Sunday, March 20, 2016

The FLCS Nerf & New FM Content Part 2

Before I get to part 2 of the Forsaken Mission new item review, I should revisit part 1.

The Frontline Countermeasure System was nerfed - its Turret Defense was reduced to 50% from 74%.  In a forum post GD Raikan said that ship design was supposed to be about choices, and with the FLCS defense stat where it was, there really was no choice.  In my original article about this special, I said that this was my new favorite special.  Fundamentally, I agree with Raikan that the FLCS makes more sense at 50% and at should have been nerfed.  A special that you'd want to use on every ship becomes essential.  Remember when we had "haves" & "have nots" with the Blade Missile?  With FLCS at 74% Kixeye would have had to tune the siege targets to damage those ships with 74% extra turret defense, and so everyone who didn't have FLCS on their ships would have been SOL.

As it stands now, I still like FLCS, but I won't use it everywhere.  It's a choice, and the choice is pretty clear - on the offensive ships, use Siege Battery 3 (and refit it to get up to 49.5% Turret Defense).  On the defensive ships use FLCS.

 There's still one problem though... how did FLCS get released the way it did in the first place? This one doesn't feel like a QA slipup... where they meant to have it go out the door at some other value and it didn't.  It feels like a failure in the design process... but I guess we will never know.  And for those of you who coined a bunch of FLCS on day 1... all I can say is that you shouldn't spend money on this game that you aren't willing to set on fire.  It better be disposable income.  

On with the new stuff.

Chromium Overlay

Chromium Overlay is a tactical field that will help your walls stand up against fire from Tiger Sharks loaded with Cobra Scatterguns.  To use this effectively, you will need to embed buildings with this special (preferably your Naval & Advanced Labs) into your rows of turrets so that the walls can be buffed up.  

There's two problems with this:
1. Can you get enough defense on your walls?
2. Would you be making your defense vulnerable to splash & retargeting with the embedded labs?

This seems like a big change for a solution to a problem that perhaps isn't everyone's biggest defensive problem.  Although... I'm wondering... after the Glacial Launcher Turret gets out there... we might start to think differently.

Cryo Battery

So every 15 seconds, a Cryo-battery equipped ship can create a projectile that causes a 10 second ice field.  The place where this special would seem to be really useful would be on the remote targeting ships in base defense.  I looked at a Mastodon build, and with an Laser, SFB, Enhanced Warhead, and an armor special (because rockets), there wasn't a place for this... but with the use of Guided Missile System, there would be room for this one.  On a Rhino build it gets even easier to find a place for the Cryo Battery. 

Although an Aegis or Frostburn field would clean up the ice from this special, Coldsnaps take care of that pretty well.  Whether this special would find wider use on other ships intended for FvF, I'm not so sure.

Glacial Launcher Turret

The first thing that pops out at someone when they look at this LIMITED turret is the 65,000 damage.  Surprisingly enough, I don't think that's the most important stat here.  That number is made less important by two things:  the Salvo (20) and the Spread (350).

This turret is actually going to spray 20 ice fields all over the place.  I bet its going to look awesome.  With that much spread, no ship is actually going to be subjected to the full 65,000 points of damage.  But if we consider that we're going to have ice fields all over the place, let's look at what happens in those ice fields.  The debuff stats start low, but get up to their full strength in 15 seconds, and last for 15 seconds more.  A ship in a full strength field will have: -90% combat speed, -70% defense and -60% reload.  So, you come to nearly a complete stop, fire less than half as much, and are 3 times more vulnerable to enemy fire.

Stay out of the ice.  Sure an Aegis or Frosty will clean it up.. but Coldsnap stops that.  Ice Field resistance and possibly Tactical Field resistance (who remembers Shielded Tactical Systems?  It's back on Tier 2 of the Forsaken Mission this week) might get a lot more important.  Agility System will NOT help you in these fields.

When using this turret in defense, you will need to notice the 131 range (same as Wendigo), and the 33 second reload.  Base layouts might need to be tweaked to make room for another medium range turret, but this one looks to be worth it.