A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mechwarrior Online: Mastering the Art of Mech Skill Trees

Into every Mechwarrior player's life there comes a time of contemplation.  A time to decide if the mech chassis you are piloting is making you happy.  When you find this magical machine you need to do it all over again two more times.  With versions that might have worse weapon hardpoints.  Not allow you the engines you like.  That just.. look uglier.

 As I may have mentioned, you get four mech bays with your account.  Every other mech bay you get costs 300 MC.  I spent 15 dollars US for 3000 MC so I could get some more bays and also some days of Premium Time.  Now I found the Awesome chassis to be miserable and unfun for me.  I had mastered the Catapult and chose to keep the C4 with its Energy and Missile Bays, and the mighty K2 for its Ballistic slots.  I did the grind for the Atlas, selling off the 2 other chassis after I had mastered the DC.  As I may have mentioned, you need to complete three tiers of XP skill levels.  One for each of three variants of the same chassis.  You have to complete all of a tier before you can enter the next one.  So once I had all the Atlas chassis I needed through Elite, I merely got the DC to Master skill and sold off the 2 other ones I had less use and desire for.  No need to use lesser mechs that mostly were versions of my main anyhow.

But.. my first mech was a Raven 2X waay back at the start of Open Beta.  I had completed Basic with it, and had gained tons of XP towards the next tier.  (As in maybe ALL OF IT.)  But I had sold it and went Catapult as it was at the time mainly a way to start getting GXP by the old system of XP and C Bill (money) gain.  (Its much nicer now.)

I chose to start it up again as one Raven type now finally has ECM.

 The view inside my Raven.  Note the free Nvidia Dawn Bobble on the side.  Not seen is me about to bring my hooptie up to 134 KPH before an Elite skill bonus.

 And my ride carefully painted out for nearly a million C Bills.  The mech itself cost me a good 2.5.  All the upgrades bring it up to 6-7.  (My old Warhammer 40K friends know what my color scheme is.)

 Like I said, I cannot use that glorious 25,000 XP to zoom through elite till I get the 5K or so I need to finish the 4X's Basic skill tree.  The 3L is my main but I do have to say the 4x can be fun too.  I thank my fellow Goons in the Word of Lowtax for the advice on a good build.  Normally I just play and tweak but this one I just followed some basic loadout and it became quite fun to play.

As I have enough XP to basically go through all of Elite, I don't even need to get back into this mech at all.

So I take it's engine out and sell it, getting me 536,000 C Bills back.   Its a loss when you sell back stuff but it takes the bite off when you need it, and helps get a few more C Bills for stuff you MUST HAVE.  As opposed to mechs you don't much like such as this one.  I am not even wasting C Bills to paint it.  Only my permanent rides get that.

 And I do pretty good in my two little birdies.  One is a high speed scout with ECM capabilities, the other is a quick support mech, capable of helping out where needed yet quick enough to get in and out in time to be of use with its big guns.

 Just make sure you don't hit your teammates no matter how much you want that hit or kill.  You lose some XP and C Bills for that.  (Sorry Hello.JPG.  I know you didn't much care but I felt bad.  Especially as you are the best and possibly only Commando pilot!)

For me, part of the appeal of the game is the objectives to finish XP skill trees, to build my mechs to be just the way I like them.  Right now without that and chatting with fellow Word of Lowtax players over voice chat I would have probably quit by now.

Once I get Master on my two Ravens unless there is a new mech in the Medium weight class I might like to pilot (for me this would currently be either the Enforcer, Griffin, or Shadow Hawk, none of which are announced) or some form of persistent warfare where my play makes an impact I probably won't play much at all.  

Of course I have played nearly 1000 matches so far over the months and almost no other game.  Between my retro collecting, Target clearance aisle vulture ways, and the odd pickup here and there my backlog has gotten SILLY.

And fan works have made old friends.. friendlier.

(Since I am unlikely to make another post till after Christmas I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate in this timeframe!  Enjoy a picture of the kind of silly sweets I make for my crew in these times: a Cheesecake with Pumpkin Pie Spice mixed in alongside some food coloring with a little Cinnamon sprinkled at the bottom of the crust.)

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