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The Price of Doing Work by David McCallum #701548

So, our intrepid correspondent Spike has managed to get himself banned from the main Pilots notification board…


Now that may come as a relief to some of you, but for me, it simply adds to the headache that I normally have nowadays.

You see, it’s like getting called to the principal’s office… again.

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Spike has been moonlighting…

I’m the one who now has to deal with the sulky teenage angst of what he didn’t do wrong… at least I remembered to resurrect the old vid loop I used to use when Patrick was editor and went on a rant.

You know the kind… five minutes of video feed of you sitting attentively while occasionally nodding and going “mm-hmm” or “yep” edited to go back to the start seamlessly so it looks like you are paying attention when in fact you have wandered off for a snooze.

Really useful for those video conferences you could do without, feel free to nick the idea.

But on occasion, the lad does have a point.

Take the double war format.

I can understand that in these trying times when people are confined to their home barracks unless called to active duty, it seems a good idea to throw more conflict at us to get folks into their mechs and causing mayhem.

Hmm, horses for courses I suppose. I know when it was announced over my own clan chat, there were more than a few resigned expletives.

I guess that while it is good to keep active, part of you just wants things to go back to that little bit of normal, and in this case normal is one war a month, with a raid following it.

It is, after all, traditional.

Two wars is just something else that is ‘out of the ordinary’ and is just impinging on your mind that these are not normal times.

Personally (and I stress the fact that it is my opinion only) I think that this time around I’m fine with the first war but will likely sit out the second one.

There are a number of reason for that decision.

1, Our region has just announced it’s first instance of zero new infections and we are due to come out of lock-down around the time the raids would start. There are things like bars and pizza that are calling, and I have every intention of over-indulging.

2, A regular war with a high Spec count is right up my alley, but the second fight… well, I really can take it or leave it.

3, When entering into a war, there is an obligation up front that you are going to dedicate time and effort to it, otherwise your clan mates are let down. 3 days out of a month we seem to be able to cope with, even if it is 10% of a month. Double that and you are starting to perhaps take too much time away from other things that should be getting done. Some folk can get away with that or are happy to do so. In my position, not so much.

So onto Spike’s moan about the raids.

Actually, let’s not… not because I disagree with him, but because he did miss out on one vital point, and since we always like to pride ourselves on a balanced approach to reporting, it would be remiss if I didn’t include it.

Back in the day, the Raid used to be the big after party reward. This was where you could win big in terms of Niode mechs and other goodies.

But at the moment, that’s not the case.

For those of you who haven’t noticed, the big prizes are actually in the war medal haul, provided you get your minimum kills.

Faction war level prizes for participating in a normal war, plus good stuff for a wood medal where previously there was nothing. A mech, some weapons, even a bit of equipment.

That’s where the decent stuff is.

Having problems getting your minimum kills? Have your people call their people. If they have you over a barrel and they know the fight is won, they may just, by pure accident, have somebody out of formation. It’s all kills.

As long as you are fighting an honorable opponent, and there are some out there who aren’t (I have a long memory, it’s why I won’t ally with you in a Faction and it’s why you could kiss my proverbial when you requested it of us when you declined us in the past…), you will more than likely get your juicy prize pack.

Just don’t tell the Craftsmen about this tactic…

The Raid is still there though, so let’s examine that.

On the plus side, Raid experience appears to have dropped to around a third of what it was, so apart from the time factor, killing 3000 mechs only gets you the experience of what 1000 used to be. I only noticed that quite recently. No idea how long its been like that.

So the raid is now the icing on the cake… as I said above, a big fat juicy cake.

Very thin layer of icing.

Now admittedly since my Clan runs lean on its numbers, we don’t have the same issue that larger clans have in everyone getting a share. However this is not a recent thing. I can certainly recall times when we would do the calculations and we could all get a share IF and only if, we each hit the 1 x share target with maybe 3 people getting one mech over the kill cap.

We got very good at hitting the target (it seems strange running out your Red Ants for a raid in the hope of killing a single mech to land dead on the cap) but it’s a skill worth acquiring, if nothing else than for being able to gauge your force strength.

Of course if a single person blew 5 over, somebody else was stuffed. I’m glad we got rid of that repeat offender.

(I must be tetchy tonight, that’s 2 digs I’ve got in… feels good to get them off my chest).

But should there be less kills available than is possible to give everyone in the clan at least a minuscule chance of getting a share, then no, that’s not really on.

So, finally getting around to the point, to quote the little feller, Raid.. Cash or Trash?

I’ve actually addressed this before (a long time ago), and to be honest, my stance hasn’t changed, but it’s worth going over again.

It is actually both.

Let me explain.

For the lower levels it is cash. Even the crystal weapons are of decent caliber, and I have certainly seen low level pilots who between missions, wars and raids have very rarely had to stoop to actually buying a weapon on the open market. The prizes available to them keep them armed at a level well above the minimum rating for what they can purchase on the Crystal scale of things.

Start going up levels however, and it starts to tip toward the trash side of things.

Of the things that are almost guaranteed, yes there are perhaps 3 good weapons that you will come away with.

You are also almost guaranteed of getting at least one 2 x Instant upgrade kit, which has to be worth at 10 Niodes a pop.

There’s the chance of the mechs (and I may be mistaken but from memory the percentage chances for those have gone up marginally?) which always used to be the big bonus if it was a niode job, but from what I’ve seen at around Spike’s level, even the crystal ones are above your level so are of some form of use.

Especially if you have rainbows to go against (cough-Spike-cough…).

But a huge amount of the crystal weapons are just dross.

Last time I got a Death Head.

A level 51 weapon.

From a division 4 raid.

Most players in division 8 can buy that stuff on the open market.

And the thing is, I know why its done. It’s a marketing gimmick… enough items in there and it looks like you are getting a really good deal.

Over here, there are marketing companies that will send you a ‘Black Box’ of products; you get them for free as long as you do a review for them. There’s some good stuff in there, plus some fillers to make the box look like it’s got lots in it.

Stuff like non-alcoholic lager, or gluten free – allergen free – crackers, that have the taste and consistency of cardboard and a price tag that only the rich, ridiculous and trendy could afford.

And sorry, if I’m going to have a lager, finding out its alcohol free is only going to make me angry…

So yes, I agree with Spike. Leave out the gluten free crackers, I’m wise to that trick.

Oh, and while you are at it, why just weapons?

Most of us are actually looking for Niode availability for equipment pieces… would some of those, even at a low chance actually kill you?

Last count (and I did check, just to see what was on offer in the raid), out of the whole list there was maybe 2 pieces of equipment, one crystal and one niode, both way below my level.

Sure, as a specialist player and hunter, chances are I’d keep the niode one and use it as a bonus… but 2 pieces out of the whole list?

Yes I agree with Spike, the raid lists maybe need to be checked to see if they are actually still relevant to the player base carrying them out.

Because at the moment, it feels like I just got handed an alcohol free lager…

Lowenbrau 'Alkoholfrei' Review Low-Alcohol (0.5%) Lager
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