There are basically 2 topics that I would like to adress in this post. The first being the effectiveness of all nuclear warheads, that includes: Goliath, Scylla, Flashpoint Torpedo, Nuclear Missile, Starrling Missile Salvo, Tartarus Missile , Nuclear Mine. The second topic that I would like to adress is the effect that scrambles bring to the game, to be more specific: Scrambler Pulse, Missile, Mine & the Bombers.
Goliath : Due to having no damage faloff across the blast this is the superior nuclear weapon currently available in DN. It is capable of smashing fleet formations & taking out healballs if caught by surprise, the fact that it can be launched w/o warning is also a very important advantage. Despite the loss of the Goliath pulse, this is hands down the best form of damage Nuclear weapon available in Dreadnought. Here is a example of Goliath Bowling: https://gyazo.com/e9e91b59ce9c6a6e6085bd044e186c83
Tartarus : Because of the high accuracy & purge status the Tartarus nuke is one of the most dangerous AoE debuffs in DN. It can easily shut down targets clustered together. If not countered by ANL it can potentially decimate the enemy fleet.
Flashpoint Torpedo : Used in conjunction with Drain Pulse & mobility modules such as Thrust Amp, Evasive Manuver & Jump Drive you can catch your target by surprise and inflict very high single target burst. However the torpedoes will miss against most moving targets & can be easily juked unless shot from specific angles.
Nuclear Mine : The mine can be a very effective tool, but it's extremely situational. The reason being it inflicts self damage on the user & has damage falloff simmilar to Nuclear Missile & Starrling. Also it's pretty hard to catch a target by surprise with it so it kind of requires deployment on Warp or a Tractor module to be effectively pulled off.
Starrling Missilve Salvo : The trebuchet went from being one of the most effective AoE weapons against clustered targets to Being food for retaliator. Due to the nerf in damage of each individual nuke the outer blast lacks the firepower to provide sufficient AoE damage to serve any real purpose other than recharging Retaliator. The nerf in accuracy prevented clustered nukes from landing on the same targets but it doesn't spread it out enough for it to serve is purpose as damaging multiple ships due to the hectic landing pattern. Despite being 4 invividual blasts the nerf in damage & accuracy caused this module to lose it's treadmark trade: Bypassyng the shield oversampling.
The Bad :
Scylla : Advertised as a Long range Goliath, the lack of tracking make this module completely obsolete as it can even be dodged by Dreadnoughts due to it shining like a disco ball & the small blast radious. The low damage of this module propels it to the worst Destroyer primary module available in DN.
Nuclear Missile: The downfall of this module comes from 2 aspects: First of the horrible accuracy, I can't even begin to comprehend how this module tracks or of it tracks at all the only way to get the nuke to land where you want it is to target the terrain below your target & manually detonate it midair. However even sucessfully landing it comes with 2 other issues: First off is the damage falloff, the outer blast lacks the Alpha damage of the Goliath & the second is oversampling the damage done to the shield.
What I mean by oversampling the damage done to shield can be highlighted with a very simple example:
Goliath Torpedo at Tier 4 does 20 000 damage, a TAC absorbs at 85% efficiency and 3 energy per 1000 damage taken. Normally it would imply a blocked Goliath will do 3000 damage & cost 60 energy to block. Now while these numbers can be altered by certain briefings the issue comes from the ability to block any form of nuclear weapon with a meager 1-5 energy that will rezult in full mitigation. Combined with briefings that return energy to the user the Nuclear weapons can be blocked even if they are used as a follow up to forms of Purge. Now this issue can also be found on Artillery Cruiser shots & Torpedoes but to a smaller extent due to how mathematics play a role in number crunching.
Apart from adjustments to each individual module, there are some common pool solutions:
1) Adjusting the nuclear warning & removing the missile UI track.Right now these 2 elements telegraph some of the nuclear warheads away making them very easily counterable with directing power to the shields & activating the Anti Nuke Lasers.
2) Adding a partial shield & armor boost ignore. Due to the nature of these modules & how shields & armor boosts crunch the numbers these modules can be reduced to very low practical numbers. Armor Amp can completely nullify a nuke & a single use of a Armor boost Pulse can protect nearby friendly ships from the nukes even if they are purged or caught off guard. The very high innate mitigation of the lighter ships & the current shield mechanics prevent them from taking damage from these modules as stated in the example above.
3) Adding a more powerfull knockback & removing the damage falloff. If the nukes were to push the target away towards the edge of the blast & apply their full damage it would also turn them into effective displacement modules as well as adressing some of the accuracy issues that are not present on the Goliath Torpedo.
4) Improving the tracking. Right now faster ships can completely throw the Nukes off course to the point where even manual detonation won't catch the targets in the blast radious due to them not tracking the target at all after a certain time frame. I am not saying you should be able to take out that afterburner corvette with a well placed Nuclear missile even some of the medium ships are fast enough to completely displace where these modules land.
Now the issue with scrambles is a bit more tricky, it is not any single specific module that is hard to counter but rather chained usage. Standalone niche use can lead to landing very powerfull modules such as Goliaths/Storms/Rams etc, but it does not really reward the user of the module accordingly in the scoreboard outside his own Technical Kill. Now chained use of Scramble with pairing multiple modules most commonly encountered in the form of Bombers + another module that will rezult in a loop that can go on for extensive periods of time.
While this has a heavy effect on the outcome of the game, the friendly targets are not encouraged by default to help you escape the loop as shooting down the scramble sources brings no direct rewards, a issue also seen on Amped Repair pods. The lack of Voice comms also makes it hard to type in chat to request assistance, this mostly affects solo players or people that are inside the frontline. While I do agree that teamplay should be required in order to counter collective effort being shut down for extended periods of time while being trapped in these loops can be a very unpleasant experience on the receiving end.
When adressing this issue on the discord I have been told that Autoguns & moving out of the Scrambler zone can counter it. The problem however is that if you are the frontline you are moving the scramble zone and if you move that area by retreating to your Tactical Cruisers you risk getting them shut down as well & that will most likely end up with the enemy fleet running you over like a bulldozer. Also w/o a unscrambled player coordinating you to move out of it you might as well try to push a wall with your ship. The autogun sollution is not really reliable as some of them require lock on & the unguided ones aren't really prioritizing what you want them to do.
My only idea regarding this issue is to reduce the effectiveness of chained Scramble sources & increasing the reward gained from applying these sort of debuffs & shutting them down.