MWO: Where 'Mech FarmVille meets Skill Yourself

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While I agree that zombieing anf AFKing are bad, what bugs me is the failure to mention that half the AFK people you see had some kind of game problem that has disabled their ability to play the match, not that they are purposely just farming at the expense of their team.
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Ran into RAM today. I forget which mech he was in, but he had no armor and simply walked over the hill of his spawn and stopped. He remained motionless as we opened fire on him. Still farming it appears.
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We don't really count PUGs as players. Occasionally there's a good player amongst the 4 PUGs, but for the most part they're minions that have no great effect on the end result.
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This is a big issue, though 'usually' if they are DC'd it will say 'disconnected' on the scoreboard. There are occasions when it's a legitimate DC and is not an afk farming attempt. However I encourage reporting all AFK players. let PGI sort 'em out.
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Whether someone's useless by doing 10 damage to the enemy and 10 damage to your own team, or useless by suicide, make no difference whatsoever.
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It's part of the gameplay design. I don't see how they can keep players from not abusing it: how can they tell the difference between a suicide and someone who has no clue about the game? Instead of giving C-bills when the player is not involved in the fight, C-bills should only be given on a contribution-basis (i.e. spot assists, assists, kills, damage dealt etc.). No more AFK farming or suicides.
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I would really like to see arbitrary 'win/loss' rewards removed and replaced with straight percentage of damage rewards or something, with a multiplier for winning. This 'is' a gameplay design issue.
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You can see the guy’s torso twist and he obviously moved on the cap. If you are going dis someone atleast get it right. Typical bias…
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Did you happen to look at his armor, or how fast he dropped? It was quite clear that he had not repaired.
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Rewarding players for losing is mind-boggling. Points (like many team-based multiplayer games) are a good way to reward players (with a large bonus for the winning team). PGI would have to remove mech repairs for this to work, however, otherwise they'd be severely penalizing PUGS. It would also remove mech repair abusers from the equation. They'd have to adjust winnings to be similar to what they are currently of course.
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Farming trials is the equivalent to self destructing dreads because they made the insurance payout higher than the build costs. I truly wonder what the devs are thinking.
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It's precisely why this isn't enforceable. What is PGI going to do, ban every account that doesn't know how to play?
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He did not power up until I passed behind him. After that he turned a touch. Then I saw his armor value. I was very obvious what he was doing.
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This is not an attitude that I encourage in our lance. PUGs are undiscovered pilots and our largest recruiting ground.
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I tend to "Zombie" myself, not repairing. However Rayezilla, the article doesn't mention why people don't repair (or reload): Because PGI gives you 75% armor repair and ammo re-arm for FREE. That's why I turn off auto-repair and auto-rearm. However, I always repair the internals and items to full. I often spread the "Zombie Gospel" to others in dropships, as many still don't know that PGI gives you that for free.That said, when I do "Zombie", it's often in support mechs that are based around gauss sniping or LRM-boating, which really don't suffer all that much from missing 25% of their armor or ammo.Anyhoo, nice read, thanks.
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I'm confused as to how this is "typical bias" - what makes you think the author has an issue with RAM?
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PUGs are already severely penalized simply by being PUGs. Soloing MWO is like being on a space station flown by retards while being shot at by Luke f**king Skywalker.
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Barnsy nails it on the head. For a start, they should give each mech and each pilot a points value and base the matchmaking around that. The points value of trial mechs and new players would be zero. It would at least provide for a more balanced and noob friendly training environment.
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I had RAM in a game last night.. i even asked him over general chat if 'he was going to play this time?' - no response :( He was powered down just outside of his own cap zone, so i helped myself to 2000 free CBills.Pretty dumb to be doing it so blatantly when you *know* a community like this is going to call you on it.
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Apparently you do not know what a powered down HBK looks like. It sits on its knees and its arms hang down. Are you really going to try telling us that is what your video shows? How about that there is no power up sequence? Did you miss that fact too? Or that whenever you toggle your HUD he appears on radar? This also completely ignores that powering down is perfectly valid.But now you say he was there because you cannot power up and turn if you are AFK. So which is it?Sure you can see he did not repair. Check the forums you can do that or are you also going to accusehim of not rearming those MLasers either? Call him out for what he is doing if you want but do not make shit up.

skilling yourself

The switch to four player maximum group size in MechWarrior Online has exposed some ugly strategies, abuse and exploits. PGI developer Bryan Eckman referred to these issues in his command chair post saying, "We are addressing several known issues with farming. Abusing this system is considered a violation of the TOS/COC."

The farm tactics PGI has acknowledged, however, are the merely the tip of the iceberg. Their list of changes only slightly inconvenienced the dedicated trial C-bill farmer, and many critical gameplay damaging issues have been left unchanged. Let us review some of the essential problems.

Trial abuse

The first and most common farming issue was the trial 'mech suicide strategy. Players would jump into a trial raven, a 'mech with no repair cost, and would run at their top speed of 81kph directly into the enemy team. They then came to a halt and had themselves explode. This strategy was particularly effective from a C-bill per hour standpoint because players could exit the game, start up a new game in the same trial raven BattleMech while the previous game they joined wasn't even finished yet. Effectively, one player could play 20 games per hour at 60,000 C-bills per match, for 1.2 million C-bills an hour. Normal gameplay suggests six 10-minute games, which only yields ~800,000 C-bills per hour for a non-founder.

Trial suicide farming was so rampant that at one point it was quite normal to see 2 trial 'mechs from opposite teams running past each other, each to their own death. PGI's 'fix' to this issue by locking the trial 'mechs while previously joined games were still ongoing, only slightly slowed the rate at which trial suicide players make C-bills.

brb, my cat is on fire

Another common sight in MWO is the AFK player. This issue should be familiar to a lot of players, as it is regularly practice in games such as World of Warcraft, Battlefield 3, and League of Legends. There are a number of methods that can reduce this issue, like forcing players to click a button that says 'I'm here and playing,' or automatically kicking idling players.

In the Command Chair post on the forums, the developers have mentioned that they will be adding a mechanic so that "Players [who] fail to provide any input will be kicked from a match." This mechanic, however, is already in use to prevent players from launching matches with damaged 'mechs, so the effect it would have on AFK players remains questionable.

What repair bill?

Moving on to the subject of repair bills. Another common occurrence in MWO are 'no repair' players. Once a match is over, players need to repair the damage to their 'mech in order to join the next game at full strength. Many players, however, are starting to play matches without making these critical repairs. In effect, they handicap their team in exchange for personal profitability.

The argument for 'no repair' farming is that repair costs in MWO tend to be rather high, which has the unpleasant effect of penalizing newer players. Since the costs are 'too damn high', players often feel justified in not repairing their 'mech. High costs notwithstanding, purposefully handicapping your team hurts the gameplay for other players. Pointing this out to hardened 'no repair' players often is not enough to dissuade them.

Many farmers combine the 'no repair' trick with AFKing to farm EXP in addition to C-bills. This strategy is so effective that even PGI representatives have fallen prey to this temptation. Here is a short clip recording Community Moderator and Eridani Light Horse Commander RAM as he AFK-no-repair farms. The video was captured by a  cReddit Merc Corp member.

Stop 'mech farmville

This intentional and systematic abuse damages both the new player experience and the gameplay of the most hardened closed beta tester. So far, besides acknowledging the issue, PGI's attempts at reducing this behavior have only shifted player strategies. Trial 'mech suicide is a technique that will not die, or at least, not without future changes. We can only hope that Bryan Ekman's efforts will continue.

[name_1]
Rayezilla is the 25 year old primary moderator for these reddit groups: * http://www.reddit.com/r/credditMWO/ * http://www.reddit.com/r/mwo/ He functions as the Commanding Officer for cReddit Merc Corp and also has 2 beautiful daughters.