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MechWarrior Online Update

PGI Response to the major concerns of the community.

We would like to let you all know that we DO listen and DO carefully follow the forums, Facebook, Tweets, PMs and support tickets. We have a team of committed staff whose entire job is to tell us these things.
Game development is similar to trying to steer a very large ship.  To make changes in direction takes time and accurate judgement calls.  Even after the decision to change direction has been made, it takes a lot of time to make sure the change is working and the direction is valid.  A lot of the feedback on the forums specifically are in the pipe for implementation, but again it comes down to time to get them ready and tested before sending it out to you folks on the live servers.

That being said, we’d like to address the concerns and worries that many of you have regarding Open Beta, Match Making, Founder’s Premiums, Game Balance, New User Flow and the future of Community Warfare.

Open Beta:

We have decided to push Open Beta back.  We agree that the game's current state of stability is not allowing us to get the latest experience across to new and veteran players alike.  This is a short push back on the date and will depend on the stability and playability of the build.

Current Gameplay Issue:

The instability (lag to completely dead FPS) has been identified and we will put out a fix tonight.  We also want to make sure this fix works on the Live game servers so you will get a new patch very soon.

Match Making:

The developers at PGI are all veteran game players.  Many of us were or still are competitive gamers and truly know the feeling of a great match played between two equally matched teams.
The next 3 stages of planned releases for Match Making involve the following:

Phase 1:

Reduce the maximum # of players in a group to 4.  This means when players form a group, they will only be able to add 3 people.  When that group launches, they will be put in a bucket.  The match maker will then fill the rest of the 8 player team with 4 PUGs or any partial groups that are looking for a match at that moment.  The same will happen for the other team.   Matches will still be 8v8 but instead of playing against 8 people in an organized premade, you will see a max of 4.
Now before you light your pitchforks, we know that this does not address all the issues and that 8-player groups are the mainstay of community and organized team-play.  This is why we move to Phase 2 VERY soon after Phase 1.

Phase 2:

Players will be able to convert their 4-player group to an 8-player group similarly to how World of Warcraft’s group to raid conversion works.  With a click of a button, a group leader can convert a 4-player group to 8-players and invite 4 more players to the group.   There is a limitation to this however.  If the group leader decides to convert to an 8-player group, they MUST have 8 players in order to launch.  (i.e. you cannot launch a game with 5,6 or 7 players).  In addition to that, your 8-player group will be matched to another 8-player group ONLY.  This does reduce the change of finding a match quickly but at the same time 8-players teams will finally be matched to other 8-player teams exclusively.
At some future date we will also want to include the ability to challenge a specific 8-player team to a match in a competitive/eSport manner.  But as stated, this will be coming at a later date.

Phase 3

We have been examining the various ranking systems in other games/structured tournament play etc.  This includes ELO, TrueSkill and others.  Our current plan is to use a hybrid system that uses the mentality of ELO with a weighting system that we’ve determined that drives down to player effectiveness/skill in a match.  In order for this to work properly, we will need to do heavy pre-release testing before it goes live to the community and hence the amount of time to get it implemented.
We currently cannot go into detail as to how this system will work because we are not going to over-promise something that may change during implementation.  We will try to keep you as up to date on this as possible.

Founder’s Premium Account Status:

We have heard your cries and we are responding to them…

On the date of Open Beta, your Premium Account timer WILL start ticking.  Around Open Beta, a button will appear that will allow YOU the Founder’s account holder to decide when the timer starts to tick down.  At the same time as this button appearing, your used Premium Account time will be reset to its full value.  At that point, you can click the button to start your timer but you cannot stop it.  It will be up to you to decide when the Premium Account starts to tick.
Please note that this only applies to Founder’s Premium Account Bonus.  Founder’s Mechs behave as planned from Open Beta onward.
Players who purchase a Premium Account AFTER Open Beta will have their timers start immediately upon purchase.

Game Balance:

The game is fairly close to where we want it but the last few items are finally coming into play in terms of Mech on-board systems and items such as Double Heat Sinks, Ferro Fibrous Armor which directly relate to weapon balance and combat experience.  Now that those systems are in place, we will be looking into balancing factors such as heat and damage/damage over time etc.
For more information about where weapons are going, check out 
this link

New User Experience:

We are adding a lot of tutorials for new players, and we believe this will help greatly.  We’re also tightening the UI to make the flow easier to understand.  In general, we’re adding a lot in the coming days, and we do understand this is needed to help new players the various complexities of MechWarrior Online.
Videos of every aspect of Mech Warfare will be coming soon, including moving your Mech, arming your Mech and tactics with your Mech. 

Community Warfare:

Let’s start off by re-quoting the original Community Warfare Pillar from our game description: 

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, we 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.

Nothing has changed from this original vision of where we want to take Community Warfare.  The thing about Community Warfare the decision to push it out further post Open Beta, is the sheer size of the feature and the amount of time to implement.  Right now we want the dev team to focus on getting the current game feature set into the live build and then stabilize the build as people join us through the first few weeks of Open Beta.  Soon after, a large segment of the entire team will shift over to getting Community Warfare coded and implemented so we can get this into the hands of internal/early beta tester’s hands so we can launch the feature in the future.  Because of the sheer workload of this feature we cannot give you an accurate timeline for delivery for this but we will start rolling out information as we begin development of Community Warfare.
After this big gameplay injection, we will look at the plan for the Clan Invasion.

We thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

- The MechWarrior® Online™ Team


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