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New MechWarrior Announced, MechWarrior4 To Be Distributed Free 229

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-in-beer dept.
Vamman writes "In light of the recent announcement of the new MechWarrior game, Smith and Tinker has granted our online dev team MekTek.net (which has been supporting MechWarrior for almost a decade now) permission to release MechWarrior 4 entirely for free using the same type of distribution model that id Games used for Quake3's free release.
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New MechWarrior Announced, MechWarrior4 To Be Distributed Free

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  • And it was looking ok enough, let's just hope the gameplay is excellent :)

  • Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:19PM (#28639801) Journal

    Excellent news about Mechwarrior 4. I wonder if the stand-alone Mercenaries spin-off (which I preferred) is also included (I note the expansions are)?

    Also good news that if the screenshots/concept art are anything to go by, they plan on doing this properly. It doesn't look to me like some arcade-ified MechAssault type of game. I used to love the Mechwarrior games, partially because the complexity made it feel like you really were in command of a huge lump of metal. I don't expect they'll use half the keyboard on controls again, but if they can get something with even a vaguely sim-like feel, I'll be delighted.

    I'm also very pleased that they're jumping back in the time-line. The Clans are great, and it would be neat if this game could feature the Clan invasion as its finale (like Battletech 2 and Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries), but I always felt that the narrative just meandered after that. Plus it's actually a lot of fun trying to survive in relatively primative mechs like the Jenner.

    • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:26PM (#28639925)
      The main thing I'm concerned about them getting down is the tweaking. By far the best part, for me, was always building your own mechs, coming up with new combinations. It was especially great if you had a regular opponent: my roommate and I were always looking to one-up or counter the other's newest mech design. That's the key part of the game to get right, in my opinion. If they get that, the rest isn't too hard to have fall into place.
      • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:4, Informative)

        by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:28PM (#28639955) Journal

        Yes, that was great as well. I quite liked the balance they reached in MW4 with that, where you had room to tweak, but had to keep the categories of weapons etc vaguely in line with the original ethos of the chassis. So a laser-heavy mech might only be able to use energy weapons in a lot of its slots. It struck me as a good way of finding a balance between allowing for customisation, without turning it into a game of pure min/maxing.

        • by Altus (1034)

          ahhh medium pulse lasers.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            mmm a Nova packed to the brim with PPCs. No armor. That made a great dueler (so long as everyone else had the same fit).

            Large ER Lasers were that way too.

            (two shots your dead, basically is the deal)

        • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:13PM (#28640691)

          Sorry but that just doesn't fly when you actually play a PC game. I think it's cute that people are that obsessed with how it was originally configured in a tabletop game but there's no logical reason to start forcing me to use lasers instead of autocannons just because that's whan someone else did.

          Gameplaywise I think MW2 really had it set. You could do pretty much anything you wanted, including strapping nothing but machineguns and PPCs to a mech that'd been stripped down to a leafblower for the engine and 3 sandwich wrappers for a heatsink. You'd explode if you tried to fire and never get anywhere but you COULD do it. It was up to you to find effective loadouts, you weren't shoehorned into it by some consoleized list of restrictions.

          • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

            by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:29PM (#28640905)

            It's not a matter of being cute, it was a matter of improving on the logic of the game. There you were in a Madcat, the most iconic of all the mechs, with what were clearly two shoulders filled with missiles (or something that looked pretty close to them) and you were --- what? saying "Pay no attention to those things that look like missiles, they're REALLY a mix of lasers and machine guns" ?

            Video games are a visual medium. Function should follow form, especially in a giant robot. Especially in Multiplayer. Imagine playing Halo online and what looks like a pistol in your opponent's hand is really a BFG.

            I think it's cute that people are that obsessed with how it was originally configured in a tabletop game
            Seems to me you're the guy who should be playing the pen and paper game. Maybe upgrade yourself to a spreadsheet, and you can tweak your mathematical "what ifs" to your heart's content.

            • So the developers laziness or technological limitations are just cause for forcing players to choose specific loadouts?

              It's got rocket pods on the shoulders, woo hoo, so let me alter the loadout on the shoulder pods and then alter them visually ingame or make those unalterable and give me the rockets but let me do what I want with the rest of the mech. An arm with a gun barrel on it doesn't automatically mean PPC any more than it means gauss or autocannon.

              • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:5, Informative)

                by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster.manNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:59PM (#28641365)

                So the developers laziness or technological limitations are just cause for forcing players to choose specific loadouts?

                No, it's the game canon. Most Mechs are not intensely customizable. They have some hardpoints for mounting, and it makes sense that some hardpoints might not have the hardware to accept any old weapon. Energy weapon hardpoints will have large power and coolant conduits. ACs and Missiles will have smaller energy/coolant conduits, and ammo feed mechanisms. Additional modifications would not be within the realm of possiblity for a mercenary lance or other small combat group.

                It seems a fair assumption that the MadCat designers (in canon) would not find the need to place ammo feeds into the arms (where the PPCs were located) or high-power conduits to the missile pods.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  So the developers laziness or technological limitations are just cause for forcing players to choose specific loadouts?

                  No, it's the game canon. Most Mechs are not intensely customizable. They have some hardpoints for mounting, and it makes sense that some hardpoints might not have the hardware to accept any old weapon. Energy weapon hardpoints will have large power and coolant conduits. ACs and Missiles will have smaller energy/coolant conduits, and ammo feed mechanisms. Additional modifications would not be within the realm of possiblity for a mercenary lance or other small combat group.

                  It seems a fair assumption that the MadCat designers (in canon) would not find the need to place ammo feeds into the arms (where the PPCs were located) or high-power conduits to the missile pods.

                  Actually, you're very close to exactly right but not quite. Traditional 'Mech designs were like real world armoured vehicles in that their weapons & equipment loadout was pretty non-modular. Like the real world, however, there were also many revisions of most of the basic designs. In the tabletop game, altering the loadout of one of these 'Mechs was a significant engineering effort that required skilled engineers, technicians, and weeks of work.

                  However, the Mad Cat is a slightly different beast. One of

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Sibko (1036168)
                  Just wanted to point out a few things here:

                  The "Mad Cat" is the inner sphere designation for the clan Timber Wolf. It was named such because it looks like a cross between a Marauder and a Catapult.

                  Further, the Timber Wolf is an Omni-mech, it was specifically designed for alternative weapon loadouts. Which is to say, it doesn't have any problems with ammo or missiles going in specific locations, because the whole thing is modular. A Timber Wolf Prime carries the iconic LRM 20's, while the Timber Wolf A
              • by Fireye (415617)

                Rather, the developers are staying within the existing confines of the BattleTech universe. In 3015, it simply isn't possible to have a variable weapons loadout, especially not out in the field. Mechs were rare commodities, very very very few NEW mechs were being produced, and the ones that were generally were based on older designs.

                There were no Omnimechs. There was no system to effectively retrofit a battlemech in the field. There WERE Battlemech Variants. So you may be able to choose from a Battlema

                • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:4, Informative)

                  by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrunNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @04:44PM (#28641931) Journal

                  Exactly. Classic CLASSIC BattleTech, where a 'mech was often a family heirloom, battles were as much ritual combat as anything else, and MechWarriors were akin to pilots in WW1.

                  All got farked up when the GDL found that damn Star League memory core and New Avalon Academy of Science started unlocking lostech....

                  (hope I remembered all that fluff properly - been a while, but dammit, I'm going to reread the Warrior trilogy tonight. Justin Allard for the win!)

                  • by X0563511 (793323)

                    any chance you can drop some ISBNs for those who would like the reading?

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      by dunkelfalke (91624)

                      Sure. Start with the Gray Death Legion trilogy, then continue with the Warrior trilogy and after that the Kurita books:

                      Gray Death Legion trilogy:
                      Decision at Thunder Rift 0451451848
                      Mercenary's Star 0451451945
                      The Price of Glory 0451452178

                      Warrior trilogy:
                      En Garde 0451456831
                      Riposte 0451457188
                      Coupe 0451457226

                      Wolves on the Border 0451453883
                      Heir to the Dragon 0451455274

                  • You were close, it's actually the NAIS, New Avalon Institute of Science.

                    And for those who don't know, GDL stands for Gray Death Legion, who found a Star League memory core on the planet Helm near the end of the Fourth Succession War. They then gave copies to all the Great Houses who then began decoding it and becoming able to bring back some of the technology lost in the First, Second, and Third Succession Wars

                    I still love that line they wrote for Hanse Davion: "Wife, in honor of our marriage, in addition

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Take a look at how many other mechs you destroy in the average mechwarrior game and at how readily we can retrofit things here on earth. If they can make a giant walking robot (which is already physically impossible by it's design) then it isn't much more of a leap to think they could just take the missiles out of what is essentially a giant empty rack and put something else in there and plug it in.

                  The mech universe is inherently self-contradicting if you go by what you've put forth. Mechs are a rare commod

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by slaker (53818)

                    Based on my recollection of the original Mechwarrior RPG, the Inner Sphere states controlled between them somewhere between 300 and 400 regiments, each consisting of roughly 100 battlemechs. Add in all the mercenaries, pirates and periphery powers and figure that maybe there might be a total of 50,000 mechs.

                    That's for the whole of human space in the Battletech Universe of 3025 (the fiction also suggests that Comstar had its Com Guards, which had some vast and uncounted number of mechs).

                    Going by the game fic

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Fireye (415617)

                    Up until (as a previous poster mentioned) LosTech (Old Star League technology) was rediscovered, what I said was true. All MechWarrior games after the first were set post-clan invasion, which is after the Inner Sphere began to recover methods and technology on the creation of BattleMechs. The Clans never lost that tech, so building mechs wasn't as large an issue for them. ... also, pretty much all of the MechWarrior games so far have been pretty Action/Arcadey. It's nescessary to have a multitude of enem

                    • But that's just it then, sticking to the source material. If I'm going to have whatever I can scrap together and be severely limited in what I can put where on my mech the other guys had better be operating under the same rules as long as they're supposedly in the same situation I am.

                      Of course we all know what ACTUALLY happens is you wind up going up against guys that never seem to run out of gauss ammo until you remove it from him.

                • Justin Allard has retrofitted his Centurion with AC/20. That was AFAIR in 3027.

              • An arm with a gun barrel on it doesn't automatically mean PPC any more than it means gauss or autocannon.

                You're absolutely right. And if you notice, it's those components which were appropriately open-ended and customizable in MW4. But a shoulder hod of missiles was, well, a shoulder hod of missiles.

                Remember, also, that the Computer Game Mechwarrior developers were working within a firmly established canon of what these mechs looked like, and it was important for them -- and the fans -- to respect that le

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by RogueyWon (735973) *

              Yes, I was going to repond to the grandparent, but you've said it all better than I would have done. For me, the biggest defect of MW2, particularly Mercenaries, was the way that all of the mechs felt so generic once you got into the tweaking. They were basically all just slightly differently shaped shells with a set amount of capacity for weapons.

              As you say, in Mechwarrior 4, your mech's function actually had to match its form to some degree. There were actually mechs that had a lot of versatile slots for

            • by The Moof (859402)

              "Pay no attention to those things that look like missiles, they're REALLY a mix of lasers and machine guns"

              So what would be so hard about making it look like this [blogspot.com]? It's a Catapult (basically the Madcat w/ no arms), but it still shows my point. Basically, instead of rendering large box missile pods, just put laser cannons on the shoulders.

              Personally, I prefer the "do whatever you want" instead of "missile a, b, or c for generic box on the shoulder" because it lets you play around more and experiment.

            • by jma05 (897351)

              In Halo 1, the pistol was the BFG.

          • MW2 really represented the tabletop design mechanics quite well. This was its great strength to me - it gave you freedom to experiment and find out what worked. MW4 was completely different and took away a great deal of freedom, and I agree that it was a poor design decision.
            • But then again, MW2 allowed gunboats - take a heavy mech, put 14 MLasers and lots of heat sinks into it and you've got a mech that can kill every other mech with one single alpha strike.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by CAIMLAS (41445)

            Yep, MW2 had it set. I was pretty disappointed with MW3 and MW3 loadout ability. It was really restrictive compared to MW2. I couldn't use my favorite combinations.

            I had a friend who loved the Jenner and, god forbid, the Uller for multiplayer. He'd strip the armor down to nothing, give it a handful of heatsinks and a jumpjet or two, boost up the engines to the max, and outfit it just a handful of small lasers. He was devistating against anything but other similarly equipped mechs: he'd avoid all incoming fi

          • by nschubach (922175)

            I agree with you on that. MW2 was far more customizable. Microsoft Games got hold of the franchise and it went to "socket city" with no real customization options.

            Made for some interesting tactics: A friend would load his Mech with nothing but lasers, run in and blow off my leg in one shot.

        • I absolutely HATED that aspect of MW4. For me, it ruined the game. I love the boardgame and the great depth of modification you can go to, which was preserved in MW2 and MW3. The hardpoint system in MW4 could have made sense, but it oversimplified things for the console dweebs and lost its impact. Even then, the system didn't make sense in the continuity when you consider that omnimechs should have been able to have any weapon in their hardpoints, unlike conventional 'mechs that ar emuch more constained
      • I played MechWarrior and Mechwarrior II a bit. I don't remember how well they handled custom/modified mechs.

        I and some of my friends lost many, many hours of our lives to MechForce/BattleForce on my Amiga. That was an adaptation of the board wargame, with top-down 2D graphics. We loved designing new mechs and trying them out on each other. I hope that this new game makes it just as easy...

        • by Fireye (415617)

          MechWarrior (286/386 era) didn't have any customisations for mechs, if I remember correctly. You could purchase whatever mech you wanted, but it had a fairly standard loadout (though some weapons came destroyed and had to be repaired, IIRC).

          • i remember MechWarrior for the 386 well, the limitations were largely due to the hardware of the day, but Riflemen Battlemasters were totally the best! i was really saddened to not see them in MW2 or later iterations. as far as customizing goes, the MW2 scheme really added to the depth and replay value of the game well beyond most other games. it brings to my mind the free form flexibility with counterstrike vs the typical class based systems in most FPS games. to a degree i agree with the legacy heritag

    • > I wonder if the stand-alone Mercenaries spin-off (which I preferred) is also included (I note the expansions are)?

      Cyberlore did The Black Knight and 2 mech packs. Since they are no longer in business there might be some legal issues (hopefully not.)

      They never did fix that no heatsink bug... :-(

      --
      WoW (TM) is the McDonalds (TM) of MMORPGs.

  • Q! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StickansT (1585125) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:19PM (#28639809)
    What was the same type of distribution model that id Games used for Quake3's free release?
    • No, this is fre, which means you can only play three-fourths of the game. But luckily the last fourth is pretty much the same as the third.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To a question like that my first reaction was "RTFA! I am sure it is explained there.". Then I RTFA and... It wasn't. Then I followed the link to Battletech and didn't quickly find it there either. Then I googled for "Quake 3 free release", got to wikipedia and... Still found no mention of what this magical distribution method is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mewsenews (251487)

      Quake 3's source code was released under the GPL, but the game assets remained commercial property of id Software.

      They did the same thing with Quake 2, Quake 1, and Doom. Hopefully Doom 3's code will be released soon.

      I don't know why the story submitter couldn't have said "source code released under GPL", like Slashdotters won't know what "source code" means?

      • Wait wait wait... (Score:4, Informative)

        by mewsenews (251487) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:48PM (#28641201) Homepage

        I'm looking at these announcements and they're saying the game is going to be released "for free". I do not see what this has to do with Quake 3 at all, or even how the two releases are similar. Quake 3 the game was never released "for free" unless you are counting Quake Live.

        I think the submitter may have fucked up.

        • I think they mean the usual id procedure of open sourcing old engines. You can find the source, as well as the last supported release version, on id's site [idsoftware.com].
          • Oh wait, I just learned to read a little better. That point release version requires a full install of Quake3 to be present already. Oops.
    • From the trailer, it looks like the original Quake distribution model: they only distribute brown textures.
    • by thepotoo (829391)

      Engine goes GPL, artwork, textures, models etc., are still owned by company. Homeworld also used this same scheme, as did Freespace. This means that the game becomes free as in open, not free as in gratis (in this case, however, it appears that the game itself will be free as in beer too, which is awesome.)

      This allows the open source community to use a cool new engine, builds goodwill amongst the game's fan/mod community and lets the company keep their IP exclusive for new titles. At least, this is what

      • by JSBiff (87824)

        While it's true that Quake 3 did that (release the game engine under GPL), I don't think the game engine for MW4 is being released under the GPL. I followed the links in the article, but I see nothing which indicates a source code release for the MW4 game engine. It just appears to me that the game is being release 'free' (as in lunch) as a promotional way of stirring up interest in the new MW game. Which is UNLIKE Quake 3, but very much like the release of Tribes and Tribes 2 for free before the release of

  • I know alot of mechwarrior purists hate it for being too arcade, but they were FUN games.

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khan (19367) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:26PM (#28639917)

    Aside from the original X-Wing trilogy, the MechWarrior series of games have always been my favorites! I can't even begin to account for all of the time I lost playing those online.

    • You sir have excellent taste.

      I'd love to get the X-Wing/Tie series updated and re-released.

      For my money MechWarrior 2 was the most fun in the series. 3 and 4 were great, but 2 was special.

      Looks like I'll have to go buy a joystick.

  • by Useful Wheat (1488675) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:27PM (#28639931)

    I don't know how many of you ever played Mechwarrior 4, but at its very heart it was an open source game. In Mechwarrior 4 mercenaries, you were allowed to model and add your own vehicles, weapons, and maps to the game. The Mw4 community added no less than 30 incredible mechs to the game, as well as a wide variety of vehicles and weapons that were throughly tested and balanced through extensive player testing.

    It was this community effort that brought mechwarrior in line with its true battletech roots, and Microsoft gained a lot of my respect because not only did they allow it? They encouraged it, by making these extensions easy to build and distribute.

    The only complaint I have is that the open source expansions broke Microsoft's expansion, and I couldn't use my WarHawk anymore. (Masakari, to you Inner Sphere Trash).

    • Note, all of those mechs were hacked into the game by mektek.net, because of this work and their work on the models they were added this way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sagara Sozou (726002)
      "Masakari, to you freebirth scum."

      There, fixed it for you.
      • And when I capture you and make you my bondsman and your mech my isorla, As your first assignment, you will have to clean a 3050 Wolverine, that is painted in the colors of Clan Wolverine. I will do that solely to make you say the word "Wolverine" and if you refuse to use the word or use the term "Not-named Mech" or refuse to use contractions in speech, I'll have you shot with a gyroslug carbine and then beheaded with a vibro-katana. Just on general principles. As much as you clanners talk about how you'v

  • I really hope they'll open up the game engine for MW4 and MW3. I never been able to finish MW3 do to a nasty bug in the game :@ Anyhow, I hope they'll stick to the classic MW gameplay and it'll be a success for sure :D Well, I'll be buying!
  • So if the game is really placed during the last years of the third succession war, do we get to see the unseen 'mechs?
    I mean, you can clearly see the Warhammer in the intro, but aren't the developers afraid if a lawsuit?

    I'd just love to drive a Shadow hawk (Dunkelfalke being the German name for that mech)

  • by oogoliegoogolie (635356) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:33PM (#28640029)

    My gods, please don't take yet another PC game that works so fantastically with the keyboard-mouse combination and 'dumb it down for the masses' that use console controls. Note, I'm not saying console gamers are dumb, just the controls are in many types of games.

    • I'd settle for an adapter for my Steel Battalion controller. Thing's twice as complicated as any keyboard I've owned and has a light-up, plastic-shielded eject button. Nerdgasm.

    • by Cor-cor (1330671)
      That was kind of my first thought, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like this could be a tremendous poster child for Project Natal. If it's at all like advertised, they could throw in a cheap fake plastic controller or something, maybe even have you map your own equipment to controls and get all the control of a PC game on the console. Or maybe use the standard controller in conjunction with motion capture. Hell, I'd definitely spend sixty bucks to rain destruction from a Mech that mimicked
    • One of the primary reasons I disliked doom/quake was I knew it meant the death to other forms of input for video games for a long time to come. Ever since Thresh kicked everyone's butt at doom and later quake, I knew the keyboard mouse was here to stay.

      The problem for me was I liked games that were 6FOA(6 Freedom of Axis)Descent being the most notable. At the time of Doom/Descent there was a lot of innovation for PC gaming. The Voodoo1 3d card came out, there was the spaceorb3d, the logitech mouseman, an

  • I'll echo the sentiments of a few others here with my appreciation for the classic MW games over the console-appropriate MechAssault, but I never hear anyone mention the MechCommander titles. Any speculation (or inside info) on the possibility that we'd see any more in the overhead-strategy vein?

  • MechWarrior is great and all but its often frustratingly slow controls makes it a snore fest.

    I hope they improve on this major flaw. Its the one aspect of MechWarrior that hurt it.

    I much prefer the faster paced, and stylistic movements of Zone of the Enders 2.

    Mech games need to be fun, not just cool ideas that are "slow and boring" just to be "simulation like"

    • by Yosho (135835) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:11PM (#28640647) Homepage

      MechWarrior is great and all but its often frustratingly slow controls makes it a snore fest.

      I hope they improve on this major flaw. Its the one aspect of MechWarrior that hurt it.

      No, that's exactly why many people loved the MechWarrior games so much. They (the good ones, at least), are not arcadey action games, they are giant robot combat simulators. Hundred-ton hunks of metal covered in weapons are not quick, agile acrobats; they are tanks with legs. The more realistic behavior of the mechs makes combat more about strategy and tactics than twitch reflexes.

      If that's the kind of mech game you want, there are other ones out there that cater to you (ZoE). Please don't try to change MechWarrior into something it's not.

      • Or go find a copy of Heavy Gear 2; one of the finest 'power armour' paradigm simulations.

        Better yet, go find a copy of Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, which *is* the finest Power Armour sim ever. Too bad it's circa 1996.

      • Its all sci fi. Why cant the robots be agile? Would that be tactically more intelligent to design, rather than a slow lumbering machine that costs lots of money and is easy to destroy since it has very little mobility?

        An M1 Abrams tank is quite fast in real life because mobility is just as important as armor and shelling targets. It needs to move!

        If they could make a tank faster in real life they would do it. Since this is Sci Fi, cant we have it both ways?

        I understand what you're saying though. I just foun

  • by NerveGas (168686) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:58PM (#28640439)

    Joystick manufacturers expect, once again, to be able to make a profit!

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      Do the MechWarrior games work well with a PlayStation-2 style controller? (I have a Logitech USB controller which is basically a PS2 controller). Or do you need some other type of joystick to work well with the MechWarrior games? I don't really like the idea of having to plunk down $20-60 for another HID if I can avoid it.

      • Do the MechWarrior games work well with a PlayStation-2 style controller? (I have a Logitech USB controller which is basically a PS2 controller).

        Fuck no. Sorry.

        Every played X-Wing or TIE Fighter? It's like that, but instead of flying a starfighter you pilot a giant robot. To do well you need to be able to instantly arm any one of 4-10 weapons (plus some hotkeys for combinations of them), control direction of movement and torso orientation, control jump jets (in a few different directions), run coolant fl

        • by JSBiff (87824)

          Uhh, what about using the keyboard for some of the other stuff? So, PS2-style controller + keyboard? Seems like that could maybe work? Or not. I'll just have to experiment and see what I can come up with.

          • The trouble is you need quick access to most things. The key is that you need to be able to hit commands while moving and aiming. Taking one hand off the controller to hit keyboard buttons would work for a few things, but not for any of the commands that you need to be able to hit without interrupting your maneuvering of the vehicle, which is most of them.

            It would be more likely to work than trying to go controller-only, though.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        No, most probably not. It might be possible, but...

        Mechwarrior 2 came about when the average PC joystick was still pretty privative. I don't know if it was because of MechWarrior 2, or simply a coincidence (combined with a heightened emergence of a lot of flight sims at the time), but the Thrustmaster joysticks came to prevailance (and quality) directly after Mechwarrior 2 came out. Joysticks which came before were too primitive (without losing one's mind, at least): they simply didn't have enough buttons o

    • by Manfre (631065)

      I finally have a reason to wipe the dust off my sidewinder 2!

  • by Gwarsbane (905113) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:06PM (#28640569)
    Everything, will be free. Vengence, Blackknight, the packs and Mercs. It will also include a whole bunch of maps and MekTek's own MekPaks. It will all be one download more then likely via bit torrent, the ISO image maybe as large as 3 or 4 gigs.
    • by gknoy (899301)

      If this made installation in Vista easier, I am going to be thrilled. MW4 was one of the few series of that game that I felt got it "right". I liked MW2/3, and their campaigns were great, but I really enjoyed the way that mech chassis actually had a flavor in MW4. Now, if only my Uziel could be competitive for the rest of the game ...

      Damn, I may have to buy a new joystick and play this.

  • a few features (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @04:00PM (#28641379) Journal

    I stopped playing video games after Mechwarrior 4. Partly because I had other things to do (like raise a child) but partly because I haven't been able to get interested in computer games since.

    With a new Mechwarrior out, I will probably go out and get a modern joystick and give it a shot. I'm especially glad they went back to the Clans, as they had the more interesting mechs and backstory.

    I'm hoping that we see some new abilities in the new game. I always thought it was odd that in the 31st century you fired weapons by manually lining up a hood ornament on your enemy, when 20th century technology has object recognition and automatic targeting. Or, at least, some kind of helmet tracking. What, did computer technology get lost in the intervening years?

    In a slightly different vein, it seems like in all that time someone would have thought to weld on a few weapons backwards on the chassis. (With associated hardpoint and weight penalties, of course.) A lot of knife fights depended solely on how fast you could turn your chassis to bring weapons to bear. This doesn't seem reasonable in the 31st century. I want to be able to glance in my rearview mirror and squeeze off a few rounds or missiles at that mech sneaking up behind me. Or -- this would be cool -- have the arms be articulate enough to temporarily point backwards.

    It should be possible in this day and age to have the mechs be as fully articulate as the backstory led us to believe.

    • Re:a few features (Score:4, Informative)

      by Yosho (135835) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @04:14PM (#28641579) Homepage

      I'm especially glad they went back to the Clans, as they had the more interesting mechs and backstory.

      That's not quite right -- the game is being set in 3015, which is before the Clan invasion, and so it's unlikely you'll see any Clan technology in the game.

      What, did computer technology get lost in the intervening years?

      Actually, yes; in the BattleTech universe, centuries of warfare have caused the loss of quite a bit of scientific knowledge and technology. That's why Clan technology was so much more advanced than the Inner Sphere stuff.

      • Well, actually there are homing missiles in the BattleTech world - Arrow 4 comes in mind - but they are considered way to expensive for usage in the constant warfare. There also are NARC homing beacon, Artemis fire control system and last but not least the listen-kill missiles which homed to the electronic noise of a mech but rendered useless by ECM gear.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        That's not quite right -- the game is being set in 3015, which is before the Clan invasion, and so it's unlikely you'll see any Clan technology in the game.

        WHich is, upon reflection, really pretty shitty and likely indicative of how customizable the weapon loadouts on the mechs will be. That was one of the things that made Mechwarrior 2 so awesome: it was damn customizable. Which would you rather have, an Cougar or a Jenner? Yeah, I'll take the Cougar, please!

        While the MechCommander games largely sucked, that was one key aspect about them: you upgraded from IS to Clan hardware when you could, for a number of reasons: better designs (more maneuverable, usually)

  • by lordofthechia (598872) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @04:48PM (#28641999)

    Back when Office Depot still had their 155% price guarantee, Best Buy threw Mechwarrior on sale for something like $14.99 while Office Depot still showed it at 39.99. Armed with about $20 in cash each, maps with all the Office Depots in town, and a Best Buy ad we set out, cleaning out all the copies of Mechwarrior 4 for just $1.24 each after the absurdly high price guarantee.

    Also that same week CompUSA had put Riven on sale for 9.99 vs $29.99 at Office Depot (so it was free after the 155% price guarantee). They got rid of that 155% price guarantee after that. EVERYBODY got a copy of Riven and Mechwarrior for Christmas. It was great (and confusing for some)!

  • On the console, Armored Core is considered a tweaker's delight but there's just too many options of marginal difference. I like the broad categories of adding armor, trading armor for speed, etc, but Armored Core took it to the point where you needed a PhD in Fanwank to come up with anything.

    The thing that never made any sense to me with the Battletech setting is everyone runs a personal mech and few units shared two mechs of the same type. How in the hell do you run supply lines like that? Ok, maybe the me

  • Interstate 76 was based on the Mechwarrior engine, and I still believe it's the best game ever made. With Mechwarrior free, is there a chance for an I76 revival? I waited from Autoduel to I76... don't make me wait that long again!

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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