Early Christmas Patch — The Quirkening Standouts

I woke up to great news today. Looks like PGI decided to break up the next week's patch into two and release a huge chunk of it today. This "chunk" involves one of the most hyped 'Mechs in MWO, the King Crab. This clanbuster 'Mech is going to be an absolute face-wrecker with its ability to mount dual AC20/Gauss and boat as many as 4M, 3E and 6B weapons. The much less anticipated 89KPH clan assault Gargoyle is also being released with this patch.

Well, what's in it for us who didn't participate in the King Crab loyalty or Wave 2 programs? We get to be eaten alive by hordes of King Crabs have some quirk adjustments. Bear in mind this not a complete pass, according to Sean Lang these are only a third of the total planned changes. Also according to him new phase 2 quirk adjustments will also allow weapon specifics to be changed (for example LRM/LBX spread, UAC jam rates and so on).

I had some time to compare the old quirks with the new ones and I just couldn't but notice some of the head-scratching quirks replaced witn more sensible quirks. Some of the already good 'Mechs are buffed further while some of the really good ones are nerfed slightly. Without going into much detail, I'm going to list three 'Mechs you should definitely be checking out tonight, sorted by how much they excited me. Here we go:

Commando 3A: This little guy had range, cool down and heat-generation bonuses (20%) for SRM6'es before. Considering this thing weighs 25 tons while the SRM6 weighs 3 tons a piece, you can understand how it was unnecessarily hard to take advantage of this bonus. You just couldn't mount two SRM6'es with enough ammo without going at Kitfox speeds.

With this patch the 3A gets the following quirks:

  • Structure Strength (LL&RL) +12
  • Structure Strength (LA&RA) +8
  • Missile Weapon Range +15%
  • Missile Weapon Cooldown +30%
  • Missile Weapon Heat Gen -15%
  • Energy Weapon Cooldown +15%

Instead of weapon specific quirks, it now gets pretty impressive general quirks. Especially the 30% cooldown qurik will make this a very dangerous ankle-biter, nearly as much as the Huginn. Extra arm and leg strengths will also help the Commando keep its weapons on the battlefield. This will probably the first 'Mech I'm going to try tonight.

Thunderbolt 9S: The 9S was chosen to be the ERPPC sniper variant of the TDR's with the quirks. With ridiculously high mounted hardpoints and dual-AMS it actually had the potential to be one. I actually sold mine after having an incredibly bad time mastering it last Summer, but I bought it again last week to check out its ERPPC quirks. It was okay, but nowhere near effective. Even with the 25% heat and cooldown reduction, the heat was too much for this 'Mech to handle.

Let's see what it got this patch:
  • Additional Structure (LT&RT) +15
  • ER-PPC Heat Gen -25%
  • Energy Weapon Heat Gen -25%
  • ER-PPC Cooldown +12.5%
  • Energy Weapon Cooldown +12.5%
  • ER-PPC Velocity +15%
  • Laser Duration -15%
Yes! Not only the structure bonus of the TDR's was increased 50% to 15, this variant also got its ERPPC heat generation bonus doubled. This means you have ERPPC's on this thing at the heat cost of an LL. A 15% ERPPC speed increase wraps up its bonuses. This will be a very mean sniper after the patch, it might even be viable as an ERPPC brawler.

Hunchback 4SP: As I wrote on Sunday, the 4SP was already pretty good, but it's been buffed even more with this quirk pass.

Let's look at its quirks:
  • Additional Armor (RT&LT) +12
  • Additional Structure (RT&LT) +12
  • SRM/6 Cooldown +20%
  • Missile Weapon Cooldown +20%
  • Laser Duration -25%
  • Medium Laser Heat Gen -10%
  • Energy Weapon Heat Gen -10%
  • Torso yaw speed +37.5%
  • Torso pitch speed +10%
That's a really long list isn't it? The first difference is 3 points of additional armor in each torso, a definitely welcome change since this thing naturally tanks with sides due to narrow CT hitbox in the middle of the torso. The second but big change is the doubling of its SRM6 cooldown bonus. At 40%, this thing will be a medium-Huginn at close ranges. If you've never been dismantled by a Huginn after the quirkening before, let me tell you, the missiles just won't stop.

It keeps its ML heat generation bonuses, while the laser duration bonus is not for ML's anymore but is made a general bonus. Sadly, it loses its 20% SRM6 range bonus, which I've grown to like very much. Though I'll definitely take the cooldown bonus over the range. Definitely check this one out if you have one (or buy one, it's ridiculously cheap).

Lastly — the plea for the Vindicator

I welcome the desperately needed structure bonuses and especially the PPC bonuses for the 1AA, but this 'Mech needs its deserved mobility bonuses as soon as possible. Make it accelerate/decelerate faster, buffs its torso twist and pitch speeds and maybe throw in a turn radius decrease. Make this 'Mech handle really smooth.

I also think the weapon bonuses could be more aggressive. Meager 10-15% bonuses doesn't make this 'Mech attractive at all. Give the 1AA AWS/TDR class PPC bonuses (40-50% heat decrease), give the 1R 5SS class MPL bonuses, 1X old-GI class UAC5 bonuses and the SIB some hardcore 4SP style 40-50% SRM cooldown decreases and possibly LL cooldowns. This is a chassis that deserves more popularity.

I think I've gotten off everything I had to say off my chest. I'll see you on the battlefield tonight and I think I'm going to stream tonight (it'll probably get drowned in the sea of streams though, the King Crab will bring every streamer out of their caves!).

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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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