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Pro Training Wheels: Abusing Arm Lock


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#1 Victor Morson

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:54 PM

Hey everybody, this short tutorial's purpose is to explain how to maximize the use of the Arm Lock system that is currently in the game. While it was intended to help newbies learn to pilot their 'mechs, it's become a highly powerful tool of snipers everywhere and utterly obliterates the need to worry about arm/torso guns in most situations.

So check it out. If you're not sure what Arm Lock is, it is a toggle in your options that link your arm and torso guns together. It is the sole reason that terror builds like the Cataphract 3D and Highlander 732 are so brutally accurate.

So without further ado:

Step 1 - Pick a Style

You have two styles to use Arm Lock seriously with. The first is to disable it in the options menu, and to utilize the default toggle press & hold key of L SHIFT to toggle it back on. This is the most common method.

The alternate style would be to leave it on in the options, and press and hold L SHIFT to enable arms, opposed to disabling them. Either style is equally effective and is a pilot preference.

Step 2 - Pick a 'Mech

You're going to want to exploit the maximum potential of this, so you'll want a 'mech with it's big guns split between the arms and torso, in particular on 'mechs with lower arm actuators. Thus I'd recommend a Highlander, Cataphract, Victor or the like running both arm & torso guns.

Step 3 - Pick a Target!

Now, you're in drop and you want to get a quick, accurate shot at someone. Simply move your arm target over what you want to shoot, enable Arm Lock and you will now snap into alignment!

If you aim too far from the torso reticule, they will "meet in the middle" and snap together at a different point, so try not to over extend. Small shifts, however, always favor where you're pointing the arm. The defensive ability of the fast torso twists is dubious at best because of this, at least!

In Conclusion

With a little practice, you'll be able to poptart with the best of them, because the instant you release your jump jets you can press shift on your target and send all of your arm & torso guns flying into a single location on the enemy 'mech!

As a result you only really want to put guns on the arms that you might use in an infight (and thus not want to align). Past that, it makes no difference as you can negate all disadvantages with a single press of the button.

So if you've always wondered how those big split-location 'mechs manage to obliterate you in a single shot.. this would be it. Now perhaps you can at least turn the tables!

Edited by Victor Morson, 25 July 2013 - 02:57 PM.


#2 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:57 AM

I disagree with the word 'abusing'

Give me 1 logical reason where my super high tech walking robot cannot be made to point its arms in the same direction as its torso.

#3 Victor Morson

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:04 PM

View PostFire and Salt, on 26 July 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

I disagree with the word 'abusing'

Give me 1 logical reason where my super high tech walking robot cannot be made to point its arms in the same direction as its torso.


It was a feature intended, obviously, for newbies to not deal with arm movement that in practice allows for a 1:1 instant perfectly converged shot in a single button press for snipers.

Like the feature or not, that's definitely abusing it. Not exploiting it, as it's doing nothing outside of the designed mechanics (an important distinction) but definitely not using it for it's intended purpose.

#4 Roland

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:10 PM

It's kind of too bad that PGI effectively nerfed their own dual-reticle system, which was actually a pretty awesome implementation of the arm and torso weapons.

I suspect that they didn't intend for good players to just start using it for the advantage it conveys. It was originally designed for new players to prevent them getting confused and shooting their weapons down into the ground (which did in fact happen, all the freaking time... it was so painful to watch).

I'm kind of suspecting that next week we're gonna find that they're planning on putting 3PV into the same games as 1st person view players. While supposedly designed for new players to help them understand what is happening, all of the best players are going to immediately use it because it will convey a huge advantage and will become effectively required for competitive play, just as it was in non FFP games in Mechawarrior 4.

#5 Felio

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:20 PM

This is absolutely its intended purpose.

http://mwomercs.com/...ontrol-options/

"Arm lock is an easy way to converge fire."

The newbie-friendly aspect of it is that it's active by default.

#6 Darwins Dog

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:23 PM

I didn't realize it was giving instant convergence. That does not seem right at all. If anything it should bring your arms to your torso reticule (and at the same speed they normally move).

#7 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:11 PM

Ok, it would be cool if they slowed the arm speed, after pressing lock, to the same speed as the arms normally move. (I have my sensitivity super low, so I guess I just assumed that they would move that fast if my sensitivity was super high) It is not "instant" however. Fire a group of 2 lasers, 1 in the arm, 1 in the torso with your arms and torso apart, then press lock asap. The beam will not disappear then reappear in the center - it will just move there very quickly.



I however, on a 'mech that benefits from arm lock (ex: raven 2x with 2 lasers in the arm and 2 in the torso - even my 3L with 1 in the torso) just LEAVE it locked all of the time, and only UNLOCK it when someone is too high or low to shoot otherwise. (Or, in the case of arm swing mechs, when lights are circling you too fast to hit otherwise) I suspect that many other players do the same, thus this practical and logical adjustment may only have a negligible impact. (Since it DOES move AWAY from the center at the correct speed)


So, in your expert opinion, am I exploiting the game when I unlock the arms, and they move away from the torso at their intended speed? Or only if I lock them and then fire within a time period that is shorter than it would take to move the arms to center at their maximal speed?

Edited by Fire and Salt, 26 July 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#8 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:19 PM

View PostRoland, on 26 July 2013 - 01:10 PM, said:

It's kind of too bad that PGI effectively nerfed their own dual-reticle system, which was actually a pretty awesome implementation of the arm and torso weapons.
I disagree. Arm weapons can do anything a torso weapon can do, and more. They should be able to. It is like that in TT. It was like that in mw4 with the ability to shoot 90 degrees sideways in some mechs. The tradeoff is (potentially) vulnerability or (potentially) less slots. Arm weapons are the only thing you can use to shoot a mech way below you, or up on a hill. And, speaking as someone who will use arm lock whenever appropriate - I still only use it on a minority of mechs - mostly those that have weapons of the same firing characteristics spread across different parts AND that do not have arm swing - side to side movement is a huge advantage when tracking fast targets (quite common) - vertical, however, helps only on hills (less common).


I think being able to toggle arm lock mid game adds another layer of complexity and choice - do I want to try and hit this target with all of my lasers at once, or do I want to use the arms only, and have a higher accuracy rate. (If your mech is running hot, perhaps its best to use only the arms, eh?)

Edited by Fire and Salt, 26 July 2013 - 04:22 PM.


#9 Roland

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:31 PM

I don't you may have misunderstood that section of my post that you quoted.

I was pointing out that PGI made a very cool implementation of a dual reticle system, which inherently introduced some degree of weapons spread by separating different weapons. Then they effectively eliminated it by giving you the ability to just lock them together into a single, perfectly converging reticle.

I'm not sure why you listed the various benefits to having arm mounted weaponry.

#10 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:39 PM

I listed both the benefits and drawbacks to highlight the fact that "inability to point the arms in the same direction as the torso" is NOT an inherent, logical disadvantage to arm based weapons. It WAS a disadvantage based on an incomplete implementation of the systems that would logically exist in a mech.

This has now been remedied. Good. As for the 4PPC highlander - arm lock is not the problem. People would just use a 4PPC stalker instead.

Edited by Fire and Salt, 26 July 2013 - 04:40 PM.


#11 Roland

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:56 PM

No one is suggesting that being able to move your arms independently is a disadvantage.

#12 An Ax Murderer

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:06 PM

You are missing the point.

Example: You have a mech to your left. You start torso twisting to shoot him.

When your arms get to his mech profile, you hit the arm lock, and you torso instantly jumps to your arms, speeding up your torso twisting.

Does this make sense?

#13 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:49 PM

View PostAn Ax Murderer, on 26 July 2013 - 05:06 PM, said:

You are missing the point.

Example: You have a mech to your left. You start torso twisting to shoot him.

When your arms get to his mech profile, you hit the arm lock, and you torso instantly jumps to your arms, speeding up your torso twisting.

Does this make sense?


It seems to me that the arms rush over to the torso, not the other way around.

Furthermore, having just tested it, it appears that the arms DO in fact move at a speed that they are capable of normally - they do not move "instantly" in any way. They appear to obey the maximum arm velocity normally achievable with the arms when moving them separately. They also "decelerate" near the center rather than instantly changing from max angular velocity to 0 angular velocity.




View PostRoland, on 26 July 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

No one is suggesting that being able to move your arms independently is a disadvantage.
I am suggesting that when you have 4 lasers in the torso and 1 in the arm, the arm moving separately is a disadvantage. I am also suggesting that it is perfectly reasonable that the MechWarrior would be able to make the arm weapons in their mech converge to the same point as the torso weapons, should they choose to temporarily sacrifice the advantages offered by independent arms.

Edited by Fire and Salt, 26 July 2013 - 05:52 PM.


#14 Fire and Salt

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:59 PM

After testing it, I can see how someone would be of the perception that it snaps the arms instantly. Since the viewport follows the arms in side to side motion, the viewport seems to snap from the torso to the arms. In reality, it is just moving at the speed of the arms, with sharp deceleration. If you look closely, you will notice that the "snap" moves your viewport towards the torso position, not towards the arm position.

#15 Elizander

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:52 PM

View PostAn Ax Murderer, on 26 July 2013 - 05:06 PM, said:

You are missing the point.

Example: You have a mech to your left. You start torso twisting to shoot him.

When your arms get to his mech profile, you hit the arm lock, and you torso instantly jumps to your arms, speeding up your torso twisting.

Does this make sense?


I see. It should be the other way around. I never really bothered with it. I guess I'll have a look for myself later with some slow mech with a 100 rating engine.

Edited by Elizander, 27 July 2013 - 01:53 PM.


#16 Master Q

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:36 PM

View PostFire and Salt, on 26 July 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

I disagree with the word 'abusing'

Give me 1 logical reason where my super high tech walking robot cannot be made to point its arms in the same direction as its torso.


1 logical reason: INERTIA. It cannot do it instantaneously because instantaneous movement violates the laws of thermodynamics.

As for the rest, it is absolutely abuse. It is abusing a glitch in the system to move the torso faster than the game would normally allow for.

#17 Victor Morson

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:18 AM

View PostFire and Salt, on 26 July 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

After testing it, I can see how someone would be of the perception that it snaps the arms instantly. Since the viewport follows the arms in side to side motion, the viewport seems to snap from the torso to the arms. In reality, it is just moving at the speed of the arms, with sharp deceleration. If you look closely, you will notice that the "snap" moves your viewport towards the torso position, not towards the arm position.


This entirely depends on the distance of the reticule from the torso. If it's too far, this will happen, but in closer situations it will favor arms and move the torso instead.

Also the bigger problem is how it is 1:1 convergence then, with all arm/torso weapons accurately hitting with each other.

#18 William Rahn

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:40 AM

View PostMaster Q, on 27 July 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

1 logical reason: INERTIA. It cannot do it instantaneously because instantaneous movement violates the laws of thermodynamics.

As for the rest, it is absolutely abuse. It is abusing a glitch in the system to move the torso faster than the game would normally allow for.


Arm-lock is not instantaneous here - the movement is simply less "clunky" than what you would get by doing it manually. Additionally: it could not possibly violate any "laws of thermodynamics" since the subject at hand represents neither an equilibrium state, nor a cyclic process. Besides, why couldn't the "battlefield state" be a superposition of a state with a given 'mechs torso and arms misaligned and a state with the torso and arms only negligibly misaligned (to sidestep the problem of defining perfect alignment)?

I do not see anything wrong with how it works now - that is a consequences of the decision to allow perfect convergence (which is not the best choice in my opinion, but I there are other threads about this...).

Edited by William Rahn, 05 August 2013 - 02:41 AM.


#19 Fuerchtegott

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:21 AM

Why cant shift, when once pressed just "toggle" the armlock?
My pinkeyfinger has better things to do than holding shift the hole time ....

#20 Fuerchtegott

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:31 AM

@ Master Q

Most have 60 Hz Displays, so there are always 16 ms between 2 states.

And the rest of the abusing theory, it may be true, it may be not true, who cares?

In a game in which some people have to suffer from 300 ms pings while others can happy aim at 50 ms THAT is your concern?





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