Yep, fighters are more expensive than sentry guns. That says nothing about whether it's more economical to arm sentries with better, more expensive guns or cheaper, less effective ones. Not to mention that if sentry guns were cheaper then you could deploy more of them.
Sentry turrets as is are utter crap. As well as a lot of other stuff...BECAUSE THE PLAYER IS A FIGHTER PILOT AND DYING 100 TIMES IS NOT FUN.
The only difference between a weapon mounted on a capship/sentrygun or a fighter is Rate of Fire. So logicly, just how big a cost difference can there POSSIBLY be?
It is not "obviously" a gameplay balance decision. In fact, I'll bet that the random delay actually screwed up balance, creating some extra work for . My guess is that it is a visual effect, because all turrets firing in sync doesn't look too good. If it were a balance thing, it would have been easier to adjust the fire wait directly for capship weapons and the AI classes for turreted fighter weapons.
It's quite obviously a mechanics and balance thing, as the underlying code quite clearly confirms this.
ANY weapon for a fighter will have a lower ROF when put on a capship...any capship...regardless of turret size, available power of logic of having such low ROF. Aditionally AI settings affect RoF, which is further proof that it's a mechanics and balance thing. And we have cutscenes, which feature capship weapons with greater RoF.
I paint it as fluff because that is how it is in the game, and I have not seen a convincing argument that it should be different in the universe.
So how can cruisers be cost effective, given how easily they are destroyed? How can capships be viable, when fighters have trebuches and can disarm and wreck a capship from afar? Half the gameplay decision make no sense.
and yes, it's clearly a gameplay decision as evidenced by...EVERYTHING.
It's pretty strong. The same weapon should behave the same regardless of where it is mounted (in FreeSpace with sufficient power and the modular guns that you can put on different ships). The gun on an Alastor acts differently, so it's possible that it's a different weapon.
Except the tables say it's not so. Wouldn't it be easier to just make a different weapon and equip that, instead of friggin coding the fire-delay? Making a copy of a weapon with a lower RoF is literaly a 10 second job.
So no, sorry. Not a strong.
Yes, which is why in FreeSpace they're armed with machineguns (Subachs) instead of howitzers (Terran Turrets or other "big ship" guns).
Subachs > Terran turrets. Bad example.
Mayhaps I should make another comparison? Soldier carried weapons are the same as those mounted on guard towers. soldier = fighter, guard tower = sentry gun. If the enemy is known to carry heavy machineguns, you will not put a musket on a guard tower, no matter how cheap it may be.