BattleTech Update #41

The Backer Beta is well under way for Harebrained Schemes' BattleTech. The latest Kickstarter update reflects this and offers a recap of all the coverage the game's been receiving since the Beta began. We've previously covered most of the articles and videos mentioned, but there are a couple that slipped through the cracks, so you may want to check those out. Apart from the coverage recaps, the update assures us that multiplayer is still coming to the Beta, but it won't arrive before the end of June. A few paragraphs on that:

The hard work continues on our multiplayer update to the Backer Beta and we can definitely tell you that it will not release in June. While diagnosing some particularly nasty bugs, the team took a step back and realized that sections of our networking architecture needed to be reworked rather than bandaged up. That work is underway but we have no ETA to share with you at this time.

What we can tell you is what you can expect beyond the addition of multiplayer. First and foremost, it will contain a substantial update to the single-player AI. For example, the enemy will know how to Reserve their actions, use light units more effectively, and call shots on fallen or shut down ‘Mechs. The multiplayer update will also contain some incremental balance changes based on feedback from our surveys and the forums. Those changes will be listed in a Kickstarter Update when we release multiplayer.

In addition to the above, expect some minor improvements in the “lance configurator” - the interface in which you choose your ‘Mechs and MechWarriors for Skirmish play, including the ability to play skirmish matches with unlimited Lance Values.

And last, you’ll find the complete Settings menu, including options for audio, video, custom key binding, and more!

The update also brings us up to speed with the current state of development:

There’s a ton of stuff going on in the game’s development beyond the work we’ve done on the beta and multiplayer update.
  • All the story missions in the game have been designed and implemented and each one contains placeholder voices so we can hear how the story is working before we bring in professional actors.
  • All the story cinematics have been written & storyboarded and placeholder voices have been recorded so we can work on the timing of each shot.
  • All story conversations with your mercenary crew aboard the Argo have been written and are ready to put into the game.
  • All open-ended mission types have been designed and implemented across a large variety of biomes and maps.
  • Every room and every character in the Argo has been designed and 3D modeled and the majority are fully lit and textured in the game.
  • And last but DEFINITELY not least, we hit a major milestone on the project and were able to play the mercenary simulation core game loop for the first time. That means traveling to a system, navigating crew events aboard the Argo, choosing and accepting a contract, managing your reputation, purchasing equipment, using the MechLab, hiring new MechWarriors, simulating the outcome of the mission (from complete failure to complete success), getting paid, and taking salvage.

And as for the singleplayer Beta build, it has received a hotfix that increases the overall stability and improves performance for lower-end machines, among other minor tweaks. Here's the changelog:

This update fixes several stability issues and allows more players on lower-end machines to play the game (Huzzah!). It also contains some minor combat interface upgrades. Steam will update your game automatically.
  • Greatly reduced the amount of RAM used by individual game levels.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause application to crash when exiting from skirmish.
  • Optimized loading to improve user experience.
  • Resolved an issue that allowed for critical hits to occur in non-destroyed locations.
  • Resolved an issue that allowed random option in lance configurator to ignore battle cost.
  • Resolved an issue that caused Catapult, Centurion, and Panther to have incorrect movement distances.
  • Resolved an issue that could allow ‘Mechs to occupy the same location under specific conditions.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause ‘Mech blips to have weapons visible.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause some combat UI to display incorrect values.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause Vindicator to perform melee attacks with missing limb.
  • Improved animation transitions of mechs attacked when performing idle animation.
  • Improved audio and some visuals of damaged mechs to make them feel more damaged.
  • Improved combat damage floaties to improve readability.
  • Improved LRM clustering to reduce the number of missiles that are allowed to hit a ‘Mech's head per volley.
  • Tweaks and fixes for combat tooltips.
  • Tweaks and fixes for the Lance Configurator screen.
  • Improved logic for visual effects of missed weapon fire.
  • Improvements to combat UI.