Clarifying the Unreactive Stat
by: George Argyropoulos
Another day, another mechanic. Today we'll be talking about the Unreactive mechanic. Y'all can blame Jeff from the TFC page for precipitating this atrocity.
Seriously, until a thread, and it's pursuant discussion on the TFC page, illustrated the ambiguity that this mechanic held, I took for granted that it was clear to everyone. I think it is one of those mechanics that I overlook explaining because of familiarity with it. If you guys ever have a subject you'd like me to cover, feel free to let me know because, clearly, I'm clueless about what you guys want to know about. Now then...
The Unreactive mechanic is one which can reduce the duration of stacks. We generally have held that it was percentage based, but after testing a few old hulls that were not fully unreactive, I found that there were some weird discrepancies. I dug a bit through some old posts, some old correspondence (and I'll have to admit, some old datamined info that was floating on the web) and I am confident that I have the actual mechanic down to even the small minutia... I hope.
We should start with stacks so we have a better understanding of Unreactive and what it does since stacks are the nexus of its ability. Generally, a stack is simply a 'count' that is used to help determine effect timing or duration of a special effect of a weapon that affects a targeted ship. Shockwave and slow down are a good examples of special effects that use stacks in their mechanics. Each one has a 'running total' of stacks that affect their abilities against an enemy hull or trigger an event against an enemy hull. After much debate and review of many videos, I am fairly confident that the mortars that the Gluttony fires in the new targets for the upcoming Raid are what slows/stuns our fleets and given the reaction of different hulls, they are stack effects.
Each stack has a base set duration against an affected target. This is the basis of how all stacks work. For launchers, you have to have X amount of 'live' stacks in order to produce a shockwave. For slow effect, the duration of the effect is the length of the stack. For compounding effects (slow stacks, accuracy debuff stacks, corrosive stacks, etc.), each stack has its own individual duration and the cumulative total effect is dependent upon how many are active stacks at any one time and affects the intensity of the effect.
Now that we understand stacking, we can delve into the Unreactive stat itself.
The fact that a stack has a set duration, combined with the testing and info I've found, indicates that the Unreactive stat is not a percentage based one, but rather, it is a flat value. For example, the Rhino has a value of 0 making it fully, or 100%, unreactive, much like the Fangtooth. Unreactive doesn't affect the magnitude/intensity of the effect, only the duration of the effect through the Stack mechanic. This distinction is important.
Unreactive then does not reduce the set duration by a percentage, but rather replaces that duration value by the value given the hull to its Unreactive stat if it has one. This is makes more sense with regard to what we have seen in the past with hulls like the Interceptor.
A clarification here, I think, would be prudent as well. Unreactive does NOT reduce the 'intensity' of an effect. It merely reduces the duration of how long that effect will last, provided the effect is a result of a stack. It does NOT mitigate field effects. However,
Unreactive does not mitigate or prevent fields from working unless the field is applying a stack. If field effects are the mechanic that you wish to mitigate you would want to equip your hull with a special that provides field resistance, like Shielded Tactical Systems.
Fields are applying their effect as long as you are in them, so Unreactive doesn't help to reduce the duration of the effect. That's why Field Resistance is the proper choice in that situation.
Launchers tend to accrue stacks on a hull they 'hit'. If enough live stacks are present, they trigger a resulting shockwave. However, if that enemy unit was 100% Unreactive (a zero value for Unreactive), then the Launcher should never trigger the Shockwave since the stacks would never accumulate.
Similarly, this applies to other stacking effects like the Disruption Missile D53-D. It has a "Slow Effect" that applies 5% per hit, up to 35% max. This means that each stack is applying a 5% slow, with a maximum stack count of 7 (5 * 7 = 35%) so long as all the stacks are live.
Now say that the duration of a stack is 10 seconds and the reload of the weapon is 10 seconds (no VXP). That means that on a per weapon basis, it applies 1 stack per cycle (provided the enemy doesn't have Unreactive as a stat).
If the enemy had an Unreactive value of 5, then the stack duration would only be 5 seconds. The result being that the weapon wouldn't be able to accrue as many stacks as normal (due to the Unreactive stat reducing the stack duration), and therefore, not reach max stacks on its own (because it is constrained by the reload time). A little complicated, but understandable if you go over it a bit.
So theoretically, say you equipped enough of the same weapon to a hull to just reach max stacks against a normal hull that did not have an Unreactive stat- if you ran into an hull whose Unreactive stat was lower than the weapon's stack duration, you wouldn't be able to reach the maximum stack count (or it would be a lot more difficult at the very least). Since the stack count doesn't reach the max count, the duration of the effect wouldn't be as high either or you wouldn't be able to produce a shockwave.
(Side note here: There is a little caveat with launchers/throwers that produce shockwaves- in the past, if you could get your supercharge up high enough to 'one-shot' a shockwave, we have seen shockwaves produced on Unreactive hulls. There may be an odd mechanical caveat here, but I have not delved into that enough to clarify it.)
So, to clarify one of the current big questions. Unreactive affects stackable effects, but not because it directly affects the effect itself, but rather, Unreactive affects the stacks on the hull. If you want to affect the effect itself directly, then you would want to deal with that effect with specificity, such as Agility 4 against slow and stun. This is why we are seeing 'weird' things in targets such as the Fangtooth not slowing down or getting stunned with no Agility 4 equipped on it and other hulls with Agility 4 slowing down or getting stunned. Additionally, repeated testing indicates that the mortars in the new Raid targets are what is causing this effect and that it is based on a stacking mechanic.
I hope that clarifies this mechanic for everyone. Good luck in the next Raid set folks!!!