First Beta Thoughts

I’m not posting this for some time due to the NDA requirements, but I need to get my thoughts down now, so that I can see how they change over the coming weeks. I’ll post it once the NDA lifts.

In my first post, I’m excited about this game. Then when I got the email with the Beta invite I was doing the running about waving my hands in excitement, want to tell EVERYBODY kind of excitement (and I just made that post about Starstruck too). But of course I couldn’t.

Now the MoP beta I wanted to avoid as that would spoil the surprise. However the MWO beta, especially the Closed Beta is a chance for me to help make the game, I hope. It’s also a different kind of game so getting Beta access allows me to refine my skills and practice whereas something like MoP means I lose that everything is new feeling – in MWO its not the content its the opponents and teammates that make it new, and that’s new every time whether Beta or not.

I’ve been playing on and off for about a week now. Probably around the 20-30 matches so far. Tried about 5 of the 10 or so mechs and a range of lights (my current preference) to the awe inspiring Atlas (and you’re going to love the red eyes!)

Things I Like

Visually it’s excellent. I don’t have the top of the range card, but on my 9500GT and the other is a HD5750. Both run it very well with good frame rates and detail.

The mechs look and move great as well. They have a lot of detail and clearly display damage as it occurs (lost limbs, sparks, broken pieces). Again, visually very nice.

They’ve stuck close to the rules (according to the Original Table Top) and also close to the previous (PC at least) games in the franchise. It plays as I imagine it would.

Mech balance is hard to call, but they are close to the canon and so the flaws are there from that. Live with it, the Mechwarriors would have had to, and its the same as soldiers, tankers, fighter pilots have all had to ever since we first threw rocks at each other.

Some have talked about being able to reconfigure the mech at match start. I don’t think that’s a good idea either, only Omni Mechs (which we don’t have yet) would have that capability in short time. We’re spoiled by the previous games in the franchise, especially MW2.

I have also seen positive action to fix and adjust things by the devs. We’ve also had additional content added.

Things I’m not happy with so far

Small size of maps. Frozen City is big and nice, Caustic Valley is good, the River Valley is too small.

No variety (yet) in game type. All are basically Team Deathmatch with a capture point as an option. Fun, but would be nice to mix it up.

Can’t assign weapon groups prior to match start. This is really frustrating and will often see nobody move for the first 10 seconds or so of a match. And then some friendly fire as a few test their new set ups!

The earning of XP seems REALLY slow, with I think about 20-40 per match, and the lowest upgrades are in the thousands. Still don’t want to let people push through too fast. And premium accounts allow triple earning.

Some of the interface outside of the game is a bit clunky. Small buttons for no real reason, initally some confusion on what different options do.

Summary

Still after a week, and a complete reset and new build I am happy with the game. I would like to see some of my concerns addressed, as my concerns are replicated by many of the vocal people, and some have been commented positively by the Devs.

I am pretty certain there is still a good month of Beta to come before it even moves to Open Beta, so I’ll see how things progress over the next couple of weeks.

So far as I said I have been playing a fair bit of the light mechs, mostly concetrating on the Jenner. Its speed is a huge asset, but not so sure about the jump jets. There has been some discussion about games turning into slug fests between Heavies but I havent seen that. Whilst I haven’t done much “scouting” I think the real hamper to that is voice comms. It’s really hard to evade weapon fire and type a report to the remaining team at the same time. Trust me I’ve tried. So get into an organized team and use voice Comms. It will be a massive advantage.

I’ve only made two kills so far, and assisted in a few more. one of my favorites is slashing away at the back of a heavy whilst it was preoccupied with a heavy to his front, a classic double team. I’ve seen an Atlas brought down by a group of mediums and lights.

I’ve managed two base captures on my own as well. Most recent I ran straight to their base to find it emptied and the opposite team heavily engaged with my team on the other side of the map. As I sat in their base watching it tick down, feeling very vulnerable in my little Jenner, I watch my teammates get eliminated until it was 8 v 4. Finally as the last few ticks started an enemy Atlas lumbered from the woods weapons ablaze. I ran about trying to stay inside the cap, and as his next salvo landed….. We won! That was an awesome game.

I’ve also been the last man standing, running across the enemy’s base while being chased by about 5 heavies. They got me in the end, but I must have annoyed the crap out of them.

I’ve used the Catapult to rain LRM on enemy that I couldn’t even see, again, exactly what they are meant for, then charged in once my ammo was finished.

I haven’t spent as much time in the heavier mechs, but they are slow when you’re used to the smaller ones. It’s an interesting lesson to see a light running about your legs and you can’t turn or breakaway in order to get a shot off at him. But they usually pack a big punch and take a beating.

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Author: Mabaho

I'm a married dad who likes to play WoW and ride my motorbike. Originally a strong focus WoW blog, but over the last while has become a more general blog about things going on in my world.

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