Author Topic:  Kodiak Theorycraft & Discussion  (Read 5535 times)

3 Feb 16

Read 5535 times

Offline GMan129

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A lot of people have loved the Kodiak for a long time; from MW2 if I'm not mistaken (I probably am). But I had never heard about the mech until back in closed beta, when I was trolling Sarna for the most OP mech possible, and I stumbled upon this obscene mech.

"A 100-tonner that can poptart even better than a Cataphract?!" I thought. "Yes please!"

The meta has shifted enough that the Kodiak is not going to be the most OP mech imaginable, and I wouldn't give an over-50% chance that it'll be the best Assault (though I wouldn't bet much against it, either). But there is a certain floor on how bad it can be, and let's just say the people downstairs have a lot of headroom.

On to the variants themselves. Some of them are a bit similar (the extra energy hardpoints of the KDK-5 and extra missile hardpoints of the KDK-1 don't really do much to differentiate them, for example), but there are enough hardpoints on the mech in general that PGI seems to have been  able to give them each something special.


The base variant is almost never the most useful. And, well, that does hold true here. But with 1 ballistic, 2 missile, and 9 energy hardpoints, you can do some crazy things.

  • Endo, Standard Armor (max everywhere but legs at 73), XL400 (69.7 KPH)
  • Gauss Rifle with 3 tons of ammo (RT)
  • cLarge Pulse Laser (CT)
  • 6x cER Medium Laser (split between arms)
  • 25 DHS, TC1

Here's where things get exciting - the KDK-2 is the only Kodiak with jumpjets, and that's to go along with 1 ballistic and 6 energy hardpoints (and a missile one, I suppose).

  • Endo, Standard Armor (max everywhere but legs at 81), XL390 (67.9 KPH)
  • Gauss Rifle with 3 tons ammo (RT)
  • 2x cLarge Pulse Laser (RA)
  • 4x cER Medium Laser (CT and LA)
  • 24 DHS, TC1

And yet another exciting one! 2 ballistic hardpoints in each side torso and 2 energy in each arm make this thing potentially insane - nearly DWF-level of usable hardpoints with way more flexibility. And while dual gauss and peeps is doable (hell, 4 Gauss is doable with a STD305 and 8 tons of ammo), I went with this option instead:

  • Endo, Ferro (max everywhere but legs at ~74), XL395 (68.8 KPH)
  • 4x cUAC/5 with 8 tons ammo
  • 4x cER Medium Laser
  • 17 DHS, TC1

nnnnngggghh. This mech. Hot damn. 1 ballistic, 2 energy and 4 missile hardpoints go with MASC to make what could be the absolute best brawler in the game, depending on hitboxes (it'll be far stronger than the Atlas in terms of offense and maneuverability, but at least a bit squishier - maybe a lot). P2W arguments may abound when this baby hits - but I'd ask people to wait until it comes in to start complaining.

  • Endo, Standard Armor (max everywhere but legs at 69 and arms at 48), XL400 (69.7 KPH)
  • cUAC/20 with 4 tons ammo
  • 4x SRM6A with 5.5 tons ammo
  • 2x cER Small Laser
  • 18 DHS, MASC IV

The KDK-4 is less exciting than the previous offerings, with 2 ballistic hardpoints in the same side torso and then 4 energy and 2 missile on top of that. It doesn't seem like it'll be particularly good at anything at first glance, but I'll make do with this:

  • Endo, Standard Armor (max everywhere but LA at 0 and 2 points off the LT), STD300 (52.2 KPH)
  • 2x cGauss with 5 tons ammo
  • 2x cERPPC
  • 21 DHS, TC1

This variant is awfully similar to the base variant, but for the most part it's better thanks to swapping out the missile hardpoints for energy. So while this build is doable on the base variant, I think it makes more sense here.

  • Standard Structure and Armor (max everywhere but legs at 81), XL395 (68.8 KPH)
  • 2x cLarge Pulse Laser (CT and LA)
  • 6x cER Medium Laser (4 in LA, 2 RA)
  • 31 DHS, TC1
As you can see...

This mech can do a whole lot of things. And for these I focused on mainly the high-speed builds that I like and will be pleasant to play, not even going into the XL325 region where you can get away with stuff like quad UAC/10s with ease, and where it will easily rival the firepower of even the Dire Wolf.

As for a purchasing recommendation, if you're going to get it, I would go for the $20 base variants with the Hero add-on, basically because the KDK-2, KDK-3, and KDK-SB are almost definitely going to be the best 3 variants. That being said, if you want them all (and I wouldn't blame you, it's a really cool mech), go for it. The main problem I see is that the base pack averages out to under $7 per variant and then you get bonuses like premium and cockpit items, and the 2-mech add-on is $7.50 per variant and doesn't have any extra bits or bobs. Can't say I entirely understand that pricing ($10 for the add-on would make more sense), but they didn't hide one of the best variants behind that so I'm not complaining.

As for how I feel about the pack...I do have some pay-to-win concerns, but who knows what balance will be like when it's actually released, and even if it was released today I don't think it would be that much more powerful than other mechs. I've learned to not get my panties in a bundle pre-emptively. But PGI has not said when it'll be released for C-Bills so I really hope that it won't be behind the paywall for long for the sake of the community's mental health.
« Last Edit: 3 Feb 16 by GMan129 »

4 Feb 16

Reply #1

Offline MidfieldMarauder

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I like your write up. I don't fully agree with your assessment of all the variants, but I like a lot of your builds.

So here's the thing about the Kodiak. To see where it belongs, we have to compare it to both the Dire Wolf (and the other 100 tonners, in a more indirect way) for the purposes of firepower threat, and we we must also compare it to one of the most maligned Assault `Mechs in the game, the Executioner.

In the case of the Executioner, the Kodiak essentially does what it (and the Gargoyle) want to do and does it better. Most people complain that if they could, "remove either the MASC or the Jump Jets" off of the Executioner, then it would be a `Mech they could make work. Well, here it is folks, the Kodiak allows you to keep the speed and choose whether to have the Jump Jets, the MASC, or neither. Add that to all around better hardpoints and better armor, and you've got a `Mech that does the job that everyone wanted out of the Executioner.

Lore Moment: At one point in their development, the Executioner and the Kodiak were actually the same design. Clan Ghost Bear wanted to have a 100 ton MASC capable OmniMech, but the engineers on the project could never get it to work quite right. Eventually, the project was split apart into the Executioner 95 ton OmniMech and the Kodiak 100 ton totem BattleMech.

I'm speculating on what follows, but I'm guessing that bit of lore is where they got the idea for the Spirit Bear.

And then we have to compare the Kodiak to the Dire Wolf, and by extension its Inner Sphere counterparts. We know from a glance that the new `Mech has the speed and the striking power to keep up with the heavies, out run the slower assaults, and pretty much pick where it wants to fight, but can it stand toe-to-toe with a Dire Wolf? Aside from the fact that it probably doesn't want to, because that's not how this BattleMech is meant to fight, it does however have the ability to trade favorably with other Assault `Mechs of its tonnage and come out on top. While its speed is a good factor here, you can always max the Kodiak's armor and put it on a level playing field as far as raw survivability.

But can the Kodiak match the raw damage capabilities of the Dire Wolf? Perhaps not in all cases, but that's why BattleMechs are looked at as a total package. Anybody who plays MWO knows that speed is a valuable asset. The Dire Wolf relies on its massively overwhelming firepower almost entirely in order to make up for serious mobility issues. The Kodiak doesn't have to rely as much on that side of things because it also has mobility.

In my opinion, `Mechs that do a good job of finding a sweet spot between mobility, durability, and firepower do well. Most designs tend to focus on two of the three. In the case of the Dire Wolf, it almost totally focuses on firepower, though it does rank at the top of durability just by being a 100 ton BattleMech.

In the case of the Kodiak, we have a BattleMech that has a chance of focusing equally on all three main characteristics and succeeding where others (Executioner and Gargoyle) didn't quite measure up.

4 Feb 16

Reply #2

Offline Marduk

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Its simply Clan Atlas but with better mobility and probably even hardpoints.

Putting Gauss on this brawler mech? I think cUAC/20 is the way to go here.

11 Feb 16

Reply #3

Offline Marduk

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Cant wait for this. Its not gonna be even a fight, itll be fcking murder.  8)

13 May 16

Reply #4

Offline Sokitan

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I'm hyped for two months now but seeing size comparions I'm getting frightened a bit.

So Kodiak, officialy biggest barndoor in the universe. Yes, it have 100ton armor, but size of a fucking omega.

Still I'm looking forward to it but I fear it will have IIC syndrome: Lot of firepower (still less than Direwhale; more speed tho) but low survivability.

Still hoping for Spirit Bear aka Clammer Better Atlas-S :)
Sorry for my broken english.
I'm self learned and I try to get better all the time - feel free to correct more glaring mistakes. :)