Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Frostbite - (Leaked) prize analysis

There hasn't been any official word from Kixeye on the statistics of the new prizes for Frostbite, but the blueprints have leaked (from the preview server I assume), so I'll give them my usual once over and see how they look.  Be careful - statistics are certainly subject to change.  I checked the leaks against the Kixeye published data, and it matches.  The only changes I made in this article are that I missed two statistics - retargeting on the Deadeye Executioner, and 30% Flak Evade on the Interceptor.  I also made an error in talking about the turret power margin - the Executioner has power margin for a special, the Deadeye does not.

Official Data is released here:  https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/495162

On the Raid itself - this is expected to be a 4 day raid with the usual assortment of prizes that should include weapons, armors, specials, and hulls.  The format will use relays like the previous raid, but there are some changes expected that make it more player friendly:
  • Co-op play possible
  • No unlocking required for campaigns
  • Higher level (points) fleet targets on the world map (? - not sure on this one)
  • Single (large) relay assault target
One item that hasn't had any changes announced about has been the Campaign timer - you may still have a time limit to complete a campaign in order to receive a bonus. 

(more detail is available in the Kixeye forum thread linked above)

The new prizes are expected to be: 
  • Deadeye Executioner - Limited (1) Base Defense Turret
  • Executioner - Tier 5 Base Defense Turret
  • Interceptor - Tier 4 Hull
Executioner & Deadeye Executioner:

These Turrets are long range missile turrets that are immune to countermeasures.  They also pack an armor bypass ability.

If you read my Base Turret Roundup article, these Turrets fall in the class of "Center Island Aimed", so I'll stack them up against those turrets.

Deadeye ExecutionerExecutioner with Thermo 3Javelin with DUShells 3Harpoon with DUShells 3Sent 5 with Scram 3
Range30 - 19950 - 14680 - 14960 - 14930 - 135
Submerged Dam00000
Damage TypePenetrativePenetrativeBallistic/PenetrativeBallisticPenetrative/Ballistic
Cycle Time10.210.11210.05.3
Ship DPS184.9233.6321.3241.9215.8
Power Consumed3,6543,4203,6932,9571,209
Power remaining for armor3723955131,993
Max Health1060012100106001560032600
OtherNo CM, 50% Pen BypassNo CM, 50% Pen BypassNone30% Slow Effect40% CM Evade

I left off the Sentinel 4 - if you are looking at adding the Executioner to your base, you aren't using that turret anymore.  

With the new power constraints, I used the Thermobaric Casing 3 on the Executioner, and no special on the Deadeye (since it is already at the power limit).  This results in the (regular) Executioner doing more damage than the Deadeye.  The Deadeye retains its range advantage.  The Executioner also has enough power margin (26%) to fit Scramjet 3, which would make its range 182.5, but not enough power margin to fit Fire Support M.  

The DPS falls in line with the other options for Center Island turrets - the Sentinel's effectiveness is usually reduced significantly by any Phalanx on the attacking ships (even with the CM evade).  I used the accuracy numbers greater than 100% for comparison with the Javelin and Harpoon, since the accuracy comes back down to "real" numbers when accounting for Evade.  For the non-evading DPS, look back at the original Base Turret Roundup article.

The factor not accounted for in those DPS numbers is the defense and Armor Bypass.  Since not everyone knows how Armor Bypass works, I'll explain:

Armor Bypass: Reduces the defense resistance by the armor bypass percentage.  I have assumed this applies to both Defense Percentage and Plate Reductions.

So a 50% penetrative armor bypass would reduce a ship that has 20% missile defense to having 10% missile defense.  When the Armor Bypass field was released for the Arbiter, it wasn't widely used for two reasons:

  • The debuff field didn't have very long range (74), so the Arbiter was vulnerable while closing on the defender.
  • The usual defense levels on ships at the time was 20% - 40%, so the bypass field didn't give much benefit.

Just about the only time I saw it used was when Hellstrikes were released - they were the first hull that had significantly higher defense percentages, so some players tried an Armor Bypass arbiter in base defense (with mixed success) to increase damage dealt. 

But now these higher defense percentages are more common, so let's compare turret DPS against a real fleet... I'll put up my Harlock Carriers.  They have:

Ballistic Defense: 46% (-12)
Explosive Defense: 30% (-24)
Penetrative Defense: 73% (-18)
Radioactive Defense: 40%
Evade: 49%
Phalanx 1 with 42.5% accuracy

I'll use my DPS calculator to compare the turret configurations I used above, and also account for the phalanx against the Sentinel 5.  I have to account for the plate armor reductions manually. (DPS subtraction = damage reduction * net accuracy * salvo divided by cycle time.)  

Deadeye ExecutionerExecutioner with Thermo 3Javelin with DUShells 3Harpoon with DUShells 3Sent 5 with Scram 3
Net Accuracy with Evade51%51%71%57%51%
DPS after defense %59.975.678.1 (B) + 5.2 (P)66.627.5 (P) + 5.5 (B)
DPS reduction from plate1.4 (P)0.9 (P)0.7 (B) + 1.10.7 (B)6.9 (P) + 5.5 (B)
Percentage shot by phalanx0%0%0%0%25.5%
Final DPS58.574.781.565.915.3

DPS is based on my example fleet - your results will vary (unless you copied my build).

So what does it all mean?  Although the Deadeye will be able to do damage for a longer period of time with its long range and lower minimum range, the turret power limit prevents it from maximizing its damage ability.  it may be very helpful in base hits where the attacker tends to cruise around the outside for a while before entering.  The Executioner falls close to the Javelin as a good choice to use in the center island, but it isn't so good or so bad that you will be wanting to use one or the other exclusively.  Also note that the raw DPS of a Sentinel 5 isn't too far behind the others, but once you account for ship resistances and countermeasures, it really falls short.

As an update - I missed the "retargetable" ability on the Deadeye the first time around.  Retargeting isn't super valuable against a base fleet, but the capability also means the Deadeye will fire at detected subs and surfaced subs (and still hit them if they submerge).


Right away, I really like this hull for one reason - Thermal Imaging.  If you missed out on the Viper, you need this hull.  Although the Thermal Imaging range is only 68 instead of 80, it's better than not being able to see the enemy at all.  On a closer look, this hull is missile-optimized - with a 90% Penetrating reload bonus, and retargeting capability. It also has lots of weapon, armor, and special slots, along with plenty of weight capacity to work with.  The Unreactive ability will also help this hull to avoid overloads from launchers - combined with high evade, even more ships will be unable to get shockwaves on this hull.

An obvious build would be as a sub-hunter with Torrent Missiles.  SFB and lots of speed upgrades (including Assault torpedos) would be key for that role, because a good sub driver could use Assault Torpedos with 78 range to take advantage of the Thermal Range of only 68.  The Concussive resistance and Evade will provide more time to take advantage of subs.  It can also sit in a base and spot for a Gargoyle turret.  Adding more sonar probably won't help, since with a base range of 32, Sonar 3 only puts the total sonar range at 57.  This would help the ship see a sub with no cloaking beyond the thermal range (since subs also have a visibility range of 25 - 40), but with the release of Magnus Drive there won't be too many uncloaked subs anymore.

Another role for this hull would be as a PvE hull - it would seem to sit between the Kodiak and the MCX for that capability, but the additional speed will certainly help it close on targets.

I'll run the compare against the Viper and also those other high-end missile hulls:
StatisticInterceptorViper InterdictorKodiakMCX R5
Weapon Slots87106
Armor Slots4254
Special Slots4343
Max Weight6,5485,2459,0008,695
Base Armor4,9542,3726,5052,965
Combat Speed15141112
Turn Speed20201315
Ballistic Defense20%20%30%35%
Explosive Defense20%10%30%20%
Penetrative Defense20%20%40%40%
Concussive Defense40%50%0%0%
Radioactive Defense20%0%20%0%
Penetrative Reload90%0%100%100%
Flak Evade %30%0%30%30%
Building Damage0%0%60%0%
Anti-Mortar Range0%0%50%0%
Thermal Imaging Range688000
Sonar Range328000
Hull Build Time w/off4d23h54m5d1h30m5d16h15m4d20h38m

The big advantages of this hull are its speed and slots.  A mid-tier player who is able to pick up this hull could conceivably build a decent baser with it - although you will likely want a 5 ship fleet with it (especially after Dock 11) I think this platform beats any of the 6 weapon/4 armor/3 special "Cruiser" class hulls out there.  Its slot configuration really makes it look like a Dreadnought (but lighter & faster).  At Tier 4, this is really a hull that just about any player will want to go for - I expect to win this hull and move it to the front of my build queue... one to spot for a Gargoyle, and then a fleet for open water combat. 

One more note - I always write an article, then take a break and review it before I publish.  The one thing I thought about on this article is - why do I like this new hull when it really isn't as good as a Kodiak?  First of all - it's not a "top prize" hull, so the expectations are lower.  Since Hellstrikes, we've become used to monthly game changers at the top prize level, and the Kodiak didn't deliver, so the players were disappointed.  (By the way, the Executioner isn't a game changer for base defense).  At Tier 4, the Interceptor has lower expectations - think of it as the "new Mercury".  Also, it isn't really a base hitting hull - more of an FvF & anti-sub hull.  As that, I don't think it has an equal except possibly the (limited) Viper, and even there it has some advantages, including the speed, slots, and weight.

Remember that all the prize data in this article is subject to change... Kixeye is a bit slower this month than last on releasing prize information.

Good luck in the raid - I will publish a "what to get" article once I see the prize list.