Tuesday, November 11, 2014

(leaked) Hailstorm Prize analysis - Frostburn Interceptor, Interceptor V2-C, Cryo Launcher D104-N

So info is staring to leak out on the Hailstorm Raid prizes....

BP Information published some readouts of the information from today's update.

(speaking of which, I hear retrofit bonuses got changes for Shockwave Mortars & Strike Missiles)

Battle Pirates Nexus & BP Outpost groups also posted some images of the blueprints, which mostly match the unofficial info above.

Of course... these may be subject to change before the real prints are released by Kixeye.

Frostburn Interceptor & Interceptor V2-C
OK, disclaimers aside, I was already looking forward to the Frostburn Interceptor... and it's better than I expected.

The Interceptor V2-C is similar to the previously available V2-H, but tuned towards Radioactive weapons instead of Missiles.

The Frostburn Interceptor is a Limited Flagship-only hull - it looks like you will only be able to take one of them.  It sort of combines the Missile and Radioactive abilities of the V2-C and the V2-H, with some key statistics improved from both, particularly Thermal Detection Range going up to 90, Sonar going up to 80, and increases in evade, weapon resistances, base armor, and max weight. Let's look at the chart.

StatisticFrostburn InterceptorInterceptor V2-CInterceptor V2-HViper Interdictor
Weapon Slots8887
Armor Slots4442
Special Slots4443
Max Weight8,8926,5486,5485,245
Base Armor6,1244,9544,9542,372
Combat Speed15151514
Turn Speed20202020
Ballistic Defense30%20%20%20%
Explosive Defense30%20%20%10%
Penetrative Defense30%20%20%20%
Concussive Defense40%20%40%50%
Radioactive Defense50%40%20%0%
Penetrative Reload100%0%90%0%
Radioactive Reload100%80%0%0%
Flak Evade %40%0%30%0%
Concussive Damage Bonus40%30%40%39%
Radioactive Damage Bonus*50% 0%30% 0%0%0%
Thermal Imaging Range90686880
Sonar Range80323280
Cryo FieldTRUE
Hull Build Time w/off4d23h54m4d23h54m4d23h54m5d1h30m

* UPDATE: the Radioactive damage bonuses for the Frostburn & V2-C are not shown on the blueprint pictures Kixeye posted, but were shown in the BP-Information readout.  It looks like they won't be in there.

The Viper is kind of obsolete in comparison... 

The Frostburn also puts out a Cryo Field with the following statistics:
Range: 60
Turn Speed: -50%
Speed:  -50%
Building (Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss) Armor Defense: -30%
(Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss) Armor Bypass: 30%
(Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss/Rad) Reload Bonus: -30%

So the first thing that comes to mind is that a Frostburn-led Interceptor fleet is going to be the sub hunter we're all waiting for (except for you Nighthawk drivers... heh).  It may reduce the prevalence of Nighthawk fleets in the Arena, since the extra thermal range (compared to the Viper) means that missiles will have a real range advantage (80 Thermal vs. 78 Torpedo was just not enough).  Of course, Phantom fleets will simply choose not to attack Frostburn-led fleets, so there still isn't a good defense against those.

With the reload & damage bonuses for Radioactive weapons, using the Siege Missile Z isn't necessarily the best choice overall for this hull, but I'll probably have to hold off until a followup article for a detailed analysis.  The Cryo Launcher may be very effective on this hull as a lead for a Siege Missile Z armed Interceptor V2-H fleet.  The Cryo Field causes enemy ships in the field to have lowered defenses against all weapons EXCEPT radioactive, so mixing this field with non-Launcher weapons will be a good strategy. 

The additional Thermal Range also would make this ship a great sub spotter for base defense, but I'm not sure I would want to relegate this hull to base defense duty.  

For the V2-C, certainly a launcher would be the best weapon choice... we'll see how the options stack up.

Cryo Launcher D104-N
This is our first opportunity to get our hands on the Cryo Launcher technology that we've seen in the last three raids.  I'll compare it to the other Launchers we have, and our other "premier" damage dealing weapons - Siege Missile Z and Hornet UAV:

Cryo Launcher NImpulse Launcher UImpulse Launcher FImpulse Launcher SSiege Missile Z w SFB3Hornet UAV
Max Range91.
Bldg Damage490809721,3502,176198
Bonus Damage00003590
Reload Time2.
Weight (Shipyard 2)6005149707001,000478
Bonus Armor3501503001506000
Fleet DPS175.940.0137.575.0202.6198.0
Fleet DPS/hton29.37.814.210.720.341.4
Building DPS125.628.6294.5225.0507.099.0
Building DPS/hton20.95.630.432.150.720.7
Hits to Overload801201201500
Salvos to Overload10.030.013.315.000
Reference Overload Time (sec)55.7120.062.9180.000
Overload DPS/hton12.912.712.96.200
Overload Effect4296 Cryo Field7864 shock7864 shock7864 shock00
Build Time (w Off)13h 46m 30s13h 46m 30s1d 2h 16m1d 2h 16m13h 46m 30s15h 28m 5s

The Statistics on the Cryo Field from the Cryo Launcher overload is:
Damage: 4296
Submerged Splash: 50%
Duration: 8 seconds
Range: 22
Turn Speed: -30%
Speed:  -30%
Building (Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss) Armor Defense: -30%
(Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss) Armor Bypass: 30%
(Pen/Ball/Exp/Concuss/Rad) Reload Bonus: -40%

There is also a statistic in there saying "Radiological Damage Bonus: 7400%".  This seems a bit high (basically anything taking further launcher damage would sink) so I'm not going to bank on that one being what it looks like.

One of the things I've been struggling with since Launchers were released is how to account for the Overloads when computing DPS of these weapons.  I've added some new metrics that should help:  
Hits to Overload: Number of individual hits from that projectile type that are needed to trigger the overload effect.
Salvos to Overload: Number of salvos from that weapon that are needed to trigger the overload effect.
Reference Overload Time (sec): How long it would take one weapon when firing on a 0% evade ship target (assuming no charge shedding) to trigger an overload.  (salvos * (salvo time + reload time) / accuracy)  LOWER IS BETTER
Overload DPS/hton:  Damage from Overload / Reference Overload Time / (weapon weight / 100) This could be added to fleet DPS/hton to get total damage.  It still assumes enough launchers with enough accuracy are present on the fleet to get consistent overloads without any charge shedding.

So to compare.... the Cryo Launchers look really good from a straight DPS standpoint, without even accounting for the debuffs from the cryo field.  The damage from the Cryo overload, when accounting for the weapon weight, is similar to the Shockwave damage from the U and F launchers.  S launcher loyalists will be sure to remind us all (if I don't) that their effectiveness increases much more than the other launchers when reload and rank bonuses get large, due to their 1 salvo. For building damage, F & S Impulse Launchers are still preferable.  The Cryo Launcher build time seems reasonable (compared to other weapons) - although since they are lighter weight than the Siege Missile Z, a fleet using Cryo Launchers will take longer to build than a similar weight Siege Missile fleet.


All of these prizes are really good. Get them if you can.  Ask for help if you can't.

Although earlier in the article I suggested that an ideal Frostburn build would have to wait until a future article... with the 100% radioactive reload bonus on the new hull, and the high DPS combined with the Cryo Field effects of the new Cryo Launcher, I expect a Frostburn with Cryo Launchers leading Siege Missile Z armed Interceptors will be a very effective fleet against surface ships and subs.  A Cryo Launcher armed Frostburn will also be a nice spotter for Mastodons, since the Cryo effect will boost the remote targeted missile damage.

The Interceptor V2-C will be a great hull with launchers of any sort, but Cryo Launchers will likely be the best choice for FvF. 

If you recall my Interceptor article, I was sort of lukewarm on them... although I liked the concept, I thought they wouldn't be highly effective against Nighthawks, and that launchers were a better choice than missiles for their armament.  The release of the Siege Missile Z, Frostburn flagship, and the Cryo Launcher change all that, and I expect fleets with that combination to be ruling the seas (and the arena?) for a while.

There's going to be a lot of options for Interceptor fleets soon, I'll try to compare in a future article.