The Birds and the Bees of Battle Pirates
By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon Bane
a/k/a Dragon Bane
We know growing up is hard, and your body is starting to chan... wait... wrong speech...Is it me or are my jokes actually getting worse?
Given the flux that has been in game over the last few months and it seems and several episodes of The Forsaken Council and BP Crib, and a bunch of posts on BP on BV a lot of people are starting to get antsy about what they should be concentrating on.
In particular I have been seeing mid-level players trying to spread themselves very thin by trying to build everything under the sun that they win with no regard to a long term plan. So much so that recently when the rumors started flying of blocking Conqueror hulls out of the Forsaken Mission everyone lost their damn minds. Here is a secret: You don't have to build everything - Particularly in today's game.
That said, I will take a moment to address this before getting to the meat of the article- There is no reason to believe that this is a trend that will continue to extremes. The possible change to the FM and Conqueror hulls has to do with the repair modifiers built into the Conqueror and Defender Hulls and our ability to exploit them.
All this change to the FM (and likely Raid targets) would do is close a loophole that we exploited very early. We all know how that ends- we've been there. I'd rather have them fix it sooner rather than later and avoid where we were a year to a year and a half ago. You can read more about this right here. And for another perspective to that, you can read Jon's (Specs) thoughts here.
Now to the point of all this. All this angst had me reflecting on how it seemed several players were losing focus of their priorities, or, for many mid-levels, never realizing the importance of having one. I understand how negative the community can be, but in this instance, you can actually prioritize properly and start taking advantage of the incentives Kixeye has given us, which are significant.
I believe one of the problems is that on the surface, the game seems fast paced and you often get the feeling that you are being left behind if you don't have the latest and greatest built. This disturbs your focus and makes it rather difficult in staying on-path to the target or goal that you want.
My priorities, as I have stated numerous times, is unwavering for what I believe is the top most priority in the game. The Forsaken Mission. Regardless of what it was intended for upon initial development, this aspect of the game has the most influence over your success overall, your ability to adapt (through tech depth) and mitigating your build times in-game.
If we look at just the Tokens aspect of the FM alone, you gain, I hope, a new perspective of the grander picture that we refer to at times. Laredo was kind enough to put this together for the forum and allow me to share it.
As we can see, if you are 'caught up' with the FM, you are looking at a minimum of 220 tokens per year.That is over 7 months of build time. Minimum. Quite literally, doubling your build/refit capacity from this single aspect of the FM alone for the equivalent of more than half a year. Add the lowered build times and... well, as many people have stated- Kixeye has essentially given us a Dry-Dock... they just make us earn it.
In addition to all those shiny tokens, we get some good, and not so good, tech out of the FM. This adds to what I call your 'Tech Depth'. Like a sports team, you want depth in any area which enhances your game play. In our instance it is tech. Take this Tide tank build for example:
You'll see that there is some old tech in there, and while not entirely necessary, it does give the build that slight extra enhancement that makes it perform just a little better. This tech depth is something that, while not a game breaker, is very helpful at times when building ships for the game. Tech depth allows you the maneuverability to adapt to changes in the game far easier than without the tech.
To that end, below, are a pair of Punisher Tanks that have worked as well. You can visit my YouTube channel to see all these tanks in action, builds for the fleets in use and get an overall feel for the builds that work in the FM. I have a LOT of 109 vids. These builds WORK folks. This should allow you to build copies or scale down the tech so you can crack the FM code yourselves. PLEASE NOTE: I do NOT expect everyone to have the same tech, nor should you expect the exact results you see when scaling the tech down, but remember: you have three days to complete the FM run!!!
If you have an old Punisher Arblest fleet that you were using in the old 107's, refitting a CM pun to the second build above allows you to tank through a 109 now for acceptable damage (granted, with 2.5 hours damage if you drive as badly as I did).:
If I had to break down, into a list, what I think the priorities should be in a game, I think it would go something like this:
1. Forsaken Mission
2. Raid Fleet / Chore Fleet
3. Base Defense Fleet / Baser Fleet
Now the fun part... trying to explain this... The FM, I have already explained. It also is one of the longest running target oriented aspects of the game, allowing a much better longevity to investment for the build you use (unless the cycle is about to change) and also has the largest volume af tech to be had.
The next in line has changed somewhat. Kixeye has been trying to relieve an aspect of the game that truly annoys most of the player base: Fleet longevity. To try and alleviate this issue, Kixeye has been recycling raid targets into our chore targets allowing for longevity of Raid fleets. I am of two minds about this for a variety of reasons - but that is a tangent for another article or show.
This means that it is the second aspect that you, as a player, need to set as a priority after you have achieved the first one!! I can't stress this enough. You NEED to do this in steps. I understand the frustration of not being able to participate in the raid, but in the long run, it would do you better to focus on the FM first (unless the cycle is about to change). If you really, really, REALLY, can't stand missing on a raid or prize, hire a Mercenary (like me!) to get you your raid points, early (so you are prepared), but do not deviate from building for the FM first!
If FM tech is the depth of tech that helps improve and tweak your game, Raid tech is the driving force of tech (and a rather good chunk of tokens to boot). This is where the tech envelope is pushed to progress the game, where you get the tech needed to be successful in the raids themselves. Why is there only one 'L' in successful? Should't it be 2 since you want to be full of success? Anyway, I digress...
Additionally, keep in mind that these raid hulls will be used for 'chores'. Map targets that players need to engage to get goodies in game will be consistently based on the raid meta and these Raid fleets will excel in them. That means, after the FM priority, you concentrate on winning Raid priorities. Ignore the shinies you likely don't need in that hull raid. Skip the fancy limited upgrade specials and get those items that fit into this prioritization.
A parallel aspect to this trend is that many of the fleets we have built recently for Raid has bled over into use for many of the TLCs that Kixeye has offered, further increasing the longevity and/or use of a Raid Meta fleet. Gotta give them some kudos for that folks.
Renato, an Admin of The Forsaken Council, made this fantastic chart to show exactly how the Raid fleets fold into daily game play and the longevity now provided by this design:
For the last two, I guess this really is personal choice. Some people will choose to concentrate first on base defense, allowing them a little easier pirate life, particularly if you are in or want to be in an alliance. Others could care less about their defense so long as they can go and smash bases. I will say this much- the easier path is base defense first because the longevity of those hulls is higher than basers for the most part. Again, this is a highly player oriented decision and should be approached in a manner consistent with what YOU want to do at this point in the game.
So- I hope this helps some players re-focus, others I hope it helps get them going in the right direction. As always, feel free to share this with anyone you think it may help! Good luck guys!!