It’s what the Target Painter was modeled after. The Ion Painter has been around since UT2003, but it is here where it has finally found its calling. It is more versatile and easier to use than the Target Painter, but it does not have its enormous damage potential. As with all superweapons, the Ion Painter’s Secondary Fire Mode is a special function and as such has no statistics or tactics of its own. Something that is worth mentioning is that the Target Painter and Ion Painter both occupy the same slot in your inventory and you will only be able to use the one you picked up first.
Ion Painter – Primary Fire Mode
It fires a thin red beam that does no damage. You must stand still and not move your crosshair for 2 seconds for the Ion Painter to aim an Orbital Ion Cannon Satellite. After it does, one to three purple beams will come down from the sky and create a huge purple explosion. If at any time throughout those 2 seconds of charging you move either your body or your view, the timer will reset. A good way to tell if the timer has reset is to listen for the “beep” that will sound after 1 second of charging. If you’re not hearing that then you’re moving. Stop and take aim.
Take note that you can only call in an orbital bombardment on a patch of ground which does not have geometry over it. That means you can’t call in an orbital bombardment in enclosed spaces or on walls. Also, the Orbital Ion Cannon Satellite’s fire is lethal the explosion WILL kill you if you’re caught in the blast even if you’re right on the edge of it. However, if you cannot see ground zero, you will suffer no damage.
Damage vs. People: terminal
Damage vs. Vehicles: 900
Rate of Fire: N/A
Ammo per Shot: 1
Max. Ammo: 1
Charge Time: 2s
Special Features: special*; chargeable**; scoped; powerful knockback; splash damage; superweapon
* It’s difficult to put in a few words, so see the “Introduction” for an explanation. **Charge time here applies to the time it takes the Ion Cannon Satellite to take aim and fire.
Ion Painter – Secondary Fire Mode
It operates the scope. The scope is exactly the same thing as the scope on both the Lightning Gun and the Classic Sniper Rifle, so see their Secondary Fire Modes for details on how it works.
You won’t find an Ion Painter in many DM maps, and even if you do, you’re better off not using it. It’s really hard to find the right situation to use it (e.g. enough people in one place) and even if you do, they usually scatter before you can hit them. Furthermore, you need to stand still in plain view to aim that thing and in DM that means certain death. I have seen it in a few CTF maps, but not a lot. You can use it in CTF (as well as DOM and BR), because in team games defenders tend to congregate. Just use the Ion Painter to clear out all the defenders and give your team easy access. Or, you could try and intercept the ball/flag carrier before he escapes. However, most of the maps for those Games Modes have their important place inside buildings or caverns, and the Ion Painter doesn’t work there.
Where this weapon really shines, however, is in ONS. Not because it is all that good, but because the other two superweapons suffer from crippling problems in the large ONS maps. The Target Painter is quite easy to get away from and the Redeemer missile is easily shot down (when you’re alert). But the Ion Painter delivers immediate damage and has enough power to reduce a Node to almost zero health. Now, since it’s a waste to use superweapons against people and vehicles (not counting the Leviathan) what you’ll want to use the Ion Painter for is destroying Power Nodes. Learn the map and find a spot overlooking the base of the Node (you can’t aim at the hologram). Inform your team of your intentions, or simply wait for someone to come by, then fire away.
Make sure you have something to finish the Node off, since full health Nodes will survive just barely. Finish off the Node and start building your own. If you coordinated your actions well enough, you should have someone to watch your back while you work, to avoid the enemy quickly retaking the Node and undoing your hard work. Still, it works either way most of the time.