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!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mechwarrior Online: USER INTERFACE 2.0. (It is really more of a step to the side!)

Yes folks it has finally happened.  The mythical UI 2.0 is out.
It works.  Kinda.
Its not bad.  Kinda.

First off what the patch notes say:

(As usual click for big.)
 Turrets, new interface, a new 35 ton mech, and some weapon modules?  Its like Christmas in February!

 Weapons modules are not worth the 3 million C Bills and module slot in my opinion.  If they didn't require slots I wouldn't be too down on it.  But with GXP, C Bill costs, some weapon heat drawbacks, AND a module slot?  A bit much for not a lot.

And our new Hero class mech.  Yay?  Hero mechs are dumb really.  Not even a great paint job.  Its not terrible or anything but.. its just a Light class mech...

Now the link below is the SEEKRIT IF YOU READ THE FORUMS actual patch issues.


Quite a lot of issues but it honestly kind of works.  Not great but.. it works.  Some things kind of become a pain but others become pleasant and nice.

Our main screen now.  Sadly its fullscreen only instead of the handy windowed and not entire screen overtaking original.  Looks really pretty however!

 Now mech selection also has a giant screen showing you all your owned and trial mechs, plus hovering over a mech can bring up that extra info bit.  More information is never a bad thing.

 Pilot skills have had a change too.

 All our new weapon pilot modules.  Well, as many as fit on the screen.

 A pretty shot of one of my Battlemasters.

 Engine selection.  One thing I like is now you can click the mustard yellow EQUIP button and have it instantly slot into the location.  What I dislike is switching mech sections isn't quite as easy as just clicking a body part.  And selling is now in a different place.  Plus you have to click the CHECK OUT to finalize your purchases or changes.

 My graphics settings were all tweaked back.  My control settings stayed saved up but I had to tweak them all again.  I went with these levels and have nice performance.  Superior to how it used to be.

 Weapons here.

 You can even set weapon groups in the Lab now!  No more quickly doing so when you begin a match!

 Now when you select to play you can select game type.  Such as they are.

 What the pre game match looks like now.  Not a big change other than the font look.

 Mechs there to buy.  Not surprisingly the real life money Hero mechs up front.

 You have to go into your Inventory tab to sell.  A pain in the butt but not unsurmountable or anything.  Same with it basically always being fullscreen now.  It is an irritant not a deal breaker.

 How did I even have any Jump Jets in my inventory?  Well the new UI at least let me see what I had better.

 Those tiny 3 silhouettes at the bottom center right of the screen brings up the social interface.  Here showing who is on, if I am getting an invite (still just a flash on the little triple head icon.  No sound alert or pop up though.), and what they are doing.  With color coding.  Handy!

 And actual Group menu.  Folks with multiple monitor layouts have issues with the interface and all but on my 1 monitor system its fine.  I can see how these windows being open on different screens would be annoying though.

 You still cannot automatically refill consumable modules.  And you cannot be in the Mech Lab to start a game.  And you have to go into the Lab pretty much just to see if your modules are equipped.  Kind of obnoxious.  

Cockpit items menu.  Alienware/Dell has an offer for a new free one but to heck with making an account with them to get a stupid code for a stupid black space alien head.  A bit too much work for.. nothing really.

 In game seeing the Hero Hunchback mech and the icons showing all our friendly turrets.

 They come in a couple different types and are well armored when closed.  Baddies get close enough they open up to attack and can be killed for some XP and C Bills.

 Another shot of the Hero Hunchie.

 The missile defense turret opened up to give us a little extra dakka.

 This mech throws a tribute to Dio.  For in death they will both be remembered.  Ok Dio will.  Nobody gives a damn that your robot blew up in a video game.

Turret opens up?  Bring the hammer down for a little bonus.  Just don't forget about the real threat.
Some maps now have a new capture objective module.  In this case a tread vehicle train of some sort.

Light up Christmas Tree Bobble!

And finally!  My one time out of a good 20-30 matches over 2 weeks!

Again, new interface font and look is on display with the loading screen.

 Our new map in an overhead view.

 Sound is muffled and muted.  We are on a moon with a light atmosphere or something.  

 Lots of craters and massive walls protecting the vital HPG (Hyperpulse Generator.  It is basically a giant intergalactic transmitter.) dish.

 It is a gorgeous map.  Looks kind of like someone scavenged a Borg Cube from Star Trek and made a moon base out of it.

 Or we are walking on the Death Star.  Either one really.  Lots of trenches and the like.

 I liked what I saw but only got on the map once so I cannot really say what strategies (in MWO?  HAHAHA) it promotes or encourages.

 Like this area leading underground.  Didn't really get to see much of it.

 Jump jet me to the moon and let me play among the capture points...

Overall?  I am mostly impressed.  I need more time with the new interface before I can say it is decent though.  Just like the new map.  I am not used to it and thus cannot really say if I am just comfortable with the old UI to the point my irritations with the new one are genuine and not just me liking what I know.

Once there are more bug fixes and interface issues dealt with I can say more.

Short answer is that it is a sideways step.  Some things are much better and others are much worse.

Time will tell if this is a sign of positive change in MWO or if it is merely too little, too late.

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