Blame Robyn for the title!
By: George Argyropoulos
It's been an interesting Raid. I'll admit, I have found some annoying things and some disturbing things in testing this raid. It certainly isn't as consistent and relaxing as the previous two were. If I can, I'll try and write up an over-view of the Raid this week should some free time show up.
That said, I'm here to discuss the Buccaneer and the Pac-Man combo. I'm not sure who first noticed the carry-over acronym of the weapon/special combo, but I do know the first person that pointed it out to me was Roo, so blame her.
Brian took a lot of time analyzing the math behind the new special as compared to what we currently have and wrote it all out and explained it all in this article. Thing is, as I was contemplating the article and looking over the results of the ACP vs. Strike Warhead testing (ACP lost hard), I realized that all that we covered was the mathematical analysis. We need to take that analysis and apply some game theory and BP sense to it now. Is the MAN really that bad? Should you skip getting it?
The primary issue we came across when analyzing the new weapon and special is that we kept seeing similar results to this:
As you can see, the AL2 build is absolutely killing it on DPS - and that's before rank! Why in the WORLD would you want to build using the MAN special?!? That DPS on the AL2 build is more than DOUBLE the MAN equipped hull.
Wellllllll... funny you should ask. I mentioned earlier that I had done some testing of the ACP vs. the Strike Warhead special. (Big thanks to THOR-1SP again!) What I found was that, with both builds being identical but for the special, even with the perceptually and numerically small increase in damage, the time to kill the enemy was shorter with the SW special than the ACP. This led to less damage. To the tune of an average 1h 1m to the SW equipped fleet vs. 2h 20m to the ACP fleet on auto.
This got me thinking of the new MAN special and Brian's article, and here's the thing - I think I'm going to heartily advise everyone to get the special - even for your Cannoneers or Ironclads, possibly, especially for them, because given the abhorrent discrepancy between the DPS numbers on those builds, I can only conclude one of two things happening here.
1. It was an oversight and the special will get seriously buffed.
2. There is going to be a mechanic in the targets that will mitigate pure DPS making 'cumulative damage' far more important (changing time to kill as seen in this raid with ACP vs SW).
Given that there has been ample discussion about the special and comparisons to the old available tech and the raw numbers produced therein... I'm really leaning towards the latter. I think the special came out just as intended and that there was no error. In which case, I can only conclude that there will be some mechanic in the target that is going to dampen pure DPS builds. The only thing I can conclude at the moment only having seen the PAC2 is either deflection armor for buildings/turrets, or, splash damage reduction equipped buildings next to turrets, or some combination thereof mitigating the 'base' damage of any build and making the critical hit (and it's doubling), well... critical.
Think of it like this- if your weapon did 100 damage but the splash or deflection mechanic cut it down to just 10. You could have a hull that did double the DPS, that would be 10 v. 20. Your crits though, would get you 110 damage 12% of your shots, or you had another hull that was doing more crits (say 12% vs. 22%) at less DPS your actual cumulative damage is likely much higher and thus time to kill the target becomes much shorter likely mitigating your damage in the process. Maybe Brian can do more math...
If that is the case, this special then becomes very much more important than we have made it out to be- especially for the lower level hulls IF the mechanic is present throughout the whole of the targets in the next raid.
The final caveat? Dude, the raid isn't even over. My tinfoil hat could be on too tight and I could be completely off base. It could be a completely worthless special, however... I'm not going to pass on the special. Just food for thought.