|5K is among the most delicious cookies on the battlefield|
Yesterday I was on Teamspeak with a beginner friend and he complained that his shiny Spider-5K wasn't useful for anything. He asked me what he could do with it to which I started my reply with "Well, it's more of a psychological weapon to annoy your enemies . . . ". Eh, it's hardly a good sell is it? The thing is, those MGs are useless unless the target has an open component, so you're relying on your team to do damage so you can swoop in and work on those components. The Ember gets away with it because it can punch in with 4xMLs, but the SDR-5K (and the LCT-1V) have just one E hardpoint.
PGI chose to quirk the 5K and 1V with ERLLs bonuses, implying they should stick to sniping from the edge of the map. Due to the weight of the ERLLs, most players completely opt-out of bringing MGs at all, ignoring the most unique aspect of these 'Mechs. On top of it, a single ERLL even with quirks in the 25% range is a really underwhelming weapon to work with. The duration is long, making you a good target for return fire and even though it can farm some damage with a lot of work, it's hard to contribute meaningfully to the game. These quirks are just bad (especially for the 5K) and therefore 5Ks are almost completely absent from the battlefield. If you exclude the Champion 5Ks, I'm sure the 5V beats the 5K in usage.
You know what would make me pick up the 5K and have a blast with it just like my 5V? Some quirks to make that single E hardpoint a "puncher" instead of a "scratcher". Give that single E hardpoint some absolutely scary quirks to compensate. Make the 5K something to be feared at close range, where it's originally designed to operate.
What do I have in my mind? Well, as I said; something absolutely ridiculous. Something similar to:
- Ballistic Weapon Range: 50%
- Medium Pulse Laser Cooldown: 40%
- Energy Cooldown: 40%
- Laser Duration: -25%
- Medium Pulse Laser Duration: -25%
- Energy Weapon Range: 15%
- Reverse Speed: 12.6%
These quirks would take the DPS of the MPL from 1.67 to 6.66, effectively making it deal four times the damage in same time. Transforming that E hardpoint essentially into a laser machine gun in turn. Though this would also require a constant stare at the target, which is a punishment in itself for a light 'Mech. The range bonus should be a mild one, to emphasize the close range capabilities of this 'Mech. An alternative version with ML quirks can be considered for lore's sake, but then the energy quirks should even be better.
With these bonuses, I would absolutely play the heck out of the 5K, because it would actually be something unique in this game (an "Laser machine gun ankle biter"). Ignore it and it'll rip you apart, just like a light should.