MechWarrior Online gets DirectX11 visuals, new Banshee assault mech

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.

The addition of optional DX11 support adds MSAA to the game's video settings and should allow for more graphics options in the near future, according to a recent tweet from Piranha Games president Russ Bullock.

"[S]houldnt take long to see TXAA, 3D vision and full SLI support come online," Bullock writes. "Hoping next patch or two but that's a guess for now."

DX11 does add a new visual flair to MWO—shots from a PPC look even more like scary, weaponized lightning bolts than they did before—but there have also been reports of players seeing an unexpected performance hit when taking advantage of the new video settings. Turning on MSAA can cause the game's framerate to drop, sometimes dramatically, as the developer warns in the latest patch notes. This has certainly been the case for me when trying out the new settings in a few matches this week.

MWO also introduced a new Hero mech in its Tuesday update, a 95-ton assault class bruiser called the Banshee. Just like all Hero mechs, "La Malinche" has a real-money price and also carries a custom loadout and paint job which you can see in a pic of the new machine below. Standard variants of the Banshee purchasable with in-game currency are coming to MWO on the 18th. Even if you don't invest any real money, new Hero mechs inevitably show up on the battlefield, giving you either a new target or a new teammate to try out tactics with as pilots learn the new build.

Other changes are also on the way, now that MWO's new user interface is up and running. Developers are planning a complete overhaul of the game's matchmaking system that's due to release in April.