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Twin Laser Turret: Is It Fine, Or Is It Not?

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So, we all know about this particular upgrade:

Twin-laser-turret-1-.png

in a vacuum, it doesn't sound awe inspiring - secondary weapon turret, 3 dice, range 2-3, Perform this attack twice, each time this attack hits, deal one damage and cancel all results.

So, they're capped at 2 damage per turn, over two shots, with no chance for critical hits, useless at range 1.  Doesn't sound too powerful at all, does it?

In fact, it's probably one of the most consistently used upgrade cards since it's release.  Back in Wave 6, secondary weapon turrets weren't up to much.  The Blaster Turret was the subject of ridicule, the Ion Cannon Turret wasn't seen a great deal and the Autoblaster turret hadn't found it's Ghost niche.  The TLT changed all that.  Suddenly, secondary weapon turrets -and the ships that carried them - became a thing.  And they haven't really gone away since.

It's tempting to say that TLT's success rests upon the perfect storm of upgrades and abilities.  Certainly, the way it's currently being exploited with Kanan/Fenn requires a fair bit of interplay.  Miranda's ability works well with it, and obviously BTL-A4 Stressbot TLTs were another example.  But then again, we had the death of a thousand cuts from Thug Life builds (and occassionaly HWK equivalents).  the arrival of the VCX, TIE Aggressor and Scurrg means there's more ways to put it on the table now, and it's consistently doing well.

And I think consistency is the right word here.

When I first saw the upgrade, I immediately thought it would be a way to reliably chip health away from low agility, high mitigation targets.  Looking at you, Fat Han with your Evade token and C-3P0.  But it's proven to be equally effective against high agility, low health targets.  Low agility ships resign themselves to soaking up the damage.  Dedicated arc dodgers struggle to avoid them, and high agility eventually fails you when enough shots are coming in.

TLTs are essentially an all-purpose can opener - easy to use, reliable and effective against pretty much everything.  Is that a good thing, or not?

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Overall, like with Harpoon Missiles, the biggest problem with TLT is that it's significantly better than the alternatives in almost all cases.

I'd like it to either allow an extra green dice at range 3, or only allow the second attack if the first missed.

I'd also errata Miranda's ability to be primary only.

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Newbie opinion having flown against it a few times.

Reliability and the game changing as it progresses.

We've all had too many times where the dice have just betrayed us, so there is some psychological reinforcement in having a weapon that reliability does *something* even if it's just one damage,

Also it seems ideal to use towards the end of an evenly matched game, where ships on both sides are almost dead and everyone is flying more cautiously and arc dodgers are keeping at range, trying to maximise evade dice. Secondary weapon so of course no range 3 dice.

Edited by Illithidbix

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Its fine from a balance point of view thanks to Autothrusters and high HP counts. 

But its also probably the most consistently irritating card in the game. 

Its not particularly hard to deal with and over time you kinda stop thinking about it. 

Still...it just feels bad man. 

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I would say make it "Small base ship only". TLTs on Ghosts with end of turn attacks are just too powerful. If I'm getting attacked by 2 TLTs, let it be from 2 different ships which might give me a chance to get out of range or in the doughnut hole of one. Also I would make it a 2 dice attack with 3 shots.

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12 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

TLTs are essentially an all-purpose can opener - easy to use, reliable and effective against pretty much everything.  Is that a good thing, or not?

In any game with a notable random mechanic to determine success and failure (attack dice an defense dice, in our case), anything that subverts that mechanic too much is bad for the game.  TLT pushes that envelope.

OTOH, I think what's even worse for the game is the notion that no one will use anything but the proven successes.  I have seen comments that TLT, Harpoons, whatever, are broken, but I'm gonna keep abusing them til FFG makes me quit.

As players, we also create the game we want to play.  If you are willing to abuse the system, stop complaining it creates bruises.

Epic has gotten TLT down to 4 copies per list; one idea might be to make TLT, Harpoons, an other inadvertent "superweapons" Unique ex post facto.

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13 minutes ago, Gilarius said:

Overall, like with Harpoon Missiles, the biggest problem with TLT is that it's significantly better than the alternatives in almost all cases.

I'd like it to either allow an extra green dice at range 3, or only allow the second attack if the first missed.

I'd also errata Miranda's ability to be primary only.

 

I'm not 100% sure that TLT or Harpoon being better than the alternatives is the problem. If neither of these existed would we really see a renaissance of other turrets/missiles coming out to play? I'm skeptical. Pretty much every other turret is either outright bad, situational or just kinda decent. Same generally goes for missiles as, pre harpoons, the best we saw was a handful of builds messing around with Cruise missiles (whether or not they would've taken off sans harpoons is questionable because trying to use them means you have very little control over your engagement speed which is super bad for a range 2-3 weapon).

 

While both of these upgrades are good and there's a legitimate discussion to be had about them, it looks more like these upgrades are keeping their respective slots meta relevant more than holding other options back.

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I don't get the reason for range bonuses not applying to secondary weapons. Surely your turret is much less likely to hit a target that is miles away? Also the three dice quite often overwhelm the amount of defence dice a ship has, giving you no chance of avoiding damage.

Also the lack of skill that it takes to cover an absolutely huge area of affect. 

Also the Ghost firing it twice is appalling, and Miranda adding dice and using it to regen is also silly. 

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I'd prefer it to have a small nerf in reliability of damage (say, you can't modify your red dice) so that it's less frequently used as the sole damage source in a squad.

Otherwise, I think it's fine and probably beneficial to the game in how it suppresses certain types of ship that were previously prevalent.

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I keep going back to something I think the Mynocks phrased well once: "Capped" at two damage is absurd, since what in the game can consistently do two damage a turn?  I mean, if Poe does two damage a turn, we'll think of that as pretty good for him a lot of the time.  Heck, against a bunch of targets, if Dash does two damage with his HLC, that's also not too bad.

Additionally, the power level of TLT against certain targets is absurd, while it's fair against others.  This seems like a design flaw.  While I've heard it argued that TLT does about as much damage as a 3-dice attack against most targets, there are other ships against which TLT is reliably 2 damage a turn, 4 damage a turn with a Ghost.  A full title Ghost is pricey, but so's a fat Falcon or Decimator, and those don't reliably do 4 damage a turn.  So at very least, the title-Ghost is a power-level issue.  I took Heragator against Dengar/Nym once, in the early days of Nym, I think pre-JM5K nerf.  Two and a half rounds of shooting destroys Nym, with no need to roll the dice.  That's a problem.  Dash might be able to kill Nym in 3 rounds of shooting, but the dice actually matter.  Dash can blank out.  Nym can get lucky behind a rock and roll double evades.  Against an Accuracy Corrector Ghost?  Lol, nope.

I think that's the biggest flaw with TLT: dice often don't matter.  Particularly the green dice of lower-agility opponents.  Against most attacks, marginal success at rolling evades has an impact on damage received.  That's not true with TLT.  I mean, if TLT was just a single "normal" 3 dice attack at ranges 2-3, I think it might be less of an issue, because dice would matter.  Balance isn't too far off on TLT, but strict balance isn't the only thing at work.

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I'd also point out that we're well past TLT spam. The times it shows up it's either on a Ghost, Miranda or Nym. For me at least this indicates more of an issue with the upgrade's interaction with those ships than an actual problem with the upgrade itself. That doesn't put it beyond nerf territory, but does mean we migh be looking in the wrong place.

Edited by MasterShake2

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13 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Still...it just feels bad man. 

I've flown against it plenty of times, but only actually used it once or twice myself.  Mainly because that "deal one damage then cancel all results" just feels so goddamn boring.  "YAY!  I rolled three natutal crits!  That'll be one face down damage...".

I've seen it used to incredible effect on Y-Wings (both Stressbot and Thug Life), on HWKs, on the Ghost, Nym and Miranda... but I agree that - for the most part - it's not particularly hard to deal with.  It does put something of a "doom counter" on the game, though.  You sense the damage output race as you're playing; I don't think that's ever been more evident than in the VCX/Fenn debate.

Autothrusters help some ships against it, sure.  Those that can take them, at least.  I think it's notable that TLT always seems to appear in the meta's biggest bugbear lists, often it's a key component.

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As someone who has used them quite a bit (primarily on HWKs), I can tell you that the damage isn't as consistent as some of the detractors claim. Oh, it's good, but take it from me, it is not exempt from completely whiffing on a target. 

That said, my experience with the upgrade is mostly with HWKs and Y-Wings, with a max of two (partly because I only have one K-Wing and partly because I like to have other things in my list. You want to tone it down, make it HWK only. That'll do it for ya.

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10 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

"YAY!  I rolled three natutal crits!  That'll be one face down damage...".

That actually just happened last week to my brother.  Since I was on the receiving end, I thought it was awesome.

Lastly: Donut Hole.  No one complains that's the way to kill Dash; it's just part of the tactics.  So, TLT shouldn't make the game boring, it should mean you need to GIT GUD at getting in tight.

Just like boxing: get out, or get in.  Unless you like getting punched at arm's length.

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I admit, I have flown a TIE Aggressor with both a Twin Laser Turret and Ruthlessness.   But only one, and it was a useful tool.   Would I fly four with this turret?  No.  Also note, I am aware that Ruthlessness only triggers once.   Like so many things, too much of anything is bad.

If it were possible, I would love if all turrets had the mobile arc.   At the same time, remove native 360 from the ships that have it, and give them a turret slot.   Make the (useless) blaster turret 0 points

 

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56 minutes ago, Gilarius said:

Overall, like with Harpoon Missiles, the biggest problem with TLT is that it's significantly better than the alternatives in almost all cases.

 

It is IMO however a question whether that is a bad thing if the alternatives were so bad that nobody used them to begin with.

 

My experience is quite limited (started playing in wave 6), but how many secondary turrets were people bringing before TLT?

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There's a reason this is the most used turret in the game, it's just really efficient for it's cost. On it's own it's not too bad, the problem comes when people spam 3+ of them, or combo it with Miranda and/or the ghost. 

It also artificially props up Miranda as a pilot by allowing her to regen, whilst still doing meaningful damage. If you nerf this card so it doesn't combo so well with Miranda, then she goes from a crazy broken S-tier pilot to merely an excellent A-tier pilot.

It's a problem card, but the list of problems in the game is so long, that it's slipped way down to the bottom.

Edited by CRCL

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1 minute ago, LordBlades said:

It is IMO however a question whether that is a bad thing if the alternatives were so bad that nobody used them to begin with.

 

My experience is quite limited (started playing in wave 6), but how many secondary turrets were people bringing before TLT?

Some cases of Blaster Turret and Ion Turret, but not many. Very niche. Ion Turrets sound good, but big base ships meant that their 1 damage and 1 Ion token wasn't that hit a prospect. And the Blaster Turret has its classic woes. I used it because I could actually use one of my favorite ships.

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Eh, TLT's weird. A lot of times it's fine. Sometimes it's an NPE. I think that it wouldn't be a problem if arc-dodgers couldn't take it, but the fact of the matter is that with Fenn now, we've got so many options for things that reposition at PS11 and have TLT, that now it's almost impossible to get in that donut hole against a properly flown TLT.  

I know that if I'm flying tons of GUNBOATS, most TLT makes me happy because I know that you're going to take forever to kill my GUNBOATS. But simultaneously, I'm watching the clock, because I know exactly how much damage you're going to do to me each turn... and if I'm flying B-Wings or something, I'm just gonna shake your hand and call GG before we start. 

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It’s a good thing for Y-Wings and Agressors and HWKs. It’s only problematic on more expensive, durable ships like Miranda, Nym, and the Ghost. I would hope that a TLT fox would be aimed to address those platforms specifically, so as to avoid putting another nail in the coffin of some struggling ships. 

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It doesn’t always feel abusive, but it has been one of the most consistently utilized upgrades in rebel meta defining builds since its release.

 

The data seems to indicate that at the very least it is far superior to other turrets, and at the most it is oppressive and is an unnecessary component of the game which is cutting out the original focus of the game. 

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1 hour ago, Gilarius said:

Overall, like with Harpoon Missiles, the biggest problem with TLT is that it's significantly better than the alternatives in almost all cases.

I'd like it to either allow an extra green dice at range 3, or only allow the second attack if the first missed.

I'd also errata Miranda's ability to be primary only.

I like these, I would add that maybe no modifications allowed from the attacker, no focus or TL.

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