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To A New Mechwarrior Who Wants To Win

comms team play

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#1 Alphaeus

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 12:30 PM

Dear New Mechwarrior,

Welcome to MWO! Maybe this is your first encounter with the Mechwarrior/Battletech franchise; maybe you're an old addict like me, joining us from the nostalgia of a previous iteration of the game. (I still listen to the 'Mechwarrior 2' soundtrack when I drive.) Either way, here's some stuff you might need to know.

(Brief note to the already-regulars and old veterans: I know this stuff's been said elsewhere on the forum; but we need to keep it handy, near the top, where people can easily find it.)

1. If you don't already have one, get a headset microphone and plan to use it. You won't be truly good at this game until you do. 'Mechwarrior Online' is a team sport, not an on-your-own RPG. To talk in-game, push and hold the Caps Lock button. If you aren't wearing a headset you'll have to lean way into your screen so the rest of us can hear you through the dingy little mic that comes with your computer, assuming it comes with one at all. Just buy a headset--they're like USD 10 on Amazon.
(a) In the drop screen, sound off and let people know you're a talker. This is a quick moment to gain some cred, both for the current match and future matches. Especially if you're looking to make friends or get recruited, talk shop, ask questions, keep the conversation light, amusing, and informative. Make us like you and we'll have your back; annoy us or make us hate you and we'll let you die. I confess: I've done that to annoying players (some of you know who you are--people who play with the "Take Command" buttons). Once I even saw a guy shoot one of our teammates for griefing him before we fought the other team. Don't be either of those dudes. Also, if you don't speak some language that's being spoken, type the name of the language you speak in the chat window before a match. Some of us are bilingual enough to translate through a MWO match--and what a sweet victory THAT would make!

(b) You have to talk in order to coordinate with your team, even in Quick Play mode; and you really have to coordinate with your team to win consistently. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking you'll just type in the chat window while playing--that's like texting and driving and you. will. die. Promise. Especially if I or any of my friends find you.

(c) Coordinating with your team looks like this:
"Target Charlie [that means "C" in military alphabet--learn it] is a Kodiak three." (Provide intel on targets early in a match--what they are and where they are; also, which direction they're headed.)
"Target Foxtrot is crit; hit him front and center." (Tell your teammates where to shoot which targets; get over your ego--this is about winning the round, not how many kills you make personally. Okay, it's about both; but don't let your Superman complex cost your team the match. Share the wealth. You'll earn more C-Bills and XP if you do. Kills and KMDDs will come as you improve.)
"Friendly needs help in echo five." (After you're dead, help your teammates out by letting them know about stuff they might not be aware of. This is being a team player, even after your role in the fight has changed.)
"Charlie Lance, I'm in Bravo five with ECM and headed your way." (Let your teammates know you've solved some problems so that they can focus on the other tactical issues they're aware of.)
"I've got a big, fat, slow, meat-shield of an otherwise worthless Inner Sphere LRM boat. If you guys could keep a lock on target Hotel I'd be much obliged. It's probably the only 'mech I'll have a chance to kill this game, since it's already crit." (Yeah, okay. LRM boaters are annoying, but at least when they ask for R-locks they're being team players. One of them saved my Hellbringer carcass once, too...)

(c) Don't use your mic to abuse your team. We don't need an alternate game soundtrack; keep your music to yourself. Don't call names; we're all trying to play well, else we'd be doing something else with our time. Also, keep in mind that not all MWO players are male--and this is a good thing! Get in the habit of using "team," "people," or "y'all," instead of "guys," "men," "boys," "fellas," etc. Those words describe me, but I'd love to know that any female players wouldn't have to work around those terms to enjoy playing the game as well. Let's use our headsets to make people feel welcome here. It'll improve the gameplay.

So please get a headset mic. Please?

2. Use the R button to lock targets, even if you're not driving a LRM boat. What the R-lock does, aside from making targets for LRMers, is it gives other players a sense of where enemies are on the map and it gives you *crucial* info on where your target is weak. Later in a match, for any players who are observing you, it can help them use the mic to provide enemy damage intel to other players so we can kill quickly and move on. I *know* you want the kill, or the KMDD (if there's an event--the makers of MWO events always seem to want us to kill things and do the most damage), or the assist, or whatever. Me too. But our team's victory doesn't depend on *you* or *me* making the kill; it depends on whomever can make the kill the quickest actually doing so. And we all kill quicker if we all share intel. Hog the intel, you might get the kill sometimes... or you might be the kill. So get used to R-locking and telling others (a) where your target is, (b) what your target is, and (c) where they should shoot it to do the most damage. This is otherwise known as "calling targets." BTW: only talkers call targets. Go silent and you're a lot less help. But if you have to play silently--your mic's broke, your baby's sleeping in the same room, your partner doesn't want you playing MWO any more and will overhear you if you talk--at least build the R-lock reflex into your gaming.

3. Stick together. "Rogue Chariot" was a 'Mechwarrior 2' mission title, back when NetMech was an *option*. Now "NetMech" (a.k.a. 'Mechwarrior Online') is all the Mechwarrior there is out here on the web. If you want solo play, reload an old version of individual Mechwarrior and play retro-style on your own. Out here we're better off riding together. To score more C-Bills and XP, stay with your lance. Use voice comms early in a match to set strategy, mid-match to focus tactics, and end-of-match to finish off straggling enemies or nearly-complete objectives. MWO gives you good bonuses for things like protecting your teammates/lancemates, for staying in (loose) formation with them, for covering them with AMS or ECM, for popping UAVs that they then use intel from, etc. And in case the incentives aren't enough, plan on dying or taking heavy damage if the enemy catches you alone, especially if you're driving something big, slow, and not agile (as in, not equipped with a MASC or jump jets). You might have big guns, but multiple enemies with only medium guns can still finish you off; your big guns have to cool down, and you can only shoot one enemy at a time.

4. Trust your teammates. There are specific ways I like to play each type of game on each map. Sometimes other players want me to play some other way, though. If I know that what they're proposing usually ends in death, I say so. (Note: this requires a microphone.) In as few words as possible (because we ain't got time for this--we gotta fight!), I offer a counterpoint and an alternative strategy. Let the team's behavior decide. Wherever the majority goes, or wherever a large number of teammates head first, I go with that. I've said my piece, but even if I disagree I stick with the consensus (see point 3 above); doing my own thing usually ends in death. Also, once in a while I actually learn something from another player's way of doing things. (Who'd have thought it possible?!)

5. Make plans. I keep a notebook, which I use to plan my next 'mech purchases (although those plans keep getting screwed up by MWO's designers, who've released some amazing 'mechs this year--thanks, y'all). Know what you're earning for. Also, your profile on the MWO website here contains data on your win and kill stats, broken down by game mode, map, 'mech, weapon(!), even module. Whoa--that's a lot of data! And you can use it to set clear goals, such as raising your kill-death ratio, improving your win-loss ratio on a specific map or in a specific game mode, etc. Not leveraging this data to improve your own game play is like going to the gym and d1cking around on the weight benches and machines for a while and then leaving with the illusion that you're now 'fit.' If you're going to play, plan to get good. Also, planning to get good takes, well, planning. Also-also, if you've got a goal in mind, that's a great point of conversation in those crucial few cred-building seconds on the drop screen before a match starts. Other players have offered tips that improved my progress toward my goals, and it usually happens in that brief window before a game begins. (Note: TeamSpeak is even better for this.)

6. Make friends. On MWO, I'll be friends with anyone who's interested (as long as they don't creep me out somehow). It's a good way to get recruited, for starters. But also, MWO is my hobby; I like it. It's fun. And I enjoy talking with other people who find it fun, too. After a fellow player died in a mission last month he observed me in a match while driving my KDK-SB. Apparently my loadout was a bit under-done, so he friended me and we got into a chat conversation about loadouts and improvements; I'm dealing more damage now because he wanted to talk shop. Be that kind of player--it's totally worth your while, both as a mechwarrior and as a human being. (Also, if you read this, Hengest, I miss riding with you, man. Those were the good old days...)

Good hunting, and we'll see you out there--hopefully with a blue triangle above your 'mech!


-Alph

Edited by Alphaeus, 06 December 2017 - 11:15 AM.


#2 Insanity09

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 04:58 PM

Very wise words. If more folks paid attention to this... well the game would be a bit different, at least in the solo queue.

I will also second the comment about multiple languages. I speak only one language well, but I have a smattering of a couple more that might be enough to get by for a match. And since we've got a number of European players, there are quite a few folks that are more likely to be multi-lingual than your average provincial american.
(as a subnote on that, I suggest looking at the nato phonetic alphabet. Bee, cee, dee, ee all sound very similar, but bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot are all very distinct)

#3 BigScwerl

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 04:09 PM

U

View PostAlphaeus, on 31 October 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:

1. If you don't already have one, get a headset microphone and plan to use it. You won't be truly good at this game until you do.


I could not agree with this statement more. There is nothing more irritating than someone trying to issue commands on a text thread....Ive seen people type "push"....thats it, thats all, no who, no where, nothing.....reasonably, what do I expect from people why can't talk? nothing makes you look like more of a butthead than typing commands. by the time you're done typing, your command is obsolete. Get a headset and learn to use it.

good tips here also, thanks for posting!

#4 Burning2nd

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:56 PM

Now that you have gotten your soft and gentle warm welcome.. let me put it to you how it really is

You in a stat of the art, top of the line battle machine, more then likely your gonna die out there a slow painful death, and your scrap will be extracted and used to kill more of our own, There is a few things you can do to prevent this

#1 turn that silly directional arrow off, Your gonna need to learn to feel your mech... In time it will feel natural and you will know where your legs are..
#2 Thinking that bigger is better.... Well is just about the biggest mistake tactically you can do * bigger mech easier to hit
#3 unless you got chuck norris in your cockpit, Stay with your team... your gonna have to learn the map and surroundings b4 you go off on some mission from god
#4 take a good look at the weapon systems... understand what they are and how they work
#5 DO NOT stop moving... there is this big wave of people lately that dont understand that a stationary target is 100% to hit,

Keep your commands and communication quick simple and clear... Time is money out there Dont get dead kid... See ya on the return flight.... maybe

#5 Chound

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:11 PM

View PostBurnin2nd, on 08 January 2017 - 02:56 PM, said:

Now that you have gotten your soft and gentle warm welcome.. let me put it to you how it really is

You in a stat of the art, top of the line battle machine, more then likely your gonna die out there a slow painful death, and your scrap will be extracted and used to kill more of our own, There is a few things you can do to prevent this

#1 turn that silly directional arrow off, Your gonna need to learn to feel your mech... In time it will feel natural and you will know where your legs are..
#2 Thinking that bigger is better.... Well is just about the biggest mistake tactically you can do * bigger mech easier to hit
#3 unless you got chuck norris in your cockpit, Stay with your team... your gonna have to learn the map and surroundings b4 you go off on some mission from god
#4 take a good look at the weapon systems... understand what they are and how they work
#5 DO NOT stop moving... there is this big wave of people lately that dont understand that a stationary target is 100% to hit,

Keep your commands and communication quick simple and clear... Time is money out there Dont get dead kid... See ya on the return flight.... maybe

It's hard to move when you're tryint to line up a shot on a moving mech. That's one thing that wasn't in the academy line it up with view or move the mech?

#6 Void Angel

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 11:03 PM

You have to learn to do both; it's an implied task, particularly if you're a smaller 'mech. Standing still allows even hitscan weapons to drill through a single component, killing you quickly - with practice, you'll be able to take shots on the fly, though of course there are times when you can afford to line up that perfect shot. As a general rule, moving is good - you don't actually have to be always in motion, but you should be constantly evaluating your position, and moving when you need to.

On the other hand, bigger is better, though slower is generally worse. That's why PGI recently fiddled with the Group Play tonnages - I think they're going to need to lower the tonnage limit for pairs, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

Otherwise, the quoted advice is generally good, for beginning. As you play, study the game and try to understand why certain practices are better than others. Once you understand the dynamics, you'll graduate beyond lists of do's and don'ts to being able to know when even the best rule should be broken.

#7 Alphaeus

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 08:43 PM

And don't get in the habit of playing the same type of game the same way each time you play it on this or that map: innovate, get creative, adapt. Keep the game fresh and the enemy guessing.


#8 JasonDresari

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:21 AM

This all is great advice I'm sure, and I appreciate it, but its long on concept and short on specifics.

View PostAlphaeus, on 11 November 2017 - 08:43 PM, said:

And don't get in the habit of playing the same type of game the same way each time you play it on this or that map: innovate, get creative, adapt. Keep the game fresh and the enemy guessing.


I can see the value of this, but the innovation and creativity is where the guessing for me begins. I am on the forums because, though I have just started, I have had a little success and I want to develop good habits and explore winning tactics. Shoot on the move.. excellent, targeting components.. great advice, planning mech purchases, excellent idea! I have comms (never play a shooter without them) and now I am looking for a team to join and begin winning matches. For a beginner, that is comfortable with comms, what is the best way to go about finding a good squad to join? I plan on finishing the academy matches before applying, can you name any beginner friendly, but competition focused units? Thanks again for the great advice.

#9 Koniving

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:20 AM

The hiring hall comes to mind.
https://mwomercs.com...94-hiring-hall/

#10 Rogue Jedi

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:17 PM

there is a lot of useful information in that OP, and I agree with pretty much every point, but if you want people to read it reformatting so they can see the major points and then go into more detail would not be a bad idea, so I would suggest editing something like the below, the spoiler contains the more indepth information, but the basic info is quick and easy to read so people are more likely to at least read all the major points

any text I change or add is in Times new Roman font ot make it easy to see

View PostAlphaeus, on 31 October 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:

Dear New Mechwarrior,

Welcome to MWO! Maybe this is your first encounter with the Mechwarrior/Battletech franchise; maybe you're an old addict like me, joining us from the nostalgia of a previous iteration of the game. (I still listen to the 'Mechwarrior 2' soundtrack when I drive.) Either way, here's some stuff you might need to know.

(Brief note to the already-regulars and old veterans: I know this stuff's been said elsewhere on the forum; but we need to keep it handy, near the top, where people can easily find it.)

1. If you don't already have one, get a headset microphone and plan to use it.
Spoiler
or failing a headset mike at least learn to use the command wheel, it is nowhere near as useful as a mkie and the willingness to use it but is far far better than nothing, comunication, coordination and teamwork are far more important than the Mechs you bring

2. Use the R button to lock targets, even if you're not driving a LRM boat.
Spoiler


3. Stick together.
Spoiler


4. Trust your teammates.
Spoiler


5. Make plans.
Spoiler


6. Make friends.
Spoiler


Good hunting, and we'll see you out there--hopefully with a blue triangle above your 'mech!


-Alph

Edited by Rogue Jedi, 15 November 2017 - 01:18 PM.


#11 Wolfways

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:03 PM

View PostAlphaeus, on 31 October 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:

Now "NetMech" (a.k.a. 'Mechwarrior Online') is all the Mechwarrior there is out here on the web.

Great information, apart from the above. There is also Mechwarrior: Living Legends.

#12 LEE H4RVEY

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:54 PM

+1 To all advice about communication. A seemingly lost game can become a great comeback with good communication and teamwork.

#13 Tankertoad 380th OMS

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:10 PM

View PostAlphaeus, on 31 October 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:



1. If you don't already have one, get a headset microphone and plan to use it.


As a new player, I have to say this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to do. Even more important than remembering to press "R". Easily 90% of the matches I've been in that the team has lost were -silent- matches. Nobody said a word, and those matches were frustrating.

For any other new players out there reading this, you don't have to run out and buy a fancy headset with a built-in mic. I cobbed mine together from a good pair of headphones and an el-cheapo earbud/mic from the dollar store. Throw in a couple wire ties and boom...a headset with a mic attached.





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