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Podcast 204 - Mechwarrior Online's Future


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#41 LordNothing

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 01:33 PM

View PostHeavy Money, on 06 October 2020 - 09:46 PM, said:

Well they admitted that Solaris flopped in the podcast.


it wasnt the solaris i wanted. i wanted what mw4/mwll had. instead we got dueling. also team dueling which practically nobody did because forming groups of 2 is hard, there should have been a very minimalistic mm for that, not really an mm, just stick 2 randoms together so they can play 2v2. even then not much appeal. even the boltons were meh.

Edited by LordNothing, 07 October 2020 - 01:34 PM.


#42 LordNothing

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 02:04 PM

View PostHeavy Money, on 07 October 2020 - 12:56 AM, said:


They talk about why MW5 can't just get multiplayer in the podcast. Its the same reason an engine upgrade isn't easy: All the netcode basically has to be built from scratch. Its not easy to just bolt this stuff on.


i miss the good old days when you needed programmers to make a game. that was part of the magic. if you weren't writing your own code you simply weren't innovating and you were ultimately just re-skinning someone else's work. it boils down to "we dont want to hire the people" or "we dont want to do the work".

Edited by LordNothing, 07 October 2020 - 02:06 PM.


#43 MeanMachinE

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 02:04 PM

Monetizing options to think about

1. Create new content
- new content should be created that players can spend money on
- if you don't want to create totally new mechs, you could also add new variants
- mech packs could be rethought so that they would contain one mech of each weight class. These mechs could then be new variants of already existing mechs that don't exist yet.
- you could think about different houses/clans and their specialties to diversify the different players and playstyles. Would players and hardcore fans want to pay for these traits? Would it be possible to use the traits on all your mechs if you unlock them first somehow? So basically you could get more options for your mech variants (bigger engines, switch some hardpoint on a mech, heavy gausses would use less slots, IS heat sinks would spend only 2 space slots, add 50% heat transfer skill or other non-critical skills to your chosen loyalist mech variant etc. This would require player to buy e.g. loyalist mechs which would be unique and they would contain additional section in the skill tree for unlocking the loyalist options.) This would need playtesting so that the given options are not too overpowered. Or then these options would only be active in e.g. faction play when playing for the house/clan mission.

2. Add MC spending options
- add extra votes when selecting gamemode and map
- spend MC to get rid of team damage / disconnect penalties
- spend MC to replenish all/some consumables in a QP match
- spend tons of MC to use Long Tom in faction play Posted Image

3. Monthly passes
- you could add e.g. 5/10/15/20 dollar montly passes where player need to play event style objectives to get the pass rewards. This would appeal to new players as they could get e.g. hero mechs this way. You could have different cost tier monthly passes for different weight classes. The rewards could include a hero mech from a list of hero mechs to choose from, unique house specific camos for the mech, mc rewards...
- add a mechanic that if you play enough games during a month, you would get monthly premium time and consumable package + use of all colours to customize your mechs for the next month for a small e.g. 1-3 dollar fee.

4. Use drop decks for QP
- drop decks should contain one mech variant of each weight class
- four different mechs needed for QP would give players more incentive to invest in all mech types and you could sell more mech packs
- you could merge QP and FP queues this way if needed
- you could add objectives to QP matches where players would first use light mechs and then switch to other weight classes etc. For example in incursion there could be a fight with light mechs first about the energy packs. The winner gets the energy pack to their chosen use for the upcoming match. The main match starts after this prelude with different mechs.
- QP matchmaker could choose different weight class mech for a player if there is need to balance the teams via tonnage

5. MWO world championships
- should be brought back
- Bring back support passes and rewards for those who spend money to the game

6. Steam mech packs
- should bring money in + possibly new players during Steam sales

Edited by MeanMachinE, 07 October 2020 - 02:14 PM.


#44 Teenage Mutant Ninja Urbie

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 02:14 PM

View PostScout Derek, on 06 October 2020 - 09:45 PM, said:




We wanna hear ur guyz opinion.

"ok, here is spreadsheet"

haha idea poopoo go away now.

"k"

hey u liek solaris!!?!?!?!

"no it bad"

haha too bad u kno nuthin tee hee.


past 3-4 years in a nutshell.

Quote



you guys still play that faction-thing?

"yeah, it has it's flaws, but .. "

oh wait.. we can add to those flaws, harhar.



we still have that scouting-mode

"yeah. it's only a select few who enjoy that mode, but for us, it's actually a great way to have fun 4v4-small-team-action"

hold my beer...





just wanted to complete that list (at least from my PoV), and you can run in QP-circles only so many times before uninstalling.

Edited by Teenage Mutant Ninja Urbie, 07 October 2020 - 02:19 PM.


#45 LordNothing

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 02:44 PM

View PostMeanMachinE, on 07 October 2020 - 02:04 PM, said:

4. Use drop decks for QP
- drop decks should contain one mech variant of each weight class
- four different mechs needed for QP would give players more incentive to invest in all mech types and you could sell more mech packs
- you could merge QP and FP queues this way if needed
- you could add objectives to QP matches where players would first use light mechs and then switch to other weight classes etc. For example in incursion there could be a fight with light mechs first about the energy packs. The winner gets the energy pack to their chosen use for the upcoming match. The main match starts after this prelude with different mechs.
- QP matchmaker could choose different weight class mech for a player if there is need to balance the teams via tonnage



wrt 4, its a good idea. except id do it where you can have 4 mechs of a single class. then on the map reveal screen (after voting, allow players to pick their mech for the drop). this will also solve the issue with map/mech mismatches and people will play less stupid as a result. when you get polar or alpine, you can bring your erll boat, or when you get hpg you can grab your brawler.

qp-fp merge could be done simply by having all the players agree to one or the other which way it should go. the groundwork is mostly laid for a qp->fp merge, but there was huge backlash from the bulk of the fp crowd and that never happened. going the other way makes less sense. you would pretty much be adding single mech version of siege to the mode vote pool, but that wouldnt work as you cant have maps that support seige on the same vote screen as maps that dont support it. so you would be locked into or out of siege depending on what options the vote screen gave you. retrofitting seige maps to also support the other modes might work, but then you would either get seige maps or everything else on the vote screen. you would have to add siege to all the fp maps as well to have a vote that works in both directions.

this also ignores another fundamental difference between fp and qp, match length. you might have 15 minutes for a qp game, and getting a 30 minute mode might be bad if you only have 15 minutes. quick play needs to be quick.

#46 Suko

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:00 PM

View PostChenGGez, on 07 October 2020 - 03:43 AM, said:

The starter mechpack concept is an excellent idea and needs to be added to the MWO steam store page ASAP,

I've been AWOL from MWO for the better part of 3 years now. I still hop in to stalk the forums time-to-time to see what's happening. I logged in specifically to respond to the "Beginner Pack" thing.

I (and many, MANY others) recommended this sh*t years ago. I think if PGI focused more on attracting new players instead of getting the whales to play Battlemech Pokemon (gotta catch'em all), it would've been a better strategy. I had numerous friends who wanted to play MWO with me, but they couldn't get passed the incredibly high pay wall.

In my opinion, it's far too little too late. They needed to attract the fresh blood 3 or 4 years ago. Now it will only prolong the inevitable.

Edited by Suko, 07 October 2020 - 03:02 PM.


#47 Nightbird

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:06 PM

Cheaper packs doesn't really make the new player experience any better.

#48 Suko

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:25 PM

View PostNightbird, on 07 October 2020 - 03:06 PM, said:

Cheaper packs doesn't really make the new player experience any better.

It may not be the silver bullet solution, but it sure as heck would've helped 3-4 years ago.

It may be anecdotal, but I had 3 friends back in 2016/2017 that tried getting into this game. They all played a handful of rounds and had fun playing as a group with me and my MWO veteran buddy. However, they weren't really enjoying playing the "trial" mechs and wanted to get into the mechlab customization and pilot the mech they desired. Unfortunately, they discovered that in order to do this, they needed to buy a Battlemech and customize it to be "optimal". As vets we completely forget how time consuming and expensive it is to get that FIRST mech and then pay to outfit it to be "optimal". Especially without premium time or mechpack bonuses. It literally takes 30 - 50 matches to get 1 mech properly outfitted back in 2017. Even more if it was an assault mech. That's 4+ hours of grinding just to get started.

Sure, PGI had sales and promos from time-to-time, but my buddies were eager to play THEN. And unfortunately, the last sale ended about 2 weeks prior to them starting the game. It was going to be another month or so before a reasonable sale came along and even then, you're talking about dropping ~$20+ just to get a single mech when most brand new PC games cost $60 for the full game. I can see why they got turned off by the "pay wall".

Now, before you go telling me how wrong I am about pricing/sales/etc; things have changed since 2016/2017. So if you think my numbers and story don't add up, just remember that this was "back in the day".

#49 Heavy Money

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:28 PM

View PostSuko, on 07 October 2020 - 03:25 PM, said:

It may not be the silver bullet solution, but it sure as heck would've helped 3-4 years ago.

It may be anecdotal, but I had 3 friends back in 2016/2017 that tried getting into this game. They all played a handful of rounds and had fun playing as a group with me and my MWO veteran buddy. However, they weren't really enjoying playing the "trial" mechs and wanted to get into the mechlab customization and pilot the mech they desired. Unfortunately, they discovered that in order to do this, they needed to buy a Battlemech and customize it to be "optimal". As vets we completely forget how time consuming and expensive it is to get that FIRST mech and then pay to outfit it to be "optimal". Especially without premium time or mechpack bonuses. It literally takes 30 - 50 matches to get 1 mech properly outfitted back in 2017. Even more if it was an assault mech. That's 4+ hours of grinding just to get started.

Sure, PGI had sales and promos from time-to-time, but my buddies were eager to play THEN. And unfortunately, the last sale ended about 2 weeks prior to them starting the game. It was going to be another month or so before a reasonable sale came along and even then, you're talking about dropping ~$20+ just to get a single mech when most brand new PC games cost $60 for the full game. I can see why they got turned off by the "pay wall".

Now, before you go telling me how wrong I am about pricing/sales/etc; things have changed since 2016/2017. So if you think my numbers and story don't add up, just remember that this was "back in the day".


Did the Cadet bonus exist back then? I had no trouble buying my first mech thanks to all the bonus c-bills from it. You can certainly get 1 mech geared out pretty easily. The problem is that you're going to be left without much money after. So if you buy something you don't like, or invest in a bad build, then you're in a tough situation.

#50 Arnold The Governator

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:54 PM

I think there are a few small quality of life changes that they could do with MW:O to get people excited about the game again. A few that I can think of:

1) Introduce the Word of Blake as a separate faction. Perhaps make them a rouge faction that people can volunteer to join without any penalties to IS/Clan loyalists to spice things up in FW. Possibly tease new mechs like the Toyama (Maybe share resources with the community to make new mechs again if PGI is unwilling to do so).

2) Add battletech lore with significant events and possible narration to make new players/veterans feel immersed. Highlight significant events like the Battle of Tukayyid, the introduction of the Mackie (tease Alex concept art), the Succession Wars, etc. Battletech is rich with interesting events and why PGI doesn't take advantage of this to promote MW:O is beyond me. This is a great example:


If they really want to go all in they can implement:

3) More community interaction and possibly allow modded content. Take into consideration MW:LL in terms of content but expand upon it and make it unique so that it isn't a carbon copy. Maybe add VTOLs, Aircraft, Infantry, Battle Armor and Tanks if there is enough community interest, or make it strictly AI for objectives like in MW:5 Mercenaries. Another possibility is make them temporary/low HP AI controlled consumables (like a deployable Long Tom Artillery Piece that has a long cool down, but can be destroyed since it is physically deployed to the battlefield). Maybe put a hard cap onto the new consumables for balancing purposes.

Edited by Arnold The Governator, 07 October 2020 - 03:57 PM.


#51 TheCaptainJZ

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 04:53 PM

Casual gamer here. Played starting in closed beta in 2012. I stopped playing like 2 years ago.
For me, it stopped being fun, there was nothing worthwhile to progress to, and the performance on my computer is below what I think it should be.

My PC is the same one, but with a newer graphics card than in 2012. I am lucky if I get 40 fps. I don't know why performance has always been so poor. I run most graphics on low. The newer card doesn't run any better. The game is just not smooth running. Eventually, I will build a new PC but I can't right now.

There are so many mechs in the game that you die very quickly. Some have so many hardpoints that they just plaster you in one hit. I'd say it started getting worse once Clan mechs were added, though balance has always been an issue back to the earliest days (that's to be expected, I understand). They just can hold so many weapons in some cases. I think the move to 12 v 12 exasperated time-to-kill too. Game just felt more fun for the first couple years and less as time went on. I think 8 v 8 would be more fun honestly. Fewer laser beams to focus fire on you.

More maps. Everyone wants more maps. Double the number of maps. Reuse assets and just combine them in different configurations. Use Faction Play maps for Quick play. You have enough assets, you just need to recombine them in new and interesting ways. Don't make any as big as Forest Colony. Just focus on more like Caustic Valley size. Reskins are ok for one or two, but they don't play differently. Don't use that as a crutch. And tweak old maps. Like Forest Colony--cut out all the outside areas no one plays on. You might be able to form two maps out of it. If you need concept ideas, there's plenty here that can draw out maps. You just need to skin them, test them and make sure they don't crash. The playerbase will tell you which maps are unbalanced. Then you need to address these concerns in the next monthly patch.

We don't need new mechs or new tech as we have plenty in the game now. What we need are monthly balance tweaks and improvements and maps.

I'll leave Faction Play to the experts. It was kinda fun at first when it was new, but I was never in a group so lack of coordination means I was bound to loose most games.

The other critical component we need from PGI is great communication. I'd like to see weekly communication from the devs on what they're doing. PGI has, at times, tried one or two things but they always stopped and fell silent pretty quickly. I get it's a small studio, but a weekly update, I think, and real changes every month in patches would show PGI is serious about supporting this game.

Gamemodes: Every mode is basically skirmish. You have some objectives like capture the flag and king of the hill, but you can just kill everyone too. Think you should mix things up a bit here. Attack/Defend was interesting but overly complex. Too much going on in that mode for QP. Maybe drop the towers and tweak it? Add the towers to a different game mode to make things interesting? Variety is the spice of life and you might hit something fun and long lasting.

As for monetization, you might have to go to a subscription model. That's what everyone does now. Make it pretty cheap, and offer tiers. I suggest rethinking Premium Time as the subscription mechanism. PGI did strike the right balance of not making this P2W, so I think we are all pretty appreciative of that. You do want to be able to offer the game for free to try out, but maybe there's more of a hard cap to it. Mech packs were great revenue builders but there isn't going to be any new content for anyone to buy anymore, so you really have to make it FUN to play for everyone. That's what people will spend money on.

#52 Bowelhacker

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 05:28 PM

New faction time: COMSTAR! Throw in some of the traditional Comstar mechs - Thug, Crockett, different variants of Crabs and King Crabs, Lancelot, stuff like that. New patterns! New colours! Fun times!

#53 evilelrond

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 05:43 PM

if you want an influx of new players, you might want to increase cbill payouts as well. itll make the new player experience easier for builds. also, the faster new players fill out the first 4 mechbays, the faster theyll be looking at spending mc on new mechbays. short of completely reworking the skill tree, decreasing the cbill and xp cost of skills would be greatly beneficial as well.

#54 MW Waldorf Statler

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:10 PM

View PostLordNothing, on 07 October 2020 - 02:04 PM, said:


i miss the good old days when you needed programmers to make a game. that was part of the magic. if you weren't writing your own code you simply weren't innovating and you were ultimately just re-skinning someone else's work. it boils down to "we dont want to hire the people" or "we dont want to do the work".

its the old Play

Devs search Programmers to build a Game
Programmers seeing no Future for his Work and Experience or fired while Defs thinking each other can make it in Future and Programmers have high Costs
Defs have further no People thats have Experience with the Game and the engine
...and all cashed...
Defs build new Compnmay with new Great Ideas

#55 Ken Harkin

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:17 PM

Want me to buy premium time again?

Allow a perk with premium time to switch to any mech in the same weight class or even just the same chassis after the map is determined.

#56 Thorn Hallis

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:27 PM

Seriously PGI, if you have neither a vision nor the resources for the future development of MWO maybe now its the time to accept that the whole project is beyond your capabilities and either sell the game to another company or simply shut it down if it drains your coffers.

#57 Crazylegz

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:43 PM

Faction warfare WAS SO CLOSE to being spot on. Boreal Vault.. repelling the breakthroughs.. fighting down to the wire to defend the final objective.. EPIC BATTLES.

Bring back faction warfare and make it better. Even basic stuff like the starmap has looked like crapolla for 3+ years.. all the dang faction symbols piled on one another.. looks like hell. NURTURE YOUR BABY. Clean the snot off its nose, clean its diaper.. and leave the rounds for quick play. Let me drop whenever. If I have to wait too long I will bail, so will everyone else.

Demo, sell, build. I'll pay to play an experiment and then if I like the outcome I'll pay monthly. Demo, sell, build.. it works.

Edited by Crazylegz, 07 October 2020 - 08:43 PM.


#58 Crazylegz

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:49 PM

View PostThorn Hallis, on 07 October 2020 - 08:27 PM, said:

Seriously PGI, if you have neither a vision nor the resources for the future development of MWO maybe now its the time to accept that the whole project is beyond your capabilities and either sell the game to another company or simply shut it down if it drains your coffers.


This is actually a very reasonable comment, but I hope that with Daeron's enthusiasm they can pull off something great for the community. Russ said it in the podcast, faction warfare was so close.. I can't speak for anyone else but I will pay monthly til I die if there is some decent planetside action that I can drop in on anytime.

Matt's suggestion of having tweaky events where he can supe up the urbies and other goofy stuff for a weekend does sound like fun.

#59 BarHaid

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:59 PM

Here's an idea to get the old guard to send more money; unfortunately it also labor intensive for PGI.

I want alternate build models of the mechs we have. I'd specifically like an old 3025 era Centurion with the ball & socket, puffy armor jacket around the AC10. And I'm sure there must be someone out there who wants the Project Phoenix Marauder.

I own all these, and yes I would spend MC to get different models. I know there'd be a lot of work going into this: it's not just a re-skinning of the skeleton. And yes I would MUCH prefer some new mechs, but this would at least keep the modelers busy.

#60 OZHomerOZ

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:22 PM

View PostChenGGez, on 07 October 2020 - 03:43 AM, said:

The starter mechpack concept is an excellent idea and needs to be added to the MWO steam store page ASAP, additionally a reward in MWO for beating the MW5 campaign will increase interest in both franchises and bring pilots to MWO as the franchise's "endgame". Perhaps a MW5 Specific chassis variant of some sort or a feature to select any MW5 mech you own and have and have it imported into MWO with an (L) modifier and c-bill bonus. (Limit one per copy of MW5 of course)

Also the concern that other players are less than legitimate is causing players to ragequit the game. Implementing a feature that 99% of all successful arena shooters have is long overdue and will go very far in instilling player confidence in the legitimacy of MWO and increasing player retention rates.

Adding VR headset head tracking would also allow this game to compete with Vox Machinae and is not too far off from the TrackIR feature that MWO currently supports.

And finally I've been seeing a trend of cadets dropping in "T1" matches lately. This indicates that MWO is below the critical population threshold for proper matchmaker seeding especially in off hours and is definitely driving away new players that are getting stomped in QP. The matchmaker needs to seed new player or T5 matches properly or all it's doing is turning people away from the game.


MWO has head tracking afaik , its listed in Track IR list of supported games
I never set it up myself, since I use mouse and key board in this case
Not HOTAS

Edited by OZHomerOZ, 07 October 2020 - 09:23 PM.






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