Progress Report - MechWarrior Online - Page 2

Posted Thu, May 23, 2013 by ricoxg

In the Pipe and What’s Still Missing

New maps have been added to the rotation and have done a lot to alleviate the repetitive feel of the game as well. What’s more, the team has also modified most maps to rotate between day and night, as well as deathmatch and conquest modes. All of which has gone a long ways to make matches feel a little more interesting, especially as there’s starting be enough maps for a nice mix of terrain and environments. Additional maps appear to be in the pipe, including one featuring canyons which may already be out by the time this article goes up.

Mech Warrior Online Project Report

The new startup sequence is cool and makes the game feel a lot more like its predecessors, but you still sort of wish they’d focus on more important stuff at this point.

The elephant in the room, and one big thing still missing, is some sort of faction meta-game. The tab already exists for it in the launch GUI, but I haven’t seen much talk about it from the devs recently. The concept for factions as laid out early on is certainly cool. Loyalty points, fighting over planets, it all sounds fantastic, but it doesn’t exist just yet and without that additional meta-game MWO still feels a little flat. Still, the tab exists in the launch GUI, so maybe we’re getting closer to seeing it. Current expectations appear to be that it will be rolled out sometime this year.

Should You Download It?

In the end, most people are probably reading this to answer that one question: is it worth picking the game up? Well, since it’s free-to-play, I say absolutely. While there is a big part of the game still missing, what currently exists is quite fun. It’s comparable to any FPS out there and already beats simplistic games like Call of Duty handily.

The problem is that mechwarrior fans tend to want their games a little deeper than that, and especially we older fans. We fell in love with the strategic feel of the franchise and the atypical nature of the combat. MechWarrior Online has really come a long ways in bumping up the quality of the combat, but without the meta-game it feels like you’re endlessly stuck on Solaris VII. The eventual ability for the great houses and famous mercenary companies to vie for control of planets and systems could make a good game into a great one.

Piranha Games has added a lot of nice touches, but they do have a way to go. Since the game is still missing that large and critical part of what attracted many of the Founders to begin with, it’s no wonder that there’s more than a little grumbling about how far we’ve come. But all that said; don’t let the negatives drive you away from the game. MWO is a fantastically entertaining game in short bursts as it is now, and with a solid community of fans it should be healthy for some time. If you’re looking for a free game this summer, you’d probably do well to check this one out. But a word of caution; if and when you do… be wary of the Jenner, for it awaits you with sharp pointy teeth!

I was an early founder and agree... the faction system will make for a drastic improvement to the game. As it is, I have a good time hopping into a few matches each week, but there's nothing to hold my interest for the long term. I'm looking forward to representing House Kurita in the future though. ^_^

Word of Blake all the way! :) Without factions and a meta-game, I would sadly pass on this one. I got into Battletech because of the lore with the various Houses and merc outfits. Personally, I would love to join an independent merc outfit.

The solutions offered by soft launches rarely outweigh the problems they create.
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