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[Preview] MechWarrior Online: A Rush of Nostalgia

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,360MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MechWarrior Online is a game that is sure to inspire fond memories of the venerated franchise in many players. We've been in the closed beta and have a hands on preview of MWO. See how it fares in our exclusive first look. Let us know what you think in the comments.

I’ve been playing video games for a very long time now. I had an Atari 2600, a Commodore 64, assorted Amigas and Apple IIs and then on to the NES and every console since. I’ve probably played dozens of thousands of games over that span of time. But out of all of them, there are only a handful I’d put on a list of franchises or games which really shaped me as a gamer: Final Fantasy, Wing Commander, Sim City amongst others, but one of the big ones was the MechWarrior franchise. It was one of the first franchises where I found myself eagerly awaiting the release date of the next installment or expansion pack. One of the first ones that I went out of my way to convince my friends to buy copies so I’d have people to play over LAN with. I just loved pretty much everything about the franchise, from the single player campaign to the multiplayer to even the pseudo-RTS style off-shoot series MechCommander. So naturally, when I head MechWarrior was coming back, I was super excited. And very worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations… Anyway, MechWarrior Online is here now, in beta at least, and I’ve had the chance to check it out a little.

Read more of Richard Cox's MechWarrior Online: A Rush of Nostalgia.

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Comments

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,535Member Uncommon

    Nice write-up. While the game will not be everyones cup of tea it is a very good modern take on the Mechwarrior games. And we have to keep in mind that the game is still slightly short on features but that it have the foundation for a really great experience.

     

    Also they just dropped the NDA

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,053Member Uncommon

    Basically this is just Mech based FPS ? With servers and matches ?

    Same as HAWKEN that is also in beta fase ? Am I right ?

    Nothing even close to MMO ?

     

    Dont really understand why the game is featured here. But I guess MMO format is in hard times and there is nothing much to write about....

     

     

     

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  • flamebeauxflamebeaux west chester, PAPosts: 13Member

    Keep in mind too, even though its in beta, it is still following the battletech timeline set in the year 30XX and around march is when all the clan tech will come in (OP equipment - in need of balancing) so the game will update accordingly to the timeline and events. 

     

    still waiting for 12v12 and faction wars and etc etc.

  • SoulStainSoulStain Tampa, FLPosts: 202Member
    Seems fun..is there a tutorial range? I played a few times but hate just being "thrown" into an fps style game without a little practice or tutelage. Especially one that is a slight departure from a typical fps..lol. I haven't played too many mech style games so the  independent torso and feet directional movement throws me off a bit.
     

     

    I didn't notice any bugs at all while I played. Which is good.

     
     
     
     
  • SgtOxSgtOx San Antonio, TXPosts: 18Member Uncommon
    This is just like Tanks online....I was waiting for a MMO type Mechwarrior game where you create your mechwarrior, start with a small mech, do missions and progress.  I tried the beta and yes, it was fun, but only lasted as long as it did for me playing tanks, a week.  I almost cried in dissapointment.  Oh well, still waiting.

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  • JackdogJackdog Charleston, SCPosts: 6,344Member
    hope it supports joysticks, using a high end joystick back the old series was the my favorite way to control that torso/movement. Had one with a trackball made just for mechwarrior, but it is in electronic heaven now. With just keyboard annd mouse you needed 14 fingers and keyboard skills from hell. I'll givre it a try regardless
     

    I miss DAoC

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SoulStain
    Seems fun..is there a tutorial range? I played a few times but hate just being "thrown" into the game without a little practice or tutelage.lol. I haven't played too many mech style games so the  independent torso and feet directional movement throws me off a bit.
     

     

    I didn't notice nay bugs at all while I played. Which is good.

     
     
     

    Without some sort of decent tutorial, I don't see this picking up a lot of players who are not already interested in the genre.  You don't throw your tank crew into battle after watching a minute long CGI video.  Shouldn't do the same with your Mech-men.

     

    I tried it cold, just to see what the experiance was like, and the experiance was pretty incomprehensible. 

     

    No problem with a difficult or advanced set up, but throwing someone cold into a game like this is fairly disastrous.  Of course, a tutorial is probably not their number one Beta testing issue.  But it had better be a priority issue.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    NDA has been lifted.

    The game is absolutely fantastic.

    The battles are incredibly well done, this is as close PC version of Battletech as possible. It is not difficult for newbies either, the only thing which needs to be "trained" and get used to is the separate torso movement within 90 degrees both direction. 

    First of all -- this is rather Battletech Online like you knew it from its board game version. First and foremost, it's a skirmish between X phalanx (4 mechs in each phalanx). Battletech as it is was never about RPG system -- Mechwarrior RPG pen and paper ruleset came later. 

    REALITY CHECK

  • dannyp96dannyp96 Lakeland, FLPosts: 1Member

    It looks really good so far, and with the NDA just having been dropped I can tell you. The graphics are stunning, and I run a 'mid-range' PC, nothing too high end ( they look great now, but  just wait until the devs drop in the CryEngine update sometime next Tuesday ) the weapons are actually fairly balanced despite what some( read; butthurt ) may say, the 'mechs all have their own unique roles, but with some custimazation you can take your favorite 'mech into your favorite play style ( customization isn't always cheap though, however you always make enough CB to cover repair and re arm if you don't disconnect before the game is over ) It looks great so far, and with time it'll keep on improving.

     

     There are things that still need to be implemented, including the Community Warfare metagame that is due before OB. A tutorial is in the works ( Garth Erlam, community relations dev, stated as much in a Q&A ) and will be available when needed once finished. Balancing and economical values are always in the works to see what works best as new things are implented. Most important thing, the game is set to be launched as minimum viable product, and I have no doubt they'll reach their goal. They've made great leaps since I've joined in mid-summer, and I await the return of a great franchise. Excellent write-up, nice to see another pilot who favors a medium ;)

  • jayfeeler69jayfeeler69 sacramento, CAPosts: 94Member
    Its a very good game
  • Radar11xRadar11x Kansas City, MOPosts: 114Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Basically this is just Mech based FPS ? With servers and matches ?

    Same as HAWKEN that is also in beta fase ? Am I right ?

    Nothing even close to MMO ?

     

    Dont really understand why the game is featured here. But I guess MMO format is in hard times and there is nothing much to write about....

     

     

     

    Hawken is more shooter, while MWO is more of a sim. but i do see what your saying on it not really being a mmorpg , but a MMOFPS.

  • Butch808Butch808 sheffieldPosts: 319Member Uncommon
    Hawken is much better.
  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,535Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Basically this is just Mech based FPS ? With servers and matches ?

    Same as HAWKEN that is also in beta fase ? Am I right ?

    Nothing even close to MMO ?

     

    Dont really understand why the game is featured here. But I guess MMO format is in hard times and there is nothing much to write about....

    Yea... And no... At it's core it is as you say a lobby based match game and right now that is what is being tested. The plan is to involve a system that have each fight affect a larger campaing based in the inner sphere. By taking contracts as a merc or joining a house faction (or maybe even the clans of Kerensky once they show up) oyu affect that factions standing in the greater universe, so it is a bit like how the system works in planetside.

     

    Now the reason to why there are no "fixed real planets" is because there are several million plantes in the inne sphere.. and even if they were to limit it to planets in the lore that had a major military action it would be 30+ planets. So then we would have the SWToR syndrome of "this is not a planet but just a small map".

     

    So yes.. each battlefield is a instanced map and once you are done you are moved back to your B-OP (represented by the mechlab).  But it will have a persistant world in a matter of speaking.

  • d33daved33dave coos bay, ORPosts: 12Member
    i signed up for the closed beta, played 1 skirm  and deleted it.  it's far from intutitve. sluggish skills, as in playing in water ( yes i know this is a multi-ton beast, but this is supposed to be future tech not steampunk). i played MW2,MW4. i will not be playing this.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Basically this is just Mech based FPS ? With servers and matches ?

    Same as HAWKEN that is also in beta fase ? Am I right ?

    Nothing even close to MMO ?

    Dont really understand why the game is featured here. But I guess MMO format is in hard times and there is nothing much to write about....

    This^

    I loved Mechwarrior series back in the day... but calling this game an MMO is insulting.

    It's pretty much World of Tanks: Mechwarrior Edition.

    This game SHOULD have been EvE Online: Mechwarrior Edition to do justice to the legacy/franchise.

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    It is what it is, the game contains extremely entertaining Mech combat beating Mechwarrior IV and III and II in atmosphere and controls. Almost everything outside of the skirmish is basically locked so far, so we can only guess. But the core of the game -- the skirmish itself -- is incredible.

     

    REALITY CHECK

  • eric_w66eric_w66 North Richland Hills, TXPosts: 1,006Member

    While I enjoy the game, I wish for Mechwarrior, not Pimp-my-ride-tech. Tired of the lunchbacks, and gauss-a-pults. There needs to be ladders for people who use the 'real' mech/variants, and another 'ladder' for the custom jobs. And any kind of meta-game if ever included needs to be based on the real mechs/variants, and not the Create-Your-Own mechs.

     

    And match making, of course, needs far more refinement, but more players will help in that. Facing a big premade with a bunch of pick ups is an exercise in futility. Premades need to go against premades.

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member

    Game has been fun so far, but it definitely has an implemented form of "pay to win".

    Most of the experience you get from battles go to the individual mech variant but the best upgrades to abilities must be purchased through a different, character experience called "GXP". GXP trickles in at around 5 points per fight so you would have to fight 1000 times before you can purchase one of the lowest pilot skills.

    Or, you can pay cash and convert your mech variant's exp into GXP.  since mech exp flows in at about 400 points per game you can see that pay players will have a huge advantage over free players in matches since free players will have to play without these pilot skills for the first 12 months.

     

    Lag is a big factor in MWO just like it was in the original mechwarrior series.  If you have latency issues then you will have to carefully choose which weapons work around lag, like guided missiles.

     

  • IchmenIchmen Winnipeg, MBPosts: 1,228Member

    iv played it for about 4hrs. tried out the demo mechs and frankly as great as it is.. im not really enjoying it, i dont like being fixed to my seat :/ when i played MW4 i liked to run 3rd person and only use cockpit view for sniping shots or during the turny missions. 

     

    overall though its a enjoyable game if you like mechwarrior/battletech. but its not going to be for everyone.. much like WoT is not for everyone :/

    CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
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  • McGamerMcGamer Fairfield Bay, ARPosts: 1,012Member
    Nice article, except that MWO still isn't an MMO and shouldn't even be advertised on this site.
  • moguy2moguy2 Saint Peters, MOPosts: 337Member

    If you are not familiar with head and torso controls this will make you cry.It does take alot of key work to work a mech. Not like Hawken where the mech moves the way you are facing. The head of these mechs face the way you are facing but  the legs just keep on going in the direction you set them to.

     

    Anyone can get used to these controls. Just dont get frusterated first day out.

     

  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member

    Its a fun game..

    My only gripe is that the "trial" mechs are un modable and in order to even sniff your first real mech you have to shell out some cash or play quite a few matches which then will still only put you in a light mech..

    Also, the faction stuff is needed.. I know its on the way and hopefully they do it just like I remember it back in my days in Battletech Online: Solaris..

    The action is very intense and its very strategic too, the options you have for eliminating mechs and winning the battle are many.. Graphics are great, all the weapon systems are there though I feel like ballistic weapons need a slight boost (missiles are somewhat okay but cannons are useless, even on the soft critical areas like open missile bays)..

    PPC is still as deadly as I remember.. Still very skill based, especially to hit light mechs..

    Overall, the game is a very high quality F2P game..

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  • SoraksisSoraksis Havelock, NCPosts: 286Member Uncommon
    The game is a blast.  There is no tutorial at the moment but they are constantly adding new features.  I am not sure when this is going live but to me I hope they wait a while till they have a few more mechs and some more maps at the very least.  I belieive i read something on one of the dev posts about a tutorial being added but cannot remember when.  I havent spent a dime on the game yet and have all of my mech bays full of mechs.  C-bills are easy to get took about a week and I have 3 catapults and an Awesome.  I might spend some real cash to get more bays.  I wouldnt feel bad about spending the money one its going to help fund the game that I do enjoy playing and 2 I need more mechs so I will need more places for them to go.
  • ghettocelebghettoceleb brush prairie, WAPosts: 76Member Uncommon
    Its fun, looks great, and i think it's going to get even better. MMO multiplayer mechs online.
  • MaelkorMaelkor Friendswood, TXPosts: 465Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozivois

    Game has been fun so far, but it definitely has an implemented form of "pay to win".

    Most of the experience you get from battles go to the individual mech variant but the best upgrades to abilities must be purchased through a different, character experience called "GXP". GXP trickles in at around 5 points per fight so you would have to fight 1000 times before you can purchase one of the lowest pilot skills.

    Or, you can pay cash and convert your mech variant's exp into GXP.  since mech exp flows in at about 400 points per game you can see that pay players will have a huge advantage over free players in matches since free players will have to play without these pilot skills for the first 12 months.

     

    Lag is a big factor in MWO just like it was in the original mechwarrior series.  If you have latency issues then you will have to carefully choose which weapons work around lag, like guided missiles.

     

    I am not sure what pilot skills you are referring to outside of modules which just got released. GXP seems to go a little faster than 5 points per battle. I have probably played about 100 battles and have just over 3k GXP. In addition it only costs a couple bucks to transfer thousands of mech xps to GXP.

    Last all pilot unlocks are done with mech xps. General xps can also be used in addition but there are no mech unlocks that require GXPs. The modules can be used on any mech and are not mech dependent.

     

    The elite and ultra elite unlocks require an individual to use multple variants of the same mech in order to unlock. None of the pilot skills make a significant difference in the outcome of a fight. Pilot skill is still the overiding factor.

     

    All new players start with 4 trial mechs which require no maintanence or upkeep. They are good variants and can still beat a custom variant if the pilot is skilled. Even specialised builds such as the Gauss a pult as its referred to can be taken down by a skilled pilot. It has its plusses and minuses.

     

    The game is currently difficult to figure out without a tutorial. It took me about 10 matches to get the hang of the basic controls. The great thing is you start off with trial mechs and you make the same amount of ingame money win or lose - so outside of personal pride and epeeness there is no significance to how well or poorly you play in the current death matches with trial mechs. So if your new to the concept just jump in - do your best to pilot the mech - read some of the newbie manuals that are all over the site and take your time. If you stick around your starting base and just practice stuff you will have 3 to 5 minutes before the enemy mechs pressure you with a few exceptions.

     

    For a newbie there are only a couple things to learn - The first - Weapon fire vrs heat generation. Almost every weapon generates heat. You have heat sinks which dissipate heat. If you fire too many weapons too quickly the heat generated will be more than the heat dissipated and you will end up overheating. The way to overcome this is set weapon groups so that you only fire a few weapons at a time. Generally you put short range weapons together and long range weapons together etc.

     

    Once you master firing weapons without overheating the other thing to master is moving around. You can move your torso(view and weapon direction) indenpendantly from the direction your mech is moving. This takes practice to get used to. At first just take the mech at slow speeds, maneuver and shoot at things(but not your teamates).

     

    Then last there are all of the little things that add up like cover, weapon locks, sighting etc that can have an impact on how well you do. Once you are firing your mech and moving your mech you can ask questions and read the forums to figure out the rest of the stuff.

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