"Please continue to run in a straight line."

Here's some more of the No Guts No Galaxy MechWarrior Online team, including the inimitable BB Wolfe... who sometimes phones it in just a little bit.

I have played a lot of MechWarrior Online. I'm currently getting to Master in both Commandos and Atlases, which may be a diagnosable disorder.

My USB hamburger pedal no longer macro-types "Please stick together, or we will die." Even pick-up game groups are pretty good at sticking together now. Instead, it says "Report this to support@mwomercs.com.", because of all the fun I and other players have had with "skSniper" or "Duke Nukem" or "Titanstahl", to name just a few of the more famous heat-suiciders.

When you start a game with one or if you're especially lucky two of those guys, they will commit suicide by overheating in the first 30 seconds of the game. Apparently you still get a participation reward or something, at the end of the match, for doing this. Or they've just left their bots running to do this automatically and haven't noticed that they're not making any money any more.

Either way, all you can do about it at this point, besides harsh language in chat, is report the offender to support@mwomercs.com, with a screenshot if you're especially diligent. The developers' banhammer appears to be rather inflatable and squeaky, but this game is still a beta, so I'm not especially cross about it.

There are also "AFK farmers", who don't commit suicide, but don't do anything else, either. Again, there are some players who are famous for this, but random people do it as well. Since they may be away for a perfectly kosher reason like changing a nappy or answering the phone, you shouldn't report them unless you see them do it over and over.

(In my 2-ER PPC Atlas, which is something of a challenge to operate with Australian ping times, I once deliberately shot a guy on my own team in the back. I did this because he would not stop shooting at the last away-from-keyboard baddie, while we were trying to capture the enemy base, for larger rewards. It worked; he turned around and shot at me instead, and a few seconds later we got a cap win. And, with any luck, he was Enlightened.)

As far as other normal beta problems go - crashes and other weirdness that make the game unplayable - MechWarrior Online is pretty darn good. Crash-to-desktops happen, but not very often; in each 16-player match it's not unusual to see one person disconnect randomly, but it doesn't happen all the time.

Other show-stopping bugs are really rare. The dreaded 4-frame-per-second problem does still come up, but I think I've gone at least fifty games between incidents of it. (What exactly the problem is, I'm not sure. If you look away from the middle of the map and other 'Mechs, you get full frame rate; turn back and everything goes to hell. Restarting the game always fixes it, for me at least.)

There was also one start where my screen was stuck in the pale yellow-orange startup-effect colour with no heads-up displays working. I've heard others complain about that too, but it's only happened to me once. And one other time I started and got normal colours, but no map or other displays, and my torso was stuck in the maximum-left position.

But generally speaking, the game works. And the farming/griefing dickheads haven't ruined it, though they really are trying.

If you've not given MechWarrior Online a go, and you have a Windows PC [EDIT: Per comment below, a Windows 7 or later PC], try it out. You really can play, and play well, without paying a penny.

9 Responses to “"Please continue to run in a straight line."”

  1. Mohonri Says:

    It's probably worth pointing out that those users who are still on XP need not apply--I only figured that out after downloading, installing, patching, etc, then seeing a cryptic error message that led me to realize I didn't have the proper level of DirectX.

    • dan Says:

      Oh, really? Because the DX11 version of the game doesn't even exist yet - I think it's strictly DX9 at the moment. Perhaps they block you because you won't be able to play the DX11 version whenever it comes out, though.

    • nubie Says:

      I can confirm that on a Windows XP machine with an 8800GT it does start and run, albeit a little slowly.

      "cryptic error messages" typed into google usually send you right to the [insert month here] DirectX update pack or MS C++ runtime installer that the game needs. (why the game doesn't come with this pack is beyond me, must be why all the betas and post-release patches exist)

  2. borkbork Says:

    I've noticed the forest colony maps now run really slow, since about 2 patches ago. Not constant low frame rate, more of a heaving lurch especially when twisting. Makes it very difficult to hit anything. I force myself to see the level out so as not to abandon my teammates, but it kinda sucks to get the same level twice or more in a row. Seems like there's some bottleneck somewhere but stuffed if I can find it. I'd consider my system mid-low end (3 cores, 4gb, hd7770) but changing the detail settings has very little effect on either the good maps or the bad.

  3. TwoHedWlf Says:

    We seriously need to start up a dansdata MWonline group. I'm not quite sure how to yet.:)

    I've managed to save up enough for a Catapult, thought given all the hatred for streak cats I'd go for the one with 4xmissiles and 2x energy. Should have just gone for the 6x and built a streak cat. Doing reasonably well as is though just trying to stay back and lob LRMs at every red triangle I can get a lock on. Until someone gets close and then I die.

    • JamesC Says:

      Try quad srm 6s with that - much more damage than the LRMs and more fun I've found. Its imperative to redistribute some of your armour though - take a bunch off the legs and make sure your centre torso is maxed.

  4. Red_October Says:

    4 FPS bug is a memory leak AFIK.

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