Note: I may take a few snippets from my previous answers in other threads.
The Game Universe
Back in the 1980s Battletech was born, it was a time of Mecha from Japan being popular and board gaming.
This lovely pair created a great product (in my opinion) called Battletech.
So when you think of the future don't think of cyberpunk or AIs in this setting. Think more of clunky walking tanks fighting over scraps of technology and water on far flung worlds.
This link ([color="#ffa504"]http://bg.battletech.com/?page_id=23[/color]) will take you to the Brief history of the Battletech Universe from 2100s to the 3060s, a time frame far into the future compared to this games' timeframe of 3050.
Is it required reading? Not really but it would help you understand things when people refer to "The Clans" or "The Houses".
Chances are you will throw your services to one of the Great Houses. These are interstellar empires surrounding the Terra system (Earth's solar system) that fight against each other for domination.
From the board game PoV there have been countless breakdowns of how certain factions fought in universe at the Battletech Forums: [color="#ffa504"]http://bg.battletech.com/forums/[/color]
Since the video game will be different due to players doing their own things some of what I say might be moot.
Overall here's what I discovered during my time playing the board game at least:
Federated Suns: Davions were one of the first few houses to really get into combined arms, but since this video game won't have that for some time we can rely on the next item of discussion which is designs. FedSun 'Mech designs love Autocannons, the more dakka dakka the better. They've typically fielded decent and maneuverable Medium class 'Mechs as well.
Draconis Combine: Kurita enriches their soldiers with the spirit of bushido and as such one-on-one fighting wasn't that strange to encounter. Expect designs from the glorious Dragon to be mostly Lights, Heavies, and some Assaults; they never really took to the Medium weights because it didn't have the speed nor firepower. Expect PPCs and plenty of energy based weapons but watch out because their designs were not heat efficient.
Lyran Commonwealth: Steiner loves big 'Mechs and cannot lie. The more metal they can wrap around them the better! Notorious for the "Wall of Steel" approach, their glacier pace of doom will play great for defensive players. Aside from the Free Worlds League this faction was a monetary and industrial powerhouse.
Capellan Confederation: Long live glorious House Liao, the Celestial Wisdom! Sure they've been raided, attacked, and mocked to the point where they practically aren't powerful but they are tenacious.
Light 'Mechs, mines, hidden rules, and basically being sneaky little guy will win you respect within the halls of Liao. Remember that the people serve the State and the State cares for the people.
Free Worlds League: House Marik oversees a vast confederation and a powerful industrial realm. The arm merchants to the stars. They've got missiles, they've got Heavies and Mediums, they've got plenty to shoot and shoot at all for the right price. Where the other realms are ruled with iron fists the League is a Parliament and civil war is sometimes commonplace. So yes they'll fight each other, they'll fight you, and they'll sell their weapons for a decent deal!
Free Rasalhague Republic: Space vikings is a quick way to describe them. Their lands were conquered by the Draconis Combine but not their spirits! Hardy warriors who fought for their freedom only to get it by a political deal thanks to Comstar and the Draconis Combine. The Combine needed tech desperately after getting attacked by Davion and Steiner (these two form the Federated Commonwealth around 3025 or so). Comstar wanted something in exchange, the Principality of Rasalhague freed. Though there was celebrating there was also war, previous land owners of the Combine inside the FRR were booted out and tried to take their old lands by force. During these Ronin wars mercs were in high demand but sometimes treated the FRR less than stellar. The Rasalhague people still keep prejudice against money warriors because of these actions. Tactics wise they've kept close to the Draconis Combine and didn't really make much of an impact.
EDIT UPDATE: The FRR have played a defensive war against the Combine for quite some time so expect sneak attacks and entrinched warfare. They've really gone aggressive against pirates before the Clans came.
Comstar: I'm throwing this in because they might be used someday so let's put them in! Imagine AT&T, Microsoft, and Apple combined to make a religious army that tried to control the flow of technology. You've got ComStar! Founded by Jerome Blake right around the time Kerensky scuttled off to the Periphery this once corporation took on mystical trappings when Blake died and his loyal follower, Conrad Toyama, took control. These guys control Earth, the Terra system, and have maintained quite a bit of the old Star League tech while the Houses kept bashing each other's heads in.
Surely a powerful, mystical, and secretive faction wouldn't try to endanger humanity? Right?
Once again this isn't a know-all-be-all to how each House plays but rather a nice little summary.
As of this posting you won't be playing Clan. Hopefully that will change but until then here's some information about them.
Back during the Golden Age of humanity when most of it was united under a Star League there was a great army assembled. The leader was named Aleksander (Alexander) Kerensky, he protected the First Lord of the Star League (basically the head of Space NATO ) until an assassination attempt caused a coupe within the League. Kerensky and his people fought a big civil war leading all the way to Terra itself and won but at a high price.
The five remaining House Lords stripped Kerensky of his rank as the Protector to the First Lord and commanded his forces to disband. If they did then the House Lords could take the sweet technology within and use it for their purposes. He said no and left for the far reaches of space, the Periphery, with 70% or so of the Star League Defense Force.
For 300 years no one heard from Kerenksy or even if his people survived the trip until 3050.
Strange reports of powerful pirates and weapons beyond the current limitations of 300 years of Succession Wars caused a stir when the truth was found.
Kerensky's people survived, grew, and prepared themselves for war with the Inner Sphere Houses.
Put simply they have better tech but utilize a ritual combat to limit losses, which made them easy targets for the House Lord's warriors to take advantage.
Hired guns, people willing to do anything for a price, so basically you!
Some mercs sign with Houses for long term contracts while others go from place to place.
This site doesn't have much information at the time of this post (November 1 2011) but hopefully that will change really quick. However from what I can gleam on this site there will be a focus on teamwork within a lance (that's 4 'Mechs working together). Scouting, Defending, Attacking, and Commanding were described in a couple of articles. I don't have any tactics or breakdown for this yet sadly but it would make sense that someone finds a target, someone makes the call if the lance should beat him/her up, and everyone has a jolly time... except for the poor fellow getting squashed.
From what's been published the action will take place in the seat of your 'Mech and you are the warrior who commands it, so Mechwarrior fits. It seems to be a first person game much like the Tesla Firestorm Pods of old.
Once again my postings aren't know-all-be-all and someone will find something that needs fixing or clarification. If you find it please do so, this thread should be useful in helping those completely new with our Universe I hope.
CryENGINE®3 will power this game. (http://mwomercs.com/...nline%e2%84%a2/)
More Helpful Links!
http://mwomercs.com/...sources-thread/ Rip Snorgan made a helpful thread that is a collection of links to other websites. These sites range from the Battletech fan wiki up to the main Battletech Portal.
http://mwomercs.com/...tions-and-tech/ Named "MechWarrior Lore, A Beginner's Guide - History, Factions and Tech" it provides a great summary of where we will be once this game kicks off!
Edited by Atlas3060, 12 June 2012 - 08:15 AM.