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Making Money in MechWarrior Online

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Note: This post was originally created in April 2014, and since then the game mechanics have changed enough that the original author considers it outdated. 

 

Money. Everyone wants it and no one ever has enough. So how are the rewards structured in Mechwarrior Online and what should you be doing to get more money faster?

C-bill Breakdown

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What this means for you:

Don’t play Conquest for cbills. At best you can hope to break even, however, most games will reward significantly less. Most combat oriented rewards are cut in half making resource capture paramount. This means quick stomps will reward less because you haven’t had time to build up a sizable resource score.

What makes it worse is that Conquest doubly punishes you for losing. Whenever you lose, you miss out on any potential salvage your team had built up. In Conquest, not only do you get zero salvage, but your resource reward is way lower. In total, we’re talking 30,000 to 60,000 cbills less for losing. Add in Premium time and a hero mech bonus and that’s upward to 100,000 in cbills missed just for losing. The only Silver lining for Conquest is the increased chance for Defensive Kill Bonuses.


Assists:

Assists are the low hanging fruit of rewards and will likely form the bulk of your earnings. To get one, you merely have to do 1% damage to a mech at any point in the game. As long as the mech dies eventually, you have locked down 6,500 cbills. ER Large Lasers are great in this role particularly for all the fast movers that your autocannons or missiles can’t reliably hit.

 

Why do kills reward so little?

This is a common misconception that kills give you much less compared to assists. What people often overlook is that you will always get at least one component destruction bonus with every single kill. This gives you a minimum of 6,400 cbill reward for every kill vs 6,500 for an assist. Still lower, but not by much. However, if you’re shooting a side torso off an XL mech with an arm still attached you will get 1 kill + 2 component destructions for 8,500. Moral of the story: Don’t bother pulling your shots at the last second.

 

How do Savior Kill bonuses work?

Basically if an enemy mech shoots at a critically damaged friendly mech and you hit the enemy mech all within the span of 10 seconds, you get a savior kill bonus. You do not need to get the killshot. Just tag it with a laser and you’re set. You can get multiple savior kills from a single assist, so don’t neglect this handy bonus.

 

Defensive Kill Bonuses:

Just like savior kills, but it requires the enemy to be in your cap point when you shoot it and then it has to dies on the cap point within 10 seconds. They’re more common in Conquest. Defensive kills can stack with savior kill bonuses.

 

Spot Assists:

Spot assists basically just means you hold lock for some LRM boat. If you’re the closest target holding lock, you get a reward for every volley that hits the target.

 

TAG/NARC Bonus:

Like spot assist, but it’s not on a per volley basis. I believe it’s one bonus possible per enemy mech. Unlike spot assists you can get tag assists with your own LRMs.


ECM Counter:

If you counter an ecm for 5 seconds you get this bonus. You get this reward in one of three ways. Settings your ECM to disrupt, BAP, and a UAV. It’s important to note that TAG, PPC, and NARC do not give you counter ecm rewards.

 

Salvage:

Salvage is a complicated one, but suffice it to say in a full kill game, you will usually get somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 cbills. It’s a universal reward, so everyone gets the same salvage number no matter how many kills/assists you had. You can think of this as your win reward because you only get this bonus if you win.

All you need to know is that you are better off dismembering a mech for component destruction bonuses than you are cockpitting them for maximum salvage. At best a mech is worth a couple thousand cbills in salvage. It is better to get 4 or 5 component destructions instead.

 

Damage:

Everyone loves to focus on damage numbers, but the long of the short of it is damage really doesn’t pay well. For 21 cbills per point of damage, you need to do over 300 damage just to get the same amount as one assist. An impressive 1,000 damage game rewards you the same as 3 measly assists. I see a lot of people complaining about rewards when they score nice damage numbers, but have mediocre stats elsewhere. So remember: more damage is more cbills, but it’s not the be-all-end-all.

 

Disconnecting, Leaving, Dying:

If you leave or disconnect before dying, you will only get rewards you gained prior to leaving. This means no future assist bonus and no salvage if your team wins. However, if you die and leave, you will still get full bonuses as if you were still in game. Don’t stick around after you die if you’re trying to maximize your cbills.

 

Modifiers:

There are two modifiers that can increase your cbill accumulation. Premium time gives you a 50% cbill boost. Hero Mechs and certain Phoenix package mechs give you a 30% boost while founder mechs give you a 25% cbill boost. Obviously, this is going to make a huge difference in your income. If money is your mission, you’re going to want premium time running and to be piloting a bonus mech. These will probably make the biggest difference out of anything else here.

 

Achievements:

There are a few notable achievements you should try to hit if you haven’t already.

  • 1 headshot: 50,000 cbills

  • 5 assists in a game: 50,000 cbills

  • 10 assists in a game: 75,000 cbills

 

Putting it all Together:

With all this information in hand, how do you apply it to your mech and playstyle to maximize your cash? Here is what I would advise you to bring:

 

Weapons:

  • An ER Large Laser or some other long range weapon for assists

  • An LRM for snagging assists and last second hits when you can’t get a clear shot. (optional)
  • A TAG for TAG/NARC bonus

 

Modules:

  • Target Decay for maximum spotting assists

  • Target Info Gather

  • Don’t use consumables. They do not pay for themselves.

 

Other:

  • Two bonus mechs to switch between when you die

  • ECM/BAP

  • Speed

 

Strategy:

You are going to want a long range weapon like an ER Large Laser and your first priority is to hit every new mech you see. Early game is the best time for this because everyone is moving around in the open to get into positions. Try to keep a mental note of what mechs you have hit. Don’t worry about damage, just make sure you are within range and your reticule goes red. Then move on to another target. It works even better if you have multiple long range weapons. Set them to chainfire initially so you don’t miss an exposed mech while your weapons are on cooldown.

Watch for LRM icons on the enemy. As soon as you see one, target the mech, get your TAG on it and shoot it with your ER LL or LRM. This can net you multiple spot assists, a TAG assist, a regular assist, and a potential savior kill bonus.

Speaking of savior kills, whenever you see a mech that’s about to go down focus it and at least hit it once. This ensures you get an assist and sets yourself up for potential savior kill bonuses. Toward the end of a match when mechs start dying faster and faster, set your long cooldown weapons to chainfire so you can cycle through targets and grab up as many savior kill bonuses as you can.

Knock off components when possible. Just keep your eye out for vulnerable components and snag em if you can. It’s easy money. Target info gathering can help here.

Speed can be critical when you’re trying to get a piece of the action every time a new blip pops up on your radar. Try to pick something that can move at a reasonable pace or you’re going to miss out on a lot of money.

When you die, leave. I personally would rather see the outcome of the match, but it’s inefficient to stick around after you have died. Obviously this is more of a solo queue thing.

Last but not least, win! Winning gives you a salvage bonus, and will generally lead to more kills/assist/savior kill bonuses. Win as much as you can and you will earn money faster.

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