Particle cannons, also known as PACs or Particle Accelerator Cannons, are highly customisable weapons that launch light speed projectiles that can be finely-tuned for a desirable combination of range, accuracy, damage, firing rate, and energy draw, as well as whether you want to have the particles explode on impact, punch through armour, deliver an EMP-payload, or deal thump-damage similar to hollow-point shells.
Each arm of the particle cannon allows the firing of one particle from either the main cannon aperture (when capped with a Particle Tube Terminator) or a secondary firing aperture (when capped with a Particle Accelerator Lens) with a damage potential proportional to accelerator arm length. Up to five particle cannon arms can be linked to a single particle cannon. It is worth noting that particles deal different levels of damage depending on how long the arm they are generated within is.
It is also worth noting that the particles, even if fired from a secondary lens, cannot be tuned independently at this time. This means that a single particle cannon cannot fire both an explosive particle and an armour-piercing particle. It is, however, possible to have multiple particle cannons on the same vessel, which can be independently tuned to fire different types of particles.
Five particle cannon arm ports are placed on the particle cannon in a radially symmetric pattern: four on each side (placed to the left of the middle when viewed from the front for the top side,) and one dead-centre in the back. Particle Tubes and Particle Tube Corners can be built from these particle intake ports to a maximum of 1000 blocks for each arm (so the game says). The particle cannon pieces are all direction-sensitive, so if a piece can’t be placed, try rotating it in a way that a different port on the piece lines up with the part it is intended to link to.
A particle cannon can be turned into a close-range weapon by use of the Particle melee lens.
Specifics on some of the different factors are discussed below.
Attenuation[edit | edit source]
For an attenuation factor a and range r in metres, damage is multiplied by exp(-a * r / 1000). Base damage is proportional to a.
The damage-optimal attenuation factor is then a = 1000 / r, i.e. one over the range in kilometres.
Beam path[edit | edit source]
The bending of the beam is proportional to the fraction of maximum range travelled, so a smaller attenuation factor does improve accuracy.
The beams do not go in a straight line. Rather, they curve around in a neat pattern that can resemble a tree or a tuft of hair with a high rate of fire and a low accuracy.
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