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[Guide] The Dragon Diary


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#1 Hex Pallett

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:10 PM

Here's how the story goes: I have 9 empty 'mechbays, I've almost Mastered all my other 'Mechs, I have 50+ mil C-Bill sitting there, I gotta find myself something to play with until I have to figure out the lore behind Clan Invasion. Given that I already own Ilya and Firebrand, as cheap as Dragon Slayer is right now, all those other AC20+2xPPC Victors out there makes me think that Victor pilots tend to be squishy weaklings. Of course, being a mechwarrior who has pushed his Hunchbacks' performance beyond edges, I'm anything but a squishy weakling.

So I chose to buy Fang instead, and took my dive into the grim dark path of the Dragons. Widely considered the worst Heavy ever, I simply can't resist the challenge. Therefore, I created this topic to provide the two of you out there who still has a flying interest in Dragons, with my experience with Dragons from the beginning, with the perspective of an experienced mechwarrior. I will keep updating the post as the story develops.


Theorycrafting:

Now, Dragon, along with Quickdraw, are the only two Heavy chassis that can run pass 100 km/h tweaked, the only saving grace against Dragon's giant CT. Therefore all of my theorycrafting started with a Dragon with an XL350 engine saves 5N. The three I chose is 1N (for its two missile hardpoints), 5N(for its three ballistic hardpoints) and of course Fang:

1N: XL350, Endo, Ferro, 12DHS, 1xAC5(2ton), 1xERPPC, 2xSSRM2(1ton), BAP
5N: XL325, Endo, Ferro, 13DHS, 3xAC2(4ton), 2xML
Fang: XL350, Endo, Ferro, 11DHS, 2xAC5(4ton), 3xML

Most of these builds are pretty self explanatory - mid-long range direct-fire support. I only bought 1N and Fang for some reasons I myself don't know. I'll get to 5N later.


Day 1:

Took three drops with each of them today.

The result are better than I expected. The giant CT was not as much as an issue given even the pre-tweak agility. The real problem, however, lies in the arms. With Lower-arm Actuators, those HUGE arms, who covers the majority of the weaponry, covers both sides of the torso extensively, but have only 40 armor each. Which means they get structured very quickly, even faster than CT sometimes.

Fang performed quite well. The two AC5s packs a decent punch and DPS over range, and 4 tons of ammo is more than enough for me. Three MLas are what I consider the minimum level of knife-fight weapons anyway, and they work as usual. Managed to deal 600+ damage during one drop.

However, I almost immediately regretted buying 1N. The drastically different cooldown timer bewteen the single AC5 and ERPPC makes them very hard to sync, and the two SSRMs barely made any use - they're good for finishing off and bug-spraying, but neither do you have the speed of hunting down Lights (also there're only two SSRMs), nor do you want to push up rapidly to perform finish-offs, risking yourself to be ambushed by big brawlers. Now I have two choices: either build it around two AC2s, retaining the SSRMs, or get a pair of LRM5s in there and build around them. Downgrading engines is not an options to me. If neither of them works, I may sell it and switch to this 1C build instead: XL350, Endo, Ferro, 12DHS, 1xAC5(1ton), 2xLL, 2xML.


Day 2:

I took one drop for each of them and the results were surprisingly not half bad. Admittedly they're indeed a bit squishy for a Heavy - I died in both drops - but the agility provided by the massive XL350 engines make them very handy in suppressing large targets. Still, running with packs is very important, and you want to start running when you become the center of attention.

Fang keeps working wonders for me. I even manged to chase down a Centurion armed with UAC5 and ERLL:
Posted Image

The 1N build is slowly catching up. The AC5 and ERPPC are obviously good at stripping armor over long range, very useful against occupied Assaults. However I was trapped during end game with that Cataphract and it was nightmarish. Then I spammed chatbox with bunch of swearing and f-words (but hey, both of the other two guys had FULL ARMOR and barely did any damage!).
Posted Image


Day 3:

Goodbye 1N. Finally decided that it's not fun.

However, the replacing 1C with 2xLL 2xML 1xAC5 rapidly became so handy that I managed to duel a Victor with it while being harassed by a Jenner...that is not half bad. Not half bad.

Also picked up 5N, and the 1st match with it, thanks to Premium and 1st-win-of-the-day, got me 6000+ xp.

To be continued...

Edited by Helmstif, 11 February 2014 - 02:48 PM.


#2 luxebo

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:23 PM

When the Flame comes out on sale as well, get that too due to capability of holding an AC20! I've also heard some benefits through 1C, but not sure what those are (energy torsos?).

#3 Modo44

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:27 PM

You just found out why most people recommend the 1C and Flame as the best Dragons. Both have those crucial, high-mounted torso hardpoints to play with.

As for agility, you can get away with downgrading to XL325 once you get double basics unlocked.

#4 Hex Pallett

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:52 PM

As absurd as it sounds, I have no interest in Flame. I'm a very right-hooked player (thanks to Hunchback), which means I'm used to right-mounted big guns and will instinctively shield any incoming damage with my left side, and in this case, the side where I house my big gun. Shadowhawks have give me enough headaches already. Also, stick an XL350 in there then you'll find it very difficult to get a balanced loadout.

Not mentioning my Grid Iron that's only one MLas short.

#5 Modo44

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:05 PM

Gauss+4xML with XL350 is as strong as ever.

#6 Hex Pallett

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:15 PM

View PostModo44, on 08 February 2014 - 11:05 PM, said:

Gauss+4xML with XL350 is as strong as ever.


Gauss+XL+LT+righthook playstile is not....

Edited by Helmstif, 08 February 2014 - 11:50 PM.


#7 cSand

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:29 PM

View Postluxebo, on 08 February 2014 - 10:23 PM, said:

When the Flame comes out on sale as well, get that too due to capability of holding an AC20! I've also heard some benefits through 1C, but not sure what those are (energy torsos?).


I got the Flame on sale during the hockey themed sale in January. Rapidly becoming one of my favourite mechs, with an AC20 and 4 medium lasers! You still can't stand in front of someone and brawl em, but if you put a decent engine in, keep moving, and play a supporting role you can often kick some serious ass!

#8 NRP

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 12:54 PM

Helmstif,
If you're still screwing around with the Fang, try an AC/10, 2 LL, XL340 build (works on a few other Dragons too). The optimum range for the weapons is the same, and you can use the laser beams for tracing to fire an AC/10 near the end of the beam's duration. I find it has a cool sort of synergy. Also allows me to deal max damage from a safe range.

For what it's worth, I can't find a Flame build I like since the Gauss is trash. Having arm energy slots is nice and all, but all you can really mount there are MLs if you want to go fast. And short range builds on a Dragon are not what one should be doing. AC/20 Flame is far too slow and clumsy.

Edited by NRP, 09 February 2014 - 12:56 PM.


#9 Hex Pallett

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:58 AM

Day 2 is up.

BTW, I think the real spotlight is that Jenner in my Fang screenshot. HOLY SH*T

Edited by Helmstif, 10 February 2014 - 12:59 AM.


#10 Hex Pallett

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:52 AM

I've come to the conclusion that whoever claims Dragons sucks major balls is either a filthy schemer or a noob.

#11 BOWMANGR

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:35 AM

View PostHelmstif, on 12 February 2014 - 10:52 AM, said:

I've come to the conclusion that whoever claims Dragons sucks major balls is either a filthy schemer or a noob.


FINALLY!

#12 NRP

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:51 AM

Despite good straight line speed, Dragons are surprisingly clumsy mechs. They could greatly benefit from significant agility enhancements (turn speed, twist speed, accel/decel, movement archetype, etc), especially in the jump jet era.

#13 epikt

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:36 AM

View PostHelmstif, on 12 February 2014 - 10:52 AM, said:

I've come to the conclusion that whoever claims Dragons sucks major balls is either a filthy schemer or a noob.

^ this.
Dragons are great mechs, counter-propaganda has to be made. So thanks for this post.

That being said, your 5N build seriously lacks of ammo (I think you'll realize it by yourself soon enough).
7t is the bare minimum, 8t is ok most of the time. Mine loads 9 tons, and I sometimes run out (rarely). Here is the build on smurfy's (I mount a flamer because it's badass, but you can trade it for a MLas). Also check the thread on mechspecs for discussion and variants.

As a conclusion I'd like to share a frag movie Viper made to promote this glorious mech):



(he also made one for the Awesome, this guy definitely has taste for great underrated mechs)

#14 Verrue

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:09 PM

One of the great thing about dragon is you can climb nearly any slope a lighter mech can climb.

#15 Modo44

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

View PostVerrue, on 14 February 2014 - 12:09 PM, said:

One of the great thing about dragon is you can climb nearly any slope a lighter mech can climb.

Put Hill Climb on it. You will run around like a 60t light.

#16 NRP

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

@epikt
Cool video with great music!

A few things:

1.) I too like the 2 LL + AC/10 build, even better than Helmstif's 2 AC/5 + 3 ML build. I run it on my Fang.

2.) Anyone can do well enough in a Dragon (or any other mech) when dropping with friends. The problems start when you run solo. This is when the downsides become apparent.

#17 Fuggles

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 07:13 AM

View PostHelmstif, on 08 February 2014 - 11:15 PM, said:


Gauss+XL+LT+righthook playstile is not....


Gauss in the arm of the 1c is a timebomb. Get ready to see lots of xl deaths that say ammo explosion. You can run the same build with a flame however and be fine. Having all the medium lasers in the arms is a added bonus as well.

With my 1c (post hitbox changes) I like an ac10 with 4 mediums or lb10 4 mediums and a srm 4 (xl350). My old 4 large laser build will still work just fine I bet as well I just haven't played it. The 1c can also run a pair of ppcs in the torso quite nicely.

Anyways good luck

#18 ARamaLamaDingDong

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:37 AM

I'm fairly new to taming Dragons, as I have bought my first one yesterday. :)

It took me about three matches to find a loadout that can be described as the definition of fun: DRG-1C :(

Edited by ARamaLamaDingDong, 27 May 2014 - 03:38 AM.


#19 xMintaka

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:50 AM

View PostFuggles, on 15 February 2014 - 07:13 AM, said:

Gauss in the arm of the 1c is a timebomb. Get ready to see lots of xl deaths that say ammo explosion. You can run the same build with a flame however and be fine. Having all the medium lasers in the arms is a added bonus as well.

With my 1c (post hitbox changes) I like an ac10 with 4 mediums or lb10 4 mediums and a srm 4 (xl350). My old 4 large laser build will still work just fine I bet as well I just haven't played it. The 1c can also run a pair of ppcs in the torso quite nicely.

Anyways good luck


I don't understand this. A Guass rifle blowing up in the arm is FAR less likely to also blow out your XL than one in the torso.

Played ~60 matches in mine (Guass + ERPPC in the shoulder) and never died due to a guass explosion.

#20 Inflatable Fish

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:55 AM

I ran my 5N with an AC/5-UAC/5 combo in the ballistic arm, two MLs in the energy arm, and an SRM6 in the mouth. top that off with max armour and an XL300 engine and it's a keeper.





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