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The Cicada's Sweet Spot For Speed


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#1 Darwins Dog

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:18 AM

I've been reading some discussions about Jenner vs. Cicada recently. A lot of people are saying that the Cicada has no place because the Jenner has higher max speed, same weapon options, and an additional ton of space after you add armor and engine. There's also the option to take jumpmets. That just didn't seem right to me. How does a mech that's five tons heavier have less available tonnage?

Well I went to my local mech lab and checked it out myself. Sure enough, with max armor, and engine the Jenner has 11 tons free, while the Cicada only has 10. But then I thought: What about with smaller engines? Well since I have school work to avoid doing I made a chart!

I assumed that both mechs would use endo-steel structure and nearly maximum ferro-fibrous armor (232/238 on the Jenner, 268/274 on the Cicada). I also only went down to ~100 kph, because neither mech should be going that slow. I plotted free tonnage versus top speed (with speed tweak) because those are really the relevant stats here, and when two engines had the same weight I only used the larger one.

Posted Image

You can see that, due to a quirk of engine weights, there's this sharp drop with the Cicada at around 130 kph. Slower than that and the Cicada is up on the Jenner by 2 or more tons. They're even for a bit, then the Jenner is clearly better. Another thing to keep in mind here is that you can free up a full ton on some Cicadas (the 3A, 3C, and 3M), without severe risk to your weapons, by stripping armor from the arms.

So what does this mean for our beloved bug? It means that you should invest in a 300 XL engine, and learn to live at the snail's pace of 133.7 kph. You won't be winning any speed competitions, but you will bring a lot of extra punch to the fight. You can still hold your own against a light mech (but you should never engage one-on-one in any mech unless you have to). The 300 XL leaves you 15 tons to play with; the Jenner would need to drop it's speed to 119.6 to get that much space. This is the true advantage of a Cicada (in my humble opinion).

EDIT: This is not to say that builds with bigger engines are bad. I run several with 325 XL and the 330 XL from the X-5, but I encourage everyone to play around with the 300 XL.

TL;DR VERSION
The 300 XL is the most efficient engine for the Cicada. You run at 133.7, and have 15 tons for weapons and equipment with max armor. No other mech in the game can match that combo of speed and firepower.

Edited by Darwins Dog, 11 August 2013 - 07:53 AM.


#2 Stingz

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:03 AM

View PostDarwins Dog, on 11 March 2013 - 06:18 AM, said:

TL;DR VERSION
The 300 XL is the most efficient engine for the Cicada. You run at 133.7, and have 15 tons for weapons and equipment with max armor.


The real question is what will you do with the spare tonnage, swapping for 4 M.Pulse seems to be what I'll be doing.


After being chased down by a TBT-3C, I'm keeping my XL 320. I really need 136+ k/ph to respect a Cicada.
Another factor is a bigger engine has better twist and agility, something the Cicada really needs.

Edited by Stingz, 11 March 2013 - 08:33 AM.


#3 Deathlike

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:35 AM

A 300XL sounds about right... the 320XL the 3M comes by default is really sweet though.

#4 Darwins Dog

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

View PostStingz, on 11 March 2013 - 07:03 AM, said:


The real question is what will you do with the spare tonnage, swapping for 4 M.Pulse seems to be what I'll be doing.


After being chased down by a TBT-3C, I'm keeping my XL 320. I really need 136+ k/ph to respect a Cicada.
Another factor is a bigger engine has better twist and agility, something the Cicada really needs.

For my 3M I run a 295XL (pulled from my Raven) with 4x ML and a UAC/5 (2 tons of ammo). You have to drop a bit of armor, but the firepower is nice. If you're not a fan of ballistics, then you can run 2x LL and 2x ML with pretty good heat efficiency.

#5 Rainbowshi

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

I've found this pretty good.

http://mwo.smurfy-ne...f41ccdd700605fb

#6 ScrapIron Prime

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

I'm using a 300XL in my X-5 now, running 4 ML and 2 SRM-4. it's working rather well.

#7 Snake Blitzken

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

I also use the X-5 and gave up a bit of speed by running the 300XL. However, I fitted mine with 2 SRM-6 systems. I can put out well over 300 Damage in a match as long as I don't overextend and get picked apart. I do have a minor heat issue with this build that requires a bit of managing, but with a minor amount of caution and with my play style this build is fantastic.

http://<a href="http://mwo.smurfy-net.de/mechlab#i=64&l=f31b1a08a5a0d272a1c0406bde2747d8a168dbc2">X-5</a>

#8 Ryebear

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:13 AM

ok, now do this for all mechs and list engine ratings (and mention this includes Speed Tweak) because this is awesome!

#9 Symbiodinium

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

A CDA-3M with a 300XL and 4 med. pulse lasers might be my favorite mech.

#10 Magicbullet141

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:24 AM

geez darwin, too much freetime? :)

#11 Hex Pallett

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:37 AM

View PostDarwins Dog, on 11 March 2013 - 06:18 AM, said:

I've been reading some discussions about Jenner vs. Cicada recently. A lot of people are saying that the Cicada has no place because the Jenner has higher max speed, same weapon options, and an additional ton of space after you add armor and engine. There's also the option to take jumpmets. That just didn't seem right to me. How does a mech that's five tons heavier have less available tonnage?


Just saying, it is much easier to hit a Cicada with an AC20 than to hit a Jenner.

My Wang can vouch for me.

#12 Dan Nashe

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

Very first thing I did in TT was make a chart of most spare tonnage for every speed benchmark. Tougher in MWO. The big issue is hitboxes. Makes the math tricky. With the same armor and smae speed, cicada will die more easily than a light. So the question is:how much armor do you need to compenstate for the larger frame! This and differing weight effciencies for different hard points means that the base comparison is tough. You really need to compare full builds at various speeds.

#13 Loc Nar

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:22 AM

I found the 300xl to be the sweetspot for the x5, and my 3M needs a 280xl to make room for that ECM and AC2, but my laserboats seem to suffer with engines under 325xl cause slot space. I find anything short of 325 doesn't carry enough DHS to cool off the lazors sufficiently. I love your chart though, and hope you do them for more mechs!

#14 FrostCollar

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

300 XL is what currently powers my X-5. This information is interesting though. It makes me think about tweaking my 2A by downgrading it's 330 XL and putting in some more heatsinks. It's also a good guide for what to do with my 3M. I've got a 255 XL engine in there, 2 PPCs, and a TAG. It allows you to cover your team with ECM and fight at long range at the same time, but it's lackluster at fighting faster mechs alone.

#15 Jay Z

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:37 PM

I did try a cicada to run the 4PPC "noisy cricket" but sold that quickly as I prefer all 3 Jenners over the Cicada. The smaller hitboxes and jumpjets do make a difference in highspeed dogfights. (JR7-K and JR7-F use a 300XL and the JR7-D only has a 295XL). Granted, if are happy to go slower and run PPCs, the Cicada is a much better mech and your graph supports that.

#16 Darwins Dog

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:44 PM

View PostJay Z, on 20 March 2013 - 06:37 PM, said:

I did try a cicada to run the 4PPC "noisy cricket" but sold that quickly as I prefer all 3 Jenners over the Cicada. The smaller hitboxes and jumpjets do make a difference in highspeed dogfights. (JR7-K and JR7-F use a 300XL and the JR7-D only has a 295XL). Granted, if are happy to go slower and run PPCs, the Cicada is a much better mech and your graph supports that.

Exactly this. The reason I made the OP was because I realized that if you are trying to run the Cicada with max speed, what you really have is an inferior Jenner. The advantage to the Cicada is that it can support things like PPCs and large lasers.

#17 Dasein

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:18 PM

Actually it's just because engines with rating more than 260 have less weight/rating efficiency. for example 260 rating xl engine weights 13 tons and 270 - 13,5 but 400 39.5. If it was linear 400 xl engine would weight only 20. It's because bigger engines also provide free slots for eternal hs, Basically meaning you trade additional weight for better heat efficiency.

#18 Lucian Nostra

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:05 PM

Yeah I use a 300xl on my 2a, it allows 20 DHS, 6 Medium Lasers and 208 points of armor.

Still keep a 320xl on my 3m, 14 DHS, 4 MPLs + ECM and 215 armor is enough for me

#19 Monsoon

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

I've found my sweet spot to be an engine XL315-325. The speed is enough to compete with Maxed-out Lights in a dog fight and light enough to get you the weapons you generally want to load-out.

Anything more and the speed is really only designed to let you runaway even faster.

#20 Darwins Dog

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:10 AM

This is an aspect that I've changed my opinions on several times. I wrote the OP as a response to a number of people claiming that the Cicada was inferior to a Jenner in every way. The main way that it is better is moving 15 tons of gear at 133 kph.

I do have some builds that use a 325XL, and even a 340XL (I sold the 320XL like a n00b and I regret it), but it also depends on desired role and playstyle. I like to play escort for larger mechs so I only use the extra speed if I need to go cap, or relocate to another fight.





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