Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hailstorm Info - what to get and other pre-raid advice

Kixeye has released the official raid briefing at:

After reviewing the prints, the information in my previous article seems correct, with the exception of the radioactive damage bonus that I was unsure about anyway.

All the new raid prizes seem very good and I highly recommend going after them.  The prize list is expanded a bit from the previous two raids, which is good.

My recommendations for prizes are (limit 2 per tier):

Tier 5: 
Interceptor V2-C (12.5 Million): This will be an excellent hull, particularly for FvF, but will also be capable of hitting PvE targets and possibly even some mid-range bases.  Equip with any launchers although the Cryo Launchers will be best for FvF.
Frostburn Interceptor (40 Million): Expensive, but worth it (remember the Grimshine was only 25 Million) .  Its thermal detection will enable sub hunter fleets to win regularly, and will also enhance FvF capabilities of whatever flavor of interceptor fleets it leads.

Tier 4 (3 - 6 Million):
Cryo Launcher D104-N: The anti-fleet damage output will rival or beat any other launcher, and the cryo field shockwave will apply a serious nerf to attacking fleets.  FvF or Base Guarding will be great applications for this weapon.
Siege Missile Z: If you missed it last time, try to get it this time - this weapon is up there with Hornets & Launchers as one of the best weapons in the game, and possibly THE best against buildings.  Use this on any missile-enhanced hull.

If you have to choose between the two weapons above, consider the best hulls you have available.  If you have a highly missile-enhanced hull like a MC/MCX (or of course some of the newer ones like Kodiak, Mastodon, or Interceptor V2-H), then choose the Siege Missile Z.  Otherwise choose the Cryo Launchers (even on a R5 Mauler with 40% reload bonus).

Others to consider: Impulse Launcher D92-U (only if you can't reach the Cryo Launcher), D4-M Armor, Incendiary Shells, Siege Torpedo Z.

Tier 3 (1 - 3 Million):
Assault Torpedo B: Although the Siege Torpedo Z does more damage, its shorter range makes the Assault Torpedo generally preferable.  The Assault Torpedo B is the most useful torpedo in the game.
Strike System 3: Usually available on Tier 3 of the weekly, you may want to consider this one anyway, especially if you have a missile fleet you want to start on NOW.

Others to consider: D4-E Armor, Stealth Attack System 3, Torrent Missile 3

Tier 2 (200k - 1 Million):
For players chasing items on this tier, the best prizes will probably be situation dependent, based on what the player is trying to build in the near term.  Consider Assault Torpedo V and Stealth Attack System 2 for subs, D2-E Armor and Strike System 2 for surface ships (although D2-E should be easily earned from a campaign).

Tier 1 (30k - 200k) :
Just like Tier 2, look at prizes on this tier to support near-term builds.  D1 Armor comes in handy for a quick way to add resistance to light ships.  D2-E shows up on this tier as well... I'm not sure what's up with that.

If you are looking at only being able to reach Tier 1 or Tier 2, your time may be better spent doing campaigns and taking advantage of half repair time.  Prize Packs 1 & 2 from the Deathgrip and Hunt the Nemesis campaigns are very useful for newer players, and those campaigns can be completed in the 12 or 6 hour time periods with ships that will instant repair during campaigns.  600 health Seawolf or 800 health Battle Barge A are good choices (660/880 if you have a repair officer).

Raid format
The format seems just like last raid, with one more addition to the world map, the Kraken sub.  

The Kraken will not surface during a combat, so underwater weapons are a must.  It will also disappear in a "deep submerge".  Some players use stopwatches in sub combat to predict enemy dive/surface times.  I suspect players that seriously want to hunt Krakens will benefit from this technique... once the deep submerge times are known, they should stay constant.  Based on the info from the video, I suspect Siege Missile Z armed Interceptors will be best against these subs - both for their damage dealing ability and for their speed in outrunning the splash from air launched mines.  I expect these to be at least as difficult to kill as a Proto-Nemesis.  It also seems that these may be hard to find on the world map - if you need multiple hits for them... watch out for pirates!  

For the Campaigns, in Frostbite the Assault/Elite campaign seemed to give the best points/damage payout, but in Whiteout it was the Siege Campaign that was considered the easiest (those Protonemesis ships in the Elite made it tricky).  It may take a couple runthroughs to find out which campaign works best for your fleets.  In addition, many of the players in the lower end of the Level 41-59 range found the Strike Campaign to be much too difficult for them.  If so, you may have better luck on the world map with some experimentation - even doing part of a target may yield better points/repair.

Robot's Tips and Tricks are here - there is some useful intel here so it is worth reading.  It implies there will be more Nighthawks as enemies... so be warned.

If you have the patience, BP information has detailed statistic readouts of the enemies here:

Good luck in the raid!