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.