Before I start in earnest, some context: Since the Founders packs went on sale, back in 2011/2012, I've spent $495 on MWO. I took a hiatus during the open beta period, but from 2013 through 2015, I was a pretty steady spender. That's not a brag. If anything, I feel like a sucker for having put that much into any game, especially this one. Still, the seven dollars I'm about to talk about represents a 1.4% increase in my total MWO expenditure. It's important to note that where I had been casually dropping forty to sixty dollars at a time on MWO in years past, a potential seven dollar spend gets this much scrutiny now.
This weekend, hero mechs' MC prices are discounted 50%. I have about 2,500 MC banked, and I've been thinking about possibly picking up a Scorch, which will be knocked down below 4,000 MC with the sale. A seven-dollar MC pack would put me over 4,000 MC. Should I spend seven dollars on MWO?
Well, when was the last time I put money into MWO? My last purchase of MC was in October, 2015, and the last mech pack I bought was the Cyclops pack in early 2016. It didn't feel like it had been that long, but yeah, I haven't spent money on this game in a year and a half.
Let's ask the charitable question, then: Is MWO seven dollars better now than it was in early 2016?
No. There's been a lot of negative additions and changes to the game since early 2016. The skill tree is a terrible chore. The engine desync made piloting mechs less fun. The Kodiak release last year sent PGI's incompetent balance team scrambling about nerfing everything under the sun, rendering lots of weapon systems worthless, shrinking the number of builds that are both fun and competitive. Community Warfare has alternated between languishing for months on end and being made worse. Escort mode is awful. Polar Highlands is awful. (If you vote for Escort on Polar, then you are trolling the other twenty-three people about to drop in the same match as you.) The game's performance has degraded, owing largely to a broken water shader that PGI seems incapable of fixing. And amidst all this, PGI has continued to have atrocious public relations, iconically including Russ Bullock calling his paying customers cheapskates.
Okay, maybe we should be even more charitable, when asking if I should spend seven dollars on MWO. Instead of considering if the net development of MWO has been worth seven dollars, let's instead consider if the gross value of the game's improvements are worth seven dollars. Omitting the negative additions, has MWO added seven dollars worth of content or quality, since early 2016?
No. There are a couple of new maps that aren't awful, and Incursion is a mild improvement over the old Assault mode (though Assault wasn't removed from rotation). Unless I'm missing something big that I've come to take for granted, that's not seven dollars worth of content.
So, what did I do with my seven dollars? I took them and fourteen of their close cousins and bought four games in the RPG sale that's going on at GoG right now. Russ can lick this cheapskate's hairy scrotum.