The way of the Dragon - is it time for a Flame?

Yesterday morning I was happily brawling in my Protector(as happy as I could be in a match with two disco teammates) as I came across this DRG-1C pilot, and we made a hell of a team. I facetanked while he took advantage of his speed and we ended up killing half the enemy team together. He finished the round with top damage and kills, leaving me in envy. Topping your team in a DRG is not an easy feat.

This reminded me that I haven't touched my Dragons for more than two months. I really didn't bother checking them after the "hitbox pass" that happened at the beginning of this month. The Dragon had a delicate hitbox balance; it would take damage to mostly sides when you twisted and CT would suck everything in at certain angles. Any wrong move and XL's could be nonviable in this thing, dooming the Dragon to eternal irrelevancy.

Anyway, after getting this uncontrollabe urge to boop mechs in my DRG, I prepped my DRG-1C with 4ML's and an AC10. After a few rounds the changes to hitboxes became obvious;
  • The arms tend to block more of the incoming shots now, especially if you're torso twisting. This is great news for survivability, but on a mech where your heavy hitters are arm-mounted it's also bad news. You really need to take care not losing that ballistic arm. It definitely breaks your day.
  • Side torsos take more hits especially when torso twisting. They probably made it so that ST hitboxes cover more of the protruding CT. It's not excessive, but still very noticeable. I'd say about 70% of my deaths have been to side torso failures.
So, the final verdict? I got many kills(up to 5) per match, topped the damage in most of my matches and had great fun. This thing tanks like a boss when you twist consciously and ridiculous mobility means you get in, hit hard and get out without the problem of "committing" with brawlers. Aiming is a breeze, the arms are very responsive and have a great motion range. I did not feel "underpowered" fighting any mech, save for the occasional 733C and AC40 Jagers. The only thing that pissed me off was the tendency of my arms getting blown off, leaving me with just a pair of medium lasers. I tried to mitigate this by downgrading my AC10 and using that CT missile slot with an SRM, but having to manage 4 different weapon groups in a very mobile mech decreases your efficieny a lot.

I will definitely be playing more with these. I just wish the 1C had a more sensible hardpoint layout(2E in LA and 2E in RT doesn't make a good pair) . . . and the Flame is exactly that. It's basically a 1C with unfucked hardpoint layout, sacrificing AC accuracy by mounting it in torso but allowing 4E on arms. Hopefully PGI will offer them in a sweet sale soon.

If you're intrigued after what I've talked about, here are two videos from the livestream I did yesterday, showcasing how annoying this beast can get.

This one with 1xAC10 4xML and an XL360. (Higher quality)

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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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