A Cautionary Tale: The Rage of the Mechwarrior Online Community

(Editor’s Note: This piece is a summary of events, feature additions, and community interactions by PGI leading to the current Mechwarrior Online forum situation. The author offers his personal analysis of said events at the end of the article.)

If you want a look at how enraged a community of dedicated and passionate fans can get, the community around Mechwarrior Online and the rage it’s currently feeling is a good place to start.

To those reading the Mechwarrior Online forums now, as opposed to six months ago, the change is marked. Gone are the days of typical forum behavior: quiet threads toiling in the background with the occasional drive-by trolling or derailment. Instead, the community is in full riot mode, slandering the developers in announcement threads and creating signatures insulting Piranha Games’s competence. The phrase “PGI Lied, MWO Died” has taken on a weird sort of life amidst the disgruntled players.

This wasn’t spontaneous, however. The road that led to MWO’s fanbase banging on PGI’s gates with pitchforks and torches was a long one, and the situation acts as an interesting case study in how to gradually alienate your players. Or, at least, the players on your forums.

Cool Shot Controversy

It all began with the inclusion of a consumable in MWO known as “Cool Shot.” Cool Shot is a variant of a feature known as “Coolant Flush” from previous Mechwarrior games. That feature allowed players to “flush” their built-up heat from their fighting ‘Mech tanks. Heat is a resource that rises every time the player fires a weapon, and its levels must be lowered in order for a player to continue firing their weapons — too much heat, and the ‘Mech is forced to shut down. By drastically reducing ‘Mech heat almost instantly with Coolant Flush, players could continue to fire their weapons without risk of overheating and shutting down, which normally would expose them to enemy fire.

The ability to flush heat essentially allowed for continuous, heavily-damaging fire in multiplayer, and drastically changed the way players fight and strategize in-game; essentially, instead of managing heat by carefully deciding which shots to take and when, Coolant Flush removed that skill component. Dedicated Mechwarrior fans point to the inclusion of the feature — along with the addition of a third-person camera perspective — as one of the reasons previous Mechwarrior titles have had mostly dead multiplayer components.

PGI, before the launch of Mechwarrior Online and during the sale of “founder’s packs,” or packages of in-game items and mechs players could pre-order at a discount before the game was available, told players that Coolant Flush would not be added to its game, much to the relief of many potential players. However, the developer later changed its mind on the feature, and included Cool Shot as a consumable that cost either C-Bills (the in-game currency) or real money, depending on the version of it players purchased.

This sent the forums into a much milder version of the rage seen today, with plenty of people decrying PGI’s behavior but few people acting on it. Many were upset that they’d bought into the game by purchasing a founder’s pack when PGI said it wouldn’t include Cool Shot, only to have that change once they’d spent their money; others were upset that players could spend real money to get a significant boost over other players buy purchasing Cool Shot. A number of rage threads were created about the feature, and many players threatened to quit, but the community was calmed thanks to communication from PGI and nerfs to the real-money version of the consumable.

However, this was the beginning of distrust of PGI, and several players Game Front spoke with mentioned that their misgivings began here.

The Death of Forums and Metagame

The next big outrage occurred with the dissolution of Mechwarrior Online’s “General Discussion” subforum. General Discussion pages are usually the main sections of forums — in fact, they’re a staple of Internet forums everywhere. PGI claimed that the subforum was removed — and many new subforums created in its place — in order to better categorize threads into more appropriate locations. Meanwhile, critics claimed that General Discussion was nuked from orbit due to a tendency of its inhabitants to openly criticize PGI.

Both sides have partial validity to them: General Discussion was being used as a “thread dump” and was hard to navigate, but its removal did see a sharp decline in threads openly critical of and negative about PGI.

While these forum changes were mostly benign, a metagame began to emerge in MWO that focused on high-damage alphas — basically, attacks that saw all weapons fired at once. These barrages of weapons fire would often core enemy ‘Mechs in a single shot, and the use of the strategy led to the rise of “poptarts.” Players would pair highly accurate Particle Projection Cannons (more commonly known as PPCs) and Gauss Rifles with a ‘Mech sporting a “jumpjet,” or extremely limited jetpack. In lay terms, players utilizing the strategy were essentially acting as jetpacking snipers.

PGI attempted to cut off the use of poptarts with the inclusion of jumpjet shake — a system to rattle the player’s view when they jumped into the air — but later rescinded most of that change after players complained of severe motion sickness. The drastic reduction of jumpjet shake again allowed a rise in sniper-oriented ‘Mechs, which is where the Mechwarrior Online metagame sits to this day.

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124 Comments on A Cautionary Tale: The Rage of the Mechwarrior Online Community

Manthas

On August 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

It sounds like the developers have actually implemented the “Community Warfare” system, just not in any way that was originally anticipated – the devs are at war with the community. This article is disheartening, as the MW franchise is a great one, and has a huge dedicated fan base behind it. I’m very sad to see this game go so far downhill so quickly.

AxΣtwin

On August 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I was disappointed when I found out that initial vision for this game was solely PvP based. There was always more to the MechWarrior franchise than just the PvP. Judging by the way things are going, they’re going to drive away their paying customers. So should the game fail, maybe another company can come out with a new online MechWarrior game and actually do it properly this time.

Tice Daurus

On August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

On behalf of myself and many of my friends, I want to thank the author for posting this review of what’s happened the past several months with PGI and Mechwarrior: Online. I will say if anyone wanted to see what had happened to PGI and why all of the forum outrage, this indeed would be the article to look at and read to properly explain why many people are upset at both PGI and IGP.

Also, many of us are smart enough to know that PGI is too small of a studio/game developer in which they took on too much, too fast, and IGP has been pushing them to have the game become as a ‘finished product’. It’s a double sided case…PGI not enough people and unable to handle the work, IGP pushing too hard too fast, and telling PGI what to do because they are game publisher and this is what they want to do because they are flipping out the money and paying the bills.

The worst part I would say out of this is the problems PGI has made regarding their customer service. Many of these problems could have been avoided with fair and honest communication, explaining the situation up front. And what’s worse…they had many people in the MW:O community which offered to help work on modding the maps, coming up with newer ideas, even offering to work pro bono to help code the game so they could work on the material faster. All of this, PGI either said “sounds like a good idea” but they never followed up on it OR they just completely ignored the community as to what they wanted and they did it their way. And they made the situation even worse with the apology from Russ Bullock, which was taken by many as disingenuous and had referred to the community and just a ‘vocal minority’ as it to dismiss many of the people who truly did care and still wanted to help.

I dare say that when people in colleges look at this business model that PGI has created, it will be lauded as one of the worst customer situations in business today and I would bet dollars to donuts that someone uses it as a college thesis on what NOT to do in the video/PC gaming industry today.

NONE

On August 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

This sure isn’t a biased article clearly written by a goon who’s angry that he couldn’t be a part of their team.

Salient

On August 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Best article yet, and sums it up well. Sadly it doesn’t matter, they will get the new players they seek, the only losers here are the ones who wanted the game they promised us 2 years ago.

the pole

On August 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I agree with this article in it’s entirety. I am a legendary founder (120$ buy in) and I cannot relate the gravity of my feelings of hatred towards pgi/igp. They for the lack of a better term are swindlers liars and cheats. They have singlehandedly ruined on of my biggest childhood franchises with their ineptitude. The relation to SWG is good I’d also compare it to diakatana. The player base will hate them for the sake of hating and this debacle will chase them their entire careers. I know this because I will follow them, relate my story to every game review site, every project every job they will get, I will be there ready to warn all prospective players. Pgi is good at one thing, creating a generation of captain ahabs, they are the white whale, you can figure out the rest.

Cho

On August 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I assume ‘NONE’ refers to the valid arguments this troll has to contradict the content of this article.

Rhino

On August 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Sums it up rather nicely, PGI LIED MWO DIED.

a point, the pop tart is not hated for being a sniper, its hated for its ability to jump out of cover and fire then fall into cover,

it was never a problem until SRM’s were nerfed into the ground following the implementation of splash damage that made ALL missiles insanely op, rather than roll back splash damage (a feature that addressed no problem) they nerfed all missiles.

With the primary punch of short range builds gone, long range weapons rose to dominance, then they added seismic, a 400m wall hack that made snipers even MORE powerful.

And on top of all of that they added 3rd person, a further advantage to long range mechs that enabled them to see over hills and around corners.

The game has now been stalled in the meta of bring big long range guns or die for so long most players can’t remember anything else.

Hell of a way to make a game.

There is still hope, if this pile of trash burns to the ground we might get a new mechwarrior game a few years down the road.

A Gamer

On August 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

This article offers a very nice overview of exactly what has happened over at MWO, but I didn’t see any mention of the string of economy modifications made over the past few patches that have essentially doubled the already painful grind. New players get the “cadet bonus” for their first few matches, netting them enough cash to buy their first ‘Mech. After that? Well, the change is dramatic and painful. Many of us who have played for the life of the game are now being driven off by the flagrant disregard for how horrible the gameplay has become. Where past MechWarrior titles offered you at least a few ‘Mechs to choose from, the puny payouts made from each match have pushed the grind to buy another ‘Mech from a dozen hours (on average, without having purchased premium time) to DAYS. There’s just not enough content there to make it worthwhile, especially with the failure to address the jump sniper metagame.

Grieferbastard

On August 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

One other thing was left out –

The cbill nerf. The amount of in-game currency you make if you’re not spending real money to get ‘premium time’. They said it was reduced by 16%, it was reduced by a little closer to 40%. The result was that the grind was exponentially increased.

See, in order to get skills in a mech (they increase the speed at which you turn, how fast you lose heat, that sort of thing) you’ve got to get XP in using the mech. However you need to level up in 3 different versions of the same mech to move on to the intermediate range of skills.

This means that if you wanted to get good with your Hunchback you had to get good with at least 3 slightly different versions of the same mech. With the new grind that can take over a month now, just to get to the intermediate skill range in one mech. Given that the game is based in a lot of ways around taking the right mech with the right loadout for the mission a player really needs several very different mechs.

Also the article only brushed on the sense of contempt that fills tweets and dev posts now in addition to the tiny trickle of dev comments on the forums, all seem to be of the same attitude. It’s hard to give money to someone who treats you with utter contempt.

Name*

On August 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

The MWO forum-base is largely just the same butthurt posters who get upset that their egos aren’t being stroked. Read their posts there and it sums up how useful and mature that community is. That said, the game devs do have communication problems no doubt.

CJ

On August 30, 2013 at 7:45 pm

It didn’t even bring up the open contempt that PGI’s displayed towards players; Russ Bullock (@russ_bullock) tweeted that any dissatisfied players are “on an island there bud” because “the game is in the best state to date” and often argues or mocks players who bring up real problems; he even publicly agreed with a supporter (@SideSt3p) who recently tweeted “ the haters on the forums. They’re the 2%. Do your thing and don’t apologize”

Capturing the failure to recognize the value in early community feedback on design decisions and the frustration of those participating in the “Ask the Devs” forum sessions, Lead Designer Paul Inouye posted “I just want to let you all know that we will release information when it’s ready and not before then (no matter how it’s asked for)”

R.J.

On August 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Ah, my old favorite, treating your existing fans as being irrelevant. It’s rather sad how so many companies across different forms of entertainment, be it games, comics, movies, or whatever, lust after the the goal of “broadening the audience” at the expense those who made it possible to get this far. Yes, these companies exist to make money, but alienating the most avid customers in an effort to get new ones seems a lot like trying to build an addition to your house by pulling out the support beams in order to use the lumber. You might expand initially, but at some point it’ll collapse because you’ve sacrificed your stronger core. Also, even if a newcomer that is part of that “broader audience” likes the changes that were made, they should still be wary of this sort of attitude. After all, how long before they become the old guy that nobody wants to listen to?

Of course, the use community funding in this instance makes it far worse since many of those that are considered irrelevant were also the ones that saw fit to contribute directly toward making the game possible in the first place. It’s frustrating enough seeing a series go in a direction I don’t agree with under normal circumstance, but at least there I can do something like cancel a pre-order or just plain not buy a game. Asking for funding in advance based on certain claims, and then forcing people to go so far as to ask their banks to block payments leaves a rather bad taste in my mouth.

Ian Stalephreak Johnson

On August 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

This article wouldn’t be so sad if it weren’t for the fact that the community really did spend all that time trying to save the developer from themselves. As part of #saveMWO, I can assure you, we all are desperate to see the IP raised up from the ashes. We’re talking about trying to hook-up with a supermodel levels of desperation here.

Lost Soul

On August 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Nice article , but you forgot the latest mock from the PGI – > http://www.rpgnotes.de/Clipboard01.jpg

If you think that image is fake you can see it at :
http://mwomercs.com/

Mike

On August 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

This is BS. I have been playing this game since the beginning before open beta and it has gotten nothing but better. A couple few pissed off players mad that a still in beta game isnt meeting their expectations is meaningless and should be totally expected. After all it is always the vocal minority that get heard, instead of posting on the forums, the vast vast majority of us that are enjoying this game are actually playing. I havent posted on the forum in close to a year, why? Because I would rather play than read what a bunch of trolls are saying.
3rd person is an option, you dont have to use it
I havent seen a poptart mech of any size in forever and they havent done anything more than provide targets of opportunity.
12 vs 12 is frikkin awesome. I love they have finally brought the game up to company vs company level. Such a huge improvement over 8 vs 8.

Every month or so they release a new mech. While I havent been particularly pleased by the newest ones, I dont like them in the tabletop version either.

What people need to remember is the game is not live, it is in Beta. When the devs do something. odds are they are testing. They are in beta, thats what they are supposed to do.

This game is one of the best MMOs out there and gets better with almost every patch. This article is a major disservice and all it does is pander to a tiny minority of trolls out to cause trouble.

Apoptose

On August 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Oh and don’t forget the censorship. There is a lot of censorship

RoboticRooster

On August 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm

You missed the c-bill generation nerf, which was right before the 3PV fiasco.

Other than that, this was a pretty accurate read of exactly why so many players are so upset with PGI.

Blix

On August 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Mike, being in beta sure doesn’t stop PGI from taking your money.

Beta, launch; both are just words. The game is functional and will launch without being feature complete (the real differentiator between a beta and live game). So the issue is moot.

And this article is absolutely on the money. The fact that you haven’t seen any of this either leads me to think you are on the payroll or only log in once a month to play.

the pole

On August 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

It would appear, that you are on an island Mike.

Cutlass81

On August 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

For heaven’s sake Mike, I hope you are trolling.

Cutlass81

On August 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm

This response assumes Mike is amongst the sheeple of the community:

“This is BS. I have been playing this game since the beginning before open beta and it has gotten nothing but better.”
In what way? Not graphically. Not in game modes which are almost identical. Certainly not in gameplay.

“A couple few pissed off players mad that a still in beta game isnt meeting their expectations is meaningless and should be totally expected. After all it is always the vocal minority that get heard, instead of posting on the forums, the vast vast majority of us that are enjoying this game are actually playing.”
A couple pissed off players? You mean, anyone who would make this game an e-sport which would generate publicity as well as nearly every non-pgi/igp community website? Vocal minority or not, it is better not to assume that silence means the rest are happy. Have you ever dated a woman before? This is lesson number 1 that can be applied to most situations in real life.

“I havent posted on the forum in close to a year, why? Because I would rather play than read what a bunch of trolls are saying.”
What trolls? Haven’t you noticed that even good-natured criticism gets people banned from the game these days?

“3rd person is an option, you dont have to use it”
Except that it is the default mode and gives significant tactical advantages which is why people hated it in previous incarnations of the game and you are forced to play against people who do use it? You’d be stupid not to use it in competitive matches.

“I havent seen a poptart mech of any size in forever and they havent done anything more than provide targets of opportunity.”
Then what was the victor? Or does that not count because it is a skinny highlander?

“12 vs 12 is frikkin awesome. I love they have finally brought the game up to company vs company level. Such a huge improvement over 8 vs 8.”
I’ll admit this is great for pugs, but the 8 v 8 grouping was already suffering from the meta issues which was causing a lack of players. This just made them worse for them.

“Every month or so they release a new mech. While I havent been particularly pleased by the newest ones, I dont like them in the tabletop version either.”
Oh, I thought you weren’t pleased because you couldn’t miss their center torso with SRMs at max range.

“What people need to remember is the game is not live, it is in Beta. When the devs do something. odds are they are testing. They are in beta, thats what they are supposed to do.”
This would be a logical argument if release wasn’t less than a month away and they communicated this to the community which they haven’t.

“This game is one of the best MMOs out there and gets better with almost every patch. This article is a major disservice and all it does is pander to a tiny minority of trolls out to cause trouble.”
This game is far from one of the best MMOs out there and explains to those who don’t play the game why the reddit and forums are breaking out their pitchforks and torches. It has so much potential and it continues to struggle to meet it..

Project Dark Fox

On August 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

While the CORE GAME has certainly improved in general, all of the dev hostility towards its community, all of the delayed features, and all the broken promises has me cutting off all of my support for the project. I am another Legendary Founder (Yep, I paid $120) that has felt betrayed by PGI and IGP for their lack of support to the paying community.
Will I still play MWO? Yes. Will I spend any more money on them? Not until they clean up their act and start actually ACTIVELY communicating with and understanding their community again, and stop censoring everyone who has the slightest bit of negativity or constructive criticism. They were REALLY cool with everyone during Closed Beta, listening to suggestions and implementing them as they heard them, and then it just fell apart after that. I just don’t know what went wrong.

Whispers

On August 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Sadly, everything this article states is true.

There have been plenty of serious issues;
tons of bugs,
mech scaling (where some mechs are simply the wrong size, and thus too easy to kill for what they offer)
weapon balance issues which take months to resolve (and are still far from where they should be),
graphical features being completely removed instead becoming optional (otherwise what is the point of low or high settings),
Dx11 never being implemented,
and the most damning of all, the lack of a lobby where players can play with and compete with the players they want to (which is basically 1990′s level of tech).

Tezcatli

On August 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

People have unrealistic expectations. They wholeheartedly forked over the money for the founders program. Expecting MWO to be a masterpiece worthy of their nostalgic memories. But it isn’t. It’s a small studio. With a publisher looking to cash in on the IP.

The game has been improving. But for it to be what people envisioned. It would require the studio growing exponentially. They realistically can only build it in the same vain of World of Tanks and League of Legends. Essentially just series of matches. That will eventually be tied together by the veil of Community Warfare. At best they’ll add a new mode in a few months, but more likely they’ll be busy living up to their CW promises and introducing the Clans.

The communication has been handled quite poorly. But the community also has this unrealistic idea that every opinion and post should be responded to and acknowledged. Even demanding they do as a small sect of players say. Though they really should have done more to acknowledge these hardcore vocalists as a whole, they were never obligated to do so on an individual basis.

Those players that paid for the Founders packs should have been wiser about their spending. Instead of drinking the cool aid. And now feeling cheated. They should have seen the game for it would really become. It could still get better, but given the rate at which they introduce new features, it will be many years before it’s anywhere near what the fans believe MWO should be. The only way the game would encompass the Mechwarrior universe properly is if it were bought out by a much larger and experienced studio.

csebal

On August 31, 2013 at 1:18 am

One word:

Monoclegate.

Desperate

On August 31, 2013 at 2:01 am

Mike lost the argument by playing the appeal to the majority. Even though it’s provable that the majority actually appears to agree 100% with this article, both in the comments section here and in Mechawarrior’s own forums. We heard the same desperate crap used repeatedly in the ME3 ending debacle, the Nuketown bait-and-switch, and Xbox One’s unpopular policies – “well who cares if we’re being slaughtered here? I’m going to assume they’re a minority, so they’re not important, and I’m not even going to or acknowledge their arguments for this reason.” It’s actually hilarious when people cling to the ‘vocal minority’ line, because they make the mental leap that everyone who holds these beliefs are actively expressing them online, when in reality it’s only a minority of the people who think this that are stating their case, and they’re STILL totally outnumbering the so-called ‘majority’ who of course are not all having their say. That’s the mindset of the typical apologist.

The arguments are valid. PGI misled its customers and has talked to them like crap for daring to have an opinion. This sad trait has become all-too frequent in games lately, and it’s even more pathetic that some fantoys such as Mike actually advocate these practices.

quicktooth

On August 31, 2013 at 2:42 am

Oh. My. Goodness. So “buyer beware” of PGI. I hope there are court cases suing them for breach of trust, false advertising, and so on. Maybe the next (there are so many- HOW are there so many??) company that wants to screw it’s source of sustenance will think twice. The thinking in companies like EA and formerly Ubisoft is approaching Viet Nam levels of fantasy and detachment from reality (not to mention soulless disregard for people; but at least this takes the form of trust violated not lives lost). I just have to wonder- what is it that meant so few actually learned Ubisoft’s lesson? When Sim City tried this stuff – well the dev’s parent company lost it’s head. Hysterically funny that a for-profit buisness can tell ALL it’s customers they aren’t wanted. A mercenary company that betrays it’s employer will never work again. How can game devs not see that a provider of a product/service that screws it’s customers will also never work again? When they don’t actually need the metaphor because they have an example from their own industry anyway? *Baffled*

Concerned

On August 31, 2013 at 3:02 am

The publishers, Infinite Game Publishing, are to blame for this mess. They have a strangle hold over PGI. They are not allowing the Devs to talk. They have also taken control of the forums to censor the flow of information available to the players. They must be stopped.

Monga

On August 31, 2013 at 3:07 am

I’m really disturbed by this article. Seems very unproffessional and far from neutral.

12v12 was always slated for development. Many of us wanted it. Ghost heat/adjustments for balance where necessary. It was the fix PGI chose, and it works exceedingly well and any build remains viable now, mixed mechs or pure boats.

Yes, adding 3PV was a change of pace, but nothing major. gameplay has not changed from it, and many new players find 3PV extremely helpful and enjoyable.

The game is in fact at this time incredibly fun, and more players have been coming back daily recently.

Very strange that you would write an article like this, it almost seems as if you are trolling via a review website.

Mong? Oh.

On August 31, 2013 at 4:10 am

@Monga: Clearly you don’t know what trolling is. Writing an angry attack either on the company or on gamers would be trolling. Concise summation of existing, acknowledged criticisms with the community in a relatively balanced fashion is not trolling. Your bias is letting you down badly here.

LevelOfReality

On August 31, 2013 at 5:22 am

Unfortunately this is the state of the game and I think Mike’s comments kinda summarize the situation:

Yes, for an average short attention span player who doesn’t read MWO forums, MWO is actually quite good game at the moment. I can understand that mikes don’t get what’s wrong at the moment. For that, you would have to know what the devs promised and didn’t deliver but before that: you would have to actually understand the game. I’m tired of trying to explain the average joe that 3PV increases situation awareness drastically.

But what really broke me inside is that Russ and Bryan, who claim to be Battletech fans, have a similar almost autistic approach to 3PV like Mike here. The last 3 posts from them seem to describe some sort of pathology where they just appear incapable of grasping what the community is upset about and why 3PV sux.

snowfire

On August 31, 2013 at 5:56 am

Good article and very much ‘Buyer Beware’ in terms of putting money in.

One thing missing though is the commercially suicidal approach to the whole ‘new player experience’

IGP / PGI have resisted putting in even the simplest of tutorials into the game despite the beta testing player base calling for one for over year. They seem to think tutorials can come post-launch… eh?

This is bad enough but Mechwarrior Online has possible the most horrific new player experience in any game today. Players are forced to use ‘trial mechs’ for an extended period and these stock mechs are well known to be gimped in comparison to what everyone uses and deathtraps in terms of their heat management.

In addition to this none of the recent crazy game changes are documented. The matchmaker throws new players to the wolves right away against experienced players into what is a very unforgiving environment. Despite the player base calling for a new player separate queue. Nothing is explained even the ‘cadet bonus’ to give players extra money for their first few games isnt explained and disappears later to much dismay to the reality of the actual grind. Which has recently been reduced and PGI stated it will hurt new players the most. Breathtaking!

Reign(mwo)

On August 31, 2013 at 6:23 am

I for one am still having a blast with this game, I got in on beta code from gencon 2012, but didn’t really start getting into it until may this year.

I have pheonix pack overlord ordered, and if saber was not two more 55 ton mechs I would order it (I mean seriously we need robotoech licenses stat! :) ).

But irregardless- this is a Free to play game folks. Enjoy it or walk away. I know money has been spent, but this was never required. also think of value, if you pay 70 for a new game and get 40 hours out of it (typical jrpg time, then you have received good value)

Also I want to contend the 12 v 12 makes sense. Otherwise the values of 12 inner sphere que vrs 10 clan mechs would never make it into the game.

I have played about 100 matches since 3rd person view has come into effect. Guess what it really kinda sucks, Maybe if they enabled true xbox 360 controller it might be a fun change of pace. but everyone I play with does not work well without radar, and those videos of “broken” situations. Ive watched them, you know what I see. A player getting ambushed quite often from spots a 1st person player wouldn’t (behind, left and right sides).

Farpenoodle

On August 31, 2013 at 6:46 am

This article reads like a hit-piece. You being well informed and the use of “ghost heat” especially in conjunction with “magnum opus” would suggest you’re very much speaking from the perspective of someone who hangs out in the circles of the same people who have an axe to grind with regards to the game. The actual term that PGI uses to describe it is “heat scale.” Both of those terms are invented and used by a very specific portion of the community. Thus while you’re informed on the issues, I have a hard time taking this article as anything but biased.

Name*

On August 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

While this is good, there’s one thing you missed that PGI/IGP did that angered a bunch of us founders. It was using a huge chunk of MWO’s founders pack money to develop mechwarrior tactics and some other game I can’t recall the name of.

So glad I paid for the development of 2 other games instead of MWO..

WM Jeri

On August 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

….More players coming back daily? With a mech unit of over 100 Plus I can tell you our attendance has been drastically dropping. The only thing a majority of our folks get online for is a weekly competative practice in anticipation of the RHOD league.

And that is primarily due to we committed to participate prior to this mess and we join as friends more so than for the game. Many of our group have migrated on to other titles or are in a wait and see attitude with pretty much everyone spending no more coin and thats out of over 150 plus founders in our unit.

For me this article sums up the issues…and I still play the game because my friends do rather than I play for the game, when a better title comes along of which some are it will be adios. But in terms of spending my wallet is already closed MWO got the 300.00 out of me tht its gonna get.

MRPIB

On August 31, 2013 at 8:50 am

I think people like mike need to understand that players are not just upset due to the 3PV situation, though this is the most recent in a long line of disappointments. Let’s review some of the rough spots the community has had to ride out so far.

Prior to the game letting people support development by becoming ‘founders’ there were interviews online about how the game would be first person only, would be a thinking man’s shooter etc. The devs used to have grand posts about how there would be a persistent universe to be fought over (called community warfare or CW), merc units with contracts to attack or defend and lots of interesting features reminiscent of Multiplayer Battletech 3025 but with much more fleshing out. It sounded great frankly.

They also had big plans for something they called ‘Role Warfare’ where everything from a very light fast mech to a lumbering assault mech would have a role to fill on the battlefield and this would be articulated through pilot skill trees that would let scouts specialize in scouting for example.

As things moved towards open beta nearly a year ago none of this was in place and it was basically a capture the flag play mode with just a few mechs and a few maps. The devs assured the player base that the community warfare features would be in within 90 days of the game going open beta and that the clan invasion would come when it was supposed to on the calendar (they had a running timeline of 1 day of game time for 1 day of real world time that put the clan invasion some time this past summer).

Fast forward several months and here is what has been done>
1) New maps – 3 new maps plus night/day summer/winter variants on one or two of the old ones.
2) New mechs
3) A new play mode where you capture 5 flags instead of one per side
4) Lots of paint schemes, cammo schemes, champion mechs for real $
5) Fundamental hit detection is *MOSTLY* working now
6) Less UI corruption, less crashes to desktop, less crashes back to mechlab, somewhat better performance

Contrast what has been done to what hasn’t been done, or has been promised then gone back on>
1) Some popular mechs like the centurion had a variant that was basically taken out then put back in as a champion mech that costs real money to buy. Originally they were selling a vision of everything being available for in game currency but since then they have implemented truly pay to play content that can’t be had for in game currency. Not pay to win explicitly but the champions usually have very good hardpoints compared to the normal versions in addition to a bonus to cbills earned, so shades of pay to win.

2) They originally insisted that we would never see a coolant flush since in the paraphrased words of the lead designer “Coolant flush would eliminate a core pillar of game play which is heat management, so you will never see it in this game.” Well lo and behold they introduced coolant flushes, and did it initially as a pay to win real money advantage detailed in number 3…

3) Consumables were added in a very clumsy way after insisting they didn’t want consumables in. Some of them were and still are underwhelming like artillery and air strikes but the coolant flush was originally implemented such that the real money version took up 1 slot to do twice as much as the in game currency version. Yes you could double up on the in game currency version but it still took twice as many slots to get the same amount of extra cooling. The forums had a small explosion and they walked that back, learned their lesson and made all consumables identical between cbill versions and MC versions. Good for them really but still this started to show there was friction between internal groups pushing for monetization versus those pushing to maintain the vision they had originally sold the mechwarrior community and founders.

4) A little before the consumables hit there was a rumor that a lot of the money from the MWO founders program was diverted to fund the startup of MWT (mechwarrior tactics) the turn based mechwarrior game also being made by the same publisher PGI. I suppose at the end of the day it’s PGIs money in a legal sense but a lot of people are revolted by the concept of collecting money for project A, then turning around and putting it into project B. Mostly a rumor, but shadier dealings often turn out to be true.

5) As open beta ground on it became obvious that the clans were going to have to be delayed as progress was painfully slow. All the developer efforts spent making basic hit detection work and sorting out the slew of bugs in the prematurely outed open beta seriously derailed the timeline and the 1:1 real time calendar was dropped along with the clan invasion.

6) Some time over the last year the concept of ‘role warfare’ has been quietly dropped at least in terms of the role specific skill trees. Instead the generic unlocks are the same across all mechs (run faster, move arms faster, shut down for less time, etc) with no differentiation. Now we have been told that they are totally still doing role warfare but that it’s about a year out… pull the other finger, it has bells on it.

7) Information warfare was supposed to be another vaunted design feature and while it has been partially delivered there’s still a lot missing. Some items like the 3 ton ‘command console’ are still literally just a place holder that has zero function. More than 14 months of development and they haven’t bothered to add a function to it. A slightly less pathetic example is the NARC missile targeting pod which is not completely useless but let’s just say that I have never noticed one on the battlefield in more than 1,500 matches.

8) A revamped user interface called UI2.0 has been in development for several months but still hasn’t been put in yet. Currently you can’t set up a simple LOBBY to play with friends or drop against a specific group of enemies… seriously think about that for a second. Yet calls to bring this and many other features that would let players scrimmage or run events has been shot down with statements of ‘that will have to wait for UI2.0. This is somewhat understandable in that they don’t want to waste resources patching it into the existing UI but again, we are less than one month away from launch and this huge revamp of the UI that is certain to have bugs hasn’t even hit the beta testers.

9) Community warfare remains an absolute mirage and despite being less than a month away from retail launch it has not even started to make an appearance yet. A month or two ago an interview video with one of the lead PGI staff let it slip that community warfare was now going to be split into three phases! So not only is it not in a month ahead of launch but now the player base knows that all they will really be able to do is pick a faction. Details are sketchy but it looks like they are claiming they’ll need about another year *after* launch to get the CW they originally promised 90 days after open beta implemented. Absolutely stellar.

10) 3rd person view as previously mentioned was stated clearly as being not even a possibility was slowly leaked to have become a possibility. I think the first mumblings of this were near the middle of closed beta. There was a forum brushfire and literal thousands of players voted in polls that showed ~90% against 3pv in this game. Granted a criticism of these polls is that they were player run and the questions weren’t the fairest but PGI seemed unwilling to even put up a poll to legitimately ask the player base what they wanted. Fast forward to 22 March 2013 after open beta had launched and a statement was made that maybe a year out the 3rd person view would be added in, and while they knew this would not be popular with a large set of the players the creative director made a literal promise *underlined* and *bolded* “PLAYERS WILL NEVER BE FORCED TO USE OR PLAY AGAINST OTHER PLAYERS USING 3RD PERSON”.

Fast forward again and not only is it in the game but it’s on by default and you cannot choose to join games with it turned off. The devs stated that they didn’t see any advantage to 3rd person view so they didn’t want to split the queues as they had promised but it took about 5 minutes for people to start posting images of how to look over buildings, around cover etc, and even line up jump-sniping targets without exposing yourself and knowing exactly when it is safe to punch someone in the back of the head without fear of retaliation. Well done boys, well done.

So yes, the hardcore player base is understandably ticked right off that the sim game they were enjoying now has a 3rd person camera that has all the exploits you would expect with such a device, but the community overall is very upset about being lied to at least once explicitly and generally let down on every single feature they were promised throughout development. Literally all of them except bug fixes and new art assets are delayed beyond all reasonable expectations and it’s only a month from launch.

As a long time mechwarrior fan and a legendary founder ($120) I am really disappointed. I had ordered a further $80 “Phoenix” package last month but given that these guys have now torn down the 3rd of 4 ‘fundamental design pillars’ they started with I have cancelled it and received a refund since I am not happy.

I and many others are also losing faith that this game is going to ever get the features that were pitched to founders as it is currently just a mediocre capture the flag game with a few maps and 2 modes of play.

For the time being they still have my $120 so I really want them to make good on their drunken boasts but so far the best praise I can give it is “it is the best first person… err… first and third person mechwarrior game currently in development” and that’s only because MWLL the community made mod closed down so as to not ‘split the community’.

I can’t recommend this game to anyone until the devs spend at least another year on it. Maybe more. shame it’s going to launch and get absolutely savaged next month.

cybermech

On August 31, 2013 at 9:19 am

There are so many lies on these pages I don’t know where to begin.
The manipulation of the time line is just priceless.
If anyone believes what is written here then you are missing WAY too many things.
I hope that this company legally has to back up what is being said here so PGI can sue their asses :P

I love this game, I also have put a lot of time and effort playing this game.
I have worked with the community on many things and mainly towards helping new people out.
There has always been lots of misinformation on those forums since the start.

The forums have trolls and sigs that flame PGI cause PGI are really cool guys and don’t want to be banning people for nothing.
They are laid back guys who have been working on connection issues, crashes, map bugs and others for a long time.
While their artists and designers have been working on maps and mechs.

The coolshot can only be used once, while using real cash you can put on 1 shot.
If buying it with in game money (C-bills) you can use 2.
These take up module slots which are important.
Far too many people use this and it only suites high heat builds.
The introduction of it was a terrible one and not handled the best with only one solution of forum rage to change it.
Its called making a game that is really in beta and not one that is pretending to be.

The “saveMWO” project is only put a split in between the community with some really good players in it.
If they haven’t figured it out yet it is a “measuring competition” with no actual direction.
Some of the bigger groups are using it as a publicity stunt.
The only real problem is with those players in that group who are of worth.

You can feel the pain of many “normal” minded players as 3pv was one of the worst way to implement something that the majority do not want in.
Now when it got announced that it was going in no matter what people wanted, it was pitched to have separate ques.
Anyone who thought those ques would have been straight away was lying to themselves.
I knew if wouldn’t be straight away in as data would have to be collected about it effects and what nots.
It is now in process to have competitive play as 1pv only.

Yes there has been problems but what this writer has done is taken all the gossip and put it into one spot.
“ghost heat” lolz… its so mysterious.
eh… you mean staking penalties?
yes cause no game ever has staking penalties EVEr!

Also to note for some, there has been so much crying on these forums that the general reply is “you still look at the forums?”

asdasfgasg

On August 31, 2013 at 9:46 am

12v12 was implemented AGAINST THE WILL OF THE COMMUNITY? what blatant lies. This article may be partially true, but THAT line alone proves that this is just a well-placed article aiming to support the #savemwo blackmailing movement. If I was PGI I would take legal action against all of this obvious extortionism.

Steve42082

On August 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

Clearly the writer doesnt know wtf hes talking about. Anyone who thinks pgi lied about coolant is a moron who cant read, they said they wouldnt have coolat AS IT APPEARED IN MW4, and they dont. Ghost heat doesnt punish a sesnibly used hunch 4p, only someone who alphas over and over. Just fire the hunch, then fire the three others. Oh, wait, thats too hard for the morons who cry about it. Then, people crying over 3rd person who claim pgi isnt listening to them fail to understand that OTHER PEOPLE WANT THINGS THAT YOU DONT WANTY. They have the data. they talk to people at cons. You dont. Wah, 3000 people on the forums say they dont want it. Not to mention how many people made alt accounts to vote that way. How come none of these people went and voted on the OFFICIAL 3PV POLL POSTED BY BRYAN EKMAN JUST LAST WEEK?!?!?!!? Oh yeah, cause theyre too busy crying about the unofficial post that was “ignored” as though 3000 players should speak for the entirity of the games community. Not to mention the fact that 3rd person offers no advantage to a skilled player. Oh, you can peek over a hill without beeing seen? I can do that in first person too. Of course, i have skills, and these morons lack that, soo.
Long story short, games fine, new players all the time, if pgi werent making money they wouldnt give you a refund you arent entitled to BECAUSE YOU SIGNED A TOS SAYING THEY COULD CHANGE THE GAME AT ANY TIME. Im sure the number of people who actually ask for a refund are in the low hundreds. and with a forum community like the ones at mwo, you DESERVE to be treated like the es you are. /end rant.
Good day.

Jabber

On August 31, 2013 at 11:02 am

The mittani a well know battle tech author…bahahahahahahahahahaha in his own mind

Steve Unknob

On August 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

Nice try, Steve. Considering you resort to fallacies and emotive rhetoric in place of reasoning, and you apparently don’t know how to format paragraphs correctly, I think it’s pretty safe to assume it’s you who has trouble reading or understanding what’s going on.

Rotaugen

On August 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

If this game dies, do you really think another developer will pick it up? Seeing it die so fast, it will be avoided and it will be another decade or more until another shows up, if ever.

SpecialS4uc3

On August 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This is a good read and sums up the exact reasons why I have given up on MWO after already putting in early money. The slow realization that the studio you have decided to back is incapable of delivering a product you want anything to do with sucks but we are still lucky that we have the opportunity to decide which risks we take in gaming these days even if they sometimes fail. While MWO has been a bust Star Citizen is shaping up to be the exact opposite. Take your losses and move on I guess.

Stalkerr

On August 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Hi, I’m the guy that started #saveMWO.

Do you know the reason I took all my evenings for several weeks, PMing frequent posters on the MWO forums and contacting community leaders? Because I wanted, before we even kicked off #saveMWO, to see if it was just me or not, or if the community itself felt the same way I was feeling.

The response I got, overwhelming as it was, proved I wasn’t alone. We’ve had tons of people get involved in #saveMWO, from oodles of solo players, to small units of close RL friends who play together, to mega-units that represent both casual and competitive interests.

Anyone who claims that #saveMWO (like Bryan Ekman did) only represents the elite competitve players of the community has not done their homework, and is in fact lying for the sake of keeping the status quo. I wouldn’t give up my time for a group of elitist jerks… I gave up my time to serve the desires of a representative set of the community, giving them a forum and outlet to communicate their concerns to PGI directly. I did this out of love for the community I saw suffering due to a heavily-flawed game and uncommunicative developers.

#saveMWO is here to lobby for a game that should last for 10 years, not one that’ll be forgotten in the next 18 months. Anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

thedog

On August 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm

@Steve42082 It’s funny, I don’t even play the game and I can tell what a load you’re shoveling. You’re just like a number of other trolls that come around with there make believe numbers and there F you attitude. To be honest I find people like you funny. With you head shoved so far up your own backside, that your words come out all garbled and covered in …….. well, you know. Most trolls just try to make others mad while others your not sure if they’re serious or not. I at least hope they’re trolls because I would hate to think they were really that stupid.
Point is,,,,, keep those comments coming. I get a good laugh from them. You’re just enough to break up the serious tone, for a little comic relief. Thx dude.

Drew

On August 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

It’s too GD late for that I’m banned for charging back on the game I loved so much that was completely ruined by those aholes . :( :(

Monga

On August 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm

#savemwo has a paltry 1170 signatures.

The game has 1.1 million registered users.

My suggestion is for you to simply try the game. Either you like it or you don’t.

One thing is very obvious – this game is getting a lot of negative press from a very vocal and tiny % of the user base, and that gives you some idea of how good this franchise is, how good the game already is, and really you should do yourself a favor and simply try the game for free.

The new user experience is challenging but the endgame is already very rewarding. Winning a match when your 3 men down and you are the last man standing – this game can get your adrenaline pumping more than any other. The moments it creates are already incredibly epic.

No doubt some of these trolls will yell at me for “Brown-nosing” or whatever else, and as you can see from their comments below they are very interested in making this game fail – not just highlighting their personal disagreements of the direction development has gone.

A part of this further is that a large (1500 man strong) segment of goons is involved in MWO – if you remember what the goons did in Eve Online you can start to see what is going on here as well – some people have no interest but griefing good games all day long.

Simply put – the game is free to play & try, and is a very fun experience. I suggest you try it for yourself rather than being discouraged by a tiny % of the playerbase that did not get their way during closed & open beta.

MightyMoo

On August 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Well there’s another game I won’t be buying. Diablo 3 got mucked up and now this.

Chas

On August 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I’ve been going for over a year, hoping that MWO would give me cause to invest some serious cash in the game.

Unfortunately, just about every decision they’ve made has locked down my wallet further and further.

At this point, while I understand they need to make money, their willingness to lie to the community, toss their own people under a bus, and publicly denigrate their paying customers pretty much means that they won’t see another dime from me. EVER.

I’ve played MMOs with great community-dev interaction.
I’ve played MMOs with poor community-dev interaction.
I’ve played MMOs with TERRIBLE (worse than “no”) community-dev interaction.

MWO has firmly encamped itself in #3.

And it’s a shame. As with many horrifically managed titles, there’s always been a kernel of something great.

Eric

On August 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm

A “small group” is what PGI refers to its entire community that uses the forums and discusses the game. The last public poll on the forums asking if PGI should implement 3pv had only 100 people say yes while over 3000 players voted no. Each account can only vote once on a poll. The forum community consists of core players, they are passionate and care the most about the game. In a free to play game passionate means they spend more money and time on the product. PGI has consistently responded by saying the whole of its forums are not its target audience then go ahead and ignore our suggestions on game balance and feedback.

I can only picture what the metacritic reviews will be of this game at launch. I think PGI has assumed that the “core fans” have already been drained of the cash they plan on spending and feels a need to bring in new players. The problem is this game was initially funded by these core fans, does PGI not realize that their current demographic of 30 year old gamers who have engineering/technical jobs will spend a lot more many than CoD kiddies?

They have now pushed out 3 pieces of content people have specifically asked not to have in the game. The players provided them sound reasons why these were terrible and their response was that we are not their target player base. In my opinion this is the biggest “ you” they could give to the community. I hate ghost heat and coolant flush but adding 12v12 with 3rd person view was the nail in the coffin for me. PGI needs to understand that players spending over 100 dollars on their game should not be flagged as “not the target audience” and have their desires tossed aside so casually.

Sulla

On August 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm

This is a terrible article. If you are going to write about the game at least do the research and give an even handed article. This article is just the regurgitated rantings of a vocal mintority.

Valaska

On August 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

The riots began back with ECM actually, LRM was a little tift, but then ECM hit with the first real road bump in the forum… Eventually ECM pushed my out of the game when they outright refused to fix it and ignored a fairly large section of the community giving possible fixes and constructive feedback, after that with coolshot your article is spot on.

Valaska

On August 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

It would be nice is Stompy Bot (MekTek) was able to get the license to this, they were doing great things with Heavy Gear Assault..

adg

On August 31, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Excellent article. I have been a casual on-and-off player of MWO for awhile. When I started playing the game was fun, the community was smart and engaging, and the entire game brimmed with potential. I was anticipating spending a lot of time and money on this game. But as the never-ending beta wore on, and the developers clumsily began alienating the community, I sadly began to realize the potential of this game would never materialize.

But I feel most sad for those players who invested money in this game throughout its “beta” phase. PGI essentially used that money as capital to develop the game, and now intend to entice a different crowd of gamers to give them money. The situation has been shockingly unethical.

Breakdown

On August 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Every game forum has it’s complaints and controversies. If people can’t deal with a beta being changed, they should just wait for the product to mature

N3M3515

On August 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

This is really sad, sounds like PGI has really taken some substantial missteps. Which really speaks to the incompetence of management. To me it sounds like a quick money grab vs making a solid gaming experience. Ironically a money grab may boost profits for a quarter or two, but ultimately it will diminish the IP at a far faster rate, and thus damage overall earnings over the long run. Providing quality game play, not creating a pay to win scenario, listening to your customers, and treating them well will pay dividends in the long run. The core base of the game will grow, you will get an amazingly dedicated community(some may even extend your IP lifespan ie DayZ / Arma 2 sold more copies then original Arma 2), and you will see your profits grow with the community. Again this just speaks to the ineptitude of general management at fairly high levels within PGI, your dev’s and community managers probably have little to do with the overall direction of the MWO, so getting angry with them is not the correct place to display the rage, unfortunately they are just the face of bad decisions.

There are many F2P games and developers out there PGI could take queues from, a good example is SOE and Planetside 2. SOE has a dev roadmap, listens to ideas from users and outfits, and even has a public development server which gives users a glimpse of new features.

Its a shame because I loved the old MW3 style simulator game play, played a bit in beta, and was hoping to come back and play in final release. Probably going to forgo that now.

wjbodin3

On August 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I am doubly glad now that I stopped “testing” when the founders packs came out, hell I don’t even remember my username and password anymore.

Just glad I saw this when I did for I was actually thinking of going back and seeing what had been fixed in that time. Guess I can finally uninstall

r2ch

On August 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I’m a founder and a phoenix holder. I don’t have any great gripes with the game right now. The pop tarts where the only thing that ever really irritated me and they are pretty much gone/ineffective now.

I wanted 12 man.

3rd person caught me by surprise but after playing around with it for a bit I’m not at all concerned about it. Using it severely gimps your situation awareness.

Cool shot I don’t care about. it’s one use per match and a money sink. I don’t use them, but if others want to more power to them.

I am a bit disappointed in the delay of CW.

All in all I’m ok with where PGI has gotten us to to-date. I sincerely hope they don’t fail as I’m to old to wait another 10 years for someone to make a good crack at the battletech franchise. Prior to MWO the last one I really liked was Mech Warrior 2 Mercs

quicktooth

On September 1, 2013 at 2:01 am

The corporate-paid commenters seem out in force. I wish you guys had valid points instead of just calling everyone else liars and spitting emotional bile. Try facts, guys. If you had facts to back you up, to prove the game was good, maybe your loyal customers would not be quitting and raging en mass from your efforts… >.> Not a player, just my 2 cents…

Mr Flibble

On September 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

That’s sad. I was thinking about checking this game out, but seeing the direction they’re taking it and their inability to perform the steps necessary for stable mmo development I’ll have to pass. Maybe I’ll try and find my old copy of Mechwarrior 2…

King Curt

On September 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

I completely disagree with the linked article and all of the imagined transgressions of PGI’s against a small but well-connected group of players.

Cool shot was argued, debated, flametested and when it came the game continued to be great. No one got any monster-mech with magical cooling powers. Cool shot did not ruin the game. The bellyaching stopped.

As for the General chat section removal, it got too damned General! Yes there was criticism, and there was also high praise. Both kinds of topics existed there. Also topics on silly paint jobs, what-if ramblings and probably orders for mech-shaped pepperoni pizza. It was a mess. Kyle and company did what they had to do. And as far as censorship of some of the topics, I read a few of those before they went away — most started with threats and devolved into more threats. Don’t threaten people and no censorship.

Admittedly Ghost heat was a bit of a surprise, and a solution that came about because of … forum whining. Go look around at all of the posts regarding OP laser and missile boats. The Splat Cat alone is reviled. Ghost Heat is a solution the very same people screaming for blood demanded. Oh it may not be exactly the way they demanded, but it is what PGI found to be a very good solution. Here’s another point too – time to adapt. And since Ghost Heat I am noticing a big difference in the quality of matches; they’re meaner, grittier, longer lasting slugfests of neigbor-scaring hell noise. Isn’t this why we play?

The so-called “community group” of #SaveMWO was started by a few players upset every single suggestion ( read: demand ) they made in the forums was not implemented. They felt their Founders package title meant something akin to “Game Designer”. I am a Legendary founder. I’ve received more than I bought. Look it up. Everyone got exactly the early access, the premium time. the mechs. the tag and come release time our names. If you remember, the option of when we could start our premium time was given to us as a bonus. That was never promised. How about being able to paint founders mechs now? BONUS! Should I go on? There are more, but does this “community group” notice any of these?

This is the real problem. A few spoiled-rotten jerks with money, power and connections can convince more jerks to join this misguided crusade. And the worst part is the jerks have gotten personal, with threats of all kinds. And I’ve had enough of it.

I will be a White Knight. I love #MWO and I’ve grown quite fond of a lot of the players and the people at PGI and IGP. The silent majority that enjoy this game, those old soldiers like me who have been here from the beginning and have gone through patches so much rougher than this, do not agree with this article and those who do.

Stop referring to me in your “community” of bitter spiteful egomaniacs obsessing over the imagined affront of not getting what you, and you only, want. I’m not one of you. I will speak for myself.

You had better have listened.

Allen Wren

On September 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hi! I’m the guy who works with the guy who started #saveMWO. I’m the guy who’s handled the official recording duties, and occasionally, the yelling-at-people-to-get-to-the-point duties of the various town hall meetings that have been held thus far (that’s three of them.)

I work on the Violent Combat Robot Show podcast with the guy who did (Stalkerr, scroll up son.)

And because I’m not the top guy, the official face of the project, I’m less inclined to be charitible. We’re here because we love shooting robots. That is a fact. We are not the elite of the tournament players. My KDR was, last I checked, approximately 0.8 (+/- 0.02). This is also a fact.

#savemwo did amazing things, via the connected circle of representatives of both casual and hardcore teams, and was resoundingly ignored by the staff of PGI/IGP. There’s a certain point where it becomes obvious that anything constructive you say is going to be ignored, and anything non-constructive said out of frustration is going to be held up as just cause for ignoring you, or to bolster suion about your motives.

All I really wanted to do was shoot robots and make podcasts about shooting robots.

Nemesis

On September 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Nice biased review. Yes the game has had issues as every game in development does. I am a fan of the MechWarrior franchise, and have been in MWO since early beta. While they are behind, and implementing features in an order that was not initially part of their goal, they are moving forward. I for one did not want 3rd person view. However i see so few people using it, and even the ones that are; are not impacting my game negatively. 12 vs.12 has been a great addition. Are we needing Community Warfare, yes !! Has this been in the pipeline too long, yes.

Personally i hold hopes for MWO, and realize it is not where i expected it to be, but it is far from ruined. People will always and complain, because frankly it is their right, and it is so easy to do when you have too much free time.

If this game is not your cup of tea then so be it. It cost you nothing. Move on, and go find something else. If you have not tried the game, give it a shot, regardless of what some people are saying. There are those of us who enjoy it;have not given up on it and are playing it.

Derrick

On September 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Yes, PGI changed things they “set in stone” earlier. You can absolutely fault their integrity there but for gods sake, don’t hold their being tight lipped now about Community Warfare while deriding them for changing things during development.

But really? All these “Forum Explosions”? Coolant flush? Have you played the game since? Everyone cried that it would break the game, remove skill and turn it into a silly arcade game. Did it? No. It’s a one use module available for in game currency that removes a small amount of heat. It just adds to the game, it detracts nothing. Absolutely nobody now has any issue with Cool Shot. Most don’t even bother with it. Did any of these forum warriors apologize later, given that PGI was right all along and it didn’t hurt the game a bit?

3PV? People point to other MW games (keep in mind, other than MW1 they *all* had 3PV) as to how terrible it is, and why they don’t want it. I was on the absolutely no 3PV bandwagon for the same reason. But PGI has managed an implementation that doesn’t hurt the game at all. When activated your mech launches a camera drone, and you see from said drone. Other players can see the drone even if they can’t see your mech. It does offer an increased field of view, but only in rare specific locations is it significantly improved. But most importantly, it’s TERRIBLE in combat. In the previous MW games, you were forced to use 3PV yourself in order to compete. Now, using 3PV at anything even remotely resembling competitive play gets you killed in short order. It’s use is entirely limited to the rare peeking over a ridge – again, with an entirely believeable and realistic camera drone. I’ll point out, such technology is available right now, today: you can get little remote control helicopters that feed video to your smartphone for $30.

Total forum explosion.

But the game goes on, every bit as much fun as it was before. Most matches, you won’t see a single blinky 3PV camera drone light at all, and you certainly never see people fighting in 3PV.

Yes, the devs making absolute statements then changing things is bad.

But don’t play this off like it’s some terrible thing that has destroyed the game. Maybe you personally don’t like it anymore (despite the fact that it plays pretty much just like it always had, barring balance/meta differences), but it’s certainly not hurting for players.

PropagandaWar

On September 2, 2013 at 12:09 am

Yeah PGI screwed up on the comm forum. But this is by far the best Multiplayer MechWarrior game we have ever had. Anyone here who has been playing for over a year QQ’s way to damn much. The biggest bunch of babies I ever heard. I play all the odd builds. I do great in them. Most of the cheese gets nerfed and people cry because they feel they should be able to stand still. That goon ran SAVEMWO was a farce. Over half thoseguys played for maybe 2 days after and left again. One guy sounded like he was having a seizure and I wanted to slap him for his mental disorder that PGI ruined his life

.Those saying we used to have 100 people in here. Well geez I thought most gamers played multiple games. Our group has had over 20 new people in the last 2 weeks and we are small potatoes, compared to the others. Yeah PGI has screwed up on certain things comm wise. I didn’t care about 3rd person view. Just about their waffling on the hardcore mode.

The other thing is how a lot of these same people try and compare it to Star Citizen. Ha. Have you seen the money grab there. Silly humanz. PGI is trying to make a triple A product and swim with the big fish. They are getting there. But unlike “STar Citizen” they had to really hit the ground running, and make a game they haven’t before. Star Citizen is being done by the same guy. Have fun with that $5.00 poster. When I spend my money for the founders I knew what I was getting into. MWO’s money grab is necessary. They get that 15-20 mil in another year or so you will have a epic game. By the way mr. writer who apparently plays. Good job with the bad publicity even though you probably like a lot of these guys still play.

Silenced

On September 2, 2013 at 4:15 am

I’ve been a MWO forum member since 2011. I bought a Founder package in 2012 and entered the closed-beta for MWO. I tested the game, and was active on the forum giving feedback and suggestions. I have over 1000 likes there. I have many years prior experience serving as a GM and Community Manager for Kesmai’s MPBT games, which gave me insight into where things were going awry with IGP&PGI/MWO Community relations long before they assploded.

It would not be incorrect to say I’m a rabid fan of the Battletech & Mechwarrior franchise, having ridden the ride all the way from hex-maps through to this point. With all of my essence I wanted MWO to be a stunning success, so I’d have a good game to keep me entertained. Knowing that an online multi-player game’s success relies heavily on the game’s community, I offered critiques of MWO forum management. Not raging, but politely put reasonable arguments. After months of seeing no improvement, I sent a email upstairs that was filled with documentation of the problems I’d seen, and possible solutions to those problems. I was a bit critical of whoever IGP put in charge of the MWO forum, and unfortunately my email went to him instead of higher up. :p

The eventual reply to my email starts off with,
“I sincerely appreciate your concerns, I’m always surprised and happy to find players as passionate, engaged and willing to help as you guys are”

But then ends with,
“After reviewing the links you sent me, as well as reviewing the reports and some of your threads and post about the moderation, you have reached the level of creating duplicate threads, harassment and defamatory behavior similar to spamming and trolling towards the volunteer mods, my community mods as well as IGP and PGI in their choices of ways of doing things and discussing disciplinary actions.

Also, please allow me to quote the Terms of Use:

“If you are not willing to be bound by each and every term or condition, or if any representation made herein by you is not true, you must cease using the IGP Offerings.”

http://mwomercs.com/terms

With the above and the sheer quantity of moderation work you have given to my team all the way up to me, I currently have more than enough reasons ban your account permanently.

However, as I believe everyone deserves a chance, consider this a final warning.

Please improve your behavior and cease harassing, trolling, reporting moderator opinions, duplicate threads, discuss moderation actions, and breaking the Code of Conduct and the Terms of Use by trying to play with words, concept and previous experiences.

No further communication about this specific topic will be accepted.”

That’s what you get for trying to help. >.>

SiDhe

On September 2, 2013 at 7:03 am

The article summarizes well the history of controversy around MWO. At the same time, it suffers from familiar weaknesses, such as assuming that initially critical reactions to this or that new feature are here to last. As it is, the bad reaction to 12 mans was attributable a) to a bug causing FPS drops (was fixed) and b) “crowding” on some of the smaller maps (still happens, but players do learn).

In addition, it can evidently only reflect the vocal criticism, while the silent population of gamers enjoying themselves may or may not associate themselves with this article.

I as a founder and continued supporter (also financially) of the game do not. Issues in game balance are being adressed, and let’s not forget that MWO is rooted in a TT role play game, where the translation of TT rules into a user controlled simulation (where skill not dice decides) poses challenges inevitably. Let’s also keep in mind that the graphics, sound, overall feel, yes also gameplay, and of course teamplay (at least if in a well-organized unit) are actually great.

Some people leave in anger and frustration, new players join, and some who left actually come back. Fact is that we play both the open queue as well as the competitive queues, with both new and familiar players abound, and majority of matches action-packed nailbiters.

I find it regrettable that the author seems to walk into the familiar trap of trying to score audience with exaggeration, or at a minimum a totally lopsided and imbalanced perspective.

Alex

On September 2, 2013 at 8:07 am

Is this even journalism ? Where’s the objectivity ?
This was my last time on Gamefront.

Koes

On September 2, 2013 at 10:33 am

They even had not fix the no destructible trees and building since their first public beta test (August 2012).

Tezcatli

On September 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

Congratulations. You’ve articulated every stupid complaint the community has raged about. We’re not all as mad as these loud pretentious children. Most of us enjoy the game for what it is. And 3PV is a joke. The only advantage you get is being able to see over ridges. But in doing so the bright red blinky UAV gives away your position. Coolshot, ghost heat, please. They intend to have an indicator for the ghost heat with UI 2.0 so you know if you’re getting a penalty. And I can run my Blackjack with 5 medium lasers and large laser and not need to buy the MC coolshot.

Everything that doesn’t meet with the community’s ideals is considered an insult. I’m pretty sure most developers don’t step and fetch to their community. They listen and consider what they have to say. But I’ve seen enough companies go through with things that were unpopular.

Fred

On September 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I played MWO since the earliest days of closed beta, and paid to support the game via the legendary founder package as soon as the option became available. I have since paid at least the same amount again in premium time and mechs. About two months ago I stopped supporting the game and no longer play it, largely because of the kinds of decisions made by the developers as outlined in this article.

I care a lot about this IP, and I truly hope the developers get their act together. That said, I can not recommend that anyone spend their time, let alone invest their money, in MWO at this point.

Kaldor

On September 3, 2013 at 7:04 am

Great article and absolutely true. This is the kind of bad press the game deserves.

Also a founder here ($120 buy in) and certainly an old school player, starting back with MW1.

I will not put another dollar into this game, ever.

And we could only be so lucky to have the guys that did LL’s pick up the IP….

Annoymous Merc

On September 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

One consideration regarding “lying” is that it ignores the more likely possibility that when they stated their policy of “no this”, and “no that” in game, they may have meant it. However, over the months and months as the game developed they simply changed their minds.

This represents, based on the reactions of the vocal groups, poor reading of the consumer base………but certainly not lying. I am sure many of us have changed our mind on more than one occasion. Or should I apologize to my mother for being late to family dinner last week? I clearly told her I would be there at 6PM, and yet I arrived at 6:30PM due to another event coming up last minute that I had to make.

That was rhetorical, obviously.

I think, speaking personally, the more direct cause of the anger is the severe lack of and tone of communication from the developers. 3PV would not have been quite the rage trigger had they A) Announced it prior to pushing it in a patch and B) Set it as a module slot; free for first 25 games and then purchasable with in game money (CBills).

If they came out FIRST and said “Look, dedicated player, fanbase, customers, we know we said this, but we have had to change our mind/this real world development cycle/ect has come up. We know this may not be ideal, but we need to try it (remember, this is a beta).”

But they don’t……..you show up on patch Tuesday and everything is a surprise, and some of it makes no sense on the surface.

Purplefluffybunny

On September 4, 2013 at 1:08 am

Thank you for writing this article James.

omegaorgun

On September 4, 2013 at 2:54 am

Yea seems like they don’t listen I am one customer with several micro transactions that feels my wallet will no longer pay anymore for the game as the decisions made to balance game play are unbalanced and well utter crap at the best of times.

StoneMason

On September 4, 2013 at 5:42 am

When people talk about the “Vocal Minority” what they are really referring to is a large group of international Mechwarrior players who are likely to have been involved in fan-run competitive leagues at some point in the last fifteen years. These are people who continued to play a very flawed title, Mechwarrior 4, for over ten years waiting for MWO. They have seen every mistake made by PGI at least once before and they understand better than anyone how it will impact competitive play in the long term. These are mature people who, on the whole, are either polite with their complaints or just leave quietly. They are middle aged, cashed up and probably running most of the in-game regiments/units you see on the forums. The developers have squandered one of the most cohesive and enthusiastic fan communities in PC gaming through poor communication and an indifferent attitude.

I was a member of one of those leagues, Net Battletech, only for about a year during high school. I met people from all over the world and have NEVER found an online community that was as passionate, friendly and mature.

darkfall13

On September 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I haven’t played since they posted we’d get 3PV whether we wanted it or not, and I haven’t visited the forums since 3PV patch day. I’m one of the disheartened Founders, there’s just too many hits against the community. I even go so far as saying the “Pillars” is where they went wrong, not that they were bad, they were great and were what drew the Founders, but the fact that they fell off the face of the planet without so much as a whimper was very telling as to what the community would start experiencing with PGI’s “communication.”

StoneMason

On September 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm

When people talk about the “Vocal Minority” what they are really referring to is a large group of

international Mechwarrior players who are likely to have been involved in fan-run competitive

leagues at some point in the last fifteen years. These are people who continued to play a very

flawed title, Mechwarrior 4, for over ten years waiting for MWO. They have seen every mistake

made by PGI at least once before and they understand better than anyone how it will impact

competitive play in the long term. These are mature people who, on the whole, are either polite

with their complaints or just leave quietly. They are middle aged, cashed up and probably running

most of the in-game regiments/units you see on the forums. The developers have squandered one of

the most cohesive and enthusiastic fan communities in PC gaming through poor communication and an

indifferent attitude.

I was a member of one of those leagues, Net Battletech, only for about a year during high school.

I met people from all over the world and have NEVER found an online community that was as

passionate, friendly and mature.

Rooster

On September 5, 2013 at 4:48 am

The fact that the company is willing to dump every existing player it has over the side should tell people everything they need to know about this company.

The MW franchise deserves a better game and better company than what they have here.

Article is spot on, and stay away from MWO.

Strider

On September 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

What is described here is true. From a certain point of view.

However, as always the internet ignores the portion of the populace that isn’t “at war” with the devs. The group I play with majorly stays off the forums, except to read patch notes.

Several of us are Founders, several of us are now Phoenix package owners. Every one of us have bought into the game. We are not upset. We approached each change without the baggage of the forum society and judged the changes accordingly. We did not leave. We did not rage. The only good thing we have found for 3PV is to look at our mechs. Not at all useable for real tactical fighting.

Whispers

On September 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Sadly, everything this article states is true.

There have been plenty of other serious issues which the article barely touched;
, tons of bugs,
, mech scaling (where some mechs are simply the wrong size, and thus too easy to kill for what they offer)
, weapon balance issues which take months to resolve (and are still far from where they should be),
, graphical features being completely removed instead becoming optional (otherwise what is the point of low or high settings),
, Dx11 never being implemented,
, and the most damning of all, the lack of a lobby where players can play with and compete with the players they want to (which is basically 1990s level of tech).

Furthermore, it’s been stated by Bryan Ekman (PGI dev) that the upcoming launch will have none of the actual design pillars that this game was founded (and collected millions of dollars on) :

No UI 2.0
No dropship mode
No lobby
No Community Warfare
No environmental destruction
No bases
No clans

Only new thing is an updated cash shop (which shows you what their priorities are).

Telemaco

On September 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Not much more to add, im one of those founders wich believed their promises and suported them, i got much dissapointed with the médium time result (When they changed the termal views and a few more, and removed graphical features of the game just beacuse they did not know how to implement them) and greatly dissapointed with the reléase of coolans a such “pay to win” stuff, bored of the bagem at that point, cause it was not the game they promised when they selled it to me i just quited playing (each month i lauch the launcher to get updates and then close it).

They just scammed us and used our fidelity to an idea to get our money, then do whatewer they wanted but what they promised. They have to come here a fund a potical party, our politicians are doing the same lately…

JingleHell

On September 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Yeah, I got denied a refund for MC purchased shortly before the unpleasant 3PV surprise. Pretty much summarily.

I was even polite about it, if persistent. If anyone else has had these problems, I’d suggest checking out the government of Canada’s Competition Bureau at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/frm-eng/GH%C3%89T-7TDNA5

I’d say they’ve crossed enough lines that it’s time for us to play rough too.

Fluffypinkbunny

On September 10, 2013 at 8:50 am

“Many players are done waiting around for Mechwarrior Online to turn into the game they want it to be”

I often see this as the complaint many people say the game is still in BETA, the game isn’t released yet, it’s NOT the game people want it to be, because IT’S NOT DONE YET!.

For all the doom and gloom out there, I have yet to have trouble finding a group or a game to play. For a game that is dying, I can go to one of many Team speak sights, and within 1 or 2 minutes find a group of four people, and drop into a game of 24 people (12 on each side). MWO is far from dead. The advantages of cool shot and 3rd person view are so little, many people don’t even waste time with them, especially cool shot, you can only use each version once, then it’s gone, it’s not the coolant flush of ole, it’s a one time use, tactical advantage.

Mwo is a very tactical game, and has many advantages, sure there are “pop tarts” but for every one of them, there is a missile boat with scout, or dedicated brawler who can walk up on the pop tart and destroy them.

Learn to play the game, and it’s a vey fun game. Nothing here is mentioned about ELO, a system that sets those who are “masters” of the game apart from those who arent. Nothing is mentioned here about the 0 wait time to find a game. Nothing is mentioned here about all the advances and improvements to the current ui that we’ve gone though.

I love mwo currently, and will continue to play it, the rest who want to leave because of one or two features can go play Hawken, and stop weakening my team.

Lance

On September 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Just the usual whining, but written in a much better fashion.

The game is fine and will continue to be so.

In six months when everything that the community wants is in place and working as it should all of the people doing the complaining will pat themselves on the back and say, “That was us. WE DID THAT!”

The truth is, all of it was going to happen. People just don’t know how to keep from acting like children on the internet.

*Facepalm*

On September 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

@Lance: actually, the biggest whining children in any fanbase are those like yourself who have no valid counterarguments when faced with concise criticism of something you have a bias towards and instead resort to reframing the issue with straw man constructs and name-calling. It’s really pathetic how far you’ll go to delude yourself into thinking this game is without fault and that it’s some sort of culture of entitlement and cynicism preventing people from reaching the ‘correct’ opinion, i.e. your stubbornly obedient and apologetic stance. I wouldn’t be surprised if you deliberately missed the point of the Mass Effect 3 ending backlash as well. That is the way of the fantoy, after all. What you don’t seem to realise is that these ‘whiners’ paid their money just as you did, and they didn’t do so hoping that they would be disappointed or feel misled. That was PGI’s decision, not theirs.

Your comment is completely and utterly devoid of substance. Troll harder next time.

Geroge

On September 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

Wow, what a pack of incompetent morons at PGI.

nosleepdemon

On September 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Readers of this article should note that the author takes an incredibly bitter and jaded view of the development of the game, and omits a lot of the reasoning for PGI’s design decisions.

For example, the issue of high damage alpha strikes and heat scaling could not be solved by simply increasing the armour on Mechs, or altering weapon convergence. I ask the reader: If it were so easy to fix this issue using one of those methods, wouldn’t the developers have done so? The armour on Mechs has already been doubled from table top values, and further increasing armour would change the mechanics of the game far more than making alterations to heat generation. Furtheremore, the developers stated that part of the reason for adding heat scale was that traditionally in Mechwarrior, alpha strikes were a rare occurrence whose popularity in previous iterations of the franchise were regarded as a detriment to their game-play mechanics.

Pop-tarting was made significantly more difficult by the addition of reticle shake (previously both reticle and pit shake, which as the author points out caused players to feel sick) during a Mech’s decent. However, players must capitalize on the fact that Pop-tarting Mechs are inaccurate and therefore vulnerable during their ascent.

Third person view offers no tactical advantage when used due largely in part to its long activation and deactivation time, lack of free arm movement, proximity of the camera to the Mech, the inability to peer around obstacles in most cases and the lack of crucial HUD elements such as the minimap. 3PV is largely considered to be a hindrance by those who have used it, and its inclusion as a default camera perspective is actually quite confusing, especially as it was intended to allow new players to learn to control their Mechs faster.

nosleepdemon

On September 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

A mistake in my previous post – jump jets cause reticle shake during ascent, which stabilizes during decent. This means that jump jetting Mechs have a small window with which to aim and fire their weapons, and must expose themselves almost fully before being able to begin taking their shot.

hah

On September 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

This article is idiotic, biased drivel. While some of the developer failures in communication have been painful to watch, they’ve still turned out very entertaining gameplay with a skeleton crew and only have room to grow with this game and IP. If you’re reading this article don’t take it seriously, its clearly penned by a butthurt member of the vocal minority. To the commenter that mentioned esports, what a joke. Nobody cares about esports except lifeless neck beards, that’s why they aren’t televised. Normal people will not notice any of these imagined slights against the gaming community.

Maller

On September 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

New this would fail when it was announced as F2P. This isn’t some cell phone or tablet IP or some basic platformer. I would have gladly paid 60$ just like most to have this done right. Even just taking the content of all past mech titles, recreating it using a moden engine (such as the one used for this) and mod tolls for user content would have been great. MAking aplatform instead of a game like Arma 3 became would have been great as well (imagine the user made maps, SP and MP scenarios).

I just do not get how such an IP could have been mishandled like this, same with Tribes Asvend and Planetside 2…F2P is only good for budget titles not AAA IPs IMHO.

Maybe Chris Roberts can get his hands on this IP and kickstart something that the people want.

payne4evr

On September 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Bravo. I was surprised whan I ran across this article. It is very well written. It’s extremely in-depth and gets right to the point of the matter while commanding your full attention. I will be recommending this to everyone. Kudos to the author. You deserve an award for this.

Doc Holliday

On September 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

Actually, it all started when they implemented clearly broken ECM. Up until that point, their patches generally made more steps forward than backward. After that, every patch was about half a step in the right direction and 50 steps in wrong directions. I put them on probation when they effed up ECM. When they put in the P2W consumables I quit, and never looked back.

APC_hater

On September 18, 2013 at 10:44 am

Sounds like what HiRez studios did to Tribes: Ascend, do yourselves a favor and just dont play the game, thats what a LARGE portion of the Tribes community did.

Anonymous

On September 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

4chan wasn’t part of the #SaveMWO movement – they actively ridiculed it for what they viewed as “too little too late”. The MWO community on 4chan tried to raise awareness and voice criticisms of MWO/ PGI back in Febuary (and earlier) but were shouted down by the zealot portion of the community and Goons.

The Goons intentionally derailed numerous threads detailing problems and concerns with the game, and sat around fat and happy in their own Goon sub-forum.

#SaveMWO is Goon bull, and only started relatively recently.

Haroldwolf

On September 19, 2013 at 8:22 am

It has gotten much worse. The long awaited Go Live on September 17th was only a minor patch. Most of what the community was looking for is now a 2014 delivery.

It’s an understatement to say the community has gone ballistic and is on the verge of revolt.

I really want to know how such a minor game development house like PGI scored the rights to develop an online game based on the Mechwarrior IP.

Tasorin

On September 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

IGP may just be the worst part of this entire debacle. MiSs may be the single worst Community Manager in a long time. I can’t count the number of competitive players from the Founders Closed Beta that have fundamentally given up on this title because of the things this article spoke to.

Many competitive players who were mislead by PGI in the early days of the Super Secret Squirrel Club have seen just about every thing Paul and krew said they wouldn’t do, come true over the last year. This title is actually becoming a test case in how to take a legendary IP and make a cash store for cosmetic items and broken big stompy robots.

Meta Critic is an example of just how polarized the community has become as the only ones really left playing this title are those in total denial, the Battletech fan bois that were going to play this title no matter how horrible it becomes and finally the Space Poor Scrub Lords who can’t manage to put a taget box over an enemy and push a mouse button.

And yes, my Forum account has been banned from the community by IGP for months, to include an IP ban for using multiple community accounts to circumvent a 3-day ban and continue to tell PGI how they were dropping the soap and screwing the pooch and simple ways they could unwind the train wreck.

Chain

On September 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

Re: Metacritic.

PGI has been having metacritic remove negative reviews from their site.

https://twitter.com/pgi_thegarth/status/380112515641774080

Obsidian

On September 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Aside from the unpopular changes to the game that I’ve had to learn to adapt to because I really enjoyed the game regardless, it is the bugs that have killed it for me. I haven’t been able to connect to MWO since the beginning of the September patch and even though I went through the correct reporting procedure of the problem…..there’s still no feedback or fix

Geek Verve

On October 1, 2013 at 8:38 am

I seriously don’t get the rage. The game is FREE TO PLAY, and it’s an incredibly fun and engaging game at that. Heck, I’m still quite the noob getting owned regularly in the trial mechs, and I have a blast. I get that PGI went back on a few of the things they initially stated otherwise. I understand why people may not care for that. But the rage?? Quitting??

Ghost heat? So you can no longer be the OP mech on the map? Sorry, no sympathy from me. 12v12 rather than 8v8? Are you seriously going to get so worked up about that??

About the only thing I can somewhat understand people being upset about is the Cool Flush component, but only because they provide a slightly more effective version to people who pay real money. It’s a step a bit too far in the “pay to win” direction.

People need to remember that game developers and publishers don’t provide these games for us out of the goodness of their hearts. It has to be a profitable venture, or it would never happen. It amazes me how you can give people something this good for free, and they can still just lose their minds over facets that are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Kdogprime

On October 2, 2013 at 4:59 am

I agree with Maller. When this game was announced, I wanted it to succeed, I really did. But deep down, I knew that as an F2P, it would fail. It is, and quickly.

I was one of the suckers that was stupid enough to buy into the Founder’s pack. I did this because I’ve always been a big fan of Mechwarrior. I owned every single Mechwarrior game at one time or another (even those crappy Mechassault games). I really wanted to be able to put a little money into something that would be worthwhile and enjoyable. I thought MWO would have a chance and revitalizing the franchise.

But I should have known better from the start. The warning signs were there, little developer, a hefty game engine, and the longest beta test I think I’ve ever seen in a game’s development? At this point, I’d fund a Mechwarrior game as a Kickstarter project before I’d so much as spit in PGI’s direction anymore.

slayn95

On October 10, 2013 at 3:28 am

Geek Verve wrote
“I seriously don’t get the rage. The game is FREE TO PLAY, and it’s an incredibly fun and engaging game at that. Heck, I’m still quite the noob getting owned regularly in the trial mechs, and I have a blast. I get that PGI went back on a few of the things they initially stated otherwise. I understand why people may not care for that. But the rage?? Quitting??”
See you’re the type of person PGI is catering to for some unknown reason. You will play the game because it’s free, til you get bored and move on. You don’t invest a dime. While those who shell out money for the mech bays, hero mechs, founders packs, pay for you to be able to play for free. These people are the ones shelling out the money(founders especially) to get the game off the ground.

Founders, mind you, bought into the game on promises. They wanted this game to succeed based on the ideas proposed in the very beginning. Investing money into what could be vaporware has risks, promises made, money given based on those promises. That is what this is all about. PGI proposed a game and asked will you come invest in this product that we promise to make? Without the founders, this game wouldn’t exist. To blatantly flip them off and say you’re no longer the player base we care about, after everything founders did to make this game possible, is beyond words.

Drain

On October 12, 2013 at 2:09 am

PGI has proved itself, REPEATEDLY, to be an awful company that just says “FU” to MW fans while they do whatever they want. Consumables, Premium Mechs, ECM, 3PV, it’ll never end. They were originally against all this but as soon as the Founders package ended and the refund deadline passed, they started going back on each promise one at a time and putting it all in. Each one was met with disappointment and rejection from the community before, during, and after it was put in, but they didn’t give a . They basically just say “FU, we’re doing it anyway”. Worse yet is that they censor anyone that has a problem with it. Many people are seeing suspensions or flat out forum bans for no apparent reason other than the fact that they said something distasteful towards PGI or something PGI did. My main account was suspended twice while 2 others I made for sock puppeting got perma-banned first offense no reason even given. PGI has their heads up their own asses. They seem to hit the crackpipe, convince themselves whatever they want to do is the best thing, and if you have a problem with it, then you aren’t their target audience and should GTFO. I had faith in this game a year ago. Now I want to see it die in a fire in the hopes that a real developer, one that actually understands MechWarrior and won’t treat its community like suckers, will get the license. But that’s a pipedream. It won’t happen anytime soon. We had to wait 10 years just to get this . It’ll probably be another 10 before PGI/IGP lets anyone else near the license.

Name*

On November 3, 2013 at 7:04 am

Yes PGI hasd communication problems and what they do communicate is all over the internet but there own site. Yet I do think they are doing ok with the game and come on seriously? Cool shot is not that big a deal and can only be used once per match and if it gets you a kill they guy was probably seconds frok dying anyway.

Jeff

On November 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Many years ago, I was addicted to MW3. It was the first game I ever played online. I just happen to come across this article. Very interesting to compare this to the games I’m now playing competitvely, like Black Ops and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Miss you, ol’ MW3. Thanks for getting me into competitive online gaming.

David

On December 3, 2013 at 5:50 am

The problems with this game are easy to see.

#1, Russ Bullock doesn’t know what he is doing, and never did.
#2, Paul Inouye – their lead designer – came from the asian F2P market where they make their money grinding imbalanced games deliberately, making the pay-to-win items mandatory to purchase each month.
#3, their community team – led by Niko Snow, one of the worst totalitarian trolls ever to disgrace the industry – are more interested in slapping people down than in trying to get the community back on their side.

What we have here is a classic bait-and-switch, Kleargear style.

Krysic

On December 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm

These developers are greedy fools wasting a license this community waited 10 years for. All they’re doing is recreating the old games in pvp format with no intention of innovating and growing the game as promised. They’re releasing new mechs and adding to the grind but giving nothing truly new. It’s a money grab, plain and simple. They should be reported to the business bureau and charged for false advertising.

Jon Phoenix

On December 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I would love to see you update this story with the latest debacle from PGI: http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/144745-clan-collections-feedback/

Razor

On December 18, 2013 at 6:31 am

Yeah this article needs a HUGE update/overhaul. I am not sure MWO can be taken any deeper but PGI have impressed me in the past so who knows.

Khornez

On January 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

And now you could add the gauss charge feature…

john

On February 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm

PGI is quite definitively the most pathetic, incompetent, and dishonest game studio (if you can even call it that) I have ever seen.

aidanpryde

On February 16, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I literally waited over 10 years for this game after Mechwarrior 3 and 4, emailing developers and publishers trying to get news on whether the series was dead. When the new game was first announced I was so excited. Then the gimmicks started surfacing and it became rather apparent that it was going to be one of those “free to download, thousands of dollars to play” type games with MMO-style buffing/nerfing. After waiting over a decade I played it for a week and uninstalled it.

kittenpunch

On February 23, 2014 at 10:28 pm

SIgn a petition to stop PGI ruining MWO

https://www.change.org/petitions/microsoft-corp-remove-the-mechwarrior-franchise-rights-from-piranha-games-inc

MysteriousStranger

On March 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Mission accomplished. Started download of MWO, decided to google it up a bit more, discovered this article.

NOPE’d out of this tire fire quickly.

Jamie

On April 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I think at this point, I’m moving on from the mech warrior series for good.. MW:LL was pretty much everything I wanted in a mech warrior game and was what I was waiting for nearly a decade.. but now it’s a half finished mod that had it’s development threatened into abandoned because IGP/PGI wanted to play bait/switch,sell $500 gold textured mechs and proceed to cash grab every penny they can.

here’s to IGP/PGI, for being the very embodiment of everything we’ve come to “love” about the big publisher backed AAA game industry that we’re been distancing ourselves from for the last couple of years. hope their demise is costly,slow and agonizing.

in the mean time, I might get back into the tabletop game *looks at wife, hoping she doesn’t read his mind*.

Paul

On June 26, 2014 at 3:01 am

It brings up an interesting legal question really. If they sold the founders packs on the basis of particular features and not implementing other features then the product they created is not the one those founders paid for, they are due their money back. PGI has every right to build a different game but not with those peoples money.

Hammacher Schlemmer

On August 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

Came back to the game after reading about how they introduced coolshot, how they introduced 3pv, etc. Personally, I feel that the people who want this stuff, want an easier way to kill people, legal exploits if you will. I like the non boating, no additional field of view that you shouldn’t really have type of combat. It forces people to tread more carefully, not be an alpha striking monster pop tarter. I know everybody wants to think they’re a six gun carrying sniper who can’t be stopped from 9 parsecs away, but the vast majority of us are not and begging for legal exploits only reinforces that point.

Paul

On September 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Great article James.

Given that MWO is still in a pitiful state, I’d love to see a follow-up article from you, comparing the then and now.

ishikabe

On September 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I played MechWarrior 3 religiously in the past and MWO since the beginning for about a year. I couldn’t get past how it felt like only MechWarrior in name. Almost like a MechWarrior Lite.

I quit playing the game and wanted to check out the forums one day, I noticed the General Forum was gone. I found this weird and tried to search the Sub Forums for answers. What I found was a ghost town or real talking with alot of positive threads. I knew right then that PGI had censored their forums, so I didn’t even bother coming back.

Thanks for writing this article. I was wondering what PGI did exactly to piss so many people off.

Name*

On October 7, 2014 at 8:28 am

whatever it sounds like a bunch of ing. Im a new player to the game and have only been playing it for about three weeks.. anyway the game seems very fair and balanced and I enjoy it quite a bit. I dont see what all the fuss is about..

sure the $500 clan mechs are stupid but if you really want to buy one of those.. ehhh good for you..

Repomancer

On November 4, 2014 at 2:09 am

Zmak (former stockboy at Safeway before becoming CEO of PGI) of is, to put it kindly, clueless. Oh, NICE HAT, there. Hee. I still have all my hair — where’s yours?

He was the original producer of Mech 2, and managed to accomplish precisely nothing in three years until his ignominious termination (at which point the programmers and APs all went to Disneyland on the company time the following Friday.) When playing Mech 2, hold down ctrl-shift-alt and type ZMAK — the game goes to half speed. There is a reason for that.

Charles

On November 15, 2014 at 4:39 am

For those of you who want to get your money back, I feel the best angle is via UltimatePay / Playspan.

They have a clause in their ToS that states that they obligate the publisher to deliver the goods when they receive payment.

Publishers are obligated to release the goods or services you have paid for.
[...]
We will make a reasonable effort to return your payment to you through the same payment system, method or channel you used to send the payment…

Their support does not acknowledge this statement in their ToS, so I recommend going straight to filing a complain against them with the Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/g…cisco-ca-436924

Just provide evidence that there’s no way you could have received your goods (because the game was never published) and work from there.

I would like to point out that as of this post 11/15/2014, PlaySpan has removed their Terms of service https://site.ultimatepay.com/tos/ “Forbidden, HTTP 403″ in what I believe to be an attempt to avoid liability.

Information is ammunition! I hope this helps.
Currently my case is still being reviewed by a mediator, and even if I am favored, it doesn’t mean that I will even get my money back, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.