Pilots Handbook - published by Mech interests Group (MiG)
Preface - There are many different designs and manufacturers of 'Mechs in existence, whereas MiG acts as a common denominator. Leaving out producers promotional promises, we created a comparable base of hard facts. The purpose is to have an independent source of information for 'Mech pilots, which entrust their well-being to a modern but complex combat vehicle, that we are devoted to making transparent.
- 1 Cockpit & Controls
- 2 Construction
- 3 Equipment
- 4 References
Cockpit & Controls
The pilot follows a standard procedure for starting up the reactor and systems which that automatically performs a self-diagnostic reporting the statuses back to the pilot.
|“||Reactor online, sensors online, weapons online, all systems nominal||”|
The condition of a BattleMech's armor is displayed by a color-graduation:
- grey: Pristine armor 100%, no damage at all; outline of armor can be clearly distinguished from Internal Structure
- yellow: Armor has taken superficial to minor damage
- orange: Armor has taken moderate to severe damage
- red: Armor has taken extreme damage is almost gone
Once the outline disappears the armor for that section is destroyed ; exposing internal structure and systems. At this point the internal damage level is displayed.
Going clockwise from the upper left the sample paper dolls to the right indicate the following:
- Armor & Systems at 100%
- Minor armor damage all over the 'Mech aside from the cockpit plus moderate damage to the left leg's armor. The right leg's armor is destroyed with minor damage to the internal structure.
- Right arm+ and center/left torso's armor has moderate damage while the right torso and left leg's armor has extreme damage. The left leg has moderate to severe damage to it's internal structure. The cockpit armor is now lightly damaged.
- Armor is destroyed on both legs with have moderate to severe internal damage. The armor is also gone from the front and right torso which has minor damage to internals. The rear right torso armor is also destroyed with the right torso internals suffering moderate to severe damage.
The condition of a BattleMech's internals status is displayed not only on the paper doll but also on the screen with individual systems (weapons, AMS, ECM, etc.) if they become disabled. Some systems' destruction is only noted by an audio warning from the on-board computer (such as heat sink destruction). Individual systems become susceptible to critical hits once exposed by destroyed armor or through severe overheating. The internal structure damage is displayed by a color-graduation:
- grey: Pristine internal structure & systems, no damage
- yellow: Internal structure is exposed and susceptible to critical hits. It is lightly damaged.
- orange: Internals for that section have taken moderate to severe damage.
- red: Internals for that section have taken extreme damage
Once the section disappears that section is destroyed along with any systems contained within it. A 'Mech can survive the complete destruction of all but the following areas:
- cockpit: when destroyed the pilot is seriously injured or killed and the 'Mech inoperable.
- center torso: when destroyed the engine is destroyed
- side torso: if the 'Mech is mounting an XL engine the destruction of the side torso will destroy the engine. 'Mechs with standard engines can survive side torso destruction. If a side torso is destroyed the corresponding arm is also destroyed for obvious reasons.
- legs: the 'Mech can survive the structural destruction of a single leg but is completely disabled if both legs are destroyed.
If an individual system is disabled the pilot will be alerted with an audio message from the computer along with the system being dimmed on the HUD if it is normally listed there.==
Field of view
Commonly a BattleMech's driver has a straight forward view, looking out of its cockpit to the where its front torso points. Depressed 'Left-CTRL' (default) lets mouse maneuvers move the driver's head, allowing to freely look inside and out of the cockpit.
- Cockpit holds
Cockpit's Field Of View (FOV) can be adjusted: find and edit file local drive:\game directory\ user.cfg
cl_fov = 77 // range 1-99 default:60
In order to support a BattleMech pilot in having all critical information at hand, most essential information is projected infront of his/her field of vision, onto a small device, a transparent screen/monitor, called the Head Up Display (HUD) - some other HUDs project information directly onto the front windshield of a cockpit, but they dont move with the pilot's head.
- Shift-F11 toggles HUD
- HUD displays
- Team Status, depending on the Game Mode either is shown:
- remaining mission time, each team's score and kills
- remaining mission time, each team's score and Base Capture (Bars indicate friendly or enemy base status and deplete as the relevant base is being captured)
- selected enemy target Information
- enemy intel gathering, 3 steps...tbc (if I find again)
- stauts is color coded according to your 'Mech's status ... target's current weapon loadout is displayed to the left of the armor display, model right under it.
- Indicator Band
- Compass (each yellow bar is 10 degrees; N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW makes 360 deg circle)
- Bases (friendly blue, neutral yellow, enemy red diamond in brackets)
- Units (friendly blue, enemy red diamond)
- Target information
- Health in percentage, distance in meters, name of driver and 'Mech-type (or 'Mech's name?)
- Distance to target
- Payload readyness
- Arms & torso direction
- 'Mech status information: displays current component status for each section of the Battlemech:
- Yellow indicates little to no damage.
- Orange indicates section is damaged.
- Red indicates section is critically damaged.
- Greyed out sections are destroyed.
- velocity meters: measureing horizontal speed andSPEED & JUMP JETS
- Left meter indicates current direction (forward/backward) and speed in km/h.
- Right meter indicates remaining Jump Jet capacity.
- Battlegrid: birds eye map of the current combat area:
- Cone indicates effective range of fire.
- Arrow indicates direction of travel.
- Blue/Red arrows indicate position and direction of friendly and (known of) enemy Battlemechs.
- Heat indicator: meter displays amount of heat 'Mech has pent-up
- reaching 100% will initiate emergency shutdown programm ... can be overrun tbc
- Weapon systems: display of mounted weapons
- arm section (weapon's fire according to 'circle' HUD reticle aim)
- torso section (weapon's fire according to 'cross' HUD reticle aim)
- Vertical columns indicate firing groups, whereas blue highlighted numbers indicate wether the weapon is assigned to that particular firing group.
- Horizontal bars on the right indicate reload times.
- Numbers on the right indicate remaining ammunition.
- bottom right number shows zoom magnification factor
This is the standard controls configuration throughout all 'Mech series and models. It is reassignable at Game Options.
- Q - target overlay
- \ - alpha strike all available weapons
- . - cockpit lighting level (5 options)
- ' - Toggle cockpit Item (?)
- / - open/close weapon bay doors (visible light in cockpit)
- C - center torso on legs
- Torso follows steering/pointing device movement (like mouse/joystick)
- Twitch - device left/right
- Pitch - device forward/backward
- button 1 - fire selected weapon group
- button 2 - fire weapon (group 2)
- F9 - shows FPS rate and X Y Z co-ordinates for bug reporting.
- RShift+F11 - turn HUD on/off
- Logitech: some versions of Logitech's 'Set Point'-software interfere with MWO. Only buttons 1-3 can be rebound at the options menu (,but sensivity can be adjusted to your likeing, which is faster'n'cheaper than developing 'Mech/Pilot skills). Set Point needs to be closed for MWO to work properly.
Mouse-wheel might not be recognized by options; if unable to bind:
- options menu: assign unused 2nd key to function to work with mouse-wheel
- find file local drive:\game directory\ ...
sample of how to exchange assigned keys with 'mwheel down/up''
- Generall Mouse Options
Found in local drive:\game directory\user.cfg:
i_mouse_smooth = 0 i_mouse_accel=0 // acceleration off cl_sensitivity = 0.2 // mouse speed (default: 0.1) // or, adjustd sensitivity with zoom-factor: gp_mech_view_look_sensitivity = 0.0090 // normal view 1.0x (Note: ''normal'' FOV can be adjusted -> Cockpit) gp_mech_view_zoom_level1_sensitivity_modifier = 0.2 // Zoom 1.5x gp_mech_view_zoom_level2_sensitivity_modifier = 0.3 // Zoom 3x gp_mech_view_zoom_level3_sensitivity_modifier = 0.35 // Zoom 4x
- Joystick - supported, but pretty senseless, until you cant adjust sensivity
- HOTAS - Hands On Throttle And Stick (Advanced game controllers; joystick/throttle combination)
ask someone from an esports league what to think of force-feedback stuff -.-
Although there are some other designs our scope is on Biped 'Mechs only.
'Mechs are huge and a complex matter. The following is a complete list of components and locations of a 'Mech servicable by pilots.
- Head (HD)
- Right Torso (RT) - Center Torso (CT) - Left Torso (LT)
- RT Rear - CT Rear - LT Rear
- Right Arm (RA) - Left Arm (LA)
- Right Leg - Left Leg
Each of a 'Mechs components might come with predefined holding-fixtures (Hardpoints), fixed locations where specific weapons (rarely equipment) can be mounted. Three different types of Hardpoints are in existence:
- Ballistic capable of mounting Ballistic Weapons only (like Autocannons and Gauss Rifles).
- Energy capable of mounting Energy Weapons only (like Lasers and PPCs).
- Missile capable of mounting Missile Weapons only (like Long Range Missiles and Short Range Missiles).
One must notice that missile hardpoints have maximum amount of missiles capable to fire in single salvo. If larger missile weapon than hardpoint is equiped, missiles will be fired in two or more salvos. Size of missile hardpoints cannot be seen in in-game.
Commonly, Equipment is not Hardpoint-specific and can be mounted in any location on the 'Mech with enough free Critical Space and tonnage for it, with a few exceptions:
- TAG - Target Acquisition Gear counts as an Energy-weapon, therefore needs an Energy-Hardpoint.
- NARC - NARC Beacon counts as a Missile-weapon, therefore needs a Missile-Hardpoint.
- AMS - a single Anti-Missile System is mountable on all 'Mechs, though only at one factory-defined component. Rarely, like on the Atlas AS7-K, a 'Mech is capable of carrying more than one AMS.
- Command Console - head mountable only
- ECM - Electronic Countermeasures can be mounted in any location though, but are limited only to a few 'Mechs (capable).
- CASE - ammunition container is only mountable at the (left, right, center) torso.
- Engine - is only mountable at Center Torso, respectively taking Critical Slots in the torso sides, if an XL-Engine is installed.
BattleMech Hardpoint List
- Essential Hardware - stuff that cant be moved
- optional Equipment
- Head (6 Slots)
- Life Support (2 Slots) - Environmental controls and oxygen supply system
- Sensors (2 Slots) - Electronics used for detecting and tracking enemies
- Cockpit (1 Slots) - Pilot housing and control point of a BattleMech
- CT (12 Slots)
- Gyro (Gyroscope) (4 Slots) - Self-balancing mechanism providing stability to the bipedal construction
- Engine (6 Slots)
- RT+LT (12 Slots)
- AMS (1 Slot)
- XL-Engine (3 Slots in each side)
- Arms (12 Slots)
- Shoulder (1 Slot) - joint between arm and upper torso
- Upper Arm Actuator (1 Slot) - upper arm joint, myomers and drive motors
on models with arms
- Lower Arm Actuator (1 Slot) - lower arm joint, myomers and drive motors
- Hand Actuator (1 Slot) - hand joints, myomers and drive motors
- LL + RL (6 Slots)
- HIP (1 Slot) - joint between the upper torso and legs
- Upper Leg Actuator (1 Slot) - upper leg joint, myomers and drive motors
- Lower Leg Actuator (1 Slot) - lower leg joint, myomers and drive motors
- Foot Actuator (1 Slot) - foot joints, myomers and drive motors
A 'Mech pilot has to measure 'Pros and Cons' of different materials being available:
Responsible for the speed and mobility of a 'Mech, its an essential decision to choose the right engine for your needs, which is explained in details.
- Heat Development
Commonly (working) engines create heat, which due to its nature, is radiated to its surrounding, thus keeping the engine at an operable temperature range. On 'power-up' the engine gets warmed up and reaches its operational temperature. If the operational temperature range is exceeded, the engine will shut down automatically, in order to prevent damage to the engine - or overheating of ammunition (which would result in severe damage to the 'Mech).
Each time a weapon is fired, it creates its own specific amount of heat (chart), adding to the 'Mechs overall heat. Therefore a 'Mech's temperature rises, both by firing its weapons (or Jump Jets) but also by being fired upon (Flamer).
- Heat Dissipation
Depending on its weight, each 'Mech has its own thermal threshold. This threshold can be increased by adding Heat Sinks to the 'Mech, which additionally increase the rate at which the 'Mech dissipates its heat into the surrounding environment. The ratio, of a 'Mechs heat treshold and dissipating rate opposed to the potential heat increase of its mounted weapons, is called Heat Efficiency, expressed by a (theoretic) value of up to two, where higher numbers mean better heat management.
Since Heat Sinks interoperate with the environment they are used in, they depend on the Heat Neutrality of their environment. Which means the cooler the environment, the more efficient Heat Sinks will operate. When exposed to water, the cooling effect will even increase (if it's not boiling) - taking this into account with 'Mech size and water depth, some pilots might want to add Heat Sinks to their 'Mechs from the bottom up.
To cool his/her 'Mech a pilot has the choice of different cooling-types available:
- equipped with category:Electronics
- Jump Jets on certain 'Mech-models only, cant be equipped/removed later
As with the Hardpoints already pointed out, there's three different types of classes, being:
As progress continues new weapons will emerge, so far only rumors tell about Experimental Weapons.