MechWarrior Online Light Mech Piloting Guide



MechWarrior Online Light Mech Piloting Guide by Carfunf

Insanity, Is something you need to learn while piloting a scout. At least the line between sanity and Insanity. It’s a fine line that you need to constantly change. The first thing about a Light mech is Speed which is why I wont be covering Trial mech’s. The faster you are the more likely you will be to survive, now that doesn’t guarantee survival!

Piloting a light mech: Speed, Agility, Exposure

Speed: The faster you are the more likely you are to avoid or rectify a bad decision when in the heat of things. Speed insure’s you a longer life on the battle field if you keep your wit’s about. Particularly when it comes to missile’s ( more under agility on this ).

Speed Provides you with the means to be a perfect harasser,Headache causer, and keyboard smashing anger causer. Going ball’s to the wall right out the gates can sometimes mean that you are dead within the first minute of the game. Remember that moving with your front assure’s that you’ll be relaying info, and getting cover from your team mates. Remember that you can cross the map in half a minute or less depending on what map if you run full throttle. Which make’s you the PRIMARY base Quick reaction force ( under the current game mode).
Speed also gives you the means to determine the battle front, by this I mean under certain circumstance’s you will have 3-5 mech’s focused solely and when this happens you’ll need to utilize the full bag of tricks, Speed, Agility, Exposure to get those 3-5 mechs where your team needs them to be. Like wise that’s a secondary goal of your’s as a scout pilot prevent as many mechs from focusing on your main force as possible. That mean’s RUN THE FINE LINE between INSANITY and SANITY at this point. ( more on that later)

Agility: agile and quick like one of those whiskered little monkeys

The more nimble you are the harder you are to hit. Speed tie’s in with Agility because that’s what give’s you the ability to dodge missiles, Spread damage instead of taking it localized and limit exposure.
Agility is perhaps the greatest asset a light mech has in my opinion. I have dodged more missiles because of a cool head, Speed, and the ability of my mech to turn on a dime. Likewise however I crossed the line between insanity and sanity when I had to utilize that particular technique. What technique am I speaking of your probably asking, well it’s an easy one to describe but harder in practice. So you’ve got incoming missiles you see them coming because you’re utilizing the Left Control to look at your flanks as you’re maneuvering.
The last thing you think to do would be run in a straight line right? Well wrong you run in a straight line until the missile’s start there downward ark onto you and then from there just prior to impact you turn as tight as you can. This is where speed comes in handy you’ll have to control your throttle to get a tighter turn but quickly go back to full throttle as you come half way through the turn. ( I may get around to posting a video on this depending on the feedback)

Agility allow’s you to spread the damage as stated earlier. When you have a light mech, or any other mech shooting at you a predictable path is the path that will get you killed. Light mechs inherently have a good responsive feel about them. Use that with throttle control to cut down on exposure to shots, while maintaining a clear sense of where and what’s on the battle field, ( utilizing the Q key gives you an idea for the mech’s both friendly and Enemy on the field) Likewise your R key to give you a more detailed look at enemy’s which also allows Friendlies to rain Fire from the skies more accurately.

Agility means that you can get behind and stay behind heavy more cumbersome mech’s with a bit of practice. Which is the preferred method when taking on Awesome’s, Atlai, and likewise. I read somewhere ( wish I could give credit don’t remember who said it) But treat the front of those previously mentioned mechs like a death zone every time you cross in front is a chance to die. ( if you’re strafing). That mean’s Utilizing your Agility to maintain that “what what in the…..” sight picture when it come’s to dealing with heavies.

Agility as you can tell is in my mind the single/most best Important skill to master when piloting a light mech. which brings me to dealing with other light mechs. This will require the usages of both Speed remember faster’s not always better, and Agility. If you find your self in a strafing match with another light mech remember that a quick stop on the throttle can either get you out if you need to or get that shot you need. Remember the Line.. Sanity VS. Insanity.

Exposure
Exposure is both your friend and enemy by that I mean in order to spot you need to see however in order to get shot at you also need to be seen. Exposure is the art of using terrain and the environment to conceal your movement, prevent Locks on you, and of course spot the main force so that your team can ultimately decimate the foe!

Exposure is a simple topic but probably the hardest skill to master because it requires time on the field, actual play time to understand all the nook’s of a map. Exposure is your friend when you’ve crossed that line into the Insanity side of the game. When you have half the team’s LRMs inbound on you or a dozen or so LAZOR’s tearing through your armor. Utilizing the terrain at this point outside of hoping for a speedy get away is your only hope thus making Exposure a useful tactic. Likewise limiting your exposure while maintaining line of Sight on targets provides you with the ability to read the battlefield, pick a straggler and solo them out or skillfully control the battlefield. Remember exposure keeps you safe, while making you deadly this applies to ALL mechs.

I don’t really have much more to add to exposure so I’m relying on you the community to add points as you see I’ll edit them in likewise for the other points listed here.

Additons:

User: Lennstar
Nice one. Would add only one thing though: As a light NEVER stay still

User: Kmieciu
Weapons:
use weapons that limit your Exposure: beam lasers seem more efficient on paper, but on the battlefield you want to shoot fast and disappear. That`s why I use pulse lasers, despite the higher weight. Better to run away and cool down than to be a constant target

Remember, even if the whole enemy team is standing on your base it you can stop the cap if you are touching the ground inside the square. Don`t use jump jets. Don`t run in circles. Run in figure 8 around 2 enemies, make them shoot each other. Hide behind that assault`s back. Torso twist to spread damage. Don`t overheat – when the heat gauge reaches 80%, stop firing. If you overheat, your dead. When they breach your Jenner`s center torso armor stop shooting at them and cover yourself with your arm. Make them go through your arms and side torsos. Figure 8 is great for spreading damage evenly on left and right arms and tosos. Try to vary your speed: don`t go full throttle all the time so they won`t predict your lag shield.

It`s more efficient to run through the battlefield taking shots at the back armor of random enemies then to concentrate fire on the front armor of one. Demoralizing the whole enemy team and preventing them from concentrating fire on your team mates is more useful than taking one opponent out.

When facing other lights if you don`t have a distinct speed advantage or weapon load-out advantage, don`t get into circle fight on your own. Especially if you don`t have Streaks. Instead lead them to back to your team and then combine efforts to take them out as fast as possible.

So the TL:DR read version of this.

Speed: Faster is better though FULL throttle isn’t always the wisest choice when it comes to certain engagements.

Agility: Will save you more than you realize. A swift Corner or full stop with turn can set you up more than you realize,

Exposure: Keep’s you viable longer when you utilize terrain and Environment to conceal your movements.

And of course the Insanity VS sanity bit as a light sometimes you have to make a WILD decision to turn the tide. You should always be in control of YOUR situation Run the line of being out of control. But more than ANYTHING practice make’s perfect. Always try to analyze why you got killed sometimes it was a mistake you made and that’s where you make the greatest improvements.

Remember Have fun play how you want this isn’t a DO THIS OR DIE sort of bit this is what I feel make me a better pilot. Suggestion’s are welcome.

Tips by Kmieciu

Here are my tips:

– Change the FOV to 80 degrees so you don`t have to rely on free look (Left Ctrl)

Weapons:

– use weapons that limit your Exposure: beam lasers seem more efficient on paper, but on the battlefield you want to shoot fast and disappear. That`s why I use pulse lasers, despite the higher weight. Better to run away and cool down than to be a constant target

– Streaks are useful when dealing with other lights, normal SRMs are for backstabbing slower targets

– when you play with friends that use LRMs a TAG laser will benefit the team more than all of your other weapons combined. Remember that you don`t have to TAG the enemy all the time you can wait until the LRMs are in the air and TAG them as the LRMs begin their descent. I don`t have any hard data but I`d say TAG increases the LRM effectiveness by 50%. Instead of hitting legs and arms, the missiles will hit the torso of the target. So it`s 1 point of bonus torso damage for every rocket your team fires.

– enemy light mechs with TAG are your primary targets. Remember that they cannot TAG your friends and shoot you at the same time. Let them concentrate on tagging for a second, and when they get too confident backstab them with a full alpha strike to get their attention. If they are inexperienced they will follow you back to your team and get slaughtered. If they`re smart they will TAG you and call for an airstrike. The best thing you can do is to return the favour and TAG them back. This is IMHO the only situation where 1vs1 fight is beneficial to the team. If you feel outgunned or outmanouvered try to tackle them and find out who`s got better missile support. When the knockdowns come back, that is.

Jump jets:

– first and foremost, with current implementation you only need one (0,5 tonnes). It does not matter how many you have and where you put them – you get the same jump height and duration. It`s been like that since may. Report a ticket to the Devs so they put more priority on fixing it and exploit it while you can. I put one on a side torso, so even if I loose a leg, I`m still somewhat mobile.

– useful for quick turns: jump oven an enemy, turn in mid air and when you land unload an alpha strike into his back

– lead a couple of enemies over a ledge. Jump back and run back to help your team take out the rest. Divide and conquer.

– find high places inaccessible without jumpjets. Ledges, building tops. Enemies with torso mounted weapons will have a hard time to target you. Use it for your advantage. People tend to concentrate more on targets on their eye level, so you`ll become a secondary target

– nothing is harder to hit than a light mech running over uneven terrain. You go up and down, slow down and speed up randomly. If effectively doubles your LagShield®

Armor:

On a torso, I go for 65%/35% Front/Rear distribution. Your more likely to get hit while running away than heavier mechs.

Full armor on the Commando. Don`t even bother with less. If you end up with uneven number numer of tons strip some from the head. Cockpit kill on a running Commando is highly unlikely. And if you shut down in fron of a Gauss`a`pult, you deserve to die. Double AC20 shot to the cockpit will kill you regardless how much armor you have on your head.

You can strip some of the armor on a Jenner, if you`re desperate. Maybe 2-4 points of the legs, arms and side torsos. Due to small hitboxes side torsos on a jenner are leas likely to get hit. And since the arms lack the lower actuator, you have to face enemies in order to fire at them. Arms are so narrow, that it`s almost impossible to hit them form the front.
On the other hand I often see Jenners with dark red internals on the center torso, while other armor locations are untouched. That leads me to another advice: TORSO TWIST LIKE CRAZY while your L4Z0RZ recharge. A light mech is like a knife fighter: better to get your arm scratched than to get stabbed in the gut.
Jenner`s arms often have more armor then the front center torso. If you see someone aiming at you with Gauss or AC20 DON`T LOOK STRAIGHT at him. Let him take the shot, then return fire!

Engines:

Get an XL ASAP. I don`t remember seeing a Jenner running with a destroyed side torso. It`s more likely to get a cockpit shot. Remember that LRMs spread damage. Better to run faster with an XL engine and AMS than to use a Standard engine.

AMS:
More beneficial than you might think. It can shot down about 5 missiles out of one salvo. That means 10 points of damage less to your good buddy in an Atlas if you keep close to him. And with AMS you can pull of the most shameless maneuver in battle tech: backtab that LRMboat while shooting down the missiles he`s launching at your team!

Circle of death:

DON`T. GET. INTO. IT.

This is not Solaris 1vs1. Medium and Heavy mechs have many times the armor and firepower than a light mech. They will get through your Lag Shield ® eventually.

It`s more efficient to run through the battlefield taking shots at the back armor of random enemies then to concentrate fire on the front armor of one. Demoralizing the whole enemy team and preventing them from concentrating fire on your team mates is more useful than taking one opponent out.

When facing other lights if you don`t have a distinct speed advantage or weapon load-out advantage, don`t get into circle fight on your own. Especially if you don`t have Streaks. Instead lead them to back to your team and then combine efforts to take them out as fast as possible.

Saving the base:

If the enemy is capping your base and the rest of your buddies can only reach 48 kph it`s up to you to to take one for the team.

See if you can make the enemies leave the base square. If they have half the brain, they won`t but it`s worth a try.

Remember, even if the whole enemy team is standing on your base it you can stop the cap if you are touching the ground inside the square. Don`t use jump jets. Don`t run in circles. Run in figure 8 around 2 enemies, make them shoot each other. Hide behind that assault`s back. Torso twist to spread damage. Don`t overheat – when the heat gauge reaches 80%, stop firing. If you overheat, your dead. When they breach your Jenner`s center torso armor stop shooting at them and cover yourself with your arm. Make them go through your arms and side torsos. Figure 8 is great for spreading damage evenly on left and right arms and tosos. Try to vary your speed: don`t go full throttle all the time so they won`t predict your lag shield.

I managed to delay a cap against 3 enemy Atlases using a stock commando. They took all my armor, including legs, arms and side torsos. And when friendly Atlases got back I had my revenge by delivering the killing blow on one of the enemies with my torso mounted SRM6 :-)

And if you`ve read through all this than congratulations!

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