New update time.
2 patches have dropped since my last post. First one added ECM, which revolutionized the battlefield. LRMs and Streaks became much harder to use well, and teams with lots of ECM generally had a big advantage over those with less. Matchmaking shifted to allow 8-man teams to face off against each other, while 4-man or smaller stays in the general matchmaking pool.
The second patch, pushed yesterday, added the Stalker, which is a pretty beastly weapon-heavy assault mech (85 tons). All variants have plenty of missiles and lasers, and the thing can push out a ridiculous amount of damage, though it runs super hot if you really want to pack in the dakka. Also, TAG (targeting laser system) got a range boost to help to make LRMs work again v ECM, and the devs added a new Conquest game type (ticker goes from 0 to 750, with 5 possible capture points, and of course you can still murder the other team if you want). They added a new income boost for new players, to accelerate your first mech purchase, as well as a bit of a rework on rewards and removing repair/rearm (which was causing some balance and gameplay issues). Plus there were some optimizations done to help lower-end systems handle the game a bit better.
The icing on the cake, though, is the buff to PPCs and ballistics. Everything but the AC2 and Gauss got a drastically improved muzzle velocity, making them much easier to use (and therefore much more viable, relative to lasers and Gauss).
All in all, it's a great time to pick up MWO. The early grind is much better, and the sheer variety of available mech and weapon options is huge, and the economy changes should get you off the ground a bit faster.