GUIDE has moved...
I have moved this guide over to MWOWiki and I will not longer be updating this page, but will update the guide @ MWOWiki:
[GUIDE] PLAYING WITH FRIENDS, GROUPS, AND TEAMS
Many links are fixed. Each sections states whether or not the links are fixed.
This is turning out to be much longer that I had originally anticipated (5200+ words), but hopefully it will be informative for you, so be prepared for a massive wall of text. If you have any corrections or suggestions, please let me know.
TL;DR: I am not sure what to tell you... there is too much to abbreviate... How about "There is no 'I' in Teamwork" or "Voice Comms Rock"?
Sections of this Guide:
- 1. Team Game
- 2. Read Stickies
- 3. Know the Game
- 4. Know Your Role
- 5. Tactical Speak
- 6. Voice Comms (VOIP)
- 7. Text Chat
- 8. Mechlab Social Button
- 9. Group Commander
- 10. MWO Regimental Membership
First, and foremost you must understand that MW:O is a team game. The developers have stated this explicitly. The game's mechanics and method of play revolve around this fact. Understanding this and playing with this in mind will help you greatly. Team work rocks, will make you a better player and better team mate, and lead to more wins and a great social experience!!
To quote the following article titled "New to MechWarrior Online’s open beta? The mistakes to avoid, and how to choose and mod your Mech" from Penny Arcade which interviews Paul Inouye, the game's Lead Designer:
The glaring problem new players run into when starting MechWarrior Online is the run and gun mentality of other first-person shooters. This mentality will have you dead and sitting in a smoldering pile of metal within the first few minutes of a match starting.
In MechWarrior Online, it is important that players keep their teammates informed of what is happening on the changing strategic battlefield. Information sharing and strategic gameplay are the key components to success in the game. A breakdown of information sharing will spell failure for you and your team plus a lot of cost in repairs! Remember this: YOU will NOT carry your team by getting the most kills. Doing hit and run attacks on your enemy’s flanks, not only softens them up for you and your teammates, but relays valuable intel to your whole team. Your TEAM will then carry YOU with good communication.
This guide will cover much of what Paul is talking about.
2. Read Stickies
(these links are fixed. I will assess these later when they get the forums sorted out)
First, if you have not done so, please spend a bit of time (several hours) perusing ALL of the stickies in all 4 of the main Beta forums. There is a wealth of info and answered questions there. There are 4 basic forums to look at and all have a plethora of stickies to read through. I have added links to the various beta forums below and have also noted a few of the important or useful threads here that you will definitely want to take a look at:
- General Discussion - patch notes and a mandatory read thread
- Guides - a wonderful array of helpful advice for playing the game: weapon groups, game controls, mech hardpoints, weapon and mech stats, engine stats, etc...
- Welcome - New players start here
3. Know the Game
(a few of the links here are fixed) =(
The more you know about the game and the better player you become, the more effective you will be as a team mate. Take some time to review these helpful guides if you have not already. Great stuff in there.
Weapon Equipment and Stats:
- Ohm's Quick Reference Sheets For All Mech Hardpoints, Weapons, Engines, & Pilot Lab - Images, PDFs, Excel Inside (updated)
- Education Center - this new thread may be replacing the MWO school from below (updated)
- Weapon Groups and you! READ ME PLEASE (not working yet)
- Beginner Tutorial (video from NGNG) - on the MWO Training Grounds (updated)
- Target Designation Explained and A visual Guide to Playing with PUGs (entertaining and informative) (not working yet)
- PUG AIDE (PREMADE basic tactics and strategies on the available maps)
- MWO School Guides/Training (not working yet)
- Boot Camp - in process of rewrite (updated)
- Tactics 101 (updated)
- Survival Alone: Quick Guide (updated)
- Some advice to New Players and PUGs (updated)
I will not post a lot here about that since there are guides out there that cover this in better detail, but knowing your role and what your mech chassis is good at it is important so you do not die all the time like I do.
If you have found better role guides please give me links to them and I will post them here too:
Mech Chassis Classes:
Light Mechs: are the smallest mechs on the field and have the low targeting profile. They usually act primarily as scouts and as harassers of larger mechs, as well a as counter to opposing light mechs. A really important job for Scouts is spotting. Press the freaking "R" key to lock onto and target a mech so your LRM boats can rain their beautiful pitter-patttering down. They have considerably less armor than all other mechs and can take a lot less damage that other mechs, so the gratuitous use of speed and cover is really important for your survival. One of their primary advantages is speed not only land speed, but also in torso twist. Lighter mechs go faster and twist faster than heavier mechs. A talented light mech pilot can can out maneuver a larger mech to death. Remember you only have to go slightly faster than the mech you are attacking.
Medium Mechs: The workhorse of a drop lance. They can fill almost any role: heavy scout, scout hunter, flanker, striker, support. Mediums can fit about anything in their mechs from AC20's and gausse rifles to small lasers and machine guns, and still have a a considerable amount of armor on a mobile platform. They can take more damage than a light, but have a larger targeting profile too. In general, they move slower than scouts, but faster than heavy and assault mechs which give them an advantage. They still need to keep in mind their surroundings so they can use the cover to their advantage to protect themselves from larger mechs or long range weapons (ie LRMs). A LRM barrage or 4 can really ruin their day and allow a light or other mech to finish you off if you are not careful. Work in tandem with another mech of any size or consider drafting after a larger brawler mech.
Heavy Mechs: bring a lot of armor and weapons to the field and pack a powerful punch in a slower chassis which, in some cases, may need the protection of the lighter mechs. They are slower in land speed and in torso twisting, so a talented light or medium mech can really ruin their day. They can bring a lot more weapons to bare than even the medium chassis and can take considerably more punishment. Larger, longer ranged and and heavier damaging weapons tend to find themselves on these mechs. Never find yourself isolated or you will get shredded.
Assault Mechs: roving and heavily armored platforms of destruction raining down devastation on their enemies. Assault mechs are the pinnacle of destrutive capabilities of mechs. They have a massive a targeting profile and are the slowest of all of the mechs so they are much easier to hit. They have the most armor and can carry an incredible array of weapons to destroy their enemies and to support their fellow teammates. They may be slow, but once they get there, someone's days is not going to be the same. Because they are the slowest mechs they will most likely need some assistance from other lighter mechs' to protect them from other light mechs. Never find yourself isolated or you will get shredded. I am not kidding at all.
In a lance there are 3 basic roles: recon, striker, support.
Recon/Skirmisher: Mechs who specialize in recon tend to be light and medium mechs. To really excell at this you will need speed (100kph+) and a heavy use of your targeting key "R", which will get you experience if you are the first to spot a target, and a continuous lock will allow your LRM to fire on them. Hit "R" for rain people. DO IT!!! As a recon pilot you will have 4 basic and very important functions:
- Intel: you need to let your lance mates know what the mechs are and where they are. When you encounter 1 or more enemy mechs quickly press "R" and to cycle through all enemy mechs so that your team has an idea of how many contacts you have found. Call out what the mechs are and where they are located, and where they are headed, especially if you are using voice comms. Also let them know if they are protecting their base, camping at the ridge-line or if they have any other peculiar formation: LRMs in the back, etc...
- Targeting: Your job is also to lock on to targets so that your LRM boats can rain their death down upon them. Press "R" for rain. Also, now with Narc (missile hardpoint) and TAG (energy hardpoint) you can help target designate and make LRMs for your team even more effective by the use of these tools.
- You can also split the opposing forces by harrassing their mechs and pulling their attention to you instead of the rest of your team mates.
- This can also be accomplished by attempting to cap their base or move threaten other tactical objectives (base) or mechs (see below)
- Attempt to harass LRM boats and sniping mechs (Gauss, AC2s, PPCs). This is really important, but be careful they usually have friends. If they come to assist their sniper/LRM boat then take a break and come back to let them know you care.
- You can also split the opposing forces by harrassing their mechs and pulling their attention to you instead of the rest of your team mates.
- Counter Harassment It is also your job to act scout hunter and to protect the heavier mechs from the evil predations of the more maneuverable lighter mechs. Also, if you see the warning saying that you base is being attacked, it is generally the job of the light and fast mechs to take care of this issue. Base protection is really important. Losing due to base cap really annoys me.
Heavy Support (Direct and Indirect) : Heavy Support Mechs engage in long range support whether through either direct or indirect fire with such weapons as LRM's for indirect fire support and Gauss Rifles, PPC's, large lasers, and UAC's for long range direct fire support. This class tends to be dominated by heavy and assault mechs who have the tonnage to support a variety of such weapons. Direct fire support mechs can harass the LRM boats from a distance that may be assaulting your lance mates or they can help to take down the mechs to which your unit is focusing fire on. You will also most likely need the assistance of lighter mechs to keep other strikers and scouts from tearing you apart. It is your job to wear down the enemy so the rest of your team can tear them apart.
5. Tactical Speak
Use the Phonetic Alphabet
The phonetic alphabet is used by the military, airlines, and many emergency response organizations due to its clarity and lack of confusion. If you have not learned it yet spend some time with it. Using this can reduce a lot of confusion.
The Phonetic Alphabet can help you to clearly call out targets and map sections. The enemy mech which is labeled "A" in the upper right hand corner of its target square would be called "Alpha"; map section D5 would be called Delta 5".
A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - X-ray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu
Let people know information that is tactically important in as short and concise a manner as possible.
Identify targets: let people know what each of the targets are if they have not been called and where they are located: "Alpha: PPC Awesome in Charlie 4"
Vulnerability Info: let people know if there are weak spots in armor or if main weapons are gone.
"Alpha: back armor red"
"Delta: only med lasers left"
"Echo: left leg gone
Requesting Assistance: let people know if you need help. This is especially applicable to LRM boats who tend to be more vulnerable to close in attacks.
"Help in Bravo 6: scouts harrassing"
Calling Enemy Movements:
"2 Awesomes left side, Bravo 7"
"3 mechs in cave: Atlas, Jenner, K2"
Walking the Line
Some will talk of "go along the 6 line" or "go along the B line". What this is referring to is the the sections of the map that are labeled A6, B6, C6 or B1, B2, B3. If you check the section of battle map up above you will see what I mean. in denoting each of the different sections of the battlemap, numbers go along the vertical axis and letters along the horizontal axis of the map.
So when some one says "going G line". it means that they are going to travel through the sections of the map which are label with a G -> G1, G2, G3, etc... ; or if they say that "the 3 line is clear" then they have traveled through the sections of the battlemap that are labeled with a 3 -> A3, B3, C3 and that there are no enemies in sight.
6. Voice Comms
You do not need to speak: The first thing I want to say is, and this is to head off those who are in a similar situation as I am, you do not have to talk when using voice comms. You level of enjoyment and team teamwork will skyrocket even if you are just able to listen to what is going on. You do not have to talk. Voice Clients generally come with a text chat area. so you can still communicate, although not as often during game.
However, in order for this whole grouping and playing together process to really work at this point, you will need to contact and form a group in another way that is outside of the game. You could use the in game chat with people who are currently your friends, but that is a really annoying. Using a VOIP client will be the best way, especially if you join an organized house/clan that you can play with consistently. Currently, PGI has light integration with the VOIP (voice over internet protocol) client C3.
Many Clan/Mer Groups have their own VOIP and allow others to jump on to play with them, so you can also contact them to see what their policy is. Start with their a random TS server to find a group, and then you can do the friend adding adding, group joining after that. Keep in mind you do not have to speak while using a VOIP client. You can just listen and then just type in the text chat there, however, some people may not see it. =(
(these links are fixed)
You can download the C3 VOIP Client here. I am not sure how to use the client yet, but I am sure that there are may tutorials out there. If anyone has links to them let me know, or if you have any indispensable advice for using it.
After you have installed this client, and you are in a preformed group (ie not a PUG group), C3 will ,when you drop, popup asking you to join a C3 group (for your drop group). At this time only people with premade groups will have C3 pop-up with a request to join a chat group in C3. Pugs, at this time, are out of luck. At some point in the future this will change, and I really look forward to it. PGI has announced that currently there is only light integration with the C3 client and more is to come.
I will say that I have done a few drops with this client and the voice quality is not as good or consistent as team speak.
Another person has suggested after downloading C3, start it up and search for "Dropship" and then find a group from there.
Here are some notes from Hennessey (from a beta thread) about C3 and how it currently works:
- Many users (Windows 7?) need to run C3 'As Administrator' for the push to talk function to work. (right click on program shortcut and select "run as administrator").
- Although it is advertised to create a room for in-game groups, these very often error and close, which leads to:
- Most folks I've played with on C3 have a public room ( or 5) that they generally stay in.
- AAAAAAND those who do, tend to check in the 'Official MW:O' room occasionally for any FNGs who are brave enough to give C3 a shot.
- Related note, you can stay in multiple channels, but simply mute the mouth breathers by clicking on the little speaker icon on the channels tab, and the number of users in the room is displayed next to the name of the room... Just as easy, in most cases, to simply favorite them (the rooms) and check for number of users on the 'Channels:Favorites' tabs
- There is no integration for PUGs at all. It appears as if this is intended in the future, but who knows.
- The UI is relatively straight forward; finding channels and favoriting them feels somewhat familiar.
- C3 has a very simple (limited?) set of options. For some this is a good thing. I found TS to be a config PITA.
- C3 is actually very stable, and will stay connected even through MW:O client crashes/disconnects.
(these links are fixed)
If you would like to use Team Speak 3, which is a very popular VOIP client you can go here to download TS3. My Merc Groups uses it, and so do many others. I find the interface more intuitive and cleaner, and the voice quality much better than C3.
In this thread "Unofficial Community Run Voice Chat Servers" you will see a list of TS3 servers that you can use to join a random drop group.
7. Text Chat
(this is a new section and is a work in progress)
Chat Keys: The default keys for group chat is "y" and global chat is "t". Be careful to not send something to global chat that you meant to send to team chat. Giving your plans to the opposing team is generally not a good idea. You have been warned, and, yes I have done this. =(
bugs/annoyances: once you press a chat key the only way to get out of it is to press enter and send a message or press exit and then exit again which will get you back into the game.
Reasons to use text chat:
There are a few reasons that people may prefer text chat or not using voice chat:
- not enough bandwith to support both game and voice chat
- do not have the software or headphones and/or do not want to deal with it
- cannot be in voice chat due to reasons such as familial issues like mine (computer is in bedroom and the wife and kid are sleeping)
- generally anti-social
- self-conscious about being a non-native English speaker
Please try to pay attention and notice what ends up in the text chat window. It can be hard to do this especially in the heat of battle, but information is one of your greatest weapons.
All of the messages that you would normally send via voice comms you can also send via text chat. The shorter the better since it will be easier to read and type. There is a lot to keep track of so short is sweet. Take a look at the Tactical Speak section above so you can get a feel for the sort of info that is valuable and the level of brevity that you can use.
At some point down the line PGI will add more powerful chat functionality.
Text Chat While Using a Voice Client: Please keep in mind that you can also text chat within voice comms too. You can also join a voice voice chat group and these products have a text chat too, so even if you cannot speak you will still benefit from knowing what is going on from hearing the chat from your group, and still be able to communicate via text chat if you need to. I use it at night, which is the only time I can I play, and the wife is sleeping. We have several people in our group that work this way, including some non-native English speakers.
If you have any other suggestions for this section please let me know.
8. Mechlab Social Button
In the bottom righthand corner of the mechlab you will see a light blue button that says Social, this is what I am calling the Mechlab Social Button.
If you click on that it will open up an panel where you can add friends, create and join groups, and block people. It will have the following tabs: Friends, Invites, Groups, Ignore.
When in the social area the appropriate tab will flash so that you will know that there is something there that you need to attend to.
This tab will list all of your friend and group invites for you to accept or deny
This tab will list all of the players that you have blocked/ignored.
Adding Friends: At the bottom of the Friends tab you will have a button that says Add Friend. Click on that and a text field will come up. In order to add friends you will need to know the exact spelling of their MWO username, since there is no user search (or autocomplete) function yet.
Bugs/Annoyances: The current operation of this field is currently quite quirk-some so be prepared. I think that when a status of someone in the friends/groups tabs changes it will clear out what you are typing in the invite field. Very annoying, so type quick.
Blocking Players: When you are in the friends tab you can click on them and you will have the option to block. Just click on block and then they will show up in your blocked tab. I am not sure how that if that affects your ability to drop with them or chat with them or what. Hopefully, someone can confirm the specific results. (this needs clarification)
Player to Player Chat: When you are in the Friends tab you may double click on a member and a small chat window will come up.
Friend Status: Each person will have a color status icon:
- Green: online
- Orange: in a game
- Red: not on line
Once you are apart of a group you will most likely want add everyone as a friend to make it easier to form groups later on.
Create a Group: Any person can create a group here and then invite people to the group. At the bottom of this tab you will have the option, when you are not currently apart of a group, to create a group. You click on the Create a Group button at the bottom, and the group name will be [Username]'s Group, and then you can start inviting people to your group.
Add Players to Group: The group leader can invite people to a group by one of 2 ways, either by clicking on their name in the friends tab and then clicking on the Invite to Group in the context menu, or in the group tab typing in their name at the bottom of that tab in the Invite Friend box.
Random Group Leader ??: When the person who created the group leaves the group there will be a single random person who is assigned as a group leader. They will then be the one who can send invites to the group. If the leader leaves the group then another random person is designated as the group leader.
Group Membership: Once your group is formed you will then want to show that your mech is ready for drop. You do that via the bluish Launch button in top right-hand corner of the screen. It will say ready and then the group leader can launch the group into a game. The Group Leader can launch a group even though you have not selected ready.
The status icons on the left for group members are as follows:
- solid green bust - ready for drop
- green bust with red/question mark - not on your friends list
- star - group leader
See the next section for more info on this, but here I will say that if you have the C3 client installed it will automatically ask you if you want to join a C3 chat group when you drop, and this will most useful for PUG groups since organized houses/clans will have their own server/software to use.
Opposing Dropgroups will be selected equally by mech class: for every light in your drop group there will be a light, for every assault there will be an assault. A natural by product of this experimental group formulation may result in having organized dropgroups paired against pugs a little more often, since organized groups may or may not have similar compositions, although they may. Something to look out for.
- Your ready status resets itself on occasion even though it may still say Ready on your Launch button. The status shown in the group tab will be different than what is shown in your Launch Button, which will most likely happen if you select ready and then are playing around in the mech/pilot labs.
on occasion the group will drop without certain members. To fix this have everyone leave the group and create a new group(this seems to be fixed with the Aug 21 patch)
- Currently, since there is a lot of disconnects with this last patch (Aug 24) there are uneven
- groups dropping. =(
(this section is rough since I have not done this myself)
It used to be that the first person to load on a side will be assigned the group commander and will have access to the command functions in the Battlmap, but now it seems that Command is not automatically assigned, and anyone can take command once the match has started.
You can take command of your drop group by accessing the Battlemap ('B') and then in the upper left-hand corner of the Battlemap screen you will see the option to Take Command. Once you have done so you will have the ability to resign command. If someone currently has command then you will see the option to take command.
Once you have Command you will have some command functions to help to drive your group to victory. Currently all commands are done from the Battlemap which is accessed using the "B" button. In the upper right-hand corner you will see the following legend detailing the commands you can issue to your dropgroup.
You issue commands to your group by left clicking on an area and a little yellow dot will appear and then a list of the lances that are available to give commands to. Currently there is only 1 lance - Lance Alpha, later on there will be Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie lances that you can assign commands to. Once you click on the map you click on the lance - Alpha, and then the list of commands shows up that you can select. Once you select the command a marker for that command will show up in your teammate's HUD pointing them to that.
bug annoyance: It is reported that: it is best to place the markers within 2-3 grid squares of your current location or they don't show up on the mini-map until the players stumble across them by accident. Updating the location often makes sure everyone can see them when they need to see them.
Another benefit of being Commander is that the color of your text chat will be orange so it will stand out from the rest of your dropmates. For PUG groups having someone take charge can make a huge difference since directing a PUG group can be difficult (like herding cats). Some organized team work can mean the difference between a win and a loss, so if someone is not taking charge of your group and you think you have a good idea, then please help lead your group to victory.
This function is still pretty rough and you can only give one command at a time, and you do not seem to be able to cancel a command once it is given. Once a command is given there will always be one command in play. Keep that in mind, so you will need to keep on top of this or your current command may be confusing.
10. MWO Regimental Membership
(These links are fixed)
At some point you will most likely want to look at joining a Unit/Clan/Guild/Regiment or whatever they are called in MW land. Most of them will most likely have their own private TS3, Ventrilo or other server for Voice Comms, and they can be a great place to start learning the ropes and for a more enjoyable social game play experience. This will also get you setup and acquainted with a group to play, which will be especially important for when faction warfare is implemented. You will also find that groups who play together will generally stomp the random PUG (pickup group)/PUB (public) drop groups fairly consistently. Hopefully, when the matchmaker gets fixed this will not be an issue.
Each Guild/Clan/Merc Unit will play differently and will have a different culture. Some will be more casual and some will be more into the competition and winning, some will be more into the roleplaying aspects. Spend some time looking at the different Guilds/Brigades/Merc Groups and find one that fits your play style and needs. Many of them already have websites and recruitment threads that tell you what they expect and how they operate so you can get an idea. My FRR Merc Unit is casual and you can get involved in the RP aspects as little or as much as you want. For me, I just need a great group to play with, and on rare occasion will get involved with the RP or flavor aspects, since I am too busy.
Here is the Mec Corps Subforum and the Faction Talk Subforum too, and this wonderful little thread titled Hiring Hall specifically for pilots looking for a house/clan to join.
Please let me know if there is anything else of interest for this guide.
Good luck everyone! Happy Fragging!
Edited by Taryys, 10 December 2012 - 07:10 AM.