MWO Open Beta Monday 29 Oct.

Beta opens in a few hours, some time Monday USA Pacific time, maybe its even open already, not sure.

Is the game ready? I think the core game is good, the matches are fun, flow well, there isn’t a lot of problems out there. I still think that the interface needs some work. Simple things like the TAB order when logging in could do with some tweaking.

The main thing that’s not yet been seen is the persistent galaxy. The game is meant to have us fighting for ownership of worlds, advancing the Houses. We haven’t seen how this will be implemented.

Open Beta doesn’t mean its finished, and MWO certainly isn’t. There are still things that have place holders (ECM and BAP for example), they’ve taken things away to tweak (like knockdowns), and they still have only one match format (Team Deathmatch). They say that Closed Beta has run it’s course, so I guess we’ll see how all the new people cope. There’s a lot of experienced pilots waiting to let loose on them. Hopefully they can add to the ideas that are still flowing through the forums, without getting disheartened by their defeats.

Big tip for the new folks …. in fact for any players…. get in a group, get talking.

Cancelled.

I cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription tonight. Main reason is that when I sit down at the computer, I don’t think… oh WoW, yes, lets see what I can get to tonight! Instead I’m think, Right lets blow up some mechs! Basically I’m just not playing at the moment, and it seems silly to keep my subscription going if I’m not playing.

It’s no surprise the change in attitude. I’ve been a Battletech fanboi since I started playing the table top in about 1988. I’ve since played every PC game since Crescent Hawks Inception. WoW had two things that helped it…. my friends and there hasn’t been a BT release since MW4 Mercs in about 2002. So it filled in the gap.

And I really enjoy MWO.

So to the Frosties – Thanks Everyone, it’s been great… but my love isn’t slaying internet dragons, it’s always been giant bipedal war machines :)

I will keep up the blog, but you will see it move more to Mechwarrior Online (and hopefully Mechwarrior Tactics as well, if I could just get a Beta invite)

Farewell Everyone! It’s been . . . emotional.

 

*never played Solaris VII online, nor could I ever get Living Legends to run.

Hey you’re going the wrong way!

IMG 0959

It seems the only time I get to do a proper ride these days is when work sends me to Canberra. That project is closing up soon, so that will go away as well. I’ll have to sort something else out that makes me go to Canberra for work.

I rode down the freeway, leaving home at about 0230 (0800 Meeting). It was a bit warmer than last time (when I was stupid!) and leaving home was about 7C, Canberra was 0C by the time I got there, but mostly it was around 4C, quite manageable. I only made a single fuel/rest stop and made great time arriving at my accommodation about 0530. I did ride through drizzle for about an hour, but it was light and the road never got wet, and neither did I. Lucky as I packed lighter and left all my rain gear at home.

I also packed so that everything was in my top box, no backpack or tank bag. I found it a bit better on the return trip as I could ride normally.

Learning from last time, I had a room booked so I picked up some keys, turned on the heaters and dived into bed, getting an hour or so nap, before having to start my day properly. Much more humane than last time spending a hour curled up on a radiator in the common room, shivering!

….. work interlude ……. elevator music playing ….

The Next Morning….

IMG 0956

The next morning I lazed in bed as I waited for the sun to get up a bit. Last time I rode off with the sun almost in my eyes for much of the ride. With sun up at about 0600 (we’re already on summer time here now) about 0830 I was out loading the bike. My plan was to once again Head to Queenbeyan, Tarago, then up the road through Bungonia, popping briefly onto the freeway, before back to Highland Way. That’s my third time this way. I then planned to skip Moss Vale etc and perhaps take the Hill Top exit and head up to Picton. No pressure from home this time so I could take it easy.

On the road, and it was a pleasant 8C and bright and sunny, warming up well. Passed a couple of groups of bikes, all loaded up headed the other way. As I cruised along towards Tarago, more bikes came past. I felt as if everyone was asking me “Hey why are you headed that way, everyone is going the other way??”

And I know where they are all headed and I would love to turn around and join them. This weekend is the MotoGP at Phillip Island. Casey Stoner’s last Aussie race. It would be nice if he wins, but I’m not sure his current performance is up to it? We’ll see.

So much of the road looks like this.
IMG 0957

IMG 0958
Yes I know they all look straight, but with no room on the side of the road to pull over I stop in places where the traffic is going to be able to see me and react, not come halfway around a blind corner to find some crazy rider taking photos! I rather not become someone’s hood ornament :)

Ah, that reminds me… no wombats this time, but I must have seen about 10 or more kangaroo/wallaby carcasses on the road on the way down in the night. I kept trying to decide if it would be better to ride behind a truck so he hits the roo, not me, but I think getting covered in offal would be rather gruesome. On the way home, as I rode from towards Bungendore I passed at least two abandoned cars with crumpled fronts. Skippy is all muscle too, like the wombat.

I passed through Tarago and got some odd looks from a pack of riders when I headed down the road towards Bungonia. I think I know why, as that leg I saw about 2 bikes. Until then I had passed about 50 – 80 bikes. I think not many people know about the leg from Tarago through Bungonia, and all these other riders where taking the turn from Queenbeyan to Tarago.

IMG 0960

So… left or right???

Riding from memory, I only got stuck for a moment at one turn trying to decide the right way.

But I stopped and had a break, munching on sushi from my friends shop (Hero Sushi in Tuggernong, go there) while I pondered the two options. I turned left.

And that was right.

So I eventually hit the freeway, dashed about the kilometre to the start of the Highland Way. More bikes again, all pulling me to turn around, join them….

No I’ll be in a wee bit of hot water if I came back on next Tuesday after the race… probably not be allowed in the door!

IMG 0961

These are called Ghost Gums, as their trunks and branches turn all white.

Highland Way, duck out at Sutton Forest again. Along the freeway to the Yerimbol/Hill Top exit, and cruise along to Picton.

At Picton I had three options, back to the freeway, northish towards Camden, or Menagle Rd to Campbelltown. Freeway, last choice. I decided to head to Menagle Rd as I hadn’t been that way in a while and I’ve done the Camden way a couple of times in the last couple of years.

It proved a solid choice and a quite swift ride I was in Campbelltown, hunting the freeway entrance, for the dash across the city to home.

Rolling up to the door about 1445, that’s how you turn a 3 hour trip into a 6 hour one, by adding FUN :)

My Dad

This is way off topic… but I’m so proud of my dad.

He’s now 68 and today he’s just finished this bike race… the Whaka 100. Its a 100km single track mountain bike race held annually in Rotorua, NZ. It took him 9h 47m (he planned on 10h). I don’t think he won, even in his age group, but that doesn’t matter to me (or him I imagine).

I can’t guess how tired he is right now, but that’s an amazing thing to do. Awesome work dad :)

 

Smoke Powered!

You know that all electronics are smoke powered don’t you.

You see they all stop working whenever the smoke gets let out, hence they run on stored smoke.

I let the smoke of the old PSU last night as I was swapping the kit between cases. I think I managed to apply power somewhere I shouldn’t have.

I picked up a new PSU this afternoon and have installed it. With much trepidation I started it up, to silence and blackness.

Except for a little blue LED. No giant flash and smelly smoke coming out, so I was somewhat encouraged.

Then facepalm, as I hadn’t connected the display, hence the blackness. I switched it off and plugged it all back in to see the boot sequence starting up. Nothing booted as I have a blank SSD installed and so no OS, that’s being installed as I type.

Whew, dodged a bullet there, but I will have to keep an eye on the system in case there’s other damage.

Update…

I haven’t had much chance to play in the last week. I’ve managed to squeeze in about two matches of MWO and that’s about it. The kids have been messing up their bedtimes and then Mrs and I have been watching random movies from iTunes.

I’ve been shopping and have picked up a couple of items, a new router to give me 802.11n, dual band and gigabit ethernet. This is to help support the 2 Apple TVs in the house.

I also spent a little bit on my PC. I’ve picked up a new case, it’s fairly plain but a step up in size from my old one (it’s had about 3 full new computers inside it), an SSD for the system drive and a couple of 2TB disks for storage. I plan to move all of my movies onto it so I can reboot into Windows on the iMac (to play MWO) whenever I like without disturbing the kids watching the Apple TV.

Now I just need a chance to swap the guts over.

Coolermaster 690 II Advanced USB3

In the future I’ll upgrade the graphics card as well, it’s only an old 9500GT, but as the PC spends it’s time playing ABC iView and looking up Scrabble words it works fine. The 9500 actually runs MWO alright as well.

UPDATE Well I had a chance to start moving the guts over… got to the point ready for the first power on, but bright flash, yucky smell… ah crap, I’ve fried something (PSU dead I expect, but what else), not auspicious beginning!

MWO – Never give up

Miss 3 was doing a lot of not sleeping this morning from about 3am. So to occupy myself between periods of actual sleeping I logged into MWO for a few games.

Being 5am by this time none of the Corp were on, so I joined a group I found in Teamspeak and readied my LRM Catapault. We launched for the first game, and of course after the patch on Tuesday, all my video settings were default (it’s annoying post patch effect in MWO) so the first match was fought in a small window of about 800×600 pixels. I was quickly killed when a flanking attempt went horribly wrong and I ended up on the front line. Not where a support mech likes to hang out.

I sorted my screen settings and we picked up a full 8 person drop. Well that was until the drop… 3 people didn’t drop and we were 5 v 8 before the match even started. A lot of unhappy noises over Teamspeak as we saw what was happening! And the other team knows we only have 5 players as the roll displays for both sides.

Someone suggested an all out assault through the tunnel. This map (Frozen City) has a tunnel that leads from close to the back of one base to close to the back of the other base, but can also be a bit of a trap. It would be a gamble for us – if we were spotted or they charged the tunnel it would be a bloodbath. However it would be a certain bloodbath any other way through the open terrain.

Staying closely grouped we moved as fast as the lumbering assault Atlas could go to the other exit. Peeking out, we saw the other team lined up in the distance waiting for us to cross the ridge (the other normal attack route). They didn’t see us, but there may have also been a couple protecting the base that we couldn’t spot.

Sneaking through the snow and buildings (as only a group of five storey war machines can) we approached the enemy base. We stayed close because as soon as we entered the area the entire enemy team would get BASE UNDER ATTACK across their cockpits.

Shortly we had 5 mechs stopped in the base and the capping started.

I’ve never seen a cap drop so quickly… I’ve solo capped or dual previously, but this was far faster than that.

In the time it took their fastest response to rush back the 1000m or so, we’d won. 5 v 8 victory without a shot fired! Very happy with that effort.

I squeezed in another game or two. One typical enemy getting my LRMs rained on them to victory match, the second started well and went very badly when they flanked us and hit our support mechs (me again) in the back line again. A lot of back peddling as I scrambled for cover and to keep the enemy beyond the minimum range of my missiles.

Our assault forces returned to save all but one of us and then our organisation prevailed, with their mechs falling swiftly to concentrated fire. Victory again from what was looking very untidy for several minutes.

So a fun morning.

MWO Open Beta starts next week. Feel free to join in :) Look for Mabaho :)

Oh, and Miss 5, well she eventually slept about 6am, and I left for work. Mrs was woken at 7am by Miss 3 declaring that “It’s Morning time!”

(I apologise for the lack of screenshots, but I just can’t seem to get PrtScrn to work in game).

Now I feel it.

Got several serious hours of MoP time since Friday. It’s been fascinating and I finally feel like this expac has started.

Carrying on from the other night, Mab cleared out some pesky Alliance and was greeted by one of the strange Pandarians who inhabit this continent.

New continent, new spirits and new races, Mab meets a Pandarian for the first time.

After helping out the local village, Mabaho moves deeper into the continent. Its a very beautiful place.

Serenity Falls.

His fellow Horde have some more silly ideas… no Safety regs here!

Mabaho’s father taught him not to fear anything, except when a Goblin says “Trust Me”!

I spent some time bonding with even more new allies, the Hozen.

A bunch of guys, some fireworks, what could go wrong….

Before learning more about these mysterious Pandarians (and some more about myself too)

Meeting the Lorewalker.

His people overthrew their oppressors. I’m sure we will have to deal with them eventually.

Not nice guys apparently. Though Garrosh might like them.

I’m enjoying the quests so far. Levelling seems super slow, especially after running Dasal and Mabango since I finished Mabaho. My gear is holding up ok, though it won’t be long before some of my purples will be replaced. I’m guessing those with top tier gear would hold it for more, but I have enough that mobs aren’t a threat.

Not sure how her holiness, can’t kill a fly, Dasal will go with levelling. Might have to try Shadow again for her to get through. I also noticed that the Goblin Rivet Clutchpop sells some serious gear if you haven’t gotten yourself kitted up prior. Cheap too.

The expac has breathed life back into guild chat and guild life abounds at all hours. That’s a nice change too, it was getting pretty lonely sometimes!

Onwards!

MWO Beta NDA dropped and more

As you’re all aware I was away for the past month. I returned with the MoP expansion to WoW to fill my time, but another major piece of news is that they have dropped the NDA in MWO and I am now free to speak of the game (hence the sudden explosion of posts).

They have also completed some new builds in my time away. I’ve only played a couple of matches as I had to rebuild the Windows part of my iMac (I run a Bootcamp partition to play MWO). And play MoP and sort out the photos from the trip (and work, mind the kids etc etc) But here are my thoughts so far.

- new map, River City, is very confusing so far, but I should learn it soon enough. Very different from Frozen City, but again, maybe a bit small.

- LRMs do a lot more damage than before. Nice (unless you’re the target)

- Repair and reload now costs money. An expected feature that they have turned on. I haven’t had any problems with it so far.

- Improved MechLab giving up addition details on your mech as you build it. Nice

- Additional enhancements to unlock to do with pilot skills, EW and other modules to add significant enhancement to your abilities.

- Salvage from matches, but you have to stayed joined to that game until it is resolved. If you leave once you’re dead, you still get your win/loss money, but not salvage.

I’m still really happy with the game. My Merc Corp is going strong with about 200 members now, all organised into groups. Teamwork will always be the deciding factor in this game. And these guys are getting a lot of experience at it.

I will try to get you some screen shots, honest.

MWO Beta Week 4

Another patch and the gameplay problems have calmed down a lot. I don’t see as much “rubber banding”* and don’t seem to hear so many people getting dropped from the game. So its a fair bit more stable.

And to be honest I’ve found it pretty stable since I started. I may have had about 2 or 3 crashes but that’s par for the course. And a little bit of rubber banding but with an online game based in the US, with players across the world on who knows what kind of internet connection, you can’t expect it to perform perfectly every time. There are finite wait limits involved. Even with all that its totally playable, whether you brawl, snipe, LRM or scout. They’ve done a really good job.

Team play is going well. I’ve racked up a few more kills (though as support I don’t expect one every game) and I’ve barely lost a game since I grouped up. Even PUG matches that we’ve had comms through the MWO Beta Teamspeak have smashed the opposition in most cases. Excluding my lone wolf period, I’m probably at 30-4-1 or something.

Yes, we had a Tie once. None involved could figure out what tripped it, we assumed that we must have all killed each other at the last moment. It was very weird. It may have also included a suicide** or disconnect.

I’ve been working on my pilot skills for a single mech and should shortly unlock the Elite enhancements. Though truly the enhancements I haven’t really noticed their effects in game.

So another week, and still totally enjoying myself. To me, this is Mechwarrior 5. I still haven’t figure out how to take screenshots so these are very visually boring posts. I will add some from the web as I ready them for posting.

* rubber banding occurs when you are watching another player and he suddenly moves between several positions as you catch up with the server…. makes it really hard to aim!

** a mech can suicide by overriding the overheat safety systems. If you let the heat get too high, the reactor explodes, destroying the mech. Can also occur when your at high heat and fire too many weapons at once. This usually occurs in the thick of battle.