Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apocalypse - Pre Raid Tips & What to Get

The Apocalypse Raid starts on Thursday and runs through Monday (usual times)

Kixeye Raid Briefing (no video) is here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/530746
Kixeye Tips & Tricks thread is here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/531947

First off, my previous article analyzed the stats on the new Locust UAV, based on info mined from the game files.  This new UAV is NOT on the prize list for Apocaplyse.  Instead it is likely that the Reaver Motherships will be carrying this weapon.  Ready your countermeasures...

There are four new prizes this raid: Unshackled Hellhound, Crusader, Arbalest, and the Combustion Trigger.

Unshackled Hellhound:































This new hull is a limited, flagship-only Hellhound variant.  However, you can redeem up to 5 (even though you are limited to one per fleet).  Its statistics are slightly buffed from the regular Hellhound, and it adds a Command field for Radioactive Reload / Defense (same as Highlander NC), and an Alpha Strike similar to the Grimshine Wrath.



The twist on the Unshackled Alpha Strike is that it is not triggered (only) by damage like the Wrath - instead it requires 5 overloads to trigger.  So in order to take advantage of this capability, the Unshackled Hellhound will need to be in a fleet leading 4 other Hellhounds.  when all 5 ships go into overload, the Alpha Strike is triggered.  One bit I am not sure on - the Alpha Strike for the Unshackled is described as having a Splash of 100, but on Grimshine's Wrath, it is described as having Range of 60.  Splash of 100 may correspond to Range 100, which would make it much more useful offensively (even if the effect drops off) than the Wrath Alpha Strike. 

StatisticUnshackled HellhoundHellhoundGrimshine's Wrath
Weapon Slots999
Armor Slots666
Special Slots444
Max Weight12,9967,99612,996
Base Armor7,4526,9866,852
Combat Speed131313
Turn Speed121212
Evade25%10%25%
Ballistic Defense50%40%40%
Explosive Defense50%40%50%
Penetrative Defense50%40%50%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense50%50%50%
Turret Defense0%30%0%
Stun/Slow Resist0%70%0%
Field Resist0%50%0%
Building Damage150%100%100%
Missile Reload0%0%100%
Flak Evade0%0%30%
RetargetableFALSEFALSETRUE
Thrower Damage60%40%0%
Splash Bonus0%40%0%
Repair Modifier150%150%150%
1500 Damage Overload (fleet)10% Defense,
20% Speed
20% Thrower dmg
10% Defense,
20% Speed
20% Thrower dmg
Triple Salvo,
30% Speed
4500 Damage Overload--Range 60 Dmg,
Range 60 Stun
Range 22 DPS
5x OverloadRange 100 Dmg,
Range 100 Stun
Range 22 DPS
-Incendiary Missile, 50% Pen Reload
OtherFleet:
50% Rad Defense, 50% Rad Reload
4x overload: immune to slow, pinch, hostile fieldsIncendiary Missile, Fleet:
50% Pen Reload
Hull Build Time w/off10d 9h 56m10d 9h 56m7d 7h 25m

With the changed method of trigger, this ship is really most useful for Hellhound users only... players without Hellhounds will likely want to skip this one, unless they have a desire for a ship with the Radioactive Command field and don't have a Highlander NC available. If the hull build time is similar to the Grimshine's Wrath, it may even be quicker than Unfortunately, build time is the same as the regular Hellhound, thus longer than the Wrath or the HLNC (7d 13h 12m).

Crusader:

This heavy, long-range Ballistic hull seems to be tailor-made to carry the new heavy ballistic weaponry we've seen recently (Earthshaker, Bypass Chaingun, Arbalest).  I've been talking up the SCX in the last few articles because of its 40% range bonus, but the Crusader carries the same range bonus, allowing it a range of 95 with the new 50 ranged ballistics.  A fourth special slot also gives it a leg up on the other (non-Stingray) ballistic hulls.

StatisticCrusaderSCX R10Vindicator R5Zoe StingrayStingray R10
Weapon Slots86777
Armor Slots44322
Special Slots43344
Max Weight13,0208,3345,8255,2506,250
Base Armor6,2214,5161,7551,4931,493
Combat Speed1313151617
Turn Speed1525302424
Evade10%20%20%30%40%
Ballistic Defense10%30%0%0%0%
Explosive Defense30%40%35%0%0%
Penetrative Defense50%20%0%0%30%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense30%50%50%0%30%
Accuracy00%20%0%0%
Ballistic Accuracy0 - 50%0%0%40%40%
Ballistic Range40%40%10%20%20%
Ballistic Reload75%100%40%40%20%
Ballistic Damage50%50%0%0%0%
Slow Resist0%50%40%0%0%
Repair Modifier100%100%100%100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off4d 22h 42m5d 0h 48m5d 9h 36m5d 9h 36m5d 9h 36m
Total U needed0350,000146,4770200,000

The Vindicator falls behind with its 10% range boost, and the Stingray and Vindicators are also a bit light for the new generation of ballistics.  

EDIT: Build time is also good compared to the other hulls and considering its power.

Armed with Bypass Chainguns or the new Arbalest, this will be a powerful hull.

Arbalest:


This weapon is similar to the Crossbow, but it has a better damage / weight ratio, better range, and lower piercing dropoff.  With its piercing capability, the Crossbow had a high damage potential against stacked fleets, but was very rarely used because of its huge build time.  The Crossbow also required that the ships stop before firing, making it of limited use on attacking fleets - the Arbalest does not have that limitation.


ArbalestCrossbow 2Bypass Chaingun 3
Max Range30 - 5030 - 4950
Damage1,2408804,134
Bldg Damage3,7201,7604,134
Wall Damage9,9207,0404,134
Bonus Damage2481762,067
Salvo1130
Reload Time7.011.07.5
Pre-Fire Delay00.30
Accuracy70%70%70%
Weight (Shipyard 2)552.5748672
Bonus Armor15000
Pierce Range62.052.00.0
Pierce Decay-20%-40%0.0
Fleet DPS148.867.2326.4
Fleet DPS/hton26.99.048.6
Building DPS566.9176.0466.2
Building DPS/hton102.623.569.4
Build Time (w Off)1d 15h 47m2d 1h 20m20h 56m
OtherPiercePierce27% Ballistic Bypass

Statistics like these indicate there is a lot of potential for these weapons on both offensive and defensive fleets, but we'll have to wait and see on build time

EDIT: Build time also looks reasonable compared to other ballistics.

Combustion Trigger:


This tactical installation may be placed on water-based buildings such as oil rigs.  It causes a short-ranged explosion and fire field when that building is destroyed.  

This may provide some help for bases that rely on mortars or other weapons that need the attacking fleet to be slowed, but I think in most cases these fields will be either prepped or destroyed from long range.  For high end players that are power-limited, they will likely not want to devote power to this.  Lower end players may want to look for other items for their build time (EDIT: over 2 days), since a few of these aren't going to turn a weak base into a strong one.

What to Get  (Green - Best choices, Yellow - use your judgement, Red - pass):

Tier 5:  
Crusader (12.5 Million): A good hull, but make sure you will want to build these before working for them.  You'll want the ballistic weapons and specials to go along with it.

Unshackled Hellhound (25 Million (Limited)):  A flag for Hellhound users or possibly useful as a shell/tank to enhance launcher fleets.  

Tier 4:  
Arbalest (5.5 Million):  This is likely my top priority for the raid, this looks like a quality weapon and ships are only around to carry weapons, right?

Combustion Trigger (5.5 Million): If missing any of the other recommended Tier 4 items, I'd pass on this.

Compound Armor D5-X (5 Million):  Although the 2-defense alloy armor specials are a bit sexier, if you don't have them (particularly MC-3), this one is good to have.  This has often been available on Tier 2 of the weekly mission, but if you've missed out, it may still be worth it.

D4-R, D4-X Armor: D4-R is particularly important with the multitude of radioactive weapons we tend to go up against.  D4-X may be useful.

Kodiak (7.5 Million): A great hull if you have the missiles to put on it (Siege Missile Z preferred).

D4-U Armor (4 Million): This one is a bad deal for both the defense bonus and the build time.  Skip it.

Maelstrom Rockets V: You'd rather have Infernos from the weekly mission. 

Siege Cannon Z: you'd rather have the Earthshaker Cannon from the weekly mission.

Tier 3:  
Assault Disrupter D33-D: A good cannon for fleets that can take advantage of slowed enemies (rockets, depth charges, splash siege cannon).

Posiedon Depth Charge 3: From totally geek to totally chic... useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall.

D3-X, D3-C Armor: D3 armors give a good balance between build time, weight, and protection.  Like I said last time... I'd still prefer the elusive D3-E.  KIXEYE ARE YOU LISTENING???

Unstable Core 3:  A weaker variant of the recent Infernal Core... sort of like Engine Upgrade 3, but more blow-uppy.

Vindicator: Certainly inferior to the Crusader, I also think you'd be better off going after the more capable SCX in Snowfall Prize Pack 1.  No Kraken killing required & 12 hour time limit.

Crossbow 3, Reaver Chaingun 3, Shredder 3:  All of these Ballistics are the "previous generation", and not your best choices.

Tier 2:  
Battlecruiser X:  May be a useful low-end ballistic hull if you have nothing better yet.

Posiedon Depth Charge 2: Maybe useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall... but you want to do that damage quick, so you'd rather use the larger version.

D2-X Armor: Get it if you need it.

Unstable Core 2:  Sort of like Engine Upgrade 2, but more blow-uppy.  You don't want to use this.

Reaver Chaingun 2, Shredder 2:  All of these Ballistics are the "previous generation", and not your best choices.

Tier 1:  
Battlecruiser:  A useful low-end hull - great Thermal Detection at R10.

Posiedon Depth Charge 1: Maybe useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall... but you want to do that damage quick, so you'd rather use a larger version.

D1-C Armor: Occasionally useful if you need resistance more than armor points.

Unstable Core 1:  Sort of like Engine Upgrade 1, but more blow-uppy.  You don't want to use this.

Speed System 1: you don't want to use this either unless you are truly desperate.. a 10% speed increase will be barely noticeable.  Also available via Campaign.

Shredder 1:  This Ballistic is the "previous generation", and not your best choice.

Overall, I think this prize list is disappointing... None of the recycled weapons are top-end weapons, and (still) no sub hulls are available.  

What are the players who win the Kodiak going to arm them with?  
What are the players who won Atlas in the Forsaken Mission going to use for a UAV?  
What are the players who won MCX in the Forsaken Mission going to use for a missile?  
What are the players who took the torpedos and other sub specials in previous raids going to use that equipment on?

It boggles my mind that Kixeye doesn't think that they should be putting together useful groupings of prizes in the raid beyond the new prizes.  Wouldn't more players play the raid if they saw other useful groups of prizes for fewer points?

For example, since the Kodiak is on the list, why not offer the Siege Missile Z at 5 million? And then the Assault Z at 2.5 Million (or so)?

Then a player could go for Crusader + Arbalest at 18 Million.  Or Kodiak + Siege Z at 13 Million.  Or Kodiak + Assault Missile Z at 10 Million.  Having a wider range of prize packages would attract more players to play.  Having a bunch of random items turns players off when they can't build a good fleet.

Overall Raid Tips:

My plan going in will be similar to the last raid - use a tank with 2 Zombie Mastodons.  Last time I used my Cryo-armed Frostburn Interceptor.  This time I also have a Grimshine Berzerker (heavy compound armor and countermeasures), and a Grimshine Wrath (Strike Missile B & D1-C/D2-R armor) available to try.

If the platform-style targets are similar to dredges, my current best option for dredges is to use my Frosty, 2 Mastodons, and a Piranha Drone Arbiter (P drones distract the platform guns).

 A key tactic to remember against the Reavers is to stay spread out against their splash weapons, which is why I like Mastodons against them.

Looking over the Kixeye Tips post, it does seem that Radioactive and Explosive damage is prevalent, so look to use ships with that sort of resistance.  (It's a bit late for refits).

If you're having trouble with (or lack of interest in) the raid targets, try Campaigns or Dredges.  Kixeye has said that Dredges will be available per the normal schedule, so it will be a good opportunity to stock up on Uranium at half repair.  It will be a great time to use Notorious Cutthroats if you've saved any.  Campaign-wise, Proto-Mastodons from Snowfall would be a nice raid prize for many players.

Watch the live Battle Pirates Crib Hangout show tonight (Wednesday 7 PM EST, 11 PM UK) for more pre-raid advice from a wider group of players.  Links will be posted at: https://www.facebook.com/TheBattlePiratesCrib (and elsewhere).