Caustically Optimistic: MechWarrior Beats You With Heat


It’s uncharacteristically warm in San Francisco today, so I think I – more so than just about anyone in the world – am best equipped to identify with giant robots. Specifically, MechWarrior Online‘s menagerie of metallic monoliths who’ve taken to duking it out on the newly revealed Caustic Valley map. It is, in case you hadn’t guessed, very, very warm. Mechs, meanwhile, tend to naturally become hot enough to spontaneously combust an egg on top of by way of, well, existing, so Caustic Valley requires extremely careful piloting. Otherwise, you’ll get all sweaty and nasty and gross and dead.

This sounds wonderful, I think. Every time I hear something new about MechWarrior, it seems more and more primed to fill the mech-sim-shaped hole in my heart, and maps with unique, battle-affecting properties only seal the deal. Heat management, cooler weapons versus their less heat-efficient counterparts, and even the general uselessness of thermal vision in a place built atop a volcano┬áhave all been taken into account, so you won’t just be going through the same old mechanized motions with an extra layer of molten window dressing.

Here’s hoping more maps give unique geographical properties a chance to shine. As is, we’ve at least got a snow level on the way as well, though there’s still no word on what sort of effects it’ll have on hulking hunks of death metal. Maybe it’ll give them a chance to model fashionable winter wear – the finest in stories-tall parkas and Snuggies. This is the gaming industry, though, so I imagine we’ll have to purchase them with… mechrotransactions. Welp, I’m done now. Like, with life, I think.


  1. Mr. Mister says:

    Ok, who decided it would be a good idea to buildan an industrial complex under the shadow of an active volcano?

    • Screamer says:

      Errr Star Wars? And I guess in the grim dark future endless energy can be tapped from a volcano.

      • Alexander Norris says:

        The grim dark future of right now, you mean? Using thermals to produce energy isn’t exactly modern tech.

        • Screamer says:

          Surely current tech is only tapping a fraction of what is there, other than the grim dark future :P

      • Geen says:

        In the grim, dark future, there is only THERMAL ENERGY.

    • Vorphalack says:


    • Phasma Felis says:

      Perhaps the volcano wasn’t there yet when the complex was built? It is “abandoned”, after all.

      • Askeladd says:

        A Volcano doesn’t just go around visiting places. IF a volcano would have ‘come’ to that complex the massive energies that form planets over thousand of years would have made that tiny little complex into a molten sea of metal. Just saying. :P

    • Brun says:

      Someone who wanted to power that industrial complex with geothermal energy.

    • Askeladd says:

      Well, we aren’t doing it because it’s too difficult and dangerous to harness the energies of a volcano directly. Today we are using underground cracks in volcanic active areas to pump water down and get hot steam back…

      Let me ask a similar question:

      Why are we doing more and more dangerous operations to get resources, regardless of the advancing destruction of our planet that comes from that (?)

      The answer is your answer.

    • Dozer says:

      Or, a Dwarf Fortress player. Magma is !!fun!!

      • Geen says:

        Magma is the solution to all problems. Elven hippies? Add magma. Pouty nobles? Add magma. Magma spill? Add magma.

    • belgand says:

      An Evil Genius? I’m more of a moonbase sort, but it’s still an excellent choice of lair with lots of fun deathtrap options.

  2. Atrak says:


    • Hanban says:

      Story of my life brother!

      • Fumarole says:

        In my mind that was translated into Hulk Hogan’s voice, and was better for it.

    • Konil says:

      I bought the cheapest founders pack and got in the beta.

      Been playing for a few days. Looking great, considering how early it is.

  3. PoulWrist says:

    They said in the dev intro video for the snow map that visibility would be greatly reduced, making thermal vision powerful for detecting enemies running hot as well as greatly reduce the range at which you can lock on to targets without a spotter.
    The cold weather would also allow for more repeated use of energy weapons because cold.

  4. andtriage says:


    edit: and ROFL @ “mechrotransactions” -beautiful, sir. well-said.

  5. Hanban says:

    This game is meching me very excited.

    • Screamer says:

      I’m all Thor it!

      • imirk says:

        I’m wishing I could Catapult into the future to play it.

        • hexapodium says:

          Atlas-t it looks like we’ll have a proper mech game for contemporary PCs.

          • DarkFenix says:

            Certainly looks it’s Jenner-ating a lot of interest here.

          • makute says:

            I Wasp very interested until microtransactions kicked in.

          • Kenseu says:

            You can jump-jet to conclusions, or you clan wait and see how it plays out.

          • feffrey says:

            I have a hunchback that it is a lot of fun :)

          • HothMonster says:

            I’m very excited about this game. However my cat is a bit of a purist, so if they go too far off the normal timeline he will be one MadCat.


          • Fumarole says:

            The next time I’m at the pub I’ll drink a Steiner two for this game’s success.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            This should be an Elemental part of any gaming diet.

            Also? I heard the guy leading the project is one Mad Cat.

      • Max Ursa says:

        I see this is going to Dragon. Tbh I’m Raven mad waiting for beta access. Pretty sure it’s gonna be Awesome either way.

  6. abandonhope says:

    I demand one-on-one arena PvP so I can be a Robot Jox: link to

  7. Alexander Norris says:

    I love the documentary voice on these. It contrasts pleasantly with the giant shooty robots.

  8. mikmanner says:

    I find it strange that these mech games are about mechs fighting other mechs, if someone built a machine it’d have a purpose like how the Warthog A-10 is designed for bombing ground targets. It’d be cool if these multiplayer matches were about objectives rather than deathmatch so you had to suit the right mech for the job.

    Am I talking shit? Am I thinking about this too much? Should I get back to work?


    • Dominic White says:

      Mechwarrior: Living Legends has power-armored infantry, tanks, planes, VTOLs and mechs, and the interplay between them is excellent. I’m kinda disappointed that MWO is only doing mechs.

    • Jekhar says:

      The old Mechwarrior games had this in their singleplayer campaigns. You could encounter some lighter units like hovertanks or stationary defence turrets. But even in singleplayer, other mechs were your main enemy. In multiplayer pvp there was always only mech vs mech. I, too, would like some form of objective based pvp or coop elements with some other units thrown into the mix.

    • fish99 says:

      Iron Soldier on the Jag did this well, there were few encounter with other mechs in the SP campaign, it was mostly helicopters, tanks, missile sites etc. Iron Solider also had properly big mechs, unlike MW. We need a modern reimagining of that game.

    • HothMonster says:

      They have said they want people to use different style mechs. So a team might have a couple light mechs scouting for some long range missile mechs that are being protected by some low-mid range assault mechs. Or being online random team death match everyone is going to be running around by themselves in Atlases, well see i guess.

    • belgand says:

      Ah, but how many tank games are based around attacking other tanks? Yes, you ideally need proper infantry and air support, but it’s still become a truism that you generally want a tank to kill another tank.

  9. LionsPhil says:

    Mechwarrior 3 had map effects on heat levels, too—nothing like standing in a lake for pewing people with lasers non-stop.

    • Similar says:

      yeah and that level where you made your way through an ice and snow covered landscape, which made heat management very easy, and then suddenly had to fight in that complex inside the volcano where things were very hot.

      • Jekhar says:

        That stuff was already in MW2. There was even a mission on a moon, where your heatsinks were useless due to the missing atmosphere.

  10. yurusei says:

    “The valley of CMO26 is a lifeless tidal locked rock”‘

    Yup, those lush forests look pretty lifeless to me.

  11. dE says:

    Minor nitpick but for crying out loud, trees must fall!
    (maybe they already do and it’s not shown in this trailer, which begs the question, did they really fall?)

  12. WhiteRabbit44 says:

    For your info, there already is a snow map called Frozen City; it was announced a while ago. It pretty much has the opposite effects on the battle that Caustic Valley does; namely, you can go pew pew all you want without having to worry as much about overheating. The third map revealed so far is a forest area, where standing in water will cool you down faster, but it seems like you are a lot more exposed. This is shaping up to be a very tactical MW game.

    From what I’ve read, the environment (trees) aren’t dynamic yet, but they will be when the game is released. This is all beta footage still. This is a game I’m really looking forward to.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I sure hope you can (eventually) knock down trees with your huge mech, otherwise it’s not going to feel huge enough.

      You could stumble into (unfortified) buildings and make them fall apart into polygons in MW3, if memory serves.

  13. SuperNashwanPower says:

    If you overheat, just turn all the fans on and drive with the windows open. Worked with my ex-girlfriend’s mum’s citroen, bound to work on mechs.

  14. BOTA49 says:

    Can’t wait for this to be released. Other than some minor graphical nitpicking, the videos look fantastic. I probably sunk more hours into MW2, MW3, MW4, their expansions, and the MechCommander games than any other genre. Plus the fact that their going with the 3049 timeline means a great variety with a TON of stuff coming in the next 2 years. Bring on the Clans so I can kick all their whiny little asses back to the Kerensky Cluster!