COMBAT: Basics - Shield Strength "4-in-SYS" - #00001
Power Distributor's influence on shield strength
Combat in Elite Dangerous is math.
It‘s an equation of the damage inflicted on your enemy‘s ship versus damage done on your ship. Both in relation to your enemy‘s ship‘s and your ship‘s durability.
Your total shield capacity as in ‚what you can cash in on damage before you‘re gone‘ depends on your ship type, your shield generator‘s size and quality, your shield boosters, your shield cell banks and your additional installed gadgets (like guardian shield boosters).
The one thing you don‘t need to pay millions for (shield generators) and you don‘t need to grind for days (if not weeks) for is your power distributor.
Yes, your power distributor. That little thing between your radar screen and your fuel gauge. The ‚SYS‘ branch of your power distributor turns a capable combat ship into a victim and a mediocre vessel into a sturdy ship.
You assign ‚pips‘ (filled dots as symbols) to your three energy branches SYS, ENG and WEP.
Using 4 ‚pips‘ in your SYS branch makes your shields about 250% as strong compared to 100% with 0 ‚pips‘ in SYS. Check the diagram:
Let‘s use a Cobra Mk3 for example.
With a good 4A shield generator and no extra shield boosters, this wonderful ship has about 103 MJ of ‚thermal‘ shield defense capacity (relevant for damage done by lasers) using 0 ‚pips‘ in SYS.
Attacked by a sidewinder with 2 class 1 gimballed pulse lasers in optimal range, this gives you about 8.3 seconds of survival time before your shields drop.
By changing your standard combat setting to 4 ‚pips‘ in SYS, you magically enhance your shield generator to about 258 MJ of ‚raw‘ shield defense capacity, which translates into ca. 21 seconds of endurance before your shields drop.
It is generally a good idea to use 4 ‚pips‘ in SYS whenever you are not 100% sure you are being safe, no matter what. You don‘t need any ‚pips‘ in WEP for example when not in combat. Just keep 4 in SYS and 2 in ENG which gives you decent agility and lots of protection.
In combat, only use less than 4 ‚pips‘ in SYS when you‘re behind your enemy. To recharge WEP for example, just boost toward your enemy – without ramming! - which propels you behind him and gives you time to recharge WEP using 4 ‚pips‘ until he has turned around to attack you again.