First, exactly what Kallian said. You aren't going to have to restart as a new character if your mech gets headshot.
Second, thank you for answering my question! Had way too many, but not all of them fit under "reboot" and I did my best to follow the rules.
InnerSphereNews, on 16 November 2011 - 10:43 AM, said:
From the DevBlog on the reboot, what do you mean by: “Solve some of the long standing gameplay issues from previous MechWarrior® games?”
[PAUL] For me it’s the open expanses of flat terrain that evolved into circle strafing madness. While it will still be part of the game, our new environments will allow us to curtail that type of gameplay while opening up new avenues of exploration and Information Warfare bringing every class of ‘Mech to the front lines of combat. Yes you will be able to form a team of all assault class ‘Mechs, but you’re going to end up as fodder to a co-ordinated team of mixed class ‘Mechs and an orchestrating commander.
Is there any particular aspect of the combat which you felt needed to be radically revised and/or updated?
[DAVID] The greatest challenge when it comes to combat would be properly implementing melee combat. As a result, this is something that we’re going to put on hold until we know we can do it right. As for more traditional aspects of MechWarrior® combat, we want to make sure that there exists a proper balance to the different weight classes of ‘Mechs, so that they each have their own distinct uses, and encourage good team play when used together.
[PAUL] To touch on David’s comment, we are also bringing in the ability to skill up your pilot. Your pilot is the actual avatar sitting in the cockpit. The dude or dudette that you’re viewing the world through. This brings a whole new level of pilot awareness to the battlefield and you’ll be hard pressed to see why it wasn’t included before. You will be able to fine tune your pilot’s skills into one of the various roles we have planned for MechWarrior® Online™. This includes scouting and commanding for your team mates.
I found these... interesting? It sounds like matches won't be balanced at all based on tonnage, just on player numbers. There won't be any restrictions on what mechs you chose when you drop into a match. I don't especially care for this.
For the second question, it makes me wonder how much abstraction there will be. One of the reason it wasn't included before is because YOU were the pilot. YOUR skill at piloting and aiming were used, there wasn't a "third party" in between that had to be leveled up. "Leveling up" was you practicing and getting better.