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MechWarrior Online

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action
Publisher: Infinite Game Publishing
Developer: Piranha Games
Release Date: Sept. 17, 2013

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'MechWarrior Online' Developer Diary Details Information Warfare

by Rainier on Jan. 4, 2012 @ 11:33 p.m. PST

Set in the year 3049 during the early stages of a massive interstellar war, MechWarrior Online puts you in command of the most powerful war machine to ever walk the field of battle, the mighty BattleMech.

MechWarrior Online lets players command at will: go head-to-head online alone or with friends in high-octane Conquest and VS modes. Band together and form your own Mercenary Corp, invite friends and battle other player-made Merc Corps for prestige and power.  Pledge your allegiance to one of the five great houses and fight for control of precious Inner Sphere planets.

You will play a key role in a dynamic and ever-changing universe where player exploits impact the world around you and daily story updates and frequent content additions create epic changes to the Inner Sphere universe and its many inhabitants.

MechWarrior Online delivers a rich online experience, rewarding everything a player does with experience points, C-Bills, unlocks, and recognition. Upgrade skills and refine  your role in gameplay using an all-new leveling system, and up-to-the minute detailed player statistics allow you to compare, track and share your progress with other players.

Dev Blog 2 - Information Warfare

In this blog we discuss some of the details about Information Warfare and what it means to MechWarrior® Online.  As always we're revealing details that are beta ready.

Overview

At its heart, Information Warfare is about controlling the flow of information on the battlefield.

  • Knowing where your enemy is.
  • Knowing the current status of your enemy.
  • Understanding your enemy’s intentions.
  • Sharing information between units.

BattleGrid

The core of information warfare is the BattleGrid, a combination of command center and dynamic battlefield map useable by players during gameplay.  The BattleGrid is an extension of the HUD and allows players to quickly review the tactical situation at hand.  Players will immediately recognize elements from other successful shooters and previous MechWarrior® products.

  • A scalable battlefield top-down map.
  • Object and waypoint markers.
  • Friendly and Enemy Unit Markers
  • Support Units
  • Orders

Modules – A New Concept

In order to evolve the concept of MechWarrior, we needed a new layer of customization.  After several scrapped ideas, we settled on a module concept.  Modules allow players to customize their BattleMech with functionality without having to deal with the existing slots and tonnage rules.

Each BattleMech will come with Module Board.  Players can insert modules of their choice, provided they have space.  Each module adds a layer of functionality.  Modules are linked to the Pilot Tree and are unlocked by training various skills.

Modules are also a very important part of Role Warfare - a topic for a future blog.

Targeting Tweaks

We’ve changed how targeting has worked by layering and controlling what players see and know about the opposing force elements.

Target information is now exclusively Line of Sight/Detection (LOSD).  Simply put, if you, a teammate or support unit can’t directly see or detect a target using a module, that target is invisible.  Target information decays rapidly.  This means if you lose LOSD, you will lose all knowledge that target’s position and current status.

Details about a target are not inclusive, and is now layered based on the type of modules and BattleMech you are piloting.  The concept helps emphasizes using specific `Mech and Module combinations to gain and share enhanced targeting information.

Sharing of target information is also no longer inclusive and requires a Module or C3 Master/Slave unit.

Detection

So how do you gather LOSD information?  Well there are several ways.

  • Direct – You can see the target directly (LOSD).
  • Radar – Your radar can detect a target in a predetermined arc, also LOSD.
  • Satellite Scan – Orbital scan of the battlefield, highly efficient however still limited to top-down LOSD.
  • UAV – Similar to a Sat Scan, but localized to a specific area on the battlefield.
  • Detectors – Dropped off on the battlefield.
  • Units – Any non-BattleMech present on the battlefield.

Detection Modes

Each type of detection device may also have different primary or secondary modes of detection as follows:

  • Night Vision – Allows players to see more detail in low light situations.
  • Thermal Vision – Allows players to see heat signatures that can be detected through obstacles.
  • Magnetometer Assisted – Allows players to detect metal and metal densities which can uncover a BattleMech hiding behind a building.

Some of these modes will not be available at launch, but I want to give you an overview of where we plan to take this concept.

Disruption/Spoofing

With such an emphasis on detection and tracking, we also needed a counter balance, something that players could equip.  Using the module system, we allow players to equip Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) devices in the form of:

  • Spoofers – Beacons that send out a false target signatures.
  • Disruptors – Disrupt or block modes, communication, target acquisition and locks.
  • Surveillance – Allows a player to intercept and decode enemy intel.

Contributors include Bryan Ekman, Paul Inouye, and David Bradley.


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