A silly use that actually keeps these sort of Free to Play (F2P) games alive.
For every twenty freeloaders such as me there are five or so people shoving HUNDREDS of dollars down the game's throats.
You see in F2P you grab people via not requiring any money up front, not even for the game client ala stuff like Diablo and Quake. Then you make it JUUUUSSST irritating enough so people will start throwing money at you.
Like the Tom Petty song (Last DJ) says; "All the boys upstairs wanna see is how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free".
This my friends is how modern gaming is. Stuff that older games for 20-60 bucks (depending on when you bought it) would have included as free bonus content or given away in an update are now parceled out for ludicrous amounts. Even mainstream games like the Borderlands series does this, in many cases keeping the content on the game disk away from you till you give them money. (Or in Dragon Age's case interrupting the flow and feel of the game with NPCs bugging you to buy crap in game so you can save the Fart Forest from the Burrito Clan or something.)
But now that the first 80 dollars of Phoenix is out (two more mechs are due later for an extra 30 bones. As I posted before these four have to be bought IN ORDER so to get the best one (Battlemaster) you have to buy the other three chassis types, but even just dropping 20 for the god AWFUL Locust permits you to throw 30 more dollars into the virtual fire to get the other two 55 tonners based off of Dougram mecha.) we should probably see what this epic QUEST FOR MORE MONEY OH GOD BC BUD ISN'T CHEAP has brought us eh?
If you are SANE and not willing to spend real money on fake robots you can at least get the Locust a 20 ton mech that has no viable purpose in this game. While insanely fast it is so light in weight it really cannot fit any meaningful weapons or armor. It is a true scout mech in a game where there really isn't any NEED for one.
While all three of the C Bill purchasable Locusts are cheap and look cool, they are too damned TINY to be effective in the current metagame. (Which is 80% SHOOT OTHER ROBOTS DEAD.) While dirt cheap in C Bills you basically have to drop another 2-3 million to make them remotely usable. XL Engines. Endo Steel. Ferro Fibrous. And then grind the hell out of all three till you reach the Elite class of their skill trees to bring them over 170 KPH in speed. (Maximum engine they can take gives them 153 KPH. Speed Tweak brings them up.)
I played in one for 2-3 matches and was utterly MISERABLE. They move amazingly quick but my problems above still stand. And without options for ECM and Jump Jets there isn't anything they can do that the other scouts cannot all do better. I do not like the cockpit view either.
Which is a pity because it is a NICE looking model and the Phoenix paint scheme is sweet as heck.
New game changes now make the other three scout mechs comparable to use in place of the Jenner and give even more reasons to NOT take a Locust. Maybe in the future if unit weight limits get added in Locusts will have a reason to exist or other game modes though?
Airstrike and Artillery attacks have been buffed but I still don't see anyone taking them. Quadrupling the damage is a welcome addition. I still mostly use the cooling modules though. Impact shake changes are reasonable though the AC10 in both variations is still kind of a bad gun.
I would like to say the bug fixes have make the game smoother but I have had a LOT more game lockups in this patch even after updating my Nvidia drivers. Course I get far less lockups if I don't ALT TAB out of the game but..
The Hot Rod skin looks good. Its not the Transformers Hot Rod skin/colors which would be kind of awesome but legal issues may hamper that, even as a parody/homage.
(Hasbro just (probably) beat Harmony Gold trying to put the kibosh on a convention only homage to an 80s toy. Lawyers are a hell of a thing really.)
Let's finish this update off with some screenshots of the other three Phoenix mechs which are currently ONLY available for players who dropped 40, 60, and 80 bucks for the package to get them. (40 adds the Shadow Hawk, 60 adds the Thunderbolt, and 80 the Battlemaster.)
(Click most of the images above and below for larger.)
The Shadow Hawk has a pretty nice view inside of it's 55 tons of meh.
It is really hard to get a good screenshot of them. Most people seem uninterested in the mech at all. Plus compared to the Dougram it is based off of this redesign just looks.. GOOFY.
I mean, this is an upcoming model kit of our pal the Dougram. A design from the very early 80s still owns over this redo:
The Thunderbolt also looks a tad silly compared to the Dougram mech (Ironfoot IIRC) it is based off of. Seems to be a decent enough Heavy I guess. Couldn't get any in cockpit shots of it though.
The non Phoenix models obviously don't look quite as fancy as their Phoenix counterparts but it will get the job done.
But proving you can get lots of foolish people to give you a TON of money, the lovely 85 ton Battlemaster not only improves on the Dougram series mech it is based off of, but gives folks another solid assault mech to choose. If I wasn't already an Atlas pilot with my ride Master Skilled I would probably grab the C Bill versions of these. But I don't need another Assault.
The cockpit view is ok enough I suppose. It is a bit odd given how the design it is based off of has a HUGE bubble canopy allowing one to see all over the place though. We also see a factional hanging goody in this player's cockpit.
But it seems as if PGI's moneygrab is doing quite well really. Even a lot of the pre and post game screens show how huge the Phoenix package is:
About HALF the mechs in this fight were Phoenix!
I cannot see the enemy team but.. we have an entire LANCE of the Phoenix chassis, plus 3 more that are Locusts or the non Phoenix only variants. (Which outside of said LCT chassis are currently only available to Phoenix folks.)
On one hand this update brought us 4 new mech models to look at. On the other no real MEANINGFUL GAME CONTENT. It is still just SHOOT DUDES. And it proves people are more than happy to throw real money away for virtual content, which IMHO is ruining modern gaming.
But for around the price the full Phoenix package runs I have some.. things...
I can have real Dougrams and play many fun battles with them.
Hmm.. maybe I have a new project to work on now that I am no longer in a regular D&D campaign....