Building Blind 101
By: George Argyropoulos
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.
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."
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...