Fuckin’ LRMs


I feel that it is fitting that my first post in my brand-spankin-new website be about the thing I hate most in the game. Namely, Long Ranged Missiles. This weapon system has always presented the greatest balance issue, greater than brawling, sniping, poptarting, BESMing, laser vomiting, or any of the other imbalanced elements that have had to have been addressed throughout the course of MWO’s history. These recommendations, though, are not based on my vitriol for the weapon system. Hear me out. It’s gonna require multiple changes, but I think it can be a usable weapon, at least until PGI gets the free time to completely work the mechanic (which I think needs doing but is not the subject of this post).

Step 1: Make LRMs fire & forget. Huge buff, right? I know. Trust me, the rest of the steps will help balance it. But one of the hugest issues with using LRMs is that they¬†have to be boated in order to be used effectively. Why is that? Because you have to hold your damn mouse over that box. Does that involve any skill at all? Nope! But it does prevent you from doing anything else with your time. That means you can’t shield, you can’t lead your other weapons properly (well, you can, but it’s a bit annoying), and you can’t look around for extra situational awareness. Among other things. Seriously, this will fix the main usability issue I see facing LRMs, and change it from a must-boat weapon to a legitimate supporting or secondary option.

Step 2: Adjusting Radar Deprivation and Target Decay. The first part of this is to make radar deprivation’s effect global and automatic on all mechs. So, once you and your team loses LoS, the missiles automatically stop tracking. There’s no additional time that it will spend tracking after your guys can’t see the enemy mech. Optionally, you can make it so that either the LRMs cannot reacquire, or they can. Either one would be fine, I think. Target Decay? That can make it so that your targeting will function the way it does now without Target Decay or Radar Deprivation being involved. So it’s not as ridiculously long as it is now with Target Decay, but it at least means that the enemy can’t break LoS momentarily and throw off your plans using stuff like the cables in the center of Terra Therma. And how will Radar Deprivation work now? Here’s my idea – make it so that for the first 1 or 2 seconds that you are within enemy LoS, you can’t be targeted. That would be awesome! Not only does it mean that you can trade against LRMs at short-medium range without having to worry about getting wrecked as hard, but you can coordinate flanks and sneak-attacks a lot better. Alternatively, just make it so LRM lock-on and target info gathering on you take longer. But I think that would be way lamer.

Step 3. The balance bits.

  • Have LRMs launch at a certain velocity (100 m/s?) and accelerate to 200 m/s over their flight time, maybe peaking at around 500m.
  • Reduce LRM impulse by a lot.
  • Change all LRMs to spread the same amount, pinned to the current spread of, like, a LRM 15 (Artemis still decreases spread)
  • Make it so that an enemy must be spotted by TAG or NARC or UAV in order for you to indirectly fire, otherwise you have to spot them yourself.
  • Get rid of the thing where the LRM arc gets taller if the target is not in LoS.

I think that about does it (well no, not really, but it’s a good smattering of ideas). I’m not gonna go into huge details about all of Step 3, because it’s all been said and explained before and I don’t particularly want to repeat myself for the 6th time. The value of these changes should be evident.