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Battletech game by Harebrained Schemes

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Their rewards are also much more robust for this particular game. The physical rewards look much better and more complete (jackets, patches, banners etc). They're also offering a beta, something they have not done previously.

 

It seems like hairbrained schemes are trying to step up their fundraising as well as their goals. They're also being somewhat realistic based on their previous projects. The original shadowrun raise $1.8M and Hong Kong raised $1.2M. So their aiming for between $1M and $1.85M for their true goal (campaign and adding sidequests). I'm not sure how much more the battletech franchise will help their fundraising efforts but it wouldn't entirely surprise me to see them exceed their previous fundraising maximum.

 

I'll definitely back this project, I just have to decide at what level. I'll take a few days to look it over.

 

Honestly I'm really glad to see this particular developer doing well. I would already be tempted to support anything in the battletech universe but considering it's these guys I'll be considering backing at a higher level.

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They are close enough to their $1mil goal at this point that I think it's safe to say I expect a single player campaign of some kind now. May 2017 here we come.

 

EDIT: As of 10:55am, they surpassed the $1mil goal.

 

Random trivia from the FAQ:

 

 

Which ’Mechs will be in the game?

 

BATTLETECH is in pre-production, so many decisions, like the final 'Mech roster, are not yet determined. But here are the 'Mechs we're currently planning to include:

 

LIGHT: Locust, Commando, Spider, Firestarter, Jenner, Panther, Raven, Urbanmech

MEDIUM: Cicada, Blackjack, Vindicator, Centurion, Enforcer, Hunchback, Trebuchet, Griffin, Kintaro, Shadowhawk, Wolverine

HEAVY: Dragon, Quickdraw, Catapult, JagerMech, Thunderbolt, Cataphract, Grasshopper, Orion

ASSAULT: Awesome, Victor, Zeus, BattleMaster, Stalker, Highlander, Banshee, King Crab, Atlas

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Well apparently the money train is not slowing down. Up over $1.35mil now so some voice acting will be added.

 

If you check the update for today, they talked about some ideas they have for the Stage 3 Expanded Mercenary Campaign (up at the $1.85mil goal mark) and it's not what I expected. I had interpreted "expanded" as longer story/more missions but it sounds more like they are thinking of doing something else (taken from link above):

 

 

One of the more treacherous elements that we’d like to include in the Stage 3 Expanded Mercenary Campaign is negotiating contracts with potential employers - who can be anyone from the leader of a local farming cooperative, to the crown prince of a Great House.

We are currently thinking that mercenary contracts will contain a variety of clauses or terms that can be negotiated. For example, you might trade a higher initial downpayment for increased salvage rights on a given mission. Or, insist that the client provide some of their own military support for a particularly dicey operation, in exchange for a reduction in fees for completing a mission objective.

You may decide to negotiate and try to improve a specific clause in your contract, but remember - it’s a negotiation, so improving the terms in one area may cause the employer to worsen the terms in another. Ideally, different employers will have different contract terms they’re prepared to negotiate and “hot button” issues that may result in negative reactions if pressed too hard. We like the idea that over time you might learn the negotiating style of a particular representative, and thus improve your negotiating success rate with them.

In BATTLETECH, an employer’s agenda isn’t always what it seems. Don’t be surprised if the minor noble from House Marik who’s assigned to negotiate with you slips a little something for herself into your mission objectives. Going out of your way to accomplish that objective might earn you more favorable terms on future contracts, but at what cost?

One of our design goals in the Stage 3 Expanded Mercenary Campaign is make both how you negotiate and execute on contracts with a given employer affect your reputation with *that employer.* Likewise, the Noble Houses and Periphery Kings who are targets of those contracts will remember your combat actions against them. The sum of these actions determines your reputation with each faction in the game - and your reputation determines the contracts and terms they offer.

If we hit Funding Stage 3, over the course of development we will explore the fun of these design concepts and determine how deep each of these systems should be. We’re excited to bring the contract negotiation aspect of mercenary life to the game, and to use it as a vehicle to illustrate the political intrigue of the Inner Sphere.

 

It's not clear to me if this is "in addition" to more content or that it is the "expanded content". I hope it's only in addition. I say that because I want a story. Shadowruns stories have been ok and I would like them to exercise that same ability in this universe.

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They made it all the way to stage 3 ($1.85mil). That covers all the stuff I was hoping for so at this point, anything more is gravy.

 

I'm actually worried that if they make it to stage 4 ($2.5mil) that it will pull resources from other parts of the project.

 

I get a feeling the social media "Mission Rewards" are going to be/have already plateaued.

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The customizable home base would be nice. I think they might make that. I would be very surprized to see them hit their $2.5M stretch goal.

I feel like this game will be very similar in style to dead mans switch and the original shadowrun kickstarter. They will most likely sell plenty of additional copies and add expansions and new campaigns that will refine the experience. I want to see how well they handle this game since on it's face it sounds very ambitious.

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Well I got an email saying they reached $2.5mil so "everything" is funded even though they have about 24 hours left.

 

source - email

 

 

So what happens now that the project has passed $2,500,000? Will we add additional funding goals and make the game even larger in scope?

No.

 

Good.

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I'm surprised they hit their 2.5M mark, but also interested in how they'll handle the multiplayer. I'm also glad they're keeping their already large project scope in check and not going crazy and adding more funding goals or expanding any further than they've already committed to. Their project is already very very large in scope and trying to do anything else would not just be overly aggressive but would probably end up with Harebrained under delivering.

I hope they try and keep it simple with a basic level steamworks integration or something for any multiplayer. I would also imagine it could even work as peer to peer connections rather than a server based since it's a turn based game and lag shouldn't drastically affect gameplay.

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The backer beta is set for June 1 2017.  I believe the beta will be skirmish/multiplayer only. 

Teaser video:

 

1 Hour multiplayer session with explanations about the various combat systems.  I skimmed through some of this, it looks good but there's still some serious RNG with regards to critical hits that can result in insta-kills. 

This is a forum post that contains a written play by play: https://community.battletechgame.com/forums/threads/6547

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AI is OBSESSED with melee and attacking rear armor. Then again, if they didn't, I would probably colonial war style stand in a line and shoot each other.....

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https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/6pfemr/harebrained_schemes_sued_for_copyright/

So Harmony Gold is trying to sue both Harebrained Schemes and Piranha Games (mechwarrior online dev) for copyright infringement.  This is after piranha redid the designs for the previously licensed mechs from macross.  I have a feeling this is more copyright trolling going on.  I also have a feeling that it might get ugly.  I sincerely hope that this case gets shut down but knowing what little I do about this entire situation I'm not particularly optimistic.  Both of these studios are small enough that this legal trouble could cause some major damage. 

Harmony Gold can go fuck themselves. 

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Some first impressions from various gaming news outlets:

http://www.pcgamer.com/if-you-lose-battletechs-main-storyline-the-game-doesnt-end/

http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/11/15/battletech-preview-xcom-style-management-with-heavy-mech-combat

https://www.pcgamesn.com/battletech/battletech-single-player-campaign

It sounds like the finance/economy aspect is going to be pretty big.  I also find it amusing that you can "lose" the main questline and end up working for the bad guys, although that's not recommended.  I hope that the procedural maps are interesting enough, but I imagine the setpieces will be the real focus.  I'm still very excited to see what they manage to do. 

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Official Release Date: April 2018

They also opened pre-orders on various digital platforms for $40.

Finally we get a little teaser video and there should be 2 more to follow. 

 

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Just as a note, they did a very long Q&A on February 14 and they did mention certain cuts made from the game. 

Warhammer & Maurauder were cut from the release (thanks harmony gold).  They are completely modeled and were previously ready to go but I think they're just trying to dodge lawsuits at this point.  I also have a feeling they could drop these in anytime after release. 
Raven is not in the initial release because they want to do some more advanced stuff with ECM.
They added: The Black Knight and the Catapult K2 (variant)
Multiplayer is going to be what we currently have, so they're not going to have ranked or any additional elements.  They instead focused on Singleplayer campaign. 
They also have some plans after release for single player, they're going to add stuff like legendary mechs and pilots (lore related) and other kickstarter stretch goals.  I expect this will be similar to how shadowrun was given upgrades not just through different campaigns/games but also updates that flowed through to all the releases.

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As far as I know the comprehensive list of things that will not make on release date is in this post....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/battletech/posts/2089189

....which I personally consider minor.

I'll be keeping an eye on the subreddit....

https://www.reddit.com/r/Battletechgame/

....which already has people talking about mods and stuff they have been messing around with.

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Someone on the subreddit asked about lore and they provided a sarna link and a fan made pdf about the battletech game's setting.  I'm briefly skimming it and so far it's pretty legit looking.  I have to stress FAN MADE - NOT CANON, but since a large portion is backstory lore dredged from sarna and notes on the mechs that are included in the game it looks solid enough.  There are a few mechs included that aren't in the game and some fan made stuff, but it's mostly contained at the end. 

pdf warning: http://www.sarna.net/files/docs/fan/technical-readout-3028.pdf
http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Technical_Readout_3028

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TECHNICAL

READOUT

BOYSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

OH GOD THIS GUY SO NERD IT HURTS

136 PAGES WHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

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We should get the keys sometime this weekend.  Preload is available on Monday and the launch will be Tuesday.

The embargo is lifted so be aware there might be spoilers from some streamers with early copies.

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I wanted to give some very brief initial thoughts. 

  • Pray to RNGesus - On the tutorial mission the AI took a Spider and DFA'd one of my mechs.  I understand that this game has dice rolls to determine hits/damage but that felt like some XCOM style bullshit. 
  • Performance issues - I've seen people mention this, and I can attest that the game doesn't run especially well.  I've personally been getting weird hitching when the AI is making moves in fog of war.
    I did see one reviewer mention that performance issues only happen in the campaign and only after extended play sessions, he suggested there might be a small memory leak. 
  • Gameplay is tight, but slow.  I think this is more methodical than other turn based strategy games.  Combined with the mercenary simulator, I think this game's pace is one of the slowest I've ever played. 
  • Exposition Dump - You can go pretty deep with various characters and they do a decent job of providing context by allowing you to hover over certain words/descriptions to get footnotes on various topics.  I have a feeling the exposition dump will be mostly front loaded and won't be Mass Effect style where you go on a tour of the ship and check in with everyone after each mission. 

So far I'm liking the game, but I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who isn't into turn based strategy games.  I hope they fix the performance issues and bugs/crashing that some people have reported, because the game itself is fun and interesting.
I guess there's a new Nvidia driver released today which mentions Battletech, so I'll give that a shot this evening and see if that helps a bit. 

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