The Problem With MWO

Today, the metagame seems to be that we pack all the PPCs, gauss and AC20s on a mech that we can. I mean in what universe is a light with a PPC at all reasonable? Oh wait. PGI’s Mechwarrior Online.

Doom (yes the original id doom) and Gears of War are fun to play because their combat mechanics make the players feel powerful. Nobody wants to play a game where they don’t feel like they are contributing to the outcome of the game.

In the lore, the Atlas and other Assault class mechs are not invulnerable, but are supposed to take one hell of a beating even after they get in close. Under the current meta where stalkers routinely take six PPCs just for that one shot alpha which can obliterate an Atlas, players don’t feel powerful. One miscalculation and your mech gets obliterated in the time it takes to blink, leaving you to fume at the score screen. Combat is consequently entirely too short and sharp where it should be more of an extended boxing match.

Something has to give to solve the “high alpha” issue, or MWO will remain no fun to play. There are several suggestions which I’ve seen floating around on this thread and in others which would help render high alpha single strike mechs nonviable.

  1. Change how heat stacks from several PPCs to a nonlinear function, or add a scaling factor so that for N PPCs the heat is M > N.
  2. Change how overheating works to deal significant internal damage or penalties for hugely overheating a mech.
  3. Change how damage stacks so that N PPCs don’t deal N*base damage.
  4. Change the cooldown mechanic, for instance rendering a single shot PPC point alpha impossible by demanding that they be staggered and justify this with some story about power fluctuations from cannon.

Point 3 is bloody stupid and that’s all I have to say on the subject. If you fire N weapons, then you will deal N times their base damage.

Point 2 I like a lot. Most of the time on my brawler mechs, you only ever overheat by a little bit because due to brawling you slowly burst you heat up over the cap, but not by very much. The “high alpha” builds which we are seeing now take advantage of the mechanic that self-destruction from overheating is an all or nothing affair. By adding an internal damage mechanic for overheating which scales exponentially from 100% max heat to “guranteed suicide” at 125% max the game would punish ‘boaters’ who blow out their heat caps by stripping armor and damaging internal components thus discuraging the PPC based high alpha builds.

Point 1 would get the same place as #2, but I think is more BS because it specifically punishes the PPC weapon family rather than the practice of blowing out your heat cap.

Point 4 makes some sense and I like that it comes from cannon. However as an engineer I must protest. Having worked on pulsed EM systems a guass rifle or PPC would each contain a large capacitor bank electrically isolated from the rest of the mech save for the charging circut. The cooldown of these weapons is dicated by their charge time, so claiming that the weapon is “fully cooled down” (fully charged) and unable to fire due to “power limitations” is bs. Just close the circuit on the capacitor bank and let ‘er rip the rest of the mech be damned.


Dear PGI. Please add a damage based penalty for blowing out the heat cap by more than say 5%. Melt some armor off and maybe all internals randomly take up to two points of damage directly but the point is that there needs to be a more painful cost to being forcibly powered off due to heat.