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Flea: Is It Good?


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#1 Shadey99

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:25 AM

With the launch of the Flea it is time once more to ask ourselves: Is It Good? The Flea is a 20 ton mech, much like the Locust. They come stock with 120 rated engines, none have jump jets, and none have FF by default. Some models come with ES and 2 come with DHS stock. Stock their speed is 97 kph and their max engine rating is 170.If it's looking a lot like the Locust, their is a good reason why.

Starting with speed: The Locust has a max engine rating of 190 while the Flea has a max rating of 170. This gives the Locust a speed of 153 kph to the Flea at 137 kph. Skills can shift these values pushing the Flea up to 150 kph and the Locust to around 170 kph. For 1 ton the Flea 17, 20, & FA can use MASC to reach 170 kph as well, though because acceleration with MASC is instant the Flea actually gains in the short term and loses in the long term. The instant acceleration also allows the Flea to evade or 'jink' like a Shadow Cat, though being smaller this actually works even better. With heatsinks to reach the 10 HS minimum the max engine for the Locust weighs 9 tons, and the max engine in the Flea weighs 8 tons. So with MASC they weigh the same. The Flea though will use more space due to having at least one less internal heatsink compared to the Locust. This is the reason some builds work much better with SHS to save space.

Weapons and equipment? The Locust typically runs 1-6 Energy Hardpoints, 0-4 Ballistics, 0-4 Missile Hardpoints. The Flea runs 1-7 Energy, 0-8 Ballistics, and 0-2 Missiles. You may notice these look very similar, the exception being the max of 8 ballistics compared to 4 on the Locust. The missiles are so hard to use as a 20-tonner that the reduction in missile hard points doesn't really hurt them. For equipment, both have access to ECM and Stealth armor in one variant. I'll compare them variant to variant a bit later. It should be noted the Flea does have high weapon mounts that are often above the the cockpit.

Overall impression: Very similar to the Locust. Very slightly shorter, very slightly slower, very similar play style, slightly more weapons tonnage. If you like the Locust, try the Flea. While it won't replace the Locust, it's every bit as good and all the variants tend to pack a kick, even if some are a bit niche.

Now for the variants:

The Flea 15 comes with 5 energy hardpoints and 2 ballistics. It lacks stock EE, FF, or DHS. The CT energy hard point is fairly low, but the other hard points in the side torsos and arms are nicely high mounted. It's a bit like the Locust 3V, but with much better energy hardpoints though it will run much hotter than the 3V.

The Flea 17 has 7 energy hardpoints making this the energy boat of the Fleas. It is also one of the variants that has access to MASC. It comes with EE, saving you some money as you won't need to buy it. Fitting 7 MLs or SPLs will be impossible if you want a 170 rated engine, basically max armor, and MASC. All of those together comes to 21 tons. More likely you'll downgrade at least some lasers to ERSLs or simply run 6 lasers instead of the max of 7. The FLE-17 is very similar to the Locust 1E.

The Flea 19 has 8 Ballistics and 1 Energy Hardpoint. It comes stock with EE. This is the Piranha for the IS. It's closest IS match is the Locust 1V, which only has half the ballistics slots. It does feel a bit under gunned with only a single energy weapon (most likely a single SPL, ML, or ERML). I ran mine with a single ERML and 8 LMGs with 2.5 tons of ammo. I have actually managed to run out of ammo almost every match. On the up side with the new SHS buff, you can run SHS without overheating.

The Flea 20 has 5 Energy Hardpoints making it another energy boat. Stock it comes with Stealth Armor, EE, DHS, MASC, and has ECM. This makes it very much like the Locust Pirate's Bane. Or more specifically a Pirate's Bane with a Locust 3M set of hardpoints. I personally dropped the stealth armor for LFF and used 4 MLs.

The Flea Fire Ant has 6 Ballistics and 3 Energy Hardpoints. Stock includes EE and MASC. This is another Locust 3V competitor and is arguably superior with more energy and ballistics options as well as MASC. Fitting all that in and having sufficient ammo is the hard part. All it's weapon mounts are above cockpit level and SHS is a valid option so this variant fills an interesting niche.

Finally the Romeo 5000 which has 5 Energy and 2 Missile hardpoints. It comes with stock EE and DHS. It can run a pair of SRM4s or even a pair of SRM6s (with 1 ton of ammo so only 10 shots), but fitting missiles in along with other weapons is very hard. If you wanted to be very strange you could even run a pair of LRM5s. However, lacking MASC makes it less interesting than it could be. This will compare closely with the Locust 1M if you use the missile hardpoints, if you don't it is much like the Locust 3M.

Comparisons:

Locust: You've read down to here, so you've seen the comparison the entire time. The Locust is generally faster over time, but is starting to show it's age a bit by having less hardpoints than the Flea in general.

Osiris/Wolfhound/Firestarter: All larger, heavier energy boats that are at least as heavily armed and less fragile than the Flea. All of them are also slower, though not hugely so if given a large enough engine.

Piranha: The clan 20 ton mech. The 2 and 3 are very much like the Flea 17. Meanwhile the 1, A, and Cipher fall in line with the Flea 19 and FA. As usual for clan mechs though, the Piranha takes advantage of weapons that weigh less for similar performance. This means more guns, higher alphas, more equipment, and more ammo. Though without MASC it doesn't have quite the burst speed of the MASC equipped models of the Flea. I went up against several Piranha's and it's just not an equal fight.

Final Thoughts:
The Flea so makes me want to see a Locust IIC in MWO, with that extra 5 tons to play with and weapon hard points like the Flea has... Oh and clan weight weapons.

The 19 is by far the most swing of any of the variants. If your team can open the enemy for you, you can tear bits off the enemy all day. If not, your one laser isn't getting the job done. With clan MGs weighing half what the IS ones do, I just don't think it's worth it.

Edited by Shadey99, 23 June 2018 - 05:35 AM.


#2 Ubersuck

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:54 PM

the locust is better at objective play, the flea is better at everything else

#3 Old-dirty B

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:15 PM

Flea 17 with 6xSPL and MASC is the best mobile brawler in the game. The mobility is even better then a Locust before the engine decoupling.

#4 Old-dirty B

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:23 PM

The max speed from the MASC is just a number. The instant acceleration, deceleration and turning on a dime is what makes a MASC equipped Flea so good at knife fighting.

My Locust LCT-1E with 6xSPL used to be my favorite mech but now that i added a FLE-17 there's no reason to opt for the Locust unless i want do knife-fighting AND travel greater distances as fast as possible.

#5 Shadey99

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 04:14 AM

View PostOld-dirty B, on 21 June 2018 - 11:23 PM, said:

The max speed from the MASC is just a number. The instant acceleration, deceleration and turning on a dime is what makes a MASC equipped Flea so good at knife fighting.


I did have more about MASC and acceleration in the original draft... Seems I didn't keep it into the final version, so I added a another sentence on the subject.

#6 MoonShaman

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 11:03 PM

I have to say the Flea is the worst 'mech I have ever bought. Ever. It's paper thin, the enemy team meta the hell outta of it and it's squishy in a meta of nothing but gauss, heavy lasers and team damage(not meta but people just shoot and pray). I actually wish I never bought it now.

MWO needs to up armour values, esp lights. The game has now reached the point where lights and most mediums are moot. They're dead weight and unable to be run unless you have some build or mech that can take a beating.

The weapons don't need a nerf--- 'mechs need to be tweaked to survive but still die. Yes, perks are helpful in that reguard, but I shouldn't have to spend 30 some odd points before my 'mech should be able to "get by."

Seriosuly, lights need more in this game. :/

#7 Old dirty B

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:11 AM

Learn to play a light the proper way.

With a light, especially a flea or locust, you shouldnt rely on armor to survive. You have speed, mobility and size to your advantage to be succesfull on the battlefield.

#8 Lethe Wyvern

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:55 AM

View PostOld-dirty B, on 21 June 2018 - 11:15 PM, said:

Flea 17 with 6xSPL and MASC is the best mobile brawler in the game. The mobility is even better then a Locust before the engine decoupling.

My bet is Piraha or Mr. Lynx for close combat, but Fleas 17 and 20 are decent harassers.

#9 Yumoshiri

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 03:13 AM

Hmm, the MASC is working better than I expected.

I agree that the Flea has knocked out all laser competitors of the Locust. Arguably Locust is still on par when it comes to boating mediums, but that's going to be a personal choice. The 1V remains yet the only heavy quirked single laser, so the LPL or ERLL trolls will still find most joy in this section.

We can't ignore the reduced pod space by having another DHS.

I'm keen on trying the FireAnt in a few months time.

#10 Shadey99

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 05:55 AM

View PostMoonShaman, on 22 June 2018 - 11:03 PM, said:

I have to say the Flea is the worst 'mech I have ever bought. Ever. It's paper thin, the enemy team meta the hell outta of it and it's squishy in a meta of nothing but gauss, heavy lasers and team damage(not meta but people just shoot and pray). I actually wish I never bought it now.


While I have been one shot by Heavy Gauss (twice in ~100 games) and lost an arm to a really lucky AC20 round (once), usually moving erratically will reduce the damage you take. In that the Flea with MASC fares better then the Locust. But... Do you play lights? What you said has less to do with the Flea than your thoughts on lights in general.

View PostLethe Wyvern, on 23 June 2018 - 02:55 AM, said:

My bet is Piraha or Mr. Lynx for close combat, but Fleas 17 and 20 are decent harassers.


1v1 those mechs pretty much always win. The Flea just can't move that much faster to evade them and doesn't have the firepower to engage. Though both are clan mechs and can run laser+MG builds that the IS just can't match unless PGI would like to halve the weight of IS MGs. I should mention I play as a flanker/harasser in general, hence preferring the ML. If I had more tonnage for HS I'd probably opt for ERMLs, but the heat is an issue on a mech that has so many external HS required just to reach 10 total.

View PostYumoshiri, on 23 June 2018 - 03:13 AM, said:

We can't ignore the reduced pod space by having another DHS.


I actually had intended to at least mention the engine space being higher on the Flea. I seem to have forgotten to add it into the final draft as well. I've added a bit about it to my original post.

I've also found I may as well paint a bullseye on myself, I've had people suicide just to kill me in my Fleas... Though people do that to Locusts as well.

#11 Old dirty B

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:27 AM

In a 1v1 versus another light you shouldnt evade, when you try to get away you already have lost. Show full agressiveness and especially versus a piranha or
Mist lynx you have a mobility AND armor advantage, while these opponents have a firepower / dps advantage. Both these mechs generally run high face time weaponry (mostly mg’s), they need to keep their reticule pointed at you most of the time to make use of that advantage. That makes their movement predictable and they cant do proper dodging either (then dps will drop). Use your superior mobility to deny this and minimise the time they can keep that mg spray on you. Joust and get close and make them turn constantly. The masc really helps in that kind of combat as it makes instant changes to your movement and makes you less predictable.



#12 WrathOfDeadguy

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 02:58 PM

It's nice to see a 'Mech come out that's more of a sidegrade than straight powercreep. Whether you like the Locust or Flea better is ultimately going to be more of a taste thing than anything else.

The one gripe I have with the Flea is that its engine options are severely limited, to the point of being virtually nonexistent. Every XL between 150 and 170 costs the same 4t, so there's no benefit to taking any other rating. You lose ~20kph for the meager half-ton you get from taking 145 instead. Same with LFE; anything from 150-170 costs 5.5t, and you only gain 0.5t for going down to 145. So, advantage to literally anything else in that department. Giving it a max of 175 instead of 170 would have opened up just a few more good options, although I'm sure somebody would have complained about it being able to tickle the 180kph line...

#13 Buenaventura

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 03:02 AM

For the non MASC variants, the max engine is too low.
The legs are too fragile, and unlike in the original TT, moving fast doesn't help that much.

The hero is a missed opportunity, it should've come with JJ instead of the missile hardpoints.

#14 Zuri Prime

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 03:37 AM

View PostShadey99, on 21 June 2018 - 11:25 AM, said:

The 19 is by far the most swing of any of the variants.

Posted Image

IMO it's better suited to Flamer play when playing solo or in groups. With double ammo quirks I get 6000 rounds and it's generally enough for a match I feel, though more would be better.

#15 Yumoshiri

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:45 AM

View PostZuri Prime, on 25 June 2018 - 03:37 AM, said:

Posted Image

IMO it's better suited to Flamer play when playing solo or in groups. With double ammo quirks I get 6000 rounds and it's generally enough for a match I feel, though more would be better.


How about ditching that flame for a small laser. Single heat sink Iinstead of double. Ferro instead of light.
Then boost up leg armor and get half a ton extra ammo.
Yw

#16 Zuri Prime

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 07:41 AM

View PostYumoshiri, on 25 June 2018 - 06:45 AM, said:


How about ditching that flame for a small laser. Single heat sink Iinstead of double. Ferro instead of light.
Then boost up leg armor and get half a ton extra ammo.
Yw

Having the utility of overheating opposing mechs is invaluable, and works great with groups. I take doubles for heat efficiency.
yw

#17 Daggett

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 07:51 AM

View PostMoonShaman, on 22 June 2018 - 11:03 PM, said:

I have to say the Flea is the worst 'mech I have ever bought. Ever. It's paper thin, the enemy team meta the hell outta of it and it's squishy in a meta of nothing but gauss, heavy lasers and team damage(not meta but people just shoot and pray). I actually wish I never bought it now.

MWO needs to up armour values, esp lights. The game has now reached the point where lights and most mediums are moot. They're dead weight and unable to be run unless you have some build or mech that can take a beating.

The weapons don't need a nerf--- 'mechs need to be tweaked to survive but still die. Yes, perks are helpful in that reguard, but I shouldn't have to spend 30 some odd points before my 'mech should be able to "get by."

Seriosuly, lights need more in this game. :/

I disagree. Lights are just hard to play correctly because you have no room for mistakes especially with fragile 20t ones.
But once you know how to play them, you can carry equally well than in most other mechs.

Armor is only important when you intend to brawl which is by default not the best role for a light against skilled enemies. If you utilize your speed and have decent map-awareness then most matches will bring you lots of skirmishing opportunities where you can deal damage without being shot at.

For example what would you shoot at when pushed? The hard-to-hit Flea with it's 20-25pts alpha or the impossible-to-miss Anni with it's 80+ Alpha? A light does not need to do risky backstabbing to be effective. Posted Image

And especially the Fleas with masc work great despite their paper-thin armor if you invest some training into your masc-fu. Who needs armor when you can move too unpredictable to be hit?

I think lights don't need that much love to become OP in the right hands. Just watch some recorded twitch-streams of pros like Proton or bear_cl4w and you will probably see lights with different eyes.

#18 Shadey99

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 07:45 AM

View PostOld dirty B, on 23 June 2018 - 10:27 AM, said:

In a 1v1 versus another light you shouldnt evade, when you try to get away you already have lost. Show full agressiveness and especially versus a piranha or
Mist lynx you have a mobility AND armor advantage, while these opponents have a firepower / dps advantage. Both these mechs generally run high face time weaponry (mostly mg’s), they need to keep their reticule pointed at you most of the time to make use of that advantage. That makes their movement predictable and they cant do proper dodging either (then dps will drop). Use your superior mobility to deny this and minimise the time they can keep that mg spray on you. Joust and get close and make them turn constantly. The masc really helps in that kind of combat as it makes instant changes to your movement and makes you less predictable.


Oh I didn't mean I evade (or try), but they always win in my engagements with them. Not enough firepower compared to them and they have a small armor advantage (both are 25 tonners). Also as I'm a tier 1 player, a lot of enemy lights have incredibly good aim and can retarget as fast as my 40 year old fingers can adjust. I think my days of 1v1 are on the wane. Lol.

View PostBuenaventura, on 25 June 2018 - 03:02 AM, said:

The hero is a missed opportunity, it should've come with JJ instead of the missile hardpoints.


I'd have gone for a JJ enabled IS 20 tonner.

View PostZuri Prime, on 25 June 2018 - 03:37 AM, said:

IMO it's better suited to Flamer play when playing solo or in groups. With double ammo quirks I get 6000 rounds and it's generally enough for a match I feel, though more would be better.


Personally I've never had any luck with flamers.

View PostDaggett, on 25 June 2018 - 07:51 AM, said:

For example what would you shoot at when pushed? The hard-to-hit Flea with it's 20-25pts alpha or the impossible-to-miss Anni with it's 80+ Alpha? A light does not need to do risky backstabbing to be effective. Posted Image


From my games... They go for me in my little light and ignore the assault mech next to me... xD

Locusts, Myst Lynxes, and Cheetahs have that effect on the enemy as well. Everyone wants to shoot them.

#19 Prototelis

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 08:47 AM

It is SO GOOD.



Sure it doesn't throw up PIR numbers, but it is hands down the most agile itty bitty skirmisher/harasser/scout in the game.

The med pulse small laser combo on the 17 is really strong. The short duration really lets you knife components off of other lights at speed. Same thing with large mechs. Sure you have to hit them a good 6 times to really get somewhere, but you got the jukes to do it.

Having a blast in it. Do the hill climb nodes on the ones with MASC and you can shoot up and over almost anything. Especially strong on canyon.

#20 Zuri Prime

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 11:58 PM

View PostPrototelis, on 28 June 2018 - 08:47 AM, said:

It is SO GOOD.



Sure it doesn't throw up PIR numbers, but it is hands down the most agile itty bitty skirmisher/harasser/scout in the game.

The med pulse small laser combo on the 17 is really strong. The short duration really lets you knife components off of other lights at speed. Same thing with large mechs. Sure you have to hit them a good 6 times to really get somewhere, but you got the jukes to do it.

Having a blast in it. Do the hill climb nodes on the ones with MASC and you can shoot up and over almost anything. Especially strong on canyon.

Been running the 17 as you described, and it's really good! I can carve out torso sections front or back with this thing, and it's scary against just about anything without streaks. A+ build.

Also trying to redeem the lackluster R5K, thus far 5 smalls, 2 SRM2s w/ 1.5 tons of ammo and a LFE 170 looks to be a semi-durable harasser. SRM2 + 4 combo is awkward to work with so might as well double up on 2s and let it rip. It's more fun than a single six pack anyway.

Anyone had any luck with the 20 variant? 4-5 ML/ERMLs looks to be good but I always find enemy lights and light hunters taking me to bits so I've opted for the 5 SPL build. Not sure what to make of the mech.





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