Thursday, May 7, 2015

New Forsaken mission Items - Pyroclastic Turret, D4-C Turret Armor

First up: Dark Alliance / Unofficial BP Info has a post with some preview info on the next raid (scheduled to start next week), including a picture of the "Behemoth" hull!

Two new items have been released in Tier 4 for this week's Forsaken Mission: The Pyroclastic base defense turret and the D4-C Turret Armor.  

Tokens in the Forsaken Mission: In addition, once all prizes on a tier are won, tokens will be earned from the Forsaken Mission in Tiers 2, 3, and 4 (there is a big star in the tier's prize window when you bring up the mission pane).  Many players have completed Tiers 2 and 3, but everyone is at least one item behind in Tier 4.  That means that players are already winning the 1 hour and the 12 hour research tokens, but no one will be winning the 24 hour structure token for at least two missions.  On the third mission from now, if Kixeye doesn't bring in any new prizes, you may be able to win the 24 hour Structure Build token on Tier 4 if the prize that you are missing is not available that week.  Otherwise you'll get that missing item and be all caught up again. I am hoping that the introduction of tokens into the Forsaken Mission means that the steady onslaught of new content will be slowing just a bit.

D4-C Zynthonite Reinforcements:

This new armor for base turrets is similar to the previously released Zynthonite Reinforcements D4-M, D4-R, and D4-X, but it resists Ballistic Damage instead of another damage type.  With Arbalest-armed Crusaders blowing through many bases, having another option to try to slow them down is welcome.  

I did a some analysis of the D4 armors when they were first released:

The conclusion I came to was that they weren't all that useful on a Level 4 turret (when compared to DU3), but when you can stack two on a Level 5 turret, they become much more useful.  Since then, I've found a few more situations where the power levels work out that they would be good on a Level 4 turret as well (Gargoyles for example)

Pyroclastic Turret

Did you know that Pyroclastic is a real word, having to do with volcanos?

From Wikipedia:
A pyroclastic eruption entails spitting or "fountaining" lava, where the lava will be thrown into the air along with ash, pyroclastic materials, and other volcanic byproducts.

This front line thrower turret looks pretty attractive for a lot of reasons:
  • You can't evade or outrun a Thrower.
  • It does a lot of damage, and it does splash which allows it to damage a group of ships.
  • With range 90, it will outrange some weapons on Baser fleets.
  • Although Baser fleets all try to protect against Radioactive damage these days, it is difficult to get Radioactive Resist much above 65%, where missile or explosive damage can easily be above 70% these days.
  • Short Build Time: 2d 14h 25m (plus refit over previous turret)
Some drawbacks include:
  • Long reload time
  • Salvo of 8 results in 1.4 second time to do its damage
  • Doesn't affect subs
It is important to remember that a thrower works differently than a Napalm or Reaver Mortar turret... Although a Napalm does most of its damage via a fire patch, and the Reaver Mortars also inflict a lot of their damage through fire patches, the Thrower will do its damage directly to the ship it is targeting and splash its neighbors.  A Frostburn does NOT extinguish the thrower damage.

I also want to show base attack weapon ranges compared to the thrower:
Weapon TypeMax RangeComments
Mortars85 - 89Take Fire
Siege Missile, Strike Sys 385 - 88.4Take Fire
Strike B missile90 - 93.6SFB OK, Strike 3 not
Launchers91Need to drive perfectly
Arbalest on Crusader/SCX95Pay attention & stop
UAVs95 - 97Pay attention & stop

With some weapons, you will be able to stop out of range of this turret, but not with all weapons.  In all cases you'll need to pay attention and wait to move until the turret is really dead.  If attacking one of these and it fires on you, definitely kill it quickly once the turret has fired. 12 seconds is a long reload time, and you don't want it firing twice.  Spreading your fleet may help mitigate splash damage if you will have to drive into this turret's range to hit it.  In addition, drones might help ... once they trigger the shot, other ships can move into range and kill the turret before it reloads.

I'll compare the Pyroclast against other front-line turrets... I will show DPS, but look at the damage too. I think the straight damage number matters a lot more than the DPS for this type of turret.

Why (you may ask)?  Look at the Gargoyle... with 7,776 damage and 60% equivalent accuracy, but reload time about half the Pyro turret, it does a very similar DPS.  But even if someone drives a base fleet into range of the Gargoyle, you would only expect it to survive for one salvo (7776 * 60% = 4,666 damage).  However, if someone drives into the Pyro, they would be expected to take the full 8,832 damage and kill it before the reload.  So even though the DPS might be similar, the Pyro would be expected to inflict more damage (ignoring the differences in range and damage types). 

(No Special)
Napalm with Fire Support MVulture with Smart WarheadsGargoyle
(No Special)
Cerberus 5
(No Special)
Howitzer 5
(No Special)
(No Special)
(No Special)
Max Range90.0100.890.06464787276
Bonus Damage01,0431,83100000
Reload Time12.
DPS (0% Evade)659.1384.91,302.0666.5568.4564.0659.2870.0
DPS (40% Evade)659.1384.9820.3666.5568.4338.4395.5522.0

the only one that would seem to enhance this weapon's offensive power is the Eruption Pyre, with its +20% splash bonus.  But on this turret (like most front line turrets), I would recommend defensive specials in order to enhance its survivability.  You want to be sure it can survive long enough to fire its entire burst of damage, and maybe even get a chance at a second burst.  Since long range ballistics are the major threat to this turret, loading up on Ballistic resistance might be a good plan.  

As an example on a Level 5 Turret, you could add:
Pyroclastic Turret (1906), 2 x D4-C Reinforcements (2 x 925), and Compound Panels C (+5%) giving you a total of 3,944 power draw.  That turret would have 46,480 health and a 56% total resistance to Ballistic damage (and 22% resist to Missile and Explosive).  You could make similar turrets with different resistances to load up against other damage types.  If you don't have the Compound C (I think it hasn't been offered in quite a while), you could use Layered (or Ablative or Reactive) Panels 1, which gives 20% resistance (55% total) for 3% power draw.

I showed a level 5 turret above. Going back to the article I linked above on D4 turret armors, you can see that there isn't much benefit for D4 on a Level 4 turret where you can only use 1 piece of armor:
A Level 4 turret with DU3 would have 32,800 armor points (against any weapon)
A Level 4 turret with D4M would have 26,840 armor points, but 33,550 effective armor points against Missiles (25% resistance).
Overall, the burst of damage and the range combine to make the Pyroclastic seem like a very attractive base defense option.  You won't be able to replace all your front line turrets with it - sub defense will still be needed, but I think we'll be seeing these turrets show up in top end bases (and many others too).  If you have any Napalm left in your base, you definitely want to replace it with this one.