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First Mech, First Loadout: Grf-1S


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#1 Langdon Alger

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:18 AM

Greetings, dear mech pilots!

I started the game about 2 weeks ago, read a few guides, completed my 25 first matches for the c-bill bonus, and now, after researching on various sites such as metamechs.com, decided on my first mech to buy. I chose the Griffin GRF-1S. You can check out the loadout I'm currently running here:

https://mwo.smurfy-n...82006e148fa27d0

I tested the Griffin GRF-1S(C) as one of my trial mechs and liked the range of its torso twist. So, the choice for the Griffin was set. Although I read that the GRF-1S is inferior to the other chassis, I went for that one because, first, I wanted to focus on lasers and, second, I had no clue about the impact of the placement of hardpoints. Although I cannot peek around a corner and dish out an alpha strike, so far I feel happy with my choice. Almost max armor and the AMS keep me alive a little longer, the latter one even protects allies in the close surroundings, I am rather mobile. Those were my top priorities.

Now, I would be happy to get some feedback on the loadout from experienced pilots. Sooner or later, I will buy my next mech. And I'd like to know, if I made some bad decisions in the loadout linked above that I'd better avoid with my next mech.

And while I'm here, one question on the skill system: Is it still true that I have to buy two more chassis of the Griffin to unlock some special skill set? Or is this history since the new skill system came out?

Thanks a lot, happy hunting!

#2 CFC Conky

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 08:40 AM

You no longer need to purchase three of a given chassis anymore.

For QP your build is fine, just make sure you protect that right arm by torso twisting. Play some matches before investing in the skill tree to help figure out the mechs' traits and how your play style might affect your choices.

Welcome to MWO!
CFC Conky

Edited by CFC Conky, 24 February 2018 - 08:41 AM.


#3 Zookeeper Dan

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 11:07 AM

Congratulations on your first purchase! That is a fine mech and basically what I ran. It still holds up in quick play.

If you got the build on MetaMechs I don't think it has any of the newer tech. You could try dropping down to a Light Fusion Engine 300 if you are dieing from side torso destruction. It's expensive, but the LFE 300 is a standard you can use in a lot of mechs, especially heavies and assaults.

You could also try upgrading the Mediums to ER Mediums and the SRM's to MRM's for a more mid range build. You will have to be more careful with heat. Something like 4 ER Mediums and an MRM 30. I bet you could even fit an MRM 40 by reducing the armor and engine. I wouldn't go lower than a 275/280 engine rating.

#4 Rip Snorgan

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 11:29 AM

Nice work, and solid build. Minor tweaks I'd recommend, that won't cost you anything are...

Shift some rear armor forward. GRFs are quick enough that you should be able to outmaneuver lights that are trying to backstab you, and you probably don't need more than 4-6 back armor on your torso locations as long as you maintain good situational awareness. If that makes you nervous, start with 8, and then as you get comfortable, scale it down.

Slightly rearrange your ammo placement. I'd move the AMS ammo to the head, and that 1/2 ton to the CT, then split the 3 full tons between both legs, 1 in RL and 2 in LL. This way, if you lose a leg, your AMS is still functional, your CT is a bit more protected from crits/ammo explosions, and your SRMs aren't out of commission if you lose the leg on your shield arm side.

As for skill tree, since the "multi-mech question" was already answered, I'd only add, Survival tree > all others in my opinion, and since you have AMS even those skill nodes are useful to you.

Edited by Rip Snorgan, 24 February 2018 - 11:31 AM.


#5 Zookeeper Dan

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 01:55 PM

View PostRip Snorgan, on 24 February 2018 - 11:29 AM, said:

As for skill tree, since the "multi-mech question" was already answered, I'd only add, Survival tree > all others in my opinion, and since you have AMS even those skill nodes are useful to you.


Also for skill tree the left side of the sensor tree is always useful. I pick up all the radar deprivations on that side and and possibly seismic sensor. Also the missile ammo, spread, and critical are always helpful. Then you are right to see how it plays. If it runs hot invest in those nodes, if you would like better manuverability, go there. Survival is good, armor is better than structure unless the mech already has structure bonuses. The 1S only has additional structure in the legs and arms so you could do either.

Edited by Zookeeper Dan, 24 February 2018 - 01:57 PM.


#6 WrathOfDeadguy

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:26 AM

I don't have that specific variant, but I run an MRM40 on my Loyalty Griffin (the 5M), and it's been great. I tried SRMs at first, but IMO the Griff is a little too wide-bodied to make the best use of close-range weapons. On the other hand, it has some of the highest-mounted missile hardpoints in the game, and it makes an amazing peeker and poptart. It's becoming one of my favorite mediums. IMO you made a great choice of chassis. Among its other qualities, the Griffin boasts one of the best cockpits in the game- crank your FoV up in the options menu and drink in that panoramic view! Great for situational awareness. The left arm is a great shield, and learning to use it effectively will translate to a lot of other 'Mechs with empty left arms (Centurion, Wolfhound, Panther, and Wolverine, to name a few).

Important note about MRMs: generally speaking, the bigger the launcher, the more efficient it will be on heat and tonnage per point of damage dealt. 1xMRM40 is preferable to 2xMRM20, even if you leave a hardpoint empty; it's 0.5 lower heatgen and 2 tons lighter for the same damage. Burst duration is virtually identical from MRM10 to MRM40, so facetime isn't a consideration between launcher sizes. The spread does increase with the larger launchers, but IMO it's worth the other tradeoffs.

The 1S only has low-mounted energy, and 4xERML would be very hot stacked with a big MRM launcher, so IMHO if you do try MRMs out you should keep the standard MLs, since in the early phase of the game you'll be leaning on the missile launcher pretty hard, and trying to keep your 'Mech mostly behind cover (exposing only the launcher and your cockpit to fire). Later on, when you're low on ammo, you can use the lasers to mop up- or fall back on them as an easier way to deal with faster enemies, since they're all in a focused arm cluster and will track better than your torso hardpoints.

Here's how I'd build it for MRMs. If you fire the launcher by itself, you'll never overheat- 40 points of ice-cold damage on tap- 30 shots' worth, unskilled, with 4 tons of ammo, so you've got a good, sustainable, punchy attack all the way through the early game. Or, you could do a little re-arrangement to keep the AMS (taking the missile rack nodes on the firepower skill tree can basically give you a 4th ton of ammo for free anyway, so carrying 3t instead of 4 isn't that bad).

If you just want to try MRMs out without buying another expensive engine, though, don't worry- you can re-arrange your 'Mech to carry an MRM30 with your present engine. If you like it, then you can worry about maximizing your missilepuke later.

For the skill tree- invest in all of the missile nodes in the firepower tree, regardless of what missile type you settle on. Beyond that, evaluate what your personal needs are and spec your build for them. Take some laser duration nodes if you're leaning on your arm heavily, but don't go out of your way for them unless lasers are the focus of your build; IS medium lasers have a fairly short duration already and won't get a whole lot out of them (the benefit is smaller than any human being's reaction time- just over 0.1s).

If you're losing your armor fast, then take the left side of the survival tree. Since you have torso weapons, the upper left side of the mobility tree is important too, since that contains several torso twist speed, pitch, and yaw nodes you'll want. Speed tweak you can ignore with that 325-rated engine; you're already doing ~95kph, which is pretty fast for an IS 55-tonner.

Operations, you can take if you're running hot- focus on the cool run nodes over the heat containment nodes, if you're short on skill points, and route your node path through the advanced gyro nodes rather than speed retention (this will reduce screen shake from incoming fire). If you have invested in both the missile and laser nodes in firepower, however, you can disregard the ops tree and just grab a bunch of heat generation nodes in firepower instead, since the point investment to get to them will be lower. Very few builds really need both, and the Griffin gives you the option of sustaining cooler DPS with your missiles while you cool off from firing lasers, so you won't get much value out of having every last heat skill.

Ignore the jump jet tree completely- the few 'Mechs which excel at jumping derive far more benefit from taking more jets than they do from taking skill nodes for them. Sensor tree, as has been said, take the left side path, since a modest 10-point investment will get you 60% of radar deprivation and 50% of seismic sensor, as well as a good chunk of target info gathering.

Um... post is getting too long. Can't think of much else to say right now. Hope it helps. :)

Edited by WrathOfDeadguy, 25 February 2018 - 12:30 AM.


#7 Langdon Alger

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:12 AM

Thanks a lot, that is a load of very useful information and suggestions. I'll play around a little and try some modifications of my loadout.

#8 TKG

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 12:02 AM

View PostLangdon Alger, on 24 February 2018 - 06:18 AM, said:

Greetings, dear mech pilots!

I started the game about 2 weeks ago, read a few guides, completed my 25 first matches for the c-bill bonus, and now, after researching on various sites such as metamechs.com, decided on my first mech to buy. I chose the Griffin GRF-1S. You can check out the loadout I'm currently running here:

https://mwo.smurfy-n...82006e148fa27d0

I tested the Griffin GRF-1S(C) as one of my trial mechs and liked the range of its torso twist. So, the choice for the Griffin was set. Although I read that the GRF-1S is inferior to the other chassis, I went for that one because, first, I wanted to focus on lasers and, second, I had no clue about the impact of the placement of hardpoints. Although I cannot peek around a corner and dish out an alpha strike, so far I feel happy with my choice. Almost max armor and the AMS keep me alive a little longer, the latter one even protects allies in the close surroundings, I am rather mobile. Those were my top priorities.

Now, I would be happy to get some feedback on the loadout from experienced pilots. Sooner or later, I will buy my next mech. And I'd like to know, if I made some bad decisions in the loadout linked above that I'd better avoid with my next mech.

And while I'm here, one question on the skill system: Is it still true that I have to buy two more chassis of the Griffin to unlock some special skill set? Or is this history since the new skill system came out?

Thanks a lot, happy hunting!


Welcome to MWO Langdon, You picked a good time to join us. the following are my thoughts for your mech design:
-ammo in the legs is asking to be killed, move it tot the torso and use CASE.
-If you must have jj's put them in the legs that way they cant blow up and leg you like ammo can.
-AMS ammo in the head slot...no one hits that ever, to a point that half head armor is ok.
-artemis is a individual choice but it's never done a thing for me so I recommend dumping it for extra free tonnage. also at the range you use SRM's really artemis isn't much of a help, good target discipline will go a long way.

#9 WrathOfDeadguy

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:02 AM

View PostTKG, on 26 February 2018 - 12:02 AM, said:


Welcome to MWO Langdon, You picked a good time to join us. the following are my thoughts for your mech design:
-ammo in the legs is asking to be killed, move it tot the torso and use CASE.
-If you must have jj's put them in the legs that way they cant blow up and leg you like ammo can.
-AMS ammo in the head slot...no one hits that ever, to a point that half head armor is ok.
-artemis is a individual choice but it's never done a thing for me so I recommend dumping it for extra free tonnage. also at the range you use SRM's really artemis isn't much of a help, good target discipline will go a long way.


CASE would yield no benefit, since the build has an XL engine. An ammo explosion in either side torso would invariably be fatal with an IS XL engine, even with CASE. CASE only prevents damage transfer from the protected location- it does not prevent the destruction of that component. Ammo could be stored in the CT, but that's risky as well. The legs are generally a safer location, for two reasons: one, they have no rear hitbox (and thus no weak point if fully armored, unlike all three torso locations), and two, you'll generally take more fire to the torso in most matches.

Any ammo explosion is likely to be deadly, in a medium or light. You just don't have the HP to soak the hit (every ton of IS SRM ammo is 215 potential damage; a ton of MRM ammo is 300- it will blow clean through your 'Mech if it goes off inside you). In lights, you never want ammo in your legs, because everyone will shoot for them all the time. In mediums and up, though, torso kills are preferred, especially against XL builds (popping one torso section usually requires less effort than popping two legs- faster 'Mechs get legged a lot because they're easier to kill once their mobility is impaired). So, it becomes a question of which locations are going to remain intact longest.

In a 55-tonner, in most matches, you will tend to lose your arms first, and then die to either a side torso loss or CT destruction- and you will very probably have lost your rear armor in at least one location by the time that happens. It isn't uncommon to see a 'Mech go down with armor remaining on its head and legs, though, which is why the head and legs are the most popular places to store ammo.

#10 Zookeeper Dan

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 08:25 AM

View PostTKG, on 26 February 2018 - 12:02 AM, said:


Welcome to MWO Langdon, You picked a good time to join us. the following are my thoughts for your mech design:
-ammo in the legs is asking to be killed, move it tot the torso and use CASE.
-If you must have jj's put them in the legs that way they cant blow up and leg you like ammo can.
-AMS ammo in the head slot...no one hits that ever, to a point that half head armor is ok.
-artemis is a individual choice but it's never done a thing for me so I recommend dumping it for extra free tonnage. also at the range you use SRM's really artemis isn't much of a help, good target discipline will go a long way.


We disagree on some things.
Ammo explosions are very rare. First the ammo has to be critted and even then the chance of an explosion is something like 10%. Ammo should always be placed in the head or CT first, then the legs. The added benefit of ammo in the CT or Head is all the static components crit pad your ammo. The most important thing is that you don't want to be left witbout ammo if a section is destroyed.

Also, Jump Jets don't explode. I always put them in my torsos. There they can crit pad weapons and if you lose a leg you still have jump ability to help with movement.

Lastly general consensus is that Artemis is worth it on SRM 6's. It's worth is for 4's if you can spare the weight. For me, I always chose Artemis 4's over regular 6's. Artemis 4's provide just as effective damage at a higher rate of fire for the same weight and crit slots. The only mech I run regular SRM 6's on is my Assassin because I can get within 50 meters where spread doesn't matter as much.

#11 Koniving

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 08:36 AM

View PostTKG, on 26 February 2018 - 12:02 AM, said:


-ammo in the legs is asking to be killed, move it tot the torso and use CASE.


Agreed: With an XL engine in MWO, CASE is worthless. (There's no repair and rearm, which would be the only real benefit).
If he was using an LF engine, then I'd agree and say use CASE.

Leg ammo problems can be a bit mixed. Depends on if players focus his torso or leg.

Stuffing a lot of items into the side torsos with the ammo can actually protect ammo quite well, but in the legs it already has 4 items to soak up the damage (and no consequence as the four actuators do not cause any negative effects when each of their 10 HP is destroyed.

With the negative stigma less intelligent players have in regards to LBX, means the only real threat that has a genuine chance of detonating the ammo would be machine gun boats.

Jumpjets can be destroyed anywhere. If you're not experiencing their increased survival in the legs, it's for the same reason that ammo is okay in the legs. The four sets of actuators act as a buffer so that every critical hit gets a 2 out of 6 chance of hitting some sort of ammo (or in your case jumpjets) and even then there's a fair bit of health to go through.

Artemis depends on the person. I usually go SRM-4 to skip without it and still have a similar tightness to my SRMs.

Then again I prefer my SRMs on arms rather than the torso, so to each their own. With an arm weapon, I like backing that up with streaks personally as they can hit anything my arm aims at, but I also aim with my arm more than the torso crosshair. As such what works for me might not work for someone else. With SRMs it is kept fairly simple.

Far as MRMs as suggested by others, I have frequent issues with their hit detection. Land an MRM 40 on someone and sometimes it absolutely devastates them... and sometimes it barely did anything at all and they just turn around and look at you...not even realizing they had just been attacked or that the attack you did should have instantly killed them.

Not everyone has issues with their detection, but it is a frequent problem for me.

Edited by Koniving, 26 February 2018 - 08:47 AM.


#12 Horseman

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 10:19 AM

View PostLangdon Alger, on 24 February 2018 - 06:18 AM, said:

I started the game about 2 weeks ago, read a few guides, completed my 25 first matches for the c-bill bonus, and now, after researching on various sites such as metamechs.com, decided on my first mech to buy. I chose the Griffin GRF-1S. You can check out the loadout I'm currently running here:

https://mwo.smurfy-n...82006e148fa27d0

I tested the Griffin GRF-1S(C) as one of my trial mechs and liked the range of its torso twist. So, the choice for the Griffin was set. Although I read that the GRF-1S is inferior to the other chassis, I went for that one because, first, I wanted to focus on lasers and, second, I had no clue about the impact of the placement of hardpoints. Although I cannot peek around a corner and dish out an alpha strike, so far I feel happy with my choice. Almost max armor and the AMS keep me alive a little longer, the latter one even protects allies in the close surroundings, I am rather mobile. Those were my top priorities.

Looks solid, with a few gotchas:
  • You can install Light Ferro-Fibrous armor and get a little extra tonnage
  • Since you're building for brawl, I'd recommend a LFE engine instead of XL.

Modified for LFE300: https://mwo.smurfy-n...00f37a05161a5c9

Trading a heat sink and armor from the dead arm for another 1.5 tons of ammo and a jump jet: https://mwo.smurfy-n...ef9b29e88f952b2





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