Friday, September 18, 2015

New Forsaken Mission Prizes - Blade Missile, CM Loader 2 & 3, Dead-Eye Ballista

To start off with:
I'd like to revisit what I previously wrote about Kixeye game designer Raikan's raid strategy video.  For those of you that missed it, I panned it as showing some fundamental build mistakes, and showing a "strategy" that would require players to pay much more than most are willing to pay in order to win the raid prizes.  I think most players agreed with me and I stand by that analysis, but I did miss one important point:

I really appreciated the effort by Raikan and so should you.  

We NEED more information and engagement from that level of Kixeye.  That sort of information has the potential to be very useful to us, and if we can improve on that and even create a two-way flow of information with the designers, perhaps we can see real improvement in some of the players' major areas of concern.  So Raikan, I'm sorry that I blasted your video.

I've publicly asked to engage Kixeye directly, and that offer still stands.  I would be willing to host live guests on a BP Crib show, or conduct email/phone/webcam interviews and publish transcripts.  I would like to hear Kixeye's side of the story, and get their responses to the biggest concerns of the Battle Pirates player community.  I do not have any interest in using an interview to embarrass, surprise, or shame my guest, and would agree to reasonable conditions in order to make sure of that. 

Also on the last article...
Some readers pointed out a few errors in my spreadsheet. (thanks!) I've been correcting them as I've been made aware of them, and the latest version is embedded in the article.  I don't think any of the conclusions have changed.

One thing I didn't point out... one more important way you can get ready for the next raid is to focus your retrofits.  Bypass Missile retrofits are relatively cheap and very useful if you will be using Harriers or Disrupters.  The Missile Systems retrofit is also fairly cheap, and it affects Enhanced Warhead and Guided Missile System.  And as always, Evade Armor, Compound Engine Systems, Compound/Alloy Defense System, and Maneuverability/Radiation Systems are great retrofits for improving defense and speed.  Check out the specials / weapons that you are using on your ships and look to improve those specific items that you are using.

Now on to the new goodies...

Blade Missile

The Blade missile is on the Elite tier of the mission, and it is certainly an elite weapon.  The short story on this missile is that it is about as effective as a Siege Missile Z, but with more range and 1/3 the weight.  It also has more flak evasion.  It also is in the retrofit lab with Siege Missiles, so those of you who have already retrofitted those will find this missile doing even more damage.  

The Blade is the new DPS/hton champ of missiles... dethroning the Trident's very short stay on top.  When looking at straight DPS, is also matches or beats the Siege Missile Z, meaning that a 1 for 1 refit of the Blade over the Siege Missile Z is an upgrade.  When looking at the previous "good" missiles like the Harrier, you really needed about 2 - 3 Harriers to swap in for a Siege Z in order to upgrade your ship's overall damage output, but the Blade can be a straight refit that both saves weight AND upgrades damage.  With this new weapon, I have also updated the "bubble chart".

For those of you unfamiliar with this chart, it compares the various missile options, plotting range vs. DPS/100 tons.  Targets have 40% evade but no resistances.  The bubble size corresponds to build time / weight.  So larger bubbles correspond to weapons that will take longer to build when allocating a set amount of ship weight to missiles. 

The Blade definitely shows its superiority on this chart, but when comparing the bubble size to other missiles like the Harrier and the Siege Z, you can see that you are paying for that effectiveness in build time.  Also note that the Harrier would close that DPS gap a bit against real targets, since the Harrier has the Penetrative Bypass which the Blade does not.  You can see that comparison in my previous article where I compared effectiveness of various weapons against Scourge targets (and I have added the Blade to the sheet in that article).

Countermeasure Loaders 2 & 3

The combo special has been improved with the new Loaders, but you pay in build time for this capability.  The 20% reload bonus is always appreciated on any offensive ship, and then the 35% accuracy increase is pretty close to the 40% anti-missile increase available with Countermeasure Equipment. 

When I build Countermeasure ships, I generally load up on Anti-Missile, and depend on speed to outrun mortars, so I would generally stick with the Countermeasure Equipment with its higher accuracy and lower build time.  However, with newer hulls having 5 special slots (thus the space is there), players that are combining countermeasures with offensive weapons could really get a boost with the newer loaders... just watch out for the build time.  

Dead-Eye Ballista

The Dead-eye Ballista joins the Wendigo and the Dead-Eye Executioner in the pantheon of Limited Base turrets.  This prize will be awarded in the Elite Tier after all other Elite Prizes (except tokens) have been won, so no player will be able to win it this week (and we are all busy upgrading our Outposts, right?).  The DPS numbers for this turret are almost precisely the same as the Dead-Eye Executioner, and it also has similar range.  The special piercing capability will hurt stacked-up fleets.  (compared to the Penetrative Bypass of the Executioner which will hurt fleets with high Penetrative Resistance more.)  In the chart above, I also compared the D-E Ballista with DU Shells to the D-E Executioner with Smart Warheads - you can see that the Ballista gets more DPS than the Executioner with less power usage in that configuration (but you will need to have a Level 6 Turret).  Another interesting point is that although you get a range increase, the Dead-eye Ballista (without a special) is not a DPS upgrade from the less power-hungry Javelin with DU Shells.  So it may be a better strategy to upgrade the platform to Level 6 first before swapping the Javelin for the Ballista. 

A new Ballistic Base turret special (Supercharged EM Rails) was slated for release this week, but we have been told it is delayed.  Caught up players who do the Elite Tier twice this week will win both the CM Loader 3 and the Blade Missile. 

A lot of stuff was released at once this week.  I'll be going through the changes for Outpost 7 and the new Caustic Warfare campaign in later articles.  Just as a note - the Outpost 7 changes also come with 2 extra turrets available to build (which was not noted in the initial release).  In addition, the Tactical Lab now has Level 2 tactical installations available to research - this includes Fire Support, Combined Defense, and Hidden Cache.  So check all that out & get upgrading!