On this episode of Ignoring the Main Story in Battletech, we commit war crimes, adapt to the new patch and run around for a long time looking for one mech in particular.
I really wish the story could be affected by player actions. I figured Harebrained Schemes just didn’t have enough in the budget for something like that. Oh well, maybe in an expansion or DLC. If anybody from HBS is reading this, know that people will pledge to a kickstarter campaign for an expansion pack.
On the mission “Served Cold” I destroyed the fuel line to the civilian / possible weapons smuggling vessel with one alpha strike. The dialogue proceeded as normal. Once Victoria showed up, she proved once again that, when it comes to piloting mechs, she’s about as competent as the fools who designed european toilets. Granted, she was going up against two Orions, a Highlander, and a Stalker; but a double PPC catapult on a martian biome? I wish I was able to mock her more after the mission, what a fool.
Not long after Smithon I captured a Battlemaster on an assassination mission. On a “Stubborn Surrender” mission I encountered and captured my first King Crab on this run. I reconfigured it lickity-split. Two AC-20’s just isn’t worth it. As a mercenary company we find ourselves dealing with reinforcements a lot. Even if it lands every shot, which it won’t, it’ll run out of ammo too quickly. SRM’s can do more overall damage, especially if they’re +++ and you can use called shot.
On a visit to Brinton, I found what is considered the holy grail among Battletech fans at the moment. A full Urbanmech. Behold, in all its glory. I had to buy it in parts and assemble it myself. I think we bought it from a future Ikea on Brinton. Now you may be thinking: “You’re encountering assault mechs, what the hell is an Urbanmech gonna do?” The answer is: memes.
At this point assault mechs and ‘elite’ variants of pilots are just showing up on the regular. I went into a recovery mission where I encountered the AC variant of a Highlander and an Atlas. But I could only salvage one. I took the Highlander. It’s faster than the Atlas and it’s got the hardpoints I need for the multirole position. I’ve been testing out the King Crab for that position, and even if the Highlander doesn’t work out, it’s got 4 missile hardpoints to take over as LRM boat. You may be thinking that I made a mistake, and a little while later, I thought I did too.
After all that I went on my first 5 skull mission, destroy base mission. Easiest mission I’ve ever been on. This map has a bug that makes it so the reinforcements never show up. I went looking for them once and I found them hanging out, they’re stuck. HBS needs to do something about where they spawn.
At this point, patch 1.1 kicked in. I wrote a little something about what I thought about it, based on the patch notes, since I couldn’t play at the time. Large lasers are actually viable now and AC-20’s are more worth it now too, because of the called shot / missile rebalancing. Apparently, missions got tweaked too. All I know is that the heat efficiency of my mechs shot way up.
After capturing yet another Highlander, I found a heat exchanger to buy. This part lowers the amount of heat that weapons produce. Especially useful for laser heavy mechs. So Little Daddy got that. But after replacing Little Daddy with an AC-Highlander, I gave the exchanger to Captain Longnuts.
Another patch came out after 1.1 that addressed the head shot frequency of the AI. Could have fooled me. The first thing I did, when I got to play again, was play a custom skirmish match against an Urbanmech. The Urbie runs up and shoots my mech in the face, leaving one HP. My highlander lost his soul like it was nothing. Two or three shots from a Jagermech, while the Highlander had its side to it, mind you. Then a Thunderbolt runs up and lasers it in the head to finish it off. Good thing I switched out Mockingbird with the commander before this mission.
At this point, my mech collection is almost complete. I captured one of every assault mech, except for one Battlemaster variant, one Awesome variant, and an Atlas. I really wanted an Atlas, and I know it’s possible, but the game keeps giving me Highlanders. I ran into 3 on one mission. At one point assault mechs stopped showing up though. But the longer I played, the more likely it became that they would appear. I captured another King Crab and now my loadout consists of two King Crabs and Two Highlanders, all before the Grave Robbing mission.
Eventually I found my Atlas as an assassination target. It was a Taurian Atlas but for whatever reason, it had ‘shoddy’ 50% armor. Assassination targets normally have full armor no matter what, I thought. I had to be careful. Thankfully a recent event gave my LRM pilot, Strider, high spirits, so I used to called shot to try and get some head hits. The patch made it so Assaults require 200 points of stability damage. So that’s 2 LRM-20+++ and one LRM-10+++. I thought I had one Atlas part from before, but I went for full salvage just in case. On the last hit, it’s LRM ammo went off and we brought it home.
Ever since the 1.1 patch, the store menu as been acting slow. Especially when I click on the “sell” button, it takes ages for it to open up. I thought that maybe I just have too much crap. I like my mech collection, but I may have to sell off my light and medium mechs. Eventually I did, I sold all light and mediums, except for the Urbanmech, and my ancestral Blackjack. Unfortunately the issue remained.
What was also unfortunate was the Atlas and its hardpoints. It didn’t really fit anywhere in my current line-up. It could replace Little Daddy, who’s packing an AC-20 now, but then it would mean removing the Gauss Rifle from the upcoming Highlander and putting it on the Atlas. Sounds like heresy to me. Given the mission I’m about to go on, it’s speed won’t exactly be a boon either. It’d be great as a damage dealing juggernaut, so I stored it for now, and plan to use it as part of the secondary lance. I went on one more mission and caught another King Crab. It’s also in storage now.
After all this time, the Taurians already don’t like me very much. I’m at -21 (disliked) reputation with them. It takes a while but it is possible. I imagine that if I keep playing for long enough, I can bring it all the way down to -100.
At about 100 million C-bills, and 26 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day (9681 days / 1384 weeks) in, its about time I go do Grave Robbing. As usual, Kamea’s near useless Kintaro is going to be an issue. I’ll take the multirole King Crab, the AC-20 Highlander, and the LRM boat. Unlike the last time I played this mission, I’m gonna haul ass to the door. This could be the one mission where my assault mechs movement speed could be a liability. Here goes nothing.