MechAssault: The Wrath of the Puma - Strategy Guide

November 01, 2003

--Posted by Riposte101 @ 13:49 PST.

Here is a Puma strategy guide written by Squatting Eagle. He is popularly considered the premiere Puma pilot in MechAssault.





TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction- Basic Puma, and My Experience
II. Puma Physical Characteristics
III. Puma in a Team
IV. Capabilities and Tactics
V. Layout of Enemy Strategies
VI. Running in CTF
VII. The Puma Dream in Clan Matches


I. INTRODUCTION- Basic Puma, and My Experience

The puma is the most underestimated mech in the game. When I play seriously I can do more damage and wreak more havoc than anyone could possibly imagine. I believe it is the most versatile mech in the game. When I got this game back in December along with xbox live, I was so excited. I remember looking through the handbook trying to find the best mech (at that time I did not know I would fall in love with scout mechs and their challenge of play.) So I was like, "give me something beastly." I turn the very next page and what do I see? A Mad Cat! I was like "this sounds pretty cool." I was playing it on live (after an hour of offline, just get to feel the game, practice) and people kept whining about my cheap mech. That was so funny back then, I had no concept of what target jamming actually was, "why is my mech flashing?" So I moved on to other mechs for the first few weeks, and learned warhammers extremely well, playing the prometheus, bowman, kit fox, and summoner. People continued to whine when i used the big mechs, so I decided from that moment on, to make them pay for poking fun at my "no skill" mechs. This was the birth of "THE WRATH OF THE PUMA" (now you all see where wrath comes from) I have played this mech primarily since January, and picked up on so many different skills it is truly ridiculous.

II. PUMA PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS.

The Puma has a short, wide stance and just looks cooler than all the other mechs in my opinion. Although most people say shadow panthers guide is inaccurate, (some spots I do agree) I think the Puma is entirely accurate... here are the stats.
-Weight: 35 tons
-Armor: 2714
-Speed: 32mph
-Size: Scout
-Salvage (I love this characteristic for 1vs1): 1200 armor, no weapon upgrades
-Max Heat/Cool down time: 109/11

WEAPONS
-Energy: PPC (particle pulse cannon) x 1 - damage per shot 300/400/500, rate of fire Slow, heat High, range Long
-Missile: Crossbow Missiles x 2 - damage per shot 87/122/158, rate of fire Medium, heat Low-Medium, range Medium
-Ballistics, Machine Guns x 2 - damage per shot 42/60/76, rate of fire Fast, heat Low, range Short
-Null Signature (eliminates you from radar and makes your mech almost completely invisible): lasts 30 seconds, recharges in 15 seconds
-Jump Jets (lifts your mech from the ground in multiple directions, great for dodging and obstacles): 5 seconds of lift off, recharges in 3 seconds


III. PUMA IN A TEAM

The "all powerful" puma is not really quite so "powerful" in Team destruction unless it is used with caution, skill, knowledge, and sometimes a little luck. The most important thing to remember about this mech is that you do NOT have any amount of substantial armor, getting hit is a big NONO. Best to be unnoticed or take mechs one at a time. The puma has three main roles in my opinion. The first, is to snatch as many powerups from the opposite team as you can, making your team stronger weapon wise, is absolutely crucial. Secondly, you need to finish off weaklings, not necessarily taking someone down your teammates can finish off, but getting the "run aways," guys running back from the action, waiting for precious salvage, backing off is almost always a sign of weakness, it is your job to take these guys down, snatch the powerups and escape the best you can. The third element requires the most skill, bravery, and not caring about your individual stats, after all it's a team game. When your team is losing drastically, sneak up behind enemy lines and just dance around crazily drawing attention from them to let your teammates unload everything on these guys. Remember the more guys you can wrap/zigzag around and get involved the better, chaos at this point is a good thing, and mechs blowing up on each other works great!

IV. CAPABILITIES AND TACTICS

Lesson 1. Just get Vicious- The puma will do good as a pop and drop sniping mech (pop over a hill, ridge, or another obstacle shoot of a ppc, and drop down and get ready to pop up SOMEWHERE ELSE!) More important though is the close up combat. I would not suggest fighting other mechs up close unless you have had much practice.

Lesson 2. Null sig- this ability is unbelievable! As players continue to get better however, you have to learn to be even sneakier not to be spotted. Just be unpredictable in your routes. When using null sig you can help your team out the most by doing two things.
-Steal enemy powerups... get behind enemy lines and scoop those precious power-ups that they are dying to get an advantage with. if you have all level threes make sure you shoot off a little of each weapon so you can grab the goodies. -More importantly get "Run Aways" (people who back out of sniping range because they are weak and they are waiting for some salvage to get dropped.) Get right up in their face before you blow your cover. (0r rather on their back works better) And fire your weapons! "Fire like a fool!" Hopefully you'll have enough power to take them out before they start screaming out to their teammates for help... "GET THIS PUMA OFF ME!"

Lesson 3. One on ones- use your null signature always and pick off those stray snipers with enough practice you'll be able to take out almost any nuisance with fairly little damage on yourself. Get behind them and "fire like a fool!"

Lesson 4. "Fire like a fool!" Begin by charging your PPC behind someone (*note if you are playing against skilled players they will hear your charge and turn around, so get behind something that will hide your ppc.) After you charge your PPC, release it and switch to your crossbows for a quick double whammy, I used to only use those weapons... but machine guns have become more and more important to me. I usually third fire off about 1-2 seconds of machine guns before I charge my PPC again, this helps you have more cycles of weapon firing without over heating.

Lesson 5. Quick dodge- The most important tactic I have taught myself is the quick dodge. When you are strafing back and forth dodging shots throw in an occasional quick dodge. This is when you are running in one direction, quickly use your jump jets and make a short boost off the ground into the other direction... bounce off the ground two or three times alternating and you are shaking like none other.

Lesson 6. PPC DFA- my finishing move. I will explain this only once, it's not that difficult to understand, only perform. Charge you PPC while jumping in the air above a weak mech that is about to die. Then fall down on the opposing Mechs head and simultaneously throw a PPC to hit at the same time. DFA=Death from above. So the name is self-explanatory. Have fun practicing!

V. LAYOUT OF ENEMY STRATEGIES- (all assumed to be one on ones)

Try hard to always approach enemies with null signature activated whenever possible.

Atlas- What can we say about this mech? Lots of armor=Lots of Work. This is a big mech, so stay behind him as much as possible and try to do as much as you can before he gets some help. If he's on a good team chances are EXTREMELY unlikely that you will take him down with him at full health.

Belial- A real pain in the butt, learning to juke is an absolute must, reading your enemies targeting pattern and staying out of the crosshairs is so crucial... the closer you are the better.

Bowman- This guy can kill you so fast it's ridiculous, almost as fast as a prometheus. Your best bet with this guy is to fire from far away and snipe w/ your PPC because his only defense is AMS (anit-missle-signal) so just stay back and fire. don't let him get near you, you have the speed advantage.

Catapult- Stay as close to his tail as you can. He will tear you up long range and those pulse lasers really hurt badly. The lasers are better than the javelins though, so staying close is important, especially when target jamming is enabled and you have to primarily rely on your machine guns

Corvus-distance is the key, not too far, not too close, I would probably say a distance of about 6-8 puma works really well. He moves very fast so make your shots carefully, when his defense is activated charge him with machine guns and back off again before it wears off.

Cougar- This mech is a waste of time, unless you just like to see you kills go up. Stay close to him and he's absolutely screwed. You have the advantage over this twin mech, hands down.

Elemental- PPC/Crossbow/PPC/Crossbow= dead, enough said.

Hackman- yikes! He can give you a run for your money. Do your best at using the terrain to your advantage. If you're flatland, most likely the equal skilled hackman will take you down.

Hellbringer- I haven't played against this mech very much one on one. I do believe he can be taken out long range with the pop and drop method.

Kit Fox- Just say back and you're all set, try and activate your null sig a few seconds after he does, this way if he appears near by, you have a few seconds to back off. I love to hunt these guys. They leave great blues for you and do not require you to get hurt much.

Loki- A born puma killer, stay long range and hope to God he does not sneak up behind you. When I say long range I mean really long, like you have a hard time locking him in the fog.

Mad Cat- A tough cat to take down, stay close, stay vicious and stay on his butt. More than likely and equal skilled pilot will take you down, but remember that you only leave a scrap of health, so come back, finish him off, and take those great Blue and Red powerups!

Mad Dog- Long range, Very long range. This mech is nicknamed the chicken mech killer for a reason. A barrage of crossbow missiles are not your friends. He and the timberwolf are mechs that can really eat you up quickly so be careful and pay close attention to where they are; neither have null sig to worry about.

Owens- Long range is your mission, unless you are thoroughly confident in your targeting skills, try and stay back where you can make easier shots. If he comes toward you, you will not out run him, try and hide quickly and use your null sig.

Prometheus- What a pain! You can only hope to stay on this guys back, because if you get far away he will gauss you, if you get in front say good bye! Those hammer missiles will finish you off. Stay on his back and if he gets close to getting you in front of him try and launch over his head to get on his back again. I also find a fake out over the head works nicely. Where you jump directly over them and come back down where you were, sometimes they will spin around for you.

Puma- The only strategy would be to be a better pilot overall, seeing how you are the same exact mechs.

Ragnarok- Stay on top of him... literally. DFA's and PPC's work great. When you start getting hot, fall down to his backside and use your machine guns for a while.

Raven- These guys never present a challenge for any puma, chances are they will run away from you. In which case you chase them down and "fire like a fool!"

Summoner- Not a good choice of enemies, try and stay back. Pop and drop, hope that he isn't a good sniper.

Thor- Staying back is even more important w/ this fellow. He will rip you a new one with his 4x Machine Guns. Snipe... he will run at you as fast as he can with his target jamming activated. If he gets anywhere close make sure you null signify way ahead of time.

Timberwolf- Probably your third or fourth toughest opponent, behind the Prometheus, Mad Cat, and Loki. Your best bet is to stay away once again... if it's possible, if not try and stick to the back, or be REALLY good at "Pop and drop." Staying on his back is difficult however because he is very quick and maneuverable.

Uller- Eh hem...uh... yeah right.

Uziel- Read "belial" everything applies the same.

Vulture- A good vulture knows how to keep his distance, your job is to get in his face and literally touch noses, you can take him out as long as you don't let him back up, stay on him like there is no tomorrow.

Ymir- The big bad heater. Try and use the Ragnarok killing tactics and hopefully you can get him to over heat. Once you do this, taking him down is as easy as an uller, with more armor of course.

VI. RUNNING IN CAPURE THE FLAG

Using your null signature in this game type takes more practice than anything I have encountered, besides the PPC DFA. Learn to time your enemy’s position and snatch the flag running toward your enemy base. Wait until he gets between the flag and your base, you can then quickly grab the flag and run right next to him (this usually makes it very hard for them to target you). After your pass, try to hit up the first set of obstacles available. A good pattern is a must, but once you get a couple good ones and you can be unpredictable, you are all set.

VII. The Puma Dream in Clan Matches

The Dream I have for the puma is that one-day people will be able to use them in clan matches and be very successful with flanking methods and understanding new null-signature strategies. Developing the pumas full capabilities renders it as the dangerous mech of skill not of Fire-Power/Armor. Demolition town is a great new map to use the puma on. The most important thing to remember about the puma in clan matches is learn how to use your team as a defense as well as your null sig, but at the same time help out your teammates by breaking up the enemies formations. When you are able to successfully use a puma to it's proper level, you can indeed use it in clan matches and find that it has a surprisingly good outcome. Just remember one thing, your PPC is your greatest weapon, if you know you'll have another MadCat-Uziel-Catpult- any common blue user, it's best to pick another mech. Make sure when you have your selection you are going to be able to scoop up all the blues guilt free and have a vigorous chain of LvL 3 PPC's Flowing.

Thank you for reading- (if you read it all) and I hope you enjoy this lovely addition to strategy guides out there.

Sincerely, Kevin (Squatting Eagle)