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Clan Balance Update

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#1 Russ Bullock


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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:38 PM

Hello MechWarrior’s,

In light of the upcoming clan weapon changes today...

This is a long awaited update on PGI's latest feelings and plans as it pertains to Clan balance. I expect it to be a very lengthy post so please bear with me as we work through the entire logic of our balance decisions and plans.

First off, let's all go back to the initial clan announcement and postings of how the technology would work. We were very clear from the very start that we were determined to not make the same mistake of past MechWarrior games in establishing the Clan mech’s as the "end game". In other words we weren't making a second game but that these Clan mech’s needed to fit and exist within MWO. We let players know how the engines, armor and Omni pods would work as well as a general description of how the weapons would play. This was going to create a unique feel to the clans but hopefully very balanced with IS mech’s.

Now that things have settled in we can see that, yes, we have fulfilled the requirements of how the technology will work as well as attaining that unique feel. However we can also see that the balance between IS and Clans is further apart than we had estimated. So the question has been, how do we plan to address this?


We have come to the conclusion that, for the foreseeable future, this is NOT a viable option for MWO, here are some of the reasons why:
  • UI redesign of the pre-game, scoreboard and end of round screen.
  • New rules for tie breakers surrounding the uneven team sizes
  • Significant re-factoring of the match maker to develop team sizes that don’t match.
  • 'Mech chassis tonnage balancing will no longer work.
  • Elo will no longer work with 10 vs 12 team calculations.
These elements alone (not including other edge cases) represent at least several additional weeks, if not months, into refactoring and testing time before they would be ready for deployment. That is time that will directly impact the development and delivery of CW modules 2+.

But perhaps more importantly than that, if we went down this path the overall message to the community is basically “Yes your IS mech’s are weaker, but if you put lots of them together you might win”. This is not what we communicated to the MWO community as to our plans for the Clan mech’s and how they would balance within MWO.

Balancing Plan

At this point we cannot make the statement that we have a picture perfect solution to IS vs Clan balance, but we do have a solid plan of attack. First off just knowing that we are going to exist within a 12v12 environment is one of the major decisions we were waiting to make, and now that it has been decided, we can chip away at the problem.

The first step is to release this latest round of Clan weapon changes this week. We HOPE this is the last Clan weapon nerfs we will have to implement. Not because we feel like this will be enough, (in fact we know that it will not) but in an effort to keep the unique feeling of the clan mech’s strong we will look to other areas to bridge the rest of the gap. Such as the following POTENTIAL changes:
  • Clan Heat and Movement penalties if a Right or Left torso is destroyed.
  • Small increase in IS Mech heat efficiency.
  • Complete IS mech Quirk pass to give more uniqueness and ability when used within their respective roles.
  • Increase in IS and Clan mech armor and internal structure if time to death decreases too much.
Our plan is to begin this plan of attack on the balance of the game this weekend with the implementation of the latest Clan weapon changes and then continue on with the other items systematically over the course of the next couple of months. With this command chair post shared with the public future updates on this subject should be possible much more frequently to discuss our progress.

Please let us know what you think

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