Battletech Beta. Time for some mech pounding

With the beta release for Battletech I thought I would jump right in to a mission and see what kind of trouble I could get into. First things first, they have currently released single player 4v4 skirmishes only right now with multiplayer coming later and the full-on campaign coming at release. Release is still set for later this year.

First thing you do is set a total battle value for the match. For those unfamiliar with Battletech, battle value is a number assigned to each Mech that rates it based on weaponry and equipment so you can get a better idea of which Mechs yours is compatible with. In this case I went with a small clash value of 15M. My lance consisted of 2 medium Mechs, a Centurion and a Hunchback and 2 lights, a Locust and a Commando. I chose random for the enemy, but you can select which Mechs they use if you choose.

For the map, I went with sunset desert in Death Valley. You can choose the mood, time of day and weather, and the map. Now it is time to get the Mechs a little dirty.

The map is nicely detailed as are the Mechs. The Mechs are based on the models from PGI’s MechWarrior Online and look great. The lighting of the map is beautiful and the fog really adds to the ambient atmosphere.

Starting off the mission, movement is done similar to XCOM, one team moves, then the other. This only lasts until first contact. Once in combat, it goes into an initiative based combat with lighter Mechs going first and heavier Mechs in the later stages. There are 5 stages per turn.

First thing I do is send my Locust out to scout the area ahead since he has the best sensors and the pilot is able to sensor lock one enemy Mech eliminating defensive bonuses for the Mech. I keep my Centurion in the back since he has LRMs.

Two turns in and we have first contact.

All we can see is a sensor blip in the distance. As we close in we see that it is a 35-ton Mech. One more turn and we have line of sight, a Jenner sprints up to my front line and takes some pot shots at my Locust.

I pull my Locust back since it has tissue paper for armor, and move my mediums in to deal with it. As the Jenner chases my Locust around a large rock, he runs smack into my Hunchback and gives the Centurion line of sight. The Jenner is quickly dispatched in a hail of lasers and LRMs.

While we dispatch the first Jenner another one runs up from around another rock to help his friend. In his hast though he runs right past my Commando. The Commando is only a 25 ton Mech, but it does pack a large and medium laser, and an SRM 2. One alpha strike at optimal range to the Jenner’s back does the trick.

Two down and two to go

Unfortunately, an enemy Commando gives my Commando a taste of his own medicine and dispatches him with an alpha strike to the back as well.

He doesn’t have long to celebrate his victory though as the Centurion and Hunchback chew him to pieces in short order.

I’m feeling confident as the fight is now 3 on 1, but I still want to take a moment to regroup, cool down, and come up with a plan. As we regroup, my Locust gets another blip; a 50 ton Mech is coming down the pike.
My Locust backs off and works the sensors to reveal that it is a Hunchback.

My Centurion takes position to rain LRMs down on him from afar, while my Hunchback prepares to deal with him once he gets a little closer.

The Centurion continues to chip off armor as he closes to range with his weapons. Luckily my Hunchback is ready and can move out from the cover of the rock and right into his back arc. My Hunchback is sporting 8 medium lasers and a small laser and they quickly make short work of the enemy’s rear armor.

With the last Mech down, my lance can pull back to the nearest pub and have a few rounds in memory of their fallen comrade.

I feel that I got lucky with the enemy coming at me in a spread-out line instead of one combined force. Effective use of rear arc attacks also help solidify our victory. Using terrain to keep yourself blocked from other enemies while attacking the one in the open is a valid tactic, as is using woods for partial cover and water for heat management. From what I have seen in other videos, rushing in to the battles head first does not lead to victories.

I didn’t notice any performance issues while playing and the everything was running very smoothly, though my system can run DCS at consistent FPS’s at high graphics quality. I have played a couple of matches already, and watched a few videos and have not seen any crashes. This seems to be a very stable beta, just stripped down for testing. I can’t wait to see what kind of things get added for the final release.

Harebrained Schemes has announced that the multiplayer version is due out soon and I can’t wait to get into some skirmishes with another human player. If anyone else has the beta let me know.

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This one is on my radar. I have not played any mech games in … forever … so I am curious how this one will shape as it gets closer to release.

Thanks for the AAR!

Also on my radar, I miss my MechWarrior 3 days.

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Good read, thanks! Does anyone still remember the good old Battletech board game? That was fun!

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Oh do I ever…

Anyone up a Mudspike MegaMek game?

https://www.megamek.org/

I messed around with MegaMek in the past, it just wan’t geared toward single player. I would be interested in it though. Hit me up on TS one night and we will see what we can do.

Yea I would Megamek as well

Beta update coming later this week, with Multiplayer skirmish coming in the near future

Skirmish Beta Update This Week

Great news! An update to our Single-Player Skirmish Beta is coming later this week (we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live). Thank you SO MUCH for all of your time submitting survey responses and discussing the Beta on the forums. This communication has been invaluable, and we’ve pushed a pretty significant set of gameplay & balancing changes to the Beta in direct response to your feedback.

The details will be in a complete change log and in your updated Beta Manual upon release, but here are some highlights:

Evasion, Sensor Lock, and Evasive Move have received major revisions. 
Morale has been replaced with a new system intended to reduce the snowball effect of early game advantages. 
Weapon balance has been tuned on a variety of weapons. 
Crits are more frequent and powerful. Components and ammo now require only one crit to be destroyed, while weapons become damaged on the first crit (+2 Difficulty to-hit) and destroyed on the second. 
A/C damage has been reduced (previous: 25/50/75/100, current: 25/45/60/100) for AC2, 5, 10, and 20 respectively. 
Global heat has been tuned down by about 10%. 
Water doesn't increase heat dissipation as much (previous: 200%, current: 150%) 
Stability damage accumulates slower and also bleeds slower, and in larger discrete chunks. 
 MechWarriors now have two abilities, which increases their usefulness and flexibility. 
 An eyeball icon appears on enemy units if they will have LOS on you after you make the move you’re plotting.

Beyond these gameplay mechanics, this beta update also includes:

A big, tasty update to AI that includes enemies using MechWarrior abilities, making called shots on prone or shut down units, using Death From Above, and generally messing up your life. 
 A Settings Menu that allows you to change your settings and remap your keyboard shortcuts. (Currently only available from the Main Menu.) 
Some UI changes/enhancements both in combat and the skirmish setup screens.

Enjoy! And please continue to fill out your surveys after each match. They’ve proven very valuable! We’ll publish a complete list of changes when the Beta Update goes live.

Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test This Week, Too!

Still more good news - the BATTLETECH Multiplayer Beta is almost ready for primetime! Before releasing it to our entire Backer Beta population, we’ll be running a Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test on Steam this week (it might NOT start the same day as the Skirmish Beta update) for those hearty souls willing to opt-in and help stress test the system in the wild. Are YOU a hearty soul? Cuz, we could use your help! Again, we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live.

All Backers with Beta Access are invited to participate but by opting-in, participants accept that they may experience connection issues, crashes, and dropped games - that’s what you’re looking for in the first place!

Once we’re comfortable that we’ve eliminated enough bugs and issues (it’ll probably take a couple of weeks), we’ll shut down the Double-Secret Beta Test and automatically update the Beta for everyone to include 1v1 Multiplayer. Then, all of you can take your hard-won experience with the Single Player Skirmish Game and apply it against your wiley human opponents in stompy head-to-head action.

Launch Window Update

Hi everyone,

As you may remember, the original release estimate listed in our Kickstarter campaign was for delivery of the BATTLETECH Base Skirmish Game. With each additional Funding Stage unlocked - Single-Player Story Campaign, Expanded Mercenary Campaign, and PVP Multiplayer - more time and team members were added for the additional work.

We’d previously been projecting a late 2017 release but now that we’ve revised our AI & combat mechanics in reaction to your feedback, completed a thorough review of the work remaining on the game, and are poised to release the Multiplayer Backer Beta update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BATTLETECH in early 2018.

Throughout development, the message we’ve received has been clear, “Don’t rush it, just make it great.” and we have taken that to heart. All of us - HBS, Paradox, and our Backers - share a deeply personal attachment to this project and we are committed to delivering a game that not only meets your high expectations but introduces BattleTech to a new generation of players.

With that said, I’m happy to report that solid progress continues across the project! We are now able to play the open-ended mercenary campaign “loop” and I have to say that when you’re counting your C-bills and caring about your MechWarriors’ health and survival, you approach combat missions differently which imbues every turn with a ton of dramatic tension. And the upcoming upgrade to our AI is going to make you think hard about how you engage the enemy!

As Mitch mentioned in our last update, we’ve made a ton of progress on all the component pieces of the game and this phase of development is all about bringing them together - the core combat game, the mercenary simulation aboard the Argo, the single-player story and cinematics, the open-ended mercenary mission system, the ‘Mech customization system… it’s a lot of stuff and it’s exciting to see it all getting stitched together and “upleveled” with art, audio, UI, and writing.

It really is an exciting time on the project and I can’t wait to share it with you when it’s finally done. Thanks again for all your support!

Jordan

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