MWO is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Bunches of players being thrown through a match making process and then being outputted into a match.
It's also faction on faction which means it's very important that there is solid faction balance. There is something we've talked about a lot which is a guaranteed way to destroy faction balance:
The simple fact of the matter is that this game can't include traditional clan technology. Ever.
Why, you ask? Because one faction, or set of factions in this case, can't be given such a devastating advantage over their opponents. In traditional MMOs the developers generally steer away from "alpha" classes. "Alpha" classes are a class which was specifically chosen and designed to be superior to everything else. This is what the clans are to BattleTech. They are the "alpha" class.
The weapons are better, the mechs are better, the equipment is better.
MMOs steer clear of "alpha" classes because they are a player funnel. People don't like being disadvantaged especially in competitive PvP. When the "alpha" class comes around they'll get their *** handed to them and then conclude that they must join them or be forced to be a lower tier of player class.
Entire MMOs have been completely ruined by "alpha" classes (I'm talking Star Wars Galaxies here). And the end result is that after a few years everyone and their mother has achieved their alpha class and things are made even worse for those who chose to play the game their way.
Except in MWO there won't be anything to unlock or earn, just a faction selection screen at pilot creation.
The average player is going to join MWO, pick whatever faction, and start playing. Perhaps they lucked out and went clan right away. Maybe they foolishly chose IS.
Eventually they're going to learn the advantages of being clan and at that moment they'll make the decision to either jump ship and change to a clan faction (even if it means starting a new character) or quit the game altogether.
There's no incentive to arbitrarily gimping one's self especially when the only real reason this imbalance exists at all is to sate a few purists' egos and stay true to some inane fluff lore which didn't even make sense at the time it was written.
I remember when the clans were introduced to TT. Players were beyond miffed as the clan tech itself was terribly imbalanced (particularly the introduction of double heat sinks). It was bad for gameplay then and it'll be bad for gameplay now.
Anyways, this advantage will obviously create a huge faction imbalance. Players will want the strongest and the best and I can assure you all that they absolutely will not give a **** about any difference between the two faction sets in the lore and they sure as well won't be playing the game by the absurd clan rules (I always LOL super hard when purists bring that up as a means to balance the two faction sets, Yeah, because some GM is going to watch every match and delete your clan mech if you don't play by clan rules, right? LOL).
MWO simply can't have advantages and disadvantages on this scale.
And let's not forget that some of the clan tech didn't even take balance into account. For instance, clan LRMs. Their weight was derived from the Mad Cat's stock loadout as that was designed before the TT weights were final. This meant that the LRM weights came from making some fluff loadout for a piece of artwork feasible rather than accounting for real balance.
It's time to fix terrible mistakes like that.
The final problem with clan tech is that since it obsolesces all IS tech in the game the tech advancement for IS players becomes nothing but a race to acquisition as much clan tech as quickly as possible (assuming clan tech can be mounted on IS mechs). This reduces every single IS mech in the game to being nothing but a clan tech refit.
The technological advantage of clan technology is simply far too great to ever allow into the hands of players.
Now, the second issue:
The arguments against omnis will be very similar to the arguments against clan tech but the truth is that omnis are superior to battlemechs in every way. They make battlemechs completely obsolete.
Which means battlemechs become nothing but a worthless stepping stone to omnimechs much like how all IS technology will be nothing but a worthless stepping stone to clan tech.
You're not ever going to see any Highlanders or Cyclops running around if Sunders are made available.
The ultimate solution is to go ahead and include omnimechs but convert them to battlemechs for the sake of gameplay. That way we can still enjoy the mechs themselves but they won't destroy any hope for the rest of the battlemechs.
In the end the inclusion of both omnimechs and clan technology will devolve all end game into nothing but omni and clan tech acquisition races. IS mechs with IS tech will not be able to compete at the highest levels of gameplay which will be absolutely devastating for any leagues which spring up around BT roleplay constructs.
Factions will be wildly imbalanced and 50-75% of the mechs and equipment in the game will be utterly worthless at high level play.
So if your goal is to empty the IS factions, fill up the clans as much as possible, and then rip the hearts out of dozens of classic and iconic mechs then by all means, have your clan tech and omnis.
Do you want balanced gameplay?
Do you want balanced factions?
Then you know that clan tech must be excluded from the game entirely and that there can't be any technical differences between omnimechs and battlemechs.
Edited by Cavadus, 09 November 2011 - 09:50 AM.