The way I see it, omni-mechs will not have hardpoints, only pod space. Omni mechs will play much more like Mechwarrior 2-3 mechs did.
Yeah, because they can mount any weapon they want?
Oh wait, they can't.
Yes they can. Centurions, Atlas's and Dragons all have missile, ballistic and energy weapon hard points. Lets take the Centurion for example: 2 medium lasers, AC/10 and LRM/10. So we know for 100% that it has 2 Energy weapon hard points, 1 ballistic and 1 missile hard point. Now it's likely to have additional hard points in each of those locations, since in the MechLab video we see that the Hunchback has 3 ballistic hard points in the right torso, only one of which is taken up by the AC/20. The video also shows that, that variant has three energy hard points in the torso, 3 energy hard points in the right arm, and 3 energy hard points in the left arm.
So it seems to be a safe assumption that every place we know we can mount a weapon, there are three hard points for that type of weapon there. So it is probably that the Centurion has 3 missile hard points, 3 ballistic hard points and 6 energy hard points. As long as we have criticals and tonnage available we can put any missile weapon into any of those missile hard points, we can put any ballistic weapon into any of those ballistic hard points and we can put any energy weapon into those energy hard points.
So yes while you can't just place them anywhere you want you can put any weapon into the Centurion, Atlas and Dragon. Plus you can put any weapon in two of the three types in all other BattleMechs. The OmniMech customization advantage has been reduced to almost nothing. It's so little as to not really be even worth it.
Your basic issue is that battlemechs, if able to hotswap between configs, could be optimized for environments, thus negating the reasoning of Omni mechs...
You seem to forget that Battlemechs in MWO are restricted by a hybrid critical/hardpoint system, that makes it so that, if you want to swap an energy weapon with another energy weapon, fine... but want to swap those ballistic's with an energy weapon... NOPE NOPE NOPE.
Ok since we're using ballistic to energy let me give you an example of something we KNOW can be done. Lets take the Hunchback, drop the AC/20 and it's ammo, this frees up 16 tons and 12 criticals in the torso. Now let's strip the medium lasers out of both arms, this frees up another 2 tons and gives us 8 criticals in each arm. Next I'm going to place a PPC in each arm, leaving me with 4 tons total and 5 criticals in each arm, then I'll switch to DHS and add 2 to each torso location.
Most BattleMechs in the game allow you to do this, some will probably allow you to do even more radical changes because of having all the hard point types, more tonnage, or more stock weapons in different locations. Those that are more restrictive are the lighter 'Mechs which don't really have room to put AC's on anyway. However you could do things like swap out the SRM on a Jenner and replace it with an LRM/10 if you freed up the tonnage elsewhere.
The hard points aren't nearly as restrictive as everyone keeps making them out to be. Are they quite up to OmniMech standards? No, but they give you so much freedom that with the right 'Mech you could create exactly what you want to drive.
That's the ENTIRE POINT. Omni's are easy to customize no matter the pilot, Take an omni, kit it out just right for you... go.
Battlemechs, you have to take more care in choosing something that works for you.
Yeah I don't care for missiles so I'll never pick the Catapult as something I want to drive (plus it's ugly), but if you want missiles and Lasers in a Heavy Mech you can grab the Catapult. If you want to make a Heavy with an AC dependent load grab the Cataphract or maybe the Dragon. If you want a little bit of everything grab that Dragon and mod the heck out of it because it has hard points for all 3 weapons types.
The Dragon is one of the big problems in this because it is an optimal weight chassis with hard points for every type of weapon. This means someone could easily make a dozen configurations that are all different and all focus on different things, turning it into a functional OmniMech.
Not at all "brah" no hard points is and advantage for OmniMechs, but it is a slight advantage thanks to the fact that MW.O's hard point system is much, much less restrictive than MW4's. This honestly has nothing really to do with Clan tech, the IS will get it's own OmniMechs eventually and even if players can start salvaging Clan Omni's after the invasion starts you'll probably still be using IS weapons on it.
Yes you have more freedom where you can put things and you can actually boat (which makes me think that the devs will find someway to restrict OmniMechs to prevent boating, after all that's the whole point behind hard points), with an OmniMech, but you have nearly the same ability to create custom BattleMechs with the MW.O hard point system. The advantage isn't big enough to warrant everyone wanting to jump into Omni's, which is why you have to make sure the OmniMech's other traditional advantage and until MW4 only advantage, which is the ease and speed with which equipment can be swapped out. If BattleMechs have the same mission configurable freedom as OmniMechs, when combined the current flexible MechLab, will make OmniMechs marginally superior at best, rather than revolutionary.
It matters now, because they have to decide how they're going to make OmniMechs distinctly different and superior to BattleMechs. If they just give players the ability to mission optimize BattleMechs now without thinking through OmniMechs what will they do to make OmniMechs superior? They won't be able to take away the mission optimization ability of BattleMechs, that'd just alienate every single player who had been playing and utilizing that ability through the first year or more of the game. So then what're you going to do? The 'MechLab already gives the BattleMech very near the same customization flexibility and you can't take that away, you can't take away the mission optimization, so what's left? Why should players get excited about OmniMechs? Why should players save up and get the OmniMech, which is so much more expensive, when the much cheaper BattleMechs let them do pretty much the same thing?
This has nothing to do with the Clans, I actually despise those tinpot dictators and slavocrats, so not sure why you're calling me a vatborn.