Battle of Titans

Battle of Titans Profile: M.A.O.

What does the M.A.O. offer for Battle of Titans players? Jesse takes a look under the hood!

In our ongoing series of closer looks at each of the mechs in Battle of Titans (BoT) we have already examined some unique and immediately appealing chassis. Still in early beta, the game has revealed two six-legged titans with the ability to jump and climb on vertical and even inverted terrain; light chassis which utilize an EMP special ability to temporarily immobilize stronger opponents, and a truly titan-sized heavy support mech that really can’t be appreciated for its massive presence on the battlefield unless you have put your hands on its controls.

This week I’ll take a look at the M.A.O., a medium titan with nothing especially remarkable about it at first glance, but upon closer inspection and some beta experimentation could easily wind up as a staple in many players’ titan squads.

I once heard an old man say that not every meal his wife of fifty years had prepared for him was memorable, in fact he could recall very few that stood out as special. He pointed out, though, that he could have lived without the few extravagant meals his wife had produced throughout their marriage but would have starved to death years ago without the routine and less memorable meals she had dutifully provided day after day. Now, I’m not suggesting that M.A.O. is less appealing, but its certainly not as flashy or exciting as some of BoT’s other titans. That said, this potentially overlooked medium chassis is an essential and most closely embodies the basics of what a mech needs to be. Without M.A.O. the game’s other titans would not have a proper reference by which to compare them to. In terms of balance M.A.O. is a fitting anchor for BoT.

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My attempt to flank the enemy in hopes of catching an opposing light titan unaware were foiled by these two AI bots, who also happened to have brought a M.A.O. to the fight. After trading several volleys of Sarisa fire, they eventually crippled and then destroyed me.

The M.A.O. itself is a robust, heavily armed titan. With three heavy weapon hardpoints it comes close to delivering the firepower of the towering Tirpitz. While it does not have the huge pool of hit points that Tirpitz possesses it is comparable with the Ravager, arguably BoT’s other mainstay mech. Ravager does possess slightly more hit points on its legs, but is significantly less well armed than M.A.O. is.

Another distinction between the two medium titans is M.A.O.‘s speed which is about evenly split between the lumbering Tirpitz and the relatively agile Ravager. Both titans possess a medium backpack slot allowing them to carry an indirect fire missile weapon, called Javelin, that enables a player to support teammates with fire on targets even when still maneuvering behind cover or lacking line of sight.

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The Javelin is a medium “backpack” item that can be equipped to this unique equipment slot. A respectable support weapon, Javelin is currently the only option for medium backpack equipment slots. It will be interesting to see what type of interchangeable special backpack abilities are added in the future.

As I mentioned in my article on the Bully light titan, BoT currently has two heavy weapon options. Hammer, a medium range cannon of sorts with relatively rapid reload rates, and Sarisa, a mid range point and shoot rocket weapon. Both are potent options equipped on M.A.O. and have a place in the game. While taking a combination of these two weapons on M.A.O. is certainly possible, doing so doesn’t seem to work well with the natural simplicity of how the titan wants to be used. Choosing one weapon type, either Hammer or Sarisa, and applying it to all three hard points seems to generate the best results.

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While learning about M.A.O. for this article I played several matches with this pair. In the foreground is the medium Titan equipped with Sarisa and in the background is the Hammer variant.

When M.A.O. is first purchased it is already equipped with three Sarisa launchers and for quite a while whenever I played this titan I used it in this configuration. The approach most suitable with this build seems to be to move out from cover, and unload the Sarisas on a hapless enemy before moving back to cover and waiting for a rather lengthy reload. When attacking en masse with friends or the AI it is possible to overwhelm single targets quickly with a barrage from multiple titans and then continue advancing against other targets while reloading. The M.A.O. does have a sprint ability, that can be useful when attempting to ambush an opponent from behind cover or to escape. The M.A.O.’s slow turning speeds and lack of general maneuverability make ducking in and out of cover very challenging though. Sprinting with this chassis seems much better suited to open flat areas that a player wants to traverse rapidly. After playing with Bully as a stealthy ambusher I fully realized that M.A.O. was not well suited for a similar role

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When it comes to maneuverability M.A.O. is easy to get the better of, but it excels at smashing opponents caught in the open at medium range or that are too slow to avoid it.

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Realizing this I finally tried out M.A.O.‘s other obvious weapons configuration. I had used a single Hammer before on a Ravager and while I liked it did not realize the impact it was having or could have when its effect was tripled. Using three Hammers I was able to kill light titans quite rapidly, and the faster reload rates meant that I had some forgiveness for an occasionally missed shot. Using the Sarisas was fun and effective, however a missed shot was a point of aggravation- and vulnerability.

Now with three Hammers equipped, M.A.O. was able to stand in its glory and trade blows with opponents. The three Hammers simply punished anything foolish enough to be in the open. Attacking en masse was still a reasonable option, but not as necessary. Using sprint to get closer to a desired target or outmaneuver a Tirpitz made the triple Hammer configuration one of my favorites and compelled me to keep a M.A.O. on my roster.

Now it should be noted that BoT is still in early beta and the developer has recently indicated that they will be experimenting with the way different weapons work. Sarisa and Hammer were specifically mentioned in this regard, but it seems likely that any changes will be to emphasize these weapons strengths and only add to their potent effect when fielded in threes on M.A.O.

About Jesse

Born and raised in the green mountains of Vermont, Jesse now lives in South Carolina with his wife, Stephanie, and their five children. A life long gamer and fan of science fiction, fantasy, and history, Jesse enjoys storytelling and world building in the written form and through the unique medias and mechanics of gaming. Jesse has a deep interest in history and how forces like human nature and economics shape the story of mankind. Service as a US infantryman has shaped his view of the world and imparted an appreciation for a wide range of human experiences. He draws inspiration from the works and styles of J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Stackpole, and Bernard Cornwell as well as his own experience.

6 comments on “Battle of Titans Profile: M.A.O.

  1. Ashe Sterling

    I have to point out that “dumb fire missile” would have been more effectively replaced by “rocket weapon”, as missiles in military term are usually guided or seeking projectiles.

    That said, thanks for the article! It’s good to keep up with BoT’s development. Even though that I haven’t been granted clearance to the beta servers, I can feel that BoT could be a viable replacement for a certain game, whose MM is having serious issues at the moment… I’m not pointing at anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good call on the “dumb” descriptor for missiles. I’ll edit that straight away. I should have caught myself on that one. I was sorting out terms in my head when I wrote that and it sort of just fell out of my fingers on the keyboard. I think I reverted back to something from a wing commander game I played as a kid….

      I know a lot of folks are discussing BoT as a replacement for other games but having played it on beta a good deal and still playing other mech games I think there is sufficient room in the genre for a few different takes on mech, robot, or titan combat. That said, its nice for fans to have a menu to choose from and competition generates quality, so I say, the more the merrier!

      Like

  2. Aaron- THUNDERDRONE Robokrieg

    Thanks Jesse. Very informative. I appreciate you input. I have some plans now. Can’t wait to try BoT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Aaron, Im glad you liked it. We have a few other profiles between Dredd and myself, that you may also want to peruse.

      I see you are a Robokrieg player. Thats another game I’ve only sampled so far myself, but as I said above, I love to see competion within the mech genre. So many new franchises are a strong indicator that we will see even more great offereings in the future. I hope that some of these start up studios we have all found over the last few years capitalize on the market interest and launch on going titles and new offereings to expand their respective universes.

      Like

  3. Superclutz

    Awesome! Great to have detailed feedback from a game in development and on what makes things great. I agree on everything, I to have very strong hopes that bot will be great and I too believe that more is better, I love robokrieg for the insane diverse bots they have also they deliver on everything from tracks on the ground to shadows and day maps night maps and big and small maps. The animation looks dated but it’s fresh and fun gameplay. I think games could help each other by just being different is gives development a fresh look at what can be achieved. Can’t wait to see BOT on android. IT LOOKS REAL FUN!

    Like

  4. Pingback: Battle of Titans v. 0.5.0: First Look – Mech*Spectrum

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