Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Succeeding at Titanfall 2: Maximizing Points

[NOTE: One in a series of posts on my Titanfall 2 experience. Find the intro article with links to others here.]
Leveling up requires Experience Points (XP). You get XP for your performance in a match. Points come from winning a match, meeting your performance minimums, completing a match, leveling up titans or weapons or your faction, happy hour, and elite weapon/titan bonuses.
Read that list again. See anything there about getting points for lots of kills? For being match MVP or top three? No. Nothing there. You can play out your ass and double or triple the points of everyone else in the game and you’ll get the same basic points as the lowest person on the game board, assuming they met the same criteria. Below is a screenshot of a game where I doubled the next highest scorer on my team. I likely got no more points than he or she did if they met minimums.
Doubled the score of the rest of my team, got the same XP
So here’s the thing: focus on meeting your minimums. Focus on helping your team win, or making the evac shuttle if you should lose. Focus on knowing what weapons and titans are near leveling up.

Match Minimums

Each game mode has a different set of minimums. For Attrition you’ll need to kill three pilots without dying. Last Titan Standing and Titan Brawl require you to kill two Titans. Amped Hardpoint makes you earn 1500 attack points or 600 defense points. Bounty Hunt means you’ll need to earn 600 points.
You’ll find the minimums on the menu accessed from the Start/Menu button. Make sure you know what your minimums when you start each match! Check regularly as the match progresses to make sure you’re going to meet them.

Leveling Up Titans and Weapons

Let’s cover that last point in more depth, because it can really help you. You get an XP whenever you level up a weapon or titan. That enables you to potentially get extra XP in a match by switching to a different titan or weapon when you respawn—if that next selection is also close to leveling up. Here’s an example:
At match start I have my Hemlock just two points away from leveling up. My Flatline is three points away. I’ll start with the Hemlock and hopefully kill enough opponents to level it up quickly. When I die after the level up, I’ll quickly check the loadout to see if my Hemlock needs more or fewer points than the Flatline. If more, then I’ll switch to the Flatline and hopefully level that up as well. Rinse and repeat through the game: know what weapons you’re close to leveling up on. The same goes for Titans!
Also, don’t forget your sidearms and anti-titan weapons!


Win or lose, you get zero points for living through the epilogue. Zero.
If you won the match, you already got your XP for winning. If you lost, you have an opportunity to get another point for a successful evacuation. Hiding gets you nothing. Sniping from a distance gets you nothing. Running away from the titan near the evac ship gets you nothing.
If you care about leveling up then you need to embrace your inner Dutch Schaefer and “Get to da choppa!”
If there are titans near the ship, your best bet is to try distracting them on the way to getting into the ship. Use Firestars (my personal favorite) to disrupt their vision. Fire your anti-titan weapon as fast as you can.
Rodeoing a titan likely isn’t a good choice at this point. It may take up too much time, and subject you to Death By Titan Fist (titan melee) if another titan’s paying attention. Or Death By Smoke. Or whatever. Additionally, rodeoing may delay you too long such that you end up missing your ride. That would suck.
If you die on the way to the ship, so what? If you make the evac ship and it's blown up, so what? You lose absolutely nothing.
Shoot for the opportunity to make an extra point. GET TO DA CHOPPA!

Elite Squad Leader Points

You’ll get an extra XP if you bought one of the elite weapons from the store. You share that point with your teammates, which is kind of neat—the team gets a max of one Elite Squad Leader point per match.

Happy Hour Points

Your network has a set happy hour. You’ll get an extra five points playing during this time. That’s awesome! If possible, try and save a Double XP ticket to use when you’re playing Happy Hour games. Ten points versus five points. Epic Win.
Find a network that has a time that works for you. I created my own Sweet Meteor of Death network (because the 2016 election just sucked) and set its happy hour time to 9pm Pacific. Look around in the Browse Networks menu to find a network that fits your needs. Or join me in SMOD. I’m currently the only member and it’s lonely.

Double XP

Double XP are awesome. They, like, double the points you get!
Pay attention to the multiplayer game lobby. Occasionally you’ll see special game modes that have 2XP for them. Sometimes those modes suck (see my disclaimers about modes I avoid because I suck at them) and sometimes they’re awesome. If those modes meet your style, then definitely jump in.
Double XP awards are also awesome. In the first six or eight months of play I never received a single one. Bastards. I then bought three “Elite Weapons” from the store for a total of $15USD. This gives me a 30% chance every match of getting a 2XP award. (10% per weapon to a max of 30% total.)
I’m careful about which game modes I spend those 2XP tokens in. I do not spend them in Titan Brawl or Last Titan Standing, because those modes generate (generally) fewer points than things like Attrition, Bounty Hunt, etc. where I can get points for leveling up weapons too.

Grinding It Out

Regenerating up means you’ll have to grind through something like 473 experience points (XP) per Gen. Levels 1-8 ramp up from four to ten XP per level, then it’s ten per level until you hit regeneration after 49. Matches last ten to 15 minutes depending on the mode; say an average of 12 minutes per match. (I’m totally throwing out feasible but not proven numbers here.) Here’s the basic breakdown of possible points:
Base Points
  • Match Completion = 1
  • Good Performance = 1
  • Match Victory / Successful Evac = 1
    Potential Points
  • (possible) Elite Squad Leader = 1
  • (possible) Level Up Weapons = 1 per level
  • (possible) Level Up Titans = 1 per level
  • (possible) Level Up Faction = 1
  • Happy Hour (once per day) = 5
Ergo, on a basic match were you met minimums, and won or escaped you’re looking at three points. Throw in one or two XP for weapons level ups. I’ll semi-arbitrarily use an average of six points per match based on faction levels up and matches where you do an awesome job and level up a couple weapons/titans.
473 points per Generation divided by six points average is 78.8 rounds per Generation. If an average match is 12 minutes you’re looking at 15.7 hours of play PER GENERATION. That’s a seriously exhausting grind. (Note this is without any 2XP tokens. If you manage to get 2XP tokens for 30% of your matches, and you won’t because Titanfall’s algorithms for awarding these SUCK, then you’re looking at roughly 49 matches which is still nine hours of play per Generation.
No matter what way you cut it, it’s a grind.

What Game Modes Give The Best XP For Leveling Up

Remembering that I don’t any of the modes that are solely pilot-versus-pilot, I’ve found Attrition and Bounty Hunt give me the fastest rise in XP for the way I play. Those two modes give me the best chance at leveling up multiple titans and weapons, which means I’m getting the best points above the “base” points per match.
I did a rough bit of data collection and played around with some tables in Excel. My data and conclusions are not rocket science and very well could be off. Frankly I don’t want to go too deep into the data because at some point it becomes much less fun. These are sort of guidelines that let me have fun while still trying to level up somewhat quickly. Use these figures and do a bit of your own data collection. Please, don’t start a purse fight in the comments about my data collection, math, or whatevs, OK?
Mode Avg Points Per Match Avg Match Time Points Per Minute Points With 2x 2x PPM 2x + Happy Hour PPM
Attrition 6 12 0.5 12 1 22 1.8
Frontier Defense 13 35 0.37 26 0.74 36 1.02

Keep Your Eye On The Prize: XP

Go into your matches with a plan for how you’re going to try and earn XP. Think about what weapons and titans you might swap between. Don’t lose sight that the game is FUN, but still think about how you can play to maximize what you earn.

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