Compiled replies about the skill tree

Yeah I know, it was a "joke". Still, very poor choice of words.

I've been writing walls of text about the skill tree lately, trying to get across what my problem is with it. I decided to compile them here so if you're wondering why I'm so upset about this, here's why:

Keith Ellis on YouTube wrote:

Node costs - in all, less than that of radar deprivation currently.

Grinding 1 bill and xp - um no, you will be refunded all of your xp (including GXP) and all of the C-bills for all of your modules.  Not just a sweetener but fairness, acknowledging the effort you put in and giving you the opportunity to push it forward.  The progress of veterans is recognized!

200 mechs - you didn't expect that with a new system, you would have to make selections again?  What world do you live in?  PGI is not capable of reading your mind and making the selections for you.  Any new system would require to build it out again.  So you want something new and better? This is your cost. Duh!

5 minutes setting up a mech - so let me get this straight, you want a skill tree that has more options, that you can build out your own way, but you don't want to invest the time in doing so.  Goes back to production costs: you have three options, fast, good, and cheap, but you can only pick two.

Price tag on customization - there was always a cost for customization, it was xp to master the mech, gxp to unlock the modules and c-bills to by the modules.  Now the grind is less and the nodes cost less than radar dep, a single module which I guarantee everyone has on most of their mechs.

My reply:

Node costs: You are assuming I get a radar derp for each and every 'Mech. I only have 4 Radar Derps (correction, I have six) that I shift around between 200 'Mechs.

Grinding 1 bill XP: My module refund is going to be about 400 mil, way shorter than 1b+ that I need to cover my node costs. I invested in new 'Mechs instead of wasting my C-Bills on redundant modules, so I get immensely shafted by this "veteran recognition". My progress is completely wiped out save of for a few select 'Mechs that I played more often.

200 mechs: After the skill tree drops, I expect to be able to use these 'Mechs that I grinded and bought in the last 4 years, through perhaps 4000h+ gameplay. I am NOT going to grind them again, I'll simply quit. I play this game for the customization and variety it offers. In fact, there's nothing to do in this game other than trying out new 'Mechs and new builds. New system punishes that and they put a price on customization.

5 minutes setting up a 'Mech: The node tree is an unorganized mess, the node numbers are bloated, you are forced to get nodes you have no interest in so you have to find the "path of least resistance/least amount of shittiest nodes" to do what you want. A simple build change results in minutes of excruciating clicking. Compare that to what we have right now: a simple module swap that takes no more than 5 seconds.

Price tag: XP to elite a 'Mech (mastering is completely optional in terms of gameplay impact) is about 25.000XP currently. In the new system it's 72.000XP. Module unlocks are quite cheap GXP wise and they're global unlocks that you have to do only once. New system forces module grind for each individual 'Mech. I can only see the "no more 3 of the same" rule being beneficial for the Clan omnimechs. You still get shafted on the IS side (where most variants are viable and attractive) and non-omni Clan 'Mechs.

You are really trying hard to make it seem good. But it isn't. If it was something good for the game and community I'd be the first one to defend it, but this is just pure greed.

Matthew Mclean on YouTube wrote:

wanna know what i dont understand? Here's this community contributor of sorts, going on about how garbage a new system is blah blah blah. Thing is, and most people dont understand this, is that this is sort of a new beginning to MWO. A soft restart. Everyone has to remaster everything again, not that big of a deal. If you look at any other F2P game out there, the grind is very, VERY real, and yet no one complains about that. The skill tree 1.0, if you will, was very, VERY easy to grind out. That needed to change. First its not a sustainable business model, as it is a F2P game, income needs to be generated off of stuff like XP conversion, which, tbh, wasnt happening, because you only needed to play like 10-15 matches tops to elite out your mech. In a F2P game such as MWO, thats freaking gloriously little time. Playing other games like Warthunder, World of warships, hawken, etc, the grind takes hours and hours and hours and days and weeks for 1 vehicle. We all knew that this was coming, and if you didnt, well, ignorance is bliss as they say. New players wont mind this system at all, because if they've ever played a F2P game, they will be used to the grind. So they will be 100% ok with it, for the most part. Its the bitter vets that have a problem with it. They are all woe is me, i invested all this time and effort and im getting nothing back blah blah blah. Yeah, you arent getting a ton back. But thats not necessarily a bad thing. Mastering mechs is fun, and it makes playing mechs that you mastered and forgot about that much more interesting. And guess what, 3 months down the line you will be fine with it, totally oblivious to how things were in the past without seriously having to think about.

Tbh wheres the challenge in having a super optimized mech in the first place? i rarely ever play meta unless im with a team, which isnt often. Totally naked mechs with no skills unlocked presents a challenge, and thats a good thing.

Is the system perfect? Hell no. 
Can it be improved? Hell yes.
Will they? Almost guaranteed. The skill tree needs to drop, then they can work out the kinks.

The only thing that i think that PGI should do is cut the costs in half for all mechs that are mastered (im talking getting the extra module slot mastered). Thats it.

I've been playing this game since closed beta. Ive invested just as much time, effort and money into this game as anyone else (3000$ canadian, which is like 2200 american) so i get how you feel. But instead of being a stuck up whiner, complaining about hours spent on the damn internet, im going to go into Skill Tree 2.0 with a positive attitude and enjoy the only fucking Battletech game we have. Its all we got. And besides, MWO will die, but it did its job. It got people interested. As long as MW5 is successful, you can bet your ass that we will get a much better multiplayer game within the next decade.

My reply:

If you wanted to do a restart so badly, you could always make a new account and experience working at the Gulags. This change is taking away progress from the veterans. I really have a hard time understanding why on earth people losing so much with this skill tree so adamantly defend it. If it added extra content to look forward to, I'd be all over it. However when it takes away progress and forces me to redo stuff, then I have a problem with it.

Yes, MWO's grind wasn't incredibly exploitative. That's actually what made me suggest it so much to my friends. Eliting didn't take a long time and the only real grind was getting the necessary amount of C-Bills. Which let's be honest, was pretty bad already if you weren't on perma-premium all the time. You probably bought too many 'Mechpacks with years worth of premium to remember how it was to grind C-Bills 150k-50k at a time to buy that Cataphract.

This is all balanced by the sheer number of 'Mechs in this game. Especially on the IS side the variants all have a different flavor and in general, they're all attractive. The old system allowed you to collect 'Mechs in this way (and it made them significant money from MC sales) and it was totally fine. The new system puts way too much emphasis on focusing on a handful of 'Mechs and the rest is put behind a huge grind/paywall. It's impossible to enjoy the variety after the skill tree. It's all about focusing on best of the best.

The game is pretty much financed by selling monthly 25$-70$'Mechpacks to the whales. Now PGI says it's not enough, I want to ramp up the XP and C-Bill grind to drive MC sales. You know, that's actually fine for me. If they want more funds for MW5, they can screw up the new players and milk whales as much as they want. I'm perfectly happy with my stable and I play enough to grind new stuff. However, they're also resetting my four years of progress along with it and offering nothing in return. THAT I have a problem with and that, everyone should have a problem with.

Grifthin on Reddit wrote:

When was the last time you played all your 400 mechs. Hint: Greater than a year, probably never.

My reply:

It's not about playing all of them. It's about having the choice to play any of them at any time without going through the grind. It's about having your 'Mech stable usable and ready at all times, just like now.

Right now I can suddenly decide I want a round in my ON1-V, come up with a quirky build in 2 minutes and just hop in, try it for a few matches and jump into another 'Mech.

After the skill tree, I'll look at my 1V and go "Oh shit, I still need to grind 20k XP and 2 million C-Bills to fully utilize this 'Mech. Fuck that shit, I'd rather play with my Night Gyr for the 100th time.". Or perhaps, not play at all.

Kin3ticX on Reddit wrote:

if you have 400 mechs it will take you days just to do 1 drop in each mech

all the while you would be earning cbills and xp while playing

at any given time I am only working with a handful of mechs even though I have 150 so there isnt a lot to worry about really

My reply:

Current situation: He has 400 perfectly playable 'Mechs right now. Fancy that Treb-7K today? Put on modules and slap on an engine to play.

Skill tree situation: He has 400 'Mechs. He can potentially master half of them C-Bill wise after the refund. PLUS he has to grind XP to master most of them. God help him if he only elited some of them. Weeks/Months of work to get what he already has right now.

Progress is essentially being set back.
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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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