Greetings, MWT Community!
Wow, over 30,000 real people on our forums! In celebration of that milestone, I am writing this post for the new, the curious and for those that need a refresher.
Today, I am going to fire up the ol’ jump jets and take you for a look down from above on the whole of MechWarrrior Tactics; what it is, what we’re doing with it and how it works.
What is MechWarrior Tactics?
- Asynchronous, F2P turn-based strategy game set in the MechWarrior Universe
- Collectible and customizable forces
- Playable on most major browsers using the Unity Engine plug-in
- Giant ‘Mechs blowing the scrap out of each other every which way
MechWarrior Tactics will still feel familiar to anyone who has ever, or will ever want to take control of a Lance of 'Mechs and lay waste to their enemies.
You in MechWarrior Tactics
MechWarrior Tactics put you in the seat as a Commander of your own small Mercenary company, looking for work across the universe. You can build, expand and customize your Lances as you see fit.
MWT is set to start around the year 3025 in the BattleTec Universe timeline and will embroil you in some of the most epic conflict to ever scorch across the Inner Sphere.
Free to Play, not Pay to Win
MWT is a F2P game that uses collectible “cards” to represent the resources used to customize your ‘Mechs and MechWarriors. You can collect these cards through purchasing randomized “booster packs” called STACs, that can be purchased via Scrap or C-Bills.
Given that STACs contain random cards and that each card is assigned a value (Combat Value) which is used to help balance each player’s forces, I feel that we’ve tried our best to steer away from a “Pay to Win” model.
What is Scrap?
MWT players will receive Scrap after they complete each match that ends in a Win, Loss or Draw against human players or AI opponents. Scrap can be used to purchase most, but not all, items in the Store.
What are C-Bills?
This is an optional currency that MWT players can buy for real money and spend
What is the Core Game?
At it’s very core, MWT focuses on three core pillars which symbiotically create compelling experience.
Collect → Customize → Conquer
Your collection starts when you sign up. MWT is going to give you a bunch of cool cards to help you get your first Lance up and running. Maybe you have some newly purchased STACs as well. Lots of great cards that go straight into your Arsenal.
Now you can pop into the Mech Bay and try out your new Weapons, Tech, Chassis, MechWarriors, etc. in hopes of making the next killer build for the current meta.
Next, you deploy your Lance and have fun playing the game! Whatever the outcome of your Mission, you’re going to earn some Scrap that you can then use to buy some new STACs and add those cards back into your collection.
Those are our “Three Cs” for MWT. Now I’ll guide you through an overview of the actual game screens that support these core concepts.
Intro to Screens
STAC Opening (Collection)
Any time that you receive a STAC, either from a purchase or automatic grant from the game, you will be prompted to select which STAC you wish to open. You can also choose to open ALL your STACs at once, should you dare...
Dev Note: "Dawn of the Mercenaries" is SO temp...
Once you open a STAC, you get to view all of your cards in that STAC. Once you’ve spent enough time squeeing over the cards you just picked up, a quick click will ensure they are all sent to your Arsenal for viewing at a later time.
The Arsenal is the place where you can view your entire collection of cards. You get the largest version of the card art with all the details here. Also, you can search and sort your collection for specific cards.
Mission Control (Conquer)
The Mission Control screen is the heart of MWT. It is from this screen that you will access the Mech Bay and also manage all of your Lances and Missions.
On the left side of the Mission Control is the list of all of your Lances. Your Lances can be deployed in a Mission (match) or not. If they are not deployed, they can be edited (more on that later).
Starting and Launching Missions
If your Lance has 4 valid ‘Mechs, it is ready to be deployed on a Mission. After selecting Ranked or Unranked play, you can specify many of the Mission Preferences, including the Map and Turn Timer. It is important to note the word Preferences. In order to ensure fast matchmaking, at least during our Beta, we match you on what you prefer first and then if we can’t find you a good match based on your Skill and CV tier, we loosen the requirements for the other preferences you specified.
You then search for an opponent and once found, their Lance info is displayed and you are prompted to take your first turn. We do have Missions against AI opponents in MWT, just in case you’re not that into PvP.
The other major function of the Mission Control screen is the access point to the Mech Bay.
Mech Bay (Customize)
If you click on any Mech in a Lance that is not currently deployed on a Mission, or in an empty Lance slot, you will be brought to the Mech Bay.
The Mech Bay is where you can customize your Mechs. A lot of options exist here and I’ll reserve going into a lot of detail for another article. We’re trying to strike the careful balance in the design between supplying enough information and not overwhelming you.
This is the list of all the items that you can modify in the Mech Bay (icons from left to right):
- Chassis selection
- Weapons placement
- Tech placement/upgrades
- Armor upgrades/downgrades
- MechWarrior and Tactics selection
- Vanity (Paint, Patterns, Decals) placement
- Ammo placement
You’ll also be able to manage the Combat Value (CV) of your individual ‘Mechs in the Mech Bay, which of course, influences the total CV of your Lance. You’ll want to make sure you’re maximizing your Lance for the CV bracket in which you expect to be battling.
Dev Note: Yes, I have one (or more) of everything in the game. Neener neener
Okay, I’ll try to keep this short and sweet... There is definitely enough to talk about in terms of gameplay to deserve it’s own series of articles. I’ll break down the major components for you.
First, we have hexes and turns. The hexes use a MWT scale and the turns are asynchronous, double-blind and simultaneously declared.
What does all that mean? Firstly it means that, for a turn based strategy game, a whole Mission can be resolved much quicker than a standard “you go, I go” format game.
Secondly, it means that you have have multiple Missions going on at the same time and you can bounce back and forth, taking a turn in each, and play continuously against multiple opponents in your multiple games.
Once an opponent has been found via the Mission Control, you can launch that Mission and take your first turn. Turns are broken into three major phases:
The first phase has you declaring your weapon attacks against targets. Hopefully you’ve moved into an advantageous position from a previous turn and have a vulnerable target in your sights.
The attack phase uses your target’s current position and movement modifiers from the previous turn. Once you have declared your attacks, you commit them all and move onto the...
In this phase, you will be selecting each of your ‘Mechs and plotting their movement path based on the select movement mode.
Yes, terrain and elevation matter for movement! The movement that you are planning now will determine the position of your ‘Mech when you go to declare attacks in the next turn. Make sure you put each ‘Mech into a position where you’ll be able to target them based on where you predict they may move to. Also, you better make sure you take some cover from the blistering PPC fire from those AWS-8Qs.
Once you have committed your movement...
...You may have to wait for your opponent to submit their turn. Don’t worry though - if you’re the first player to submit your turn, you have just triggered a countdown timer and turn notification for the other player. They now risk having their turn submitted automatically and with no declared actions should their timer reach 0 before they submit. Ouch!
After both players have submitted their turns, all of the planned actions are played out in an animated sequence. It is really amazing to see everything come to life and move around the battlefield.
Dev Note: This is everything that I wanted as a kid playing tabletop games. *sniff*
Once the presentation has completed, players are then in the next new turn and the cycle continues until one player wins or surrenders.
Dev Note: Your keen eyes may have noticed the turns are out of order here for the screenshots. Nothing hinky going on here, just the order I managed to capture the action. Attack still comes before Move in each turn.
What are The Gameplay Rules?
If you have a passing familiarity with the Battletech tabletop game, you will recognize the framework that we have been inspired by for MWT. If you’re eager to get a head start, there are a few threads on the forums that link resources on how to play those games. Otherwise, stay tuned for future articles on gameplay specifics.
Game Rewards (Collect)
Once you have completed a Mission, you will get your rewards!
After each Mission completed, you will get Scrap and XP. I’ve already covered what Scrap is for, so you’re just left wondering what XP is used for. Wonder no longer!
Dev Note: MWT does focus on PvP play, so we’ve increased the rewards for PvP play over AI. Likewise, you get increased rewards when your opponent is randomly matchmade for you.
Dev Note 2: This screen is undergoing massive revision at the moment is not ready for public consumption.
Rank Up (Collect/Customize)
Welcome to Rank 2!
As a Mech Commander, you can rank up by earning XP from completed Missions.
Okay, that’s new and cool, but what does it actually get me? Glad I asked!
When you rank up, you will get to choose a card from one of 6 unique paths. The interesting part here is that upon gaining each rank, you will only get to select a card from 3 of the 6 paths. Each rank’s paths choices are different, so choose wisely because...
…each card selection made in a path gains you a point (represented by star icons) in that path. When you get 5 stars, you level that path and get an exclusive card for that path that is not available from any other source in MWT. There are multiple levels per path...
Truly, this system deserves an article of its own, but you’ll have to wait for that one as well!
The Store is where you buy stuff using Scrap and/or C-Bills. Easy!
The Store is accessible from anywhere in the game by clicking on the portal link that says “Store”. It is also accessible from within the game by clicking the shopping cart icon.
There are many options for purchase in the Store, but the main thing are the STACs. I’m not going to go into any details about what else we’re offering the Store for now, as those things will be revealed at a later date.
If you close the Store, you will be returned to where you were last in the game. If you purchased STACS, you should expect an incoming STAC opening interface!
So there you have it, a basic tour of the core of MechWarrior Tactics! There are a lot more details (and a few things I may have glazed over) so make sure to follow our forum posts or just fire away with questions.
PS. Please remember that everything that you are seeing here is still part of our Closed Beta and is subject to change at any time and all values should not be considered final until I’ve defeated you with them on the battlefield.