Mechin’ Babies: Mechwarrior’s New Robot

By Jim Rossignol on February 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


Mechwarrior Online has updated with a new mech, the 80-tonne Pretty Baby, which is detailed in a video which you can watch below. There’s also a big update from the devs on what’s going on with the game generally, including performance tweaks and a new map.

Is anyone still playing MWO? I know I had a blast with it when I first signed up, but then Planetside 2…

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67 Comments »

  1. yhalothar says:

    I wish this wasn’t a free to play game…

    • Pryde says:

      This.

      And hillbilly-style commercials. My gran-gran-gran-gran-gran-gran-gran-gran-dad Aidan is disappoint.

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        PoulWrist says:

        Except that this is a lore-correct mech variant and commercial :p

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      Cinek says:

      +1. F2P crowd is usually the most annoying part of the game. Especially the crybabies and ex-Hawken players (which are usually a crybabies as well).

      • max_1111 says:

        I can’t speak for the forums since i don’t bother with them, but the actual in-game community has been solid as hell. Maybe once every 2 or 3 hours i wind up in a game with some wank, but that’s it.

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          PoulWrist says:

          Forums are pretty good as well.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah, in what must be over a hundred games by now, I’ve only seen one teamkilling jackass.

          Conversely, I’ve seen ad-hoc pubbie teams where the ECM mech actually wants to stick around and group up to give missile cover, and such teamwork-y things. I’m wondering if the kind of big, slow, ponderous non-CoD-twitch nature of the game is driving away the perpetual thirteen-year-olds.

          • sidhellfire says:

            I don’t know, by on my squad website none of the registered players were younger than 20 years old. In contrary, most of them are in late thirties. I have no idea how is this possible, because it’s afterall free to play mmo game, which usually ends up filled with kids screaming all around. And same applies to PUGs. There are a lot of weak players, but amount of trolls and idiots is amazingly low.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          I need to play the games you’re in. Seems like I can’t get a match without a disconnect (or three) to start off the game with uneven teams, and since I don’t have a group to play with, it doesn’t matter when I do well, I get matched up against premades and then rolled. I don’t see goons often, but what they lack in frequency they make up for in memorable teamkilling, slurs, and asshattery.

    • three60mafia says:

      Lord knows, I did not want this game to be Mechwarrior Deathmatch. Which is what this is.

      I wanted a Mechwarrior game where I could team up with my buddies, be a part of a lance, have a common goal, different game modes….

      Instead I get to jump into a game, get ganked by 10 atlases in first 2 minutes, and wait 10 minutes for the game to end.

      This was the biggest dismantlement of just about ever for me.

  2. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    It’s not doing it for me, I’m afraid. I love MW2 like few other games, but MWO seems to miss out on so much. Remember scouting installations, waiting for reinforcements, enemy air whizzing over, objectives, missions, motivation? Gone. You’re in a close-in map – typically with atmospheric effects making it feel even closer, you batter the shit out of the ‘mechs which are there for whatever reason, finish, go again. It has all the involvement of playing a hand of Solitaire.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with the mechanics of it, but take any campaign-driven game you like, turn it into an [x]v[x] arena deathmatch and it’s going to feel like it’s missing something. Imagine if Lucasarts released a new X-Wing/TIE Fighter like that – to me, it’s the same level of disappointment.

    But, hey, F2P bucks. Wonder how much you could convince somebody to pay for a TIE Interceptor?

    • Haplo says:

      They did, actually. It was called X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, and it focused on multiplayer combat (which was more impressive in 1997). And it lacked a story mode.

      People were not impressed, unsurprisingly.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Ha! Brainfart. I’d forgotten about X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – still got a copy of it kicking around. Yeah – don’t ‘imagine’, MW2 is TIE Fighter to MWO’s X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. Except you only start with one ship and all the ones you can buy are kinda crap and from Ep 1-3 (nobody thinks Inner Sphere ‘mechs are cool).

        • Haplo says:

          Inner sphere pilots are where it’s at. Doing more with less, baby.

          I’m pretty sure that was how Mech Commander worked, right? Give your pilots a few omnimechs and go to town?

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      Makariel says:

      I actually like an occasional game of solitaire. But MWO can’t motivate me at all, even though I’m a big fan ever since I got my hands on Mechwarrior 2 back then. If I want some mecha-action I’m firing up Hawken instead.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      Yup, same feelings on MWO. Loved MW2:Merc, I remember my father trying to shoo me out of the computer because he wanted to sleep, and I wanted to play…

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      PoulWrist says:

      Yea, a game only 1 year into development is really being beaten out by multi year developed games.

    • medwards says:

      Does anyone remember the open beta for BattleTech 3025? That was slick, and definitely felt only like a brawler in the light mech categories. You started getting some longer range medium chassis and it felt a little more tactical (like poke vs burst, ranged vs melee in LoL). It was a long time ago and I was pretty oblivious to good game design at the time so I might just be reading too much into things. Definitely I haven’t fast-tracked getting a PC for MWO because it looks so brawler oriented.

      • max_1111 says:

        There’s still plenty of guys running around in long ranger sniper / missile mechs, to varying degrees of success.

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        Today’s patch actually helped a LOT with that. Suddenly, PPCs are viable (and good!) and even ER PPCs are pretty reasonable now. (Getting hit from beyond the draw distance, yay for losing to better hardware.)

    • sidhellfire says:

      The whole “community warfare” is yet to be done.

    • Nesetalis says:

      they took everything awesome about mechwarrior series and battletech in general.. dumbed it down in to the latest and greatest PVP first person shooter….
      where is my mission driven PVE combat? where is my story? where is my motivation..
      so yeah.. essentially what you said. >.< i have no interest in this game until they add real content and not just PVP.

    • jay35 says:

      And you can only play on random maps! No way to know what climate or terrain you’re about to enter, so no way to select an appropriate mech, loadout, or camo prior to dropping. Insane, given the MW game lineage, and yet the kiddie crowd that apparently makes up a good chunk of the forum users, likes this random drop nonsense. There’s still hope the devs will implement a proper match creation interface but that hope is fading. Hard to now whether this game will survive the modern gamer demographic. We want their money but not their Nerf Everything I Haven’t Learmed How to Counter Yet mentality or their asisnine gameplay preferences..

  3. LionsPhil says:

    Apparently, they’ve now fixed that paints you buy with real-world money are lost when you change paintjob; they’re now unlocked forever when bought.

    I pretty much love how this beta is an actual beta in which the developers find which bits of their F2P model are horrible and then fix them, even if means they started out with a bunch of bad ideas then came up to “industry average”.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Yea, they’re doing a very good job of updating and listening to user feedback as well as implementing their own design and using their data harvesting to make changes.

      Very nice beta for a game only a little over a year into development.

    • max_1111 says:

      …and then actually refund players when they make changes like that, which is super awesome.

    • Claidheamh says:

      Indeed, I’ve been known to complain about the speed of this game’s development once or twice, but I’ve got to say I really like how far they’ve come. It’s a much better game than when I started playing.

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    RedViv says:

    At first I thought this would be a stretch, but with that weird SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY monster truck mecha commercial trailer, I think a joke about “mechin’ bacon pancakes” would be fitting.

  5. JimTheDog says:

    I’m still VERY much a fan of MWO. We usually gather on Wednesday nights to play – http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?7091-Organized-Mechwarrior-Online-Nights-Events/

    I love this game, and… I own a Pretty Baby.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      BEAT ME TO IT

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      AND HOW IS THE PRETTY BABY?

      Didn’t have quite enough credits so spent money on garish colours to use.

      • Chris D says:

        I hear the accepted tactical wisdom is to always keep the new mech close to the centre of the map or, as it’s more commonly phrased, “No one puts Pretty Baby in the corner!”

      • JimTheDog says:

        The Pretty Baby is Pretty Difficult! Very limited slots, but it has a VERY BIG ENGINE.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Nobody puts Pretty Baby in a corner.

    • yhalothar says:

      What self-respecting clanner would name their machine a Pretty Baby?

      • Snarfeh says:

        It’s probably named by the Inner Sphere since they use the IS name Mad Cat for the Clan named Timber Wolf.

      • max_1111 says:

        This isn’t a clanner mech.

        All MW:O mechs are Inner Sphere

        EDIT: Well… At the moment they’re all Inner Sphere.

  6. AaronLee says:

    I still am! Taking a break as my workign schedule means I really only have time for one game during any given period but I still enjoy it. The balance has generally gotten tighter, though the newest content always tends to have the least counters (ECM Ravens, anyone?)

    But there’s skill in the playerbase, and having a group to roll with is great.

  7. PatrickSwayze says:

    Hi Jim,

    There’s actually a solid little RPS contingent that play on Wednesday nights and sometimes at the weekend, the guys let us use the RPS community mumble channel.

    Most games consist of me getting distracted by chatting and running off my own, then coming back with lots of glowing bits but with a kill or two to my name.

    Game has come on in leaps and bounds the last few patches: Performance is way up, camo options, lots of balance, fair amount of new Mechs, proficiencies, ECM is in, vastly improved net code (but still no euro servers Q_Q), weather variations for some of the maps.

    If you bounced off before now might be a good time to try again.

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    Tiktaalik says:

    I still play it fairly regularly – it’s nice it requires a bit more thought about positioning, weapon selection etc. than the average FPS.

  9. Squishpoke says:

    I originally hated this game because of it’s F2P nature. But after giving it some time I’ll have to say they did a really good job on it. I hereby take back all the negative things I may have said about MWO.

    The trial mechs they give you are actually pretty well balanced, and on top of it they give you almost ten times more c-Bills every match you play as them.

    Purchasing weapons with virtual currency that you earn in-game actually makes sense for this type of game, as it’s about tinkering with your babies and gradually amassing a decent garage full of mechs. It’s a lot like those racing games like Gran Turismo, where you get cars as you compete in races.

    The actual part where you spend real money in the game mostly goes to cosmetic items. Paint, cockpit items, buncha hoo-ha.

    Now, the game itself. It’s the best Mechwarrior game yet, gameplay wise. Everything just clicks, and looks beautiful while it’s doing it. I even turned out liking MWO more than Hawken! (Mostly because Hawken has a boring array of weapons… machine guns and rockets is about it).

    • Pintlemount says:

      I would honestly rather have a PC-centric Armoured Core for my Gran Turismo-with-robots fix. But until that happens, I guess I can settle…though hardpoint limitations mean I can no longer have my favourite Mechwarrior thing: a heavy ‘mech armed entirely with machineguns.

      So many machineguns.

      • AaronLee says:

        There’s also the double-downer that machineguns are virtually useless at the moment. Though they are getting a buff in the near-future, hopefully turnign them into better crit-seeking, strucutr-edestroyers once the armor is down.

        • PatrickSwayze says:

          They’re getting a massive buff in the Feb 19th patch.

          Expect to see a lot of lights coming for you once you’ve lost a bit of armour.

  10. Grey Poupon says:

    Is the matchmaking still premade vs randoms crap? Other than that, my biggest issue with the game was that the maps were so small. Most of the time it felt like one big slugfest and then the round was over. Though that’s most likely not going to change.

    • Beybars says:

      They are working on more maps, it’s still Beta they are accepting money to help with production. Also you can excpect the first 12 vs 12 map “Alpine’s peak” on the 19th of this month, it will be the largest map to date.

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      PoulWrist says:

      They just implemented the first step to gather additional data on players to create better matchmaking yesterday. Next step will come on the 19th this month, with the data starting to see use in matchmaking.

      They’re teasing 12v12, and they have two large maps in the making, one will debut on the 19th this month (alpine mountainous), another in march (desert area), I believe. 12v12 itself will debut in likely march as well.

    • max_1111 says:

      Not anymore, hasn’t been like that for quite some time now actually.

      If you queue up as an 8 man pre-made group you’re pitted against another 8 man pre-made, no exceptions.

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        There are still a lot of stomps going on with 4-man premades and four pugs going up against eight pugs. I don’t bother playing on patch day, I can go ten games in a row where I have five teammates with under a hundred damage going up against teams of velociraptors in mechs, tagging and lrming. It’s not as bad on other days, but your win rate will suffer if you don’t play in a group still.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The maps are big enough that people can go out of LRM range. And if you charge forward with an LRM boat you’re going to get chewed up, so you have to make use of that map size and hang back, so personally I’ve not found it to feel too small.

      (Also, even as a Catapult, one of the faster heavies, it still takes significant can-be-captured time to trek from point to point on Conquest mode.)

      • sidhellfire says:

        actually maps ARE too small. If you stand on the middle of map you’ve got whole area covered. The argument you can go out of range of certain weapon is silly. In Arma2 maps were way beyond that range and it allowed more tactical-wise approach. In MWO you cannot take safe route and flank whole enemy team, approach their base from the rear. You need to be sneaky and cunning to get past enemy sensors deployed. Using cover and fighting with “out of bounds”, and under huge risk being spotted on thermals.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          Frozen city you can do this just fine, and to some degree river city as well. But yes, caustic valley and forest colony are LRM hell (for those without LRMs, that is).

        • LionsPhil says:

          Standing out in the middle of any map is a pretty good way to draw a ton of LRM fire.

          If you want a stealthy approach, bunch up with ECM?

  11. Beybars says:

    OW MAN! I was really, really holding out my money for an Atlas hero.

  12. Rian Snuff says:

    I haven’t been playing as much even though I really enjoy the game. I decided to forget about it for a while till’ it’s more ironed out and has more content. After one of the patches the game became very buggy to me with inconsistent frames. I did play for a few days when the added the female voice system to the Mechs which I thought sounded AMAZING. Some of the other additions to that patch were really impressive. I’ll most definitively be checking out what they’ve been up to lately. I have a premium account cause’ I wanted this game to have the support and succeed. Though most fun will be found when you get in the game with a few buddies I’ve learned, truly working together and knowing the way your comrades play helps a lot. Oh how I rage when randoms won’t keep a solid lock on.. HAHA.

  13. max_1111 says:

    Yup, still playing, still love this game.

  14. medwards says:

    Is ‘Pretty Baby’ a canon mech or are theses new?

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    PoulWrist says:

    I play it on and off. It’s a proper beta, and as such you won’t get all the features etc.. They have advertised the features and you get a lot of people crying about the lack of implementation of these features, instead of being slightly patient. The game only just broke over a year in development, and that’s pretty good effort in such a short time.

    It’s an enjoyable game, if you’re into mechs. But it’s only ever getting better. I’d recommend waiting till at least end of March or April to jump in if you’re unsure. A lot of optimisation to the new player experience, interface and general performance will be going on in that time. And there’s going to be more content in general at that point.

  16. Easy says:

    I might give it a shot. Tried Hawken and did not enjoy it much (getting too old for FPS?). This might be more my cup of tea… the pace seems (slightly) more relaxed.

  17. MFToast says:

    I play it and I love it! Any of you fools crying pay to win obviously haven’t played the game much. Add me up if any of you do! MFToast is my screen on there.

  18. aldrenean says:

    This patch has fixed probably 70% of my voiced complaints with the game, really outstanding. The new player experience is steadily getting better, though it’s still not an easy game to get into without a friend or three. Once you get a hang of things, it can be incredibly fun, mostly when playing with friends on voice chat, but you can get lucky and have good cohesive play while running solo as well. It’s almost certainly my most played multiplayer game right now, and the road map for the next few months doesn’t look like it’ll change that. I do agree that the two game modes available right now are pretty anemic and generally devolve into 8v8 deathmatch, but for now I’m perfectly happy to play Mechwarrior Deathmatch, because it’s so different than any other deathmatch — more tactics and strategy, less twitch and adrenaline.

  19. impar says:

    Great update and the game runs better with the AMD beta drivers.

  20. phanteh says:

    The new patch is really great, I’m most impressed by the fact that they actually listen to their community.

    In case that didn’t give it away, I’m a jaded ex-World of Tanks player.

    As has been mentioned in this thread, the average player of MWO is probably a decade older than the average WoT player. It makes a big difference. You still get the odd lame PUG, it can take some time to get your head around what role you should be playing on the field and there are bugs. Many bugs.

    But PGI have been doing a great job of listening and fixing things – I hope this is a success for them!