With distortion damage actually working we can now build out distortion-based loadouts. This is pretty exciting!
The distortion repeaters give 2.3 km of range. Ideally you’ll want the distortion repeaters on the two wing hardpoints with the attrition-3 mounted to the nose mount of the Gladius. Start engaging early with distortion weapons and keep an eye on your target’s IR and EM output. As you apply distortion damage their coolers start to shut down which will result in a brief spike of EM and an increase in IR as their ship begins to overheat. Once their EM drops to zero their ship is completely disabled. The closer you can get the more distortion damage you can apply.
I go with the 16xS1 Arrow I missiles due to the changes with 3.11.0 to missiles and countermeasures AND with a distortion build if you completely disable your target their EM signature will drop to zero and EM tracking missiles will struggle to lock and maintain lock. The Arrow I locks in half a second where the Spark I locks in just under a second and a half. Considering the short range you’ll be firing these missiles, the target has little chance of successfully using countermeasures against the missiles you fire. You should be able to get 4 locks with 4 salvos in under 15 seconds if you get your timings right.
I chose the 2x FR-66 over a mix between the FR-66 and the Palisade as the Palisade drops the shield recharge to 477/second while only increasing the Shield hit points to 14,040 which didn’t seem worth it to me since the Gladius is a ship which gets in close and will likely always be taking hits but at short intervals.
I always use an Atlas in my small ship builds as it is a nice balance between speed and fuel economy. Should I launch this craft from a carrier in the future I’ll opt for a military-class quantum drive for more speed.
I go with the JS series for any combat craft due to lower EM/IR emissions and much lower power draw request time (less than half that of the Breton in this case).
The coolers are honestly a toss up for me. I do prefer the military grade A cooler due to less EM/IR. The industrial Ultra Flow offers better power on request time but you usually don’t power off your coolers once they have been powered on. The Ultra Flow could be used in cases for redundancy or extreme overclocking in the future.. the Glacier handles a complete overclock right now on the Gladius without a problem in 3.10.2, though.