MechWarrior Online update adds Firebrand Hero mech, tweaks jump jets and damage

Patrick Carlson at

A new Hero mech has joined the MechWarrior Online battlefield this week.The Firebrand marks the 12th addition to MWO's stable of unique, real-money valued BattleMech variants in this week's update, alongside changes to weapons, jump jets, and team play.

A remixed version of the vanilla MWO Jagermech, the Firebrand comes outfitted with a lighter-weight XL engine and a mix of ballistic and energy hardpoints that should allow for both sniper and brawler builds. Other perks of the Firebrand include a 30 percent earnings boost to the in-game C-Bill currency, as well as a frighteningly appropriate custom armor skin. Like all of the Hero mechs, you can only unleash the Firebrand through the purchase of credits, or MCs. For reference, the Firebrand's 4,875 MC price should be compared to the current rate of $29.95 for 6,500 MCs.

A new patch update also went live this week with some subtle, but notable game changes to jump jets and weapon damage. Jump jets, which can briefly lift a 90-ton Highlander mech into the sky, now cause a screen/cross hair shake and also randomly affect weapon spread when activated. An often-used—and sometimes notorious—tactic is the use of jump jets to dart up quickly from cover to snipe with a powerful long-range cannon or laser. The change to jump jets looks like a direct response from the developers to a reality of gameplay that many players have encountered, and sometimes struggled to deal with.

The new changes signal that MWO developer Piranha Games is looking to balance this strategy within the title's multiplayer battles. And with the game's second damage boost to long-range missiles since the middle of May, new tactics and loadouts will probably be needed on some maps to level the field between long-range and close-quarter encounters.