Two weeks ago Piranha Games launched the first double XP event weekend for MechWarrior Online while also adding a few new light mechs for players to take onto the battlefield. It was the first major content patch since before the holidays and today, Creative Director Bryan Ekman detailed the plan for the game’s development and future updates, promises much, much more coming to the game, beginning tomorrow.

With tomorrow’s big update, MechWarrior Online will see a much-needed facelift to many of the in-game screens and the addition of another hero mech. Additional changes will improve the mech customization system, improve game performance and offer some balancing tweaks.

The first and most notable update may be the addition of another purchasable hero mech to the game, just two weeks after the “Death’s Knell” Commando was made available for light mech pilots looking for a cool and unique blue color scheme. The new “Pretty Baby” mech is on the opposite end of the spectrum, offering another variant of the large Assault mech known as the Awesome. We don’t have details on what unique hardpoints it comes equipped with but its paint job sure is intimidating.

Pretty Baby Awesome MechWarrior Online

The Pretty Baby, like all Hero mechs, are only available for purchase with MC (acquired with real money). However, for those looking to not spend real cash and instead have been saving up in-game C-bill, the next big patch will add the Trebuchet, a 50-ton medium class mech.

“Pretty Baby” AWS-PB

– Base Mech: Awesome
– Tonnage: 80
– Engine: 340 XL
– Max Engine Rating: 400
– Top Speed: 68.9 kph
– Torso Twist: 100 degrees to each side
– Armor: 494
– Weapons & Equipment:
– Head: Medium Laser
– Left Arm: SRM 4
– Left Torso: Large Laser
– Right Torso: LRM 15
– Right Arm: PPC
– Hardpoints:
– Head: 1 Energy
– Left Arm: 2 Missile
– Left Torso: 1 Energy
– Right Torso: 1 Missile, 1 AMS
– Right Arm: 1 Energy
– Internal Structure: Standard
– Heat Sinks: 19 Double
– Jump Jets: n/a
– ECM Capable?: No
– Module Slots: 2
– 30% C-Bill Bonus

Arguably the most important features coming tomorrow are the overhauled screens in-game. Finally, players will be able to see weapon stats when customizing their mech builds, meaning the weapon damages, ranges, etc. will all be visible. The mech upgrades tab in-game has been merged into the main loadout screen as well, streamlining customization so pilots can see how different upgrades directly effect their custom build. There are noticeable visual changes as well to make the interface look cleaner and more detailed.

The Pre-Round Screen, Scoreboard, Death Screen, and The End of Round Summary have all been redesigned as well. Examples detailing the new MechLab screens for purchasing a mech, upgrading, weapon stats and weapon/item descriptions:

The first new map (not a weather/daytime change) is coming to the game as well, dubbed Alpine Peaks. Up until this point, there have only been four playable maps, with a few variations on three of them. The new map will be a hit come April since a new mode will come to the game then that allows for 12 vs. 12 matches instead of the current standard of 8 vs. 8. This change will open the game to better compete against the genre leader, World of Tanks, which supports 15 vs. 15 play.

Another big change coming to the game is the ELO balancing system which will track player skill and match equivalent players/teams together for more balanced online battles. The first stage of this comes in the second patch of the month on Feb 19th. From now and going forward, MechWarrior Online will be receiving more substantial bi-weekly game updates, with a new mech in each one, as opposed to the weekly micro-updates.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes and find him on the battlefield @failcube.

Source: Piranha Games