A developer diary post on the MechWarrior Online site has sketched out how communities will fight in MechWarrior Online. For every day that passes in the real world, a day will pass in Mechwarrior Online's "Inner Sphere." There players can join factions and complete missions to earn control of the planets within the sphere.
"Wednesday December 7, 2011 is Wednesday December 7, 3048," write developers Paul Inouye and Bryan Ekman in the post. "This means that every time you log into MechWarrior Online, something new has happened. News updates via the ISN feed, news reporter features and battle feeds keep players up to date on current events."
There will be three types of world in MechWarrior Online. Core Worlds will belong to the devs. Major story events will happen on these worlds, and they can't be claimed by players. Faction Worlds can be taken, though. "Rewards for controlling these planets are directly linked to global bonuses and abilities associated with a player's Faction," write Piranha. They've also posted a huge map of the Inner Sphere. Here it is:
Winning matches will earn Loyalty Points with your chosen faction. This will get you rank up to get better units, skins and XP. These will decay over time if you're not active, and Piranha say that there will be ways to lose Loyalty Points. If you drop in rank, you stand to lose the items you've gained.
There will be a third type of a planet that Mercenary groups will be able to acquire through a contract bidding system. These planets will change ownership regularly as Mercenary groups rapidly outbid each other.
These rules have been established during the beta and Piranha say that they're subject to change before MechWarrior Online goes live in the second half of 2012.
The free to play first person mech sim was announced at the end of October, with news that it will be powered by CryEngine 3 . Piranha spoke to us recently about the challenges of rebooting MechWarrior , saying that Piranha are determined not to disappoint fans of the original MechWarrior sims.