I’ve got some shiny new toys for my Cobra, including some C2 Burst Lasers and C4 Pulse Lasers. Armed with this kind of arsenal you’d think that I’d have quite an effective fighter; and in theory I do. In practice I suck. I got my backside handed to me twice last night by solitary sidewinders, partly because I was finding it hard to land shots and partly because I kept running out of lasers.
Stupidly, the reason for this is a common game mechanic and something I already knew: the more lasers, and the more powerful they are, the bigger the heat loading and the quicker things overheat. Even with three pips in Weapons I was getting less than 5 seconds out of my lasers. When I did land a hit it was pretty devistating, I just didn’t have the wherewithal to keep landing hits.
The answer is setting up fire groups and assigning primary and secondary weapons. I’ve now set up the C2s as my primary weapons which can be used for ranging. The C4s are now secondary weapons and can be bought to bear when I know I’m going to land a shot. This should allow much more sustained rates of fire while still doing reasonable amounts of damage. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Tonight I’ll go looking for some more trouble and see if I can actually win a dogfight this time.