Lord Trogus, on 10 April 2012 - 08:04 PM, said:
Well, everyone wants the perfect 'mech, the "I Win" button, if you will. The sad reality is that this thought is garbage. Hence, the use of a full lance is designed to compensate for the weaknesses o.O
I really don't understand the logic either, OP.
Anyone coming from the previous video game titles is likely to have a "one man army" expectation - vis-a-vis that the campaign mode expected you to routinely take out 4x - 8x your effective tonnage in enemy units, and the game maps, weapons balance, loose heat tracking, and fast weapon cycle times all combined to heavily reward "specialized" loadouts centered around massed fire from a single type of weapon system, and these tended to carry over well into multiplayer modes as well. I think that an increased emphasis on terrain, good reconaissance, and company-level tactics in MWO is going to turn a lot of that on its head.
Victor Morson, on 11 April 2012 - 09:09 AM, said:
1: We don't know how the heat scale is in MWO. DHS also may be available to fix that.
2: "On the flip side rip out the LRMs and replace them with SRMs and you've got quite a brawler." - Me
3: Brawlers are great. Range support is great. All-range designs (Laser, Gauss, etc.) are great. 50/50 mixed bags generally aren't. I'm pretty much 100% confident the Atlas can be adopted to any of these. That's why we have a Mechlab.
Exactly why my point stands even more: You want 12 specialty 'mechs out there that cover each other's weaknesses and not 12 'mechs gimped at various engagement ranges, generally.
If all your LRMs are on your Catapults and all your SRMs and AC/20s are on your Atlas, the Catapults can start running away firing while the Atlas block anyone trying to get at them. Likewise, the close range guys can push up while the ranged support keeps the pressure on.
If you split everybody's firepower 50/50 a unit dedicated at either will keep their optimal range (close OR long) and you will always, always be outmatched. It's just the way it is.
Yeah, pretty much what I was saying but all the more reason to just strip the Atlas's LRMs out and make it a brawler or a sniper, like I was saying. The vast majority of CBT designs were gimped on purpose to balance things out, which is why people complain about them - and why a Mechlab pretty much fixes any problems you might have. I'm sure the Atlas will be great as a brawler or sniper or whatever you want to do with it.
I'm pretty sure nobody will want to run a stock one, though. Ever.
The Atlas is actually a pretty good stock 'mech. Not the best choice on wide open terrain, but a single LRM/20 is no joke, and the Atlas has enough armor to outlast most lighter 'mechs while it closes in. Ideally, it is a close-range damage machine, though, and as mentioned before, it mounts about as much close-range firepower as its heat sinks can manage. The ability to dish out 42 damage per turn without any overheating (not to mention massive 10-point punches and 20-point kicks which cost no heat accumulation), plus the frontal armor to withstand concentrated fire from multiple enemy units of any weight class, all combined to make the Atlas a brutal close-range combatat. The LRM is really just a little something to soften up a target on the way in, and to give lighter "sniper" units something to think about.
As for specialization vs. all-rounding, I think there isn't an answer that either case is better - realistically, at the company level, you are going to want a few specialized designs that max out speed or armor or long or short range firepower, and a number of more generalist designs that are effective under a range of conditions and can support the more specialized units. You go to war with what you have, and generally speaking, entire companies and regiments aren't purpose built for just one thing, since they aren't going to be able to pick where all their battles are fought, and refitting takes too much time to do on the fly before battle. Setting up a unit with say, 3 Dragons, 6 Catapults, 2 Awesomes, and a lone Commando for recon sounds nice from the perspective of massing as much long range firepower as possible, but it becomes almost useless once my enemy withdraws into a thick forest and starts fighting a guerrila hit-and-run campaign. Likewise, a company of 4 Atlases, 5 Hunchbacks, and 3 Jenners may mount a nasty urban defense, but are going to be severely disadvantaged if they get tasked to hunt down a more mobile enemy in open country. And if you pit the two units against each other, and each has some discretion in choosing the battlefield, it becomes a stalemate.
But by contrast, a company set up with, say, 2 Jenners, 2 Hunchbacks, 3 Centurions, 1 Dragon, 2 Catapults, and 2 Atlases, has the ability to compete under a variety of conditions, and despite the fact that nearly half the 'mechs are "all-round" configurations, I'd give it better than even odds of besting either of the more "specialized" units under anything but their own ideal conditions.
And I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some stock Atlases running around. They are a very effective 'mech.