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Abandoning Improved Kill Zone(mostly)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Abandoning Improved Kill Zone(mostly)

Ramalina's Avatar

06.18.2021 , 03:18 PM | #1
There's a conventional wisdom, that has been around since Feb. of 2014 regarding offensive crew passives in GSF.

Take a crew member that gives you Pinpointing for 6% extra accuracy and Improved Kill Zone for an increase of 2 degrees of firing arc from center (4 degrees edge to edge).

I basically don't run Improved Kill Zone anymore. Usually I replace it with either Rapid Reload or Spare Ammo if using Rocket Pods or Clusters.

There is a logic to it. Increasing firing arc is only unambiguously good for missile locks. Bigger circle equals easier to keep target in circle. For guns though, wider arc conflicts with extra tracking penalty. If you're already trying to avoid taking shots at the edge of the baseline firing arc, then making the edge of the firing arc and tracking penalty even bigger isn't really an upgrade. So it really comes down to how much does the bigger circle help with missile locks and how much does that help change overall damage/kills.

For me as things currently stand, the answers are, "not much," and "not much." There are a couple of factors that feed into that. A big one is willingness to fly with really small firing circles. I'm ok with that. I have a disproportionate amount of time in HLC builds and learned Proton torp use pre-5.5, so I have a lot of flying time against elusive targets with small arcs, enough so I don't feel like it's a handicap for hitting targets. The other big one is servers and times I fly. The chances of flying against a team with enough aces so that targets are hard to lock, and that there are people that will punish you if you spend too long following a single target to get a lock, are pretty low right now. Even on a Pike, arguably the ship that gets the most out of firing arc, it just doesn't seem like the arc improvement is needed.

So is the conventional wisdom still worth following? Yeah, for most pilots most of the time. In a high pressure environment, there are definitely builds that I would immediately swap back to Improved Kill Zone for. It's also great for beginners. Any hit is better than no hit, and when you're learning especially for missiles/torpedoes, the increased arc is an enormous help. ENORMOUS! The time to reconsider is when you're landing all your missiles and torpedoes, and it feels pretty easy. Try another passive then, and if it feels like you're giving up too much, go back to it. If not, then as long as you're still hitting you can try options that let you hit more times or more quickly.

Ideal ship builds can change as your piloting experience grows. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit every now and then.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.

phalczen's Avatar

06.18.2021 , 03:38 PM | #2
You are kinda obliged to give it up anyway if you want hydrospanner pub side.
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Ttoilleekul's Avatar

06.19.2021 , 02:42 AM | #3
As I said in your analysis video, I think Improved Kill Zone is essential for the Pursuit Scout flying style. That is what I use it for, not for increased chances of missile locks. Yes, you're adding 4 degrees to your arc and therefore you're increasing the total of your tracking penalty even further. But when you use the tracking penalty reduction option on tier 4 of BLC/RFL/ LLC it really helps with hitting things at the extremity of your arc. Wingman and TT also do a tremendous amount at the extremity of your arc. You can basically remove your entire tracking penalty.

If we do the math on BLC, you have a 38 degree arc with both Improved Kill Zone selected and Tier 4 left on BLC. 38 is the diameter so divide that by 2 gives us a 19 degree radius. You lose 0.5% accuracy per each of those 19 degrees. Meaning at the full extremity of your arc you have lost -9.5% off your accuracy. But with tier 4 left option on BLC we subtract 5% from that which means that at the full extremity of our arc we have now only lost -4.5% off our accuracy. Pinpointing adds 6% accuracy so we subtract 6 from 4.5 giving +1.5, meaning that at the full extremity of the arc we now have +1.5% accuracy = No tracking penalty?

Targeting Telemetry alone buffs your accuracy by 10%, which brings us to 11.5% at the full extremity of the arc. Add in Wingman, and that figure goes to +31.5% accuracy at the full extremity of the 38 degrees, with all buffs and subtractions taken into account. Though I am not certain on whether Wingman and TT buff your accuracy by 20% and 10% respectively at the full extremity of the arc, or whether its +20% at the center and then you subtract your tracking penalty again from those buffs. Either way, you will end up with a positive accuracy figure at the full extremity of the arc, not a negative one.

Perhaps I could try and summon Drakolich to verify / correct my math and understanding here.

This is why I reliably hit stuff at the full extremity of the arc, and why sacrificing the 4 degrees from the arc is not wise for Scouts. Because there is actually no penalty for shooting at the extremity if you have buffs up, and that extra 4 degrees lets you hit really difficult targets around nodes, and if you do end up in a dog-fight with someone good, it gives you a massive advantage. It's why Battle Scouts can hit the back shields of someone as they pass you, and hit targets that are actually off screen as far as the animation is concerned, and for me personally, I would never give that up. Twitch shooting I think that's termed. A quick flick and burst as they come past you and your target is left perplexed how you even hit them and why they have no shields. Do it with DO in TDM and it's devastating. Time stamp 6:08 for a Twitch shooting exmaple - when you play to look for and make these kind of shots, I think wider arc and all the accuracy you can is a must.

Time served in Strikes with heavy lasers and narrow arcs doesn't really apply here when it comes to being able to fly a Scout with a narrow arc, because the Strike is designed to engage from 5k away, where as the Scout needs to engage at <2000k, and ideally <1000k, where the wider the arc is the easier it is to hit your target.

Extra ammo serves no purpose in TDM because you can re-fill on your own using yellow power ups, and in Domination you need that arc to compliment your turning, so you just lose too much without it. As I was told so many times, 80% of your damage should be coming from lasers anyway, so its always best to maximize the capabilities of your lasers rather than your ammo. Unless you are flying a missile boat like the T2F. But even then, in Node tank configuration, I still put it all into effectiveness of LLC.

On pub side as Phalczen says if you want to run spanner you will need to sacrifice something, and for me it usually is the improved kill zone. So when I fly my TDM Battle Scout build on pub side I can really feel that lack of firing arc with my BLC. But its less important in TDM than it is in DOM. So I can live with it. But it is the reason why when I did my 100 Game Scout challenge that I used an Imperial character, so that I could get that Improved Kill Zone and spanner for TDM. However I would never sacrifice that wider arc (or the accuracy from Pinpointing) in Domination.

Edit - Drakolich has checked my math and understanding, and you can have 131.5% accuracy at the extremity of 38 degrees. Ignoring any evasion on your target. This is why I run wider arc.
-Luc Nodaro
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