Saturday, July 22, 2017

Doing the 88 NOOB Style

Can it be done? Yes, yes it can.

by: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   

Recently I was sent a pic from our beloved forums. It was a post by a rather ignorant forum denizen who had accused Andrew (the Grandmaster Funkadelic Admin of the TFC who makes us all look good) of actually doctoring a video that he had made to help mids do the 88 to get to Tier 4. (Of note: The poster now says he was being 'sarcastic'. If true, he needs practice. lol)

I get people criticizing us on occasion for any number of things from losing sight of new/low players to even the accusations of bias and the call of 'shills'. I don't agree with most of them mind, but I do try and pay attention to as much as I can and try and see the other viewpoint.

Both Andrew's video and the various criticisms made me realize that none of us have really truly tried to pull off a new FM target with legit T2 tech or below. A lot of us pull out old ass stuff and throw it in there and base our opinions on the results. I have to say- we're pretty good at it. Even given that presumption, I saw nothing actually built or attempted with only research and T1/2 tech. Legit criticism. So it had to be done. I used some tokens and coin and threw together a very simple build based on those parameters.

  • It consists of only 2 ships.
  • It fits in dock 10 and shipyard 1.
  • The tank was skulled, the DPS hull was only at 64% rank.
  • It was crappy driving and pathing on my first try. The results seemed good enough that I'm not gonna bother with optimizing it unless players need that too.
  • I managed an 88 with just a hair over an hour damage. 

As I've made the point over and over, the FM is the priority of the game. And old article (and I need to write a more current one) about this can be found here.  This is one of the reasons I felt the need to address this as soon as I could. That said, on to the video...

Can the pathing be improved? Hell yes. Can the damage be reduced? Hell yes. Does it take forever to run the bloody target with one DPS ship? Hell yes. Can the 88 be done with T2 or below tech? HELL YES! So, here are the builds. I put nothing that was not in Tier 1 or 2 or researchable. I have no Phalanx on there. I used nothing from the Campaigns. This is the build.

Not only that, since this can get you to T3 in one hit (T4 with only 6 88's remember!!!!), you only need these two ships. You get to T3 instantly and then you can start planning your builds towards reaching T4 and T5 (really, you should be planning on T5 and build in steps). The first week into T3 you get the Judgement and Citadel tokens. Free ship! Hello T4!!!!!

Hopefully this helps out all those players out there who are crapping and crying that they can't even get to T3 of the FM anymore since the change, even though some of them say they've been playing for 5 years. I really hope it helps anyone starting fresh, is new, or is woefully lost after coming back.


  1. Technically you could have also built a Zelos tank since that's in T2, which would make this fleet even better and would make the transition to the higher targets faster since the Zelos would already be built without having to spend time building the Pun first. Awesome article, as usual!

    1. Yea, but the zelos would be a longer build & bigger repair than the pun tank...and they give you 3-day pun build tokens in the FM in PP1, and vxp token in would be faster for a noob to go the pun rout, but you're right of course, zelos would be better at the job, no doubt.

    2. This is true, and the Zelos would perform much better because of the duality, however, I had no tokens and I wasn't about to spend that kind of coin on a hull that I actually have a use for and would need to refit. I mean, I could toss a build up here, but there would be no video that would go along with it and it would technically be untested, which I'm not keen on putting out for new and low level players.

  2. Thank You...Finally a fleet I can build (actually have 90% of it) and a pretty good video showing how to beat these things with what I got, without being insulted. I'm sure I'll still get my butt kick a few times til I get the driving and timing down. Once again thank you.

    Dragon Epsilon World Sector 481

    1. Glad it helps. Keep in mind all my stuff is retroed but the Cit isn't fully ranked so a fully ranked Cit should be close. A second one couldn't hurt. You also have the option of just hitting that first island and turning around and retreating saving some damage time.

  3. i too think zelos would be better to start with. its a longer build, but stands up better than a pun. i know 2 zelos with quakes, some phalanx & hails, RA3, nuke accel can do 88s with little damage with good driving. even with the driving you did in the vid, i think it may have been instant repair on the water. add in tridents if they have them for the times when driving isn't so good. at 8.4-9 mil each, its a grind but T5 can be reached doing 88s.

    1. Phalanxes are not T2 tech and thus would not be in a T2 or below build, but I agree the Zelos would perform much better, however, I didn't have the tokens and cash to build out a Zelos for a test and vid.

      If they have tridents, nuc acc, quakes and Phals, this really isn't the article those players should be reading though, is it? ;)

    2. you are right, phalanx is not in T1 or T2 of the FM. but, Phalanx 1 & 2 are in hunt the nemesis camp, which 1 pun could probably do with nothing more than filled with thud 2 or 3 and auto loader.
      i mentioned tridents because some pretty low level players in the sector i was in at the time did get them when they were cheap. those people talking about the trident in chat was the reason i got it. so if/when kix offers it again i think it would be a good thing to get, even if they need to ask for some help if possible.
      also, great article & thanks for taking the time to do it.

  4. I didn't fair so well with FOUR Novas with the same Panda morts, and a better pun tank than T2

  5. The only B.S. part of you using the T2 tech is that you are well and advanced and beyond any typical T2 player, and your driving in the video is perfect, which makes for some heavy bias. If you're gonna try a fleet of T2's, use a T2 player, and you'll see why a lot of this stuff is next to impossible. You think any ol' fleet will do, but you don't take for granted that each new additional tweak is a new puzzle to figure out for every player, and lower level players with less experience aren't going to be expert drivers like you show in your video. Its just not a legit trial. -- I might also add, that every time (pretty much weekly or monthly) you folks change the game drastically and make it way harder, the noobies just learning are lost for weeks. So, as you seem to be addicted to making the game harder and harder constantly (you just can't leave well enough alone...) you're not going to have the same fun potential as if you keep creating new super hard puzzles to figure out on a weekly or monthly basis. INstead of creating a game that pisses everybody off every month, how about letting good enough be ok for a while and let the fun increase. As the fun increases, people with lesser and lower levels will most likely stay and play longer, and guess what... probably coin more. But what I see the game turning into is a constantly harder and harder evolving bitch to play, and I hear about people quitting and being disgruntled all the time. Because I think you have literally lost touch with what it is like to be a new player these days. What you should do is hire some people who aren't Battle Pirates experts to be on your design team.

    1. Jam, if we watched the same vid, his driving was not good at all. on your vid in your other post your driving was also not good. with a remote targeting fleet like novas or cits you keep them back and just bring them into range. im guessing you had some problems in the old FM too?
      you have the pun, do you not have the cit?
      2 quick things about novas, they don't have the remote range a cit or mono does and they also have a fall off on damage at max range. so even with good driving you can end up too close & the novas take damage from the MIRV. with the damage fall off it takes longer for them to kill the target.
      next, you got too close with your pun. you must bump up till it just starts to fire and stay there till that turrent is dead, any closer & the cold snaps open up & you die fast.
      it isn't TFC that is making changes to the game,.. its kixeye.
      so you know in advance, the FM is going to change again, you'll need a whole nother fleet come next june.

    2. Jam, first off, I am not Kixeye, nor do I work for them. I'm not sure what that tirade was for or about, but I can assure you, I am a regular player and I really do try to keep abreast of the issues facing new and low players. I have no idea why you would think otherwise.

      As for your video. You stacked a fleet and used a sub-par spotting weapon and walked into damage. I mean, I can understand some frustration if it were a far more precision driven target, but I think anyone could get it down after a few tries. Additionally, given the tech depth you have, you could build a much better performing fleet than what you have. The build I presented is a legit T2 tech build. I mean, c'mon, you even have phalanxes on your build. I find it very hard to believe that that video is a legitimate attempt and not a purposeful fail.

      As for the driving... I didn't drive particularly well in the target. I mean, I guess I could find some time and do a perfect run and post that, but, what would be the point?

      As for the T2 player... part of the game is learning how to use your fleet. They can either do it through learning first-hand, or they can watch a vid and try and emulate it. See mistakes they can correct and learn. It's part of just about every game.

      As for the puzzle 'thing'... that is how the game is. They give us things to figure out, and some of us figure it out, sometimes far better than they had anticipated. Some of us choose to share our knowledge with the community and help everyone become better players, but the presumption there is that players are willing to listen and learn. We might not have the 'best' builds, but we generally have passable builds that work and that help an awful lot of players.

      And as for the new/low players and your concern about engagement and retention, I think it is obvious from the past year of more that I am one of the loudest advocates in that regard in the community. I harp on it every chance I get so I'm not sure why the venom and vitriol is directed at me.

  6. Just a suggestion...I think what would really help players if in the ship builds you could post the suggested best build (with updated tech) to do each high level chore target. I see a lot of people in forums complaining about not being able to collect U easily, or base parts, but think they are confused with the multiple builds posted and no real clear best build for specific chore target.
    Scourge Defense Grid - 103 with video
    Reaver Armada - 102 with video
    Foresaken Mission - 113 with video

    1. I don't have a Scourge Defense grid vid or article, I decided they weren't worth the time or damage but...

      Reaver Armada and builds:

      Forsaken Mission and some builds:

      And peeps can always go to the TFC page and ask for help so they get current advice.

  7. I think perhaps people who want to play this game should start to learn how to do so...

  8. @evilstormbringer
    I see the mantra learn to play the game a lot. When left at such a short answer, one can make the inferrance that they are not to ask others for help, but figure it out on their own. This would if kept within that idea of figuring it out on their own would also preclude looking at any websites as well for information. This is a fast way to loose newer players.

    I have taken a couple of people under my wing and given them advice and tips and tricks. I had someone do that for me and now I am paying it forward. I appreciate the knowledge that George shares as sometimes even I learn something taht I did not know before.