So I've been slowly redeveloping the itch for mech violence. (It's like a rash.... I'd see a dermatologist, but I don't have health insurance that will cover that at my age.) I'm not ready for a proper return to MWO yet, but I've got a free mech coming in March that will fill a hole in my Clan CW drop deck, so that's going to have me back in the game.
That gives me time to do my homework and rebuild mechs, based on the 3067 tech and balance changes that have been implemented over the past several months. As I pick through the numbers and update my builds, I'll post preliminary thoughts and builds in this thread.
Tonight's thoughts:Laser Duration
It looks like about half of the Clan beam arsenal is utterly unusable. I avoid laser weapons with a beam duration over one full second, unless it's really
good on other metrics, in which case, if some combination of skills and quirks gets the duration under 1.1 seconds, I might just take it. That's ER large lasers out, ER medium lasers out, and all the heavy lasers gone. (HSLs barely squeek in with skills, so I might try a silly 12HSL Nova at some point.)
On this metric, Inner Sphere lasers are still pretty amazing, across the board. ER large lasers used to be the only IS lasers with a beam duration too long for my taste, but they had that duration trimmed just enough to make them pretty reasonable. In fact, combined with the regular large laser's beam duration increase to match the ERLL's new duration, there's little reason to take LLs over ERLLs.
Small-class lasers got a huge damage nerf a while back, but I'm going to want to play with those in the testing grounds at least, before drawing any exceedingly harsh conclusions.Grasshoppers
With ERSLs in the Inner Sphere inventory, I wanted to see if I could make an IS equivalent of a Nova. Well, there's no IS medium mechs with double-digit numbers of energy hardpoints, so I pretty quickly abandoned that plan and went looking at an old standby among energy-based IS mechs.
The GHR-5P used to be the go-to variant, with four hardpoints in the upper half of the torso. At the time, its quirks were roughly on-par with the other Grasshopper variants, so the high-mounted hardpoints just made the GHR-5P plainly superior.
That's changed significantly. The durability quirks have been pared back significantly, while most of the other variants had their structure quirks switched to armor. That makes the GHR-5P less attractive for laser vomit or medium pulse builds that operate at medium and close ranges. The high mounts, combined with the five percent energy range quirk, mean that the GHR-5P is still a prime candidate for a quad-ERLL build
. This can be an especially good build for first-wave defense on CW maps, on maps that let you snipe over the gates.
If you only need two high-mounts, the GHR-5H is a better option than the 5P, owing to its heat quirk, and for close-range builds, the GHR-5N has the right mix of hardpoints and quirks.
Speaking of, Rak's 8MPL GHR-5N
build is impervious to improvement. I fiddled with that thing for two hours tonight, and the best I could do was shave armor for a third jump jet. Is that really a worthwhile trade? Reeeeally
? Pilot's preference. I thought
that Light Ferro armor might fill in crits and open up some meaningful tonnage. It does free up about a ton, but there's nothing I want to swap out to open crits to use that extra ton. If you've already got an XL340 engine, the GHR-5N gives you a really good cheap-and-cheerful build.Next Time
I don't know.... I'm trying to stay positive, so probably PPCs, but this thread is going to be about whatever whim strikes me, when the whim strikes me.