Death On Two (Very Fast) Legs: MechWarrior’s Jenner

By Nathan Grayson on July 26th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

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“Why walk when you can run?” I always ask. And why run when you can sprint? Any why sprint when you can suit up, clamber into a “light” 35-ton mech and mock the laws of physics at speeds of up to 118 km/h? These are all, of course, common philosophical questions that have echoed throughout classrooms and lecture halls for centuries. But the last one – perhaps the most common of all – is being made literal in MechWarrior Online. Dubbed the Jenner, this series standby is looking kind of incredible. And I’m pretty sure Piranha knows it.

I know I regaled my tales of impossibly brilliant bull charge tactics recently, but I believe the Jenner’s forced me to have a change of heart. I mean, look at it go. It’s practically majestic in how patently un-graceful it is. But gosh, that thing can move, and – if this trailer’s to be believed – it can disorient opponents with giant walls of yellow text. Also, versatility is the order of the day. So says Piranha:

“Heat management, and knowing to always move, and always find your opponents weak spots are key to becoming a successful Jenner Pilot. The Jenner has a very small amount of armour, however. Getting caught in a bad turn (or worse, holding still) will see your Mech torn apart in seconds. Always stay on the move, always maneuver, always shoot their backs. Use your jumpjets to get out of bad situations, or jump into the middle of the enemy, and then jump out.”

As the video says, the closed beta kicks off on August 7th for members of the Founders’ Program. Fortunately, if you don’t opt to fork over the fairly steep entry fee, you can still earn non-Founder versions of mechs like the Jenner in-game. So it’s an even playing field. Unless you are a tree.

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54 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    TBH, light mechs just get sniped, because mouse aim is too good. :s

    I used to power down in a Puma/Adder squatting near rocks, ideally near water with the nose tipped down in MW4 multiplayer, people would just walk right by you. then you power up and pop a Clan LBX20 in their back ^_^, glee.

    • Stranglove says:

      From what I’ve heard, light mechs are pretty effective, and hard to kill due to their speed.

    • Kenseu says:

      The devs have also claimed they’re tackling this by adding a small delay in the weapons-zeroing when you move your reticle and having weapons on different part of your mech move with the re-align with there you’re aiming at different speeds. Not sure how well it works, though.

      • HothMonster says:

        I think that is what they are trying to show at around the 39 second mark. The other mech’s torso can not keep up. Whether that is because of rotation speed or the pilot intentionally playing bad though idk.

        • RaytraceRat says:

          it looks like a bad play, but I think you’re right on that issue. Big mechs torso move pretty slow, so it’s up to weapons mounted on the arms to catch that little bugger.

        • Heliocentric says:

          I saw that, but its hard to believe that any delay will stop gauss/laser sniping. Missiles can be AMS’d and dodged using cover, but an instant laser? Its the definition of hitscan.

          • HothMonster says:

            If you have a straight shot from far away then yeah it won’t stop that. But if you’re in a Jenner don’t put yourself in a position to get pot-shotted. If the actual weapons and torso have an aim time, so it’s not just a matter of moving your mouse but actually waiting for the robot to come around to your reticle, then the speed will make a major difference at mid and close range.

            But wait to see I guess.

          • Skydancer says:

            And I guess laser based weaponry will be damage over time stuff (like it should have always been).

          • Askeladd says:

            It is.

        • Screamer says:

          Is the Thanatos (i think) from MW4 in the game? The 360 degree torso turning circle will negate any speed the Jenner has….

      • kzrkp says:

        World of Tanks does this very well: there’s a circle representing your cone of fire accuracy that gets large the faster you move it tracking and settles down with a steady aim. Forces a bit of target hold-over to settle the aim, can’t snap-shoot with instant accuracy.

    • Skydancer says:

      Never got around to play MW4 online, sure I am waiting for this to come out and show some PPC love.

  2. MythArcana says:

    As far as these mech type of games go; the combat always ends up one big circle strafe contest. It looks like some kind of line dancing with bots. After about 5 minutes of this, I’m ready for something cerebral.

    • Mbaya says:

      I am now very much looking forward to watching ‘Dancing in Mechs’ coming to ITV in 2014.

    • UmmonTL says:

      Well, the old MechWarrior games certainly did although I’d guess in multiplayer some advanced tactics were possible. However I’d say that this was mostly a problem of limited technology/experience. The AI didn’t know any other tactic so both your teammates and your enemies would inevitably run into close combat and if the enemy had more mechs you had to be quick in taking some out before your team was shredded.
      With more dynamic environments, better cover and some reliable tactics based on sensor evasion and positioning I’d say the lighter mechs will be more useful and from that the advanced tactics will emerge.

  3. Julio Biason says:

    I have the feeling that this is borderline “pay to win”, as it’s part of the Founders program, which is a “pay to help us finish this”.

    Yes, you can buy it later using the in game currency (or so it seems with the explanations in the video) but the general feeling is that it’s a huge step forward instead of a side upgrade compared to the other mechs.

    • HothMonster says:

      I don’t know where you get that general feeling. The founders mechs are just reskins of normal mechs that give bonus xp % for matches.

    • Dominic White says:

      RPS really is an amazing site, where people declare games that they’ve never played and which are still months from release to be ‘pay to win’. It’s truly forward-thinking. Clairvoyant even, if you discount the heaving piles of bullshit.

      • Brun says:

        Expressing a “general feeling” is hardly an unshakable declaration. Take it easy – some people aren’t rabid MechWarrior fans, and so will approach such a title with more trepidation and less unbridled faith.

      • UmmonTL says:

        Lots of people are screaming pay-to-win as soon as paying money gives you anything but purely cosmetic stuff. This is pretty ridiculous and the only games working this way as far as I can tell are those that were not free-to-play to begin with. Face it people, the developers of f2p games want to make money with their games and that is just fair. As long as the game is about teamplay and skill, buying your way to good gear won’t make you a default winner. And as long as there isn’t an endless progression where your weapons wil do more and more damage the more you play/pay it is not pay-to-win, it is pay to avoid the grind. If you don’t want to pay and don’t want to grind then the game is obviously not for you because you are not having fun with it. It probably wouldn’t even change if you did pay so stop complaining and play something else.
        /rant

    • Hanban says:

      As was already stated the Founder’s Program gives you reskinned mechs that are available to purchase for non-founders. The difference being of course the colours and an XP-bonus, or maybe a C-bill bonus. Can’t remember.

      So far I’ve seen no indication that it is going to be pay to win. At this point there’s not even any mention of gold ammo like in WoT(which is a pretty poor excuse for pay to win!).

      It would be nice to know what your general feeling stems from! Mine is the polar opposite of yours so it’d be interesting to see where you get your information from.

      I am at any rate very excited for MWO!

      • Julio Biason says:

        Oh, ok. The part that throw me off was the “Founders’ Program JENNER”, which made me think it was part of the Founders Program (which I admit I haven’t read thoroughly, as the prices were a bit high IMHO).

        But all good, I see my error now.

    • dsi1 says:

      MechWarrior: Living Legends just released version 0.6.0 if you want to avoid F2P.

    • merakai says:

      Actually, this version of the Jenner is a relatively weak mech. There’s a variant of this mech, the JR7-F, which removes the missile launcher in favor of more armor that is way better (At least in the boardgame). Normally (like most light mechs) when Jenners get hit, they die. However, when you double the armor, it gets enough survivability that it can actually beat a lot of medium mechs 1 on 1.

      So this is a pretty good indication that the “Founders” mechs will be pretty balanced, if not outright horrible. Most mechs are balanced with each other, its only when the mech lab gets involved that “stock” mechs get blown apart.

    • DK says:

      Yeah getting the crappy vanilla version of a mech with a 25% income boost (which you only get when you actually use your crappy vanilla version) is truly pay to win. Do some research before you spout nonsense please.

  4. SnakeCity says:

    Yep, favorite RPS headline ever. More Queen, please.

  5. caddyB says:

    No Raven no buy.

  6. theleif says:

    If only they would use the LoL ftp scheme. I mean, it’s not like there are a lack of mechs in the BT universe to release, and I know I would gladly fork out money for different skins for my favourite mechs (Warhammer, of course. Even though the Marauder is a close second. Oh and Hunchback. And Rifleman. Ok, the Locust is pretty cool. And Urbanmech just because it’s one of the ugliest designs in history. And… ok, I’ll stop).
    Or maybe that is exactly what they will do, I can’t seem to find any info on their site, but from what I recall from the other articles I’ve read, the model is closer to World of Tanks.

  7. magnus says:

    Jenner, eh? Does it administer Snallpox Vacinations instead of heavy weapons fire?

  8. SkittleDiddler says:

    If you’re not piloting a heavy mech, you’re not doing it right. Atlas FTW!

  9. NightShift says:

    I’ll be honest, World of Tanks looks like a Mecha-Joke compared to this. And I know they are diffirent games but i get the feeling that they both have that clunky feeling that your robots need to realign weaponry and whatnot.

  10. Mattressi says:

    I think Tribes: Ascend has spoiled me for speed (the magnitude of an object’s velocity, not the other speed), so 118 km/h doesn’t seem fast at all. Then again, having never played a MW game, I’m guessing that they don’t ski around everywhere and generally aren’t extremely mobile.

    • crizzyeyes says:

      Jenners are Pathfinders to everyone else’s Juggernaut. The change is drastic – it’s roughly double the speed of the medium ‘Mechs.

  11. fish99 says:

    All my MW experiences have been single player, so I’m struggling to get enthused about a multiplayer only game with no missions/story. Also since they are going the online-MP only route, won’t this just get crushed by Planetside 2? (in terms of attaining a mainstream playerbase rather than just MW fans)

  12. ErrantConstruct says:

    Very excited about this game. Driving giant stompy robots around shooting lasers. What more can you want?

    Now I’m interested in learning the universe. Anyone have suggestions on where to start?

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