fire power tagged posts

Alpha Strike, Fire Power, and DPS Explained

What is Alpha Strike, Fire Power, and Damage Per Second?

This guide will explain the important difference between fire power and damage per second. There are a lot of misconceptions about these terms. Many people consider only one of many values or give them no thought at all. The truth, in my humble opinion, is that different weapons excel at different jobs. Somehow, all these three terms refer to the damage of a Mech. On the other hand, their importance is often distorted by players, and they are mixed up frequently. The following short explanations will shed some light on the confusion.


Alpha Strike

An Alpha Strike in Mechwarrior Online is the act of firing all your weapons at the same time. Since the matches in MWO favoured (and in part still favours) bursty builds, this term became very popular. If all weapons on a Mech are very similar, it makes sense to fire them in one huge Alpha Strike. Those builds play very boringly, but can be insanely effective. Popular examples include the Splat-Cat (Catapult stuffed with SRMs) or PPC boats.

Fire Power

This term is one of the stats shown in the in-game mechlab. The number is the theoretical maximum damage dealt by an Alpha Strike with his Mech. Theoretical, because there are several things you have to consider when analyzing this value: If the Mech was weapons with different effective ranges, you won’t be able to fire all of them at the same time. If the chassis has weapons with very different aiming mechanisms, then you probably won’t hit all your weapons on the same target in the same salvo (for example, Lasers need you to stay on target; a Gauss Rifle requires the pilot to lead but hit only one bullet). In addition, the fire power value does not take into consideration how heat efficient a build is or how much ammo is available for all weapons.
Fire Power alone does not make for a very good indicator of how good a build really is. However, if most weapons (or all of the most powerful ones) have similar ranges, than fire power can be an indicator of how bursty a build is. For random PUG games, it is nice to have at least some burst potential. Numbers will change with patches, but at the moment the following rough outline can help with judging these numbers:

  • 0-30  No relevant burst potential. Probably a lighter Mech with a very sane armament.
  • 30-50  Some burst potential. Many builds, which are not centered around powerful Alpha Strikes, will probably be in this range.
  • 50-60  Above the average firepower. Usually found on Heavy and Assault Mechs. A well placed hit will cause serious problems.
  • 60+  Insane burst potential. Splat-Cats, Assault SRM+AC/20 brawlers and outdated PPC boats fall into this category. One direct hit and you are toast!

Fire Power Explained

Damage Per Second (DPS) and Sustained DPS

Most people think that they understand what damage per second is and what exactly it means. In my experience as a gamer, this is only partially true...

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Highlander 732/733C PPC Sniper Build (updated for Alpha Patch July 2013)

Updated Version of this Highlander 732/33C Sniper Guide is available!

Note: An updated version (September 2013) of this Highlander PPC/Gauss Sniper build guide is available. Click here to view it.

The Highlander 732/733C PPC Sniper Build (updated for Alpha Patch July 2013)

MWO Best Highlander 732 Sniper Build Foreword

The Highlander is one of the best assault chassis and quickly became a favourite of my own. Sniper builds are everywhere, and no match goes by without countless PPCs fired at you. It is time to strike back. Obviously, some variants are better suited for the job than others. If you like a sturdy armor and heavy armor, but don’t want to slack on the mobility side: Congratulations! You just found one of the best PPC sniper builds currently known to the Mechwarrior Online community. This Highlander 732 PPC sniper build combines the unmatched armor and firepower of assault chassis’ with excellent mobility.

View Highlander 732 Sniper Build Build Online at

Note: this exact same build can be built on the 733C as well.

The recent Mechwarrior Online Patch made PPC boats very ineffective. However, you can use the following build until July 20th 2013. After that you will have to rely on the above build.

Warning: the following builds are not very effective any more! You must use chain fire or multiple weapon groups in order to still use them. It is highly recommended switching to the a fore mentioned builds.

The 3 PPCs and the Gauss Rifle will grant you with unmatched firepower. Alpha strikes of 45 damage at a reasonable heat dissipation will tear enemies to shreds with only a few shots. Light Mechs will die instantly most of the time.

Since LRMs are making a huge comeback you may want to add an AMS to your build. Here is a slight variation on the above build which includes an Anti-Missile-System. This will reduce your damage only very slightly, but the increased survivability is often worth the small cost. This Mech is using an XL-engine after all.

Highlander PPC Sniper Playstyle and Hints

  • For maximum efficiency, group your weapons as follows: 1 Gauss Rifle 2 All three PPCs 3 Gauss Rifle plus one PPC (when high on heat) 4 All three PPCs in chain fire (for test shots and disabling ECM).
  • All your PPCs and the Gauss Rifle are on one side of your Mech. Whenever you are under heavy fire or LRMs are inbound, turn your upper torso so the other side of your Mech faces the enemy.
  • Use jump jets to look over cliffs. Often times you will be able to even shoot Mechs will falling back down.
  • Be careful not to harm your legs from excessive jump jet usage. Rule of thumb: when using more than 75% of your jump jet energy, you will take damage to your legs upon landing. Try to reserve some fuel to soften your landing.
  • When close to overheating, keep firing your Gauss Rifle plus a single PPC. This will cause very little heat and allows you to continue damaging the enemy with roughly 60% of your firepower. This is always better than overheating or not firing at all.

MWO Highlander 732 Sniper Build Screenshots

Highlander 732 Sniper Build Good Game ScreenshotHighlander 732 Sniper Build Good Game Screenshot


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