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Ask The Devs 30 - Answers!

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#1 Bryan Ekman

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

So we've decided to change up the QnA process one more time. After reviewing the comments and feedback in the Question thread, my original idea to provide a better QnA via fewer questions will not work. Instead, we're going to move to a bi-weekly QNA where I answer all the questions.

Here's some rules:
  • Monday - Question thread created.
  • Friday - Thread closed.
  • Following Friday - Answer posted.
  • Please write short to the point questions, avoid long paragraphs.
  • Please do not quote another persons question and use as your own. Questions are not answered by popularity.
  • No discussions, replies, etc.

Questions or people we will not answer:
  • Leading questions.
  • Questions based on personal opinion.
  • From people with a warning status.
  • If the question has been answered already.
  • Questions about why we didn’t adhere to TT rules.

Q: [insert question about ECM]
A: There are a lot of personal opinions about how ECM should work. ECM is currently under review and will undergo minor tweaks along with additions to help counter/disrupt the ECM effects. We are prepping a Command Chair post with details soon.

Q: [insert question about Community Wafare]
A: Community Warfare is coming in stages over the course of 2013. The first phases will include the concepts of Factions – Player run Merc Corps, and non-player run Houses. The second phase will include the territory conquest aspects, including the ability to fight for and control border worlds within the InnerSphere. Details will be forthcoming through a variety announcements (press and forum) later in the year.

Q: [insert question about Clans]
A: We are not ready to discuss any details surrounding the clans at this time, including all edge case questions about technology, power, designs, concepts, etc. We are actively designing these features at the moment.

Q: DirectX 11
A: DX11 was pulled out of test early in December in favor of stabilizing the game and improving overall performance. Plans are to push it back into test this month. No firm ETA on when you will see it go live, as it’s a high risk item that requires lots of testing time.

Q: Collisions
A: They will return later in the year (no definitive date). We have higher priority tasks (CW).

Q: 12v12
A: Is currently in test and will be released when we are happy with the performance and gameplay results.

Q: Terrain affecting Mech Speed.
A: Once we finish optimizing the netcode and fire state rewind, work will commence on this. Because the server is movement authoritative, extra time needs to be spend to make sure the player experience is not impacted. There is a small chance we weigh the risk to player performance, and opt to not implement this. Either way, we’ll let the community know what will happen.

A: MASC will be introduce when the netcode allows for it to function properly.

Q: Indirect Fire Units
A: We have plans to introduce Artillery and Air Strikes into MWO this year. These will be consumable items players can equip to a module slot, and used during matchplay. Details will be forthcoming when we get close to releasing them.

Q: As we approach 12v12 games, how do you plan on addressing full premade groups? It can already be a struggle getting 7 of your friends to play with you, 11 will be even tougher. Are you going to do anything else that will either encourage people to group up more, or make it easier to form large 12 man premades?
A: Premade groups will have their ranks filled up by public players, similar to the current system when the match starts. There are some lances features incoming to help people organize before and during the game.

Q: Do you have any plans on reworking/modifying jumpjet mechanics? For example speeding up the lift off?
A: No plans currently. All mechanics are review regularly and may be tuned.

Q: Any chance you could release some info on the community? By that I mean percentages of players using x mech, this many of y weapon are being used. Stuff like that.
A: No plans.

Q. During close beta you said the base cap mechanic was a place holder. You guys still planning on changing how base caps work or are you happy with the current system?
A: No plans currently. All mechanics are reviewed regularly and may be tuned.

Q: Why don't you guys patch more often? We all know this is beta so I don't think anyone would be upset with having to patch more than once a week. If you fix something send it out, I think we have proven to be much better at catching stuff than the internal testers.
A: Each patch takes weeks to months to prepare from start to finish including testing time. Pushing more patches would actually create more risk and instability, as there is less time to test changes.

Q: Is a lobby system being looked at so that players can join selected matches, organize matches based on previously established teams (i.e support for ladder/league format fights), drop matches that are other than 8v8 or 12v12 (like 1v1 if decided, 6v6, 5v5 etc), see which map they are going to drop on so they can plan appropriately etc?
A: Lobby is on the board, but not a high priority yet.

Q: What's your source(s) of inspiration for coming up with the Module Functions for their respective Pilot Trees? Stuff in the Novels,or prior games? And how far-out does your planned Module Tree extend to at this point (how many Modules do you have planned for on paper as of yet?)
A: Modules are allow us to added non-standard BT content, that is the general inspiration. We have over 12 modules designed and planned for release.

Q: Are 8man (4 and 12 also, once we get those map sizes) groups EVER going to be allowed to choose other 8man groups to fight against so that matches can be set up in advance, therefore the community can get involved in orchestrating tournaments/matches?
A: Yes. Community Warfare will provide some of this functionality, along with Private Matches.

Q: Has there been any talks about revamping the Pilot Skill tree to make it more choice oriented than the current system? Maybe make the current Pilot Skill account specific that apply to all the mechs that the play uses (basically MechWarrior experience) and have each chassis/variant have a group of their own. Then only allow X amount of EXP to be used in your Pilot tree and Mech tree or reuse the current Module system by slotted the EXP skills bought into each Mech/MechWarrior?
A: We are going to tweak the Pilot system a bit by adding more general efficiencies to unlock. We are not going towards a WoW/Diablo tree.

Q: Are the screens inside each cockpit going to be customizable in the future? (Options > Screen Setup > Screen 1 = Ammo, Screen 2 = Heatsinks, Screen 3 = Damage Indicators, Screen 4 = ..., ...)
A: No.

Q: What other game types or modes of play can we expect to see in upcoming patches?
A: We’re tuning the existing modes first, than we plan to move onto integrating DropShip mode into the existing set. Planetary conquest will come into play with CW.

Q: Why are we not allowed to reconnect to the game? It seems like allowing this to happen would be a huge priority as it would have the side effect of providing a work around fix for several display bugs (yellow screen, 4 fps bug, atari graphic bug).
A: There are no plans to allow reconnects at this time. The other issues mentioned are actively being worked on and fixed.

Q: I'd like to know what your plans are for different types of ammo that's possible, like Inferno SRM rounds, Thunder LRM rounds, Armor-Piercing Autocannon rounds, and other items that could be possibly incorporated into the game, in any.
A: No plans yet. Some rounds are not available in the current timeline.

Q: New maps ? (NOT same one - different time of day!)
A: Alpine Peaks in Feb, Desert in March.

Q: GXP gain seems very slow relative to module unlocks currently. Is unlocking modues meant to be this grindy, or is it just that way currently because we have relatively few modules to work towards?
A: Modules are meant to be the end game, so yes there is a grind to acquire them. We have some work to do here still to improve the value of these unlocks.

Q: When will mercenary corporations be able to be officially "founded"? With custom icons on the forums & ingame? And will there be free access to "official" decals for each faction and merc corp?
A: With Community Warfare, and yes.

Q: BattleGrid - Well, do you have any plans for it? To change display or add more command features ( being able to send air support and stuff like that).
A: Yes! Lots left to implement here: Commander Controls, Lance Controls, Drone, Artillery, and Air Strikes functionality.

Q: Now that gauss rifle crits are working as intended, are there plans to implement a method for powering down the gauss to prevent explosions? (Same with dumping ammo.)
A: No plans currently. All mechanics are reviewed regularly and may be tuned.

Q: Is there a chance that we might be able to have an option to buy mech paint colors and camo patterns permanently and for multiple mech use, versus the current single time, single mech purchase?
A: Yes.

Q: is there plan on a in game chat lobby if so any idea when this will be put in.
A: Yes. Later this year.

Q: Will you implement a real trial ground map in game, where players could learn how to maneuver and shoot without having to take into consideration enemies or his teammates?
A: This will come in two parts: Testing Grounds – an empty sandbox level with dummy targets, and Private Matches.

Q: Why does it take so long to get any weapon balance changes through?
A: From the moment we make a fix, to the time it goes live – 4 weeks. We can rush some fixes immediately (hotfix), but we try to avoid these as they are very risky. Priority also comes into play, we have a lot of high priority items, and sometimes things just have to wait.

Just because… it was fun to answer.
1. A training ground / test arena? Yes
2. A toggle for AMS? Maybe
3. Additional damage displays (like the HTAL bars)? Maybe
4. Team Deathmatch? Yes
5. Larger friend lists? Yes
6. Spectator mode? Have it.
7. The ability to target friendly 'mechs? Maybe
8. To see what 'mechs everyone was piloting on the post-game scoreboard? Soon
9. A 30-second delay for disconnections (or some solution for Alt+F4)? No, Yes
10. A penalty for team damage (particularly at the start of a match)? Soon
11. The option for weapon convergence on targeted enemy, rather than reticle location? No
12. Tweak(s) for night vision / thermal vision? Maybe
13. A center legs to torso button? Soon
14. Stripped 'mechs (chassis only) for purchase? No
15. Purchasable clothes / lack of pants for my pilot avatar? Maybe
16. Ownable paint jobs? Soon
17. The ability to designate a target (whether its a commander ability, or each player has it, or whatever)? Yes
18. Effects from critical hits to certain parts (sensors, actuators, etc.)? Maybe
19. Option to toggle the color filters you apply to make things dark and gritty? Maybe
20. Size alterations for certain 'mechs (Centurion, Stalker, Awesome)? No

Q: Are you going to introduce Europe located server? If yes, when?
A: Yes. 2013.

Q: In the offical trailer you show an Atlas making a "hot drop". Are there any plans for a game mode where one side defends and the other side makes a hot drop? Maybe for when a unit makes it's frist drop on a contested planet when community warfare is implmented?
A: Yes, we are exploring asymmetrical gameplay modes.

Q: Any plans for a Solaris VII map or maps? It will let you guys make a Free-For-ALL game mode. Pilots could even place wagers on the outcome or even a manditory buy in to create the winners purse.
A: Long term (year or more out ) yes.

Q: When are we going to have teammates that are grouped together be a different color in game?
A: When we bring in the ability to join a lance. No ETA yet.

Q: Is PGI looking into alternative or creative ways to spend the excess Mech XP earned from piloting Mastered Mechs? (other than using MC to convert it to GXP)
A: No plans.

Q: Will Clans be considered a different faction when they are implemented?
A: Yes.

Q: Will achievement system provide rewards like unique cammo specks\free colours\Cocpit items \free mech bays?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you planning on including chassi specific status indicators insted of the "every mech has the same silhouette" one currently in game?
A: No plans.

Q: What drove the choice to use, not just CryEngine, but an experimental version of CryEngine that, so far, seems to be causing a lot of trouble in regards to the multiplayer implementation. If I remember correctly, it didn't even come with net-code and you guys had to completely build that from scratch.
A: It wasn’t an experimental version. The netcode for both Unreal and CryEngine would need to be
rewritten for MWO, regardless. We have a server authoritative architecture.

Q: Should there be a data wipe, or at least a stats wipe when (if ever) Open Beta is deemed over?
A: We plan to wipe stats when achievements come online.

Q: When should we look to see Decals implemented into the game?
A: In the next few months.

Q: When are BRIGHT colors going to be available? I'm talking about Day-glo pink, safety orange, shiny chrome, fluorescent/glow in the dark colors, etc. I need to taunt the enemy and run around in a bright shiny mech as a target that is too annoying to pass up
A: Feb 5th.

Q: Is your team discouraged at all by the community outrage?
A: It hurts, and you are always amazed at how nasty people can be. Some days you don’t want to deal with it. But you suck it up and try and understand why someone would call you an idiot or asshole, or threaten you. I can’t tell you how many people complain, yet play dozens if not hundreds of matches a day, and spend significant amounts of money. I generally don’t take it to heart any more, especially when comments come from someone who has 100s or 1000s of posts. It’s the guy who has 1 post that I’m worried about. It took something significantly good or bad for them to come and make a post, and we tend to listen to them more carefully. And before you all go off about not listening to the core fans, we still listen to you as well.

In the end, we always try our best to have compassion and see through the screen in hopes of understanding why people say the things they do. The CR team in Montreal are truly amazing people that deal with a very vocal and passionate user base, taking lumps left and right with little to no thanks. (IMHO you need to start a thank you CR team thread. Hint Hint)

#2 Homeless Bill


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

This. It's what we've been waiting for. I love you.

I'm not even happy about a lot of the answers, but I do appreciate that you went beyond the call of duty and answered everything you could.

I know we're a whiny bunch, but it's mostly because we want this game to succeed as much as you guys. Thank you, and good (bug) hunting.

Edited by Homeless Bill, 22 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.

#3 ObsidianSpectre


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for taking the time to do this. There's a lot of good info in this post. If this is the way all future Q&As are done, I'll be pretty satisfied.

Edited by ObsidianSpectre, 22 January 2013 - 03:05 PM.

#4 Garth Erlam


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

My work here is done.


#5 Warrax the Chaos Warrior


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

I don't see too much here for people to whine and rage about, but it'll happen anyway :)

Not completely thrilled about all the answers, but thank you very much for being frank with us. Should quiet some of the accusations about the lack of communication from the dev team.

Edited by Warrax the Chaos Warrior, 22 January 2013 - 01:24 PM.

#6 Lucky Noob


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

ECM is looked at ? Euroean Servers 2013 ?

You made an Custoumer happy by writing that.


#7 Magmaviper


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

Thanks for the information!

I see that you all have mastered the use of "soon" and "maybe", your journey to the dark side is almost complete. <<Insert picture of Emperor here>>


From one of those people that have very few posts, but play a ton of games.

You guys are doing a great job!

My only problem with this game, is that you all are calling this an Open Beta, and it is very far from a beta simply because you all are F2P, you have to make money to be able to continue fixing the game. The point of a beta is to use people to catch bugs, if I had the power to make one change, it would be to release more hotfixes, more patches, daily releases and such and use the "beta testers" to test these.

Unfortunately the term beta seems to no longer apply to what a beta is supposed to be, not only with MWO but with a lot of other games, people tend to use beta interchangeably with demo now and a ton of other definitions.

What you all have is a game masquerading as open beta, so that more features can be added over time while keeping revenue coming in to make sure you can make those features, and I'm fine with that and I mean no disrespect from that, because the game as it stands is easily the most fun I've had in years. Just use beta testers for what they were designed for.

Tldr; I think the game is fantastic I hope you all continue to improve this game, and I am going to keep playing regardless of how I feel about things that I think should be fixed, until the game is no longer fun for me. USE YOUR BETA TESTERS (Us) more effectively!

Edited by Magmaviper, 22 January 2013 - 02:06 PM.

#8 Dyson Ring


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

Wow, that's an impressive list of answers when we were expecting only 5 long essays. Seems to have answered most of the persistent questions that have been going about the forums lately.

Thanks for the time you've taken to list all of that.

#9 Kylere


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

Thanks for the answers!

Please considering making collisions a higher priority!

#10 Reno Blade


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

YEAH, Great job! +Over 9000 for this.

#11 LaserAngel


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

I just want the future today. :)

#12 Oderint dum Metuant


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

I'll be honest, i agree with another re-alignment of how the Q&A will work. I didn't really like the it's our fault we keep asking the same questions and not PGI for missing deadlines or lack of communication on some aspects (Community Warfare as an example) feeling i got from the "rules section" Alot of questions answered which is a good thing


6. Spectator mode? Have it
You misunderstood this question, by spectator mode people mean like LoL on like a 30 second delay, people could then pod cast the matches.


I generally don’t take it to heart any more, especially when comments come from someone who has 100s or 1000s of posts. It’s the guy who has 1 post that I’m worried about. It took something significantly good or bad for them to come and make a post, and we tend to listen to them more carefully. And before you all go off about not listening to the core fans, we still listen to you as well.


Anyway props on the long list of answers, im sure it answers many burning questions and made 10x more.

Edited by DV McKenna, 22 January 2013 - 01:28 PM.

#13 Neanot


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

Hmm, some interesting bits of information. Looking forward to permanent paint, especially when we get more colours. Also more maps are always good.

#14 NightFireSoldier


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

Sweet, looking foreward to all the community stuff and the answers are much apprecatied.

#15 Jale


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

Sweet, anyway great job

Edited by Jale, 22 January 2013 - 01:30 PM.

#16 Tice Daurus


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Bryan, thank you for going the extra mile to answer ALL of these questions. I got mine answered...

Q: I'd like to know what your plans are for different types of ammo that's possible, like Inferno SRM rounds, Thunder LRM rounds, Armor-Piercing Autocannon rounds, and other items that could be possibly incorporated into the game, in any.
A: No plans yet. Some rounds are not available in the current timeline.

And while I'm not too pleased, as I would like to see this come into play down the road, I understand that there are more important things that are needed right now that needs to be taken care of first. All I ask is that down the road, they could get incorporated into the game. The only one I would like to see be introduced first is Inferno SRM rounds, because those were out in the novels around the 3025 era and they should be available around this time frame now. But again...no rush on these because important stuff first.

As for your last question, it really got me sad and I'm sorry you actually had to answer it. You would think we'd all be more understanding of who you guys are trying to do for us. But in a way, I'm GLAD you answered that one and I think it's probably the most important question answered so far, so kudos to you and your team for taking the time to answer these questions.

#17 SIN Darkness


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

WTH????? Lobby system is NOT a priority??!!!!??!! I am dumbfounded...I really do not know what to say to that.....A lobby system should be on the TOP of the list as that is the way Mechwarrior has always been meant to and always HAS been played...How in the HECK can anyone form a decent load out if we do not know what map or what drop zone or what team we are going in against?????? Also, there is no way for a team to practice or scout maps without a lobby system,,which is very frustrating.

so the ONE thing most of us want to see implemented is NOT a priority BUT coming out with new crap like hero mechs and bobble heads for us to spend MC on IS a priority????? GET THIS THRU YOUR HEADS....WE DONT WANT MORE BOBBLE HEAD DOLLS WE WANT THE NET CODE FIXED ON LIGHT MECH HIT BOXES, AND A LOBBY SYSTEM SO WE CAN GET SOME REAL LEAGUES GOING...THIS GAME WILL NOT GET ANY MORE POPULAR THAN IT IS NOW WITHOUT A LOBBY SYSTEM.

#18 MadPanda


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

What is CR team and why do I need to thank them?

#19 Flying Fish


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

solaris VII is over a year out? ;_;

oh well, at least we get obnoxious colors in the next month haha

#20 Big Giant Head


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Q: BattleGrid - Well, do you have any plans for it? To change display or add more command features ( being able to send air support and stuff like that).
A: Yes! Lots left to implement here: Commander Controls, Lance Controls, Drone, Artillery, and Air Strikes functionality.

I forgot to ask when :D

Keep up good but hard and loong work.
Take all time in universe just make it right! :)

Edited by Big Giant Head, 22 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.

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