Gemini's Going Great Guns (July 6, 2014)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
There's a new poll up today that asks about your favorite blaster as a privateer in Gemini. Conventional wisdom points most people towards the high damage per second rating of the Tachyon Cannon, but cases can be made for other strategies as well. There's always a place in heavy loadouts for the superior punch of the Plasma Gun, even in the face of the cutting edge Fusion Cannon in Righteous Fire. For players on a budget, it's also really hard to beat the early stage economics of the Laser, Meson Blaster or even Neutron Gun.

The old poll asked about favorite flight suits. Wing Commander 3 and 4 (and their similar suits) were neck and neck for a while, but WC3 pulled ahead. WC1 and Prophecy were also popular, and Privateer's stylish low-key outfit also deserves an honorable mention.

Original update published on July 6, 2014
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Ever since reading Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe and seeing that section on which gun to choose, I've always ended up going for tachyon guns. Before that, I usually went with lasers and mass drivers.
Tachyons for me as well. I wanted to like the higher tier stuff, but it wouldn't let me. Also, what's with the lack of love for the particle gun? Granted, it was a shit tachyon gun, but it was quite the weapon while working on the real thing.
Tachyons for me as well. I wanted to like the higher tier stuff, but it wouldn't let me. Also, what's with the lack of love for the particle gun? Granted, it was a shit tachyon gun, but it was quite the weapon while working on the real thing.
Personally, I never liked the sound of the particle guns. After listening to all the Talons shooting them at me, I resolved to leave them alone. I didn't want the gun sounds to overlap and be harder to tell I'm being shot at.

Mesons also have the same energy use as a Tachyon, refire faster (then particle) and even have a faster bolt. Only thing faster in that tier are lasers. With only a mild difference in penetration power I felt the Particle gun was not for me.

Save your credits for cooler gear. :cool:
I think the big issue with the particle cannon was its relatively high price for the performance delivered. In terms of damage done per GJ of energy required, the Meson Blaster and the Particle Cannon are on par with one another (.4 for the Meson Blaster and .391 for the Particle Cannon); in terms of damage per second the Particle Cannon is the superior weapon (at 7.17 cm for the Particle as compared to 4.33 for the Meson Blaster). But a Meson Blaster costs only 2500 credits, whereas Particle Cannons were 10,000 a pop. For the price of a single Particle Cannon you could buy a full quad of Meson Blasters, and for the price of a pair of Particle Cannons you could buy a single Tachyon Cannon - which of itself would deliver comparable damage and need less energy to do it.

Me, Tachyons all the way. It would be nice to have hard numbers on Righteous Fire's Fusion Cannons; never could decide if I liked them better than Tachyons or not.
For some reason I always saved up for the Ionic Pulse cannon. I loved the sound it made. I can't find the stats now, but I seem to remember it having a decent projectile speed and damage output - not so slow as the plasma gun, more powerful than tachyon cannons (per shot anyway).

A note on the previous poll; I voted for the Privateer 2 trench. Back when the game was released I spent years looking for a coat like Clive Owen wore. I got close, but never quite there. Ah well. Misspent youth.
Wow, I never realized the meson gun was that good, I kind of just went with the guns I were familiar with. I really have to replay Privateer one of these days.
In Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe, Minasi had two methods for rating guns in Privateer, Damage per Second (damage divided by recharge rate) and Destructive Efficiency (damage divided by power consumption). I've got the book in front of me now, and here are those tables:

Damage per Second
  • Tachyon Gun (12.50)
  • Neutron Gun (9.54)
  • Plasma Gun (9.00)
  • Meson Blaster (8.00)
  • Ionic Pulse Cannon (7.71)
  • Particle Cannon (7.17)
  • Laser Gun (6.00)
  • Mass Driver (4.33)
Destructive Efficiency
  • Tachyon Cannon (0.63)
  • Laser Gun (0.45)
  • Mass Driver (0.43)
  • Meson Blaster (0.40)
  • Particle Cannon (0.39)
  • Ionic Pulse Cannon (0.36)
  • Neutron Gun (0.34)
  • Plasma Gun (0.33)
You can see that the Meson Blaster is in the middle of the pack on both tables, striking a good balance between damage potential and damage efficiency. It out does the next two nominal weapons choices - the Particle Cannon and Ionic Pulse Cannon - in both categories and doesn't feature the notable imbalances of the Laser Gun, Mass Driver, Plasma Gun and Neutron Gun. When you consider its price, you can see its a good second choice weapon (behind the Tachyons, of course). In fact, when you're first equipping your Tarsus, Minasi recommends twin mesons as the sixth upgrade you make (after dual lasers, tungsten armor, IR missiles, afterburners and the first engine upgrade).
Wow, I never read that and didn't realize statistically they rated so well. Factor in their cost and you can see why they made a great mid-tier gun set.

It's good to see someone had crunched the numbers.
Yeah, the Steltek gun probably would have been good to include in hindsight. In my mind, it's always there at the end of the game, in a weakened state for much of the time you have it (even though it's still quite powerful), and then you quickly hop right over into Righteous Fire where it's gone, so it's such a small blip in practice... although it has a lot of symbolic value.