So, in Oblivion recently, I remembered something important. To be eligible to buy the houses in Skingrad and Chorrol, you have to have a certain level of "renown" -- that is, fame minus infamy. Well, I'm a Dark Brotherhood devotee, so my Renown is usually very far into the negative range.
I picked up a few points clearing out Kvatch, but not nearly enough. I happened to be in the Arena section of the Imperial City; checking up on my kitty companions... andstealingthecontentsofthearenabettingboxahem.
Anyway. It occurred to me that you get fame for winning matches, with even more for being named champion. So I competed. More than twenty points of fame by the end. Oh, yes. Had more than enough to buy the Skingrad house.
Found out something else important. MCS was written by someone like me. How do I know? My CMs could never come into the arena with me to unbalance the hell out of a match. MCS companions came right on in and took great delight in wailing on the yellow team for me.
The whole experience reminded me of another arena. One where I actually like competing. The Solaris VII Arena.
It doesn't come up much here, since I never modded for the game, but I was a huge player of Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries. A lot of "purist" players came down on the game as being too action-y and not enough sim elements, but I think Microsoft struck a good balance in Mercenaries. Not as much a fan of the base game, or Black Knight, though.
Naturally, I had to reinstall the game. I got around to the Arena as soon as it became available.
I just love having Bob Uecker call the play-by-play on my mech combat.
The Solaris VII arena progresses by weight category -- you have to place in a light match to be eligible to compete for medium, and so on.
Which brings us to the eternal question: how do I kick ass when stuck in a light mech? Thirty-five tons? What am I supposed to use, harsh language?!
In games past, I've used the Wolfhound to good effect. Pulse lasers rock. I wanted to do something different, this game.
In the heavier classes, I'm a sucker for the Light Gauss, and ERPPC. Neither mounts well on a light mech.
I've also used the Puma on a few occasions, with its twin ERPPCs. Still, two ERPPCs don't give me any rapid refiring weapons for keeping someone off my back. So, I got to tinkering; playing with every light mech I could get to try combinations of weapon mounts and weight.
Did you know... that you can get an Arrow IV Missile onto a Puma...?
(insert the sound of maniacal cackling here)
I did actually later revise the design to mount four ER Medium lasers instead of the one large. Less long-range punch, but better ability to bite when backed into a corner.
I had to strip that mech down to free up the weight to mount an Arrow IV, though. By the time I could mount it, I had relegated the poor mech to using an engine I suspect was scavenged from a Geo Metro. Seriously. There are heavy mechs faster than this thing.
It was fun sweeping the light matches in all three arenas with that thing, though.
"Hey! Wasn't there a Flea here a second ago? Where'd it go...?"
When medium class rolled around, I stripped down an Uziel; mounted one ERPPC in one arm, and three medium lasers in the other, with a Light Gauss in the torso for kicks. Again, I had to strip out the jump jets and scale the engine back to one from a golf cart... but it kicked much ass.
The heavy season hasn't started yet, so I haven't decided on a design there, yet. On the one hand: I loves me some gauss weaponry, and several heavy designs can mount enough to be fun... but on the other hand: I have access to a Nova Cat. Lots and lots of pulse lasers.
The Timber Wolf/Mad Cat has its appeal, as well... but I find the missile racks wasted space, since I hunt in the arena on passive sensors to prevent enemy LRM lockon. Trouble is, passive sensors means my missiles can't get lock, either. So most green weapons are useless to me; except in purpose-made setups like that Puma where I ping active just long enough to lock and fire, then go passive while it recharges.
Several years ago on an early playthrough, I hit on a loadout for the Dire Wolf/Daishi that cleaned house amazingly. I'm trying to dredge up specifics, but all I remember for sure was that it basically consisted of ER large pulse lasers, heat sinks, armor, and engine. The idea being to run circles around the enemy while hammering him with constant laser fire. Trouble is, I don't remember the exact setup... and light and medium mechs can't handle enough lasers to be useful for such things. I'm hoping the Nova Cat will mount enough to let me get a feel for how many I need, again.
I tell you, Kiddies, there are few things in life as much fun as blowing shit up in giant robots.