I Tested the New Modified Guardian Plasma Chargers in a High CZ...

I bought a whole set of those new Plasma Chargers that Salvation gave us and naturally went out to shoot other human vessels with them. A pair of Minor Factions in my home system conveniently are in a Civil War state which means High CZs are spawning and I can use them to test these weapons out against some hardened targets:

Source: https://youtu.be/dIUHPoexqEU


A couple of Timestamps:
0:38 1x Plasma Charger
9:55 3x Plasma Chargers

For reference, here are the stats of the new GPCs:
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Experimental Courier build in progress: https://s.orbis.zone/gzum
The Multicannon Turrets featured in this video were 1x Overcharged / Emissive Munitions and 1x Lightweight / Corrosive Shell as they were what I had on hand at the time. I use turrets so they can apply their special effects while I focus on evasive maneuvers and apply damage with my main fixed armaments. I might swap out the non-Corrosive Multi for a Lightweight Feedback Cascade Railgun should a 3A Armored Powerplant permit it, or potentially move to a 2-GPC 1-Feedback Rail setup if my Courier's Distributor is up to the task.

In Short:
  • Decent damage output: Each fully charged shot deals 78.2 MJs of fully absolute damage with a decent refire rate (1.8s charge-up, nominally ~2-2.5s between shots depending on the player) [1]
    • Maximum Potential Damage per GPC is 17,204 MJs.
  • Ludicrous speed: Projectile velocity is 6000 m/s, resulting in relatively easy shots at range when compared to traditional PAs. I might switch over to Lag Pip to see if I can get more accurate shots with the GPCs.
  • High Distributor Draw: Each fully charged shot consumes approximately 12.5 MW from the Weapons capacitor - 10x the stated Distro Draw in the Outfitting screen.
  • High Power Draw: One GPC requires 2.82 MW from your Powerplant. Three require 8.46 MW. Bring a 4A Armored / Monstered Powerplant for your Courier.
Are they worth getting?

If you're a fan of experimental weapons / whacky builds and want something other than THE META, yes.

These new GPCs are certainly an interesting alternative to a traditional PA setup. They are functional enough for general everyday use in normal PVE; high-level Human PVE (Soloing Wing Assassination Missions) and PVP combat might be a bit of a stretch for the GPCs due to their drawbacks and lack of experimental effects, but I wouldn't be surprised if they could be used there with some clever outfitting / Engineering and strategery.

Suggestions on improvements:
  • The charge-up / full charge audio is... unpleasant to the ear, to put it mildly. I can do without the "EEEEEEEEE" and the loud warbling is what I'm trying to say :p
  • Is the actual fully-charged Distributor Draw supposed to be ~12.5 MW for a Medium GPC? If so, can we have that information listed in the Outfitting screen in some fashion? The current Draw is listed as 1.25 MW, which with a charge time of 1.8s would indicate a full-charge draw of 2.25 MW...
Footnotes:
[1] Per update 3.0.4 from way back in 2018:
From 3.0.4:
"Weapons & Modules

The damage values displayed for experimental weapons now more accurately represent the damage that they will deal against human vessels"

In outfitting we see the damage values against human ships. Against Thargoids the damage was not changed, at least based on my experience. It would have been a big echo on the forum if the gauss was suddenly dealt half damage, but nobody mentioned it, so no nerf.
The damage you see in the Outfitting screen is what you get vs. Human vessels. I raised an issue about that when testing the GPCs on a friend's FAS back when they were first introduced. AFAIK nothing has changed in that regard since then, though some testing over on Reddit has shown they might be dealing slightly less damage than stated:
https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/qkz7y8 Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/qkz7y8/salvations_modified_guardian_plasma_charger_raw/
 
Praise Salvation!
More people see and realise salvation's gifts are not only for destoying the thargoids.
But the plasma charger can destroy human sinners too!
...
Praise aside I have used the engineered plasma chargers and have been loving them. I know some people don't like the noise they make but I love it! It makes my ship a big wailing banshee of doom!
 
Praise aside I have used the engineered plasma chargers and have been loving them. I know some people don't like the noise they make but I love it! It makes my ship a big wailing banshee of doom!
I've been using them so much, the only sound I hear in a quiet room is "EEEEEEEEEEEEEE." Does that mean I'm getting used to it? Is that normal?

I still can't decide if that sound is from the Plasma Chargers or my Distributor crying out in agony trying to power them :ROFLMAO:

On a more serious note, Lag Pip / Trailing Gun Sight Mode is the way to go with the modified GPCs. I'm able to hit targets much more reliably with them over the Leading mode thanks to that ludicrous velocity.
 
Turns out I already had the rep with the Taurus mining folks, as well as some weapon blue prints, so I got the permit and grabbed a couple of these. When the plasma chargers first came out I loved them, but eventually replaced them as there were just better options. These are amazing! That shot speed along with enough ammo to last a while really makes them more practical. Using them to clear CZs now and can't believe I'm nailing Vipers 2k+ out with plasmas. Lot's of fun to use.
 
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