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We can chalk up a 33rd update to Harebrained Schemes' BattleTech Kickstarter campaign, with this particular entry covering some of the game's characters, their plans to sell some high quality merchandise, the backer-only beta they'll be running in Q1 2017, and more. Overall, the upcoming beta testing is the big news here:
Whether it’s at GenCon, PAX, or on http://battletechgame.com/, the biggest questions we get these days is, “When’s the Backer Beta start?” The answer we’ve been giving is “Winter”. Well, Winter starts December 21st so it’s time to spill some (limited) info.
Now in case you didn’t know, HBS has never done an external beta before, so we’re entering new ground here. Obviously, we’ll do our best but as you well know, “No plan survives contact...” and all that. Therefore, in order to prepare for the Backer Beta, we’re currently working towards a dry-run of the beta experience for our family members to “blow out the pipes”, test our process, and make sure everything’s ready for you.
Until we complete our dry-run and make any necessary adjustments to our plans, we won’t be able to give you a firmer date for the Backer Beta, but we can tell you that it’s targeted to begin sometime in the late January - early March timeframe and will run for at least a month. Once that beta is up and running, we’ll start things off with SKIRMISH MODE and then add PVP MULTIPLAYER after a period of time. The goal of the beta is to test our core combat system and will only be a slice of the shipping game’s total content, so it won’t include ALL the ‘Mechs, MechWarriors, maps, and environments that will come in the finished game. (Also remember, the open-ended mercenary campaign and single-player story will NOT be part of our Backer Beta.)
As noted in our Kickstarter rewards, only Backers at the $50 MECHWARRIOR reward level and above will have access to the Backer Beta, but there will be no restrictions on participants sharing their impressions, screenshots, etc. so that everyone can stay in the loop.
More Beta logistics and details will be forthcoming closer to the Beta launch announcement.