Saturday, June 4, 2016

Repair Times & more on the Apollo

I was talking to a player the other day and he was asking about why the Revenge seems to take less damage when it has no armor.  I think he was going in a direction different than my explanation, but I think a lot of players don't quite grasp what's going on with what I'm about to talk about so I hope it helps you.

My first statement back to him was:  "It's sort of like the Revenge has a 19% repair modifier."  

He said: "No - it's 100% on the blueprint."

I said: "Well do the math."

The blueprint Repair Duration on the Revenge is 1hr 10m, and the base health is 22,000.  Since 100% repair modifier mean your repair rate is 1 second per health, taking 4,200 seconds to repair 22,000 health is like 4200/22000 = 19.1% effective repair modifier.  

The difference is that when a hull has an non-100% repair modifier, that repair modifier also applies to health added from other items like the armor & weapons.  On the Revenge with its 100% repair modifier statistic, the added items repair at their nominal speed.  

So what happens when you put on some armor?
(Huggy's link here)

My Revenge build has 7 Gatling Guns, 1 D98-U launcher, D2-E, and D5-E on it, so its total repair time is 2h 50m 20s for a total health of 29,525 (interesting note - I had to do this in Huggy's since when I looked at my built up ship, it included the repair time of the weapons but not the armor in the repair duration shown in the ship stats block).  This works out to an effective repair modifier of 34.6%.  If you compare the ratio of those two, then you can see that the built out Revenge is taking 81.1% longer to repair each armor point than it would with an empty hull.  That comparison is a little unfair, since you aren't really going to build a Revenge with nothing on it at all.  Maybe the better comparison is with weapons but no armor, 26,525 health for 2h 10m 20s, resulting in a effective repair modifier of 29.3%.  So now comparing the no-armor build to the armored build (both with weapons), you are taking 18% longer to repair each point of damage.

So when you put armor on a Revenge, you are increasing your survivability because you are increasing your total health, and the armor bonus might also reduce the amount of damage you take, but you are also increasing your repair time for that damage.  This math is why Cadmium armor is ALWAYS a bad choice on the Revenge - it has the opposite of the intended effect.  So the real explanation of the original question is that you aren't taking less damage, but you are able to repair that damage more quickly.

Another ship with a low repair time is the Apollo.  Its blueprint repair time is 1h 30m for 12,000 armor points, resulting in an effective repair modifier of 45%.  This means that adding health to this hull through armor and weapons will slow your repairs on this hull too.  Luckily, the missiles and the Phalanx you would generally want to add to this hull do not add any health, but whether or not to add armor is an interesting choice.
(Huggy's link here)

I've been running around with the build shown in the link above (armored version), so I have given myself health of 15,750 for 2h 20m repair, resulting in a 53.3% effective repair modifier.  I've slowed my repairs down by 18% but moved my evade from 57.1% to 73.7%.  This might be a good tradeoff, so I'm keeping it, but it's food for thought in your own builds, and as more ships come out with reduced repair times, keep it in mind in the future.

More about the Apollo:
When the Apollo was introduced, I really liked the concept, and I built a bare hull during the raid, but after more thought, I couldn't figure out how to use it.  I have seen some players use it against Mega Hull targets quite well, and I eventually built it out as I showed above.  I've been using it as a tank for my Rhinos against Legion Assault Forces and Mega Hulls.  After getting some driving experience, I'm starting to really like it.  

There are some driving techniques are working well for me - the two I've found are "Stutter-Step" and "Serpentine".

Stutter-Step works by stopping and moving the hull quickly.  If you don't stop for long, then you don't lose your speed boost.  This can be tricky because you have to control only the single Apollo tank, and so you can't see where the remote targeting ring sits.

Serpentine can be used with your whole fleet selected.  As your Apollo leads the Rhinos, keep clicking to the side and only a little bit ahead of the Apollo, so the Apollo keeps going back & forth and forward a little, but the Rhinos keep moving ahead.   With this technique you can watch the outer edge of the Rhino's remote targeting and keep the Apollo's range inside but near the edge of your remote targeting.

(I call it Serpentine because it reminds me of this old movie clip...)

Once you get those driving techniques down, you can try some interesting tricks to reduce damage by taking advantage of the very high combat & turn speeds when the Apollo is boosted.  A "hit and run" attack on the Zoe Rhinos is possible - with a normal tank, you get your shots in the air when you get into range, and the Zoe starts firing back.  It can get 2-3 volleys back at you before your missiles land.  With a hit and run, you can turn & get back out of range as soon as you fire some shots, so the Zoe only gets off one volley before you are out of range again.  This is tough to pull off, and sometimes you get out ahead of your own Rhinos' circles resulting in your ships not firing at all.  With some practice though, this can be used quite effectively.

The high speed of the Apollo is also effective for avoiding Scattergun damage.  Just make sure you are speed boosted as you come into range, and keep sailing in a straight line.  The shots will land significantly behind you.  Make sure you don't sail into range of another Scattergun though - stop or turn as soon as the enemy shots land.

If you've built a whole fleet of Apollos, then these tricks are even easier to pull off since you don't have to worry about keeping your positioning relative to the remote targeting ships.  You do have to worry about splash affecting your whole fleet.  I'm reminded of when we were first fighting Reavers with their splash weapons, and we didn't have remote targeting to use.  The technique commonly used back then was to simply keep your ships spread out - using the V formation you started the battle with, or even sailing them into a straight line.

Wrapping it up:
I hope you are enjoying the double fragment weekend - I got my Rhinos up to R4, which should be a real nice boost, both in offense & reducing collateral damage they take.  I plan to go into the next raid with the following fleet:!90M000000000000550G00001200000000000000000007700U0U0U0U0U031738440C532A2A2A2A2A4Q4Q4L4L06V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D54545454545454545453535352525206V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D54545454545454545453535352525206V01W1R0V1R1R2L6F35346D545454545454545454535353525252dC

Yes, I'm finally building a Savage.  Note the Engine 1 & Hull Streamlining 3 on there keep it from slowing down the rest of the fleet on the map.

We will see about this new Vendetta hull - feels like it might be another Conqueror-class hull, giving players who missed out on the Revenge another chance to get back into the base hitting game.  I also noted that the WIP showed there will be a building special providing Concussive Deflection - this might end up being way to defend against the Revenge just as this new hull and (explosive?) weapon hit the water.