over the past few months I have seen various threads and posts that deal with the game, mechs and factions. I wanted to create a reference for people who are new to the 3048 ~ 3052 era.
Many players, most notably those who started with MW4 have a view of the universe that has not yet come to pass. The Mekpaks included many classic mechs, but they also had many non-canon designs and weapons.
It also doesn't help that MW4 market sells tons of Clan tech (which should be rare even in that era).
Anyway, I made this thread to give you all the info you need to survive in this era:
Probably the one people are most interested in, I see a lot threads where people want to pilot a Uziel as soon as possible, but that mech won't see production for the next 14 years. I have already made a list of mechs that exist during 3049 ~ 3050, it's below my sig.
Anyway, here's the mechs from MW4 you won't be seeing for the next couple of years, I included their earliest production dates (non-canon designs will likely never show up):
Arctic Wolf (3059), Ares (non-canon), Argus (3059), Argus XT (non-canon), Assassin II (non-canon), Avatar (3056)
Battlemaster IIC (non-canon), Black Heart (non-canon), Black Jack II (non-canon), Black Lanner (3052), Blood Asp (3059), Brigand (3056), Bushwacker (3053)
Canis (3058), Chimera (3063), Cougar (3058)
Deimos (3084), Duan Gung (3058)
Gesu (non-canon), Grim Reaper (3052)
Hauptmann (3060), Hellspawn (3062), Hollander II (3058)
Mad Cat MKII (3066)
Nova Cat (3059)
Osiris (3063), Owens (3056)
Pitbull (non-canon), Privateer (non-canon)
Rabid Coyote (3066), Razorback (3063), Reaver (non-canon)
Solitaire (3064), Strider (3057), Sunder (3056)
Templar (3062), Tenchi (non-canon), Thanatos (3061), Thanatos XT (non-canon)
Ursus (3059), Uziel (3063)
Vulture II (non-canon)
Warlord (3069), Warthog (non-canon), Wildcat (non-canon)
The Mektek team also introduced a number of techs that can't be found in the canon, but here is what's available during the current era:
Autocannon/2 5 10 20
Laser Small Medium Large
LRM 5, 10, 15, 20
SRM 2, 4, 6
IS (level 2, some tech is from 3050)
LB 10-X AC
ER Large laser
Pulse Laser Small Medium Large
AMS (not LAMS)
LBX, 2, 5, 10, 20
Ultra AC 2, 5, 10, 20
ER Laser Small, Medium, Large
Pulse Laser Small, Medium, Large
LRM 5, 10, 15, 20
SRM 2, 4, 6
Streak SRM 2, 4, 6
The Inner Sphere techs have been split into two parts. Back in the old days we used level 1 and level 2 tech ratings. Level 1 was the original tech base used when Battletech started (the setting was 3025). All kinds of new technologies were (re)discovered in the period leading up to the Clan invasion, this technology was classified as "level 2".
The mechs seen in the preview videos are designs that use level 1 equipment. These mechs won't stand a chance against Clan mechs. Clan tech was nerfed in past MW games, the ER Large laser does 7.5 damage in MW4, it does 10 damage in the canon rules. You will be fighting against far stronger opponents then you have ever encountered before.
The Inner Sphere side will have to field more mechs then the Clan side, but you will still need a edge to defeat any opposition without taking too much damage. Hence it becomes important to collect as much level 2 tech as you can get your hands on. It might not be possible to use any Clan tech early on, a page in Technical Readout 3058 states that special software is required along with Clan connectors to use Clan weapons. This won't be possible untill atleast 3052 ~ 3053. Wolf's Dragoons and Snord's Irregulars are of Clan origin and possess the technology to equip Clan tech on IS mechs.
Another interesting technology is C3, it allows you to share targeting data across a complete lance. Scout mechs like the Commando could easily help Catapults and other long range fighters to get good target locks. Clan warriors are forbidden to use such systems since they are considered dishonorable.
BAP/Active Probes help with detecting hidden units, this is a pretty big deal with MWO's approach to information warfare. Try to get atleast one player with a BAP or Active Probe in your team. You will avoid many ambushes this way.
ECM, MW4 had this tech decrease the time it took to get a targetlock on you, but it is so much more.
A ECM is actually more centered around area effects, it effectively hides you and any mech near you from radar detection, distorts enemy C3 networks and also disables effectiveness of most guided missiles. ECM's also have two other modes, they can generate ghost targets (false images on a enemy radar) and ECCM to counteract any enemy ECM.
Armor and Engines
The mechs seen in the preview all mount standard armor, internal structures and engines.
Standard armor does not exist in MW4, internal structures are largly ignored and the way engines work have been completely thrown out of the window.
At level 1 you only have the most basic armor, it is the heaviest armor of its time. At level 2 you can get Ferro-Fibrous (the standard armor for MW4), it weighs far less then standard armor, but it takes up more space. You could potentially mount less weapons when your mech has ferro due to lack of space.
Many Clan invasion IS mechs will have variants that mount ferro.
Mechs have a skeleton so to speak, here we have a standard and a endosteel internal structure. Endosteel like Ferro takes up more space but weighs less.
Engines can't be upgraded as easily as it was in MW4, you actually have to add a completely new engine. Those engines have far greater increments then the engines in MW4.
Here we also have a new technology, the XL engine, it is bigger, but it weighs less.
Heatsinks come a two variants, single and double. Both weigh the same, the only difference is that double heatsinks have twice the cooling rate and take up three times the space on a IS mech (double the space on a Clan mech).
All the mechs in the gameplay videos mount single heatsinks.
The Clan Invasion
The game starts shortly before the Clan invasion. The Clan invasion was one of the major events in Battletech history, there will be spoilers here for people who haven't read about this event.
You can better stop reading here if you don't want the story to be spoiled.
The Clan Invasion, the Clans refer to it as "Operation Revival". Clan troops are going to land in the "north side" just outside the Inner Sphere on August 3049. Nearly the entire Free Rasalhague Republic will be overtaken by 3052. Initially four Clans will attack: Clan Ghost Bear, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Smoke Jaguar and Clan Wolf. Clan Nova Cat and Steel Viper will be activated as reserve Clans in November 3051.
The Invasion will happen in 5 waves and the Inner Sphere will be pushed back easily by the Clan technological edge. This was also in part due to the seemingly alien nature of the Clans.
Reasons for Invasion
The Crusader Clans had wanted to invade roughly 50 years before the current MWO timeframe. After some discussions among the Warden and Crusader Clans it was decided that a scouting force was to be sent to the Inner Sphere to examine the current status of the houses. This scouting force was known as Wolf's Dragoons (they were equiped with old Star League mechs and equipment).
Wolf's Dragoons reported back to the Clans that the Inner Sphere was no match for Clans due to the loss of technology and constant infighting, but they had been slowly rebuilding their ravaged domains. This split the Warden and Crusader camps even more, the Crusader Clans would have used this as a opportunity to quickly conquer and restore the Star League.
The Clan Wolf leader Khan Kerlin Ward ordered Wolf's Dragoons to remain in the Inner Sphere and prepare all the factions for a invasion, they were also ordered to ignore any new orders from the Clan Wolf leadership.
The Wardens had managed to hold back the invasion for 50 long years until something happened that nobody could have foreseen. A Comstar Explorer Corps vessel known as the Outbound Light misjumped and ended up near a world owned by the most brutal Crusader Clan, Clan Smoke Jaguar.
It was in November 3048 that everything changed when the Smoke Jaguar Khan Leo Showers presented his "evidence" that the Inner Sphere was slowly rebuilding a Star League of their own. The biggest proof of this was the formation of the Federated Commonwealth along with the rediscovery lostech. Leo Showers then convinced the other Khans that the Federated Commonwealth would eventually crush all remaining houses and in the long run attack the Clan homeworlds.
This caused a vote among the Clans that favored the Crusader camp, Clan Wolf issued a Trial of Refusal but they were outnumbered 4 to 1 during the trials and lost. And thus the invasion began. The objective of the invasion was to conquer Terra (Earth) at the center of the Inner Sphere (the old Star League capital). The first Clan to have a soldier set foot on Terra would become the Ilclan, all other Clans would have to obey this Clan. It be particularly bad for the Inner Sphere if a Crusader Clan were to succeed here since they would have all 17 Clans invade the Inner Sphere instead of the initial 4.
Note that November 3048 was November 2011 in the timeline MWO follows, so the Clans are already enroute to the Inner Sphere.
Clan warriors and combat
Clan warriors fight by honor rules, a career in a Clan is built around the honor a warrior gains in his/her life.
The Devs have already pointed out that there will be a reward system for honorable behaviour.
The Inner Sphere side can exploit these honor rules to gain a advantage. But do not push it too far, since a Clan warrior can drop the honor rules if it is justified.
There are many threads around asking if the game will have a "Daishi" or a "Mad Cat", the answer is yes. But it will be difficult to play them. They will not be sold in the Inner Sphere, you will have to salvage these mechs and find a way to repair them (which the Inner Sphere can't really do at this time). TRO 3058 also mentions in the Avatar description that Clan tech will break down due to the fact that the Inner Sphere lacks the knowledge to maintain these machines for long periods of time.
The other option is joining the Clans. But many players will join just for the advantage of the Clan tech and do away with the honor rules. This doesn't sit well with the hardcore Clan players. Players who don't fight honorably will be pretty much shunned by other Clan players or become the laughing-stock in a Clan. A number of hardline Clan players will even trash your mech on the battlefield just to get you out of the team.
I created a thread here for info on Clan warriors and their behaviour.
The Clans really aren't for you if you abuse the tech. Introduce yourself in the Clan forum if you are really interested in learning about the Clans.
The Clans will be stopped at the Battle of Tukayyid by Comstar. After this we will get a status quo with most Clans that will last well into the Dark Ages (3080+)
Comstar and the other factions
Comstar is a remnant of the Star League communications network, they maintain HPG arrays that allow any and all communication across the Inner Sphere. They are offcially considered a neutral faction that will serve the houses. Comstar is in many ways religious, their founder Jerome Blake has been elevated to something of a god among the Comstar members. Comstar is based on Terra (Earth) and has maintains HPG stations on 98% of all known worlds.
Comstar has been hoarding all the advanced technology, they were behind the decline of technological knowhow when they executed operation Holy Shroud. None of the Successor States trust Comstar mainly because they controll all communications (HPG stations) and maintain a secret army equiped with Lostech. The Comguards are officially used as garrison forces to protect HPG stations.
Comstar originally met up with the Clans shortly after the invasion started. Comstar was actively helping the Clans by giving them information on how to deal with local populations and by providing HPG services for them (eventhough Clan technicians can do the same). Comstar was using this opportunity to indoctrinate the conquered IS people with their teachings.
The initial plan of the Comstar leadership was to coerce the Clans into attacking the Lyran capital world Tharkad to take it for them, only then did Comstar find out that they were actually heading for Terra. This abruptly ended the shortlived partnership with the Clans.
Comstar eventually turned against both the Clans and Successor states and tried to throw them into chaos by shutting down the HPG network and staging local insurrections. This operation was known as Operation Scorpion. This operation was a complete failure however since information of this operation had been leaked to the leaders of the Federated Commonwealth.
Myndo Waterly the leader of Comstar was quickly killed by one of the ranking Comstar officials Anastasius Focht. Anastasius Focht was not interested in controling the Inner Sphere and only wanted peace, his past dealings as a envoy to the Clans allowed him to meet up with the Clan Wolf leader Ulric Kerensky (now Ilkhan of the Clans) and formulate a plan to halt the invasion for 15 years.
This resulted in the Battle of Tukayyid, each Clan was tasked to conquer and hold two cities on this planet. The Clans would win Terra if they succeeded. A loss would mean that the invasion was to be halted for the next 15 years (end date 3067).
Comstar abused the Clan honor rules and inflexibility of the conservative Clans. Clan Wolf was the only Clan to capture both objectives since they had adapted their tactics and logistics to easily crush their Comstar opponents. Clans Ghost Bear and Jade Falcon each achieved 1 objective. The other Clans failed because they had underestimated the Comguards. And thus the invasion was halted.
The fallout of this situation was that a faction known as Word of Blake split of from Comstar.
Battletech politcial structure
Yeah, this also exists within Mechwarrior/Battletech. The Houses of the Inner Sphere have been at war with each other for hundreds of years at this point, there is a lot bad blood between the factions. The Clans are split between Warden and Crusader Clans. As such there are no good or bad guy factions, though the novels have had some pretty interesting villain type characters.
What is important to know here, the last two conflicts known as the 4th Succession War and the War of 3039 left their marks on the current state of the Inner Sphere. The Free Rasalhague Republic is a faction that arose after the 4th succession war having finally gained independance from the Draconis Combine.
Mercenaries are the wildcard here, some are in the employ of a specific House while others wander from employer to employer. Some Merc units are on really bad terms with some houses, the best example here are Wolf's Dragoons and the Draconis Combine.
The Clans invaded because the Crusader Clans finally won over a sufficient number of Warden Clans to give the invasion the go vote. Not all the invading Clans are that keen on the Invasion, one might even try to halt the Invasion so the Inner Sphere has a fighting chance....
There are also numerous minor factions that border the Inner Sphere factions, these are the Periphery powers.
Edited by Stormwolf, 17 April 2012 - 01:09 PM.