Skill Tree Public Test Session #2

by Alexander Garden in [ Announcements ] on, Apr 25, 2017 7:00 PM UTC 570  comments



UPDATE: The Skill Tree PTS concluded April 28th at 3 PM PST. You can check out a list of a few of the changes you'll see upon final release this May here.
Thank you for your participation and feedback throughout the various Skill Tree PTS iterations, MechWarriors!






Table of Contents

Structure of this Public Test

Glossary

Balance Under the New Skill Tree
• Equipment and Weapon Changes
• 'Mech Mobility (Engine Desync)
• Quirks

The Refund Ledger
• Refund from Consumables (CB)
• Refund from Consumables (MC)
• Refund from Modules (GSP)
• Refund from Modules (CB)
• Refund from Pilot Nodes
• 'Mech Mastery Breakdown/Progress Transfer

Skill Tree Economy
• Purchasing Skill Points
• 
Performing a Skill Respec

Skills
• Firepower
• Survival
• Mobility
• Jump Jets
• Operations
• Sensors
• Auxiliary

Navigating the Skill Tree
• 'Mech Enhancements Window
• Transferring Historical XP (HXP)


Greetings MechWarriors,

Welcome to the second major Public Test Session for the upcoming revamp of the Skill Tree system.
The majority of changes you'll see in this second PTS will be regarding the economy of the Skill Tree, where full accommodation has been made for the time and effort you put into leveling your 'Mechs under the old Skill system. In addition to revamping the refund and transfer process we've introduced a personal Refund Ledger within MechLab to fully outline the transition and refund of your 'Mech and Pilot Skills, experience, 'Mech Modules, and Consumables into the new Skill Tree.
Your Refund Ledger will have a permanent presence in the MWO client and in your website profile upon final release of the Skill Tree, but if you want to get an advanced look at your Ledger and an approximate state of your account prior to final release you can jump onto this PTS and check it out.

In addition to economy changes and the introduction of the Refund Ledger this PTS also includes a number of Skill Node value, layout, and balance adjustments. Some of these adjustments were seen in the final updates during our last Skill Tree PTS, but some are new as of this PTS.

There's quite a bit to cover here, so let's get into it.



As usual, this Public Test contains a cloned version of the main player account database. This clone was created on April 19th 2017 at 10 AM UTC. As a result, upon logging into Public Test your account and Refund Ledger will reflect your account 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.

The data you'll see populated in your Refund Ledger will also reflect the date of the April 19th account clone. Upon final release of the Skill Tree - currently planned for the May 16th patch - your Refund Ledger will feature all necessary refund and transfer data leading up to patch day.

• 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.
• To help convey accurate, account-specific information for your Refund Ledger data we will not be boosting PTS accounts with any additional currencies. Your account will appear as it should on live, but with all necessary refunds outlined in your Refund Ledger granted to the account.
• Please do not contact Support regarding any PTS questions or feedback. Please direct all PTS-related content to the dedicated Discussion Forum.


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. There are a number of changes and additions here compared to the first PTS, such as the introduction of GSP and HSP to facilitate a better refund and transfer system.

Skill Tree
Technically refers to the Skill system as a whole. In casual usage this will also likely be used when referring to Skill Classes, such as "the Firepower Skill Tree".

Skill Class
Classes of Skill Nodes encompassing a specific set of Skills.
• For example: The Firepower Skill Class contains weapon-based Skill Nodes.

Skill Node
A single Node within a Skill Class. Most Skill Nodes are part of a set; you'll need to acquire the full set to receive the full Skill benefit for the equipment or ability the Node relates to.
• For example: The Range 1 Skill Node within the Firepower Skill Class. There are ten Range Skill Nodes in total, all within the Firepower Skill Class.

Locked Skill Node
A single Node within a Skill Branch that you have not yet acquired.
All Skill Nodes start as locked by default, and must be unlocked/acquired by purchasing the Node with a Skill Point.
Locked Nodes possess an orange lock icon.
Once a Skill Node is acquired it is immediately Equipped.
• For example: The player has not yet acquired the Laser Duration 1 Skill Node within the Firepower class.

Equipped (Active) and Unequipped (Inactive) Skill Nodes
When a Skill Node is Equipped its benefit is being applied to the 'Mech.
When a Skill Node is Unequipped its benefit is not being applied to the 'Mech.
Equipped Nodes are visually highlighted; Unequipped Nodes are not.
Un-equipping a Skill Node has no cost associated with it.
Re-equipping a Skill Node requires 400 XP. You do not need to spend another Skill Point to re-equip a Skill Node you previously acquired.
• For example: The player has acquired the Range 1 Skill Node. That Node is currently Equipped. The player has previously acquired the Velocity 1 Skill Node, but that Node is not currently Equipped.


Skill Node statuses and their visual appearance

SP (Skill Points) 
Purchased per-'Mech using a combination of C-Bills and XP, Skill Points are used for purchasing Skill Nodes. Once a Skill Node has been purchased it is considered 'owned', and can be de-activated or re-activated later at any point without needing to acquire a new Skill Point.
• Purchasing 1 Skill Node requires 1 Skill Point.
• All 'Mechs possess a maximum of 91 active Skill Points.
• Skill Points are only required for the initial purchase of a Node.

GSP (General Skill Points) 
A general form of Skill Points. General Skill Points work much the same as regular Skill Points, but they are not locked to any specific variant. You can use General Skill Points to purchase Skill Nodes for any 'Mech you wish. General Skill Points can not be purchased; they are currently only received as part of the refund/transfer process from the old Skill Tree.

HSP (Historic Skill Points) 
Historic Skill Points carried over from your account prior to the release of the new Skill Tree. Historic Skill Points are a 'transition' currency to account for Skill Statuses from the old Skill Tree. Put simply, the Skill status of a 'Mech under the previous system is converted into an associated number of Historic Skill Points (HSP). You can then assign any amount of HSP to a specific variant or its duplicates for use in the Skill Tree.

XP ('Mech XP) 
A 'Mech-specific experience type.
• 'Mech XP can only be used toward the purchase of Skill Points for the specific 'Mech on which that 'Mech XP is present.

GXP (General XP) 
A general experience type.
• GXP can be used toward the purchase of Skill Points for any 'Mech.

HXP (Historic XP) 
Historic 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 un-equipping one or more Skill Node on a chosen 'Mech for the purpose of 'respecing' it with new Skills.



The Skill Tree marks a major shift from the previous Skill system. At its core, the current Tree you'll see in this build aims to address the following main goals:

• Greater overall give-and-take system for 'Mech skills and specializations. 
• Heavy initial investments in high value nodes, with reduced costs for subsequent investments within the same Tree. 
Addressing 'progression walls' seen under the previous Skill system, ie. the Rule of 3 system, high GXP costs for unlocking Modules, high C-Bill cost for Module purchase.

Greater overall give-and-take system for 'Mech skills and specializations. 

The primary purpose of the Skill Tree feature is to enable a level of customization for 'Mech capabilities not available under the previous system, with a heavy focus toward 'Mech specialization. We additionally wish to move away from the previous Module-based system.

Heavy initial investments in high value nodes, with reduced costs for subsequent investments within the same Tree. 

Like many other Skill systems found in other games, we have paid great mind to the cost-benefit ratio of the more heavily-desired Skills, and have attempted to balance the Skill Tree accordingly. At the heart of supporting the above point is the way the Tree Nodes are structured, arranged in a non-linear arrangement. This structure forces players to make real and impactful choices about how they approach the Skill composition of their 'Mech. We are taking this approach to help mitigate a 'min-max' approach; high-value Skill Nodes will require a serious commitment.

The Nodes within the Skill Tree have been arranged and balanced around the overall number of Nodes it takes to maximize any given Skill type. As an example we'll take a look at the Weapon Cooldown and Weapon Heat Gen Skill nodes within the Firepower Tree.

While containing different Node counts, and wide distribution throughout the Tree, the Cooldown and Heat Gen Skill types require around 28 Nodes of investment to maximize any one of those two Skills. To achieve this you need to sacrifice 30% of your total Active Skill Point allotment for a 'Mech.
Due to the non-linear arrangement of the Tree, subsequent investments in other Nodes becomes much more cost efficient. While maxing either Cooldown or Heat Gen requires an investment of around 28 Nodes, proceeding to max both of those Skill types only requires 11 additional Nodes. This works toward our goal of a greater degree of give and take within the Skill system through specialization.

Addressing 'progression walls' seen under the previous Skill system.

Beyond the 3-variant system required for Mastery under the previous Skill system, the previous system required a heavy amount of grind for very little gain to the average player. Unlocking Speed Tweak or achieving full Mastery could see an average player spend large amounts of time in-game for very little substantial gain. The new system aims to make the leveling process much more rewarding for the average player by having Skill advancement and 'Mech 'leveling' come at a much steadier rate, with more noticeable steps along the way, providing a greater sense of accomplishment and progress.

Beyond these primary goals, 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.



Base Consumable Slots

The base number of Consumable slots for all 'Mechs in this PTS has been reduced from 2 to 1. All 'Mechs will possess just a single Consumable Slot from the outset, with a grand total of five Consumable Slots achievable after full investment in the Auxiliary Skill Tree. We want Auxiliary to remain a potent Tree to invest in for those who wish to acquire its Skills, but we wish to add a bit more give and take to the Auxiliary Tree as a whole.

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 Long 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.

The following changes to SRM2/SSRM2 and Missile Bay Doors, while not directly related to the Skill Tree, are also present in this PTS. These are part of standard balance changes planned for the May patch.

SRM 2 (IS and Clan)
 Heat reduced to 1.7 (from 2)

Streak SRM 2 (IS and Clan)
 Heat reduced to 1.7 (from 2)

Missile Bay Doors
 Damage Reduction when closed increased to 20% (from 10%).
This change impacts the following 'Mechs:
 Archer
 Catapult
 Kintaro
 Stalker

Missile Bay Doors Design Notes: While this mechanic is only utilized for the above 'Mechs we wanted to make the benefit of the mechanic a bit more substantial for those pilots who take the time to manage the open/closed states of their Missile Doors.



The changes to Mobility seen in the last PTS are retained in this PTS session, with additional fixes and refinements committed since then. We've included most of the original text from the previous PTS update covering these changes below.

Disassociating 'Mech Mobility Attributes from Engine Size

Engine selection has long been a balance sore-spot in MWO. Too much was gained by upgrading Engines to higher ratings, with little opportunity for providing a compelling give-and-take between the lighter, slower Engines against the heavier, faster Engines. The system also created a dynamic where baseline ‘Mech viability could be dramatically impacted by the inherent Engine restrictions of a 'Mech. These issues only compounded Inner Sphere and Clan imbalances, with Clan 'Mechs fielding much heavier Engines than their Inner Sphere counterparts - with no sacrifice to Loadout - due to fundamentally lighter equipment.

With the above issues in mind, we are breaking baseline Mobility characteristics away from Engines. Mobility will instead be determined by the overall tonnage of the chassis. It’s important to note that this will not affect the speed of a ‘Mech, which will remain tied with Engine size. This change was specifically designed in the context of the Skill Tree, but was omitted from the first PTS as we continued to finalize some work required for implementing it.

Affected Mobility Attributes

The following ‘Mech Mobility Attributes are no longer directly determined by your Engine:

• Acceleration
• Deceleration
• Turn Rate
• Torso Twist Speed
• Arm Speed

While Engine sizes no longer dictate core Mobility traits, larger Engines will still play a role in Acceleration, Deceleration, and Turn Speed in other ways, as we will explain in a later section of these notes.

Rather than being dictated by Engine size, the above Mobility attributes will instead be integrated as baseline attributes on an individual variant basis.  These attributes have been primarily distributed based on tonnage values, and at a top-down level you can expect Mobility to now be roughly equal across tonnage lines.

As examples, while their speeds will differ an UrbanMech will now have the same Mobility attributes as an Arctic Cheetah, while a Kodiak will share the same Mobility attributes as an Atlas.

To illustrate the impact these fundamental changes to Mobility can have, the video below demonstrates before-and-after comparison for an UrbanMech equipped with a Standard 60 Engine.





While a significant number of Quirks have been removed from various 'Mechs in this PTS, many Quirks do still remain for a number chassis and variants.
In this PTS you'll see a focus toward ramping down Offensive Quirks, and a complete removal of baseline Mobility Quirks to coincide both with the Skill Tree and and the Engine Desync. Defensive Quirks have only seen a handful of adjustments made. The new Skill Tree is the start of a path which 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 and future patches, not one sweeping action.

At the moment the interface does not yet 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 MechLab interface to improve the distinction between Skills from different sources.

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.

When a Weapon-suite is benefiting from an applied Skill the bonus values will now be conveyed in the Weapon stat tooltip.





The Refund Ledger is a new feature for the Skill Tree, outlining all pertinent details of the transition and refund of your 'Mech and Pilot Skills, experience, 'Mech Modules, and Consumables. We've taken great care to ensure that none of your Skill progress is lost and that your existing Module inventory has been accounted for.
In this section we'll run through each component of the Refund Ledger using an example account.

The Refund Ledger data for your account during this PTS will reflect your account status and inventory as it appeared on April 19th at approximately 10 AM PST.
Upon final release of the Skill Tree your Refund Ledger will feature all necessary refund and transfer data leading up to patch day.

Upon your initial login to this PTS you will be presented with your Refund Ledger after closing the initial marketing and events window.
You can click the circular information icon in the top left of the Ledger for summaries of each Ledger component, as seen in the image below.
Once closed the Refund Ledger can be accessed through the 'View Ledger' button within the 'Mech Enhancements window of your Skill Tree screen.

To view the itemized details for each refund component, click the desired row in the Item Breakdown section of the Ledger to expand it.


Modules purchased after December 3rd 2016 - the date of the original Skill Tree announcement at Mech_Con - are being refunded in the form of C-Bills. Earlier posts referencing the original structure of the Module refund outlined in the February 8th PTS post, such as the December Roadmap, were updated in February as a result of that post.

Modules purchased prior to December 3rd 2016 are being refunded in the form of General Skill Points (GSP), which can be consumed to unlock Skill Nodes for any 'Mech you wish.

Please note that the original date provided in this post for the Module cutoff was February 8th 2017. We have adjusted the date to December 3rd 2016 to better accommodate some of our prior messaging regarding the Module refunds.

Let's run through each of the entries you may see in your Refund Ledger, depending on your account. Note that some entries may not be populated in your Ledger if your account inventory doesn't apply to the items being addressed. For example, if you have no MC Consumables in your Inventory.

REFUND FROM CONSUMABLES (CB)
This is the total refund in C-Bills you are receiving for all of the Owned C-Bill Consumables present in your Inventory as of April 19th 2017. Due to changes we've made to Consumables in the new Skill Tree any Consumables in your Inventory have been removed.

This is a 1:1 refund of the original C-Bill purchase value for all your Owned C-Bill Consumables! If applicable you'll also receive purchase value C-Bill 'refunds' for any Owned C-Bill Consumables you acquired without purchase, such as through special events.



REFUND FROM CONSUMABLES (MC)
This is the total refund in MC you are receiving for all of the Owned MC Consumables present in your Inventory as of April 19th 2017. Due to changes we've made to Consumables in the new Skill Tree any Consumables in your Inventory have been removed.

This is a 1:1 refund of the original MC purchase value for all your Owned MC Consumables! If applicable you'll also receive purchase value MC 'refunds' for any Owned MC Consumables you acquired without purchase, such as through special events.



REFUND FROM MODULES (GSP)
This is the total refund in General Skill Points (GSP) you are receiving for all of the Owned (Non-Consumable) Modules in your Inventory as of April 19th 2017 (if they were acquired prior to December 3rd 2016). Modules acquired after that date are being refunded to you in full in the form of C-Bills.

The amount of GSP you receive for your Owned Modules is determined by the Total Purchase Value of all your Owned Modules divided by 45,000 (the C-Bill cost of a Skill Point). For example, a total Purchase Value for all your Owned Modules of 50,000,000 C-Bills would result in you receiving 1,112 General Skill Points (the final value is rounded to to the nearest decimal).
These General Skill Points can be consumed to unlock Skill Nodes for any 'Mech you wish without needing to spend the usual 45,000 C-Bill and 800 XP cost associated with purchasing a standard Skill Point directly. As a result, the Module > GSP refund process provides you with a great deal of free XP integrated into the GSP conversion. In the above example, 889,600 free XP has essentially been provided to the player in the form of their 1,112 GSP.



REFUND FROM MODULES (CB)
This is the total refund in C-Bills you are receiving for all of the Owned (Non-Consumable) Modules in your Inventory as of April 19th 2017 (if they were acquired after December 3rd 2016).

These Modules are being refunded as C-Bills due to our original intent to provide full C-Bill refunds for all Owned Modules. We understand some players made Module purchasing decisions based on that original statement, so all purchases made after that statement are being refunded as C-Bills.

This is a 1:1 refund of the original C-Bill purchase value of your Owned Modules acquired after December 3rd 2016! If applicable you'll also receive purchase value C-Bill 'refunds' for any Owned Modules you acquired without purchase, such as through special events.



REFUND FROM PILOT NODES
This is the total refund in GXP you are receiving for all Pilot Nodes you unlocked with GXP under the previous Skill system.
This is a 1:1 refund of all your invested GXP!



'MECH MASTERY BREAKDOWN
This is the transfer of Skill Progress from all of your 'Mechs under the previous Skill system. The 'Overall Progress' column in your Refund Ledger refers to the total number of Skills you had unlocked for a listed 'Mech.

Put simply, the Skill status of a 'Mech under the previous system is converted into an associated number of Historical Skill Points (HSP). You can then assign any amount of HSP to a specific variant or its duplicates for use in the Skill Tree.
Each Skill from the previous system is converted into a specific HSP value. For example, Cool Run (Basic) equates to 1 HSP, while Fast Fire (Elite) equates to 10 HSP.

Basic

Original XP Cost

Skill Point Refund

Cool Run

750

1

Kinetic Burst

1000

2

Twist X

2500

4

Heat Containment

1000

2

Hard Brake

1500

2

Twist Speed

2500

4

Arm Reflex

1500

2

Anchor Turn

3500

6

Total Basic

14,250

23

Elite

Original XP Cost

Skill Point Refund

Quick Ignition

4000

6

Fast Fire

6000

10

Pinpoint

3000

5

Speed Tweak

8500

13

Total Elite

21,500

34

Master

Original XP Cost

Skill Point Refund

Module Slot

21,500

34

Grand Total

57,250

91


The HSP value is determined according to the XP investment required to unlock the Skill under the previous system; for every 630 XP you spent to acquire a Skill under the previous system you'll receive 1 SP (rounded up).
Full Basic status equates to 23 HSP.
Full Elite status equates to an additional 34 HSP.
Full Master status equates to an additional 34 HSP. A fully Mastered 'Mech therefore receives a base amount of 91 HSP in return. Those 91 points can then be used to acquire full 'Master' status under the new Skill system without needing to spend any C-Bills or XP to unlock the Skill Nodes.

Additionally, the amount of HSP received from the Skill status of a 'Mech under the previous Skill system is multiplied by the number of duplicate variants you own of that 'Mech.
For example: A player owns three CDA-2A 'Mechs, and had achieved full Elite status for the CDA-2A chassis under the previous Skill system. As part of their transition and refund process they would thus receive a total of 171 HSP for use with their CDA-2A 'Mechs (57 HSP * 3 variants).



To purchase a Skill Node you'll first need to acquire a Skill Point using a combination of C-Bills and XP. To purchase Skill Points for your current 'Mech click the "Add SP" button located inside the 'Mech Enhancements window.

1 Skill Node = 1 Skill Point

1 Skill Point =  45,000 C-Bills and 800 XP (of any single type)

Un-equipping a Skill Node = No cost

Re-equipping a Skill Node = 400 XP

Purchasing a full 'Mastered' complement of 91 Skill Nodes would cost 4,095,000 C-Bills and 72,800 XP.
Purchasing all 242 Skill Nodes for a 'Mech would cost 10,890,000 C-Bills and 193,600 XP. However, only 91 Skill Nodes can be Active at once.

When a Skill Node is purchased with a Skill Point it is immediately Unlocked and Activated, and is considered owned. Once owned you can un-equip and re-equip Skill Nodes at your discretion. There is no cost associated with un-equipping a Skill Node. Re-equipping a Skill Node requires 400 XP.

Once you have activated 91 Skill Nodes your 'Mech is considered Mastered, and no additional Skill Nodes can be activated. You can however continue to purchase additional Skill Nodes, un-equipping existing Nodes to respec your 'Mech.

In the image below you can see this player has purchased a total of 92 Skill Nodes for this 'Mech, 87 of which are currently Active. If they activate 4 more Skill Nodes they will have reached the 91 Active Skill Point 'Mastery' status for this 'Mech.
While only 91 Skill Nodes can be active at one time, you can purchase all 242 available Skill Nodes in the Skill Tree.





Clicking the 'Add SP' button located in the 'Mech Enhancements window will bring you to the associated Skill Point purchase windows.
If you possess any amount of GSP or HSP as a result of your account refund and transfer you will first be prompted to choose whether you wish to draw from that pool of available GSP or HSP, or whether you wish to purchase a Skill Point outright using C-Bills and XP.

In the example below the player is looking to allocate or purchase Skill Points for one of their Warhammer WHM-BW Black Widow 'Mechs. 
They have a total of 16,423 GSP from their Module refund, along with 273 HSP available to all WHM-BW variants as a result of their Master Skill status under the original Skill system.



Using GSP or HSP will require that you transfer those Skill Points to your specific 'Mech variant for use in its Skill Tree. Once GSP or HSP has been transferred from the pool to a specific 'Mech it cannot be reverted.

In the example image below the player is looking to transfer a total of 120 Skill Points from their pool of WHM-BW HSP to one of their three WHM-BW variants. Only 91 Skill Nodes can be Active at once, but the player wants to be able to purchase additional Nodes to facilitate Loadout changes they expect to make later.
In this example the player is only using their WHM-BW HSP for this transfer, choosing to reserve the more versatile GSP pool for other 'Mechs.



If the player has no GSP or HSP from which to draw they will instead be taken straight to the standard Skill Point purchase window after clicking the 'Add SP' button inside the 'Mech Enhancements window. From here the player will determine how many Skill Points they wish to acquire using their current pool of 'Mech XP, GXP, and if applicable, HXP.
You can increment the number of Skill Points per-XP type by using the plus and minus icons, or by dragging the slider itself. Doing so will increment the amount of XP spent by 800 for each Skill Point. The amount of C-Bills required will update automatically according to the number of Skill Points you're purchasing.

In the example below the same player as above is instead looking to use a combination of HXP and GXP to acquire their 120 SP for this WHM-BW variant.



 
Once a Skill Node has been purchased and equipped it is considered owned, and can be un-equipped and re-equipped at any time.

Un-Equipping 1 Skill Node =  No cost

Re-Equipping 1 Skill Node =  400 XP

There are two methods by which you can un-equip your Skill Nodes: you can reset your entire Skill Tree and un-equip all active Nodes en-masse, or you can un-equip individual Nodes.

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 un-equip all Equipped Skill Nodes. To commit your changes you'll then hit the Apply Changes button.
• There is no cost associated with un-equipping Skill Nodes through a Full Respec.

Individual Node Respec

 Instead of performing a full Respec for your whole Skill Tree you can remove individual Skill Nodes by clicking an Equipped Node you wish to  un-equip. To commit your changes you'll then hit the Apply Changes button.
• There is no cost associated with un-equipping individual Skill Nodes.



Firepower
• Weapons
Survival
• Armor Structure
Mobility
• Agility
Jump Jets
• Jump Capabilities
Operations
• 'Mech Operations
Sensors
• Sensor Systems
Auxiliary
• Miscellaneous

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 Tree types.
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 between weight classes.
Any differences in Skill Node values will be displayed in a table below each section when applicable.




We've rearranged some of the Firepower Nodes to better balance advancement along the Tree and the associated access to Weapon Cooldown, Weapon Heat, and Velocity Gen Skill Nodes. The benefit provided per-Cooldown Skill Node has also been increased.
In lieu of inflating the total number of Velocity Nodes we've rearranged those Nodes to require greater overall investment throughout the Firepower tree in order to max out the Weapon Velocity skill chain. In many areas we have made Weapon Range Nodes more accessible than they were in the previous iteration of the Skill Tree.

Inner Sphere/Clan Difference Tables

Universal Nodes + Laser Duration

RANGE

Single Node Value

Total Node Value

Inner Sphere

 

 

Energy Range

1.5%

15.0%

Ballistic Range

1.5%

15.0%

Missile Range

1.5%

15.0%

Clan

 

 

Energy Range

1.5%

15.0%

Ballistic Range

1.5%

15.0%

Missile Range

1.5%

15.0%

COOLDOWN

 

 

Inner Sphere

-0.9%

-9.9%

Clan

-0.70%

-7.7%

VELOCITY

 

 

Inner Sphere

 

 

PPC Velocity

2%

10%

Ballistic Velocity

2%

10%

Missile Velocity

2%

10%

Clan

 

 

PPC Velocity

2%

10%

Ballistic Velocity

2%

10%

Missile Velocity

2%

10%

HEAT GEN

 

 

Inner Sphere

-1%

-8%

Clan

-1%

-8%

LASER DURATION

 

 

Inner Sphere

-1.5%

-15%

Clan

-1%

-10%

 

IS Ballistics

Magazine Capacity (per Node)

Clan Ballistics

Magazine Capacity (per Node)

AC2

+8

C-AC2

+8

AC5

+3

C-AC5

+6

AC10

+2

C-AC10

+6

AC20

+1

C-AC20

+4

LB10X

+2

C-LB10X

+2

UAC5

+3

C-UAC5

+6

Gauss

+1

C-Gauss

+1

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.




Changes to the Survival Tree specific to this PTS:

In the previous Skill Tree PTS we halved the value of Nodes compared to its prior iteration. With this PTS we want to return to the original investment proposed in the initial PTS build, but with double the amount of the Nodes required to attain those previous values. With Survival being one of the more potent Trees utilized in earlier PTS sessions we want to ensure this investment requires that you make real concessions in other areas of the Skill Tree if you wish to max out your Armor and Structure attributes.

An important trait of the Survival Tree - introduced in the last PTS update and carried over into this new iteration - is that Survival Node values are now contingent upon exact tonnage, rather than Weight Class. The table below is truncated for clean formatting, but percentages scale at 1% per tonnage increment for Total Values, 0.1% for Per Node values.
 

Total Values

20 t

25 t

...

95 t

100 t

Skeletal Density

41%

40%

...

26%

25%

Armor Hardening

26%

25%

...

11%

10%

Per Node Values

20 t

25 t

...

95 t

100 t

Skeletal Density

4.1%

4.0%

...

2.6%

2.5%

Armor Hardening

2.6%

2.5%

...

1.1%

1.0%






Weight Class Difference Tables

Torso Speed (per Node)

Light

Medium

Heavy

Assault

IS and Clan

+6%

+5%

+4%

+4%







We've performed a minor re-arrangement of Hill Climb, Speed Retention, and Improved Gyro Nodes in this iteration of the PTS, centralizing the Nodes to make certain Skills easier to upgrade into or avoid if you do not wish to utilize them. However, maximizing high-value Nodes will still require investment throughout the Operations Tree.





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%






Under the new Skill Tree all C-Bill and MC Consumables of the same type will be evenly matched in their fundamental capabilities. A C-Bill UAV and an MC UAV will both possess identical Range and identical Duration, for example. Both will of course benefit from unlocking UAV Skill Nodes, as will all other Consumables benefit from their own associated Skill Nodes.



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






The 'Mech Enhancements window contains everything you need for tracking your currently-applied Skills, your total number of unlocked Skills, your current experience values, and any pending purchase details within the Skill Tree.
Purchasing Skill Points, performing a full Skill Respec, converting 'Mech XP, and transferring any available HXP are also conducted through buttons located in the 'Mech Enhancements window.

In the example below, the player has already purchased a total of 97 Skill Nodes for this 'Mech, 84 of which are currently Active. They are are now evaluating the purchase of six Nodes in the Auxiliary tree to increase their allotment of Consumable Slots and improve the capabilities of their UAV Modules. 

The six Skill Points they are allocating to these upgrades are denoted by the Allocated section of the Enhancements window.
The amount of available Skill Points they'll have remaining is conveyed in the Available SP area.
The number of Active Skill Nodes they'll have on this 'Mech, including the Nodes they are about to purchase, is conveyed in the Nodes Active area.
The total number of Skill Nodes they've purchased on this 'Mech, including the Nodes they are about to purchase, is conveyed in the Skill Nodes Unlocked Area.




The process for transferring HXP remains unchanged compared to the previous PTS, but we'll outline it here nonetheless.

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 three Warhammer 'Black Widow' Hero 'Mechs. 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 three 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 20,000 HXP from their pool of 43,218 total HXP for the WHM-BW variant.









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