Strategy:Acid Spitter

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At first glance this looks like it could be an incredible weapon; 10d10 power is absolutely ridiculous, it can possibly one shot almost any normal enemy in the game and its average damage of 55 exceeds the maximum damage output of any rocket launcher while it carries a respectably large explosion radius of 3 to demolish hordes of enemies. The acid tiles it leaves behind in its explosion radius will additionally damage enemies farther, and potentially trap them to die if they're left surrounded by acid. It looks like it could be a Napalm launcher on steroids that just leaves behind acid instead of lava, but if there's a posterchild for awesomely impractical weapons in DoomRL, the Acid Launcher may take that title.

The critical problem with the weapon is how its ammo and reloading works. The Acid Spitter doesn't utilize conventional ammo, instead it actually uses acid. How it works is it has a clip of 10 that is expended entirely when it's shot, so you only get one shot with this weapon between reloads. Then to restore its ammo you have to be on top of an acid tile and then hit the reload button, where the acid is then absorbed into the Spitter. Each absorbed acid tile counts for 1 point of ammo, so you'll need to walk over and manually absorb 10 acid tiles before the Spitter is fully reloaded and able to be fired again. First this means unless you have a pair of boots that make you immune to acid this weapon is effectively unusable, as you'll need radsuits or excess sources of healing to reload the Spiiter, effectively meaning you'll practically only get to fire this weapon once or twice per level on average. And then even if you do have acid-immune boots, it'll effectively take you 20 actions to fully reload the Spitter; besides that being extremely tedious on its own, you'll typically only be able to fire once when enemies are onscreen, as it doesn't matter how fast your movement and reloading is you're going to be a sitting duck if you actually try to reload this thing with enemies in sight. You could possibly run away to reload it elsewhere, but unless you're in later Phobos or earlier Deimos you probably will lack an adequate source of acid to reload the Spiiter and will be relying on the acid it leaves around to reload, which immediately after firing will be right where the enemies are.

For actual combat purposes this will be at best a very supplemental situational weapon, its best use will be if you have Juggler, where you can then fire this at a group of enemies to substantially weaken them and leave acid around them to inhibit their movement or trap them, while you then utilize Juggler to instantly switch to your primary weapons to finish them off. The one good caveat that comes from its unusual mechanics and ammo is that you won't have to devote any inventory space to ammo for it, and since its shots will usually leave behind enough acid to reload it, it will be self-sufficient without having to rely on other sources of acid spawning. So besides providing a big one-time punch to enemy hordes it could also save you some ammo too. However you're probably better off carrying another stack of ammo over keeping the Acid Spitter around, which will usually obsolete its potential ammo saving capabilities unless you're strapped for ammo when you find the Spitter. And of course, this all assumes you have acid-immune boots, if you don't have any and don't plan on making Cerberus boots absolutely do not bother with the Spitter if you find it.

For one final note, if you are using the Acid Spitter, remember that Barons have a massive 50% acid resistance, so they won't be damaged much by it and you can forget about any theoretical one shot kills on them. However they'll still avoid acid tiles and if surrounded by acid they won't bother getting out, so you could still utilize the Spitter to inhibit or trap them, just beware a Baron trapped in acid will take a very long time to die (they only take 1 damage from acid per action), and while it will not move it will still fire at you when you're in sight, so don't dawdle around a Baron trapped in acid. Omega Tyrant (talk) 08:50, 28 October 2019 (UTC)

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