Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Forsaken Mission Items - Permacrete Reinforcements, Firebat Drone Module

And in this week's edition of Good Kixeye / Bad Kixeye (well I've never done it before)...

Good Kixeye: Delayed Forsaken Arena Tournament for quality reasons:
Based on the poll I recently held, most of you should agree that this is a good thing. 

Bad Kixeye:  Tokens spent are being "undone" (time reverts back to the pre-token time when you leave the game too quickly)... watch out. This happened to me yesterday, and I would bet it is happening to a lot of players without them noticing.  Also remember your max token limits.  There is a Ship Build token campaign this weekend, and in order to be able to earn all of the tokens, you cannot be holding any, so you will have to spend any you may have purchased in the raid.

On the "new" Forsaken Mission content schedule, new items are released on the first post-raid Forsaken Mission.  So here we are with the Permacrete Reinforcements on Tier 4, and the Firebat Drone Module on Tiers 2, 3, and 4.  I heartily endorse this new schedule - with 2 new items every 3 weeks, all players will get a chance to catch up, and players who have caught up will be able to earn tokens.

Permacrete Reinforcements
This armor for turrets is much like the Reaver Bulkhead ship armor.  It is a power-efficient way to put lots of armor on a turret, but doesn't give any resistances.

The biggest differences between the analogy to ship-based armors is that you generally have much fewer armor slots to work with on turrets, and the non-resistance based armors (Depleted Uranium) are used much more frequently on turrets. 

A straight comparison shows that Permacrete is much more power-efficient than the alternatives.

(D4C/R/X have similar statistics with a different resistance)

When considering this armor, center-island turrets are generally too power-constrained to have space for this armor (or any armor at all), so this will be most useful for front line turrets.  

I'll be comparing use of this armor against some of the other options... one of my favorite anti-ballistic turret combos at the moment is a Level 5 Pyroclastic Thrower turret with two Zynth D4C armors and Compound Panel C (level 2) as the special.

This example results in 46,480 armor with 56% Ballistic defense.  In a recent hit by a Crusader fleet, three Arbalest volleys were needed to kill this turret.  Meanwhile, my attacker drove into the turret & took significant thrower damage.

Although the Permacrete takes too much power to be able to use two in a single Level 5 turret with any decent weapon (not even a Cerb 4), a few other options are available:

With a Pyroclastic on a Level 4 turret, Permacrete can be used with Compound Panel A (1% power for 10% C/M/X resistances) for a total of 3607 power and 62,880 health.

With a Pyroclastic on a Level 5 turret, Permacrete can be used with Compound Panel E (12% power for 33% C/M/X resistances) for a total of 3999.5 power and 66,480 health.

With a Cerberus 4 on a Level 5 Turret, Permacrete AND a Zynth D4C can be used with Compound Panel E for a total of 3667 power and 82,520 health.

For a Level 4 Turret, switching from Depleted Uranium 3 to Permacrete, even with a less capable resistance special, gives better protection across all weapon types for just a little more power.  (when I looked at Zynth D4 Panels compared to DU3 on a Level 4 turret, I generally found that the extra resist wasn't worth the lower armor for the single panel).

For a Level 5 Turret, switching from the two Zynthonite Panels to the single Permacrete and upping the Compound Panel special results in almost the same defense against Ballistics, with a significantly increased defense against other damage types.  Moving to a less power-hungry Cerberus 4 weapon will allow even more protection, although the Cerb is less deadly than the Pyroclastic.

Some other front line turrets, like Gargoyles and Coaxials, are too power-hungry to even allow one Permacrete.  Too bad.

On Compound Panels - I'm not sure if these are commonly owned by newer players - I used them in my examples because they are much less power hungry than the specialized defense panels.  Compound Panels give 10%/22%/33% resistance for 1%/5%/12% power.  The specialized panels (layered/ablative/explosive) give 20%/35%/50% resistance for 3%/12%/25% power.  When comparing the level 3 Compound to a level 2 specialized, the benefit is obvious.  If you don't have compound, bummer.  But I think my conclusions still apply.

Overall: Yes, you want to win and use Permacrete on your front line turrets. I didn't win it this week so I can't show screenshots, but especially with build time the same as Zynthonite D4, this turret armor is a great deal.  Imagine if Reaver Bulkhead didn't increase your ships' repair times!

Firebat Drones
A new type of Reaver Drone module is available: The Firebat Drone

A drone module comparison is here:

The Firebat module is slightly faster to build at each level than the other types.  Its weight and drone launch characteristics is similar to the Piranha drone module, but it will not get the Shipyard 2 weight reduction because it is Reaver tech.  Although the Blitz and Siege Modules put out more drones at each level, those drones are much less capable as shown below:

Although all of the statistics of the drones are unknown (if anyone has pointers to more information, it would be appreciated in the comments), the statistics of the new Firebats "feel" like they will be more like the Piranha drones, rather than the less durable Blitz & Siege Drones.

When considering how to use these drones, the DPS numbers are important - if looking at a level 1 module, it puts out a single drone, and has a weight of 2150 tons.  That results in a DPS/hton of 9.0.  Consider that capable ship weapons these days have DPS/hton numbers of 50 - 100 or even higher, then you start to realize that these drones are not going to be your primary damage dealers.

Overall: The reason to use drones is to distract the weapons of your enemies while your ships do damage.  When considering this usage, you start to see that the Firebat and Piranha drones are the way to go (instead of Blitz/Siege), and that the decision between them should be made based on whether you want the drones to get up close and personal with them (Piranhas) or stand off (Firebat).  Usually I think you'll prefer the Firebat, but for those of you who try to deter attackers in your base with drones, Piranhas may still be the way to go due to the higher damage potential.