Let's Talk Builds...
By: George Argyropoulos
I know a LOT of people are frustrated at the position they find themselves in right now. Raid is coming up, there has been a weapon offer for Cannoneer owners, there has been a late-ish TLC for the Ironclad, the Mauser isn't attainable for all players that could get the Ironclad and there are players who could not even attain the Ironclad and feel left behind. I understand and sympathize, but I'm not even sure what we can do about it. So, instead of ranting again (that article/rant will be out soon), I am going to try and concentrate on what we have available, what our options are and maybe look at what we can do.
Let's start with what we know about the targets in terms of damage and distance. We have seen that speed is going to play a large factor in these targets as well as range and our resistances.
During the test server I was on TSM's stream (which can be found here) and we tested several things. Many of the builds TSM tested are on the TFC website. The following builds are compromise builds based on what I saw and I'll explain each build. (Stu also streamed some as well and that can be found here.)
This is the hull that we were led to believe would be enough for the raid. A more accurate statement would be that this is the hull that will allow you to participate in this raid. I would not expect the Centurion to go beyond the B sets with the Harlock Centurion as a lead. Without that flagship, you may have to bump down to C sets which is a little disappointing. That said let's look at what we can do.
After seeing the targets, we know now that there really aren't any walls that we can shoot. We also know that the turrets have an incredible amount of armor and range and speed are going to be key in this. The example above is not retrofitted at all so any increase in level of your centurion will help mitigate even more damage.
1. The weapon selections is heavily weighted toward DPS with the lone Arbalest there to help bolster the one shot damage. Both selections are max range weapons as distance is a huge factor in mitigating damage taken with this hull. The Siege S cannons are there to help push the speed up a little also for damage mitigation in the target.
2. The specials selection is rather straightforward. We want the speed from Speed System V, the range and speed boost from the Nuclear Accelerators and the dual resistances afforded from the CL-3 Armor special. The last two, Siege Battery III and Siege Targeting III are for the increase in damage afforded to us in these targets with these specials as well as the protection from the turrets. We have seen that the faster you kill these targets, the less damage you take. With the shorter range of the Centurion, all this plays a role in the efficiency of this platform for these raid targets.
3. The armors. I leaned a little bit towards radioactive defense mainly because of the range limitation of the Centurion. This will hopefully offset the damage that the Centurion is likely to be exposed to because of that range deficiency.
If you are missing any of the tech from this build, I would suggest you use this build (in this Huggy's link) and set yours in slot 2 so you can play with your tech and try to come as close to this build as you can in terms of damage, DPS, speed and resistances. This applies to all the examples used in this article.
This hull, in Kixeye's own words, is "...a hull that is designed to auto upcoming Siege event targets.". This is a hull which should take full advantage of the cannon offered in the same TLC, the Mauser. The build we will look at is not going to have the Mauser on it though. This build will work even better equipped with the Mauser, but I presume (from anecdotal evidence) far more people won the Ironclad and new special than they did the Mauser. In the Huggy's build link here I have the following build in slot 1, a second build without the Cannon System IV special in slot 2 and in slot 3 is the final Mauser build.
Some of this may seem odd for selections, but I built it as intended- an auto ship. I also built it to take advantage of its innate abilities.
1. The special and armors are balanced for the hull in this way: As you enter a target, you are more likely to take ballistic fire initially and as bloodthirst is quick to build in this hull, this should minimize that initial damage when the hull is most vulnerable. The armor selections are to balance the build out and are also selected to fit on a final build with Mausers saving refit time.
2. For the same reason as the Centurion, Siege Battery III and Siege Targeting III are there for the turret protection of SB3 and for the increase in damage afforded to us in these targets with these specials. The Cannon System IV is selected to help kill the targets faster to help mitigate damage to your hull as well as for fitment for the final Mauser equipped build.
3. As I mentioned above, this build presumes no Mauser. The next best selection that can also take advantage of the Ironclad's Splash is the Earthshaker. The 2 Siege S cannons are to help with speed and for fitment space when finalizing to a Mauser build as seen in slot three in the link above.
4. Speed. This is self explanatory but I did want to touch upon it again. It seems to be a rather important aspect in these targets, though I'm not sure how helpful it would be in an auto fleet. Presumably, the increase in speed should help navigate past some of the surfacing obstacles helping to mitigate some damage.
1. The Millennium Cannon is the epitome of the Cannoneer build as we saw. If you don't have this the previous build I posted in this article performed suitably in the targets as well. The range of this weapon in conjunction with the Nuclear Accelerator and the native range buff allow this build to kite most if not all f the damage in the targets.
2. The speed of the engine, the Nuclear Accelerator and the stacked buff also will keep much of the damage from you if you drive well.
For the same reasons as the previous builds, the ST3 and SB3 are both there. As I stated, the ST3 will be replaced by the new High Velocity Rounds as soon as possible.
I'm on the fence about the CL-3 Armor special. I really am considering changing this to Layered Armor 3 because of the long distance ballistic weapon we saw. I won't be sure of this until I drive a few of the targets live. It may be that you can avoid the weapon's shots f you are fast enough, or not. That is something I will have to determine in the raid itself.
3. I did go ahead and add some ballistic armor. If driven properly this build should out-range everything but those ballistic turrets and this may afford some protection if they can reach, again, something to be determined. Currently I have zero armor on my hulls.
So that's the quick and dirty overview of where I think we stand currently. As the targets were still being tuned, no one knows for sure what will be the final best builds, but I think these will be close enough to get you to slog through. I only wish I could have written this article 2-4 weeks previous to this but, alas, I could not. I hope it helps give some of you some direction as there still seems to be a very large amount of the community that is lacking direction this close to the raid. Good luck!!!