I think this is the first time where I go out of my way to play a mech because I love its camo so much. The CP-11-A is certainly not the best variant but its aesthetics are just so disturbingly satisfying. I actually hardcore dig the look of the mech in general - particularly when you place the massive eyeball decal over the cockpit, but also in general I enjoy the simplistic camo pattern.
Thankfully, superficial allure isn't the only thing this mech has going for it. I actually have had quite a bit of fun in this grotesque beauty, with a few unique builds and a few meta-clones, many of which work well. I actually think that the Cyclops is in a pretty well-balanced place; strong enough to be a factor, but not strong enough to bring on p2w accusations. It is kind of a bummer that the most meta-friendly variant is the Hero mech and thus behind a (steeper) paywall, but it's not particularly special as long as the MAL-1P is in the game. And the most interesting variant is in the base pack, so I'm not mad.
The quirks have been lowballed, as is the pattern (one I don't particularly mind, but opinions differ). Generic weapon quirks are very limited, and most of the best builds really don't benefit much from them. There are some nice acceleration quirks, but in general the mech can feel a bit clumsy to me due to its limited torso twist on most variants. Structure quirks beat out the Mauler (its most direct competitor) by a bit, but they're not nearly enough to make the mech a tank...not that there's anything wrong with that.
Overall, I've just been having fun with it. No real glaring
issues, and a few things to love.BuildsCP-11-A
This is the base variant, meaning that it's the only one that can get the awesome-cool camo. It's also one of the less interesting variants from a build perspective, but there are a few options that run well on it. So far, I've had the most pleasant experience with this setup:
It's really not that great and it lacks in power (I really wanted 2 PPCs but it felt so sluggish), but so far it has brought me the most reliably good results and most fun. Alternatives include using SRM4s
and switching to a double UAC setup
, but both of those ended up underwhelming me.CP-11-Q
This is the magic variant; the freshest of the bunch, with some hilariously enjoyable games already under its belt. And again, there are several ways to run it, but here's my favorite:
The XL is a definite risk, but I just can't stand "slow" brawlers - even the Spirit Bear is a bit sluggish for my taste. And so is this, but it's close enough for me to love it. But there are a few alternatives that use STD engines well enough, like the 7x6
(which can be done with artemis'd 4s as well) or 6x6A
The last of the base variants, this one is a mini-Boar's Head, with almost identical hardpoints. And you can build it just like a traditional Boar's Head build, but I went with something a bit longer-ranged.
The XL with a Gauss Rifle is super risky, but I wasn't having much luck with it at lower speeds. If it's not suiting your style, more traditional options
work well too.CP-11-A-DC
It's not the best of these variants, but it definitely has a soft spot in my heart. And that's because it runs one of my favorite brawling builds in the game:
It gets hot and it's slow and it's squish and the ammo isn't great. But it is absolutely brutal in a brawl. I love this build because if you stick cooldown and range modules on the SRM4s, the cooldowns sync up almost perfectly, and the range on these weapons make it so that you can actually trade a bit outside of a brawl. It can be risky, but it's lovely to play (for me, at least).CP-11-P
The ECM is definitely nice, but it's not a huge deal. Still, you get the occasional free poke off the back of it and there are a lot of LRMs going around these days.
It's a really simple build, used by many other mechs (usually heavies...), but it still works here. I really wish this variant had much better torso twist, though.Sleipnir
This is the best variant, and it fits into the meta particularly well too. But its competition has better hardpoints and/or better quirks, so it ends up being sub-optimal in my book. Still great, though.
I waffle back and forth on the matter of the head laser. On the one hand, slapping a medium on there is cool and looks awesome. On the other hand...it's slightly slower or carries less ammo. I like to go fast, and your damage tends to be limited more by ammo and speed than anything else.Verdict
It's a solid mech that will probably land somewhere in lower Tier 2. I've had some great games in it, but it's certainly no Kodiak, and I've had a couple bad games in it as well.
The Sleipnir is easily the best variant, but the CP-11-Q has that really special SRM niche that might keep it relevant in the future. All the rest are good, but none of them particularly stand out to me.
The most direct competition to the Cyclops is, of course, the Mauler. Not only is the best Cyclops variant a clone of a dakka Mauler build, many of the others have incredibly similar hardpoint layouts. In fact, the only particularly unique variant is the CP-11-Q, though to a lesser extent the CP-11-P and CP-11-A have some uniqueness going for them. On the whole, though, I do end up giving the edge to the Mauler for its quirks, and just because the MAL-MX90 is unrivaled by IS dakka.
That being said, the Cyclops does manage to feel
substantially different to me, and I'm pretty pleased. It's a good mech, even if it's not great, and I like it.Scores
For what it's worth, I know these scores are silly, subjective, and just about irrelevant. Just kinda feels good to put abstract concepts into numerical form. Tickles part of my brain.
GMan129 is an officer of the Steel Jaguar competitive team, he is the owner of and writer for MetaMechs, and he does some writing for NGNG as well. He has been playing MechWarrior Online since the early days of closed beta, and has spent far too much time and money on this crap. If you're interested in supporting his self-destruction, consider checking out his Patreon!