MechAssault

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*Sticky*--Posted by Riposte101 @ 5/25/03 10:20 PST

Here is the most comprehensive statistical breakdown of the weapons and mechs in MechAssault that I have come across. Thanks Shadow Panther for all the work. While you're there check out the rest of his website for some interesting insights into the game.


Idea Proposals for MechAssault 2

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 9/2/03 10:17 PST

It is a testament to how well made and balanced MechAssault is that after a year since its launch my interest and playing time in this game has not waned. No game since Everquest has held my attention and interest so completely and over such a long period of time. I still find myself logging several hours almost every night. The game, while by no means perfect, still manages to be insanely fun, addictive and incredibly deep. Almost daily, I am still discovering many of the endless nuances to the game in terms of tactics, strategy and individual mech play. If you have not already picked up this game I would highly recommend that you do so. It is also going to come packaged with the $70 Xbox Live starter kit. With that I give you a few proposals for expanded features and fixes for a future patch or for the inevitable sequel. Some of the points of discussion in this article have already been areas covered in my older articles, but are relevant all the same.

This Feature is Working as Intended:

Wall Climbing = Good. Wall climbing is the ability for a mech to scale surfaces that are usually unreachable by non-jump capable mechs. This is achieved with the correct application of a cadence of running straight at the surface you are trying to climb, then going right or left then up again, repeat as often as necessary to reach the next flat area. Wall climbing takes a bit of practice to master, however once learned, it is invaluable. The designers may not have originally intended for wall climbing to exist, however, it goes a long way in balancing the game. As is evidenced by the selection of mechs by top tier clan matches, lighter mechs do not match up favorably to their heavier counterparts. The benefits of wall climbing are numerous especially for the faster mechs. This enables the lighter non-jump capable mechs to become the destructive nuisances that they were originally intended to be. Take for example the Hackman (my favorite mech in non-serious matches) and its compliment of speed, one gauss riffle and pair of crossbows. As many can attest to in facing my Hackman in Junk Yard, Demolition Town and Frosty, a pilot can wall climb up, fire off its weapons then hop to safety only to repeat the process. You can also escape from non-jumping slower mechs by wall climbing to safety. Wall climbing can also save your mech should it fall into one of the errantly misplaced lava-filled pits in the Number 51 map. Jump jets still provide a huge advantage over non-jump jet mechs in that they are faster (clock yourself wall climbing with a Catapult as opposed to simply jump jetting next time) and permit mechs to leave the surface. A common tactic in Junk Yard with a Catapult is to target jam then fly high enough to target and fire javelin missiles on opponents hiding behind the hill. Abilities such as these are not possible with wall climbing. The other benefit to jump jets is the mobility they afford to crippled mechs.

Radar: You will hear many of the top players state that "the radar is absolutely useless except for telling you youíre too close." This is of course an exaggeration, however I believe that the radar in MA covers just the correct radius. In the intense sniping matches that are played out in maps such as River City and Stone Cold, having your lock-on range just outside of the radar range builds suspense. There is nothing like walking forward seeking out the enemy and seeing volleys of javelins and gauss nail you from out of the mist. The opposite of that is true also. When I inch forward trying to spot an opponent and when finally doing so, letting go with everything and then backing out of range of their counterattack, it brings a smile to my face every time.

The one tweak I would have in this department is to have the option for toggling on or off or to have the radar be team only. Having the radar off or team only mode would promote different angles of attack in the attempt to avoid detection by the enemy. Team communication in these matches would become even more important as teammates would be forced to alert each other of enemies in their midst that are out of an individualís cone of vision.

Customizable mechs: Many people have been clamoring for customizable mechs, but I do not agree with the implementation of this feature. Not only will this make the game less accessible to the new player, it will prolong the start time of games. Players have a hard enough time selecting their mech from the available choices now without having to choose between chassis, weapon layout, jump capability and defensive measure selections. If this was implemented we would never be able to start a game.

General Fixes:

The Health Glitch (Bug): This is unforgivable. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is a bug that nullifies your health pick up if you are hit at the moment of picking up the health.

Fix the dropping issue! Specially the cursed two slot in the lobby.

When the host drops all the remaining players should be brought back to the lobby.

The boot feature needs to be accessible during the game. A system like the voting done in Return to Castle Wolfenstein would be preferable.

A ban feature both in lobby and in game needs to be implemented. Again this should be handled similarly to the voting system in RTCW.

Names of people sending you an invite you should be displayed on the top left side of the screen, so as to not to obstruct your display of who is chatting and more importantly so you do not have to press start in the middle of a game and check your friends list to find out who sent the invite.

Remove the indestructible terrain like the trees in Midtown Mayhem

Maps should affect heat dissipation in mechs differently, i.e. a mech in Ice Pack should cool down faster than a mech in Hell's Kitchen. This would add another dimension to mech selection.

Area 51 should be made a CTF map. This would be instant new content and with almost no work involved.

The human camera in Last Man Standing/Grinder should move exactly like a regular mech, meaning that you should be able to back up, turn and strafe.

Weapon Fixes:

The standard lasers need to be faster and more accurate. They are high heat weapons with moderate damage (when you hit) and are very inaccurate due to how slow their projectile speeds are coupled with their lack of tracking. This all adds up to a very lackluster weapon that needs to be brought in line with the other weapons in the game.

Warhammers: They require no skill to use at level three because of their huge explosion radius. What I propose is that the level one and two remain the same, while the level three is downgraded to the same explosion radius as a level two. This will leave the damage level of what is the highest damaging weapon in the game intact while requiring of the player a modicum level of skill as a trade off for the insane damage of the weapon.

There should also be a dumb fire option for warhammers. The computer automatically targets warhammers at the head of the mech. This is not only the smallest target on the mech, but also the part that moves the most. I would trust my ability to aim and to lead the target over the computer's any day of the week. At level three this does not matter (explosion radius), but at level one this is especially important because precision is so much more important. There should never be a time in the game where target jamming is more of a benefit to your opponent than yourself. I laugh at people who help me hit them with warhammers because they turn on target jamming.

The flamethrower should have splash damage and raise the heat on the opponent. Not only would this make sense from a logistical standpoint, but also it would make the mech more effective against the shield defense employed by the Ymir and Ragnarok.

Defensive Measure Fixes:

Null signature should cover the glow of the PPC on the Puma.

AMS should work instantly and missiles that are shot at you should be diverted at the moment the player uses AMS (chaff). See my additional reasons in the "new features" section of this article.

Mech Fixes:

Fixing the flamethrower would go a long way in helping the Hellbringer, but it is still not enough. Sniping with one javelin missile is the biggest joke going in MechAssault. Put another javelin in to make it have a respectable total of two.

Elementals should be made untargetable by the computer. You can still shoot them, just without the aid of computer targeting. This change would make Elementals the annoyance that they were originally intended to be.

The Timberwolf needs a slight increase in heat dissipation. Their amazing weapon selection is nullified by not being able to fire any of it because of constant heat issues.

The Mad Dog is underpowered, especially with the addition of the Loki. Furnish it with another autocannon (bringing its total from one to two) and give it some jump jets and if only to differentiate it from the Loki.

The Vulture leaves much to be desired. Try comparing the Vulture to a Catapult and there is little reason to ever use a Vulture. A remedy would be to give it another laser (raising its total from two to three) and adding another machine gun (to deal with close ranged fast mechs) to its arsenal.

The Uller is little more than a nuisance. My suggestion would be to make it an even greater nuisance by giving it a ballistic weapon, like a machinegun. This would improve its survivability because it would not leave ballistic upgrades around to be used against itself. While this mech already has decent heat dissipation, it needs a higher ceiling for its max heat to be able to dish out more damage in the initial exchange. Lastly, I would shore up its vulnerability to other light mechs by giving it another crossbow missile (raising its total from one to two.)

The Raven is ass. Let us compare this mech to other light mechs that are equipped with a pair of machine guns (Puma and Owens) and see what we come up with. The Raven ranks last in armor giving up over three hundred points to the Owens. Its speed is in the middle of the pack and heat issues are negligible on the three. The Raven's laser (you do not want me to start on the poorly conceived design of the laser), two machineguns and one crossbow is comparable to the Owens' two machineguns and two crossbows, but is a travesty when you compare it to the PPC, two machineguns and two crossbows of the Puma. The Owens makes up for this deficiency with two hundred points of armor on the Puma and the strongest defensive measure in the game, target jamming. The Raven has double duration null signature to the Puma's standard null signature (see my thoughts below on null signature). The longer duration null signature does not begin to close the ground between the weapon payloads of these respective mechs and throw in jump jets on the Puma and now you are beginning to understand the lamentable inadequacies suffered by the design of the Raven. A start at staunching the wound would be to give the Raven four-second duration/two-second recycle jump jets.

Cougars are essentially free kills. Improve their survivability by giving them target jamming.

The Ymir needs higher heat dissipation! This mech has the worst heat dissipation in the game, yet employs the three highest heat-generating weapons in the game. This all adds up to make this mech the garbage that it is.

Statistics:

Nothing leads to more arguments in Mechassault then what many call "kill-stealing." This occurs when a player has worked his opponent all the way down and a teammate shoots once and finishes off the opponent and notches the kill. This skews the final results of how an individual player did in many matches. The way I would address this issue is to have the kill awarded to the player that did the most damage to the opponent.

Another way to tackle this problem and promote positive discussions and camaraderie amongst players is that at the end of the game the statistics should be more in-depth. The end screen ought to have not only the kills listed but also the map played on, the color, the mechs used, overall damage done to opponents, overall damage received and overall friendly fire damage. This will have the added benefit of assisting in the process of organized clans keeping track of their records. The more statistics available in a game the more discussion there will be about the game.

New Features:

A lot more mechs!

More maps with water!

Bigger maps!

More city maps!

Online and offline CO-OP play through the campaign mode.

Customizable soundtracks.

10 player connectivity: It is my belief that adding two more players to the current limit would not drastically affect the lag nor crowd the maps beyond what they can support.

Clan Flags need be added to Xbox Live.

Customizable mech logos.

Melee weapons for mechs.

Beagle Active Probe: Light mechs equipped with this can pierce through the defensive measures of target jamming and detect null signature in a small radius around the mech. This will enable teammates to target these mechs so long as a mech with the Beagle Active Probe is close to the opponent.

Target Acquisition Gear (TAG) the MechAssault 2 version: Laser designators equipped on light mechs such as the Corvus and Raven that can paint a target so that team mechs can target them from afar with missiles. To balance this new offensive capability AMS should work instantly and missiles that are shot at you should be diverted at the moment the player uses AMS (chaff).

MASC: A defensive measure that allows your mech to move at 1.5 times faster for a short duration of time.

General Musings:

In serious match play, a general rule should be that the host not be allowed to use a Ragnarok, but anybody else is still allowed to do so. This will go a long way in nullifying the gross advantage that hosting offers.

When somebody complains about sniping, I tell them, "I just beat the game and one of the missions told me to use cover to my advantage."


The Third Downloadable Content

--Posted by KenshiroKing @ 6/16/03 16:00 PST.

Disclaimer: Forgive the errors and the general roughness of this post. Iím trying to hammer it out and get online again.

Well kiddies, those sneaky guys at Day 1 ninjaed in some new content for Mechassault: 5 new modes and 3 new stages. The first stage is a city in an enclosed valley with many buildings for your destroying pleasure. The thing that makes this city map different from others is that it is multi-leveled. A handful of bridges now span above the city. Almost everything is destructible as per usual. The second map is an asteroid with multi tiered plateaus allowing for many places for light mechs to snipe from. Jump jets are a must for this one. The third map is a CTF only map that bears a striking resemblance to Frosty. Collapsible ice bridges and snowy hills combined with a few wide-open areas make this a decent CTF map.

The 5, well 3 really, new modes are Scout, Team Scout, Skirmish, Team Skirmish and Giant Killer. Scout and Team Scout are versions of Destruction but only allow for light mechs, while Skirmish is the same but allows medium mechs as well. Giant Killer is a mesh between a Godzilla match and Not It. Everyone picks which Heavy mech they would like to be, then all but one of the players are reduced to Elementals. When a kill is made, the player who actually makes the kill becomes the new giant and assumes the mech that the player picked at the beginning of the match.

Initial Impressions:
I only hope that the new forms of destruction do not take away from the existing forms and make games even harder to start. Overall, this looks like a good addition. In depth review to follow shortly.


The PPC

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 6/12/03 13:16 PST

The following will hopefully clear up some of the commonly held misconceptions regarding this weapon.

I think that the best way to handle this would be to compare this weapon against the other weapons available in MechAssault.

Heat:
Firstly, dual PPCs (level 3) share the crown alongside the Lava Cannon and the 4x Autocannon (level 3) as the weapons that generate the most heat per shot in the game. Add on the fact that while charging PPCs your heat dissipation is halved and now you will understand that PPCs are by far hottest running weapons in the game. By comparison dual Gauss Rifles generate just a little over half the heat of the dual PPCs and you never halve your heat dissipation because of the need to charge!

Another disadvantage is that when you pick up a missile upgrade or a ballistic upgrade while holding the charge for your PPCs, you shoot your newly upgraded weapons be they 4x Javs or 2x Machineguns or what have you, wasting heat and time because you have to recharge the PPCs in order to shoot them again.

Damage:
Average Damage Per Second (Level 3)
Warhammer x2: 900
Machine Gun x4: 486
Lava Gun: 450
Warhammer x1: 450
PPC x2: 400
Pulse Laser x4: 397
Gauss Rifle x2: 375


Secondly, as you can clearly make out on this handy chart provided by Shadow Panther even the single Warhammer out damages the pair of PPCs and the Warhammer produces less than half the heat. The dual Gauss Rifles do slightly less damage with a little over half the heat and now you throw in the 12% knockdown abilityÖ Need I say more?

Countermeasures:
Thirdly, the PPCís are easily one of the most counterable weapons in the game. Target Jamming completely nullifies this weapon unless you are very close to your opponent. Target Jamming is even more effective against PPCs than AMS is for missiles (with missiles there is splash damage.) If a Ragnarok or an Ymir is hosting (read no lag) it is impossible to damage them with PPCs because the shield recharges before the PPCs recycle. If you are in a Madcat your best hope to solo a hosting Ragnarok or Ymir is to use your Javs or dual machine guns or better yet your one machinegun or one crossbow missile in an Uziel; both are losing propositions.

Insane tracking:
Fourthly, this is as much of a detriment as it is a benefit against a good opponent. When you miss in close with level three PPCs they will often circle around and attempt to strike the opponent again. This is the good part of it. The bad is that if your opponent is hosting they can move in close and use this tracking ability against you so that when the dual PPCs circle they will hit the shooter instead. In a light mech, while hosting I can pull this feat off 50% of the time. It is always comical to see Madcat pilots killing themselves with their own level 3 PPCs.

Projectile Speed:
Fifthly, PPCs are slow. By slow I mean slow in the sense of the projectile speed. On maps with obstacles and terrain cover this is unforgivable.

Lastly, when a mech is out of radar range it is very hard to discern their location, except when they are holding GLOWING PPC charges. This gives away the mech's position, which is very important because the long-range weapons in the game extend slightly beyond radar range. So a pilot can target and hit mechs painted by PPCs with Gauss rifles without the opponent even seeing them.

Overall: I really donít understand why PPCs are so despised by everybody. PPCs are a very necessary component to the game and a weapon that is very well balanced. The advantages are that they are very easy to use and thus geared towards inexperienced pilots. They are an introductory weapon because a pilot does not have to worry about switching weapons to do the maximum amount of damage at any given time. A Madcat can be almost as effective using just PPCs as they are with a combination of Javelins, PPCs and Machineguns. For the Uziel a player can learn to move a faster medium mech with jump jets without having to concentrate on also switching weapons. Both of these mechs are very well designed in my opinion. I personally would not use a PPC throwing mech because of said disadvantages inherent with the design of the weapon, but I would also not change a thing about them.


Capture the Flag Guide: Part I

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 5/31/03 00:49 PST.

Here is my in-depth analysis of this game mode.

Disclaimer: These tactics and strategies assume that every member of your team has command of the basic mechanics of the game and that there is constant team communication between members.

Map: Desert Storm

The Team
Corvus: Runner
Corvus: Runner
Puma: Base Defense/Pursuer/Flag Relay
Puma: Base Defense/Pursuer/Flag Relay

Synopsis: The basic strategy behind this team is to blow the other team out with the sheer superiority of offense paired with a very strong defense.

Offense: The reason underlying the choice of the twin Corvus runners is due to the distance that runners need to travel on this map to capture and return the flags. While one Corvus makes it back to the base with the flag the other Corvus is in position to retake the flag as soon as it respawns. In this way you double the attempts of flag captures and tax the defenders with constant attacks. This in turn will cause the defenders to have fewer upgrades to their weapons and this leads to making flag captures more manageable. This analysis does not take into account the common practice of defenders that follow the runner out of the base, further weakening the defenses for the second runner. If the Corvus runs into trouble and is unable to make it all the way back to the base a Puma can intercept the runner part way and relay the flag back to the base. The success of this is of course heavily dependent upon the runnerís communication with his teammates.

Defense: The versatility of the Puma makes it the pillar of the team. No opponent can run from a pair of Pumas in pursuit. The payload on this fast jump capable mech is nothing short of amazing, a PPC, a pair of machineguns and two crossbow missiles. It is custom built to tear apart runners. PPCs and crossbows for fast heavy damage and two machineguns for use on target jammed opponents. Machineguns also serve the dual purpose of revealing null signaled mechs and are quickly followed by volleys of crossbows to keep them lit. One Puma stays close to the flag while the other roams the middle ground to assist with relaying flags and picking up the opponents' runners. If the other teamís runner manages to slip by the first (unlikely), it still needs to deal with the second Puma. If the enemy manages to take hold of the flag both Pumas converge to take them out. As the runners return to the base for drop offs they will assist the defenders by alerting them of null signatured mechs and lighting them up with their dual pulse lasers and autocannon.


Capture the Flag Guide: Part II

--Posted by KenshiroKing @ 6/2/03 14:27 PST.

Ultimate Mech Team
Runner - Corvus
Pursuers - 2 Pumas
Defender - Prometheus

The main objective of my team is to shut out the other team or, failing that, to keep their score as low as possible, while using the Corvus to achieve a consistent, solid score.

The runner position is fairly self explanitory, run into enemy base, grab flag, return to own base. However, a good runner can also assist in base defense and emergency flag recovery. Null sig, while useful, is not the best defensive measure for a runner. Target jamming is. Null sig is only useful until you grab the flag, and then you might as well have a large target painted on your mech's head. Also, any competent player can spot a null sig'ed mech at least 75% of the time (75% being the average from 100% for Desert Storm and 50% from Midtown Mayhem) and attack it with their weapons that do not require a lock to function.

The Corvus, as Riposte101 has stated, is hands down the best runner in the game. The value of 2x target jamming combined with jumpjets and speed cannot be denied. It also has an autocannon, which has the same knockdown chance as a pair of gauss rifles, and dual pulse lasers, which are useful for infighting and lighting up null sig'ed or target jammed mechs. The only drawback is that it has the lowest armor in the game, but its other strengths more than make up for this deficiency.

The purpose of the Pursuer mech is threefold. Its first, and most important job is to pursue the enemy runners as they return to their base if they slip the defensive kill-zone. The pursuer then destroys them and recovers the flag. The Pursuer's second job is to defend the base as any other defensive mech does. The third task that it must perform is emergency flag support for the runner if they cannot return on their own. In my opinion the Pursuer is the anchor for the team and must be someone who can keep an eye on all of their team's mechs and coordinate a cohesive strategy. The Pursuer directs the defenders to the most dangerous target and must be prepared to continue coordinating even when pursuing enemy runners.

The Puma is perfectly suited to the task of Pursuer. It has a very well-rounded compliment of weapons: A PPC for sheer power in taking down light mechs quickly and defending against the occasional medium to heavy, twin machine guns for lighting up null sig'ed mechs and attacking those with target jamming, and dual crossbows to be used to prevent cloaked mechs from disappearing once you have exposed them.

When you use two Pumas, the enemy runner has almost no chance of returning to their base. It is critical, however that the Puma pilots have the backup of a capable defender to ensure that no backup enemy runner escapes with the flag unmolested while they are returning from flag recovery. As long as damage is done to the backup runnner and the defender communicates by which route the runner is leaving, then the returning Pumas can intercept said runner on its way back to its base.

The Defender position may not be the most glorious position, but it is necessary all the same. The Defender must either destroy incoming mechs before they slip the defensive area or damage them enough that the pursuers are able to finish them off. Speed is not a necessary trait because of the Pursuer mechs.

The Prometheus is the absolute best mech to use for the position of Defender. Its devestating compliment of weaponry can defend any base well. When fully charged up, this mech is an unholy terror. Its dual gauss rifles can pummel mechs from long distance whether they be assaulting the base or fleeing with the flag. The three lasers also can assist in this task. The dual warhammers are perfect for mechs that are null sig'ed to the point where they are unable to be targeted as well as mechs with target jamming. With a Prometheus, no mech can enter a base and escape with the flag unmolested.


Second Download Content

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 5/19/03 13:29 PST.

The long awaited and much anticipated second downloadable content is out today, so my crew and I took the day off from work to play MechAssault all day to celebrate. Here is my rundown of the new content.

Loki: The Loki is what the Mad Dog always should have been. Just like the Mad Dog its arsenal consists of crossbow missiles, autocannons and pulse lasers. While, it does suffer negligibly by having one fewer crossbow missile (three instead of four), its advantages more than make up for this deficiency. These advantages include more armor, more speed (the Loki's thirty-one to the Mad Dog's twenty-nine), much better heat dissipation and one extra autocannon (two instead of one). This turns the autocannon into a viable weapon with superior knockdown ability. On top of all of that it is also packing null signature! Congratulations you have just made the Mad Dog completely obsolete, but in the mech designer's defense the Mad Dog had always been woefully underpowered to begin with.
Overall: A formidable mid to short-range mech.

HellBringer: UmÖWtf is this? Two autocannons, one flamethrower, one javelin missile, poor jump jets and mediocre heat dissipation? This mech is the posterboy for futility. It could still have been salvaged if the flamethrower actually meant a damn. The flamethrower jacks up your own heat, but does little damage. On top of that it is slow and short ranged. Since the projectile is also slow moving, a fast mech can simply run away from it and the burst of flame will dissipate before it reaches you. I believe that the initial concept of this weapon was that it was supposed to heat up your opponent, thus making this a strategic mech. For whatever reasons this was not implemented and as it stands this mech is no better than the lowly Uller.
Overall: A waste of 1s and 0s.

Capture the Flag: Been playing this all morning and it has been some serious fun. More analysis of this new feature forthcoming.

Desert Storm: This map owns. Itís huge and there are lots of in map power-ups and good defensible positions.

Midtown Mayhem: A ridiculously small map with two less-than-ideal base locations. This coupled with the insane amount of cover, makes it too easy for runners to make it back with the opponentsí flag.

Other Additions: Finally a boot feature! Also included is that during the game the name of the person speaking is now displayed in the upper right hand corner of the screen and in the lobby the voice status of the speaker is grayed out whenever somebody is talking. The most important new feature is that once a game is concluded the players are sent back into the lobby room for an opportunity to play another round without having to use the poorly designed friends invite feature.

Positives:
Capture the Flag
Loki
Desert Storm
Midtown Mayhem
Finally a use for the Corvus! CTF!

Negatives:
Since the patch was implemented, Optimatch is no longer working properly.
HellBringer
Desert Storm should be made available for Team Destruction play.
Still no Fix to the health bug!


Overall Patch Grade: B-

Fixes

These are issues that we hope that the third downloadable content will address.

The Health Bug: What the fuck is this? This is unforgivable. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is a bug that nullifies your health pick up if you are hit at the moment of picking up the health.

Warhammers: They require no skill to use at level three because of their huge explosion radius. What I propose is that the level one and two remain the same, while the level three is downgraded to the same explosion radius as a level two. This will leave the damage level of what is the highest damaging weapon in the game intact while requiring of the player a modicum level of skill as a trade off for the insane damage of the weapon.

There should also be a dumb fire option for Warhammers. The computer automatically targets warhammers at the head of the mech. This is not only the smallest target on the mech but also the part that moves the most. I would trust my ability to aim and to lead the target over the computer's any day of the week. At level three this does not matter (explosion radius), but at level one this is especially important because precision is so much more important. There should never be a time in the game where target jamming is more of a benefit to your opponent than yourself. I laugh at people who help me hit them with warhammers because they turn on target jamming.

The flamethrower should have splash damage. Not only would this make sense from a logistical standpoint, but also it would make the mech more effective against the shield defense employed by the Ymir and Ragnarok.

Elementals should be made untargetable by the computer. You can still shoot them, just without the aid of computer targeting. This change would make Elementals the annoyance that they were originally intended to be.

The Timberwolf needs a slight increase in heat dissipation. Their amazing weapon selection is nullified by not being able to fire any of it because of constant heat issues.

The Mad Dog is under powered, especially with the addition of the Loki. Give it some jump jets if only to differentiate it from the Loki.

The Vulture is pathetic. A remedy would be to give it another laser (raising its total from two to three) and adding another machine gun to its arsenal.

The Uller is little more than a nuisance. My suggestion would be to make it an even greater nuisance by giving it a ballistic weapon, like a machinegun. This would improve its survivability because it would not leave ballistic upgrades around to be used against itself. While this mech already has decent heat dissipation, it needs a higher ceiling for its max heat to be able to dish out more damage in the initial exchange. Lastly, I would shore up its vulnerability to other light mechs by giving it another crossbow missile (raising its total from one to two.)

The Raven is ass. Let us compare this mech to other light mechs that are equipped with a pair of machine guns (Puma and Owens) and see what we come up with. The Raven ranks last in armor giving up over three hundred points to the Owens. Its speed is in the middle of the pack and heat issues are negligible on the three. The Ravenís Laser (you do not want me to start on the poorly conceived design of the Laser), two machineguns and one crossbow is comparable to the Owens' two machineguns and two crossbows, but is a travesty when you compare it to the PPC, two machineguns and two crossbows of the Puma. The Owens makes up for this deficiency with two hundred points of armor on the Puma and the strongest defensive measure in the game, target jamming. The Raven has double duration null signature to the Puma's standard null signature (see my thoughts bellow on null signature). The longer duration null signature does not begin to close the ground between the weapon payloads of these respective mechs and throw in jump jets on the Puma and now you are beginning to understand the lamentable inadequacies suffered by the design of the Raven. A start at staunching the wound would be to give the Raven four second duration/two second recycle jump jets.

Null signature should cover the glow of the PPC on the Puma. It should also cloak you instantaneously if you have no heat.

Clan Flags should be added to Xbox Live.

Area 51 should be made a CTF and Team Destruction map. This would be instant new content and with almost no work involved.

A Ban feature needs to be added. While the boot feature is great, ban would have been better.

The human camera in Last Man Standing/Grinder should move exactly like a regular mech, meaning that you should be able to back up, turn and strafe.



Here are a few collected thoughts of Riposte101's concerning MechAssault that he posted on GameFaqs.

From: Riposte101 | Posted: 2/16/2003 4:36:12 AM | Message Detail
Light mechs are physically incapable of outflanking a good assault (Atlas/Prometheus, Rag/Ymir) mech pilot. Sure you can run faster than I can torso turn but only if you are in close (in your attempt to close the distance I would have already expended volley after volley into your 2700 points worth of armor). If you do survive this, which is unlikely without null signature or target jamming, even then I can adjust by moving in conjunction with the torso turn long enough to nail you with my 4xAC/2xGauss/2xPPC as they recycle. As you have likely not played against many good large mech players I can see how you would arrive at your conclusion. I play every mech in the game and well I might add, save for the Uller and Vulture (for obvious reasons) so I know their limitations going up against an assault class mech with a good player at the controls. Granted in my kitfox I can solo 99% of the assault class mech pilots out there, there will be that elite one percentile that will be nigh impossible unless I am charged up or get a lucky leg shot (things I cannot count on). Again, this is only in the case of soloing.

From: Riposte101 | Posted: 2/16/2003 4:40:09 AM | Message Detail
Null signature is useful in that it allows you to close the distance avoiding ranged combat and thus enabling the light mech to use its strength, which lies in avoidance (meaning dodging in close.) This is extremely useful in heated battles and against less experienced pilots, as their attention is not focused entirely on their surroundings to pick up the movements of a null signaled mech. However, when it is one on one, it is entirely too easy to note the puffs of dust being kicked up by the moving null signatureded mech. Then it is only a matter of scoring a single hit, be it with a machine gun, pulse laser or any other armaments your mech may be carrying and your null signature is as useful as chicken soup is as a remedy for cancer.

From: Riposte101 | Posted: 2/16/2003 4:52:53 AM | Message Detail
Also of import is that these puffs of dust being kicked up glow mysteriously. If you do not know what I am referring to, watch a moving null signaled mech closely next time. So when you see me in a null signaled Puma/Hackman/Kitfox with brightly glowing dust clouds marking my passing, come get some of this glowing. As Master Lou said in Sealab 2021, "Look man, your soul? I'm going to totally chew on it and floss with your spirit."



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