Since MechWarrior Online introduced Electronic Counter Measures late last year, the Raven 3L has replaced the Jenner as the best light ‘mech in the game. Even with the loss of some of their lag-shield, light pilots are dominating the pug scene at the moment so the Raven 3L can lay claim to being at the very top-tier of builds irrespective of weight class. Observe:
Straight off the drop-ship, you know you look cool (Ignoring the voice in your head that says you resemble poultry). You select Highway To The Danger Zone from the playlist ‘Best of the last millennium’. Crossing into enemy territory, you sacrifice your electronic cloak to jam the enemies counter-measures like an EF-111 Raven over Vietnam. Targets pop-up on your lance-mates heads-up displays and the heavies start to unleash their artillery.
Suddenly over voice-coms a Catapult or Stalker calls for help, ’I need help at E5, there’s a light all over me!’ Now its hero time… Badly damaged by a hail of fire from ‘mechs double your size, you acquire the enemy light for a showdown. Everything else fades as now he only wants to kill you and the feeling is mutual. Power maxed, turning circle maxed, weapons firing as soon as they are re-loaded… hoping the enemy pilot is not as good as you, because that’s the only difference now.
Determined to serve up some Kentucky Fried Chicken, the enemy batters you into a smoking wreck as you dodge between buildings, and lost you turn into a dead-end. It’s over in a second, your last shreds of armour keep out his alpha strike while yours detonates his reactor.
This Raven 3L build couples ECM with a top speed of over 140 kph with speed tweak, making it nearly impossible to lock with the no. 1 killer of lights – the Streak SRM Missile. Unless you jam its ECM, but with 3L Ravens in a pair or more this is rarely achieved. MechWarrior Online appears to cap speed at 140 kph regardless of how fast it says your going, so an XL 280 engine is enough
and there’s no other ‘mech going faster.
EDIT: Speed is no longer capped apparently. My bad.
Weapons load-out is 2-3 medium lasers (2 if carrying TAG), and 2 Streak SRM 2 launchers. In most situations, 3 ML is the way to go and overheating is rarely a problem. You can carry 2 tonnes of SSRM ammo which will last even the longest match. Since the SSRM’s are going to home-in on the enemy’s core, try aiming for the rear centre torso with your lasers as well, or the front centre if team-mates are assisting. Instead of trying a more precise attack which will be difficult when dodging fire on the battlefield anyway. If you are new to playing a light class, don’t let the low damage output per strike put you off, you’ll often lead pug matches in damage done over the whole match.
Install all three of the upgrades – Ferro-fibrous armour, double heat-sinks and endo-steel structure.
In a pug, the RVN -3L’s job is to destroy enemy light ‘mechs (especially ones with ECM), provide an ECM umbrella against Long Range Missiles and cap/disrupt enemy caps. Like the Jenners before them, Raven pilots often end up being the difference between victory and defeat. The Commando and Spider can carry the guardian ECM as well and perform a similar role, but have insufficient armour and firepower to beat a Raven one on one.
Survivability is great if you can keep moving – running into something or getting a leg shot off will probably be the end. Luckily MechWarrior Online has recently introduced woodland camo, and a disruptive pattern like the one on ‘Spook’ in the picture makes about 1% difference to how easily you can be spotted. Camouflage only really works when you’re not moving, obviously.