Points! Imaginary points! Twice as many of them!

This blog post exists primarily to alert appreciators of giant imaginary Internet robots to the fact that MechWarrior Online is, as I write this, about to start a double-XP weekend, thus making it easier to earn shiny customisations for your 'Mechs.

There's also a recently-introduced new 'Mech, the Spider. It's been given an Alien-ish tubes-on-the-back look that's way, way better than the godawful design of the tabletop-game version.

The twelve-jump-jet Spider-5V is also a barrel of laughs, and marginally useful in the base-capturing "Conquest" game mode. But it's almost completely unarmed (would you like two little lasers or one big one?), and the game currently has a 150 km/h speed limit that makes the Jumping Spider easy meat for more sensible light 'Mechs. The king of which is still the extremely practical ECM Raven 3L.

The Spider 5D can fit ECM and so is the most useful variant, but it'll be hideously mauled by a cheaper three-Streak ECM Commando 2D. The Spider is rather tall, too, making it an easier target.

But Spiders are still all over the place at the moment, on account of being new. And they're cheap. So if you can't afford anything better to level on this double-XP weekend, go ahead and tear around in a Spider, and see if you can beat this:

The rest of the team was dead. Five or six enemies remained. We were royally boned.

I was in my ECM Spider with three Medium Lasers.

I decided to go out by running around an Atlas and shooting him in the knees.

The various deceased spectators were highly uncertain that this novel strategy would achieve anything of note.

But I was not being completely quixotic.

Big 'Mechs, you see, often economise on leg armour, precisely because enemies usually try to blow off arms full of scary guns, or just drill through the torso into the engine, rather than plinking at legs.

Round and round I went. Pew pew. Pew pew pew. Pew.

And it was working. His leg armour in my target display went yellow, then orange, then red.

Someone blew my arm off. One torso-mounted laser left.

Round and round. Pew. Pew. Pew.

His leg armour went away.

As, in time, did one of his legs.

Spectators very impressed.

I had time to type "ha!" into chat before someone blew me to bits.

12 Responses to “Points! Imaginary points! Twice as many of them!”

  1. Itsacon Says:

    Another good reason to go for the legs, especially if a previous engagement has left one of them damaged already, it that many people use their legs to store ammo.

    Destroying a leg filled to the brim with AC20 or SRM ammo gives you a good chance of taking out the connected side torso as well, destroying much of his firepower at the same time as well as crippling his movement.

    And of course, shooting both legs of a mech gives you and your teammates a nice salvage bonus at the end of the match.

  2. jaranath Says:

    OKAY! Okay. I'll play. DAMN you, Rutter. :)

    Now...how do I do that?

    I mean sure, I see the tutorials and guides and such. What I mean is: This is a social game, and I'm not the most social person out there. I like giant imaginary Internet robots as much as the next guy, but to blow stuff up with these robots in the most effective ways possible, one must interact with other humans and even (shudder) TALK to them.

    Yeah, I'm exaggerating somewhat. I'm no misanthrope. But I AM rather painfully shy. So I would like some advice on finding a good guild (or Corps, as I think they're called in MWO). I'd rather run with a more mature, helpful, newbie-tolerant crowd. Note I'm not looking for specific group recommendations (though I suppose those are also welcome) so much as advice on how to pick one. Most have a forum presence, no? What should I look for? What should I avoid?

    • dan Says:

      There's not much Xbox Live teenage BS in this game, and you can play perfectly competently in standard random pick-up games without needing voice chat and guilds and so on and so forth.

      You probably WON'T play competently at first, of course, and there's no tutorial mode. But you don't really even need to watch video tutorials; just watch what others do. And the game now gives you a waterfall of cash in your first several matches with which you can purchase almost any 'Mech.

      Play trial 'Mechs for a while until you figure out how to control torso and legs and such, then get something modest like a Raven or Hunchback, and install only a couple of weapon systems (like, some medium lasers and some LRMs) so you don't need to play the piano while fighting. Stick with the gang, shoot what others shoot, and soon enough when your side wins you'll actually know that you helped.

      • jaranath Says:

        You were right. Having a blast in a Raven 3L. :)

        Dying a lot still, and thinking about getting something a bit tougher, but I recognize that my biggest problem so far is getting separated and mauled despite knowing darn well that's not what I should be doing. My best games thus far came from being like the people frequently slaughtering me: Staying with the group and pouncing on the occasional straggler into OUR group.

        Also had a game where every mech was light, and our side had 6 or 7 ravens, including mine. I quipped about "The Birds" and we DID terrorize the other side rather nicely.

  3. jaranath Says:

    Thanks! I had been under the impression that pickup games were rather rough, it helps to hear they're tolerable. And I WOULD like to be able to get the "Jane, stop this crazy thing!" moments out of my system before trying serious group action. And I've just noticed in the forums that some people organize training sessions.

    Well...if I get kneecapped by a scout mech some time, I'll wave at you. :)

  4. TwoHedWlf Says:

    OMG, they have the spider now? Must go play now...Wait...What's this crap, the spider's supposed to be a 4 legged mech!

    • TwoHedWlf Says:

      Wait, no I'm an idiot. I'm thinking of the Scorpion. If you need me I'll be over in the corner trying to be invisible.

      • dan Says:

        Yeah, not a quadruped.

        I don't know whether the game engine can do quadrupeds - or, screw it, let's have have some hex- and octopods! - without major rework or not. They'd obviously be nifty, especially if they were made more sure-footed for climbing hills and dealing with tackling, when 'Mech collisions are returned to the game.

        Note, by the way, that this whole game is only about a year old - one year ago it was probably coloured boxes levitating around on a chessboard. That doesn't make the game objectively better - if someone doesn't want to play it now because it's got few maps, no single-player and only two game modes, that's fine. But it does indicate that the development pace for this game is pretty darn quick, despite the endless complaining you'll find on the forums.

        Discussion of this, and of the strange and now-concluded tale of MechWarrior: Living Legends.

        • TwoHedWlf Says:

          I've always always preferred the quadrupeds in any mech type game. Ignoring the tripping and falling issues. A lower wider/longer shape makes it more practical to hide behind small hills and in gulleys than a tall "Hey look at me I'm a lightning rod for lasers" humanoid shape. I'm fine with significant application of suspension of disbelief to deal with a universe's mythology and aesthetics but I'm still going to tend towards the more reasonable options within that.

      • James Says:

        In a stunning example of the primacy effect, I've lost interest in the game until they bring out the Bushwhacker.

        That mech always struck me as a very Australian design, for some reason.

  5. RobL Says:

    I believe double xp weekend will stack with premium time (of which those paying attention got a free day via penny arcade) so you can grind useless variants (I'm looking at all of you without ecm) to Elite level with minimal pain.

    As for pub game, yes 8 randoms v 8 random usually result in an ententertaining and "fair" game (winner will be the one with the most ecm 90% of the time) but 8 random v 4 random + 4 man team will result in a spanking of such magnitude you'll think aimbots were involved. Using teamspeak provides such an advantage it beggars belief MWO hasn't got working voice chat yet.

    Even more "fun" is 8 random vs 2x4 teams who have "syncdropped" the silver lining being the match will last about thirty seconds.

    Still. Could be worse, like Planetside2s P2W economy or Hawken's inexplicable mechanics.

  6. hagmanti Says:

    I've clicked through to MWO one time.

    And now, the ads follow me EVERYWHERE!


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