I agree that the "Alleys" map is a POS. That said, one of your problems might just be the fact that you're sticking with the deathmatch modes. In my experience they're the weakest elements of Hawken. The objective-based game types are much more fun, and the static spawn points let you make use of the maps in a real strategic way that is lost in TDM. Siege has been nerfed a bit since I fell in love with it in CB2 but is still fairly good. Missile is easily the most fun in the game right now.
As for the microtransaction thing...it took me about 2 hours to level up to 15, and I can pretty much hold my own even now that they've seemingly bumped me up a bracket in the matchmaker. I haven't bought a single thing for my Rookie TV mech.
I like the fact that you can continue to play on the same mech once it caps at 25, and put that XP towards other mechs.
Originally Posted by agentSmith
oldschool play is about sportsmanship and respect, oldschool gear is available on Ebay.