WC3 Neutron Gun stats and possible errors

YCDTD

Commodore
Are the stats of the WC3 version of the neutron gun (damage, refire rate etc.) anywhere to be found? I can't find them online and they are not in any of the manuals as far as I can tell. Only the Hellcat uses them too. Quite strange.

Also the Sorthak stats seem incorrect. It appears to have forward mounted ion and plasma cannons and 2 dual meson turrets. The official stats give it 3 dual meson turrets and one other meson cannon.

Thoughts?
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Bump. I checked out the gun stats chart here at the CIC and it does not have anything on the WC3 neutron gun.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Are the stats of the WC3 version of the neutron gun (damage, refire rate etc.) anywhere to be found? I can't find them online and they are not in any of the manuals as far as I can tell. Only the Hellcat uses them too. Quite strange.

I have an answer for you! The Neutron Gun isn't in the original Victory Streak (or covered in the Kilrathi Saga version) but it *WAS* added to the 3DO and Playstation versions of the manual. And here it is:

The neutron gun was specifically created as a weapon for medium and heavy fighters when the war first began*. It releases energized blasts of charged neutrons, drawing more power than either the ion cannon or laser. The refire rate for this gun is slightly closer, but the extended range of the neutron gun more than makes up the difference.

Penetration 40
Energy 15nJ
Range 4000k
Refire delay 45 sec

https://download.wcnews.com/files/manuals/Wing Commander III PSX - Manual.pdf

So what's going on here, anyway? It's a case of the writers behind Victory Streak wanting to tell a story that unfortunately didn't quite square with the final form of the game. If you'll notice, the Victory Streak specifications for the Hellcat don't list the Neutron Gun… the only place it shows up is as the Longbow's turret gun. So in their head it was a case of a logical story unfolding: the particle cannon was intended to replace the neutron gun and now a few years later it has. They expand on this a little more in the Victory Streak gun guide which claims they were used from 2640 to 2668* Unfortunately, the final balanced game ended up putting them front and center on the very first ship you fly!

* - I know, seemingly contradicting the Secret Missions copy protection which claims they were invented in 2618!

Also the Sorthak stats seem incorrect. It appears to have forward mounted ion and plasma cannons and 2 dual meson turrets. The official stats give it 3 dual meson turrets and one other meson cannon.

Totally - keep in mind that the manuals would have gone to print about a month before the final balance of the game was locked… so a LOT of changes to easily-altered, game-relevent things like ship and weapon specifications happened in that time, especially in areas where the player never actually 'sees' the number (like weapons). That's the cause of most discrepancies in the manuals and there are dozens and dozens of them.

The Sorthak in particular seems to have been massively nerfed. If you look at the 3D model the intent seems to have been to have four forward guns plus four dual-mount turrets (two forward, two aft). At some point, the forward two turrets were dropped entirely and the Sorthak became a whole lot less scarier. That's possibly due to the same ongoing issues with turrets/attached objects that caused a bunch of other last minute cuts of finished assets (including missile tanks, the triangular Kilrathi transports, more junk for the flight decks and Confederation frigates).
 

YCDTD

Commodore
I have an answer for you! The Neutron Gun isn't in the original Victory Streak (or covered in the Kilrathi Saga version) but it *WAS* added to the 3DO and Playstation versions of the manual. And here it is:

The neutron gun was specifically created as a weapon for medium and heavy fighters when the war first began*. It releases energized blasts of charged neutrons, drawing more power than either the ion cannon or laser. The refire rate for this gun is slightly closer, but the extended range of the neutron gun more than makes up the difference.

Penetration 40
Energy 15nJ
Range 4000k
Refire delay 45 sec

https://download.wcnews.com/files/manuals/Wing Commander III PSX - Manual.pdf

So what's going on here, anyway? It's a case of the writers behind Victory Streak wanting to tell a story that unfortunately didn't quite square with the final form of the game. If you'll notice, the Victory Streak specifications for the Hellcat don't list the Neutron Gun… the only place it shows up is as the Longbow's turret gun. So in their head it was a case of a logical story unfolding: the particle cannon was intended to replace the neutron gun and now a few years later it has. They expand on this a little more in the Victory Streak gun guide which claims they were used from 2640 to 2668* Unfortunately, the final balanced game ended up putting them front and center on the very first ship you fly!

* - I know, seemingly contradicting the Secret Missions copy protection which claims they were invented in 2618!



Totally - keep in mind that the manuals would have gone to print about a month before the final balance of the game was locked… so a LOT of changes to easily-altered, game-relevent things like ship and weapon specifications happened in that time, especially in areas where the player never actually 'sees' the number (like weapons). That's the cause of most discrepancies in the manuals and there are dozens and dozens of them.

The Sorthak in particular seems to have been massively nerfed. If you look at the 3D model the intent seems to have been to have four forward guns plus four dual-mount turrets (two forward, two aft). At some point, the forward two turrets were dropped entirely and the Sorthak became a whole lot less scarier. That's possibly due to the same ongoing issues with turrets/attached objects that caused a bunch of other last minute cuts of finished assets (including missile tanks, the triangular Kilrathi transports, more junk for the flight decks and Confederation frigates).
Interesting!! :) Thanks Loaf! Now the question is - are the stats listed actually inline with the game engine? The neutron gun was supposed to be a short range power hog (which it was in WC1), but according to the stats it uses only half the energy per shot of the Ion Cannon and has fairly long range. Did I ever mention that I hate the Ion Cannon? 🤬

The WC3 Warbirds also lists the neutron gun as on the Longbow - but paired with twin laser cannon rather than plasma cannon! The particle cannon turret is correctly listed. Thankfully WC4 rectified this and replaced the Neutron Gun on both the Hellcat and Longbow with the Particle Cannon.

The Crossbow also brought the Neutron Gun back - and it was a state of the art fighter in WC2!

Anytime something like this happens in WC3 I just throw up my hands and say "It was because of all the destruction from The Battle of Earth"! 😜
 

YCDTD

Commodore
EDIT:I am reading the WC Bible right now! Interesting facts and inconsistencies!
  1. The Longbow is listed as having 2 reaper cannon and 4 neutron cannon!
  2. Jutland is a CVA (CVA-91 in fact) converted from a Waterloo-class cruiser!
  3. The Concordia is given the designation BAH-63. What?
  4. Paktahn has 8 torpedos!
  5. The Sorthak was indeed given 4 dual-meson turrets (2 rear facing) with 4 forward ion cannons
  6. And we have Neutron Gun stats!!
    1. 62 damage (wow!)
    2. 36 energy use (to be expected)
    3. 4000km range (respectable)
    4. .45 refire delay (long)
 
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tarsus

Commodore
re: Sorthak, any mods out there allowing you to fly against the pristine ship in all it's glory?
 

YCDTD

Commodore
re: Sorthak, any mods out there allowing you to fly against the pristine ship in all it's glory?
I don't believe so. I am waiting for the community to remake the games and insert different versions of the fighters. I like the idea of having older versions of the same fighters in the same game as the newer ones. Like maybe the Sorthak you encounter in the final mission have the 2 additional meson turrets etc.

And WTF is Hobbes still flying his stolen T-bolt over Kilrah?!?! Somebody needs to change that!

But back to the Neutron Gun! I am trying to figure out the DPS of each ship in 3 and 4 (super nerdy, I know) and need to know if the PSX stats carry over to the PC version. I noticed that the guns stats for some of the other blasters in the PSX manual are different then what Victory Streak gives so the answer is probably a no! Arrrrrrrgghhhhh! 😀
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Re: Neutron Gun in WC Saga. Maddeningly the description of the gun does not match it's stats. It is outclassed, except for range, by the Mass Driver. It is not much better than the crappy photon cannon - which is the oldest Terran weapon.
 

tarsus

Commodore
The weapons in wc didn't really make sense.
IIRC the in game damages are as follows:
in wc1
laser < neutron < mass driver
in wc2
laser < neutron < mass driver < turreted neutron
privateer
made sense
armada
chaos ensues
wing 3+:
laser == efficient
ion == garbage
tachyon == good
all that mattered.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
The weapons in wc didn't really make sense.
IIRC the in game damages are as follows:
in wc1
laser < neutron < mass driver
in wc2
laser < neutron < mass driver < turreted neutron
privateer
made sense
armada
chaos ensues
wing 3+:
laser == efficient
ion == garbage
tachyon == good
all that mattered.
The plasma gun in wc3 was good too. And I think it went laser < mass driver < neutron in WC1. But was the WC2 neutron better than the WC2 particle cannon?
 

tarsus

Commodore

in wc1/2

laser : 1.8 cm/
mass driver: 4.5 cm
particle: 4.3 cm
neutron: 3.0 cm
turreted neutron gun: 7.0 cm

Neutrons are trash with a placebo effect.
 

YCDTD

Commodore

in wc1/2

laser : 1.8 cm/
mass driver: 4.5 cm
particle: 4.3 cm
neutron: 3.0 cm
turreted neutron gun: 7.0 cm

Neutrons are trash with a placebo effect.
Those are the official manual stats, but in game (in WC1) neutron was definitely the most powerful blaster. We need someone to crack open the actual game files and see what the actual data "on disk" says.

And in WC2 the particle cannon was inferior to the mass driver; but this was because the mass driver had a better rate of fire (which the WC games confusingly call "refire delay"), and not because each individual "bolt" or "beam" did more damage.

So I think a lot of the officially printed stats are wrong.

And there is no way the turreted neutron gun was that powerful in game. Turrets sucked in WC2. The Longbow's particle turret in WC3 was damn good though.
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
EDIT:I am reading the WC Bible right now! Interesting facts and inconsistencies!

Most of what you're seeing here is that the preserved version of the bible was developed at the tail end of Wing Commander III's development… so these are representative of whatever the current playable build was when it was updated. (These projects would require different disciplines at different times… designers and artists would've done most of their work earlier with programmers and QA folks working hardest as the ship date got close. So designers and TDAs who weren't so busy would get assigned scut work like updating the bible late in the game's development cycle.)

Jutland is a CVA (CVA-91 in fact) converted from a Waterloo-class cruiser!

This is actually the only place the "Jutland" has ever been mentioned, it's not something that shows up in anything published/canon. And it was slipped in there for one reason, to explain End Run's mistake in saying the TCS Gettysburg was one of the Confederation's major carriers.

The Concordia is given the designation BAH-63. What?

This is actually the same as the stat changes, an example of something put in during Wing Commander II's development and never updated. (It may not shock you to learn that intricate details of continuity aren't something most developers care THAT much about, all things considered.)

re: Sorthak, any mods out there allowing you to fly against the pristine ship in all it's glory?

The attach issue was never resolved, so the forward turrets aren't there in the game to add back in the first place.

Re: Neutron Gun in WC Saga. Maddeningly the description of the gun does not match it's stats. It is outclassed, except for range, by the Mass Driver. It is not much better than the crappy photon cannon - which is the oldest Terran weapon.

I think you got sent down a wrong path here, Saga is just a fan game and doesn't have any special information on the Neutron Gun in WC3. Presumably they've balanced it for their totally different game engine.

I've asked the folks doing the WC4 update to extract the WC3 gun data, I'll pass it along when it shows up.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Here's the internal gun data from the PC versions of WC3 and 4. WC4 uses the same stats for the shared guns and simly adds new versions where needed (at the end).

While it's tempting to say these are the 'real' stats, note that they don't actually inform us of too much. These are the values the game engine starts from but actual gameplay adds all sorts of modififers (hero bonus for the player, multiplyers depending on what texture you hit, modiiers based on difficulty, etc.)

Name: Ion Gun
Strength: 30
Speed: 1800
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.347656
Energy Use: 30

Name: Meson Gun
Strength: 35
Speed: 1800
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.398438
Energy Use: 16

Name: Neutron Gun
Strength: 52
Speed: 1400
Lifetime: 1.500000
Refire Delay: 0.398438
Energy Use: 30

Name: Particle Gun
Strength: 43
Speed: 2100
Lifetime: 2.000000
Refire Delay: 0.398438
Energy Use: 22

Name: Photon Gun
Strength: 32
Speed: 1800
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.449219
Energy Use: 30

Name: Plasma Gun
Strength: 67
Speed: 1200
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.500000
Energy Use: 44

Name: Reaper Gun
Strength: 35
Speed: 1800
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.226562
Energy Use: 35

Name: Laser
Strength: 18
Speed: 2000
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.250000
Energy Use: 10

Name: Tachyon Gun
Strength: 70
Speed: 1600
Lifetime: 2.000000
Refire Delay: 0.347656
Energy Use: 40

WC4

Name: Ion Gun (HEAVY)
Strength: 60
Speed: 1800
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.347656
Energy Use: 30

Name: Mass Driver
Strength: 45
Speed: 1000
Lifetime: 2.000000
Refire Delay: 0.296875
Energy Use: 12

Name: Mass Driver (HEAVY)
Strength: 60
Speed: 1200
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.449219
Energy Use: 30

Name: Photon Gun (HEAVY)
Strength: 64
Speed: 1200
Lifetime: 2.500000
Refire Delay: 0.449219
Energy Use: 30

Name: Tachyon Gun (LIGHT)
Strength: 50
Speed: 1600
Lifetime: 2.000000
Refire Delay: 0.347656
Energy Use: 40
 
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