C-ERLL nerf and the current status of large lasers

I've seen a lot of people debate about the implications of the C-ERLL nerf that happened last week. I had some time on the train to home, so I thought I'd do a proper comparison . . . with science. I took the data from Smurfy's and got to work in Excel.

Before I begin, let's talk about some terms. DPS(damage per second) is the amount of damage done over time, and it's one of the most important weapon stats in games. High DPS weapons simply kill faster, given enough exposure. HPS(heat per second) is a unique stat for MWO weapons and this stat gives how much heat you get per second of usage of that weapon. Both of these stats will be considered in two ways, first with weapon cooldown and second without cooldown.

Damage application is also an important term, it means how much of your potential damage you're applying to your enemy. Every weapon has an optimal range in MWO and often one has to consider the range before using the said weapon. Since you still get the same heat no matter what, it may make more sense to refrain from shooting until you're near or inside your optimal range. Damage application can also be considered in terms of beam duration, if the beam duration is lower, then there's more chance the damage will be applied to a single component, since it gives the enemy less time to react.

With those being said, let's look at the current situation in the LL bracket, starting with damage over range:

There are no changes here, when it comes to damage over range, C-ERLL still dominates. Its optimal completely eclipses the LL optimal and falloff range while it still has 30% range advantage over ERLL. To put it into context, C-ERLL does 9 damage(same as ERLL) at 1070m while ERLL does 3.7 damage at that range. This is still the weapon if you want to perch on a hill, way outside any other weapon's range and wear down the enemy team.

This graph is pretty much the same with the range one, but with weapon duration and cooldown taken into account. When we take both cooldown and duration into account, this graph gives us which weapon is the most effective when used repatedly.

Before the nerf, C-ERLL completely outclassed both IS ERLL and LL when it came to continous fire. At 2.36 DPS, It was even close to LPL terroritory (IS LPL does 2.75 DPS while C-LPL does 2.59). This weapon was devastating in pretty much every situation.

After the nerf, the DPS has been essentially normalized with the IS LLs.

Things change a lot when we calculate DPS with only the beam duration. This DPS value is more useful in telling us just how fast the weapon dumps damage to the enemy.

The first and the hardest hitting nerf becomes apparent here. With its beam duration increased by 0,5 seconds, the DPS is now lower accordingly. Even though it still does 11.25 damage, it does this damage in 2 seconds and you have to hold the beam on target twice as long compared to ERLL and LL.

This nerf makes the only negative side of C-ERLL even worse and makes it a less of a straight upgrade to IS variants. It still does more damage at much much longer ranges, but you have to hold the beam twice as long on the target; giving it time to torso twist or simply move into cover. If you don't have a very steady aim, you're simply not hurting the target as quickly and as much as IS larges, considering you're firing inside your optimal range for all three.

C-ERLL's HPS was already lower than IS ERLL before the nerf. The increased beam duration made this weapon a bit cooler in sustained fire. These changes make it more friendly with low DHS counts and should make it more usable in Clan lights.

Before the nerf, C-ERLL was already easier to sustain during its duration, on top of its superior DPS and range. Now the heat generated during firing is significantly less. This means the C-ERLL is a bit better suited for chain fire than before the nerf, you can keep chaining a lot of these and sustain damage output for a long time. It will create much much less heat than an ERLL boat after a salvo of 6 lasers for example.


The latest nerf finally gave the C-ERLL a real trade-off rather than being a straight update to the IS variant(read: OP). I think the points below sum up the current situation:

  • C-ERLL is a less effective killer after the nerf. Even though it does the same damage, you have to hold your aim steady for twice as long to apply meaningful damage. This should pose no problems when engaging at closer ranges and against slower opponents, but faster opponents will spread the incoming damage better. 
  • Two seconds of "face time" is also another concern, you have to expose yourself twice as long to do the same damage. This is not a brawler's weapon anymore.
  • C-ERLL is more heat friendly than any other LL variant if you want to chain a few of them in quick succession(boating).
  • ERLL and LL are now better killers and are more suited for "dump and run" playstyles, but at significantly closer ranges.
  • New C-ERLL is great at being a "suppression weapon" thanks to its longer beam duration and less heat generation over time.
With all of these things said, I think the IS LL could be in a tough spot. For only 1.5 more heat, the ERLL gives you a lot more range and better damage application. I think a slight heat or duration decrease could make it more attractive.

Edit: Looks like I derped a bit and took the old C-ERLL duration as 1s. It's been fixed.
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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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