As part of Dominion there was a major re-balancing of projectile ammunition as part of a re-balancing of projectile weapons in general. As such it behooves us to go over the changes with a fine tooth comb in order to make sure we pack the correct ammo for the situation.
The first thing to realize about the changes is that there are now only 3 ranges of Projectile ammo. -50% range, 0% range and +60% range ammo. The 0% gets a +20% tracking bonus and the +60% gets a +5% tracking bonus. The gun tiers also got some changes. For AC the larger tier guns get longer falloffs compared to the lower tiers:
125mm Gatling AutoCannon I
150mm Light AutoCannon I
200mm AutoCannon I
You combine this will falloff bonused hulls and the changes to tracking enhancers and you can get some totally insane falloffs:
Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Large Projectile Turret falloff per level
Tracking Enhancer I
Falloff Bonus: 20%
Note that Tracking Computers only get a 10% falloff bonus, but they get to switch between all optimal and all tracking at will thanks to scripts.
The other change to the ammo was a "purification" of the damage types done. This means that except for Depleted Uranium, there is a clear preference for a specific damage type in any of the rounds. So lets take a look at the groupings:
Short range (-50% optimal, 0% tracking bonus):
Phased Plasma S
As we can see since the range and tracking changes are identical between these ammo types, the only choice is which type of damage you want to emphasize. My prediction here is that Phased Plasma will rapidly overtake EMP as the short range ammo of choice, with fusion if one is expecting to go up against a lot of T1 Amarr ships.
Next we have the mid range ammos (+0% Optimal, +20% Tracking)
Depleted Uranium S
Titanium Sabot S
Here we can see that Deplete Uranium is the "Jack of all trades" ammo with Titanium sabot having a preference for Kinetic damage. I think that people will shy away from these ammos for PVE purposes but they will shine in PvP against smaller target ships with high tracking guns (i.e. the ammo of choice for your Dual 180mm AutoCannons). They will also present a nice backup ammo for artillery that has messed up and has a close up target where extra tracking becomes critical. They however only do 67% of the damage of the close range ammo. So you're taking a big DPS hit to get that extra tracking. They may also become the loadout of choice for ships that have tracking issues due to the way they are flown.
Finally we have the long range ammo choices (+60% optimal, +5% tracking):
Carbonized Lead S
As you can see, the damage types are at long range preclude doing any thermal damage at all. On the flip side there will no longer be a gradual tradeoff between a bit more damage for a bit less range. Now the choice will be "where do i think the damage hole will be"? Obviously for T1 targets it is carbonized lead or nuclear. For shield tankers it's proton. However at 5 damage total compared to 12 for the short range ammo, there are definite issues of "lack of DPS" at long range. These will just about never be used on AC boats so these become Artillery only ammunition, on the flip side we now can control the damage type we favor at extreme ranges.
And that is my handy dandy run down on the new Projectile ammo choices.
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