I will not be going through the raid format in an article. We are in for a 6 day raid with a hull store. There is a new level 95 "boss" target too, if you like that sort of thing.
If you want more detail on the raid format:
Read the Kixeye forum article at: https://community.kixeye.com/discussion/564034
See the Kixeye Prize List at: https://community.kixeye.com/discussion/565171
Watch the Wednesday Battle Pirates Crib show at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyUYNLAYqgY
Or just grab our slides at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UBiVznJVB75mGEhGQWP2YTjwPgItdCfE8F-U9Qbx6nU
There will be no Kixeye video. I would like a video apology from Will Harbin explaining.
I will NOT be able to do a "One Day In" article like I usually do. Sorry and good luck.
I recently predicted the rotating wheel of weapon love would stop on "Missile" soon (in the revised Artemis article) and I was correct. So I'll start with the missile prizes:
You'd think with all the statistics on the blueprint above, I would start with something like the offensive capabilities, or 5 special slots (OK I sort of just did). But the most amazing statistic on this hull is the build time: under 2.5 days with officer. With a 3 day hull build the Artemis was pretty good, but this one is really amazing. This data was pulled directly from the game, not announced by Kixeye, so it may be subject to change. But if that build time stays accurate... this hull
With the huge number of weapon slots and 50% remote targeting range, this hull obsoletes the Mastodon (even though the Mast has a longer remote range). But with 5 specials and its strong defenses, a group of these might just give the Proto-Nemesis and even the Hellstar a run for its money. Lets see how that stacks up:
These hulls really do blow away the Mastodons with better defense, more slots, and better reload. The ProtoNemesis and Hellstar still look better with their high defenses, but their huge repair time cancels that out if you really want to use those huge prize hulls. Lack of Flak Evade may be a problem, especially when pairing with the Harrier Missile (also without flak evade).
But don't forget about the Rhino's very high combat speed & Unreactive capability either. Even though Mastodons are best kept away from a fight, I see no reason why the Rhino couldn't be built to be a "front-line" ship, and just spread out as desired in a specific combat situation (against Antipode Launchers for example). With remote targeting, the weapons will all fire like the ships are stacked, even when the ships are somewhat spread out. I pretty much like all the stats on this ship - the sonar & thermal really aren't up to par for sub hunting, but the alternative is to have none, so it isn't too bad. The sonar may be useful for mines at the very least. Don't forget to add Laser as one of your specials so you have retargeting.
Harrier Missile D52-R
This new missile weighs twice as much as a Strike Missile, but has extended range, more damage and a high penetrative bypass. Note that the blueprint is shown with Bypass Missile retrofit level 15, the Penetrative Bypass is 40% without retrofit.
Let's see how the stats stack up:
Some missiles are just obsolete. Look at the Assault Missile Z... the new Harrier has more range, damage, accuracy and the Penetrative Bypass, for 1/3 the weight and 1/9 the build time. And don't forget to hate on the Achilles... 2 shots from a Harrier will take the same amount of time, have more accuracy, more bypass, and more damage for 1/4 the weight & 1/12 the build time.
And on my weighted DPS/Range/Build time chart:
(bubble size corresponds to build time per weight)
The general problem with light missiles like the Harrier is that you need a lot of weapon slots to use them effectively in a fleet. With the release of the 15-weapon fast-building Rhino, the pairing is obvious.
This missile is more expensive than previous missiles, but seems like it will be worth the points. With the way the bypass formulas work, I expect retrofits to be effective as well if this one falls into the retrofit lab Bypass Missile category.
And then we have the new limited flagship...
The stats compared to the regular Goresaber are:
This is a slight upgrade over the regular Goresaber, but the big deal is the stun overload which affects the entire map. Although it is only a 5 second stun (reducible by special), and takes 5800 damage to trigger the overload, it can certainly gain you an advantage.
I can see this ship being useful as a flagship for many fleets, not just a matched rocket fleet. With its armor ability bonus and basic defenses, using this as a spotter ship for Rhinos or Mastodons is a clear possibility. Its offensive potential may be wasted in base defense, but stunning incoming attackers would be a great advantage too.
One more note - the Turret Defense statistic shows as "20%", not "+20%". So Kixeye logic tells us that the Siege Battery Turret Defense will NOT stack with the built-in Borbas Turret Defense. That's not to say that using Siege Battery 3 to boost the Turret Defense to 40% would be useless, but it is a lesser benefit than it would be on other ships.
We seem to have a very powerful group of new prizes being released. In addition, this raid has a hull store for previous hulls, and also a token store. With just the new prizes, tokens, and a couple limited pickups, point targets for many players could be well over 100 million. We will see how difficult this raid turns out to be... I know I'm glad I've saved 2 Grease Monkeys.
The other thing I am noticing is that the recent hulls released, despite their high "power", seem to be dropping in terms of hull build time. The Rhino at 2.5 days, the Artemis at 3 days, and the Valkyrie Carrier at 5 days seem to be very good deals compared to the alternatives (compare to the Mastodon, V2-H, or the Warbird Carrier all at 5 days). If we see this trend continue, using the hull store to pick up old hulls may be a bad idea, since the newer hulls will build faster AND be more useful. I'll take that into account when I make my red/yellow/green recommendations on what to get.