MechAssault: The PPC

June 12, 2003

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 13:16 PST

The following will hopefully clear up some of the commonly held misconceptions regarding this weapon.

I think that the best way to handle this would be to compare this weapon against the other weapons available in MechAssault.

Heat:
Firstly, dual PPCs (level 3) share the crown alongside the Lava Cannon and the 4x Autocannon (level 3) as the weapons that generate the most heat per shot in the game. Add on the fact that while charging PPCs your heat dissipation is halved and now you will understand that PPCs are by far hottest running weapons in the game. By comparison dual Gauss Rifles generate just a little over half the heat of the dual PPCs and you never halve your heat dissipation because of the need to charge!

Another disadvantage is that when you pick up a missile upgrade or a ballistic upgrade while holding the charge for your PPCs, you shoot your newly upgraded weapons be they 4x Javs or 2x Machineguns or what have you, wasting heat and time because you have to recharge the PPCs in order to shoot them again.

Damage:
Average Damage Per Second (Level 3)
Warhammer x2: 900
Machine Gun x4: 486
Lava Gun: 450
Warhammer x1: 450
PPC x2: 400
Pulse Laser x4: 397
Gauss Rifle x2: 375


Secondly, as you can clearly make out on this handy chart provided by Shadow Panther even the single Warhammer out damages the pair of PPCs and the Warhammer produces less than half the heat. The dual Gauss Rifles do slightly less damage with a little over half the heat and now you throw in the 12% knockdown ability… Need I say more?

Countermeasures:
Thirdly, the PPC’s are easily one of the most counterable weapons in the game. Target Jamming completely nullifies this weapon unless you are very close to your opponent. Target Jamming is even more effective against PPCs than AMS is for missiles (with missiles there is splash damage.) If a Ragnarok or an Ymir is hosting (read no lag) it is impossible to damage them with PPCs because the shield recharges before the PPCs recycle. If you are in a Madcat your best hope to solo a hosting Ragnarok or Ymir is to use your Javs or dual machine guns or better yet your one machinegun or one crossbow missile in an Uziel; both are losing propositions.

Insane tracking:
Fourthly, this is as much of a detriment as it is a benefit against a good opponent. When you miss in close with level three PPCs they will often circle around and attempt to strike the opponent again. This is the good part of it. The bad is that if your opponent is hosting they can move in close and use this tracking ability against you so that when the dual PPCs circle they will hit the shooter instead. In a light mech, while hosting I can pull this feat off 50% of the time. It is always comical to see Madcat pilots killing themselves with their own level 3 PPCs.

Projectile Speed:
Fifthly, PPCs are slow. By slow I mean slow in the sense of the projectile speed. On maps with obstacles and terrain cover this is unforgivable.

Lastly, when a mech is out of radar range it is very hard to discern their location, except when they are holding GLOWING PPC charges. This gives away the mech's position, which is very important because the long-range weapons in the game extend slightly beyond radar range. So a pilot can target and hit mechs painted by PPCs with Gauss rifles without the opponent even seeing them.

Overall: I really don’t understand why PPCs are so despised by everybody. PPCs are a very necessary component to the game and a weapon that is very well balanced. The advantages are that they are very easy to use and thus geared towards inexperienced pilots. They are an introductory weapon because a pilot does not have to worry about switching weapons to do the maximum amount of damage at any given time. A Madcat can be almost as effective using just PPCs as they are with a combination of Javelins, PPCs and Machineguns. For the Uziel a player can learn to move a faster medium mech with jump jets without having to concentrate on also switching weapons. Both of these mechs are very well designed in my opinion. I personally would not use a PPC throwing mech because of said disadvantages inherent with the design of the weapon, but I would also not change a thing about them.