Tuesday, 9 July 2013

MechWarrior: Online - My proposed solution to fix PPC Boating

Image courtesy of http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/119221-forum-background-is-op/

The current Meta favours PPCs and Gauss Rifles, which has been prevalent for a very long time. Generally I try to avoid any of these so called "Cheese-Builds". If you haven't noticed many of my builds are completely outside the current Meta, with most of my builds favouring a very "balanced" loadout. Some even with random ideas in mind, such as an Anti-Air Gun, like my personal favourite the "Balloon Blaster".

Hell, what is it that I love to say right before the build? "I reject the current Meta and substitute... errr... something else!!".

So what is the post all about? Well a lot of the community has been screaming for a nerf to PPCs and boating weapons. There have been many "fixes" or solutions that have been proposed by many players. These solutions aren't for everyone and each has their own pros and cons. Everyone would clearly argue over which solution is better. Just as some people argue that boating PPCs are fine.

PGI's response to all of this is to implement a "Heat Penalty". Now I understand that Update is a month old. But you know how PGI work, updates are released Monthly and as of the current patch you take damage when you overheat (July 2nd, 2013). This, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction.

When you overheat by firing 6 PPCs your heat is about at 200%. In BattleTech lore, or real life, you'd literally be melting in the cockpit!! Circuits would be melting and a lot of internal damage would happen.

The idea that your Heat would increase with each additional weapon fired is pretty sound. However there's a lot more that PGI could do or implement to fix this issue.

Now first and foremost, no solution will be accepted, or will it cater for everyone. Some might think these solutions are horribly terrible, others think they're godly. What I am here to say is what my idea is and which I support.
Simply put, I support the idea of "Hardpoint Restrictions". Currently a Stalker can easily boat 6 PPCs and one-shot anything. That or you see Gauss and Multiple PPCs or what other "cheese-build". However the one true PPC Boater is the Awesome, who doesn't even boat PPCs bacuse they're just utterly terrible on it!

So what do I mean by Hardpoint Restrictions anyway? Currently what we have is Ballistic, Energy and Missile Hardpoints. Any Energy weapon can be mounted in the Energy Hardpoint (assuming enough tonnage and critical slots). Likewise with Ballistics and Missiles (allowing for AC40 Jagermechs).

What Hardpoint Restrictions do is further separate these 3 Hardpoints. Ballistic Hardpoints would be separated into:
  • Heavy Ballistic Hardpoint - Gauss Rifle, AC20, AC10 and LB 10-X AC
  • Light Ballistic Hardpoint - AC10, LB 10-X AC, UAC5, AC5, AC2 and Machine Guns

Energy Hardpoints would be separated into:
  • Heavy Energy Hardpoint - ERPPC, PPC, Large Lasers and Large Pulse Lasers
  • Light Energy Hardpoint - Medium Lasers, Small Lasers, Medium Pulse Lasers and Small Pulse Lasers

Missile Hardpoints would be separated into:
  • Heavy Missile Hardpoint
  • Light Missile Hardpoint.
Note: I haven't thought out Missile Hardpoints as in-depth as the other 2.

So how would this be implemented? Any Mech that is normally equipped with, say an AC2, means that it would have a Light Ballistic Hardpoint and can mount any weapon from the Light Ballistic Hardpoint list.

This does restrict the ability to modify Mechs heavily. However Inner Sphere Mechs are not "OmniMechs" they cannot just mount any ol' weapon. There's all these issues with the targeting systems and whatever lore wise. This also restricts the role of Mechs.

However what it does do, is keep each Mech to their original idea. Jagermechs were designed as a "Direct Fire Support" BattleMech and an "Anti-Air" BatttleMech. It was never meant to have 2 AC20s. The recoil would literally send the Mech flying!! A Hunchback HBK-4G would get free pickings of whatever Heavy Ballistic Weapon it wants, because it was designed to wield these powerful and large Ballistic Weapons. That's why it's a Hunchback. That Hunch was designed to be massive so that it can actually use that AC20.

In addition, how in the bloody hell, does a Raven not get sent flying backwards into a wall when it fires an AC20?

Now you may have noticed that AC10 and LB 10-X AC are listed in both Heavy and Light Ballistic Hardpoints. This is because they are the literal "middle-ground" between an AC5 and AC20. AC5 is a very useful suppression and sniping weapon. AC20 is a massive brawling, murderous weapon. AC10, well it does neither of those perfectly, yet it can do both. This allows some Mechs (Jagermech is being used as an example again) such as the Jagermech to have a large-ish weapon with good punch. It also allows the Hunchback to have a lighter Ballistic weapon when needed.

Let's use the Stalker STK-3F as an example this time. It has 4 Medium Lasers in the arms (which means 2 Light Energy Hardpoints per arm) and 2 Large Lasers in the Torsos (which means 2 Heavy Energy Hardpoints). You can still equip PPCs to the Stalker, but only in the Torso. This stops the massive PPC boating issue. It also allows Awesomes to once again be useful despite their fat nature.

You can still boat PPCs, but only in an Awesome, in which the Awesome was designed to boat PPCs in the first place!!. That's why the damn thing is so fat!! It needs room to mount those powerful weapons. A Stalker's tiny little arms shouldn't be able to mount a PPC, they're just too tiny.

Again this allows each BattleMech to keep their original design idea and allows each to be used as it should be.

This idea, clearly keeps to the lore of BattleTech and also stops the boating issue. It also solves a lot of the problems and allows for a more balanced build. Forcing people to think before they buy, and forcing people to think more heavily about their build and not just go instant flying to a "cheese-build".

However this does restrict a lot, and I mean a lot!! But I'm a BattleMech mechanic. I try to design builds that keep to the original design idea, but improve it/tweak it to my skills as a pilot. I've already set some restrictions for myself as I find it fun to have a challenge and I like to prove to people that there are other weapons in the game other than PPCs and Gauss Rifles.

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