Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Abyss - Raid Info & What to get

If you didn't see them, there were a couple corrections to Monday's article on the Goresaber and the Dragonfire.
  • The limited version of the Goresaber with the Pinchstrike rocket isn't happening (yet?)
  • The Goresaber repair modifier is 100%
If the limited hull was pulled because it wasn't ready yet... good job Kix.  You might have noticed the poll on the right - Players are overwhelmingly willing to wait for higher quality content.

The repair modifier on the Goresaber makes it look even more attractive when compared to the Hellstrike.

Official Raid Info:

Overall, the raid is similar in structure to the last one, with three level-tiered campaigns + Elite campaign, map targets, and a Sector Bar.

A few notable changes:
  • 61 & 65 Map targets will give Uranium (400 from 61, 600 from 65)
  • Assault Platforms will have a new layout.  They are single hit, no-retreat targets
  • Every day at 9 AM PDT (Noon US East Coast, 5 PM UK), defeated Assault platforms will respawn unbubbled (assuming your sector has unlocked them) 
  • Assault Platforms MAY give a Hellstar OR a Proto-Nemesis OR nothing as a prize

What to Get:

The new hull and weapon are detailed in a previous article here.

Overall, this prize list is similar to last time - a few prizes were pulled, like UAV Powercells and Incendiary Shells.  The sector store prizes are notably better - I'll get into that... but the biggest new prize that players are excited about is...

The Token Store:
 

Update: The price of the 24 hour token has increased to 2,750,000 points.  It is still the best value at about a cost of 114k points per hour.

I've recently been coloring prizes red/yellow/green depending on my recommendation of whether you should go after them.  Whether you should be going after tokens depends on how much damage you take to get points.  For example, in the last few raids I've been able to do Siege campaigns for about 15 coins, getting about 3.7 million points.  That would almost get me about one 24-hour and one 12-hour build token, worth 72 coins, so that's a pretty good return.  If I take 40 coins worth of repairs to beat that campaign, my return is still positive, but not nearly as good, so it might be better to spend my points elsewhere.  The important thing is to be sure that you know how much you are spending to get those points. 

The other important point on these tokens is that the limit is an actual limit on the number of tokens you can buy for the entire raid.  Initial information in the raid briefing said that you could buy more than the limit as long as you spent them.  This was incorrect.

The total amount you can spend on tokens is 18,440,000 19,440,000 points, for a total of 7 days speedup.

Prize recommendations - Green is "all players probably should want this", Yellow is "Maybe get it", and Red is "probably useless".

Tier 5: 
Goresaber (12.5M): This Hull is a very powerful rocket enhanced hull, with a never-before-seen 25% range enhancement for rockets.  Its repair modifier of 100% is better than any other Reaver hull.  I think players are going to like this one.

Dragonfire Rockets (5.5M): These rockets do much more damage and have longer range than any previous rocket weapon.  Even if you can't get the Goresaber, these will be an upgrade over Infernos for Hellstrikes or Threshers.  Their expected build time of just over a day is also much better than Infernos.

Sector Store:
Monarch (12.5M): This limited hull (limit 1 in this raid) has a bit of everything, including drone / tactical module enhancements.  Remember there is a new Reaver Firebat drone coming out in the Forsaken Mission after this raid, and the Monarch is the best hull out there for drones. This is the first opportunity to get this hull since they were a prize in the Forsaken Arena Tournament.  12.5 million points are a bit expensive for what they are... but possibly worth it.

Cryonic Depth Charge (5M): These do a huge amount of damage (to surface or underwater ships) and have decent range, although they do have a very long build time.  These also are just seeing their first availability since they were a Forsaken Arena Tournament prize.

Locust UAV (4.5M): Although their damage takes a while to build up, and the UAV Powercells are pretty much a must when using these, they really are the best UAV out there.

Phantom Nighthawk (35M): Buying this limited hull will also increase your PNH capacity to 2.  I colored these yellow because I just can't recommend these.  I think sniping fleets is dirty pool and bad for the game.  But some people like it.  Desperate, unprincipled people who have nothing better to do.

Nighthawk Model (5M):  This model won't even be visible to your enemy most of the time.  It looks cool, but it really seems like a last choice for spending points.

Tier 4: 
Siege Missile D55-Z (4.5M): The best value missile in the game, just a 15 hour build time.  Get these if you haven't already.

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

Nighthawk (9M): Best overall sub in the game right now.  I think it is very important for every player to have a "prize" sub fleet of some sort.

Mastodon (7.5M):  Although the Proto-Mastodon is available from the Snowfall Campaign, many players have trouble beating the Kraken.  Tough to fault a player who wants to take this hull.

D4-M Armor (3.125M): I'd rather use E armor in most builds.

Explosive Plate III (3.5M): When people are running scared trying to stop Dragonfires, this armor might help, but it does make your ship sort of specialized.

Maelstrom Rockets V (3.5M): I sort of want to recommend these if you get the Goresaber, but can't quite reach the Dragonfires as well... but the cost difference isn't that much.  However, these can take full advantage of the reload bonus WITH Cluster Warheads & Legendary rank because of their longer reload time.  They are still inferior.

Brimstone Missile (8.5M): Not really worth the points, there are much better options for base defense.  These aren't scaring anyone off.  Also available from Ashes to Ashes Campaign Pack 1.

D4-U Armor (4M): Not worth the build time, try using M / C / X specialized armor instead.

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.  If for some sick and twisted reason you missed this armor last time... GET IT!

Vindicator (2M): At R10, these can be very capable for ballistics (+30% range) or countermeasures (+40% accuracy).  Just remember there are better ballistic hulls out there (SCX from Snowfall Campaign Pack 1), and only take this if you have Bypass Chainguns or Arbalest to mount.


Poseidon Depth Charge 3 (2M):  A bit specialized for sub-killing.  If you know you want these, then they are worth getting, but the Poseidon 2 might be a better value for points and build time.

Unstable Core III (2.2M):  This might just be my preference, but I hate building ships just to blow them up. 

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 Rocket D95-S (1M): I dunno, maybe as a last resort, but if you can't afford a better rocket, then you probably don't have a good rocket hull for these anyway.  And remember that the Mako is NOT a good rocket hull.

Tier 2:
Strike Missile B (70k): 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.  At this cost, these are a must-have.   If for some sick and twisted reason you missed this missile last time... GET IT!

Poseidon Depth Charge 2 (100k): At this price, it is tough to tell someone not to get these really capable sub-killers.


D2-E Armor (150k): Yes, you really want this, but if you haven't gotten it from Shell the Shore Campaign Pack 2, why not?

Battlecruiser X (150k): These aren't that great with ballistics, and I just think there are probably other hulls you should be building instead, like regular R10 Battlecruisers.

Assault Rockets D93-S (400k): Meh.  Kinda heavy, not that good.  If you're using these, you probably could use  non-S Assault rockets instead.  

Unstable Core II (200k):  This might just be my preference, but I hate building ships just to blow them up.  With the slower speed, you won't get in range anyway.

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.

Poseidon Depth Charge 1 (40k): Sure, pick these up, but I think PDC 2 are in the sweet spot for this weapon type.

Unstable Core I (30k):  This might just be my preference, but I hate building ships just to blow them up.  With the slower speed, you won't get in range anyway.

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

Overall:

So compared to last time, I think the sector store has much better options, but the Tier 4 prizes aren't quite as good (we lost UAV Powercells and Incendiary Shells without equivalent replacements).

The "must-haves" are pretty similar to last time.  Get the new hull and weapon.  If you haven't already, get Siege Missile Z, D3-E Armor, Strike Missile B, and the Battlecruiser.  The Locust UAV is also a good pick up in the Sector Store.  Obviously, tokens are a great way to spend points as well. Shipyard time is the most valuable resource in the game.  Lots of players will be going for 36 Million points or so in order to get the new items + 7 days of ship build tokens.

Good luck Pirates!