Kind of like Indiana Jones with that Walther

I have three Commandos.

One is the standard lame Streak Commando with three SSRM-2s and no other weapons. It gets kills.

One is slighly less cheesy, with two Streak-2s and two Small Lasers. It gets kills too, and doesn't become harmless when the missiles run out.

The third, by far the fastest, has an Anti-Missile System and two Small Pulse Lasers. It never kills anyone. It floats like a butterfly and stings like one too.

So no shit, there I was, in Frozen City, doing figure-8s around a Catapult and a Cataphract. I was poking them gently with my two tiny guns and preventing them from getting anything more useful done.

One of them blew my leg off.

What that does in MechWarrior Online at the moment is not actually cause your 'Mech's leg to fly off, and not even cause you to fall down, because knockdown was taken out of the game when they launched the open beta, having caused too many problems with 'Mechs getting back up in places strangely distant from where they fell over.

Rather, losing a leg just drops your speed to zero, and restricts your top speed - I think very severely if all of the leg's internal structure is gone, and by less if some of it remains.

My Commando was suffering the lowest level of speed-reduction, which only halves your speed - meaning I could actually still do 67 kilometres per hour once I accelerated again.

That's not what happens when a light 'Mech gets "legged", though. What happens is, other 'Mechs take advantage of its sudden immobility to hit it with everything they've got, blowing off the other leg and thereby killing it, or just killing by demolishing some other important component, like the engine or cockpit.

Not going to go down without a fight, I whipped the crosshair around to the exact middle of the Catapult's body, and fired one Small Pulse Laser shot.

The Catapult is sort of Marauder-shaped; its cockpit is at the front of its vaguely egg-ish body.

Critical hit to cockpit. Shower of sparks, Catapult dead.

Not believing my luck, I whipped around the other way and shot the Cataphract right in the middle of his body.

The Cataphract has more of a standard biped layout; its cockpit is not in the middle of its body.

The middle of its body is the centre-torso location, behind which is the engine.

This guy's centre-torso armour was already gone.

Critical hit to engine. Shower of sparks, Cataphract dead.

Other people took a while to finish off the last enemy Atlas, everybody being slightly distracted by quite a lot of chat conversation about WTF just happened, and whether or not this qualified me to be King of Israel.

When I came out of the game and my 'Mech was repaired, my bank balance started with "1337"

[Explanation of the title.]

15 Responses to “Kind of like Indiana Jones with that Walther”

  1. ziggyinc Says:

    Sigh, I've been playing World of Tanks since its beta, and now you have convinced me to try MWO. When you see me running backwards into a wall just kill me gently.

    • ScumBunny Says:

      IIRC MW2 supported shooting limbs off mechs even back then. Mercenaries definitely did. Heck that was one of the primary features of the game, what with salvaging downed mechs and all.

      So, before you commit to a Mechwarrior game that doesn't even do that (AND no knocking down trees), may I suggest this again:

      Dan: I'm getting an early start on the whole MWO/Hawken rivalry thing. You know, before everyone does it and it stops being hip :)

      • dan Says:

        MWO does let you shoot off arms, just not legs yet.

        (You can also shoot off arm-equivalents, like the large and readily targetable boxes on a Catapult's shoulders. The 6-missile-hardpoint CPLT-A1 has all of those hardpoints on its "arms", which therefore should be the first thing you shoot, and absolutely must be the first thing you shoot if it's one of those six-Streak bastards.)

        And I've got no problem at all with Hawken, except it's much more of a twitch game than MWO, and Australian ping times therefore make it a non-starter for me, even if my middle-aged reflexes were still good enough.

      • Fallingwater Says:

        MW2 did support limb shooting, but it handled legs in a really funny way. Get its armor to zero, and the leg just rockets off the mech in several pieces. The affected mech couldn't move at all with normal means, and just stood there on its one good leg, looking very stupid indeed. They could still be dangerous if left alive, because a) they still had a 180-degree field in which their weapons worked, effectively making them stationary turrets, and b) if they had them, they'd use jump jets to hop around - still in the standing-still position, and looking very ridiculous indeed.

        Mercenaries didn't improve on this - it took until MW3 until destroying a leg would cause a mech to limp around dragging its bad leg.

  2. custom3173 Says:

    Advance apologies, but I must persist. We really must organize a dan clan. Anyone interested is welcome to send a friend invite to my username (same as above). I'm running a little teamspeak server as well that i'd be happy to open to fellow clananites.

  3. TwoHedWlf Says:

    I've just switched from a cat with 4X LRM to 4x Streak+1XLarge laser. Seems to be working much better. Using LRMs effectively I think takes a LOT better situational awareness and knowledge of the map than I have I think. Otherwise you end up spending the whole round blowing craters in the hills between you and the enemy.:(

    From the forum it sounds like the LRMs originally used a more realistic "attack profile" of flying up high and then diving on the target rather than the more mortar like arc they have now. But people complained they were overpowered.

    • dan Says:

      Yes, it does take a bit of practice to use LRMs properly now; River City is particularly challenging, because the buildings make great hiding spots.

      To help, try zooming in to 3X and seeing if you can see your target. If he's obviously running through concrete canyons or about to park himself under a bridge, or behind one of the Forest Colony lake islands, hold your fire.

  4. Red_October Says:

    You'll have better luck if you swap out those small pulses for mediums. The Small Pulse Laser is terrible in terms of return for weight, and on a Commando, every single bit counts.

    Still, it's amazing to do that which you did, and if I were not at work right now I'd raise my glass to you.

  5. MikeLip Says:

    This looks like rather a lot of fun. Is there a single player area where I can mess around and get the hang of the game mechanics before I join a multiplayer game and screw it up for everyone else? :)

    • dan Says:

      Regrettably not. A lot of people have suggested it, and it wouldn't be hard to implement (as opposed to computer opponents, which would be difficult), but they haven't done so yet. The only way to practice is in a live match, and you will probably die a lot.

      To limit the harm you do your team, take whatever the light-class trial 'Mech is, so you only get match-made with another light on the enemy team; as I write this there's an OK Jenner in the (regularly changed) trial lineup.

      (It's possible that a single-player mode, even if it were just in an empty version of one of the standard maps, would somehow help cheaters. These sorts of things are seldom as simple as they look.)

  6. sadface Says:


    Was perfectly happy playing COD4 on a Core2 Duo and a Radeon 5750.

    Started playing this new form of crack at the blistering speed of 8fps. I have even opened my wallet for some credits. Managed one kill in a Commando and 3 kills in the one of the trial mecs sniping with a PPC (man that thing hits hard).

    Now I am going to have to open my wallet again for an upgrade cause I am hooked!

    Its been 6 years since my last upgrade, 3 if you count replacing the 8800GTX that cooked itself. So what's a good upgrade these days?

    • dan Says:

      MWO is demanding, but not insanely so. My current computer has a venerable Core i7 920 overclocked to 3780MHz, and a GeForce 560 Ti, and it's more than fast enough for MWO at 1680 by 1050.

      (Frame rate suffers a bit if I go to the full 2560 by 1600 of my beloved giant monitor; lower res is fine because you don't really need pixel-peeping perfection unless you're a very-long-range sniper, which I pretty much can't be on Australian ping anyway.)

    • monomer Says:

      sadface, I have a Radeon 7750 which isn't much faster than your 5750, and it runs fine with my Phenom X4 955 at 1680x1050. From reading the forums, it seems that MWO is terrible on even the fastest dual core processors. The easiest and likely cheapest upgrade would be to throw in the whatever Core 2 Quad you can find since even the lowly Q6600 seems to run fine and wouldn't necessitate a motherboard change.

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