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.
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.
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.
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
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.