Davionline: Mechwarrior Online In 2012

By Jim Rossignol on October 31st, 2011 at 8:29 pm.

If you can't name this mech, then you are not robot nerd enough.
Mechwarrior Online never actually happened as planned (about a decade ago) but now it is a planned again: for 2012. We knew this was in the pipeline, but things seem to be shaping up, because the website that hails this fresh announcement is here, and it allows you to sign up and register your pilot name. I did that. You are not having my name. The FAQ is almost comedic in the range of things it addresses, failing to really address what the game is actually going to be like, but explain that long-ranged missiles will be “semi-guided”, and the status of melee combat is undecided. It will, however, be a team-based multiplayer game. Also, bafflingly, it states: “MechWarrior® Online™ is running an offset timeline of the BattleTech® Universe. As of this writing it is 2011 and the year is 3048 within the game. In 2012, when the game is launched, it will be 3049.” Okay then!

More details on PCG.

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61 Comments »

  1. Jacques says:

    Mechwarriors assemble!

  2. Nullkigan says:

    I would have liked a big ol’ story driven campaign so I don’t have to worry about a balance metagame, but I’ll settle for any big stompy robots I can get. A persistant world will certainly differentiate the game from Living Legends.

    I just hope they tone down the excessive reactor explosions from MW4 :)

  3. nimzy says:

    I’m hyped already.

  4. Teronfel says:

    I don’t care if it’s f2p,might be good.

  5. spell says:

    There’s also news on PCGamer site that the Mechwarrior reboot will be a PC exclusive.
    EDIT: Oh, wait nevermind. That is the reboot.

  6. rocketman71 says:

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK no.

    Great. Thanks for nothing, Piranha.

  7. Hardtarget says:

    done and done

  8. Hanban says:

    A shame about the SP game, but I’m glad something is coming. Looking forward to it still!

  9. JackDandy says:

    Too bad about no singleplayer, but their idea is very interesting.

    Let’s hope they turn it into a reality, and don’t arse it up with Pay2Win nonsense.

  10. Cinnamon says:

    3048 within the game. In 2012, when the game is launched, it will be 3049

    In other words, game starts a year before the major clan invasion of the inner sphere.

    • Jacques says:

      I wonder what the plot will be…

    • Cinnamon says:

      I guess that if this a reboot then they are rewriting history and scheduling a tyranid invasion followed by a panda themed expansion. But I don’t see the word reboot being used much.

    • sneetch says:

      I’m betting that middle eastern terrorists have stolen a nuke and are planning on blowing up New York! Oh sorry, I thought this was Modern Warfare 4 not Mechwarrior 4. In that case, my bet is that Liaoist terrorists have stolen a ComStar WMD and are planning on blowing up New Avalon!

  11. JauntyAngle says:

    Sweet! I hope this actually gets made, if for no other reason than that I just registered the user name “Victor Davion.”

  12. Tokamak says:

    So this is in lieu of the MechWarrior “Reboot” that was originally planned? If so, that is pretty disappointing.

  13. Inglourious Badger says:

    Surely it’s got to be a ‘World of Tanks’ style World of Mechs. I never played WoT but that style of game where you unlock Gauss Rifles and Jump Jets would be something I’d have to try.

  14. Icarus says:

    Multiplayer-only? Endless amounts of sadness, words can’t express the amount I was looking forward to a proper single-player Mechwarrior game.

    • Leandro says:

      No, no, no, NOOOO!!

      I was also looking forward so much to this game, since that trailer they released ages ago. So disappointed… A couple years ago first-person shooters were being accused of valuing multiplayer more than single-player, today they are ditching single-player completely! Man, MMOs are plaguing PC gaming these days.

    • Barman1942 says:

      You play SP for the story right? Well look at it this way, you basically get to create the story now, while not having to deal with lousy AI during SP missions.

  15. SirDimos says:

    Hard to tell how good it will be this early on, but damn am I hopeful about this one :)

  16. JonathanStrange says:

    Never really payed much attention to the story anyway, the mercenary games were always my favourites of the series. For all the crap a lot of hardcore fans give it, Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries had some amazing scenarios and the music was supremely badass. One of my favourite gaming memories is commanding a full squad of Daishi mech into battle against a small army on the dark side of a moon while this music was playing in the background:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNHnNVBBaYE

    Damned fun game. If this multiplayer game can capture even a bit of the intensity and fun of the originals I’ll be satisfied. World of Tanks meets Mechwarrior? Alright, you’ve got my attention, go on…

  17. LakeLurk says:

    Sounds like Chromehounds. Hopefully it will at least bring in enough money to justify a proper Mechwarrior sequel.

  18. nanowired says:

    I just came in my pants.

    No, Seriously. This sounds like it’s a combination of the old game EA was about to release but didn’t in support of “Majestic” which bombed immediately after.
    That, and combined with some planetside aspects.

  19. vecordae says:

    What they want to put together sounds like a lot of fun. Let’s see how it shapes up! I have also registered my pilot name and it is silly.

  20. Squishpoke says:

    Pros: They are trying to give Lighter Class mechs a more important role on the battlefield (come on, you all know you just made a beeline for the Atlases, Daishis, and Madcats…)

    Cons: Leveling up characters… come on, man, this ain’t supposed to be an RPG.

    Anyway, while I have your attention, I want to share with you my ideas of how a Mechwarrior Online game should be.

    1) No “leveling up,” “perks” or “upgrades” in the RPG sense. Instead, it should all be directly related to the hardware on your mech, and we all know that parts costs money!

    2) To get money, you have to join a guild and get paid for your work. There can be “newblood” guilds run by the AI to give newbies a good start on their resume. Player-run guilds are more at risk of losing money, but the payoff should be greater as they battle other guilds.

    3) YOUR MECHS WILL DIE. You know that awesome Mad Cat MK II that your guild leader lent to you? And all those finely tuned Guass Rifles you painstakingly slotted on there? Well, if you decide to be a dumbass and fall into a volcano, poof, it’s gone. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be able to salvage some of the parts, but you will never be able to salvage your reputation as “that jackass that threw $15,000,000 of the guild budget down the drain”.

    4) Guild leader responsibilities: Keep the cash flow running, keep the equipment bay stocked with weapons (and mech parts) purchased from the market, repair damaged mechs, keep your guild members happy by sending them a paycheck here and there. When they retire from the clan, you can put in a good word on their resume so that other guilds can decide if he is worth hiring. (God help them if they unwittingly hire a double agent acting as your spy.)

    5) During battles, the logistics of EVERYTHING will be important. Guild leaders will have to rent a dropship for sending mechs into battle, and decide good drop points. Dropships have different tonnage limits and whatnot, and are cost-effective. Simply put, your guild will lose money if the guild leader decides to rent out the biggest dropship for a low-level mission, since any payoffs of the mission would be offset by the expenses. This may help balance some guild vs. guild battles. (There may even be an option where tonnage limits are set between “honorable” battles between guilds, but I dunno.) After the battle, the victor is able to salvage all damaged mechs, parts, and weapons for resale or restock. Repairing ones’ mechs should take weeks at a time, so every guild should have a rotation of mechs ready to go in the mech bay while the others are being worked on.

    So, what do you guys think? A game like this would be pretty much the best Mechwarrior game ever, in my opinion.

    • mwoody says:

      What you’ve described is, I fear, EVE Online. And what it ends up being in practice is a painful experience that puts up a wall to new players, almost by design.

    • dwl says:

      There were a number of leagues like this, back in the day. I used to play in a stock League but they were never popular enough to make it work well. I suspect it would be similar now.

    • Squishpoke says:

      @mwoody

      I think the concept of “starter” guilds (controlled by an AI) will help the newbloods get on their feet. These guilds can pay newbies to do low-level missions without the risk of them losing their mech, since any expenses will automatically be covered. Their paycheck, although small, will be guaranteed since these starter guilds have an endless money pool to draw from.

      Once the newbies gain a certain amount of cash and expertise, the AI guild can retire them so that they can move on to some of the bigger clans. Mechs do not carry over, so this prevents farming the AI guilds with new accounts to supply endless amounts of mechs.

      This system might require some thought, but I think it can be done.

    • crizzyeyes says:

      Goodness. May I begin by saying that it’s like no one here even knows what Battletech is. Believe it or not, it has stats for its pilots as well as its ‘Mechs. Yes, I know it’s horrifying, but there are actual RPG elements in the game more often than not, and actual campaigns made out of a series of tabletop skirmishes, where your pilots gain gunnery and piloting skills and have to manage their finances – the latter part was pretty well adapted by MW2 Mercs and MW4 Mercs. Either that, or it’s totally finance based and you simply hire better MechWarriors.

      That being said, you can’t fault Pirahna Games for trying to make a more Battletech-like computer game, and not sticking to your preconcieved notion of what Battletech is from computer game spin-offs. The game system has been around for over twenty years I believe, so it has to be doing something right. I personally would love a turn-based adaptation of Classic Battletech with fancy graphics and dice rolling.

      Admittedly, there isn’t much room for dice rolling in action games, especially not ones that have an element of simulation. But to say that there shouldn’t be room for your character to grow is nonsense.

      I agree with mwoody on one level about EVE Online, but I disagree with him on another. EVE Online is a horrifically boring game on the gameplay level. It doesn’t even give the player control of his own character, forcing you to wait real-time hours to advance in skills. But it has very involving politics. Squishpoke, for your latter suggestions to work (permanent ‘Mech death or required salvage and repair), there needs to be a reason for those suggestions beyond punishing the inexperienced or foolish. There has to be territorial control, and this would be very well suited to the Battletech universe indeed. More permenantly destroyed or temporarily out-of-commission-for-repairs ‘Mechs on your opposing faction’s side means less ‘Mechs on the battlefield for them, as well, and it means that you can strategically wear down your opponent. “But crizzyeyes,” one might ask, “this means that a faction will eventually get totally annihilated, or go bankrupt!” These are Merc Corps we’re talking about here. Mercenaries can always find work somewhere in the war-torn Inner Sphere. Mercenary bands will break apart and reform under new leaders as their previous ones fail. It will make them stronger as players. Friends can always stick together if their Corps breaks apart.

      So I offer this alternative ultimatum: either have territorial control, as is so greatly embodied in EVE Online, or do away with this ‘Mech permadeath business and have it be a skirmish teamplay game, like World of Tanks. Personally I would perform the former; a game with good gameplay and EVE’s level of politics seems like a great game.

    • Squishpoke says:

      @crizzyeyes

      Yes, but you are mistaking one critical point: Mechwarrior: the video game is completely different than Mechwarrior: the tabletop.

      On the tabletop version, you move your little pilot around and he gains stats, skills or whatnot.

      In this game, YOU are the pilot. YOU are the one attaining battle skills by learning how to drive, shoot, and manage heat properly. To simply give “RPG Bonuses/Perks” to people who are already getting good at the game is frankly a serious flaw in the game design. What, are you just gonna give the guy that already knows how to snipe with a +2 pierce blam bonus with Guass Rifles?

      To me, games that rely on direct player interaction and yet include these “RPG stuff” are extremely offensive to me. I’m okay with pure RPGs that wholly rely on character skill abstraction, but having a game like Call of Duty with a perk system totally breaks my belief in the “honorable” way of fighting. (Quake and Unreal Tournament).

      Anyway, moving onto your other ideas, I do like the “territory” management thing. Perhaps this will allow guilds to have a better incentive for fighting each other, especially if some territories give income to their respective owners.

      And this: ”one might ask, “this means that a faction will eventually get totally annihilated, or go bankrupt!” I completely support this idea. This is all part of the fun, aye?

  21. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Within six months.

  22. Dana says:

    Davion scum, Steiner will crush you.

  23. Vinraith says:

    Well, my hopes weren’t high for Mechwarrior 5 anyway (considering the direction of the series since 3, and the general trend in new editions of old franchises these days) so I guess, while it’s a loss, it’s not a huge one. An online game is totally irrelevant, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s that.

  24. StingingVelvet says:

    I just love how my excitement about Shadowrun and Mechwarrior revivals has been thoroughly stomped to death by the online focus. I remember a time when the idea of a “death to singleplayer” was something I laughed at and called reactionary, but now… I don’t know.

  25. Erithtotl says:

    While I agree with many people that an awesome single player game would be nice, few games are better suited to full on multiplayer than Mechwarrior.

    This has been one of the most squandered franchises in memory, and I hope this will live up to at least some of the potential.

    • crizzyeyes says:

      I have to agree with this. To expect a wonderful singleplayer experience out of a game based on a competitive wargame is absolute nonsense. There are other video game franchises for that, but no. For a Battletech game to reach its full potential, it has to be focused on multiplayer. I cannot see it any other way.
      Shadowrun is arguable, but it still seems like a multiplayer game at heart to me. I’ve played Shadowrun on tabletop for quite a while, and I can’t imagine playing it without my ragtag band of fellow Orks, committing anti-every-other-race terrorism around Seattle.

  26. Khemm says:

    No epic single player campaign? :(
    Wow. What a disappointment. :(

  27. John Connor says:

    I just hope they mean online as in “Battlefield” and not online as in “World of Warcraft.”

    No laggy “central servers,” no P2P… dedicated servers or bust.

  28. Wizardry says:

    As Bullock says, “If someone has played a combination of Mechwarrior, Call of Duty, and Diablo in their gaming life, they’re going to have seen everything that we’re offering for the most part.”

    Shit.

    • Aerothorn says:

      Yeah, that’s…not at all inspiring. Though the reboot trailer was SO RIGHT that I still have some faith that they know what they’re doing.

  29. ziusudra says:

    Iam felling very happy right now.

  30. Dominic White says:

    If this basically plays like World Of Tanks, but with mechs, I’ll be a very, very happy nerd. I also do hope that they include some kind of melee combat system – it’s always been there in Battletech, but Mechwarrior has always treated the mechs as tanks with legs, rather than (often) humanoid war-machines. In the tabletop game, it’s perfectly valid to uproot a large tree and smack your opponent around the head with it, or just kick him in the shins.

    • Eightball says:

      World of Mechs would be great with two caveats:

      1. They need a less extortionate pay model. Charging people to form clans and squads is pretty weak, and I found the pay-for content to be pretty pricy. They can get away with it because they already own all the money, but I want my free2play to be closer to TF2 pay-wise (and I’ve spent at least as much in the TF2 store as I spent on the Orange Box when it came out, versus zip in WoT).

      2. They need to make the game significantly less grindy. I just wanted to play in a JagdPanther. I got to it in a reasonable amount of time in the beta with free gold, but lost interest once it went release and stopped giving away gold. Got stuck at the Hetzer level. The Hetzer is a decent tank at its level, but dying every game for pennies got old fast.

      Now if premium was significantly cheaper I wouldn’t mind the grind so much, because I could get past it quicker. Alternately, if there was an interesting meta-campaign (like the clan wars but not pay-for) I could put up with more grind.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Oddly, they’ve got the last working Hetzer (so they claim) at a National Guard unit near here. Captured late in WWII, they keep it running as best they can and roll it out on the 4th of July, etc.

  31. dwl says:

    Hands up if you remember the Zone! \o/

  32. TailSwallower says:

    I am half disappointed and half excited. Excappointed? Disacited?

    I want this to be great, but I know I won’t enjoy a MP-only Mechwarrior anywhere near as much as I would have enjoyed a new singleplayer game.

    Competitive multiplayer is terrible by default because you have to play with people, and I’m worried about the MW community – the level of obsession in some people could lead to much drama within the meta-game, which would destroy any interest I would otherwise have.

    Oh well, good news is that it’s F2P, so I can try it without having to give anyone any money… Though, I was prepared to give them $100+ for a great singleplayer game with a custom HOTAS controller based on that original trailer.

    Yeah, no. Excitement has officially dissipated. Only disappointment remains.

    • Bfox says:

      On the same boat, I am more disappointed than I expected.

      Oh well, can’t wait to buy hats for my mech.

  33. nogav says:

    Things I want to know that weren’t in the FAQ when I read it:

    1) Is getting a leg blown off going to be instant kill as it always used to? Or will you be able to uselessly drag yourself around until finished off?

    2) What are they going to be selling to make money? Overpowered ammo like in World of Tanks? The “best’”‘Mech variants? Size of ‘Mech garage?

  34. PodX140 says:

    I am quite dissapointed that this will not be single player. HOWEVER, I am still hopefully optimistic by sheer need, as its not like there’s a ton of realistic mech games to fall back on.

    And thus begins the chanting of “Please-be-good” in the common style.

  35. Sabre_Justice says:

    From what I’ve read, basically no one wanted to publish Mechwarrior 4, at least not as a Microsoft exclusive. But everyone and their dog wants to jump on the FTP MMO bandwagon.

    Let’s hope that they make the best of things- we’ve seen in recent years that free-to-play MMO doesn’t have to mean a generic grindfest destined to sink in an overcrowded market within a year. I hope they can make the best of this, I mean how hard can it be to screw up everyone stomping around in giant mechs blowing each other up?

  36. theleif says:

    Please, pretty please, look at League Of Legends when you make your payment model.

  37. LASture says:

    All I want is a made-for-pc version of Chromehounds. Able to set macros, and completely customizing your mech’s loadout with hundreds of different setups. Is that REALLY too much to ask?

    Does this type of game exist anywhere else? Because Chromehounds was the best I’ve come across, aside from it’s really really bad consoley controls

  38. Bfox says:

    I click on these and my computer died, is that meant to happen?

  39. Bantu says:

    Don’t suppose we’re likely to see a new mechcommander game anytime soon then? I miss them. In fact… it may be time to reinstall :D

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