Yes, Burst Laser Mk. II is an amazing weapon, but with Advanced Edition out we've got Flak Guns. Those things are amazing. Mix one of those in with your Burst Laser Mk. IIs and you've got something even better!
Flak I is pretty lackluster, but I rather fancy the Flak 2. Still crap for taking out systems, but not too bad for stripping shields.
Still burst II is probably still among the best weapons and Ion Blast II is always nice to have as well
Ion Blast II is pretty nice, especially with an experienced gunner, but I hesitate to use it as much because it fires a little too fast: I can't keep up with its incredible firerate, so I keep it on autofire, but that throws off the coordination of the rest of my weapon loadout, making battles a series of pause spasms and toggling autofire every 3 seconds. That's the reason I really wanted to see a separate autofire feature for each weapon slot with the introduction of AE, but alas.
I also dislike that ion damage is not real damage, and they can still repair it even when ionized, leaving you in a pinch with slower ion weapons when the timers run out.
I think you'll find that having Ion Blast II on Autofire is quite possibly the best utility weapon in the game.
Basically, it means you put one enemy's system in a permenant state of disability.
Oddly enough, one of my best combos was with Ion Blast II, another Ion and two Pike Beams. After 16 seconds, I could do almost 8 points of damage across 4 rooms, stop FTL charging (not to mention kill their evade) and disable the most dangerous weapons.
Granted, it's not the best, but it was surprisingly effective. Otherwise Pike Beams are lame.
...but we were talking about Ion Blast II, goodness. Forgive my rambling.
All of the weapons are the best in different ways (except for the Burst Laser Mk. I, of course) for all sorts of different reasons. Let's just put this to rest because of that. And Flak is actually decent for taking out systems as well, especially the Flak Mk. I because it barely has more than a four-person room of area. And Ion Blast Mk. II is quite wonderful, as we've all pointed out. And the Chain Vulcan takes a ridiculous amount of power, but after firing a few times it becomes something like an Ion Blast Mk. II that actually does damage. They're all too good.
I just want to put a good word in for the Vulcan on top of what NinjaEditor's said.
Once you fire the Chain Vulcan enough times, its reload time is faster than shield respawns. I've managed to beat a ship, taking no hull damage, simply firing fast enough that I broke through all of its shields and destroyed its shield system with just a single vulcan. Sure, missing one shot with the vulcan will allow a ship to regenerate one shield layer and set you back just a little, but there's no greater feeling in the world than breaking through 3 layers of shields and then smashing the shield system to nothing with just a single weapon. I'd compare it to a Burst Laser where you can actually aim each shot individually instead of dedicating all of the shots to one target. That charge-up time might be the deal breaker though.
Sorry, I guess it's silly for me to say that, because I do agree with NinjaEditor's point that every weapon has its own specialty and there's a playstyle to make the most out of almost any weapon. I just thought that since the Ion Blast II, Burst Laser Mk 2 and Flak 2 were getting good coverage I'd just put something out there on the Vulcan, because its uses deserve no understatement for sure.
I really like the ion bomb, eventhough it needs long to recharge. disabling 2 layers of shilds for a decent amout of time for one weapon energy is nice for me. Beams profit a lot from this, as you can fully damage the disabled shilds or weapon systems! With a halberd Beam and 4 layers of free weapon energy, you can do a lot! 2 burst laser mk ll or a mk lll or any other combination! rocks totally!
I see a lot of advocates for the Vulcan, and yet its weaknesses are pretty darn obvious: If your weapon system gets hit using this thing, tough luck, you have restart the reload from scratch. Endgame high-evade ships also nullify every other shot. And: Enemy ships can deploy Vulcans just as easily as you can, with weapon rarity meaning squat to them; they could theoretically have two Vulcans and reduce your ship to ash, so you'd better have a good counter-strategy. Also, although this is a personal preference, weapons using 4 power, like a burst III or a glaive beam, I stay away from where possible: That's too much power going into one weapon that I'd be better off reasonably distributing between several weapons.
The Ion Bomb's recharge is to me, the killer. Pairing this with being a bomb weapon, thus relying on how many missiles you have on hand, makes a missed shot basically the most annoying thing ever: You lose a missile, you have to wait for it to charge again, and whatever you were planning to fire in conjunction with it is now useless, so you're basically at your enemy's mercy. As I've said previously, I also dislike ion damage in general as it is not real damage, it doesn't force the enemy to allocate crew to that system to repair it, taking them away from other systems that could use a manning bonus; ion damage takes the wind out of the sails of boarding strategies, as once the ion timer runs out, the system's back up, instead of beaming your boarders into a room right after damaging it to protect it from repairman, assuring the permanence of damage inflicted, unless you're forced to retreat.
I'll concede to beam weapons being ok, but high-damage ones, the only ones I'd consider using, all have the highest power requirements and the shortest beam lengths. Plus, their inability to take down midgame shields by themselves annoys me: I like to think of half of my weapon complement as necessary, enough to do at least 5 damage, and the second half as merely insurance, for still dealing damage if a few shots missed. If you're still using beams in the endgame, you'd better have some pretty shield-crushing weapons to back them up.
For bombs, I like breach II more than the ion bomb. System damage - check. Crew damage if one is standing on the room where the bomb is - check. And if the ship is automated, you can be sure that punching a hole through the system will stop the ship from making a repair. The sound of a system being breached is wonderful, especially when you go after the automated rebel flagship. If I had to board in the main section on the rebel flagship using the two-crew teleporter ships, breaching the medbay had saved my ass so many times as I patiently kill off the crew at the pilot area. I like teleporting to the pilot room since it helps reduce the ship's evasion so I can bomb systems with ease.
I'm liking the flak guns, too. If my ship lacks missiles for damage, I use them to strip the shields, timing them first while firing the lasers or beams second when the shield is taken down. One time I nabbed two Flak Is and one Flak II. Surprisingly effective on the rebel flagship. With maxed shields and engines, I can patiently evade the attacks while firing the flak at one section. Slow going, but once I started piling up the damage it all worked out. Especially useful on the third phase. Before the Flak II could fire I already had shaved off the super shield.
As for beams... only in drones, I guess. Also handy for me against the rebel flagship's super shields.
I totally agree with FtwLasers here. Could you even give me an example of one of his comments that is "childish bulls***"? Anyways, comments can be anything except spam, so no problem there. If anything needs to be done, a comment can ask for it. Understand? And if you want to convince any admins to side with you, 1. get an account, and 2. watch the language.
It's been more than a year, and I can't tell if you're even the same person. Nor can I tell what that's about, as threads don't have such detailed history as pages. If you are, glad you cooled down a bit, but at this point could you maybe just drop it? Unless you can show that this is still an issue, of course.
I'm not the same person as the March 27 poster, just someone else who got treated poorly by FtwLasers. In my case, I pointed out to him that "non-distress beacon" was a common term on the wiki, and was a useful addition. He had already rolled back my change to the page (see the diff here ), but he deleted the thread I linked above.
As you say, it's been over a year since that post, but that was enough to show me that a) my contributions weren't welcome and b) I didn't need to spend any more time arguing with someone whose mind was made up (and who had admin rights).
Honestly, not sure why I bothered posting this tonight anyway.