T2 Mobile Missile Launchers (MMLs) for all factions are terrible. This is bad for gameplay as it makes the most interesting tech level (T2) also the worst for turtling. MMLs should therefore be greatly improved.
First, let's note that MMLs fill a similar role in Tech 2 that T1 mobile artillery fills in Tech 1 and then state clearly why MMLs are so awful:
- For Cybran, T2 MML DPS/cost ratio is much worse: ~1 versus about ~0.3. By contrast, for Cybran T1 bot and T2 tank, DPS/cost is ~0.5 and ~0.3, indicating a reduction of only 40% raw paper strength from T2 to T1. This would suggest that MML raw damage should be doubled so that T2 to improve DPS/cost to ~0.6, a reduction of ~40% from the ~1 DPS/cost ratio for T1 artillery.
- T2 TMD and mobile/stationary shields block MML shots. The previous bullet suggests that MML are underpowered even in absence of missile defense and shields. Missile defense and shields serve to aggravate this problem further.
- T2 MML shot linger time - the time between a missile being launched and a missile hitting the target at maximum range - varied from about 6 seconds (for Seraphim) and 12 seconds (for Aeon). Compare this to T1 artillery shells which linger for about 8 seconds.
- T2 MML damage radius is very small at 1. T1 artillery (other than Aeon) damages in a radius of 2-3.
Now let's talk how to fix these problems:
- Low DPS can be fixed by improving raw damage. Raw paper DPS suggests a 100% damage buff is necessary. Analysis of damage radius and shot linger time suggests another 50-100% beyond that would also be warranted. Also, there's no reason why MMLs shouldn't one-shot T1 pgens. The Aeon MML can 1-shot Cybran and Aeon pgens, but all MMLs should get a buff so that the Seraphim MML (405 damage) can one-shot even UEF T1 pgens (720 hp), so perhaps 810 damage total.
- The T2 shield/TMD combination renders a fire-base all but immune to MMLs. Due consideration should be given to the idea of missiles passing through shields (similar to how strategic missiles do) although this may not be needed if DPS is improved substantially.
- MML linger time cannot be set directly because it is a product of the missile's performance values (muzzle velocity, acceleration, maximum speed) and it's guidance script, but effort should be made to reduce UEF/Aeon MML shot linger time to <9 seconds, reliably. Also, UEF is the only MML with an unpack animation, this unpack should be made faster to improve the MML's responsiveness.
- If MML raw damage is only doubled, improving damage radius from 1-->2 would make sense. If MML damage is improved by a factor or 2.5x or 3.0x, more damage radius is not necessary.
- It has recently been stated that TMLs are OP. I disagree generally. They only seem OP because they are so much better than MMLs that they are used to siege much more often. If MMLs are made to be good, TMLs versus MMLs will feel like a real choice rather than obvious selection of the superior siege weapon (TMLs currently).
- Adding a minimum range to MMLs to give tanks some breathing room would make sense. Perhaps 10-15, perhaps as high as 20.