Thursday, February 23, 2017

Anatomy of Design : Tideseeker

Designing a Tideseeker to Auto Reaver Uranium Targets and MOAR!

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   

Anyone that knows me can tell you I am a lazy pirate. Given the heavy use of Uranium in the game I wanted a better way to get my Uranium and make that chore a little less of a hassle, as I am sure everyone else does as well.

As such, I tend to auto the 57 map target because it is an instant map repair (with my Mayhem fleet), it gives a decent amount of Uranium and since I can auto the target, I have the option to play other aspects of the game I find more fun than driving endlessly repetitive targets so I can have Uranium to endlessly roll nothing good for crews... but I digress.

My initial foray into the ring was a Concussive Reciprocator build. I went with that over the Garwood build because of a long night of drawn out math with Ren and Brian which showed that the Concussive Reciprocator build outperformed the Garwood build when at maximum rank. Perfect right?


After the (observed) addition of extra health to the Reaver Armada targets, this build no longer performed the task for which I had designed it do do, nor did it achieve the level of overall damage I had intended. In other words it started to consistently take more than 5 minutes of damage per 57 on auto after the change. This did not make me happy. It did however start making me dig around for intel. I soon found that the Calamity build was still doing the 57 for map instant repair most of the time. I started playing with numbers and testing and came up with a build that did perform the way I wanted it to in these targets. In that effort I went through several ideas and came up with several builds. I have my builds listed in order of effectiveness against the Reaver Armada targets (and an FM tank at the end). I have found that this ranking is the same regardless if you are autoing or driving.

Please read the Side Notes at the end of the article. 

The Tideseeker - Version Mayhem

This is the top build for the Tideseeker from my testing. Much of this design will be found throughout the rest of the designs in this article. If something is explained here in this build, I will forego covering it again later in the article.

1. The Mayhem Torpedo - This is the premier weapon of choice for the Reaver Armadas. It has relatively decent projectile speed, massive amounts of damage and DPS, is light enough to load out the ship and has a high enough rate of fire to help mitigate damage by reducing the amount of time you are under fire. Base DPS for this weapon at skull rank is 1,184. Ouch.

Another nice little addition is the 3% resistance to concussive damage that this weapon provides. It does add up and help. In conjunction with the quicker kills and reduced incidence of fire, this noticeably mitigates damage. Yes please.

One thing to note here is that this torpedo does de minimis amounts of damage underwater. In other words, you won't do shit for damage against subs while they are submerged. Can you hear me now?

2. Zynthonite Arnor D5-CT - This is the penultimate armor for this application. Additionally, because of the damage levels of these targets, the use of this armor in all four slots in conjunction with the AA3 is a requirement. Without these working in concurrence, damage would be exorbitant and people would want to kill a certain game company located in California.

3. The Specials - I loaded this one up because as you will see further on, many of these specials will be used in other builds as well.

      Ablative Armor III - Because of the Tideseeker's native resistances and the inherent balance in the intended target's damage output, in conjunction with the use of the D5-CT, this special allows for balanced resistances to match those of the intended target.

      Sealed Fire Charge - This will boost the overall observed DPS of the Mayhem as well as give it a much needed projectile speed boost. This combination, generally, makes it a better option over Combustion System 2 or Explosive System 4 for this build, though either of those may perform adequately as well.

      Guidance Scrambler III - During their initial release, the TFC admins tested several option for this special slot. Ren (check out his YouTube page here) did some extensive testing in fact, and what we came to understand is that in these targets Evade works very well. Using Guidance Scrambler 3 mitigated a substantial amount of damage over using other specials in this slot.

      Advanced Concussive Payload - The use of this special over Strike Warheads is a given. While the concussive damage is not as high, the concussive reload more than makes up for the disparity in damage augmentation.

      Hydraulic Resistors - As many of you know, this is one of my favorite specials. In this case you get the boost in speed of a Speed System 5 along with even more concussive protection helping to balance your resistances even better in these targets.

The Tideseeker - Version Calamity


So there are two paths you can choose here. I haven't had a chance to test them both because, well, I don't have the coin and I don't have spare shipyard time. Perhaps a TLC will come out with some tokens and I'll get a chance then.

1. The Calamity Scattergun - This Scattergun does some enormous damage with the one-two combo of Corrosive and Concussive damage. Coupled with the Hull's innate bonuses, this makes for a devastating build against the Reaver targets.

2. The Mayhem Torpedo - The addition of this is to deal with any drones that may be in range while the Calamity is reloading. If I do say so myself... this is a slick addition.

3. The Specials - There is a personal preference here with regard to one of the special slots; the choice between Barrel System III and Compressed Corrosion Canisters. As I stated, I have not had a chance to test this significantly so I leave this to personal preference. If someone does get a chance to test the differences between these builds in these targets, please feel free to forward your results, or if you have videos I can include them in this article if you'd like. At this point, it would be personal preference though BSIII may eek out given the observed increase in target armor of these targets.

      Strike Warheads - Boosts the Concussive damage even further of the Calamity making the one-shot damage even higher.

      Barrel System III - This special will boost the one-shot damage again, giving you a total of just over 15,000 damage, however, it comes at the cost of splash.

      Compressed Corrosion Canisters - This special will give you a bonus to Corrosive damage making your total one-shot damage 9,680, however, it comes with a decent boost in splash as well making the Calamity more effective against clustered targets.

The Tideseeker - Version Reciprocator

This is my original design before we had other options. As I mentioned earlier a lot of work went into the math behind this build with Ren and Brian, both admins of the TFC page.  Probably one of the best examples of what goes on behind the scenes, the cooperation and support within the TFC is fantastic. Anyway...

Much of this build, and the theories behind the selections, is a carry over from the Mayhem build. Well, technically vice-versa, but we're going in order of efficiency, not actual build dates. I digress...

1. The Concussive Reciprocator - This was, at one time, the top choice for a Tideseeker build to use against the Reaver targets that we had at the time until the Calamity came out as a raid prize. It was performing admirably (Htide & 2 Tide build) in the 57 targets with sub 5 minute damage results until recently. Then, at least by my speculation, Kixeye tuned the target's armor up thereby increasing time under fire which pushed this particular build to hover around the 5 minute repair mark. Can it still do it? Yes, but you have about a 50% chance of having to bring it back to base to break it up to repair now.

2. Explosive System IV - This takes the place of the Sealed Fire Charge of the Mayhem build. Some people prefer using Combustion System II here instead. Both work well.

The Tideseeker - Version Garwood

I'll admit- I have not built or tested this one. The Garwood is the weapon that came out with the Tideseeker. Many people are using this build because they have not wanted to waste Shipyard time in refitting their Tideseekers.

1. The Garwood - As mentioned, this is the weapon that came out with the Tideseeker. Initial performance surpasses the Reciprocator build, however, that changes once your Tideseeker gains rank past about 60%.

2. The Calamity Scattergun - This is added to help boost damage and run through the target just a little quicker to help mitigate damage.

The Tideseeker - Version FM Tank

This is one of my favorite designs mainly because it enables me to be lazy. It does require some getting used to in order to drive them with Citadels, but driven properly this thing will stomp through a round of the FM before you need to repair. One of the best uses of my Shipyard time I've ever spent!

1. Impulse Launcher D92-S - This launcher was selected as my spotter weapon in order to save on weight so as to allow me to fit everything else.

2. Impact Cannon D-30-R - These give you a small measure of resistances but are enough to show a difference in mitigation in testing. If you have them, use them! (Side note - if you want to kill mines with this build, you can sub one Cannon for a torpedo)

3. Gale Defense System II - My preference is, of course, the Gale III, however, due to weight restrictions I had to go with the Gale IIs. They perform well but on rare occasion a single mortar will slip through as they stop trying to shoot at it. I believe it is a glitch and it is hard to reproduce, however, I have seen no fix forthcoming so it is an issue to keep in mind.

4. Phalanx Anti-Missile IV - Obviously my favorite of the line. I structured the rest of the build around having four of these as testing showed this to be not only an optimal number, but the IV version was more than a cut above in performance as compared to the III. Whereas you can get away with using the Gale IIs, you will gain significant damage if you use the Phalanx IIIs here.

5. Armor - The use of the D5-X armors give the hull some small amount of deflection, but this combination balances the weight limit against the resistances needed in order to sit in the shower of Coldsnap Rockets the 109 FM targets employ. The last slot has a D1-X for a little more resistance boost and to mitigate weight in order to fit everything else I deemed necessary.

6. The Specials - This combination is what I have found to be optimal for the FM currently with this build.

      Frontline Countermeasure System - Gives the hull turret defense while simultaneously improving the effectiveness of your countermeasures.

      Reactive Armor III - Boosts your resistance against all those crazy missiles fired at you in the tarets.

      Guidance Scrambler III - A big boost in evade helping mitigate missile damage in the targets.

      Ion Thrusters III - Gives a measure of turn speed to the hull allowing you to maneuver in the target to allow you to help mitigate (all) damage to the rest of your fleet. Additionally, it gives you even more evade to help with those pesky missiles.

      Hydraulic Resistors - The use of this special gives you a little more resistance against the concussive damage of the random Torpedo Towers in the targets and also allows for the use of the aforementioned Ion Thrusters. I love this special.

I hope this helps you see the many uses of this dynamic hull. Hopefully players can gain some insight to use as they design and build their own fleets. For a comparative video on the changes I noted in the map targets:


Ren did an awesome tips and tricks for the FM to get your bloodthirst up on your tank. You can see the video right here. Using this tactic you can get your bloodthirst up right at the start of your engagement to lower your damage even further. The only change you need to make to the above build is to add a D65-s Torpedo so it will look like this:


Side Note : Harlock Tideseeker - This hull turns on Beast Mode for your regular Tideseekers. All of the builds for the Reaver Armada targets perform significantly better with this hull. It is the reason I can get instant repair damage on the 57 with the Mayhem fleet. It will significantly reduce the damage you take in Reaver targets. Well worth the effort to get one. All you really need on it is a Forsaken Hellstorm Anti-Mortar I. This will allow you to select targets with your Tideseekers and the Harlock will not move since it has no offensive weapons, leaving it out of the battle. You want to do this because the repair coefficient on this hull SUCKS. You don't want it in combat. You don't want it damaged. You DO want the buffs.

Side Note : 102 Reaver Armada - If you want to significantly reduce the damage done to your fleet in this target, slide your hulls up the right hand side until it engages the top targets and then hit the 'S' key to return the fleet to AI control and it will finish on auto, OR set the way point and then hit "Shift-S" to do the same. Personally, the latter gives me issues so I spend the few seconds in the target to set them into auto mode myself before leaving the target to do something else.


  1. test the garwood tideseeker

  2. I have 4 skulled Tides with a mix of 4 Cryonic Depth Charge and the balance Garwoods. Armors are already as per you article, and specials are Speed System 5, Ablative III, Advanced Concussive and Evade Upgrade, with the 5th slot empty. I have the Harlock Tide with the 4 Cryonics, 1 Garwood and SS5 , no armors. I learned the hard way to keep it in the corner LOL. They do OK in anything up to and including a 102, but they do get bloody--those damn torpedoes never miss. So, given that 109's no longer exist and the advent of new weps since this article was written, do you think it would be worth it to swap out all those Garwoods/Cryonics for Mayhem torpedoes?