Behold ladies and gentlemen, MechWarrior Tactics is nearing completion. It appears to be a browser based version of the old tabletop Battletech game using the unity webplayer engine. It is billing itself as "Asynchronous, F2P turn-based strategy game set in the MechWarrior Universe" using bought trading cards used to outfit your unit. A good basic rundown of the game can be found here. They supplement base tech with card rarity with bonuses that can add extra damage, accuracy, and heat reduction among other things. While they bill it as adding to the depth of the game allowing you to customize your tactics, it also adds more items to collect for their pay model. Today they started a Founders program that allow you to pay for access to the closed beta along with bonuses for when the game goes live. This seems to be a newer go to tactic to grab extra funding to finish the game or developer bonuses (or it may be an older tactic and I just don't play as many games as I used to to notice). As a longtime Battletech player I'm really hoping this game pans out well and the game developers balance the item rarity/bonuses with their payment model so that everyone can enjoy the game and it expands the playerbase of the Battletech universe. I don't know if I want to shell out for the Founders program just so I can see how the game plays or wait for open beta. Either way I'm making this post as I'm sure there are some other Battletech players lurking about and this could end up being a good time waster as a browser based game.
In the closed beta for this now and it's cool but a complete wreck. Frequent crashes for any game that lasts more than 15 or so turns, indefinite hangs even trying to log in, crippling bugs that include losing an entire lance of mechs and being unable to play with them again if your match in a draw. Performance is abysmal and the browser-based engine they're using is buggy as all hell. Matchmaking is hopelessly broken, with it being impossible at times to find a human opponent, or mismatching you within huge tier gaps, such that either you or your opponent have a vast advantage because of the poorly implemented point value tiers.
Dunno how much has been publicly revealed, but the game basically works off "Stacs" or packs of cards you buy with in-game currency (called scrap) you get from winning matches against human or AI opponents. You even get rewarded scrap for losing against human opponents, as long as you don't surrender (forfeit). The thing is, matches against humans take forever, and currently the AI is dumb as fuck, basically asleep at the wheel. Additionally, you get the same rewards for matching up vastly superior mechs against pitiful lightweight AI opponents, such that you can end the game in a turn or two.
This means you basically sit and farm scrap forever against boring AI until you have enough to get more cards, and pray that you get something decent. It's very random and will very much favor those who buy credits with real money (which you can also buy card packs with). Basically, you can totally avoid the hassle of having to farm out scrap from shit stupid AI or use the broken matchmaking system to get the shit stomped out of you (or vice versa) in a game that is highly unbalanced for one side or the other. I've typically been a bit more forgiving than most with f2p games but there's no denying this is pay to win. There are different packs of cards you can buy that range in the rarity of the cards you can find in them. The least expensive generally give you starter stuff and heatsinks but not much else of use. The rest give increasing amounts of rare cards, with the higher tiers guaranteeing a certain amount of increasingly rare cards.
It takes *a while* to farm out enough to buy the higher tier card packs without using IRL cash. Spend enough cash, you skip the tremendous time investment needed and can spend yourself out of the randomness that can fuck you over, so long as you buy enough cards. Skill matters in even matches, but mechs and gear really win the match as long as you're not a complete tard. The way points are alotted to gear/cards/mechs (which is how you get matched up and judge an opponent's strength) can be easily gamed and exploited to where you get a point under a tier with a vastly superior force. Your wins/losses have no impact whatsoever on your matchups at this point, which I really hope changes.
Basically, the game is near unplayable at times due to crashes, horrific performance, crippling bugs, and a ridiculously inadequate matchmaking system. It's largely pay to win if you're willing to spend enough, unless you're willing to sink hundreds and hundreds of hours into mindless grinding against AI who basically let you kill them, but which takes forever because of the crashes and terrible performance.
That being said, there are some things to like and it does have some potential. The mech bay and mech design system are really cool, especially for those who get off on customizing the weapon loadouts/heat management/and weight concerns of the mechs, and learning what combinations work for which mechs is honestly fun. The randomness of combat keeps it interesting when you're not just vastly outgunned, with stuff like ammo explosions and the ability to cause heat shutdowns/explosions to the enemy's mech, including terrain advantages. This is something that really can save this game, because I can't deny I enjoy playing it, even as broken as it is. But if they release this game in anything like the state it's currently in, it will be a straight up crime, especially to fans of the series. And judging by the way crippling bugs still exist that have existed for months on end, and the lack of technical support on glaring stuff is troubling (tech support tickets I've submitted have never been answered, after weeks now). In the Known Issues section, basically everything listed has "no known solution" or "no workaround."
I really do want this one to succeed because it has potential, but not in the state it's in, because shit is very fucked atm.
Oh yeah, and they *very* frequently delete forum posts that are even a little bit harsh on the issues. Like, a note of actual complaint rather than reporting is immediately deleted.
Last edited by Wrathcaster; 06-24-2013 at 03:50 AM.
Browser based "f2p" game, I don't know how it could have turned out so badly
I've had the game for a while, I haven't put in a ton of time, and the engine definitely needs optimization. If you have friends or family, the asynchronous turns with them can be a good time. I'm assuming that the engine performance will continue to improve, but its definitely not in a state where I find myself playing it daily.
I've definitely got a huge hope that it will continue to improve and be much better in performace than it is. The cards/mechbay system etc is pretty cool. With solid performance I think a lot of people would find this game more fun than wrathcaster's post might come off (but if that performance doesn't come he's spot on). The core of a pretty good mechwarrior turn based game is actually there.
Pretty sure I kickstarted this and regret it, haven’t touch it in a long time because to do anything took 5+ mins. You want to see the stats, 5 min wait, you want to put a pilot in your mech? Nope, that will be at least 10 mins if it worked at all. The font and layout to look at stats is such a garbled mess you need to have the glossary/index on hand to get any kind of grasp on what all the acronyms/stats mean.
I imagine if he runs at any kind of decent speed above wouldn’t have been so frustrating, I enough coins to buy like 50 or premium decks at launch, will check it out then.
Customer support for this is ass. Optimization is still ass. Each new patch breaks the shit that already worked fine and they've got the balls to call this shit beta. It's early alpha at best.
For example, I spent over 2 weeks completely unable to access the game due to a known login error. Promptly submitted a customer support ticket after 2 days of being unable to access the game and after scouring the tech support forums and following all known suggestions to fix the issue. After 2 weeks, I got a response finally. It consisted of a one line response: this is a known issue with no workaround, wait til the next reset. A week later all accounts were reset and I was finally able to login again, but there were enormous issues with card distribution disparities.
Mech Bay (place where you design your mechs) is a broken mess completely. Card distribution is completely fucked. Optimization hasn't improved at all. Core mechanics haven't improved at all. Graphics have not improved at all. Largely none of the crippling issues have even been addressed, and the devs provide little to no feedback, and the standard answer from forum mods is "IT'S A BETA QUIT COMPLAINING" followed by deletion of honest feedback about the state of the game with specific, concrete suggestions and bug reports.
I really had high hopes for this game, and I still have high hopes that they can pull this shitpile together, but at this point it's just another kickstarter pay2win broken browser game using the Battletech franchise as a platform.
What is sad is that many of the mentioned issues were the same issues from months ago when I tried messing around with it. It was frustrating enough that my patience ebbed pretty quickly and the "mystery" issues that they had were mind-boggling (as was the constant "try another browser" suggestions on the forums that fixed nothing).
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