Blame Bootae for a new game on my Radar.. and the new category on my blog ;)
This summer I thought that there is no upcoming MMO which makes my interested or at least raise an eyebrow, but then I read that there will be an upcoming Mechwarrior online game ..Mechwarrior Online (MWO). In all fairness the term MMO might not be 100% appropriate, but nevertheless the game got my interest ;)
I could write tons of stuff about the IP and how much I like it. I’ve played Battletech the tabletop game for a long time, read several stuff (novels, tons of rulebooks, etc..) and played several computer games, even though M$ produced the later stuff. It cooled down a bit, because I stopped playing BT and there was for some time no new BT related game released for PC. Then I was hyped up again when a new Mechwarrior game was announced back in 2009 ..and when MW4:Mercs was made freeware.
Actually..Piranha games is the developer who worked on MW, but then got silent about it. In a dev blog on MWO it’s explained why they got silent and why they now chose to make a f2p online game out of it.
Why do I like the IP and the idea of making it an online game? This game just screams for making it pvp focused.. Merc corps fighting against each because someone payed them.. great. No need for a good vs. bad plot.. just lots of rockets, lasers..auto cannons..just mayhem :D
As MWO will be f2p I will definitely check it out even though I’m a bit uncertain how well the payment model will influence the end product. In a recent forum post the dev’s stated how/why the want f2p..
Now this is where the tricky part starts..reading the post it seems that more money means more firepower, which in the old games translats to pay2win. Offering options for smaller mechs and making them viable for non paying players seems interesting, but somehow this is something delicate to balance. Forcing you to play a class of mechs to support those who pay real money for making the kills seems not like a good option when looking at a game.
f2p seems like the kid everyone on the block loves.. but it’s quiet difficult to raise.
Well..there is some other balancing stuff Piranha games will have to face. They want to avoid circle strafing and long distance fights (which should both be and actually are options in BT), but want to make small mechs viable. This is the game mechanic balancing stuff I’m not sure of how they will be able to manage. Circle strafing was always the most important option for a small mech to be able to survive. Taking this away by forcing most of the fights in a dense city is.. questionable. Dense city means slow speeds..which translates to small mobility ..which again results in a need for heavy armor, as you will get hit a lot, because you can’t evade attacks that easily..which means.. you need a lot of tonnage..which excludes small mechs ;)
To me both these points.. (f2p and balance of roles and options for small to assault mechs) are game breaking criteria. If done well this game has the ability to be a replacement for WAR for me.. if done improper this will result in just another niche product with a wasted IP.
It’s still some time up to release (summer of 2012)..let’s see what happens until then.