Renegade starts this week, and we have a new prize list.
I already went over the new Centurion Hull and Particle Accelerator Cannon prizes in my last article - see it here if you missed it.
Kixeye did tweak the build times of those items since the preview - the Centurion Hull is 2 days 6 hours and the Particle Accelerator is 8 hours 44 minutes (times with officer). The hull build time seems about right for its capability and the Particle Accelerator seems a bit long, but all the ballistic weapon build times have been leveled based on their weight and the PAC is right around all the other weapons when using that measure (130 seconds per ton when you include the Nuclear Accelerator & Shipyard 3).
The raid is expected to be pretty much like the last one, with the addition of co-op to the A/B/C set targets. Kixeye explained a "priority" system for giving credit for the kill (towards bonus). Their explanation seemed more complex than it had to be - when the target is killed, the player with the fleet that has been in the target longest gets the credit.
You can see my article from the last raid, but I'll try to summarize it.
If you have a good tank/Rhino/Aegis fleet, the Mega Hulls were probably the best way to go - use the safe lanes to kill the platforms, then decoy the splash missiles to close in on the Mega.
If you've built (or made good headway on) a "Siege fleet", you might have better luck with the A/B/C set targets. Good countermeasures are important for those targets because the missiles (from turrets) had no flak evade, and the mortar fire was fairly thick. Also remember to try to kill the flagged building quickly to reduce the defenses of the others.
It doesn't seem like there will be many big changes from last time, but we will see if Kixeye throws any twists at us.
So looking at the prize list, the limited components are back, and we have a reduced (7 days -> 5 day 10 hour) token store. We also have a reduced prize list with more tiers, but only two choices per tier, and you can only pick one of them. I'll run through each Tier, and instead of the Red/Yellow/Green, I'll just list them in order of which I'd choose.
I'll say it up front - Kixeye seems to be flagging the Mortars as their "core tech", but everything I've seen in the game still says to me that I'd rather have a good ballistic fleet for the Siege targets than a mortar fleet. So my choices will reflect that...
Dreadnought X (150k): Ok, here I chose mortars over ballistics - but what I really chose is a 4 special ship over a 3 special ship. If you're just starting out, launchers might be your best choice for this hull.
Vindicator (150k): Build time on this hull has been reduced to 12 hours. It has a 30% ballistic range bonus, not a 40% like the high-end ballistic hulls. Retrofitted, this hull has an accuracy bonus, making it a good choice for a countermeasure platform.
Zynthonite Armor D5-R (550k): Build time has been reduced on this armor from 1 day 22 hours to 1 day. Too bad it doesn't include any deflection like the newer D5 armors. Radioactive Resist will help in the mines.
Siege Battery 1 (550k): Siege Battery is a really good special for the Siege targets, but you will want Siege Battery 3 in most situations. Occasionally you'll need the lighter version to make your weight work.
Reflective Coating 3 (1.5M): The combination of Evade and Radio defense will also help in the Mines - The Slow Resist from Agility System does not reduce your slowdown effect, it reduces the slowdown time from things like Disruptor Cannons. You need Shielded Tactical System to reduce Tactical Field effects.
Siege Battery 2 (1.5M): Siege Battery is a really good special for the Siege targets, but you will want Siege Battery 3 in most situations. Occasionally you'll need the lighter version to make your weight work.
Siege Battery 3 (3M): This is the special you want for Siege targets. Don't forget to retrofit it.
Nuclear Accelerators (3M): If you somehow haven't gotten this from the Forsaken Mission... maybe you should get this instead, but maybe you should just keep at it because I think Siege Battery will be harder to get.
Crusader (5M): I really liked my Crusader build - with Arbalests & Nuclear Accelerators in tier 3 of the FM, a decent Crusader build should be really achievable for a lot of players now, and probably still fairly effective. Adding deflection armor would be really great if you have it. The build time reduction on this hull is appreciated.
Novastorm (5M): I'm still choosing ballistics over mortars, but this hull speeds up in fire/ice fields instead of slowing down... I'd like to see how it does in mines.
Particle Accelerator Cannon (10M): Although this weapon is tuned for building targets, its fleet DPS wasn't quite as terrible as I thought when I actually sat down & ran some numbers... but it's still not as good as the Drac Railgun or Arbalest against fleets. The big blast looks cool and really messes up a group of buildings. This weapon seems expensive at 10 million points though... remember when the new weapon was usually 5-6 million? And it was the best thing ever? This weapon is decent, but it is not the "best thing ever". And that's a good thing - I love the weapon parity since the rebalance & it should not be broken... but I still don't get the price on this one.
Judgment Mortar (7.5M): This is discounted from 9 Million points last month. I think a lot of players have been choosing the Pandemonium Mortar over the Judgment on builds. I didn't get a chance to see - did the MIRV effect of this weapon have any success against those evil Iron Curtains? Or was spreading out /staggering fire still key to getting any shots through?
Tier 7: (edit: you can actually take both prizes on this tier if you want)
Centurion (15M): ...and remember when the new hull was usually 12.5 million? Again, I like that this hull isn't the "best thing ever" and its build time reflects that. But the price is a little high. This hull may make a useful support ship, and will certainly be good at hitting the new Drac Mines since that is what it is purpose-designed for. This hull is not a base hitter, so just be aware of what you are getting into before you blindly grab it.
Citadel (13M): So my first thought was... "If you missed out on the Citadel last month, the Centurion will likely be more useful. Take the Centurion since you can't get both, or just grab tokens and components." But then I spoke with the rest of the group on the Battle Pirates Crib show this evening, and they all preferred the Citadel, for its base hitting capability and better overall defenses. So I'm a little stuck on this one, and I guess each player will need to evaluate their own situation.
I've gone over these limited components a few times before, so I won't do it again. They all have their uses except the Fallout Armor - leaving out ballistic defense is a really bad idea against the targets we've seen lately. Going back to that article, you can see that prices for the Gale Anti-Mortars and the Cobra Scattergun have increased.
I'm not sure why the token limits have been reduced, but it is disappointing. In exchange - it seems like the 3 day tokens are dropping more frequently from the Forsaken Mission. When they were first introduced, it felt like a 20% drop rate or so. These days it feels more like 50%.
(edit: DOOMROOSTER has said that the reduction is based on the build time reductions we've seen. I agree we have seen build time reductions, but they aren't done yet...)
Good luck on the raid pirates - I'll try to make a "One Day In" post to update how it looks. I'm also planning an article comparing the all the ballistics, particularly for building damage, and also may be writing an updated turret roundup in the not too distant future.