Friday, February 27, 2015

Warbird Carrier and Arena Changes

The Forsaken Arena tournament is here (started already), and I'm falling a little behind on the blog...

For those of you who really want timely information, I have been a weekly participant in the Battle Pirates Crib Hangout show on Wednesdays (7 PM US EST, Midnight UK time).  I generally use the charts from the blog on the show.  Like the Facebook page at for announcements and other great info from a great group of players.

I'm not going to go into much detail on the Arena changes or the whole prize list, but you can get Kixeye's summary here:

Or watch the Battle Pirates Crib show here:

Warbird Carrier:

The limited Warbird Carrier hull is the top prize in the Elite bracket, and anyone who finishes in the top half of their prize group will win at least one Warbird blueprint (this is a change from the initial announcement, where only the top 65 of 250 would win one) .  This hull is similar to the Harlock's Atlas Carrier, with the UAV launch overrides, but it has slightly more speed and a fourth special slot.  It also has a new ability: Remote Targeting Evade.

StatisticWarbird CarrierHarlock's AtlasAtlasLightning R5
Weapon Slots8887 (5 UAV)
Armor Slots4442
Special Slots4334
Max Weight14,24514,24514,2456,200
Base Armor6,0956,0956,0951,493
Combat Speed12111114
Turn Speed15151530
Ballistic Defense0%0%0%0%
Explosive Defense20%30%0%0%
Penetrative Defense50%50%50%40%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense20%40%20%0%
UAV Damage50%60%30%40%
Ballistic Range00020%
Ballistic Reload00060%
OtherRemote Evade 62.5%, UAV Launch OverrideUAV Launch Override
Repair Modifier100%100%100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off?4d 22h 42m4d 22h 42m4d 22h 42m
Total U needed000146,477

Remote Targeting Evade (RTE) is described as:
"...making indirect fire weapons miss more often. This stat scales based on the Remote Targeting range of a ship firing on it. Ships like the Proto-Mastodon, the standard Mastodon, and the Reaver Hades ship found in Reaver targets during the events should hit Warbird Carrier fewer times, depending on the range that the projectile has to travel."
What it seems like will happen is that when you are fired upon by a ship like a Mastodon using remote targeting, the RTE will kick in and provide an extra evade bonus.  The assumptions that I am making are: 

  • RTE, described as "up to" 62.5% will be at that maximum 62.5% when the enemy is at the outer limit of their remote targeting range.  As they close in, then the RTE bonus will be reduced until it hits zero at the "standard" weapon range.
  • The RTE bonus will stack with the Carrier's normal evade multiplicatively, just like any other evade special.  So a 50% RTE bonus with a 50% ship evade will result in a 75% final evade.
  • Bullseye Brigade and Disciples of Skullduggery rogue crews will override the RTE just like any other evade.
When building this ship, the 4th special slot is really welcomed.  For Atlas/Harlock builds, the dilemma is always that you want to use an Engine, Armor, Evade, and Powercell special, but only have three slots.  The 4th slot allows all four of those specials to be used.

I think the best uses of this hull - especially if you only win one or two prints - will be in Base Guarding and in the Forsaken Arena.  

In the Arena, this can be used as a lead ship for Mastodons, and builds should focus on resistance rather than evade (since so many players use Bullseye).  One more thought - if you are serious about the Arena, you are usually using repair insurance, so the extra repair time from a Reaver Bulkhead won't matter and the extra armor will help you live a lot longer.

As a Base Guard, Dragonflies might be more usable to lower enemy accuracy, but Hornets will maximize your chances of a launch override.  No engine special is generally needed, so Evade Upgrade or Shielded Electronics would be good choices.

Thoughts on the Arena:

Some important changes to the Arena are:

  • You can get points even if you lose. If you do 50% damage to the other fleet, you will earn 50 points, even if you are completely sunk.
  • You have to sink the other fleet to win.  Dropping a Bunker Buster on the enemy and hiding for 5 minutes will not get you a win, it will only get you a point or two.
  • You get one free repair every 24 hours.  Use it.
  • There is a self-destruct button.  If you don't mind giving the other player the "win" points, you can use the self-destruct button to end a match.  This may be useful if you are running a Rogue Crew and thus you want to end the match quickly and start another one to get as many matches as possible with the crew. You will still earn the points from doing damage.

I think these changes, along with the much wider prize pool, are really good - they encourage more players to play in the arena.  My previous attitude was that since I didn't have the fleet to do really well, or the time to sit by the computer all weekend, I didn't have a chance at the top ten in my pool and so there was no point in trying.  With the partial points in a loss, and the need to only reach the top half of players to earn a Warbird, I'm going to be playing in this tournament a lot more than I was.  Looking at my prize pool, I think lots of other players agree and have given it a try... I was at #236 this morning (having played zero matches).

Tips on the Arena:
I'm not a top player in the arena, so I may not be the very best source, but here's what I see from a general sense:

  • Use a crew.  Bullseye Brigade with Mastodons is very common.  Most of my enemies are using crews.
  • Frostburns & Mastodons are great.  Carriers have seemed useful as well. Mixed fleets are common, and some players are dropping a sub into fleets as a "second strike" weapon.
  • Rank helps. My Mastodons are around 45% rank bonus.  I've lost some matches simply by being outranked.
  • Split up. Pinch happens.