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Harebrained Schemes' BattleTech


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#1 Shadow88

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 01:11 PM

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Anyone else eager for this?  First proper turn-based strategy video game based on BattleTech (I don't know if the two Crescent Hawks games were turn-based or not, but it seems like they were more RPG than an actual strategy game).  And, if it wasn't clear from the concept art above, they're using the 'Mech designs from MechWarrior Online.
 
Plenty of details on the game's Kickstarter page (Kickstarter's long since ended but plenty of info on there) and they've revealed what they're currently planning for the game's turn order.  Different from how the tabletop game does it, but still interesting.  And they've apparently got a lot of min-maxers on staff who are actively trying to break the system while prototyping it so if you think of a way to exploit it, odds are they found it a couple of months ago.
 
Short version of it is that the game is going to be set in the Periphery and at a much earlier point in the timeline than most BattleTech games; about 3025, shortly before the Fourth Succession War.  The player takes the role of a mercenary commander taking contracts in the region - there is a storyline to it but there'll also be other missions you can take to earn money and salvage, while the campaign is also open-ended, so after you finish the story you can still cruise around the Periphery taking jobs to your heart's content.  You'll be deploying up to four 'Mechs (so a Lance of 'Mechs) into each mission and your pilots will have their own stats and traits that can affect how they perform in battle.
 
Keeping your 'Mechs running isn't going to be easy - one of the big differences of this era compared to the Clan Invasion and later is that the infrastructure for BattleMech manufacture has been knocked to hell thanks to the earlier Succession Wars and much of the more advanced technologies (ie; Gauss Rifles, Ferro-Fibrous Armour, Endo Steel Internal Structure, Double Heat Sinks, etc) have long-since been lost and won't be rediscovered for about another decade-and-a-half.
 
There will be PvP multiplayer, framed as the arena battles on Solaris VII.  No word yet (not that I've found, at least) on whether there'll be a progression system there or if you'll have access to everything and just be restricted by a wargame-style points system.  I'm hoping for the latter, personally.
 
As for what 'Mechs will be in the game, the list is down in the FAQ on the Kickstarter page, but here's the list again along with links to the 'Mechs' pages on the Sarna Wiki.  Obviously, not all of the variants on those pages will be available - many of them use technology that wasn't around in the mid-3020s - but it should give you some idea of what's available for those not quite as familiar with BattleMechs.
LIGHT: Locust, Commando, Spider, Firestarter, Jenner, Panther, Raven, Urbanmech
MEDIUM: Cicada, Blackjack, Vindicator, Centurion, Enforcer, Hunchback, Trebuchet, Griffin, Kintaro, Shadow Hawk, Wolverine
HEAVY: Dragon, Quickdraw, Catapult, JagerMech, Thunderbolt, Cataphract, Grasshopper, Orion, Marauder, Warhammer
ASSAULT: Awesome, Victor, Zeus, BattleMaster, Stalker, Highlander, Banshee, King Crab, Atlas
 
There could be more introduced as DLC or expansions (fan-favourites on the HBS forums are the other recent and upcoming additions to MWO's roster - the Archer, Rifleman and Phoenix Hawk) but I don't think they have any plans for such nailed down just yet and would rather get the game itself sorted first before thinking about post-launch content.  The game is estimated to come out around the middle of next year, but as the game is still in the very early stages of development, you would be a fool to take that as a hard-and-fast release date.
 
 
 
As for my own thoughts on it; I'm ecstatic.  I've always been curious about the tabletop game and, while this will no-doubt play very differently, I'm hoping it keeps some of the feel the tabletop version has.  That and I'm hoping that a few tabletop mechanics that were never carried over into the MechWarrior titles crop up in this - things like destructible terrain or 'Mechs running the risk of falling over if they try to make a running turn on pavement (and the combination of the two that sends an over-eager Cicada pilot ploughing head-first into a shopping centre :P ).
 
The era also has me intrigued as well - with just about every other BattleTech video game out there focussing on the Clan Invasion or the FedCom Civil War, I'm honestly a bit burnt-out on that whole period of the setting (about 3050 through to the mid-60s).  Coming back to a period when BattleMechs were at the peak of their mystique - where a single 'Mech could be passed down through generations of MechWarriors and nearly as many generations of technicians working to maintain the ancient weapon, when their rarity made them all the more impressive on the battlefield - seems to bring a degree of freshness back that I haven't felt for the franchise in a long while.  Where it's set in the Inner Sphere also has me curious; it's the first time a BattleTech video game has really gone beyond the five Great Houses or the Clans - seems almost like the video games have treated the Periphery states (such as the Magistracy of Canopus or the Taurian Concordat) as the red-headed stepchildren of the setting - so its good to see the Periphery get a bit of the limelight for once.

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#2 Afferbeck

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 08:47 AM

I don't know much about Battetech. Played a little bit of what was probably Mechwarrior 2 as a kid at a friend's place, and lately I've enjoyed some Mechwarrior Online. I'm also looking forward to playing my Kodiak mechs in a few weeks when they are released. First time I've ever paid for content in a game!

 

I'd be interested in trying a turn based game, but it doesn't interest me a whole lot, certainly not more than actually stomping around and shooting stuff.


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#3 Shadow88

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 12:00 PM

True, it may not be for everyone, but I just find it surprising that it's taken this long for an actual turn-based BattleTech game* to be made, considering it started as a tabletop wargame back in the '80s.

Well, this long for an official BattleTech game - the community-made MegaMek is a java program that directly emulates the tabletop game and it's been around for years, wouldn't be surprised if it's older than MWO.

 

 

*I'm ignoring MechWarrior Tactics because that one died while it was still in closed beta.


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#4 Shadow88

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 12:26 AM

Gameplay video of the build they had at GenCon, for those who want to see it in action.

 

And they've also opened up more backer slots on BackerKit for those who might want to get it now.  Digital-only pledge levels, but I expect those are the most popular anyway.

 

EDIT: Oh; and a cinematic they had running on the display as well.


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#5 Elyseon

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 05:10 PM

I think I'll wait for them to fix some annoying bugs in Shadowrun Returns that have been around since release.



#6 Shadow88

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 03:16 AM

Which bugs were those?  Did they fix them for the following two SR games (Dragonfall Director's Cut and Hong Kong) or did all three have the bugs you're thinking of?


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#7 Elyseon

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 03:58 AM

There was at least one weird bug in the original campaign that could cause the whole game to lock up in one particular scene. People were complaining about it for a long time. I'm not sure if the root causes were fixed or just sidestepped, but it sets a bad precedent. I have yet to try Dragonfall and Hong Kong, so I'm not sure if they have issues as well, but it still seems like bad form how they pushed the expansions before that mess was fully cleaned up.






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