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MechWarrior 4 Free Release Now Available 151

Mr. Sketch writes with news that the free release of MechWarrior 4 has finally arrived. We've discussed the game in the past when it was announced, and later when its release was held up by Microsoft. Quoting the announcement: "One of the greatest features of MekPak3.1 and of MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries in general, is the ability to customize. MechWarrior always has been about the Mechlab, especially multiplayer. The Mechlab truly distinguishes MW4 from a long list of shooters that have come out in the past 10 years. The ability to create literally thousands of configurations allows the game to continue in popularity over its lengthy life span. Since the Free Release not only comes with the original mechs and weapons of Mercenaries, but also with the Clan and IS Mech Packs and all the Mektek mechs and weapons, here is what you are getting ... for free."
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MechWarrior 4 Free Release Now Available

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  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @06:37PM (#32078500) Homepage

    I remember playing MW4 and thinking, "you'd have to pay me to keep playing this game".

    Now I have proof that I was right.

    • Wasn't MW4 the one where Microsoft went with the weapon slot types instead of a fully customizable mech? If so, does this mod remove some of those asinine restrictions? I know I practically fell in love with MW2. (The original MW2 (Mechwarrior 2), not this new game Modern Warfare 2)

      • by mobets ( 101759 )

        "went with the weapon slot types instead of a fully customizable mech?"

        You mean required you to put missles in your missle rack instead of lasers or some other weapon? I always wonered why the earlier version didn't do that?

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The older Mechwarriors used as directly as possible the game system that the universe is based on, Battletech. In this system, you can put machine guns in your feet, and jump jets in your head.

          • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:53PM (#32080118) Journal
            Actually Jump jets are restricted to torso and leg slots.
            Also machine guns are tiny compared to a Mech and mostly anti-personal
            in use so putting them on the legs (when the 'ankle' is shoulder to head high
            on a human) makes some sense.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Jesus_666 ( 702802 )
              The somewhat dubious use of spending two crits, one of which is explosive, on as many points of damage nonwithstanding.

              Not that that matters in MW4; there, machine guns are actually quite powerful if used in masses. Apart from having ammo problems, a Daishi/Dire Wolf with nothing but machine guns works surprisingly well against pretty much anything.
              • Apart from having ammo problems, a Daishi/Dire Wolf with nothing but machine guns works surprisingly well against pretty much anything.

                The real problem is range. Against any of the common configurations you're meat. One of the oldest configurations is a Daishi with 6CERLL and full armor, and as slow as hell. But even at a Daishi's full maximum configured speed, one of those will have your MG Daishi half-dead before you can even get into range. Might work as a base defender, though, and it would even be a sort-of logical loadout in that context; MG ammo is cheap.

                I'm really looking forward to playing with new mechs; modding didn't work well

              • by gknoy ( 899301 )

                In the board game, it's not so bad. MG-boats were quite powerful in our games, for the same reason massed ER Laser boats were: In 15-20 shots, you have a high chance to hit the head, which triggered a chance for knocking out the pilot. Combine that with MGs generating no heat, and you could load up quite a bit of shots at a time. It got absurd if you allow multiple weapons to use the same ammo stockpile - as we did. 1-2 slots of ammo, and a bloatload of MGs. I'm pretty certain we were reading the rules

                • I occasionally play Battletech with friends via MegaMek [], using Solaris Skunk Werks [] to build custom mechs. (Note: Being Java-based, both of these work beautifully on Linux and OS X and MegaMek even provides an app bundle.)
                  I know about the power of tons of smallish lasers (although I usually prefer normal Medium Lasers over ER ones for better heat/damage ratio). Both headshots and through-armor crits on ammo stockpiles can be lethal and both occur with frightening frequency.

                  Of course if you absolutely want
                • IIRC, ammo bins had to be in the same or adjacent body parts, different ammo (even subtypes) in different bins. But weapons could pull from any valid bin. IE two LRM5 in the left arm could pull from any bin with LRM ammo left arm or left torso section.

              • Back in the day when I played the tabletop version, a 55 ton mech with a big-ass engine, max jump jets and as many MGs as there were crit slots for was great. It was total abuse of the rules but that volume of fire would inevitably lead to knocking the opposing mech's pilot unconscious.

      • This isn't a mod.

        It's MW4: Mercenaries [] with a mechpack installed.

    • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <gknoy AT anasazisystems DOT com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:45PM (#32079456)

      I didn't play a lot of multiplayer, but as far as Single Player goes, we must have played a different game. I remember MW4 and MW4:Black Knight as Nearly Perfect renditions of my fantasies of piloting giant robots, and MW4:Mercenaries as only a little worse than the previous MWx:Mercenaries was. (I didn't like that there were fewer non-plot missions to play.) The ONLY thing I disliked about MW4 was that the missions expected (and nearly "forced") you to upgrade 'mechs. Mercenaries was less in this direction, but I really enjoyed the dynamics of the Uziel, when it wasn't outclassed by assault 'mechs. Later on, I tried to stay in my Thor as long as possible, even though on the end missions it was almost certainly more effective to be using something like a Daishi loaded up with heat sinks and large lasers.

      I loved the slot restrictions, as they forced each chassis to have a "flavor" -- otherwise, I'd do like I did in MW2, MW2:GhostBear, and MW3 and just load up on dual (triple?) PPCs and heat sinks up to my ears. I liked that a Thor vs a Madcat vs an Uziel vs a Catapult was more than merely a difference in tonnage or jump jets, but made an actual tactical difference.

      • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:25PM (#32080392)

        Also, the slot restrictions were "canon" - they came out of the Solaris VII and Mechwarrior ("roleplaying game") sourcebooks, the same way that the weapon recharge times (otherwise you could fire a gauss rifle every round, period, same as a small laser) did. It was never intended for the tabletop game that a chassis would simply be "here's your tonnage, go nuts"; specific mechs were always supposed to have a flavor and that is important to the game.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by tnnn ( 1035022 )
          Solaris VII rules were supposed to be used during "arena" games, not normal multi mech engagements. Mechwarrior series was based on the CBT (Classical BattleTech) board game which allows customizing as well as building new mechs from scratch. While it may lead to creation of some... well... monsters, it's fun and adds to gameplay. Besides, if you simply want to customize a bit, nothing holds you back - you don't have to build a multi PPC behemoth and you can stick to "canon flavors". So what is the point of
        • What I remember from olden days hanging around Game*A*Lot in Santa Cruz is that if you wanted to run a wacky variant, it was considered tacky not to make a custom miniature. Other than that, I think you're way off-base. Bringing up Mechwarrior is silly anyway, because it's Battletech that defined 'mech construction and combat rules. I still have some of my old (second gen?) sourcebooks around here someplace, and if I really need to go look up the rules of the era from which Mechwarrior IV came, I will, but

        • by gknoy ( 899301 )

          Interestingly, my friends and I really liked optimizing (read: Scratch-building ;)) custom mechs for every game. The stock ones _sucked_ in many ways:
          - Alpha strikes would shut you down
          - No close-range ability if you mounted too many LRMs
          - etc.

          It was so much more _effective_ to load up your 75, 80, or 100 ton 'mech with PPCs, medium lasers, or large lasers, and enough heat sinks that you could fire them all every turn, rain or shine, with perhaps some excess heat generation which might reward standing in w

      • by stg ( 43177 )

        Yes, I didn't play multiplayer either but loved the single-player missions. I think I still played it through 3-4 years ago...

        Every other MechWarrior style game I've ever played after felt childish in comparison.

        • Multiplayer was fun.

          Picture this:

          CTF map, in city.

          Everyone else is using gigantic mechs with cookie-cutter configurations.

          I'm in a Raven (one of the smallest, and fastest) with Jump Jets.

          hehe, the bastards couldn't ever hit me! I would grab the flag and just tease them.

      • PPCs were great, but not ultimate.

        I raise you 14 medium pulse lasers. Yes, I can change direction and speed to avoid your incoming phased plasma charges until I'm within range, no you don't have enough armour to withstand more than two salvos on any part of your mech. No matter which one it is.

        Yes, 4 salvos will cause my mech to expload, no matter how many heat sinks I have installed.
        • I'll take my Diashi loaded up with the PBX (? the shotgun things)

          I knocked an Atlas on it's ass with that. Short range, but one or two salvos to take anyone but a few heavy's out.

      • I didn't play a lot of multiplayer, but as far as Single Player goes, we must have played a different game. I remember MW4 and MW4:Black Knight as Nearly Perfect renditions of my fantasies of piloting giant robots, and MW4:Mercenaries as only a little worse than the previous MWx:Mercenaries was. (I didn't like that there were fewer non-plot missions to play.) The ONLY thing I disliked about MW4 was that the missions expected (and nearly "forced") you to upgrade 'mechs. Mercenaries was less in this direction

  • Yes, but (Score:2, Funny)

    by hellop2 ( 1271166 )
    does it run on Linux?
    • Re:Yes, but (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:09PM (#32079002)

      Come now. We all know comments like that are how the Succession Wars started.

    • why is parent modded flamebait instead of the "funny" this line gets in every other thread?

    • by thynk ( 653762 )

      does it run on Linux? [] - So... depends on your distro.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        Not relevant. All of the issues people report there are due to copy protection in the original, so the question is whether the free version has equivalent copy protection. If it works under WINE, I'd like to try it - someone borrowed my MW3 disk a few years back and never returned it.
        • Sounds like a Trial of Grievance is due...
        • I hope to be able to tell you by later today if it works on Lucid with Wine on a Phenom II X3 720 and nVidia/Gigabyte GTS240. I just upgraded to lucid because installing the new driver with actual support for my video card (which just came out a few days ago, have had the card for months, sigh) is problematic on karmic. So far so good except that freeciv seems to have a problem where if you leave it run a long time it gets slow and eats a lot of CPU. Good thing I have three of them.

  • The timing on this was almost perfect for me. My brother came in from out of state last week, and he's a big fan of MechWarrior 4. So I installed on my laptop from his discs and we did the disc-swapping trick so we could play multiplayer on my lan. Anyway, I searched for the info on the game and saw Microsoft finally approved it for free release last month, but it hadn't been released yet. One week sooner would have been pretty amazing timing for me...

  • What they should be doing is releasing it ONLY for Linux and OS X. That way, they could later mention what shitty games are available for those platforms.
    3. Profit

    • Linux and OS X. That way, they could later mention what shitty games are available for those platforms.

      Oh, I think they play enough shitty games with alternate platforms already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by i.r.id10t ( 595143 )

        I have the original Loki port of one of the mechwarrior games. It played very well on modest hardware with no issues for me.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @06:40PM (#32078542) Journal

    With MW5 in legal hell [], this might be the next best reason to go out and buy another joystick.

    • I dug out my old microsoft precision pro. 9 buttons, hat switch, throttle, x/y/z axis.. and it was bought in a *store*.

      Mech4's release has really made me realize how far PC gaming has fallen. It's really close to dead compared to where it was 10-15 years ago. So many PC games are just console games ported over..

      • I just recently finally buried my old Force Feedback joystick. Yeah, the original one that used a the plugs you see on the back of a computer but never seem to use anymore.

        • I'm still waiting for someone to make a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad (original) that won't fail in a matter of months. Until then I'll have to settle for my wireless Dpad-modded Xbox360 controller.

      • I still tear up a little sometimes when I glance at my Falcon 4.0 binder/manual on the shelf.

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @06:42PM (#32078586) Journal

    It was actually available Friday, but over 100,000 guests logged into Mektek's servers and crashed their website.

    MTX, the distribution software they created that works kind of like a blizzard patcher, mixed with a matchmaking system, had a flaw in its design that required the web servers to be up in order for the patched Free version to work.

    I don't know if they've fixed that yet, but the website just came back up today (after being down all weekend).

    And now its been slashdotted, way to go.

  • by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @06:50PM (#32078694) Journal

    If I can't paint the 'mechs on the desk in my garage in my own distinctive palette and scheme, then play with them on my custom-built tabletop and with my custom-made terrain, what's the point? I mean sure, either option will embarrass my wife in front of her friends, but my way will embarrass her in front of her friends' husbands. There ain't no computer game out there that'll do that!

  • Cooltown! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @06:50PM (#32078704) Homepage
    Finally something worthwhile to use my 50Mbps on! It's legal and everything! Feels good be righteous again.
  • Torrent Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Krizdo4 ( 938901 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:03PM (#32078898) Homepage

    First download their mtx client.
    Then this site: []
    was nice enough to repost the torrent file which downloads the mtx that you can use the offline mode of the client to install.

    The link is labeled:

    1073 Seeders / 2154 Peers
    tracker runs on

    Note: The client runs crazy slow after install. First thing I do is click Offline Mode.

  • MTX client sucks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by voodoowizard ( 1557839 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:24PM (#32079222)
    For those of you that hate the MTX client. Download the torrents and rename the extension from .mtx to .zip No need to "install", the zip opens up to a functional game. Just unzip to where you want it and then apply the patches manually(kind of like oblivion/fallout3 mods). Here are the torrents if you wish to skip the MTX client hell. (via reddit) Main file: [] Patches: [] [] I have not tried this yet but there is a mod for the game Crysis that pretty much turns it into a MW game. [] Probably still a bit buggy but I am sure it looks a lot better.
  • MTX + Privacy Issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by mmaniaci ( 1200061 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:32PM (#32079302)
    If you are a tinfoiler with a specialization in network privacy, you might want to research the distributors of MW4, MekTek [], before you jump in and play. Part of their business is "Geospacial Research Technology," which means this game will probably be doing some phoning home with information about you. I personally don't mind this and think a free game is well worth some targeted advertising (especially when it is in plain view []). Hhuzzah for companies that can evolve their business practice!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by djdevon3 ( 947872 )
      Sounds more like they have govt sub-contracts for terrain mapping technology. What if any info would it phone home? Unless you have packetized proof of what it's supposedly doing you're not helping and only speculating (which I can do about Nellie, Big Foot, and other stuff).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

  • I always liked Earthsiege 2 [] because I felt it was even more focused on building your mech, and piloting it. Much less like a shooters with robot, and more like a "Mech Sim". Also as the campaign progressed you assembled you built new stronger mechs from the scrap captured, it was sweet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      mechwarrior 3 had you scrounging parts from fallen enemies, and what parts dropped depended on how you killed them, so the best way to kill was to blow off the legs since you probably already have enough heat sinks and jump jets anyways, the weapons and electronics kits were more valuable.
      • Legging mechs is usually the best approach anyway as destroying both legs is an instant death sentence and the leg armor isn't nearly as thick as the one on the torso.

        Also, utterly insane loadouts with twin Long Toms will blow up every target's legs first by default - if you can deal with absurd amounts of heat, a glacial ROF and little ammo.
  • Cyberlore Studios did the "original" Mercenaries and MechPacks for FASA / Microsoft. Since Cyberlore is no longer around maybe there was difficulty in tracking down who owned the licenses...

    Can someone fix the bug where you put _no_ heatsinks on a mech, and your mech self-suicides from a heat over-flow bug. :-)

    • by MaerD ( 954222 )
      ...If you can take ALL the heatsinks out of a mech, that's more of a mechlab bug. When you place the engine you're supposed to place a number of heatsinks automatically. Take those away and walking would quickly overheat you.
  • So, I downloaded MTX, installed, launched it. It seemed to take 5 minutes for MTX just to launch, but then the "Available Games" list is just empty (I'm guessing their server is so submarine right now, it can't even send me the list of available games for download)? Any suggestions as to how I can get the file list for MTX(or if someone else is 'mirroring' the .torrent files)?

  • OK so why install this MTX program if it's just a P2P torrent app that works god awfully slow. I'd rather just have a torrent link and download with my own client. This is some SERIOUS BS. This is exactly what torrent programs are for, WTF over?
  • by djdevon3 ( 947872 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:39AM (#32081642)
    Torrents: [] [] []

    Here are the official files from mektek. You can skip the bullshit MTX program to download them. Get the torrents using your fav p2p program (bitcomet, utorrent, etc..) Then launch MTX and choose Open File (*.mtx)

    "Core" file fix link: []

    Missing .dll files? Try these: []
    Put them in your Mercs root directory.

    In order to play you will have to setup Port Forwarding rules if you have a router.
    For TCP both inbound and outbound: 47624
    For TCP and UDP both inbound and outbound: 2300-2400
    Try both UPnP Enabled and UPnP Disabled on your router.
  • by Jehosephat2k ( 562701 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @10:09AM (#32084500)
    We are going with a flat installer. The MTX thing was a total disaster. We should have this ready for downlaod via bittorrent in a few days. This will be a complete install up to version 21 (which has numerous issues fixed). Hopefully this will get everyone the game installed, and playing. Will also give us some breathing room to get this MTX thing redesigned to do what it needs to do. We never expect this many people.
    • by Chas ( 5144 )

      We never expect this many people


      At least you didn't pull your host down with you.

      I was one of the offical mirrors for the MechCommander game way back when.
      What's more, I was the first one on the list.

      My host had a severe case of NOT pleased when we ate their entire pipe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Reapman ( 740286 )

      Appreciate hearing from one of MekTek guys, thanks for the info. Frankly, yes, MTX is complete crap. However I'm still grateful for the work you guys have done in getting this out! Much appreciated.

    • will there be a patch install for those of us who are downloading torrents and core patch manually?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Yes. 1) Full installer. InstallShield, installs the entire game to version 21 (which is being validated by betas tonight and tomorrow). No patching. Done. We'll deal with future updates once the smoke clears. 1.8GB utorrent or whatever you like. No MTX involved. 2) Incremental patches for people that already installed. Once again a simple patching. I think he will make a program to do the patching to get everyone up to version 21 and then we can all take a breather and figure out how to proceed. 3) Sorry
        • Thanks for the updates. Hopefully the Black Mesa:Source guys are paying attention for when they launch
  • You know, when I think of action games with customizable battle robots, there's one title that leaps straight to mind...

    Armored Core

    For sure, another game with that kind of customizability is a good thing, and it sets the game apart from many other games... But MW is certainly not the only case of this...

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern