Fair enough. I still have to play Battletech so by the time I get through it I'm sure the price will be lower.
Mechwarrior 5 • Page 2
rice_sandwich 6,052 posts
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TechnoHippy 15,838 posts
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I tried Battletech when it first came out (I even had one of the bomber jackets from the KIckstarter), but got stuck on one of the early missions. Started a new campaign yesterday and hopefully will do better this time.
With a few people picking up or going back to BattleTech, I'll stick some starter-tips over in that game's thread.
Playing this right now to distract myself from the insane stresses of... other things. Have just noticed that in certain mission types it just dumps waves of enemies in as out-of-nowhere spawns around you, like Dragon Age 2.
That's not fantastic.
This is mostly just making me want to play BattleTech now.
Right, so, played a bunch more over the weekend. It's a real mixed bag of a game. If you're thinking of buying it, my honest advice would be "wait for a sale and some patches". It's quite rough at the moment. Now Harebrained's BattleTech was a bit rough when it first launched and was later patched into polished perfection, but my sense is that MW5 has a lot further to go now than BattleTech had at launch. Its flaws aren't technical - it actually runs pretty well and isn't particularly buggy - but are around game-design and balancing.
The mechs themselves feel great. They feel properly big and stompy and the weapons have heft. Being able to kill vehicles by stamping on them is a nice touch and it was good to see it make the leap across from BattleTech (though mech-to-mech melee attacks don't). When you and your lance are going toe-to-toe with an equivalently sized enemy force, weaving in and out of cover and trying to blow limbs off each other, it feels great. Problem is, the game only very rarely plays out like that.
Instead, almost all missions go for the "throw loads of weak enemies at the player" mindset. Vehicles - tanks, VTOLs and missile-launchers - are by far the most common enemy and most missions through them at you by the bucketful. When you do encounter enemy mechs, they are almost invariably much smaller than yours. I'm currently fielding a lance of three heavies and a medium, but most of the time, when I'm not fighting vehicles, I'm fighting Locusts, Commandos, Spiders and other light mechs. Occasionally, the game might throw a couple of mediums at me at the end of a mission, but like-for-like battles that put you on an even footing are rare.
Instead, the game goes for grinding attrition. The enemies you're fighting might be weak, but their numbers more than compensate. An average mission right now will see me coming out with around 30 kills. What's worse, the way enemies are spawned into missions is truly awful. MW5 goes for the Dragon Age 2 model of wave-based fights. So as you finish off one wave of enemies, another wave will pop into being out of thin air. On defensive and hold-the-point missions, the spawns are generally far enough from you that it's more annoying than genuinely immersion-breaking, but in offensive and assassination missions, the spawns can quite often be right on top of you. So you might be duelling another mech and trying to keep the damaged side of your own mech turned away from it... all well and good. Then the game will spawn half a dozen tanks all around you and any thought of tactics and trying to shield your damaged areas goes out the window. It turns the game into a simple shooting gallery with a heavy RNG component.
In addition to which, AI is pretty awful. It's most obvious on "defend the base" missions, where your own lance-mates will happily stomp right through the base you're supposed to be defending, flatting buildings and shooting key installations that had the cheek to get between them and their target. Success on defend missions generally comes down to keeping your own allies from destroying what you're trying to defend. You can give orders to lance-mates, but these seem to do little or nothing. Trying to get a wounded ally to pull back before they can be destroyed is virtually impossible. The enemy is no brighter - in offensive missions, they will happily shoot and stomp the shit out of your targets for you.
And then there's the overall campaign balance. The economy at the moment is incredibly harsh. Unless you get very lucky, most missions give only a paltry reward after your damage is accounted for and it's not uncommon to come out with less cash than you went in with. You can keep repair costs down by limiting your own damage, but given the aforementioned ally AI problems, there's basically no way to prevent your wingmen from racking up the repair bills. The economy's balance honestly feels more like some pay-to-win mobile title at times (though to be clear, there is no pay-to-win in the game). They'd have done well to take the slightly more generous approach to repair costs and salvage that Hairbrained's BattleTech took.
Are these issues fixable? Maybe. For the most part, they're not technical problems but baked into the game design, so I wouldn't hold out hope for a quick fix.
neems 4,785 posts
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You should send that to the developers, you never know.
I wonder if it's the sort of thing a talented modder could fix?
@neems Tempting, but I'm seeing similar comments in professional reviews and in the closest thing they have to a forum. Also, with this not being on Steam, the lack of a forum is really disconcerting.
I think fixing this requires more than a couple of technical patches. These are fairly deep design and balance issues which don't lend themselves to a quick fix.
The intensely frustrating thing with this is that just once in a while, on the story missions, you see what it could have been.
I just did a fantastic mission. I was in a Jagermech, accompanied by an Archer, a Quickdraw and a Hunchback. So two long-range support mechs and two brawlers. I never got on with the Jagermech in BattleTech, but my god piloting one feels glorious... those big old autocannons hanging at the top of your field of view and the recoil when you unleash them.
Mission opens with an objective to drive enemies away from a friendly base. Enemies are mostly VTOLs and the Jagermech is an absolute god when it comes to anti-air. After that's done, move onto an objective to destroy three fuel depots. Enemies are properly spaced and deployed - a mixture of heavy tanks and medium mechs. No random spawns all around me. So I use command orders to have the Quickdraw and Hunchback take point, while I sit back with the Archer pouring in fire. We advance through the various objectives, stomping all in our path.
Then an enemy dropship lands with a lance of 4 mixed light/medium mechs. Ammo's getting low by this point (the Jagermech is a beast for it), so I'm mostly holding back and using the lasers. The last enemy blows off an arm, so I lose half of my big guns. Then... a second lance... two lights, a medium and... oh shit... a Warhammer. A big, bruising 70 ton heavy.
What follows is a desperate fight, ducking between ruined buildings and having my lance-mates pick off the smaller enemies while I slowly wear down the Warhammer. Eventually, with my own mech showing red across the board, the enemy dies and the mission is over.
Absolute classic Mechwarrior stuff.
Then onto the next mission, with loads of shit infinite waves spawning.
So I got further through this at the weekend. Sorry to say, but the verdict has to be "don't buy this in its present state at the present price".
Technically it's fine, if deeply unambitious. But I've not had any serious bugs or glitches. But the procedurally generated missions are crap, the in-game economy is broken and the AI goes beyond "bad" and into "outright destructive to the game". Some of the scripted main-campaign missions are good, but there aren't enough of them and you have to grind through huge levels of padding between them.
Also... that voice acting. This game's set in the 31st century in a universe with fusion power and faster-than-light travel, but they still haven't invented a cure for Brummie accents? Really?
WrongShui 6,784 posts
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I am actually enjoying this, stomping around in an Awesome with triple PPCs, although i'd prefer the missions to have fewer larger enemies instead of tons of light mechs and tanks to one shot. It does feel very bare bones though, hopefully they flesh out a career mode with DLC like Harebrained Schemes did with Battletech.
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