MechWarrior Online is a Free-to-Play PC game based in the BattleTech Universe during the year 3050.

Here's my verification.

For you reference, we did a similar AMA 6 months ago.

Thank you everyone for all the great questions! I'm all done answering questions for now, but I also regularly answer community questions in our "Ask the Devs" feature, so be sure to check out our forums if your question missed the cut.

Comments: 453 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

ThePiMaker22 karma

The reason why PPC's had their heat lowered was because they required so many shots to kill someone because the hit registration was sub-par. Now that PPC's hit registration is almost perfect, do you feel that they are too powerful? Any plans to slightly increase the heat of PPC's? They really do need it.

BryanEkman19 karma

It's in review right now.

Kerfuffin18 karma

What is the reasoning behind not letting the LBX 10 not shoot both solid and cluster shot?

Also fourms wants to know if Paul is briefs, boxers, or commando?

BryanEkman13 karma

I'll need to bug David about that. I wouldn't dare assume..

Fireye17 karma

Glad tidings from another person cursed with an unusual Y in their name.

How far off are the next mech announcements? PGI (You, I believe) has previously said that there are 6 mechs whose concepts are ready to go, and were waiting for some sort of PR event.

Urbanmech: Yes or Yes?

Most of our maps now have alternate versions. There was a "Caustic Night" in the game files, and was mentioned back in November, but AFAIK hasn't been brought up since then. Has it been fully dropped?

Edit: "alternate modes" --> "alternate versions"

BryanEkman17 karma

We're going to be announcing the next `Mech within 30 days :) UrbanMech? How much would you pay? ;)

ingestionhazard4 karma

I would pay all my C-bills.

As for MC, that depends. Will I get to play awesome music after every kill like Heavy Metal? If so, then all my Founders MC too!

(not really)

BryanEkman11 karma

lol

bitmonger50517 karma

Are there any plans to add reticule shake whilst jump jets are firing to help alleviate poptarting in the game, much like this poll on the forums http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/113578-suggestion-to-reduce-jump-sniping/

Thanks

BryanEkman23 karma

It's a possible solution, however we've tried to avoid any artificial randomness whenever possible.

Nerroth16 karma

Hello.

As you may have noted, your counterparts at Catalyst have been expanding upon the alternate era support which BattleTech can facilitiate; with books on the Jihad and the Clan Wars of Reaving, then back to the Year of the Star League, and now on to the year 3145 (and beyond, with hints of an "ilClan" floating around.)

However, if MWO retains the one-day-per-BT-day setup it has at present, it may never be able to go forward (or back) far enough to cover the Star League, Jihad/WoR, or Dark Age eras.

Is there a plan to one day open the game up to a broader degree of era-specific settings and arenas for MWO, or will it remain firmly planted in the Clan Invasion era for the foreseeable future?

BryanEkman22 karma

We've designed the game to support this concept. For now, we're focused on the Clan Invasion 50-52. After that, anything is possible.

Nerroth12 karma

I see, thank you.

From your own personal perspective, is there a particular era (or unit type) you would most like to highlight?

BryanEkman25 karma

Succession Wars and 3067 era.

CeaseToHope14 karma

What do you consider MWO's "end game" content to be, and what will be involved in earning it?

BryanEkman13 karma

Epics. Ranking up in a faction. Performing skill based achievements. Time.

CeaseToHope8 karma

What are epics? What will be involved in ranking up in a faction?

"Performing skill based achievements" and "time" are what are involved in earning the end game content, correct?

BryanEkman11 karma

Epic would be the endgame for your Mech. Details forthcoming before launch. But it's going to be exciting and worthy of the effort.

phongbong14 karma

Have you guys thought about doing a map that takes place on an asteroid so that it's day/night cycles(which cryengine has) are shorter then usual? Living Legends had a map like this and it was very interesting to see a dynamic strategy when it came to heat containment.

BryanEkman19 karma

Yes.

The_Maddog14 karma

Since in game mode "Assault" is really "Team Death match"...what are the chances of a real assualt match? I.E Team A defending an object from being destroyed or captured and team B attacking?

BryanEkman36 karma

We're working on a new mode for Community Warfare that will have assault and defense concepts.

nickrenfo211 karma

Approximately how many games are being played at any given moment? Which 'mech seems to be the favorite? Which 'mechs die the most? Which 'mechs do the most damage on average per match? What kind of other interesting factoids might there be that you know of?

BryanEkman10 karma

I don't have all the number handy, but it's thousands (games). I'll have to do another stats post.

Kaze7111 karma

Will you guys be having a sale on MC anytime soon?

Edit: better yet, can you guys just release a calender/preview of upcoming future sales so people don't get shafted by buying something the day before a sale?

BryanEkman10 karma

We discussed doing a preview yes. We're going to be changing up sales on launch to be more dynamic and in-client.

mashed_penguin11 karma

I'm pretty sure in the past PGI has said that poptarting was something from MW4 that you considered undesirable. Is this the case and if so are there plans to address the abundance of PPC jump snipers that seem to be everywhere at the moment?

BryanEkman20 karma

It's a new feature brought on largely by fixes to weapons and the introduction of a new jumpjet capable Assault mech. Expect tuning adjustments to help balance this out in the next few patches.

Huntsig11 karma

Are there any long term plans to facilitate a spectator mode in MWO (potentially with a free roaming camera on a delay to prevent cheating) to allow people to shoutcast games between community teams? Myself and a number of friends are keen to get involved in this side of the community if the opportunity arises.

BryanEkman13 karma

Yes.

Tuokaerf1010 karma

Do you think there's any chance of artwork or merchandise (t-shirts, figurines, etc) from MW:O that could be available for purchase? I know the BattleTech licenses are spread out a bit and might be prohibative, but that would be cool even if in partnership with Catalyist/whovever owns the license.

BryanEkman9 karma

No plans. It's an unfortunate by-product of licensing. :(

Druidika10 karma

Matches are currently 8v8, with options to either play solo, in groups of up to 4 players, or as a group of 8 players.

With the introduction of 12v12 matches in the near future, there are concerns that the already high barrier of entry for the current eight player matches will raise even higher because you need 12 players available to even start.

How are you addressing these concerns?

BryanEkman11 karma

There will be a round of balancing to the matchmaking system that will help to improve 8v8 and 12v12 premade groups. This tonnage limit will increase the quality of these matches. If teams can't field full groups, they will be put into the public queue system.

cephyn10 karma

HUD bugs seem to be a constant problem, and often its the same bugs that persist patch after patch. Many players feel not enough attention is paid to the HUD bugs. Why have they been so persistent and hard to squash? Are they high priority, particularly the minimap and IFF bugs?

BryanEkman19 karma

Very high priority, and very complex. We're working very hard to address as many issues as possible. A lot of the current bugs are associated with underlining CryEngine and Scaleform.

MgrPaine9 karma

I am color blind! (im cursed as a cryengine3 dev..so I'm used to rewriting the rules but...)So may I ask will there be time when I can change my hud colors etc...even night vision and thermal to suit my visual taste to help... just a common mech against a a green/brown or red/green background rips me up. (and the mech might be right in front of me)

BryanEkman11 karma

Yes. It requires us to finish UI 2.0.

Nefilim3149 karma

Are we ever going to see game modes to defend particular objectives such as TF2's Payload game type where mechs would defend a convoy from one side of the map to the other?

BryanEkman13 karma

Defense yes. With Community Warfare.

Panda-Monium9 karma

Past tournaments have all been for solo drops. Do you have plans to have any tournaments for group drops?

BryanEkman9 karma

Yes! Closer to launch, once player groups can be matched together on a scheduled basis.

FD3Shively9 karma

Why does it take several months and cost $250,000 to make a single map in MWO when fan mappers have created comparable work in one day? How does PGI intend to streamline this gross expenditure?

Poptarting was a major concern going into MWO, with fans quickly pointing to the state of MW4's multiplayer. Early in development PGI stated they were against the broken and tedious style of gameplay it encouraged, yet gameplay changes and balance tweaks have turned the meta-game into Poptarting. How did this happen when you set out to avoid it from the start? What are you doing to fix this?

BryanEkman12 karma

No production quality map could ever be created in a day. ;) It takes hours to playtest!

Huntsig8 karma

When deciding which 'mechs to add to the game do you take into account the current utilisation rate of each 'mech already in the game? ie - if there's no demand from the community for, say, a new light 'mech (cf. the Flea), is this delayed in favour of a weight class that is more under represented / in demand (cf the Highlander)?

BryanEkman11 karma

We balance the wants, needs, and overall gameplay balance with what we see in the telemetry. So yes. We might decide to push a mech out because of previous sales data.

Loler_Skates4 karma

You say you balance based on telemetry could you go into this process a little more?

Do you mean you balance based on usage figures or that you balance on what you see the actual equipment doing?

This is process is something that is the least transparent so more information on this would be great.

BryanEkman11 karma

Similar to how we use the k/d/movement heatmaps, we have telemetry that tells us how accurate weapons are, how often they are equipped, composition of each match in terms of mechs used etc.. This helps us determine what is popular, OPd etc..

fernsie8 karma

Hi Bryan, are you planning to buff arty and airstrikes?

BryanEkman13 karma

Yes! We're doing a round of tweaks in the coming months.

QuickKill8 karma

Hi Bryan! When can we start to see things like destroyable trees and other vegetation, planets with electromagnetic storms disrupting electronics and deep swamps. Also, please let us choose maps for training mode.

Keep up the great work.

BryanEkman13 karma

Destructible objects are on the horizon post launch.

Warlune8 karma

Are there any plans on making Ferro Fibrous armor worth choosing over endo steel? If not, can you think of any situation where you would choose FF instead of ES?

BryanEkman12 karma

Let me look into it. David and Paul are the primaries on all things balance related.

cephyn8 karma

I've heard that Alpine Peaks is going to have some reworking so that not every surface is climbable by every mech, and so that the mountains are actual barriers to some mechs. Is this still in the works, and will it be done soon?

BryanEkman12 karma

Yes. Around launch.

roflcopterpilot8 karma

Despite statements from PGI that the weapon values "are within our expectations", the community largely thinks the LBX10, Small Pulse Laser, and Machine Guns are garbage and rarely uses them on their mechs. There have been consistent cries to improve these weapons. What exactly are your expectations for these weapons?

Why doesn't PGI post links to MechWarrior Online articles on their website? Most of the big updates, previews, and interviews have happened on gaming blogs or twitter, yet PGI can't post links on their front page?

BryanEkman15 karma

We address balance in a circle - that never ends. We haven't come around to those particular weapons in the tuning phase.

Jetblack428 karma

  1. If time/money were no object, what would you like to implement in the game?
  2. Are there any plans to look at improving the SPL, damage increase/cool down reduction?
  3. What are you looking forward to most about CW?
  4. Did you fix the LLs after I broke them last Friday? :P

BryanEkman6 karma

  1. The Ranking system, metagame, watching player earn end-game content, and seeing the Merc Corps and Factions fight for territory. Super exciting.

CarrionCrows8 karma

Any Chance can we have alternate drop locations for existing maps? Thus we would see a lot more of the map being played as the path's and focus shifts.

sammysupafly6 karma

Maybe using the Conquest capture spots as alternate starts in Assault mode?

BryanEkman8 karma

We've discussed something along these lines. Right now, we want to push hard for 10 unique maps before making to many changes.

Warlune8 karma

Alpine peaks seems a bit too empty to me. Are there any plans to add objects to it? Like how you guys added the crashes boat to forest colony after it was released

BryanEkman10 karma

It'll be under review again in the fall after Canyon Networks and Volcano are released.

Warskull7 karma

The game has had some major technical issues in the past few months. Frequent crash bugs and various UI elements not working. Personally, I end up having to reinstall the game from scratch about once a week to keep it functional. Your support has no solutions and it feels like you neglecting technical issues in favor of working on new content.

How much effort is actually being put into resolving these issues? What sort of a timeframe can we expect these crashes to be resolved in? Does PGI feel the game is in an acceptable state in regards to these technical problems?

BryanEkman9 karma

Every few months we go through a hardening phase, where we address technical issues. It's a constant balance between forward progress, new content which gets consumed extremely fast by players, and managing bugs and performance.

BadgerPoking6 karma

Will we see a fully urban map with very few open spaces?

BryanEkman11 karma

Possibly. We're working on a new urban like map after Volcano.

surloch6 karma

There hasn't been much talk lately about the Achievements system. Any word yet on what form this will take?

Will we get rewards like titles, new icons next to our names, banner items, small MC or cbill awards, forums avatars, mech colours / camo etc?

Finally any time frame on them? I know they have the potential to add significantly to the "End game". If implemented properly, trying to get them will consume hours / days / weeks of play :)

BryanEkman6 karma

All of the above pretty much. This is a launch feature and part of CW and UI 2.0.

GeneralWoundwort6 karma

How much terrain will actually be conquerable in CW? Can we storm the gates of Tharkad, or will we be limited to just fighting over border worlds 1 or 2 jumps deep?

BryanEkman5 karma

Frontiers and border planets.

Kaze716 karma

Can we get a "Merc" tag or something instead of the "LNW" tag when we enter a match and have already identified with a merc group on the main website?

BryanEkman7 karma

Eventually yes.

Surtr1stRDR6 karma

Will we ever see odd numbered groups return to the queue? I'm a bit worried with 12v12 coming out, especially for smaller units. And by far the biggest player loss my unit has ever seen was due to the implementation of <4/8 ONLY. Forget ECM/poptarts/bugs any other QQ topic, the group size nerf was the biggest hit, and we've still not recovered, with many original members totally giving up on the game to play other stuff. Just a maybe will keep me happy :P Keep up the hard work.

BryanEkman9 karma

The main issue with pre-mades is the poor experience create for pubs. We're constantly evolving this aspect of the game, making sure that we improve the quality of experience for both sides.

TheAndersBot6 karma

Mr. Ekman:

With community warfare on the horizon, and UI 2.0 coming soon(TM) a lot of the community's expectations rest on these features being ready for prime time. While I am confident that you will deliver an amazing experience, other members of the Word of Lowtax have commented that there is a disturbing lack of specific information regarding Community Warfare. With that being your "golden goose" is there any concrete, discrete factoid that you can present to your loyal and rabid fanbase to put their mind at ease?

BryanEkman8 karma

We'll be releasing details as they are finalized from now until launch. Right now we are just getting UI 2.0 finalized, then expect to see more details on both 2.0 and CW.

Woopas_s6 karma

  1. A lot of us are tired of redownloading and reinstalling the game because of a bug or FRead error. Will we ever get the option to have a CD/DVD disc with a base version of the game so we can make the process of uninstalling/reinstalling a little bit smoother?

  2. Speaking of FRead errors. Has your tech support figured out what causes those? And how to fix them? I always get told to reinstall MWO. Which works. But also restarting and or having the PC shut down for several hours works as well.

BryanEkman8 karma

No disc version will be available . :(

Not yet. We're still digging... Thank you for the patience though!

Thontor6 karma

Right now it can be extremely difficult to find a match when launching with a group of 8. Are you concerned at all with the popularity of the 8v8 queue and what changes do you have in mind to help alleviate this, besides a tonnage limit. Possibly greater rewards as an incentive?

BryanEkman11 karma

Part of the problem is that 8v8 has no restrictions. Players can face some really OPd groups etc. So it's not super fun. People have migrated to synch dropping. Expect love in this department.

Monsoon285 karma

What can we Expect in May and June?

BryanEkman15 karma

A lot of fixes. A public test server. 12 v 12. New consumables, and more balancing/tuning.

Thontor5 karma

When you introduce a tonnage limit for the full premade vs full premade groups, will you allow groups of 5+ to launch against full groups with more tonnage available per mech?

BryanEkman9 karma

It's possible, if we can guarantee the integrity of matches. Right now we are not confident this is possible... yet.

Woopas_s5 karma

Hi Bryan,

Will there be more tournaments in the future focused more of being done and over within one days time? Compared to the 4 day running tournaments?

BryanEkman9 karma

Yes.

Jman55 karma

Do you see any changes/additions/tweaks coming down the pipeline that will improve role warfare? I know a lot of people have been complaining about the trend in mass Assault/heavies games.

Bonus Question: When will the Hunchback quirks come? I want what you did to the centurion!

BryanEkman6 karma

After launch we have plans for more modules. They're cooking in the background.

TrackZero5 karma

[deleted]

BryanEkman11 karma

Yes. Balancing as always, is ongoing. It never ends. Player continue to find new awesome builds that are incredible.

Bucklar5 karma

Can we get a quick outline of when certain features may appear? Specifically, new user flow(achievements) and UI 2.0? Doesn't need to be set in stone or anything, just an idea.

Also, would like to know which of those is higher on the priorities list.

BryanEkman9 karma

UI 2.0 is going to be late summer. It has to come in one shot. CW will come online in spurts from now until then.

Surtr1stRDR5 karma

Will there be an option for self created house units? My unit has spent a lot of time developing lore/identity etc. for our Non-canon house unit, it would be a shame if we just had to run with pugs to be considered house. Also we can't just pretend to be mercs as we're a rasalhague unit, and that doesn't fly in the FRR.

BryanEkman8 karma

If you take away the name Merc Corp, this essentially the spirit of this type of play. A group of like mind players organizing into a structure.

Tagichatn5 karma

Does PGI ever plan to balance weapons by changing their weight and/or damage? So far only missiles have had their damage changed throughout the beta and everything else except MGs have their TT damage values.

BryanEkman13 karma

Possibly. We're looking at overall DPS right now, which is too high overall with the new HSR fixes. It's super risky, so we're not jumping in head first with any DMG changes yet.

mvrckpa5 karma

With the announcement that we will be able to control territory within the Inner Sphere, but not change the borders, what does this mean for Merc units that want to carve out their own little fiefdom? Will we always be sub servant to a larger house?

BryanEkman10 karma

For now, you will need to pledge allegiance to a major Faction. Later... you never know.

Selbatrim5 karma

Regarding consumables. Do you not fear arty and air will become mandatory if you make them effective? Do you not think 32 strikes per match is going to be awful?

BryanEkman8 karma

It's definitely something we are concerned about. We're keen to make sure this doesn't happen.

Thontor4 karma

1: Why do my weapons not do full damage transfered to the center torso when I shoot a destroyed side torso?

2: Why does armor stay on the front of a destroyed side torso if it is destroyed from behind?

BryanEkman8 karma

We're looking into both of these issues.

charlieboy8084 karma

Hiya Bryan! So is it going to be possible to change our pilot's look in the future? Like maybe when I pilot my Wang I could be missing a certain left arm? ;-)

BryanEkman12 karma

Distant future yes.

Huntsig4 karma

If you could chose to throw the timeline out of the window and implement one piece of Battletech technology (be it a weapon, a mech or some equipment) what would it be and why?

BryanEkman16 karma

Hunchback IIc. I just love how mean it looks.

TheAnders8ot4 karma

Are there any plans to improve upon the customer service aspects of the game, such as reversing a mistaken purchase of a cosmetic item?

Are there any plans to assist customers with their "back-end" needs in a discreet (hint: unseen) manner?

When will we see the introduction of the Tetatae bobblehead, which even your selfsame community manager agrees we must have?

BryanEkman8 karma

We're continually improving the back end customer support tools. This is a large part of the unseen aspects of what we do. A large portion of the engineering team works on features that players never really see.

shukrixp4 karma

Will trial mechs eventually be made with decent enough builds? Not good or great builds. But enough to give new players a taste of what that mech/weight class is like.

BryanEkman9 karma

With UI 2.0 Trial Mechs will become less important for new players.

Antaka3 karma

Bryan - any regrets or things you wish you had done differently in creating MWO?

BryanEkman6 karma

No regrets. Just forward progress. Everyday brings amazing new challenges, both from the community and internally.

MgrPaine3 karma

Have you considered perhaps adding turrets at assault bases which mech pilots can 'stall' their current mech at their current location (leaving it vulneralble to damage) to activate the turret when all mechs are away from base... yes the turret can be activated by both sides but the team that gets into it will leave their current mech at a specified location to operate the turret unless 'captured' by opposing team or blown out... you know where im going with this...its alot like the turrets of the past but may help in cap n bag matches

BryanEkman5 karma

yes. :) Community Warfare concept.

mvrckpa3 karma

Is there an ETA for when Tourmaline and Alpine will have their matchmaking weight value dropped back down to 1?

BryanEkman6 karma

Next month.

OneManWar3 karma

Considering this is beta, why do you guys seem so reluctant to play with the weapon balancing numbers? I understand wanting to analyze the changes over time but this is beta and its ok to break things then re-adjust the next patch. More often than not there are few to no balance changes from patch to patch.

BryanEkman9 karma

One thing I'm looking forward to is our upcoming public test server. This will allow us to test modest or ridiculous concepts.

HHoD_Iron3 karma

is there any plans to support teams that want to be part of a house rather than a go merc?

BryanEkman8 karma

If I removed the word "Merc Corp" you would have this functionality essentially. It's been asked a few times now, I'll put on my thinking cap and see if we can make something happen.