Thursday, October 11, 2018

What the $#&% is Splash Falloff?!?

And why is it important?!?



Is that Wrongthinker? I was looking for a good pic for falloff or a funny cliff pic and came across this and I did a triple take. I wonder...

Anyway... With the introduction of the new Needler Rocket and the close proximity to the Twinfire, performance wise, this particular attribute, splash falloff, is an important one that had to be addressed, particularly in deciding between the two for the continuing skirmish cycle.



What is it?


Splash falloff. Almost every splash based weapon in the game has a minimum splash damage number, at least that is what it used to be called. In the last few years it has moved to a new name: Splash Falloff, which is a little odd, because the falloff % really is a flip of the minimum % damage number. Maybe I geek out on this crap too much... anyway...

To understand the falloff mechanic, we first have to understand how the splash mechanic works. The weapon has a damage number and this is the damage at the point of impact. Unlike direct damage weapons, once the weapon impacts, the damage is calculated through the splash mechanic, which is inclusive of splash falloff. This means that from the point of impact to the edge of the splash, the damage will, typically, decrease. Think of it as damage radiating outward from the impact point. It looks something like this:

Why is it important?


In the article Spread and Splash - A Story of Co-Dependence we covered how splash and spread interact, how this affects damage and, lightly, skirted around why we take falloff into consideration. With this in mind delving a bit further into this we can see why this number is vitally important in making decisions for equipping our hulls.

As we can see in the above picture, Splash Falloff is a linear declination. In some old mortars the splash falloff was 50%, so at the edge of the splash radius, the damage was half of the listed damage amount on the blueprint (technically 1/4, but that's for another article). This is why we have generally paid very close attention to the interaction between splash and spread. It also is why it is vitally important to get that stat into the weapon's stat block!!



With the Needler and Nailhead we have a rocket with 0% falloff. That means that at the edge of the splash radius you will do the same amount of damage as the point of impact! That is huge. YUGE! And changes a lot of strategy. Where you may have used explosive system 4 in the past, you probably want to use combustion system 2. While ES4 will reduce the spread, it's use generally was two fold - reduce the spread and increase damage density. With zero falloff, you don't have to worry about the latter. Add in fast moving targets and you generally want to increase your spread and/or projectile speed so that your damage isn't falling behind your target. Since the edge of the splash radius is the same damage as the impact point, you want more of your projectiles to 'interact' with your intended target. This allows for a lot of fine tuning toward a target if you were so inclined.

Of other note - the GSU-7 and the Gathering Storm concussive gatling guns have a falloff of 25%. This should help as we gather more intel.

Hopefully this helps clarify this mechanic. I have asked Kixeye to look at putting this stat in the stat block. It is on their list, but no timeline as yet.






Thursday, September 20, 2018

Master Craft Builders!!

OUTPOST 11 NEW FEATURE:
EXPERT BUILDS



We had a few things get messaged by Kixeye today. Lots of mail, but the one that is new and has people scratching their heads is... Expert Builds. Probably need to change that to Expert Builders. That alone should clarify it, but let's review it real quick to get it clear for everyone.


WHAT ARE EXPERT BUILDS?

Well, as I mentioned, it really should be thought of as 'Expert Builders'.

This is an option that you will have, that becomes available in Shipyard 6 and Conquest Yard 3, when building a NEW ship. That's right, this only applies to a new ship build, NOT refits. This is important.

The idea is that when you elicit the Expert Builders, there will be an increase in construction costs (resources, advanced resources etc.) for a reduction in build time AND with the hull completing with VXP already on the hull (likely 4-5 ranks).



Selecting the Expert Build option on a fresh build results in shorter build times for the entire hull, plus its components, as well as the hull being built with several VXP ranks already in place.

In exchange, an Expert Build costs more resources to construct than a standard build, and can include Advanced Resources for higher tier constructions. The choice is yours on how you spend your time or resources.

HOW MUCH AM i GONNA SAVE?



Well... I'm not entirely sure. I think that is going to be a moving target as each hull gets older. New hulls can not have an Expert Builder, because... well, it's a new hull, there can't be an expert for it yet. The reductions are scaled by the hulls, and likely by the tiers from what we see in the examples.







The Zelos, a T5 hull has a reduction of or about 50% in this example...








 ...whereas the Dragon, a T7 hull, has a reduction of or about 10%.

So as we can see, the number will fluctuate based on, I'm guessing, tier level. Remember when I said that being applicable to a new hull only is important? Here's why:

The time reduction, while based on the hull alone, is applicable to the entire build!! So that % reduction that you get on the hull, if you equip it at the same time, will be applicable to everything on that hull too!

You will need to pay attention to build time and how long you want to occupy your yards. Long build times are a risk since you can't react immediately with a week long build in the yard, so plan ahead if using this option to its full potential.


OF NOTE:

Expert Builds will not be available for brand new hulls right away.  This will keep the gap a bit closer between the have/have nots / coiners/non-coiners when it comes to new content so the playing field stays only slanted rather than tipped over. When the Expert Build option for a hull becomes available, it will be announced in Release Notes.


Hope that helps. Have fun pirates!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cryo Adder, Death Scythe, Drac Scatter II and Ancillaries

A Once Over of the New Turrets and Ancillary Info




Oh my... so there has been a slew of concern, misinformation and confusion about the new turrets. Corrosive items are a bit wonky because of their late introduction to the game. Let's see if we can clarify some of this.

First some of the oddities as this is what seems to throw people off. For the specials and interactions - they are based upon damage type unless otherwise specified. Usually this isn't an issue, however, with these turrets the exceptions are significant, thus, making it a tad more complicated. What does this mean? Examples!!!




  • Sulfide Deployer's reload only works for the Draconian Scatter Gun Turret II and Cryo Death Adder Turret, but NOT the Death Scythe Turret because that special is explicitly listed as scatter gun reload rather than corrosive reload. (There are only 2 turret specials that list interaction by weapon type if I remember correctly.)
  • Anti-Penetrating damage type countermeasures will NOT shoot down a Death Scythe projectile, however, Countermeasure damage type WILL shoot down the Death Scythe projectile. See where that damage type is matching?
  • SSKP will NOT work with the Death Scythe because, you guessed it, the damage types do not match.
  • Fire Support has no effect upon any of these turrets as Fire Support does not support Corrosive damage type for damage or reload buffs.
  • Damage specific deflection DOES mitigate DoT damage, generic deflection (assault/siege) do NOT.
  • Corrosive DoT stacks IGNORE the unreactive stat of a hull.
  • Turret Defense DOES mitigate DoT damage.



Another generic that we need to understand is what stats mean in the stat block of the turret:

DoT Damage : 540,000
DoT Max Damage : 60,000
DoT Duration : 45 seconds

Based on past prints, it may seem like those numbers at the top are wrong, right? Not really. I picked this one because it illustrates the mechanic a bit easier. This is how it works:

We have 540,000 damage and the stack is active for 45 seconds. That means we have a DoT DPS of only 12,000. That helps clarify that print a lot better now doesn't it?

Since the max damage is 60,000 DoT DPS, we divide the 60,000 by the individual DoT DPS amount of 12,000 and can now conclude that we only need 5 concurrently active stacks to get to max DoT damage. I'll list each turret weapon's DoT info below in the corresponding area.



Draconian Scatter Gun Turret II :

Not a bad short range pain in the ass turret. The damage output per projectile (DOPP) with the A-T Transformer, Faction bonus and full Group bonus using the Caustic Catalyst special is 2,645,862 (before turret defense or deflections are applied).

One drawback is that this corrosive turret does no DoT damage. Well placed, this could be a hazard forcing an attacker to stop or manipulate their movement. With a 105 base range, it can be out ranged, so placement is key to force a stoppage or other movement while allowing your defenses to damage your opponent or force your opponent to move to/into other areas you want them to be in.



Death Scythe Turret :

An interesting long range turret, the DOPP with the A-T Transformer, Faction bonus and full Group bonus using the Caustic Catalyst special is 382,987 (before turret defense or deflections are applied).

It's long outside range and large inner range make for an interesting turret for placement. Much like the Javelin II and Catastrophic Mortar, this could cause some consternation for Sloth fleets, particularly the 1-4 combos. With the increased minimum inner range this may be the first ring of the death knell of that fleet set-up. We shall see.

This one has the wonkies of the batch. I'll try and cover the oddities in here.

Penetrative range, damage and reload specials do NOT work on this turret weapon. No Thermobaric casing, no SSKP, no Scramjet. The damage type has to match here, not the weapon type. Likewise, because no generic accuracy based turret specials work currently and penetrative accuracy specials are inapplicable, the accuracy of the turret will be a determining factor in it's value in your base defense.

The only countermeasures capable of shooting down this projectile are countermeasures with the damage type listed as countermeasure NOT anti-penetrative.

While I had some little opportunity to do some testing for these turrets, Templar and Vengeful one had a much opportunity to so some heavy testing of the mechanics. I can not thank them enough for the work they do behind the scenes to check some of this stuff out!

What was found in the testing is that while the DoT DPS is accurate in terms of DPS calculations, the 'bump' of the damage is NOT per second. In other words, DoT damage is NOT applied every second, but rather every 5 seconds on this weapon. For both of these turrets it is a different number and this is a most significant stat that needs to be added into the prints ASAP. More testing needs to be done to verify the preliminary numbers we have found.

What this means is, for example, this turret has a DoT 'bump' of 5 seconds. This determines tha amount of damage per 'bump'. 5 * 60,000 = 300,000 damage, which is the damage dealt when DoT is applied at every 5 seconds.

DoT Damage : 540,000
DoT Max Damage : 60,000
DoT Duration : 45 seconds
Individual DoT DPS : 12,000
Max Stacks : 5
DoT DPS Bump : 5 sec



Cryo Adder Strike Turret :

This is the deadliest turret of the bunch and I saved it for last. Why? I'm going to let you work out why it is the deadliest using the info I provided above.

Another long range (191) turret, this one has no inner range so it will likely never be a threat to a sloth fleet on the outside, it is however a very formidable weapon. This thing has the potential to hurt... a LOT. The DOPP with the A-T Transformer, Faction bonus and full Group bonus using the Caustic Catalyst special is 1,152,170 (before turret defense or deflections are applied) and is a bit deceiving with regard to the weapon's capabilities. Here are the numbers:

DoT Damage : 400,000
DoT Max Damage : 800,000
DoT Duration : 10 seconds
Individual DoT DPS : 40,000
Max Stacks : 20
DoT DPS Bump : 2.5 sec

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Hope this cleared up some confusion about the turrets, the damage group and how everything interacts. As people ask questions, I'll edit the article to incorporate them.



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Revisiting Damage Over Time

The Dreaded DoT



Coming soon to a base near you! DoT! Why is the 'O' always small when we write DoT? Are we prejudiced against the word 'over'? Curious minds want to know!

Ok, so let's cover DoT so everything makes some sense. I'll use the blueprint that is causing a lot of consternation currently. I'll admit this also- one of my favorite past-times is not reading the release notes through and winging it on the shows.  Gives me a good  'feel' for initial reactions and makes me think on the fly. I got caught out looking this one over myself and it didn't really coalesce until the after-show. Oops. :D



Some basics first. This is what you need from the blueprints when wanting to calculate DoT:

DoT Damage : This is the amount of damage a single 'stack' will do over the time listed under DoT Duration.

DoT Max Damage : This is the maximum amount of damage the weapon can reach doing DoT damage.

DoT Duration : This is the amount of time each 'stack' lasts.

-----------


Now, let's get to what the hell it actually means using the print as the example.

DoT Damage : 540,000
DoT Max Damage : 60,000
DoT Duration : 45 seconds

Seems like those numbers at the top are flipped, yea? Not really. This is how it works:

We have 540,000 damage and the stack is active for 45 seconds. That means we have a DoT DPS of only 12,000. That helps clarify that print a lot better now doesn't it? Well, sort of - that's the DoT DPS average. For clarification, see: https://forsakencove.blogspot.com/2018/08/cryo-adder-death-scythe-drac-scatter-ii.html The DoT for the new turrets doesn't 'pay out' every second, so the max deflection you need has to be calculated out.

Since the max damage is 60,000, we can also conclude that we only need 5 concurrently active stacks to get to max DoT damage.



A few things to note:

DoT bypasses basic (building and ship) deflections BUT damage specific deflections DO mitigate the damage.

DoT works on 'stacks'. What that means is that when the weapon successfully hits the target a 'stack' is applied. Stacks can be 'supercharged'. Supercharge specials work, lancher supercharge specials do NOT.

Corrosive DoT stacks are supposed to ignore unreactive stats. There are conflicting reports on this. If anyone has some vid of testing for this, please send them on. :) They do ignore unreactive. Tested and verified.

Another aspect that is heavily debated is whether Siege Battery affects DoT (and shockwave as the two are always compared as they are both secondary damage). I am trying to get clarification on how they are behaving (I actually know how they were intended, but... better to get accuracy instead of should be on this one - the article on T7 turrets should clarify that one). If anyone has some vid of testing for this, please send them on.

Tested and verified by Templar and Vengeful One (the apparent QA team of Kixeye!) - Siege Battery DOES affect DoT.

DoT can not be increased in any way. Perhaps we'll see a special Coming Soon that does the same for DoT that some do for Shockwaves.

Much like other damage in the game, the display amount is double actual in-game damage. Sorry.

-----------

There is the skinny on, and the short version of, Corrosive DoT. Hope it helps!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Where Did That Chameleon Go?

If the Pretender were a hull.



Raised in a secret facility built for experimenting on children, Jarod is a genius who can master any profession and become anyone he has to be. When he realizes as an adult that he's actually a prisoner and his captors are not... no... no wait... that's the show, right?

Oh  yea- The Chameleon!



I'm seeing a lot of hate geared towards this hull, and some of the criticism is justified. It does not live up to the previous generation of Generalist hulls in ability to conform successfully to specific metas and it also does not have the same flexibility as, say, the Zelos, however... it does have some serious value, particularly in a specific niche context.

That context is everyone's favorite - Expeditions! Yea, ok, that was sarcasm, but it does bring a certain value in that arena.

The other part of the contextual picture is this - a co-op campaign where you can gain tokens, and through those tokens, you can get one of these fleets out for free. Why does this make the hull and TLCs valuable? I'm glad you asked!



First, the fleet can be perpetually running in Generalist Expeditions for free premium resources. This is helpful during raids- particularly the longer ones. We all know the premium resource prices in the raid are... less than value oriented.

Second, you don't ever have to worry about the damage it takes. You can either park in a corner and wait for the expedition to time out and come back to your base fully repaired OR you can complete the target and let it coast getting premium res and it will come back fully repaired. How can you lose in this?

The tokens are not limited to 10 or less as some have been lately so you can stock up and save them until you have time in your shipyard or you have all the tokens to crank out a fleet.



Is the fleet ideal in any way? No. Is it something neat to have in the toolbox? Yes. Are they a great stand alone value? Not really compared to other options in the game. Since the tokens are essentially free with the Co-Op option I'd highly recommend doing the campaign. If you have a build that isn't performing up to snuff in the targets, now is a great time to stock up the tokens so you can tweak that build. It's actually a really good thing to have TLCs like this offered- one they don't really stress players out because they are optional, two they offer variety in the targets (though they DO need to make target requirements CLEAR) and three the co-op aspect beings back in a measure of the social aspect of the game- made even better with the addition of the world chat.

So- TL;DR - cool optional TLC that you can stack up some tokens cheaply and decide later if you want to invest in a build. Have fun pirates!


Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Bi-monthly Rai... er... I mean... Bounty 12

Why Bounty is Broken



So let's be blunt, yea? Bounty 12 is shit. It's broken. And it's not because PvP is broken. It's broken because of poor choices, self-serving pansy ass wannabe pirates and the fact that everyone has forgotten what exactly it means to be a damn PIRATE in this game.

I'm not even going to get in depth of why and how certain mechanics are broken, but I'm also not going to sugar coat this. This Bounty is a clear indication of where the game has gone wrong and the path choices that were made that were clearly not thought out beyond the 'now' and 'me' mentality. Some people need to get back to understanding that decisions should be viewed through the filter of 'long view' and 'big picture'.





 PvP is NOT PvE

Bounty is PvP. I'm sorry if that hurts your little feelings, but this absolutely basic premise seems to have been completely ignored. It was ignored in developing the rules for banking, it was ignored for developing the rules for guaranteed bounty, it is ignored in so many aspects of this thing it boggles my mind, but I digress. Let's look at specific aspects of Bounty and see if we can put them into this bigger picture for people by proffering a proper alternative.





Banking

Banking on demand is kind of meh. Being able to fully bank on demand is fully asinine. Being able to mutually hit one another at 9,000 bounty and bank to gain 4,500 each without losing bounty is beyond fully asinine.

This is supposed to be PvP. Part of the risk is losing your swag. Part of the reward is stealing someone's swag. If you are scared to death of losing your boutny and don't want to engage in PvP - don't play. Wait for the prizes in the raid. To cry and moan that you need to be able to bank on demand - after the incorporation of the auto-bank at 10k - is a clear indication that you probably don't PvP generally.

The base concept of Bounty was to equip those players that played PvP with the equipment, early, so that they could play that aspect of the game and engage one another at that level. Those that did not, could catch the blueprints at a delayed time.

This isn't supposed to be a handout. This isn't supposed to be a PvE event. I sure as hell do not want to be grinding a second raid. Stop, just stop this foolishness. This is absolutely exhausting.

If there is an insistence upon a bank-on-demand option in Bounty- associate a hard in-game (read: Bounty) cost to it in the form of a hard cap percentage to each bank that you do and bar the ability to bank while in combat - any combat. Hell, personally, I think if you pop a doorknocker onto your base you should get a 3 min banking delay if it gets hit, but... back to the hard cap:

For example, day 1 you get 5 banks? Cool. Bank 1 you only bank 90% of your total. Bank 2 & 3, only 80%. Bank 4 would be 75%. Bank 5 would be your last bank and at 50%. Day 2 would be Bank 1 - 90%, Bank 2 - 80%, Bank 3 - 75%,, Bank 4 - 50%.

Why you ask? Economics. PvP. Psychology. This would motivate players to bank by choice less, so that they don’t ‘lose’ bounty from banking, thus promoting them to carry a higher running total and fostering a higher overall ‘available’ bounty in play in the system (we'll get to the auto-banking thing... soon). It also may inhibit  players from banking between hits and preclude them from ‘taking their ball and going home’ by banking everything and doing something else. It should also foster a little higher ‘time at the keyboard’. This also will still allow those players that are very reserved and cautious to still have a goal (that increases over the days) they could conceivably bank at and ‘go to bed without worrying', but every base would still be worth something. The PvP risk and reward dynamic is returned to Bounty as well in this fashion.

Players use a gunboat and bank before the other player even gets a singular chance at the base. That's ignoring the other issues of players driving and that the attacker gets one shot at the base, regardless of entry, lag, etc.

Banking on-demand at the full amount is, at it's core, in direct opposition with the concept of PvP in this game. This also will absolutely exclude the need for the idiocy we saw last Bounty.




Guaranteed Bounty on Player Bases

Yea... so... I've admitted it. I was so incensed at that this short-sighted and ignorant mechanic was added to last Bounty that after the notes came out, I discussed the mechanic with a player or two and planned to take absolute full advantage of the mechanic. Much like players in this Bounty are taking advantage of that broken banking system and the archaic mechanic of starting a battle instantly if you enter your base to 'defend'. No, it wasn't an exploit. To be an exploit, the mechanic would have to be used in a way that the company did not foresee and/or in such a way that the mechanic was used outside the intended parameters that it was designed for. I can say with absolute certainty that the former did not apply and that the mechanic was used exactly as designed. For comparative analysis- I wonder how many players that complained about this mechanic being 'exploited' are setting up their OP with the full upgrades and armors and tach installations in order to make their OPs almost impossible to kill inside of a 5 minute hit. Do they draw a comparison between the two? Those setups certainly weren't intended when the upgrades came out as they didn't exist. Just sayin'- throwing stones and glass houses and all.

That being said, instead of trying to over-complicate this horrible idea in order to incorporate it again, just bin it. The design above for the banking system makes the 'need' for the existence of this abomination absolutely valueless. No, don't put it in the game. Regardless of any limits you try and place on it it is far, far too easy to take advantage of. Trying to add complexity to this mechanic in order to implement it instead of addressing the nexus of the need (as I did above) is exactly how this game's complexity has spiraled out of control.

For all those 'pirates' calling foul because 'they' loved it and 'they' didn't 'exploit' it, I'm sorry. No. I'm not fooled and neither is anyone else. You can't go farming baby seals non-stop throughout Bounty for easy points because they are auto-repairing and are 30 sec 200 or 300 points. That is EXACTLY the sort of short-sighted, self-serving mentality that got this idiocy implemented in the first place. This is about as good a mechanic for this event as was the engineering design of the Ford Pinto for a car.

Live Edit: Came up with an interesting idea while discussing this- a LOT of people liked the flat amount added to bases- this one is simple- 2 types of OPP bases. First is normal points, no guard, 2nd is guard included and double the points. There you go and you don't have to be clubbing baby seals the entire time.




Outpost Upgrades

Do I need to explain this one? With new releases there are combinations that absolutely kill base hit attempts. And people still hold drones and drive up on hulls, insta-start battles, etc. etc. Makes for soooooo much fun hitting a real base.





Auto-Bank of 10k

The next rail-car in this train of thought would be the 10k auto-bank. This concept I do like, however, I am not the biggest fan of its implementation.

In the current PvP environment, the 10k works, only because PvP is so broken that you can guarantee a loss to an attacker through the combination of the bank-on-demand, the use of base guards to drive and chase the only real reliably viable base hitting combo in the game, namely the Sloth fleet, and the OP upgrades.

IF (BIG if) PvP is ever corrected, then this mechanic should be re-visited I think. While it's a great mechanic currently, it also precludes the 'big hits' some of the highest level PvP players crave. Given that these are also typically some of larger spending players in the game, it only makes sense to try and bring some of that back into the game. Maybe not to the extent that we saw previous to this current banking iteration. Yes, this won't be a popular position, but let's face it, this is supposed to be a PvP event, and PvP is traditionally the turf of these players. We can not cater events to just one segment of the players base, that is how overall balance is lost. So that there is ample opportunity for the 'smaller' players I envision a system where the auto-banking would look something like this:

5, 10, 10, 10, 15 thereafter until the next day cycle.

In conjunction with the changes above, this would allow ample opportunity for the smaller players to achieve plenty of Bounty and reach their goals, but if you are in the upper echelon and want 'everything' the possibility of opening up yourself to significant losses (and gains) will now exist.




Pricing

When did we go to bi-monthly raids? As in other aspects of the game we are seeing rampant inflation in an event that really should not be this much of an event, ya feel me? Players are burnt the hell out. Auto hulls don't auto, so you have to drive and grind. Over and over and over again. Map targets are getting progressively more punitive at each release to the extent that the auto hull (a top tier hull that was an equal investment for players as the Hydra) was effectively locked out of the 103 base parts target forcing the use of the Hydra in those targets (the skill a/k/a driving hull). This all adds to the overall feeling of always having to do something, always having to engage fully, rarely relaxing and enjoying unless you can 'game' the system somehow and mitigate the grind.

This is causing terminal burnout in the community. Players are exhausted. The opportunities for 'fun' are becoming less and less. Adding to this perpetual feeling of grinding is all of this inflation which then makes players feel even more exhausted and frustrated. I would implore this - if the intent is to have a larger distribution of Bounty prizes than originally designed for when Bounty was first implemented- reduce the costs of the prizes, don't try and come up with complex 'solutions' by re-inventing Bounty monthly and impel more engagement by inflating overall prize costs. You don't re-invent PvP monthly, that's PvE.. oh wait...




Time Commitment

This clearly follows on the above section. Forcing engagement, while in some instances is great from a business perspective, must needs be tempered by the psychological pressure that can be put on a player and player base when said forced engagement is continual and persistent. Temper this. Re-evaluate the overall strategy of player engagement because currently the overall feel is one of burn-out.




Reward (Opp Bases)

Even with no guard fleets in these bases, the time engagement for some of these bases truly sucks. Honestly, I'm not sure how to easily correct this other than increasing the pay out. This could be done complimentary to a pricing adjustment, or can be ignored if the pricing adjustment is significant enough to offset this issue.





Locator

I'm tired of repeating this month after month. The locator sucks. Really and truly, how damn hard is it to code a random list from the whole of the world that you are in? (Here is a hint: it's not.) I mean, we already deal with tons of lag just trying to drag across the map (why are the Gantries still here again?) I think we could live with a slight delay of results while a proper randomized search populates the locator list.




Ok, that's it. This is partially why I rarely write. The only time I am 'passionate' anymore in this game is when things are really borked. I'm exhausted. I don't have the time to commit needed to maintain he level I expect since so many things have been 'adjusted' to maximize engagement (and likely h0ped for coining). Is there more? Sure. But I can barely see past my eyelids, so it's time for bed. G'night my fellow pirates.

Risk:

This one really needs to be tweaked for this, particularly if other things run concurrently. Docks - instant repair, or something like 10 minutes repair. Let players play. Bases (so you can adjust to your enemy) should repair a little faster OR have a flat 2 gold cost to repair.

LIVE EDIT: Wow... this is interesting. I'm actually very curious now about something having had an opportunity to review the comments and hate mail (and mail agreeing).

Clearly, I believe that a PvP event should revolve around, you know, PvP, and approached this in that mindset.

Also as clear is that there are many players who disagree. I'd love to hear what those that disagree think that the Bounty should entail then. I mean, I don't mind that you think I'm a douchebag or that my view doesn't count because of my position or whatever... that's fine, BUT I want to know why. Why is my premise wrong? Why shouldn't this be a PvP event? Why is banking 100% at-will good for a PvP event? Why should PvP not have a basis of theft of another player's swag? You may think I don't take certain things into consideration, but... maybe... I do. ;)









Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ahoy-Me-Arty



There have been many questions sent to me of late; -
  • What blueprints have what stats?
  • I know I need "x" stat, but which one is better? What's available?
  • Is there an alternative to Frostler as the site is unavailable?
  • How much damage does my turret give out per salvo?

The main thing I say to them, "Have you tried Wayne's page, Ahoy-Me-Arty?". Curiously, the most common answers are "No, I've never heard of it!", or "I just can't use it".

So I took some time and made Wayne come up with a nice overview for people to reference: 

His site can be found at www.ahoymearty.co.uk and consists of... some really cool stuff. :)

Calculators 

First off, let's address his <Calculators>. Wayne has quite a few different calculators. By default, when you click the "Calculators" link on his homepage, it will present you with the General Calculator. As you can see from this image, there are radio buttons. If you click the radio button next to the header it will change what calculator is shown i.e. clicking the one next to the Spawn Timer will change to show you when the next spawn is due and what type of spawn it will be.



Whilst we are on about calculators, he has created a nifty <Turret Calculator Page> which when populated will give you damage per projectile of whatever turret you want to build. You will need to populate the cells next to each header (by selecting from the drop menu) in order to see you result and if you have any retro to any of the components you are adding, you can change the little boxes next to the items to reflect it.

As you can see from this sample, I have added a Howie 6 and some components with the damage output against siege battery and without it showing at the bottom. As of today (22/07/2018), these calculations are correct and have been checked and verified by a few good players, myself included.

Raid Calculator 

Wayne also compiles a Raid Calculator each month that will calculate how many raid points are needed to get your “Wish List”. Just select how many you want using the dropdown list and it will calculate the required points for that blueprint. And at the top of the screen it will show you the total of points needed for all your requirements.


Blueprints 

Wayne has also addressed the "Blueprint Stats" question. He has created another MS Excel spreadsheet at <Blueprint Breakdown Page> that can be manipulated to show what blueprint has what. By clicking the <select> it will populate a list of stats that you can choose from. The list is in alphabetical order going from Accuracy to Weight.

Once you have selected your stat, the spreadsheet will show only those blueprints that have that particular stat in.


A new version of this blueprint breakdown page is under development that will highlight those blueprints that are retro-able and filter between armours, specials, CIC's and weapons.

If you just take the time to visit his page www.ahoymearty.co.uk you will see he has plenty more to offer than those that I have listed here.

Much like Huggy he creates all these pages on his own so therefore keeping up with the ever changing information from our beloved Kix may lead to some items being missed, or changed. He is constantly updating and changing things, so if there is a broken link within this blog, just go to his homepage and you will find it there and if there are any errors, smack him upside the head and tell him what's broke. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Happy Sailing Prof


Fair Winds and Full Sails


By: Brian Randich

As many of you have seen, Larry, aka the BP Professor, recently quit the game. He was more recently known as a town hall member, a host, and one of the mainstays of the Battle Pirates Crib show. Before that, he was known for his blog. While it was not updated recently except for the announcement of him quitting, the blog holds a wealth of information and tips collected over the years. It had tips and builds for the raids and what to get, explanations of mechanics (and the first explanation of how vxp affected reload after it got changed to 75%), and personal thoughts and ideas about the game and the direction it was taking. It was a one-man TFC before TFC existed.
I don’t know how I first found his blog. I think I googled “Battle Pirates help” or something similar. The first memory I have of seeing an article of his was the Riptide raid tips back in April 2014. As a new-ish player who had no idea what to do, I started to learn from what was out there. I liked the way he explained things, and it made sense. I looked back through the archives and found his old articles, and while some didn’t exactly have use at the time (old raid tips/prizes), I learned quite a bit, and I started to form a base of knowledge on this game and what to do going forward.
Here are a few links I found to be helpful, or at least entertaining, along with a brief description:
This is how I learned to build ships. While a lot of ship-building changed with hull classes, these ideas still hold true. Figure out what you want a fleet to do, then build it to do that. It’s easier these days with hull classes and weapons and specials given out with hulls.
This is how I learned the equation to find a weapon’s actual reload, how much Kix screwed up that math relating to reload, and how important rank really is.
The professor does not mess around.
Even though his blog updates became further and further apart due to real life and disillusionment with the game itself, the professor was a prominent community member. With a mix of math, knowledge, and humor, his blog was a great read, and he was someone I aspired to be like in the game and on the shows.
Happy sailing, prof.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Defense Calculator

The Stats That Kixeye Cherishes




By: Wayne Gilliver and 
George Argyropoulos


Let me make this perfectly clear: Kixeye doesn't generally like us ripping their stats apart to the basics at times. I think in this instance though, we will be forgiven!

A lot of angst has been floating around because trying to calculate exactly what s going on with turret damage is a bit... complicated. I wrote an article a while ago reviewing that here and that engendered some good discussion and a lot of questions, so...


Wayne Gilliver and I have been hard at work over the last couple of weeks creating a calculator to show just that. What's happening. Wayne busted his ass taking this to the next level and I hope everyone can benefit and enjoy!

Special thanks go out to Templar and Vengeful one for testing and catching a few things!!


This version of the spreadsheet is only version 1 so therefor may contain some issues like Salvos and Critical hits, but rest assured, we have made sure Executioner2 and Howie6 figures are correct insofar as we could putting this together. Please have some patience and help us get this into full gear for you.

The calculator calculates DAMAGE PER PROJECTILE which is what is important in the game for PvP as that is what you need to know to know if you can break a deflection value.

CURRENTLY: We put in a mix of values because Wayne and I have different retro levels on items. What we would like to eventually do is have ALL the values at an R15 level (both weapons and specials) so if you find that some of the numbers are off please let us know. If you are like Venom who has this down to the minutia, please let us know what part needs to be updated and if you have the values for the R15, please include them for us to update the calculator.

Because of how we had to set it up and the amount of diversity in the turrets, critical hits will show for anything you put in. TURRETS DO NOT INHERENTLY CRITICAL HIT!!! You have to have a special that does it or it has to be part of the weapon, such as the Vulture Missile. I would hope everyone using this can make the distinction and keep this in mind.

Additionally : Do to a few things behind the scenes, in order for the calculator to work and not run super slow, you can put options in that you can NOT in game. Again, I presume everyone will be mindful enough to check in game if the build you are calculating is a legal build.

Please message Wayne or myself with your thoughts on this calculator and errors that you think maybe in there. Or post a comment on the TFC page where this will be posted as well. We are still working out a few bugs and errors should be apparent.

Waynes file can be found at http://ahoymearty.co.uk/defenceCalc.html

You can view his complete website with MOAR calculators, a turret builder/planner and more by clicking this image:

www.ahoymearty.co.uk

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tweaking the Buccaneer

A Lazy Pirate's Observations

By: George Argyropoulos
a/k/a Dragon_Bane   


Let me preface this by stating: I mostly auto my Buccaneer targets. For the most part, I like to auto anything in the game that is abnormally time consuming or annoying. It began with chores. This is supposed to be a game. To me that means whiling away my free time playing something enjoyable and fun. 

Chores were too many taking too much time. We started seeing raids climb into the stratosphere in terms of points requirements, and hence, seat time. It used to be that you could invest in the top tier stuff and have the reward be a quick raid. No more. Now it is a grind at any level. So I began heavily leaning towards auto hulls for the raid when that became a truly viable option.

That all said, my Buccaneer build from the first raid to today has revolved around that concept. They were initially tuned to run on auto in the S targets in the raid. They perform very well when driven.


What I have observed from the first raid to the last raid is that the targets for the Buccaneer seem to be tuned far more towards resistances than charge. This is opposite of what I've observed in the Hydra targets.

That is not to say charge is meaningless, only that the targets seem designed to deplete your charge about halfway through the target. Given that this is an auto hull and tested observations, the conclusion is apparent. 


>>>Charge still works to mitigate damage but the targets are designed in such a way as to deplete your charge quickly. You can take advantage of this and minimize damage in the targets by jumping out halfway through to recharge your armor.<<<

My clear presumption here is that this trend will continue into the next raid. With that in mind, I decided to use some of my Buccaneer tokens from last raid to tweak my build. I have 2 versions based on the same idea and will likely test the theories out on the first day of the raid. 


In addition to tweaking the resistances, I and a few others (Thanks to Templar and Vengeful One) also tested the way critical hits worked in game. Apparently, and counter to what many of us thought, if any blueprint states a +X critical hit modifier, it is reflecting the actual critical damage. It is not increasing the critical damage by an additional amount. That means that MAN special is truly only giving you a +10% critical chance and the 40% splash. That's it. Your critical damage is not increased by the special.

So this brings me to the current tweaking of the hulls. We had the opportunity to earn a new styled charged armor in the FM. The new Charged Zynthonite C1-CR brings a new aspect to the charged armor family. It offers a dual defensive buff at the cost of both charge pool and damage reduction.



Interestingly, it stacks with the regular styled charged armor in such a way that the higher damage reduction number is used when they are combined on the same ship. This brings up interesting design opportunities.

The main question when looking at this armor, to me, was whether to swap out all four armors to maximize my resistances across the hull, or whether to swap out just two in order to boost my radioactive resistance a bit and use the higher damage reduction number to my advantage.

My conclusion is that I am likely going to swap all four out. If I were to hop out halfway through a target (presuming the same mechanic as last month's raid) to charge my armor, then I'd likely just swap two panels out and minimize my damage by maximizing the use of my charge.


I don't plan on doing that however. I plan on flat out autoing those target while I play in the Hydra targets. I have two builds listed below. I will be testing this a little the first day of raid merely to ascertain the viability. I'll more than likely tune my own fleet towards full auto.

In either case, the Boon will continue to use the Lowered Cannon Mount to scoot ahead of the other hulls and tank some damage. Because of it's health and repair efficiency I'd also swap all four of the armors on the Boon regardless of the build path. If you are planning on hopping in and out, keep in mind that the Boon is significantly faster and you'll have to stack up somewhere upon re-entry.

Because of the nature of the MAN, I've decided to forgo that special and go back to the Auto-Loader 2 I discussed pre-raid. I'll be implementing this change for the whole fleet. If I get a critical, the damage remains the same, so I'd rather increase my 'chance' for a critical by shooting more. While I'm not rolling a critical, I'll be doing more damage per second.

Where I can, I'll likely fit a couple of the new cannons on as well. I never got around to refitting those on before last raid. Hope this helps and good luck!!