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MG-H1 Watchman: Highly Technical Weapon Guide

MG-H1 Watchman is a Terran Republic LMG with a beautiful model artfully crafted by /u/d0ku. Embracing the Terran faction trait, Watchman has the highest Rate of Fire among LMGs, and overall it looks and feels like a big brother to the TORQ-9 Assault Rifle.

Players have been asking for an LMG like this for a long time, and now that we have it, let’s take a deeper look to try and figure out how fast should you be throwing money at the monitor.

The following guide will be taking a good close look on the weapon, but if you want just a short summary:

It’s a great weapon for short range up to 20-50 meters. If you mainly go for headshots, it is very easy to kill multiple enemies inside buildings.

/u/flub1337, the first player to earn an auraxium medal with Watchman

Stats

DAMAGE 125 @ 10m – 100 @ 55m
RATE OF FIRE 857 RPM
VELOCITY 550 m/s
AMMO 125 / 375
RELOAD TIME 5.525 sec / 7 sec
UNLOCK COST 1000Certification Pointsor 699 Daybreak Cash

Auto

Damage Output

Watchman’s damage output is above average, equal to 143 @ 750 weapons, like T9 CARV and Orion. This is pretty much as high as LMGs go, and it’s a solid amount of damage. 

Watchman has two tiers of damage degradation, which is typical for LMGs. However, low damage-per-shot weapons lose less absolute damage over range, though higher damage-per-shot weapons have longer Minimum Damage Range. So while they lose more damage over range, that process happens slower. For example:

  • LA1 Anchor: 167 @ 10m – 125 @ 75m -> loses 42 damage (25%) over 65m.
  • T9 CARV: 143 @ 10m – 112 @ 65m -> loses 31 damage (21.6%) over 50m.
  • Watchman: 125 @ 10m – 100 @ 55m -> loses 25 damage (20%) over 45m.

If you imagine a Super Anchor with 641 RoF – that’s what it would take for a 167 damage weapon to match Watchman’s DPS – and compare how their DPS changes over range, you will notice that Watchman starts dealing more DPS at ~61m.

Click to enlarge

Of course, it doesn’t mean Watchman will actually be more effective at range than Anchor. Higher damage-per-shot weapons are naturally more effective at range.

Watchman has access to two Ammo attachments that affect its performance in a meaningful way, and it should be always used with one of them:

  • Soft Point Ammunition (SPA) – increases Maximum Damage Range from 10m to 15m at the cost of reducing Projectile Velocity by 5%.
  • Impact Ammunition (IA) – increases Minimum Damage from 100 to 112 at the cost of reducing Magazine Size from 125 to 100 rounds.
watchman ammo options
Click to enlarge

In terms of raw DPS, SPA is better within 20m, and IA is better outside that range. 

  • SPA is most powerful at 15m, where it has a 1.6% advantage.
    • DPS: 1785 @ 15m – 1428 @ 55m
  • IA is most powerful at 55m, where it has a 12% advantage.
    • DPS: 1785 @ 10m – 1600 @ 55m

Extended Mags

As a 125 damage weapon, Watchman has very consistent and clean BTK Thresholds. As long as the standard infantry target is within Maximum Damage Range, it will be killed without any overkill whatsoever, both with headshots or bodyshots, with or without Nanoweave. Going even 1cm outside the Maximum Damage Range will increase the BTK by 1 and TTK by 0.07. The main function of SPA is to postpone this effect by extra 5m.

However, Watchman has a super high Rate of Fire, and among other advantages, it means Watchman’s TTK is not as penalized when going to the next BTK Threshold. For example, the 500 RoF Gauss SAW requires extra 120ms to kill an enemy 1m outside of the Maximum Damage Range, while Watchman requires only extra 70ms.

Impact Ammunition

Impact Ammunition provides a noticeable damage boost at range, and makes damage degradation even less of an issue. For example, if we take our previous example with Super Anchor, but add ammo attachments this time, you’ll notice that Watchman starts dealing higher DPS at any range further than 20m.

Or if you compare Watchman with Impact Ammunition to CARV. Both degrade to 112 damage, but one fires at 857 RPM, and the other one at 750. Watchman will overtake CARV’s DPS at 15m already.

Bullets-to-Kill and Time-to-Kill

Standard Infantry

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
SPA IA
4 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.21 Headshots
5 16+ 11+ 0.28
8 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.49 Standard Infantry
9 16 – 35 11+ 0.56
10 35+   0.63
10 0 – 15 0 – 10 0.7 Nanoweave
11 16 – 32 11 – 48 0.77
12 33 – 47 49+ 0.84
13 48+    

 Heavy Assault

For the sake of brevity, BTK and TTK are listed only for the first threshold.

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
SPA IA
6 0 – 23 0 – 27 0.35 NMG / Adrenaline + Headshots
7 0 – 39 0+ 0.42 Resist Shield + Headshots
13 0 – 24 0 – 30 0.84 Resist Shield
15 0 – 23 0 – 27 0.98 NMG / Adrenaline + Nanoweave

Notes

  • Within Maximum Damage Range, Watchman kills in 4 headshots, same as 143 damage weapons. Given Watchman’s higher RoF, it makes for an incredibly fast headshot Time-to-Kill, rivaling the infamous AF-4 Cyclone.
  • Against Heavy Assaults, Ammo Attachment choice has no effect on TTK all the way up to medium range. Depending on enemy health and overshield energy, there could be some situations where SPA still kills faster, but since SPA deals at most 2 extra damage, these situations are highly improbable. 
  • Against full-health targets, Impact Ammunition doesn’t come into play until 35m against standard infantry, and 48m against Nanoweave Infantry. 

Effective Range

Hip Fire Accuracy

HIP CONES OF FIRE 2.25 / 2.75 / 2.75 / 3.5 / 0.1

Watchman has better than average starting Hip Cones of Fire, same as dedicated CQC LMGs like MSW-R and LA1 Anchor. It’s still pretty far from being able to comfortably hip fire at everything that moves, but you can land some decent shots at the center mass of an enemy a few meters away, and high Rate of Fire ensures good consistency. 

Laser Sight

Laser Sight provides a few extra meters of effective Hip Fire range, but it’s nothing breathtaking, and it will not confer any new combat options, like being able to reliably hip fire for headshots, or being able to take on enemy Heavy Assaults without ADSing.

ADS Accuracy

ADS CONES OF FIRE 0.25 / 0.25 / 0.25 / 0.3 / 0.05

On one hand, Watchman has fairly terrible Cones of Fire for stationary positions. Even in situations where you can afford to stand still, you cannot squeeze any more accuracy out of the weapon. It is definitely one of the meaningful downsides of the Watchman.

On the other hand, the 0.3 ADS Standing Moving CoF is hands down the best among all LMGs, period. Most other LMGs have 0.35 or 0.4 CoF.

This is honestly a weird and unexpected quality on a “bullet hose” type of weapon. However, this is somewhat compensated by relatively high Cone of Fire Bloom.

Cone of Fire Bloom

Despite dealing only 125 damage per shot, Watchman has the same Bloom per Shot as 143 damage weapons.

   Watchman T9 CARV
Hip ADS Hip ADS
Bloom per Shot 0.1 0.05 0.1 0.05
Bloom per Point of Damage Done 8 * 10-4 4 * 10-4 7 * 10-4 3.5 * 10-4
Bloom per Second 1.43 0.715 1.25 0.625
Standing Moving CoF 3.5 0.3 4.5 0.4
Click to enlarge

Watchman starts with better Cone of Fire, and it will hold an accuracy advantage for the first 8 shots – up to 2000 damage. After that, CARV and other similar 143 @ 750 will have a more efficient Cone of Fire. However, this doesn’t really matter outside of prolonged magdumping scenarios.

For example, by the time both weapons would fire 3000 damage, CARV’s CoF advantage would be only 0.05, and a 0.1 advantage by 4000 damage. Basically, as long as you keep your bursts within 15 rounds or so, you will not feel any downside to higher Bloom per Shot, but there will be a meaningful accuracy advantage for the first several shots. 

Recoil

VERTICAL RECOIL 0.28 / 0.3
FIRST SHOT RECOIL MULTIPLIER 2.5x
RECOIL ANGLE 5 / 10
HORIZONTAL RECOIL 0.18 / 0.22
HORIZONTAL RECOIL MAX INCREASE -0.015
HORIZONTAL RECOIL TOLERANCE 0.5

Recoil Analysis

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
VERTICAL RECOIL PER SECOND 4.14 5 4.375
FIRST SHOT RECOIL 0.7 / 0.75 0.8 0.875

Watchman’s Vertical Recoil has a bit of random to it, but it’s not a big deal. The gun fires so fast that recoil will average out, and you won’t notice it. Vertical Recoil per Second is slightly lower than for MSW-R, and generally isn’t very high for an LMG with such a high DPS. 

First Shot Recoil and Multiplier are somewhat high, but still better than for competition.

As a more interesting feature, Watchman has some negative scaling applied to its Horizontal Recoil. 

 

Horizontal Recoil

Stock Forward Grip
Shot # Min Max Min Max
1 0.18 0.22 0.135 0.165
2 0.18 0.205 0.135 0.15
3 0.18 0.19 0.135 0.135
4 0.18 0.18    

After just a few shots, Watchman’s Horizontal Recoil scales down to the level of T32 Bull, which is downright incredible for a weapon with such a high DPS. 

  Stock Forward Grip
AVERAGE HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.15 0.113
MAXIMUM HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.40 0.270

These numbers are calculated for 10 round bursts and take scaling into account. Without Forward Grip, Watchman’s Average Horizontal Deviation is only 7% higher than for MSW-R and Orion with a Forward Grip.

T9 CARV has noticeably worse Horizontal Recoil Tolerance than all three, and will have ~60% higher Maximum Horizontal Deviation. 

Recoil Angle is average. A slight bias to the right with a bit of Variance to it. Most of the time you won’t even notice it, though statistically it will result in a minor impact to overall accuracy, giving the Watchman a slight nudge towards being a bullet hose.

Recoil Recovery

RECOIL RECOVERY DELAY 0
RECOIL RECOVERY RATE 18

Watchman has better Recoil Recovery than vast majority of other LMGs, and this is good, because it increases the effectiveness of burst fire, making it easier for Watchman to repeatedly take advantage of its better starting Moving CoF. 

Velocity

VELOCITY 550 m/s

Watchman’s velocity is average for a CQC LMG, and it’s about average on the overall velocity spectrum as well. It’s not too low, but you will definitely have to do some conscious leading when engaging enemies beyond medium range. 

Conclusion on Effective Range

Due to bad minimum Cones of Fire and low damage per shot, as well as high-ish FSRM and average velocity, Watchman has a somewhat limited effective range overall. 

However, Watchman gives you a lot of tools to keep itself under control, such as its affinity for burst firing, stable recoil and good Standing Moving ADS CoF.

So within that “limited effective range”, a properly handled Watchman will be more effective than your average CQC bullet hose like T9 CARV.

Another thing is consistency. The effective range of other CQC LMGs is roughly equal to Watchman’s, but their performance becomes noticeably worse as the range grows, while Watchman – especially outfitted with Impact Ammunition – will perform nearly equally well at 20m and 40m.

Just keep in mind that no matter the user skill, there eventually will be a stone wall of range where Watchman is simply not effective, and hitting shots and getting kills relies mostly on luck and enemy Exposure Time

Exposure Time is how long the enemy spends out of cover, susceptible to your shots. Given enough Exposure Time, pretty much any weapon can kill any target at any range, but Exposure Time is the one thing you have the least control of. 

Finding exposed targets is easier for flanking classes, such as Light Assault and Infiltrator, but it comes much less naturally to Heavy Assaults. Often you have to land shots on just a tiny part of enemy hitbox sticking out of cover, and Watchman may well let you down, if the enemy is too far.

And when you do stumble on an exposed enemy, often you’ll have just a few moments before they make it into cover, and you won’t have enough time to pepper the enemy with weak Watchman’s shots.

Utility Stats

Ammo Capacity

  Watchman Stock Watchman IA T9 CARV MSW-R
MAGAZINE SIZE 125 100 100 50
DPM @ MAX DAMAGE 15 625 12 500 14 300 7 150
DPM @ MIN DAMAGE 12 500 11 200 11 200 5 600
AMMO POOL 375 375 400 250
DAMAGE TOTAL 46 875 46 875 57 200 35 750

Watchman has a respectable ammo capacity, overall close to the bountiful T9 CARV, and more or less keeps up even while using Impact Ammo.

Reload Speed

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
RELOAD SHORT 5.525 sec 5.4 3.045
RELOAD LONG 7 sec 6.2 3.305

Watchman takes a lot of time to reload, which makes it somewhat annoying to use, especially for those who suffer from reloaditus – an obsessive-compulsive disorder that forces the player to reload their weapon after every engagement.

If we wanted to assess how efficient is the Watchman, we could calculate how much “damage” it reloads per second, and compare it other LMGs:

Reload Damage per Second = Average Damage * Magazine Size / Reload Speed
Where Average Damage = (Maximum Damage + Minimum Damage) / 2

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R AVERAGE LMG
SHORT RELOAD DAMAGE PER SEC 2539 2361 2093 2786
LONG RELOAD DAMAGE PER SEC 1904 2056 1929 2260

We can see that Watchman has good efficiency, though it’s still ~10% below average.

However, the issue is not time efficiency, but the fact that reload takes so darn long. Every second added to the Reload Time has an exponentially increasing negative impact, increasing chances of being engaged on, or missing a kill opportunity.

All that said, in terms of Short Reload, Watchman is very comparable to CARV, and as long as you avoid the unusually punishing Long Reload, you’ll be fine most of the time. Seriously, d0ku, what the hell were you thinking, putting the charging handle so far to the right and front?

Equip Time

  Watchman T9 CARV MSW-R
EQUIP TIME 1125 ms 1200 800
UNEQUIP TIME 250 ms 250 250
FORWARD GRIP PENALTY 150 ms 50 150

Watchman’s Equip Time is about as expected for a full-sized LMG, and roughly equal to CARV overall.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Short headshot TTK, access to SPA.
  • High DPS.
  • Low damage degradation with Impact Ammo.
  • Controllable recoil for an LMG.
  • Best in class ADS moving accuracy.
  • Effective at bursting.
  • Good and consistent Hip Fire for an LMG.

CONS

  • Bad ADS still accuracy.
  • Limited effective range.
  • Average Projectile Velocity.
  • Takes a lot of time to reload. Long Reload is especially punishing.
  • High Bloom per Shot makes long bursts undesirable, especially from the hip.
  • Low damage per shot.
  • Smaller Ammo Pool compared to other “big” LMGs.
  • No access to Suppressor.

Recommended Attachments

Flash Suppressor is the only barrel attachment available to Watchman, and despite having unique looks, it functions exactly the same as for other weapons, and generally there’s no reason not to use it.

Technically, both Forward Grip and Laser Sight are viable, but I recommend the Forward Grip to further improve on Watchman’s strong point – easy handling. Forward Grip will reduce the number of shots required to fully scale down Horizontal Recoil, and reduce Recoil Angle and its Variance, somewhat increasing the overall effective range of the weapon, which is Watchman’s weak point. Laser Sight will make hip fire slightly better, but that’s about it. 

Impact Ammunition

Soft Point Ammunition is taken for competitive close quarters fighting, especially indoors, while Impact Ammunition is taken to boost your performance at medium range. Generally, unless you KNOW you will be soon fighting a lot of enemy infantry at close range, Impact Ammo should be your go-to attachment. 

Optics, as always, are up to personal preference, but I would highly recommend staying away from scopes with magnification higher than 2x. Watchman just doesn’t have the effective range and accuracy to warrant it.

Tips and Conclusion

On the surface, Watchman looks like a typical bullet hose, but it’s actually a bit more nuanced, and to take advantage of everything it has to offer, it needs to be properly handled. You have to fire in bursts, which is made easier by excellent Recoil Recovery statistics. At the same time, high FSRM may make Watchman feel less controllable than it is. 

At the end of the day, Watchman’s most defining feature is short headshot TTK within Maximum Damage Range. Otherwise, it is effectively a sidegrade to the default T9 CARV. 

Apart from the First Shot Recoil, Watchman requires noticeably less recoil management, but more Cone of Fire management – burst firing, in other words. 

You have to be mindful of Watchman’s reload. Unlike MSW-R, you can’t just reload on the go, and you have to be ready to switch to a sidearm in case you get caught while reloading. At the same time, Watchman’s reload disadvantage is somewhat overblown – as long as you avoid being hit by a Long Reload, it won’t be much different from other “big” LMGs.

Overall, Watchman is a welcome addition to the Terran Republic arsenal. It provides veterans with a stylish answer to Anchor’s headshot TTK, and this time without the TR Recoil™.

Easy recoil makes Watchman a suitable option for less skilled players as well, and it’s not like Watchman is too difficult to handle. Just remember to cut your bursts at about 10 shots at the most, and you’re good to go.

Watchman’s biggest downside is its inability to reach out to distant targets. Even when you can afford to stand still, there won’t be any accuracy boost. Couple that with low damage per shot and you can pretty much forget about even trying, unless the enemy will be exposed for a long time. That’s the price you have to pay for the combination of high DPS and easy recoil.

VS LMGs: Ursa vs Flare VE6

Note: thumbnail image is shamelessly stolen from Wrel’s video comparison review.

Flare VE6 and Ursa are two very similar VS LMGs, and they often get compared to each other. Flare is rated higher by the community than Ursa, so let’s take a closer look and try to figure out why.

Stats

 

Flare

Ursa

DAMAGE 167 @ 10m – 125 @ 75m 167 @ 10m – 143 @ 75m
FIRERATE 577 RPM 550 RPM
VELOCITY 600 m/s 640 m/s
AMMO 75 / 300 75 / 300
RELOAD 4.24 sec / 5.225 sec 3.72 sec / 4.7 sec
ADS ACCURACY 0.03 / 0.2 / 0.03 / 0.4 / 0.06 0.03 / 0.2 / 0.03 / 0.35 / 0.06
VERTICAL RECOIL 0.4 0.395
VERTICAL RECOIL PER SECOND 3.847 3.621
FSRM 1.85x  (0.74) 1.5x (0.59)
RECOIL ANGLE 0 / 0 0 / 0
HORIZONTAL RECOIL 0.2 / 0.2 0.182 / 0.182
HORIZONTAL RECOIL TOLERANCE 0.6 0.5
AVERAGE HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.165 0.149
MAXIMUM HORIZONTAL DEVIATION 0.4 0.364

Attachments

Common: Flash Suppressor, Suppressor, Forward Grip, Laser Sight, Darklight Flashlight, High Velocity Ammunition, Extended Magazine, Compensator.

Only Flare: Soft Point Ammunition.

Common Stats

HIP ACCURACY 3.25 / 3.75 / 3.75 / 4.25 / 0.12
HEADSHOT MULTIPLIER 2x
FIRE DETECT RANGE 50m
ADS MOVEMENT MULTIPLIER 0.5x
EQUIP / UNEQUIP TIME 0.9 sec / 0.25 sec
ADS TO / FROM 0.15 sec
PROJECTILE LIFESPAN / GRAVITY 1.25 sec / 0
RECOIL RECOVERY RATE 13
RECOIL RECOVERY DELAY EQUAL TO REFIRE TIME

Analysis

Ursa has:

  • ~10% lower Horizontal Deviation
  • ~20% lower First Shot Recoil
  • ~6% higher Projectile Velocity
  • Lower Rate of Fire results in ~6% less Vertical Recoil per Second
  • ~12% faster Short Reload and ~10% faster Long Reload.
  • 0.05 degrees tighter ADS Moving CoF

Nothing major so far, but better is better.

The biggest differences between these weapons lie in their damage properties.

Ursa has one tier higher Minimum Damage, which results in dealing up to 14.4% damage per shot, which happens at 75m. 

Flare has ~5% higher Rate of Fire, which results in up to 5% higher Damage per Second within maximum damage range: 1606 vs 1531.

Ranged Performance

FLARE vs URSA DPS GRAPH
Click to enlarge
  DPS Overtake Damage per Shot Overtake
Flare vs Ursa 37m 14m
Flare SPA vs Ursa 44m 23m
Flare SPA vs Ursa HVA 37m 21m

 

Due to higher Minimum Damage, Ursa starts dealing more damage per shot than Flare fairly soon. However, Flare has higher Rate of Fire, so it takes a bit longer for Ursa to catch up in terms of DPS. 

  • Ursa deals up to ~13% higher DPS than Flare at 75m. 
  • And Flare deals up to ~5% higher DPS within 15m. 

Of course, Ursa will always be more effective at range due to better recoil. However, Ursa’s recoil advantage is fairly small. It seems that at least in terms of raw DPS, Flare can hold its own within ~40m, the range where most of the “useful” combat happens. 

In long ranged combat, TTK usually rises to the point where you can often hide in cover if you are caught in an unfavorable position, and in situations like that needing an extra bullet to kill is not a big deal. 

Flare’s performance at range is worse than Ursa’s, but that will rarely get you killed. 

CQC Performance

Flare has ~5% higher Rate of Fire, so in situations when Bullets-to-Kill are equal, it will also have 5% shorter TTK. Same as with Ursa’s recoil, it’s not much of an advantage, but better is better. 

However, only Flare has access to SPA, which is a sizable advantage, in this case.

167 damage weapons kill standard infantry in 3 headshots within their Maximum Damage Range, and SPA extends it to 15m. In terms of ADS performance in CQC, Flare is not very different from LA1 Anchor, which is considered to be one of the best LMGs in the game. In fact, Flare has less Vertical Recoil per Shot and lower First Shot Recoil than Anchor, so it can be more convenient, as far as landing headshots goes.

Of course, Anchor has other advantages, such as higher RoF and better Hip Fire, so we won’t focus on this.

SPA also helps Flare to somewhat compensate for dealing less damage per shot at range than Ursa. To gain a DPS advantage over Flare sooner, Ursa has to use HVA, which reduces its Maximum Damage Range to 8m, further increasing the gap between the two weapons.

URSA vs FLARE TTK BTK Headshots

Thanks to differences in Damage Ranges and Rate of Fire, Flare will hold up to ~57% advantage in headshot Time-to-Kill against standard infantry in the range bracket between 8m and 15m, which happens to be a fairly popular fighting distance. 

Of course, SPA won’t always make a difference. For example, it makes no difference against Heavy Assaults with overshields, both with headshots and bodyshots – provided they are at full health and energy.

SPA won’t make a difference if the enemy has Nanoweave, and you’re going for bodyshots. 

But it still should be well enough to make Flare a better choice for an average player, unless you specifically plan to participate in ranged combat.

In-game Performance

FLARE vs URSA das anfall stats
Click to enlarge

These are average stats of top 500 players with Ursa and Flare, taken from the Das Anfall’s leaderboards

It’s interesting to note how close these two weapons are. Ursa does have a small advantage in terms of Accuracy and Headshot Kill Rate (HSR) – courtesy of the weapon’s better recoil. 

Ursa also has lower LPK – shots Landed-per-Kill, obviously due to higher damage per shot. 

Flare has an obvious advantage in terms of KDR. Though you can see the difference between KDR provided by the website, and the number that you get if you actually divide Kills by Deaths. On this picture, it’s marked as WKDR.

I’m not sure how to treat this disparity, but either way it’s pretty obvious that wielding Ursa gets players killed more than Flare. 

Conclusion

Ursa is clearly better at range, but in current PS2 meta, it’s not much of an advantage. There’s currently not much reason to wield a dedicated “ranged” LMG for an average player.

While Flare is not a particularly stellar CQC LMG, it is better in that role than Ursa, which makes it a superior choice overall.