The Kixeye post explaining the tournament is here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/523840
Every player gets put into a 250 person group. Players who are ranked Captain or above get put into the upper bracket, and Veteran Lieutenants or below get put into the lower bracket.
Players who finish in the top ten of their bracket will win a blueprint - Torrent 3 for the lower bracket and the new Buzzard Missile for the upper. Anyone in the top 125 will win at least one rogue crew. (last time I won a Disciples of Skullduggery crew...) Everyone participating will get a uranium payout based on their tournament points. For more exact details of the points and prize breakdowns, see the Kixeye post. Last time there was some weirdness about qualifying, and some players didn't get to participate. This time it looks like everybody who has a combat rating will get placed.
At a glance, I looked at this weapon and it seemed like a Torrent missile with a slightly lower reload - so that it doesn't have the disadvantages at higher rank that Torrents have. Then I noticed the +5% Combat Speed bonus (and a weight of only 524 tons each means you can pack a bunch of these into a hull). Then I noticed the range of 66 (just under the 68 of a Siege Missile). The detonation effects and critical hits aren't bad either... Without doing the analysis... this looks like a pretty desirable prize. But I'll do the analysis anyway.
|Buzzard Missile w/SFB3||Torrent Missile 3 w/SFB3||Siege Missile Z w/SFB3||Magma Thrower||Bypass Chaingun 3 w/HB3|
|Weight (Shipyard 2)||578||669||1,120||320||1,075|
|Fleet DPS/hton @Legendary|
|Other||+5% Spd, Detonate, Crit||Fire Field, Detonate||30% Ballistic Bypass|
|Build Time (w Off)||17h 26m (?)||17h 26m||13h 46m 30s||20h 56m||20h 55m 33s|
|Build Time / ton (minutes)||1.81 (?)||1.56||0.74||3.93||1.17|
I added a new line to my usual chart - the usual Fleet DPS/hton number is computed with zero rank and zero reload bonus (and no resistance or evade). The new line shows the fleet DPS/hton at Legendary rank. The high salvo Buzzard missile doesn't gain as much as the Siege Missile Z at Legendary, but it does still maintain an edge in DPS/weight. On a high reload hull like a V2-H, Kodiak, or Mastodon, the Siege Z would probably edge out the Buzzard at high rank.
The computed DPS numbers don't account for the critical hits - having a 50% chance of doing double damage would effectively add 50% more DPS, and doing it when the target is below half damage would mean that the 50% more DPS is active about half the time (well, not really since your target will be dying faster). But maybe you could estimate that the average benefit is around 15-20%.
Although the "unofficial data" shows that the build time for the Buzzard is the same as the Torrent 3, I've seen those numbers revised before (remember the Magma?), and I strongly suspect that the build time of the Buzzard will go up before it is available to us... Kixeye has generally put a big build time premium on weapons with speed bonuses (remember the Siege Cannon).
So overall, I think the Buzzard is going to be a very desirable weapon... good against fleet and land targets. I wasn't too excited for the previous Arena prize - the Cryonic Depth Charge, but I think the players that won it have been happy with it. This prize is a good one - a missile that is competitive with the top missiles in the game.. and gives a speed bonus to boot.
Even if you don't think you will be competitive in the arena, I suggest you get in there and fight a few battles. With the qualifying match requirement being removed, it might be easier to get into the top half than you think. See how you do.. you might get a rogue crew out of it, and you may as well get whatever Uranium you can.