Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tempest - New prize analysis and What to get

The next Raid start Thursday, and it is called Tempest.  I'm a little late on this article, a lot has been said about the raid format and the prizes already, but I'll try to put my usual types of analysis on it.

Official Event Briefing and Video: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/472826 Skip to the Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDpg07gLjRs
Robot's tips & tricks forum post is here:  https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/474363/p1

It talks about the format and some of the new features of the raid itself.  The overall target format is similar, but it sounds like the target content is going to be fairly different than the last two raids.  There also are some clues that there might be a new "75" target. 

No caps on the number of bonuses you can get will please a lot of players, lower bonus values for the C sets will not.  They also say they have lowered prize costs in the first two tiers.  This supports the philosophy that the C sets are for lower level players aiming for lower prizes, not for players to grind at for hours on end to build up to the top prizes.  

The newest wrinkle is the Enhanced Thermal Detection, which isn't sonar, but it detects subs anyway  Ships with the red rings are the ones with this feature which will detect subs underwater.  Although it hasn't been published, and consipracy theories abound, I suspect the ETD range will be just a little longer than torp range, so you won't be able to sneak up on these ships... Crypt Keepers or not.  

Over at xnih's blog, his usually reliable information suggests the following ships will have ETD: 

  • Typhoon
  • Nav Relay Mothership
  • Proto Nemesis NPC
  • May Interdictor
  • Reaver Scout 2
  • Reaver Drone Torpedo

  • One subtle note he worked in there, which I didn't pick up the first time I read it - the ordering of that list is from longest range to shortest, so the ETD range may vary per ship.  Good rule of thumb - don't send subs in when a Typhoon is alive.

    The other new raid feature is the ships which have a lime green ring denoting their radioactive weaponry. These ships will close in on you and fire a radioactive pulse, damaging all ships within their (likely short) range.  Also look out for Typhoons, Grimshine Berserkers, and SCX R5.

    Two new prizes are offered:  

    Enforcer Hull: 
    This hull is the next iteration of the Goliath.  Back when the Goliath came out, bases with those beasts were very tough to crack.  The Enforcer hull MIGHT make a lot more bases defensable.  Frankly, this hull really intrigues me.  With its rate and range bonuses to radioactive weapons and the non-decay of Shockwave charge, this will make the Impulse a much more common base defense weapon.  Currently impulse launchers are tough to use effectively in base defense because the fleet has to be stacked to get the shockwave.  Without the shockwave, D92-U launchers are about as effective as Assault Missiles.  But with the extra range, reload, +35% accuracy, lack of decay, AND bacon (OK I'm making up bacon)...  there will be BOOM.  The other thing that really intrigues me with this hull is that it could be used effectively for other types of weapons... it has a 50% repair modifier, 5.5 day(ish) hull build time, 12 weapon slots, 4 specials, and 5 armor slots.  

    Other possible configurations:
    - Mortars: Lots of light mortars (like Negotiators post-update), Incendiary Shells, Splash Upgrade
    - Rockets:  Firestorms or Maelstroms, HES, Sonar, Hydrodynamic Shells, ....
    - Ballistics; Maybe a little questionable without a built-in range bonus, but with HB3 and AL3 you'll do OK
    - Missiles:  Torrents, SFB3, LT3, Sonar 

    Although a Launcher build would probably end up heavy, many of these other configurations could end up fairly light to take advantage of the diverse possibilities in a 5 ship fleet.  The low repair time and high number of slots can really make this stack up nicely against some of the more specialized hulls.  I could probably do a whole article comparing guard ship builds using Enforcers to builds using other hulls.  (xnih also said the Goliath, Rampart, and Guardian are getting repair time reductions, so maybe this isn't as great an idea as I first thought)

    D92-F Impulse Launcher:
    DPS/hton is somewhat less useful for Impulse Launchers - I have never included the shockwave effect in my calculations for that, since the frequency of the boom is dependent on the number of launchers used.  However, it is possible to calculate the relative frequency of booms per ton, which I will do - this is based on the number of shots fired per second per ton.  

    StatisticD92-UNEW D92-F
    Building Damage80972
    Shockwave Damage7,8647,864
    Reload Time2.52.5
    (Shipyard 2)
    Damage TypeRadioactiveRadioactive
    no shock Fleet DPS40.0137.5
    no shock Fleet DPS/hton7.814.2
    no shock Building DPS20.0206.2
    no shock Building DPS/hton3.921.3
    Shots per second (SPS)1.432.73
    SPS (+100% reload)2.584.39
    SPS/hton (+100% reload)0.5020.453

    The DPS/hton difference is pretty astounding - for the original D92-U, you were really depending on the shockwave to do damage.   The new F version does a serious amount of damage even without the shockwave.  

    The higher salvo number will also result in a quicker shockwave trigger (assuming the same number of hit are required to trigger it).  I tried to quantify this difference by calculating shots per second (SPS), and SPS/hton.  A single F puts out almost twice as many shots over time as a U, but correct for weight and it gets interesting... the SPS per hton is almost identical between the F & the U.  It's almost enough to make you think the game was designed, and not thrown together by monkeys on TRS-80s.  But we all get reload bonuses on our Nuclear Launchers, don't we?  Put them on a Nuclear Cruiser, add a High-Lander, rank it up to Elite (or hunter 1 or whatever it is called these days), add your alliance gunner bonus, and you are looking at a reload bonus of 135% without even trying too hard.  At 100% reload bonus, the U launchers will be expected to put out about 10% more shockwaves over time than the F launcher. This happens because the reload bonus affects reload time only, and not the time for the salvo shots (I used 0.1 seconds per shot).  

    I also looked at the build time - the build time per weight is approximately equal between the two versions.  (F is planned to be 29 hr build, U is 16 hr)

    Overall, I think the increased DPS of the F launcher makes it worth the slightly reduced shockwave output, but keep the reload in mind when considering your fleet builds.  A High-Lander flagged NC fleet or an Enforcer has a 100% radioactive reload bonus, so the U launchers might still be worth using.  This will really depend on the number of launchers you are using.  I have not yet poked into the DPS models of Launchers when accounting for shockwaves.  Looks like I might have to start....
    UPDATE: OK I did.  See: http://bpprof.blogspot.com/2014/06/damage-compared-d92-u-vs-d92-f.html

    And what to get....
    Yes - first of all you want the new stuff - Enforcer Hull and D92-F.  Best together, but the Enforcer will be useful even without a launcher. 

    Other prizes worth thinking about (based on the video showing the prizes): 
    Tier 5: 
    Nuclear Cruiser - NCs are the new MCX.  They might not beat every base, but they are very useful in PvE.  You want them.  (a upgraded version may be coming in campaigns, likely as a limited blueprint. I still don't think I'd pass these up if I didn't have them)

    Tier 4: 
    Hornet UAV - If you don't have either UAV, the Hornet should be your first choice.  The Dragonfly is a nice add-on, but not as your primary damage dealer.
    Javelin and Disrupter turret - these base defense turrets are used in the highest bases.  The Javelin has been around a few times lately but the Disrupter has not been seen so often.
    Speed and Strike System 3 - Yes you want these.

    Tier 3:
    Barracuda - nice FvF equalizer, relatively quick builds.
    Alloy Armor Specials (MC-3, CX-3, MX-3) - tailor your protection against your expected targets.  MC-3 is most common on base fleets.
    Countermeasures 3 Special - for dedicated Countermeasure ships.
    Assault Disrupter D33-D - if you can't get a Disrupter turret, these are useful on Goliath/Rampart for base defense.

    Tier 2:
    Battle Cruiser - Versatile hull if you don't have it, cheap too (110k points).  If you really can't get here, look for...

    Tier 1:
    Battle Barge A - ...and start building them insty repair with ballistics.

    Tiers 1-3: 
    Hailstorm and Phalanx (Anti-mortar and Anti-Missile) - these are always useful, lower level specials (non-3) aren't useful once you get a better version.
    Shredder Cannon - maybe not top priority, but these are going to get a lot more useful after the weapons update.

    Good luck in the raid pirates!  I won't be able to play much early, so I don't think I'll be able to post a "1 day in" tips article like I have sometimes... I suggest the BP on Battle Vortex, BPOutpost, and the Battle Pirates Nexus Facebook groups for timely info.