A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mechwarrior Online : More Updates, More Issues

Mechwarrior Online keeps trucking along.  It plays faster and is generally a lot more stable than it was but.. for every improvement there are a couple flubs along the way.  Sadly the newest one might be a killer.


It will be easier to just let that one be a thing you read yourself.  But while it IS nice that PGI is taking feedback on this, adding in a "pay to win" buff/money sink (both RL and in game money) like this is kind of messed up.  It just means veteran or wealthy players get an even BIGGER leg up on new players who already get the shaft.  Between the AWFUL "Trial" mechs, inexperience in playing the game, not having a group of friends coordinating and playing together (which is 80% of the fun really.  Playing with Something Awful Goons is a BLAST.  6 AM EST.  6-8 of us in Mumble.  4 active players.  Everyone else kibitzing.  Someone has a stream of music going on some of us are listening to.  WE ALL START SINGING Don't Stop Believin' BY JOURNEY.  YESSS!), and the inexperience of making good mechs or having the resources to do so PLUS the whole XP trees that improve a player's mech as he or she uses it and buys other mechs of that chassis core means they are SOL.

Which means new players, the lifeblood of any game probably won't enjoy things at all and will leave, making it an ever decreasing number of veteran players who will eventually get too good and too bored with the game, moving on.


But let's get to new pictures full of all the new stuff MWO has added since my last post, in rough order.

Our first major change is the addition of the Trebuchet, a 50 ton Medium mech.  It.. kind of sucks.  It is to the Medium class what the Awesome is to the Assault.  Not fun to play and kind of useless in spite of having a really great model.  This game basically has THE best renditions of Battletech's mecha ever.  In fact I would say their graphic redesigns should be retconned as the canonical looks.  (Something I really cannot say Mechwarrior Tactics' mecha redesigns are.  Though theirs are still better than the old Mechwarrior Dark Age minis..) 

I chose to make the Centurion my Medium class mech to master even though it has been in the game for a while now.  Its small, relatively fast, and it can be quite durable for such a little mech.  The general strategy is to use the arms as shields and put nothing in them and run a Standard class engine. A really good player can make this setup SING.

(Also note some interface changes and shading on the buttons.  Sadly you STILL can't move mechs around your mechbay.)

Since I want to Elite/Master the mech variant above I need 2 other Centurions.  This one has PPCs in the arm which while ruining the whole toughness of the Cent, does make for a nice sniper assistant.  And being an arm mount means I can shoot them at an angle which lead to this awesome shot on our newest map...

ALPINE PEAKS!  A massive map designed for future 12 on 12 battles this map is full of wide open vistas, tons of hills and mountains, and it makes for a map many players hate.  I enjoy it.  It keeps close in brawlers from owning the game, while still preventing your average long range sniper mech from dominating.  It encourages players to take a variety of mechs and loadouts and helps keep things from being too ONE MECH TO RULE THEM ALL.

It is a fun map that I really don't understand the hate it gets.  To be sure some builds kind of take it on the chin here right now but with the continual weapons rebalancing and the like the map will get respected, especially if PGI does some more tweaking to the map as they have the others.  Heck, some weapons like the PPC now have extra effects such as eliminating ECM on a target for a few seconds after impact!

 These two pictures are just me ranting about a little something I REALLY need to do a full blog post about sometime:  NAMING YOUR CHARACTERS IN GAMES.  Both offline and on, tabletop and electronic, some people just take offensive or unimaginative names that instantly make one want to hate on or even "Team Kill" (GUILTY!) people who do them.  In MWO tons of people have Clan or Great House last names if not as close as possible to an actual in canon character.  This is terrible and idiotic.  Don't do it.  And deal with the mockery you rightfully deserve for helping to break game immersion and showing how creatively bankrupt you are.

 These two pictures show a change to the base capture setup.  Now a colored set of beams replace the ground coloration and change colors based on who is capturing or captured a point.  And the bit of objective itself now has animation on it, like a working mining platform with spraying dirt and electrical arcs.  Nice!

 Here is the new main interface page showing a couple of additions.  Another Hero mech, a Cicada variant that fails to impress.  More cockpit ornaments, and another Camo style.  The big change is a place with targets so you can try out your mech build without anything shooting at you.  They are immobile targets but this is nice.  It also gives "Mathwarriors" a place to test out game mechanics properly.  Perhaps it is the start of a solo mode or AI enemies?  Let me dream man.  LET ME DREAM.

 We even have new scoring objectives for more XP and C Bills.  The "Saviour Kill".  I am not quite sure how one earns it, but it involves helping someone out in killing a target.  Which is how most people play anyhow.  But it is nice to speed things up and encourage more team tactics instead of being a solo type.

The end match status is now different too.  Shows you a more in depth set of results.  And gives players a chance to talk post match.  Which hardly anyone ever does though.

 You can also talk during the neato animated mech startup sequence.  UncommonGray has a neat macro.  If not the neatest.

 Some things still haven't changed.  The "Frozen City" map still has random texture issues.  Usually it is part of the terrain, once in a while its the mechs.  The game is much less buggy than it was but.. bugs still abide.

And it hits other maps from time to time.

There has been a new built in "Ranking" Matchmaker that tries to put players of a general skill level together. With my Centurion grinding it usually leads me to losing horribly but this match..

And this one during "Prime Time" for North American players shows I can still sometimes kick butt like a boss.

And now the MWO website shows you more stats.  However it is mostly just recording the recent events right now so the listings are not totally accurate.  And this sadly shows how my Centurion playing is having a negative impact on said stats as my previous Kill/Death Ratio was around 1.76 has dropped to 1.67.  In the long run these sorts of numbers will help PGI make a better balanced game.

You know, if they don't screw it up with the stuff I showed in the first link.

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