This post will detail three mechs of mine that field lasers as the sole damage dealers. Since I have already outlined some of the basics of mech building, each build will be covered only briefly. First up is my Trebuchet 5J. I had initially tried to make it a fast LRM (Longe Range Missile) mech but quickly learned that my playstyle does not favor LRMs, so I converted it into the following: http://mwo.smurfy-net.de/mechlab#i=61&l=4d2557436b3e3eea86203614fe880554ab296999
Since all of the weapons are in the arms, it makes firing while jump-jetting over targets possible. However, with no torso weapons, it is not a good zombie. Therefore, there is no reason not to use an XL engine. In fact, considering the Trebuchet’s hitbox is rather large for a medium mech (due to its height) the additional speed the XL engine affords you is essential as speed is your primary defense. I have the weapons as evenly divided as possible with 15 damage potential in the right arm and 14 damage in the left arm.
Set one weapon group with all the lasers (center mouse button for me) for the alpha that you should use sparingly (e.g. when a good shot presents itself). Set a 2nd firing group (mouse left click for me) for the left arm lasers and a 3rd firing group (mouse right click for me) for the right arm lasers. Lastly, it is also helpful, though not required, to have a 4th firing group (mouse forward button for me) for just the large laser for long range engagements. In combat, I fire off the left arm, then the right arm, then repeat. It’s akin to a left jab, straight right boxing combo.
Next up is my Blackjack 1X. This mech has 8 energy hardpoints. One less than the Hunchback P. However, I prefer it as the Hunchback will lose 7 of those 9 energy weapons if the right hunch goes (and it’s an easy target that people will actively aim for). The Blackjack, on the other hand, will still retain 4 energy weapons if it loses a side torso, Most people have been outfitting it with 8 medium lasers. My build is different: http://mwo.smurfy-net.de/mechlab#i=79&l=98371dcf00ef3b8f68730b49ed0b8caa19b04797
The reason for the 6 small lasers is that this mech turns slowly and cannot move it’s arms laterally, making it hard to track medium lasers long enough on a circling target to do full damage. The reduced beam duration of the small lasers (.75 compared to 1) is a godsend here. I added the 2 medium lasers to up it’s alpha to 28 damage and give it a bit more range.
This mech does run hot, so good weapon grouping is essential. I set the left mouse button to all small lasers, the right mouse button to both medium lasers, and the middle mouse button to all weapons. Lastly, I set 3 small lasers and 1 medium laser to the mouse back button, and the remaining 3 small lasers and 1 medium laser to the mouse forward button; both of these last two groups I set to cycle (backspace by default when hovering over that weapon group). I prefer to get in, alpha until hot, then retreat while my mech cools down. For longer engagements, I hold down the mouse forward button quickly followed by the mouse back button for a nice laser show that is more heat efficient (cycling weapons produces less overall heat than firing them all at once). it also increases heat more predictably making it easier to avoid overheating.
Lastly we have my Dragon hero mech: The Flame. If you do not wish to purchase the Flame (as it requires real money as opposed to in-game currency), this build can easily be adapted to the 1C variant. I tried several unsuccessful builds before settling on this one. The Dragon’s center torso is HUGE making it a poor brawler. My solution is to use it’s speed to stay out of brawling range while lancing off important body parts of enemy mechs with my quad large laser build: http://mwo.smurfy-net.de/mechlab#i=56&l=3480d675e3b386581ddde86b120e2d90f62dd84b
Much like my Trebuchet, I set the left arm lasers to the left mouse button, the right arm lasers to the right mouse button, and all 4 large lasers to the middle mouse button. Lastly, I set all four to cycle on the mouse forward button to use when my heat levels get too hot. As with the Blackjack’s cycling weapon groups, this is primarily to increase my heat more steadily as opposed to the spikes of heat produced when alpha striking.
All three of these builds are fast energy skirmishers. The Dragon is long range, the Trebuchet is medium range, and the Blackjack is close range. The advantage of laser boating is that you will never run out of ammo. The disadvantage is that they generate more heat than builds that use a variety of weapon types. Only through trial and error will you learn when you can safely alpha, and when you should either retreat to cool off or start cycling lasers.