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Mech Roles Miniguide

Guide Roles

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#1 FSjdsa

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:06 PM

I just finished 2 games where my medium got 33% and 50% of the kills for the entire team. The reason for performance like that at low tiers is almost always people not knowing their role, particularly the assaults. I figured educating would be more productive than yelling at potatoes so here I am with a brief overview of what the role of each weight class is.

Heavy/Assault: You should be at the front line leading the charge. If you give any #@!&s whatsoever about your own safety you should play another class. Your goal is basically to roleplay an ork from Warhammer 40K. Leroy Jenkins is your spirit animal. Am I getting through here? 9 times out of 10 the more aggressive team wins. A unified push is literally all it takes to win at low tiers. Make sure your team knows they should get ready for a push, and if the other heavies and assaults follow you there's a 99% chance you'll absolutely curb stomp the enemy team.

Medium: Your job is fire support. Stay behind the heavies and shoot what they shoot. Keep an eye out for flanking lights and deal with them before they have a field day with the backs of your assaults.

Light: You have the most complicated role. In domination you should be the first person into the yellow circle and stay in it until your team catches up.

In conquest your job is to run around and cap bases.

In assault you should be the first responder if the enemy starts capping your base. Even if you can't kill them, you can at least pop out of cover once in a while and shoot them so they can't cap. Shooting an enemy stops the cap for a few seconds.

In skirmish it's your job to locate the enemy force at the beginning of the game. This is a scouting job only. If you try to take them on without your team you're going to have a bad time.

Light mech combat tips: Never stop moving. Don't go below 100% throttle unless you really, really need to. Never travel in a straight line. Some big mech with gauss, AC20, PPC or whatever can easily one shot you if you let him lead his shot. You don't have much firepower so make it count. Hit R to target the enemy. This does two things. The first is that it lets you see where the enemy is already damaged so you can shoot them where they're weak. You don't need big guns to blow up a half dead body part. The second reason is that you'll be a spotter for LRMs. Use your speed to your advantage. Mechs are much less armored on the rear torsos. Your speed makes it easy for you to flank a mech that's fighting one of your larger friends. Finally, being a light means you almost never have to stay in an uneven fight. If you're at a disadvantage it's usually pretty easy for you to just run away, preferably while putting as many objects and pieces of terrain as possible between you and your pursuer.

I really doubt the potatoes in question read the forums, but hopefully this helps someone out there.

Edited by Plaid Ninja, 20 February 2018 - 09:12 PM.


#2 justcallme A S H

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:41 PM

Sorry. Guideline is not accurate from a higher level of play position.

The current state of MWO dictates Assaults should NOT be up the front because they are now relegated to Skirmish/Firepower(Artillery level) support.

You die early in an Assault without cracking 500dmg+, you've failed in the mech. Pushing and being at the front doesn't allow you to do this. You need to position properly and damage mechs so the faster/shorter range hvy/med/lights can mop up.

#3 WrathOfDeadguy

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:47 PM

'Mechs are not so easily broken down into roles by class, because you can find examples of almost any battlefield role in every class. There are slow lights (Adder, Kit Fox, Urbanmech, Cougar) which simply can't perform scouting roles effectively, but are better suited to force multiplication (the classic big-alpha, slow light "assault buddy" role) or support roles instead. There are fast mediums which can make capable scouts, flankers, and harassers, but which can't stand and fight without crumpling (IFR, CDA, VPR, etc). There are heavies and assaults which should never, ever lead a push, but which make excellent fire support platforms (RFL, JM6, EBJ, DWF, etc).

For example, the Linebacker is a cavalry 'Mech, able to shift position quickly and deliver a decisive punch where it's needed most. However, it lacks in firepower compared to other heavies and its hitboxes aren't the greatest, so it can't really trade well with 'Mechs like the Hellbringer, Thunderbolt, or Roughneck, all of equal tonnage with flatter humanoid profiles that spread damage better... and way more podspace for weapons. The Dragon is similar to the Linebacker in that regard, but five tons lighter- it's a cavalry 'Mech, ideal for a highly mobile playstyle, but it can't handle the weapon load of a Rifleman or a Mad Dog (or, since the 2xMRM30 build became a thing, the Quickdraw- which has better hitboxes to boot).

Or, for a medium example, the Hunchback IIC (or any of its variants) typically carries a massive weapon load for its tonnage, but isn't the most agile thing on earth and is fairly squishy because its hitboxes are easily isolated and it has no durability quirks. For ridge peeking or ambushing, there's nothing better, but in a brawl I'd much rather have a Centurion, with its fantastic shield arm, or a Crab, with its amazingly tanky torso hitboxes (again, all of the same tonnage)- even though both typically carry less weaponry, they can easily hold their own against far heavier 'Mechs in a standup fight.

Oversimplifying the weight classes only spreads misinformation. 'Mechs individually can be slotted into build archetypes, and from there into definable roles, but that largely comes down to the strengths and weaknesses of each chassis. A better approach is to ask "what do I want to be doing?" and then to search for a specific 'Mech which ideally suits that purpose. That requires a bit of research, and can't really be boiled down to one single post that'd fit on an 8.5"x11" printout. It involves hardpoint locations, engine sizes, hitbox geometry, available podspace, and other factors like quirks which are subject to change. Even 'Mechs that look similar on paper tend to have their own unique attributes which harm them in roles that others with nearly identical hardpoints and tonnage perform admirably in.

Bottom line, trying to distill every weight class down into a single role doesn't work.

#4 Kin3ticX

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:29 AM

i got some old stuff that might help,


Light: (20-35 tons) Lights are the fastest but squishiest of ‘Mechs and their main protection is high speed. They make great scouts and also regularly end up in fast paced dogfights against other light ‘Mechs. They also excel at backstabbing the unsuspecting and picking off overextended ‘Mechs. The slower lights such as the Kitfox have more firepower for their size but handle more like glassy mediums.

Medium: (40-55 tons) New medium ‘Mech pilots often mistakenly use their higher speed to get into trouble early and die right away. Mediums can start to pack the big boy guns but lack the raw firepower and protection to solo fresh heavys and assaults head on. Don’t stray too far from your teammates but try to find new angles of attack without beelining into the enemy. Their high versatility makes them great workhorses when used properly.

Heavy: (60-75 tons) Considered the quintessential Battlemech class, Heavy ‘Mechs have a good mix of speed, protection, and firepower. They can dish it out and take a lot of damage making them excellent front line ‘Mechs. Heavy ‘Mechs also still have the speed and handling to reposition if the pilot anticipates extreme danger early enough.


Assault: (80-100 tons) Assault ‘Mechs are the slowest but have the best armor and firepower. ‘Mechs such as the Direwolf can bring 50 tons of armament combined with maximum armor protection. This makes many assault ‘Mechs great at dominating firing lanes, pushing, or sometimes just being a wrecking ball(like the Atlas). However, the slowest of Assaults, such as the Direwolf, are vulnerable to being left behind and picked off without proper teamwork. In this sense, the low speed of the largest Assaults requires extra map awareness and teamwork.


Breakdowns:


Knife fighter: Short range light ‘Mechs which can deal with other lights, backstab, and pick off stragglers... but usually done in a somewhat stealthy way that doesn't include yolo'ing into all the enemies and exploding in the first 2 min. Players like this which can't survive longer than 2 min usually justify themselves by deploying a token UAV and telling themselves "I helped" a split second before they explode. Mechwise like the MG Piranha, MG Cheetah, or maybe the MPL Panther

Harasser: This is basically lights with Medium Pulse, Medium Lasers, or ER Med Lasers but not quite a kite. I dunno, like maybe a Jenner-F or a Panther but not limited to those. Perhaps it could be a Urbanmech, lots of options.


Kite / Skirmisher: Stuff like Shadowcats , Cicadas, with some midrange lasers, poke poke poke stuff. This is also probably where you would classify the Cougar / Kitfox...which are light mechs that are bad at being light mechs or medium mechs (they play like glassy mediums more than a light mech).

Striker: I'll just make up another category just for SRMs and small mechs. SRM lights or mediums such as JR7-IIC, Assassins, Commandos

Brawlers - AC20s n' SRMs n' on whatever but you should probably be doing laser vomit or gauss vomit

Streakboats, Light Hunters - These are SRMs that don't require aiming which makes it ez to 1 shot piranhas.

Laser Vomit: Boat lasers and poke stuff at midrange. Rinse repeat. Basically ~80% of your 'mechs should be set up this way or you are doing things wrong


Gauss Vomit: Mix Gauss Rifles with Lasers. This is just a slight variation of laser vomit except that on some mechs you can synergize lasers with gauss rifles and others can't. So this would be 2xHGauss + ERML assaults or maybe a Deathstrike with 2xGauss and a bunch of ERML.


Jump Fighting: pretty much nerfed down to a using a couple PPCs of somekind and henpecking stuff while hoping your team lives for 10+ minutes (long enough for you to make an impact). If you see PPFLD posted somewhere thats code for pin point front loaded damage.


Dakka, or "Direct Fire Support" : Basically anything autocannons except for Ravens or Urbanmechs because just don't.

Indirect Fire Support- Long Range Missiles (LRM's). LRM support ‘Mechs may also include a Tag Laser to lock targets within line of site if the enemy has ECM coverage. Active probe is also recommended. Except, don't do this with a King Crab or an Atlas for the love of mecha jesus.


Defensive Support - ECM or AMS to help protect against LRMs. (except AMS is waste tonnage and waste time)

Edited by Kin3ticX, 21 February 2018 - 02:02 AM.


#5 Yumoshiri

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:10 AM

@up
AMS is useful in low tiers and on front-line mechs.

That aside, I don't really care how any of you name the roles. Most important is that if you have a lot of armor, you should be willing to lose it in the fight. This is the most important. Whether you bring LRMs, PPCs, or Gauss. A team can only bring so much armor in the game (sum of tonnage of all mechs). The more armor you have, the more hits you can (and should) take, the less shots that could be fired at your lower armoured team mates. In turn, they can shoot another round. This is how you win a game: perform as a team. Distributing the damage over all the armor in the team, as a team.

This is why people hate PPC, Gauss and LRM assaults - they **** in the back and don't want to get hit, being a heavy burden on the team at the frontline. I personally don't mind LRM carrying assaults, if they come to support me at the front using their armor. Heck, LRM can even be useful if people block your line of fire, so you shoot over them.

Don't want to get shot? Play lights or mediums. Snipe all you like, LRM all you like. A cougar can easily carry LRM 40 with artemis, without needing 90 ton of armor.

#6 Horseman

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 04:28 AM

View PostPlaid Ninja, on 20 February 2018 - 09:06 PM, said:

Heavy/Assault: You should be at the front line leading the charge. If you give any #@!&s whatsoever about your own safety you should play another class. Your goal is basically to roleplay an ork from Warhammer 40K. Leroy Jenkins is your spirit animal. Am I getting through here? 9 times out of 10 the more aggressive team wins. A unified push is literally all it takes to win at low tiers. Make sure your team knows they should get ready for a push, and if the other heavies and assaults follow you there's a 99% chance you'll absolutely curb stomp the enemy team.
Operative terms being: team and unified. Also, their roles are not as simple.

Heavies generally break down into destroyer, frontline and brawler roles, Assaults into frontline and brawler - there's no such thing as a "fire support assault", no matter what the LRM Atlas crowd tries to tell you (an LRM assault can be a thing, it's a frontline role and should be played as such).

Quote

Medium: Your job is fire support. Stay behind the heavies and shoot what they shoot. Keep an eye out for flanking lights and deal with them before they have a field day with the backs of your assaults.
You're forgetting brawlers and mechs like the Viper and Assassin.

Quote

Use your speed to your advantage. Mechs are much less armored on the rear torsos. Your speed makes it easy for you to flank a mech that's fighting one of your larger friends. Finally, being a light means you almost never have to stay in an uneven fight. If you're at a disadvantage it's usually pretty easy for you to just run away, preferably while putting as many objects and pieces of terrain as possible between you and your pursuer.
Don't forget about light packs - 3+ light mechs pursuing an isolated target more often than not can keep it disoriented long enough to take it out without suffering substantial damage themselves.

#7 Eisenhorne

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 08:02 AM

I agree assaults should be on the front line, but in QP matches you generally don't want to "lead a charge" unless you're up 2-3 mechs at least and have a decisive advantage. Even then, "pushing" with an assault should be a sprint (or slow saunter, depending on your assault mech) from one position to a more forward one, not a suicide charge into 10 enemy mechs. Your assault has a lot of guns, leading a charge and dying without using them is a waste.

Some assaults are great at trading corners as well, they are also very useful. As long as you're not standing at 800+ meters back and firing LRMS, if you're dealing good damage with an assault you're playing your role.

#8 Pocket_Aces

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 10:15 PM

If you're an assault don't sit in the back, easy meat for lights.

"Hey King Crab, don't sit in the back"
"I have Gauss I'm not a brawler"
"That's fine but their lights are floating around, so move up"
"Nah I'm good"
.......................
Sometime later.
......................
"You guys are ****, leaving your assaults behind and letting me get killed by two lolcusts" (He was the only assault up the back)
"Well we did warn you"
"No, no, it's not my fault, I said I wasn't a brawler and you should of protected me"
"Yeah, nah"

Actual comms of gameplay.

Edited by Pocket_Aces, 22 February 2018 - 10:39 PM.


#9 Pocket_Aces

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 10:55 PM

and the other one.

"Where is everyone, why didn't anyone help?"

Says the light pilot who races off ahead of everyone.





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