Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We're heading to Worlds!

I wanted to post a quick update to make it official that John and I are both headed to Worlds this year (in case you missed it in John's recent montage-focused post). I got in on the initial ticket run and John was able to get his ticket on Saturday. That is pretty exciting, but it also means that we're going to be focusing on getting in as much practice as we can in April. That doesn't mean no articles at all, but it will likely mean less than usual as our free time goes towards our respective training montages. It's also going to mean a certain amount of secrecy about what exactly we're planning to bring, but we'll definitely be covering Worlds once/after we're there, so look forward to that in early May!

No pressure, it's just the most competitive Armada meta in the entire world, we'll be fine, right?

A lot of the people going to Worlds, including us, are currently waiting with bated breath to see what FFG is going to do with its upcoming FAQ/errata. There have been murmurs that FFG has another round of erratas planned to fire off ahead of Worlds and the FFG employee we spoke to at Adepticon confirmed that there will be a new FAQ coming out soon before Worlds. Given that wave 7 is still relatively young and there isn't really an established "settled" meta for it yet, adding some nerfs to the mix further destabilizes everything. I personally find it rather exciting, but the uncertainty is driving me a little bit crazy.

To talk a bit more about what I mean by no "settled" meta, it's pretty common for the first few months after a new wave to be very tumultuous. Everyone wants to play with all the new toys and fleets tend to be focused on that, sometimes rather exaggeratedly so. This can create weird meta responses that then create their own reactions as eventually everything settles into a less extreme meta - often with a lot of variety, mind you, but the big scary builds from early on in the wave have been "solved" and everyone's allowed to breathe easy again. Currently, I'm seeing lots of large ships (Vader double ISD and Raddus builds) and builds designed to deal with large ships (...which can also be Vader double ISDs and Raddus, but includes Sloane and other squad-heavy fleets too). MSU/swarm fleets are a rarity right now. The reasons for MSU's problems are several small things all kind of piling together:
  • Very high bids in some of the double-large-ship fleets, especially those trying to leverage Governor Pryce or using Profundity with Raddus.
  • MSUs have a rough time against Vader double Cymoons in particular, as the long-ranged firepower can occasionally one-shot corvettes.
    • Vader double Cymoons is terrifying, but it has some bad matchups of its own against Raddus and squadron-heavier fleets (as it often lacks squadrons altogether). It's one of those fleet builds I expect to mellow out as we get further into wave 7, but for now it's still out there and the risk of hitting it with an MSU fleet is the thing of nightmares.
  • With flotilla spam still a thing in some fleets and with the activation shenanigans officers (Strategic Adviser, Bail, Pryce) available to larger ships, MSUs can't rely as much as they used to on activation superiority.
  • Very few of the new upgrades did anything to help smaller ships, and some (like Early Warning System and Hardened Bulkheads) are useful against them.
I don't think it's completely hopeless for MSU, but MSU is in a rough place overall. If the FAQ/errata takes a nerf bat to flotilla spam, I think we'll see an opening for MSU to return to competitive events in greater numbers. That would be good for the competitive ecosystem in my opinion - fleets optimized to handle large ship fleets generally don't have a great pairing against MSU (Raddus fleets focused largely on the Raddus drop, for example, are not keen on facing MSU, and most wave 7 Sloane fleets aren't likely going to come out very well against a classic MSU bum-rush), which would put some pressure on fleets builds to moderate themselves a bit so as to cover more of their vulnerabilities.

We'll see, of course, but I hope it's clear why I think it's going to be a really crazy day when that FAQ hits if it includes errata (which, again, it seems like it will but I have no actual definitive proof of that). Lots of Worlds attendees are going to be trying to guess one step ahead of the meta but with only a few weeks to playtest those ideas. I think it's going to be pretty exciting!

Otherwise, blog-wise, I finally added a Ko-fi link to the upper right sidebar. I've had people asking me if there was a way they could throw a few bucks at John and me since Cannot Get Your Ship Out was pretty young. Neither of us really prioritized getting a donation function added in, but it's been something I've been meaning to add for a while; I figured with us heading to Worlds soon, now's as good a time as any. If you'd like to buy us a beer or two, thanks. If not, that's fine too. The Ko-fi system is pretty laid back and there's no hidden content behind paywalls or anything odious and contrary to the mission of the blog, so I think it's a pretty good fit.

As always, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I've had some success with an MSU Raider list. It was designed mainly to combat Raddus drops by simply not having much of a high value target. It struggles against double large ships and squadron spam, though.