|ECHO Ray||ECHO Ray Turret|
|“||The ECHO Ray (Electrical Charge Overflow Ray) is a VSec Energy weapon with the unique ability to bounce between adjacent targets.||”|
|— In game description|
|Projectile Speed||3,500 m/s|
|Chain||4 (-40% damage per bounce)|
|Firing Cycle||C: 0.0 / F: 0.0 / R: 3.0 / N: 1|
|Farming Tier||VSec Tier I||VSec Tier II||VSec Tier III|
|Requirements||Polaron Ray I||Polaron Ray III||Polaron Ray V|
|Time||4m 30s||24m 00s||2h 53m 30s|
The ECHO Ray stands for Electric Charge Overflow Ray, it is a ship energy weapon with the unique ability to ricochet and bounce to nearby adjacent targets after striking an enemy ship. Its blueprints can be found in level 27-45 VSec fleets. It serves as the ship counterpart of the ECHO ray turret.
They are very prevalent in fleet combat, both in PvP and NPC fleets in both mid level and high level fleets. Low level players may be seen having unlocked them early. They are most commonly seen equipped on battleships but they are also sometimes equipped on destroyers, as well as Cruisers.
They can be recognized firing a thin, curving laser that bounces from ship to ship.
Strategy and Setup
The ECHO Ray's firepower may appear inadequate, but against groups of ships, it is actually a very strong and serves well as an excellent replacement for Hydra missiles, Polaron ray, and even weapons such as Gladius driver , Wave driver and AP driver at long ranges on most occasions. This is because the laser fired can bounce from ship to ship up to four times, almost doubling the damage delivered given if it can bounce all four times. To clarify, the bounce means that it can hit four ships at once at most and technically bounce off from three targets initially.
It cannot bounce to ships it has already bounced on. It can bounce from squadron to squadron as well as squadron to ships. The bounce allows ECHO rays some potential to damage targets outside of its range, even strike targets well beyond its maximum range if it's initial target is within range.
One of the most critical advantages about the ECHO ray is that it has the matching range to the Gladius driver if mixed with focused optics V, allowing it to have long range kiting abilities of the Gladius driver.
ECHO rays have no minimum range arcs, this ensures that the ECHO ray is not inhibited from medium, close or point blank range combat. Players needn't worry about their blind spots unlike other weapons when enemy ships close in quickly.
Comparing the chaining ability with splash damage of explosive weapons, the laser bounces to targets with roughly 1,500 metres from original target. This mechanism guarantees it can deliver maximum damage output to ships that grouped up with moderate space in between - where as explosive weapons cannot damage entire groups of ships, especially if each ship has a large profile size. You can imagine that the ECHO ray has a splash damage of 1,500 metres but the subsequent targets take less damage unlike splash damage explosive weapons, in which all targets in the area of effect will take equal damage. Explosive weapons need antimatter warheads or Spectral Warheads to enhance their area of effect damage.
ECHO rays are most commonly seen equipped on battleship, especially Venom battleships and above. Their high range, ability to chain, potent firepower and no minimum range arc makes it an incredibly reliable and versatile weapon in all forms of combat against VEGAs and other players. Their range and firepower can destroy pursuing fleets of cruisers, and inflict great damage to grouped fleets of battleships and destroyers.
They are mass efficient and comparably light to other energy weapons such as Gatling Ray or Aurora Ray. ECHO rays on ships such as Zeal battleships often frees enough mass for heavier armor and bomber squadrons III on a Ragnarok carrier as fleet support.
ECHO rays work well with stasis weapons, especially the Arrestor Beam on battleships, as both can benefit from the range bonus of Focused Optics. This keeps the enemy at a distance, unable to return fire on relatively fragile battleships. Ships with impaired movement will struggle to pursue and flee from battleships, entombing targets to certain destruction.
ECHO rays are also somewhat effective at destroying squadrons, especially when battleships can chain their shots as well as fire from both sides - rapidly eliminating squadrons. ECHO rays can miss their shots when firing at squadrons if the squadrons are moving perpendicular to the trajectory of the laser - that is if they are not flying directly into the ECHO ray's laser.
ECHO rays do not miss their targets, the lasers curve and will certainly hit their targets even if they leave the ECHO rays field of fire. The chained lasers also do not miss.
Summarily, ECHO rays are powerful, versatile weapons. They are very capable in all forms of combat and excel at long range combat. Such a blessed weapon is the reason why they are very popular amongst many players.
ECHO rays lack firepower to single target. While they inflict substantial damage to groups of enemy ships as a whole, they take longer to eliminate ships as a whole which is why they are not suitable in close range combat. Aurora Rays and Burst Rays are able to more quickly destroy individual ships at close range because of the potent firepower they inflict on single targets, greatly tipping the scales out of ECHO rays favour. Because of this, cruisers and cutters are less seen commonly sporting ECHO rays.
Not to mention, Repeating Polaron Ray is also more mass efficient as compared to ECHO Rays, and they have the same range as well as chaining capability.
Due to the massive weapon mass reductions, it is certainly possible to fit four mark V Hellfire battleships armed with ECHO ray III x8 with maximum armor and equipment in a fleet along with a Mk V Dominion Carrier with high amounts of Swarms. A particular deadly setup for the strongest players in the game. Such a fleet, accounting for the extra damage from the chaining and well as bomber squadrons, has an overwhelming 3832 damage per second.