MechWarrior Online is a free-to-play game based on the bestselling BattleTech® Universe. When coming up with the core game features for MechWarrior® Online, four pillars of design and player experience were focused on:
• Mech Warfare – The embodiment of Mech to Mech combat.
• Role Warfare – The ability for player’s to customize their experience to suit their own style of gameplay.
• Community Warfare – The ability to let the players take part in epic combat for territorial control.
• Information Warfare – Bring a new element to the battlefield that incorporates information technology to help control the fight.
Mech Warfare: The team wanst to make sure they bring the roots of the MechWarrior® titles back to the surface and also incorporate the basic rules from the BattleTech® Universe. Players will be able to customize their BattleMechs with weapon and armor upgrades as well as customize their cosmetic appearance in the MechLab. This means players can look unique or fall in line with their Merc Corp colors and truly represent themselves in combat. The next part of Mech Warfare is controls/piloting a BattleMech. Since our key platform is the PC, it only makes sense to really bring the simulation control system back for seasoned players, with the option to have easy access configurations for newer players. When dealing with controls, the team really want to bring skill back into combat rather than heavily assisted combat as seen in most modern day first person shooters. The interface between the MechWarrior® and the BattleMech is being revisited as well. A new 3D HUD system is being designed for the neurohelmet pilot information display. The view point of the game is from the pilot (MechWarrior®’s) point of view. Players will be able to look around their cockpit and even customize the interior to suit their tastes.
Role Warfare: When it comes down to play style for any given player, the team want to make sure that the team have as many options as possible to cater to as many player types as possible. This is where things get really interesting. Everything from choosing a BattleMech to how a MechWarrior® is trained, will allow a player to truly customize their own personal game experience. What is a player’s preferred role when playing MechWarrior®? Scout? Attacker? Defender? Commander? Whatever it is, a player will be able to train their MechWarrior to specialize in their style of gameplay. Players are highly encouraged to participate in team based gameplay. The fast manoeuvrable scouts will be able to relay information back to the commander units who in turn relay that information to the attacker and defender units. As players advance their MechWarrior in a role, more skills and abilities related to their role will become available. Remember, a team who plays together will always win together.
Community Warfare: MechWarrior® in all of its incarnations has always had a loyal following of players in one of the strongest on-line communities in gaming history. Piranha-Games hopes to bring this community together in a friendly conflict of universal control. This may sound a little odd, but it is the fun competitiveness that will keep the game alive and kicking for years to come. Utilizing the BattleTech® Inner Sphere, the team plan to have skirmishes amongst the Great Houses in BattleTech® lore. Allowing the player to have an active part in this conflict is one of our key directives in designing this game. Players will be able to create, manage and customize their Merc Corp’s player base and appearance, while banding together to really delve into the Inner Sphere conflict where House alignment reigns supreme. Merc Corp leaders will bid and fight for occupation rights to some of the most valuable planets across the Inner Sphere and challenge other Merc Corps for control of planets reaping large rewards.
Information Warfare: Evolving the MechWarrior® experience required a new layer of gameplay. Instead of large open expanses and circle strafing parties, the team wanted to examine the core play experience of the previous MechWarrior® titles and see if the team could bring a more tactical/strategic experience to MechWarrior® Online™. Relying more on line-of-sight and incorporating information technologies, the team feel that information warfare will bring a new level of realism to the fight and help enforce the idea of team based multiplayer even more. Another aspect of Mech Warfare, something that the team can do with new technology, is urban combat. The battlefield is no longer open areas with mile long sightlines. . Tactical manoeuvres will be required now more than ever and the key to success is using InfoTech alongside great team play. The newly implemented Battle Grid will give commanding units a bird’s eye view of the battlefield and scouts will be able to feed real time recon information to them. The battlefield commander will be able to call in air strikes, artillery strikes and other support unit requests.
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