A Sneak Peek into July
By: George Argyropoulos
There seems to be some serious consternation within the community with regard to the Phoenix Test Server earlier this week. I am a little unsure as to what is causing this, so I decided to cover it in a blog to, hopefully, allay some concerns.
To begin with, I am glad that Kixeye decided to share the target, as well as info, over a month prior to the release of the target. Players have been clamoring for transparency and early info, and yet, there seems to be a little backlash directed at Kixeye because of this. This is what we have asked for so I am a uncertain of the nexus of this backlash. I believe releasing this info is fantastic because it gives us a chance to give feedback and pass along concerns with regard to the target and mechanics that we have seen.
Keep in mind that this Test Server was to test the top tier target with the top tier hull. I know quite a few people were complaining that they did not see anyone try Apollos in here. That is not true. TSM from the TFC page (YouTube gaming link) and Price_is_Wrong from the BV page (Twitch page link) both attempted this in their respective streams. It did not go well... not at all. That is why you are not seeing videos of Apollos in these targets. I'll add, I did try my SB Apollos, and the SB's did not even fire. I'm not 100% sure what was going on, but hopefully we will have another preview in which to sort that out.
Let's start with the target itself. This is the T7, a/k/a 'S' level target. This the target in which you are expected to run top tier tech in. As such, it is not going to be easy and it seems Kixeye is continuing to lean away from the no-damage concept in these targets.
The Damage :
I chanced to have a moment to ask Robot a few questions about the target, and what I missed, Laredo was kind enough to fill in the blanks. The primary damages in these targets are going to be Corrosive and Penetrative.
At first blush we have 3 different types of turrets:
- There is a short range rocket turret that does immense amounts of corrosive damage. You can kite this one.
- There is a mid range rocket turret that lays down fire fields. If you are fast enough, you can outrun these.
- There are long range missile turrets that do penetrative damage. Mitigation is the same as the current raid.
Then we have the fleets:
- The Drones are the top damage dealer in the target. At range they do penetrative damage, and up close huge amounts of corrosive. Some random ones will stun the surrounding areas and ships.
- The Healer ships drive with the drones so they can keep them within their healing aura and seemed to have mid range missiles equipped to them.
- The hulks are... different. It is a rather interesting mechanic in that they will 'overload' when hit and speed up. These targets have UAVs that do
explosivecorrosive damage (correction per the Dev team) but are mid range so if you kite the targets properly, you will not get hit.
Last, but not least is the clouds. Those yellow clouds do DOT (damage over time) damage of corrosive. You do not want to drive through those unless you absolutely have to.
Engaging this target was, for the most part, fun. I think a lot of that had to do with solving the puzzle, however, after a few of them, the amount of driving and time requirement needed to do the target 'properly' feels as though it would wear one out after a day or so. I'm not sure how that can be addressed, but for now, there seems to be a good balance in this target with regard to damage. Without knowing the payout and needed points for the July raid, I can not speak to the target's 'worth' as yet. Here is a run through I did of the target:
To put this in perspective, I was only running 4 hulls and I was not using any charged or stun armor on the fleet. The repair time was set to Raid 1/2 time repair and the target only did 1 and a 1/2 hours of damage. With a flag or fifth hull and some charged armor I am sure I could have gotten the damage down to an hour or less.
The Build :
I am very hesitant to post this because some people just scan through and grab the build and call it a day. This is NOT a final build, but what I used in the above video. I will NOT know my final build until we engage the actual final version of this target. PLEASE keep that in mind.
As I stated before, I think this build would benefit from some charged armors. Of particular note is that this build performed admirably without their use, reflecting perhaps Kixeye's attempt to balance the target for those without charged armor. I hope this clears up some concerns and sheds a little light onto the direction of the next Raid Set.
Update: This is the build I'm running until I can finish fitting charged armor on them all.