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Dev Blog 3 - Role Warfare

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#1 InnerSphereNews

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:01 AM

Role Warfare is a term used for applying in-game mechanics and features, which assist a player in optimizing the game for their style of gameplay.

There are 4 basic types of gameplay roles in any team based game. These are the common roles found in military conflicts between two or more forces, and are similar to a chess game in terms of how they play out on the battlefield. The four roles are:

Scouting – Gathering information as a reconnaissance/stealth unit that gets relayed back to the rest of the friendly force.

Defense – The defender holds the ground gained by the offensive forces and protects those in need.

Assault – The assault role is for the tactical forward units whose primary role is to seek and destroy.

Command – The command role is split into two different levels, lance and company. Lance command falls to those in charge of up to 3 other players and assist in coordinated attacks on key targets. The company commander utilizes the 2 other lance commanders and all information being relayed back to him to make global calls on the battlefield.



Role Aggregation

Role Aggregation combines all of the BattleMech and Pilot Skill customizations to create customized gameplay that the player has chosen to follow.

file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_01.pngIt all begins in the game’s cycle of playing matches. The player first starts off by selecting contracts or entering quick matches and playing the game in general.




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_02.pngAs players play through matches, they earn XP for their BattleMechs. XP is gained by performing various tasks within a match and bonus XP can be gained by being successful at the end of the match. Bonus XP can be gained from the meta-game which can give XP based on faction/allegiance to a House.




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_03.pngAfter each match XP is stored in the last BattleMech used. This pool of XP can be spent on BattleMech efficiencies. Each BattleMech chassis has its own pool of XP and custom Tech Tree. At certain branch points in the BattleMech Tech Tree, a Pilot Point is awarded to the player.


Each branch under the BattleMech’s Tech Tree represents attributes that fall into the Role Categories described earlier on.




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_04.pngPilot Points that are unlocked in the BattleMech Tech Tree are then assigned to the player’s pilot avatar (MechWarrior).




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_05.pngNow the player can use the Pilot Points to unlock pilot abilities in the Pilot Skill tree. As abilities are purchased, Modules are unlocked in the store.


Again, the branches in the Pilot Skill Tree represent attributes that fall into the Role Categories described earlier on.




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_06.pngAfter purchasing modules from the store, using soft currency (C-Bills), the player can equip them to the BattleMech of their choice. The maximum number of Modules that can be equipped is determined by the BattleMech chassis.




file://static.mwomercs.com/img/news/dev_blog3_07.png

It is this game cycle that brings customized gameplay to the player experience. The combination of BattleMech Modules and Pilot Abilities will dramatically augment the play style of the player.

Roles Playing Out on the Battlefield

How the roles play out on the battlefield relies on the players’ activity. If a player customizes their gameplay to be a scout, then they should play the role of a scout and relay information back to the command players.

Scouts

Scouts are the main source of information on the battlefield. It is their utilization of Information Warfare that is the key to the success of a team. Scouts need to get to the front lines as soon as possible in order to gather information as fast as possible. They should utilize fast moving BattleMech which allow them to do so and at the same time allow them the opportunity to escape should the need arise. Advanced scout players will need to use scout Modules to enhance their abilities to detect enemies and relay information.
Suggested BattleMech Class: Light/Medium Suggested Modules: Radar and Detection enhancements Suggested Pilot Skills: Scout class skills
Defense/Assault

The defense and assault roles are very similar in their core gameplay. The only difference between the two is how they want to balance their skills and modules. There are numerous configurations that will prove to be beneficial to either role being played.

Defense may want to skew their attributes to heavier armor and friendly assistance modules, while the assault may want to skew their attributes to targeting and assistance modules. Both roles need to be combat effective in both long and short range abilities.
Suggested BattleMech Class: Medium/Heavy/Assault Suggested Modules: (Defense) Assistance and Detection enhancements, (Assault) Assistance and Targeting enhancements Suggested Pilot Skills: (Defense) Assistance of friendly units and Detection/Protection skills, (Assault) Enhanced Targeting and Assistance of friendly units
Command

Command players are a special breed that will need to be "situation aware" of everything happening on the battlefield at any given time. It is up to the command player to let all friendly units know of key operational changes in plans or actions to be played out while in combat. The command player is always at risk due to the nature of the role and their dependency on the Battle Grid to issue orders and distribute information. It is because of this, command players should be protected by other players on the same team. Movement co-ordination is the key to the survival of the command player by making sure the command player is never left alone.

It is important to note that radar/information sharing has a defined range. This means that a command player cannot simply stand at their original spawn location for the entirety of the match. They must keep moving in order to make sure all members of the team are within communications range.
Suggested BattleMech Class: Light/Medium/Heavy Suggested Modules: Ability to call upon support units/Radar enhancements Suggested Pilot Skills: Self-defense and Information sharing skills

The Culmination of Role and Information Warfare

There is a heavy cross over between the technologies involved with Information Warfare and Role Warfare. Role Warfare is more based on the execution of the utilization of Information Warfare equipment. It is this cross over, as a whole, which defines the new gameplay features of MechWarrior® Online™ that has not been seen in previous iterations of the franchise.

Players are now truly allowed to customize their gameplay experience to suit their play style which in itself is fairly new to on-line FPS/RPG titles.

Great care is being taken to ensure that the new systems are designed in a way that make sense for gameplay as well as to not step on the toes of the BattleTech™ Universe.

#2 CoffiNail

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

Holy great father Keresnky!

#3 Heronimus Bosch

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:06 AM

YES!! :P


This is what I have been imaging since I first read about Role Warfare. :P

Edited by Heronimus Bosch, 01 February 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#4 Blackfire1

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

O_O Holy hell.

#5 TheRulesLawyer

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

Cool. I can't wait to see the tech trees.

#6 CobraFive

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

Sounds great to me. The level up procedure seems a bit... convoluted... but once we have our hands on it I'm sure it'll make sense.

I'm worried about the command class, it interests me greatly but it doesn't seem like the kind of thing non-guild associated players will be able to engage in.

#7 Nik Van Rhijn

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:12 AM

Wow, this looks great!

#8 Skwisgaar Skwigelf

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

Now THIS is (don't say awesome don't say awesome)........ AWESOME!

#9 Halfinax

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

Wow, I'm really glad to hear that 'Mech XP will be chassis specific. Will definitely encourage people to pick a chassis in short order and stick with it. Interesting to know that Pilot Points will be awarded along the 'Mech tech trees further encouraging sticking to a single chassis and really becoming expert with it.

Excited to see what Friday's dev blog will consist of. PGI, you guys seem to be hitting all the right marks for what is shaping up to be an amazing competitive f2p game. I'm in awe.

#10 Name140704

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

With "chassis loyalty", making that first 'mech purchase wll be a big choice.

Edit: Hope the Awesome makes initial!

Edited by NARCoMAN, 01 February 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#11 ZRO Zimm

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

Makes perfect sense to me & weirdly, considering what it's about, has me even more excited! Nice work :P

#12 MaddMaxx

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

Nice and Circular. Fight to Level a Mech which grants PP's to be used to unlock PIlot Skills that then unlock Modules for your Mech.

#13 TheRulesLawyer

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

Okay. So a little more detailed- It looks like you will have to level many different mechs in order to level your pilot. Pilot points are only generated at branches. The more branches, the more pilot points. Since mechs will have a limited number of branches, that means you'll be in a whole lot of them. Also it might mean its quicker to level your pilot by playing a whole lot of mechs shallowly since typically you level much faster early in trees.

#14 armitage

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

Interesting, but I'm curious as too how commanders with be placed in Pub matches. If chooses to be a scout and you end up with a commander that is completely incompetent how much of a handicap will that incure....off to Q&A I go

#15 Jon Vekken

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

Interesting... wonder how it'll all fit together and not become issue laden. I mean, what's the chance that a lance will be made up of ntohing but commanders in atlas's...? Or a scout scouting in an atlas?

I think the majority of players will end up being assault role regardless of thier mech.

#16 Blackfang

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

Holy mother of god. They've answered all my hopes and dreams in one fell swoop, that is so impressive, I'll think of something constructive to say later when I've picked my jaw back up off the ground. Now all that needs to be clarified is the mechlab and how that'll work and I'm a happy Mechwarrior. The command role sounds totally interesting can't wait to hear more about that.

#17 Blackfang

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

View PostTheRulesLawyer, on 01 February 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

Okay. So a little more detailed- It looks like you will have to level many different mechs in order to level your pilot. Pilot points are only generated at branches. The more branches, the more pilot points. Since mechs will have a limited number of branches, that means you'll be in a whole lot of them. Also it might mean its quicker to level your pilot by playing a whole lot of mechs shallowly since typically you level much faster early in trees.


The only issue i see with that is, forking out the c-bills for repairs, ammo, upkeep and the like, which could make swapping between various mechs extremely expensive for the players C-bill bank balance.

#18 Dihm

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:21 AM

Interesting! The "light, medium, heavy" recommendations surprised me for the Command role, I figured it would be more on the "heavy, assault" side.

Unfounded speculation just for Paul: THIS MEANS NO CYCLOPS! Oh NOOO! I refuse to play this game!

On a serious note: I find it interesting that the mech gains experience, and you have to unlock stuff on the mech before you can get access to them on your avatar. Does this mean that pilot abilities that are unlocked on the avatar don't transfer between different mechs? Or do you carry everything over that you learned (on your pilot) from one mech to another? But, that question is headed for the Q&A thread I suppose. :P

#19 Fresh Meat

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

Good, but the enhanced targeting and assistance seems too RPGesque.

#20 DV McKenna

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

Now this sounds promising, and finally a dev blog that was worth the read for information!





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