Battletech is a tactical turn-based game, first and foremost, and a space business simulator second. That's just how the Kickstarter was conceived. HBS have experience with RPGs and they wanted to focus on something else with BT.
The meat of the game is the gameplay, as it should be. The ship scenes and crew banter are there just to add flavor. Furthermore, developing your mechwarriors in a typical RPG fashion would run counter to a central design decision and lore theme: "meat is cheap". You are expected to lose pilots.
Finding fault with it for not being more character-driven like Firefly, excellent as that show was, is like complaining about a fast food joint's lack of organic vegan options. It's fine if you are passing on the game because you don't like XCOM type games, but dismissing it based on it not being more visual novel-like would be a mistake.
Isn't it technically not so bad to buy the game as long as you don't buy any microtransactions?
A multiplayer game lives and dies by the size of its playerbase. So even if you "technically" don't engage in microtransactions yourself, you are supporting them, albeit indirectly, by keeping the game alive for those who do.
I wouldn't hold my breath for this issue to fix itself. Once one cryptocurrency reaches a difficulty beyond GPU mining, another will always be ready to take its place.
Well, at least he didn't call himself a "gamer". Otherwise, yes, it's the kind of empty words that are thrown in every direction at such events.