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MechWarrior Online
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MechWarrior Online

Have you seen a commercial where a company basically throws its last product or several years of service under the bus to promote its new stuff? Like those bizarre ads for Domino's Pizza a few years ago which basically boiled down to “Come back, we don't suck anymore!” That's kind of how I feel about a press release we received from MechWarrior Online the other day.

The release breathlessly describes the game's latest update which mainly focuses on an overhaul of its MechLab system, the confusing jumble of menus and icons you use to build a mech. The MechLab is both an essential component of the game (mech customization being one of the franchise's main claims to fame) and an eternal thorn in MWO's side. The chaotic mess of fiddly menus being both unfriendly to new players, baffled at the assortment of seemingly meaningless icons and a source of frustration for long-term players who have to dive through a bin of spare parts every time they want to change out a few lasers on a mech.

Since going into open beta in 2012 the MechLab has been re-worked several times, including as part of the now infamous UI 2.0 update, a previous “complete overhaul” to the menu system that took over a solid year to complete and was blamed as a bottleneck preventing any other major update during that time. So, this is the second or third “No, we totally got it right this time!” re-do of the game's front-end.

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