MWO: Are We Having Fun Yet?

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Sounds like MWO needs a CSM...
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The sad thing is that all they would have to do is revert their ridiculous buff to PPCs(raising their heat back to 10 and lowering their projectile speed a bit) and the game would instantly become a lot more fun to play, like it was months ago, when TTK was high and brawling and sniping were relatively balanced.Every patch I wait for them to do this, for the last 4 or 5 months. It's such a simple and obvious change. Instead, last patch, they revert the one good change they have made in months(nerfing poptart sniping) with no warning or discussion whatsoever. CW is massively delayed because they keep wasting development time on new, complex systems like jumpjet shake and boating penalty(which fixed nothing anyway,) when they could have simply tweaked numbers to increase PPC heat or decrease jumpjet recharge rate, at any time, in the last several months.They do tweak numbers somewhat, but they just don't know what numbers to tweak. This is because the people who make the decisions don't play the game enough to know what is going on, and they don't listen to anyone who does.Part of this has to do with their ill-advised elo system: most of the developers are pretty bad at the game, so when they do play, they are segregated into low elo brackets. They never even see the walls of ppc poptarts that so many people are complaining about!
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I think this is sadly a very accurate picture of the situation.On the very first point, I can't think of a successful game that doesn't have some form of a general discussion forum.
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I give +1 to this thread, because I love legging locusts/cicada's from 1000 meters away and watch them squirm at my laser load all over them stripping their armor millimeter by millimeter.
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Your first two paragraph starts out good; but perhaps negated by the new test servers, but ultimately the rest of this article is sorely written and misses the nail entirely. You apparently have played anything battletech related before. This amounts to a whine-thread article.1. MWO is not tabletop, the weapons stats are way off. Get your facts straight before you put effort in to place fancy formatting.2. Meta game is stale. We have been waiting ages for them to finish the content. Everything else you stated has no bases. Effective lrm support, brawling I see every game. Don't make me carry you with my Quickdraw-5K.3. The game is not-noob friendly. But all of the points you made are a joke. 3PV, and proper training grounds are in the works to render the issue problematical. I don't know why you're in such a rush to give green-horns an assault mech, just to be a standing turret for everyone to focus on. I've seen enough incoherent atlas' piloting like a free-birth because they rushed to get the biggest baddest thing. A medium mech is perfect for beginners to learn from a supportive position.4. Banter banter, excuses, just loving to hate on 12v12 which was simply a refreshing experience.Etc etc.
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"I see LRMs and brawling every game"You aren't seeing the problems this article is complaining about because you are playing at a very low elo, just like the developers. Try an 8 man game sometime - oh wait, you can't, because the 8 man queue is all but dead, because there is no depth to the competitive game anymore.
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I read this:"Play at the very tippy top tier of MWO is broken, so every aspect of the game is broken"NO. I learned a term from Riptard's blog called 'Fallacy of the undistributed middle'. Because one part of the game is 'broken' the game as a whole is 'broken' is a false statement. I see LRMs and brawling every game, just like Scarcer. Guess that means I'm low ELO. I still play the game and it's fun. Sorry your 8 man queue is dead though. game must be totally broken.
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I play mid-tier 4-mans and see nothing but snipers, so you must be in Elo Hell.
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I think this comment chain is actually pretty enlightening as to the status of the game and the reasons for it. Lots of people are simply playing a completely different game from others.Personally, I really wish the 8man queue was more active and easier to get into - allowing smaller groups in or individuals in, but clearly marking it as the "competitive queue" would be a very good start. I've lost count of the times our 8man had to disband because we lost one person and only had 7 people who still wanted to play, and we would have been glad to keep playing and be assigned a random person.
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It was called MW:LL, seriously they just need to company their balance mechanics forward to MWO and work with that. They already killed them off, so why not use their balance work to make MWO better. These are stupid asinine problems that should be dragging along this far into the beta.
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If you've ever heard Paul speak, it becomes obvious that the guy is a complete idiot. Like, this guy shouldn't be the lead designer, he should be the janitor.
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Lets go through this one by one so we can discuss why your opinions are founded out of a bad place.1. While nobody at all can argue that the weapon stats in MWO are identical to tabletop, the design certainly borrows from it substantially, to a degree that has made it difficult for the developers to unwind from. This is compounded by forum warriors insisting that moving further to such rules is a "good idea" that will resolve balance issues, which puts PGI in a bind: Move further away and piss off grognards, stay closer and make the game unbalanced. What it appears to be from the outside is that they are trying to satisfy both, something which is not really reasonable to do, and the game is suffering as a result. I believe the point of the comment was to point out that sticking to such rules is both unnecessary and unfeasible.2. As has been pointed out (and others have replied to and argued), the notion that because where you currently sit on the elo totem poll feels fine to you, or that you see mechs doing things outside the current meta does not mean that they are either balanced, nor does it mean that everyone should just accept the game as is. You have not made the argument that Garr has so I will not create a strawman, but in response to that, let us just think for a moment just how foolish that statement is. While indeed the game requires a look at all levels of play, high level play is extremely important when considering balance, as it allows developers to look at how the balance plays out the best (because there is less biased due to lack of skill on both sides).Considering this, I think I may have an explanation for why we have such balance issues in the first place. It has come to general attention of the community that there exists a separate testing group that much of the balancing aspects may come from (https://twitter.com/russ_bullo..., so it may just be that, on top of really obvious things being missed (artemis, anyone?) they do not possess a range of skill levels to see the effects of changes they are making.3. The problem that comes with the newbie experience stems from a feeling of helplessness against more meta-friendly opponents, as well as an already overwhelming interface and mechanics. The best example I can come up with is someone new to counterstrike going into a deagles and awps only server, then getting headshot over and over. There is a point at which the difference between skill and kit is to a point that it becomes extremely difficult to learn what you are doing wrong. Not to mention, pushing new players toward mechs that are really only good in the hands of experienced players (and we all know that is the difference here: a good player can play most mechs well, this is not what makes a mech "good") is not going to help to enjoy the game. ELO "should" be assisting with this, but with a limited player base and extreme tonnage differences in matches to satisfy these issues, it really is not a good time for the new player.4. 12v12 may be refreshing from a gameplay standpoint, but keep in mind at some point it will become the new standardized matchmaking service, and from what early views we have had, the meta issues are compounded even more so. Coupled with the extremely slow pace by which balance changes are being put out, there is a reasonable fear that it will negatively impact the game.I can appreciate wanting to look positively at the game, and toward PGI, but it has become increasingly difficult to do so. Trying to pretend that there are not issues, or minimizing them, does not help things get fixed: active, constructive feedback does. While this article does not provide much in the way of solutions, it does point out problems, and at this point that really needs to be the focus. The issues that are most glaring need to be prioritized, keeping in mind of course the reality that not everyone at PGI does one thing.
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all i want was a mw4 mercs with an up to date look, and what i get was a piece of sh..mwo is dead for me, so i think i had to wait 10 more years of pray and hope for a good mechwarrior game
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This. At the lower end where people aren't running optimised builds then it's fun. As soon as you run into people who are willing to minmax to win It goes to shit.
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MW:LL balance mechanics are built around earning C-Bills, combined arms and respawn (though there was some no-respawn mode, I've never seen it actually played on publics).MW:LL worked wonders becuase you needed to earn money through the match to win. To earn money throught the match you had to complete objectives (read: capture and hold bases). With huge maps it meant doing fastcaps or ninjacaps. Fastcaps and ninjaing meant fast light mechs/vehicles were oftentimes much more useful than slow heavy snipers. So every unit had it's place and time. And you could swap units through the game according to the current tactical situation. MW:LL was a dynamic rock-paper-sissors, both tactical (mechs get beaten by air units, air units get beaten by AA, AA gets beaten by mechs) and strategical (demolisher on defence can make capturing a base he sits on a hell on earth, but you can alway grab a fast light and capture something else and good luck him getting to you). In essence, MW:LL was more a strategy than a mecha FPS, so balancing was multidimentional. MWO, in turn, is an FPS with classes. Only those classes all have one single job to do, so most of them suck at it compared to the FotM.And there's another problem. The Holy Cow of battletech. The customisation. It inevitabely leads to munchkinism. At least any implementation of it up to date. The beauty of CBT circa 3025 was that you had woefully inadequate TRO builds. STK-3F that can alpha itself into overheated ammo explosion, MAD-3R that jettisons AC5 ammo on the very first turn. The paper leg Rifleman. The toothpick lancer Dragon, the walking dead VIndicator... The list goes on. Essencially, you had to work with crap, and half the game was turning the crap you have into a candy. When customisation steps in, you instantly get 2 6xCERLPL TC Direwolfs standing behind partial cover bashing each other until someone gets a lucky roll. Oh, and when computer game and pefect aim step in, you don't even get the ToHit penalty for the TC. Everyone is equipped with it for free.
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I would prefer more stringent rules on how weapons are place on a mech. There needs to be fixed points on mech chassis for critical slots that cannot be reassigned, call them leg/arm actuators or what not. This way a mech could have an arm designated as 2E but only fit one large energy weapon. A specialized version of the same mech might actually have an arm capable of mounting two adjacent large energy weapons but the design may take away the ability to mount elsewhere.Really it comes down to laziness on the part of designers where the chassis are just too open to abuse. I would be just as happy with a stock mech category of play, hell having tournaments built around that would be cool. Another option is to reward stock mech drops with bonus cbills. Stock would have leeway in engine and armor, you just cannot add weapons, only drop or move them
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I hate the shittalk about going away from tabletop rules. There are literally hundreds of good FPS out there. Dont come to the one battletech FPS and alienate it from its roots. Go play Hawken, its actually quite fun. Let us BT fans have our BT game.
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Never got MWO myself, downloaded it, gave it a shot, found it boring as hell, wondered what all the hype was about on The mittani.
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You're making two critical assumptions here: BT has a sufficient fan base to warrant continued support of MWO & BT fans will continue to play a dull and repetitive FPS.
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Your BT game is called Mechwarrior tactics or MegaMek.You can have a Mechwarrior game stay true to it's roots of mechwarrior games. Mechwarrior is a game that takes place in the Battletech universe, and I don't see why it needs to stay super consistent with rules for a turn based game for it to be enjoyable.Hawken is not a Mechwarrior game - it's Call of Duty but you move slower and can jump jet.
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The important thing is that it looks and feels right, and that's already there. Sticking to tabletop rules for a realtime game is silly, and they've already deviated from the rules with rates of fire and the different firing properties of PPCs, lasers and autocannons.Ultimately it isn't important to keep the numbers the same as the ones in tabletop, and it's unhelpful to insist on sticking to them.
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Balancing the top of the Elo tree will not hurt any other aspect of the game. If you're happy with how the game currently plays and you don't see snipers everywhere, then what would your issue be with PGI looking to do something to reduce the prevalance of snipers in those upper tiers?
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I signed up for this game a long time ago, never played it until last week or so, I fired it up a few times and felt as though it was lacking.I have not enough experience to discuss the points made here but from a newbs point of view:Maps. They surely are not what I was expecting to see from a cry engine based game. I'm not talking Jungles and such but MWO maps hardly seem and upgrade to the old MW4 maps even worse in some cases.Sound. The audio FX in game really bordered on embarrassing for me, I don't even know where to start with any particulars, it was all pretty bad IMO. Blurp, zzzt, splat oh my..I feel very disjointed from the game with regard to the mechlab to match transition...there is none, I'm in game (Immersed) then I'm on desktop, ingame, desktop, ingame.....The 1998 low res pilot I see starting my mech up...I thought I was playing Halo for a second..Can you spin your mech around in the hangar/lab? I've been spinning ships in EVE since 06 and it's a hard habit to drop =).I'm no pro but when I grab a game and get excited about it I dive in head first for months/years. MWO I want so badly, I played MW, MW3, 4 for years but I am having a hard time soaking MWO in.I did just buy the phoenix 4 pack, I support MW whether I end up playing it or not, I hope it gets better. I'll give it a go a bit more of course, I'm not throwing in the towel on it, maybe my expectations got to high the last 10 years..Sorry for not relating to your article. MWO forums are strange to say the least..
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Love that intro image!
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"Let us BT fans have our BT game" is a terrible reason to build something imbalanced.
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Paul should stick to Bass Fishing and Golf games, that pretty much sums up his resume prior to his big gig at PGI.It is really insulting to all players that instead of building off decades of FPS experience from MW2,3,4, they decided with a completely open weapons system, absent hardpoint size restrictions. Is it a surprise that everybody boats the flavor of the month?The best thing that PGI can do is to admit they made a terrible mistake early on, and spend real effort on introducing hardpoint size restriction. Introducing CW into the game's current state will only lead to grief.
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I tried this game to see if it would be fun between CTA's in EvE. It wasn't. I'll stick with War Thunder for now. It's too bad though. I've enjoyed all the MechWarrior games in the past, including the original. Remember aiming for the head of the Atlas to increase salvage money? That was fun.
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I spent the past week watching the MWO forums with baited breath, expecting the 16th's "balance" patch to be a complete, abject failure. Despite my fears (and Shadenfreude), it actually appears to have mitigated some of the balance/meta issues.Yes, there are still PPC/Gauss snipers, but they're not quite as prevalent (at least in my bracket). I'm seeing a huge increase in striker/brawlers equipped with SRMs flanking in and keeping the cheese snipers distracted from alphaing anyone who sticks his head out in the wrong spot.I've been having quite a bit of success with my 4xMLAS 1xSRM6 2xSRM4 QKD-4H outfitted as a fast striker and AS7-D-DC with ECM/BAP 2xMPLAS 1xAC10 1xLRM20 1xSRM6 1xSRM4 filling the traditional TT Atlas role of team support/medium to close range brawler. Neither of these builds seemed very viable before, though it was still fun to try to use them as an underdog. Now, my results with them are quite a bit more comparable to higher-cheese builds such as 4xAC5/2xAC20 JM6-DD or 2xERPPC 2xPPC 2x AMS STK-5S (though, as has been frequently noted, the heat scale nerfs won't be in effect for mixed {ER,}PPC builds until the 30th's patch as they're currently considered separate weapons types).I have no idea if this game will be viable in the future, but at least this most recent patch gives me some hope that the devs might actually have some idea what they were doing.EDIT: I was actually checking TMC today to see if we had post-patch analysis. I was saddened that poptartsninja didn't address the patch and its changes/potential for changes in his article.
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I wouldn't trust him as the janitor either.

My discontent is not new. It was born a few months ago when PGI took their general forum out back and shot it dead so they wouldn’t have to see people talking mean about their game. It struck me as an odd choice at the time, and with hindsight I can now explain my trepidation: without an actual general forum, it seems as though PGI now has no idea what their players like or don’t like. All because someone decided he or she was getting a little tired hearing people say the game might just have a problem or two.

I’m giving the Brown Sea far more credit than it’s due; I can’t exactly blame PGI for not wanting to sift through a billion posts of incessant word diarrhea that the game is bad because some Pubbie, who I’m sure is the greatest Mechwarrior ever to live, can’t solo entire enemy teams unaided. Let’s be completely honest, though.

Mechwarrior Online has problems. Big ones.

average time to kill any `Mech is abysmally low.

Goons have known this since early beta, but now that everyone knows the super-secret OpSec tactic of focusing fire on one guy, Battlemechs simply don’t live long enough to survive making a single mistake. This issue became more apparent after Host State Rewind made missing a thing that only happens to bads, and will be exacerbated further when 12v12 rolls out. I won’t elaborate much on this because Tank Boy Ken already has.

Weapon balance is a joke.

I’m going to elaborate with a quote from Paul Inouye:

“While funny to test, the 6-SRM6 Catapult will decimate any Assault class Mech in 3 volleys.”

This is true, assuming neither the Catapult nor the Atlas are moving or torso twisting, and assuming that a 6 SRM-6 Catapult can get close enough to the Atlas without exploding. What this seems to say is this: PGI is testing weapon balance based on the optimal conditions for a weapon rather than using actual in-combat testing to determine how often those optimal conditions will actually occur. Couple this with the inarguable fact that PGI’s playtesters don’t play on the same level as say, the Steel Jaguars, and suddenly Large Pulse Lasers are eating an unexpected and unnecessary nerf that renders them useless. Or worse than useless, since Large Pulse Lasers were already pretty bad even before their recent nerf. Unless you were using them in a creative dubstep remix, anyway.

Sticking to Tabletop Values Hurts MWO

MWO is a first-person shooter. BattleTech is a turn-based tabletop wargame where you still get to shoot even on the same turn that you die. MWO has precision aiming. BattleTech has dice. It’s possible to capture the feel of BattleTech without copying every number in the rulebook. If AC/10s need to do 12 damage to be competitive, then increase their damage. If “light” autocannons need to weigh less; or if you need to introduce a weapon before it appears canonically to give medium `Mechs a reason to use ballistics, then do it! I’ve been playing BattleTech for two decades and even I recognize that some mechanics just won’t work when translated into an FPS.

metagame is stale and boring

There are no strategies other than PPC/Gauss Rifle poptart sniping. Brawling isn’t a thing, since PPCs and lasers have comparable close-range performance and missile weapons are a joke. LRMs could’ve been a good counter to poptart sniping, but even massed they don’t do enough damage to matter and are currently reliant on direct line-of-sight to be effective. LRMs also lack the ammunition to be used as an effective harassment tool, and their already crippling ammunition problems will likely spell the end of them in 12v12.

MWO is newbie-unfriendly

You can play ten or so games and you can afford a medium `Mech! Unfortunately you’ve just bought a machine that probably doesn’t work in the current metagame. Enjoy 20+ matches before you can buy and kit out a Highlander to replace it; or, y’know, just stop playing when you get sick of dying while you’re still trying to get a feel for how movement works. New players make a lot of mistakes, and in the current metagame environment even a single mistake is almost certainly going to be lethal.

TWELVE PLAYERS PER TEAM Makes every problem worse

12v12 is not going to be MWO’s panacea. Adding eight more players to each map won’t turn MWO into a magical wonderland where individual lances break up to contest objectives against a small number of enemy counterparts. There’s no incentive to capture and hold objectives in MWO, so that’s never going to happen. 12v12 is also not going to make Alpine any less godawful to play on. Quite the opposite: the metagame of blobbing up and killing the first player stupid or impatient enough to expose itself to your team will simply become even more deeply ingrained, because already-fragile `Mechs will now die even more quickly.

Unfortunately, it’s growing increasingly obvious that PGI either isn’t aware of these issues or that they simply don’t care. If PGI doesn’t care, why should we?

You don't have to take my word for it. PGI's original promo for the Victor speaks for itself.

[name_1]
I'm a published BattleTech author who's also responsible for inflicting the "Let's All Play BattleTech and rewrite Inner Sphere history" thread on the Something Awful forums for the past 2+ years.