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.KDK-1
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.
As you can see...
- 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
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.