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The Jump-Jet Maneuvers Manual


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#1 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:40 AM

(Edit: Revised for post-patch adjustments to cockpit shake and hill gradient speed reduction. New notes: 5. 6.)

I like to repost this every once in a while to help players understand the significant advantages associated with JJs. Used properly, they open up a level of maneuverability to any sized mech than can in effect increase your groundspeed and survivability.

First, a few rules of thumb:
1. Never land moving in the same direction you launched from. By landing in a new direction, you will throw off your opponent's convergence.

2. Never use 100% of your fuel to launch, save at least 10-20% to land, preventing valuable leg hitpoints from being lost. Sometimes, more or less fuel is required, depending on your elevation from the ground.

3. Never get too close to terrain or other mechs. By getting stuck or hitching on other pilots, you will take leg damage or body damage. A single sticky mistake can result in death for lights and some mediums.

4. JJs are highly, highly underused. When your mech has them, it is not limited to the flat map every other mech is. By not using your JJs at every opportunity for an advantage, you may as well have an AMS without ammo, or an LL that you never bother to fire.

5. Never attempt to scale an object or hill you cannot fully reach the top of with room to spare. Landing on the edge of a hill or building will cause your mech to cease moving, making you an easy target. If you feel you are not reaching your landings effectively, you may need more JJs. Previously, 2/4JJ was enough for most maneuvers, but now more than ever, your JJ count should be closer to max.

6. Whenever firing from mid air, you must always take your finger off the jump key long enough to fire. Imagine it like the clutch in a manual vehicle. If you don't take your foot off the gas to change gears, or you try to gas at all during the changeover, you're gonna have a bad time.

This takes much more rapid aiming and careful JJ use to make mid-air shots worth anything than previous client builds, but is still a valid tactic with some practice. I myself have found it to be very little impendiment to my GaussJack, but I still find the action of doing so challenging. (But not insurmountable)

USE JJs PROLIFERATELY

Circumventing Terrain: The most obvious use of jumpjets is jumping onto, or softening your landing from, cliffs, mountains and ravines. Because your mech continues to move in your current direction when jumping, some lips may catch and get you stuck, so jumping at the right time before reaching the cliff is essential. In this way, you can avoid finding a ramp or another way around, effectively cutting your travel time.
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Jump-Firing, (AKA Poptarting): Poptarting is the act of flying into the air from behind terrain, firing at a target, and falling back into cover before taking damage in turn. I always recommend doing this while moving, as moving targets are much more difficult to hit. By releasing and tapping your spacebar, you can also effectively "hover" right above cover, where you can easily fire but are more protected.
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Air-Turns/Shorthops: When in air and if you have fuel remaining, you can redirect your legs, causing you to move in a new direction when you land. By doing this during a very short burst of JJ, you can change direction quickly without losing significant groundspeed. This is essential to your survival when dealing with other pilots. Ballistic-type weapons are especially dangerous to lights and mediums. Airturns can make convergence with these weapons very difficult, as most will fire at you as you land. Use this to move erratically.
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Stop-drops: Because many light mechs move at such high speeds, convergence can be somewhat hard. Certain situations where you are not at high risk for damage can be used to hit X in mid air, and then push back to full speed as soon as you land. This gives you a brief moment to fire easily at enemies who are alone or vulnerable, giving you better convergence without a risky speed-drop. USE CAREFULLY.
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Clouding: Many maps have water and dust elements that rise when using JJs. By repeatedly tapping your JJs while moving erratically, you can send up a visually disruptive cloud that makes convergence on you and your team very difficult beyond "firing at the red box." This is also a great way to safely disengage from slower enemies.
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Flyovers: Keep in mind that doing this can potentially cause leg damage when done incorrectly, so make sure you don't jump too late and bump your legs on them. Most JJ'd mechs are able to swing arm weapons low enough to fire into the torso/face of your enemy when they are directly below you. By simply hopping over enemies, you take yourself out of their convergence with arms briefly, and their torso for most of the jump. While this sometimes gives your enemy a shot at you, doing this when they already do have a shot helps to make convergence difficult, reducing the damage from a shot you would have eaten anyway.
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The 360 Shot: (Courtesy DodgerH20): The 360 shot is a maneuver using torso twist to run in a straight line, jump, and then turn half or all the way around in mid air to scout behind you or fire at targets chasing you. After your mid-air scouting or dakka, you then turn back to your original facing and land in the initial direction, allowing you to keep running where you were going. This move is great for adding damage to enemies who are hot on your trail, instead of simply running away and taking free damage.
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Large-Mech Evasion: Larger mechs equipped with JJs are more rare, and much harder to make good use of, however, they can still use JJs to great effect, mitigating damage or cutting through otherwise impassible terrain. Against targets close or far away, jumping high enough or dropping fast enough at just the right time can force your opponent to miss, or at the very least strike a section they did not intend to. When using this tactic, and large JJ'd mechs in general, you should always have full leg armor. The more often you do this, the more leg damage you will find yourself taking, often resulting in a leg death on mechs that do not normally fear such a problem. Your legs are, in effect, being used as a shield. Every hitpoint is integral to your survival.
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Instant Chicken (AKA 180 turn, courtesy Hayashi): This advanced tactic should be used very cautiously, as it exposes you to enemy fire, leg damage from dropping and leg damage from enemy 'Mech collision. However, it is very useful against single foes and in certain brawl situations. Mostly, this tactic is for lighter mechs such as the TBT/BJ or lights. I recommend that new players avoid this move, as it requires a good feel for your mech, as you must be tracking many different issues at once to avoid taking damage. The wrong move can result in instant death for lights.

When chased or turning around to face an enemy, simply jump upwards high enough but no higher than is necessary to do a full 180 turn. Preferably, do this at an angle to the chasing foe, giving them a harder target. When you land, land facing one side of the enemy, as if you are going to run past them. Then, immediately use another tiny burst to change direction slightly to face the other side and run past that way. Depending on how far away from the foe you are, continue using burst-turns to evade fire until you can pass.

DO NOT GIVE THEM AN EASY TARGET. Be very careful not to strike the enemy mech with your own, or you will take severe leg damage, equal to being shot by a weapon. It is also important that when you first land, you wait just long enough to get some groundspeed, as landing resets your mech walking speed, and rebursting too early will make you a very slow, easy target.
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Mountain Rushing: (Works best for lights, but for anything works if the mountain is steep enough)

(Important note! With the new movement mechanics in place, moving up a mountain with JJs still works, but slows the mech considerably faster. Larger/slower mechs should use great caution and ensure they will not become stuck half way up a hill, or they will face becoming an easy target)

Keep an open mind for this tactic and the explanation. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. (Tesseracts notwithstanding) When you travel up a mountain on foot, you travel at (with my sdr as an example) 151.5kmh. This speed is uniform over all the little "invisible" bumps and gullies below your feet. While it may appear that you are traveling over the distance at the same speed as flat terrain, you are not. All those little direction changes are adding up over time to increase the actual distance of ground your are covering to reach the top of whatever hill or mountain you are climbing, in effect reducing your speed without you noticing.

So if you hold your jets while moving up a mountain, you repeatedly cross those tiny gaps as your forward momentum carries you over them and onto the pathing behind them. Because this "nanojump" is so tiny, and the time spent in air is so short, your speed averages down to 150.9kmh, but you circumvent every tiny hitch in the mountain. While this all seems like an exercise in ******* while running, it avoids many of the dangerous hitches that are ever-present in the game, allows quicker evasion while traveling up a surface, avoids unclimbable patches and sends up a large cloud of dust that acts as cover in certain maps.

In short: Jethopping up mountains is safer, ever so slightly fast, and avoids the risk of death due to terrain problems. Simply hold or tap your jets while moving full speed at/up a mountain.
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There are a dozen more things you can do with JJs, so you should spend a lot of time getting to know how to use them and getting accustomed to doing so at all times necessary. Anyone who has seen me pilot (I use JJ'd mechs almost exclusively) can attest to the fact that I hate gravity and am almost never not using my available fuel, even in my HGN.

Seriously. F*ck gravity.

Enjoy the Skies. :3

Edited by TheFlyingScotsman, 07 July 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#2 Adran

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

Despite specializing in the catapult, I seriously never even thought of half of this..... Out of curiosity, could you make or point to videos where some of these tactics are used so they can be seen in action? It would help prove the viability of some of the tactics presented here (aside from poptarting, as everyone and their grandmother knows it by now, what with this being poptart warrior and all).

#3 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:01 AM

I already have a few videos up, though running the program on my not-so-cutting edge computer affects my performance, so I wont be making any more. :3

http://www.youtube.c...biO5FMEAOE8aSiw

There ya go.

#4 Alistair Winter

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:17 AM

You had me at "proliferately".

#5 Phoenix Gray

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

If you torso twist while jumping, can you change direction in midair?

#6 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:45 AM

View PostPhoenix Gray, on 19 May 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

If you torso twist while jumping, can you change direction in midair?


Nay

#7 Gong

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

I main a Spider 5-D with master pilot tree, MWO is seriously a whole other game with 8 - 12 JJ

nice guide, you covered everything i can really think of. i really like that you talked about using jump jets to make smoke screens its one of my favorite tactics

#8 Tarl Cabot

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

(chuckles) What is funny is dropping in a mech without JJ then repeatedly trying to jump by hitting the space bar :)

Edited by Tarl Cabot, 19 May 2013 - 11:54 AM.


#9 DodgerH2O

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:28 PM

Left off one of my favorite ones:

The 360 Shot (For lack of a clever name)
I've seen it done by Jenners, and have performed it myself in my Raven and Spiders. Not sure larger mechs can quite manage it on flat ground. If you have a good amount of speed you can zip by an enemy mech, jump and keep tapping your JJs to hover while you turn 180 degrees, fire your weapons (preferably at rear armor) and turn 180 degrees again to return to your original direction of movement. It works best with ballistics and pulse lasers, but you can get a good laser sweep often.
Bonus: If you start at a higher elevation than you land it becomes much easier to pull off. It can even be done in a Cataphract or Catapult (haven't checked Highlanders yet).

#10 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:23 PM

View PostDodgerH2O, on 19 May 2013 - 07:28 PM, said:

Left off one of my favorite ones:

The 360 Shot (For lack of a clever name)
I've seen it done by Jenners, and have performed it myself in my Raven and Spiders. Not sure larger mechs can quite manage it on flat ground. If you have a good amount of speed you can zip by an enemy mech, jump and keep tapping your JJs to hover while you turn 180 degrees, fire your weapons (preferably at rear armor) and turn 180 degrees again to return to your original direction of movement. It works best with ballistics and pulse lasers, but you can get a good laser sweep often.
Bonus: If you start at a higher elevation than you land it becomes much easier to pull off. It can even be done in a Cataphract or Catapult (haven't checked Highlanders yet).


Hah! I totally did. I do it all the time to scout and fire.

#11 Stokes52

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:36 PM

Something you forgot: JJs can DRASTICALLY increase your ground turning radius.

If you repeatedly and gently tap the spacebar while twisting your torso, the mech will barely lift off the ground, it will twist its torso slightly in the desired direction, and then land back on the ground, running in the direction of the twisting legs. You can effectively half your turn radius, GREATLY increasing both survivability and your ability to stay on target with that juicy rear armor, even when your enemy is torso twisting.

Basically this is what you do:
- To make a sharp left turn, hold down A and tap spacebar repeatedly.
- To make a sharp right turn, hold down D and tap spacebar repeatedly.

Try it, it's awesome - and infuriating to enemies.

#12 White Bear 84

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:46 PM

Great post OP. Jumpjets in the right hands can be pretty powerful - i kow at least one spider pilot who will literally run circles around you just by using jump jets, never seen anything like it. Serious kudos, now if only i could remember their name...

#13 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

View PostStokes52, on 19 May 2013 - 10:36 PM, said:

Something you forgot: JJs can DRASTICALLY increase your ground turning radius.

If you repeatedly and gently tap the spacebar while twisting your torso, the mech will barely lift off the ground, it will twist its torso slightly in the desired direction, and then land back on the ground, running in the direction of the twisting legs. You can effectively half your turn radius, GREATLY increasing both survivability and your ability to stay on target with that juicy rear armor, even when your enemy is torso twisting.

Basically this is what you do:
- To make a sharp left turn, hold down A and tap spacebar repeatedly.
- To make a sharp right turn, hold down D and tap spacebar repeatedly.

Try it, it's awesome - and infuriating to enemies.


This is already covered in shorthops, but is indeed an essential skill for JJ pilots. Shorthops give such a drastic directional change that your enemy has to entirely reaim. Doing it repeatedly while approaching otherwise deadly foes is a personal favorite. :3

#14 Adran

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

View PostTheFlyingScotsman, on 20 May 2013 - 11:17 AM, said:


This is already covered in shorthops, but is indeed an essential skill for JJ pilots. Shorthops give such a drastic directional change that your enemy has to entirely reaim. Doing it repeatedly while approaching otherwise deadly foes is a personal favorite. :3

I attempted to do this yesterday. Now, I may have done it poorly (I freely admit to not even thinking to try this before reading this guide), but just in case, I must ask: is this still effective on a larger, slower mech like the catapult? Cause I specialize in my Catapult C4. Most of this seems more effective in the smaller mechs, but do they still apply well in larger ones? Is there any particular advice you can give me that might help improve my skill? One trick I really love that I learned from this that I will probably be months practicing is jumping to fire 180 degrees behind me without turning at all, thus letting me maintain my direction, or adjust it all while still aiming and firing.

#15 zudukai

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:54 PM

View PostAdran, on 20 May 2013 - 04:26 PM, said:

I attempted to do this yesterday. Now, I may have done it poorly (I freely admit to not even thinking to try this before reading this guide), but just in case, I must ask: is this still effective on a larger, slower mech like the catapult? Cause I specialize in my Catapult C4. Most of this seems more effective in the smaller mechs, but do they still apply well in larger ones? Is there any particular advice you can give me that might help improve my skill? One trick I really love that I learned from this that I will probably be months practicing is jumping to fire 180 degrees behind me without turning at all, thus letting me maintain my direction, or adjust it all while still aiming and firing.

shooting behind you is still possible in a catapult, i only turn 90* 's before i turn back instead of full loops around, the turning thing is not that effective, the smoke shield however is still ok.

#16 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

View PostAdran, on 20 May 2013 - 04:26 PM, said:

I attempted to do this yesterday. Now, I may have done it poorly (I freely admit to not even thinking to try this before reading this guide), but just in case, I must ask: is this still effective on a larger, slower mech like the catapult? Cause I specialize in my Catapult C4. Most of this seems more effective in the smaller mechs, but do they still apply well in larger ones? Is there any particular advice you can give me that might help improve my skill? One trick I really love that I learned from this that I will probably be months practicing is jumping to fire 180 degrees behind me without turning at all, thus letting me maintain my direction, or adjust it all while still aiming and firing.


Unfortunately, this tactic is most effective for Lights, such as the SDR and JR7. I have used it to fairly good effect in the TBT, but beyond that, the tactic loses viability quickly the heavier your mech is. For larger mechs, I like to use vertical liftoffs and drops to do the same thing, however. It's a little like poptarting a mech directly in front of you, and even works with my HGN-HM. It requires good timing and forces you to count your enemy's weapon cooldowns so as to lift or drop right before they fire, hopefully forcing a miss or poor convergence.

#17 Adran

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

View Postzudukai, on 20 May 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

shooting behind you is still possible in a catapult, i only turn 90* 's before i turn back instead of full loops around, the turning thing is not that effective, the smoke shield however is still ok.

Yeah, thats about what I figured. Can you give advice specific to larger mechs? Separating tactics by viability based on the size of the mech would help improve this guide, and any weight-specific techniques should be shown as such, since there is a JJ-mech for each weight class now.

#18 TheFlyingScotsman

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

View PostAdran, on 22 May 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

Yeah, thats about what I figured. Can you give advice specific to larger mechs? Separating tactics by viability based on the size of the mech would help improve this guide, and any weight-specific techniques should be shown as such, since there is a JJ-mech for each weight class now.


I added an entry for larger-mech evasive tactics. I hope it helps you out, as I use them to great effect in my HGN and my A1. (2ASRM6 2SSRM2 LRM20)

#19 BigTrak

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:31 PM

Great post for pilots new to using jj's, I really appreciate the OP info and subsequent additional info contributed.

Now this has got me thinking about the actual mechanics of jj's, does anyone have info on this? Is see in the mechlab that the number of jj's used has only the jump distance affected - is this the only impact? How about weight of the mech, speed of jump, rate of height gained, amount of fuel used, turn speed (whilst jj'ing) and so on. Are there any other factors impacted re number of jj's? Surely a spider with 12(? IIRC) jj's must be more agile than a Treb with 5?
Cheers,
/Trak

#20 Hayashi

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

You've forgotten the 180 degrees turn.

The idea is to JJ and move your legs while in midair to the entirely opposite direction when someone is chasing after you using about 30-40% of your JJ fuel, such that the moment you land you are facing them directly, then blast spacebar immediately after to jump over their head while shooting them as they pass below you.

Nobody expects moves like this, so it gives you a free full damage alpha on your pursuer's CT, generally can be done without taking any return fire from them, and when you land they're now not only 200-300 metres behind you, but also facing the complete wrong direction. This allows you to quickly disappear behind cover... it's very good for light vs light short duels - you'll want to lead him back to your main force if possible to stack the odds against your pursuer after this.

At the moment it does face issues due to the Advanced Seismic Sensor however, which means they can still track you even after you pull this stunt. Previously, it used to be a lot more effective.

Combining this stunt with high speed 'poptarting' and the 360 shots, there was a game where I managed to pin down an entire 8 man team in Caustic before with the Spider K (1 large pulse laser)... which bought a lot of time for the snipers and LRM boats to pick them off at a distance with no resistance from them at all. Granted they were really horrible shots, but that was the best record I've had for a SDR-5K so far, with 400+ damage, 3 kills and 5 assists. One of the enemy team members remarked that that was the best performance he had ever seen from a spider, and another one of them replied shortly after, correctly, that the reason why that was the case is because most pilots completely underutilise their jump jets.

Edited by Hayashi, 25 May 2013 - 02:47 PM.






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