Atlas(t): MechWarrior Online Has A “Release” Date

By Nathan Grayson on July 4th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Even though we live in the Future Year of 2013 and download all games directly to our spinal cords the second they hit pre-pre-pre-post-mid-alpha-gramophonic, we still insist on designating games as “released” or “un-released”. I understand that up to a point – it paints expectations of relative bugginess, when developers should start charging money, etc – but could we maybe start using more, um, applicable terminology? Otherwise we end up with games like MechWarrior Online, which is finally “releasing” in September even though it’s been available for more than a year. (Yes, I know a slight discrepancy in lingo is the least of the gaming industry’s problems, but JUST LET ME HAVE THIS ONE, ‘KAY?)

To celebrate the impending upgrade to version 1.0, Piranha has gotten everybody in open beta – what else – a mech! The newest addition is called the Dragon Slayer, and you can watch it do things (none of which involve slaying dragons, sadly) below:

The 1.0 update will come on September 17th, and it’ll trundle in atop a fire-red carpet of 46,941,487 mech corpses, according to Piranha. The developer further noted that all those laser-fried heaps could stack to the moon and back 1,221 times, because it clearly has no respect for the robo-dead. Also because big numbers woooOOOoooOOOoo.

But yes, MechWarrior Online seems to be doing quite well for itself, which is wonderful news. Is it your stompy stomy bang bang game of choice, or are you more of a Hawken sort? I suppose Titanfall’s also looking rather scrumptious, but it’s probably still a ways off. Regardless, giant robots! There are many. Which is your favorite?

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69 Comments »

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  1. Lonestar1771 says:

    You forgot to mention how they are “launching” with no meta game, no clans, maybe the UI 2.0 upgrade, no lobby system to speak of, or any form of game balance, but at least we are getting 3PV!

    • AlienMind says:

      A UI upgrade is favorable to hide that it’s essentially the world of tanks micropayment hell UI.

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      Cinek says:

      +1. I lost hope for this game while ago. Seems like they have no will to create any serious competitive gaming environment.

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      PoulWrist says:

      They are? That’s not what they said last it was talked about.

    • sebmojo says:

      Community Warfare is allegedly coming before release, and the F2P is very well done indeed. Ignore the bittervets. It needs some work, but it’s looking very good, the base stompy robot gameplay is excellent.

      • DarkFenix says:

        Is it? I found the gameplay to be incredibly dull compared to previous MW games; both repetitive and shallow.

        Frankly the game in general is just World of Tanks with a screwed UI, even less gameplay depth and worse balance.

      • dmastri says:

        I haven’t touched the game in just over 2 months. It got very boring without any purpose. Random matched deathmatches ad nauseum. Ugh. Where did you find any info on the status of community warfare?

        Overall my feelings on this game are mixed. I think some of their priorities are wrong (3PV pfffffft). It’s nice that they are trying very hard to balance the mech combat but they should have made a go at community warfare by now so they could start refining it. Instead it’s being dropped last minute before “release” and my hopes for it aren’t very high. We’ll see if it’s enough to convince me to come back.

        edit – and the lack of VOIP is astounding, they are saying it won’t be added by release either… who is in charge over there???

      • Lonestar1771 says:

        They have claimed that they may get Phase 1 of CW in right around launch, but they told us will just be faction tags and nothing more. The real meat of CW is slated for 2014. Maybe you should try keeping up with the development. Go listen to the NGNG podcasts. In the latest one of the Devs says that they have thrown the time line out the window.

    • LionsPhil says:

      And that it’s been released for ages, regardless of how much they or the golden fanbase may want to stick their fingers in their ears and cry the opposite, because they’ve been taking people’s money for ages.

      A game was made available with content for money. You have to be several kinds of crazy to not call that “released”.

      Still. Maybe if you’re lucky they won’t utterly shaft the balance or netcode again between now and then. PGI’s development process seems to involve flailing on the keyboard, releasing a patch, then waiting several months to go “oh, I guess that didn’t work after all” and trying again. They are the least competent for-money game programmers I’ve seen and, yes, I am counting Troika and various bedroom indies using GameMaker.

      Which is frustrating, because FlyingDebris’ interpretation of the mech designs is lovely, and there’s a core of a really good big, ponderous, locational-damage-and-positioning-and-stuff mech game struggling to get out from under all PGI’s uselessness and monetization.

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        PoulWrist says:

        If you like to say so :) It’s highly experimental. So pay to beta.

      • Taidan says:

        Pretty much this. It’s a crying shame that their community is happy to let them get away with radically redefining the commonly accepted usage of the term “beta” as an excuse to cover a questionable business model combined with some godawful development choices and some terrible management.

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          PoulWrist says:

          So, you mean, like all those games on Kickstarter?

          • Taidan says:

            Yes, just like that, but with a questionable business model combined with some godawful development choices and some terrible management

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            PoulWrist says:

            F2P is a questionable business model these days? OK.

          • Taidan says:

            I take it you know nothing of IGP’s standard business model, then. F2P is one thing, but taking large down-payments for a game that’s probably never going to arrive is entirely another…

            Tell me again, what was the original development schedule that was sold to those people who paid $120 to get in early? Where is Community Warfare?

        • Lonestar1771 says:

          It’s not that people are okay with it (some pocket holders are, but I digress). It’s that PGIGP doesn’t care. They stopped listening to their fanbase months ago. It certainly feels like they are now just trying to get something out the door to recoup some of their losses.

  2. AlienMind says:

    My faforite would be Mechwarrior Living Legends, but Piranha apparently killed it via cease and desist threat.

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      PoulWrist says:

      No, they didn’t :)

      • bad guy says:

        Of course not. :)
        One thing is for sure though:
        MWLL development wouldn’t have abruptly (and mysteriously) ended if MWO never came along.

        • Gouty says:

          It is also true to say, no MWLL no MWO, at least not in the form we see it today

        • AlienMind says:

          It’s no mystery. They got a huge pipeline. Think that they just stopped because? They got good-copped into stopping and moving their human resources over to MWO. Guess what happened if they said no? I hate to break it to you, but MWO is an organization maximizing it’s profit in every way possible (micropayments, ..). Then look at MWLL. It was (and is) a larger, better product. In a word: It was a threat. Cease and desist would have followed, I bet my ass on it. Please inform yourself on the mechlivinglegends forums. Or believe the propaganda. Your choice.

          • Gouty says:

            Does anyone that was part of MW:LL development now work on MWO? I don’t know of anyone, apart from Flying Debris (Alex Iglesias the concept artist)

      • Rindan says:

        If a handful of mobsters walk into your store and tell you that you really should sell because they are worried about fires in the area spontaneously taking out buildings, and you sell at a decent profit, you still just got shaken down. MWO shook them down. They looked at that nice little mod, ran their finger through the freshly dried paint, and said, “This sure does look a lot like a superior version of our game… tell you what, how about you close down this game based on our IP and come work for us?” If the threat wasn’t explicate, it certainly was implicate.

        Apparently we need to use inappropriate smiley faces, so let me try:

        MWO, a crappy “F2P” game in “beta”, shook down and killed MWLL, a good game. :)

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Still not as good as MechWarrior 3 sorry, though the mp was sublime

      • sidhellfire says:

        MW3 was worst game of the series. Basically arcade mechquake. And Quake3Arena was evolution of great shooter thus ended up as a great game, while MW after brilliant MW2 (oriented more at simulation) instead of focusing on what is good turned out to be clusterfucked crap.

        • Sharlie Shaplin says:

          I had to make an account just to refute your comment. Mechwarrior 3 is the closest Mechwarrior game to a simulator of the entire series. It was Mechwarrior 4 that reduced it to mechaquake.

          • HidingCat says:

            Yea, I loved MW3. Still want a single player mechwarrior game!

  3. Jekhar says:

    They must really be in dire financial straits. I really wanted this game to succeed, even got the (cheapest) founder package. Have been playing at least once a week since the closed beta but haven’t touched the game for a good two months now. I’m really bored by now by what essentially Solaris Online. This isn’t Mechwarrior, these are silly arena fights, repeated ad nauseum with no reason or higher reward behind it. That’s what really turned me off from the game. I don’t even need to get into the numerous problems the game has otherwise, technical and mechanically.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Why must they really be in a dire financial straight? The game is running fine, on track for a lot of development, and the team has grown from around 10 people to 45 people.

      What is “Mechwarrior” if not arena fights with mechs? Far as I can tell that’s what the entire Mechwarrior game is about, the tabletop one they’ve taken as the base of the game.

      • Jekhar says:

        Because they “release” their game before it’s finished? Community Warfare was supposed to be a pretty big part of the game. Heck, it even was one of their “design pillars” detailed way back pre beta. And now they make it seem like something that can be patched in quickly afterwards.
        And no, to me Mechwarrior is much more than arena matches. It should feel like you are in a legitimate war setting, combined arms, proper missions, attacker and defender roles, the lot. Simple deathmatches may be fun for a while, but i think the Battletech setting to be wasted on such simplicities.

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          PoulWrist says:

          Yes, did you read anywhere that they would release it without Community Warfare? I would be interested in knowing where, then, because it doesn’t say so here on this site, or on their own site. And the impending 1.0 is almost 3 months away, since impending is apparently quite relative.

          • Skhalt says:

            Considering their usual development pace, 3 months will give them the time to add one map, 2 hero mechs for moar moneyz and correcting the huge bunch of mistakes they will invariably have made with their poor decisions and terrible way of balancing things.
            At this point I really don’t expect much more from CW than “winning a game will increase control by 0.1% in an hex somewhere on a map”, ala Star Conflict.

            I sincerely believe a great game can come out of it all in the end, but not before a couple of years, you have to admit that PGI is distressingly incompetent.

        • Jekhar says:

          No, i didn’t read it anywhere, i just go by the developers previous track record. Even when they would add it in right now, with PGIs glacial patching process i don’t see how it would be fit for release until september. I also don’t think were quite there contentwise for CW. There just aren’t enough different maps to handle galaxy wide conquest.

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            PoulWrist says:

            There’s nothing glacial about their development process. It’s you and others like you, who are absolutely ignorant about how you go about developing a project of this size.

            But that’s OK, we can’t all be all software developers or have insight into everything in the world. We can, however, try not to act like complete fucking douchebags unable to contain our teen-angsty emotions of manly internet man rage.

          • LionsPhil says:

            It’s so terrible that there are literally no other game developers to compare them against for a baseline of what competent people are capable of.

          • Jekhar says:

            I think it’s safe to assume we two just have different opinions of PGI and the state and future of the game. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on.

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            PoulWrist says:

            Maybe because you don’t get to play other developers’ games at this early a stage :) But then, there’s the whole new way of doing business so we get to play games early all the time these last couple years, noone is here hating on League of Legends for having done so etc. or their tech and devs being complete noobs at handling what they have :) No, let’s just hate on the little studio with a small niche game, that’s the way we go about things here!

          • Skhalt says:

            Look at Path of Exile, then, developed by Grinding Gear Games. Little studio, you could play the game since beta and all, so we’re pretty much in the same comparison range. Guess what? They’re working both better and faster. You really ought to remove those blinders, my good man.

          • Lonestar1771 says:

            @PoulWrist Look moron, the devs themselves already said CW would be AFTER launch. Phase 1 which will consist of picking faction tags MAY possibly make it in before launch, but everything else is slated for after launch. Try looking yourself before getting teen-angsty and acting like a douche.

      • sebmojo says:

        That’s fair. CW is probably gonna be a huge clusterfuck. But I think concentrating on making the core robotshoot experience is the right move, because there’s no point in having a great metagame and a terrible game.

        MWLL is great, but quite ugly by comparison with MWO. I haven’t played it enough to compare the balance decisions.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        They need more money because IGP funneled the money from the founders program, into other projects.

    • Nova says:

      Agreed, it’s just team deathmatch with mechs and only a few maps. The mech fighting was fun for a while, but it didn’t take long to get bored.

  4. Gurrah says:

    To celebrate the impending upgrade to version 1.0, Piranha has gotten everybody in open beta – what else – a mech! The newest addition is called the Dragon Slayer, and you can watch it do things (none of which involve slaying dragons, sadly) below:

    That’s a bit misleading, you make it sound like the Dragonslayer is a free thank you for participants of the beta, which it is not! It is just another hero-mech which you have to buy for $$$ if you want to call it your own. The regular variants will join the roster in two weeks time.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, the article could really do with correcting on that front.

    • bad guy says:

      Yep, me too. Sounds like it is free.

    • Montavious says:

      You forgot about Project Phoenix :) A terrible attempt at a money grab, but you know people will bite, thats the sad part.

      • Jekhar says:

        After seeing that one, i’m really looking forward to what they’re gonna do when introducing clan tech. ;-)

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Noticed that too. Also, the article says that there is no slaying of dragons, when one is clearly taken down in the course of the video. Not to mention, it was highly likely one of the killed pilots was a Kuritan. :]

  5. Artist says:

    What? They will really release this without any kind of planet-caputure meta-game? What a shame of a deathmatch money sink! Boooh, just booooh! Mechwarrior ONLINE my ass…. Just for the money!

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    mpk says:

    I’ve never been one to spend my hard-earned in F2P games, but even with that the cost of mechs and meaningless cosmetic tat in MWO is astonishingly high. 6500 ingame credits cost $30, and that’s still not enough to buy some of the premium mechs.

    That aside, it’s basically World of Tanks with a more restricted P.O.V. and even more grind.

    • Gurrah says:

      No. In world of tanks only a certain range of tiers is viable for making money, namely tier 4-6, with a few exceptions and premium tanks of course. In MWO every mech is on an even economical footing and there are no astronomical repair costs which prevent you from actually playing that mech without paying for premium time. The grind in WOT is definitely higher than it is on MWO and the pricing for premium mechs and tanks is comparable.

  7. bad guy says:

    My favorite is by far Mechwarrior: Living Legends, and I find it a shame that RPS doesn’t give this award-winning mod a mention.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      It’s been mentioned plenty back in the day and I even found it out via RPS, but alas it has no player base so why bother now?

      • bad guy says:

        I wanted to play last night but the active server was full (with 28 players on the map). There are always people playing when I join in the evening (Europe).
        No player base is sth different.

        IMHO MWLL is what PC gaming is all about. (modding, simulation-genre)
        But I guess they did mention “there are many”.

        • PatrickSwayze says:

          One server. Exactly.

          It’s a shame because technically speaking it is the better game, and would’ve ended up the definitive Battletech experience.

          Maybe in another decade another team or studio will create something…

          • bad guy says:

            Just plz don’t say “it has no player base”.

            It is still being played, and we are happy to see new players. :)

          • Gouty says:

            Multiple servers, it’s just when they are empty they are no fun! We are planning a bit of a revival (Project Phoenix Down) from the 12th-14th of July, servers will be more populated :D

  8. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    I tried to get into it but damn it was a real messy thing, and it wasn’t worth the poor latency for ‘Stralian players either. As far as I’m concerned Living Legends still is my favourite online MW experience, and the free Mektek MW4 Mercs online, coop and all is still a hoot with friends.

    • drinniol says:

      That is fixed – where you shoot at is where the shot hits. Host-state rewind magic (I’m in Perth and play no problems).

  9. Retorrent says:

    Alright don’t belive I am going to say this but Hawken has become my cup of tea when it comes to getting my mech fix. Ive played every MW made and after playing MWO it just bores me to tears. The combat just trudges too slowly for me now and lord do I hate the dam launcher its just butt ugly smeared with all kinds of ads to buy mechs and premium time and what not. I get it its F2P and they have to make money some how but there is a right way to do it and the wrong way.

  10. drinniol says:

    Holy hell there’s a bunch of misery guts on here. MWO is great fun, the bundle they have on offer is great value ($20 gets you 3 mechs and the mech bays for them and a month of premium time), the real-money only mechs are hardly pay-to-win (some are pay-to-lose, like the Commando) and they address many issues (not ALL the ones that are whined about in the forums, but then again people whine about the fixes in a NERF RET kind of way) in the bi-monthly patches.

    The Launcher has ads the same as every other F2P launcher I’ve used, once you’re in the game Mechbay there is a small link to buy currency.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Well, to be specific, it gets you three variants of one mech, and the prime config of that mech has 4 ballistic slots and one ct energy hardpoint. I mean, I guess if you thought the Spider 5K was great but wished it had no jump jets and even less armor, this thing will really be your cup of tea. It’d be one thing if the $20 got you three battlemasters, or one of each chassis, or you got to pick, but really, it’s not that exciting.

      Don’t even get me started on the mechbay slots, either. I can’t even fathom how people are willing to not only buy the mech for $30 and are totally okay with having to buy the space for it too. That’s really the very least they could do.

      That said, yes, they have done a very good job of avoiding a pay-to-win system, although it took some serious bludgeoning from the community to make sure, in the case of consumables.

  11. Kraskiez says:

    I played this for a while during “closed beta” and it was fun, though the rubberbanding got to the point of making the game unplayable, and the FoM boat builds got slightly tedious, supersonic commandos were fun though! It’s a shame that there is no factional warfare yet and the game is still just deathmatch, as I was interested in this for the potential galaxy spanning conflicts. At least I didn’t sink any money into the game.

  12. Radfahrer says:

    Instead of moaning about something that is still deep in Beta country (and might be able to surprise some of you in the next few months), I suggest to all you Mechwarrior fans going here http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php/topic,19022.0.html and getting your Mechwar fix real quick.
    RockPaperShotgun Company, move out !