Fixing the Mechwarrior Online Heat Scale

Also posted on the MWO forums.

So the recently introduced Heat Scale system in Mechwarrior Online has been a pretty hot topic of late. There are a lot of different opinions on how it’s managed (and how best) to tackle the boating problem. (Spoiler: I think most of them suck.) So I took a long hard think about it. Long story short, I think PGI basically has the right idea, that being to try to limit the number of weapons that can be fired at once, but their implementation is amazingly obtuse and arbitrary. There’s no intuitive way to figure out what’s going on. I mean just read the command chair post and tell me your head isn’t spinning by the end of it.

Good luck explaining to new players why they’re exploding from firing more than 2 PPCs or large lasers.

The number of 0.5 seconds between shots is also really inelegant. Shooting off your second salvo just a split second too early is going to cause you to incur ALL that heat penalty? Sucks to be you.

It also doesn’t solve builds with 2PPCs and a Gauss Rifle. And while the speed differential means that it’s impossible to be pinpoint accurate at long ranges as long as the target is moving, both projectiles are fast enough that at close to medium ranges they might as well be pinpoint. Not to mention it’s a build with some of the best sustained DPS in the game. (Though partially solved in the future with heat nerfs coming to PPCs.)

So what I would like to see PGI do is rework the system to be something more organic and elegant. I’m not sure, but I believe something along these lines has actually been suggested before. I think it’s worth another look given that this is the direction PGI has gone.

Fixing Heat Scale

Give every mech an engine capacity, this could be a function of engine size but it doesn’t have to be. This would be up to PGI. Give it a bar on the HUD. In the following video I place it right beside the Heat bar. Firing any weapon would cause a sharp increase followed by a more gradual but still fairly sharp decrease. Going over the engine capacity will cause the engine to be “overloaded” and cause it to dump excess heat into the mech (depending on how many points over) and flash an appropriate warning on the screen.

I made a video showing how it might work mostly based off PGIs own numbers currently.

So yeah. Relatively simple and easy to explain and enforces staggered firing while accounting for multiple weapon types. Also relatively easy to implement. Simple is good.

Different weapons could be given different profiles for how they use up engine capacity, for example, in the video lasers use their capacity for the duration of the beam then have a sharp dropoff. PPCs, Gauss and ACs use their capacity immediately upon firing but then have a slower dropoff.


How do we explain ammo based weapons using up energy?
Clearly by video game logic! Okay. Fine. Alternatively, ACs and missiles generate recoil, putting load on the gyro. Gauss is recoil less but needs energy to charge it’s capacitors.

What about Homeless Bill’s targeting computer solution?
I like it I guess. In theory it solves a lot of problems. But I think it might be too complicated to implement properly and it’s probably not nearly as intuitive as he thinks it is. I wouldn’t mind seeing what would happen if it did get implemented though. Regardless, I do think PGI’s solution basically does what it’s supposed to do. Just that it’s a terrible way to go about it and they should fix it.

What about X?
Refer to the “Rebuttals II: Alternatives” section in Homeless Bill’s article. I basically agree with pretty much everything there.