Starfighter: Disputed Galaxy, Alien Large Weapons
Alien Large Weapons

01. Vortex Bomb
02. Thunder Bomb
03. Ultra EMP Bomb
04. Plasma Relay
05. Ultra Vortex Bomb

 
All alien Large Weapons, as they appear in the Starfighter: Disputed Galaxy Shop:

 
Information about Large Weapons

There are no ratings for Large Weapons, only descriptions. Each Large Weapon has unique effects that are completely different from the other Large Weapons. As a result, there are different situations where each Large Weapon is useful. One thing is worth noting though: once you use a Large Weapon, it's gone. It does not restock when you pick up "A" or "AA" drops, and it does not restock when you enter a new sector. You must return to a Station or Substation and buy a new one. In addition, all Large Weapons affect both enemies and allies equally. You can very easily kill your friends with these weapons. So use them carefully...


 


Vortex Bomb

How to use it: The Vortex Bomb creates a small, ship-size black hole approximately six seconds after it's dropped. Once the vortex is opened, it will make the same sound effect as the Inverse Gravity Field Generator. It will then begin pulling every ship within about 5000 distance toward it, both your enemies and your allies. The closer a ship is to the vortex, the more strongly they will be pulled. Once they reach the vortex, they will begin rapidly bleeding shields at the rate of about 75 Shield loss per second they are in full contact with the vortex. As a result, most ships reaching the vortex will be killed in three seconds or less, though large capital ships will take longer.

The vortex remains open for about 10 seconds, then closes. The ship that dropped the Vortex Bomb is immune to the vortex and won't be affected by the vortex gravity. However, as the vortex is closing, it will collapse explosively, destroying any ship coming within about 300 distance of the vortex. So, if you have images in your head of going in and collecting all the bonus drops from the pile of ships you killed, keep clear until that collapse happens! It is all too easy to kill yourself with a Vortex Bomb in its final second.

The Vortex Bomb is probably the first or second most commonly used alien Large Weapon due to its excellent qualities against large numbers of alien ships, particularly AI alien ambushes in Single Player sectors. It is relatively cheap at 3000 money, and nearly always pays for itself in the numbers of ships killed by it if it's used intelligently. In particular, if you're facing an AI ambush of a large number of slow alien ships such as Nymphs and Tritons, the Vortex Bomb will more than easily pay for itself in destroying these annoying, sometimes difficult to kill targets.

However, the Vortex Bomb is also the easiest Large Weapon to escape the effects of. Ships on boosters or the Engine Overdrive Utility will easily outrun it, and ships using Field Hoppers or Teleport Discs will jump out of its area of effect. In particular, human players in MP sectors will have very little difficulty escaping the effects of a Vortex Bomb, so it's not the best choice for use in MP sectors. Note that a ship has to be in full contact with the vortex to take damage. It's quite common to see ships in MP sectors just outside the vortex, putting full thrust into boosters and not going anywhere as their boosters and the gravity from the vortex neutralize each other. As a result, you may feel free to delay them with EMP effects or hit them with other weapons while they're relatively motionless and distracted by the vortex...

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Thunder Bomb

How to use it: Don't. As of Starfighter v1.2.6, the Thunder Bomb is currently buggy. In its current incarnation, all it does is fire a single hard lightning bolt at any targets that are near when it is dropped, including a weak bolt at the ship that dropped it. These bolts will total about 120 points of Shield damage. This makes the current incarnation of the Thunder Bomb much weaker than the other Large Weapons and as a result, it should not be used until this bug in the game is fixed.

In its normal, non-buggy incarnation, the Thunder Bomb attacks every ship within a very large radius with a Thunder Bolt attack. However, I am not currently able to test the non-buggy incarnation of this Large Weapon. This entry will be updated when I can. In the meantime, do not use this Large Weapon and you can safely charge AI opponents you see using it without much fear.

The Thunder Bomb takes about two seconds to arm itself before "detonating", making it the second quickest Large Weapon after the Plasma Relay. After it has detonated, it remains on the battlefield for ten additional seconds, but does not appear to do anything or have any game effect during this time.

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Ultra EMP Bomb

How to use it: The Ultra EMP Bomb doesn't get very much respect, but it is surprisingly effective! After it has been dropped, it has about a ten second arming time. During this time, an accelerating beep-beep-beep tone will be heard. When this beeping noise reaches its fastest state, the Ultra EMP Bomb will detonate, affecting every ship within about 5000 distance of the point of detonation, both enemies and allies. These ships will drift without power for between 15 and 19 seconds! Unless these ships took measures to leave the area as quickly as possible, this extremely long duration without power will make them trivial to destroy with other weapons. As with other EMP attacks, any LASS or LBSS being used by ships in the area of effect will also be defeated.

As effective as the Ultra EMP Bomb is in Single Player sectors, it is even more so in Multiplayer. Few ships in these sectors will be carrying an Ultra EMP Bomb or expect one to be used. Some players may scoff at it, or even remain in a battle despite it being dropped, fixated on killing you before the bomb goes off. If you can remain alive for the ten additional seconds it takes for the Ultra EMP Bomb to detonate, the tables will suddenly turn and you will have these aggressive opponents at a major disadvantage. It is an even more effective weapon if you're being mobbed in MP sectors by a large cooperative gang. An Ultra EMP Bomb dropped among them will, at best, affect a large number of them and, at worst, will cause the gang to scatter in all directions as they try to escape it, making it much easier for you to isolate and destroy one of its members.

As a result, despite the lack of respect the Ultra EMP Bomb gets, I consider it one of the better Large Weapon choices, and the only viable choice for the Oppressor. Despite the fact that it does no direct damage to your enemies, it will allow you to take the initiative against large groups of them. It is also the only Large Weapon that will not damage allies. The Ultra EMP Bomb will not disappoint you.

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Plasma Relay

How to use it: The Plasma Relay is probably the single most popular Large Weapon, and with good reason: it is a devastating close combat weapon and is the quickest-firing of all Large Weapons. Once triggered, a Plasma Relay will fire in about one second, unleashing a cone of destruction in about a 20 degree arc in front of the ship to a range of at least 500 distance. Any ships within that area, enemy or ally, will take devastating Shield damage. 225 points of Shield damage is the average for any ship caught in the relay, but the closer the ship is to the firing ship, the more damage they will take. The direction of the ships in the blast also seems to make a big difference in damage. Ships running directly away from the firing ship will take less damage; ships charging the firing ship will take more... much more. As a matter of fact, any ship turned toward the firing ship and within about 100 distance will be destroyed, regardless of Shields remaining!

With that kind of power, it isn't hard to understand why the Plasma Relay is so popular. It's particularly popular in Multiplayer sectors as a way to destroy the toughest opponents. Adherents to this strategy will pepper a strong target with guided and unguided attacks until their Shields are somewhat weakened, then hit them with the relay. This strategy is nearly always effective.

Of course, the Plasma Relay is not without its faults. It has the shortest range of any Large Weapon, and the most confined area. While some players use it against AI ambushes in Single Player sectors, it is not nearly as effective there as some of the other Large Weapons, particularly the Vortex Bomb. It takes a great deal of skill and luck to use it properly, and is relatively easy for human Starfighter players in Multiplayer sectors to circumvent. It will only fire in the 20 degree arc ahead of your ship, so it will be fairly easy for experienced players to stay out of that arc -- in fact, the most experienced Starfighter players won't come anywhere near the front of your ship if they suspect you're carrying a relay. And since relays are so common, avoiding a head-to-head confrontation has become almost a religion in Starfighter MP sectors...

Still, the Plasma Relay is a powerful weapon, and linked to the ship's other weapons or an overall strategy, it can be nearly unavoidable. There's probably nothing worse for an experienced Starfighter MP player to be EMP'ed, only to have the front end of an alien Elite Destroyer inevitably swing around for the kill...

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Ultra Vortex Bomb

How to use it: The Ultra Vortex Bomb is the most powerful Large Weapon in the alien arsenal, and only aliens can use it. Its effects are quite simple. After it is launched, it has a ten second build-up time to detonation. During this time, an accelerating beep-beep-beep sound will be heard. When this beeping noise reaches its fastest state, the Ultra Vortex Bomb will detonate, creating an enormous black hole that will a) EMP every ship in its area of effect, and b) draw every ship in its area of effect toward it. Its area of effect is hard to test, but is at least 10,000 distance! Once ships are in contact with this enormous black hole, they will take approximately 150 Shield damage per second until they are destroyed. Ships that enter the sector after the UVB detonated will still be affected by the black hole. It is difficult to test the range of the UVB because ships will be drawn into the black hole at enormous speeds.

Only the ship that launched it is immune to the effects of the Ultra Vortex Bomb, and can safely float near the vortex... at least until it collapses. When it collapses, like the Vortex Bomb, it will collapse explosively, destroying any ship coming within about 750 distance of the vortex. So, if you have images in your head of going in and collecting all the bonus drops from the pile of ships you killed, keep clear until that collapse happens! It is all too easy to kill yourself with a Vortex Bomb in its final second.

The Ultra Vortex Bomb has an extremely lengthy duration, at least ten seconds long, and its destructive power is enormous. It must be used very carefully because it will consume anything in its area of effect, enemy or ally. In my tests, it was very difficult to use the UVB in a situation where it didn't actually lose me money due to lost Bounty (and kills) on friendly ships. As a result, the only really safe place to use the Ultra Vortex Bomb is in Threat 1 sectors where the chances of encountering a friendly ship is slim.

That isn't the UVB's only downside: it costs 15,000 money! This makes it -- far and away -- the most expensive alien Weapon of any type. Like all Large Weapons, the UVB is lost after it is used and must be purchased again. Even under ideal conditions, there is no chance that you're going to make back your investment in this weapon. In large gang wars, it will likely kill just as many allies as enemies. As a result, is a rarely-used Large Weapon, generally only deployed when the player wants to have a little fun with one. It is a great deal of fun, though... ;-)

Where you most often encounter Ultra Vortex Bombs are in the hands of hackers, who use them to cause chaos in Multiplayer sectors. I personally have encountered a hacked alien Fighter carrying and launching multiple UVBs, just for the enjoyment of the sheer chaos that this causes. If you encounter such a hacker, there is only one good defense: stay out of the sector in which he or she is "playing", and if you can, report his account name for deletion to the game's developers.

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