Skill Tree Public Test Session

by Alexander Garden in [ Announcements ] on, Feb 8, 2017 10:00 PM UTC 859  comments







Table of Contents

Structure of this Public Test

Design Principles of the Skill Tree

Inherent Quirks and the Skill Tree

Glossary

Skill Tree Economy
• Performing a Skill Respec

Skills
• Firepower
• Survival
• Mobility
• Operations
• Infotech

Navigating the Skill Tree
• 'Mech Enhancements Window
• Compatibility Alerts
• New XP Conversion Interface
• Transferring Historical XP (HXP)

General Balance Changes in this PTS
• Component Health
• Target Info Gathering
• ECM
• Targeting Computers
• Ballistic Weapons
• Energy Weapons
• Missile Weapons

Module and Experience Refund FAQ


Greetings MechWarriors,

Welcome to the much-anticipated Public Test Session for the upcoming revamp of the Skill Tree system!
The Skill Tree has been redesigned from the ground up, and before its planned release in the February 21st patch we want you to check it out and let us know what you think.

This post contains all the information you'll need to get up to speed on the new Skill Tree, but we encourage everyone to join this Public Test Session and give us your feedback in the PTS Discussion Forum.
If you're looking for information regarding the refund process for experience and Module purchases made under the previous Skill system, you can check out the FAQ at the end of this post for details.

There's a lot to cover here, so let's get right into it.



As usual, this Public Test contains a cloned version of the main player account database. This clone was created on February 3rd 2017. As a result, upon logging into Public Test your account will appear as it did at that time.

• If your account was created after that time you will be unable to access the Skill Tree Public Test.
• If your login credentials were changed after that time you will need to login to this PTS using your original credentials.
• If your account was temporarily suspended at that time please contact moderation@mwomercs.com to resolve the suspension on PTS.

• All Quick Play matches will be 4v4
• Solo and Group Queue matches will be supported. However, you will need to Group up in groups of 2 or 4 to find a match.
• The matchmaker will not be in effect (no PSR or Weight Class matching).
• Private Matches will be accessible.
• Faction Play will be accessible, but to help ensure you get matches we recommend you drop QP.
• All PTS accounts will be boosted with MC and C-Bill currency and Premium Time to aid with testing.
Please do not contact Support regarding any PTS questions or feedback. Please direct all PTS-related content to the dedicated Discussion Forum.



The revamp of the Skill Tree has been designed with a number of core principles:

• Empower players with the ability to customize their 'Mechs performance characteristics according to their own desires and goals.

• Promote greater build and 'Mech diversity on the battlefield by enabling broader control over specialized roles.

• Transition from a variant-wide Skill Tree to an individual 'Mech Skill Tree, allowing for duplicate versions of the same variant to serve different roles with different Skill configurations.

• Facilitate a drastic reduction of inherent 'Mech Quirks.



While a significant number of Quirks have been removed from various 'Mechs in this PTS, many Quirks do still remain for a number of 'Mech chassis and variants.
In this PTS you'll see a specific focus toward ramping down Offensive Quirks in particular. Mobility Quirks remain untouched in this build, while only a handful of Defensive Quirk adjustments have been made. The new Skill Tree is the start of a path that will see us greatly ramp down and re-structure the Quirk system as a whole, but this is expected to be a process occurring over time, not in one sweeping action.

At the moment the interface does not make it clear which of your 'Mech Enhancements are derived from player-applied Skills and which are derived from inherent Quirks, but a future patch will feature improvements to the method for conveying Skill and Quirk data.
For now, player-applied Skills and inherent Quirks will be intermixed in the general Enhancements area of the 'Mech Stats window in MechLab.

In some cases, enhancements received from a Skill Node will overlap with enhancements received from an inherent Quirk.
For example, unlocking a Torso Speed Skill for a 'Mech which already possesses an inherent Torso Speed Quirk.

In such cases, bonuses received from Skills and Quirks are both added to the base value.

For example: A 10% Torso Speed Skill Bonus and a 10% Torso Speed Quirk Bonus will result in a 20% overall boost to base Torso Speed.




Before we run through all the details of the new Skill Tree there are some key terms that need defining to better explain how the Skill Tree works.

Skill Tree
As the original Skill system was referred to as the Skill Tree, the new Skill system as a whole can continue to be referred to as the Skill Tree for sake of ease.

Skill Branch
The collection of Skill Nodes for a specific 'Mech ability, weapon, or piece of equipment.
• For example: The Ultra Autocannon Skill Branch.

Skill Class
The class in which a Skill Branch is placed.
• For example: The Ultra Autocannon Skill Branch is part of the Firepower Skill Class.

Skill Sub-Class
The sub-class in which a Skill Branch is placed.
• For example: The Ultra Autocannon Skill Branch is part of the Ballistic Sub-Class (a Sub-Class of Firepower).

Skill Node
A single Node within a Skill Branch.
• For example: The UAC Velocity 1 Skill Node within the Ultra Autocannon Skill Branch.

SP (Skill Points) 
Points used for tracking the number of Skill Nodes unlocked on a 'Mech.
• Unlocking 1 Skill Node counts as 1 Skill Point. All 'Mechs possess a total of 91 available Skill Points.

XP ('Mech XP) 
A 'Mech-specific experience type.
• 'Mech XP can only be used to unlock Skill Nodes for the specific 'Mech on which that 'Mech XP is present.

GXP (General XP) 
A general experience type.
• GXP can be used to unlock Skill Nodes for any 'Mech.

HXP (Historical XP) 
Historical XP carried over from your account prior to the release of the new Skill Tree.
'Mech XP from the previous Skill Tree (whether spent or unspent) will be returned to the associated variants as a shared HXP pool. 
• GXP spent on 'Mech Skills from the previous Skill Tree will be returned to the associated variants as a shared HXP pool. 
• HXP must be converted into 'Mech XP before it can be used for Skill Unlocks. There is no cost associated with converting HXP into 'Mech XP.
• You can find a more complete rundown on HXP and how it relates to the new Skill Tree in the Navigating the new Skill Tree section of this post.

Respec
Performing a respec refers to the act of undoing all Skill unlocks for your chosen 'Mech, for the purpose of 'respecing' it with new Skills.


To unlock a Skill Node you must spend the required amount of C-Bills and XP. All Skill Nodes always have the same cost.

Unlocking 1 Skill Node =  100,000 C-Bills and 1,500 XP (of any single type)

For example: Purchasing 10 Skill Nodes would cost 1,000,000 C-Bills and 15,000 XP.

Individual Skill Nodes can only be acquired using one type of XP. You cannot use 1000 XP and 500 GXP to unlock a single Node, for example.
You can however use multiple types of XP to unlock distinct Nodes within a Branch in a single transaction, such as using XP to unlock one Node and GXP to unlock another.

Every 'Mech possesses a total of 91 available Skill Points, and every Skill Node you unlock will count as 1 Skill Point for that 'Mech.
Once you have unlocked 91 Skill Nodes your 'Mech is considered Mastered, and no additional Skill Nodes can be unlocked.
Unlike the previous Skill Tree, Mastery status does not convey any additional benefits or abilities.

Skill Points are returned to the 'Mech if you perform a Skill Respec.

 
Skill Nodes can be reverted - or 'respeced' - at any time. A respec will re-lock that Skill Node, remove any benefits it provided, refund you the full amount of XP used to originally acquire that Node, and free up the Skill Point associated with it.

To perform a respec you must spend the required amount of either C-Bills or MC. Performing a Respec always has the same cost requirement per-Node.

Respec 1 Skill Node =  25,000 C-Bills or 10 MC

Whether you choose MC or C-Bills as your currency for performing a full Skill Respec or individual Node removal, you will always receive a full refund of the XP you originally spent to acquire the Nodes being removed.

XP returned after a respec will always be returned to the specific variant as 'Mech XP, regardless of whether you used GXP to unlock the Node.
It is important to keep that in mind when using GXP to unlock your Skill Nodes!

There are two methods by which you can revert your Skills and 'respec' your 'Mech. 

Full Respec

 You can perform a full Respec through the associated button inside the 'Mech Enhancements window.
• Performing a full Respec on a 'Mech will always respec all of the Skill Nodes you have unlocked for that 'Mech.
• Performing a full Respec requires the use of either MC or C-Bills.
• You can only use one type of currency to perform a Respec! If you instead wish to use a combination of MC and C-Bills to revert multiple Nodes you should perform the removal per-Node, as outlined below.
• Upon completing a Respec all of the XP spent to originally acquire your Skill Nodes will be returned to that specific 'Mech variant as 'Mech XP, regardless of whether you used GXP to originally unlock the Nodes.

Individual Node Respec

 Instead of performing a full Respec, you can remove individual Skill Nodes by highlighting the Node you wish to remove and selecting either MC or C-Bills as your desired currency for performing the removal.
• Removing an individual Skill node requires the use of MC or C-Bills.
• You can only use one type of currency to remove a single Node! However, you can remove multiple Nodes in one single transaction using both MC and C-Bills. For example, you could remove 3 Nodes using C-Bills and 5 Nodes using MC.
• Upon completing an individual Node Respec all of the XP spent to originally acquire the Node will be returned to that specific 'Mech variant as 'Mech XP, regardless of whether you used GXP to originally unlock the Node.



The Skill Tree is comprised of five core Skill Classes. There are 17 Skill Branches in total, the majority of which reside in the Firepower Skill Class.

Firepower
• Ballistic
• Autocannon
• Ultra Autocannon
• LBX Autocannon
• Gauss
• Energy
• Laser
• Pulse Laser
• PPC
• Missile
• LRM
• SRM
• Streak SRM
Survival
• Defensive
Mobility
• Upper Chassis
• Lower Chassis
• Jump Jets
Operations
• 'Mech Operations
Infotech
• Sensors
• Auxiliary

While the layout and content of Skill Branches are identical between Clan and Inner Sphere 'Mechs (and between weight classes), there are minor differences in the values used for certain Skill Nodes.

In the following section we'll run through all of the available Skill Branches.
Please note that the 'Mech used for the purposes of demonstration in the images below is the Warhammer, an Inner Sphere Heavy 'Mech.
As mentioned above, the physical layout and core content of all Skill Branches are identical between Clan and Inner Sphere 'Mechs and betwee weight classes.
Any differences in Skill Node values will be displayed in a table below each section when applicable.



Ballistic

   

Autocannon / Ultra Autocannon / LBX Autocannon / Gauss Rifle
• AC, UAC, and LBX Skill Nodes apply to all sub-types of their respective weapon classes.
• For example: Autocannon Skill Nodes apply to the AC 2, AC 5, AC 10, and AC 20.
• Machine Guns do not have a Skill Branch nor any Skill Nodes.

Inner Sphere/Clan Difference Table
 

AC Cooldown
(per Node)

UAC Cooldown
(per Node)

LBX Cooldown
(per Node)

Gauss Cooldown
(per Node)

IS

-1%

-1%

-1%

-1%

Clan

-.8%

-.8%

-.8%

-.8% 




Energy

  

Laser / Pulse Laser / PPC
• Laser, Pulse Laser, and PPC Skill Nodes apply to all sub-types of their respective weapon classes.
• For example: Laser Skill Nodes apply to the Small Laser, Medium Laser, Large Laser, and ER Large Laser.
• Flamer and Tag do not have a Skill Branch nor any Skill Nodes.

Inner Sphere/Clan Difference Tables

Laser Range
(per Node)

Laser Cooldown
(per Node)

Laser Heat
(per Node)

Laser Duration
(per Node)

IS

+2%

-1%

-1%

-3%

Clan

+1.6%

-.8%

-.8%

-2% 


Pulse Laser Range
(per Node)

Pulse Laser Cooldown
(per Node)

Pulse Laser Heat
(per Node)

Pulse Laser Duration
(per Node)

IS

+2%

-1%

-1%

-3%

Clan

+1.4%

-.8%

-.8%

-2% 


PPC Cooldown
(per Node)

PPC Heat
(per Node)

IS

-1%

-1%

Clan

-0.8%

-.8%




Missile

  

LRM / SRM / Streak SRM
• LRM, SRM, and SSRM Skill Nodes apply to all sub-types of their respective weapon classes.
• For example: LRM Skill Nodes apply to LRM 5, LRM 10, LRM 15, and LRM 20.
• Enhanced NARC Skill Nodes are located in the InfoTech > Auxiliary Skill Branch.

Inner Sphere/Clan Difference Tables

LRM Cooldown
(per Node)

SRM Cooldown
(per Node)

Streak SRM Range
(per Node)

Streak SRM Cooldown
(per Node)

Streak SRM Heat (per node)

IS

-1%

-1%

+2.5%

-1%

-1%

Clan

-0.8%

-.8%

+2%

-0.8%

-0.8%




Defensive

Weight Class Difference Tables

Light

Medium

Heavy

Assault

Skeletal Density (per node)

+7%

+6%

+5%

+4%

Armor Hardening (per node)

+5%

+4%

+3%

+2%




  

Upper Chassis / Lower Chassis / Jump Jets

Inner Sphere, Clan, and Weight Class Difference Tables

Torso Speed
(per node)

Light

Medium

Heavy

Assault

IS

+1.5%

+1.5%

+1%

+1%

Clan

+1%

+1%

+0.8%

+0.8%





'Mech Operations

Inner Sphere/Clan Difference Tables

IS Ballistics

Magazine Capacity (per Node)

Clan Ballistics

Magazine Capacity (per Node)

AC2

+10

C-AC2

+10

AC5

+5

C-AC5

+10

AC10

+3

C-AC10

+10

AC20

+1

C-AC20

+4

LB10X

+3

C-LB10X

+1

UAC5

+5

C-UAC5

+10

Gauss

+2

C-Gauss

+2

Please note that Clan Ballistic weapons not listed in the Magazine Capacity table above do benefit from Magazine Capacity Skills; they are simply not listed here because they do not have an IS counterpart, and there is no quantitative difference to note.



 

Sensors / Auxiliary

Weight Class Difference Tables

Light

Medium

Heavy

Assault

Sensor Range
(per Node)

+7%

+5%

+3%

+2%

Target Info Gathering
(per Node)

+7%

+5%

+3%

+2%




Skill Trees are now accessed per-'Mech within MechLab itself. The previous Skills button in the top toolbar has been removed.

Upon entering MechLab and clicking the Skills button from the list of MechLab options on the left of your screen you will be taken to the Skill Tree for your currently selected 'Mech.
In the image below you can see an example of this, with some of the elements of the Skill Tree interface highlighted and defined.

How to Navigate the Skill Tree:
 Click and Drag: Move your view of the Skill Tree
 Mouse Wheel Up/Down: Adjust your zoom level


You can also check out the WebM video (60 MB) below for a demonstration of the Skill Tree and its interface.



The 'Mech Enhancements window contains everything you need for tracking your current Skills, your experience values, and your purchase details within the Skill Tree.
Performing a Skill Respec, Converting 'Mech XP, and transferring HXP are also conducted through the 'Mech Enhancements window.

In the example below, the player is intending to purchase all of the UAV Range and UAV Duration Skill Nodes for this 'Mech. The Current 'Mech Enhancements window conveys which Enhancements are being acquired, the value of any Skills currently applied, and what the value of the Skills will be after the purchase of the Skills.
As the player is purchasing all of these Skill Nodes at once, with no previous UAV Skills unlocked, the Current values for both Skills are 0.
Unlocking 10 Skill Nodes in total to receive a 40% boost to UAV Range and a 15s boost to UAV Duration will require that this player spend 1,000,000 C-Bills and 15,000 XP.

In this case, the player has chosen to use GXP for half of the Nodes they are unlocking, and 'Mech XP for the other half.
As mentioned earlier, individual Skill Nodes can only be acquired using one type of XP. You cannot use 1000 XP and 500 GXP to unlock a single Node, for example. However, you can use multiple types of XP to unlock distinct Nodes within a Branch.





There are two important alert elements you'll want to keep an eye out for when evaluating which Skills you want to unlock for your current 'Mech in the Skill Tree interface.

These icons are likely to appear in at least some of your Skill Tree's at any given moment, and will help you keep track of which Skills are relevant to your current 'Mech, its current Loadout, and the in case of Clan OmniMechs, its current Hardpoints.


Skill Compatibility Alert

When a particular Skill Tree contains any Node(s) that are incompatible with your 'Mechs current Loadout, that Skill Tree will contain a yellow caution symbol.

When the yellow caution symbol is present you are still able to unlock Nodes within that Skill Tree.

If you are unlocking a Node which is incompatible with your current Loadout, the standard confirmation window for purchasing a Skill Node will warn you of the conflict.



Skill Restricted Alert

When a particular Skill Tree is strictly incompatible with your current 'Mech, whether due to its current Hardpoints or a fundamental lack of support for a given piece of Equipment, the Skill Restricted symbol will appear inside any applicable Skill Trees.

Unlike the milder Skill Warning, the Skill Restricted status will prevent you from unlocking any Nodes within that Skill Tree.

BattleMechs cannot re-configure their available Hardpoints or bypass inherent Equipment restrictions. As a result, Skill Restricted alerts will always be permanent for BattleMechs when present.

OmniMechs will encounter the Skill Restricted alert and the purchase lockout when applicable, but unlike standard BattleMechs, OmniMechs have the flexibility to remove a Skill Restricted alert and open the Skill Tree for use by adjusting their OmniPod configurations.

Example

In the compiled example below, the player is viewing the Skill layout for a 'Mech solely equipped with Pulse Lasers in its Energy Hardpoints. The 'Mech does not have any PPC weaponry equipped.
The Pulse Laser Skill Branch therefore has no alert attached, while the PPC Skill Branch has a yellow warning symbol. In this situation the player is advised of the compatibility issue, but they are not restricted from unlocking PPC Skill Nodes. The player may wish to equip PPC weaponry after unlocking PPC Skills, and we do not want to prevent them from doing so.

This BattleMech does not possess any Missile Hardpoints, and is incapable of equipping any Missile weaponry. They are therefore restricted from unlocking any LRM Skill Nodes, as indicated by the red symbol.



Loadout Compatibility Alert

When necessary, compatibility alerts are also provided when changing the Loadout of your 'Mech.
If a Loadout change you're committing causes an applied Skill to become inert, such as removing all Pulse Lasers when you have Pulse Laser Skills presently applied, the usual Loadout confirmation window will contain alert text notifying you of this conflict.
This alert operates under the same principle as the Skill Warning, in that you will not be prevented from saving your Loadout changes. You will simply be alerted to the conflict.
Loadout alerts are integrated directly into the existing Loadout confirmation window, and don't require any additional confirmation or clicks.



The method for converting 'Mech XP into GXP has also undergone a redesign as part of the new Skill Tree. All 'Mechs with 'Mech XP present are now listed in the Convert XP interface, and XP can be converted from multiple 'Mechs in a single transaction.

The XP Conversion interface can be accessed either through the 'Mech Enhancements window of your Skill Tree, or from the existing button in the Home screen.




As part of the transition to the new Skill Tree, any spent or unspent 'Mech XP (or spent GXP) previously associated with a specific variant under the original Skill system will be converted into a shared pool of HXP for that variant.
This pool of HXP is locked to the variant on which it was spent, but can be assigned as you desire to all duplicates of that variant in your possession.

For example: Under the previous system you spent a combined total of 50,000 experience points (XP and GXP) on your SDR-5D.
With the release of the new Skill Tree, all SDR-5Ds in your MechLab will possess a shared pool of HXP equal to the amount of experience you previously spent on that variant. From the above example, the HXP pool for all SDR-5D variants in your MechLab would thus be 50,000 HXP.
Historical XP can then be transferred to any SDR-5D variants in your collection. You could transfer 25,000 Historical XP into 'Mech XP for one 5D, and 25,000 HXP into 'Mech XP for the other.

There is no cost associated with transferring HXP into 'Mech XP. However, keep in mind that HXP transfers are permanent. Once you transfer HXP to a specific 'Mech you cannot reverse that transfer.

In the example below, the player owns the BattleMaster BLR-1G and the BattleMaster BLR-1G [P]. Under the original Skill system these 'Mechs were treated as duplicates, and thus shared the same Skill status and 'Mech XP values.
Under the new Skill Tree, you are now able to set distinct Skills for all of the 'Mechs in your possession. These two variants are now considered distinct.
If a 'Mech has a pool of HXP from which to draw it will be marked with a new HXP icon in its Select 'Mech portrait, as seen in the example below.


When viewing the Skill Tree for a 'Mech possessing an amount of HXP, the 'Mech Enhancements window will contain a section dedicated to allocating any amount of that HXP onto the 'Mech you're currently viewing.
In the example below the player is intending to transfer 251 HXP from their pool of 580 total HXP for the BLR-1G variant class.





The fundamental changes to 'Mech potential facilitated by the new Skill Tree will inevitably introduce new challenges and balance questions. We've taken care to address a few balance components in this PTS, but as with inherent 'Mech Quirks the state of balance under the new Skill Tree will be an ongoing process of iterative improvements.

Component Health

With the Skill Tree bringing with it a global reduction in inherent Quirk values, we knew this change would disproportionately impact the Inner Sphere more than the Clans. This prompted us to take a hard look at the baseline systems in the game and how they contribute to Clan/IS balance. We have identified a series of core imbalances that we will be attempting to evaluate further and address in the future, while still attempting to maintain distinct differences between the two technology bases.

The first of the changes you'll see in this PTS as a result of this review is to address the Critical Hit system, the faction-level imbalances present within it. The previous Critical Hit system was globally too lax in its distribution of health and damage, leading to Critical Hits rarely occurring unless it was directly the result of Critical Hits from high-damage weaponry - primarily PPC and Gauss. This resulted in minimal concern being paid to Critical Hits, even when receiving damage from weaponry with boosted Critical Chances or damage bonuses.

We've gone through all of the equipment currently in the game, and have taken a pass at giving each Component its own unique Critical Health value.

On the Inner Sphere side, smaller/lighter Components will see their health reduced. Mid-sized components will stay where they are, while large components will see a health increase.
The overall aim here is to increase the threat of Component destruction from a Critical hit when Structure is exposed. We have also made a series of weapon and equipment changes to further support this system.

When it came to the Critical Hit system for Clans, we have identified that this was a fundamental point of imbalance. Due to the fact that Inner Sphere Components are larger and heavier, Inner Sphere Components were much more prone to being critted out directly because they had less overall Component Health to 'pad' the crit damage in comparison to their Clan counterparts.
This resulted in Inner Sphere 'Mechs suffering much more from Critical hits than the Clans, who can pack their 'Mechs with more Components of equal health.

To address this, Clan Components will see an overall reduction in Health values - excluding cases where those Components are identical to their Inner Sphere counterparts, such as Jump Jets and Actuators.
While these changes may initially seem extreme when viewed in isolation, they are designed to account for the fact that Clans can typically mount more physical Equipment than their Inner Sphere counterparts. When viewed as total Component Health values against roughly equivalent Inner Sphere designs, the end result sees a much closer balance picture for total Component Health between the two tech bases.

Essentially, the bulkier, heavier Inner Sphere Equipment will typically now be more durable, while the smaller, lighter Clan equipment will allow for more equipment to be fielded overall at the cost individual equipment health.

We have provided two examples below conveying these dynamics. The first, comparing the Inner Sphere Jenner Oxide against the Clan Jenner IIC. The second, comparing the Inner Sphere Black Knight BL-7_KNT-L against the Clan Timber Wolf TBR-A.
These examples are intended to showcase that while Clan tech health can be lower than Inner Sphere health, the ability for Clan 'Mechs to equip a greater amount of equipment equalizes this deficiency and puts the two sides in a more comfortable state of balance.

Jenner vs. Jenner IIC (Previous)

Jenner Oxide JR7-O (Build)

Jenner IIC JR7-IIC (Build)

Components & Component HP

Components & Component HP

RT

1

LT

1

RT

5

LT

1

RT HP

15

LT HP

15

RT HP

51.6

LT HP

15

RA

4

LA

4

RA

5

LA

5

RA HP

40

LA HP

40

RA HP

50

LA HP

50

RL

5

LL

5

RL

4

LL

4

RL HP

50

LL HP

50

RL HP

40

LL HP

40

CT

4

HD

4

CT

4

HD

4

CT HP

45

HD HP

40

CT HP

45

HD HP

40

Total #

28

Total HP

265

Total #

32

Total HP

301.6


Jenner vs. Jenner IIC (New)

Jenner Oxide JR7-O (Same Build)

Jenner IIC JR7-IIC (Same Build)

Components & Component HP

Components & Component HP

RT

1

LT

1

RT

5

LT

1

RT HP

15

LT HP

15

RT HP

47.5

LT HP

15

RA

4

LA

4

RA

5

LA

5

RA HP

32.5

LA HP

32.5

RA HP

32

LA HP

32

RL

5

LL

5

RL

4

LL

4

RL HP

35

LL HP

40

RL HP

30

LL HP

30

CT

4

HD

4

CT

4

HD

4

CT HP

40

HD HP

22

CT HP

32

HD HP

22

Total #

28

Total HP

202

Total #

32

Total HP

210.5


Black Knight vs. Timber Wolf (Previous)

Black Knight BL-7-KNT-L (Build)

Timber Wolf TBR-A (Build)

Components & Component HP

Components & Component HP

RT

5

LT

4

RT

6

LT

5

RT HP

55

LT HP

45

RT HP

58.2

LT HP

51.6

RA

6

LA

7

RA

7

LA

8

RA HP

60

LA HP

70

RA HP

56.4

LA HP

73.2

RL

4

LL

4

RL

4

LL

4

RL HP

40

LL HP

40

RL HP

40

LL HP

40

CT

2

HD

4

CT

3

HD

3

CT HP

25

HD HP

40

CT HP

35

HD HP

30

Total #

36

Total HP

345

Total #

40

Total HP

354.4


Black Knight vs. Timber Wolf (New)

Black Knight BL-7-KNT-L (Same Build)

Timber Wolf TBR-A (Same Build)

Components & Component HP

Components & Component HP

RT

5

LT

4

RT

6

LT

5

RT HP

45

LT HP

42.5

RT HP

45

LT HP

50

RA

6

LA

7

RA

7

LA

8

RA HP

45

LA HP

55

RA HP

42.5

LA HP

47.5

RL

4

LL

4

RL

4

LL

4

RL HP

30

LL HP

30

RL HP

30

LL HP

30

CT

2

HD

4

CT

3

HD

3

CT HP

25

HD HP

19.5

CT HP

60

HD HP

12

Total #

36

Total HP

262

Total #

40

Total HP

257


These changes are only the first level of the core changes we are currently evaluating for future patches. As mentioned in the design notes for the Clan XL Engine changes from January, more details will be conveyed as we approach implementation. We want to assure everyone that core-level tech balance continues to be a priority for us as we get closer to implementing new tech into the game.

Target Info Gathering

All 'Mechs possess inherent values for determining their Target Info Gathering capabilities at short, medium, and long range.
This PTS sees the following changes to those inherent Target Info Gathering values:

 Base Short Range Target Info Gathering time increased to 2s (from 1s).
 Base Medium Range Target Info Gathering time increased to 4.5s (from 3s).
 Base Large Range Target Info Gathering time increased to 7s (from 5s).
 Target Info Gathering time can be reduced through Skill Tree advancement.

Target Info Gathering Design Notes: The introduction of the new Skill Tree prompted us to evaluate the various information warfare mechanics currently present in MWO in an effort to determine how those systems could be refined and improved; specifically in light of the new Skill Tree.
For this PTS we have opted to increase the base time required for gathering target information for two reasons:
 Increase the challenge of isolating vulnerable enemy components through a greater reliance on teamwork
 Reward players who wish to specialize in information warfare and boost their Target Info Gathering abilities through Skill Tree advancement

ECM

 Base Range of Detection Scrambling reduced to 30% (from 75%).
 The remaining 45% is now unlocked through the Skill Tree (22.5% per Node).

ECM Design Notes: In this PTS we're attempting to address the low investment/high reward characteristics of ECM equipment in its new context under the Skill Tree. With the above reduction to its base range, utilizing ECM to its full effect will require focused advancement within the Skill Tree.

Targeting Computers

Targeting Computer Mk 1:
 1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 1.14% (from 5%).
 2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.64% (from 2.75%).
 3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.14% (from 0.55%).

    Targeting Computer Mk 2:
     1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 2.29% (from 5.50%).
     2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 1.29% (from 3%).
     3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.29% (from 0.63%).

      Targeting Computer Mk 3:
       1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 3.43% (from 6%).
       2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 1.93% (from 3.25%).
       3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to .43% (from 0.7%).

        Targeting Computer Mk 4:
         1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 4.57% (from 6.5%).
         2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 2.57% (from 3.50%).
         3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.57% (from 0.78%).

          Targeting Computer Mk 5:
           1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 5.71% (from 7%).
           2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 3.21% (from 4%).
           3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.71% (from 0.85%).

            Targeting Computer Mk 6:
             1 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 6.86% (from 7.5%).
             2 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 3.86% (from 4.25%).
             3 Crit Chance bonus reduced to 0.86% (from .93%).


              Targeting Computer Design Notes: The Critical Chance boost provided from Targeting Computer equipment provided a disproportionate boost to the lower tiers of the equipment compared to the higher tiers. We've gone through and adjusted the distribution of Crit Chance bonuses into a more linear arrangement, based on the final Mk 7 TC, to provide a fairer distribution of the bonus through the TC line.

              Ballistic Weapons

              C-UAC2
               Bonuses to Crit Chance have been removed.
               Jam Duration increased to 4s (from 3s).

              C-UAC2 Design Notes: In the context of the new Skill Tree and the aforementioned Crit changes, we feel there are two aspects of the C-UAC2 that need to be adjusted.

              The first is the removal of the Critical Chance bonus for the C-UAC2. In the context of other changes, we felt the C-UAC2 was outpacing Crit Damage output against more specialized weapons that are more geared toward filling that niche; particularly when looking at the dynamic between the C-LBX2 and standard C-AC2 weaponry. We're removing its bonus to focus the C-UAC2 more toward a burst DPS weapon.

              The second change is an increase to Jam Duration. We provided the weapon with a fairly generous Jam Chance in a prior patch to account for its lack of an associated Cooldown Module. With the merging of all UAC types into a single Skill Tree, the C-UAC2 will now have access to Cooldown, Velocity, and Jam Chance bonuses it didn't previously possess. As a result we are adjusting the Jam Duration to better align the base weapon against other C-UAC options. We hope to keep the C-UAC2 at a relatively similar burst DPS output to where it was previously, provided a player invests available Skill Points into the UAC Branch.

              Gauss Rifles (IS and Clan)
               Gauss Rifles now only provide a single Critical Hit.
               Critical Damage Dealt reduced by 50%.

              Gauss Rifle Design Notes: Under the previous Crit system the Gauss Rifle was one of the only weapons capable of providing reliable Critical hits, and was the only weapon that could reliably Crit components with a single hit from 800+ ranges. We have made a series of changes to the Gauss Rifle to reduce its impact on the Critical Hit system and keep its primary focus on massive physical damage at a small heat cost.

              As a hypersonic, solid-slug projectile that carries no explosive material, a Gauss slug would produce highly-focused kinetic damage to its impact area, rather than impacting with an explosive shell. To further play into this attribute, we are removing the ability for Gauss to inflict multiple Critical hits. Single Critical hit chances can still be boosted with the use of a Targeting Computer.

              Additionally, its Critical Damage will now only be 50% of its physical Damage. This results in 7.5 Critical Damage Dealt within optimal range. Coinciding with Crit health changes, this damage output is still sufficient to take out small Components or Heat Sinks in a single hit, but will now requite multiple hits to take out larger weapons and components.

              These changes were made to reduce the overall impact of the weapon through the Critical system to better reward other weapons more focused toward dealing Critical damage.

              Energy Weapons

              PPC/ERPPC/C-ERPPC
               Critical Damage Dealt reduced by 25%.

              PPC Design Notes: Like with Gauss Rifle, we have reduced the reliability of the PPC line as a Crit-seeking weapon to better balance it against weapons more specialized toward Critical damage. Its Critical damage will now only be 75% of its physical damage, resulting in the same 7.5 Critical damage at optimal range as the Gauss Rifle.

              Missile Weapons

              SRM4
               Spread increased to 4 (from 3.5).

              C-SRM4
               Spread increased to 4.5 (from 4).

              SRM Design Notes: When it came to SRM balance within the weapon line, the SRM 4 has always stood out as being 'just a bit better' than the alternatives, provided you had the slots. With better spread and DPS when combined with Artemis, the SRM 4 had always produced mass-concentrated firepower on single components at superior DPS, with vastly superior spread, at only a minor heat cost.

              With the new Skill Tree introducing a 10% total reduction in spread, on top of benefits from Artemis, the SRM 4 came under specific scrutiny. As a result we're bringing them down a bit to better align them against the SRM line as a whole. However, we would like to note that unlocking all of the SRM Skill Nodes will still return the SRM 4 spread values to a roughly equivalent point compared to their previous values.

              LRM 5 (IS and Clan)
               Spread increased to 4.2 (from 3).
               Range decreased to 900 (from 1000).

              LRM 10/15/20 (IS and Clan)
               Range decreased to 900 (from 1000).

              LRM Design Notes: When it came to the dynamic between LRM launchers, the LRM 5 was often seen as the superior choice. The above reduction to LRM 5 spread has brought it in line with the LRM 10 to ensure that the LRM 5 no longer compounds its already significant DPS and tonnage benefits over larger launchers.

              As for the range adjustments, the previous 1000m base range of LRM weaponry rendered additional range augmentation fairly redundant. In light of the Skill Tree, we did not wish for the Range Nodes to be seen as useless or ineffective when compared to other Nodes in the LRM Skill Branch. As a result we have reduced the base range values to provide a bit more value to the LRM range Nodes, bringing their ranges back into the 1000m+ area.


              Modules

              Q: Are Modules being removed entirely?
              All non-Consumable Modules are being removed with the release of the new Skill Tree. The benefits previously provided by those Modules have instead been integrated directly into the Skill Tree as unlockable Skill nodes. Acquiring the benefits of Radar Deprivation, for example, will require that you unlock its associated Skill Nodes within the Sensors Skill Branch.

              Q: What about Consumable Modules?
              Consumable Modules, such as UAV, Cool Shot, and Artillery/Air Strikes, will remain as equippable items.

              Q: How are refunds being handled for the Modules we may have purchased prior to the release of Skill Tree?
              You will receive a full C-Bill refund for all Modules present in your inventory at the time of the February patch.
              The amount you'll receive will be the combined purchase value of all your owned Modules. In other words, if you own 10 Radar Deprivation Modules (with an individual purchase value of 6,000,000 C-Bills) in your inventory at the time of the patch, you will be refunded a total of 60,000,000 C-Bills just for those Radar Dep Modules alone.

              Q: Does that refund include XP spent to acquire Module upgrades as well?
              Yes. Any GXP spent to acquire Module upgrades will be returned to you as GXP.

              Q: Will I be refunded in C-Bills for Modules I own, but didn't purchase? Modules I received from a 'Mech pack for example, or from an Event.
              As long as those Modules are still present in your Inventory at the time of the patch, you will be provided with a full C-Bill refund for all such Modules as if you had purchased them directly.

              Q: What about the special LTD Clan Modules originally provided with Clan Wave 1?
              As long as those Modules are still present in your Inventory at the time of the patch, you will be provided with a full C-Bill refund for all such Modules as if you had purchased their non-LTD counterparts at the regular purchase value.
              However, the LTD Modules will be valued an additional 1,000,000 C-Bills on top of the purchase value of their non-LTD counterparts. A LTD Shock Absorbance Module will be valued at 7,000,000 C-Bills for example, instead of 6,000,000 C-Bills.

              Q: What about Modules I've sold back in-game for C-Bills?
              Modules that have been sold back in-game are not eligible for the Module refund. Your refund amount will only account for the Modules present in your account at the time of the patch.

              Q: What if I spent GXP to upgrade Modules, but no longer have any of those Modules in my inventory?

              You will still receive a GXP refund for any such cases.


              Q: Do you need anything from me to make sure the Module refunds are completed and accurate?

              The Module refunds will be a purely automated process run by the account database.
              All refunds will be provided accurately and in full according to the state of the player account at the time of the patch.
              Support services will not perform manual audits of player accounts to confirm the accuracy of the refund process, nor will they make exceptions for Modules sold back in-game.

              Experience Points

              Q: What happens to all the 'Mech XP and GXP I've spent leveling my 'Mechs prior to the release of the Skill Tree?
              All of the 'Mech XP and GXP you've spent leveling 'Mechs will be returned to you, in full, as Historical XP. 
              This Historical XP is locked to the variant on which it was spent, but can be assigned as you desire to any 'Mech of the same variant type.

              For example: Under the previous system you spent a combined total of 50,000 experience points (XP and GXP) on your SDR-5D.
              With the release of the new Skill Tree, all SDR-5Ds in your MechLab will possess a shared pool of HXP equal to the amount of experience you previously spent on that variant. From the above example, the HXP pool for all SDR-5D variants in your MechLab would thus be 50,000 HXP.
              Historical XP can then be transferred to any SDR-5D variants in your collection. You could transfer 25,000 Historical XP into 'Mech XP for one 5D, and 25,000 HXP into 'Mech XP for the other.

              Q: What happens to all the GXP I've spent upgrading the Modules that are being removed under the new Skill Tree?

              Any GXP you've spent upgrading Modules will be returned to you in full as GXP.

              Q: What about experience I haven't spent? I still have 'Mechs with unspent 'Mech XP, and I still have a balance of GXP.
              All unspent 'Mech XP is also being refunded in full as Historical XP. That HXP will work in the same way as outlined above.
              Unspent GXP will simply carry over after the release of the Skill Tree in February. Your GXP balance won't be affected.

              Q: Do you need anything from me to make sure the experience refunds are completed and accurate?

              The experience refunds will be a purely automated process run by the account database.
              All refunds will be provided accurately and in full according to the state of the player account at the time of the patch.
              Support services will not perform manual audits of player accounts to confirm the accuracy of the refund process, nor will they make exceptions for adjusting the amount of experience received nor the distribution method of that experience.




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