Looking at the Landscape of Coming Back
By: Player X
(Editor's note: This player wanted to contribute an article for the Blog, but remain anonymous so he chose the moniker Player X... for now.)
I'd like to say it is an honor and a pleasure to be asked to write articles as a returning player after being out of the game for about a year.
Coming back after almost a year was a bit odd. The game has definitely changed in that year. The game and players have constantly evolved and now I only do what needs to be done as a player who does not have the newest kick ass fleet.
I had to contend with new weekly FM targets. To be able to hit targets in the weekly, I fell back on my favorite ship in the game, the almighty Punisher. I built my Punishers in such a way that I was able to work through the 102 FM Strongholds. To finish these targets I would use a pinch rocket and stun the long range turret on one side and then retreat and do the same on the other side of the target. This strategy allowed me to finish 4 level 102 Strongholds before I would have to return to my base and repair. In the process of learning the targets I tried different tactics and was constantly tweaking the process until I had them down.
Hitting the 102's soon became tedious and so I looked for a way to reduce the time spent on chores. On a personal note, I feel that the 700 Million points for T5 twice in the weekly is vastly over the top.
I did a refit and put some mortars on my Zerks. Doing this allowed me to cherry pick the 2 larger platforms in the 109 FM Strongholds (Editor's note: You can read about and see how to gut 109's here.). Although this tactic was better than hitting the 102's, the negative side effect was the time spent looking for, and traveling to, fresh 109 targets (Editor's note: Teaming up with another player can mitigate the time spent doing this.).
Here is how I now do the weekly FM after 4 months of tweaking fleets and working out the targets.
I start by building 25 XL pinch rockets. Using rockets allows me to cut down on the damage. I use my Punisher tank with Zerks and Citadels to take out the larger platforms for about 25 million points each. I don't have the High Velocity Rounds and with the slower projectile speeds I average 45 to 75 minutes damage. The damage varies depending on what hits my fleets while my mortars are hitting the turrets.
I move my Zerks and Citadels off to one side and then move my Punisher tank in place until the turrets begin to fire mortars at my tank. I then move my Zerks and Citadels in until they are almost parallel with the Punisher tank on the other side. Once the Zerks and Citadels are in place, I move all of my fleet down towards the middle until the Punisher is right at the edge of the platform. I do this for each side taking out the larger platforms.
Once the larger platforms are destroyed I bring the Punisher tank in with my Goresabers and take out the 2 smaller platforms. Each platform is about 15 million each. I do this using the XL pinch. I move the Punisher towards the turrets until the mortars start firing. I launch my XL pinch and finish the clusters with the Goresabler.
I then repair my Punisher tank and pair my tank with my other 3 Punishers that I have refit with the help of the Punisher tokens from the weekly. I use the punisher fleet to take out the rhino on one side and then retreat and do the same on the other side. I usually end up with about 30-45 minutes damage depending on how many missiles hit the fleet. Once the Rhinos are destroyed, I come back in with the same Punisher fleet at 9 and then at 3 and move close until the mortar ship starts firing. I then use the XL pinches again to stun the 2 small turrets while the Punishers destroy them.
All told, it ends up being about 3 hours repair. Doing the target this way allows me to break down the 109 outside my base. I don't have to travel to look for targets and I can take down the target in stages. I have shaved 3 days off of doing chores and I am now down to about 6 hours of game play doing the weekly while chatting with friends.
I know this time could be further reduced If I had the Harlock's Citadel . It would be nice if you could get the Harlock's Citadel with shards. Allowing players to earn the Harlock's Citadel would really assist returning and mid level players.
I think a good idea would be for kix to have realistic game play packs that can be won by returning players completing a campaign or a mission. Another option would be for Kix to allow you to buy the game pack outright (Editor's note: I really like this idea of getting things in 'packs' for oler tech, particularly for items like the HCit and HTide etc. that have a huge impact on gameplay with regard to PvE engagements.).
The FM is the critical part of the game. If you can not be successful in the weekly, you are not likely to be able to compete in other areas . Tokens allow you to speed up your builds and refit fleets. The problem is you cannot win the tokens (Editor's note: This is exactly what we discussed in Respect muh Priority found here.) until you own all the prizes in tier 5. A lot of the prizes in tier 5 are not really worthy of being in tier 5 and this delays the player from being able to get some of the legitimate tier 5 prizes and the all important tokens. In order to be able to compete, the build tokens from the FM are critical. These tokens are easier for the higher level players and coiners. It is a frustrating process getting to the tokens when you are struggling to get tier 5
I hope this covers some of the hurdles a returning player has to over come.
I hope you enjoyed this, I may do additional articles in the future.