Visual analysis & breakdown - The L86 Jan 4, 2012 13:00:05 GMT -5
Post by iw5000 on Jan 4, 2012 13:00:05 GMT -5
Analysis: The L86
"Visual in-game breakdown"
By now, most everyone should know the L86, if equipped with the thermal, is one of the best guns in MW3. What everyone might not know, is just by how much, when comparing to the other attachments? And what about the other LMG's? Does one get the same effect? Or other questions, like what is the effect of other attachments like the red dot, silencer, grip vs kick and countless other 'what if' scenarios like the Holo and ACOG.This thread is going to answer all those questions and map it out in very easy to read, and see analysis.
Part One - Range vs Recoil
Before we can break down all the attachments and the dozens of combinations, let's first take a quick look at what goes on with the L86. Specifically, the effects of the recoil at various distances. We'll use the map 'Arkaden', firing at three distances against the far wall, over on the A-side of the map (if one was playing Domination) Here's what we are looking at:
For this quick test, we are using the L86 with no attachments. Just the iron sights and 'kick'. We fire off a one second burst (about 12 to 14 bullets in all) at three distances: 20 meters, 28 meters and 37 meters. Why that range? Because it's approximately between 20m and 37m that the L86's damage drops off from 38d to 20d. Pretty much, you need three bullets to kill at 20 meters, and five bullets to kill at 38 meters. To help give a better visual, we superimposed three ghost targets against the wall, with the spray pattern behind them.
As one can see, the L86 works at 20 meters, getting three bullets into someone is a lock. Getting four bullets at 28 meters? Well.....not so easy. Getting five bullets at 37m? Good luck. As one can see, the gun kicks and sprays all over the place. You'll probably get in 3 bullets, but good luck with five. You are probably not going to get the kill.
Conclusion? The L86 is bulky and slow in CQC. You'll be destroyed up close. 30 meters and out, it basically sucks as a gun, as the recoil and spray make it useless. Pretty much, this gun blows at first and one needs to muscle through the bad times, to get to the better attachments.
Part Two - Early levels with the L86
The Red Dot is one of the earlier attachments you pick up when leveling up the L86. So the question to ask, is what are the BEST combinations to use with it? Below are a number of combinations with the Red Dot. The L86 firing off 3 to 4 seconds worth of bullets (39 to 50 bullets) at a distance of 37 meters. Working left to right on the bottom of the wall, (bottom row) Red Dot + Grip, Red Dot + Kick, Red Dot + Stability.
As can be seen, if you have to pick one of these three, go with the Red Dot + Kick. That has the best results. The two spray patterns on top of those three? That's the Red Dot with Silencer, and Red Dot with Rapid Fire. As you can see, the spray area with the silencer is twice that of using 'kick'. And Rapid Fire? It's a waste of time. Don't even use it. The L86 kicks so quickly upward that the gun is rendered useless.
Part Three - Getting the Thermal
The Thermal is one of the last attachments, and the L86 goes into beast mode when you put it on. This is when the L86 becomes a game changer. So what are the best combination when using Thermal? Looking below (at the picture), going left to right, bottom patterns then top, we find the following order all using Thermal: (bottom row) Grip, Kick, Stability, (top row) Silencer, Rapid Fire
Conclusion? Grip is the easy winner here. Kick helps, the spray circumference is still about 80% larger. Silencer and Stability wipen the zone almost threefold. What is interesting though is that the Thermal does hold the rapid fire kick-up at bay. As can be seen, one can now actually maintain the 35 to 40 bullets on the wall (whereas with red dot, it kicked right up and off the wall). All in all, the best attachment is clearly 'Grip'.
Part Four - What about Thermal with the other LMG's?
Good question. There are four other LMG's. Does the Thermal have the same effect with them, as it does with the L86? This often confuses people, so let's find out. Looking below (at the picture), going left to right, bottom patterns then top, we find the following order all using Thermal: (bottom row) L86, PKP, MK46, (top row) M60, MG36
Conclusion? The Thermal attachment is going to best work with the L86. As can be seen above, the PKP and MK46 do sort of ok, but the reality is, the PKP and MK46's bullet spray area is about what the L86 would be using the Red Dot. Why bother? As far as the M60 and MG36....the thermal helps control recoil, somewhat, but as can be seen, the spray pattern on those guns is still garbage. Bottom line.....the Thermal attachment trick best works with ONLY the L86.
Part Five- What about the L86 and other attachments?
What about the Holo? The ACOG? Let's take a look at those next. Looking below (at the picture), going left to right, bottom patterns then top, we find the following order (bottom row) Grip + Red Dot, Grip+Thermal, Grip+ACOG, Grip+Holo (Top row) Grip+Kick.
Conclusion? Another knock-out blow for the Grip+Thermal combo. As can be seen, none of these other combination even gets remotely close. Don't bother using the Holo or ACOG, it's not worth your time.
Part Six - One more hidden tip
Look carefully at that past picture. Hidden inside it is one more hidden tip that will blow away people's minds, in terms of just how overpowered the L86 with thermal can be. Let me repost the same picture, just now using an arrow to point out a small, tiny set of bullets holes near the middle.....
....what appears to be 3 to 4 bullet holes, is in actuality this. A full 100 round clip being fired into the wall. 100 bullets, in that tiny area. How is that possible? Firing the L86 while lying prone. If you lie prone, the L86 with Thermal has zero recoil. None whatsoever. It can place 100 bullets literally ALL in the exact same spot. Better yet, there is no range restrictions either.
The picture below is a example of firing the L86 from about 60 meters away. The bottom bullet spray pattern was from shooting while standing 60 meters away....very impressive from that distance. The top small, very tiny little hole? Yep, that's exactly 100 bullets all hitting the same spot from 60 meters....just lying prone. Unbelievably impressive.
Here's another tip, in addition to all the obvious things shown. Try this combo out in place of your sniping rifle. The L86 with Thermal can be the hands down best sniper rifle in the game (in my humble opinion, obviously, people's opinions can vary) Why? The Thermal attachment gives a 2.4x magnification, right about the same as the AS50's scope, and not far behind the 2.8x scope on the low end of the Variable scope. So you have your comparable scoping abilities. But unlike the sniper rifles, you can fire 20, 30, 40 bullets at a time with less recoil. And if you are prone, you have no recoil on up to 100 bullets. At 50, 60 70 meters away, ...you can destroy multiple enemies and no issues with holding your breath, recoil or reloading.
Part Seven - Questions from the post
This was raised by some other people in the thread........"Clip vs Clip the MK will get you more kills, L86 will get you more assists. You also fail to mention that if you crouch or prone with the MK it'll get you pretty close to an L86.", ......and then another similar thought......" MK thermal/kick is nearly as laser-like as the L86 but more powerful. seems like the better choice to me"
Some people feel the MK46 is better. Obviously, there is a lot of personal preference and opinion on what is 'better', but we decided to test out how just these two guns compare in accuracy, under a few conditions. Test one checked out how accurate both guns were, while lying prone, at two distances: 30 and 47 meters. We fired off an entire clip of 100 bullets and the results are below.
Conclusion. The above results are interesting. As can be seen, the L86 is considerably more accurate at both ranges. But.....the MK46 appears to be accurate 'enough', in a sense that it's spray pattern is tight enough, that is going to get the 3 to 4 needed bullets into the enemy. The result here appears to be a wash, and all about spitting hairs. Both guns offset and will work equally well while prone.
This begs the question though...what if you aren't prone? Let's be real here. In a typical nine minute CoD match, you can't be prone all the time. You also are removing yourself from a ton of good firing positions, by forcing yourself to be prone. Let's be fair....a lot of encounters, you need to be standing to see over a wall, an obstacle, etc...So how do the two guns compare now?
Thoughts? The comments before were that the MK is "pretty close" and "nearly close". Well, that's not really the case. When standing, the L86 is significantly more accurate. It's not close. If you are trying to shoot a moving target or someone weaving behind a wall, 30 meters out, the L86 is better. At 40 meters out, 47 meters, forget it. The L86 has a significant advantage. The spray pattern/recoil is 4x to 5x less large. Need an extra bullet to kill? So what, your bullets go where you aim.
Summing it up, the MK vs L86 with Thermal? On just a pure accuracy basis, the L86 wins out. But as we all know, there are other factors. The MK46 has slightly better power. Both kill with three bullet up to 30 meters or so....but the MK needs one less bullet at 32 plus meters out (4 vs 5). So the MK46 doesn't have to be quite as accurate. If you are lying prone all the time, you can force all your shootouts to be in the prone positions....its a pure wash. Both work equally well. Use what feels best. But that's a bit of fantasy, that you can have all your encounters being in the prone position. If you are standing behind cover, shooting while standing/moving, the L86 is significantly more accurate now. And even with it's slightly less damage, it's significant accuracy makes up for it.
One more thing. As said, there are other factors. One thing hardly ever mentioned with both guns is reload times. If you are trying to work higher killstreaks, staying alive for a period of time, you are going to have to reload a few times. Good luck in hoping no one shows up to shoot you, while you take the 8 seconds needed to reload the MK. Almost 3 1/2 seconds longer than the L86. If you are playing ground war, you really think you can go 8 seconds with no one coming at you??? Hell no. You are going to be killed a few times every game, while reloading. And yes, Sleight of Hand can help here, knocking reloads from 8.87 sec to 4.50 seconds, .....but ...now you are forced to use that perk. In fact, you almost HAVE to use the SoH perk with the MK. You have no choice and are giving up other options like Conditioning, Marksman, Blindeye, Scavenger, etc...You now have less flexibility.
Final conclusion?All in all, both guns will work well with Thermal. A good player will make both work extremely well. If you keep all your battles while prone, it's statistically a wash. Use either. If you need to move around, be standing, shoot while up, the L86 has a decent accuracy/damage edge. When you factor in the the L86 allows more flexibility, more creativity with perk selection......
...the advantage goes to the L86.
Part Seven - Questions from the post
'wittyscorpion' raised a good question earlier, as to what gives the big boost in accuracy? Is it lying prone or using the Thermal? Why not just red dot and go prone? Will that work just as well? We decided to take a look at that. The first test was below, we went prone at 30 and 47 meters. Compared the L86 with Grip+RD, versus Grip+Thermal. The results are below. The L86 is insanely accurate with both. It really makes no difference what attachment you use...IF you are prone. With both, you have almost 100% accuracy, no recoil.
So that begs the question, why even use the Thermal attachment? Well, there's an answer to this. While lying prone imparts magical accuracy powers on every LMG, regardless of what attachments you use......the powers disappear as soon as you shoot standing up. Below is the same test, but now standing up.
As can be seen, things change now. Just looking at the short distance of 30 meters in the above test, you can see how the Red Dot gets wildly inaccurate. There wasn't even a need to test at 47 meters, the results are even worse.
Conclusion? You need to use the Red Dot for a while, until the Thermal is unlocked. When using the RD, ....try to stay prone. Your accuracy boost is off the charts, by a ridiculously high 95% amount of reduction in spray pattern. If you aren't prone, this is where the RD kind of blows. You'll spray all over at 30m, and at 35, 40, plus meters, ....you'll be missing the broad side of the barn. That's the advantage of Thermal. Those magical accuracy powers you get while prone? You keep most all of them even when you stand up to shoot!!!