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Harvey_James

Captain
May 3, 2023
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it's a real shame that Unique techs are just so poor atm.. granted some of them were more useful in the old shield meta.. but in general most of them are just a middle tier weapon or just useless..
so some ideas too change them to something 'unique' and thus never just useless by end game or mid game as they often are now especially with with the new archeo weapons/defence mods pushing them out even more.. look at Nano cloud missile launchers and ancient driller drones 'fighters' being the new go too weapons..

Null Void Beams
- 400% shield damage was nice in shield meta maybe but.. now in armour meta its useless and the -75% armour and hull is very punishing..
- add 'Unique' feature the beam can penetrate multiple ships at a time in a line ..300% shield and 25% armour with a -25% hull penalty might make it worthwhile ?

Mining Cutting Lasers
- -50 +50 +50 with weakish dps and weak ACC tracking and range compared to Lasers that replace it by mid game.. a shame
- add 'unique' feature focus it on being really strong against hulls at mid range so -40 +50 +75% hull? also add L slots buff overall stats a bit to be competitive in late game

Amoeba Flagella
-tier 2 strike craft are better than these making them pointless to spend time researching the lower power/alloys don't really matter
-add 'unique' feature by having them be actual 'bombers' firing mini torps with something like X2 damage against bigger targets ? and beef up their stats a bit add some hull damage bonus 25%?

Energy Siphons
- pretty useless only s slot weapon 100% shields but -75% armour.. in shield meta semi decent early game but in armour meta especially useless and its stats are pretty poor even then
- add 'unique' feature off siphoning shields from enemy ships finally living upto its name .. then reduce armour pen down to -25?.. buff stats up a little and add M L slots..

Cloud Lightning
- basically big disruptors L slot but has terrible dps and is very rare too acquire so not really 'unique' weapon
- add 'unique' give it the ability too chain its lightning too multiple close by ships so a mini AOE weapon.. naturally need too reduce the 100% penetrations too something more reasonable but this way its great against small ship spam and lives up to its name..

Swarm Strikers
- very high power usage and +2 units with slightly more damage than strike craft but not very 'unique' and has competition from ancient driller drones which just seem better, and requires the specific crisis too get them from so they really should offer something 'unique' to the game
- 'unique' feature being double the unit size.. at this point they are now a 'swarm of strikers'.. double the speed as they should be fast as a swarm too then adjust stats so not OP.. maybe adjust the pens a bit too make it a more unique profile from the other crafts..

Large Scourge Missile
-very high dps vs Devastator Torps but weaker bonuses in terms of armour damage and 50% ship size bonus but much better missile stats /range and no firing arc so overall better but again is crisis tech and at that point u will have Nano clouds/carrier ships so will you actually use it? maybe if you run a stealth bomber fleet u would?
-'unique' feature of actual 'swarm' missiles so add unit number like swarm missiles so it fires 3 instead of 1 .. adjust stats accordingly also change name too add torpedoes as thats what they are

as a summary note.. adding a 'unique' feature too all these should be crucial or what's the point of rare but useless samey techs as current weapons that are easy too get and are more useful in late game??.. also i would encourage negative bonuses to be reduced to no more than -50%.. and in general as it makes some weapons useless in certain meta's and in general the downside can be too much for any good bonus they offer.. giving us more flexible and unique ways too fight would be better option than super polarizing choices.. also on side note could we get slowed down combats??.. its very hard too see what's going on so more zoom would be nice too...
 
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Null Void Beams
- 400% shield damage was nice in shield meta maybe but.. now in armour meta its useless and the -75% armour and hull is very punishing..
- add 'Unique' feature the beam can penetrate multiple ships at a time in a line ..300% shield and 25% armour with a -25% hull penalty might make it worthwhile ?
Just because shields are out of the Meta does not mean they cannot return, it's better to buff shields than do this.
Mining Cutting Lasers
- -50 +50 +50 with weakish dps and weak ACC tracking and range compared to Lasers that replace it by mid game.. a shame
- add 'unique' feature focus it on being really strong against hulls at mid range so -40 +50 +75% hull? also add L slots buff overall stats a bit to be competitive in late game
I mean the purpose of mining lasers is to cut deep through rock to get at the minerals beneath, if it damages those minerals it's not a good mining laser. So imo remove hull damage bonus +100% Armor Damage bonus and +50% armor penetration and maybe -25% hull to balance out. Makes for a better armor stripper. Also there needs to be more advanced variants.
Amoeba Flagella
-tier 2 strike craft are better than these making them pointless to spend time researching the lower power/alloys don't really matter
-add 'unique' feature by having them be actual 'bombers' firing mini torps with something like X2 damage against bigger targets ? and beef up their stats a bit add some hull damage bonus 25%?
Once again part of the issue is the inability to improve this component. But also they are living ships so imo change the production and upkeep to food, as living things should consume food.

If I was a Lazy (or Busy) Dev, turning Ameoba into bombers would be a valid option. If I had the time and intent I would make bombers their own thing as that really doesn't take a space creature to figure out, also ww2 in space bombers and fighters were different things with different roles. I would make Ameoba more like oh idk Ameoba, they latch onto the side of the ship and try to eat it, damaging it over time while bombers would need time to reload. Also make Ameoba bigger, 5 units instead of 8 with stats adjusted accordingly.
Energy Siphons
- pretty useless only s slot weapon 100% shields but -75% armour.. in shield meta semi decent early game but in armour meta especially useless and its stats are pretty poor even then
- add 'unique' feature off siphoning shields from enemy ships finally living upto its name .. then reduce armour pen down to -25?.. buff stats up a little and add M L slots..
Once again make shields better don't just make Anti-Shield weapons better vs Armor, if it's not as good against armor as the alternative then it's still going to be bad until it is the superior anti-Armor weapon. I would agree to the shield siphon effect and add an M slot version
Cloud Lightning
- basically big disruptors L slot but has terrible dps and is very rare too acquire so not really 'unique' weapon
- add 'unique' give it the ability too chain its lightning too multiple close by ships so a mini AOE weapon.. naturally need too reduce the 100% penetrations too something more reasonable but this way its great against small ship spam and lives up to its name..
I actually like this suggestion but would add that penetration should be reduced as it chains rather than nerfing alltogether penetration.
Swarm Strikers
- very high power usage and +2 units with slightly more damage than strike craft but not very 'unique' and has competition from ancient driller drones which just seem better, and requires the specific crisis too get them from so they really should offer something 'unique' to the game
- 'unique' feature being double the unit size.. at this point they are now a 'swarm of strikers'.. double the speed as they should be fast as a swarm too then adjust stats so not OP.. maybe adjust the pens a bit too make it a more unique profile from the other crafts.
Also living ships should also be food based. Agree on the swarm too, 20 units should be more appropriate, these should be more space bees.
Large Scourge Missile
-very high dps vs Devastator Torps but weaker bonuses in terms of armour damage and 50% ship size bonus but much better missile stats /range and no firing arc so overall better but again is crisis tech and at that point u will have Nano clouds/carrier ships so will you actually use it? maybe if you run a stealth bomber fleet u would?
-'unique' feature of actual 'swarm' missiles so add unit number like swarm missiles so it fires 3 instead of 1 .. adjust stats accordingly also change name too add torpedoes as thats what they are
We have swarm missiles, they should have the swarm missiles feature. Scourge missiles are also living things and a third time swap it to food based. Scourge missiles should be acid based weapons, deal damage over multiple ticks each additional tick increases armor penetration as it's eating a hole in the side of the ship.

as a summary note.. adding a 'unique' feature too all these should be crucial or what's the point of rare but useless samey techs as current weapons that are easy too get and are more useful in late game??.. also i would encourage negative bonuses to be reduced to no more than -50%.. and in general as it makes some weapons useless in certain meta's and in general the downside can be too much for any good bonus they offer.. giving us more flexible and unique ways too fight would be better option than super polarizing choices.. also on side note could we get slowed down combats??.. its very hard too see what's going on so more zoom would be nice too...
The problem with the Meta is that you are always facing the same problem. If the ship compositions are always the same then the same counters will always need to be used. What is neccesary is to make it so that the best ship composition for one empire is not the same as the next. Different empires should develop different strengths and weaknesses that encourage them to change up their designs and require different counters. Some elements of randomness and some elements of player choice should result in unique strengths and weaknesses that won't be available to other empires. Devs just need to be willing to allow empires to have these unique advantages, that aren't shared with all empires, and occasionally the players will get a suboptimal option from RNG, as economics, tech, traditions, and Naval cap all have a role to play as well there are already so many factors in success failure that attribution to a bad roll may never be the sole determining factor.
 
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T2 strike craft are 31 DPD at 650 speed, 20 shields and 10 hull.
Amoeba is 40 DPD, 20 hull. Less evasion and 500 speed however.

T2 strike craft is 9000 engineering research total. And requires 2 random rolls.
Amoeba is 5000 society research total. And doesn't require a random roll.

In a game where every technology is precious because I'm an underdog, swapping 9k engineering for 5k society is a great deal. Especially because I can use the 5k as a reroll on a bad society tech draw.

I do eventually need to get T1 to get better piracy patrols. T2/3 can often be skipped by Acheotech, or gotten *after* I have ramped up technology speed.
 
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Once again part of the issue is the inability to improve this component. But also they are living ships so imo change the production and upkeep to food, as living things should consume food.

If I was a Lazy (or Busy) Dev, turning Ameoba into bombers would be a valid option. If I had the time and intent I would make bombers their own thing as that really doesn't take a space creature to figure out, also ww2 in space bombers and fighters were different things with different roles. I would make Ameoba more like oh idk Ameoba, they latch onto the side of the ship and try to eat it, damaging it over time while bombers would need time to reload. Also make Ameoba bigger, 5 units instead of 8 with stats adjusted accordingly.

I actually quite like this idea and bombers could be a separate addition in itself maybe add a carrier class Titan that has both fighter hangars and bomber hangars minus the aura's or weaker ones?...

Just because shields are out of the Meta does not mean they cannot return, it's better to buff shields than do this.

i get your reasoning here in this regard that meta could change back.. but as it stands the armour and hull pens are too severe too ever warrant using them anyway... and again part of my ideas was too give a 'Unique' feature to the Unique event tech weapons.. that are otherwise just 'lore' events with no real use otherwise than flavour pieces for a museum ..

I actually like this suggestion but would add that penetration should be reduced as it chains rather than nerfing alltogether penetration.
i dont mind that idea.. my main thought was atm its damage profile is the same as a disruptor but just as a large weapon version of it.. so some separation makes sense as not too step on the toes of an existing weapon which is kinda the whole point of the post in general is too give them unique features without stepping on the toes of existing weapons..
 
I kinda just wish archeotech was unique, as in, you had to find it in a digsite, not just research it like any other normal technology. And maybe make it a bit better, especially those that are just better versions of existing techs, like ancient webslinger point defense or whatever it's called. Would also mean espionage meant a bit more.
 
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T2 strike craft are 31 DPD at 650 speed, 20 shields and 10 hull.
Amoeba is 40 DPD, 20 hull. Less evasion and 500 speed however.
That's a display bug, they're actually 28 DPD. But that's still only slightly lower than T2 strike craft (31.3), and with the savings on research - not to mention freeing the engineering category up - I still find them worth it for a period of time earlier in the game. Which is more than I can say for the other space critter weapons.
Also FYI they are already bombers - regular strike craft use 'fighter behavior' and attack other strike craft, but amoebas use 'bomber behavior' and ignore them.

The problem with most critter weapons is that default weapons give you similar or better stats earlier in the game than killing & researching the critter ones allows. Energy Siphons are generally worse than Coilguns, Cloud Lightning has worse damage than two medium Disruptors (7.48 vs. 8.53), etc. An alternative (or an addition) to buffing them would be making them accessible a bit earlier, while they're still at a relevant power level.

Mining Drone Lasers should totally have an archaeotech upgrade, though.
 
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Mining Drone Lasers should totally have an archaeotech upgrade, though.
They should at the very least be of the archeotech category so they recieve a buff from the archeoengineers ascension perj.
 
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No weapon is meant to be used on it's own.
Mix and match them with others to make a powerful offence.

E.g. 1 Nullvoidbeam combines nicely with 2 plasma launchers, one to break the shields and the rest to break armour and hull. :D
 
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No weapon is meant to be used on it's own.
Mix and match them with others to make a powerful offence.

E.g. 1 Nullvoidbeam combines nicely with 2 plasma launchers, one to break the shields and the rest to break armour and hull. :D
Null void beam is a personaly favorite of mine!
But null void beam is also special, in that it is an energy weapon that is good against shields, and has an insanely high shield damage bonus as well as pretty high range.

For most other of these techs, that is simply not the case. Mining drone lasers have no unique thing about it. It's just a bad anti-hull weapon (And its bonus damage to hull isn't even higher than plasma launchers!) with extremely short range. if it at least had a super-high hull damage ratio compared to all other weapons then it'd at least be useful in some situations, such as anti-starbase/juggernaut, but it's not.

And energy siphon does have the special ability of being energy-based anti-shield, but its stats are simply too low to be used beyond very-early-game.

Amoeba flagella are actually very different from normal strike craft, as they do not use shields (Makes them better against flak). Well, if they just didn't have much lower speed than normal strike craft, maybe they would have been useful?
 
Null void beam is a personaly favorite of mine!
But null void beam is also special, in that it is an energy weapon that is good against shields, and has an insanely high shield damage bonus as well as pretty high range.

Except even with +400% damage, a medium NULL only does 25 DPD against shields and basically zero (about 1) against anything else.

A T3 railgun does 15 DPD against shields and 5 against armor and 10 against hull.
A T3 plasma does 16 DPD against armor and 2 against shields and 12 against hull.
A T3 laser does 12 DPS against armor 4 DPD against shields and 8 against hull.
A T3 autocannon does 30 DPD against shields 25 against hull and 5 against armor
A T3 swarm missile ignores shields and does 10 DPD against both hull and armor.

Each tier after this makes everything else 30% better, and the null falls behind. But already by T3 it is a mediocre plan.

The target has to have substantial armor/hull or you should just use missiles. At T3, a combo of Plasma+Null ain't bad.

By T4, lasers are 16/6/11 and T5 they are 20/7/14; and 20 is so close to 25 that losing _all_ damage on armor/hull is just a bad plan.

What more, null void beam requires a special project and a special colony anomoly and a chance of it happening and ...


For most other of these techs, that is simply not the case. Mining drone lasers have no unique thing about it. It's just a bad anti-hull weapon (And its bonus damage to hull isn't even higher than plasma launchers!) with extremely short range. if it at least had a super-high hull damage ratio compared to all other weapons then it'd at least be useful in some situations, such as anti-starbase/juggernaut, but it's not.
It is a T1 dead-end weapon.
And energy siphon does have the special ability of being energy-based anti-shield, but its stats are simply too low to be used beyond very-early-game.
Also, T1 dead-end problem.


Amoeba flagella are actually very different from normal strike craft, as they do not use shields (Makes them better against flak). Well, if they just didn't have much lower speed than normal strike craft, maybe they would have been useful?
 
Except even with +400% damage, a medium NULL only does 25 DPD against shields and basically zero (about 1) against anything else.

A T3 railgun does 15 DPD against shields and 5 against armor and 10 against hull.
A T3 plasma does 16 DPD against armor and 2 against shields and 12 against hull.
A T3 laser does 12 DPS against armor 4 DPD against shields and 8 against hull.
A T3 autocannon does 30 DPD against shields 25 against hull and 5 against armor
A T3 swarm missile ignores shields and does 10 DPD against both hull and armor.

Each tier after this makes everything else 30% better, and the null falls behind. But already by T3 it is a mediocre plan.

The target has to have substantial armor/hull or you should just use missiles. At T3, a combo of Plasma+Null ain't bad.

By T4, lasers are 16/6/11 and T5 they are 20/7/14; and 20 is so close to 25 that losing _all_ damage on armor/hull is just a bad plan.

What more, null void beam requires a special project and a special colony anomoly and a chance of it happening and ...
Counterpoint: Null point has no minimum range and benefit from +% energy weapon damage, which also happens to boost plasma.

Anyway, I just like it, not because it's super-good, but just because I like it.
 
i get your reasoning here in this regard that meta could change back.. but as it stands the armour and hull pens are too severe too ever warrant using them anyway... and again part of my ideas was too give a 'Unique' feature to the Unique event tech weapons.. that are otherwise just 'lore' events with no real use otherwise than flavour pieces for a museum ..
Shield drain weapons are already unique to make them competitive without changing shields would be to make them less unique, especially with your suggestions.

For improving shields I think 2 things are needed
  • Improve Point defense weapons, they are supposed to hard counter missiles but fail at it. Imo I would increase flak Range to 50 making it better at covering allies while giving guardians more fire rate so while they require a closer proximity they are better counters for individual ships. I would also add Interceptors as a Strike craft type as well, fighters, Interceptors, and bombers would be the holy trinity of strike craft, in this case Interceptors counter missiles and other strike craft, very fast too. But they aren't that effective vs ships.
  • Make Hardening more available, angle the deflector dish, invert the powerflow, some other technobabble, and then Bam shields stop missiles 10/10 Star Trek solution. It doesn't have to be 100% Hardness, a warhead is still detonating after all. Would also tie in Espionage as learning the frequency of enemy phasers, and Other Technobabble discoveries, frequency alterations make shields more effective at countering another empire's warheads.
So no the problem isn't the weapons here it's the shields.

Even if I did want to make them stand out more I would either A make them weaken shields so it's easier for weapons to penetrate (like reducing the hardness but instead now all weapons get some penetration), or B play with energy siphon and have them debuff the enemy ship like reduce movespeed and fire rate, maybe combat disengagement chance.

Either way like Danny said, these weapons in particular should never be viable on their own, only when paired with other weapons.
 
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Counterpoint: Null point has no minimum range and benefit from +% energy weapon damage, which also happens to boost plasma.

Anyway, I just like it, not because it's super-good, but just because I like it.
Sure.

I consider post +% damage to be gravy. If I'm in +% damage, usually the only PvE risk I have is 10x or higher crisis foes. It is the time up to that point that is interesting balance-wise.

And a PVP game that lasts until +% damage is going to be craaazy. How did someone not conquer the galaxy by then?

I like it as well. I just think knocking it up a tier (more expensive, more power, etc) would do wonders for it. Getting it requires either an event with a specific RNG result, or salvaging it from someone who did, so I'd like it to impact the game narrative more than "I mean, it doesn't completely suck".
 
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I mean the purpose of mining lasers is to cut deep through rock to get at the minerals beneath, if it damages those minerals it's not a good mining laser. So imo remove hull damage bonus +100% Armor Damage bonus and +50% armor penetration and maybe -25% hull to balance out. Makes for a better armor stripper. Also there needs to be more advanced variants.
Mining lasers are identified as Anti-Hull Weapons - that's the niche they're supposed to fill. Removing their vs.Hull damage bonus (never mind making it a 25% vs.Hull penalty) totally invalidates that and makes them just another vs.Armor weapon, like Lasers or Plasma. (Far less important, but still: the analogy of mining lasers "cutting rock to get to... rock" falls flat - asteroids don't have a layer of rock armor over some Kinder Egg prize of minerals in the center.)

Both the vanilla and suggested S-slot versions have better damage profiles than their same-Tier peers when used on their own, with the suggested version still trailing behind vanilla even with the armor penetration. When paired evenly with T2 Railguns, the vanilla version is consistently better than either peer, but the suggested's armor penetration actually hurts relative to Plasma (not vs. Lasers) when facing significant armor because it's only offering half-help to the RGs, even at 200% vs.Armor damage.

Once you get to M-slots and flip the base damage advantage, on their own suggested edges vanilla only against all-armor and loses steam from there, while Lasers are now faster at defeating every defense level (Plasma still sucks, except all-armor where it shines). When paired with Railguns, suggested is only just even with vanilla against all-armor and then drops, Plasma does better damage (and very consistent) than any versus all but most/all-shields, and Lasers edge vanilla across the board. Trying to pair M-slots of RGs (Range 80) and MLs together is even harder than what their peers cope with alongside RGs.

If you wanted to apply the armor penetration to the vanilla vs.defense values, it's a much better option, with S-slots having fantastic damage rates versus any most/all-armor and good rates versus anything not favoring shields. S-slots when paired with RGs of course lose their massive advantage versus anything favoring armor but still do very well. M-slots are again dominant when even or favoring armor, and still competitive versus Lasers against all other defenses (boo Plasma, even vs. all-armor). M-slots when paired are better than the rest against all-armor, drop even with or behind Plasma on everything else but all-shields, and are competitive if not favored against Lasers at all defense levels. Even with shorter Ranges, this may have enough advantages to be preferred unless the target has armor hardening, where it's still fine as an S-slot and tolerable as an M-slot.
 
  • Improve Point defense weapons, they are supposed to hard counter missiles but fail at it. Imo I would increase flak Range to 50 making it better at covering allies while giving guardians more fire rate so while they require a closer proximity they are better counters for individual ships. I would also add Interceptors as a Strike craft type as well, fighters, Interceptors, and bombers would be the holy trinity of strike craft, in this case Interceptors counter missiles and other strike craft, very fast too. But they aren't that effective vs ships.
Flak already has an unjustified Range - both it and Point-Defense have the fantastic Cooldowns and Tracking that they do because they're realistically made up of around 6-9 smaller turrets, each with smaller guns than other S-slot peers. With each smaller gun firing in sequence one after the other, Flak gets 6.5 shots off in the same time as a same-Tier Mass Driver and Point-Defense gets 8.5 shots off versus a same-Tier Laser. Autocannons (Range 30) are possibly better as an example (though they're fairly skewed as well), with Flak getting off 1.7 shots for every AC attack. If MDs and Lasers are your anchor points, and following the typical pattern of the Range of a smaller weapon to its larger cousin being square-root of difference in size (e.g., Mass Driver S-slot is 1/4 size of L-slot, so its Range 50 is 1/2 of Range 100), then P-slots should have Ranges that are between 35-40% of their S-slot peers (35% of Range 50 is 17.5, 40% of Range 40 is 16) - if we're using AC, it would be pretty much Range 23 (again, probably a skewed base value). It's certainly not Range 50, which would be over a 175% increase in coverage area from vanilla. And especially with the prevalence of builds that use P-slots over S-slot direct-fire weapons (i.e., non-Missiles), having Flak with the same Range as a Mass Driver, better base damage (worst at Tier-0 but still present at T4), and better vs.Shields damage, on top of being useful versus Strike Craft, sounds like a totally warped situation.
 
Flak already has an unjustified Range - both it and Point-Defense have the fantastic Cooldowns and Tracking that they do because they're realistically made up of around 6-9 smaller turrets, each with smaller guns than other S-slot peers. With each smaller gun firing in sequence one after the other, Flak gets 6.5 shots off in the same time as a same-Tier Mass Driver and Point-Defense gets 8.5 shots off versus a same-Tier Laser. Autocannons (Range 30) are possibly better as an example (though they're fairly skewed as well), with Flak getting off 1.7 shots for every AC attack. If MDs and Lasers are your anchor points, and following the typical pattern of the Range of a smaller weapon to its larger cousin being square-root of difference in size (e.g., Mass Driver S-slot is 1/4 size of L-slot, so its Range 50 is 1/2 of Range 100), then P-slots should have Ranges that are between 35-40% of their S-slot peers (35% of Range 50 is 17.5, 40% of Range 40 is 16) - if we're using AC, it would be pretty much Range 23 (again, probably a skewed base value). It's certainly not Range 50, which would be over a 175% increase in coverage area from vanilla. And especially with the prevalence of builds that use P-slots over S-slot direct-fire weapons (i.e., non-Missiles), having Flak with the same Range as a Mass Driver, better base damage (worst at Tier-0 but still present at T4), and better vs.Shields damage, on top of being useful versus Strike Craft, sounds like a totally warped situation.
Dude you get soo bogged down in specifics that your hard to make sense of. It sounds like your afraid they will eclipse S slots, there are 5 million ways to make them not eclipse S slots from banning them attacking ships to nerfing their damage against ships.

You want mining lasers to keep their anti-hull niche that's fine swap the armor and hull modifiers, 50% less damage to armor, 50% more damage to hull and 50% armor penetration, exact numbers not final. Your spending 5 paragraphs blowing up at me because you don't like the numbers that I just pulled out of my butt and missed the core point which is to add armor penetration to the weapon to make it unique and valuable, without making 100% mining laser ships the Meta.

I'm tired of this forum biting my head off. I have to spend 3 paragraphs on the main forum explaining that Paradox is a for profit buisness.
 
Dude you get soo bogged down in specifics that your hard to make sense of. It sounds like your afraid they will eclipse S slots, there are 5 million ways to make them not eclipse S slots from banning them attacking ships to nerfing their damage against ships.

You want mining lasers to keep their anti-hull niche that's fine swap the armor and hull modifiers, 50% less damage to armor, 50% more damage to hull and 50% armor penetration, exact numbers not final. Your spending 5 paragraphs blowing up at me because you don't like the numbers that I just pulled out of my butt and missed the core point which is to add armor penetration to the weapon to make it unique and valuable, without making 100% mining laser ships the Meta.

I'm tired of this forum biting my head off. I have to spend 3 paragraphs on the main forum explaining that Paradox is a for profit buisness.
If you don't want anyone to counterpoint your "butt pull" opinion, don't bring it up here in the forums. I spent one paragraph in the first response directly countering your statements and then three to back up my counterpoint. Please let me know specifically what I said that could reasonably be considered "blowing up at" you.

The armor penetration as used in your previous suggestion doesn't help make it unique if it doesn't help make it better, in at least a decent fraction of circumstances. I compared your suggestion as originally written, your suggestion when the target had armor hardening (no penetration), the vanilla Mining Laser, the Plasma option, and the Laser option. I looked at S-slots and M-slots, with and without platooning, and all against shield and armor combinations from 0 shield/6 armor to 6 shield/0 armor, for a total of 28 scenarios. Your suggestion was better than vanilla in only 2/28 scenarios, unless I counted when it couldn't use armor penetration (the thing that makes it unique), in which case it was 7/28. Comparing just to Plasma and Lasers, your suggestion was the best option normally 8/28, it was the middle option 12/28 (normally - it was actually the best option w/o penetration 5 of those 12), and it was the worst option 8/28 times (again, it was actually the middle option w/o penetration 2 of those 8 times). (However, the vanilla option was already the best between itself, Plasma, and Lasers 14/28 times, in the middle 8/28, and worst 6/28 - unsurprisingly, all of the times vanilla was best was when it was used in S-slots with the 30% higher base damage, while your suggestion was only best as an S-slot and only one of those times when platooned (i.e., what makes it good isn't its "uniqueness".)

Actually to be honest, when it comes to Point-Defense, I'd personally rather get rid of it entirely and replace it with a Utility component system instead. Flak as a 1-SSE component (whether P-slot or just any S-slot) I'm more ambivalent about, as I have a lot of different ideas about how Strike Craft could be handled, and countering them could take different forms. If you want an idea for true fleet-level anti-SC systems, an M-slot AA missile battery is probably more appropriate (actually more likely a 2-SSE Weapon component, like the OG Flak weapons and possibly an exclusive slot like current P-slots. I'm more of the opinion that anti-SC defense should be most ships' responsibility and true fleet-level capability should only moderately bolster that, limited by Range, Cooldown, or other effectiveness factors.
 
Swarm Strikers
- very high power usage and +2 units with slightly more damage than strike craft but not very 'unique' and has competition from ancient driller drones which just seem better, and requires the specific crisis too get them from so they really should offer something 'unique' to the game
- 'unique' feature being double the unit size.. at this point they are now a 'swarm of strikers'.. double the speed as they should be fast as a swarm too then adjust stats so not OP.. maybe adjust the pens a bit too make it a more unique profile from the other crafts..
Check my math on this, but Swarm Strikers fully penetrate shields and send 2/3 of their damage straight to Hull rather than damaging armor, meaning that a 10-craft wing of Swarm Strikers, indicated as 50.00 base DPD, actually averages 33.33 DPD directly to Hull. So the most a wing of Swarm Strikers takes to get through a Battleship (3000 base Hull, Improved and Advanced BB Hulls each adding 10% to that makes 3600 Hull) is 108 days on average. If there isn't enough armor to last against 16.67 DPD, then the remaining time is at the full 50. For example, the Battleship above with 3600 Hull and just one Neutronium Armor (the rest in Hyper Shields - I know, just work with me) would be down to 107 days on average (around 104 days with penetrating damage and the last 3 at full power). The same Battleship but all Hyper Shields would only last 72 days on average.

Ancient Driller Drones are certainly excellent if there are no shields, but they get housed if there are any. Battleship above with all Neutronium Armor only last about 83 days against one ADD wing, but it's 159 days with one Hyper Shield, 311 days with an even mix, and 538 days with all Hyper Shields. (And for reference, one Kinetic Artillery is 185 days against all Hyper Shields, 392 days with an even mix, and 599 days with all Neutronium Armor.) They also have less Hull than Advanced Strike Craft and far less than Swarm Strikers - at normal Flak vs.defense damage ratios, ADD have effectively 22.5 points of defense each, ASC has 24.5 points each, and Swarm Strikers have 50 points each and a 10-craft vs. 8-craft wing. The only apparent negative for Swarm Strikers is their Speed of 400 vs. 700 for both ADD and ASC - if the way that Speed bonuses are being applied to warships and Strike Craft, especially with the use of Afterburners, results in Swarm Strikers never catching targets, then that might need a tweak, but otherwise I would say that Swarm Strikers are in an excellent position already.