Friday, October 17, 2014

Whiteout - One day in

After one day of Whiteout, I think the big takeaway compared to the last event is that the Siege campaign is the best way to get points, instead of the Elite/Assault.  

The Elite campaign sees you being swarmed with ships right away, and a pair of very hard to kill Proto-Nemesis ships follows.

Over at the Unofficial Battle Pirates Information blog, they posted an article with the Whiteout Fleet breakdown: http://bp-information.blogspot.com/2014/10/whiteout-fleet-breakdowns.html

All players (Elite Campaign):
I looked at the posted Proto-Nemesis stats over there, and it has 42% evade, 73% Missile defense, 80%+ Ballistic and Explosive defense, but only 24% nuclear defense.  It also has very large plate damage reductions (-134 penetrative) and over 55,000 health.  With those stats, it seems like Launchers are probably the best way to kill it.  There was a post on the Battle Vortex Facebook page showing 2 Enforcers killing the Proto and saying it was only 2-3 coins repair.  If using a full fleet, spread the ships to minimize splash impact.  Some players are also using a pinch... might as well use it rather than let it sit on your launch pad.

For Low Level (1-40) players (Recon Campaign):
Sorry, I haven't seen anyone doing the Recon campaign.  Instant repair ships did well last time, and should do well again.

For Mid Level (41-60) players (Strike Campaign): 
The Strike campaign might pose a challenge for players in the lower half of that level group.  From the perspective of a Level 45 player, who doesn't have any advanced weapons or fleets better than a Battlecruiser with Cutlass Missiles, it is quite hard.  The first mission has 1 MCX and 3 Interdictors guarding a small island base.  Each ship took 3 waves of instant repair ships to kill, and then the base took 3 more hits.  All that for 57,577 points, and a net loss of about 3.5M of each resource.  Players with a decent FvF (or possibly Cat Drive Sub) fleet may have better luck.  The second mission looks like the first, with 2 more MCX and a slightly larger base.

Death Grip, Eye of the Storm, or Hunt the Nemesis might be better campaign options to take advantage of the half repair time of this raid.  That level 45 player just earned the Mercury hull and Phalanx 1, which will be more useful near-term than any of the prizes on offer (except the Siege Missile Z).

For High Level (61+) players (Siege Campaign): 
The Siege campaign targets are similar to last time.  On Robot's Tips & Tricks posted before the raid, he suggested bringing in a FvF fleet for the ships, then returning with a Base fleet for the turrets.  I am using the same fleets as last time - Harlock's Atlas for the ships, and Nuke Cruisers behind a high evade Juggernaut X for the turrets.  My first runthrough of the campaign cost less than 20 coins for nearly 6 million points.  Also remember to concentrate on the priority targets to reduce damage taken.  On the fifth mission in particular, you can avoid triggering many of the interceptors while completing the base.

All Players (World Map Fleet targets):
The target mix has changed a bit, but these targets are still fairly difficult considering the points payout.  If you want details on the fleet breakdown, go to the bp-information post I mentioned above.

What to get:
With the exception of the new prizes, the prize list looks pretty close to the previous raid.  

Tier 5: Mastodon & Avenger Hull
These new hulls are not point & click to win, but I think they will be effective.  The Mastodon will be a great carrier for the Siege Missile Z.  More info at: http://bpprof.blogspot.com/2014/10/whiteout-prize-analysis-and-generic-tips.html

Update: Kixeye now says that the Avenger will not speed up to match the next slowest ship in a fleet, it can only slow down to match speeds.

Tier 4: Impulse Launcher D92-U & Siege Missile D55-Z
At 4 Million points, the D92-U is cheaper, more versatile, and longer range than the new Siege Missile, but with the damage & accuracy buffs the new Siege Missile is the best choice to outfit any missile hull with MCX-class reload or better.  I'll probably do more of a detailed breakdown in the near future.  It also seems that the build time of the new Siege Missile is reduced compared to previous Siege Missiles - 16 hours instead of 1.5 days (not updated in Huggy's yet).  The D55-B and D55-F are weaker AND longer builds in comparison to the D55-Z, don't get them unless you are trying to tick a box.

Tier 3: Strike System 3 & D3-P armor
Strike System 3 has been available from the Forsaken Mission Tier 3 recently, but if you need it you need it.  D3-P isn't that great, but it's the best choice if you have points to spend.  The M armor should be available from salvage blueprints, don't spend points on it.

Tier 1 & 2: Strike System, Torpedos, Stealth Attack System
Again, not super excited for anything on these tiers, even for low level players.  Assault Torpedo V is usable if you can't do any better.  Again, avoid the armor since it should be available from salvage drops.

Overall:
Although the Elite raid is much harder than last time, the Siege is fairly do-able.  If you are struggling, remember that you can use the whole duration of the event to do a campaign (it won't expire).  Hit a target and wait for repair if you need to conserve coin.  I used that technique to complete a Siege Campaign for zero coin this morning by playing off and on.  Even one runthrough of Siege will earn you enough points for the Impulse Launcher U or the Siege Missile Z, either of which will be a useful weapon for the future.