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Best Fighter Spreadsheet

May 08, 2019 SlashGorden link
My attempt to try and determine the best fighter ship for PvP :-

Stats taken from vo-wiki, accelerations calculated from torque / force and divided by mass, score (column N) taken across a range of factors.

Let me know your views.
May 16, 2019 Aryko link
Why is the scp ranked so low? It's a beast in 1v1s and furballs.

I suggest a list based on situations too, a solo pirate would always prefer a valk over a scp.
May 17, 2019 SlashGorden link
Check out the spreadsheet mechanics but it's slow to spin, has high turbo cost and mediocre acceleration. The only thing going for it is the very heavy armour. You can change the importance factors of you feel that the current settings aren't to your taste. I've weighted spin and acceleration as the highest factors and then turbo cost and armour lastly. The reason being is it's better to dodge fire than soak it up with armour and it's better to be able to flee or chase your opponent than not.
May 19, 2019 Aryko link
the scp actually handles quite well, it's almost as maneuverable as a vulture. The stats might be a little misleading about that part. It might be subjective, but I find it quite easier to fly.
May 23, 2019 greenwall link
the X1 is top because it also has a smaller profile, which isn't accounted for by the stats
May 24, 2019 SlashGorden link
I agree, but it's kind of hard to be scientific on that since there are no stats for cross-sectional area or volume. Given that it's so close to the top of the list anyway and everybody knows that it also has that advantage, it's probably evident.

It highlights some interesting facts though, that I wasn't aware of e.g. :-

The CorVult is a long way from being the best fighter (it isn't even the best Vulture),
Certain buses are actually quite useful EC-107,
Hogs are mostly bad, except for the unique properties of the Greyhound.
The buses can actually turbo and charge at the same time (shame about the low top speed though).
Valkyries are so much better than anything else that being born an Itani is a distinct advantage.
May 24, 2019 Pizzasgood link
"The CorVult is a long way from being the best fighter (it isn't even the best Vulture)"

That's an artifact of your spreadsheet's deficiencies, not an accurate assessment of reality. The Corvult has the second highest turbo speed, the highest non-turbo speed, and the second best profile in the game -- all factors the sheet blithely ignores. The max non-turbo speed, in particular, is a pretty egregious omission. Top speed determines who gets to control distance in a fight, and if you have weapons or a fighting style with a different optimal range than your opponent's, getting to control distance gives you a big edge. (This is the main reason I use Corvults instead of Valks. Valks are damned fine ships and better overall fighters, but they just can't get up in someone's face the way a Corvult can.)

Another area the sheet ignores is mass sensitivity, which is part of why the Prom was ranked so low. Your acceleration numbers assume an absolutely empty ship, but when you equip a powercell and weapons, it weighs more and accelerates more slowly. This doesn't happen in a uniform way that cancels out, either. Consider a light ship with low thrust and a heavy ship with proportionately stronger thrust, so that they both have the same unladen acceleration. If you put the same armament on each ship, the light ship will end up with worse acceleration than the heavy one because light ships are more sensitive to changes in mass. (And of course, this applies to spin as well.)

For example, two Gauss Cannon MkIII and an FC weigh 2110 kg. Stick them on an X-1 and its acceleration drops from 7.3 to 4.3. Do that with a SkyProm, and it only drops from 5.3 to 4.3 -- the same end value as the X-1. Add a 1000 kg Sunflare to the X-1 and a 1200 kg Jackhammer to the SkyProm, and now you've got 3.6 and 3.9, respectively -- the SkyProm ends up with better acceleration despite 200 kg more weaponry.

Obviously that's a silly combination to put on a Valk, but that's my point. Light ships like the Valks, Vults, and Cents have fewer options than a heavier ship like the Prom, and your sheet doesn't have any way to account for that. And that's just the mass angle, not accounting for different numbers and sizes of weapon ports.

Speaking of ports and mass, it's not uncommon for a Corvult to have more maneuverability than a Valk since the Valk's third port is so tempting to fill. A Corvult with an N2 and a Sunflare has an acceleration of 4.2. An X-1 with one N2 and a pair of Sunnies has only 3.9. Of course, you could instead load that Valk with Ice Flares and a Raven to get a much spunkier 5.2 at the expense of less raw firepower. Compared to that, a dual-Raven Corvult also gets a comparable 5.1, while a Raven+Iceflare Corvult gets 5.0. Point being, a Valk can be more nimble than a Corvult, but in practice they tend to trade some or all of that advantage for more firepower. Couple that with the Valk's inferior profile and speed, and they actually become easier to destroy... if you're willing to be patient and dodge.

"it's kind of hard to be scientific on that since there are no stats for cross-sectional area or volume."

Solution: get a friend to pose in a ship while you take a screenshot from a fixed distance in front of them. Repeat for each model you're interested in. Once you've got the screenshots, you can trace the profiles of each ship and do some geometry to estimate the amount of area covered.
Jun 03, 2019 Aryko link
The stats do mention the length of a ship iirc, you should be able to get a rough idea of their total volume using that as a base unit for measuring dimensions through screenshots.
Jun 04, 2019 Pizzasgood link
The length stat is not trustworthy. But it's not needed in the first place. If you really want to measure in absolute units, you can determine everything you need from your distance to the ship, your FOV setting, and the percentage of the view covered by the ship.

But absolute units aren't actually needed in the first place since all anyone is really interested in are the relative values, and those can be obtained with a lot less math by simply measuring the pixel area covered by each ship -- as long as each measurement is taken from the same distance with the same FOV and the same resolution.

Computing the proper units is probably the better approach for the sake of repeatability across installations, though. Not hard, just a bit of geometry.
Jun 08, 2019 SlashGorden link
Pizzasgood, I'm convinced of your argument. I've been struggling with the Itani Test Pilot mission for a week but last night tried it in a corvult using the 75m/s distance control and it was quite easy. I only got hit once by a missile whereas I'm usually shredded within seconds.

Interestingly of all the opponents, the hardest to kill were the cent border guardians because they were hard to hit whereas as the pair of sky proms were easy because they were big and slow.

So now I have a shiny X-1 equipped with a single corvus widow maker for maximum agility.
Jun 21, 2019 greenwall link
every knows you can beat the test pilot mission with a rag and swarms... as reloads in station aren't prohibited
Jun 24, 2019 SlashGorden link
It didn't work for me because when I left the sector the opponents disappeared so you couldn't complete the mission. I think you'd need support from a capship for repairs and reload without leaving the sector. The rag is slow too, you'd be shredded pretty quickly unless you could kill the opponents very quickly.

Anyway corvult was relatively straightforward for anybody else in the same position.