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Mechwarrior Online 2021: Features

2021 features

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#1 Daeron Katz

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 01:10 PM

In this thread, lets discuss ideas for updating or adding to our current monetization model in MechWarrior Online, such as:
  • Skill Tree / Grind Reduction
  • Remove Torso Heat Spike Mechanic
  • Heat Management Values Not Representative of Heat Efficiency
  • Simplify Command Wheel
  • Remove Time of Day Change in Matches (FPS hit)
  • UI Performance Pass / Scaling?

#2 Kojin


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 06:11 PM

Skill tree - Make it cheaper, as in CBills

Heat Spikes - I think if a part is removed/destroyed, it should drop a small chunk of heat with it. Especially if that part has heat sinks in it. Of course this minor drop would be immediately balanced by the now reduced heat efficiency and capacity overall.

Heat Values - Just, yea, they're not really helpful as is. We need a capacity rating as well as a dissipation rating.

Command Wheel - Keyboard shortcuts or allow them in chat macros perhaps.

Time of Day - Randomise the exact time within a range depending on the map, but don't progress it during the match.

UI - Performance pass is always a good thing. Scaling I think should at least be adjustable, better option would be to allow more customised placement as well as scaling options.

#3 Big-G


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 07:38 PM

Skill tree: Might want to simplify it a little. There has been a couple of good versions proposed on the other threads.

Torso heat spike: This should be proportional to the heatsinks and engine used
- Standard engines: Side torso destruction doesn't impact engine heat sinking
- Light (Clan XL) engines: Side torso destruction negates 20% of the engine heat sinking
- IS XL Engines: Well, no use discussing this unless we venture into IS Omnimechs.

Keep time of day static... the game isn't played over half a day, it's literally a couple of minutes.

#4 LordNothing


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 07:53 PM

command wheel needs simplifying? theres nothing in it.

also make the ui less squintworthy in 4k.

Edited by LordNothing, 16 November 2020 - 07:54 PM.

#5 Brauer


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 07:58 PM

Some of these just seem really simple to me.

Time of day cycle tanks performance and offers, imo, no real benefit. Just cut it out. Have each match have a set ToD that is randomly determined at match start.

The torso loss heat mechanic is not a fun mechanic. Just cut it as well.

Skill tree grind - the grind to fully skill a mech is quite punishing, especially for less skilled and newer players. I'd advocate cutting the time to skill a mech roughly in half. Whether that's through a skill tree change, such as doubling the impact of the majority of nodes and cutting the number of nodes in half, or doubling the XP payout of matches is less critical than the relative change in time to grind. A strong player can skill up a mech in maybe 30-50 matches, a less skilled or inexperienced player is going to take like 100 matches. If PGI wants to sell mech packs they need to enable people to skill mechs up fast enough to need new ones.

EDIT: along with speeding up the skill tree grind the cbill cost of SP should probably be cut in half, otherwise new players could have HUGE cbill problems.

Edited by Brauer, 16 November 2020 - 07:58 PM.

#6 Kiu


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 08:01 PM

One thing, no matter what engine you want to use in the future is UI scaling. Even on my 32" the UI is made for ants.

#7 Vampyreq


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 08:28 PM

Skill tree grind:
Rename Skills to Upgrade/Enhancement. How does being skilled increase the range of a laser weapon for example.
Remove or reduce the cbills component.
Reduce the exp requirement from 800 to 600.
40 - 50 skill points to max a mech out seems good.

Revamp the skill tree to:
Laser (Range, cooldown, duration etc.)
Ballistics (Range, cooldown, capacity etc.)
Missiles (Range, cooldown, capacity etc.)
Survivability (Armor hardening, skeletal density etc.)
Heat (Heat gen, heat containment, cool run etc.)
Mobility (Speed tweak, hard brake, kinetic burst, Jump jets etc.)
Auxiliary (Consumables, AMS, capture assist etc.)

Reduce the number of nodes, 4 - 7 will be good. Increase the impact of 1 node.
Give it a vertical arrangement and less interlinked. E.g., someone can immediately drop 7 SP into Range to max it out without having to go through 1 or 2 cooldown nodes.
But, make heat ones more interlinked so no one can immediately plop 7 points to max cool run out.

Reduce torso heat spike, having it is okay but it's too punishing right now. I have 1 or 2 mechs that is literally useless upon ST destruction having to wait 10 seconds and up to cool before being able to fire, unless I setup new weapon groups on the fly.

Update heat management value yes.

Simplify command wheel yes. There's so many and for 3 lances? Wow.

I'm fine with time of day, but make it that if the time transitions while we are in night or heat vision, have it update as well. There was once I was fighting in night vision, I turned it off only to see that it's already day.

There's a part in Tourmaline desert that needs optimising, I literally get serious frame drops for no reason once I enter that spot. There's also another spot that don't sit well with laser AMS, I unfortunately do not have the grid, will find that out and update if possible.

Not sure if this is UI, but it's kind of related. Make it more consistent. I play windowed mode.
With alt+tab, the mouse goes out of the game, but I need to right click and specifically only right click to shift the focus from the game to my 2nd monitor, before I can do anything else. But sometimes, I can't do that and I need to hit escape first before doing the above.

Max throttle. Sometimes opening and closing the map brings me to a halt, sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes opening chat to type brings me to a halt, sometimes it doesn't.

Not sure if this falls here but I'd like to see some changes to consumables as well, and I don't know the lore if it'll support the ideas but:
I will remove cool shot and artillery/air strikes.

Introduce smoke bombs, targeted the same way as strikes and what it does is drop a smoke screen that obscures vision, and hinders sensor ranges. Locks can still be acquired through the smoke screen. You can walk through at your own risk.

Instead of cool shot, have an activatable shield that lasts 2 - 3 seconds where it will absorb all incoming damage.

Separate by colour mech quirks, and those gained from skills.

Make system purchases like ferro fibrous armor, endosteel, artemis, heat sinks, a 1-time purchase unlock style instead of pay per switch. This can encourage experimentation more.

Edited by Vampyreq, 17 November 2020 - 03:25 AM.

#8 Ragedog4


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:09 PM

Skill Tree group up duplicate extra skills and reduce the amount per mech used. For example the two AMS in the Survival you would not group up and keep separate, but you dont need that MANY structure nodes to be everywhere. So if those give a say 2.5% increase put two together to make it 5% increase, but instead of getting 91 skills per mech you get like...say 50 (since we are not grouping ALL of the skill nodes). Also I know there are some skills that make NO sense being where they are because some mechs don't use them at all and those nodes should be to the side where you can get them if your certain mech can use them (like forcing an Urbie mech to have the extra turn rate when he is 360 degrees but you cannot get to the other node without going through that one node).

FOR SURE REMOVE THE HEAT SPIKE, but keep the really high heat to cool down. It still murders the mechs ability to fire. You could even say any CURRENT heat that is built when the side does explode has a 20% slower cooldown time because you lost your side torso if you are tying to figure out a balance or something. Just get rid of the heat spike, yuk to that thing.

For representing heat: In mech lab show the heat % bar next to the mech and show how much heat all the weapons would cause firing with in lets say an Alpha strike, or if its better 1 or 2 seconds of fire time (because laser duration is a thing). Then a number of how many seconds it takes for the mech to fully cool down after that "alpha strike" or 1 to 2 second heat build up.

Remove the "day night" changing during the game, yes, for sure. BUT have 4 different SET times in game. Night, Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. So each map still can feel different that way but its still, not changing. (we still want our night time with rain on the Bog feeling, its GREAT for private match events)

Im not sure what to change with the UI, but really I want to hear what the NEW people think would be easier before I start jumping to any changes I and other Vets want.

#9 Der BierVampiR


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:11 PM

  • Skill Tree / Grind Reduction
I would be carefull with the Skill Tree. I believe it's working just fine. If someone wants to reduce the grind you could simply double the values of one point (let's say instead of having 0,75% less heat per point in the weapon tree there will be 1,5%). Then you could half the availible points to 45 or 46 (from 91).

I really want to point out that i don't know if this is good idea in terms of the monetization of the game. For as a free to play game some kind of grind has to be in the game. I always liked the fact about MWO that it has a lot less grind than WoT or WoWs. So i don't know if the Skill Tree is really a problem.

MWO has a really fair F2P model in my opinion you don't have to reduce the grind.

The grind could only be a potential problem for new players. The solution for this problem would be simply i believe. Simply give them bigger Cadet Bonuses or double the amount of matches a new players counts as a cadet.
  • Remove Torso Heat Spike Mechanic
We should be carefully to take away to much of the sim aspect of MWO. If the Heat Spikes will get removed what is the point of the standard engine? The standard engine is so much heavier that it should have real advantages of xl and light fusion engines.
  • Simplify Command Wheel
For me the Command Wheel is fine and it works.
  • Remove Time of Day Change in Matches (FPS hit)
This would render the night vision mode quite useless or? Therefor i don't know if that is good for the gameplay. It would take away something important towards the sim aspect of the game. Also the night time makes aiming more difficult so it is adding some depth into the gameplay in my opinion.

If people have problems with the performance of MWO (to be honest, the game has a very bad performance - and engine upgrade would be great) they could set the shadow option in the game at the lowest value instead.
  • UI Performance Pass / Scaling?
It would be cool if the UI would scale better with bigger resolutions. Maybe there could be a slider to adjust the desired scale in the options menue?

In terms of monetization: Whats about setting up a kickstarter campaign with goals we can support? Such goals could be porting MWO to another engine and making new game modes and so on.

Edited by Der BierVampiR, 16 November 2020 - 09:23 PM.

#10 yrrot


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:20 PM

Skill Tree:

Reduce the number of nodes across the board (initial pass may be to merge cost and value of similar/adjacent nodes).

Reduce the number of trees (jump jets should be in mobility, sensors and equipment should be grouped)

Ideally, they would be chassis or variant specific (maybe not all variants have all trees/nodes, for example)

Show bonuses from quirks that stack with skills with a "(+##)" next to the skill bonus. example: "Heat Dissipation + 10%(+5%)" would be 10% from skills, 5% from quirks for 15% total.

Edited by yrrot, 16 November 2020 - 09:23 PM.

#11 50 50


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:28 PM

Skill Tree
There are two ways to reduce the grind of the skill tree.
1. Less nodes
2. Less mechs.

While we can debate the individual nodes, reducing their number and the actual metric value of each node, skill point cost etc, I would like to suggest using 'Pilots' as a way to reduce the multiplier of skills across multiple mechs.
If everyone started with one or more pilots and we could assign those pilots to multiple mechs then we create a central spot for the spending of XP that can massively reduce how many times we have to unlock the same nodes on multiple mechs.
However, build some additional features and visibility into it so it's not some bare bones function change.

#12 Domenoth


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 10:42 PM

  • Skill Tree / Grind Reduction
    • I think I have to completely disagree with Der BierVampiR. New players are not the only ones who suffer from the grind.
    • I am a Pokemech player. Under this skill tree, I still need 27,423,381 XP and 1.8 Billon CBills. I've been playing since open beta and I'm still that far behind (and I'm not even considering my "Clan" account that's even further behind).
    • I think the worst design decision for the current skill tree is that it punishes experimentation.
      • If you invest 20 points into the Jump Jet tree and find out you hate the results, you're out 16,000 XP and 900,000 CBills. That's a very difficult pill to swallow.
      • Punishing experimentation promotes cookie-cutter skills thrown on every Mech you own.
    • The second worst design decision is illustrated by maxed out mechs vs trial mechs.
      • The only good "skill trees" I've seen in other games provide a free option. Like several prebuilt trees you can pick from (e.g. "Survivability", "Mobility", "Energy", "Ballistic", etc.)
      • Even handicapping the freebies would be acceptable (e.g. each freebie only gets 75-85 nodes instead of the full 91)
    • Champion Mechs
      • 10% is too small a boost and after you level it, the bonus is wasted without additional MC
      • If the extra 10% was all GXP, that might make it interesting.
    • XP Boosting Cockpit Items (not CBill Boosting items)
      • 5% per item is also too small of a boost.
      • The most you can get is 10% and that will take 2 of your 3 slots.
      • And the most Mechs you can put it on is 3 (and only if you're IS).
      • This is for XP generation. These items are the very definition of pay-to-skip-the-grind instead of pay-to-win.
      • Consider upping the percentage considerably
      • If you must, make it so they don't stack (so you only use 1 of your 3 slots).
    • Old Skill Tree vs Current Skill Tree
      • I feel the best feature of the old skill tree was the progression between Basic, Elite, and Mastery.
      • Elite was slightly more XP than half-way to full Mastery but it was 80-90% of the total value of the tree.
      • You could take Elite Mechs to FP/CW and not feel like a drag on your team. Since the new Skill Tree, I don't think I've played a single FP/CW game. I'm always working on my next Mech and just can't compete.

Edited by Domenoth, 16 November 2020 - 10:51 PM.

#13 DeadWeight18


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 12:20 AM

Add some more game achievements. So players can work against some goals and not those like destroy M2.5 components.

Like Highlander Burial - Destroy a mech with collusion damage from a Highlander mech

#14 DeadWeight18


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 12:25 AM

View Post50 50, on 16 November 2020 - 09:28 PM, said:

While we can debate the individual nodes, reducing their number and the actual metric value of each node, skill point cost etc, I would like to suggest using 'Pilots' as a way to reduce the multiplier of skills across multiple mechs.

I like the idea. Like in MW5 let us have pilots where we could link the Skill trees. Having Pilots for Energy Boats, Laser Vomits, Dakka and so on. There could be Barracks with bunks which you can enlarge with MC like in BattleTech.

The Amror Tree could then read Damage Reduction (for Armor Enhancement), or Crit Damage reduction or (Structure Enhancement).

#15 Garran Tana


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 01:46 AM

Skill tree - As soon as you get 800exp on a mech it takes it and generates a skill point. No clicking, no c-bills. It would lower the grind (no money wasted on skills) and make using the skill tree faster, less clicking, also less information for the new players to take in. You cumulated 1750 exp for a match, you get 2 skill points and are 150/800 till next skill point. Same could be done with GXP. The xp currency is redundant, we could skip it right into spending skill points.

Or more extensive change - Pilot stable. Like in Hunt: Showdown.
You have 5 (for example) slots for Pilots. They get exp, you skill them up, pick mech, pick pilot. Exping them till max level should be MUCH faster than mechs right now because... If they die, they die - gone, bye bye. BUT! You can use eject when the mech goes critical to save the life of the pilot.
And about that - change it from holding a button for 3 secs to tripple press a button and insta eject.
In Hunt you can buy a better "pilot" for more "c-bills", you can get better pilots the higher rank you have, but you always have a free "cadet".
It would add so much tensions and fun to the game. And the most badass pilots would probably be saved for FW.

Edited by Garran Tana, 17 November 2020 - 01:51 AM.

#16 Aidan Crenshaw


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 02:37 AM

View PostLordNothing, on 16 November 2020 - 07:53 PM, said:

command wheel needs simplifying? theres nothing in it.

also make the ui less squintworthy in 4k.

What was meant here are the lance/company commander's command wheels, which are really cluttered.

#17 MarsThunder


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 06:57 AM

> Remove Torso Heat Spike Mechanic
One of the most annoying things in the game. Must be fixed asap.
Losing a side torso has a negative impact even without Heat Spike.

Edited by MarsThunder, 17 November 2020 - 06:58 AM.

#18 Joshua McEvedy


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:55 AM

Get rid of "ghost heat," which flies in the face of the laws of thermodynamics, and let the chips fall where they may with boat builds.

'nuff said.

#19 Lieutenant Hedgehog


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 10:23 AM

Some QOL observations from a relatively new player perspective:

* Skill Tree grind isn't terrible, I just think each Node should represent a more substantial gain. A 0.7% increase is a barely tangible improvement and isn't a fun thing to 'pay' for.

* Skill Tree UI is clunky. Needing to purchase skill points, then approve the purchase, then assign the points, then approve where they're assigned, feels over complicated.

* A fully-skilled mech should be designated a 'Hero' Mech which grants a C-Bill bonus --- or some other small 'achievement'. It's an accomplishment getting 91/91 nodes and should grant some small reward/recognition for the player. It's a bit anti-climactic getting 91/91 and nothing happens (of course now you have a sweet mech which is great on its own)

* A slight XP C-bill cost reduction would be nice. Mechs are already expensive, it often feels like you have to choose between levelling up an owned Mech or trying to buy a new one. But not a major gripe.

* Transferring XP from one mech to another ... why does this cost real $$$? I don't want to pay for that, feels like it should be part of the in-game mechanics :/ I guess that's just the reality of monetizing an F2P game. At least add an additional way to use this feature (pay with c-bills?). Seems like a good reason to add Pilots (i.e. XP that carries over from Mech to Mech) but I'm skeptical such a new major feature is likely to be implemented

* +1 for Ghost Heat Reduction! It's crazy how often I shutdown and/or explode from overheating. Sure sure you have to be a good pilot ... but ghost heat is too high as is.

* If dynamic daytime changes (i.e. from evening to night) in the middle of a battle are affecting performance, remove them. BUT, having the time of battle variable needs to stay. I love that some matches are in the evening, some are in the morning, some are in darkness. That variety keeps it fresh.

#20 XDevilsChariotX


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Posted 17 November 2020 - 10:42 AM

239 total nodes currently.
51 total nodes without the JJ tree
55 total nodes with the JJ tree. < rather see this removed and global buff to JJ's

There are two ways we can all look at this. 1) Have PGI pick a number of skill points were allowed.
2) This will be the new "Mastery System" where we unlock all the nodes once and were done with it.
3) With either option chosen, we should not have to follow a certain line, just pick whatever nodes we need.
The 2nd option is what I'm most hoping for. I also imagine the %'s would have to be tweaked?, but I think it's a start. I cut down the number of nodes the best I could. Thoughts? For me right off the bat I see this could help a ton with Mobility across the board.

Posted Image

Proposal 2 with New Player experience in mind.

Posted Image
I think this 2nd one would have to be a mastery system and %'s tweaked.

Edited by XDevilsChariotX, 17 November 2020 - 10:43 AM.

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