Friday, December 30, 2016

The Case for Gutting 109's

When and Why it's O.K. and How to Do It.


By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   



Wait... you're condoning what now???

Let me start by clarifying this - I have no problem with players doing this IF they do not have a fleet that can do the complete 109. I have been guilty of sinking a fleet or two that I caught doing this- if it was a full FM fleet capable of taking the 109. I have even seen people doing this with a copy of my fm fleet. They got visits after their fleet went home. If you are gutting the 109's because you want to get it done without damage or because you don't feel like waiting, or because you think you are screwing Kixeye... I have no sympathy for your fleet getting sniped. None. We have 3 days to complete the FM for a reason. Build more tanks or roll some Bullseye Brigade crews if you feel the need to do it all in one sitting. Gutting or sniping out the 109 islands can be viewed as lazy or inconsiderate and can engender retaliatory actions, including your fleets getting sunk and your base getting smashed (but generally only if you are using a higher end fleet to gut the 109's).

 I will say this also- most bigger players that I know, hold to the above as well. Struggling players are not held to the same level of expectation as bigger players are, and rightfully so. Don't be afraid to do this, if it is the best you can do. If a player has an issue with you doing it, move along and leave 'their' 109 for them. Those of us that one shot them still need to kill off a gutted one to get to 350 million.

The issue as I see it is this: Players need to feel a sense of relevancy in the game, and that comes in the context of other players. Ideally, I feel as though new players need to be able to get into the FM very quickly and even get up to T4 within the first month of play. It was different for us because our contextual reference was different- we were ALL struggling towards the same goal. This is an aspect of the game that really needs to be looked at as a quick feeling of relevance will have the benefit of higher retention rates of new players... and probably would start a nice slow trickle of new players into the game.

Errr.... ok, You're daft, but we'll humor you...

So, that said, for those players whose fleets can't make it through the 109 but need to get to Tier 4 or Tier 5, gut away. Please. The FM is so much of a priority for people to get caught up and become relevant in the game that I will encourage this in smaller players. Srsly. I even wrote about how much of a priority it is in this article. That said... let's look at a quick video example first and then visit the parts...

I will include a second Tank build as well, however, 9Nines was kind enough to record this hit for me to illustrate the general method I would use, and I am going to use the proven build here to illustrate for ease and reference.




You can find the full fleet build here.

My combo of choice (for this or a full out FM fleet) is a CM Tank spotter (Counter-Measure Tank) and remote mortar 'chuckers'. This allows you to mitigate overall damage by limiting damage to your Tank (with good driving) leaving your Chuckers damage free.

This also allows for more than one tank to be built in order to speed up point accumulation. You can also stack up your tanks at the end of play and repair them all at once overnight or while you are at work. Tanks can run the gamut from Tideseekers to Novastorms. Chuckers are generally Novastorms, Berserker or Citadels.



As you can see this build holds to the same theories all popular CM FM Tank builds hold to- a lot of Explosive and Penetrative damage resistance. This same idea can be molded to any tank you want. The options are there, particularly if you choose to boost any of your stats through a Flagship or Crews.

To see how the above build stacks up, this is my Tideseeker CM Tank I use for my FM every week.



As you can see the same fundamentals are in this build as well. No matter what you build, these resistances are key to your CM FM Tank build. As you can see, the Tideseeker has a significantly higher amount of armor allowing more targets to be hit. This particular build will take me through the entire FM. With a Bullseye Brigade Crew, I can do the FM to T5 twice inside of 40 min and for less than 1.5 hours damage.

Fine... so we get a Tank, then what?

Mortar Chuckers. In this case, we are going with the Novastorms listed above. If you have better ones, use those. Personally, I have grown to like the Citadels a lot. Particularly with the Harlock lead. The idea behind them is simple. Fast, damaging mortars to do as much widespread damage in as little time as possible. Personally I would tweak this build, but as I said, this is what is in the vid; it works and is tested so it is a fantastic jumping off point for people that need it.



This has what we want. Judges for the damage and the MIRV ability. Specials for damage and projectile speed. Some speed to keep up with the Tank. Simple combination. Is there room for improvement? Sure, but... do you really need to at this point?

Weirdo.

I know this is not going to be a popular position to take. I'm not sure why people get soooo hot and bothered over this subject. I can see both sides of the argument, however, I really do believe that this will actually help the community by helping the individual player feel a sense of relevance in the game sooner as well as gain a feeling of accomplishment. That the FM has become so important in progressing in this game makes it even more important for players to achieve quickly in this area. To that end I see no argument that can stand against this for certain players. And let's be honest- really and truly, if the FM is not an issue for you, you can't really complain about gutted 109's- the FM is easy for us that have the ability to do these in that way.



A side note: I would like to thank all of you for the help and support for this blog. In under 6 weeks we have hit over 50,000 views- far more than I had ever anticipated in that short a time span. THANK YOU!!







Monday, December 26, 2016

Why Evade Still Matters

Sure, I'll Call You for Coffee Sometime...

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   



I always call Kixeye math Black Magic. It really isn't, but it sounds fun. That said... Recently I had someone send me a stressed out message not understanding why I suggested (in comms) a Sea Serpents crew for the FM when (they alleged) that the accuracy of the missiles in the target were 100% accurate and there have been a lot of people stating that Evade doesn't matter anymore.

I have a much easier time articulating an explanation in an article or post that I do on comms or Team Speak, but I got the gist of it explained so that he had a grasp of the interaction between Accuracy and Evade.

We then got into the realm of 100+% Accuracy theory and I had a harder time trying to explain why evade still mattered- and remain succinct doing it. Particularly when he started asking about 200-1,000% accuracy realm. Obviously, this gave me an idea for a quick and dirty article.

First we have to understand each of these mechanics and then understand how they interact.

Accuracy:



We'll start with accuracy because it is the 'easier' of the two to explain and follow.

Unlike much of the math in the game, Accuracy is calculated in an additive fashion, which is much easier to calculate (and follow). After converting the percentage bonuses to decimals, you can use the following formula to calculate your final accuracy numbers. Where x and y are percentage-based Accuracy bonuses.:

Accuracy = Base Accuracy * (1 + x + y)

So, for example, The Scoria Missile has a Base Accuracy of 100%. Guided missile system gives you 50% accuracy. Put it on a hull with an Accuracy boost like a Battle Cruiser and add another 40%...

Accuracy = 100 * (1 + .5 + .4)
Accuracy = 100 * (1.9)
Accuracy = 190%

Another example, using a missile like the Strike Missile D51-B, which on the other hand has a Base Accuracy of only 60%. Using the same set-up...

Accuracy = 60 * (1 + .5 + .4)
Accuracy = 60 * (1.9)
Accuracy = 114%

Obviously, Accuracy can increase beyond 100%. This really isn't important until Evade comes into the mix.

Evade:



Evade, unlike Accuracy, is calculated in a bit less of a straight-forward method. It makes for a bit of complexity, making it a little bit harder to follow. Evade is calculated multiplicatively. This is apparent when we look at the calculation used for Evade. After converting the percentage bonuses to decimals, you can use the following formula to calculate your Evade where x, y and z are percentage-based Evade.:

Evade = 1 - [(1 - x) * (1-y) * (1-z)]

 So, using a BC again (30% native), using Guidance Scrambler III (49.5%), an Evade Upgrade (18.6%) and 1 panel of D5-E (12.4%).

So we start with the BC and its base evade stat of 30%:

Evade = 1- [(1-.3)]   =    .3     =     30%

Then the GSIII:

Evade = 1 - [(1-.3) * (1-.495)]   =   .6465     =   64.7%

Evade Upgrade:

Evade = 1 - [(1-.3) * (1-.495) * (1-.186)]   =   .7122     =   71.2%

And finally the D5-E

Evade = 1 - [(1-.3) * (1-.495) * (1-.186) * (1-.124)]   =   .7479    =   74.8%

**We're going to go off on a tangent for a minute. Now you might notice something, particularly on that last addition. If you'll note above, the D5-E is listed as an evade of 12.4%, yet when added in the last step above the Evade only increased from 71.2% to 74.8%. This is what Kixeye refers to as Diminishing Returns. Because you can not get to 100% or more on multiplicative calculations, you are gaining less and less for each % increase in these calculations. So the closer your calculation is to 100% the less you will gain for each additional percentage increase you add.**

We've now covered how to calculate both Accuracy and Evade. Now we have to gain an understanding of how these two mechanics interact.

Kixeye Black Magic:



As if the Evade calculation weren't Black Magic enough for some players, we now are going to combine two different mechanics together to get interaction calculations. Did I mention I hate Math?

When we calculate the interaction between Accuracy and Evade we are using the following calculation in which we, again, convert our percentages to decimals in order to do our calculations.:

Calculated Hit Percentage = Accuracy * (1-Evade)

So in using the above examples (190% Scoria BC/ 75% Evade BC) we would have this:

Calculated Hit Percentage = 1.90 * (1-.7479)

Calculated Hit Percentage = 47.9%

Interesting now, isn't it? That 190% accuracy missile would only hit ~48% of the time? Yup. So now, knowing how the above calculation works, and the formulas used, you can take theoretical accuracies and see what the minimum evade will be required to offset that accuracy.

 I hope this clears up Accuracy, Evade and how they interact for some players. Have fun pirates!

Friday, December 23, 2016

This is not the cannon you are looking for...

The Dark Side: We Had Cookies - Ren Ate Them All

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   

A long time ago in an ocean far, far away... no... no, that's been done too much. Anyone hear the joke about Vader, the Pope and a cookie? Neither have I.

Everyone has been waiting. Since the Malice came out with no weapon, we have been waiting on a new cannon and special. This was exacerbated during and after the raid with the release of the Cannoneer. Many expected one weapon for both the Malice and the Cannonner since Siege can fit hand in hand with Base hitting. I covered the Cannoneer and my speculation about a new cannon (and builds) in this article.

New to the Forsaken Mission this week, we have the long anticipated cannon and special... or do we?

I really wanted to make a Jar Jar Binks joke about this cannon, but I really can't, as it actually is pretty damn good for its apparent intent. It is not, however, the cannon we all wanted or expected. Let's review the new cannon a bit and see how it stacks up to what we have.

The Hammer Cannon



Ballistic Damage: 2,440
Bonus Damage: 1,220
Salvo: 2
Reload: 5

At first blush, this cannon seems fantastic- and it is, if we are talking specific PvP (player vs. player). Unfortunately, I think that's about all it will excel in for now- and even then, only with few to no walls.

To begin with, it is not a dumbfire weapon like the D-110 Railgun (the de jour PvP cannon if we can call one that) so it can 'track' your targets and actually relies on the stated accuracy percentage in order to hit. This is huge for a PvP cannon (particularly in Fleet vs. Fleet battles), not so much for a  PvE cannon for Siege based targets.

The D-110, as well as the Arbalest, Crossbow and Earthshaker cannons, are not accuracy driven, as they are dumbfire weapons- meaning that they are aiming at the point where the enemy was when the cannon fired. Much like the Fire Twister torpedo, projectile speed and/or angle of attack is a heavy consideration in the use of these weapons for PvP.

This is important since players have been building fleets with higher combat speeds making dumbfire weapons far less effective. This characteristic of the Hammer alone makes it King of the PvP choices now- Well, PvP that doesn't involve walls. This thing is going to SUCK at walls.

Add to this the brutal DPS of this cannon and a lot of people may want to think about swapping any cannons currently in their base guard, in place as Malice deterrents, to this cannon.

This isn't the cannon you're looking for:

This brings us to PvE use and why I am trying to Jedi mind-trick you into not using it on your Cannoneer/Zelos/Centurion.

I am going to interject here with this statement: I am presuming that Kixeye released its 'skill based', top tier hull for the next raid cycle knowing what Kixeye had planned for those targets and designing the Cannoneer appropriately. In other words, I am extrapolating information about next months targets from information we can glean from the stats of the new hull designed specifically for the next Raid Cycle as the top choice, skill based hull.

That said, I think it is pretty clear we are going to have some walls. Heavy, massive, pain in the ass walls. The Hammer is going to SUCK at walls. I mean it is going to suck as much as vacuum jokes do. That bad.

In addition to this (because I know someone is going to say - 'Dude, it's ok, the Cannoneer has +50% wall damage') the Hammer has no mechanic to do additional damage- either Splash or Pierce. With this cannon you are only damaging one thing at a time, and not as well as other cannons when it comes to buildings and walls. The Earthshaker has Splash and the D-110, Crossbow and Arbalest all have Pierce. The latter three also have significantly higher wall damage than the Hammer as well as that Pierce mechanic that can mow down walls several at a time.

Additionally, when dealing with siege targets, I am going to presume turrets. Call me paranoid, but have you seen the Health of our new turrets? 1.2 million units of health. The hammer may have a pretty damn good DPS for building damage, but not for it's weight as compared to the Shaker. Cracking into those walls is only half the puzzle. What you can do afterward is just as important. I do not see this as a viable replacement option currently in the role that the Shaker fills in current conceptual builds.

So, that all said, I hope everyone can see why I think this is NOT the cannon you should be expecting to use in next months siege targets and they should be selectively used in PvP targets as they have a pretty obvious drawback.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Red-headed Inbred Bastard Step-child of the Launcher Family

This Squall... Isn't.


By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   



When the stats of the Squall Launcher originally came out in the preview server, I will admit, I was intrigued. I love launchers. It looked like a possible niche launcher that could complement a fleet and give me a tiny resistance boost to boot.

Then the stats changed upon hard release, and giving it a mere cursory look, i decided quickly it was nothing special. Since there seems to be an ass-ton of people advocating its use, particularly beyond the Zelos (and as an actual damage dealing weapon) I decided to take a closer look.

Upon further review, at least on paper, I think it's the launcher I readily want to hate. A lot. With a baseball bat.
Twice.

Let me explain. Let's start by looking at the unwitting parents of this poor bastard...



The Antipode Launcher



This, by far, is THE launcher you want if you are looking for maximum launcher Area Of Affect (AOE) damage, i.e. Shockwaves. BOOM baby. (Edit: I had misread the stacks.
Thanks to Xwolf for catching that! The info has been corrected.)

Reload: 2.5s
Salvo: 4
Accuracy: 80%

The shockwave itself takes a mere 60 stacks in order to initiate. This will cause a raw 24,024 damage. It also has a -50% building damage debuff on the flechettes themselves, making it ideal for stacking against buildings because it allows the launcher to stack rather than kill off the building before getting the sweet, sweet BOOM. Since most PvE buildings are clustered, the shockwave allows you to damage or destroy multiple targets in one step.

Also up for consideration is the radioactive debuff that the Antipode inflicts at 30 stacks. This means that, on a hull that you can shockwave on, half their resistances are lost. This was huge back in the day, and can play a significant role now, but is not as overpowering as it once was because of today's damage specific deflection. Of note- this 30 stack debuff also causes a small shockwave, but historically it hasn't been enough to destroy PvE building targets.

Like many weapons, the Antipode has complementary specials that maximize its strengths, or shore up its weaknesses, pairing up exceptionally well with it.

This is easily the launcher to choose (if choosing between launchers) when one is building a fleet to do damage to building targets because of the great AOE damage. It has some additional utility against ships, but not like it used to. This launcher is clearly ideal for AOE building damage.



The Cyclone Launcher



As much as the Antipode Launcher is THE launcher for AOE, the Cyclone Launcher is THE launcher for maximum individual flechette damage against ships.

Reload: 11s
Multishot: 4
Accuracy: 60%

This weapon has such an anemic shockwave that I never even bother to consider it when contemplating using this launcher. How many stacks does it take to initiate a shockwave? Who really cares.

The Cyclone does 2,700 damage per flechette to ships, however, it does a paltry 270 damage per flechette to buildings. Ideal if you want to prep out a ship or guard, it struggles to even put a dent in a building.

To offset this awesomeness, the accuracy is rather poor. Ok, really poor. This necessitates the use of a special in order to maximize the potential of the weapon. Like the Antipode, there are specials that pair exceptionally well with this launcher.

This launcher is easily the launcher you want to use when you are trying to do radioactive damage against ships. With these damage numbers, and given the copious number of ships released which are 'unreactive', it pushes past the Antipode for this duty.



The Squall Launcher



So... The Squall... You poor bastard. You are THE launcher for... mini-buffs?

Reload: 11s
Salvo: 5
Accuracy: 70

You have the same reload as the Cyclone, but are a salvo weapon, instantly putting you at a DPS disadvantage there... if only you had the same damage output. But you don't, do you? You spit out a measly 1,700 damage per flechette. Clearly, this is not a launcher fit to do battle on the high seas against other hulls when compared to the Cyclone.

And that 1,700 damage means that you have a very good chance at killing a building outright, not even being able to get your stack up to the 120 needed to be able to use that second-class 16,000 damage shockwave. I guess you could be ok if someone wants to kill off one thing at a time... but cannons do that better due to their projectile speed. Oops.

And the mini-buffs are cool I guess. Maybe. The D30-R Impact Cannon (one of my personal favorites) really is still king for that as it's weight makes it fantastic as a filler. Get your fat ass on a diet and I might look at you for this. You have two extra stats you say? Is it really worth it to carry that weight around? Is it?



Final Thought

Another aspect of this launcher is the special use. Both the Antipode and Cyclone have their own 'tree' of specials to boost their particular aspect of damage. Trying to use the Squall would necessitate the use of both 'trees' meaning you would be forced to give something up.

To mix specials to buff a myriad of attributes concurrently never ends well. It is why you can't truly successfully build a mixed damage type ship. You want to maximize whatever priority you are trying to achieve. Trying to mix weapon types and their complementary specials just gets you half measures which do nothing exceptionally well except suck.

Now, I will give you guys a hint- there is a place where this weapon will absolutely excel in. It is great for the Zelos. When building a spotter. That needs a resistance boost. Now why does that sound so familiar.... It seems I may have heard that somewhere before... Oh yea!

This is  an actual quote, from the actual Forums, from an actual CM Doomrooster, from an actual Raid Briefing: "CM NOTE: The Squall Launcher is designed to be paired with the Zelos as a spotter/resistance boost. It is NOT a weapon for the Cannoneer." He really wasn't lying, trying to mislead or being nefarious in any way with this statement (though you need to fix the ZVen comment DR, it's got a typo.)

You see that 'NOT'. That is a pretty clear hint. With regard to the Squall, it is rather damn obvious- it is exceptionally niche. Designed that way. That is not to say that it may not become something ideal for another use later, I picked it up just for that possibility, but it really is eclipsed by other launchers for every other aspect of launcher use.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I got the Cannoneer/Centurion... Now what?

Building Blind 101

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane  


So this raid has been a little odd. From the points requirements, to the offerings, and to the apparently missing offerings. As is to be expected, many people are unsure as to what to do at this point. In this article I am going to toss out a build for the Cannoneer and the Centurion and explore the reasoning behind the choices.

Let me begin by saying this. Build either of these blank first. Some say 3 hulls, some say 4 hulls. I had saved enough tokens to pull off 4 hulls before VXP weekend.

I somewhat expect for some sort of weapon and/or special to drop that may be useful for these because this is the second ballistic hull released with no accompanying complementary special/weapon combination concurrently released. There is another possibility though that I will touch upon below.

Let's start with the Cannoneer because this is the one that seems to be causing a bit of consternation, particularly because of the apparent change in focus of the hull from the Centurion. Additionally... it's essentially the same build you will see on the Centurion further down so I won't have to repeat myself.



As you can see, I've broken down the build into sections so I can explain my thought process easier. Each of these aspects has a reason and we will cover it here. This is just a conceptual build at this point, not knowing anything about the target to which to build to!!!

1. The Weapons

The weapon selection is varied for a couple reasons:

The first reason is the missing offerings, as I mentioned above, of the weapon and special for this hull that we would normally expect to be released concurrent to the hull release. The second reason is to round out the damage abilities of the hull since we do not know what we will face in January. I think I will be putting on the weapons after the specials in case we get a new weapon released or a better idea of what we will be facing in January either through a Test Server or Info Releases from Kixeye.

The reasoning of the above selections is thus: The hull has a specific damage bonus for wall damage, which would indicate to me that we should expect walls to play a significant role in the January targets. The Arbalests are one of the best choices for punching into and through walls that we have. Even with the drawback of the weight I feel this is one of the best options. I will admit that I have a bias towards the Arbalest. Other options to use are Crossbows or D-110 Railgun, but I have not had as good of a result with those as with an Arbalest build.

I added the Earthshakers purely for building damage once the walls are down. The Particle Accelerator Cannon is there mainly because I think the PROC is cool, hence a lone gun. Most people hold to the idea that you have to commit to the PAC and fill the hull... honestly, I put one in because the PROC is fun and will average some savings from the random PROC over the course of what I expect to be large S set targets. Neither of these weapons do well against sturdy walls but offer good building damage and are complementary to Arbalests when paired, allowing for more damage once the Arbalests have breached the walls. The D30-R is my favorite filler for the resistance buffs it gives.

Something to think about is this (and this is purely speculation on my part): Kixeye has been making strides in trying to keep players 'together'- in other words, trying to keep all players feeling relevant in the game. This is a very important aspect to a good game. The possibility does exists that we won't see a special/weapon combo for this hull at all, or, we may see it released with the regular release of the hull in January. Both options limit how far ahead some players can get in front of other players who could not achieve the lofty goal of the Cannoneer in this raid. I can conceive of Kixeye not releasing another Ballistic weapon and allowing us to use what we have in order to keep the pack together, though that may ride long odds.

2. Stun Resistance

I grouped the armor and a special together in this section because of another aspect of the hull that I think we need to take into consideration. The negative Stun Resistance native to the hull. I feel this was not done accidentally and may play a significant role in the January Event. I would fit Agility System IV before the D5-ST armor however, choosing to gamble on the the dual nature of the special over the specialized nature of the armor first. As you can see, this build, and your fitting procedure should be cautious. You'll note that even with the armor and special, the Stun Resistance is only registering at mere 53%. This worries me a little.

3. Turret Defense

Siege targets by necessity require turrets. Unless Kixeye throws us a whopping curve ball, I think this is a given for the hull and its intended purpose.

4. Armor Special

Historically speaking, Siege targets have been Ballistic and Radioactive damage in nature. Given the stated intent of having the Centurion be a viable option for the Siege Meta, we can presume that this trend will continue. The CL-3 armor gives us a very good boost to both damage types giving us a good basis from which to work. Hopefully, this will be enough in conjunction with the Cannoneer's native deflection to minimize damage to an acceptable level.

5. Ballistic Range Boost

I think this is an obvious choice. Given the native range boost of the hull, one can conclude that range will play a role in the difficulty aspect of the targets we will face in the new Siege Meta. Additionally, given the base speed of the hull, speed may play an important part to mitigating damage in the targets.

6. Speed and Maneuverability

A friend of mine saw this build and the first thing he responded with was "You f***ing love hydraulic resistors."

I instantly responded, "As much as Kixeye loves f***ing torpedo towers."

Truth.

Yes, I love Hydraulic Resistors. Since the day they came out I tried to max out every chance I got to redeem them. 'Free' resists are always good. Can you use Speed System V? Sure, but why would you want to when you have Hydraulic Resistors???

And let me add this, while discussing builds with Ren we agreed that given the stacking ability and native speed of the hull, you may not NEED to add an engine. I am, however, paranoid and think that both speed and maneuverability will play an important role in the upcoming Siege Meta. If I am wrong, this will be swapped to Siege Targeting.

3,4 (the special) and 5 are what I'd start fitting first along with the 3 Arbs.
--------

Now on to the Centurion...



As I mentioned above, the build is essentially the same. I changed out the armor for 2 of each, D5-C and D5-R to beef up the respective resistances as the Stun Resistance of this hull equipped with Agility System IV is registering at a respectable 74%. The rest holds the same reasoning as I stated above in the Cannoneer build.





Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Uprising Prize Overview

A Look at the Prizes and Your Options


This afternoon Kixeye released the prize list giving us a chance to digest the list and its implications.

First things first- I want everyone to remember to go into the Raid with a plan. Wait to spend your points until the last day. You never know what is going to happen, or if help becomes available and being able to sit back and take a grander view generally helps make for better decisions.

Let's break down the list and take it a section at a time. 
(PRICES AND LIST SUBJECT TO CHANGE):


HULLS:

Zoe's Vendetta
50,000,000
Cannoneer
40,000,000*
Zelos
15,000,000
Hellwraith
12,500,000
Apollo
12,500,000
Citadel
7,500,000
Revenge
7,500,000
Vendetta
7,500,000
Fury
7,500,000
Vanquisher
7,500,000
Tideseeker
5,000,000
Punisher
3,000,000
Centurion
1,750,000
Berserker
1,750,000
Crusader
750,000
Novastorm
750,000
Juggernaut X
500,000
Vindicator
250,000
Dreadnought X
250,000
Dreadnought
150,000
Strike Cruiser
150,000
* You need to redeem the ZVen in order to be able to claim the Cannoneer.

Priorities First - FM:

Honestly not a bad list. I'm not thrilled at the overall cost of the Cannoneer (90 Million due to the required purchase of the ZVen), but overall a pretty good list. I will say this first about the Cannoneer: I really have no problem with this so long as players aren't locked out from relevance in the next Raid Series. Given the way Kixeye is talking, it sounds like they have taken this into consideration so, we'll see. I'm hoping for the best.

Given the course of the last year, as compared to the year previous, it seems as though Kixeye has done a pretty damn good job in most aspects with this issue so they should get at least a reprieve until we see how this plays out. That said, we also do NOT know how much an S set pays out so please, wait until all the info is out before freaking out.

As I've stated often, I believe the Forsaken Mission is a priority in the game so I'll start there. (See this article):

If you do not have your FM Fleet sorted yet, there is opportunity here to shore that up exceptionally well. Two of the best tanks for the FM are offered above in the Tideseeker and Punisher. In addition, the Vendetta and Citadel are also up for grabs. New rumors have that the Vendetta may not be blocked in the FM, so either of these can round out your FM Fleet. I'd still go with the Citadel as it may be the to the next Garrison Raid what the Centurion is to the next Siege Raid.

The Tideseeker is an exceptional hull to look at. In fact, I think it is the stand-out hull in the list for mid-level players (and any low-level players that get help). It can be used as a Tank in the FM, it can be used to DO the FM, it can be used for the new upcoming Uranium Map Targets and it can be used in your Base Defense. It is a great hull to go for if you are looking to up your game in several aspects at once.

If you are a lower level the Novastorm is at a very reasonable price and with the way the 109's are currently set up, you could conceivably build a decent little fleet to snipe out the end islands propelling your FM ability into higher tiers. This is crucial to advancing in this game. Yes, I am advocating gutting the 109's for those players who can not do whole 109's. Other players... don't be surprised if your fleets are sniped for doing this if you are running a better fleet.

Edit: I admit to calling the Zelos useless in it's original incarnation. It got much love since then and honestly, might have gotten enough to make that a gem now. It now needs further review from me, so play with it a little when you get a chance in the ship-builders.

Raid/Chore:

Next we go to Raid/Chore Fleets. These are grouped together because of the nature of the planned transitions that Kixeye uses for our Raid Fleets. Our Raid Fleets should transition into our Chore Fleets which in turn gives us longevity for the fleets we invest time and/or coin into.

The first choice of course is the Cannoneer. Given the need to rack up 90 million points however, puts this hull out of the reach of most players. If you are lucky enough to be able to get this, obviously, grab it. Looking at some of the stats, I have a feeling that Stun Resistance is going to play a key role in the next Raid Series.

The next best thing for getting ready for the January Siege Raid is going to be the Centurion. At 1.75 million it is pretty damn reasonable for cost and will allow you to participate in the next Raid Series- though you may be grinding more than if you had the Cannoneer. In order to prepare for that raid, perhaps we may need to look to the Cannoneer's stats to see how we should be planning out your Centurions for that raid. For now, you could crank out some blanks for VXP weekend, build with some basics and leave a few open slots and special slots and wait and see if we get a Preview Server to finalize anything on the hull and round out the fleet for use in January.

To be fair, I have to bring this up. The only thing I am leery of is that it seems as though you are relegated to building two fleets for one Raid Series. If you can't get the Cannoneer, it seems as though you will be building a Centurion fleet and then either a Cannoneer or Ironclad fleet next month. This does worry me a bit but this issue should resolve itself as we finish the first full cycle of the Meta-types that Kixeye has introduced.

Base Defense/Baser:

Last on the list is focus on Base Defense or Baser Fleet. The options we have here are ok. We really only have the Vanquisher offered for Base Defense. I wish we had more, unfortunately, this is all we have. Certainly still worth the points if you need it to buff up your Base Defense and use that thermal ability.

Basers: Clearly we have the Zoe's Vendetta up at the top. We don't have the Flagship info as yet, but historically, the newest is the one you want. Well, the Flagship effects are out. I think this is a good looking hull but I am going to reserve my opinion after seeing how it actually behaves in targets and if I can use this elsewhere. I would MUCH rather have had another HCit. Trying to use this in Base Defense seems like it could end quickly with a few rockets unless you load up on armor. All the PvP hulls are 7.5 million and if you are getting into this arena you have a few options. The go-to hull to choose is still the Vendetta sitting behind a spotter. While this may change soon with the new OP 9 options, it is the current 'general' set-up mostly used, particularly if you are just getting to this level. If you are hitting top tier currently... you're likely already set and are shooting for the ZVen.

WEAPONS:

Squall Launcher
9,000,000
Fire Twister Torpedo
9,000,000
Judgment Mortar
6,500,000
Cyclone Launcher
5,000,000
Earthshaker Cannon
4,500,000
Conflagration Scattergun
3,500,000
Concussive Gatling Gun
3,500,000
Coaxial Firestorm
3,500,000
Railgun D-110
1,000,000
Pandemonium Mortar
1,000,000
Particle Accelerator Cannon
900,000
Arbalest
500,000
Searing Barrage Mortar
400,000

I have to say, I like almost all of this list. The only one that really bothers me a little bit is the Earthshaker price-tag. I think it should be significantly lower. Another oddity is the double cost of the D-110 over the Arbalest.

That said, the new launcher seems very interesting. Until we get some more info though, I can't really decide about where this launcher sits with the Antipode and Cyclone. Once we get some more info about stacks etc. we will have a better view of how good this launcher is.

The two mortars available complements any FM mortar based fleet you may want to build. Again, going with a Citadel may give you a small leg up in the next Garrison Raid. While I love the Judgement, the Coaxial Firestorm at 3.5 million is a great deal.

And rolling into the deals, I think there are some steals in this group. One is the Pandemonium Mortar for 1 million points. The PAC would be a very close second at only 900k points and the Arbalest is another steal for 500k.

The Pandemonium is a decent mortar but it also boosts Radioactive Resistances up that are likely to be needed in the next Raid Series. A good tool to have available when designing a fleet.

The PAC is a great weapon to compliment other cannons. The PROC (Random Procedure or Programmed Random Occurrence - take your pick) is a fantastic nice little damage dealer, though I would recommend against loading up with just this as a weapon.

The Arbalest... I have a special place in my heart for the Arbalest. I have had better results with this than the D-110, and I'm stubborn so I am biased towards this weapon. All told, a fantastic set of choices.

SPECIALS:

Flechette Feeder
6,000,000
Sealed Fire Charge
6,000,000
Alloy Armor CL-3
6,000,000
Radiation Reflective Coating III
6,000,000
Incendiary Shells
5,000,000
Armor Piercing Shells
4,000,000
Emission Generator
3,000,000
Alloy Armor CL-2
2,500,000
Radiation Reflective Coating II
2,500,000
Hydroxide Injector
2,000,000
Alloy Armor CL-1
500,000
Radiation Reflective Coating I
500,000


This list looks heavily tilted towards what may be needed for the next Raid Series. Again we have an oddity in pricing in the Incendiary Shells. I'm not too sure why that is sitting at 5 million points. Perhaps we are overlooking something.

Obviously the Flechette feeder is for the new launcher, though it may have some great utility with the reload increase. The attention draw however is, again, the several options for ballistic offense and radioactive defense. The CL-3 offering in particular, giving Ballistic and Radioactive defense, is one to take particular note of because it is the traditional damages in Siege targets.

ARMOR & LIMITED PRIZES:

Zynthonite Armor D5-C
2,000,000
Zynthonite Armor D5-E
2,000,000
Zynthonite Armor D2-C
150,000
Zynthonite Armor D2-E
150,000



Hydraulic Resistors
1,500,000
Cobra Scattergun
1,500,000
Zynthonite Armor D5-ST
1,000,000
Agility System IV
1,000,000
Gale Defense System III
1,000,000
Gale Defense System II
750,000
Gale Defense System I
400,000

Only four armors that are limited to Evade and Ballistic which makes sense for the next Raid Series. Fantastic revisiting of Limited Prizes. Both these are rather self explanatory. If you have the points, stock up on as many limiteds as you can as we have no idea when they will make another appearance.

TURRETS:

Coldsnap Rocket Turret
6,000,000
Glacial Launcher Turret
6,000,000
Draconian Coaxial Turret
6,000,000
Dead-Eye Ballista
6,000,000
Dead Eye Executioner
6,000,000
Wendigo Turret
6,000,000
Draconian Scattergun Turret
6,000,000
Coaxial Turret
3,000,000
Frostbite Rocket Turret
3,000,000
Basilisk Turret
3,000,000
Executioner
3,000,000

The turrets priced at 3 million are not limited and you can build as many as you want. Those priced at 6 million are limited prizes and some will have their maximum claims increased and some will not have their maximums increased. Personally I think the Coldsnap and Glacial are the top two turrets in the list if you have neither. If I get time I may write another article that goes more in depth for the last few sections as I concentrated mostly on the Hulls and Weapons.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's All About That Base...

Everyone is Doing OP 9 - Should You?

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane  

Today Kixeye surprised everyone with a huge, huge update. How huge? I want to use that word in almost every aspect that this article will touch upon. Even Trump thinks it's gonna be huge. Look at that grin!!


So, you can read the release notes here on the forums. Ren also put together a video presentation of the update here on YouTube. Rather than make you read the release notes again, I'll presume we all have read them and try and touch on some of the things we get in this update and some significance with regard to those subjects.

I want to begin with this- it really is not content overload- most all of this revolves around a new OP level and its ancillary complements. I also want to say- this seems pretty well thought out at first blush. I am impressed given the tumultuous history of our updates and their scope. Also, please bear in mind, in an update this Yuge, there are bound to be hiccups. Please have some patience folks. Report the bugs and give them a chance to fix them before going nuclear.


OP 9


Obviously, the first step in this process is getting our OP to Level 9 so that you can take advantage of the ancillaries. The new OP upgrade brings a massive increase to OP Health (3,000,000 HP). As happened last time, remember, this will completely throw off your bubble calculations. Given the increase we see here, this can only be mitigated by upgrading other things to compensate for the sheer mass of Health added. For a few weeks we will see, much as last time, many bases being absolutely gutted without earning a viable bubble for the damage. One option is to preemptively crank up those turrets and warehouses. As we will see later, this has been taken into consideration and options have been given to us. If you are not a heavy coiner, you may want to wait a little bit before upgrading the OP to Level 9 or just accept the fact of a flat base for a week or two and get the goodies ASAP.

In addition to the massive Health of the OP itself, there is another aspect that many players have been begging for - Base Power. Lots of it. Gobs. Oodles even.... (342,510 Units). There is enough supplemental power in this to help power the additional installation added to the OP in this upgrade and the extra special slot Level 8 Turrets will have, or any machinations your evil Pirate heart can conceive. This is, admittedly, a very, very tempting reason to upgrade to OP 9 ASAP. It makes it hard to wait.

And you know how everyone always says that Kixeye doesn't listen? Listen to this: FIVE more land tiles. Five. The footprint of the base is also going to increase as well (you do NOT need to upgrade to OP 9 for the footprint increase), giving us a bunch of breathing room and a better chance at variety in base design. Mine is about 2.5 years old so I may eventually have to get around to changing it... damn.

And if the 5 land tiles don't temp you, this just might (it's getting harder to resist, isn't it? ISN'T IT??) - did I mention that upgrading the OP to 9 unlocks this really, really cool option... FACTIONS. Oh hell yeah. HELL YEAH!



FACTIONS


Factions, huh? All those players wanting to be Dracs or Reavers, or, my favorite- Scourge now can fulfill that wish... sort of. (There is also Legion and of course Forsaken.)

With each faction there comes some really cool graphics for your OP and land. I like most of it (I really like the Scourge ones). Even better though is the turret bonuses each faction gives. For a quick review:

- Forsaken: Ballistic Turret Damage +20%
- Draconian: Explosive Turret Damage +20%
- Legion: Penetrative Turret Damage +20%
- Reaver: Radioactive Turret Damage +20%
- Scourge: Corrosive Turret Damage +20%

Now with this, I really, really want to pick the Scourge. It is my favorite faction... and I like the graphics a lot! But... but... it is not a practical choice. With the deflections in the game and the amount of people running Dead Eye Executioners (DEEs) and Blunderbusses the only real viable choices at the moment seems to be either Legion or Forsaken. Will this change in the future? I'm not sure. (The TLC may swing the Dracs into the middle of this equation.) If you like playing with the math there might be a gold nugget in here.

A side note, and I'm not sure how important this will be at the start... You can only change your faction once a month for free. After that it will cost you an increasing amount for each time you choose to change factions.

ANCILLARY COMPLEMENTS


I mentioned the extra 5 land tiles earlier, this is the rest of the set is as follows:

- Defense Platforms to Level 8 and a new limit to 22 total
- Walls to level 8 and a new limit to 500 total
-  Warehouses to Level 15 with accommodating increases in capacities
- Advanced Lab to Level 12
- Dock to Level  13 with a significant increase in Dock Weight allowance
- Ship Yard to Level 4 with weight savings to Reaver Technologies

This is a goodly amount of engagement points for players that should last for a significant time. It will also take a substantial time to power up through all this, however... as I mentioned earlier, it is apparent that Kixeye did plan out when they planned up.

CATCHING UP


A lot of players will initially, before reading through the notes, make the assumption that they just can NOT keep up. "I still have turrets at Level 5", "I still need to upgrade XYZ", etc., etc. Well, the good news (great news actually) is this has been considered and planned for! This is how it will work:

For any upgrade associated with OP 1 through OP 8 you can now use base parts!!! That means you can, for these upgrades, use base parts to upgrade just as you currently use base parts to equip. This does not apply for anything associated with OP 9. In addition to this many upgrades have had a reduction in the time requirement! This makes it even cheaper in base parts should you choose to go that route. This is fantastic!!


NEW RESEARCH TECH


And then we have new research tech. Ho-hum, right? I mean, who wants a Water Turret Transformer and Researchable Hulls... WAIT - WHAT???????

Yup, you read ALL of that right. We are getting a new Turret Transformer that will allow you to place a turret on the water. ON THE FREAKING WATER!  Given the new footprint and land, this may be an interesting mechanic, however, keep in mind, just like turret placement before, you want to be cognizant of location so position can not be taken advantage of with regard to splash.

And we also get three new researchable hulls. I know a lot of players are going to roll their eyes at that and brush it off because they are low level tech. These hulls are Conqueror Class and are geared towards low level players. Tier 4 ratings puts them below the Revenge so these are early hulls for players to introduce themselves to base hitting and maybe for Kix to develop a few Campaigns for low and lagging mid level players. One can hope. Regardless, they offer a gateway into PvP for lower players. I would have liked to see some additions for struggling mid-levels, or the addition of a 'stepping-stone' hull such as the Rhino, but this is a good start nonetheless.

SHOULD I OR SHOULDN'T I - FINAL THOUGHTS


As mentioned, this large of an increase in Health will cause some serious issues with regard to based defense and bubbling. You have two choices at this point. You can wait to upgrade to OP 9 and take advantage of the base parts upgrade opportunity and boost all of your turrets and buildings up to help mitigate the disparity in Health that OP 9 will bring, or you can upgrade immediately and then crank out a warehouse or two or a warehouse and some turrets to get your bubble pad back. Remember too, the extra land tiles are contingent on upgrading to OP 9.

After that initial decision then it is your choice as to the path you would like to upgrade. whether you want to upgrade your dock and take advantage of that or buff out your bubble pad or cram some new turrets so that you can fit more on them, or hitting the Advanced Lab first so that you can research the new Transformer.

One note I would like to make- when planning your shipyard upgrade, take into account your timing. If you time it properly, you can finish a build and carry 2 1-day Structure Build Tokens into a new FM. Start the Shipyard, use the tokens to knock 2 days off, earn 2 more in the FM and knock a total of 4 days off the build of the Shipyard cutting your down time to a little over 3 days. If you are very efficient with the FM (and can do the both runs back to back) you can do this on the last day of an FM and then hit it again on the new FM the following day and have your Shipyard done in a little over a day.

Another consideration is if you even want to upgrade that Dock right away. with a 10 min repair it might be one of the latter things to do after fixing your bubble pad and defense a little, that way losing the Dock will have minimal impact on your gameplay.

Overall, I am really impressed by this update. Given the size and complexity I expect a few hiccups, however, the forethought that went into this is evident and impressive. I think it also shows that Kixeye has been listening far more than some people had given them credit for.

In addition they seem to be starting to take heed at the disparity between the ends of the spectrum of the player base, what I have often referred to as the relevance that a player feels in the game, and are starting to make inroads there as well. I hope this is a direction they continue to improve upon as this may engender some return in old players as well as possibly bringing in new players.

This update overall gets a big thumbs up from me. As always, thanks for stopping by and spending your time here!








Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ancient Ties


This is purely fan fiction. I share this with no implications, speculation, foreknowledge, malice, or anything else. I wrote this for fun and quite a few people liked it so I am merely sharing for the fun. We can do things for fun, right?


He leaned against the railing, crisp air biting his cheeks as he stared into the gloom ahead. The bare whisper of the bow cleaving the dark waters before it, belied the power and speed of the hull. The Commander heaved a heavy sigh and wondered again about the missing scout patrol that had never returned from this sector.

Pushing himself off the railing he started making his way aft. Taking a stroll about the ship always settled him for the night and it had been a very long day. After a few steps he paused. There had been a change. The Arma was a new ship, but he had gotten very familiar with it during its initial testing and had insisted on keeping the ship even after he had approved regular construction. Being intimately familiar with its behavior, he knew every twitch the hull made.

Rather than go to his cabin, he turned to head back to the bridge and was met by a night guard hurrying toward him. “Commander, we’ve come across something… odd. And the Admiral would like to see you,” 

The Commander heaved a sigh again. “Let’s get on with it then,” he grumbled as he led on to the bridge. He noticed as he went that the ship had slowed again and men were starting to quickly, but quietly, scurry to various battle stations. Slow enough for him to know they weren’t going live, but manning them nonetheless. He looked towards the guard but saw no indication of surprise and thus presumed the order had made its way silently about the ship even as they had sent the guard for him.

Walking through the double door of the bridge, he spotted the Admiral waiting for him. His white lab coat, smudged and grime stained from the endless sea and constant experimenting, hung loosely from his thin frame. His welding goggles slung around his neck, a habit he refused to break, gleamed in the light. Gray hair poking out from underneath his hat spoke to his age and the stress of several wars that could also be seen stamped on his face. Looking at the Admiral he shook his head in friendly amusement. “Brennus, what is this about?” asked the Commander. 

Brennus turned. There seemed to be an excitement in his eyes… perhaps mixed with a bit of trepidation. “Commander Harlock- we’ve found them, the lost scout patrol… and something else. We should be there now.”

Commander Harlock turned and headed to the front of the bridge as he growled back to Brennus “Harlock, Brennus, call me Harlock! We’ve known each other far too long to keep using titles we gave each other.” Turning to one of the crew he called for the spot lights and peered out into the darkness.

“Always my Captain though, sir,” Brennus mumbled under his breath, but too low for Harlock to hear.

The lights cut into the night. Off to the left he saw one of the scout ships still smoldering and drifting aimlessly. Flotsam was scattered everywhere and, as the other ships started searching, he heard a faint, chilling call of “Land ho!” break the silent tension. A lonely voice at first, then another, and more yet, as the lookouts spotted land.

“Is that what you meant Brennus?” asked Harlock, peering ahead.

“Yes, sir. The signatures of the land masses do not match anything in our database,” said Brennus. He added quietly “They are an unknown sir.” 

Several ships turned with them to go investigate the land masses. They passed by ancient stonework. Massive walls that seem to have been recently blasted. Harlock called a warning to the rest of his fleet and flashed the lights in ship for battle stations to ready- silently. Brennus leaned towards Harlock “It looks ancient. Certainly not Draconian. It looks...” He trailed off as he stared at the stone and metalwork.

“Spit it out man!” snapped Harlock.

“It’s just… well, it is almost reminiscent of the Scourge in the lines of the designs,” replied Brennus.

“Surely not” breathed Harlock. “They are a race that dwell beneath the waves, why would you think of those bottom dwellers now?”

“I’m not sure… It may not be anything, but the way the design looks...” Brennus shook his head. “I don’t know Harlock, something... something just reminds me of them.”

The ship turned around the wreckage of a fortified mass of earth. Harlock cocked his head to one side, hearing an odd buzzing noise followed by a familiar buzz. Quickly he turned, knocking Brennus aside and shouted “Battle stations Live! Battle stations Live!” as he ran to the helm just as the night erupted in a frenzy around them. Mortar fire could be seen, then heard in the distance. The howl and zing of artillery buzzed above their heads in the night as men screamed orders and responded to the attack with the cannons and mortars aboard.

Brennus reached Harlock’s side, as the Commander heaved on the controls to bank the ship hard. Harlock looked back to see one of the ships in his fleet succumb to damage, and start sinking into the briny depth. He looked to Brennus, “That was not Draconian, nor was it the Reavers. Zoe is south of us, what the hell did we find?!?”

“I don’t know Commander, I just don’t know yet.”

“When we get back, draw up your men and have us prepare to open this sector up and rid ourselves of these relics. I’ll call the Council together. Send out the scouts to gather some information. Let’s make sure we come to this battle prepared.”

“Yes sir, we shall try.”

Harlock looked ahead, a stubborn scowl on his face. He didn’t know- yet, what they faced, but as always, he had confidence in the Forsaken Armada and knew, that no matter the enemy, the Clans and Captains of the Forsaken Council would prevail...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Deflect Who? Deflect What? Deflect this!

Practicing Safe Deflection

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane  


While deflection has been in the game for a good amount of time now, it seems people are still getting confused about this mechanic. Jefe (Battle Pirates Crib Admin), Renato (The Forsaken Council Admin) and I were discussing this recently and The Battle Pirates Crib show today will be covering it as I am covering it here in the blog. Given the limitations of the written form with regard to people's attention spans concerning this medium, this article  will be more of an overview of the subject than the show will be (which is embedded below).


I'm not sure if it is the less-than-clear delineation of PvP vs. PvE or if it is the mechanic of deflection itself, or even if it is the multitude of different deflections that is causing the confusion we are seeing, but this confusion does linger around this issue. Add to that the intertwining of these mechanics and I can understand how some people can become confused.


So to begin with let us get some context from which we will reference back to. The delineation of PvE and PvP. This was done earlier this year in March. As I discussed briefly in this article, Kixeye split the two aspects of the game to better control power creep and increase fleet longevity among other things. The original post by GD Raikan can be found here.


The quick and dirty definition that we are going to use is that any target that is player-centric (bases, Hyperions, player fleets) are PvP in nature and NPC-centric targets (Raid targets, armadas, DUBS) are PvE in nature. This separation becomes important when we discuss the various types of deflection in-game.

-----

Before I get into deflection, I do want to address the Order of Operations. As given to us by Kixeye. I will be ignoring this so that I can give just direct examples, however, it is good to know to understand the mechanic better. The order of operations (calculating damage) is this:

Evade, Resistances, Deflection.

-----

Moving on to deflection itself - Deflection is simply damage reduction taken out of every incoming hit. That means it is applied to every individual salvo that hits. When calculating this, you have to be very aware of the salvos a weapon fires. This is why players look to 'single shot damage' of weapons many times when taking deflections into account.


For example a ship (zero resistances) with 200 Assault Deflection being hit by another player with a single salvo missile that does 500 damage would only receive 300 damage. A multi salvo missile, say 2 salvos doing 500 total damage would calculate per salvo, so it would be 200 Assault Deflection from 250 damage leaving only 50 damage received per salvo,for a total of 100 damage.


Now that we have what deflection is covered, we have to define the damage incoming so that we can understand what it is we are reducing, which deflection applies and how it applies.

-Assault damage generally is damage that is received from ship-based targets.
-Siege damage generally is damage that is received from land-based targets.


That said, there are three main types of deflection. Each of these reduces, per salvo, the damage that gets through to the target.:

-Assault Deflection - Assault damage is reduced
-Siege Deflection - Siege damage is reduced
-Damage specific Deflection - Damage reduced is specific to a damage type


Looking at this, it initially seems rather simple, however, it gets more complicated. The first two are straightforward as we gave the example above. The latter is broken down even further:

-Ballistic Deflection
-Corrosive Deflection
-Concussive Deflection
-Explosive Deflection
-Penetrative Deflection
-Radioactive Deflection


These deflect exactly what they say they do. They were introduced for Conqueror and Defender hulls and you will see them displayed like this:




We should stop and take a breather here before we tie it all up together. We have a delineation of the game generally into PvP and PvE and we have 3 general categories of deflection. Upon first glance all this deflection flies in the face of the reasons given for the split in March.


Now we get to an interesting area. The delineation of PvP and PvE also necessitated Deflection Bypass. This mechanic is exactly like Resistance Bypass and the calculation is as follows:

Deflection Bypass = TypeDeflection# - (TypeDeflection# * TypeDeflectionBypass%)


This reflects bypasses that have been incorporated into the game, given to us thus:

-Ballistic Deflection Bypass
-Corrosive Deflection Bypass
-Concussive Deflection Bypass
-Explosive Deflection Bypass
-Penetrative Deflection Bypass
-Radioactive Deflection Bypass


For example, say you have 1000 Penetrative Deflection. The weapon firing at you has 75% Penetrative Deflection Bypass and deals 600 Penetrative damage.

Remaining Penetrative Deflection = 1000 - (1000 * 0.75)
= 1000 - 750
= 250

The calculated damage from that Penetrative salvo would be 350 Penetrative damage (600 Damage - 250 Remaining Deflection) since the Penetrative Deflection Bypass stripped off 75% of the total Penetrative Deflection that you had. They will mitigate the specific damage type only. They are not a generic deflection stat as are the Assault and Siege.


In PvE targets, these bypasses are incorporated in order to mitigate PvP oriented hulls from participating in PvE oriented content. The theory was that the PvP side would rely heavily on deflection while the PvE side would rely heavily on Resistances. Kixeye has kept pretty tight control over The Assault and Siege Deflection amounts in game so as to not escalate the power creep in that area.


This is a general quick and dirty overview of the subject of deflection and bypass. It will be covered in more depth on the show (embedded below). Please feel free to ask questions. Thanks for visiting!


You can learn more by watching the show which is on YouTube tonight, December 2, 2016 at 7 PM EST (4 PM PST):










Thursday, November 24, 2016

When you're not sure what to stick where...

A Lonely Turret Story

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   

This article is really going to be a quick overview and not an in depth analysis of turret design. Obviously you won't be able to max out every turret in your base without running into power problems, and much like a defense fleet, customization of this aspect of base design is exceptionally dependent on individual base layout.

I'm writing this based on several requests and a few posts asking about this. Please, if I've missed anything or there are further questions, ask here or ask on these pages on Facebook- This game has, generally, a wonderfully helpful community: The Forsaken Council (this is my home as I Admin here), BP Crib, BP on BV, Alliance Crib (fair warning, AC requires a thick skin at times. lol). I know there are a lot more but those are generally all I mainly visit and have seen good community activity in.

So, let's jump right into it then. We'll start with the new Maxim turret. I will break down the reasoning behind all of the items added to this as well as mention a different option for illistration. Hopefully this will allow you to understand the reasoning behind the design and be able to apply it to the rest of the examples and/or your own designs.:



This turret, in many instances, would sit on your center island. There are a few different options that you could use, but let's start with this one as the theories are straight forward.

1. One of the drawbacks to this turret is the rather high power consumption. The weapon alone draws 3,750 units of power. When equipped as above, it draws a total of 6,937 units of power. If you swap out the Zynthium Shells for Priority Targeting, it comes down to 6,675 units of power. Using this turret will place a strain on a likely already strained resource. One thing to keep in mind with regard to this weapon is the salvo count and the seemingly anemic damage-per-salvo of only 960.

2. Taking the given of center island placement and also taking into account the 'Wind Up' aspect of the gun, it seems that adding A:T-R Transformer for greater range is an interesting option. The turret is on the center island so defense is not a huge issue as the base itself is its defense. The additional range will give it a greater opportunity to spool up as it will engage the targets sooner, hopefully getting it's stacks to max a little quicker and thus adding some depth of additional power to the gun in the form of reaching max stacks quicker. If putting this on the outer edge of your base as a deterrent for Vendettas, you may want to look at the other Transformers to see if they would give you a better advantage depending on where you place the turret. This special makes the outer range of the weapon a massive 245. **Of note, it was pointed out by Ni Gel on the forums that I glossed over an important aspect of this special, of which I mean, it drops 10% of damage. This illustrates the point again, that these types of articles are more for to get you to start thinking, and hopefully understand, the prints you own. Cookie cutter does not work in base defense. (Side note- at publication I had also done the calculation at +10% rather than a flat 10 range addition- Thanks Andy Brett for that catch!)

3. Now we start looking at the specials to hone the use of our turret. In this instance I have chosen Expanded Concussive Charge. This special offers an increase of 60% Splash and 60% Concussive Damage. The added damage is always a boon and will help a seemingly anemic per-salvo damage. The addition of this special will bring the damage-per-salvo to 1,536.

While the Spite is completely vulnerable, this brings damage up above the deflection threshold of the Vendetta (without a Bloodthirst) and above the threshold of a Bloodthirsted Fury or Revenge. It is still well below the deflection threshold of the Malice, Retribution and a Harlock's Revenge (or a Revenge Fleet led by this hull). Clearly, it is meant to be just a puzzle piece in the jigsaw puzzle of your base.

This special will bring the splash from a range of 12 to a range of 19.2. It could help ensure damage to either a fast moving target, or targets that are grouped together adding a little bit more depth to the weapon.

4. This is an interesting slot. I chose Zynthium Shells for this example because of the power draw to illustrate how expensive this can become power-wise.  It also has a higher splash than its counterpart. It is a viable special if you want to increase the projectile speed to help aid in hitting a fast moving fleet if that is what you want. It also stacks it's splash with that of the ECC above, bringing the total splash to 22.8. That is now over a land tile of splash range and given the speed at which the projectile would be getting there, it seems this would be a difficult weapon to avoid entering a base.

5. The armor choice here is rather simple. This is not a direct engagement turret, so why not take advantage of the lower need of armor by armoring up with something that adds some much needed power back into the mix? This armor should fill every unneeded slot in your base. If you decide to put this on the outside and take extreme advantage of priority targeting, you may want to change this armor choice accordingly.

That said and explained, I am leaning heavily toward this particular build for one of these turrets. I am also including it as an exercise so that those that are struggling with turret design can try and understand why I would go this route. (Hint: Think Vendetta deterrent.):


Depending on your intended use, Priority Targeting is likely a top choice for this turret as well so that you can deter lower armored hulls from sitting outside your base to Remote Target - depending also on when (and IF) you can engage them (another boon of the boosted 258.5 range).

Let's do one more turret. We'll do a Blunderbuss.


Using the same talking points, lets go down the list.

The weapon itself uses a decent amount of power again and pushes the use of power for a good set up here, again limiting how many of these you can put in as well as limiting the power you have available for other turrets. As you can see, fully equipped, this example uses 8,167 units of power. It also seems underwhelmingly anemic with regard to damage with a low 950 damage per pellet (remembering that this is a multi-shot weapon).

In this example we are using the A:T Transformer I. This gives us an increase of 35% in damage. Starting a running total, this brings damage up to 1,282.5 for damage per pellet.

Moving on to the specials. The Depleted Uranium Shells special is there just for the added ballistic damage. It is a little costly of a special in terms of power consumption, but it does help the Blunderbuss with regard to the damage issue. Given that the weapon is multi-shot, the accuracy buff is pointless, but the additional 62% Ballistic damage brings our running total to 1,871.5 damage per pellet. This is starting to look a lot better than first blush.

Next special is the Supercharged EM Rails III. This special is rather nice in that it gives you a 25% chance at scoring a critical hit. Since this weapon is ballistic, but not accuracy based, you get this chance calculated for each individual pellet every time the weapon fires. That is a huge mechanic to take advantage of. In addition to this, when it does calculate a critical hit, the damage is increased 300%! Huge combo here when added to the rest.

The armor on this turret is a little different in that it is set up as an engagement turret, so the armor chosen is to try and increase its longevity when directly engaged with an enemy fleet. Just getting one extra shot off here and there is enough to change the outcome of an engagement.

So, that is Turret Design 101. I will include a sample build of several turrets below. I would hope you gleaned enough info from the examples above to be able to puzzle through what the examples may represent as well as helping you in putting together effective builds for your own turrets. As always, feel free to ask for help of the community on the pages I linked above. I hope this helps some people. Thanks for reading and sharing!