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Things I Wish I'd Understood Sooner


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#1 Mustang_11b35d

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 04:30 PM

I started playing about two months ago after not playing for years (a little busy with actual wars) and I have read voraciously to get as much info as possible. I did not learn some critical lessons, however Though these things have been said in various forum posts on this and other sites, I would like to post them for other new players.

PRIMO: Ignore your pilot rating and KDR. I spent so much time worrying about how to tier up and get my KDR better, that I started to really stress myself out. It started being work. I almost quit, which is a shame, since I had already bought the MW5 prerelease. Forget your KDR. If you play for fun but die a lot, it doesn’t matter as long as you feel you accomplished your personal and team goals.

So what should your personal goals be? That’s very individual. Mine are: enjoy creating interesting mech builds, improve my tactical skills, and increase my understanding of the game, the other mechs, the other players, and the maps. Yours may be different. That’s OK – you do you.

Team goals are also a little different for each player. I’ve discovered that I really like playing scout, including all the traditional cavalry roles, especially scouting, screening, and harassing. Yes, I get in there and get some kills, but I really like doing that cav stuff. Problem is, it does not help your match score (which is heavily weighted toward damage dealt and kills) or your KDR. So, forget about those things. As long as the things you do contribute to your team, then it’s all good. Also, even when I'm scouting, once the battle is joined, I try to get back to the group as soon as possible to help keep lights off the tails of the big boys, and even help with a push.

That said, be flexible. Sometimes your team needs you to fulfill some specific roles (capping, helping with a push, etc.) Think like a soldier and do what’s best for your team. That is satisfying in its own right. But in the end play to your strengths, do what feels natural for you, and have a good time.

Stay with the group! If you’re not scouting (it’s not everyone’s bag) then for heaven’s sake, stick with your team. Running off by yourself, or even in pairs, does not help your team, and 9 times out of ten, you’re going to get creamed early and have nothing to show for it.

Don’t camp and wait for everyone else to be shot up and think you’re going to score big by getting easy kills at the end. If you do that, you are shorting your team a critical member during team actions. Get in there, take your lumps, learn how to work with others. You’ll get a lot more points (and making a lot more friends) in the long run by doing that.

Now, a very personal thing for me is running to the aid of others who get stuck in bad situations. I know it’s not good for me (in terms of points, KDR, etc.) and often it isn’t even in the best interest of the team. I just can’t help myself. I’m trying to figure out ways to do it better, such as helping the other mech get away without dying in the process. But dang it, I can’t leave a buddy behind – even a virtual buddy. It’s how I’m built. It screws my points, and DEFINITELY hurts my KDR. I don’t really care.

Bottom line – don't sweat the small stuff. Play for fun and play for the team. Do that, and you’ll make friends, get better every day, and have a very rewarding experience.

That’s my 2 cents worth.
Cheers,
Mustang

#2 PurplePuke

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 06:16 PM

I can't argue with any of that. It's fun to try and improve, but it's just a game.

#3 Mustang_11b35d

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 02:44 PM

So, interestingly enough, when I took my own advice and started playing my Ghost Scout (Scout Locust: 4x ERML, Stealth, 165.44 kph, with two UAVs and artillery) the way I like to play, my win/loss improved, and because I'm winning more, my PSR has actually gone up, even though my average match score has gone down. Go figure. I guess the bottom line is play for the team, but play your own game. Find the way you love to play, make sure everything you do helps the team, and those other details will take care of themselves.

#4 VigorousApathy

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 04:26 PM

Unless you do a bunch of team damage and then suicide, your PSR will go up almost every single winning match. So by playing to help your team win, you will actually rank up faster regardless of match score.

Honestly though, the higher tiers are a shitt show, and the most interesting matches seem to be in tier 5-3 simply because people are more willing to try weird strategies and builds.

Like if I stare down a hellbringer in tier 1, I pretty much assume he's got laser vomit. Meanwhile down in tier 3, I've come across hbr's using lurms and atms, and even a 6spl lbx20 brawling hellbringer.

#5 OldSchoolCav

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 11:10 AM

Hey Mustang - as a former 2nd ACR 19D (Fox Troop, pre-Stryker, post Bradley era), welcome back to MW. If you are looking for a good group to join, my unit Mercstar (MS) takes new players of all skill levels. Drop by our teamspeak some time if you'd like to drop with an organized unit - mercstar.teamspeak3.com. Always nice to have another Cavalryman onboard - even if he is an 11B.

I posted this in response to a quesiton on outreach a while back - it should still be true:

Here are 10 I wish someone had told me two years ago:

  • Turn the sensitivity on your mouse down to 0.1 - 0.2 in the game settings and disable cockpit glass.
  • Play all of the trial mechs and finish your first 25 matches before you buy your first mech. When you do buy your first mech, pick a medium or heavy mech and load it up with weapons that meet the following criteria:

    • They can be fired in at most 2 firing groups (left mouse and right mouse). Using number keys 1 - 6 is a great way to get confused and to output 1/6 of your damage potential.

    • They can be fired without generating ghost heat - damage per second is important, so is damage per heat. Pay attention to the warnings in the mechlab, don't overheat and shutdown or damage your mech just to fire that 7th medium laser. If you are bringing all of one type (like all MPL) and can carry more than the limit, set up 2 firing groups and pause for 0.5 sec between firing the groups. If your heat bar is at 0, you are missing opportunities to deal damage. Shoot!

    • They have similar ranges. Don't put 1 small laser, 1 AC10, and 1 LRM15 on a mech: at any given range at most 2 of your weapons work. Build your mech to have a range that is effective for all of your weapons and practice getting into and staying in that range.

  • Ignore consumables until you are good enough without them to earn more than their cost in each match.

  • Stay the hell away from Faction Play until you own enough skilled mechs to be able to make decks for long range, mid range, and short range. When you are ready to drop FP, get on teamspeak - there are many units that welcome casual players in drops. My unit (MS) is one: mercstar.teamspeak3.com - no password needed.

  • Learn to torso twist to spread damage across your mech or to protect damaged areas - fire your weapons and then twist your torso away from the enemy without exposing your back to them while your weapons cooldown, then twist back and shoot again.

  • Press "R" when you engage the enemy - learn to read the enemy mech's paper-doll in the upper right corner of your HUD and aim at components that are already damaged.

  • Stay alive (and shooting), stay with your team, pay attention to the minimap and what they are doing - in the real world, John Rambo died in the jungle somewhere.

  • Shoot who your team is shooting. If you can't tell what to shoot, prioritize targets by threat level. In general, the heavier a mech is and the closer a mech is the greater the threat. But there are exceptions - heavily damaged mechs without weapons (sticks) or underrun LRM boats are good examples. Shoot at them last. Rule of thumb: one dead and one fresh enemy mech are far less dangerous than two damaged enemy mechs.

  • If no one is calling targets, feel free to use VOIP to call out your target. Keep it short : Target Designation, Mech Type, Damaged location (if any), map grid - "Bravo, Griffin, Left Torso Open, Delta 10". Please god, limit VOIP to battle-comms. I don't care what you had for lunch, where you go to church, or who you voted for in the last election.

  • Never stand directly behind another mech and never stop in a choke point.
Grimmechs has some great builds. https://grimmechs.isengrim.org/ . They also discuss some of the theory behind the mechs with build guides. As others have said - the Hellbringer with 2 CLPLs and 4 CERMLs is a great place to start.

Edited by OldSchoolCav, 11 July 2019 - 11:13 AM.


#6 John McClintock

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 02:40 PM

Thanks for your service.

#7 Horseman

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 04:52 AM

1. Waiting for a perfect aim can get you killed. Usually if your aim is good enough then it'll have to do - FIRE!
2. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE. Stopping to aim is a newbie mistake that will get you killed quickly. Learn to fire ON THE MOVE. Learn to orient yourself in terrain ON THE MOVE. Learn to fix your weapon groups ON THE MOVE.
3. MWO is a game of attrition, and matches tend to snowball once a team gets more than 1 kill ahead from the opponents (not to say that comebacks aren't impossible, but they tend to be rare). Keeping your weapons on the field and firing is worth more than a single suicide rush at the enemy (unless your mech is already running out of ammo or so damaged you're going to die anyway).
4. Conserve your goddamn armor. You want to deal as much damage to the enemy as possible while sustaining as little of it as possible in the process. (No, I'm not telling you to play a sniper)
5. Share your goddamn armor, both you and your allies will live longer (and thus win more often) when you're together and the enemy doesn't have the freedom to just focus down one of you.
6. If your team tries to go clockwise from the central ridge into the canyon on Hibernal Rift or Canyon Network, CALL THEM TO STOP. This maneuver loses matches - the enemy team will just push into your old position and pick you apart easily.
7. In general, try to keep your team from NASCARing (that is, spreading out in rotation around some map feature), it's herd mentality and not a reasonable strategy. Holding a firing line against the enemy when they try to NASCAR into you can be devastating.
8. Passivity loses matches. Controlled aggression wins them. If your team seems to be stalling out, get on comms and get them going

View PostOldSchoolCav, on 11 July 2019 - 11:10 AM, said:

Turn the sensitivity on your mouse down to 0.1 - 0.2 in the game settings and disable cockpit glass.
I wouldn't recommend putting it that low, but mileage may vary. Personally I've been turning it down every once in a while from 0.3 until I've reached what felt like the best mixture between speed and precision for my playstyle.

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They can be fired in at most 2 firing groups (left mouse and right mouse).
A good rule of thumb for designing loadouts, but depending on your mouse you can have more weapon groups - in that case you'll probably want to put chainfire on middle mouse button at the very least (my own mechs can have up to 5 weapon groups, with 2 and 5 being usually some kind of height/side based breakdown while my primary/secondary weapons are LMB and thumb)

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If your heat bar is at 0, you are missing opportunities to deal damage. Shoot!
Also good advice for mech building: Your heat gauge and heat dissipation are an <em>asset</em> to be managed, not <em>punishment</em> to be feared. Your builds should utilize your heat capacity and dissipation reasonably - the cooler a weapon runs the heavier and bulkier it tends to be, so you want to maintain a heat balance you can work with.

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Stay alive (and shooting), stay with your team, pay attention to the minimap and what they are doing - in the real world, John Rambo died in the jungle somewhere.
QFT.

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If no one is calling targets, feel free to use VOIP to call out your target. Keep it short : Target Designation, Mech Type, Damaged location (if any), map grid - &quot;Bravo, Griffin, Left Torso Open, Delta 10&quot;.
Calling in visual or radar contacts can be helpful to alert the team to enemy maneuvers as well.

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Please god, limit VOIP to battle-comms. I don't care what you had for lunch, where you go to church, or who you voted for in the last election.
And keep the battle comms strictly relevant to the team's situation. Nobody needs a blow-by-blow narration of what you're doing (I've heard some players doing that, it's infuriating as ****).

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[*] Never stand directly behind another mech and never stop in a choke point.
Amen. Preventing a friendly from retreating after a trade is as bad as friendly fire - and it has the same net result, which is your teammate losing armor (and possibly weapons or the entire mech) when they shouldn't have had to.

Edited by Horseman, 12 July 2019 - 04:58 AM.


#8 Kodan Black

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:12 AM

One other tip for those with more than 2 mouse buttons (which really, you should have since it is literally $20) -- try to be consistent with how you set up mech firing groups. If mouse button 1 is always your primary weapon and button 2 is always the backup you will have an easier time with muscle memory. But also you should be grouping to avoid wasted ammo/heat.

Depending on how many weapon systems you have, you can likely get away with:

1) Primary weapons
2) Secondary weapons
3) Left side weapons
4) Right side weapons

That enables you to only fire the side you expose when you peek. Firing more weapons than you can hit with generates heat which is one of the most limiting factors in the game and potentially uses up precious ammo that you may wish you had in the end game. If your right side is around the corner, just fire that stuff.

For example my MCII-B has 2xUAC5 and 2xUAC10.

Button 1 is 2xUAC5
Button 2 is 2x UAC10
Button 3 is 1x UAC5 and 1xUAC10 Left side
Button 4 is 1x UAC5 and 1xUAC10 Right side





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