More fun polls can be found here:
Method 1: MW2/BT level customization: everything but the kitchen sink can be modified (not the most "realistic", but who cares?!). Maybe balance this by being prohibitively expensive to do complete overhauls and allow for complete mech destruction (balance the use of expensive designs by allowing the loss of them).
Method 2: MW4 level customization: mechs still keep *some* of their basic traits in weapon configuration, but there is a great amount of leeway. Maybe balance this by being prohibitively expensive to do complete overhauls and allow for complete mech destruction (balance the use of expensive designs by allowing the loss of them).
Method 3: "Large Weapon Swapping." It allows players to do *some* customization without it getting ridiculous. Essentially, this means that bigger weapons can be swapped out for others on a 1:1 basis. This keeps mechs from losing their basic weapon "hardpoint" configurations. A hunchback still retains its behavior as a "mech built around one bigass gun", but now players have the option of deciding what that big gun is (example: swap out for a Gauss Rifle). If a pilot decides to downgrade to a slightly smaller "big gun" (say from a AC/20->PPC) they can use the remaining tonnage to fit smaller weapons, extra heatsinks, armor, or other "minor" upgrades as needed wherever. Obviously, it would be up to the devs to balance this accordingly (Honestly, it *sounds* more complicated than it is, really)
Method 4: "Limited Variant Modification": Essentially, this allows rather minor modification of existing canonical (or dev balanced) variants. Large weapons cannot be changed or moved (PPCs, Large Lasers, AC/5s or bigger as an example), but smaller weapons, heatsinks, armor, or "minor" items can be added or dropped as needed. This allows players the freedom to at least tweak a mech more to their liking while still retaining the mech's primary characteristics. Base variants would be either canon or tweaked by devs to be more balanced (depending on design).
Method 5: Hardset variants designed by the devs to be BALANCED (whatever that means), guided by canon, but not limited to ONLY canon. The problem with canon is that many canon variants sucked. This forced the player to choose mechs that actually worked, rather than the ones they aesthetically liked.
Method 6: Canon variants only: Models from the BT technical readouts are allowed only (no customization). To be fair, this does easily remove the problem of min-maxing with x7 large laser boats that has plagued previous MW games.
Method 7: Similar to method 1, but mechs are visually updated to show what they carry (similar to AssaulTech)
Method 8: Similar to method 2, but mechs are visually updated to show what they carry (somewhat like MWLL)
... for science!
PERSONAL (BIASED) NOTE: The biggest problem with all previous MW titles was that customizing caused mechs to lose their "feel". A Catapult with 3 Large Lasers didn't really "behave" like a Catapult at all, but it still looked like a Catapult; the obvious missile racks being little more than large ornaments. This made encounters somewhat boring and cookiecutter-ish. For those who have played MWLL or AssaulTech, this issue was somewhat resolved. Still, most agree it would be a step in the right direction if variants/modifications of mechs could be somewhat easily distinguished while still keeping the flavor of the original designs.
Edited by MagnusEffect, 30 November 2011 - 12:32 PM.