Category: MechWarrior Online

Alienware Cockpit Decorations

The folks over at Alienware are giving away some in cockpit decorations for MWO.  You will need an Alienware Arena signin, but, other than that, there seems to be no catch.  Head over to the Alienware Arena page (here) to get your three Alien heads!

Giveaway goes until Feb 21st.. and here’s a shot of one of them in game:

ScreenShot0024

 

Heads are given away in red, blue, and green (you get all three).

Dev Vlog #1

The PGI team has posted their first Vlog.. this is supposed to be a replacement for the forum based ‘ask the devs’ weekly Q&A.

This initial episode, was supposed to be released in Mid-December (it was filmed December 13th).  With it just now being released a good portion of the information in the video, is outdated.  Really, everything except the initial portion covering the ‘lessons learned’ from the HPG map was outdated at release.

Here’s the video:

Here’s the one relevant question (IMO) out of the video:

“In regards to the newest map, HPG manifold, which will technically be the tenth map added to MechWarrior Online. What have you learned about making maps for MWO since first introducing us to Forest Colony back in early closed Beta?

Answer (Dennis de Koening): “Lot’s of stuff. It’s kind of a hard question to answer because a lot of the evolution of maps has been gradual and sporadic. Many different things have been more evolved than learned. We’ve learned new techniques for texture application. A good example is making a 900-story Tourmaline rock to not make it look like a repeating texture and still have a glistening sparkle on it. We’ve learned a lot of techniques on how to make a little go a long way; The easy one there is modulation: Being able to make three chunks of geometry turn into ten different things. Tourmalines are another good example: You can take one of those tourmalines and rotate it sideways, upside-down and every direction. For every tourmaline there’s just as much under the terrain that is showing its different version just next to it, flipped. That helps a lot.

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of the engine during the concept stage means a lot. I could put some fantastic stuff in a concept art that the engine just cannot achieve so obviously I’m not going to be doing those couple of concepts that we just cannot do at this moment, because we haven’t yet figured out how to do it. So, obviously, keeping that in my mind mitigates a lot of problems down the road.

I think we’ve gotten a little better at achieving the scaling queues. Once again, that is still the hardest thing to do, no matter what you do. A really good example there is some of the plants in Forest Colony, like the Bracken, for example. A bracken plant is generally no more than a meter tall but in Forest Colony they are upwards of three meters tall. When we make them actual size they basically turn into noise: It looks like a pixelated carpet. We have to enlarge them in order to get a little of three-dimensional texture on the ground. Obviously this isn’t real but we have to balance it. It’s tough to find those balances but we’re learning better ways of achieving this as we move forward.

Another point is we study the gameplay a lot. Many people have different ways of playing the game. You release a map and the gameplay is almost predictable. A month later it’s completely changed. People just start to learn the map, new techniques, they have strategies built up. We learn from being for it: “How do we make the map instantly adaptable to users?”, making it fun based on they are playing techniques are. We want these maps to be addictive. Getting back to scaling stuff, this is one of the harder things. Generally speaking in most games the camera is only about 2 meters off the ground: The player can only see about 250 meters into the distance, they run at about 120km/h (people run fast!), our ‘mechs are anywhere between 2 and 6 stories tall, they can fly into the air at ridiculous heights. So distances are upwards of 4 kilometers. Players run and turn and twist and everything has got to stream in at the same time so we cannot have too much detail. In a regular game you can have litter and newspapers on the streets. If we do that online it looks like a pixel. You just cant do it. The detail has to start up at around 2 stories and go up to about 6 or 8 stories and then from there fade off. So finding those magic areas where it really counts is an art.

The rest of the questions relate to Clan Tech, or other information that was released last month.

My suggestions to PGI:

  • Fix the audio.. in addition to the levels being incredibly different between the NGNG segment, and the actual Dev segments, there are lots of  audio issues with the Dev sections (primarily echo).
  • Release these more frequently, you’re trying to replace a weekly/bi-weekly Q&A session.. releasing a 20 minute video, almost 30 days after the information you refer to in the video as ‘coming soon’..isn’t a good substitute for the forum Q&A.
  • There needs to be a transcript posted at the same time as the video.  Not all players are English speaking, and some have hearing issues (both reasons the forum based Q&A is better).
  • Where’d you get the questions from??  There was no (that I remember seeing) thread asking for questions for this Vlog, make a clearly labelled thread requesting questions for the next one (assuming there is a next one).

 

Looking forward to seeing if the PGI team can turn this Vlog series into a better Q&A than what we had in the forums, so it will be interesting to see what gets covered in the next couple Vlogs (and, how frequently they release them).

A la Carte Clan packages

In response to the criticism of the pricing (and positioning) of some of the Clan ‘Mechs in the recently announced Clan packs, PGI has introduced a new package option.  This new A la Carte packaging allows you to select a “Prime” chassis of your choice.  Included in the package are the Prime variant (which gets you the 30% C-Bill bonus), and two variants (which allows you to ‘rank up’ that chassis and get it up to elite).  The price for the ‘Mech of your choice?  $55.00.

It’s not a bad price, it keeps the packages as a better deal (except for the BlackHawk, and Uller packages, but those chassis aren’t available a la carte), but allows you to grab just the ‘Mech you want, instead of having to get a full package.  It’s a lot of additional flexibility, and I think it’s a good move by PGI.

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 12.00.47 AM

 

Additionally, if you purchase (or, have purchased) one of the Golden ‘Mechs for $500.. PGI is now throwing in one of the Masakari packages (the high end, has all the chassis in it pack).  While still to pricey for my blood.. that does make a $500 package a bit better of a value.

 

It’s good to see PGI listening to the criticism about the packages, and doing something to make individual ‘Mechs easier to obtain (for folks that only want an individual chassis).  They’ve also made a command chair post attempting to outline how they’re hoping to implement clan tech.  Here’s an example of how they’re approaching it:

 

Clan Tech – Design Approach
Clan Technology in the BT universe has always been an over-powered set of weapons and BattleMech builds. This encourages an arms race to get to Clan Tech equipment and makes Inner Sphere Tech rather obsolete. This is something we do not want to see in MechWarrior Online and we have decided to take some heavy hitting steps to make sure that this arms race does not come to fruition.

Balancing – Raw Numbers
The key elements that make Clan Tech overpowered include size reductions, tonnage reductions, range increases and damage increases over similar Inner Sphere weapons. The best way to discuss this is to look at some examples.

e.g. 1 – ER Large Laser
Inner Sphere Tech:
Heat: 12
Damage: 8
Range: 570m
Tons: 5
Crit(Slots): 2

Clan Tech:
Heat: 12
Damage: 10
Range: 750m
Tons: 4
Crit(Slots): 1

It is very easy to see how the Clan version of the ER Large Laser is significantly more advantageous than the Inner Sphere equivalent. The Clan ER Large Laser does 2 more damage, has 180m more range, weighs 1 ton less and takes up half the amount of space while maintaining the same amount of heat generation.

I’m not sure it’s going to work as well as they think it will (can we say “ghost heat”?), but, it does seem to be a good idea on paper, so I’m willing to wait and see how it pans out.  

 

Overall, the new packages, and the increased communication from PGI over the last week or so, is good.  Definitely a step in the right direction, it’s just a shame it takes a forum explosion to get PGI to communicate, and layout their plans.

Enter…. the Clans!

Just when you thought PGI might be coasting till the start of the new year…. they hit you with a big announcement.

The Clans are coming!  (OK, so, if they were still following their original timeline, the Clans would have been around for awhile now…but, they’re not so…)  The Clans are coming… On June 17th that is.

Starting today, you can pre-order a clan pack (much like the Project Phoenix packs from a little while ago).  Before we talk pricing, what’s in the packs, etc… spend a few seconds to watch the teaser trailer:

Yes, it’s not much… just a bunch of destroyed ‘Mechs laying around River City…and I would have loved to see even the silhouette of one of the Clan ‘Mechs in the distance… but, it’s setting the stage for the Clan Invasion.

 

So, about those Clan packs… here’s the package info, straight from the source:

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 11.23.20 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each ‘Mech in the package, breaks down to $10 a ‘Mech, which isn’t a bad price point (considering most Hero ‘Mechs go for $30+).

The “gotta catch ‘em all” package (Masakari) comes in at a hefty $240.00.  But, that’s 24 ‘Mechs, 8 Forum Badges, 8 Titles, 90 Days of Premium, signed digital concept art (not clear on how many pieces of art this is, ideally, 1 for each chassis), 8 Warhorns (again, not clear on what this is, I believe it’s the Clan equivalent to the loyalty medallions that came with Project Phoenix), 4 Hanging Medallions, 1 Exclusive Wallpaper, and 4 bonus modules.

So, there’s a lot of stuff included in the package (obviously, the ‘value’ of some of those items is going to be totally subjective at this point).

 

But wait!  There’s more!  Want to truly pilot a ‘Mech that is going to be extremely uncommon on the Battlefield?  You can!  MWO has also added some limited quantity versions of the Clan chassis, with a…unique… paint scheme….

Solid Gold BABY!

Solid Gold BABY!

Yeah, you’re reading that price point correctly.  Taking a page from the crowd funding book, and going the “limited availability = higher price point” route for GOLD skinned versions  of the Clan ‘Mechs available in the other packs.

For me, the Gold skinned ‘Mech is neat…but, not $500 neat.  I get paying a lot for digital goodies to fund your game of choice (look at the millions raised by Star Citizen!), so, I understand the appeal these chassis will have for some.

Where I think PGI is going to have issues (and, based on the feedback thread, already does), is with the timing of this announcement.  This is relatively soon after the Project Phoenix ‘Mechs (heck, they just stopped selling those packages on the 3rd).  The bigger issue is that this announcement, comes BEFORE the player base has seen some of the promised “coming soon” features like Community Warfare, DX 11, UI 2.0, etc.  Granted, at least UI 2, and DX11 have made appearances on the test realm so there is some proof for the community that those features are coming.  It’s still not going over well with some of the community.

 

Russ Bullock attempted to address some of the concerns via twitter, shortly after the announcement yesterday.

A few people asking why we would sell these before x features are released.  The answer:

  1. keep in mind that every program thus far has delivered what was sold, founders, Phoenix, etc. what was sold was delivered.
  2. many features like UI 2.0 and launch module as well as others like achievements and many others will release BEFORE these clan mechs hit.
  3. when these clan mechs hit players will have everything needed to support them like tech balancing including weight restricted mm.

 

While I get what he’s saying (he’s trying to show they’ve lived up to their commitments on the pre-order packages), he’s wrong about every program having delivered what was sold so far.  My Project Phoenix ‘Mechs aren’t providing the promised loyalty bonus yet, nor are the in game badges present for them.  Granted, that’s minor stuff, but if you’re going to make blanket claims about everything delivering what was sold… make sure everything has delivered what was sold.

 

Having bought a Legendary Founder’s Package, and a Overlord Project Phoenix Pack.. I’m no stranger to throwing money at PGI for this game (even though my play time has dropped a bit).  I haven’t, as yet, made the plunge to grab a Clan pack.  There’s some information that I think PGI HAS to provide before they can expect people to buy into these packs (that isn’t covered in the FAQ yet):

  • We need information on how Clan tech will be balanced.  PGI has already said it won’t be implemented as OP as it is initially in the lore, so how is it going to work?
  • Hardpoint information for at least the Prime variants needs to be released.
  • Full Artwork, it’s hard to see from the little pictures just how good these ‘Mechs do, or don’t look.
  • Way more information on the Gold ‘Mechs.  We need something besides “Limited” to justify a $500 price point.
  • Hard dates for implementation of the features people were expecting to see before Clan implementation (DX11, UI2, CW).

 

What are your thoughts?  Sound off in the comments, or head over to the Feedback thread on the PGI forums.

 

Pimp My ‘Mech!

It’s contest time over at MechWarrior Online!  SHOcjs6

Think you’ve got what it takes to bling your ‘Mech out?  Now’s your chance!

Here’s the goodies up for grabs as prizes:

Prizes:
Ten (10) Winners will be selected after the contest has ended. They will receive:

  • One (1) currently existing item of their choice injected into their account
  • Seven (7) days of Premium Time
  • If the entry is made into an in-game item, the Winners will have their item injected when it is made available.

Start Date: Now!
End Date: January 6th, 2014

The full announcement thread is here.  Basically, you need to submit your entry (either an illustration of your entry, or a super descriptive….description of it).  The winning items could possibly end up in game as cockpit decorations for everyone else to buy too!

Important legalese, about your IP rights to your entry though:

Please note that, by entering this contest, your submission becomes intellectual property of Infinite Game Publishing Inc. / Édition Jeux Infinis Inc., Piranha Games Inc. and/or their respective licensors. All rights reserved. MechWarrior® is a registered trade-mark of Microsoft Corporation and is used under license. All other trade-marks are the property of their respective owners; ® or ™ as indicated.

I’m not a lawyer (nor did I play one on TV)..but as far as I know, this is necessary so if your entry is the best selling bling in the Sphere…you don’t try and sue PGI/IGP for billions… :P

So, warm up those pens, fire up photoshop, and get those submissions in!

 

Patch Three!

Yesterday was Patch day over at MechWarrior Online, bringing us the 3rd patch since the game officially launched.  If you were looking for a ton of new content, maps, ‘Mechs….this is not the patch for you.

If, however, you wanted some bugs squashed, you’ll be pleased.  This isn’t a big patch, but it seems to fix a decent number of things.  Plus, Founders who also purchased a Phoenix package, will get their in-cockpit item to reflect that.

Here’s the full notes, patch up and jump in!

 

PATCH #3

Upcoming Patch - Tuesday October 29th @ 10AM – 1PM PDT

Patch Number:  1.2.251

Change Log

UPDATE

  Greetings MechWarriors!

    Here is a nice little patch to brighten your day! No more ready rage!

    The Waiting for players screen timer drops to 20 seconds once all players have joined/loaded!

    Our favourite founders who ordered Phoenix get their Founders hanging item!

    There is also a handful of bug fixes and we will see you one week from today for our next patch!

  Matt N 

Content

    - Inject the Founder hanging cockpit item. This is for only Founders who purchased a Phoenix package.

Gameplay

    - The timer during the waiting for players will now jump to 20 seconds when all users have connected to the match.

Bug Fixes

    - Fixed an issue where the Dragon 'Mechs were firing one missile at a time.
    - Fixed a missing texture on the Champion Atlas' secondary missile launcher.
    - Fixed a text tool tip where it said Air and Artillery Strike do 10 damage for each bomb when it should say 40 damage.
    - Fixed an issue where the AMS was not working on the LCT-3M.
    - Fixed an issue where if a missile hit a POD near the 'Mechs head it would do no damage to the torso it was associated with.
    - If a user has an invalid 'Mech loadout they will still be able to launch the tutorial.
    - AMS will no longer fire when a user disconnects.
    - Artillery/Airstrike online SFX will no longer play during the drop preparation screen.
    - Multiple map bug fixes.
    - Increased the chances of getting Caustic Valley map to match other maps.

We thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

The MechWarrior® Online™ Team

MWO Halloween Contest

Break out your carving gear, or other crafty utensils… MechWarrior Online is throwing a Halloween contest!

Rules:

  • Must have a valid Forum Account at mwomercs.com which is in good standing.
  • Must Post entries in this thread and follow the rules of the thread
  • Must abide by the Code of Conduct
  • Must be within the BattleTech/MechWarrior Universe
  • Winners must pass a Skill Testing Question to claim prizes.

See our complete rules and regulations here! No Entry Form is required.

Winners will be selected by a panel of PGI and IGP staff.
*One winner will be selected by the community

Prizes are:

  • 1st Place – 30 days Premium Time (worth 2,500 MC), UltimateGameCard (valued at $6.95), Custom Forum Title, Total Value: $18.45
  • 2nd Place – 7 Days Premium Time (worth 1,250 MC), UltimateGameCard (valued at $6.95) Total Value: $13.90
  • 3rd Place- 7 Days Premium Time (worth 1,250MC), UltimateGameCard (valued at $6.95) Total Value: $13.90
  • Community Pick- 7 days Premium Time (worth 1,250 MC), Custom Forum Title

Community Pick will be decided by number of Post likes on an entry. We will not consider votes that we find to be illegitimate through duplicate accounts, scripts, or any other loopholes that we consider to be against the spirit of this voting system.

STARTS : 25th October 2013
ENDS : 4th November 2013 (12:00AM PST)

 

These are pretty substantial prizes they’re putting together, I certainly wouldn’t mind getting 30 days of premium time tacked on to my account.  It might be time to break out photoshop, and see what kind of damage I can do to the concept art pictures of the various ‘Mechs.  I’m looking forward to seeing the entries people come up with.  There are a lot of talented people in the MWO Community.

Unleash the Phoenix!

It’s the 15th… and that means it’s time for the folks over at MechWarrior Online to unleash the Project Phoenix ‘Mechs upon us!

ScreenShot0053

 

 

If you pre-ordered Project Phoenix all the ‘Mechs in your package are now in your ‘MechBay.  If you didn’t pre-order, you can still purchase it, and the ‘Mechs will be delivered with the next maintenance after your order.

 

Because we got through all 3 tiers of the PP Loyalty program, we also got the ‘Flame’ pattern (now renamed to Hot Rod), the tier cockpit item, and the PP colors to use.

 

Didn’t preorder, but still want to take a PP ‘Mech for a spin?  You’re in luck! The Locust is available for both MC and C-Bills today now too!

There are a few non PP related items in today’s patch as well.   A few Halloween cosmetic items:

ScreenShot0054

 

Prices are a little higher than I’d like for a cosmetic, but not too bad.

There is also a sale on camo patterns for Locusts with today’s patch!

A few bug fixes/Weapon tweaks as well.. (Artillery/Air Strike may actually be worth taking now that their damage has been quadrupled).

Full patch notes available here (and after the jump).  Patch up, mount up, and join the swarm of Phoenix ‘Mechs that are sure to be overrunning every map!

(more…)

Double XP Weekend

From 10:00 AM PDT Friday the 11th, through 10:00AM PDT Tuesday the 15th (I really love how long weekends are for PGI, wouldn’t it be great if the weekend actually did go from Friday -> Tuesday?).  All XP earned in MechWarrior Online will be doubled..

So, jump in and take advantage of that Double XP to master/elite a chassis or three!

October Creative Update

Bryan Ekman posted the October Creative Update for MechWarrior Online.  While it doesn’t contain any new information as far as actual content goes for October (The new map which we got before the CDU was posted, and the Phoenix ‘Mechs we already knew were coming, make up all our new content for the month).  It does give us some insight into the current progress the team is making on Community Warfare:

 

Community Warfare Building Blocks

The following features are part of the Community Warfare master feature. Each of these has been identified as an isolated feature that can be developed and released independently or as a group with other blocks. Each block is not created equal, some are incredibly large, some are very small. I’m trying to find an easy way to visualize these blocks via the website, for now text will have to do.

Ready For Internal Test

  • Skirmish Mode (Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch

In Development

  • UI 2.0 MechLab
  • UI 2.0 Pilot Lab
  • UI 2.0 Misc.
  • Attack/Defend Mode
  • Loyalty Points
  • Achievements
  • Mercenary Unit Life

Ready For Development

  • Matchmaking
  • Private Matches
  • Player Level

In Design 3

  • Mercenary Life

In Design 2

  • Ready Screen
  • Loyalist Life
  • Inner Sphere
  • CW Economics
  • Mercenary Unit Assets
  • Mercenary Unit Logistics
  • Contracts
  • Planetary Warfare
  • Front Warfare

In Design 1

  • Loyalist Unit Life

A note on development phases.

  • In design 1 – A twinkle in our eyes, we are still brain storming.

  • In design 2 – Feature brief has been presented to stake holders for vetting.

  • In design 3 – Design has been approved and is being broken down into user stories.

  • Ready for development – Design complete, waiting for resources to be assigned.

  • In development – Resources assigned and actively working on feature.

  • Ready for internal test – Feature is complete and ready to be tested by QA.

  • Ready for public test – Feature has past basic internal testing parameters and is ready for public testing.

 

 

Good to see a CDU coming early in the month, I still would prefer to see them before we get any of the patches for that month though, since already delivered patches seem to always take up a good chunk of the CDU.  It’ll be interesting to see if we get UI2 and DX11 on the public test server as planned still this month or not.