Disruptor Pulse Launcher
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The Disruptor Pulse Launcher which can be carried with one hand is perhaps the worst thing since the Blaster Launcher from the First Alien War. Though it depends on whose fingers are on the trigger: human or alien.
In many ways, the under-water restriction is a hidden blessing for X-COM. There is nothing like a nuke for accidentally killing three civilians in order to get rid of one Gillman, and can you even imagine a human Cruise Ship keeping itself afloat should several of those babies go off in the engine room?
The main blessing of the Disruptor Pulse Launcher is also its greatest curse; it is disgustingly easy to use. Two rookies that stay behind on the dropship can kill a dozen aliens with it as long as others take point. Yet the same ease of operation means the user doesn't learn anything from the kill... No more than the people piloting the remote-controlled weapon platforms.
Commanders with troops well-trained in MC can have fun launching the DPL from aliens who have been controlled, especially in Alien Base Mission Ground level. However, due to the inventory lockout for MC'd aliens, you will only be able to fire it once if it is loaded.
From September onward, the aliens will replace all of their sonic weapons with this in their colonies. Every alien from then on will either carry this or a Thermal Shok Launcher on an Alien Colony Assault.
Tactical use of the launcher
When fired, the operator sets up to 8 waypoints through which the torpedo will fly en route its final impact point. Here, it generates the largest explosion of any weapon used in the game, hence it has in effect a minimum range inside which its use is dangerous or fatal to the firer. This is the weapon's only real drawback. A DPL round will penetrate any alien ship or underwater structure that it strikes, destroying the point of impact and usually several squares adjacent to it. A DPL hit on the outside of a Alien Sub will inflict casualties on anyone, human or alien, standing inside the sub near that point. Like all TFTD explosive weapons, the blast occurs in one plane.
The waypoints can be at different levels, so the weapon can be used as a mortar. It can also fire around corners. Even if it misses a waypoint, the DPL round will still steer towards the next one. In effect, if it makes an error en route, it will try to recover the error, and usually succeeds. This means it usually lands on or near its intended target.
If it misses its final waypoint, the round may fly off the map without exploding. A solution to this that ensures the weapon always explodes on the map is to set the penultimate waypoint above ground level, and the final waypoint at ground level close by. This will ensure that the round noses over at the end of its flight, so even if it misses the final waypoint, will still hit the ground and explode close to the original target.
In general gradual course changes work better than violent ones, so if you want to send a DPL missile around a corner, it is better to use up several waypoints making a series of shallow turns than one sharp turn. Depending on the complexity of the path to the target, this is not always possible.
As it has a guided projectile, DPL-equipped aquanauts can be positioned anywhere, and can provide fire support from any part of the map to any other (provided any obstacles en route can be negotiated using the eight course changes available). When attacking alien ships and structures, one DPL round can make a hole and subsequent rounds can pass through the hole and detonate inside. Once the player becomes familiar with the layout of alien ships and bases, and with where inside them senior aliens can usually be found, DPL bombardment can be used to attack these areas and decapitate the defence early on. Killing alien commanders in this way reduces MC attacks by killing those who usually make them, and also demoralises and panics other aliens, making them easier to defeat.
DPL operators do not need any more than aqua-plastic armour, as they usually see an enemy only rarely. In confined spaces such as the lower levels of alien colonies, where firing the DPL is sometimes impractical because the range is too short, a sonic pistol is advisable equipment for DPL crewmen, for emergency or close-range personal defence.
The aliens are not particularly skilful in their use of the DPL. It is rare to see them use more than one waypoint, and most DPL fire from aliens is simply direct by line of sight.
An XCom soldier can carry up to seven DPL rounds - one loaded, one in the other hand, three in the backpack and two on the belt. In practice, a soldier thus burdened may not have enough TUs to fire and reload every move. One workaround is to have the soldier exit the landing craft and then drop the ammunition, reloading by picking up rounds from the ground. Another is simply to equip the soldier with fewer rounds and have him retrieve further ammunition from the battlefield as required.
Comparison to UFO: EUs Blaster Launcher
Nearly identical to the Blaster Launcher with a few minor improvements. Weight for the weapon is decreased by 4 points and the damage increased by 10. However, when carried in the usual loadout of 4 bombs, the effective weight remains the same since the ammo weight is increased by 1. The biggest drawback is the inability to use this on land (though nothing stops you from loading a ship with it) or during base assaults. Then again, the aliens can't use it either under these conditions, so this limitation is also an advantage.
The most noticeable tactical difference between the DPL and the Blaster Launcher is that the latter weapon usually takes down any alien with a single direct or nearby hit. In TFTD, this is not always the case. Lobstermen usually survive the first hit, and may even survive two. Xarquids and Tasoths may survive a nearby DPL explosion, though neither will withstand a direct hit. All other aliens are killed if caught in the blast radius.
The main practical "improvement" is that in the endgame, many aliens will be equipped with the DPL, allowing you to deploy it as a standard weapon.
- Size: 3 high x 2 wide
- Weight: 12
- Launch: 75% (Accuracy 120%)1
- Manufacturing: $90,000 for parts, 1,200 Technician Hours, 1 Aqua Plastic, 5 Workshop space
- Sell Price: $144,000
1 TU% and Accuracy are correct as taken from OBDATA.DAT. However, because of the "Waypoint" and "Launcher" flags in the file, the game engine adjusts the TU usage to 66%. Likewise, overall accuracy is also nullified by the executable and a lower accuracy (50%?, adjusted by unit firing it) is applied between waypoints.
- Power: 210 High Explosive
- Ammo: 1
- Size: 2 high x 1 wide
- Weight: 4
- Manufacturing: $8,000 for parts, 220 Technician Hours, 3 Zrbite, 3 Workshop space
|Terror From The Deep: Equipment (TFTD)|
|Armor||Diving Suit • Plastic Aqua Armor • Ion Armor • Magnetic Ion Armor|
|Weapons|| Dart Gun • Jet Harpoon • Gas Cannon • Hydro-Jet Cannon • Torpedo Launcher • Thermal Tazer|
Magna-Blast Grenade • Particle Disturbance Grenade • Magna-Pack Explosive
|Portable Equipment||Dye Grenade • Particle Disturbance Sensor • Medi-Kit • Chemical-flare • M.C. Disruptor • M.C. Reader • Zrbite|
|SWS||Coelacanth/G. Cannon • Coelacanth/Aqua Jet • Coelacanth/Gauss • Displacer/Sonic • Displacer/PWT|
|Data||Weapon Summaries • TFTD Item destruction table • SWS/Terror Unit Innate Weapons|