It's been a while since I posted... I've been busy, and I haven't been able to find the time to put together articles like I used to. So I was thinking about this, and whether I should put together a 'goodbye post'. But I had another idea... I'm not going to be able to do the sort of in-depth articles that I have been doing, but I still have stuff I want to say about this game. So I'm going to try shorter articles that are less based on math & graphs & more on opinion. Let's see how it goes.
So a lot of people have been talking about the raid cycle that will be starting up after this final Reaver hull raid we've got upcoming. So far we've gotten pretty strong signals that it will be a Siege-style raid, with targets that look a lot like the Draconian Mines we've been hitting for a while. It's even possible that the new 95 & 97 mine targets are Kixeye's first 'trial' targets for the next raid type.
So we've also seen the Centurion enter the Foundry, and a new Harlock's Centurion be available through collecting shards. We also had the ballistic-based Malice Conqueror hull show up in a TLC. What we don't know is whether there will be new ballistic gear, or potentially even a hull, show up in the next raid to prep us for the cycle to follow.
So with all that, I think it's still a little early to plan a fleet and say "this is my next raid fleet". But I think it isn't too early to look at what you have, and the fleets for doing mines are the logical place to start. I never built a full fleet of Centurions, I only built a single hull and use it as a countermeasure platform with Punishers in a DUB fleet. In fact, after the Foundry Centurion upgrades, I messed up that fleet because of the increased speed of the retrofitted Centurion.
What I have used for mines is a Crusader fleet that I refit from base hitters (way back when), and also the Punishers from that DUB fleet. The Crusaders were refit to improve their performance in mines, and they look like this:
The armor wasn't really optimized, but these ships did all right, and since I didn't use them for anything else, I didn't mind if I took a while to repair them after getting shot up. The Alloy CL-3 was the key refit on these.
The Punishers for the DUB look like this:
And even as-is, they would do better in the Mines than the Crusaders... deflection was the key. But I'm looking at a 2 day 5 hour refit on the Punishers that would look like this:
Swapping the CL-3 for the MX-3 and adding 2 D5-R armors will really help me optimize this fleet for mine-style targets. (a D5-C might be even better with its bit of deflection, but would take longer to refit) I got all my Gamma Shards, so I'm not too worried about ruining this fleet's performance in DUBs (and I would have to find a new CM platform anyway). One week of shipyard time for the three Punishers will help me hit the early mine targets to collect Centurion shards with much less damage. My existing ships are fully ranked, so that will save me even more time since they will be all set to go.
My first refit will finish tonight, so I may post a quick update comparing a refit Punisher against an old one and see what repair benefit I get. I'm guessing damage will be cut in half.
I'm still looking at Centurions, and after I finish the Punisher refits I will start building some blank Centurions to rank in the next VXP weekend. If it turns out that we get new ballistic gear in the next raid I'll take a revised look at my plans, but with no new gear I'd start working towards something like this:
Compared to my Punishers, these have slightly better defense (resistance AND deflection), but lower speed and lower DPS output. The splash defense field will be nice too. I used PACs instead of Arbalest on this build mostly for weight... with PACs instead of Arbalest / Railguns, I'm not sure the Armor-Piercing shells is the best choice.. I'm thinking Shielded Tactical System would be nice, but would add a lot of build time. Anyway, the whole point is not to stress over a optimal build right now, since we still don't know what else is coming.
One more note - although the mines do a lot of radioactive damage, the Radioactive Plate will give you deflection in PvP targets only. That deflection will be bypassed in the mines and upcoming raid targets. Don't use it for your raid fleet.
Here's the Huggy's link for all the ships in the article:
Anyway I hope this new article format works for you, I'm also going to spend less time sharing it... probably just in the the 3 'show' groups, so feel free to re-share as you see fit.
(And would you believe this is my 200th post!)