The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

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The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:21 am

I have noticed two primary differences between lasers and plasma.

Quad lasers have the advantage of stopping most robots from firing, but they also push robots back quite a bit.

Plasma, on the other hand, doesn't stop robots from attacking, but doesn't push them back either.

It would seem that the knockback produces a flinching effect, but makes it harder to aim, particularly against robots such as Super Hulks from big distances and in open areas. When hit by quads, they tend to bounce around, probably an extension of the slight dodging movement they normally do after being hit. On the other hand, I haven't noticed them to dodge very much when fired upon with Plasma.

What are your experiences?
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:55 pm

Plasma is my best weapon in D1 and D2 (and Doom if that counts for anything :P SploikSploikSploikSploikSploikSploik...). If I want to stop a robot from firing I use vulcan. Or Phoenix or helix or flash missiles in D2. I'll use lasers if the robot is very deadly and very confined to a very small space though.
And I only use fusion when I can accept a 50% risk of getting killed while charging. Even if I charge behind cover there's a pretty good chance the fusion itself will kill me before I can take aim. I only use it seriously against cloaked hulks and cloaked drillers (where getting a one-shot kill on them is worth the risk and I probably haven't rescued the hostages yet).
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Krom » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:13 am

Plasma stuns some enemies, just not as much as quad 4s. But my best weapon in D1 SP is of course Fusion, which prevents almost all robots from shooting back at you because it kills 90% of them in one hit.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Avder » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:42 am

Plasma I use for shooting at enemies from long range. It has a damage to energy ratio that is just too low to justify using it as a primary weapon when playing on Ace or Insane. Its complete lack of knockback is what makes it useful as a pseudo-sniping weapon.

Up close it's either Quad 4's or the Fusion. Spreadfire for assorted cloakers, and vulcan for the "freeze ★■◆●" effect.

Another thing that can stop a robot from firing is ramming it against the wall, tho this is only practical while under the influence of an invulnerability, and the only reason to do that is if the robots weapons knock you around physically... like missiles do.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Sirius » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:23 am

Hmm. Plasma comes into its own in multiplayer, but in single player I think I just use quad lasers for everything.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Enzo-03 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:43 pm

I think I've been getting into a habit of using maxed out quad lasers for everything in D1 and D2, SP and MP.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Naphtha » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:23 am

I'm kind of surprised the hitbox factor hasn't been brought up yet, but it's definitely factored into my choices. Basically my primary weapon use in Descent 1 is this:

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Fusion: Pretty much any time the hitboxes aren't an issue.

Spreadfire: Weapon of choice in the early stages before the Fusion. It does enough damage per second for that part of the game, especially when combined with the Homing Missiles.

Plasma: Preferred for long-range sniping because it doesn't kick the robots around as much as the Lasers do.

Lasers: Better for close-range early in the game, mostly on heavier robots. But since my aim isn't the best, I prefer the Spreadfire or Plasma unless a situation calls for a smaller hitbox.

Vulcan: Emergency weapon if I run out of or need to conserve energy. Otherwise, it's become a habit to use it when I'm cloaked, although I'm not sure anymore if the robots can't tell where the shots are coming from...
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Xfing » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:37 am

Well, Fusion is a given, it also sees a lot of use from me.

As for the knockback/stun, it should also be noticed that the difficulty level one plays on makes a large impact on that. On Trainee it's possible to make a Super Hulk shift his launchers to the sides just with lvl 1 laser, while on Insane it's next to impossible even with quad 4's and homing missiles.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Fusion is overrated :P.
I think the question is how does a laser, which is a beam of light mind you, knock such heavy objects around? I guess Descent treats light as a particle rather than a wave... But light shouldn't be that massive.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Xfing » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:14 am

Alter-Fox wrote:Fusion is overrated :P.
I think the question is how does a laser, which is a beam of light mind you, knock such heavy objects around? I guess Descent treats light as a particle rather than a wave... But light shouldn't be that massive.
Well, you've got a point! Plasma, if I'm not mistaken, is superheated, ionized gas. While definitely not the most massive substance, it definitely should generate more kinetic energy than LIGHT does!
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by whodey » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Do the level 4 quads stop a robot from firing on insane? I feel like it doesn't. The one advantage I see from the plasma cannon is that quicker robots can't dodge your fire as easily. Drillers and lifters can dodge quad lasers without much issue.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Xfing » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:30 pm

whodey wrote:Do the level 4 quads stop a robot from firing on insane? I feel like it doesn't. The one advantage I see from the plasma cannon is that quicker robots can't dodge your fire as easily. Drillers and lifters can dodge quad lasers without much issue.
In order to stop a Super or Fusion Hulk from firing on Insane, you'd need Plasma/Homers. Even Quad Laser 4 doesn't quite cut it, so you'll need homers with it too. I've noticed that Red Fatty Jrs are much easier to stunlock, on Ace at least. But I think that all was too vague to be compared.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by LightWolf » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:56 pm

Avder wrote:Another thing that can stop a robot from firing is ramming it against the wall...
I actually use the tactic a lot. However, so the robot gets killed instead of you, shoot rapid-fire primaries (not fusion) while doing so. It works! :D
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Avder » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:58 pm

DarkEarthWolf wrote:
Avder wrote:Another thing that can stop a robot from firing is ramming it against the wall...
I actually use the tactic a lot. However, so the robot gets killed instead of you, shoot rapid-fire primaries (not fusion) while doing so. It works! :D
I just pretty much thought the "keep firing, assholes!" aspect of the tactic would be rather obvious. I cant think of any way you could be both under the influence of an invulnerability and out of energy simultaneously. Also, this tactic is too self-damaging to use unless invulnerable.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:33 pm

And... if you're invulnerable you don't need to stop robots from firing so much.
Except for the getting knocked around part.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Avder » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:51 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:And... if you're invulnerable you don't need to stop robots from firing so much.
Except for the getting knocked around part.
Thats why I like to ram against red hulks when I'm invulnerable. That way they cant knock my guns off their mark.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Sirius » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:18 am

Only time I've used it when not invulnerable: those situations where there are annoying sidearm modulae or spider spawn somewhere out of view and next to a wall and I already have something else to shoot at... so I grind the little bug against the wall until it dies, because it'll go before I do.

Ideally you shouldn't end up in this situation in the first place, but if life throws you lemons... even if it was partially your fault...
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Avder » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:38 am

If life gives you lemons, make life rue the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON lemons.

Screw lemonade.
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:57 am

Some times I kill particularly annoying Internal Tactical Droids by ramming them twice on Ace and Insane.
Because on those difficulties it's certainly more dangerous to leave them alive to come shooting at you whenever they feel like it than to take the ramming damage, and they only take two hits.

So weak... so frail... they watch me and they don't think I have dreams in my heart.
I wish Sniper NGs were that weak.
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BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Re: The tactical choice between Quad laser 4 and Plasma

Post by Xfing » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:15 pm

Yeah, too bad ramming into Class 1 Drones isn't viable at all. Their attack actually hurts significantly, unlike ITD's.
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