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[Guide] Laser Beams and You: How to Melt Properly


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#1 Teirdome

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:44 AM

A full-health Jenner burning rubber comes dashing around the corner. You smash your weapons group and send 4 Medium Lasers into his torso. Looking at the damage readout, you only see that he took some yellow damage to his center and right torso.

“WTF netcode?! I hit him with 20 points of damage!”

But did you, really?

Section I: Understanding Beam Weapons

The most important part of using a laser well is understanding the following principles:
  • Lasers spread their damage out over their duration.
  • Laser weapons deal their damage across 10 “ticks” during the duration (I think, please correct me if you have found otherwise).
Let’s look at the following chart of the beam weapons:

Posted Image

Really, this data is largely redundant. You can divide things by 10 (hopefully). But seeing it draws some really interesting conclusions. Let’s look at a couple:

You're Not Hitting That Hard

From the example above, if you were only able to keep your 4 Medium Lasers on the Jenner’s CT and RT for .1 seconds, you only did 2 damage to each location. That’s four Medium Lasers with a damage potential of 20 that only did 20% of their potential, and likely only 10% to the armor you care about. That is a TON of waste.

Track Specific Locations

At every tick a laser will only damage to the part of the enemy that it hits. So you not only need to track your target for the entire duration, you need to track the location on your target you are trying to destroy.

Always Be Trackin'

You should never fire your laser weapons and stop tracking. An extra tenth of a second of concentration pays off immensely. I am frequently shocked by how many people do this. Like a great jump shot, Lasers are all about follow-through.

Which Laser is Right

Pulse Lasers are significantly more effective at killing Lights than Normal Lasers. This is simply because a faster target is more difficult to track. If you’re only going to get half a second of track time on a light (and half a second is a really good tracking time against Lights imo), then a Medium Laser is only going to do 5 ticks for 2.5 damage. Meanwhile a Medium Pulse Laser is going to do 6-7 ticks for 3.6 to 4.2 damage. That’s a 44% to 68% increase. Considering it's 7-9 tons (assuming SHS) for a second Medium Laser, this is a steal.

Let's look at a graph to further explore this idea:

Posted Image


This graph shows a number of really interesting things. The most interesting is how far and quickly the Large Pulse Laser runs away with the competition.

Equally interesting is that until after .8 seconds of beam on a location, a Medium Pulse Laser is as effective as a Large or ER Large Laser.

Normal Lasers are more effective at killing Mediums and larger. You’re now looking at an easier time getting a full second of tracking time when the target is slower.

In essence, the worse your tracking, the more you should favor Pulse lasers if you're going to use energy weapons at all.

Combating Lasers

If you are fighting someone only using lasers, you need to make it as difficult as possible to track you, not necessarily acquire you. This means you need to dodge once they start firing, not before. So the second you hear the laser, put on yo’ jukin’ shoes!

The Torso-Rolling Trick

View PostScop, on 30 October 2012 - 08:45 PM, said:

When you're under laser fire, rotate your torso so as to spread out the damage. This denies a beam full focused time on a single spot. It's an especially good idea of you're in a slow-moving mech, precisely because it's easier to keep the hose full-blast on one area. If your shooter is good enough to follow his chosen target despite this, well, he deserves the full damage.


Set Up Shots with Lasers

It is also worth it to wait an extra half a second to set up a shot you can more easily track than fire immediately. For example, an enemy Commando is doing circles around a friendly Atlas. Don’t fire when he’s running closest to you in the middle of his turn. Instead fire slightly before he’s running straight at or away from you. The commando will be much easier to track and you’ll do significantly more damage.

Another trick is not firing while turning left or right, but instead fire while torso twisting. Essentially, between shots you should over-steer your target a little bit. This will give you extra wiggle room for your torso twist. If it's not going to cause you to take any damage, it is okay to decelerate a little bit for increased turning radius. Then when you go to fire, lay off the turning and just torso-twist to stay on target.

Get your Group On

View PostSL the Pyro, on 30 October 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

Be aware of what lasers you have equipped on the arms and on the torso. Aligning them all to the same weapon group and then missing with some of them is just going to waste time/heat.

+-shaped crosshair = torso weapons
o-shaped crosshair = arm weapons

Unless the o is inside the + and they're both pointed right at the enemy, don't let loose your whole salvo; only fire the lasers that will actually hit something. Or, if you're feeling crafty, you can hit two enemies at once by firing everything at the same time and having both crosshairs on different targets; Swaybacks are notable for this since they can have six lasers on one target and three on another.



Mouse Sensitivity and Melty-ness


View PostKiiyor, on 30 October 2012 - 05:19 PM, said:

One of the most helpful things I have found for laser melting goodness, is lowering your mouse sensitivity. This allows you to track a target far more effectively. While there is no option as yet to do this in game, adding this code to your cfg will help:

Mouse sensitivity; Go to ~ C:\Games\Piranha Games\MechWarrior Online\User Config, and add the following lines

i_mouse_smooth = 0
i_mouse_accel=0
cl_sensitivity = 0.2

The last figure (0.2) can be adjusted to taste, the default value is 1.0.

I have shamelessly poached the cfg options from BigJim in this thread:

http://mwomercs.com/...se-sensitivity/

Awesome guide, those figures are very interesting indeed.


Lasers Might Not Be Right for You

If your skills favor twitch over track, then consider looking at more ballistic builds (specifically Gauss rifles). There is nothing wrong with having better twitch skills than tracking skills. In fact, you're a much better person/player/philanthropist if you can admit to it.


Final Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve learned a bit more about how to use Lasers more effectively. Track your targets (follow-through). Dodge your opponents after they’ve committed to firing. And always watch that heat level between shots.

If you have extra tips or advice on Lasers, I’ll happily add them.

Edited by Teirdome, 31 October 2012 - 03:41 AM.


#2 Teirdome

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:50 PM

Section II: Which Laser Should I Pick?

II.A. Heat Considerations

When it comes to lasers, there are normally two parties that get melted. The obvious one is your target. But as the pilot, you’re also going to get cook from all the heat those lasers generate. Hope you brought some shorts and a frosty beverage.

Core Heat Concepts (As Understood by Me)

There are a few things you need to know about heat:
  • A single heat sink dissipates 1 heat every 10 seconds for .1 heat per second.
  • A single heat sink adds 1 extra heat capacity.
  • You have a base heat capacity of 30.
  • There is one heat sink per 25 engine rating included in your engine up to 10. So for engines under 250 rating, there are less than 10 heat sinks. A 200 rated engine will only have 8 heat sinks built in.
  • Double Heat Sinks change the heat per 10 seconds and capacity to 1.4.
  • The pilot skill modifications are applied after these calculations and both increase by 1.075 for standard and 1.15 for elite.
  • Since environments generate a flat +heat/second or -heat/second, we do not need to consider them.
So let’s take a look at a very basic table of the weapons and the heat they generate.


Posted Image

Note: The single heat sink required numbers are different from Ohmwreckers, and I’m still not certain why. It is possible that in this whole section I’m underestimating heat, but as it would apply to all laser weapons, it shouldn’t impact the conclusion of comparing the weapons against each other.

The column on the far right is the interesting one. That is the number of Single Heat Sinks required to ensure that the mech does not generate heat while continuously firing the weapon. We can make some observations from it though:

Pulse Lasers are Damn Hot

The Small Pulse Laser is more than twice as hot as a Small Laser and is hotter than a Medium Laser. The Medium Pulse Laser is only 34% hotter than the Medium Laser, making it the most efficient of the Pulse Lasers. The Large Pulse Laser is also only 36% hotter than the Large Laser.

ER Lasers (More to Come when Clans Arrive)

The ER Laser is the hottest beam weapon around, in a bad way.

Pulse Laser Heat is not Worth Damage

Generally the damage jump from Laser to Pulse Laser is not worth the heat price for Small and Large Pulse Lasers. Smalls have a heat increase of 64% to a damage increase of only 10%. Larges have a heat increase of 36% to a damage increase of 18%. Mediums fare quite well, with a heat increase of 33% to a damage increase of 28%.

II.B: Firing Intervals

A much more realistic take is to look at the number of heat sinks required for a continuous firing interval. Additionally, we want to ensure that we completely consume both the heat sink’s capacity and the heat sink’s dissipation over that interval. This produces a much more interesting graph looking like the following:

Posted Image

So if you’re running a scout, and you really only want 15 seconds of sustained fire against a target with your Medium Laser, you are probably going to want between 6 to 7 Single Heat Sinks. That’s pretty significantly better than the original 10 that you would need to have from the previous table.

Now let’s say that you’re running an assault brawler and want to use Large Lasers. Brawlers are probably going to be in the fight a lot longer, so you’re going to need around 30 seconds of sustained fire on your target. This turns into about 14 single heat sinks for the one Large Laser to be continuously fired.

Now let’s take a look at the same table, this time using Double Heat Sinks:

Posted Image

While the actual formulae are a little more complicated, it looks like dividing by 1.4 will give you the correct numbers. Your scout needing 15 seconds of firing time on a Medium Laser now only needs 5 DHS and your Brawler now only needs around 10 DHS for his Large Laser.

II.C: Damage per Effective Ton for Firing Interval

Now let’s get crazy complicated. We now know the number of heat sinks required to not overheat for a given weapon for its firing duration. We can also very easily compute the amount of damage a Laser deals at a firing interval. We know the tonnage of the weapon. Let’s go straight protean soup and mash these into a SUPER NUMBER of lifegiving and awesomesauce spray!

Sorry about that. Lines get me excited sometimes. Especially when they’re curvy (*ba-dump-bump crash*).

Posted Image

Now we’re getting some interesting numbers! The Small Laser runs away with the show, but maybe this isn't the best show. The Small Laser's range limitations more than make up for its efficiency, as 90m for full damage is absolutely tiny. Perhaps the most surprising is how well the Medium Pulse Laser does. It actually outperforms the Large Laser slightly and is quite close to the Medium Laser.

I would draw the following conclusions from this table:

Lights Should Use Small Lasers

As they really are the only class that can close the distance to 90m frequently enough to justify using their fantastic efficiency, really only lights should use Small Lasers unless you're willing to trade the efficiency for higher DPS.

Brawlers Can Choose

It’s pretty even between Medium Lasers, Medium Pulse Lasers, and Large Lasers, so take your pick. Go with Medium Pulse Lasers if you want to be more effective against Lights and fast Mediums. Go with Large Lasers if you might need the extra range (I would argue that all of the current maps are so small the range is unnecessary). Otherwise, Medium Lasers are a great all-around weapon.

Avoid Small Pulse and Large Pulse

For now they do not convey enough of a benefit to justify using over their normal equivalents.

Avoid ER Lasers

Simply considering how hot the ER Large Laser is at the moment, it is probably best to avoid them. Range will be the next topic I dive into, and believe me, ER’s get hosed.

Section II.D: Fun with Boating

Who doesn't like using a ton of lasers all at once? Well, the only difficult part is balancing how many heat sinks you need for how long you want to be firing for. Here's an example of boating Medium Lasers with Single Heat Sinks with the added heat of running (2 heat per 10 seconds):

Posted Image

Just a couple quick scenarios to help you make sense of the chart. If you're running around with a Centurion, you really only need the 10 heat sinks in the engine to be able to fire for almost a full 30 seconds. Meanwhile, the base AS7-D with 20 Single Heat Sinks can only fire its 4 Medium Lasers consecutively for 16 seconds before overheating.

Now lets take a look at Double Heat Sinks:

Posted Image

Now with Double Heat Sinks, a CN9 can fire for over 45 seconds without overheating, and the same tonnage on our AS7-D will get us to darn near 30 seconds for the 4 MLs. Another example is a CDA-2A with 6 Medium Lasers is now looking at needing around 12 DHS to be able to fire just 4 volleys of those Mediums.

Edited by Teirdome, 16 November 2012 - 08:58 PM.


#3 Kiiyor

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:19 PM

Fantastic analysis! I totally agree with the twitch-vs-patience bit at the end. You need a steady hand to get the best out of lasers.

Maybe you could add some more practical tips also?

For instance; in a small counterpoint to the effectiveness of pulse lasers against lights (or any faster targets), I sometimes find large and medium lasers more effective in nailing the fast moving scoundrels, mainly due to my ping being best described as horrifying. The extra beam duration lets me find an aim off point easier by sweeping the beam backwards and forwards slightly, until the sweet red glow of my cross hairs let me know I've scored a hit. The distance you need to aim off against a faster mech traversing in front of you can be surprising, which can be a helpful tip for us ping challenged folk.

With pulse lasers, I find them completely awesome when i'm guaranteed a hit, otherwise i'm left spitting gobbets of half chewed chips at my monitor in fury while trying to find where to aim off.

Also! One of the most helpful things I have found for laser melting goodness, is lowering your mouse sensitivity. This allows you to track a target far more effectively. While there is no option as yet to do this in game, adding this code to your cfg will help:


Mouse sensitivity; Go to ~ C:\Games\Piranha Games\MechWarrior Online\User Config, and add the following lines

i_mouse_smooth = 0
i_mouse_accel=0
cl_sensitivity = 0.2

The last figure (0.2) can be adjusted to taste, the default value is 1.0.

I have shamelessly poached the cfg options from BigJim in this thread:

http://mwomercs.com/...se-sensitivity/

Awesome guide, those figures are very interesting indeed.

#4 Scop

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:45 PM

YES, all rings true to me. I have a tip on being on the receiving end of a beam poached from a topic before the Open launch: the 'torso-rolling' trick.

When you're under laser fire, rotate your torso so as to spread out the damage. This denies a beam full focused time on a single spot. It's an especially good idea of you're in a slow-moving mech, precisely because it's easier to keep the hose full-blast on one area. If your shooter is good enough to follow his chosen target despite this, well, he deserves the full damage.

#5 SL the Pyro

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:09 PM

Something I'd like to add as well: be aware of what lasers you have equipped on the arms and on the torso. Aligning them all to the same weapon group and then missing with some of them is just going to waste time/heat.

+-shaped crosshair = torso weapons
o-shaped crosshair = arm weapons

Unless the o is inside the + and they're both pointed right at the enemy, don't let loose your whole salvo; only fire the lasers that will actually hit something. Or, if you're feeling crafty, you can hit two enemies at once by firing everything at the same time and having both crosshairs on different targets; Swaybacks are notable for this since they can have six lasers on one target and three on another.

Edited by SL the Pyro, 30 October 2012 - 09:10 PM.


#6 Teirdome

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:45 AM

Thanks for the suggestions team!

I've incorporated all them directly because they were so well written.

@Kiiyor - I'm going to add more detail about pulse vs normal, and at that time I'll use your ping-related content. I'm normally between 50-100ms, so it has never been something I've had to worry about, but is really important for a large part of the player base.

#7 Kiiyor

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:12 AM

Sweet! I hover around the 240 - 270 mark, which is reasonably respectable ping here down under. Normally, I can play just fine - but often when i'm ineffectually blazing away at lights it feels like I have to aim into another state to make any headway.

#8 Scop

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:47 AM

View PostSL the Pyro, on 30 October 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

Something I'd like to add as well: be aware of what lasers you have equipped on the arms and on the torso. Aligning them all to the same weapon group and then missing with some of them is just going to waste time/heat.

+-shaped crosshair = torso weapons
o-shaped crosshair = arm weapons


This is exactly how I learned to love the four MLASs on my Founder's Atlas. It expanded the number of weapons groupings I use and therefore firing complexity, but it does save me heat and now gives me many ways to reach out and touch someone.

o
1. arm MLAS
+
2. torso MLAS
3. SRMs
4. LRMs
5. AC/20 (or other heavy ballistic)


My mouse is pretty simple and since I use its thumb button for alpha striking, I bound [E] to Group 3 and [F] to Group 5, keeping them in close reach.

But for this topic's relevancy, it's left-click for arm lasers, right-click for torso, so I spend less time discharging torso lasers into the aether, or worse, into an ally helping me double-team the Jenner circling me.

Edited by Scop, 31 October 2012 - 08:54 AM.


#9 AcesOnHigh

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:39 AM

I am so happy you took the time to explain all of that, and I took the time to read it! This makes SO much more sense, and explains why I'm able to do better with pulse lasers. Thanks!

#10 Flapdrol

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

You might want to add something about lagshooting.

I play with a latency of 120 on the scoreboard, I have to lead fast targets with lasers to do most damage.

#11 Goliath 3000

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

does fireaing 3 lasers together at same time generate 3 times amount of heat as fireing one?

lets say that fireing one certain laser generates 10 heat. if i have 3 lasers of this type fireing at same time, then generated heat is 30? or more because you have certain percent heat "penalty" because you fire all together?

#12 Raso

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

Pulse laser animation shows them firing in just a few bursts. I'm pretty sure it's less than 10 per burst. When I used 2 Large Pulse Lasers on mu Hunchback I also seemed to get some very impressive kills on fast moving targets or from glancing blows. This makes me wonder if maybe they deal their damage in less ticks than the lasers do? Then again the ticks tick off much faster becsue of the shorter firing time so maybe it's due to that...

Edited by Raso, 09 November 2012 - 11:15 AM.


#13 Trynn

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

Well Written, I think I may have to take another look at Pulses, have always been a littel down on them,

Small Fries beware i am coming for you!

#14 Nexx Nisshoko

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for this, very interesting and good read.

#15 Mousepup

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:50 PM

It looks to me like Pulses are more special-purpose CQB weapons while standard ones are more general-purpose, but not in quite the same way as in the TT game since sensitivity to netlag is not a thing there. I am very pleased to see that make it through in the translation.

Has any one here tried mixing a Large Pulse laser and some vanilla medium ones in the same group as compromise between the two types? The damage:heat ratios and effective ranges look close enough to be mixable, and the overall cycle times are not terribly far apart.

I guess standard lasers and guided missiles are good bets when working with long ping times, while PPC, AC and Gauss weapons are better when the gods of packet routing smile upon us. I wonder if joystick users get beter results from "streamy" weapons...

View PostKiiyor, on 30 October 2012 - 05:19 PM, said:

Fantastic analysis! I totally agree with the twitch-vs-patience bit at the end. You need a steady hand to get the best out of lasers.

Maybe you could add some more practical tips also?

For instance; in a small counterpoint to the effectiveness of pulse lasers against lights (or any faster targets), I sometimes find large and medium lasers more effective in nailing the fast moving scoundrels, mainly due to my ping being best described as horrifying. The extra beam duration lets me find an aim off point easier by sweeping the beam backwards and forwards slightly, until the sweet red glow of my cross hairs let me know I've scored a hit. The distance you need to aim off against a faster mech traversing in front of you can be surprising, which can be a helpful tip for us ping challenged folk.

With pulse lasers, I find them completely awesome when i'm guaranteed a hit, otherwise i'm left spitting gobbets of half chewed chips at my monitor in fury while trying to find where to aim off.

Also! One of the most helpful things I have found for laser melting goodness, is lowering your mouse sensitivity. This allows you to track a target far more effectively. While there is no option as yet to do this in game, adding this code to your cfg will help:


Mouse sensitivity; Go to ~ C:\Games\Piranha Games\MechWarrior Online\User Config, and add the following lines

i_mouse_smooth = 0
i_mouse_accel=0
cl_sensitivity = 0.2

The last figure (0.2) can be adjusted to taste, the default value is 1.0.

I have shamelessly poached the cfg options from BigJim in this thread:

http://mwomercs.com/...se-sensitivity/

Awesome guide, those figures are very interesting indeed.

Since it works to sweep aimpoint and stop when hit feedback happens, are PPC bolts hitscan or at least close enough that you can use a standard laser to feel for when to fire them? :D I got to use a Gauss Rifle, and the projectile is way too slow for that, so if PPC bolts are too fast to combine well with Gauss shots then maybe they can combine well with lasers...

If I ever get a machine of my own that can run this game, I've gotta try the Flamer to see if I can get any effectiveness out of it. Seeing it in a promo video speaks to my inner pyromaniac, so I'd just love to be that maniac who brings the flamethrower no one else finds worthwhile. It looks like the worst of both worlds in terms of concentrating damage, having a travel time AND being the most streamy, but I suspect the ability to control the attack duration makes it more flexible. For those who played Mechwarrior 3 back in the day, you should know what I mean. Hey, now I wonder if the travel time matches that of the AC/20. ;)

Edited by Mousepup, 11 November 2012 - 11:51 PM.


#16 Teirdome

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

View PostMousepup, on 11 November 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

It looks to me like Pulses are more special-purpose CQB weapons while standard ones are more general-purpose, but not in quite the same way as in the TT game since sensitivity to netlag is not a thing there. I am very pleased to see that make it through in the translation.


This is spot on.

View PostMousepup, on 11 November 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

I guess standard lasers and guided missiles are good bets when working with long ping times, while PPC, AC and Gauss weapons are better when the gods of packet routing smile upon us. I wonder if joystick users get beter results from "streamy" weapons...

Since it works to sweep aimpoint and stop when hit feedback happens, are PPC bolts hitscan or at least close enough that you can use a standard laser to feel for when to fire them? :) I got to use a Gauss Rifle, and the projectile is way too slow for that, so if PPC bolts are too fast to combine well with Gauss shots then maybe they can combine well with lasers...

If I ever get a machine of my own that can run this game, I've gotta try the Flamer to see if I can get any effectiveness out of it. Seeing it in a promo video speaks to my inner pyromaniac, so I'd just love to be that maniac who brings the flamethrower no one else finds worthwhile. It looks like the worst of both worlds in terms of concentrating damage, having a travel time AND being the most streamy, but I suspect the ability to control the attack duration makes it more flexible. For those who played Mechwarrior 3 back in the day, you should know what I mean. Hey, now I wonder if the travel time matches that of the AC/20. :(


In my opinion the Gauss Rifle projectile is faster than the other Ballistic weapons and the PPCs, which is a bummer. Really PPCs haven't been balanced to be genuinely useful yet. It's all about missiles, lasers, and the Gauss.

I've also updated Section II to be more about which specific laser to use instead of just tips for using lasers.

There's a lot of maths hidden under the covers, so if you would like a more in-depth descript just let me know.

#17 Kiiyor

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

View PostMousepup, on 11 November 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

... Since it works to sweep aimpoint and stop when hit feedback happens, are PPC bolts hitscan or at least close enough that you can use a standard laser to feel for when to fire them? :D ...


I FIND YOUR PROPOSITION INTRIGUING. I used the same tactic many moons ago for brawling with gauss, by mixing it up with an MG. Spray rounds until the crosshair glows, then WHAMMO.

While PPCs aren't hitscan (probably a contributing factor to their suck-ness) - the projectile is fast enough that it shouldn't be a huge factor at short to medium distance. HMMMMMM! This would be a better system than my current "ok, that one missed, LET'S AIM ANOTHER 10 FEET IN FRONT".

This would probably be best when mixed with some MLAS though; burn time should be enough to get an idea of where to aim, heat isn't crippling.

Ha, imagine if it worked! It would make PPCs more viable at shorter range, and would also be a sad indictment of their current implementation, being that you have to use a laser to aim them!

EDIT: There used to be a weapon projectile speed guide on the old forums, but i can't find it here. A bit of search-fu yielded this:


View Postmwhighlander, on 06 November 2012 - 10:57 AM, said:

Last I remember it was...

ppc 1200
gauss 1200
AC2 2000
Ac5 1050
AC10 900
AC20 850


So basically, everything is slow as **** save the AC2. The AC2's velocity is right where it should be.


Not sure how spot on it is, but it -feels- pretty close to what's listed above to me. I might throw a gauss and PPC into a K2 later to confirm.

Edited by Kiiyor, 12 November 2012 - 09:20 PM.


#18 Mousepup

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:37 AM

I am most pleased that the idea might be of use, Kiiyor. I am particulaly hopeful that it does work, since it would kinda-sorta mirror the classic synergy in the source material, if not the neat way each of these "bread and butter" weapons trumps the other on its preferred side of 4 to 9 hex range but it can easily go either way in that middling range. Using Small Lasers instead feels a bit weird, since I think of them as melee weapons, but I can probably get used to the shift. I am a bit let down by my inability to more directly translate my favourite canon 'mechs, though, particularly the GHR-5N. Maybe if&when we get to the second renaissance, and there's a place to play as a Clanner, Heavy Lasers might be even more temporally attenuated like Flamers are now? It seems logical that if the pulse TN bonus translates to better temporal concentration, then a TN malus for the same broad weapon type (laser) would translate to poorer concentration. Combine it with their utterly wicked upgraded PPCs...

Thanks for the notice up updatery, Dome. I tend to use the "first new post" button when I recognise a thread as one I've previously read through what was current at the time. Moar data are good.

According to your charts, some lasers have discharge and cooldown times that are simple harmonies. Do you know if grouping, say, four standard medium ones and chain-firing them results in a continuous or nearly continuous output with little or no waste of recycle time? I don't immediately see much practical use since even an Awesome's cooling can't keep up with that (wow, that feels weird!) but it would be silly fun IMO.

Re: range, in the source material I prefer the bog-standard PPC over the ERLL for various aesthetic reasons, so now I fear that the exaggerated heat sink costs here will make it feel less like a playstyle and fluff preference. ;) I am used to thinking of them as an interesting pair of competing options since the ERLL kinda forshadows the Snubbie with its short and medium ranges boosted more than the long range... (By contrast, the ER PPC gets a proportionately greater boost to long range than to mid and short.)

I also look forward to seeing how one estimates the relative value of range, useability/accuracy, and raw firepower for this game. The relationship between weapon reach, (not just range, but things like IDF, barrier blindness, better ability to hit some target types, being landmines/booby traps, etc. etc.) platform reach (IOW, player mobility with similarly nuanced breakdown) and power (damage vs. armor balance, special effects and the etc.) is never far from the front of my mind since IMO the balance between these 3 factors is at the heart of game design for the very broad class of games for which they all apply. If those 3 things are out of balance, one factor dominates the other two. If they are well-balanced, you see the Pareto frontier include a staggering variety of investment configurations.

Edited by Mousepup, 13 November 2012 - 03:53 AM.


#19 PhigNewtenz

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

Great analysis Teirdome!

I have one conceptualization and two suggestions that could be added. They all have to do with heat. When choosing lasers, heat often determines the success of a build.

A concept that helps is to think of the heat bar in a different way. In your mind, flip it upside down. Think of the dark part as the 'full' part, and the red part as the 'empty' part. Now, the dark part represents your mech's ability to dish out damage. Important points:
  • The more heat sinks you have, the faster this ability to dish out damage (the dark part) recharges.
  • When the bar is completely dark (you're heat is at zero) then you're wasting your heat sink's ability to continue recharging your ability to dish out damage, because there's no more red to 'fill up'.
  • When the bar is completely red (you're at 100% heat) then you are forced to stop and recharge a bit before you can continue.
The important part of this perspective is to look at the dark part of your heat bar a resource that you need to cultivate and that you need to spend judiciously.


Suggestion One:


Considering only damage-per-effective-ton can be misleading, as your engine heat sinks form a significant portion of your cooling potential. You don't need to add tons of external heat sinks to entirely cancel out the heat from your weapons.

The proper way to consider this mathematically requires that you have a particular build in mind, and that you then subtract, from the cooling required for each laser, a portion of the engine heat sinks' cooling based on it's (the laser's) portion of the entire build's heat generation. This can have huge implications for builds that rely primarily on their engine heat sinks, and that use double heat sinks. This technique is typically over-complicated (and not great for comparing all the lasers, as you have to have a specific build in mind).

What I find useful is to consider Damage-Per-Heat (DPH). This metric describes how efficiently a laser will turn the available space in your heat bar into damage.

The current values are:

Small:        1.50
Medium:       1.25
Large:        1.29
ER Large:     0.90
Small Pulse:  1.00
Medium Pulse: 1.20
Large Pulse:  1.11

While restrictions such as weight and critical slots are still a concern, I try to choose a laser combination with a high total DPH.


Suggestion Two:

In your second post, I would add to your recommendation for lights that while small lasers are a good choice, they can lead to wasted cooling potential.

It's very possible (as in I've done it) to make a JR7-F that, with skill bonuses and double heat sinks, can dissipate 3.43 heat per second with a maximum power XL engine, six small lasers, and nearly full armor. Six small lasers will, in this case, take something like 90 seconds to reach 100% heat. No light-fight lasts that long, so you're really wasting some of your available cooling. You'll never empty that 'dark' part of your heat bar, so you're wasting damage-dishing potential. It's generally better to mix in some heavier lasers, and drop some heat sinks so that your time-to-overheat isn't significantly longer than your typical engagements.

I've run 4 medium lasers and 2 small lasers with some success. I prefer 2 medium-pulse lasers and 4 small lasers for reasons that are related to your first post: they have identical duration and tick values.

These combinations form a better compromises between heat-efficiency and DPS. Which specific combination is the best fit for an individual player depends on their mech and build, but all small lasers is often not the best answer.

Edited by PhigNewtenz, 13 November 2012 - 10:24 AM.


#20 New Day

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

Could you update your graphs for the new patch?





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