Long Range Frigates (or LRFs) do exactly what their description suggests. They have long range special weapons designed to deal damage from far away, and are unique in that these abilities vary depending on whether the LRF is Empire or Jericho. However they are slow and have poor defense, so most enemies that close with them will make short work of their large, weak, low agility chassis.
All LRFs are slow, fragile and difficult to move in to position. The disintegrator has the potential to do much more damage, but requires line of sight with the target and is easily traced back to its source, so is easy to hide from. Guided torpedoes do considerably lower damage over time, though they can do it with an area of effect, and can steer around corners, but the torpedo is almost completely neutralised by Guard frigates, ECM active modules which disable lock (and thus the connection between LRF and it's missile) and anti-missile systems. As part of their class role, and to somewhat counter their lack of tank, LRFs are equipped with 2 turrets more than other frigates and often have multiple CPU slots to boost dmg further, so their damage with conventional weapons is quite high and it is possible to be very effective at mid range just with regular weapons. Going into brawl should be avoided though, as it exposes the poor agility and large size of the ship.
- Additional weapons (6 turrets for weapons)
- Expanded volume of free space, by reducing the thickness of the armor, to install weapons (-20% by volume of shield and hull)
- Volumetric hull (125% of explosive damage and external incoming recovery)
- Allied fire support
- Remote attack from a long distance
- Ability to disorient the enemy
- Reliable escape
- Relatively poor mobility
- Very low maneuverability
- Effective against: Gunships, Command and Guard
- Weak against: Recons, Covert Ops and Destroyers
Shows itself best when attacking from a safe distance.
If you like to finish off enemies with a powerful and accurate shot from cover, then this role is for you.
The Disintegrator is the long range weapon of Empire LRFs. It is essentially a frigate-sized sniper rifle. When used, the LRF will stop moving and the view switches to a zoomed in scope. You can't move while in scope mode (AI bots can move and snipe in the same time) with the exception of remote disintegrator of Project 1011! The disintegrator fires a focused beam of thermal energy that deals heavy damage. The Disintegrator gives off a telltale laser sight when aimed near someone, allowing them to see if they're about to be sniped and from which direction, so after shooting a few enemies, it is a good idea to relocate. Disintegrator does additional dmg to Destroyers and Frigates. Extra damage to Destroyers is a percentage multiplier of the base damage, allowing critical hits to also be factored into the extra damage, and a fixed amount of extra damage is used for frigates.
The Guided torpedo is the long range weapon of Jericho LRFs. When fired the view switches to that of the torpedo and the pilot can then steer the torpedo to its target. Torpedo can be manually detonated or it will detonate if directly hit the enemy or obstacle. When detonated it deals high damage in a 300 m. radius, and produces a heat cloud that continues to deal moderate damage in that radius for about 5 seconds. Torpedoes can be used to hit enemies around cover, flush opponents away from beacons (with the lingering AoE damage), and can even be used to scout ahead! The main weakness of the torpedo is that it can be shot down by Guard frigates' Anti-Missile Systems, so it should not be used on targets with Guards near them, IR-Flares as well counter torpedos, when flares are used in line o f sight, player will lose control of the torpedo. Unlike the Disintegrator, the Guided Torpedo does not give a visual reference to enemies (aside from the big missile gliding towards them), but instead sets off the "Missile Incoming" audio alarm. Attentive players will hear the alarm, but notice that the "Missile Incoming" icon will be missing (which only comes on when a lock-on missile is launched)... meaning a Guided Torpedo is heading their way. While guiding a torpedo, which may take about 10 seconds to expand all fuel, pay attention to HP bars that are still visible during torpedo flight, it is quite often that smarter opponents will wait for a Jericho LRF launch a torpedo and assassinate them while they are busy sterring it. If there is any sight of taking dmg to your mother-ship - detonate a torpedo immediately and start responding to a threat in range.
Torpedos tend to be harder to use well than Disintegrators due to their travel time and many counters, but they deliver a high damage payload relatively often, and can play much closer to the rest of the team (due to firing around corners they do not have to use raw distance as cover) allowing them to attack with their superior main guns more often.
Some long-range ships have unique Special Modules.
The Weapon Overcharge greatly improves the damage of the LRF's special ability when it is next used.
Activate it before you fire... using it while guiding a torpedo (or while a Disintegrator charge is in flight) will not affect it.
The Tachyon Charge greatly improves the shot speed of the LRF's special ability when it is next used.
This reduced the lead required for Disintegrator shots. It may or may not be helpful on Jericho LRFs, since it increases the speed of the torpedo (making it get to the target quicker, but drastically reduces missile maneuverability as it is counted in degrees per 100 m/s).
EM Scattering Field
The EM Scattering Field hides the LRF from enemy sensors and prevents any enemies from locking on to it. Unlike other covert devices it is not broken by firing, but it is broken if the LRF's engines are used. You can freely rotate your ship and fire at enemies without breaking the EM Scattering Field's activation. But any use of engines (e.g. the WASD keys, as well as the SPACE and ALT keys) will break the effect. Also, inertia from movement PRIOR to activating the EM Field will NOT break the effect.
In Open Space, AI enemies CAN see through the Scattering Field, and will still attack like normal once alerted. However, the EM field will prevent enemies from firing guided missiles (and launching negative effects) at you.
After a slight delay teleport a LRF backwards up to 5000 m., if there is an obstacle on the way, LRF will be teleported right next to it. Since this is not a "micro warp" like recon has, LRF can not thud into anything unless reversing already. While teleport is prepared all resistances are significantly lowered, making ship vulnerable to incoming dmg.
The IR Pulsar disables the targeting systems of any enemy currently locked on to the LRF.
Player Opinion and Gameplay
At distance, the bane of large, slow targets like Destroyers and other Frigates, LRFs are perfect for players who either like to snipe (Empire) or strike from a distance while behind cover (Jericho). Very weak and an easy target for close range recons and fighters (especially Covert Ops and high damage active modules), LRFs are quite bad at front-line fighting, but can hit and run quickly at midrange using reverse thruster to return to cover with their high DPS standard guns. Highly skilled players will sometimes take advantage of this ability to fit Coil Mortars for anti-recon, or even curved lens lasers for short range strike DPS. Instead of charging into a fight, use cover and the 3D aspect of the game's maps to get unexpected angles on enemies while remaining largely unseen. Then, support the fight from a distance. If you think that you have been spotted, which happens a lot with Empire frigates (who are easy to spot due to the laser), move to another position and keep shooting. Minefields are a great missile slot weapon, since they will protect you from close in enemies and can act as a warning that someone is closing in on you. Pairs well with a Recon to spot targets for you, since your view range is rather bad.