As many of you will know there is a wide variety of players wanting everything from a casual almost arcade like gameplay to people that are looking for a fairly hardcore simulation from this reboot of the MW franchise, so I have been thinking that a tiering system of realism would be appropriate and appeal to a wider audience without compromising in one direction or the other.
In my mind a four tier system would be appropriate, and I imagine the tiers being something like:
Tier 4: This would be for beginning and more casual players. Matches would have unlimited or generous respawns. The matches would end when either all objectives are completed by one team or the other, or a match timer reaches 0. Game play or realism setting. Heat would not be a factor, and there would be no movement or other effects on the Mechwarrior or their 'Mech. Customization of 'Mechs would be only limited by imagination and possibly C-bills. No penalty for 'Mech destruction beyond being put in a spawn queue. Teams can field 'Mechs on a 1:1 basis for each team (straight X players VS X players). No ammo critical explosions perhaps even unlimited ballistic and missile ammo.
Tier 3: This would be for players that are looking for a bit more than the Tier 4 players. Heat starts to be an issue, but still no shutdowns perhaps instead you couldn't fire energy weapons until you're machine cooled off a bit (fairly quick heat dissipation). Respawns may start to be limited, but still generous. Customization may start to see limitations (I'm not going to state a hard customization limit at the level). Teams start to see balance based on total fieldable tonnage, but it's a generous tonnage allowing up to half of each team to field 100 ton 'Mechs and leaving plenty of room for everyone else to field an even distribution of other weight classes of 'Mechs. Losing a 'Mech will cost you a modest amount of C-bills at the end of the match before it can be fielded again (unless it's a free 2 play 'Mech).
Tier 2: This is where players would start to see strong levels of realism. Heat is a major issue and balancing heat and damage output is critical. Shutdowns, movement, targeting, core ruptures, ammo cook off can all be affected by excessive heat. Respawns are very limited (perhaps as little as 1-2 per player if at all). Customization of 'Mechs is limited by a tight Battle Value mechanic that make effective use of all weight classes and team work a must for success. Losing your 'Mech has consequences. You will have to pay for repairs and it won't be available until the repairs are complete. (Free 2 Play 'Mechs would still be available regardless of it's loss in combat)
Tier 1: Obviously the harshest realism settings to use a semi-common simulator term this is "Full Switch". No respawns. Teams have very limiting Battle Value system. Fielding more than one of any weight class per lance would be nearly impossible. Customized 'Mechs cannot be fielded stock and variant 'Mechs only. Losing a 'Mech is serious. You lose it or at very least have to pay a severe C-bill penalty and it will take at least a day to get it repaired.
Now this is not intended as a mechanic in which you must play in each tier for X hours before you can move to the next tier or any such thing. If you want to play Tier 1 your first go then that's your prerogative. Moving from 1 tier to the next carries no penalty for the player.
My view on how this could be handled in the persistent world metagame: Two options
1) Each tier has it's own persistent world.
2) Tier 1 and Tier 2 share a single persistent world and only Tier 1 and 2 have this persistent world.
Questions I see coming up:
But what happens to my super customized 'Mech I have on Tier 4 when I move to another Tier? I paid hard earned C-bills to get that baby just right.
I customization payment for each 'Mech is for every Tier. I.E. you pay to customize that 'Mech and you get to customize it as appropriate for every tier with a single transaction.
But what stops someone from grinding in Tier 4 or 3 for C-bills to get an advantage in Tier 1 or 2?
Different tiers give different levels of C-bill award. Higher risk higher reward. This shouldn't necessarily work the same for Mechwarrior levels or skills.
Parting statement. This is by no means meant to be an end all be all. I know there is lots of room to work with in here, but I see it more as a framework. Mostly I'm interested in what you guys think, and maybe even if PGI thinks such a system is viable.
Thank you, for the time you spent reading this. Let me know your thoughts, feelings, and constructive critiques.
Edited by Halfinax, 04 December 2011 - 02:54 PM.