Sunday, August 28, 2016

Catch up on the new FM prizes

Hello pirates - I've been doing a bit of travelling, and then when I got back I was having a bit of connectivity trouble on my main computer so blogging has been a bit difficult.  This game has also been pretty time consuming lately ... I'll get to that. But right now I want to catch up on some of the FM Prizes.  I'm not going to give them a full treatment since I'm about a week and a half late, but I'll share a few thoughts on each.

Mimicus System

I was really looking forward to this special for Hellwraith builds, and I wasn't disappointed.  Although its stats aren't quite as good as the specialized Cat Drive or Battery when those are retrofitted, I like this quick-building combo special.  It lets me use Hunter special to increase torpedo damage on my Hellwraith build.!B0ZZ0NK0292A292A386S6T066EAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQC000C00NK0292A292A386S6T066EAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQC000C00NK0292A292A386S6T066EAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQC000C00NK0292A292A386S6T066EAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQAQC000C0dC

Although I show 4 subs in that fleet, I only have one completed right now.  The single sub was able to beat this latest set of Reaver Holdouts with about 40 min repair time per target.  Who got a Ghostcrawler blueprint completed today?  THIS GUY.


This weapon in in a similar class as the Frostbite & Scattergun turrets we have received lately for frontline base defense, however it is a ballistic weapon.  This is quite interesting because both the Vendetta and the Retribution (even at full bloodthirst) have no ballistic deflection - the only Conqueror hull (right now) with ballistic deflection is the Revenge.

As a ballistic turret, the first special that comes to mind to mount on these is Depleted Uranium Shells.  That special gives +50% damage and +40% accuracy bonus.  However, this is a splash weapon, not an aimed weapon, so the only advantage from that special is the 50% damage.  My Blunderbuss build looks like this:

Instead of DU Shells, I used the Supercharged EM Rails.  This special gives me a 25% chance of a 300% damage bonus.  This effectively adds 75% to my DPS, instead of the 50% added from the DU Shells.  For my other special, I used the Expanded Concussive Charge - the +60% splash should help against moving targets.  Possibly Eruption Pyre wouldn't be a bad choice either, but I liked the much larger splash vs. the Pyre's projectile speed.  

Anti-Missile Proliferation System

This special seems pretty specialized for Switchblades.  The extra accuracy with the extra shot makes the Switchblades more effective since they can have multiple shots at a single incoming missile... this makes it much less likely you will be overwhelmed by incoming missiles - always a risk with Switch.  

At a second look, I compared this special to Countermeasure Equipment 3.  When retrofitted to R15, that special gives the same range and accuracy bonus to anti-missile, does not have the multi-shot bonus, is 1% lighter, but it has about 12 hours extra build time.  So even for a Phalanx-only countermeasure build, this special might be a good value worth considering.

Corrosive Draconian Armor

This armor series isn't too different than the other Draconian armors we have seen lately - but it is the first armor we have to improve corrosive defense.

It might be very useful if you are still tooling up to fight 91 Mega Hull targets.  And even if you have collected your Gantry shards, and then collected your Hyperion shards... you still aren't done with those targets.

You could build something like this for 91s:!B07902G2G0U2G00386U350C032E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E2E0ZZ0ZZ0ZZ0ZZdC

This ship would be quite effective with other Apollos or as a lead for Rhinos.  Would I spend the nearly 4 weeks of build time on this?  Probably not (Remember - I won a Ghostcrawler today).  But if you are considering a Zoe Apollo... there you go.

I finished my Mega Hull very recently and found they are very Titanium hungry - once you have a Mega, if you want to keep adding weapons and upgrading it, you will quickly find you need to keep collecting titanium to continue.  You get 8000 titanium from beating a 91, but adding weapons or specials to your mega modules will eat that up quickly.  Manufacturing the resources to upgrade or add new Mega modules is also pretty Titanium intensive... so what I'm saying is two things:
- you're not done with those 91s once your Hyperion is started
- My Mega Hull build guide is coming soon (and not like Kixeye "coming soon")

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Schism - 3 days in

Yeah, I'm late.  Been playing this game... Battle Pirates.  You might have heard of's kind of a grindy game right now.

But I really don't have any unique insight for this raid.  The S sets were MUCH harder than last time, so many players who had been hitting S sets before are now grinding away at A sets.  The pre-raid word from Kixeye was that the targets were going to be pretty much the same, so many players were pretty upset when they discovered the big increase in difficulty to the S targets.

Like many other players, I shifted my focus to the A targets.  Like most players with Apollo or mixed Apollo/Rhino fleets, I can do them fairly cheaply.  They take me about 15 minutes per set (going carefully).  Since I wanted about 89 million points... you can do that math on playtime at 2.7 million points per set.  Although I would like to be able to do these targets faster or higher end targets cheaper, I do understand the reasoning behind the change.  For the previous few Civil War raids, the only reason to go after the A sets would be if you didn't have sufficient countermeasures to stop the missiles from the Mega. Just about every other player would have faster time and lower costs doing S sets... they actually were too easy from a balance perspective.

Players that are having success with the S sets in this raid are tending to use Disciples Of Skullduggery (Legendary) or Bulleye Brigade (Rare) crews.

By the way, I'm not going for the Vassago Punisher - I may be sorry about that later, but I'm just not feeling it right now.

The short answer on the changes to the S is that the Zoe Rhino got a very high damage missile (10,500 per hit), and the Heavy Cruiser got a long range corrosive cannon (1000 damage per hit).  More information is available at:

I tried using a Vanquisher to tank/spot in the S targets - it did pretty well against the HC, but still got torn up by the Zoe missile.  Yes, Bullseye Brigade can be used with countermeasures to mitigate that one, but I also had some trouble with entry points.  When I entered at a point where the ships started off screen (then they jump into screen when the battle starts) the Vanquisher would not spot for my Rhinos, even though it would fire & take damage.  Yes, one more bug for the list.  Between that problem, and wanting to enter out of range of the land turrets and the mega's fields... I didn't pursue that strategy too hard.

I've seen a lot of questions about builds for the Hellwraith.  I'm planning to build 2 like this by the VXP weekend:

Those will be free (using raid tokens too), and I should be able to finish them by September's raid.  A few torpedos will help them deal some damage & rank faster.  

If you follow the Huggy's link on the picture you can see where I would go with this build TODAY.  But I'm not going to think about it too seriously until I see the new Mimicus System special coming in the Forsaken Mission post-raid.  

The other thing to keep in mind about this new equipment is that the Fire Twister Torpedo is a non-aimed weapon (some call it "dumb fire").  It fires at a spot instead of following the target & using its accuracy attribute.  The blueprint for this weapon shows accuracy of 100% and no spread attribute, which I think indicates that it always ends up at the exact spot the target WAS at when the torpedo fires. 

This attribute makes it difficult to use these torpedos against fast ships, even when accounting for the speed bonuses of the hull & special.  It seems to me that the plan of "build the Hellwraiths for the raid and keep my Tigers untouched" would have been best - I did refit the AA3 & Magnus 2 on the Tigers, and probably won't use them in the raid if I have 2 Hellwraiths done.

So Pirates, keep grinding, use your crews, and stay salty!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Raid Prizes - Hellwraith creeping up

I hate steering my readers wrong... but between changes to the 70 Reaver Armadas and the preview of the new upcoming raid prizes... my last article is obsolete.  I gave 4 options for doing the next raid:

- Wait for new raid prize subs
- Refit Tiger Sharks
- Refit / Build low end subs
- Refit surface ship like Frosty, V2-H, or Proto-Hunter

The changes to the 70 targets added defense bypass - this nullified the resistance advantage of the surface ships, and made that option almost useless.  The increases in target health also made the higher end Reaver Armadas much more difficult with low end subs.  I did complete my Tiger Shark refit (at 2 days 7 hours per sub), and have been having more success against the Armadas... although it took some practice too.

But when we saw the results from the prize preview, the new Reaver sub, weapon, and special were looking quite destructive.

I'll do some comparisons and number crunching and see if we can figure out where the big advantages are coming from....


Comparison below:

It's not all bad for the Tiger Shark in comparison, but I think the Tiger's DPS won't make up for the huge torpedo damage bonus, and the Assault Deflection will help the Hellwraith in comparison to the slightly higher submerged resistances.  I'll put those statements to the test in the next section.

The very high speed of the Hellwraith is certainly worth mentioning and will really come in handly - choosing range is often key for victory.  It will more than make up for the shorter dive/surface cycle.

Fire Twister Torpedo

The chart below compares the effectiveness of different combinations of attacking hull (generic, Tigershark R0, Hellwraith) & torpedo (Fire Twister, Charon R0) against different targets (Tiger R0, Hellwraith, and Cavitator Scout from Reaver 70s).

The numbers vs. the Reaver Cavitator Scout show the Fire Twister is about twice as effective as the Charon (R0), and the Hellwraith is about 50% more effective than the Tiger Shark This matches the destructiveness we saw in the preview.  But against player targets with high concussive resistance, the Assault DPS built into the Tiger Shark beats the extra torpedo damage of the Hellwraith, since the Assault DPS doesn't get resisted.

So my conclusion is that although the new hull/weapon combo will be much more effective than older hulls in this raid, it might not actually drive FvF power creep.  This hull will not be changing sub vs. ship or sub vs. sub outcomes significantly compared to older hulls.

The new torpedos are a big improvement though... 50% more damage and lighter weight than Charons.

Sealed Fire Charge

The Sealed Fire Charge is an unconventional weapons improvement - with the increase to critical damage, it gives a 20% DPS bonus - more if the target has deflection.  Splash and projectile speed are nice too (if you are using the Fire Twister).  The Cloak Efficiency hit shouldn't be too bad if you are using it on a Hellwraith, since those have a built in Cloak Efficiency buff.  So far, 70% - 75% is a good cloak efficiency target vs the Reavers.

Vassago's Punisher

I'm not going to spend too much time on this ship - it looks like it will be really good in Mines and pretty good in DUBs too.  However, with no Penetrative resistance and no Assault Deflection, this hull is not what you'd want to bring into a Forsaken Mission Stronghold.  With an 18 day buildtime, there are a lot more economical ways to beat a mine or a DUB.

Overall on the Prizes

The big must-get is the weapon, not the hull.  The Fire Twister makes all the other torpedoes obsolete.  The Hellwraith will be significantly more effective in the upcoming raid cycles, and it has some unique advantages with its high speed, but I think that players who can't get 50 million points for the new gear should shoot for 21 million to get Tigers & Fire Twisters, or even 12.9 million to get Spectres and Fire Twisters.

My plan is to pick up the new prize hull and start building ASAP.  My goal is to have at least two (mostly empty) hulls to rank during VXP weekend.  Two Hellwraiths should be at least as effective as my Styx Tiger fleet.

On the rest of the list
I'm not going to go through each of the other prizes - there are just too many.  I'll try to hit the highlights:

Subs: Getting the best Sub hull you can is probably a priority if you don't have any.  I don't really like the Nighthawk over the lower build times and point cost of the Spectre, so the major ones to consider are the Hellwraith (30M), Tiger Shark (9M), and Spectre (900k).  

Chores: The Punisher (12.5M) is clearly the king of the chores right now but Apollos (12.5M), Centurions (9M), and Rhinos (1.75M) are also options.

Conquerors:  The Revenge (15M) is the only conqueror available in this raid.  Most players would have rather seen Vendettas, but no luck there.  If you don't have any options, and you really want to get into the base hitting game, pick up Revenge and the Concussive Gatling (7.5M) 

Flagships: The Omega Behemoth (11M) and the High-landers NC (4.5M) are the best flag options for chores.  The Savage Kodiak (10M) is also worth considering to enhance a Rhino fleet.  The Destroyer ECM (40M) is really a vanity hull - sonar protection doesn't help against thermal.  Vassago's Punisher (50M) just doesn't seem worth the build time or points right now.

The limited Coldsnap (15M) and the Glacial Launcher (15M) are both very key pieces of a high end base defense.  The Apoc Mortar (12M) can be useful against some fleets, but really needs the Level 6 turrets (two specials) before it can shine.

As said above - the Fire Twister Torpedo (12M) is the prize of choice this raid.  Most of the other weapons can be useful if you have a build in mind, but none leap out as must-gets.  The D98-U Antipode Launcher (5.5M) has been offered for the first time in a while, so you might want to pick that up.  Avoid the Styx and the UAVs... the Styx is not useful in the upcoming raid cycle vs. these targets with corrosive resist, and the UAVs simply lack a good hull to carry them at this point in the game.

Streamlined Cadmium (7.5M) lost its lustre when ships repair times came down.  D5-X (3.5M) is good for its deflection bonus as well as defense.

The Sealed Fire Charge (9M) will be useful in conjunction with the new hull & weapon, but I'd avoid it otherwise.  Other useful specials out there are the Barrel System 3 (5M) and Stealth Attack System 4 (3.5M) 

Tokens & Shards
Up to 11 days of tokens are welcome.  So are Ghostcrawler shards.

Good luck in the raid!  Remember that it is a 6 day raid.  Use the time wisely and don't get frustrated early.  Don't forget your crews.