A Lazy Pirate's Observations
By: George Argyropoulos
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!!