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February Road Map

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#1 Russ Bullock


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Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:02 PM

Well 2016 is off to a good start, with a very stable patch in mid-January that delivered the Warhammer, one of the all-time classic BattleMechs, along with a new style of map for MWO. There were also a great amount of map and game bug fixes/improvements in that patch, along with the addition of a much-requested name change interface that has seen a lot of use so far.
We anticipate that the new monthly patch cycle will enable us to continue pushing similar amounts of bug fixes and small improvements compared to previous years, with February’s patch continuing the trend established in January.

Without further ado here is the current road map for the February 16th patch:

Release of the Rifleman
Based on how the Marauder and Warhammer have been received to date I think you can tell the amount of care we are putting into these classic ‘Mechs. The Rifleman is looking to be no exception to that and should be another awesome addition. As with the Marauder, Warhammer, and the upcoming Archer, we are extremely happy and proud to bring these ‘Mechs back into the MechWarrior fold.

Time of Day selection in Private Matches
Admittedly a long delayed feature, but with the February patch you’ll be able to specify exactly what Time of Day you want to drop into. This option is considered a ‘Class 1’ Premium option, and requires that at least one participant in the Private Lobby have Active Premium Time running.

New test maps for Private Matches
The February patch will feature four new Skirmish maps solely for use in Private Lobbies, designed around 1v1, 2v2, and 4v4 fights. They remain un-textured in their current form and are primarily intended for testing purposes only at this stage, but you can consider these a ‘testing of the waters’ for future competitive/ranked gameplay directions in MWO. We’re eager to see what you think of the core design and layout principles of these maps.
Running a Private Match without Full Teams is still considered a 'Class 2' Premium option, and requires that at least two participants in the Private Lobby have Active Premium Time running.

Improvements to the Directional Arrow
While this was originally slated for the January patch, and later pushed to February, it is unfortunately being pushed again due to a few remaining bugs. Current release ETA will be the March 15th patch.

Clan Targeting Computer changes
Put simply, the Clan Targeting Computers are getting a buff that we hope makes them a more viable option for the tonnage they require. The February Patch Notes will have the full details.

MASC changes
MASC is receiving two fairly significant changes to its implementation in the February patch. The first is that the speed and mobility boosts you normally receive from MASC are being increased. The second change is that the re-charge rate is being doubled from its previous rate. Essentially you’ll get a faster speed boost from MASC, and the bar will re-charge twice as fast. The rate at which MASC is consumed (its 'burn rate') is not being changed, and will remain at 10% of the bar per second.
We feel the Shadow Cat and Executioner in particular will be improved with this change, and receive more value for the tonnage committed to MASC. Patch Notes will have the full details.

Quirk changes
These will mostly cover changes to under-performing Clan ‘Mechs, but it’s also well worth stating that the remaining negative weapon quirks on Clan ‘Mechs such as the Timber Wolf and Stormcrow have been removed. On the Inner Sphere side we’re toning down some structure on several Blackjacks, but the main change you’ll notice on the IS side is an overall policy change to limit all Energy Range Quirks to 10% across all IS ‘Mechs that possess an Energy Range Quirk. This should ensure that no IS ‘Mechs with ERLL will out-range a Clan counterpart, and overall I think this will bring the IS and Clan combat to an even better place than it is currently. The Patch Notes will contain full details on all of the Quirk changes.

Value and visual changes to the Flamer weapon
A long delayed change to the Flamer weapon is now complete. This mainly involves a change to the heat/damage values which we feel will lead to a more functionally useful weapon, while the visual component of the change was necessary to mitigate the blinding aspect of the Flamer.

Improvements to Keyboard/Controller menu
The control configuration screens have received improvements, and now feature category separations to make managing your keymaps easier.
This includes a category for remapping controls specific to the Spectator mode. This ability to remap Spectator controls is the first in a series of improvements to the Spectator mode that are planned in preparation of the upcoming, official tournament.

Stalker Mechlab visual retrofit
The visual retrofit of the Stalker is complete. The appearance of weaponry on all Stalkers will now reflect the specific weapon equipped.

Caustic Valley map improvements
Caustic Valley has received a number of traversal fixes and changes, similar to the improvements seen recently on Viridian Bog map. Pathing around the map, the central caldera in particular, has undergone adjustments so that smaller rocks are not placed in areas where they can impede movement. Like Viridian this should be considered an ongoing process, and not the final state of the map.

That should cover all of the major updates, but does not include the entirety of items and the array of general bug fixes. As usual the full Patch Notes will provide all necessary details for you to review.
We’re looking forward to delivering this great patch for you on February 16th.

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