Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Forsaken Arena Prize - Cryonic Depth Charges

Wikipedia defines Cryonics:
Cryonics (from Greek κρύος 'kryos-' meaning 'icy cold') is the low-temperature preservation of animals (including humans) who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future.[1][2]

Kixeye, the correct word is... "Cryogenic".

OK with that out of the way....

Kixeye has announced a Forsaken tournament, and the top prize will be the "Cryonic Depth Charge".  Details are still a little unclear - the best current information is in the 12/2 release notes:

Some basic info:

- All participants will receive a Uranium payout for participating

- If you do not yet have a combat rating by playing 10 placement matches, complete your placement matches before Friday.Once placement matches are complete, qualify for the tournament by playing at least one additional qualifying round before Friday.

- There will be two prize brackets that player will be placed into. Top rated Captains will be placed into a special prize bracket with more lucrative rewards. If you are in this group and you fight your way to the top spots of your 100 person bracket, you will earn a unique brand new weapon blueprint, the Cryonic Depth Charge.

So it sounds like everyone who plays will at least get some Uranium, so it seems to be worth it just to finish up those 10 placement and one qualfier match in order to be in it.  As I recall, your fleets are automatically fully repaired after each placement match.

It seems like particiapnts will be grouped into 100 person pools.  I can't imagine an "elimination tournament" style, since it would be tough to coordinate specific matches.

Also, some have mentioned sandbagging (losing on purpose) to reduce combat rating.  If you reduce your rating too much, you may end up out of the "prize bracket" - so be careful on that one.

So let's take a look at the Cryonic Depth Charge:

The weapon this seems to behave most like is the Poseidon Depth Charge, with a Splash/Spread rating.  I'll also compare this to the other "go-to" anti sub weapons: Piranhas and Torpedos.

Cryo ChargePoseidon 3Piranha 2Assault Torp BSiege Torp Z
Range10 - 748 - 641827 - 7818 - 71
Bonus Damage312,72800118
Submerged Dam1048,1845212420472
Sub Bonus3116,38800118
Cycle Time0.857.506.406.005.00
Ship DPS95.3218.2193.052.582.6
Ship DPS/hton23.836.437.623.920.7
Submerged DPS95.3582.0193.052.582.6
Sub DPS/hton23.897.037.623.920.7
Bonus Armor4000000
Speed Boost6%005%6%
OtherCryo Field on Kill0.1x building dmg0.1x building dmg-1.5x building dmg
Build Time (w Off)2d 18h 49.5m23h 45m12h 39.2m8h 45m18h 27m
Build Time / ton (minutes)10.022.381.482.392.77

(I did make the assumption that the Cryo Bonus damage also affected submerged targets, Cryo Charge build time from bp-information)

In terms of a damage dealer, I don't see this as too different than the torpedos, and its lower damage than the Posiedon is made up for by its longer range.  To talk about the Poseidon specifically, you don't see it used too often... its recent effectiveness vs. the Kraken in the last raid was the first time I've ever heard of that weapon being useful.  The reason is its flight time... when the Poseidon was new, I put one or two on a BB-A and had someone do a drive-by with Predator subs.  The Preds sailed right under the lobbed charges and didn't take a scratch.  Modern subs are faster.  For the Cryo Charge to be useful against player subs, the flight time of their shot will need to be low - its spread/splash characteristics are the same as Gargoyle projectiles, but we don't know the shot speed. 

The Cryo effect is described as taking effect on destruction, which means that might not be all that useful in practice, since if the ships are all grouped together, they should all blow up together (if you are using Cryo Charges only....).  

So will this weapon be useful?  Since depth charge weapons are surface weapons, they won't be usable on most subs, and if placed in the hybrid weapon slots on subs, only when surfaced.  But firing in conjunction with Torpedos (or other aimed weapons), one Cryo Charge should be enough to trigger the effect on the first kill (with splash 18 it should be close enough to at least do a LITTLE damage).  So when the first ship goes down, the remaining ships will be affected by the Cryo field, and more vulnerable.

So anti-sub fleets with torpedos might use this.  Anti-sub fleets using missiles might have trouble using it effectively, since the missiles will be firing at 85-90ish range, but the Cryo Charge only has a range of 74.

But with the 6% speed bump, we may see these placed on some ships for the speed effect only, and any weapon hits from the Cryo would be considered a bonus (Siege Cannons used to be mounted for this quite a bit).  

One more thought - this might be useful as an anti-drone weapon - if the cryo effect can be triggered on the first incoming drone, the following drones will be affected by the cryo field, making the subsequent shots more likely to land (note the low reload time that would enable this).  It's sort of a question mark until we see how fast these shots land in practice.

So... should you go all out in the tournament to win these?  I don't think they are a "I win" weapon against subs or surface ships, although using them to sweep drones would be great if it works.  Build time is quite long too.  Although some players feel the need to have everything, I think most players won't feel like they missed out too much without this weapon.

But hey... everyone gets uranium... maybe I'll see you in the Tournament.  I'm bringing Harlock Carriers.