Locked And Exploded: MechWarrior Deploys Conquest

By Nathan Grayson on December 19th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

This one's mother was evidently a Bullet Bill.

“What is it with mechs and holidays?” I constantly ask myself and/or say to begin my cliched standup routine. It’s a question that evokes many nuanced and contentious viewpoints, but mainly, MechWarrior Online launched its last big update on “Mechsgiving,” and now a brand new point-capturing Conquest mode is debuting right around Christmechs (which is sadly not what Piranha’s calling it). That’s enough for me to call it a pattern, though, so clearly, mechs are creatures that run on oil, electricity, and festive spirit. There’s more information and a video of the new update in action after the break.

While Conquest is certainly the star of this particular show, two new Hero mechs – the Twin Dragons, Fang and Flame – and a nighttime version of River City get the spotlight above. In addition, there’s also a third new mech, the Stalker, and a smattering of New-Year’s-themed cockpit items. See? Festive. These colossal mechanized party animals think of everything.

Conquest, meanwhile, is a pretty standard five-area capture-and-hold setup that sees teams slowly amass resources based on how many points are under their control. It’s nothing earth-shaking – well, aside from the fact that it gives giant robots yet another excuse to literally¬†shake the earth – but it’s a welcome change of pace nonetheless.

The update’s available now. So then, go and deck the halls in the most icy-cold, utterly unfeeling of fashions. Do not give, as is the alleged mandate of this season. Take. Take what is rightfully yours, and hope some other mechanized jerk doesn’t blow you up and take it right back.

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15 Comments »

  1. Sami H says:

    Loved the bro-fist at the end.

  2. JimTheDog says:

    Just a note, we’re trying to organize regular MWO play on the forums and with a steam group. For those interested in playing with RPSers, check out this thread: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?7091-Organized-Mechwarrior-Online-Nights-Events

  3. Jekhar says:

    Wow, serious lack of comments on this one. I hope this is no foreshadowing of MWOs future.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah…it seems to be riddled with issues, but it’s not like it’s broken to the core, and there’s not much else like it going. Would be a shame to not last long enough to get fixed up.

      • magicwalnuts says:

        I’d say the only thing really wrong with it is a lack of proper matchmaking. The only other problem is content, which they’ve been addressing these past few patches pretty well. The thing that’s really frightening though is the sheer lack of players. That could be why 8 v 8 premades have no balancing system in place because they simply don’t have enough players. I love MWO to death, but it’s looking like nobody wanted to play a Mechwarrior game after all.

        • LionsPhil says:

          The netcode is currently pretty bad for small mechs…it’s kind of weird. I can play with international players and ~200ms pings (that’s low to my ’90s eyes) well enough, but anything that moves too fast gets teleporty, and weirder still we each see different actions by third parties, so there’s some peer-to-peerness going awry there.

          Latest update apparently fixed a bizzare and stupid design decision to make you have to pay for repairs, though! All we need now is one where if someone starts a match then immediately crashes or goes “NOPE” at their graphics settings or something they don’t get that mech locked-out for the duration of the game where it stands around like a lemon at the spawnpoint.

          Oh, and some weird decisions like groups for matchmaking can be “up to 4″ or “exactly 8″. Got five friends? TOO BAD.

          But, beta. This stuff is fixable without tearing it to the ground. They just need the success and time to work on it, because it looks like they are.

      • Taidan says:

        I’d still go for “It’s broken to the core” for the time being. The game has staggering potential, though.

        The latest patch is actually pretty impressive compared to the last six months or so of play. It looks like they’ve learned some hard lessons regarding their economy, game balance and their RMTs, and are finally starting to move properly in the right direction.

        On the flipside, the netcode is still so badly broken that my personal opinion is that the game is 100% unplayable from a competitive point of view. (if still fun for a quick thrash around.) The really terrible thing is that the game is perfectly good at hiding this issue, so many gamers who have less experience with the potential pitfalls of online play are going to be having a frustrating time of it, often under-performing with no visible feedback as to why.

        As soon as they nail that netcode, I think that MWO will be proper fried gold. I just hope it’s not too little too late at that point, and that the people who have been burned by PGI’s continued ineptitude up to this point haven’t been turned off for life.

        • magicwalnuts says:

          I can’t say anything about netcode, it’s been and could be smoother, but from scouts to assaults I’can’t recall a single incident where I or somebody else has experienced unplayable lag. Certainly I’ve encountered startup and UI bugs, DC’s, and desyncs, but not often. I play alot too, you can just check my record: “whaleinferno”.

          I’ll admit I was getting pretty frustrated with the lack of new content and the gradual proliferation of bugs with every new patch, but these past two patches have been pretty good. I just wish they would fix 8 man teams so it’s not about which team can come up with the most D-DCs

          • Taidan says:

            Go grab a buddy, both install FRAPS on your machines, start recording. Join a match together, get him to suicide at the start and then spectate the match from your point-of-view. After the match, watch both recordings back, side-by-side.

            What you’ll notice is that both videos will be very different. On your screen, you’ll be having a crsipy-smooth lag-free match, shooting at mechs and scoring some good hits. On his screen, those same shots will be clear misses. Now, what the server is seeing and using to calculate damage, will be somewhere in between.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            The game is just good at hiding the fact that the netcode is bad. Ever notice when you’re lasering a light, it seems like they have as much armour as a 60 ton mech? If you can get them to stand still, one alpha on my 4SP hunchback will kill (4x mlas, 2x srm6), but on the run, it barely dings them. The intent is for the weapons to be lethal, but they aren’t. The thing is, you still get visual and audio feedback that you are hitting dead on when in fact almost everyone else sees you as missing by a mile. The explosions and weapons fire are all client side, and the hit indicator lights up even if you hit for a glancing .1 damage on your laser, instead of a full hit. For anything moving much faster than an awesome, focusing fire on a specific point is just impossible. Please note that I play with a 40 ping, too.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Unfortunately, I think it might be. The “players online” counter is gone, but the total active number of forum users has dropped from 4k per day to 1k per day over the last few months. I think they released too early, and people didn’t like what they saw: a game with a lot of potential, but not nearly enough content and far too many bugs.

  4. Mule says:

    This latest patch was great.

    I have consistently had fun with this game and honestly have never quite understood the level of ire some people level at it. It has been a little short on content but MY GOD is destroying mechs fun to do. It is especially fun with a friend or three. It is also more tactical than your average shooter, forcing players to think a few moves ahead of themselves.

    I predict in 6 months time, after some netcode fixing and some added maps and modes this game will be absolutely fantastic and I urge anyone who has any interest at all to give it another look after some time has passed.

  5. Kurshuk says:

    I like it, still some issues with sync drops. All the comments regarding MM are right on. Once we get proper matchmaking so people don’t have to game the system to drop 2 of the 4 man groups together and actually groups by skill level we’ll have a lot more even battles. There are some 8-0 sweeps, less now that 8 stalkers are on each team. It gets brutal sometimes. And it can be frustrating when people don’t want to play as a team, but overall I think it’s really a fun game and hope everyone gives it a try.

  6. phanteh says:

    I very much like MWO. I played a couple of months of closed beta and have been playing regularly since they went into Open beta.

    During this time, I moved house, and attempted to play using my phone as a mobile internet connection. Mixed results – I got the impression that energy weapon hits were handled client-side and other weapons server side; no lag when firing energy weapons, damage seemed to be applied correctly, but there was a noticeable delay when firing, say, an AC/10.

    I’m quite interested in finding more out from the devs regarding the issues raised above; I’ve notice more than a few times watching others after death that they seem to be missing with their lasers, but just yesterday, I managed to keep 4 of my Medium Pulse Lasers trained on a Raven’s torso and got off a solid 3 or 4 volleys. I usually struggle to keep weapons trained on lighter / faster mechs, but I held my aim steady and he blew up rather quickly! At this point, I’d say that weapons are as lethal as they should be and it’s mostly down to the piloting (I wonder if the spectator view is incorrect here).

    MWO has stolen my attention (and cash) away from WoT, which I’ve been playing for over a year now. A few things I commend MWO for, and wish Wargaming would learn from:

    New game mode added – users can choose which mode they want to play!

    Credits – they took out repair / rearm in this patch. This still happens in WoT, to the point that, after tier 6 or so, you have to be premium to make a profit after repairing. I’ve not failed to make 50k or so in a MWO match so far!. I’m not even sure it’s possible to make a loss…

    Loadouts – the depth of customization in this game is brilliant. With any given chassis (and variant), there are lots of options for tailoring it for how you want to play – long range, short range, various upgrades and module slots. In WoT, you grind your way to the ‘optimum’ tank loadout and once you’ve done that, you can start grinding the crew skills. I’ve been playing tanks for a long time, and my best crew are still training their 3rd skill (which I now don’t expect to finish. Ever).

    I’m slowly convincing my mates still playing WoT that they’d prefer MWO if they give it a chance. I’ve convinced 2 of them so far!

    STOMP STOMP STOMP