Thoughts on the new patch notes (13 Dec 2016 patch)

I was pleasantly surprised to see the patch notes released this morning. Looking at the length of the patch notes, it seems to be hefty enough to go through it here.

FW changes 

Under PGI's iron fist rule, IS is finally united again since Star League!

I'm not a big FW fan, but these changes seem substantial enough to get people playing this mode again. Basically they united all of the Clans and IS Factions into two big factions. Another big point is that they allow FW players to vote for which planets they want to attack. Fights between IS factions are still possible. A new system called "Tug of War" will decide who wins on a planet. It'll go through different phases depending on the win percentage and game modes will change according to that.

Will this get me playing? I really don't think so. FW always seemed like a massive time waste in my eyes with very little incentive to play it, Unless you want to go extreme pug farming mode. I'll give it an objective try though. Perhaps I was burned by the initial implementation.

They should probably do another Tukayyid event to get people to try it again.

Push the cart! (Escort)

Escort a big, slow 100T 'Mech. What can go wrong?
PGI has always been unimaginative and simply incompetent when it came to coming up with fun game modes, and seems like it doesn't change with the Escort mode.

Instead of coming up with a more immersive "Battletechy" game mode, they just copied TF2's famous (and much copied) push the cart game mode. Basically you escort a "VIP" AI Atlas through a map. Attackers must ensure it survives while defenders try to kill it. 

Now, killing a slow Atlas and especially a dumb AI controlled Atlas shouldn't be a problem even for a single 'MechWarrior. That's why I expect the Atlas to have a stupid amount of health to ensure it lasts under concentrated fire. So instead of giving us a game mode to immerse ourselves in, they're actually going to be removing immersion by making the Atlas an unkillable brick. 

They also included cappable towers that provide ECM and Radar and didn't forget to include turrets on the map to ensure maximum irritation.


Marauder IIC

70's called, they want their trousers back.
Looks decent enough. The laser heavy ones should be ridiculous laser boats. The other two dakka versions will hurt plenty. The best part? You can mount an XL400 in this. At 85 tons it'll play more like a heavy than an Assault. 

The JJ and ECM ones don't look very promising though. 

1v1 Competitive Map

Finally. This should be fun. A simple instant action map without a 2 minute trip out of spawn.

'Mech Collision Improvements

Careful with this one. They actually fixed collision a good while ago, but they removed it again after a backlash. The reason? It worked too well. 

Current collision allow you to "slide off" the surface of other 'Mechs. It also teleports you in front of them if you collide fast with an angle. The collision they brought ensured you immediately stopped as long as you contacted another 'Mech. It was infuriating to get stuck on a Locust and constantly being forced to throttle up.

It is actually a "good" flaw of MWO. I hope the implementation is better this time. Especially bigger 'Mechs should be able to push smaller 'Mechs out of their way.

Heat Sinks

  • IS external DHS dissipate at 0.15 instead of 0.14 heat per second. (They made a typo by saying heat capacity went up from 1.1 to 1.5. It is already 1.5!)
  • Clan DHS heat capacity goes from 1.1 to 1.5 (WUT?).
So the Clans get a much better deal than IS. Clan laser boats will be much more comfortable to use and they'll be able to alpha more often. This actually buffs every single Clan 'Mech.

TTK should go down over the board. Why though? Clan laser vomits were already in a good place. They were neither over- nor underpowered. Are they worried that the MAD-IIC won't be as good without these changes? 

So a HBR with 21DHS will have 66.5 heat capacity instead of 62.1.

Clan AC changes

Clan regular ACs get a cooldown reduction and are now on par with IS weaponry. So there's a reason to actually mount them now. Great change that'll introduce some more variety.

Machineguns get a huge buff!

.15 damage buff and the best off all, a huge 60% cone of fire reduction to all machine guns! This change incredible and will make so many 'Mechs more viable.

Here's the new MG in action:

So lights with ballistics are much more dangerous to face now. This not only means more raw damage on target but much more added damage per second from crits. You have to be very careful with MG opponents if you have an open component now. Ember should be much more scary while I imagine LCT-1V and SDR-5K will make the most of the buff. The light realm lacked a viable ballistics for long. MGs were too weak and AC2 was too heavy. This change should bridge the gap a little.

However the first 'Mech I take out will be the Arrow. For reasons.

(S)SRM heat penalty changes

There's more heat penalty for boating SRMs and SSRMs.

This is also huge, because clan SSRM boats won't be able to easily splat lights with alpha after alpha anymore. There'll be a significant heat penalty to firing more than 3 Clan streaks. FW scouting mode should have fewer SSRM boats.

Also less one-shot deaths to SRM boats I guess. Not that you still have a change when they're hugging your face.

Great changes. A bit late though. This has been repeatedly asked ever since they released Clans!


They made three different quirk passes this match. First pass removed or softened MG quirks on 'Mechs that had them, because of the MG buffs in this patch. Makes sense, not much to comment here.

The second pass is more armor on certain IS 'Mechs. Especially on struggling chassis. 

  • The COM is the outlier as it gets 30% accel/decel plus increased turn rate. Honestly I already think COM was in a good place (especially after rescale) so this is a very welcome change. It'll make the 'Mech much less hittable and more of an irritation to deal with. Great change!
  • Urbie gets its structure quirks replaced by armor and the amount is more than its old structure bonuses. Great news for Urbie masochists!
  • Jenner gets more CT structure. A welcome change but it's a very slight buff. Barely worth mentioning.
  • Panthers and Wolfhounds get more armor instead of structure. Now, these two chassis are struggling a lot after the rescale and the structure bonus was just not cutting it. I don't think this'll make people pick them up again, but they'll last a bit more on the battlefield which means more damage overall.
  • Vindi gets more armor instead of structure as well, but I don't think this is going to make a difference. Its problem is dishing out damage, not receiving it.
  • Treb gets some mobility bonuses. A welcome change for its enthusiasts (meh!). How do they dare call it a mid-range support 'Mech though? It's an amazing SRM delivery machine!
  • The Victor finally gets its long overdue (~2 years) durability fix. 23 more armor on the CT and 16 on the sides. Brawly Victors will be seen more often.
A third pass goes over the MLX and the NVA. PGI buffs MLX in another vain attemp to make people play it more.


A great patch with lots of sensible and a few questionable changes.
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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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