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MechWarrior Online Goes Open Beta Next Week

On Wednesday Infinite Game Publishing and developer Piranha Games announced that the free-to-play shooter MechWarrior Online is shifting into open beta status on October 16.

Piranha president/executive producer Russ Bullock and vice president/creative director Bryan Ekman explained that now is the time to launch an open beta, as they feel that the closed beta players have done all they can, and are simply "fatigued." That probably wasn't the ideal description to use, but the point is that current closed beta players don't get to keep their progress, hence they keep starting over which would understandably get stale after a while.

"There are many other reasons but that one is reason enough, it has become time for us to open our doors and allow all of our great players to start progressing towards advancement that they can keep," the update reads. "Also to that point, it has become time for us to let in an entirely new batch of players to continue to help us generate the metrics and data which will help us craft the best game possible."

MechWarrior Online went into closed beta on May 22. It features a real-time mechanic where 24-hours in the game equals to 24 hours in the real world (January 1, 2012 is equal to January 1, 3049). The setting takes place during the early stages of a massive interstellar war, and throws players into the seat of "the most powerful war machine to ever walk the field of battle," the BattleMech. Players can customize the Mech to suit their battlefield role, upgrade systems, replace weapons, and tweak armor with endless options.

"In no way does going open beta mean we are slowing down with our development and improvement of MechWarrior Online," Piranha's blog states. "I can assure you we have identified an unlimited amount of work and improvements we're working through week by week and day by day."

In early November, the team will be rolling out the first pieces of its visual customization feature set including a new section inside MechLab called Camo Spec. This will allow players to customize the base skin of their Mech with up to three colors. They'll also be able to add decorations inside the cockpit with items like fuzzy dice and the family's hula girl.

Then, by early December, players will be able to throw on pre-made decals, and then use their own created artwork shortly thereafter. The decal feature will roll out with the first parts of Community Warfare, Piranha said.

"In late October and November we'll see more content in the form of the Cataphract, a new alternate map, the remaining BattleTech gameplay features (Artemis, Active Probe, ECM) new skins and colours, along with a new game mode called Conquest," the update states. "Oh and let's not forget our first Hero BattleMech. It's the < REDACTED >!"

For more information about MechWarrior Online, which goes into open beta on October 16, head here. To check out our recent hands-on with the closed beta, head here.

  • Parsian
    stoked! I recommend folks to try the CryEngine 2 *Crysis* mod, MechWarrior: The Living Legend. It is a multi award winning mod.

    This game is running on CryEngine 3 and has funding behind it. It is going to be even better.
    Reply
  • gravewax
    disappointing news. The game is not yet in a state that could be considered even close to polished enough for open beta. The majority of functionality and mechs are still missing. closed beta players are definitely a little fatigued but that is due to the really limited amount of game functionality that has been implemented for testing.
    Reply
  • borisof007
    If you got "fatigued", take a break! It's closed testing after all and we knew that our progress wouldn't stay, no reason to grind out hardcore every week.

    I'm super pumped for just getting the C-bills needed for when community warfare starts. I'm hoping for grabbing 100 million in the bank before spring.
    Reply
  • borisof007
    Also, for those whining about XL engines, stop using them! Rocked an Atlas today, founders, took out 4 mechs in one match and raked in almost 200k.
    Reply
  • >It features a real-time mechanic where 24-hours in the game equals to 24 hours in the real world (January 1, 2012 is equal to January 1, 3049)

    How does that even work? If it takes a few days to travel to a combat zone does that mean we spend the whole game looking at the inside of a transport?
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Laws of physics would be "bent" to maintain game play. So yes combat drops would seem instant vs the hours they would normally take.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    I'm really wanting to pilot a Warhammer again, was my all time favorite mech. Never liked the 100T mechs, move far to slowly for my own tastes. Prefer mechs in that are 80T or less, all time favorite being a Shadow cat loaded with MASC, ECM and some ER L.Lasers. Run in passive mode and snipe at the bigger mechs then run the f*ck away when they try to shoot back.

    Really interested in how their going to balance out long range warfare or if it'll just turn into a "who has the most guns and circle strafes the best" nightmare.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    palladin9479I'm really wanting to pilot a Warhammer again, was my all time favorite mech. Never liked the 100T mechs, move far to slowly for my own tastes. Prefer mechs in that are 80T or less, all time favorite being a Shadow cat loaded with MASC, ECM and some ER L.Lasers. Run in passive mode and snipe at the bigger mechs then run the f*ck away when they try to shoot back.Really interested in how their going to balance out long range warfare or if it'll just turn into a "who has the most guns and circle strafes the best" nightmare.
    Using cover effectively is really your only defense. You can equip an AMS system to help down LRM's as they come in, but ER PPC or Heavy Laser or Gauss Cannon is going to rock your boxxers from a distance.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    9414327 said:
    Using cover effectively is really your only defense. You can equip an AMS system to help down LRM's as they come in, but ER PPC or Heavy Laser or Gauss Cannon is going to rock your boxxers from a distance.

    That's why you use passive radar. You don't show up on radar and nothing can target / lock onto you unless your way closer then you should be. It requires you to stalk your target and use terrain to get your shots in when needed. The down side is that you can't lock onto or target anything at range either, your 100% reliant on manual aiming which can be tricky. It's also why I'd be using ER L.Lasers vs PPC / Gause / LRMs, infinite ammo and instant travel time to target. It may take a while but you'll eventually down a bigger more heavily armed mech, or in many case's you provide enough of a harrying effect that your team mates can finish the job.

    Of course that tactic only works if the developers implement the full rule sets for things like Passive / Active sensors, ECM, MASC, JJets and so forth (MASC is so you can GTFO should you be caught in a bad situation)

    Ohh and forgot to add, this also requires that there is actual terrain for you to take advantage of. You absolutely need mountains / valleys / forests and such, not a flat brown wasteland where you can see everything for 2km. The SS's so far have shown rich terrain so I'm operating under the assumption that there are plenty of places to hide and stalk / take shots from.
    Reply
  • It's "Mechwarrior: Living Legends"
    Not "Mechwarrior: The Living Legend"
    :)
    Reply