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According to the official Paradox Interactive forums, the beta version of Harebrained Schemes' next major BattleTech update is now live on both Steam and GOG. The update adds a number of highly requested features, like granular difficulty settings and custom campaign and speed-up modes, introduces a number of quality of life improvements, tweaks lots of things, and fixes plenty of bugs.
The forum post provides instructions on how to access the beta branch and lists the complete release notes, so check it out if you're interested. And here's an overview of the new features:
New Features & Content
MechWarrior customization. Players can now customize the appearance, callsign, name, pronoun, and voice of all non-Ronin MechWarriors in their mercenary company. The starting MechWarriors (Behemoth, Dekker, Glitch, and Medusa) are now considered Ronin.
Granular difficulty settings. Added a wide variety of Granular Difficulty Settings that can be adjusted at any time from the Settings menu.
New custom campaign mode. The following added Difficulty Settings can only be adjusted when starting a new campaign (Select "Custom Campaign" when starting a New Game from the Main Menu.)
- Lethality - when enabled, MechWarriors that are disabled in combat will always be killed.
- 'Mech Destruction - when enabled, 'Mechs disabled from Center Torso destruction are permanently lost. This setting is intended for veterans and those seeking a significant challenge.
- No Rare Salvage - when enabled, + and ++ items are no longer generated as salvage results (but remain purchasable in stores).
- MechWarrior Progression - adjust the amount of experience that MechWarriors gain after each mission.
- Advanced MechWarriors - increase or decrease the frequency of more powerful MechWarriors appearing in Hiring Halls in later parts of the game.
- Enemy Force Strength - increase or decrease the baseline strength of the enemy forces you'll face in procedural contracts.
- Contract Payment - increase or decrease the amount of C-Bills paid by procedural contracts across the game.
- Salvage - increase or decrease the amount of salvage you may obtain from negotiation on procedural contracts.
Accelerate the current action with SPACEBAR. Players can now press SPACEBAR to greatly accelerate the current action. Game speed will return to normal after the action completes.
- Ironman Mode. Your campaign is limited to a single save game slot that automatically updates as you progress. Run out of funds or fail a Priority Mission and it's game over!
- Unequipped 'Mechs - enable this to make 'Mechs completed out of 'Mech parts start empty instead of with a stock loadout.
- Parts for 'Mech Assembly - increase the number of 'Mech parts that must be salvaged to assemble a new 'Mech. This setting is intended for veterans and those seeking a significant challenge.
Speed-Up mode to accelerate all combat actions. Added an option in the Gameplay Settings menu that significantly speeds up combat. Note that this setting is ignored during Multiplayer, and while story dialogue is playing during campaign missions.
General combat speed optimizations. To decrease turn times even when not using new speed-up options. In addition, the settings for combat result pauses and camera transition times have been exposed in CombatGameConstants.json for easier modding.
Cancel combat actions and selections with right-click. Right-clicking in combat (without holding the button down) now acts like the ESC key, backing out of the current action or selection.
MechLab quality-of-life improvements. Including the below additions. See UI section for further UI improvements.
Current inventory count in Store and Salvage. Item tooltips in the Store and Salvage screens now display how many of that item the player currently has in inventory.
- A shortcut button is now available to bring up the Store directly from the MechLab, allowing players to buy weapons, equipment, and ammo without leaving the MechLab. (Must still be in-orbit to purchase items.)
- The running total C-Bill cost of a work order is now displayed while the player is working in the MechLab.
- Added tooltips for all 'Mech Rating bars in the Mech Bay and MechLab that show and explain more of the specific numbers behind that rating.
- Improved warning communication and tooltips in MechLab.
- Added Scrap button to the Mech Bay Storage screen, to allow scrapping complete 'Mech chassis directly from Storage.
- Gear components now display their stat benefit directly on their component UI (instead of only in their tooltip.)
Several new events and improvements to event generation. Including fixing a bug that could cause valid events to appear invalid and not be considered during event generation.
Ultrawide monitor support. BATTLETECH now supports displays with 21:9, 64:27 and 43:18 aspect ratios. Known Issue: a few cosmetic-only bugs still exist in this experience, but given the high-demand for ultrawide support we felt that these minor issues did not need to hold up its release.
[WINDOWS] The BATTLETECH Launcher has exited Beta. This launcher can be used to configure the following options before launching the game: Borderless Windowed Mode, Exclusive Fullscreen Mode, Video Rendering API. We recommend using these options for troubleshooting if you are experiencing hardware or software compatibility issues. The launcher also includes a new automatic crash reporting tab. To use this launcher:
- GOG Galaxy: Open the "More" menu next to the Play button and choose Other -> Configure BATTLETECH.
- Steam and all other platforms: Run BattleTechLauncher.exe from your game installation folder.