Thursday, April 27, 2017

Contemplations on the Monolith

Derping Our Way Through a Build...

by: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   


This one is going to be a bit... odd. We aren't yet sure what exactly the Elite targets are going to look like for the next Raid, we have rumors of a buff coming, but no substantive information concerning this and we have a lot of math kicking around with regard to comparative damage numbers between the Harlock Citadel / Citadel combo and the Gridiron Monolith / Monolith combo - of which could possibly be negated with a buff to the latter combo.

First we have to make some assumptions, which I hate, but must be acknowledged due to DoomRooster's tease on the forums. The idea of a buff seems to revolve around the damage calculations mentioned above. Currently the R5 HCit/Cit combination out performs the GM/Mono combination with regard to DPS (Damage Per Second) and is likely the issue that will be addressed. We do not know this of a certainty but it seems the most likely item that needs addressing with the latter combination. The following build is centered around this premise.

So, for reference, this is the build we will be discussing today. The build is a little different than traditionally presumed because of the mechanical way I have designed the fleet to offset stack when driving.

Gridiron Monolith :

The Flagship of the fleet, this is designed, as apparently intended, as a Tank for the rest of the fleet. Some of the items may seem an odd selection. Given the mechanic of the Flagship bonus of this hull, I designed the fleet to offset stack as you drive it so that this hull will always pull just a hair forward once you move out from a full stack. The addition of the Cryonic Depth Charge pulls the speed of this hull up to 41.12 combat speed. This will inch the hull forward from the rest of the fleet allowing the following Monoliths to gain the bonus associated with the Gridiron.

The countermeasure selection is mostly traditional with one Hailstorm D to offset the cycles and ensure constant coverage from mortar fire. Three Phalanx 4s for missile fire, though that may need adjusting depending on the targets we see. Additionally, the slot used for the Evade Upgrade initially had High Velocity Rounds to possibly help destroy incoming fire faster so that less would 'sneak by' due to proximity or angle to the fleet, however, in reviewing some of the videos, it did not seem that fire was getting close enough to the fleets to necessitate that quirky mechanic... yet.

Given what we saw in the last Raid, the Harrier missile with the SFB3 special should ensure a safe cushion of space when targeting the turrets in the targets. Given the basic idea of standing off the target with this set-up the armor selection was relegated to mitigate as much missile damage as possible under the theory that you will not get into the range of the deadly Coldsnaps. Likewise the selection of the Evade specials.

The rest of the selections should be self-explanatory given the role of this ship in this fleet design.

Monolith DPS Hull :

The DPS version of the hull, this is designed around the Combat Mortar O/U-10. Again, the basis for this derives from the presumptions made with regard to the possibility of a buff coming. There is no 'right' build here and much of this is personal preference. Additionally, here you must decide if you are going to run four DPS hulls or opt for a trailer tank.

The speed of this hull is designed such that it has a combat speed of 41 letting it barely trail behind the Gridiron flagship starting from a full stack so that it will take advantage of the field that trails behind the Gridiron.

Again we see a concentration on missile damage mitigation. Given the role these hulls play in the fleet, they should hopefully never see any explosive damage issues (given what we have seen of the targets thus far).

This build concentrates on broad damage while trying to find a balance between splash, projectile speed and spread. With a splash of just over 42 and a calculated spread-from-center of 24, this seems like a good overall compromise.

Monolith Trailing Tank :

This is the Trailing Tank option. Not knowing exactly what we will face, this is the last hull to build - possibly having a blank built and set aside to decide between a fourth DPS hull or this option and holding build tokens in reserve. The DPS build above will fit in this fleet for the fourth slot if you choose to go with four DPS hulls.

Again we use the Harrier as a spotter. This will enable you to 'shift-click' targets if you are engaged on both sides. This build is also designed to mechanically trail behind the DPS hulls by means of a combat speed of 40.4. The selections are much like the Gridiron tank. While I am unsure of the necessity of this hull as yet, I have planned it out 'just in case'.

These are my current musings on the Monolith line of hulls currently. To be honest, I will not be fully decided upon the builds and interactions until we have the actual raid. Generally I would say not until a Preview Server, if we are going to have one, but given the result of the last Preview Server with regard to the Icebreaker build, I am leery of making final decisions based on those now. I dislike being burned and, right or wrong, that is the feeling I had after last raid. I hope these designs inspire some ideas of your own. Good luck!!


  1. Given the Duplicate Cap Aura of the Gridiron to the following fleet, won't the Monos keep overtaking it with Speed?

    1. No. See the test video here:

    2. Nice video, but I had the idea that the Monos gained their bonuses from being in the orange aura behind the Grid

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  3. Can you show your math for how you're determining those combat speeds and splash? Combat speeds should be closer to 56-58 (after aura buff) and splash 38.

    1. The combat speed mentioned is base combat speed (because all the ships get the same speed buff we are looking at the base speed to gain the comparison for the offset stack) and the splash calculation is 17 * 2.49 = 42.33.

    2. Thanks. I think some of your math is wrong.

      On combat speed, you're low because Monolith buffs stack with the engine. Faster ships should get an even larger boost.

      First 2 minutes of shows this. You can see the Gridiron would eventually overtake a combat speed 51 Centurion.

      With splash, your build shows 124%, not 149%, so that should be 17 * 2.24 = 38.08, unless I'm missing something.

    3. The in-game may not reflect my retro level. I'm not sure. If you follow the link and look at the build in Huggies the splash on the DPS hull is 149.292%. I'll look into this and find out which is wrong.

      On combat speed, I use the base value before the activated buff. This is done for two reasons- 1. You stop in these targets and this is your starting speed regardless of the buff you may get and is imperative for the Flag to be forward of the rest of the fleet and 2. The buff you do get is the same over the entire fleet, making the use of the base speed perfect when discussing the *design* of the mechanical offset that was a major factor in the design of the fleet. The buff is irrelevant for this discussion.

    4. Ok, reviewing it, the 149% is with the Grid buff to the splash, which is fine since the whole point of this design is to keep the DPS hulls in the field the entire time.

    5. Thanks for the replies. I'd completely forgotten about the Gridiron's small splash buff.

      As for the combat speed. Maybe check your shipyard or dock again. Monoliths are the same speed as Citadels before their accel buff, so no where near 40, closer to 22-24 with all retros and the weapon bonuses. After the buff, they'll be well over 40 because it stacks with any previous combat speed improvements. That may be a bug Kix changes later, but right now any differences in speed will be exacerbated by the acceleration. It won't be the same over the entire fleet unless the ships have the same combat speeds without it.

    6. Ah, I see where you're getting the combat speed from now. Huggy's is wrong. Check the in game numbers and go with them. Huggy's is applying the accel buff AND doing it incorrectly off the hull's base speed alone which is not how it works in game.

  4. It appears with the changes made to charged armor and the hull that this build needs a new look? Probably no need to put charged on back line or other than Gridiron monos?