives if available (E2S, CP, OCS, Suppression)
- Fly evasively

P.S. If you use a T2B you can also try to scare them off with a proton in a missile battle. (Which you can win with E2S or at least get a draw)
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