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Dev Vlog #4


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#1 Kyle Polulak

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:07 AM



Transcript:

Hey everyone this is Daeron, also known as Bombadil from No Guts No Galaxy and I'd like to welcome you to the MechWarrior Online Dev Vlog #4. This is our chance to get to know the developers and hear directly from them on the past, present and future of MechWarrior Online.

In this episode, we'll hear from the Devs on such topics as clan warhorns, modules and weapons. As well as matchmaker and balance updates.

Let's jump right in with our first question for Matt Newman, Producer for MechWarrior Online.

Clan Warhorns - What are they and how do they work?

A Warhorn is a mounted cockpit item that has a physical representation in your cockpit. When you take it into battle and you get a kill, it's going to play a sound. Some of them are even animated. You can really look at the Heavy Metal right now when you get a kill it plays some music and that's exactly what a warhorn is going to do, except for you'll have an actual cool speaker in your cockpit as well. And if you equip it on the Heavy Metal the warhorn sound will override the Heavy Metal.

Our next question is for Alex Schmidt. What are the unique clan bonus modules and how do they work?

Clan modules are designed for the clan pack, which means they will also be released with the clan pack. We will have 5 different modules, 2 weapon modules and 2 normal `Mech modules. The 2 weapon modules are - one will increase the rate of fire of the AMS so you can take down more missiles. And the second one will improve the NARC, so increase range and increased duration. With the 3 `Mech modules we'll have one that reduces fall damage, one that will make you move faster when you've lost a leg, and one that - if an enemy has targeted you and you move out of sight, that target will be instantly lost, so there's no decay anymore. If you've pre-ordered one of the Clan packs, depending on which Clan pack you will get some or all of these modules together with a unique visual and/or audio effect.

Next, Paul Inouye, Lead Designer for MechWarrior Online, shares some information on the upcoming clan weapons as well as the current state of general game balance.

Clan weapons - There's not much of an update here, I've already explained in some Command Chair posts and with some interviews that the Clan weapons are going to be changed from their basic lore implementation. For example, the Autocannons are going to be firing in burst-fire mode, the LRMs will be in stream-fire mode. We have lasers which are going to have longer duration times. One of the things that we were talking about is the Clan LPX having switchable ammo types - right now we've found a problem that's inherent with our weapons system that's not allowing us to actually have an ammo swap-type. We are looking into possible other solutions and we'll let you know as soon as we can find out what we can do there. It's currently looking like we're going to be dealing with a mixture of a LBX and a actual clan autocannon. So basically, instead of being able to switch ammo types you'll be able to switch weapon types. There hasn't been a lot going on in terms of general balance in the game right now. There's two reasons for this - 1. We have a tournament running right now and we cannot change the gameplay mechanics while that tournament is running, but we are actively looking into the SRM issue. There is a thing out there called the "Button Fix" - Brian's still looking into that, we're also looking to make sure it's going to propagate properly across the network in terms of host-state rewind, and hit registration. The autocannon nerf that we did to the AC2, you can expect that to start coming into effect for all autocannons, so that's the AC5, the AC10 and the AC20. What we're going to be doing is bringing in the range of all of the autocannons to make them more of a brawling weapons which they should be. The AC2 and AC5s will still be viable at long distance, it's just that they're not going to be pumping out as much DPS. There's been some concerns over artillery and air strikes, we are looking at trying to balance that out a little bit. What might be happening is that there's a little bit of excessive damage happening in terms of the area effect splash damage. We're going to look into that, and if that's not the cause then basically what we're going to do is probably reduce the overall damage amount. One of the things that is still a concern is that some people are saying that there's a lot of registration hits basically directed to the head based on air and artillery strike. Now one thing I have to caveat with is that the air and artillery strike is actually hitting the head, it's not splash damage that's killing you, it's not like some weird thing happening, it's an actual shell hitting you in the head that blows up your `Mech. But we'll look into that, if it requires us to reduce the amount of damage done to the head, we will do it but we are looking into it. One other thing that is currently on the table and Alex Schmidt is actually working with the engineers on this, is relooking at the way Mechs take damage when they fall. Now that's things like a light mech taking way more damage than a heavy mech when they drop off from the same height. Now this is going to be based on a scalar system, so the bigger the `Mech the more damage they're going to take. Smaller the mech, again it all depends on how much health do you need to be dropping from.

And finally, Russ Bullock, President of Piranha Games gives us a status update on the matchmaking system.

Ok everybody wants to know what's going on with the matchmaker, I'm happy to give this update. I know it's been one of those items that are very tough, very challenging. Matchmaker I think is one of those hot subjects on almost any game anyone will ever play. It's a very difficult subject and there's always so many opinions on how things should work, but in particular we've been working a lot on it lately as you know, because we have a new design which, ahh the very cumbersome name of 3/3/3/3 which is I guess we're starting to call 4x3 now. That has been something that was a part of the launch module design as you know. Launch Module came and went, and all the private match window stuff worked very well and obviously that's been a big success for us and we're using that for the tournament system now, even though there's so many areas we'd like to improve it, a lot more things we'd like to add in for the options at the various private match windows, basically that aspect worked out very well. The other side of it being the 4x3 aspect for the public matches. That has not gone over very well, I guess we can first off fully admit that. We're disappointed with where things are right now. I'd like to explain to you guys how we got to this position. First off I want to share some of the good news - as you've seen us lately in the past several patches, we've had a public test, we've run through a number of parameters in live after we've run the server and tested a number of things, we've tested the 4x3s, we quickly ran a 4x4 as we called it, so no more than 4 per class, 1 group per side and we've run a lot of combinations and we've really improved our telemetry to kind of gather as much data as possible.

First off one of the challenges is that public test isn't providing us the information we need. Even with some incentive and getting 400 plus people into public test server, it's just not like the thousands that we have on live that can get us the real data. So that's been challenging. But some of the good things we've seen is that we were really worried - would player behaviour change? Would people begin to play more mediums, more lights and to balance out those queues, which is really necessary for something like 4x3 to be effective, even to prove to be viable.

The good news is from our perspective that, that is proving to be true. With the latest patch we had the queue window that shows how many `Mechs are in each queue and player behaviour really showed that it went from as low as 11% on lights to pretty much a fairly even queue size across all 4 disciplines. And when the matches for a 4x3 were kicking off, the quality of the matches really was undeniable - I mean it was really fun, really competitive, and you can just tell that the design behind 4x3 is solid; it's a viable gamemode, player behaviour did adjust to match it, from our perspective it works, it's a successful design. But the problem was that unfortunately implementing 4x3 in the current matchmaker code system just wasn't working, that's where you get the long wait times. So the side-effects of having it turned on were just too great to live with and it's all based upon how the matchmaker was written. Too complex to get into here, not that I'd even understand it necessarily but I've got really smart guys explaining it to me and it's just not viable within the current matchmaker code, so that's where the bad news comes in. It means we do need to have a re-write of the matchmaker in order for the 4x3s to properly work. So that's where the unknown ETA aspect comes in; I don't know at this moment. I've got some of our best guys planning the re-write right now. A side-note would be that this was really an unavoidable thing, we have community warfare coming up shortly as you guys know, that's our main focus as soon as we the clan mechs our we're going to be heavily focused on community warfare and that was always going to require a level of a re-write of the matchmaker as it is for the new faction-based matchmaking. So in order to support community warfare and to properly support 4x3s, we are going to have to do a rewrite. All I can promise you for now is that we will give you an update in the next 2 weeks from the time you see this video, to give you an update on the ETA for the matchmaker, at least enough of a re-write so we can properly support the design features of launch module which is really 4x3 and the public queue. So the quick summary is - no one should be really thinking that the 4x3 design philosophy has failed or that it has proven that it is not viable; it actually has been the opposite we've been very happy with the way player behaviour has changed and the way 4x3 looks and plays and feels and we feel very confident in the design feature. Unfortunately in that discovery process we found out that the current way that matchmaker was written cannot support 4x3, so we are going through the rewrite right now, unknown ETA. I'll get you guys an update on an ETA in the next couple of weeks and this is something that we were going to have to do anyhow with the community warfare faction-based matchmaking, so that's where we're at with matchmaker. For the time being you get to play with the same thing that you've been playing for a while and I can't wait to get you guys 4x3 as soon as we can 'cause it's really fun. Thanks.

And that concludes the MWO Dev Vlog #4. Be sure to stay tuned for future Vlogs, including more information on the development of MechWarrior Online, Community Spotlights and the exciting future of the MWO competitive scene. On behalf of Piranha Games and No Guts No Galaxy, thanks for watching, and until next time, MechWarriors.



Addendum Note:
There has been a mis-understanding in the latest V-Log (#4) when talking about the Clan Modules. These specialized Clan Modules are included with the various Clan Packs that are on sale. These modules are visually different from the non-Clan Pack version which is available for C-Bills to all players.

Yes, you can take a Clan Pack Module that you got with your Clan Pack and put it on your InnerSphere 'Mechs. It will keep its unique visual effect.

You can also buy the exact same module as the Clan Pack Module but it will not have the same visual effect and put those on your InnerSphere and/or Clan 'Mechs as well. There is no P2W scenario here and we wanted to make sure we clarified this as soon as possible. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

Edited by Nikolai Lubkiewicz, 28 May 2014 - 01:20 PM.


#2 Deathlike

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

In response to Paul's section: DUH

Are those upcoming modules Clan Specific? If so, there's gonna be problems/issues with balance for sure.

With regardless to Russ: RUN A MM SIMULATION. Create WORST CASE SCENARIOS FOR TESTING. This isn't trivial, but if you're trying to generate a reality, you have to PROPERLY SIMULATE THE WORST POSSIBLE CONDITIONS, just in case.

Worst case scenarios: New mech is released, Lights being undesirable, Medium are overused, etc. Simulate actual distribution of different Elo buckets that are online BASED on proper telemetry and ACTUAL ACTIVE playerbase volumes.

That's how you can properly simulate the MM conditions.

Edited by Deathlike, 28 May 2014 - 08:26 AM.


#3 Tankski

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the update. Despite what you read about on the boards, Paul didn't appear to have horns (or at least they were well hidden) and I could see no evidence of injury to Russ for all the accusations of his pants being on fire so often (liar, liar...).

#4 Xolin

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:34 AM

Awesome info and great to have insight on your guys' plans. Keep up the good work guys!

BTW - was that a Dire Wolf cockpit i saw??

#5 VagGR

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:36 AM

thx for the vlog.

burst fire ACs for he clans! why dont you do the same for inner sphere ACs?! Its been suggested by hte community a million times and it would solve sooo many balance issues we have right now.

on a different note....i did see a dropship 3D model right!? and trackIR testing...right?

Edited by VagGR, 28 May 2014 - 08:37 AM.


#6 Imperius

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:37 AM

Well, very little info we didn't already know :ph34r:

...I was hoping we would have an announcement about adding 2-12 groups to the 12 man queue and... Nope, but that island I'm on is filling up with people.

So now we will just have a ton of tournaments going on so they claim they can't blance anything during a "BETA" tournament... That's the whole point of it right? To make changes where needed.

#7 Renegade Robot

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:37 AM

Dropship - Leopard Class Concept Final + TrackIR demonstration at the end.

#8 DEN_Ninja

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

sneaky sneaky.

Leopard Class Dropship and Track IR

Anyways sorta cool stuff. Happy about AC changes.

Edited by Tichorius Davion, 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM.


#9 mp00

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

Thank you for the VLOG, this one was well done and while there still is many unanswered questions. Those ones were informative.

All game comments aside.. please keep informing us what is happening.. this lets us not waste time giving our opinions (re:complaining) on all the unknowns and gives us specifics to discuss.

#10 Alex Warden

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:43 AM

sooooo instant lock loss will be clan package owner exclusive for a while or will they also be purchasable for everyone ? otherwise p2w :ph34r:

#11 AgroAlba

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:45 AM

Is the instant lock loss module going to negate my hard earned Advanced Target Decay module?

Other than that, great video!

#12 Kaeseblock

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for the update

#13 Foust

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for the VLOG, it is always appreciated.

I believe I have said this in response to each VLOG, but it bears repeating. Please be more timely with this information. I understand the desire to do post production and make everything clean and take out the stutters and stumbles associated with trying to convey a point while looking at a camera. However in doing so, the information in the video becomes stale.

I have made the suggestion that twitch could be used to present this information with far less overhead.

Also, dropship modeled and trackIR? Why not talk about those things as well instead of just as a end of video tease?

#14 Odanan

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:49 AM

Except for the info about the horns and new modules, nothing new.

BTW, there will be "Clan modules"? I mean, modules mounted only in Clan mechs? How this is going to work?

#15 Heffay

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:52 AM

View PostTichorius Davion, on 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM, said:

sneaky sneaky.

Leopard Class Dropship and Track IR


Karl Berg mentioned in his superthread that Track IR will probably make it for Clan release. :ph34r:

#16 Rizzelbizzeg

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:53 AM

View PostOdanan, on 28 May 2014 - 08:49 AM, said:

Except for the info about the horns and new modules, nothing new.

BTW, there will be "Clan modules"? I mean, modules mounted only in Clan mechs? How this is going to work?


Other than that new stuff, nothing new :)

Sorry, that made me chuckle :ph34r:

If I had to guess, I bet the unique part of the clan modules is the unique visual or audio effect noted at the end of the modules paragraph. That or the modules themselves are unique to clan mechs? Or maybe this is the first round of "clan only" modules (clan modules work like IS modules, but clans have a different set than IS). Yea, I really don't know LOL

Edited by Rizzelbizzeg, 28 May 2014 - 09:12 AM.


#17 Mcgral18

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:53 AM

View PostAlex Warden, on 28 May 2014 - 08:43 AM, said:

sooooo instant lock loss will be clan package owner exclusive for a while or will they also be purchasable for everyone ? otherwise p2w :ph34r:


Those modules will be available for GXP and C-bills, but the gold packages get all of them, on top of a unique module at clan launch.

#18 Alex Warden

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:54 AM

View PostMcgral18, on 28 May 2014 - 08:53 AM, said:


Those modules will be available for GXP and C-bills, but the gold packages get all of them, on top of a unique module at clan launch.


ah okay, that´s cool

#19 Cavendish

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:56 AM

The lock module seems a bit fishy (and yes I own the pack, no I do not want anything that impacts gameplay that is not availible for all players).

Edit: Fishy as what happens between that and target decay module?

Edited by Cavendish, 28 May 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#20 Levi Porphyrogenitus

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:00 AM

It's always good to see another VLOG. I just wish they'd come out a little bit more often.

I'm glad to see my 4x3 is catching on. It's so much better than 3/3/3/3.





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