I present Zelos the Mini Cannoneer
About The Zelos
Built in Dual countermeasures makes this hull one of the few that can be created without any weapons to start. The fact it has the means to counter mortars and missiles as an ability without using any weapon slots is interesting. This ability is accompanied with four weapon slots dedicated to Countermeasures only. Giving the player a chance to load ten weapons without fear of dropping damage potential to deal with incoming attacks. Using one slot for your Countermeasure equipment, Frontline Countermeasure, or Countermeasure loader will boost the capability of all countermeasure weapons on the hull, including the built in Counter Measure system. That means that it will be short work to make this ship able to handle various PvE duties with its dedicated ten weapon slots.
10 dedicated Weapon slots
The ten dedicated weapons slots are for surface weapons only. Players will not be able to place UAV or submerged weapons on this hull. Of course, the Game development team is calling the Squall launcher as a perfect match for this hull. Many will look at it and see that it does not have any benefits to lower the reload time or extend the range of the launcher. So why would it be best when it gets a boost to the ballistic range? Well, the Squall grants a boost to resistance for one. That bonus will offset the lower resistance the hull has for the base build. Secondly, it does not need a range-increasing weapon special to get it to 90+ making it a great weapon to spot for remote targeting hulls. The downside is the reload at 11 seconds and the information on how many are needed for a boom. The Squall does have nice damage stats for buildings and ships, so it should fill the need of a Forsaken Mission hull if a player does not want to go the Garrison route. It could also fit the Siege roll if a player does not want to build a second fleet of specialist hulls for that. I guess what I am saying is that if you want just to build a single fleet and then refit for each raid series, this hull would be a good pick up for you. Its special slots make it suitable for any task.
I know the questions on the amount of Flechette for the boom is a big issue around the player base. The launcher class of weapon has always been 120 stacks per 10 seconds to get a boom. This feature holds true for the Squall. It also has a 30-second duration on the stacks, meaning that the player will not have to worry about overloading a hull with the launcher. With five salvos on the weapon and all of them hitting 24 of them would be needed at the minimum in the fleet to get a shockwave every time it launches. That is decreased with reloading, of course, at 50% you would need 12 Squall for example. For the article purpose, the build I am suggesting will have 6 per ship.
Five special Slots
The Zelos does not have a boost to reload, but the Flechette special offered does have a 50% reload, and it does have x3 shockwave boost. So with the Squall weapon, you would have one slot dedicated to this special, it is needed for it to function. With the base resistance for everything at 30% and the 3% boost from the weapon, you could get resistance up decent enough for the forsaken mission with little effort. If you had ten of the Squall, two gales 3, two phalanx 4 and the Limited D6-A, you would have 80% missile, 78% explosive, 73% ballistic and then 47% everything else. That is some decent resistance and damage potential for a single hull with no extra armor. From there you can raise resistance based on the target you want to take on. Toss on the Reflective coating 3 and now you have 68% radiation resistance. If the build is this general, you would only spend little time refitting armor based on your needs for the raid series.
Five Armor Slots
Granted the build I am talking about is heavy, it is pushing the max weight limit, and with it, you would only be able to fit four of these in a fleet. But, even the D1 armors can help you push your resistance in a given area to 80% and with the built in siege deflection and assault deflection that would be a strong hull that can take some abuse. The build I am going to share is a theory build and solely based on nothing more than what I can discern right now.
With all that explained and I realize that some of the stuff I show in the build was not covered. Feel free to drop me a message if something is not clear. But, this is how I would make the Zelos handle siege targets in the current game and possible next raid. We do not know exactly what that event will hold for the players, but if we go by the stats on the hull being deemed the top of the line for that raid format all of this makes the most sense. I would not expect this hull to do the next raid above Tier 4, maybe Tier 5, but that is highly unlikely. I think the Centurion will be key to Tier 5 with the IronClad and Cannoneer able to do the T5 and T6 for a lower cost.
The Zelos can be created for numerous tasks. It has the weapon slots, the defense capabilities, the special slots and armor slots to make it pliable to anything the game has to offer. It will not be as good as the specialized hulls, it will take more time to repair, but if you do not want to spend all that time developing new fleets you could build a single fleet and then refit it for your needs based on the raid cycle.
Have a great weekend!