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Oni's Skill Tree Guide

Skills Balance Metagame

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#1 Onimusha shin

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:06 PM

I decided that a proper writeup is deserved rather than the half-assed attempt I made in Bud Crue's Skill Tree Contest thread.

Here, I'll be describing what skills you should have, what skills suit what builds and what skills you should ignore.

First up though, general thoughts about the Skill MazeTM. Once again, it's a good concept implemented haphazardly by PGI. For one thing, there are too many nodes, causing an excessive cbill/XP grind for 91 nodes OUT OF TWO HUNDRED FORTY-TWO (242) NODES!!! The values in the Firepower skill tree are minute that it's painful to be spending 30-50% of your match earnings on just one node (45,000 cbills).

Ultimately, it's good to have specialisation into roles, but trees like Mobility, Jump Jets, Sensors & Misc can be largely ignored if you want to be a glass cannon. Sensors could use a change in values by weight class considering they did it for the Survival tree hitpoint skill values. That really could change the spotting/scouting role in game.

More importantly, I hope PGI takes a proactive approach to balancing (*snicker*) over-/under-performing chassis as there's really a good potential to the Skill Tree concept, which can afford some form of refinement/collapsing of the nodes. And also, to be fair to players when they adjust quirks on variants by refunding the SP invested for those chassis affected.

General Skill Tree advice
  • Does the 'Mech variant have structure/armor quirks? If yes and in sufficient (how much is sufficient?) amounts, spec into the relevant armor/structure skill nodes. Brawlers in general do want to increase their survivability. Go full like this if you want more HP to deal more damage.
  • Most fighter builds can use this Firepower tree layout as a start.
  • Do your Ops tree like this if you have a hot build (anything 1.3 heat management or less in MWO's MechLab UI).
  • Invest 1 SP in Miscellaneous for the first Consumable Slot +1. More if you have hot build for better Coolshots or into strikes if you're a super cool build.

  • Invest in Sensors if you see the 'Mech variant as more of a scout spotter. More details on Sensors skills covered in Tier 2 & 3.

  • Balance SPs to Firepower tree, with explanations of which nodes help which weapon/build types in Tier 1 details below. But give priority to Heat Gen skills too.

  • Avoid JJ and Mobility trees (FIREPOWER & SURVIVAL FTW BABY!)

  • Meta explained here if you don't mind your hands being held.
Tier 1 Skills (MUST HAVES or can't avoid)
Spoiler


Tier 2 Skills (situational)
Spoiler


Sub-Tier 2 Skills (don't take these if you can invest in the skills above)
Spoiler


Tier 3 Skills (if you have extra SP)
Spoiler


[u]Tier 4 Skills (practically useless)[/u]
Spoiler


EDIT: Collapsed everything into easy to read (hopefully) spoiler tabs. Included some feedback and thoughts from cazidin's other guide here. Also a good read but he has different priorities compared to myself.

Edited by Onimusha shin, 26 June 2017 - 09:18 PM.


#2 ThreeStooges

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:20 PM

Interesting reading. Do you have any "role" skill trees planed out? General lrm tree,scout tree, the tank tree etc. My C1 has max sensor tree,all the missile speed and almost full range, uav, and small amount of survival.

#3 MustrumRidcully

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:39 PM

I wouldn't include the mandatory skills you have to unlock to get somewhere else in Tier 1, unless you think they are actually good on their own. For example,Range might deserve a spot there, but probably not Reinforced Casing.

For example,if you have 3 points left, you might discuss whether you get another Reinforced Casing and Shock Absorbance so you can get Extra Armor,or spend those 3 points on a Range and a Cooldown node to get another Heat node. Since Casing and Absorbance are probably weaker choices (even if they are mandatory for the extra armor),you get more neat stuff along the way to that heat node. But if all skills are listed as Tier 1,you might think the choices are equal.


Quote

Mobility --- Anchor Turn
Only invest if you're a super slow assault (KDK-3, DWF, KGC).


I would say this is a skill that's worthless on a slow assault. A percentage increase of a low stat is still a low stat, it's doubtful you would even notice the difference.

#4 Onimusha shin

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:04 PM

View PostThreeStooges, on 29 May 2017 - 10:20 PM, said:

Interesting reading. Do you have any "role" skill trees planed out? General lrm tree,scout tree, the tank tree etc. My C1 has max sensor tree,all the missile speed and almost full range, uav, and small amount of survival.

Hey man, I just posted the previous post in another thread here as well so you can reference that.

I've yet to go beyond general build types that I play as I tend to go for balanced builds. Will look into glass cannon/tank builds, but that are really self-explanatory, i.e. full investment into Firepower/Survival tree respectively. If you want examples, I can make them for you.

For everyone else, feel free to chip in your ideas or post your builds and/or playstyles. I can make recommendations on the skill tree paths you can take to optimize if you think it's appropriate.

View PostMustrumRidcully, on 29 May 2017 - 10:39 PM, said:

I wouldn't include the mandatory skills you have to unlock to get somewhere else in Tier 1, unless you think they are actually good on their own. For example,Range might deserve a spot there, but probably not Reinforced Casing.

For example,if you have 3 points left, you might discuss whether you get another Reinforced Casing and Shock Absorbance so you can get Extra Armor,or spend those 3 points on a Range and a Cooldown node to get another Heat node. Since Casing and Absorbance are probably weaker choices (even if they are mandatory for the extra armor),you get more neat stuff along the way to that heat node. But if all skills are listed as Tier 1,you might think the choices are equal.

I would say this is a skill that's worthless on a slow assault. A percentage increase of a low stat is still a low stat, it's doubtful you would even notice the difference.

You're right on that, I could class those nodes as sub-Tier1 skills. Tks for the feedback.

Anyway, Anchor Turn is a skill you really can ignore unless you have spare SPs. So while you're right that it's worthless, those Tier3 skill nodes should technically rarely be taken if at all.

#5 Onimusha shin

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:43 AM

Bumping up after much formatting cleaning. Hope it helps most of y'all.

If you think this thread is useful, give it a like, share builds for discussing or let me know if you think I should put it into the New Players forum section?

#6 cazidin

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

I'm glad my guide was able to give you some additional perspective, and overall I like your guide and yes, you should put a copy of this in the new players forum. That's what I did, anyway.

#7 Dogstar

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:57 AM

While a lot of this is reasonable the overall attitude is bollocks - you don't even feature Sensors in Tier 1 and they're vital at the moment

#8 cazidin

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:05 AM

View PostDogstar, on 30 May 2017 - 09:57 AM, said:

While a lot of this is reasonable the overall attitude is bollocks - you don't even feature Sensors in Tier 1 and they're vital at the moment


Keep in mind, this is his perspective - you may agree with mine more, as I rate them higher and have different reasoning, but that's a good thing! We SHOULD have different opinions and guides. Posted Image

#9 Onimusha shin

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:41 AM

View PostDogstar, on 30 May 2017 - 09:57 AM, said:

While a lot of this is reasonable the overall attitude is bollocks - you don't even feature Sensors in Tier 1 and they're vital at the moment

Sensors don't really do much for pure fighting builds. At the most, they show you where to focus on open components and/or read mech builds to assess if an IS XL engine is being used. But with experience, you will eventually be able to observe which components are stripped of armor and open, or know what mechs with what builds usually run with IS XL.

I'll put this caveat in the new player forum for sure, but IMO, Sensors only help you earn more cbills/XP if you're first to contact the enemy (which is usually the lights or the lighter mediums). If you're a weapon heavy mech and slow (<75kph), chances are the Sensors SPs investment isn't needed.

#10 Onimusha shin

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:33 PM

I hope the lack of interest here isn't due to the player population getting burn-out from click-warrior online, LOL

#11 noleet

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 04:22 PM

"Tier 1 Skills (MUST HAVES or can't avoid)"


Posted Image

Edited by noleet, 05 June 2017 - 04:27 PM.


#12 CtrlAltWheee

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:51 PM

View PostOnimusha shin, on 30 May 2017 - 10:33 PM, said:

I hope the lack of interest here isn't due to the player population getting burn-out from click-warrior online, LOL


I'm appreciating it. I was doing it all solo and now going back to see what other people are doing.

Even though coolshot is good, and maybe it's the most competitive, I like the builds that feel good without consumables. Fun seeing what everyone is using.

#13 Lukoi Banacek

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

For the first month or so after ST dropped, I was an adamant advocate for the FP Heat management nodes.

After several tough losses in scrims/MRBC matches though I decided something we were doing with FP wasn't right and did some more deliberate testing and this is what I discovered over 180 matches in 6 different mechs, with 6 different roles:

Survivability (Armor/Structure) tree always won out over a FP focused build.

Don't get me wrong...if you've got the spare points to grab some of the early heat nodes, definitely get them (if you're forgoing radar derp - I do, or seismic - I don't in solo queue builds at all; if you're not putting 5SP into consumables for the 2nd airstrike etc). But if I have to make a choice between arm/struc vs firepower, the former wins everytime.

With brawlers the debate seems obvious, but with rangier mechs, with scouts, it just seemed on paper that FP should win out. But the results were significantly in the favor of the tankier mech, whether it was built for trade, for scouting, for skirmishing or for brawl (20-24% more damage per match, increases in KPM/KDR in all 6 mechs chosen - WLF, M2C-D, DRG-Flame, H2C, BLKNT, WVR-6D).

The variable(s) that don't get taken into consideration when going 20+ in firepower vs 17-20+ in Survivability, is simply the inability to put shots in the exact same place every time due to movement, twisting etc. By sacrificing your own TTK for the extra alpha or two, for the extra ~10% range, and the peripheral bonuses like CD, velocity etc, you're forced to chew through much more structure/armor if only because it's rare enough to his the same exact point repeatedly, and you tend to die earlier. Sure, I've got to manage my heat smarter, but that's a skill in and of itself and it's what long set apart the patient alpha-strikers from the DPS facetankers in this game, so it's no real difference there.

#14 Willothius

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 05:24 AM

View PostLukoi Banacek, on 10 June 2017 - 08:05 AM, said:

Survivability (Armor/Structure) tree always won out over a FP focused build.

...

With brawlers the debate seems obvious, but with rangier mechs, with scouts, it just seemed on paper that FP should win out. But the results were significantly in the favor of the tankier mech, whether it was built for trade, for scouting, for skirmishing or for brawl


I've found similar results, not as thoroughly tracked though...
I started digging through the forums to find some hard numbers on some ST questions I had, but mainly found that Durability is the thing to go for currently.
Keep in mind the relative effect your inherent structure/armor-quirks have on the survival tree (here's great help on that!)

Some questions I still haven't found a definite answer to though:

-Heat Gen vs Cool Run, which is more worthwile?
It seems intuitively Cool Run is better, (higher stats for less investment) but after a bunch of reading it seems this is not the case for lights/meds with little to no additional heatsinks...
-Mobility, which nodes are best?
Speed tweak is the one everyone seems to want, but which road to those is best (and for which roles)?
I intuitively kept going for the Accel/Deccel branch, but more and more I read about the greatness of Torso speed/yaw..?
I understand fast skirmishers and brawlers want more leg action (so right-branch) to keep up the facehugging fights, but I'm confused about this one; it seems also way less scienceable than the Durability tree..

-AMS Overload
I know they are very situational to start with, but those node-bonus numbers seem ridonkulously low!
Are we missing something, or is this the same as those mathematical malpractises also found in UAC Jam Chance reduction (always avoid!) or the Hill Climb (also avoid!) mechanism?

-Radar Derp.
Still not sure what happens if you use only 1 node of this? I've read about a "beep" or somehting, indicating you've lost LoS, when locked by missiles, but I don't think I've ever seen this..
(so I don't mean the actual lock-breaking effect, I know that works)

#15 Onimusha shin

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:06 AM

View PostWillothius, on 12 June 2017 - 05:24 AM, said:

-Heat Gen vs Cool Run, which is more worthwile?
It seems intuitively Cool Run is better, (higher stats for less investment) but after a bunch of reading it seems this is not the case for lights/meds with little to no additional heatsinks...
HeatGen affects all weapons heat output, while CoolRun impacts the number of heatsinks carried so your understanding is correct. HeatGen skill is 100% better for most hot builds.

View PostWillothius, on 12 June 2017 - 05:24 AM, said:

-Mobility, which nodes are best?
Speed tweak is the one everyone seems to want, but which road to those is best (and for which roles)?
I intuitively kept going for the Accel/Deccel branch, but more and more I read about the greatness of Torso speed/yaw..?
I understand fast skirmishers and brawlers want more leg action (so right-branch) to keep up the facehugging fights, but I'm confused about this one; it seems also way less scienceable than the Durability tree..

This is subjective but for any build that goes at least 60kph, you don't really need Speed Tweak. In fact, Mobility is probably the least return on your SPs unless you tend to operate solo apart from the main death ball of your team

View PostWillothius, on 12 June 2017 - 05:24 AM, said:

-AMS Overload
I know they are very situational to start with, but those node-bonus numbers seem ridonkulously low!
Are we missing something, or is this the same as those mathematical malpractises also found in UAC Jam Chance reduction (always avoid!) or the Hill Climb (also avoid!) mechanism?
I don't bother taking AMS as it's a waste of tonnage but I can see why people do, given PGI's preference to buff LRMs for the casuals. I've only heard good things about AMS if you carry more than 1 so really, I wouldn't waste SP on a non-AMS dedicated mech.

View PostWillothius, on 12 June 2017 - 05:24 AM, said:

-Radar Derp.
Still not sure what happens if you use only 1 node of this? I've read about a "beep" or somehting, indicating you've lost LoS, when locked by missiles, but I don't think I've ever seen this..
(so I don't mean the actual lock-breaking effect, I know that works)
Yes, what you've said is true, it gives an audio cue when you've been targeted or de-targeted.

#16 cazidin

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hey, Omi, think we should update our guides for the next patch or wait for the Civil War?

#17 Lukoi Banacek

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 04:21 PM

Be very clear though....Heat Gen is in FP tree, CR is in the OPS tree. People are often confusing the former, with Heat Containment (which is also in the OPS tree).

#18 Onimusha shin

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

View Postcazidin, on 18 June 2017 - 10:03 AM, said:

Hey, Omi, think we should update our guides for the next patch or wait for the Civil War?

I'll prolly update it in a bit when I've cleared some work outta the way. I already did some mathing in Taro's thread as well so already have some ground work done. The issue is proving the HeatContain effect but PGI's Chris DID say it's a whole multiplier now, not a base 30 only.

View PostLukoi Banacek, on 18 June 2017 - 04:21 PM, said:

Be very clear though....Heat Gen is in FP tree, CR is in the OPS tree. People are often confusing the former, with Heat Containment (which is also in the OPS tree).

Yeah, I'll prolly need to highlight the critically important ones in the main guide again.

#19 Kiiyor

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 11:24 PM

View PostOnimusha shin, on 30 May 2017 - 10:33 PM, said:

I hope the lack of interest here isn't due to the player population getting burn-out from click-warrior online, LOL


I think it's more because it's an informative, well thought out post, with an obvious abundance of genuine effort, that has the misfortune of not pouring gasoline over any of the active, uncontained wildfires burning elsewhere.

You should have expressly stated some of the following phrases somewhere:
  • LRM's are OP
  • LRM's are GARBAGE
  • The new energy balance is good
  • The new energy balance is garbage
  • Honestly, the CSPL is fine
  • Good, the ISSPL was OP as balls
  • Those guys doing balancing have a point

As for your tree advice, I agree with a most of it, but I do note that a lot of it is subjective. I'm finding that anything I use to fight at knife ranges has a heavier investment in survival quirks, whereas longer range stuff benefits far more from heavy firepower investment.

As for mobility... i'm strangely finding that i'm only using a token amount of it (if any), even in mediums and lights. I find that survival and firepower are of far more benefit, for me anyways.

#20 MustrumRidcully

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:24 AM

I woudn't count my opinion for much, as my KDR is negative and I just recently made it to Ter 4 and all that, but I don't really feel like mobility is adding all that much to my builds, either. I mostly leveled heavies lately, and I spend most of my skills elsewhere, too. I rarely am in a situation where I thought: "Whoa, if I could just turn a few percent faster". If my mech was too slow, it was usually really too slow, a few percentage point woudn't have done the trick.

The ony thing I sometimes which I had was more torso pitch rate. For shooting down or up any cliffs, or for dealing with UAVs. But I am afraid, once again, a few percentage points would not have done the trick, either.





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