Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Perdition - What to get & the Hellstar

Kixeye has released the raid briefing and the prize list.  They have also shown us the blueprint for the brand new HELLSTAR, which will be replacing the Protonemesis in an overpowered one-ship fleet near you.

The Briefing is at:
My article on the Behemoth and Scrambler prizes is at:

The structure of the Perdition raid is pretty similar to the last one.  Campaigns are similar to last time, with a Recon/Strike/Siege campaign available based on your level.  An Elite Campaign (single target) is also available to all players.  World Map targets in your sector can be hit for Raid Points and Sector Points.  Sector points advance the Sector Bar, which will do the following:

Stat Boosts: Combat Speed, Radiation Resistance, and Damage Output will be increased from the sector bar.

Point Multiplier: A 10% point multiplier will be applied to the raid points earned from Map targets or Campaign targets.  Campaign bonuses do NOT get the multiplier applied.

Sector Store Unlock: The sector store contains additional prizes.

Reaver Assault Platform Open:  When the sector bar is full, the Reaver Assault Platforms will be opened.  These platforms are similar to the ones in the previous raid, except the random prize is the Hellstar, not the Protonemesis.

The Hellstar Nexus is also going to be a worldmap target.  Read the tips and tricks post for more info on the Nexus:  

Reaver Assault Platforms:
These caused a bit of confusion and bad feelings last time.  Although Kixeye said that the distribution of these targets was based on the number of players in the sector (just like the sector bar point thresholds), some sectors with high sector bars had much fewer targets than neighboring sectors.  Let's hope the distribution is a little better this time.

There was also some confusion and unhappiness about the following rules.  I'll try to make them clear:
  • Assault Platforms DO NOT RESPAWN!
  • Assault Platforms DO NOT GIVE RAID POINTS!
  • You can only attack Assault Platforms in your sector
  • No level restrictions (last time there was suppose to be level restrictions, but there were not)
  • On victory, players who did 5% or more damage to the target get a chance at the Hellstar blueprint.  The number of players that will win a blueprint is zero, one, or possibly more from a single target.  It seems each player's "roll" is independent.
  • This is a co-op target, players may join and rejoin as spots are open.
  • Uranium and Resources are allocated to all participants upon victory. The split is based on the damage each player does.
These are difficult targets.  Before the last raid, I suggested that they might have "farmable" areas for Uranium.  I didn't find any.

The Hellstar:

This is the "new" Protonemesis, that addresses many of the issues that make the original Protonemesis obsolete.

- It has 40% Radiation Resistance
- It has higher max weight (past Dock 11 weight)
- It has 150% Penetrative and Radioactive reload
- It has a Grimzerk-style Overload every 1500 damage, and a Wrath-style overload every 4500 damage
- It has Thermal Imaging with a range of 100
- It has a Random Launch Override (fire missile like a Wrath (Thanks Trogar!))
- It has remote targeting, and launches scouts to trigger its remote targeting.

Its weaknesses are:
- Slow combat speed
- 400% repair modifier
- No concussive resist

On concussive resist... subs won't be able to get into range without being seen (100 thermal), and any savvy player will recognize the lack of retargeting (underwater missiles) and make sure to use laser in their build (no point in sonic targeting with that thermal range) as a special.  So... good luck taking advantage of the low concussive resistance.

How would I build this?  I'm not going to go into an exact build, but I'd start by allocating the specials.  I'd go with Strike System, Fallout Armor, Agility System, and Laser Targeting.  My main weaponry would be Siege Missile Z, with a few Blaze Throwers included for anything getting close.  I would also use a Cut 1 for extending the range of the Siege Missile Z through remote targeting.  My armor would be a mix of C (to make up for no ballistic resist on Fallout) & E.  With the 400% repair modifier, I'm not sure I'd want to go with too much Reaver Bulkhead (maybe just 1).  For a 5th special, Speed Upgrade, Countermeasures (with some CM weapons mounted), Evade Upgrade, or Enhanced Warhead all come to mind.  If the Missiles actually get splash (as described in the blueprint description), High Explosive Shells may also be a good option.

Until we know a little more, be careful on your builds.  The Max Weight is listed at 32,500 tons, but your max fleet weight at Dock 11 is 31,756 tons.  I wouldn't try to build a ship that you can't launch.

What to Get:

Overall, I think this prize list is a lot better than last time... each tier has some prizes everyone should have, and some key items that have been missing for a while will be available.  The Sector Store is a bit disappointing, especially compared to some of the prizes in the regular tiers. You are limited to two prizes per tier.

Tier 5: 
Omega Behemoth (25M): This limited flagship with its ballistic reload and resist field will likely be worthwhile in a few roles - in base defense as a Goliath with more resistance, or as a blank flagship to buff a ballistic fleet (like Crusaders or SCX).  It also has sub spotting capability.

Behemoth (12.5M): This hull is somewhat better than a R10 Goliath for base defense, but not so much so that everyone should scrap their Golis.  I would prioritize the Omega over the regular Behemoth if you can't get enough points.

Sector Store:
D5-E Armor (5.5M): This armor is used on many top-end fleets - if you haven't earned it from the Forsaken mission yet, here is your chance.  Picking up items available in the Forsaken Missions got a little bit more attractive given the new availability of tokens upon completion of a tier.

D4-R Armor (3.5M): This armor is the top-end armor for adding radioactive defense.

Gargoyle Depth Charge (4M): Another FM Tier 4 prize that is very useful (for sub defense in bases), so you might want to pick this up if you haven't won it yet.

Assault Missile D53-Z (5M): The range on this one is tied for best of any missile, and its damage per weight isn't too bad considering that fact.  Its big drawback is that it does take a long time to build compared to the Siege Missile Z.

Napalm Turret (5.5M): Doesn't really do enough damage against modern fleets.  The Pyroclastic Turret pretty much made this one obsolete.

Atlas "Victory" Model (20M):  This is super expensive considering the fact that it is nothing but a paint job.  For collectors and University of Michigan fans only.

Tier 4:
Siege Missile D55-Z (4.5M): I consider this the best value (build time) weapon in the game.  Load up R10 Mercurys with these for a versatile, hard-hitting fleet that builds quickly.  This one hasn't come around for a while... grab these!

UAV Powercells (4.5M):  A very important special for carriers, especially if you use Locusts.  This one also hasn't been around in a while and I also highly recommend picking this one up.

Incendiary Shells (4M): Many mortar users like these, although Combustion System addresses the flight time which these don't.  But FIRE!  Searing Barrage Mortars and Pandemoniums along with the Novastorm means that mortars are getting a little bit of a revival.

Scrambler Cannon (5.5M): I wasn't super impressed with these, and for players missing any two of the three Tier 4 items above - I would get those first.  But this might have some use in Base Defense or some other situations.  It's always tough NOT to recommend the weapon prize in raids.

Kodiak (7.5M): A good missile hull that can take a pounding.  Not as sexy as some of the newer Ballistic options, but along with the Siege Missile Z and Strike Missile B, this makes a great option for a lot of players.

Atlas Carrier (7.5M): Only get this if you really plan to build it, and you don't have access to the Lightning or Warbird carriers.  Make sure you have Hornets or Locusts as well as UAV Powercells to go with.

D4-M Armor (3.125M): Not a blueprint drop anymore, this might be useful in some situations.

D4-U Armor (4M): The D4-C, D4-M, D4-X combo will build faster and give better protection.  Just not worth it.

Explosive Plate Armor 3 (3.5M): Maybe useful in some limited situations, but not really an object of anyone's desire.

Tier 3:
D3-E Armor (1.9M): D3 Armor falls in a real nice sweet spot for weight, protection, and build time.  Two D3 armors will give the same weight and protection as a D2 and a D4 armor, but build in 17h 16m instead of 30h 14m.  This one has been MIA for a long time... pick it up.

Mercury (1.6M): Even though this hull is available from Tier 1 of the Hunt the Nemesis campaign... if you have any trouble getting it through those means, get it here.  Along with the Strike Missile B.

D3-M Armor (1.1M): See what I wrote above about the D3-E.  It's just D3-M is useful less often.

Achilles Missile D55-B (1M):  Yes, some players use these and like them... they do have good range.  But for the build time, I just couldn't ever recommend building a fleet with these over using the Strike Missile B or Assault Missile Z.  Siege Missile Z makes these look like garbage.

Siege Cannon D33-W (2.5M): Throwers are the new Siege Cannon.  Or even Earthshakers.  Don't buy these.

Reaver Chaingun 3 (1.85M):  Nope, you want the Bypass Chainguns, not these.

Tier 2:
Strike Missile D51-B (70k): These have been occasionally available in Tier 4 of the Forsaken Mission - these little guys have long range and a little bit of bypass.  The low reload time and relatively quick build makes these a lot of fun to use on hulls with reload bonuses and retargeting.  Kodiaks loaded with these are surprisingly effective (even after the bug fix).  At this cost, these are a must-have. 

D2-E (150k), D2-M Armor (125k): These are available from an early campaign (D2-E) or salvage drops (D2-M), so probably aren't worth the points.

Reaver Chaingun 2 (100k):  Nope, you want the Bypass Chainguns, not these.

Strike System 2 (200k): You won't want to be using this for very long.

Battlecruiser X (150k):  My opinion would change if this got some sort of retrofit to R10 with buffs that included more range and reload.

Tier 1:
Battlecruiser (60k): A solid starter hull, and with the R10 upgrades this is useful even to high level players.

D1-M (40k), D1-C (40k) Armor: These armors can be useful when you want to add resistance without adding a lot of weight.

Shredder Cannon 1 (30k): These aren't terrible, but not really the best ballistics.  Build time on shredders is a bit long for their capability.

Reaver Chaingun 1 (40k): Nope, you want the Bypass Chainguns, not these.

Strike System 1 (30k): For the super mild range and speed boosts, just stick with Engine and SFB until you get something better.

Although I consider the new prizes "pretty good but not must-have," and even suggested that this raid might be sort of skippable for mid-range players, there are some really good prizes you want to pick up in the lower tiers (if you don't have them).  For just under 12 million points, a player could get Siege Missile Z, UAV Powercells, D3-E, and Strike Missile B.  I think that's a pretty good haul (if you have some hulls to put that stuff on).  If you are lacking in hulls, Kodiak + Siege Missile Z + Strike Missile B is just over 12 million points, so that could also be an option.

For newer players, I've used a Mercury Fleet pretty close to this build for a long time (D2 armor and no strike missiles though)... it can do 2-3 Level 65 Strongholds before repair, solo a Drac base, breeze through Strike Campaigns, and beat a lot of player bases in the level 50-60 range.  The best part... 31 days to build it.

Good luck in the raid, and remember if Borbas wants to shake your hand... put on your oven mitts first.  And watch out for a knife in the ribs.  

For more raid tips, watch the Battle Pirates Crib YouTube show tonight.  I'll be away visiting Night Vale, but Pain, URF, Scotty, and Kris should have some good ideas for you.