Sunday, March 22, 2015

It's the Weapons

During this raid, I had a little bit of a shift in thinking.  Many players focus on winning hulls as the way to get ahead in this game... but I think the actual answer is the weapons.  Remember when launchers were brand new, and people were putting them on any hull they could... and they were doing pretty well?  Getting the D-92U was way more important than getting the Nuclear Cruiser.

Would you rather have a Mercury with Siege Missile Z, or Kodiak with Cutlass?
Would you rather have a Atlas with no UAV, or a Triton with Hornets?

A great example of this was a player I saw in comms this raid who asked about putting D92U on Kodiaks.  I mean... he could have and it would have been OK I guess, but I think he would do a lot better with Arbalests on Vindicators (for the same points cost).

So I'm going to try to round up and compare the top weapons in each weapon class, so you can see what weapons to "shoot" for and why.  To enable cross-class comparisons, I'm going to compare them on class-appropriate hulls, with an appropriate special.  I chose "heavy" hulls appropriate for each weapon class.

To read the charts, the X axis is the weapon range, and the Y axis is DPS/hTon.  The Bubble width is proportional to the build time / ton, so weapons with a large bubble will take longer to build (in a full fleet).

Assumptions on the charts are:

  • Ship rank = 45%
  • Target is a non-moving surface ship with 0% resistance, and 40% Evade
  • Special weight is included for the DPS/hTon calculations
  • Special build time is not included with the build time.
  • For Missiles and Ballistics, I broke the chart into "Heavy" and "Light" weapons.  300 tons was my cutoff weight for that.
If you watch the Alliance Crib Wednesday hangout shows, you have seen the heavy ballistic chart already - however I did have some corrections from that chart - the DPS/hTon was approximately triple what it should have been, and the rank bonus was 75%, not 45%. 


Missiles



As rank increases, the Torrents don't look so good, and this becomes very apparent on the Light Missile plot below.  My favorite whipping boy, the Achilles B, is below and to the left of many other missiles, including Cutlass 3 & 4, and all Assault Missiles.  Siege Missile Z is looking good, especially considering its build time, although its short range does seem apparent from the chart.  The Buzzard also looks good on this chart, especially considering the speed boost it provides.  Deluge missiles don't look too bad either, I am considering the pre-fire delay in the DPS calculations, but am not considering the driving skill needed to fire them at max rate, or the fact that you can't put them on Kodiaks anyway.



Strike Missiles look nice, although you certainly pay in build time for the Strike B capability.
Ballistics 


This shows the Arbalest looking really good, and will look even better as rank increases.  Bypass Chainguns aren't a bad option either. The DPS of the splash cannons is difficult to compare directly to others, but the perhaps the Earthshaker doesn't look quite as good as I thought initially. 



I think the only surprises here are the good performance of the non-R Impact Cannons - they are often overlooked, but got a real performance boost in last year's weapons rebalance.  Shredders don't look too bad for all the bad things I say about them, but their build time is still pretty poor - I'd like to see the Impact R come back around as an alternative.

Launchers 


Nothing too surprising here... the Cryo N launcher is ahead of the S launchers at this rank, but as rank approaches Legendary, the S would pull ahead.  The Cryo N launcher does look good for build time though.

UAVs


CHART IS UPDATED - LOCUST DAMAGE WENT DOWN

This chart is the most shocking - I had to double check my numbers to be sure I had it right. 
EDIT: Apparently two checks weren't enough.  I found two problems with my Locust numbers.  The first is that I had the reload time wrong in my data (supposed to be 4, not 2).  That cuts the DPS in half.  I also was not applying the damage modifier (80%) to the bonus damage.  That is how most weapons are calculated, because the damage modifier is to the damage type (penetrative for example), and the bonus damage is generally a different type.  However, for Atlas and Powercells, the damage modifier is to "UAV Damage" so it should apply to the bonus damage as well.

 The Locust damage is immense large compared to the other UAVs... the only tradeoff you make for that huge amount of damage is that the long swarm time means that it will take a while for that damage to build.

Throwers


Magma and Blaze throwers show you the range/damage tradeoff.

Rockets


The Maelstrom rockets looked surprisingly good here.  The Infernos are hurt relative to the Maelstrom and the Siege Rockets because they are being compared at a rank where their reload time bottoms out at 0.2 seconds, but the other rockets keep getting benefit.  The Assault Rockets also look good, but as with other Assault versions, remember that their relative DPS would go down against building targets.

Torpedos



No real surprises here.  Although the Vortex Z looks good for DPS/hton, on sub builds with torpedos straight DPS is more important because you usually aren't at max weight.  The Assault Torpedo R isn't too far behind the B torp, but remember you don't get the speed bonus with the R.

Mortars



As I've been saying to those that are listening, Negotiators are by far the best mortar out there.  Assault mortars look good since I'm comparing the anti-fleet damage, but would fall way behind if looking at anti-building damage.  With their diverse damage types and high salvo, Chaos have their uses, but you are looking at long builds.

Depth Charges


The Cryogenic Depth Charges are powerful, but certainly take a long time to build.  Posiedons don't look so bad in comparison.  

Also remember that if you are hunting underwater targets, the Poseidons have a 6x damage multiplier for submerged damage, but the other depth charges do not.  This is why the Poseidon is the preferred weapon against the Kraken.

Roundup:
To compare some of the weapons against each other, I've but some of the best-in-class weapons on the same chart:


EDIT - CHART UPDATED FOR LOWER LOCUST DAMAGE

I left off the Cryogenic depth charge, because it takes so long to build, it shrunk all of the spots into uselessness.  It sat sort of in the middle of the Torpedos.

This chart got a bit busy, so I zoomed in on the spot where a lot of our base attack weapons are:


The Locust is still looking very powerful, but you can also see the Arbalest looking good compared to Launchers and Siege Missiles.

The Crusaders have brought ballistics back, but watch out for Locusts... I haven't seen too many players with them yet, but I suspect we will soon.