I was going through a lot of drama faces when I was reading the second quirk pass sneak peek. Some of them were extremely pleasing, some of them were pointless, some of them were bad and some of them were straight out weird.
Anyways, I felt like writing about these changes. Please note that these are my own opinions, don't take them as facts. Though, I think the common sense factor is still there.
Winner: The Orion
Most of the Orions finally get some meaningful quirks. What's awesome is most of them got significant general weapon quirks instead of specific ones, fitting for the Orion philosophy. This allows them to be used in a variety of roles without being shoehorned into a specific build. The next awesome thing is that their LT/RT structure bonus is doubled to 16. They will be extremely tanky (as if they weren't) and harder to take down. It seems like PGI has really listened to the community feedback for the Orion.
- ON1-K: This will be the Orion to get. It only has general energy/ballistic/missile quirks in the 12.5% range and it will be a pretty nasty brawler/support with these quirks. The classic 4xML+AC20+2xASRM6 build should be amazing with these quirks.
- ON1-M: M keeps its 40% LBX10 cooldown bonus while getting a massive 25% general missile cooldown quirk instead of a 20% SRM6 one. This'll keep its niche as a close range shotgun.
- ON-1V: The V loses its AC5 quirks for . . . AC10 quirks. Weird, considering this is the only C-Bill Orion with two ballistic hardpoints. Its previous AC5 quirks were fine, it just needed additional quirks. This is the only change I do not agree with.
- ON1-VA: The VA loses its AC20 and SRM6 quirks (which were extremely hard to take advantage of) and gets massive 25% bonuses to missile range and cooldown, along with 12.% ballistic cooldown and velocity. It'll be the nastiest Orion at close range, but no heat generation quirks mean it'll run really hot.
- ON-1P: The Protector unfortunately loses its godly AC20+SRM6 quirks. It gets a 20% Gauss cooldown bonus instead, hinting for longer range sniper builds. It also gets 15% energy heat, missile cooldown and ballistic cooldown reductions. It will continue to be the Swiss Knife of the Orions.
Overall, they'll be more effective. I just wish they got some mobility quirks to go along with these, the Orions really need them.
Mixed feelings: The Locust
Locusts have been shuffled a bit. The most significant general buff is the doubling of their leg structure to a whopping 16. They have the leg hitpoints of a 35 tonner now (just two points shy).
3M: We're also witnessing a historic moment of the nerfing of a Locust. This little nasty SPL ankle biter loses its godly SPL range, and with it, any chance of being effective with SPLs anymore. It gets general quirks now such as energy weapon cooldown (20%), energy heat generation (-10%) and laser duration (-10%). It'll be pretty much only usable with medium lasers from now on. Then again, there's another Locust that'll be able to do it much better . . .
1E: The 1E loses its SL quirks, but it's hugely buffed by general quirks to be an excellent laser 'Mech. It gets +25% laser range, -25% energy heat and -25% laser duration. This will be a monster with medium lasers.
Loser: Loup De Guerre
Apparently the LG was too stronk and gots its SRM4 quirks(15% cooldown and range) gutted. It now has general missile quirks (10% cooldown and range) while gaining additional energy quirks. This 'Mech has now has 2 missile quirks and 4 energy quirks. An odd move, considering this 'Mech only has 2E but 4M hardpoints, and the focus should be on its missiles, not on its itty bitty energy hardpoints.
Rekt: The TDR-9S and the WVR-6K
With this pass the IS side loses two of its main CW workhorses, the 9S and the 6K. 9S got its ERPPC heat reduction gutted to 25%, while the 6K's quirks have been changed to LLs instead of LPLs. 9S will be very rarely seen from now on. It'll be relegated to a strict sniper role (reinforced by its 30% ERPPC speed bonus) and it will be horrible at close range engagements due to excessive heat. 6K will probably remain popular, but it lost the ridiculously low face time of the LPLs. Which means more time for anyone to tear that arm off.
With the loss of the 9S I'm eager to see what IS will field to counter the range and tank advantage of the hordes of Clan Stormcrows, Timber Wolves and Hellbringers. There's pretty much nothing other than a few Assaults but the tonnage jump from 65 to 80+ tons will hurt the drop decks a lot. In my opinion the nerf is too harsh.
Loser (mostly): The Battlemaster
The quirked Battlemaster has been mostly absent from the battlefields except the 1S. What has PGI done to make them attractive again? Let's take a look:
Edit: Looks like I messed up the BH. It's fixed now.
- 1G: The 1G is pretty much the best quirked BLR right now. It gets to keep its ridiculous ML and modest missile quirks, but on top of that gets general ballistic range and cooldown quirks. There's also a PPC Velocity quirk thrown in for some reason (hint: BLRs suck as PPC carriers).
- 1S: The 1S loses its 20% LRM15 cooldown bonus and its energy heat generation quirk is trimmed to 10% instead of 12.5%. Instead it gets a 12.5% energy duration reduction and a . . . 25% energy range bonus? I am baffled here. Why does the most srm brawly/lurmy Battlemaster with 4E+4M layout get a huge energy range bonus? It's totally useless. Energies on this thing are totally secondary. A 25% missile range bonus however, would have been nice.
- 3M: It loses its all of its ballistic and Gauss quirks. It gets some medium laser range and duration quirks instead. An ERPPC Velocity increase of 25% is added for good measure. I guess PGI is signalling us to strip out our ballistics out and play it with an incredibly dumb 6/4xML+2xERPPC configuration now.
- 3S: The glorious Wubmaster gets its MPL heat generation trimmed from -20% to -12.%. Why and how, we'll never know. I guess it was OP on the spreadsheet.
No change on the Hoverlander Front
The obsolete HGN still gets to be obsolete with minor changes here and there. Most of their quirks are changed from specific buffs to general buffs, but in the process they were also reduced. For example the Heavy Metal loses its 15% AC5 cooldown buffs and now it's just a 10% ballistic cooldown buff. The 733P loses its 15% LL heat reduction and now it's ust a 10% energy heat reduction. Some of them have randomly peppered -10% energy duration bonus.
Overall, the HM and 733P are less effective. Only the 732, 733C 733 get to keep their old Gauss, AC20 and AC10 quirks. 733C slightly buffed with an additional 7.5% ballistic velocity bonus.
They will still be never used and touched.
Winner: The Atlas
The Atlases finally get more buffs and better placed quirks. All of them get additional arm structure that vary between +9 and +17.
D-DC: The D-DC gets additional -7.5% laser duration and missile cooldown quirks. Very welcome.
K: The K quirks baffled anyone as they suggested it should have been used with a Gauss+PPC build. Now this bonus is changed to Gauss+ERLL quirks. It gets a -10% laser duration and missile cooldown, but loses the -10% energy heat generation bonus.
RS: It keeps its previous LL and ballistic quirks, but gets an additional -10% laser duration quirk.
BH: It loses the AC10 specific velocity quirk and instead gets general 10% ballistic velocity and range quirks. Energy quirks remain the same. Considering an AC10 on an Atlas doesn't make much sense, this could be considered as a positive change.
S: The SRM4 quirks are no more. It gets a slightly lower missile cooldown buff instead (10% vs the old 15% SRM4), but a 10% energy weapon cooldown is thrown in to compensate. It will benefit SRM6 builds while hurting SRM4 builds.
Edit: Looks like I messed up the BH. It's fixed now.
Other notable mentions
The Cataphracts (1X, 2X, 3D) got the HGN treatment with more general quirks and no specialized quirks. They have more quirks, but the bonus on specific weapons are lower. The time will tell if this is a good move, but I'd say this makes the less desirable versus 'Mechs with specific weapon quirks. The IM finally loses the AC10 cooldown and gets an AC5 bonus. A weird move considering everyone was shouting for UAC5 buffs. Still, I'll take it over AC10s.
The Quickdraws have more positive changes on the board. Especially the 5K is looking absolutely lovely. Though for some reason the 4H loses its SRM4 quirk and that is replaced by an LRM10 quirk. Personally, I have never seen anyone put LRMs on their Quickdraws, other than a few poor newbie souls running around with the stock build.
In conclusion, this second wave is a one step forward and one step back. I really wish PGI involved the community in the quirkening process, rather than working behind closed doors and dumping the quirks just before their release, leaving us no chance to have an influence on them.
I'm sure they take feedback, but it's not obvious what goes through and what does not.