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Mechwarrior Online Developer Redefines Community Warfare 189

New submitter MeatoBurrito writes "The latest iteration of Mechwarrior was crowdfunded (without Kickstarter) as a free-to-play first-person mech simulator. However, despite promises to the founders, the game has been shifted to a third-person arcade shooter and now the community is rioting. This followed a series of other unpopular decisions; the developers decided to sell an item for real money that had a significant impact on gameplay, crossing the line separating cosmetic/convenience items and 'pay-to-win.' Then they added a confusing game mechanic to limit its use, which had the unfortunate side effect of making some strategies completely useless. From the article: 'PGI’s community practices showcase a fundamental misunderstanding of both freemium development and community management. The developer has never had to deal with such a large player base before, and it has never had to deal with the strains of continuous development before. Rather, PGI seems to be handling Mechwarrior Online in much the same way they might a AAA game: by keeping quiet and only discussing its work in vague terms. ... Mechwarrior Online’s road to launch is a cautionary consumer tale, fraught with anger and betrayal. It shows how a company can take a fan base dedicated to an old IP and completely alienate it through lack of communication, unpopular features, and oathbreaking. It shows how players need to be cautious of supporting a project based solely on the IP backing it.'"
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Mechwarrior Online Developer Redefines Community Warfare

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  • Cool Shot (Score:5, Informative)

    by archer, the ( 887288 ) on Saturday August 31, 2013 @05:11PM (#44726329)
    The top tier Cool Shot is what the author is saying was pay-to-win. I never used one. I built my mechs to not overheat and thus take advantage of opponents who did.

    I've been playing the game for 6 months. It's been fun, but I've just been finding it too repetitive lately. I'd still recommend it to anyone who likes the MechWarrior concept. Just be prepared to spend time on the forums learning how to play, as no tutorial is provided by the developer.
  • by stjobe ( 78285 ) on Saturday August 31, 2013 @06:43PM (#44726881) Homepage

    They were selling all of the mechs people want to play with for cash. The entire stable of mechs. All for sale.

    This is very wrong, so much so it must be an intentional lie. Out of 93 'mech variants, only 12 are cash-only. 81 are available for in-game currency.

    Can you download and drop into an atlas and go killing? Hell no. You got a very very limited selection of what to do. And what you could do with it.

    As a new player, you'll start out in a selection of trial 'mechs while you earn in-game currency to purchase your own 'mech (that you can then customize to your liking for more in-game currency). To facilitate this, you get a rather hefty in-game currency bonus for your first 25 games. At the end of those 25 matches, you'll have enough both to purchase and customize and Atlas, if that's what you want.

    Every battle quickly shaped up to be paid players stomping the shit repeatedly out of free players.

    Almost the entire point of the mechwarrior series was behind a credit card. Thats not any sort of free to play. That's flat out pay to play

    It's also not true. The Hero 'mechs (the cash-only 'mechs) aren't superior to the in-game currency ones, and there's generally not enough of them on a team to make a difference anyway. People generally play in regular, non-Hero 'mechs. What is happening though is that organized teams "stomp the shit" out of disorganized groups of non-team players. But hey, it's a team game.

    these people ruined it.

    While there's no love lost between me and PGI, they haven't actually ruined the game yet. They seem to do their damndest to get there, but they haven't quite managed yet. At its core, the game is a really great 'mech simulation; it's just all the other bits that suck.

    Oh and the fact that it's getting less and less BattleTech with every patch. That sucks really bad as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31, 2013 @06:59PM (#44726961)

    "We aren't developing for you anymore" is a patently retarded way to read what was actually said.

    Here is the actual quote for anyone interested:
    "After releasing 3PV we saw an immediate improvement in our target demographic, with a good bump in new player retention!"

    A sensible person would read this as "This feature helped the specific demographic (new players) that we intended it to help."

    Crazy people read it as "This entire game is now an arcade shooter now get out."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31, 2013 @08:19PM (#44727435)

    I play the game with my 2 brothers and 2 best friends, and a few other people.

    I agree with WilliamGeorge - completely.

    This ARTICLE is a farse. There is DEFINITELY no item sold for real money that you can't get with free money which changes the game. What a stupid lie. If this exists... TELL US THE ITEM. Why hide it???

    Yes, the 3rd person view is SO SO SOOOOOOOOO dumb. I hate it. I want them to take it away... BUT

    I will say this - it sucks, completely. It offers the 3rd person user ZERO advantage in almost ALL situations - and only a few situations it offers a LITTLE advantage. So I hope they get rid of it but thsi doesn't ruin the game for me.

  • by david.c99 ( 1028202 ) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @11:20AM (#44730973)

    The reality is that the "Hater Community" got their panties in a twist when PGI didn't "kow tow" to their demands ... that "Haters" predicted the changes would kill the game, which they didn't, and now they are basically forced to double-down and spread even more negativity.

    I play at the competitive level, and the game is in the best shape it has been in so far ... there is one big outstanding issue (HSR/Hit Detection) that once fixed will make MWO a solid platform ... There is still lots of stuff that needs to be done, but from a "how does the game play", it's in great shape.

    As far as the haters issues? Blown way out of proportion. The "real money" item? called "cool shot" ... and can be purchased with "free money" ... can only be used once per match, and rarely, if ever, affects the outcome of a match. Cool Shot is Manufactured crisis 1. "Ghost Heat" is a mechanic that limits how many weapons of a certain type you can fire at once ... you can still equip them, you just have to be careful how you use them. It has virtually stopped the worst abuses as it was intended and made the actual game experience better then before. Ghost Heat is Manufactured crisis 2. "Third Person View" (3PV) was added to the game to help new players ... and it can do that. It's rarely used and generally only by n00b players and is NEVER seen in competitive 12v12 games. It's really a non-issue as far as the game is concerned. "3PV" is manufactured crisis 3.

    In the end, the only people the haters are really hurting is their friends and the rest of the community. Nobody I knows spends any times at all in the official forums or in other places like reddit because of all the hate these twits are spewing. Right now, the best thing that can happen for the game is if the Haters would STFU and GTFO and go bother some other game ... that is the #1 thing that would help MWO right now.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann