What Satael said, for sure. Although in this rotation except for the Atlas which is very good but, well, a fucking moving government building, the Commando, Blackjack and Catapult suck (in those unodifiable variants).
There's so much to say and I am sure I can't come up with a tenth of that in a post, not right away. I'll just dump here the first few things I can think of, hoping others will do the same.
The founder Catapult is hard on noobs in my opinion, because no matter how easy it seems to lob missiles when you have a lock there's more to it. In the current meta, LRMs serve the purpose of scaring the enemy more than anything, preventing some to cover that gap towards you or to charge blindly to your group's trenches. But of course they can deal a lot of damage if boated extesnively and coupled with a tag laser (not necessarily your own) and Artemis. Thing is, Catapult C1 doesn't have enough missiles to be a LRM powerhouse, and the more you try to make it one (more missiles, artemis, tag), the more you expose yourself to harassing from lights or actually anyone cause you have nothing left to protect yourself. Complete that with the fact that if you are not playing with a dedicated spotter, someone that can tell you "I got this target and it's in the clear for at least 10 seconds, pummel it", you are gonna waste tons of missiles on targets that disappear a second after you launched, or that you think they are in the open just because you have a lock but are actually hiding behind a rock that you can't lob over.This is one of my favourite builds for the Founder Catapult
, 3 Large Lasers and 2 SRM6 give you lots of flexibility from short to medium-longish range, and enough heat sinks to keep your dps significant from about 500m away.If you instead want to try and go full artillery
, I'd say this is your one of the best setup for a missile station.
Just remember, using an LRM based 'mech without a team is gonna be underwhelming for the most part.
About getting a new 'mech, it's always a hard advice to give because no matter how efficient they are, you never know what that person's favourite playstyle is gonna be.
First of all, I don't think you need to invest your Founder's MCs unless you want to buy a Hero 'mech, which is totally unnecessary at the moment unless you want a mech to grind money beyond your founder one. If that is the case, I am sure everyone agrees that the Ilya Muromets is a very good one (Hero Cataphract) and I think the Misery (Hero Stalker) is a good one too. this is mostly because they are good chassis to begin with. The Stalker is very slow and clumsy but it's hard to kill and can mount a shitton of weapons. And the Cataphract can put up some of the best heat-neutral builds out there thanks to plenty of ballistic hardpoints. So these are two 'mechs you can consider as your firsts even in their non-Hero versions.
Remember, save your MC's for:
- Hero 'mechs
- Premium Time
- GXP Conversion
- (patterns and colours)
There is never a good reason to buy a 'mech or a component with MCs, not even Champion 'mechs which are between a scam and a trap for rich people.
So, about what 'mech to go next, I'd say:
1) Stalker if you want something that stays alive a lot, can mount a lot of weapons, can shoot from behind 80% cover thanks to high mounted weapons, and something that people tend to fear and run away from.
2) Cataphract or Jagermech if you want something that does not die too quickly (as long as you trade quickness for sturdiness by not equipping an XL engine) and can deal efficiently with heat thanks to extensive ballistics.
3) Centurion if you want a very balanced Medium 'mech that is nimble and fast (can run as fast as almost 100 kph with a standard engine) and does great in brawls because it takes much more than it should to kill it due to a tiny Center Torso, and because it keeps plinking at you even when you cut off its arms due to double lasers in the CT.
I am not gonna comment on Lights because they are not the field I have the most experience in, and because they seem to be very dependend on hit registration, so they might go from awesome to terrible in the matter of a patch. Be careful. At the moment, anyway, the Spider D is a real pest. Or the Jenner D.General tips for beginners.
- Your teammate are idiots, you are gonna die a lot and be frustrated. If you check your stats on the website, you will notice you die more than you kill and lose more than you win for the first two weeks at least. This cannot be helped as long as you play public matches.
- Regardless, do not go anywhere, ever, alone. Ever. Going alone anywhere is instant suicide. There are a few exceptions not worth covering here.
- Stay behind cover the whole time, for real. Unless your main force is moving in one direction, do not assume for a second you are safe to just stand in the open. A huge crippling alpha strike can hit your weak exposed back anytime from any position. You don't want to be the first to die every time, kills your desire to keep playing. Compared to pretty much all other shooters, except WoT, there's no other game where cover is this important. This leads to some boring (tactical?) standoffs. There's a reason why it is deemed as the slowest FPS ever, or the first Shooter completely in slow-motion. Still, some love to dub it "The shooter for the thinking person". HEH.
- Be aware of your surroundings. You don't want to back away from the enemy only to get stuck in terrain. Knowing what's behind you is important and knowing where the enemy could come from is equally important because you need to know what's the next cover you could jump to if the present position got compromised or got flanked.
- When the match starts, especially for your first matches, look around you and see if you have a big Atlas DDC with an 'ECM' tag over its head. If you do, just stand behind him and go to battle like that. Use its ECM to not be seen on enemy radars and targeted by enemy missiles, and use its lumbering body as a moving cover. I shit you not. Whenever you are crossing open terrain, use the Atlas' body as a shield, so move carefully behind it. If they are gonna shoot you folks, the Atlas is gonna take the bullets for you. That's the purpose of the main tank.
- Always have one enemy targeted. It doesn't matter how many million miles away they are, always have an enemy targeted. It helps you gather information, it gives you an idea of where the enemies are, and if someone else loses the target you might still have it in your LOS and be the one who is relaying their position to the team. Targeting is not important simply because it gives you a readout of the enemy 'mech, but because everything you have targeted shows on your team's map. So it's your responsibillity to always have a target. Always.
- Do not always shoot blidnly in the CT. If you have a 'mech targeted you can see their status. Often times it's way more important to finish off ab exposed side torso or a leg than to keep himing at the chest. Legs often hide ammo and can kill a 'mech, and they are often under armored, and side torsos cut off a lot of weapon and if the dude has an XL you get a free kill. Wheee. TARGET THE ENEMY AT ALL TIMES, and use that info.
- Do your best to not ever have your 'mech shutting down. There is no Crowd Control in this game (go figure) but overheat is the closest thing and it is self-inflicted. Shutting down hurts you (internal damage for overheating) and most importantly leaves you exposed for an eternity. If you ever shut down, it is YOUR fault and not anybody else. MechWarrior is an exercise at self-discipline sometimes and fire discipline is an art. Easier on some 'cooler' 'mechs, harder on some bursty, hotter ones. Either way, it is up to you to go easy on the trigger and remember that every single time you shut down you can mark a notch on your monitor because it means YOU made a mistake, not the game, not your teammates, you.
- Because of this, and because of the next point, Weapon Grouping is very important. Find what best suits you, but make sure you can maximize your efficiency, your dps, your ammo usage, without cramming your fingers on the keyboard and most importantly without SHUTTING DOWN.
- Do not ever shoot your LRMs under 180m, no matter what you see, they don't deal damage but they waste ammo and raise your heat. You could say you are wasting precious mana, in fantasy terms. Same is true for SRMs and Streak SRMS over 270m. I am pretty sure you know these things already, but I don't think it harms to repeat them. I am pretty sure you know a lot about BattleTech anyway. Also, PPC deals little to no damage under 90m.
- Do not ever just look at your enemy struggling to keep your aim on them unless you know for a fact you are gonna win the face to face duel by outracing their DPS. It is often more important to twist your torso left to right between your shots, even if that messes up your aim, than to just keeping your crosshair on them but giving them your vulenrable points nice and easy. By twisting your torso between your cooldowns you force them to hit different parts of your body, preferrably the arms, instead of concentrating all the damage on the CT. This is incredibly important. Useful when missiles are raining on you, too. Lots of them are still gonna hit the CT, but if you turn your torso sideway before they hit, you are gonna have more on your arms and side torsos than your CT.
- On some maps you need to hit H to summon Heat Vision, or N for Night Vision, or you'll have a hard time seeing anything.
- On the Catapult and the Centurion you gotta find the button for the missile door in the Options menu and hit it at the beginning of each match otherwise you'll have a delay every time you fire those missiles. It is annoying and messes up your aim and timing. You get 10% less armour in that section with the doors open, but I think it's quite necessary. Your mileage may vary.
- In order to learn, I suggest you check that little button on the left of the big LAUNCH button and select Assault only game mode. This can beboring, but in my opinion Conquest maps are so chaotic at the moment with Lights stealing all the time that too often you lose even when you win. It's annoying. Up to you, but you may want to focus to the most straightforward game mode at first.
More will come eventually, and apologies for anything that is redundant or just plain silly.
EDIT: Spelling and added a couple of things.