We have some mined data from Dark Alliance: http://www.thedarkalliance.org/forum/threads/398-May-Raid
The raid structure has been described in the Kixeye May WIP post: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/543664
The structure is pretty similar to last time... including the dreaded sector bar.
A tips and tricks post from Kixeye CM Doomrooster: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/545203
This post mostly talks about the new Hellstar map target. It's solo, and it looks difficult.
The in-game popup clams that you can win the Hellstar too.
And PriceIsWrong over at Battle Vortex has been kind enough to share his preliminary look at the prize blueprints... which will be the guts of this article.
The new Prizes are: Behemoth hull, Omega Behemoth Limited hull, and the Scrambler Cannon.
Behemoth / Omega Behemoth
At a glance, I'm sure many players are wondering "Are my R10 Goliaths obsolete?" These hulls have the +40% ballistic range that combine with the new Chainguns and Arbalest weapons that really have brought Ballistics back into the game, along with a high ballistic reload, sonar/thermal imaging, good defense stats, and tons of slots (4 specials on a defensive hull might be more than you NEED). They do lack the Accuracy buff you get from Goliaths, and also have a 75% repair modifier, compared to the 50% on the older defensive hulls.
To chart it against the R10 Goliath and the Crusader:
|Statistic||Omega Behemoth||Behemoth||Goliath R10||Crusader|
|Ballistic Accuracy||0%||0%||0%||0 - 50%|
Ballistic Reload +50%,
Ballistic Defense + 50%
|Hull Build Time w/off||?||?||5d 9h 36m||4d 22h 42m|
|Total U needed||0||0||100,000||0|
The obvious use for these hulls is in base defense: In terms of dealing out ballistic damage, the Accuracy and Damage bonuses of the Goliath might make up for its lower reload, although with rank bonuses compounding with hull reload... that might not hold true at legendary rank. The Ballistic defense of the Behemoths is a big advantage, especially with Crusaders so common. At first I thought the 4th special would be a waste, but the possibility of using Autoloader along with Nuclear Accelerators (and Evade and Resistance specials) is tempting. Thermal Imaging and Sonar is welcome on the Behemoth, and especially their long range on the Omega. Just remember your ballistics will not hit underwater targets, so you'll need to spot for a Gargoyle or Mastodon (or do something more creative). The Omega also has a random launch override - but we haven't seen what it is.
With the improved combat speed of 8, it may even be possible to make an open water fleet with this hull. If using Engine & Nuclear Accelerator, the total of 100% Combat speed bonus would result in a 16 combat speed (of course turn would still be 5). Just remember 17 used to be "average" speed for a base hitter in the pre-Interceptor/Hellhound/Crusader days.
Overall, this hull is most tempting in base defense for its higher defense ratings. I think the highest priority would be to get the Omega Behemoth (and not the regular), since loading up on a single hull type usually doesn't result in a good long term base defense strategy. That single Omega would provide its field effect to the entire guard, and could be used to replace the "sub spotter" hull that most players need. Players who want to keep whatever flag they have, or make a fleet of Behemoths with more creative builds in mind could get the basic hull and start building away.
For the players that just invested in R10 Goliaths... the damage dealing power of the new hull isn't that much greater, but they are going to hold up better under fire. So you'll just have to decide on your own what kind of priority you want to put on your base guard.
With the high reload bonuses, Arbalest would be the weapon preferred over Bypass Chainguns (which get diminishing returns at high reloads). But read on for the...
This new Scrambler Cannon looks a lot like the recently released D33-DR Disruptor Cannon, except it causes an accuracy debuff instead of a speed debuff. It weighs more than the DR cannon, but since it is Forsaken tech, Dock 2 will reduce the weight by 15% and bring it just about back equal to the DR. Range, Salvo, and Reload are the same, and the Damage and Bonus Damage are increased by 50%.
Way back when they were new, I built Harlock's Atlas Carriers with some Dragonfly UAVs (which also give an accuracy debuff) mixed with Hornets. Although I like having my enemy more likely to miss.... I'd usually rather just kill them faster. Most PvE targets just don't live that long. The Scrambler may be most useful in a setting like the Arena (where your enemies last longer), but only if your enemy isn't using Bullseye Brigade or Skullduggery.
Since I don't expect this weapon to be useful all the time, it may turn out that an effective way to use it would to make a specific "Scrambler" ship you can mix in with other fleets, much like a dedicated countermeasure ship is occasionally useful. If you wanted to make this Scrambler ship match up with faster ships like Interceptors or Crusaders, you could build it on a Crusader or SCX hull. If matching to slower ships, the Battleship or Dreadnaught hull would be the best choice. As a low build time option, perhaps even a BCX could be effective, although shorter ranged.
A few build ideas for a dedicated Scrambler ship on different hulls:
(tweak engine and armor to your preferences)
Any ballistic hull could be an option... Sawfish, Stingray / Zoe, Vindicators, or even Lightning Carriers all could work depending on your preference. Prioritize Range and Accuracy buffs over Damage, and remember hull build time will end up being a small piece of the total time assuming the build time for the Scrambler Cannon is similar to the DR Cannon. With Zoe's Ray coming to the retrofit lab soon, that might end up as a great option if it gets additional range bonuses.
The other use for this is in defense - although autohit crews are usable in base attacks, many players don't use them all the time, so using a scrambler to nerf incoming fire should be a good strategy for base defense (except against mortars and UAVs). We'll see how long the effect lasts.