This guide will be focused on helping you to maximize the potential of your particle cannons. We will be covering how to optimize each of the settings and how to best build the cannon for different applications. I will be covering the ranged component of PACs and not the melee mode.
Particle Accelerator Cannon In-depth Breakdown
PAC Ups and Downs
PACs are one of the most under-appreciated weapon types in From The Depths.
Particle Cannons feature:
- Hit Scan Projectile types.
- No ammo cost.
- Immense damage potential.
- Excellent EMP.
- Impact damage.
- Easy changes in dmg type.
- No dmg or speed loss in water.
Unfortunately, PACs also:
- Have limited dmg potential at long range.
- Use an unbelievable amount of energy.
- Can be awkward to build.
- Can be bulky.
- Can be hard to protect.
Do you have to hit something underwater? Are you underwater? Are you super close to a target that needs to be ripped in half? Is your target moving super fast? Do you want to put a small hole in something 5k away? Do you have more energy than you know what to do with? If you answered yes to any of these questions a PAC may be right for you!
Due to PACs not be affected by water they are the best alternative to missile systems for submarines. Also due to this PACs can be very effective for killing subs.
Particle Cannons can be the most powerful weapons in the game provided that you are close enough due to both accuracy and attenuation which we will cover more below.
This was one shot from a cannon consisting of 13 pieces!
Finally, due to the hitscan nature of PACs they can be even better than lasers, missiles, and AA guns at taking out fast erratic targets such as small aircraft.
The PAC's main aperture can be rather accurate piercing typically doesn't require as much power making this a viable sniper.
Despite the potential targets it's important to note that PACs can usually only be used on large purpose-built ships due to the obscene energy cost to fire.
Tips For Building
Particle cannons are relatively straight forward to build. There is an in-game guide for that but I will be talking about a few things to make building them easier and optimize their damage potential.
- To start off you should plan the exact size and shape of the cannon such as a circle or rectangle.
- You should often try to get some rotational symmetry as it will make your life much easier and you can copy part and rotate it.
- snaking back and forth in layers can also be helpful for larger designs.
- Every pipe added will increase damage, size, and energy usage as well as efficiency.
- Ex. A cannon with one pipe can do up to 20000 dmg for 20000 energy but a cannon with 2 pipes can also do 20000 dmg but for only 10000 energy.
There are three types of pipes:
- Two way.
- Secondary firing piece.
Returning pipes almost double the essential pipe length when compared to two-way pipes and since more pipe length is always better you should try to always use returning pipes instead of two-way.
Secondary firing piece arms will do half the damage for half the energy of a two-way pipe of the same length. Ex. a two-way arm of length 7 can do 140000 damage for 140000 energy while a secondary firing arm of length 7 can do 70000 damage (despite the UI saying 35000) for 70000 energy.
Use returning pipes and rotational symmetry whenever possible.
Piercing will put a 1 block wide hole through the entirety of a ship.
This option normally isn't super helpful but it can be ok at long ranges and it can be a very low power option compared to the others.
Essentially this option is where a very powerful 5m explosion will take place on the surface of the ship and can be very powerful and damaging but is weakened due to armor stacking and spaced armor.
PACs can have the most powerful emp blast in the game often gutting smaller ships in one shot. This is also a very good option for taking out aircraft or capturing a nearby vessel without having to go and find and kill the AI yourself.
This option is typically my goto since it can create a massive hole in an enemy. Impact ignores armor stacking but is weaker against alloy, metal, and heavy armor due to impact only having an AP value of 15.
Horizontal -> Vertical focus
The Horizontal -> Vertical focus setting allows you to turn your circular dispersion pattern into an oval.
A value of 0 will result in a tall and skinny oval.
A value of 1 will result in a long and short oval. This can be good when fighting surface ships because in a broadside a horizontal miss is more likely to hit then a vertical one.
Field of Fire
- This setting will prevent the gun from firing at large angles but otherwise has no effect.
- This can be useful because when firing at large angles the gun losses accuracy.
- If your cannon is on a 2-axis turret use a 3-degree FOF.
- If your cannon is on a 1 axis turret determine how high a target will be from the axis of rotation and use that.
- Lastly, if your cannon is spinal mounted determine your cannon's angle relative to the target in a broadside then maybe add a few degrees and use that.
Damage & Inaccuracy
The concept of this setting is pretty self-explanatory.
If you have a charge time of 0.25 seconds and a Damage & Inaccuracy of 0.25 you will start to see some spread around 250m. There is a linear relationship between damage and distance before spread and Damage & Inaccuracy, thus if you bring Damage & Inaccuracy up to 0.5 you will double your damage but the spread will start around 125m.
Now this leaves us with some options. If the target is close we could set the Damage & Inaccuracy high the maximize the damage or we could set it low to hit certain parts of the ship but with less power.
Something to also note is that dispersion and accuracy are far worse on secondary firing arms.
This is the overall shape of the beam:
Damage and Attenuation
This one is all numbers. Low Damage and Attenuation means low damage but low fall off while high Damage and Attenuation means high damage and quick fall off.
What this looks like:
- r is the range set to 1600m.
- d is the potential damage set to 1000.
- The y-axis is damage and the x-axis is damage and attenuation.
- The green line shows the initial damage for every damage and attenuation.
- The red line shows the damage at the specified range for every damage and attenuation.
- And the black line is the derivative of the red line showing the slope of the red line and the maximum when it reaches 0.
Lastly, the point where the black line reaches 0 is calculated by 1000/r. Thus at 1km or less use a Damage and Attenuation of 1 and for more than a km use 1000/r.
- Here is the link to the graphs.
Efficient -> Overclock
This is also pretty straight forward where smaller numbers mean smaller damage and smaller energy usage. This is used so that you can still have a very powerful gun without having to make it bigger than your ship. What this does is it lets you balance size vs energy.
This won't affect your DPS or energy use but it will affect your fire rate and accuracy.
I recommend normally setting this to 10 because it will drastically improve your accuracy and allow you to do more damage at the start of the battle. Sometimes setting it lower can be good against multiple or small targets or fast targets so you don't waste energy.