Thursday, December 11, 2014

Avalanche - What to get

What to go for in Avalanche:

First of all, there is an interesting contradiction about prize redemption - the Kixeye forum thread states that "Players will be able to redeem up to nine prizes per tier"; however the Tier 4 tab shows (0/12), implying that the player can take 12 prizes when there are 14 available on that tier.  Tiers 1 - 3 only have 9 prizes and show a (0/9) on their tab so there is no issue on those tiers.The prize redemption window states "You may redeem unlimited prizes per tiers 1 through 4."

9 prizes per tier may be very limiting on the Limited Tier, where hulls like the Harlock Carrier and the Viper Interdictor must be taken multiple times to build up a fleet.  Especially if you are considering the Viper or the limited Carriers, I would strongly suggest you wait for Kixeye to clear this up before redeeming points.   Too bad they couldn't clear up this confusion before the raid started.  

The prize list has been tweaked a bit from the initial video and forum post, so I'm glad I waited until the raid started for this article.  BC & BC-X were brought down into a lower tier, MCX was added to T3, and Triton/Achilles Missile were replaced by Jugg X/Reaper in T4. 

Tier 1:
D2-E Armor - 60,000
Agility System 1 - 50,000
Battlecruiser - 60,000
Leviathan A - 40,000
Floating Fortress A - 50,000
Vortex Torpedo D61-A - 50,000
Vortex Torpedo D61-M - 40,000
D1-M Armor - 40,000
D1-X Armor - 30,000

Most of these prizes are available from early campaigns or salvage blueprints.  Battlecruiser has been in the Forsaken Mission quite a bit.  D2-E and Battlecruiser are the most valuable of these prizes to the early player, and are also probably the best deal for your points.  

Tier 2:
Battlecruiser X - 150,000
Torrent Missile II - 300,000
Siege Battery I - 550,000
Asssault Torpedo D63-V - 400,000
Asssault Torpedo D63-X - 75,000
Asssault Torpedo D63-R - 100,000
Stealth Attack System II - 200,000
Strike System II - 150,000
D2-M Armor - 125,000

Many of these prizes have been available in the Forsaken Mission tiers for a while.  Battlecruiser X, and Assault Torpedo D63-V are probably the best choices (if you don't have better equipment already).  

Siege Battery I should be a priority only if you can't get a higher tier Siege Battery.  

The other Assault Torpedos are cheap, so they aren't bad if you can't scrape together the 400k for the V torp.  

D2-M isn't bad, but I'd generally rather use D2-E, which is cheaper on Tier 1.

Tier 3 (9 Prize Limit):
Missile Cruiser X - 2,500,000
Mercury - 1,000,000
Inferno Rockets - 3,500,000
Impulse Launcher D92-U - 3,000,000
D2-S Armor - 4,000,000
Siege Battery II - 3,000,000
Siege Torpedo D65-S - 2,300,000
Stealth Attack System III - 1,300,000
D4-E Armor - 1,700,000

D4-E, D2-S, Infernos, and MCX are the best choices on this tier.  Many players have been after D2-S & Infernos for quite a while.  D2-S are good for stealthing subs to ridiculous levels.  The Hellstrikes that often carry Infernos haven't been a top shelf hull for a while, but they will be getting R10 soon, so they may get some new life in them.  MCX will be quite powerful (although lacking Radioactive Resist) if you can get Siege Missile Z on Tier 4, but also consider the Interceptor V2-H for 2 million points more.

The Mercury is a good all around hull for low to mid level players, but it is also available through a campaign, so it may not be the best use of points.

Siege Battery II should be a priority only if you can't get a higher tier Siege Battery.  

The U launcher is inferior to all the other types, but if you don't have any launchers, it will be a big step up from other weapons.

Tier 4 (12 Prize Limit):
Kodiak - 12,500,000
Nighthawk - 12,500,000
Interceptor V2-C - 12,500,000
Interceptor V2-H - 4,500,000
Berserker - 12,000,000
Enforcer - 10,000,000
Nuclear Cruiser - 9,000,000
Hellstrike - 8,000,000
Reaper - 7,000,000
Juggernaut X - 6,000,000
Siege Torpedo D55-Z - 5,000,000
Siege Missile D55-Z - 5,500,000
Cryo Launcher D104-N - 6,000,000

When the Kodiak came out, I did not recommend it, but that was because there was no missile good enough to mount on it.  With the Siege Missile Z, the Kodiak is a very powerful hull, and can be used for many different tasks.  

Nighthawks are the premier sub hull in the game right now, and also a good choice.  

Interceptors are also a great choice, choose the C or H version depending on the weapons you wish to mount.  At 4,500,000 points, I think the V2-H is a great deal, especially if you have (or can get) Siege Missile Z.  I compared them in a previous article.

Enforcers are great for base defense with Cryo, F, or S launchers.  Remember they have a 50% repair modifier, and some players do occasionally take them out for some tasks on the map.

The Siege Missile Z and the Cryo Launcher N are the best weapons to get here.  The Siege Torpedo Z packs a big punch along with its speed bonus, but most players prefer the longer range of the Assault Torpedo B.

The Reaper is a very good FvF sub, but can't be used as a damage-free decoy because of its "low submerge depth".  Consider it if you want to build a Deluge or Downpour missile fleet, otherwise try to stretch to the Nighthawk.

The Juggernaut X is much more expensive than last time it was offered, but still a good deal at 6 Million points.  Its evade can be easily brought above 80% with the right build, and used as a tank for other ships, or a very good attack fleet with F or S launchers (U launchers are a bit light for this hull).

The Nuclear Cruiser is a good hull for Base Hits and Missions, but the Greta's Nuclear Cruiser is better than R5 and available through campaigns, so points may be better spent elsewhere.

Berserkers are liked by many, generally used with Chaos Mortars or Launchers.  I think that I'd rather have Kodiaks or Interceptors if I had to choose between them. 

Tier 5 (top)
Siege Battery III - 4,000,000
Wendigo Turret - 20,000,000

Get the new stuff.  In my last article I showed that the Wendigo DPS is much larger than any other long range turret, and so despite its long build time and somewhat shorter range than the Javelin and Executioner, it will be worth building.  I like it so much that I cancelled an Executioner I had started 2 days earlier and started upgrading a turret to R5 instead.

Limited Hulls (limits to redeem below)
ECM Destroyer - 60,000,000 (redeem 1) 
This hull increases the stealth of your subs, and is best used against non-player targets.  It may be useful to enhance subs using Downpour or Deluge missiles, but seems quite expensive.  Some players also use this ship to activate the Resonance Battery.

Phantom Nighthawk - 40,000,000 (redeem 1) 
I hate how this hull can be used to basically knock players out of the game for a while (if they don't feel like coining).... it seems to go against Kixeye's stated goal of keeping players engaged.  However it gives a very powerful capability.  Please use responsibly.

Savage Kodiak - 35,000,000 (redeem 1, capacity 2) 
Makes Kodiaks even better.  Could also be used with V2-H or Mastodon fleets.

Grimshine's Berserker - 25,000,000 (limit 1, capacity 2) 
Great to pair with many different hulls for base hits.  I missed out on this one the first time around and won't be making that mistake again.

High-Lander's Nuclear Cruiser - 20,000,000 (limit 1, capacity 2) 
Makes launcher fleets even better.  Also used in base defense to enhance Enforcers. 

Deadeye Executioner - 20,000,000 (limit 1) 
I finally built mine and really like it.  Its long range means that it makes up for its lower DPS than Javelins by being able to fire for more duration of a hit.

Avenger - 9,000,000 (limit 1, capacity 2) 
I haven't seen these used very well yet.

Viper Interdictor - 9,000,000 (limit 10) 
Although the Frostburn Interceptor has a better thermal range, the Viper is still a powerful FvF and Anti-sub ship.  But at 45,000,000 points for 5, I would rather use an Interceptor.

Harlock's Atlas Carrier - 9,000,000 (limit 10) 
I LOVE my Harlock Carriers.  Paired with a Grimshine these were the premier base hitting hull for quite a while, and are still effective.  Without a Grimshine they do take a while while to bring down turrets.  They are also good at FvF and base defense.. make sure you have UAVs for them.

Nash's Lightning Carrier - 9,000,000 (limit 10)
These are a good hull, but I'd rather have the Harlock Atlas in most situations.  I had a build in mind mixing Launchers & Dragonflys, but don't think I'll ever build it.

General advice
  • I guess the increase in capacity for some of the limited hulls is how Kixeye is still letting the players that were able to earn those hulls the first time around have a bit of an advantage.
  • When thinking about whether to go after Limited or Regular hulls, consider that a Limited hull may be able to soup up a fleet you already have with much less build time than a new fleet.  But if you don't have many good fleets in the first place, regular hulls may be the better choice.  Have a build in mind for each prize you will take, so you don't regret the choice.
  • For Limited hulls, make sure you will be able to match it with a hull you are already have or take as a prize.  The Grimshine may be an exception to that - I've seen it matched with many different hulls and it improves them all when used properly.
The "best prize" will depend on each player's situation, and how many points they think they can get.  I hope I've given you enough information to make a good decision.  I think the best advice is.. wait for the end of the raid and see how many points you get before making your redemptions.  In this raid especially you will likely want to buy things that "go together".

What's my own priority?
Wendigo Turret - Great base defense
Siege Battery 3 - I may even consider this for my Interceptors I am working on now.
Grimshine's Berserker - Enhance my base hits.
Nighthawk - the new top tier sub (I was on vacation that raid)
Savage Kodiak - enhance my existing missile fleets
Kodiak - With Siege Missile Z, this hull can be a great base hitter or be used for many other roles.
Phantom Nighthawk - Join the sniper club

I'm missing the Berserker, but have never been too excited for that hull, and I wouldn't mind a second Highlander, and a Viper & more Harlock Carriers but... priorities.  That list above is already much longer than the number of points I'll likely be getting... I actually think anything after the Grimshine will be gravy.

Good luck & get Kraken!  I'll post a "one day in" post sometime tomorrow... maybe Saturday.  Which isn't one day in, but even the Professor occasionally has plans.