Alright. Now that we have formalities out of the way, it's about time I showed you what you'll probalby be reading for the next 3 hours: Everything you can possibly hope to know about MechWarrior: Online! YAY!
Ok, I'm not actually going to show it to you... you'll have to go read it yourself, but it's not like I'm just gonna leave you hangin' here. What follows are my suggestions on how to best get started sponging-up all there is to absorb.
Firstly, there is this AWESOME post created by one of our community members called the "New Players Start Here (Pretty Please!)" thread. Oh, hey, yellow text is clickable - thought you might want to know that. Anyways, this posting is continuously updated to reflect the latest everything there is to update; Glad I'm not the one in charge of that... But it's always full of everything, so check there if you ever feel a bit behind on things. The New Players thread lists out all the myriad posts and pages here on the MW:O website that you can browse through to bring yourself up-to-speed on the game's history and development. As you can [or will] see, this thread has waaaaaay too much stuff on it That's because MechWarrior: Online was designed from the ground-up to be a thinker's game where a Docorate in Applied Linear Algebra wouldn't even be enough to save you... ok, not really, but there is a lot to pour over. I'll help.
If you look at the top of the webpage you'll see a few links to the right of the big ol' Corporate Logo. Those links should have been where you went first... but instead you're here, listening to me. Why? I don't know. But you should go there. Seriously, the FAQ and Game links are the best way to get quick, basic fundamental details about this particular game title. Those should be your first serious reads. I know, this might be your first read, but you'll see that I used the word "serious..."
You might have noticed the term "F2P," or Free to Play. That means, once it's officialy released, you can download and play the "full version" of MechWarrior: Online without paying a dime. How will they make money? Well, not only does BattleTech have a fanbase so maniacly loyal and exuberant that they'll jam fistfuls of cash down the Developer's throats just for a glimpse at a screenshot, but you can pay money to customize your gaming experience. There will be an in-game Mech customization facility called the MechLab where you can use real cash to buy stuff, and there will be several other ways to relieve that burning sensation in your pants.
HEY! No! No. I know what you're thinking... but you can't buy an ÜberMech with real cash. All equipment and Mechs available to the cash-paying players is also available to the free-playing crowd. With the F2P model being used by the Game Publishers and Developers you can't buy WIN! because all of the BattleMech chassis, weapons platforms, ECM equipment, or "Attack/Defend bonuses" you can buy with real cash will also be available to all your opponents... all of them. The in-game fictional currency called C-Bills will buy you all the weapons, base Mech-chassis, purchasable equipment, n' equivalent hardware that cash will get ya. You can pay for some "boosts" to make the in-game fictional money and XP come in faster, but you can't buy Platinum Gauss Rifles, Titanium Armor, 55-ton Mechs that can hold 65 tons, or Super Bullets. Although you can't buy WIN, you can buy Awesome. Seriously, it's an 80-ton Assault Mech.
Now... Once you finish reading through those Game and FAQ pages you'll be so freakin' excited about this game that you puke rainbows all over your workstation. Clean it up quick, or else you'll culture a tough biofilm of Leprechaunus keybordii, and that stuff is almost impossible to track-down and neutralize. Okay, AFTER you clean up, I would suggest going through the Developer's Blogs in numerical order, as these blogs were produced by the game designers speficially for the sake of us community members (yeah, right - they did it to protect themselves from angry mobs of info-hungry, torch-bearing Mech fans). They should provide an excellent headrush of data.
You'll then find yourself spinning in a daze, full of wonderment an-whatever, there's more to look through. Those DevBlogs are all hosted in a portion of the forums called The Developer's Corner where you can find other neat stuff like interviews with the game developers and some Q&A sessions that have come and gone before you arrived here on station. Newer information is often posted first in the Announcements section of the forum before getting shuttled-off to where ever it's eventually going. You'll also find an archive of all the Inner Sphere News Feeds... they say there's coded messages in the lines of print... well, "they" as in I, Me, Self, and This Guy. Anyways, it's good stuff, and the comminuty's comments on those news stories just about always contain very informative, uh, information on the history and technology of this Universe.
Ok, I know the news can be a dull read sometimes, so maybe now it's time for some sparkly lazors!!! Launch those eyes back to the top of the webpage and you can see a link called Media. No, it's not more news, but rather a collection of game trailers, playtest footage, screenshots, concept art, and other beautiful works of MechArt. Since you've read all that stuff I already pointed out.. you DID read it all, right?... Oh wait, you're still here.. okay, you can read it later. Anyways, after bringing yourself up to speed on the game mechanics those gameplay videos should make pretty good sense. And if they didn't make sense, then just you wait until you hit the forums in full-swing...
Luckily, the webmasters implemented a Sticky system where key forum threads are PINNED at the top of the forum pages. Those pinned topics are often quite useful, such as the New Players thread and the What to Expect for the Rest of You thread. Ya see, they already started the early phases of Closed Beta testing and some members of the comminuty are being invited to participate; That's what the Beta Profile jazz is all about. Supposedly, you can download a mystical system profiling program that scans your compuer's deepest thoughts and repressed childhood memories, copies it to your clipboard, and you can paste it into your Beta Profile so they know what they need to know about your computer rig such as processor speed, RAM,
Trust me: Use the system profiler they provide and don't type your specs in by hand... that's like asking a Club Bouncer to just take your word for it when he wants to see your ID. If you have any problems with they System Profiler program or setting up your Beta Profile, then you can visit one of my favorite places in the whole wide world: The Website Support Forums! If you're having a problem then it's likely that someone else is having it too, so just browse through the support topics until you find one that matches your situation. If not, then check this message from the Developers.
Often the Developers will make forum postings that address specific problems or concerns, and these frequently become PINNED. For example: Do you want to know what "Founder's Packs" are, and what "Operation: Inception" is? The check out these pinned threads:
Founder's Packs are cool because with the Veteran and Elite Packs you get to buy in-game money at 25% off, and the Elite and Legendary-level Packs include Mechs with llifetime C-Bill boosts. Also, all the packs give you a "free preview" of their Premium Accounts for a month or few (Premium Accounts will net you XP and C-bills faster) which is nice to help you get a head-start on building your army of darkness... Also, as of recently, if you buy a Founder's Pack then you get folded into the closed Beta right away (assuming you're old enough to electronically sign a Non Disclosure Act... got an itchy trigger finger?
Alright... what else...? Hrm. Well, I'd encourage you to browse through all the different subsections of the forums to familiarize yourself with how things are structured... Um... I guess I could politely ask for you to try and keep your forum postings relevant to the sections of the Forums you are posting in ("General Discussion" is supposed to be for general discussion of MechWarrior: Online, and not generally discussing the weather or politics). There a section designated "Off Topic" that houses the Support Forums and 3 other avenues; arguments about who makes the best video cards are in the Hardware forums, randomly weird stuff is in the Off Topic Discussions, and stuff that makes randonly weird seem like an understatement can be found in the Jettisoned Communications... I mean, the developers have labeled the JetComms as "Discussions that do not fit in any other category," and wasn't one of those catagories called "Off Topic DIscussions"...? Yeah, think about that. Oh! Also be wary for a guy named "Paul." Just... be careful, okay? He's a bit... "touchy."
Anywhonanny, I think that's about it for now. We're all trying to be good neighbors and fostering a community of love and respect and cooperation... and competition... and gratuitous *robot violence.
Have fun chatting-it-up and I'll see you on the Battlefield!
*I've just been reminded that that these are "Mechs" and not "Robots..." Gonna have to replace that window, now. Anyone want a free brick?
Edited by Prosperity Park, 01 August 2012 - 05:38 PM.