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Weapons With A Psychological Edge


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#1 Felio

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:51 PM

What weapons do you think, when players see them fired or see them in the mech targeting info, have an intimidation factor? What makes people say, "I can't take this guy right now; I'd better try to disengage."

When at least a few of something is boated, it's easy to see it at a glance because the same phrase is repeated. They don't have to read every line to know it's a lot of firepower.

When I have streaks and I'm out of sight, I like to chain fire them when possible to stress them out and make them think they are taking more of a beating than they are. What other psychological tactics do you use?

Are PPC projectiles still scary? Large lasers? LPL? A volley of several mediums?

Autocannon projectiles you can't really identify at a glance. Without targeting info, you typically identify what they have by the firing rate. An AC/20 wakes you up and tells non-lights to twist away every four seconds and/or get some distance. What about a gauss? AC/10? Multiples of autocannons?

#2 John Archer

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

Multiple flamers to the enemy mech's grill. It definitely causes some psychological issues. :angry:

#3 DocBach

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:53 PM

The incoming missile warning is enough to make a lot of players completely turtle.

#4 Escef

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:59 PM

Incoming missile warnings will affect a players movement choices, flamers to cockpit area will blind a player and often cause them to panic, AC20s will make folks keep their distance, and 3 or 4 Streak packs will scare off many lights and even some big boys if they have a lot of exposed structure.

#5 FupDup

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:04 PM

The AC/2 is definitely a fun weapon to mess with people. If they don't torso twist immediately they'll start to take heavy damage to a specific hitbox, and if they do twist they aren't shooting you/your team.

I also used to use 3 LL on the left arm of my VTR-9K, set to chainfire but pressing the mouse rapidly to bypass the 0.5 second delay. Peeking around a left corner just barely enough to fire the lazors in a series can be pretty funny sometimes. It can make a surprisingly good suppression tactic at times.

#6 Kubernetes

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:55 PM

LRMs, dakka, flamers to the face.

One thing that scares me is a dual gauss sniper hiding outside of detection range. You get hit and can't spot the shot.

#7 KaliBaba_VR

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:03 PM

Nice topic. One interesting thing to note is to also look at the weapons that don't intimidate players and think "how can I take advantage of that?" One benefit of weapons that don't intimidate players is the chance that some players will flat-out ignore you. That property is what allows opportunistic players to get behind said players that ignore them and get easy shots to their backs as said players focus on the more intimidating targets. This is what can make weapons like the MG and LBX surprisingly deadly. :)

Though the flip-side is that weapons that don't intimidate players can also pull unintended aggro as other players with weapons that are intimidating can focus on you to take you out of the fight early. So you have to be careful and make sure you have the ability to pick your battles with the weapons you take.

#8 Pastor Priest

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:05 PM

AC/20 certainly makes me take pause when piloting a medium. You really need to pick your angles to avoid taking heavy damage. Dual guass at range, if you can't get to them, is also scary. On the giving end, I've noticed chainfired SSRMs tends to rattle more than a few people.

To Mousse's point of ignored weapons, lasers, no question. Using a good amount of lasers, I can often times melt armor on backs, and legs, before people finally take notice. They create no impact and are relatively quiet when compared to nearly all other weapons, and as such people who are focused elsewhere tend to ignore them until they realize how hurt they suddenly are.

#9 Gunbuster

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:12 PM

View PostFelio, on 31 March 2014 - 02:51 PM, said:

see them in the mech targeting info


Honestly the text is so small I hardly ever notice it.

Related, is there a way to see teammates weapon loadouts?

#10 Foxfire

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:35 PM

Honestly, the only two weapons that command psychological effects are the AC/20 and the LRM lock.

#11 Felio

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:52 PM

View PostGunbuster, on 31 March 2014 - 06:12 PM, said:


Honestly the text is so small I hardly ever notice it.

Related, is there a way to see teammates weapon loadouts?


Sadly, no. You have to ask or observe them in combat. It's an oft-requested feature, but I don't think it's gained much traction as far as actually being implemented at any point in the future.

As far as the text being too small... you playing on an ultra-high-resolution 15" laptop? :) You could lower the resolution to make it appear larger; anything in the same aspect ratio. You might get a performance boost, depending on the bottleneck. Then again, maybe it's not worth the loss in visual quality to you.

#12 WildmouseX

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:28 AM

There isn't a single person playing that doesn't back away from my phract with 4 ac 5's..... when I get them chain firing, it causes never ending screen shake, while the alpha strike hits as hard as an ac20, but with a slightly faster fire rate.

I had a match yesterday, where I kept three assaults and 4 heavies pinned in a tunnel by myself while the rest of my team walked around to the other side and came in behind them.

Edited by WildmouseX, 01 April 2014 - 08:34 AM.


#13 Bishop Steiner

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:29 AM

LRMs absolutely panic n00bs, stat whores and Poptart metarapists. (Oddly, I don't seem to notice them much)

Multiple AC2 on macros panic people even though they don't actually crank damage out any faster.

I have used the single Flamer on my X5 to panic and blind and confuse many people, allowing me to pad it's KDr nicely.

I always laugh at the number of people who get skittish when shot my anything. Mechs with full armor that retreat when I pelt them with MG fire from my Ember are hilarious.

#14 Bilbo

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

Depends entirely on the condition of my mech. In some cases one bitty flamer would scare me off.

#15 Lord Perversor

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:34 AM

View PostJohn Archer, on 31 March 2014 - 02:52 PM, said:

Multiple flamers to the enemy mech's grill. It definitely causes some psychological issues. :)


Spider -5V with Tag+Flamer painted with bright green... Not a single Mech ever draw so much furious anger towards it on my whole MWO life time..

#16 Tastian

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

View PostWildmouseX, on 01 April 2014 - 08:28 AM, said:

There isn't a single person playing that doesn't back away from my phract with 4 ac 5's..... when I get them chain firing, it causes never ending screen shake, while the alpha strike hits as hard as an ac20, but with a slightly faster fire rate.

I had a match yesterday, where I kept three assaults and 4 heavies pinned in a tunnel by myself while the rest of my team walked around to the other side and came in behind them.


I've found that when I'm piloting a fast light I try to avoid dual ac40 jagers, streak boats, or even assaults with lots of lasers. But, when I see a 4 ac5 phract (or anything sporting PPCs or boating LRMs) i go straight for it. The phract 4X is slow to turn and slow to fire. If I watch my approach and hug it, I'll usually do just fine.

#17 Jody Von Jedi

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:45 AM

I don't really consider what an enemy is packing. The text is so small and there is so much more that needs my attention, an enemies loadout is usually at the bottom of the list. I just try to flank him and target his weak spots.

#18 Bishop Steiner

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:50 AM

TAG should be added to the list.

I actually have mounted it in the head of my 4P HBK. My heat and fire groups don't really make that hard point too useful, but it's amazing how fast people pull back into cover when you TAG them.

That way, even if my mech has no LRM support (I dropped with NO LRMs on my team at all one match, but even late in the match, it seemed no one on the OpFor got the memo, lol), it's funny how fast I can clear a lane so I can move from cover to cover unmolested.

#19 CDLord HHGD

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

I become more cautious around LRMs and dual AC/20....

#20 WildmouseX

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:54 AM

View PostTastian, on 01 April 2014 - 09:35 AM, said:


I've found that when I'm piloting a fast light I try to avoid dual ac40 jagers, streak boats, or even assaults with lots of lasers. But, when I see a 4 ac5 phract (or anything sporting PPCs or boating LRMs) i go straight for it. The phract 4X is slow to turn and slow to fire. If I watch my approach and hug it, I'll usually do just fine.


lights used to be a "oh spit" moment for me in the phract, but mastering it made me a pretty good pilot. The 2 medium lasers help out alot, and I've also gotten good at getting my back to a wall and hitting those little buggers on the run with the cannons once that happens - it's usually a toss up when I get into it with lights now-a-days.

however, I do see the panic from the big guys when I take my Spider 5D out - if I see an Atlas, It's mine.





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