That's Not a Mint on My Pillow...
By: George Argyropoulos
So... we are one day into the Awakening Raid. I'll be honest- I was hoping for far better given the last Raid Set, last week and what we were told to expect. I'll leave all that to be covered in the various shows. We have this dealt hand, let's see if we can do anything with it.
So let's talk some strategy for the targets. There are various ways to do some of this, and I've seen so, so many players give in and pick the blitz option. For me that was not an option. I'm a cheap bastard and I want more value for my coin. I'm also lazy so while I may tag the perfect run when motivated... I just wasn't for this raid. (Actually, given what has transpired I don't know many players that are.) I've actually decided to just run the damn targets and get what I could. Ren, from the TFC page, has some vids up on his YouTube page that shows both good runs and the pathing he used.
This is great for players to start out with, and it works rather well. Thing is, unlike last month where the pathing was rather important to maximize effectiveness, of far more import in this raid is your timing and ability to react to the target. Speed is essential in these targets to mitigate damage.
Some things to also keep in mind and to note when going through these are the following:
With Cannoneers, you out-range everything but for the long range ballistic cannons. These are what you need to react to when they surface as they are inactive for a few moments after surfacing.
Your speed is key and I hope you watch several of the videos referenced or linked in this article. Reacting to targets and having patience is very important. Speed will negate most if not all of the large launcher turret damage you may run into.
Lesser range damages are inevitable on the Ironclad and Centurions. Correct builds will help mitigate damage, but be prepared to suffer damage as these hulls can not out-range all the turrets in these targets.
As we go through the various example videos, keep those basics in mind. Speed, timing and reaction. Additionally, as several people have requested, I am going to start uploading and using some non-perfect runs as some of the examples so you can see where errors can occur. I'll be honest, that approach has saved me some time as my video editing is sub-par.
I am going to mention one other thing. As you get better at the targets you may want to switch to layered armor. I am avoiding that currently as I have found I am impatient. The cannon turrets take a moment to activate, and my mistakes are more impatient driving so I am going to stick with the CL-3 so I can mitigate my mistakes. If I get to the point that I am driving these targets with unmitigated facility, then I may switch to Layered 3, but for now I won't- my attention span won't let me.
First thing I would suggest to anyone that can grind up the points is grab the High Velocity Rounds special. This special will increase the overall effectiveness of any build. Grind for this and some tokens and slowly drag yourself up the ladder of accomplishment in the raid. I'm not happy that this is one of the paths to success in this raid but it's what we're stuck with.
First up is a grind option I tried. It isn't for everyone and honestly I did use the worst of my Cannoneers, but that doesn't say much as I had already started refitting them. Here is the video for one of the runs. It can be done for no damage. Much like other targets, patience and good driving are key. To really mitigate damage, a pinch should probably be used when heading south towards the big tower as the isometric conversion screws you in this direction. (From my YouTube page.)
I like the fact that this game affords a strong community. You make some strange friends. One of those strange friends of mine is Jason Fisher, a/k/a Disturbed. He is an active member on TFC and BV and came up with some fantastic videos of Centurions doing the A set. All three targets were had for 13 coins. All three of his videos can be found on his YouTube page.
This is just one of the three videos in his set for the Centurion doing the A set. This is Jason doing the 75. Comparing this with other videos should help you get a feel for ranges used on the turrets and what turrets to react to and which you can wait to come back to.
This is supposed to be the be all and end all for this raid set. I had far more success after grinding away for some points for the special and tokens. Again, the strategy discussed above will be reflected in the videos below. I am including my A set run and one of Ren's with his pathing.
Sadly, I have not had a chance to get to try my single Ironclad in anything as yet. I'm not hearing a whole lot about them, but that may be just the lack of time the community had to build them. Ren did manage to get a chance to test them and made a video for our reference:
If I get the opportunity I may try my singular one in the B set, however, since time has been so cramped lately I have no idea if I can pull that off for you guys.
Edit: Punisher in Tier 3 (C Set)
Stu from the TFC page popped in a 74 for 15 minutes of damage or less with 2 Cannoneers with 4 new guns no new special and no GM crew. Another way to grind out some points.
I think we can all agree this is not what we were expecting exactly. I hope that with some time reviewing these vids and the comments above I can ease some of the pain that is this raid for some of you.
If you can grind out points, as it stands right now, the Cannoneer, High Velocity Rounds and Millennium Cannon seem to be must haves. I don't know if I am entirely comfortable with that. I can not formulate a conclusion with regard to the Ironclad. Currently it is not performing as we have come to expect of this option hull, HOWEVER we also do not have the flag for this hull. The HTide made the difference in those fleets and I can only presume the same here. The jury is out with regard to that.