MechWarrior Online patch to expand team structure, add new mech variants

Like a robot Bob Ross , Piranha Games continues to slowly fill in the details around MechWarrior Online before it's ready to call the game released . After adding the beta's best map so far last month, this week's fresh paint comes in the form of improvements to MWO's in-match leadership and command features, which will be updated in a patch arriving tomorrow afternoon.

Creative Director Bryan Ekman says the updates around MWO's command system will "allow players to organize into sub units, which is something that's part of the heritage of MechWarrior and BattleTech, and it allows for more granular control over how players engage on the battlefield."

Ekman explains how the new team hierarchy will function: "We've added lance command, which is a sub-command unit. So there's the company commander that controls the entire eight players, and there's the lance commander who controls four players. And with this comes some new elements for the Battle Grid [map], which is the ability for company commanders to organize the lances according to how he wants them to be balanced. It allows the lance commanders to issue orders directly to their four-man lance. And it also adds a new HUD element that shows who's a part of your lance, their current health status, and their location in the map via a grid coordinate."

This expansion of leadership roles is in advance of MechWarrior Online expanding its player capacity from 8-on-8 to 12-on-12. When that happens later this year, Ekman says Piranha will tweak the system so that commanders and grunts will receive EXP for followed and for following orders, respectively.

Also bundled in the patch are four variants for the recently-introduced Highlander and a new "Champion" tier of mechs. The first Champion is the Dragon DRG-5N(C) , a player-crafted loadout that's only purchasable with MC, MWO's in-game currency.

No significant balancing adjustments are planned for the patch, although Ekman mentioned that anyone playing MWO with high ping can expect to see improvements to the hit detection of ballistic weapons and PPCs, which now embrace the "host state rewind" technology previously introduced for lasers.

If you're not playing MechWarrior Online, please enjoy this complimentary evangelism :

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.