Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Deathstroke - Analysis of New Prizes and What to Get

OK Pirates - Sorry for the long duration between posts. Between work travel and a little lull in story ideas, I haven't been able to churn anything out.  I expect my long duration between posts to continue through the summer.  I do want to do a piece on getting rank for ships, but we'll see when we can work that in.  Realistically, I don't expect it until after Memorial Day (end of May for you non-US readers).

So Deathstroke.  There's a lot of griping going on about the raid format, bonus caps on B & C, and the limited blueprints.  I'm not going to weigh in here with my opinions - I'll stick to analysis and let you guys decide how you want to play this game, including how much you want to coin. 

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPGaBsIgHN0

Raid info on Forums: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/466592

Dragonfly UAV
I'll start with the new Dragonfly UAV, and compare its weapon stats to the Hornet UAV.

StatisticHornet UAVDragonfly UAV
 Fleet Damage66.0110.0
Building Damage33.055.0
Reload Time2.04.0
Swarm Duration3.26.2
UAV Reload0.61.5
Weight (Shipyard 2)479595
Damage TypePenetrativeBallistic
Fleet DPS198137.5
Fleet DPS/hton41.423.1
(building DPS is cut in half - see my Dragonfly article for method of calculating DPS on UAVs)

So in comparison, the Dragonfly has shorter (but still very good) range, more weight, less DPS, and takes longer to do its damage (look at the longer swarm duration).  It also has a longer reload time, making it more susceptible to countermeasures, and a higher damage per shot, making Plate armor less useful as a defense.

The Dragonfly has an ace in the hole though - its special ability to inflict a debuff: -3% accuracy and +3% spread.  Considering how many UAVs a fleet of carriers can launch, and the number of shots each of these UAVs will output, I can see a fleet that is under attack by these beasties being very quickly unable to hit anything.  Their DPS/hton value is pretty poor for base hitting, but I think these would be very effective in a FvF setting.  This brings me to the... 

Lightning Carrier, Nash's Lightning, Harlock's Atlas
Looking at the slot configuration, the new Lightning Carrier is like a Stingray with five Launch Pads.  One question I have is how many launch pads - I don't see a confirmation it will have all 7 weapon slots being launch capable, and looking at the video, I can only see 5 UAVs mounted on the Lightnings.  But let's look at the statistics:

StatisticStingray (R5)Lightning CarrierNash's LightningAtlas CarrierHarlock's Atlas
Weapon Slots77788
Armor Slots22244
Special Slots44433
Max Weight5,2506,2006,20014,24514,245
Base Armor1,4931,4931,4936,0956,095
Combat Speed1614141111
Turn Speed2419291414
UAV Damage-+19%+39%+30%+60%
Ballistic Range+10%+10%+19%--
Ballistic Reload+19.9%+30%+60%--
Evade Bonus+30%0+20%-10%+10%
(weapon resistances not shown)

The new Lightning Carriers even have some ballistic bonus.  So how would you use these?

At 14 speed, I think the Lightning Carrier addresses the biggest problem when trying to use the Atlas in FvF - Speed.  With 14 speed it can be upgraded to go quite fast, and UAVs won't even suffer an accuracy penalty.  I haven't tried any ship designs, but fitting all 7 weapon slots with UAVs would probably result in weight problems anyway, so this might be a good use for the new Impact R - mostly for the defensive buff.  I think I would try to outfit these with a mix of Hornets and Dragonflys to tailor weight and anti-ship capability.  Overall - this should be a very effective FvF platform, especially when combined with the Dragonfly.

Nash's Lightning and Harlock's Atlas add UAV damage and Evade to their normal versions, along with being able to 'randomly' launch a special UAV version.  Kamikaze, Marathon, and Pinch all seem like effective upgrades to the UAV abilities, but without knowing any probabilities or details of the benefits, I can't analyze it much more than being able to say "looks cool".

These new carriers with Dragonfly UAVs may also be effective as escort ships for other ships - using the UAVs to weaken enemies and the remaining ships to go for the kill - it will take some careful fleet tailoring to come up with good combos, but they may be effective as well.

So what should I get?
I think the first priority should be the D92U Launcher.  These weapons are very effective in many situations - base hitting, raids, and FvF, and if you missed them the first time around, don't do that again.  They are effective on many different hulls as well (MCX and Stingrays are two of my favorites to see), so don't fret if you don't have the Nuclear Cruiser... take them anyway.

Dragonfly and the Lightning Carrier - these are going to be great in open water fights.   I know players who did very well with Atlases last raid in open water, and these should be even better in that sort of situation.  As an interesting thought - if you can get enough points for 4 or 5 of Nash's Lightning Carrier, you may consider skipping the regular Lightning, since you probably won't need more than one fleet of Lightnings, and the regular version has no advantages.  Harlock's Atlas is also a nice ship, but I think each player will need to evaluate their own fleet needs before calling it a 'must have'.

Other prizes to consider:  
Tier 4: Javelin, Speed System 3, Strike System 3, Siege Mortar B, Shockwave Q, Assault Mortar X
Tier 3: Countermeasures 3, Phalanx 2, Hailstorm C, DU Shells 3 (use with Javelins), Halo
Tier 2: D3-E Armor, Hailstorm B
Tier 1: D2-E Armor, D2-V armor, Hailstorm A

Good luck Pirates - Happy Hunting!