Sunday, September 27, 2015

More new stuff - EM Rails, FAT, & Holdouts

Yeah, I can't keep up with all the new stuff coming out, but the EM rails came out a week late, so Kixeye can't either.  Doesn't make me feel better about it, but maybe Kixeye will take their own hint.


Sorry - that's not very hint-like. Nope, not sorry.

Anyway.  I'll go through:
- Supercharged EM Rails released in this week's Forsaken Mission
- Vassago's Prototype Hunter, Hydraulic Resistors, and the Cobra Scattergun released in the Forsaken Arena Tournament.
- Reaver Holdout Fleet prizes

Supercharged EM Rails 1-3:

This is a turret special that is awarded in Tiers 2 - 4 that gives ballistic turrets (Javelins, Harpoons, and Dead-Eye Ballista) a chance for high-damage critical hits.  The special is fairly power hungry (same as Depleted Uranium Shells 3), so let's see if the DPS increase is worth the power.

It looks like the DU Shells are more effective at increasing your DPS, so I wouldn't go refitting EM Rails over those.  Against lower evade targets, the DU shells would not look as good, because they add 40% accuracy to a weapon that is already at 100%.  However, I don't think too many basers come in with less than 50% evade, do they?  It is also interesting to note that the Level 1 & Level 2 EM Rails are basically junk - they do increase your DPS, but if you are power limited, they really aren't worth putting on.  But with OP7 giving lots more power and the two special slots available in a Level 6 turret, these may find a place eventually.

A few more thoughts - the refit time on these is less than 12 hours, so that isn't too bad (similar to DU Shells).  Also, the one case where the Critical Hit would be really nice is against incoming Neptunes with Siege Deflection.  The increased damage means that the Siege Deflection capability on those hulls would start to get seriously overwhelmed.

Vassago's Prototype Hunter:


For those of you who blew through the Caustic Warfare campaign to win 5 of the Prototype Hunter, enjoy your kick in the balls.  Now you'd rather build one of these (if you can come in the top 3 places in your bracket).  Although the total capacity on the blueprint shown to us gives 3 as the max capacity, only 1 hull blueprint will be given to the players in the top 3.

Vassago's version of the Prototype Hunter hull increases quite a few stats, but also gives a Subsonic Cavitator field effect with range of 60 that surfaces submarines.  Like the regular Prototype Hunter, this should prove to be a very effective weapon against the Scourge.


The stat increases affect some of the hull's best qualities, but you will suffer an extra 31 hours of build time.

Hydraulic Resistors:

The top three players in each bracket will also win this limited special, Hydraulic Resistors. Once you realize that these are just Speed System 5 with 1% extra weight and 15% Concussive Defense, you realize it's kind of a terrible name.  I don't have much more to say on this but that you should use this on your anti-Scourge ships if you get it.  If you win just one, you'll probably be best off putting it on a flagship or tank of some sort.  With a build time of 16 hours 37 minutes, it takes a little longer than Speed 5, but not too much more.

Cobra Scattergun:

This weapon is the first of a new type - the Scattergun.  It also is the first weapon we've had that does all Corrosive damage.  Also note that it can only be installed in hybrid or underwater (I misread this on initial release, must be a Hybrid slot) slots.  The top 50 players in each FAT bracket will win at least one of these.

This weapon is going to be difficult for me to analyze and compare, because it is a splash weapon, it has a new statistic "Multi-shot", and it also does the corrosive damage over time.

I am going to assume that the Multi shot is a sort of "simultaneous salvo" so the 5 shots are fired all at once, then the weapon has the quite long 12 second reload.  I really don't know if the splash effect means that shots that land wide will have reduced DoT damage as well as reduced direct damage.  As a point of reference, I'll compare this to Cryo Depth Charges:

The straight DPS doesn't look that great, but if the Corrosive time effect of 2400 DPS x 6 seconds is accurate, then that adds an average of 1200 DPS to the weapon, which dwarfs the direct damage.  That Damage over Time is probably lower based on spread effects.  Build time is not as long as a Cryo Depth Charge, but still long.

So I don't really know if I will recommend building this weapon right away, because I can't tell how effective it will be.  When no ships have any corrosive damage resistance, that is another factor in the Cobra's favor.  

I also don't know exactly where I would use it.  With its requirement of a Hybrid weapon slot, some of the applications that come to mind are:

  • Subs - unless you are using Charon Torpedoes, the Cobra will have a similar range to your other torpedoes.  (only Cudas or Reapers)
  • Hunter - 4 underwater slots, but probably will be shorter range than your missiles.
  • Interceptor V2-H - 4 hybrid slots, but this will be shorter range than missiles.  
  • Monarch - some players may be planning Sub Cav or other types of fields... I never know what weapons to put on a Monarch, and since these new Scatterguns don't have any specials available to affect them (and a Monarch has 2 hybrid slots), they will be just as effective on a Monarch as on any of your 'main' hulls.
So yeah, this one is a stumper.  Lots of players will be winning at least one of these, so maybe we'll see some effective uses over the next few weeks.

And the Holdout Fleets:


These made a one day appearance last week, and should come back again 9/28 - 9/30

changed:Tuesday at 10 am PDT to Wednesday at 9am PDT
(that's Tuesday 29 Sept at 1 PM US East Coast / 6 PM UK through Wed 30 Sept)

.  My anti-Reaver fleet took a fair amount of damage doing these, so I had better luck doing some using zombie Rhino/Mastodons, then using subs to finish off the last two large ships (Hades & Hulk).  Note that the Hulk can't hurt your underwater subs even if it sees you, but the Hades can, so get the Hades (missile ship on the right) first.

Beating a Holdout fleet results in a chance of a Limited blueprint drop.  You can't use Lucky Bastards to improve your chance.  Each of the prints from these Holdouts are an improved version of something we already have.  From what I'm finding and hearing, I think the chances of getting a print are about 1 in 3, with the majority of prizes being the Gale anti-mortar weapon.

Gale Defense System:

This is an improved version of the Hailstorm anti-mortar, with more range, shots, and accuracy.  Build time isn't too much longer than a Hailstorm, so use these instead of Hails if you get them.  However, I usually prefer speed to outrun mortars, and high accuracy Phalanx for UAV defense.

(Woops those are Phalanx weights - Hails weigh 480 / 240 / 120 tons)

Compound Defense System D6-A:

This is the one I would like the most - I use D5-X on many fleets (and have it at R15), so this is a nice upgrade with an extra 5% resistance for 2% armor weight, but with (only?) an extra 4.5 hours of build time.

Fallout Armor 4:

This adds an extra 5% against Explosive and Penetrating and 8% against Radioactive for 3% Armor Weight and 5 hours extra on the (already long) build time.  I never seem to find a good use for Fallout Armor - the loss of ballistic resistance is tough for me to swallow.  (SCX builds are the exception with only 3 specials.)

Agility System 4:

This adds an extra 7% Evade and 10% Stun/Slow Resistance for 3% Total Weight and 5 hours extra on the (already long) build time.  Cutting the stun time can be really useful - putting the basic Stun resistance at 60% matches the Shielded Electronics 3 special, and retrofit can improve that even more.