[TC] [Info] The CFAA, facts vs. visuals

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[TC] [Info] The CFAA, facts vs. visuals

Post by Gazz » Fri, 20. Mar 09, 15:15

The CFAA aka Clusterf**k

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X3 v2.7.1                                    FAA         CFAA
Range / km                                 2,12         1,98
Bullet speed km / s                      7,0          2,2
DPS Shield / MJ                        12,8        12,1 
DPS Hull / MJ                             1,9          1,8
Shield damage / Energy used   20,4        17,5
Hull damage / Energy used        3,1          2,6
Yes, on paper the CFAA doesn't even play in the same league as regular Flak.
I was curious if the CFAA could possibly be used for a timed airburst with some creative scripting so I investigated the effect.
During the test the "Flak bug" never occurred. It would have invalidated the results so I made sure.

1930m from the muzzle the cluster bullet fragments.

Each bullet creates 4 submunitions.

Each of those can collide with a target and do damage, most likely as much as the original bullet.

I never noticed an increased chance of damage while staying close to their explosion puffs.
There seems to be no (20m) area damage at this point as with regular Flak, not to mention an AOE as large as the explosion visuals.
This is 100% for visual effects only.

The submunitions expand in a cone, 1580m deep and 1400m wide at the base.
That's a sizable volume of 0.81 km^3.

If we assume that each submunition flying through that cone covers a cylinder with a 5m diameter (generous estimate for a fighter target) then each one covers a volume of 0.000031 km^3.
All 4 cover together cover 1.9 % of the cone's volume.
That's a generous estimate for your chance to hit a fighter target inside that huge cone because fighters are usually smaller than that.

There is a 5-15m window directly past the fragmentation point where the submunitions are still close together and can do some serious damage.
Fast bullets like CFAA are quite FPS-dependant so the location of this point fluctuates in a real battle.
Hitting a fighter within that exact sweet spot is impossible under battle conditions.

So unless you can use magic, you won't be able to hit a fighter target with the exact fragmentation spot of the submunitions.
Without that, your chances to hit anything inside of that pretty cone of explosions are low to laughable.
It certainly does not even begin to make up for their inferior laser statistics.

For hitting an M7-sized target with the full spread you have roughly a 350m window of distance.
Tricky shot but not impossible.
However, the only ships that can use CFAA are M7 and up and they can also use lasers like IBL which are far more damaging and about 7 times as energy efficient.
A lucky CFAA quad hit would still be inferior to a single IBL bullet and at a 2km "knife" range IBL is perfectly able to hit an M7 sized target, negating the speed advantage.

That leaves hitting a target with direct fire before the bullet fragments.
CFAA has less than 1/3 the bullet speed of FAA and is also inferior to FAA in every other regard. (damage, range, etc.)

The one redeeming quality of CFAA: it looks mighty pretty when fired in large numbers.

Keywords: CFAA, Clusterf**k, Clusterflak, Cluster Flak
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There is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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