Oooh, tasty new stuff!
#1

In .41 we have a new tech tree.    Lets analyze it and see how it goes...

First of all this is a fairly pricey tree, same as the Energy Weapons one.

Rocket PD - What an oddball weapon!  Unguided rockets against enemy fighters, missiles?  WTF? :-)
So it has 350 range vs 400 PD laser.   Max damage of 12 per rocket at 1.6 fire rate when fully upgraded.
That is a hull damage of 7.5 DPS  which is slightly better than the PD laser and worse than the 11 from the PD projectile.    Surprisingly good projectile speed and the fatter projectile has a better chance of hitting fighters.
The main thing is that it PENETRATES SHIELDS just like other missiles/rockets.    That makes this weapon a natural for missile strategies.
I really like this addition as it fills a specific niche and isn't bad for general purpose.   It is surprisingly good early game for taking out big targets like warpstations.



Ion Plasma cannon - Fairly generic 700 range weapon with solid upgrades.  Harder to get than Orb but superior.  Biased a bit towards hull damage as opposed to orb's shield bias.   Would have liked to see the higher burst with the slowdown effect of the harbinger ion cannons (tho less strong) to differentiate it.
DPS vs shields: 8.8.    Hull:  12.       Orb has 14.5/9 by way of comparison.


Mega Plasma - Kind of miss the giant ball of death, long reload, big impact with some splash of harbinger.   This one is a rather generic 700 range(?) with no splash.    Huge 43 DPS vs shields.      Rather weak  7 vs hull.      Megalaser is 50/12 by comparison and 1 tier up.
It is ok, but doesn't feel all that satisfying.   It is quite good in that it can take down an enemy's shield entirely with the first volley, making hull-biased weapons a lot stronger.

Death Ray - Somehow lacks the coolness factor of harbinger.  Probably since cooldown is so fast that it feels like another laser.  And same ole range.
Another 700 range weapon.   This one is hull biased but still quite good as a general purpose gun.
Very accurate obviously.   Surprisingly good 4.5 second cooldown when maxed.
DPS of 11 vs shields, 32 vs hull.      This makes it the best hull damage weapon in the game!   Even the amazingly good photon torps only do 19.5 hull (but 40 shield).
Obvious combo with Mega Plasma, tho they both have the same range and this is a laser so it will hit and be wasted before the plasma hits.
Great with Plama Eclipse (800 range), but that is not really feasible due to their tech tree positions.
Still, a great weapon.



Bottom line:  Always good to have more content.  Havent checked other changes yet.  New guns are decent and pretty well balanced, but don't bring much new to the game being kind of generic.   Rocket PD is the exception.  Low enough to be easily grabbed with missiles, good niche usage.  Interesting dynamic. I do also like Death Ray as an ultimate weapon. Much nicer than MegaLaser.
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#2

They seem pretty good except the research time. Since you are intended to run up only 1 of these trees wouldn't make more since for them to be much closer together in research time? Its not like they represent some kind of achievable technological progression that would actually justify the higher cost as you move down the chart. This would encourage more experimentation on the part of the players.
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#3

I think the cost is about right. Maybe a bit cheaper. The higher tier stuff IS generally better than the lower tier stuff. You can read the raw DPS numbers from my guide and see that.

I do get your point though. Death ray and PD rockets don't appear to have much in common. But that's the relatively small downside of adding new stuff. In my suggestions thread, I attempted to add some cohesive groups, but that makes it a take it or leave it kind of thing. If the dev likes 2 out of 4 ideas, then he has to bundle it with some other stuff that is not really related thematically which defeats the purpose of the groupings. If he abandons the 4-consecutive-tech-per-tree then it really looks "tacked on" which is likely why he dismissed that suggestion from myself early on.

You gotta remember... the DEV knows a lot of stuff that we don't about difficulty of implementation, interactions with other stuff, balance, etc. I am good at analysis but he has lived and breathed the game for the last year so I'd take his judgement over mine. Ok, stepping off soapbox...
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#4

Well the assumption is that the further right the weapon the better it is but this doesn't always appear to be the case. The current research cost just seams out of proportion to the minimal improvement most of the weapons have further right. The balance is to my eyes incomprehensible. It might be time to reorder the existing trees and at least move all the super weapons to 1 tree that requires any other tree to be finished to open up. Also it might be worth considering a nonlinear progression for the tree where you unlock left and right options as Well as next up from tier 2 onwards. Its a thought. Where do I find the guide?
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#5

The research trees are not ordered in any way really, they are all separate trees but I did put the stats bonuses close to each other.
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