Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Forsaken Mission Items - Sonic Targeting, Smart Warheads, D5-U Armor

First a tidbit...

The word on the Deadeye Executioner when it was released was that it drew 3654 / 3700 power, so there was no room for a special on that turret.  Not quite right - with 46 free power, you could put Iron 1, or a special that has a 1% power draw.  Iron 1 only provides 400 armor points, and really isn't worth it... but there are a few specials that do have a 1% power draw:
Pinch Resist 1: 20% Stun Resistance
Compound Panels A: 10% resistance to Ballistics, Penetrative, and Explosive Damage

Maybe the Compound Panels aren't too compelling, but 20% stun resistance is pretty good for just a drop of power, and it only takes 2.5 hours to build.  As a further aside, if your base is power-limited overall, Pinch Resist Panels 2 only draws 2% power for 35% Stun Resistance.

On to the new items in the Forsaken Mission this week:

Smart Warheads:

This turret special combines aspects of Priority Targeting, Thermobaric Casing, and Scramjet Engine.  The options for Missile Turrets are compared below.

Smart WarheadsPriority TargetingFire Support MThermobaric Casing 3Scramjet 3
Missile Range20%-20%-25%
Missile Damage10%-25%33%-
Target Lowest Health?YESYESNONONO
Smart Warhead seems pretty nice, but it draws too much power to add it to an Executioner turret (2,923 * 1.4 = 4,092.2) (Level 4 Limit is 3,700 and Level 5 Limit is 4,000). While writing this article, I noticed that a Executioner with Fire Support M would draw 3,888 power - which would be a nice upgrade possible at Level 5.  Smart Warheads could be added to a Vulture or a Sentinel.  

This special is an option for the Executioner (with Level 5 Turret), Sentinel, or Javelin.

EDIT: Kixeye reduced the power draw from 40% to 35%, so that now Smart Warheads fits in the power draw of a Level 5 Turret.  Executioner chart added.

Executioner Special Options:
Executioner (No Special)With Smart WarheadsWith Priority TargetingWith Fire Support MWith Scramjet 3With Themobaric Casing 3
Max Range146.0175.2146.0175.2182.5146.0
Bonus Damage000000
Reload Time10.
Flak Evade100%100%100%100%100%100%
Range Increase0%20%0%20%25%0%
Damage Increase0%10%0%25%0%33%
Accuracy Increase0%40%40%0%0%0%
Power Increase0%35%23%33%25%17%
DPS (0% Evade)175.6193.2175.6219.6175.6233.6
DPS (40% Evade)105.4162.3147.5131.7105.4140.2

Against a zero evade target, the Smart Warheads with a combined accuracy and damage bonus do not provide as much DPS benefit as the pure damage bonus from Fire Support M or Thermobaric Casing.  However, against targets with high evade, the accuracy bonus kicks in and gives a nice DPS increase.  Remember that a Level 5 Turret is needed to use Fire Support M or Smart Warheads with the Executioner.

Sentinel Special Options:
Sentinel V (No Special)With Smart WarheadsWith Priority TargetingWith Fire Support MWith Scramjet 3With Themobaric Casing 3
Max Range108.0129.6108.0129.6135.0108.0
Bonus Damage104104104104104104
Reload Time5.
Flak Evade40%40%40%40%40%40%
Range Increase0%20%0%20%25%0%
Damage Increase0%10%0%25%0%33%
Accuracy Increase0%40%40%0%0%0%
Power Increase0%40%23%33%25%17%
DPS (0% Evade)215.8235.5215.8264.9215.8280.6
DPS (40% Evade)129.5197.8181.3158.9129.5168.4
This special won't rescue the Sentinel 5 from the "use it only if you have nothing better" camp, but like for the Executioner, it does provide a nice DPS boost against targets with evade.

Some of you will notice that the DPS for the Sentinel and the Executioner are pretty similar.  Once you factor in the Executioner's Missile Resistance Bypass and immunity to countermeasures, the difference becomes large.  See my previous article: http://bpprof.blogspot.com/2014/09/frostbite-leaked-prize-analysis.html for more info and comparison.

Vulture Special Options:
Vulture (No Special)With Smart WarheadsWith Priority TargetingWith Fire Support MWith Scramjet 3With Themobaric Casing 3
Max Range75.
Bonus Damage18311,8311,8311,8311,8311,831
Reload Time4.
Flak Evade40%40%40%40%40%40%
Range Increase0%20%0%20%25%0%
Damage Increase0%10%0%25%0%33%
Accuracy Increase0%40%40%0%0%0%
Power Increase0%40%23%33%25%17%
DPS (0% Evade)915.51,302.01,220.71,068.1915.51,116.9
DPS (40% Evade)549.3820.3769.0640.9549.3670.1
(DPS doesn't account for the Critical hit ability)

It sort of becomes attractive on the Vulture.  The Vulture's range is too short to match with Siege weapons, so it should always be used with a range booster.  With the additional damage and accuracy buffs from the Smart Warheads, it provides a great bump over the Fire Support M against both high and low evade targets (since it starts from a lower accuracy).  The issue is the range.  At 90, it might be exploitable by launcher fleets, and definitely by UAV fleets.  If you are already using Vultures, consider refitting to Smart Warheads.

Zynthonite Armor D5-U:
This D5 armor has the same weight and armor points as the previously released D5-E, but it gives a 7% boost to Ballistic, Penetrative, and Explosive Resistance.  This is a big step up from the 4% boost given by D4-U.  D4-U wasn't terrible from a resistance point of view, but it had a terrible build time compared to other D4 armors.  

According to the guys at Unofficial BP Information, the build time for the D5-U is the same as D5-E.  Which is still long, but at least it is in line with the other heavy armors.

D5-E / D5-UD4-UD4-ECompound Plate 4
Armor Points2,2501,7501,7502,285
Weight (SY2)489389389388
Build Time with Officer (minutes)2,484.02,214.01,555.21,522.5
AP / Ton4.604.504.505.88
Build Time / Ton5.085.694.003.92
Build Time / AP1.101.270.890.67

Having three 7% weapon resistances in one slot are clearly better than the alternative of having three specialized resistance armor pieces, unless you are really trying to load up against a particular damage type.  In addition, this armor might become very powerful when added to the Juggernaut X, since that hull doubles increases the armor resistance capability by 50%.  I have always recommended against the smaller U plates because of their build time and resistances, and in most situations, I would probably prefer D5-E to D5-U, the D5-U is worthy of consideration in certain situations where you expect to be taking conventional damage instead of radioactive (maybe Drac Bases or current Forsaken Missions?).

Sonic Targeting: 

This special combines Sonar and Retargetability as shown below:

Sonic Targeting 3Sonic Targeting 2Sonar 3Sonic Targeting 1Sonar 2Sonar 1Laser Targeting 3
Total Weight14%11%10%6%5%2%10% (Weapon)
Sonar Range40302520168-
Build Time w/Officer1d 18h 38m14h 13m7h 25m4h 44m4h 3m2h 0m4h 4m

The build time gets a little long for Sonic Targeting 3.  I also had to think about which hulls this would really be useful on... The Battlecruiser and the Vassago Interdictor were the first two that came to mind (sub hunters without retargetability), although if you are really going for the max sonar range, no special can match a +40 range, so you could put this on any hull with built-in sonar if that is your goal.  As an aside, a BC with 102 sonar range could not see the Nighthawks in the Elite Campaign of the last raid with enough range to be useful (it took a lot of torpedo fire before seeing them), so I still don't feel that sonar is useful for the top-level players. Against a sub with just Cat Drive 3 (no S armor), the extra 15 detection range will only translate to an extra 6 range in actual detection.

I don't see Sonic Targeting as being useful often enough to be worth the build time, although I would recommend Sonic Targeting 2 over Sonar 3 for those mid-level players who might be thinking about building a ship with sonar.  I do expect Sonic 2 to be a Tier 3 prize.  

I have just about the exact same opinion on each of these new Forsaken Mission Prizes... I ALMOST want to use it, but won't.