Rak's Comments: "Which 'Mech is the hardest to kill?"

MechWarrior LMP on the official MWO forums asked:

Which Mech can take the most punishment? 
I have a Victor Dragon Slayer and even though it has more armor than my Timber Wolf it's easier to kill. 
Why is that? 
My reply:

Atlas, Stalker, Orion, Thunderbolt, Hunchback, Arctic Cheetah are among the hardest 'Mechs to take down for your average public player. 'Mech tankiness is usually influenced by the following factors:

  • Scaling (too big, too small)
  • Geometry (Does it have a big nose? Protruding parts? How much surface area? Is it narrow or wide? Do arms block shots?)
  • Hitboxes (What's the relative size of the CT and STs? How does the frontal profile look?)
  • To some degree, mobility (Faster 'Mechs tank more damage due to difficulty of focusing certain components. JJ usage mitigates incoming damage to legs)

If we consider the Victor with the above factors:

  • Scaling: The Victor is oversized. It has a relatively wide torso, chubby legs and arms. This means it takes more damage than its armor can handle.
  • Geometry: Frontally, the geometry of the Victor is favorable. It has no protruding parts (no "nose"). In fact, the CT area is depressed, giving it good torso twisting qualities. The arms are big enough to mitigate incoming damage.
  • Hitboxes: The CT/ST hitboxes have similar sizes, but the CT becomes considerably wide towards the upper torso (where people usually shoot at). Therefore frontally, it's easy to core. The rear hitboxes are a total disaster though. Most of the rear is dominated by the CT and indeed the Victor is very easy to backstab.
  • Mobility: The Victor can be extremely mobile to cover its weaknesses. Jump jets throw off opponent aim and the ability to mount big XLs make it as fast as some mediums. Very easy to torso twist.

and the Timber Wolf:

  • Scaling: The TBR's scale is pretty much just right.
  • Geometry: TBR has a nose, which means more surface area. The missile pods also add more surface area, but they're rarely used. When engaged from front, it has a pretty narrow profile and tanks well but attacks from side result in easy ST loss.
  • Hitboxes: Very balanced. CT/ST ratio is very favorable. Frontally the CT tanks, but as soon as you twist a little the sides take over.
  • Mobility: Very similar to the Victor. Insanely fast for its tonnage and can use JJs. Combined with its good scaling and hitboxes this is a very hard 'Mech to take down.
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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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