1700m splash radius
Here’s the problem with this weapon:
In a battleship-lead fleet, the furthest point from the middle is 2500m. This means a “center” aimed blast hits 68% of the field. Consequently, it’s not possible to arrange a fleet in such a way that you can punish the use of the weapon. It only needs to hit 4 ships to be the most powerful DPS in the game. So you spread your ships out. But it’s hard to arrange things in such a way that 1 blast isn’t still hitting 4+ ships and with your fleet arranged like this, you are going to block your own direct weapons…which means you will need to fire back with indirect weapons…which means you’ll be using the SML-B.
I feel like the blast radius should be more like 750. This would be punishing to people who do “front lines”. At 750m radius, hitting the middle of a wide row of direct fire frigates should hit 5-7 of them. That’s if the player crams them as close as they can, which they need to do to get that maximum “front line” DPS pain train. (I’m judging this by looking at how many Syntis T2 frigates I can cram on a line. I can get 15 of them lined up with a battleship in the middle and my eyeballing it suggests a 750m wide nuke in the line would hit 7 frigates, making for 7x5.2 = 36.4 DPS from the SML-B, making it better than any other weapon, but only for “crammed” ships.)
Now if we look at missiles and torpedoes…
Missiles have a 50m blast radius. Torpedoes have a 100m blast radius. T2 Syntis frigates – which are pretty small, easily crammed ships – can still only get within about 350m of each other. So you can’t splash T2 frigates with torpedoes or missiles.
Syntis Corvettes can only get within 200m of each other. So again torpedo and missile blast radius is meaningless.
Syntis Scouts can get to within what looks like about 90-95m of each other. So you can AE scouts with a torpedo if they’re jammed up, but the 50m radius of a missile is still too small. [unless I misunderstand how AE works. I assume it’s “distance from the middle point” and not “distance starting from the edge of the ship placement circle”]
SML-B radius is absurdly huge and makes it OP.
Torpedo radius is too small making it only useful against crammed up scouts.
Missile radius is so small it’s not useful against anything.
Of course, “indirect fire” weapons deserve to do less DPS than direct fire weapons so missiles can still be useful but it’s worth pointing out that the 50m AE component is meaningless.
I think my proposal would be to keep SML-B as the champion AE weapon but cut the blast radius to about 750. Maybe just eliminate the blast radius of torpedoes but make them do better single target DPS. Missiles are actually decent as-is – high end missiles are pretty competitive for being indirect fire – but remove the AE component as it is simply misleading.
“Full cram”. This is how I arrange a DPS line in a fleet of 1 BS + 15 FR. A blast radius of about 650 would hit 5 of them and make the SML-B worthwhile. Make the blast radius 750 and you should hit 5-7 and I think that should be the “use case” of the SML-B.