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Tensor tips and discussion

Verain's Avatar

02.06.2018 , 02:44 PM | #1
I've been running a type 3 scout (Spearpoint / Bloodmark) some of the time in domination, and I am convinced it has some legit role in the metagame at this point, in at least some team compositions. I'm not totally sold, but I'm sold enough to offer some tips about tensor and maybe get some discussion about what everyone thinks of tensor, and this ship.

Here's my top tips:

[SOLO Q] Before the initial domination launch, mention what type of tensor you have and where you will be tensoring. If your tensor is unmastered, or "regen" (T5 right), and someone else is doing a "speed" tensor (T5 left), make sure yours goes off first or try to hold it for the node fight. Likewise, if you are doing a "speed" tensor, try to hold it for a moment to fish out any lesser tensors, as everyone wants to take your tensor buff off the spawn (they also want the T5 regen buff from a regen tensor, but that won't go away when you cast yours). During the main core of the battle, try to catch allies that will be helped by the tensor when you can (especially bombers), and if you cannot, make sure that you get utility out of the tensor. Tensor on one ship isn't great though, but sometimes that's what you need to do. Choose your tensor talents based on what you personally value. Note that tensoring a node with allies on it will usually help (sometimes a great deal) a good player, but may cause a poor player or a newer player to crash into the satellite.

[GROUP Q] If you have one tensor, "double right" (evasion + regen) is probably preferred, and if you are running two tensor scouts, one should be "double right" and the other should be "double left" (turning and speed) or, at minimum, one should be "regen" and one should be "speed" (and the T4 ignored). In our group we mostly determine who is who based on the preference of whomever plans to run it most, but anything will work. Tensor seems to be to be difficult to coordinate vocally (and with little payoff compared to heals), so I mostly do not. In my play, I will try to hold tensor for ships that are about to use engine or just have, and will put a priority on tensoring a node defender of any ship type, as boost is life. I will usually try to vocally call a tensor on the node right before doing it to prevent comedy crashes.

With the tips out of the way, I'll move on to discussion:

While tensor field (like all major full tree components) comes in up to ten versions, only eight are materially different when cast, only four are mastered versions, and only two don't have some odd overwrite interactions.

When you press tensor, you apply the tensor field buff and up to two secondary buffs to all targets within 4500m or 5000m, depending on if you have the tier 2 talent, which most ships do. I believe the buffs in question will overwrite other tensor buffs as long as the duration will be longer: I haven't tested that. Regardless, if you have tier 3 tensor, you will be overwriting all the nearby tensor buffs with yours when you cast it.

The tier 4 left talent modifes the tensor field buff that you apply, by adding extra turning to it (total 22% turning).
The tier 4 right talent doesn't modify the tensor field buff that you apply, but it does make you apply another buff: evasion +6%.
The tier 5 left talent modifies the tensor field buff that you apply, by adding extra speed to it (total +30% speed)
The tier 5 right talent doesn't modify the tensor field buff that you apply, but it does make you apply another buff: engine regeneration 2/sec.

Tensor is composed of up to three elements. The first element is the tensor buff itself, which by default grants 15% speed, 15% turning, and 1 engine per second. This buff exists in up to four versions: the version as stated (unmastered or double right), a version with 30% speed instead of 15% speed ("speed tensor, T5 left), a version with 22% turning (T4 left), and a version with both 30% speed and 22% turning ("double left").
The second and third elements are the T4 right (evasion boost) and T5 right (2/sec engine regeneration). These exist as separate buffs.

While no one really cares much about the T4 elements (evasion or turning), and these are mostly chosen by personal or team preference, it should be noted that, should the opportunity arise, the T4 left tensor should be applied after the T4 right tensor, so as to benefit from both the extra turning and evasion.

The T5 elements are a bit more important, as extra speed makes a notable difference in flight times, and the extra regeneration can make a difference in available positions and actions for your team. During an initial launch, the "regen" tensor should be cast prior to the "speed" tensor. It is also worth considering during the main game, should you actually have two tensor scouts in the same place.

Any tensor can greatly shrink the vulnerable window of a bomber moving from node to node. Tensor on node helps defending allies more than attacking allies.

I almost exclusively run double right tensor. I kind of prefer T4 left (extra turning) over T4 right (evasion), but it is a small thing. I really enjoy being able to apply the extra energy, as almost every ship seems to get good use out of it throughout the match. I'm not really sure which of the T4 choices is generally better, and I'm really not sure which of the T5 choices is better overall- I just find it is easier to apply a meaningful buff in combat. I will say that the regen buff seems to get turned off or mitigated by enemy debuffs much more often than the extra speed buff is, an argument for the T5 left.

Overall I am really pleased that I don't feel compelled to SD this scout at the start of every game any more. As a support ship it doesn't add up to the might of the battle scout in domination, but you can at least make a case for its unique ship-specific system buff beyond the opening of the match.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

Ramalina's Avatar

02.06.2018 , 05:53 PM | #2
I'm fairly fond of the speed upgrade in matches where there's a lot of flipping of the sats. Shaving a second or two, or even a quarter of a second off of response times when the turrets disappear and the sat goes neutral is very useful. It's so much better to hold a sat neutral than let it go to the other team and then have to try to flip it back. Good for close, fast paced, and chaotic matches.

For shuttling around bombers between nodes the regen is probably overall moderately better, especially with coordination.

I normally go with speed and evasion as options, based on chiefly solo queuing habits. Reaching sats first at the start is important if you're not sure how good your team will be at flipping back lost sats, and evasion is generally useful, stacks well with the scout's own defenses, and is less likely to cause unexpected crashes.

A nice thing about tensor is that it's not really possible to have a "wrong" build with it. Even fumbling the stacking of two different tensors isn't penalized that much relative to doing it correctly.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Verain's Avatar

02.06.2018 , 06:51 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Ramalina View Post
Even fumbling the stacking of two different tensors isn't penalized that much relative to doing it correctly.
I mean, during the game, no, it doesn't matter at all. During the game you're just happy if tensor actually effects the game state by keeping someone alive, scoring a kill, holding a sat, etc.
But at the spawn if the speed guy hits his first, his cooldown is wasted. "Doing nothing" is about as bad as it gets for an ability.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."