Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Forsaken Mission Prizes - Shielded Tactical Systems, D33-DR, Searing Barrage Mortar

Before I get through more content, I would like to mention how pleased I am that we got to catch up with the Forsaken Mission content. A couple months back they dropped three items and only gave us two weeks to win it before adding in more content... I'm all caught up again, so I guess we got an extra mission in there somewhere. (yes, I understand that many many players are NOT caught up, but at least we're not all falling further behind)

Kixeye has brought out three new items for the upcoming Forsaken Mission:

Shielded Tactical Systems:

The Shielded Tactical System is a combo special that gives resistance to Slow Effect duration, and to Tactical Field effects. 

Shielded Tactical System 3Shielded Tactical System 2Shielded Tactical System 1Shielded Electronics 3Shielded Electronics 2Shielded Electronics 1
Total Weight9%6%3%9%6%3%
Tactical Field Resist30%20%10%0%0%0%
Slow Resist50%35%20%60%40%20%
Stun Resist0%0%0%60%40%20%
Total Build Time w/Officer???20h 48m12h 45m8h 48m

I compared to Shielded Electronics - the closest special there is, although no current special helps against Tactical Fields (although Hellstrikes & Hellhounds have 50% Tactical Field Resistance built in).

So what does this help you against?
The Slow Resistance helps you by reducing the duration of slowdown caused by things that hit you.  These include Harpoons and (Reaver) Disrupter Cannons.

The Tactical Field Resistance helps you by reducing the effects of enemy fields, including Tactical Module fields, Fire patches, and Ice patches.  So you gain an additional resistance (stacked with radioactive resist) to the DPS you take when you are within a fire patch, the bypass and slowdown effects of ice patches are reduced, and whatever nerf you take from enemy Tactical fields is lessened (like Armor Bypass or Microwave Disruptor).

As an aside, I wondered if this would combat the Sonar effects of the ECM Destroyer, but that field is a friendly field that increases cloaking, not an enemy field that decreases sonar. So this will not help against ships covered by ECM.

The Frostburn is clearly still the best way to deal with the fire and ice fields... although 30% resistance would help, it's not nearly as good as making those fields vanish.  "Enemy" Tactical fields aren't currently seen too often, and equipping this special would mean giving up a different special that is probably more valuable.  The value of this special might come into play later - as the next enemy faction "The Shroud" is expected to make more use of fields.  I can't yet recommend refitting or building new ships with this special for that purpose since we don't know how we will be fighting those new enemies.   This special also won't be too useful for base guards - it has no stun (pinch) resistance, and so the majority of the benefits won't come into play.

One note - if planning to mount this on a Hellstrike or Hellhound, I suggest you check (in the Kixeye shipyard in game) to see if the Tactical Field Resistance stacks as expected, or if it does a "select highest" like the Turret Resistance property of the Siege Battery. 

Assault Disruptor D33-DR

This new version of the Assault Disruptor comes fairly quickly after the previous version was available as a raid prize.  How do they compare?

Max Range4745
Building Dmg160150
Bonus Damage640
Reload Time1.51.5
Weight (Shipyard 2)200150
Bonus Armor15050
Fleet DPS118.658.8
Fleet DPS/hton59.339.2
Building DPS131.888.2
Building DPS/hton65.958.8
Build Time (w Off)?1d 6h 48m
Slow per hit10%5%
Max Slow80%75%

The new version has improved range and damage, as well as doubling the slowdown per hit.  That comes at the cost of a little bit of accuracy and weight.  The loss of accuracy offsets the improvement in slowness, but just a little bit.  I think the weight increase won't affect too many players, unless they are looking to refit existing hulls that are right against the ship or fleet weight limit.  The DPS is also decent, but using these disruptors is not about their DPS.  You want to slow your enemies down to keep them at range, or to land mortars/rockets on them.

Although Arbalests on Crusaders have been getting a lot of attention, the concentrated fire ability of the Crusader hull to increase accuracy makes it a great match for this new cannon.

Overall, this is an improvement over the previous version, and could be very effective when combined with the latest generation of ballistic hulls and the Nuclear Accelerator.  Build time is a question mark still... we will see if the D33-DR has a longer build time than the already long build time of the older D33-D... it isn't a given, considering our recent experience with the Nuclear Accelerator (for example).

Searing Barrage Mortar:

And we have a new Reaver mortar, which at a glance, looks like it does a lot of damage:

Searing Barrage MortarChaos MortarShock Mortar QShock Mortar LNegotiator 2
Bldg Damage1,37580011001025763
Bonus Damage6601,447000
Reload Time6.
Equiv Accuracy40.0%33.9%21.3%21.3%34.7%
Weight (Shipyard 2)3501300350350265
Bonus Armor2001,00010000
Fleet DPS99.294.628.025.030.2
Fleet DPS/hton28.
Building DPS114.6103.
Building DPS/hton32.87.910.08.919.9
Build Time (w Off)?1d 11h 38m2h 49m1h 44m2h 33m
OtherRadio Def: 2%Radio Def: 5%---

Why yes... it does do a lot of damage!  

We have a new DPS/hton champ (for mortars at least).  In fact, the most amazing stat on that chart is that if you look at the straight DPS (not DPS per weight), one Searing Barrage Mortar is expected to do more damage than one Chaos Mortar (at longer range too).  Splash of 15 is great, and at 350 tons, it is a drop-in replacement for any Shockwave Mortar.  The high salvo will help it overwhelm countermeasures.

The questions that remain for this mortar are - 

Will it have a reasonable build time?  Although I never built them... I'd love to see how some of the old "Black Rain" DNX fleets (loaded with Shock Qs) would do when refit with these.

Will it have a low arc?  One of the qualities that makes the Chaos Mortar and the Negotiator Mortars so much more useful than other mortars is that the shell flight time is lower than other mortars.  

When using this mortar, splash bonus specials will really make it shine - Incendiaries, Combustion System or High Explosive Shells will be key.

Overall: I'm excited for these new weapons.  I recently made the point that weapons are more important than hulls when you are trying to build an effective fleet.  The D33-DR and the Searing Barrage Mortar just might be some useful tools in any player's toolkit.  The Shielded Tactical System doesn't seem all that useful yet, but we might need to wait & see.