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Mecha Building With The Big Boys – The Basics By Spike Shepard ID #846030

Well, during Faction Wars 3350 I was asked a lot of question by a lot of pilots. I sent screenshots of several builds to my faction and we discussed the finer points of building mechs. There were a lot of mechs with a lot of different builds. Everything from an Ice Regis to a Boreas equipped with Crit Kill Lasers but no laser bonus. There were some really crazy ideas and some worked and some were simply the hail mary’s of pilots with too much of one type of weapon or one type of mech.

 As for myself I have very few issues Mech wise running a double rainbow as my main. On the whole there are a great variety of Niode Mechs to choose from even if the scales are tipped more towards Laser Mecha. My only 2 Niode Mech gripes being the Reaper and Humbaba due to both having serious vulnerabilities. BUT, thanks to Yan and Joel of the Diamond Dragon’s Faction, I’m going to give the Humbaba I won in the faction raid a shot and see what I can do with it once levelled to my current level. The reaper though…no, it’s still not impressing me even though I have enough niode projectile weapons spare to equip one almost fully. This though is where the rub was for me! Others in Diamond Dragons had willingly gone against their own mechs strengths like weapon damage just to equip Niode Weapons they had lying around the hanger.

 So, let me break down what I see as an ideal mech build

1) Niode Mech
2) Niode Equipment
3) Niode Weapons
4) A build that sticks to the strengths of your mech
5) Knowing how your mech works and understanding the basics

Yes it really is that easy! 1 & 2 & 3 are easy and don’t need explaining. It’s having a Boreas and equipping the cockpit slots with M-Hole Cockpits. Maybe the odd Enkidu Panel.

Point  4, on the other hand, is open to interpretation. Although the Ice Damage on my Boreas is +122 there’s no reason why you can’t throw this away and buy 6 x 151K Modules giving you Missile damage +54, Laser damage +36 and an 18% chance of fork. Add in some spark cores for engines to further boost the missile damage by 8% and fork by 4%. Suddenly you have a high damage Missile Boreas with a high fork chance.

 If anyone decides to build or has built a missile Boreas please let me know how it’s going!

Point 5, though, is where many pilots seem to come undone. There isn’t an understanding of the basics and they end up with a mech capable of massive damage but that couldn’t hit a barn door at 10 feet. The opposite can also be said. I’ve come up against other pilots who seem to hit me almost every time but do such insignificant ammounts of damage my shields just laugh at them (I did indeed program my shields to laugh at puny attacks!). So it’s time to teach you the basics…..

1) Precision – The higher this is the better your chance to hit whatever you’re firing at. Your ultimate goal here is a minimum of 95 – 96. This gives you 19 out of 20 hits. So, say your mech has 40 weapons, 38 of these will hit on average. I have tried out boosting my precision past 100. I’ve then watched and rewatched in slow motion every battle, curcuit and wave challenge and not noticed anything significant. having your precision lower than 95…well I see a lot more misses.

 I have about 50% of my mechs at the minimum precision I see as a must and a few of these mechs still have a cockpit slot. This then opens up the possibilities where, as I no longer need precision as priority I start looking at the other stats and can equip a low precision cockpit that has sweet secondaries.

2) Dodge – Dodge is simply how good your mech is at avoiding damage. It’s a mix of electronic counter measures, etc,etc. I’m examing this currently and it’s similar to precision in the fact that, once you go over a certain number, there is little improvement. Again this seems to be in the 90’s so you’ll want a dodge of at least 90 to have the best chance of avoiding being hit. If you hit this mark then I’d advise the same as above, look at Chassis that have sweet secondaries like damage multipliers or extra shielding to boost either your attack or defense.

3) Speed – I have to admit making the cardinal mistake of not utilising my speed when I first started out as a pilot. I went for the low speed, high damage engines. Since those early days I have learnt that it’s better to hit first. Speed, for those of you not in the know, directly affects the speed of your weapons both for hitting first and for hitting again and again. If your speed is low then you’re getting beaten to the punch everytime. So a high speed is a must. Here I haven’t yet found a speed maximum point but with both my Ignis having speeds of +98 (as my highest speed mechs) I am in the 90’s. I need a mech with enough slots and speed boost to push me over the +100 speed mark. My only observations here are that the faster mechs in my formation, 9 times out of 10, hit first!

4) Shielding – If you’re a regular reader of my articles in the Galaxy Gathering, especially the mech builds, you’ll always see me point to niode shielding. They carry an inbuilt shield plus resistances or additional shielding to different types of primary and secondary attacks. Crystal shielding does not compare to the protection offered by niode shielding. The recent technomancer advances of crit kill shielding, reflect, rebound, etc have only made certain niode shields a lot more valuable. The right shielding will keep you in the fight, and the longer you’re in the fight the more chance you have of dealing that killing shot to your opponent.

 So, you now know what I aim for in my builds and why I’m considered one of the top pilots in and around my level. The reason I write these is to educate other pilots and the niodes I get paid are very useful too!

 Anyhoo, that’s it for me this time. Keep your eyes on the Galaxy Gathering for your latest news!

1 Comment

  1. Ben Rail on August 31, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Spike, had to register so I could post but have been meaning too for a while to provide my own view on some of these build articles which by the way make for a great read.

    1. Totally agree. The reason I personally have 11 Boreas all configured as Crit Kill machines is the fact the M-hole is such a perfect cockpit fit, giving me max precision and also giving me 100% freeze. Now ideally I’d equipped them all with Kraken’s to make the most of thier 19% Crit Kill and the 100% Ice Damage but alas even if I had the niodes (which I don’t) I couldn’t buy enough to equip one Boreas at Level 432 let alone 11. So I use as many high crit kill weapons as I can (usually lasers, even Galaxy eyes). As the Bore is not a big hitter (damage wise) I rely on the crit kill, slow and freeze along with as much speed as possible to beat my opponents.

    2. Dodge, from my own findings I’d say max dodge is actually around 64, assuming you get your 8% HG bonus. Giving you quite a bit of flexibility with what equipment you put in your chassis slots. Also note that if your opponent has maxed out their precision (~96) then your own dodge doesn’t actually matter, as they will still hit you 95% of the time. Dodge is more important for lower level players where their opponents can’t get to 96 precision or lower tonnage mechs such as the oggun where again it’s difficult to get much precision. The reason the Novum is so effective is in part due to it’s dodge capability that can be maxed in a 25T chassis. Also Precision / Dodge is absolute and linear, simply put 1 on your precision will increase your hit ratio by 1% (to a maximum of 96%) and 1 on your dodge will reduce your opponents hit ratio by 1%. Note that all you mechs effectively start with a 65% Hit ratio with no precision.

    3) Speed differs from Precision/Dodge in that it is relative to your opponent not absolue. It is also made up of 3 components, Mech Speed, Weapon Speed, and Number of weapons equipped. Whilst I’ve heard various theories from players in the “know” the exact calculation still eludes me however some basic principles can be used. Of the three weapon speed decreases as you level, simply put this is an average of all the equipped weapons on your mech, as a low level player with just a few slots a 110 speed weapon would make a significant difference but on my mechs with 150 slots it’s statistically insignificant. As you level the number of slots increases and your mech will fire faster (assuming you put weapons in those slots). This is the main reason for choosing the 3 levels / slot mechs (starting at 95T with the Boreas). Regardless of the speed differnece between you and your opponent I still believe there is a cap of again 95~96% but in alot of battles this will appear as 100% as your opponents will be destroyed long before they get a chance to fire. Also note that battles are fought in columns (or lines) so it’s not just 1 mech v 1 mech but your line versus their line. How each speed component is added together to give an overall speed index is not fully understood by me but certainly I’d suggest always trying to improve your speed, for instance If your mech has a high Freeze % , slow capability, and faster than your opponent you’ll achieve what I call “slow death”, each hit may not cause damage but your opponent is permanaently incapacitated, getting slower each turn and the chance of your crit kill will increase each shot.

    4. Shielding certainly has become more important and with reference to above any shielding that gives a speed bonus is worth it. However for us big boys the share amount of damage a single shot can do (10’s of thousands) and it’s associated secondary damage means your own mechs need to focus on hitting rather than being hit, also note Burn damage can’t be shielded against so whilst your Fire shields may well be blocked the primary damage the burn damage is based on a % of the unshielded hit which is also applied over 4 turns and should you get hit again by a burn weapon you’ll ignite causing even more massive damage.

    5. (I know you didn’t have a 5 😉 ) Remember your own personal damage skills, if as a player you have your skill points allocated equally across the weapon types then fair enough but for my sins I focused on projectile and fire so any mech I run has an 80% projectile bonus and a 60% fire bonus this is worth bearing in mind when doing your own mech builds. Also I don’t tend to look on any mech as a particular weapon type mech, but on what it’s good at once equipped. Whilst it could be argued the Boreas is an Ice mech using the right equipment gives it a 100% freeze, so there is little point equipping it with Ice weapons that come with inbuilt freeze, they are better placed on a mech that doesn’t have a high freeze ratio, also 100% of anything is good, as you level your mechs life is probably going to be in the region of 2 or 3 shots (against a strong player) so having a ctit kill of 10% isn’t really going to happen, but putting crit kill weapons on a mech that has a built in CK of 25% gets me between 35 and 45% meaning I’ve got a better than 50% chance of CKing my opponent with those 3 shots.

    Finally weapon specific builds, there are simply too many mechs with too many slots and not enough weapons and not enough moneny to equip them with the best / most effective builds. So finding the best ways to utilise what you have / can get weapons wise is a smart move. I have for instance built a Fext with 100% 2x damage and 85% 3x damage now it so happens we have a the Extended DC laser (crystal with a 3X bonus of 15%) so in goes the (152) DC lasers for a 100% 6x damage multiplier, it alos happens that the Fext has a higher inbuilt Laser damage so it’s a win win but if there were an ice weapon with the same 3x bonus I’d happily use it. Shame is I can only buy 192 of the Lasers even at level 432 so can’t even build a 2nd Fext with this configuration.

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