|Ionic Particle Cannon|
Turreted Beam (blind to rear quadrant)
|Weapon damage and characteristics|
The Ionic Particle Cannon, also known as the Ion Cannon, is created by Rauther Power Industries. It is claimed by its manufaturers to be one of the most powerful and most accurate directed energy beams in the galaxy, although this claim is highly debatable. There are three versions of this weapon: one is regarded as illegal by the Federation, whose patrol craft will attack if they detect it installed on your ship, the legal version is available in the Federation storyline and comes pre-installed on some ships such as the Manticore, and the third is only found on the Heavily Modified variant of the Pirate Enterprise. The Ion Cannon is a blind-to-rear turret, meaning that if the target is behind the ship, or if no target is selected, the Ion Cannon will not fire as it is mounted on a 270 degree turret. It behaves like a turreted weapon, but is classed as a gun, allowing smaller ships with no turret hardpoints to mount the Cannon, providing they have enough mass space. The Ion Cannon causes enormous ionization and is capable only of disabling targets, not destroying them, making it ideal for piracy.
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The Ion Cannon is affected by the 1 = X Bug. In other words, all eight of the Manticore's Ion Cannons, for example, deal the same damage as one. This is easily fixed by using a plug-in that sets them to fire simultaneously, though this can significantly degrade framerate on older computers. There is another fix involving adjusting the count and reload settings for the weapon.
Rebellion and Pirate stations have a blaster version of the Ion Cannon which does lots of ionization but no real damage. This cannon is used to slow down enemy fighters and incapacitate capital ships, so other ships can attack them more easily.
Despite the claim of "most accurate energy weapon in the galaxy" in the description, the Ion Cannon is the only beam with any inaccuracy. This statement, therefore, may instead be a reference to its ablility to disable enemy ships instead of destroying them.
The maximum number of Ion Cannons you can fit on a ship is 8, but that goes for both the legal and illegal versions, so it is fully possible for the player to stack up to 16 of them, provided they have enough weapon mounts.