Thursday, 14 November 2013

Critical Rocket's MWO battlemech suggestions

With the release of Project Phoenix and it's Saber reinforcement package due in mid December we have some of the most iconic battlemechs of the original 3025 era.  The Locust, Shadow Hawk, Thunderbolt, Battlemaster, Wolverine and Griffin are all awesome looking but I was a little let down that PGI are going to work on clan 'mechs now for release next year.

Clan 'mechs are popular no doubt, but personally they represent a huge imbalance to the Battletech setting.  MWO certainly suffers from balance issues currently and somehow I doubt the addition of new clan technology is going to help with this issue.  Dual Ultra AC/20 Jagermechs are going to create rage in some users that will be visible from space.  How about a Streak SRM 6 Catapult?  Light 'mechs are pretty much fucked when one of those roll around the corner equipped with BAP. 

My faith in PGI to do the right thing is lacking as some of their design decisions lack any sense or reason.  I can see them completely botching the clan tech additions and making the game horrendously unbalanced but hey I will still be there in my lostech Griffin gunning for power gaming clanners all the way.

The Panther
Recently a member of the MWO forum by the name of Hammerswarm proposed the brilliant idea of a new promotion called Operation Cancer.  For $40 you could unlock the Star League era battlemechs Crab and King Crab.  His idea is reasonable and the current poll on the thread has more people willing to pay for them if they ever materialised by the day.  Check it out for the cool concept art by PGI artist Alex Iglesias

Now I agree with Hammerswarm whole heartedly that we need more Inner Sphere battlemechs in this game before we ever need the clan 'mechs.  So I thought I would list a few non unseen designs that could really be interesting to see on the online battlefields of Mechwarrior Online.


Panther - How this light 'mech has been overlooked is beyond me.  It's a 35 ton badass of battlemech design.  It has a PPC as standard with a single SRM 4 rack for extra close range punch.  It isn't the fastest light out there but with a decent XL engine it wouldn't be too big of an issue.  The Panther isn't meant to scout or in the case of this game, base cap.  It's meant to provide fire support for light lances, sniping with it's PPC and re-positioning as the battle requires.   Given PGI's great eye for modernising these original designs I think the Panther could be one of the best looking 'mechs in the game.

Do you feel lucky punk?
Firestarter - Another 35 tonner here that again comes equipped as standard with a weapon rarely seen on the field.  4 Flamers could make this 'mech a major pain in the arse for larger 'mechs which rely on being able to fire their weapons rapidly.  It's not just flamers as it also mounts medium lasers and machine guns so it can support on the attack as well as ambush with it's flamers.  Working as part of a coordinated lance this 'mech could be a real stand out on the field.


Assassin - We need more 40 ton medium battlemechs and the Assassin is a good fit.  It looks great, is fast, jump capable and has a nice mix of hardpoints to play around with.  Since it's original role was a reconnaissance/light hunter the Assassin could be a nice addition to back up the Cicada on the field.

Clint - A 'mech whose designs had been lost until the 3055 era, this medium looks mean and has the weapons to back it up.  It's always nice to have a AC/5 and some medium lasers to bring the pain on foes.  It's fast at 97 KPH and is also jump capable meaning it's a tough target when bolting across the field.  Again this 'mech can work in tandem with the Cicada providing autocannon cover to it's scout buddy.


The black knight
Grasshopper - Being pretty much the only remaining 3025 non unseen 'mech left this seems a logical choice really.  It's ugly and certainly needs some love from PGI's art team to make it more visually palatable for players but don't let it's looks turn you off from it's potential as a heavy.  The standard build comes with 1 large laser, 4 medium lasers and a single LRM 5 and was intended to hunt lighter 'mechs.  In MWO the huge number of laser hardpoints means it can be very flexible with it's loadout and the missile slot could be used for a single big LRM rack.

Black Knight - A Star League era design that graced the cover of the fall of terra book back in the 90's, the Black Knight is one tough battlemech.  Sporting a PPC, 2 large lasers, 4 medium lasers and a single small it's pretty much a hotbox.  Heat will always be an issue but it's damage output makes it extremely attractive to those who prefer a loadout that doesn't rely on ammunition.  It also helps that it looks the business and would be a great fit for MWO.


Zeus - It's one of those 'mechs that you see and go "wow I'm in space" it's that good.  Like the mighty god of the same name the Zeus strides across the battlefield laying waste to most opponents.  Lasers, missiles and ballistics this 'mech has it all.  It's another 80 ton assault but the current lineup could do with more of this weight class considering the upcoming drop weight limits which will see a reduction in the number of Atlas 'mechs seen online.

Cyclops - This 'mech would probably work better for community warfare when the command console is added.  It's a command 'mech first and foremost designed during the Star League era to monitor unit movements and alter commands as necessary.  It does have a powerful weapons setup for a 90 ton assault so it's no pushover.

These are just 4 of the battlemechs that PGI could use without fear of legal action against them and there are plenty more left from the 3025 and 2750 technical readouts left before we need any clan tech. 

Given the relative success of the Project Phoenix I wouldn't be surprised to see a second Phoenix pack make itself known next year, probably giving us another cluster of the unseen designs.  If they went again with 6 'mechs then I would pick the Valkyrie, Ostscout, Warhammer and Marauder with the Archer and either the Wasp or Stinger as extra's similar to the Saber pack.

Only time will tell but it's not like I am against PGI continuing to add to this great game, I just wish they would focus on what made Battletech popular to begin with instead of pandering to the fanboys.


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