Thursday, February 19, 2015

Retrofit Pack 15, Proto-Mastodon, and Repair Specialists

The content keeps coming....

Retrofit Pack 15 - Kodiak, Nighthawk, Interceptor V2-C, Interceptor V2-H

When this retrofit pack was announced, I think one of the most common opinions I heard was "These hulls are pretty recent and good still... why are they getting retrofits?"

The other constraint on these hulls was that they each had a corresponding limited hull, so any enhancements to speed or turn would have resulted in a mismatched fleet in battle.  These retrofit enhancements ended up pretty mild overall.  Let's take a look:

The Kodiak, which is already very good when taking fire, is getting better at defending:

I really like the armor abilities bonus in general, so the 25% is welcome, although lower than that on other hulls.  150,000 total Uranium is needed to get to R5.

The Nighthawk is also getting better at defending at R2, R4, and R5.  This improves its ability for prepping, when you want to surface and survive a few salvos of fire and move on to another guard.

More damage is always good too.  200,000 total Uranium is needed to get to R5.

Interceptor V2-H:

These enhancements made me think that these might be a little better in Dredges, especially with the extra Missile Damage, and maybe also in Drac targets.

125,000 total Uranium is needed to get to R5.

Interceptor V2-C:

With the extra anti-missile accuracy and Evade, I definitely think these are going to be better against Dracs.

Just like V2-H, 125,000 total Uranium is needed to get to R5.

Overall, these retrofits are worth doing if you use the hull, but they don't really bring anything super desirable or any new capability.

For the V2-C R5, you might want to see if retrofitting Evade Armor will have more benefit than spending 75,000 Uranium for 10% Evade.  It will depend on your current retrofit level and your armor loadout... use Huggy's Shipyard to check.

After looking at all these hulls, I thought I'd do a comparison chart on the missile hulls. With various combinations of reload and damage bonus, the question often comes up - which does the most damage?  The bottom three rows of this chart show the weapon DPS for each hull, using the reload and damage bonuses only (no alliance bonus) against a zero resistance target.

StatisticInt V2H R5Interceptor V2HKodiak R5KodiakMastodonMCX R10Mercury R10
Weapon Slots8810101066
Armor Slots4455543
Special Slots4444433
Max Weight6,5486,5489,0009,00012,3008,6956,920
Base Armor4,9544,9546,5056,5053,5522,9652,665
Combat Speed15151111111215
Turn Speed20201313131522
Ballistic Defense20%20%30%30%20%35%0%
Explosive Defense30%20%40%30%20%30%0%
Penetrative Defense40%20%40%40%40%60%40%
Concussive Defense40%40%0%0%0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense20%20%20%20%20%30%40%
Penetrating Reload90%90%100%100%120%150%30%
Penetrating Damage25%0%0%0%0%0%60%
Building Damage0%0%100%60%0%0%0%
Anti Mort Range0%0%50%50%0%0%0%
Flak Evade30%30%30%30%30%30%0%
OtherUnreactive, Thermal ImgUnreactive, Thermal ImgAnti-Mort Acc +20%, Armor Ability +25%-Remote Targeting--
Repair Modifier100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off4d 23h 54m4d 23h 54m5d 16h 15m5d 16h 15m5d 16h 15m4d 20h 38m1d 3h
Total U needed125,0000150,00000375,00075,000Basic DPS
Siege Z Ship DPS457.3384.9405.2405.2445.7506.5382.2202.6
Torr 3 Ship DPS287.6242.7251.3251.3267.8290.6266.2150.0
Strike B Ship DPS66.553.

MCX R10 with its 150% reload bonus is the DPS master, but the V2-H R5 looks pretty good too.  The Kodiak retrofit did not come with any ship damage enhancements, just the building damage increase.

For some more commentary on the retrofits (and the rest of the topics I'm about to discuss), check out this week's Battle Pirates Crib live show:

Snowfall Campaign and Proto-Mastodon:

Kixeye has released a new campaign called "Snowfall" - with a new limited hull as the mastery prize - the Proto-Mastodon.  And just in case it was holding you back, you can start campaigns at lower levels... this one unlocks at Level 48.

The Snowfall campaign is structured similarly to the other campaigns with mastery prizes. 12 hours for 5 engagements to get the first Prize Pack, 6 hours for 6 engagements to get the second Prize Pack, and 1 hours for 7 engagements to get 1 blueprint for the Mastery prize.  Multiple Mastery blueprints are needed to build multiple hulls.  

The engagements for this campaign are taken from the Arctic series of raids.  I'm not going to go in detail through each encounter, but they are briefly described as follows:

Encounter 1: Open Water Fleet - Kodiaks
Encounter 2: Open Water Fleet - Proto-Nemesis
Encounter 3: L Base
Encounter 4: Split Pads
Encounter 5: U Base
Encounter 6: Big Triple Base
Encounter 7: Kraken

The descriptions are how I think of them, and hopefully they will be memory joggers for those of you who have been through the Arctic raids.  I have seen playthough videos on You Tube, so if you want to see more detail, find one.

Each of the Encounters (except the Kraken) has certain targets designated as Priority, and just like during the raids, killing all of the Priority Targets will end the Encounter.  Some of the later encounters can be lengthy, so take advantage of this where you can.

In addition, many players find the Kraken quite difficult, since the Kraken sub never surfaces and has very good resistances and evade.  Thermal Detection is very helpful, and so is Bullseye Brigade with missiles.  Players who use Poseidon Depth Charges on a fast fleet have reported good success against Krakens.

The Proto-Mastodon adds a few stat buffs to the original Mastodon design and also adds a Cryo Missile override launch - it creates splash damage and a cryo field.  The stats compare as follows:

Weapon Slots1010
Armor Slots55
Special Slots44
Max Weight12,30012,300
Base Armor4,5363,552
Combat Speed1111
Turn Speed1813
Ballistic Defense30%20%
Explosive Defense30%20%
Penetrative Defense40%40%
Concussive Defense0%0%
Radioactive Defense30%20%
Penetrating Reload130%120%
Penetrating Damage0%0%
Building Damage25%0%
Anti Mort Range0%0%
Flak Evade30%30%
OtherRemote Targeting, Cryo Launch OverrideRemote Targeting
Repair Modifier100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off5d 16h 15m5d 16h 15m
Siege Z Ship DPS465.9445.7
Torr 3 Ship DPS275.6267.8
Strike B Ship DPS64.461.6

The new Proto-Mastodon is a very desirable hull - it is equal to or better than the regular Mastodon in every way.

Also for players that don't have it yet - the Strike Cruiser X is available in Prize Pack 1.  With the R3 Ballistic Reload bonus (100%), R5 Ballistic Range bonus (40%), and the R7 Ballistic Damage Bonus (50%), the SCX can be quite capable with ballistics, especially the Bypass Chaingun.
Repair Specialist:
This is a new feature Kixeye has announced.  

Their official announcement is here:

The "Vote on which hull comes first" thread is here:

And the discussion thread with much moaning (and not the good kind) is here:

All of this has not been completely explained yet, but I'll try to summarize what we have been told from CM/Moderator sources:

  • Repair Specialists will be released for specific hulls in packs, similar to retrofit packs.
  • The first pack will be released on March 3
  • When you unlock the Repair Specialist for a hull type, the repair modifier will be modified based on the ship's rank.  Higher rank ships will repair faster.
  • The amount of repair reduction is not stated, but may be different on different hulls.
  • Repair Specialists will NOT require gold to unlock.  
  • Resources that will be needed (Oil/Energy/Metal/Zyn, Uranium, Time) to unlock Repair Specialists has not been stated.
  • Repair Specialists will be in the Intelligence Lab.
One thing I'm concerned about from the last item - if these repair specialists are in the Intelligence Lab, then you may need to have your Intelligence Lab at a certain Level in order to access/unlock them.  When the Outpost max level was increased to 6, and the Lab max levels were increased to 11, I thought that it was curious that the Intelligence Lab could be increased to Level 11 with no apparent benefit from doing so.  It may be possible that in order to unlock the Repair Specialists for the higher-end hulls, you may need a Level 11 Intelligence Lab.  In order to upgrade the Intel Lab to 11, the Naval, Weapons, and Advanced Lab must all be Level 11.  In case you haven't done these yet (I haven't), upgrading all 4 labs from Level 10 to 11 will take over 15 days and 3,320 Uranium.  March 3 is under 13 days away...
Disclaimer: If you spend the Time, Resources, & Uranium to upgrade these labs... they might continue to be useless.

Some players are criticizing this upcoming change already, some are praising it.  I think that we don't have enough information yet to evaluate.  Rank is already very valuable for the reload bonus, and this change will make it even more valuable.  Many players have been asking for a reduction in repair times, and we will be getting a mechanism for exactly that.  I'll be cautiously optimistic for now.

Stay tuned - when more solid information is released I'll get on it.