Tuesday I received an email letting me know that there was a new update to MechWarrior Online as well as a new hero mech called Ilya Muromets. A new heavy class mech called the Cataphract had recently been added to the game, and Muromets were a variant on that, armed with two medium lasers, one small laser, two A/C (short for autocannon) 5s, and one A/C 10. If you’ve never played a MechWarrior game, that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot. Just trust me, it’s mean. I decided to make Ilya my first purchase with the store credit I received with my Legendary Founders package. I typically roll around in a medium mech called the Hunchback. It sports a similar armament and top speed, but with far less armor. So, I looked at this as an upgrade. Oh, Hero Mechs also come with a 30% MC bonus (MC is the in-game currency earned each match). So how did this new Battlemech do on the battlefield in my very capable hands? Let’s find out.
I’ll be honest, my first couple of games were rough. I hadn’t played MechWarrior Online in several weeks, and it immediately showed. MWO isn’t a game where you ever want to find yourself alone. If you do, chances are you’re not actually alone. You’re about to make friends with a lot of missiles, lasers and various metallic projectiles owned by your enemies. I made a lot of these kind of friends early on. When I’m a little rusty I tend to lead charges into the enemy lines, only nobody really follows me in. I usually don’t realize that they all cut throttle and held back until I’m getting destroyed and yelling “THERE ARE FIVE OF US, WHY IS EVERYBODY SHOOTING AT JUST ME? WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE FIRING… oh… oh, you guys are way back there. Cool. Thanks.”
I did eventually find a groove and recruited some help from a friend. The beautiful thing about the triple A/C loadout of the Muromets is that you can pester the shit out of your target. A/Cs have decent range and, because they’re ballistic, tend to hit very loud and very hard. They rock mechs on impact, making it difficult for them to steady their aim. I even decided to rearrange things a little, allowing me to exchange a regular A/C 5 for an ultra A/C 5. The difference being that the ultra will deliver several rounds quickly for as long as the trigger is held down, usually three to four before it temporarily jams. Harassing targets really seems to be the strategy of this variant. It’s fun to see larger Battlemechs turn around and run because they’re tired of or intimidated by the jarring impacts. I know I mentioned Muromets had a few lasers as well. Lasers are a useful part of most mech armaments, but they’re kind of an afterthought here. I’m not saying to not use them. More shooty things going toward your target are always better than fewer.
So yeah, I like Ilya Muromets. It has a pretty devastating loadout, good speed, strong armor, and the bonus cash given from it’s Hero status each round certainly doesn’t hurt. If you’ve been thinking about grabbing a Hero Mech, I wouldn’t have any problem recommending this one.