MechWarrior Online

President of MechWarrior Online developer Piranha shares his personal Mech, and loadout

President of MechWarrior Online developer Piranha shares his personal Mech, and loadout

Russ Bullock, the president of Piranha Games, thinks that the best way to get a feel for what’s going on with the community in a game is to get in there and play with them. That’s why he spends a significant amount of time in MechWarrior Online, Pirhanha’s upcoming Mech title.

The game’s open beta was delayed, and we’ll have a story that goes into some detail about why that decision was made and what’s coming up next for the game soon, but for now I felt like I had a golden opportunity. When the president of the company that developed the game goes hunting, what does he pilot? How does he trick out his own personal Mech?

“I usually pilot a Dragon,” Bullock told the Penny Arcade Report. “It got kind of a bad rep in the beta early on because we had to make some changes to the hit boxes so it wasn’t just getting cored. I think it’s a really great BattleMech.”

“What I like about it, how it suits me, is that it’s a heavy BattleMech, 60 tons, so it can take a bit of abuse. It’s get a decent amount of armor, but it’s quite quick in its standard configuration; it can run 80 kilometers an hour, which is the same speed as a stock Raven or certainly at least 15-16 kilometers an hour faster than any other BattleMech in its weight class.”

It’s nimble, it’s got some armor, and he likes to make it ready to brawl

When it comes to weapon systems, Bullock has a PhD in Not Fucking Around. “I’ll take out the long-range missile system, it has an LRM-10 by default in the nose, I’ll take that out and put a short-range missile six pack in there. I will take off the autocannon 5 and put an autocannon 10 in there, and I will usually put one large pulse laser in the other arm.”

This is a solid configuration of weapons, good for mixing it up in short to medium range battles. The autocannon 10 loses ranges and adds weight, although it’s going to do more damage to his targets. MechWarrior Online is a game of risk and reward when you’re making these decisions, and this build forces Bullock to adjust a few other aspects of the stock Dragon.

“In order to [use those weapons] and keep my speed up, I’ll usually have to go to the risky nature of an XL engine, which means I’m a little more fragile,” he explained. This is a risky strategy, as XL engines come with some serious downsides.

“...If you upgrade your engine to an XL engine you need to be aware of a few things,” a forum post explained. “A standard engine requires 6 slots and they all fit in the center torso. all XL engines require 12 slots, 6 in the center torso, and 3 in both left and right torso. this means that if the left or right torso take critical damage, you can have your Mech knocked out of the fight for good.”

That being said, Bullock is happy with this configuration. “That’s my build out. I’ll keep the speed up over 80 kilometers an hour, sometimes with an XL I can get even a little faster than that, and I got some weapons that once I get in close… I’m feeling pretty effective,” he said.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something I need to go put together.