Archive for January, 2013

MechWarrior Online: Mech Optimization – Free Wt vs KPH

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Hey All,

I’ve posted this before online, but thought it might be of interest here also…

Since I have a background in Aerospace Engineering (and am employed developing fighter aircraft), I have a predisposition to theory-crafting (I know, I know – I’ve got the ‘knack’). I had a bit of time this weekend so I explored the idea that at any given speed (KPH), there should be a mech variant that allows for the best survivability (most armor) and lethality (most firepower) – as indicated by the highest possible free weight.

For my purposes, free weight is calculated as the amount of weight left over after internal structure weight and engine/cockpit/gyro weight are accounted for.

HOW TO USE THE PLOTS: Pick the speed range of primary interest for your mech design (on the x-axis) and then check the variant(s) that provide the maximum free weight. For reference, the number of available crit slots for each variant is denoted beside the mech’s name in the legend. I use the crit slot info in the event of a ‘tie’ as it’s always good to have extra crit slots.

CAVEATS: The plots make no concession for hard points – which can make or break a mech.

Attached are three plots…

Plot 1: Standard Structure / Standard Engine
Plot 2: Endo-steel Structure / Standard Engine
Plot 3: Standard Structure / XL Engine

To facilitate quickly picking out which mechs can equip jump jets, I’ve formatted the curves to make all JJ-capable mechs stand out with red symbols.


  • Without this info, I tended to make Mechs that ran 5-10 kph slower than the ‘sweet spot’ (the four variants labeled on the plot are the first four variants I invested in and tweaked). Therefore, I have the opportunity to increase engine size to hit that speed ‘sweet spot’ or go up in weight class to increase lethality/survivability.
  • Based on this plot (again, not accounting for hard points), the CTF-4X is a trap due to it’s engine rating limit of 255. At a speed of 59 kph, I’m short 5.5 tons of extra armor or weapons compared to a Stalker build. Once I unlock the elites for the CTF-4X, I’ll probably sell this one off.
  • As expected, the XL Engine provides major free weight benefits (all the curves move up and also provide better separation between mechs – i.e., bigger mechs with bigger engines get more benefit). Of course, bigger mechs also tend to be more limited by available crit slots, rather than weight, so there is that.
  • I’ll probably invest in a couple of 300+ series standard engines to upgrade my fleet – specifically the Cats and Hunchies.
  • I’m having a hard time justifying keeping any engine (at least for the available mechs) below a rating of 250. Selling off a couple of those unused bad boys netted me a nice C-bill bonus.

Plot 1: Standard Structure / Standard Engine

Free Wt vs KPH - Std Struct, Std Engine

Plot 2: Endo-steel Structure / Standard Engine
Free Wt vs KPH - ES Struct, Std Engine

Plot 3: Standard Structure / XL Engine

Free Wt vs KPH - Std Struct, XL Engine

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