Particle Projection Cannons
Particle Projection Cannons, most commonly referred to as PPCs, are the energy weapon equivalent of a Gauss rifle. Unlike Lasers, which fire an energy beam or pulse, the PPC fires high-energy ion bolts.
Currently there are six PPC weapons in MWLL and they are all considered among the most potent weapons in the game thanks to their respectable damage and long range. In addition to the standard PPC there is an Extended Range version that differs from the standard one only by having longer range and slightly increased heat output.
The Clan ERPPC has the same range as its Inner Sphere counterpart, but does about 35% more damage (also 35% more heat). The Heavy PPC has a slightly shorter range than the standard IS PPC, but is capable of dealing much higher damage - twice that of a regular or Extended Range IS PPC. However, this is balanced out by the immense heat it generates, as well as having longer recharge time. The BA PPC can be carried by any Battle Armor and is frequently used weapon of dedicated infantry players.
In addition to simply dealing damage, PPCs are capable of causing certain effects. One such effect is that the unit hit will be shaken about, making it possible to throw off the enemys aim with a well-timed shot. Another effect that any PPC weapon deals is EMP, which can disable the affected enemy's night vision, and also knock out any attached NARC beacons. Because PPCs deal splash damage this EMP effect can be useful for disabling NARC beacons on yourself or friendly units by carefully applying the EMP splash to the NARCed unit, while dealing little other damage. When applying this to Mechs, it should be noted that the NARC beacon will be disabled only if the splash damage reaches a Mechs torso.
Although often not too useful against BAs jump jetting in the air, the PPCs are very effective against BA on the ground, where the large splash radius helps hitting the little buggers. Even if the BA survives the hit, its HUD will be disabled for some time, seriously hampering the ability to fight.
One potential drawback of the PPC weapons is that their damage is not as focused as lasers, making it difficult to target a single location for quick destruction.
| Splash Radius
|BA mPPC||540m||530||Energy||113||EMP||1.6m / 2.4m||8||91||---|
|LPPC||450m||220||130||0.6m / 2.5m||9.5||59||80|
|PPC||720m||480||230||0.8m / 3m||7.5||94||160|
|HPPC||650m||960||460||0.8m / 6m||5.5||138||320|
|All stats are current as of release 0.10.3|
The BA PPC is a dedicated infantry weapon, meaning that it cannot be taken inside any vehicle other than an APC. However its range of about 540 meters coupled with a respectable damage often make it a weapon of choice of dedicated Battle Armor players. Because the weapon recoil throws the battle armor back when it is fired, it can double as a means of faster travel by jumping up and firing in the direction opposite of the intended direction of travel. In addition a well timed BA PPC shot can quickly move a BA out of harms way to avoid enemy fire. Because of this the BA PPC is a prime sniping weapon, with the Battle Armor jumping up from behind cover, firing off a quick shot which propels them back to safety while the weapon recharges.
Care must be taken to not hit your own cover while shooting, as this can cause heavy self damage in addition of disabling the Battle Armor HUD.
The Light PPC is a smaller version of the standard PPC having a shorter 450 meter range while its damage is about half of the PPC. It still has mild concussive effects that will cause screen shake on the enemy asset. With a faster rate of fire and often grouped in pairs or even more, it becomes more effective in closer ranged combat. Setting multiple Light PPCs to chain fire mode can greatly agitate enemy pilots by ruining their aim every few seconds.
The PPC often ends up being the main weapon of BattleMechs which carry it. The 700 meter range and high damage make it a good sniping weapon. Because of the concussion effect it causes in enemy units, it is also a suitable close range weapon where a well timed shot can throw off an enemy salvo. Unfortunately low rate of fire does hamper it somewhat in close quarters, forcing a pilot to take care not to miss.
Effectively two regular PPCs sharing a single barrel, the Heavy PPC is slightly shorter-ranged than the standard PPC, but deals exactly twice as much damage with a doubled splash radius at the cost of twice as much heat. It also takes longer for the HPPC to recharge as well. For this reason, it is vital that every HPPC shot you fire finds its mark, as missing even once can place yourself in a very tough situation.
The (C)ER PPC has roughly 200 meter advantage over the standard PPC, but produces more heat (especially the Clan version). The ER PPC is usually best employed in the sniping role where the firing unit can fall back behind cover to cool off while the weapon recharges.
The first PPC was introduced by the Terran Hegemony in 2460 and quickly became a favorite "Big Gun" of many 'Mechs. Although they had targeting difficulties under 90 meters, since the particle fields were deliberately inhibited at such short ranges to avoid accidental damage to the firing unit as a result of unfocused static discharge. Because of their range, punch, and lack of dependency of ammunition they quickly became a favorite of lighter 'Mechs which couldn't fit a heavier Gauss Rifle or AC20.
By 2760 the Terran Hegemony had improved upon the design, releasing the ER PPC. In addition to having an improved range this weapon also solved the minimum range problem, making it just as effective under 90 meters as it was at longer distances. Unfortunately this came at a cost of higher heat, producing 50% more than the already hot-running PPC. Debuting just 7 years before Stefan Amaris launched his coup on the Star League, like most advanced weapons the ER PPC was lost during the Succession Wars which would follow (in 2860) although the Clans would refine and improve on the design, eventually having it replace the standard PPC completely in 2820.
The Draconis Combine managed to retrieve the knowledge to produce ER PPC's from the Helm Core, reintroducing them to the Inner Sphere in 3037, just in time for the war of 3039. By the time of the Clan Invasion ER PPC had spread to the other Successor States as well and was in broad production with Ceres Arms, Defiance Industries, and Johnston Industries being the chief producers.
More recently the Draconis Combine has introduced several new PPC variants (all in 3067). The Heavy PPC has the range of a standard PPC, but manages to match the damage dealt by the Clan ER PPC. This unfortunately also comes with the heat increase and also results in a heavier, more bulky weapon. The Light PPC is a move in the opposite direction, making the standard PPC lighter and more compact, resulting in a cooler running if less powerful weapon. Finally there is the Snub Nosed PPC, which originated as a Star League-era experiment to "overcharge" a standard PPC in order to gain the same power from a reduced weapon size. The result was a weapon which lost effect over range and lost much of its reach, however it had a much improved minimum range envelope.
Unlike MWLL, canon PPC's are not an EMP weapon, amounting to little more than a burst of static which harms enemy units through kinetic and thermal stressing.
The following assets equip PPCs: