Sunday, May 22, 2016

follow-up on raid - what next?

There is a new forsaken mission out with new prizes, but it has been a busy week and I'm still catching up.  I think I'd like to focus on the aftermath of the raid, and catch up with the new Forsaken Mission later.

As a quick thought on this - we have a month where you can hit the "old style" targets, and with 50 million points you can get all of the new gear. Use this month to get your fleets ready for next month.

Deflection & Deflection Bypass

One of the biggest kicks in the gut in this raid was the addition of deflection bypass.  For those of you thinking that you were going to use some Revenge hulls this raid and they were going to tear everything up (like they did last raid)... you should have known better.  

(Yes, some players used Gatling guns to outrange the scatter turrets in this raid... but that's a pretty limited case, and you could have put those weapons on a V2-H too & done almost as well.)

Kixeye was very clear, I was very clear, all the YouTube shows were very clear, all the Facebook groups were very clear - deflection bypass would be added to the PvE targets (and that includes raid targets) to make the Revenge most useful in PvP (combat vs other players) only.  When the Revenge stats were changed to remove its Assault & Siege Deflection, replacing that with increased Damage Type Deflection, the way Kixeye would accomplish that became ever more clear - Damage Type Deflection Bypass was added to the PvE targets, leaving you to depend on Assault Deflection, Siege Deflection and resistances.

This was reinforced when the "chore" PvE targets were changed (before the raid) to be consistent with this vision.

Post from GD Raikan, 3 May 2016

When the raid came along, player fleets were getting really torn up, and here's a big reason why:

These are some of the Stats from the NPC (enemy) A tier Switchblade in secondary (missile) mode:

There's a few interesting stats in there:

  • Accuracy : 230% means that for any evade below 57%, their accuracy is still at or above 100%, and your evade is useless.  At 75% evade their chance to hit is still 57.5%.
  • Flak Evasion : 45% - many players noticed that the Zoe's missiles were difficult to shoot down, and this is why.  High accuracies (above 100%) do help overcome evade, so stacking up a hull accuracy, special accuracy, and alliance Gunner accuracy is a good strategy.  Also remember that accuracy modifiers work on a percentage of the base accuracy, not straight addition.  If you have a Phalanx 4 that is 65% accurate, adding the 40% bonus from Countermeasure Equipment 3 does not get you to 105% accuracy, it only gets you to 91%.  ( 65% x (1 + 0.4) )
  • bonusdmgcorp : 0.5000 probably refers to bonus corrosive damage, meaning not only do the missiles do penetrative damage, they also do additional corrosive damage when they hit, equal to another 50% of the listed penetrative damage.  This is why ships with penetrative resistance in the high 90s were still taking a lot of damage.
  • pendeflectbypass : 1 100% of a ship's penetrative deflection will be ignored.  This is consistent with the direction described above.
  • corrdeflectbypass : 1 Similar to above, but for Corrosive damage - needed because of the bonus corrosive damage.
  • assaultdeflectbypass : 1  Here's the sneaky one - 100% of a ship's Assault Deflection will be ignored too.  This was NOT consistent with what we were told would be in PvE targets. 

One more note on this - I think these are the stats from the initial release before the raid.  I don't know how much the 2 rounds of target nerfing changed these stats.

Data mining disclaimer:
"Unknown key" refers to the script the data miners are using - they have to interpret the stats into things we recognize like Flak Evade.  If a stat is new they won't have it defined in their script and you'll see unknown key. We have to make our best guess from the name.  It is always possible that some of the data mined information is interpreted incorrectly - both from "known" and unknown keys.  After all, a "known" key is just an unknown key that we think we have figured out.  Sometimes the values are scaled before we see them on a blueprint (like the infamous half damage). These specific stats I'm looking at in this article are just weapon stats, and so they could also be modified by the statistics of the hull they are mounted on.  The potential for confusion with partial data is a valid reason why Kixeye hates data mining.  (Of course, if they were more open with their stats, then the data miners wouldn't have a reason to do their thing.)

I'm not the first person to highlight the addition of Assault Deflection, and how challenging this was for Punishers and Assault hulls that rely on Assault Deflection as a key part of their defenses.  Many players felt like Kixeye lied to them with the information released pre-raid.

The post I excerpted above post talks about the existing PvE targets specifically, then goes on to say " We have no current plans to apply Assault or Siege Deflection Bypass to targets."  However, the raid targets, released just 9 days later on 12 May, do have Assault Bypass (as well as damage-type specific Deflection Bypass).  

I think that name-calling isn't productive.  Maybe Kixeye changed their mind within a week... but what they've done isn't really a good way to earn trust. With build times where they are, (and realistically they aren't going to change enough to make this untrue) this game requires long term planning to succeed without spending a mint.  For players to commit to this game going forward they NEED consistent direction from Kixeye. I'm not upset that they "lied".  I'm upset that they keep changing direction on us.  Having the last two prize hulls get significant modifications post-release is another example of this problem.  

I'm not going to be an apologist here, but lets think about it from Kix point of view - if they want to get a certain amount of damage per time from a target, they could either have a very high damage per hit, or have a lower damage and more bypass.  If they removed the Assault bypass, and wanted the same damage per hit, they would have to increase the damage.  In that scenario, then the Punisher or Apollo with the 500 Assault Deflection would be the only viable hulls to tank against that target.  They way they have it now with Assault Deflection Bypass, the gap between the Punisher (with its high Evade and Missile Defense) and the other hulls isn't as large as it would be otherwise.  Maybe you would be OK with "you need a Punisher or Apollo to tank for A sets or else you're totally screwed", but this method does allow for a wider range of ship capabilities to have a chance.

As always, you can complain all you want, but moving forward, you have to play the game in front of you (or don't play).  

So what works well against those NPC Switchblade missiles, given the Assault Deflection Bypass?

If you look at Evade, Penetrative Resist and Corrosive Resist, the Punisher, Rhino, Apollo, and V2-H show up, but some other ideas might be to use the Heavy Cruiser or even the Citadel, and ignore Evade (since you need over 57% before you get any benefit) but pump up resist.  I'm not sure I would actually recommend the Citadel as a tank - it's a bit slow so you'll take a long time to get into firing range.

I was going to add a bit on how to use the Apollo, but I'm still not sure what the answer is.  With the high resists it should do well against this raid type, but you have to worry a bit about scattergun splash.  I did a quick build during the raid, and have a single Apollo built with 5 disrupter/harrier missiles.  I was able to get it to legendary rank over this VXP weekend (it could solo an 80 for about 50k VXP with a Salty), and I plan to add some Phalanx 4s to try to make it a tank/spotter.  But I'm not too sure if this is a good plan or not, so I wouldn't recommend it until I play with it a bit more.

Hopefully I can catch up with an article on the new FMs soon - if you are trying to come up with a hull to build, you could scan the table above to see what might last the longest.  I've been using my Earthshaker Punishers with the Harlock Aegis and Countermeasure Punisher to provide Phalanx & Gale cover, but those ships are significantly slower, so they get destroyed in the 97 from the MIRV.  I plan to replace some Earthshakers with Arbalest to up the damage, and also refit my Neptune to provide mixed countermeasures, then run the fleet with a Omega for additional ballistic reload.  Again, not sure it's really worth publishing the fleet build until I know how well it works.  There have been some other builds posted in videos and in Facebook groups, so poke around if you want too see something that people have used.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Broken Council - One-ish days in

So the raid started out and it was really hard.  

And players complained.

And then they nerfed the Mega hulls a bit.  And gave us a little point bonus (Mine sure didn't seem like 30%... but bygones)

And players complained.

So then they nerfed the targets again, and gave us 3 million points, six 4 hour repair tokens, and 3 Grease Monkeys.  And they extended the raid by a day.

Are you still complaining?  (I saw a level 37 complaining in comms that he spent the points & went up 2 levels.) Maybe you shouldn't be focusing on raids - work on FM tech.  If you're ready to give this raid a shot, read on.

Anyway, with the extra day and the changes last night... this article is just like it would be "one day in", right?  

The way I see it, just the tokens and points are worth about 8.2 million points, since I can do a single A set target and fully repair with that token (so I did 2 full A sets with the 6 tokens).  The extra day of the raid is worth about 48 coin if you can take advantage of the repair time, and then the Grease Monkeys will save maybe another 20 coin each.  For me - I don't feel too bad about where I'm at.  I'll explain some more.

For this raid, I am using my fleet that I've been using in the Forsaken Mission for quite a while -!B06Z00U0U25250C346F2B2A2A192A372A0NH01R1R2539386F2U175255555537555555555506V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D54545454545454545453535352525206V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D54545454545454545453535352525206V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D545454545454545454535353525252dC

For those who dont care to look - it has:
  • Punisher tank with mostly Gale 1s & Frontline Countermeasures.  It has a single Harrier Missile and SFB3 for spotting.
  • Harlock Aegis with 4x Phalanx 4 & Countermeasure Equipment 3.
  • 3x Rhinos with a mix of Blade, Harrier, and Disruption Missiles.  Interception System gives them extra speed to keep up with the Punisher and extra punch.

Where the targets are at now, I can complete any of the A set targets using my Punisher to tank, and the other ships take some damage from the Scattergun splash.  The Punisher will often die before completing the target, but I can use a Rhino to tank to finish it.

After the first nerf, I would be able to complete an A set for around 17 coin, which would have resulted in more than I'd like to spend on a raid.  I would usually just repair my Rhinos for 1 coin each instead of a full repair.

After the second nerf, it does come in a little cheaper, where I can do that set for around 11 coin.  I'll break down how I approach the enemies in the A set:

Heavy Cruisers: My fleet has 33 speed, and as long as I can line up and drive away from these as they approach, they aren't able to fire a shot from their Scatterguns before sinking - it's a little tougher in the 80s when you have to trigger them.

Zoe Rhinos: The missiles from the Switchblade have decent flak evade, and these all seem to outrange me by just a little.  I try to charge them as long as I can engage only one at a time, and they sink pretty quickly.  they usually get a few hits in return though.

Land Turrets: The Sentinel type turrets will occasionally get a few missiles through the Phalanx, but I generally am not too worried about those.  It's the Basilisks that look like Gargoyles that are the problem, and pretty much the most offensive part of this raid.  They outrange your ships, can't be countered, and just give damage.  Looking like Gargolyes resulted in a very rude surprise the first time I approached one as well.  Sometimes I can use the direction of approach to allow retargeting to kill a second, but it doesn't work on them all.  If I had a full fleet of Cobra-armed Tigers, I'd use those to finish off islands, but my 6 Cobras on one Phantom only does enough damage to kill one turret per dive cycle.

Mega Hull: These are the most challenging part of this raid, but with some skill the damage can be kept very low.  The previous generation of Mega Hull had a fairly clear mechanism of how they worked, with the "danger zones" and on-screen timer.  This generation has no timer on screen and the danger zones generally do not correlate to the incoming fire (as far as I can tell).  

The important technique that I use is to approach from the North to hit a missile turret first (generally the most active one).  Then I creep into range of the two scatterguns and stay out of their range (indicated by a red circle if you mess up & enter), then I finish the final missile turret and then the bridge.

A very important piece of this strategy is that I have enough Phalanx with enough accuracy to hold off 100% of their missile fire.  I get this by using the 4 Phalanx 4 on the Harlock Aegis with Countermeasure Equipment 3.  Between the 25% accuracy bonus from the hull, 40% accuracy bonus from CME3, and my alliance gunner accuracy bonus (thanks guys), my Phalanx 4 are well above 100% accuracy. 

I did want to try the S level target, but I am having some trouble finding them... Sorry.

So overall, there's no doubt Kixeye screwed up this raid - but I always just try to look at the game in front of me and decide if I will play it or not.  

For me, I'm taking the hull and weapon, but will probably skip the special.  This raid is costing me a little more than I'd like.  But I've had about 6 months of cheap raids, so I'll take it this time.  I'm not super sold on the Apollo, but I think the high damage Switchblade will be useful.  I will probably take Tokens and Ghost shards before the CM Extender.

A lot of players started calling for a boycott early, frankly I don't think players should tell each other what to do.  But if you make your own decisions about whether to play or not, and whether to spend or not, Kixeye will get the message.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Civil War: Broken Council - What to get

Don't confuse Civil War: Broken Council with Captain America: Civil War... the Captain America movie was awesome... even if I did have to tell the guy sitting in front of me "Please stop it!" when he had his phone out 10 minutes into the movie playing Mobile Strike or something.  He responded with "Bite me buddy!"... but the phone went away and didn't come out again.  Mission accomplished.

Anyway we have a new cycle of raid targets and they are of the Assault class, which means we can expect a mix of fast moving ships and a few land based turrets.  The videos from the preview look like we can expect Heavy Cruisers and Zoe Rhinos, along with Missile & Gargoyle turrets and a torpedo turret or two to keep the subs away.

Kixeye Raid Briefing:
Kixeye Preview Video: 

I'm not going to go too heavily into describing the targets since there are a bunch of Youtube videos doing that, but I do have a few general thoughts on strategy:

  • The fast missile fleets seem like they will be the thing to use - unaimed ballistics like Earthshakers and Arbalests will miss the fast ships.
  • With those missile fleets, think about using a Wolfpack crew to get quicker kills.  Steelheads and Sea Serpents might help on the defense, but I'm suspecting the offensive help will be better overall.  Deadeye Destroyers or Disciples of Skullduggery might also be helpful if you have some of the higher end crews.

I'll go straight to the prizes.  

Apollo Hull:

This Tier 6 hull prize is purpose-designed for these Assault Targets.  It only has Penetrative & Corrosive resist, which is just about the only damage types that you'll be seeing in this raid.  It has good Deflection and Missile/Countermeasure buffs, but is missing built-in Evade.  A 10/5/5 slot configuration makes it able to be well equipped.

The speed is the trickiest thing to figure out with the hull.  With only 14 Combat Speed ("only 14" would have been really nice about a year ago), it doesn't seem very fast with a speed of just over 26 with Speed System 5 at R15, but the +150% speed bonus when it keeps moving will result in an extra 21 combat speed, bringing it up to 47 speed when it keeps moving. 

The variable speed is going to make this hull very hard to match in a mixed fleet.  It will be very difficult to run this hull with an Aegis (or Harlock's Aegis), and so you'll probably have to design this ship to run in a 4 ship fleet (with aura flagship like Savage Kodiak or Grimshine's Wrath) or a 5 ship fleet.  The hull build time isn't that great at 4d 14h 42m (with officer), and you're looking at a 3 month commitment to build a full fleet without tokens/coining.

To stack it up against the options:

If you really want to build a fleet designed to go after these new raid targets, the Apollo may be the thing.  But a non-coiner might not want to invest in such a specialized fleet.  You should at least see how you do with the fleets you have.

Switchblade Countermeasure / Missile:

This weapon has a Primary Countermeasure mode and a Secondary Missile mode.  From the raid video it looks like the weapon doesn't have to wait to reload before switching modes.  Previous multi mode weapons have always been a bit disappointing to me where it seems like it wouldn't switch when you needed it.

Lets start with a comparison of the Countermeasure mode:

(Yes, I accounted for the fact that the Switchblade is Multi-shot instead of Salvo)

By weight or by weapon slot, the countermeasure capability of the Switchblade is dismal compared to any Phalanx.  Since it's Multi-shot - Barrel System might help, but even making the 2 shot into an 4 shot with Barrel System 3 would only double its hits... still not enough to make it competitive with Phalanx.

And in Missile mode:

Its anti-ship capability is quite good, but you'll pay the build time for it.  Damage per weight is in the same neighborhood as the Trident, but it doesn't have the short range penalty of that missile. Especially with deflection around, the high single hit damage should be very valuable, even when compared to the bypass capability of the Harrier.

If you want to use the Switchblade, I would suggest you concentrate on using it as a missile, not as a countermeasure.  I would recommend using Strike Warheads with this weapon instead of the new Counter-Missile Extender, and use Phalanx on a specialized countermeasure ship instead (for Anti-Missile capability).

Counter-Missile Extender:

The range bonus from this special is the same as Solid Fuel Booster or Guided Missile System.  With many recent missile hulls lacking retargeting built-in (Apollo, Rhino and Mastodon in particular), the Guided Missile System has become a critical special to use, and I would generally prefer that special on any of those hulls.  If the hull already has retargeting, then it becomes a comparison between the 61.9% accuracy bonus of GMS (at R15) and the 30% reload / 30% anti-missile range of the CME.  I think I'd still usually choose GMS.

The Prize List:

For the regular prizes, Kixeye has really cut the list down, and we have six tiers - at each tier we have two choices and can only choose one.  The other wrinkle in this prize redemption is that to take a Tier 5 or Tier 6 prize, you must have taken a prize in the tier below that.  So you may not be able to go for the top hull only, you have to also have a Tier 4 and Tier 5 prize before redeeming the Apollo (or Centurion).  Note that prizes you have already earned count, so if you already have the Tier 4 Nuclear Accelerators or the Tier 5 PAC, you can head straight up to the next tier, even if you want the "other" prize of the Apollo.

The key to understanding this prize list is that there are two "tracks".  I'm not going to go through each prize individually this month - it doesn't make sense to.  But you should evaluate your capability and choose a prize track.  Each prize in the track has utility for that fleet type.

The first track is Missile / Assault.  This is where the new prizes are, and you want to follow this track if you already have a decent Siege fleet that was able to do the last few raids.  This is important because the upcoming Forsaken Missions will have targets that are similar to those previous raids.

The other track is Ballistic / Siege.  If you couldn't do the last raid, then you should focus on this track so that you can get the capability to do the upcoming Forsaken Mission targets.

The other thing to watch out for in the prize redemptions is that there are a lot of prizes that are currently offered in the Foundry (Centurion/Crusader), or recently in the Forsaken Mission (Arbalest / Trident / D4-M / D5-R), so choose carefully and don't waste points on something you might be able to get through other means.

On the limited side, we have tokens and shards available, but not very many of each.  5 days 10 hours of tokens is the limit, where we have seen a full week in many previous raids.  The shards are limited to 20 per ship type, which will get you closer, but I don't think many players will be be put over the top with the 250 shard requirement needed for those Super Hulls.

The backtracking on the limited components is welcome - taking the components we already earned and built and making them obsolete was not the direction we were hoping for.

I don't know what to make of this raid.  I don't really like the prizes enough to want to invest in them right away - and if I can do the raid with the ships I have, those might not be such a great investment for my shipyard time.

But there's one more twist... we know players are getting Mega Hulls of some sort, and if Apollos are going to be the best thing against the Mega Hull... can we afford to ignore them?

I'll leave you with an Apollo fleet build using my own advice:!B0M000000000000550000000012000000000000000007700V0U1R0U1R38356F6E682E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E07700V0U1R0U1R38356F6E682E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E07700V0U1R0U1R38356F6E682E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E07700U0U0U0U0U33176F2B682A2A2A522A2A191B1919dC

  • The attack & defense from the Savage should make it worth the fleet slot.
  • Ships 2 - 4 use the Switchblade & Strike Warheads for maximum anti-ship damage.  Countermeasures aren't a factor.
  • Ship 5 uses Phalanx & Countermeasure Equipment 3 for maxing anti-missile capability.  One missile gives it movement capability when targeting and I mounted Speed System 4 instead of 5 so that it wouldn't lead the fleet.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Revenge Changes and Pre-raid info

As I suspected, it has been tough to find the time for timely, regular posts, but I'll try to run through some thoughts on the changes to the Revenge, and some thoughts on what we've seen about the next raid (Civil War) so far.

Revenge Changes:
On the changes to the Revenge, I'm going to start with the ironic observation about all the players who take to the Kixeye forums and Facebook bitterly complaining that changes to the game involving Deflection Bypass were not communicated well enough.  They are using the very means by which the changes were announced!  And they expect people to pay attention to them!?!  I know that all of you readers of this blog were well informed... right?

I said it in my last blog post - read the pinned posts.  I don't think it is too much trouble to go to the forum once per week, maybe on a Tuesday evening after the release, and see what's there.

A lot of the early reports on Revenge fleets were that the performance on base hitting was very underwhelming, so Kixeye trialed some changes on a test server to make the ship more powerful.  After that, they dialed it back a bit, most notably they decided to leave the Unreactive stat untouched, so that the hull was still vulnerable to Shockwaves.

The changes they did make are summarized below:

  • Evade increase from 10% to 35% 
  • Penetrative/Ballistic Deflection increase from +2110 to +3700
  • Explosive Deflection increase from +2240 to +3920
  • Repair Time Decrease from 2h 45m to 1h 10m
  • Bloodthirst Corrosive/Concussive/Radioactive Deflection up to max +750
  • Removed 600 Siege Deflection
  • Removed 400 Assault Deflection
  • Removed Siege/Assault Deflection from Bloodthirst
The Siege and Assault Deflection removal is made up for by the increased deflection available via Bloodthirst, and increased Pen/Ball/Exp deflection numbers.  Increased Evade can help somewhat against launchers, and the reduced repair time is always welcome - hopefully it increases base hitting activity.

With these changes we are seeing a little more base hitting activity, and I'll try to give some general tips for both sides of the base-hitting game:
  • Offense: The Gatling Guns deal a lot of damage on the Revenge, but can be foiled by walls.  Launchers or Mortars may be a better choice for an all-Revenge fleet.
  • Defense: Use as many walls as you can, especially to protect key turrets & guard ships.
  • Offense: Spreading out ships on the attack can blunt the damage from Shockwaves, but watch out for Apocalypse Mortars.
  • Defense: An Enforcer with 98U Launchers, Fusion Charger, and Interception System can really chew up the Revenge.
  • Offense: Evade Armor instead of Shockwave Plate Armor may be a good idea - try to avoid Shockwaves instead of soaking them up.
  • Defense: Scattergun turrets are also an effective choice against Revenge.
  • Offense: Consider Launchers over Gatling Guns as a good weapon to use if spotting for Citadels or Rhinos.  Gats only spot at the short 68 range.
Pre-Raid Info:
Some more info has come out related to next week's raid, so I'll try to go through what we know.

The tips post does have a lot of solid info this time so I suggest you read it (it is pinned after all).

I'll share some of the info here where I have some thoughts/opinions to add:

Map Targets: No fundamental changes seem good to me, I think players are comfortable with the A/B/C/Elite format.

Mega Hulls: We don't know how hard or easy these will be - it will really depend on how Kixeye tunes them.  If you get into the preview server, PLEASE give feedback.  Use of weapon arcs should give some opportunity for strategic driving.  More info suggests that Missiles (penetrative) and Scatterguns (corrosive) will be the major weapon types.

Prize Tiers: It looks like the prize list is going to be narrowed again.  Hopefully the focus will be on prizes that will be useful for the current (Assault) raid cycle and the new Forsaken Mission (Garrison) format.  Having to work your way up from Level 4 is a resurrection of an old idea, but when we had it before, the tiers were reached by hitting certain targets, not by spending points.

Apollo Hull: 
This looks like an upgraded Mercury to me (and it's another name from the Greek Pantheon).  I expect this to the the Tier 6 Prize.  It is a missile & countermeasure hull, and Kixeye says that it will be good for fighting Mega Hulls in this event cycle.  This does seem to be a trend from Kixeye - the first hull awarded in a series of events is particularly good for use in that series.  Another conclusion that I would draw from this info is that Countermeasures (Phalanx) will be useful against our upcoming targets.  Make sure that your planned Assault fleet is ready with those.

I was always a big fan of the Mercury (as well as missile/countermeasure ships), so I am really looking forward to seeing this hull - along with having some sort of speed bonus for moving, this hull seems like it will really fit my favorite playing style.  So much that I'll leave one more idea here...  Professor's Apollo.  (Too pretentious?  Sorry.  Had to put it out there)

Switchblade Anti-Missile:
Short range countermeasures with long range missiles.  We've been mostly disappointed by previous tries at multi-mode weapons (Trident, Drac Coaxial Turret), but we will see if Kixeye gets it right this time.  I expect this prize to be on Tier 5.

Counter-Missile Extender:
Improved CM and Missile ranges - likely Tier 4.  Assuming this special won't stack with the missile range increase from Solid Fuel Booster, Strike System, or Guided Missile System... I think I'd rather use Guided Missile System.  Improved CM range helps a little, but I'd rather have more missile accuracy.  Some sort of Strike System 5 (on par with Speed System 5) seems like it would be more popular.

Limited Components:  These components are just "higher numbered' versions of the limited components that were supposedly retired after last raid.  We are all assuming that they are just improved versions.  If so, I think that's a really cheap shot - all the players that assumed they wouldn't be able to get these capabilities again and stocked up  will find their stockpiles much less useful.    Will Cobra users want to refit to Cobra 2?  At two days each, those weapons were EXPENSIVE, and the only improvement I would look for on those is a reduced build time.  And I bet Fallout Armor 4 still sucks.  Basically, I think it would have been better if we WEREN'T told that the limited components weren't returning, then players might have planned for the short term instead of the long term.  Oh yeah... and Kixeye - please don't start falling back into the power creep thing.  You're doing so well so far since the weapon rebalance!

Player Mega Hulls:  This was mentioned in the May WIP, not the event info, but I did want to comment on this upcoming feature.  Mega Hulls will be able to be owned by players, and there will be a new Gantry to build that is needed to construct these hulls.

This feature was discussed in the Town Hall meeting, and although we can't share any more details on it, I will tell you this - our feedback was that this should be an end game feature.  If a player isn't able to get a Mega Hull right away, it shouldn't hurt the rest of their game, but it should be something to work toward.  This did seem to be the direction Kixeye was taking on the feature, and we will need to keep our eyes on this to be sure it plays out in that manner.

I'll come back next week when we get more solid raid info.