[ADVICE] When to use Newtonian Ballistics?

I’m getting ready to re-do my .ship and .weapon files post-update to accommodate the new features and whatnot, so I’ve got a few questions,

Should I make all of the weapons in my mod Newtonian-based? Or only certain types of weapons and keep other weapons on the RNG system? If so, what types of weapons should I make Newtonian-based?

I don’t think this game is Newtonian. Good question though.

Newtonian / Ballistic… Probably equivalent meanings in this case.

It really depends on what the new weapon is based on/is similar to.

They are all relatively normal weapons, kinetic cannons, plasma versions, etc.

Which type of weapon would not benefit from switching to ballistics?

Well, if you go by GBX standards:


  • hgn_antishipbomblauncher, hgn_bomblauncher, but not hgn_antisubsystembomblauncher
  • hgn_kineticautogun
  • hgn_mshulldefensegun and variants, and vgr_hulldefensegun
  • hgn_peashooter
  • hgn_vulcankineticturret, hgn/vgr_vulcankineticturretlongrange, but not hgn_vulcankineticturretheavy, hgn_vulcankineticturretsuperheavy, or hgn_vulcankineticturretweak
  • vgr_flechettecannon and vgr_flechettecannonassaultfrigate… variants
  • vgr_laser

Homeworld 1

  • hw1_bomber
  • hw1_interceptor and variant
  • hw1_mothershipgun
  • hw1_scout


  • kad_advswarmergun
  • kad_mothershipgun
  • kad_swarmergun

… And I’m bored…


  • kus/tai_assaultbomb
  • kus/tai_assaultgun
  • kus_cloakedfighter
  • kus/tai_defender
  • kus_drone
  • kus/tai_hvcorvette1 and kus/tai_hvcorvette2
  • kus/tai_ltcorvette
  • kus/tai_multigun1 and kus/tai_multigun2

Turanic Radiers:

  • tur_corvettegun
  • tur_fightergun
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These are weapons that don’t use ballistics? You didn’t specify.

These are no ballistics, correct.

Honestly, I would say any instant-hit, short-lived, narrow-arced, and/or point-blank range weapons probably would not benefit from ballistics modelling. But, I could be wrong.

Ahhh alright, so it seems like it was mostly the large ships that were switched to Ballistics. Thanks Radar!

Many of the smaller ships got switched to ballistics modelling too, so I don’t feel comfortable applying that blanket rule…

Okay, I’ll try to be as philosophical about this as I can. I’m not really sure exactly what GBX had in mind in all the cases where they elected to maintain RNG, but, the biggest red herrings in these cases I believe are the bombers and the Vaygr trinity cannon.

Let’s take the Vaygr trinity as the primary example. We’ve probably all seen how this cannon functions versus frigates in classic HW2. It fires three bolts into a frigate blob and, in my experience, one-shot-kills about one frigate out of three. Sometimes more, obviously, with the whole RNG thing, but usually about one in three. So now we have ballistics. Frigates are slow targets, trinity bolts are mighty speedy, and though frigates are tougher now than they were in HW2C, it’s not a stretch to think that the ballistics system would turn the roughly 1/3 pattern into a pretty consistent 3/3. That’s 3 dead frigates every time (assuming it still only takes a single trinity bolt to silence a frigate, which it might)… the weapon is now roughly 3 times more deadly in that respect!

It’s relatively the same for bombers. If someone were to make the mistake of putting a wave of interceptors in aggressive tactics to kill a wave of bombers, those bombers, if they had ballistics, would be one-shotting those interceptors into oblivion, completely reversing the intended balance between those kinds of units.

So it’s hard to say exactly what weapons you should use which system for (without having benefit of having played your mod as extensively as HW2 itself), but at least hopefully this gives you some frame of mind about how to consider the question for yourself. If there is some crucial reason you need to have a weapon miss sometimes or often, then it should probably be RNG, elsewise a very slow projectile. If not, as far as I can tell, you might as well always use ballistics.

One other observation though before I completely conclude - if you’re not planning to change the way the game is balanced substantially, production ship point-defense guns should probably all remain RNG too. I’ve noticed that the way things are now, a Carrier can one-shot most fighters, so if you were to sphere attack a Carrier with your fighters, they will ‘pop-pop pop pop’ right out of the sky before you realize your mistake. This is rather quirky because you as the fighter-commander are making what seems like the logical choice for killing the Carrier as quickly as possible, with no way to know ahead of time that what you are actually doing is sentencing all of your fighters to instant death. This was never an issue before in HW1, because not much of anything other than an ion frigate could one-shot fighters, so they would last long enough to beat up on the Carrier before suffering significant losses. The sad thing is that the ballistics system doesn’t play really friendly with fighters that have tissue-paper armor. So keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether a particular ship is meant to be a very effective fighter killer or not.

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The Vaygr trinity cannon is ballistic-based and the bombers are not ballistic-based.

… Unless that is your point, and I completely missed it …

Not only frigates are tougher, the trinity does less damage in comparison to HW2C…so the weapon is not nearly 3 times more deadly than before.

Edit: ok, it’s the modding section…it was to explain pros and cons with HW2C as reference. Sorry!

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No problem… it was definitely for sake of explaining what I think is the most useful way to make decisions about the RNG/Ballistic fork. However, apparently, as radar3301 pointed out as well my point was based on a lot of incorrect assumptions. Hopefully it’s still an effective illustration of my point :smile:

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I was so focused on my modelling, that I have yet to check where you even switch from RNG to ballistic in the weapon code. And I’m not on my PC.