MechWarrior Online has done an amazing job working with its fans to make a better game. The player-base for MechWarrior has both hardened vets and eager new recruits. Thebiggest thing they all have is passion. Now, with the new patch today into beta, MechWarrior Online is introducing a bunch of updates that keep the players in mind. The most recent such update, due to land on the live servers today, offers huge level of customization and more importantly, Bitchin’ Betty is back.
Yesterday we spoke to Russ Bullock, the president of Piranha Games. Russ explained that MechWarrior always has “more” to work with. He stressed the word more because with history, customization, lore and battle scenarios the possiibilities are infinite. One of the main areas Russ talked about was how important it is for a player’s mech to stand out from the crowd. To give people enough options that really make their warriors personal. The team is introducing a huge customization system into the game which gives players limitless options.
The first area players can work in is the pattern of the mech. You can choose, for example, a desert camouflage pattern for the outside of your walker. Then you can change the colors on that pattern. So you can choose desert camo but then color it with forest green colors and other hues. These colors break down into primary, secondary, and third blends which really give the player a lot of options in how the pattern of their walker looks. Russ explained how important this was for factions or mecenary groups to be able to match their patterns or their colors or both. They want individuals as well as groups to have plenty of options when customizing their mech.
Moving on from patterns, Russ was very happy to talk about insignias and how they will be adding more and more to the game as they move forward. They want factions and mecenaries to have a really strong insignia system so they can create their own squadrons with identifying marks down the road. Russ said the team is very serious about supporting the Community Warfare features in the game and the insignias will be a big part of that. He said it is one of those features that keep the team up at night thinking of so many options. They definitely want to support unit insignias, so it’s just a matter of time until they make it to the game.
The next area that players can work on is the inside of their mech. The cockpit is home to many players and there will be a lot of custom items to spice up the interior look. Bobble heads, posters, and the ever famous hula-girl, are all options for players to put inside their death machines. Russ laughed and said they could not leave out the fuzzy dice either. Since the view point of the player in the game is so critical they want to make sure players can add whatever they like to the inside of mechs. It’s a matter of pride, as players knocked out of battle will spectate from inside your mech and you can show off what you have this way. Russ also wanted to make it clear that this was just phase one. He said a lot more is coming in terms of makuing the inside of the mech feel like home.
The last and most important part of the update is the addition of Bitchin’ Betty. The team at Piranha went out and got the original voice actor for Bitchin’ Betty, Carol Ruggier, to come back and do tons of voice work for the character. She first made her appearance in Mech Warrior 2 and has become a legend among fans of the series. The Bitchin’ Betty voice interface can be turned off if you want, as it is optional. However, if you are a fan there is a lot more to come in terms of VO work. Russ apologized that her famous start up sequence is not in yet, but it will be. Still, this is just Phase 1 for Bitchin’ Betty and they have a lot planned for the voice of your mech. Also, she does work in real time with combat, so she will tell you if you have critical damage or enemies detected, rockets locked, and so forth.
Here is the best part of this patch today; the game is still in beta. They are adding so much for players on a constant basis and still fine tuning the gameplay. Russ stressed that their goal is to make the biggest and best MechWarrior game ever by the time they launch. Bitchin’ Betty might seem like small potatoes to the passerby who doesn’t know the series, but to the fans it’s indicative of PG’s love and care for the IP.
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