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C Blogs of 02/05/13 + Wrench's Stompy-isms


Can a single patch turn it all around?

Mechwarrior Online is a troubled game. Build on a shaky version of Cryengine3 that doesn't play nice with multiplayer coding. Struggling to balance a FPS game based around a decades old franchise, with a core playerbase slavishly devoted to tabletop rule-sets and lore. Plodding along at a snails pace towards a hazy future of much ballyhooed features and promises. The dreams of large scale community warfare and a player run economy seem like distant figments for a game is still having trouble with the fundamentals.

But everything seems a little bit closer now. A little more attainable. MWO's Febuary 5th patch did more than addressed a lot of core issues fans have been complaining about for months now, it brought optimism back to the playerbase.

As a stompy robot nerd, I'm most excited about the gameplay changes. A slew of balance changes making large energy weapons like my beloved "lightning nipples" more tactically viable against other weapons that fill similar roles. Adjustments to jumpjets to give your mech's liftoff a little more "omph." Minor edits to torso twist rates and turning speeds for some units, and a revised heat override system, to better understand when your mech is burning itself out. Nothing ground breaking in itself, but combined together they make a much tighter and more polished feeling game. Things "move" like you intuitively feel they should. More build options are viable, players are already seeing more variety in the field.

The camo and paint customization system received a MASSIVE overhaul. For a F2P game that should be running on this kind of picemeal buy-in content, the paint options in MWO were embarrassingly anaemic and criminally overpriced. You could pay one or two dollars for a single coat of paint on one of your robots that could never be changed or edited without repurchasing the same colour again. It was a terrible rip-off that many players simply opted out of.

- Now with colour!

Now they have a much more sensible system where you buy a paint colour and can apply it again and again over all your mechs. A fantastic system for players in clans or merc groups with a unified colour scheme. Buy your team colours once, slap them on all your mechs, no more pissing around buying the team shade of white 10 times to outfit your garage. Now that you own those colours, you are also free to change them up when not running with your homeboys, you can swap from team colours to personal ride on the fly. Running a personalized robot won't break the bank anymore! I know I've purchased more colours in the past day than I did in the previous three months.

Not to mention the 100+ colour options they added. No longer bound to a few puke shaded basic options and a pile of variations on military green, the new paint shop has loads of garish eye-popping colours to deck out your futuristic Landsknechte. Appealing light blue highlights, desert tans, and happy-go-lucky pinks, there is a colour for whatever kind of robot you want to stomp in. Showing unusual savvy, PGI is running a %50 off sale on a lot of paints and camo options for the next week as well, all the more reason to customize your bots while the getting is good.

Then we get into the nitty gritty. Changes to the game's UI that include pre and post-game chat bars, an overview of what units the teams are running, end of the round statistics, and a break-down of the last few weapons to hit you and what killed you. It's hard to describe what this basic functionality adds to the experience. MWO feels like a legitimate game now, not a ramshackle pile of systems held together with baling wire and hope. The devil, and the gameplay, is in the details after-all.

- I can't believe this kind of thing wasn't in the game before, but I'm sure glad it is now.

One of the most interesting aspects is the new "player rating" at the end of each match. While meaningless now, that score is being collated and sorted to determine a players ELO rating in the upcoming match making system. We may finally see an end to pub-stomps in our lifetime! Hopefully when the system goes active, new players will be matched with other new/low skill players instead of dumped into the shark tank of robotic pros. Anything that makes the game a more welcoming experience for new players is fine by me.

Novice mechwarriors are also seeing the benefit of a recent, more egalitarian, shift in trial mechs and sales. The latest crops of trial mechs have actually been respectable usable units, not the death-trap robotic-Pinto's they previously stuck newbies in. Combine that with a %50 off discount on the MC cost (real money) of the trial mechs, the cadet bonus to cbills (moon money) for the first 25 matches, and a new player can join the game, spend $6 and have 2 or 3 respectable fully upgradable mechs at their disposal they can immediately kit out. A far cry from a few months ago when a new player was expected to either pay through the nose for a real mech, or spend hours of painful losses and grinding to afford one with cbills.

When PGI promised a substantial improvement to the visual performance of the game in this patch, I was skeptical. But damn if they didn't pull it off. MWO is running buttery smooth on my computer now. After several matches of not experiencing any of the normal stuttering and slow down I usually get, I decided to push it and up the detail settings still smooth sailing. I cannot believe how much better the game plays now. After some recent fixes to netcode and this new graphics optimization, the game feels so tight and responsive now, it's hard to believe it's the same MWO.

Although, it does make me wonder just how broken their coding was before that a software patch can result in such a bump in performance...

I'm gushing, I know. I'm just so EXCITED! My love of stompy robots has been fulfilled! It doesn't feel like a chore to play anymore, it feels... Fun!

I know MWO hasn't exactly been on many Dtoider's radar. But if you EVER had even a twinge of interest in the stompy robot action, THIS IS THE TIME TO JOIN IN. It isn't often you see a single patch fix a near broken game.

* - Nanbu thinks the industry is chock'a block with wannabees and copycats. That might be true, but crap games don't somehow annul the good ones. Some excellent action going on in the comments of this well written blog.

* - DMC fans have spoken with their wallets what a whinny bunch of bitches eh? How dare they not buy something they don't want?

* - A fun video comparing Hogan's Alley to police training through the years. Watching it, I kept thinking of Knutaf's dad. Which is weird. Sorry buddy.

A - One man's exploit is another man's skill-gated technique. I can feel what Chris Hibbard is trying to say in this blog, but some of the things he lists as cheats or exploits seem iffy. Players will always race to the bottom for the highest reward/minimum effort tactic, I think more onus needs to be placed on the devs to balance before shipping.

A - Hells yes! Pixielated dropped some coin on a new Vita and a pair of games. My bro did the same thing, pretty much buying a 3DS just to get on the Fire Emblem hype train. If you see him, don't spoil the surprise that I intended to steal it off him reaalll soon.

A - Soooo much snark in this list of 5 developer sins. Most of the things on this list though are only terrible if done poorly.

P - Fuck kittens. Communitoid knows what it takes to survive in the world.

P - Come get your weekly dose of hot meat from the taco truck.

A - Hard to top the original DualShock. Great controller.

A - A massive article about what seems like a bunch of semantics. Maybe I missed some nuance here or something.

I - Long time lurker Hawk200101 steps out of the shadows and into the c-blogs!

T - Nilcam makes the case for Twilight Princess on the Gamecube. One of my biggest gaming regrets is missing out on this title.

P - Get the skinny on Pandora's Tower from TroyFullBuster. Sounds like a win for any JRPG fan.

T - Somone FINALLY has the guts to settle the Mario Kart/Diddy Kong Racing hash once and for all.

V - I don't understand a single thing going on in this Guild Wars lets play.

M - Some beautiful music and sleuthing in this blog by Hyper Lemon Buster. Who is Zohar002?

L - Noam Zomsky made me chuckle.

C - Some lets play of Slender. Little dry.

F - I can buy a whole box of cookies at the supermarket and I don't have to dirty up my browser with spam to do it.

- That feeling when I realize I'm part of the F2P problem.

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment
Fake it until you make it

This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].

This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.

But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.

I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.

Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!

To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.

Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!

Current Community Contests
PREPARE TO CONTEST - The Master Gaming List Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,

More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.

Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.

That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.

In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.

The Contest

I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.


1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.

2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).

3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)

4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.

Available Keys

-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)

Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.

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