Some people like Mechwarrior Online, and some people really, really don't. Numerous MWO forum threads are filled with complaints about the incomplete state of the game, and the announcement of Transverse, the new sci-fi MMO project from developer Piranha Games, was met with a deluge of fresh anger. That upset was driven in no small part by the multi-million-dollar, in-house crowdfunding campaign; yet according to Piranha Games co-founder Bryan Ekman, crowdfunding is one of the most effective ways an independent studio can build both a loyal following and a market for its games.
Mechwarrior Online scored a very respectable score of 83 in our October 2013 review, but it obviously hasn't been entirely sunshine and lollipops since then. Fans have complained loud and long about missing features, delays and a glacial pace of development that has left major aspects of the game in an incomplete state. But Piranha Games President Russ Bullock recently announced that publisher Infinite Games is no longer involved with the project, which he said has already increased the pace of the game's development.
Piranha Games did a pretty solid job with Mechwarrior Online, but now the studio is trying its hand at something even more ambitious: Transverse, a flight-based sci-fi MMORPG set in a distant part of the galaxy where humanity has transcended mortality, and the players control everything.
Now that private matchmaking has been firmly bolted in place, MechWarrior Online's first official competitive event is set to launch Sunday. It's been dubbed Tournament Series: First Engagement and will to pit 12-man teams against each other across a variety of maps and game modes leading to the finals on May 30.
In a move that could be transformative for competitive players as well as anyone looking to settle a grudge, MechWarrior Online has added a private matchmaking system. Dubbed the "Launch Module" by developer Piranha Games, the free-to-play shooter now offers a variety of options for setting up and carrying out tournaments, leagues, and 1v1 showdowns, depending on a player's level of investment in the game.
One good way to get pilots into the hot seat of a new 'Mech is to let them fight for it. This weekend MechWarrior Online is giving players a clear path to ownership of a hulking and asymmetrical Thunderbolt variant—win five matches and the machine is yours.
MechWarrior Online's new achievement system will reward new players as well as the its most battle-hardened veteran pilots. The awards were added with yesterday's patch, and hand out in-game cash and GXP for completing various mundane and spectacular tasks on the battlefield. While several achievements can be won in a single match, others could take months or years.
Like a pilot with a full compliment of jump jets at her fingertips, MechWarrior Online is always on the move. The shooter has seen a host of changes in recent months, and this week brings more tweaks under the hood in the form of DirectX 11 support as well as a new assault mech chassis.
Even a game about titanic, stompy robots with laser cannons and violent paint jobs isn't immune to the challenges of multiplayer matchmaking. Piranha's MechWarrior Online is loads of fun of the heavy metal variety, but balancing various weight classes and pre-formed groups against public players sometimes delivers some frustratingly lopsided rounds. Pilots should scratch the date of April 29 into the side of their cockpits, as that marks the new Launch Module's, well, launch. The module will overhaul MechWarrior's system for matching similarly skilled players together in evenly balanced teams. It's all explained with plenty of text and pretty charts in an official forum post.
If you play MechWarrior Online you may have noticed that the servers and website were down for maintenance yesterday, but they came back to life with the much anticipated UI 2.0, which greatly improves the game's user interface and should remove bottlenecks for upcoming updates. Great news! Mostly. There are some issues.
MechWarrior Online has always had a special draw for the would-be engineer and tinkerer. Its mechlab—the user interface that players see before dropping into a match—is where much of the mechanical experimentation in MWO takes place. It's where the pilots first ask themselves, "How do I win?" Now we have a first glimpse of how developer Piranha Games will overhaul the mechlab in the game's upcoming update.
The free-to-play MechWarrior Online announced that players are now able to pre-purchase mechs from its upcoming Clan Collection, which will be released June 17. Prices start at $30 for the standard mech collections—going up to $240—and may include different variants, badges and custom titles, premium time, concept art, and other unique content.
MechWarrior Online doesn’t have melee combat, but it does have plenty in common with boxing. Both divide fighters into weight classes. Both test your pain tolerance against your damage output. In both, fighters target their opponents’ injuries while twisting to protect their own wounds.
And “brawler,” appropriately, is the nickname given to mechs built to fight within 100 or 200 meters. Here, at close range, MechWarrior’s resemblance to hand-to-hand combat is clearest: clumps of missiles hook into steel ribs, cockpits rattle like concussed skulls, assault mechs swing with every weapon until their arms fall off.
New information on MechWarrior Online's Community Warfare came to light at the game's launch event in San Francisco last week, describing for the first time how the upcoming expansion might function. MWO creative director Bryan Ekman said faction warfare will add a leveling system and affect multiple areas of the game's economy as well as territory on its Inner Sphere star map.
It makes me immensely happy that C&C: Red Alert's Hell March intro has become the zenith of sci-fi war trailers. Do you have a game featuring conflict, explosions and heavy metal machines? Then you'll need some industrial-rock guitar, pounding drums, and faux-military chanting. MechWarrior Online has now ticked over to the v1.0 milestone. It's a game featuring conflict, explosions and heavy metal machines. Let's take a look at what's in the launch trailer.
MechWarrior Online continues the unstoppable march towards its official release date, and has picked up some new friends along the way. The latest patch for the free-to-play mech battler bumps the player count, with the previous 8v8 limit now raised to 12v12. Piranha have released a video, showing the effect an extra eight mechs can have on a battlefield. Hint: more lasers.
MechWarrior Online's new Terra Therma map looks like it will melt the armor plating right off your giant battle robot. Full of craggy peaks and open lava flows, the new environment went live today, making it the (doubly) hottest game world in developer Piranha Games's free-to-play, still-in-beta shooter.
MechWarrior Online developer Piranha Games has created a custom mech in tribute to a young fan, 5-year-old Sarah Parries of Vancouver, Canada, who died from brain cancer in May. Proceeds from the $10 Jenner mech will go directly to the Canadian Cancer Society, according to information released by the studio.
46,941,487. That's how many mechs have been destroyed during the open beta of MechWarrior Online. Never mind the strain that must put on the pilots, what about the guys who have to put them all back together? Let's hope they get overtime. And it'll only get worse, because the full 1.0 release of the game has now been set for September 17th. To celebrate, developer Piranha Games have released an infographic showing the havoc being caused by the respective owners of the game's 1.1 million registered accounts.
In case the thought of purchasing a game before its release wasn't thrilling enough, MechWarrior Online has now gone and given you the opportunity to tell your friends that you're participating in "Project Phoenix." It may sound like an initiative to raise you from the dead upon your departure from this world, but really, it's a fairly standard MMO preorder program.