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Turn-based tactical 'Mech combat set in the classic 3025 era of the BattleTech Universe. From the creators of the Shadowrun Series!
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41,733 backers pledged $2,785,537 to help bring this project to life.

Can You Say Melee? How About Merch? Anyone Want a Production Update?

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Mitch here, back again with our final update of 2016. It’s a long one, so smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em....

Man, what a whirlwind of activity in our little studio! (Did you know we sit at 4’x2’ desks crammed up against each other all day?) The bees are buzzing up the hive but good, pushing hard to prepare for our Kickstarter Backer Beta next year. Expect news on that topic in a KS Update in early 2017. Today, we’ll go in-depth on a feature we’ve been teasing a looong time - melee! We’ll also give you some insight on everything we’ve been working on since we put out our Super-Pre-Alpha video in August. And HUZZAH! The official BattleTech Crowdfunded Merch site is officially open! Woo hoo! I want ALL THE THINGS!

Okay MechWarriors, let’s get to it!

Melee! Melee! Melee! 

Hello! This is your friendly neighborhood Design Lead, Kiva Maginn, with some new information about how we’ve approached one of our most-anticipated game features: giant robots punching other giant robots in the face!

When we started working on melee, I proposed a single overarching goal: once you’re close enough to punch someone, punching should usually be the right thing to do (or at the very least, it shouldn’t ever be the wrong thing to do). There are a few reasons for this, mostly having to do with the speed and intensity of battles. When battles get in close, it’s not all that much fun to spin in circles around each other, trying to get a good back-shot but otherwise standing mostly in one place. I wanted the final stage of a battle, when ‘Mechs are in spitting distance of each other, to be brutal and decisive. Once you’re that close, the fight’s about to be over one way or another.

Sometimes, an Atlas punches your arm off.
Sometimes, an Atlas punches your arm off.

One of the first decisions we had to make was: how many different melee attacks are there? On one hand, offering a wide variety of options makes the experience more involved; when you choose to “kick” and your results clearly reflect your choice, it feels like your decisions mattered. But on the other hand, the risk of offering a variety of choices is that some of those choices are always sub-optimal, and thus act as a trap, encouraging less-experienced players to make the wrong choice.

As well, the more time we spent on the weapons UI, the less we wanted to force a similar level of complexity into other parts of the game. It’s really important that you be able to pick and choose which weapons will fire and at which target, so we can’t really avoid that level of complexity. But melee attacks seemed to come down to a simple choice: do you punch, hoping for a head hit, or do you kick, hoping for a leg hit?

This dovetailed with another issue I wanted to address, which is the frequency of head hits. Generally, head hits are fun and interesting and provide an element of chaos and sudden reversals to battles, and I approve of that (Mitch says, “Watching McCain lose his Atlas in the Super-Pre-Alpha video was one of the great joys of my life.”) but it’s a lot different when the victim of the head shot is your prize MechWarrior, whom you’ve carefully guided through dozens of hours of gameplay. It’s interesting when a veteran MechWarrior dies; it’s less interesting when it happens abruptly, through no fault of yours, at the whim of a single random die-roll from a lucky punch.

...and sometimes, it’s a swing and a miss. (Note that all the gifs in this update show the game in a work-in-progress state - for example, this untextured base and Kintaro!)
...and sometimes, it’s a swing and a miss. (Note that all the gifs in this update show the game in a work-in-progress state - for example, this untextured base and Kintaro!)

The third element that we considered is how melee looks. In an abstract system, we can just declare that a ‘Mech punches, kicks, shoulder-checks, or whatever seems appropriate. Even if it’s an Atlas punching a Commando, we can basically imagine how that would work. But in our game, we’ve committed to animating every single attack so that it looks like something that could hit and do damage. That means the Atlas has to kick a Commando; its punch will swing wildly over the Commando’s head. 

Bringing these three concerns together -- complexity, head shots, and visual consistency -- we decided to collapse all melee actions down to just one, “Engage”. When you engage, we look at your relative size, your relative position above or below the target, whether you have arms suitable for punching, whether those arms are intact or blown off, and so forth. Then we pick an attack that best fits what you have available.

Even this mangled Hunchback can land a well-timed melee attack.
Even this mangled Hunchback can land a well-timed melee attack.

To ensure this isn’t unfair to some ‘Mechs, we also collapsed all the consequences of the attacks into one outcome. This means that, in terms of effect, a punch and a kick are the same thing, a shoulder check is the same as a punch, and so forth. Some ‘Mechs are still more powerful in melee than others due to both tonnage and design; the Atlas is always going to wreak more melee destruction than the Catapult. But every ‘Mech can melee, regardless of their build.

The system works like this: every ‘Mech has an “engagement range” at which it can move up and take a swing at an enemy. If you’re within the engagement range of a target when you start your action, that target gets a gold box around it to show that you can punch it. Then, as your entire action for the round, you move up and swing (or kick, or shoulder-check, or stomp).

That all said, the Commando is still at a serious disadvantage going up against the power and raw tonnage of an Atlas.
That all said, the Commando is still at a serious disadvantage going up against the power and raw tonnage of an Atlas.

Which of the possible attacks you perform is based on your ‘Mech, your opponent’s ‘Mech, and your relative heights. If you’re standing on a hillside facing an Atlas whose head comes up to your waist, you’re going to kick the Atlas. If you’re driving a Catapult, you’ll kick or body-check, but never punch (you have no real arms!). If you engage a vehicle or a downed enemy, you’ll try to stomp them instead of kicking. The goal is to make sure that whatever your situation, the attack looks and feels like it solidly connected. 

‘Mechs do melee damage based on their tonnage, and whether they’re particularly good at melee -- you can build your ‘Mech to be a punching machine by installing melee-focused actuator upgrades, and Jordan and I both still dream of one day getting the Hatchetman. In keeping with the goal of making close-range melee a decisive moment in battle, the damage is tuned to be quite large. After all, you’ve had to walk up under a hail of fire from every long-range and mid-range ‘Mech, survive all of that mostly intact, and then hit with an attack. Gambling all that on a single attack roll is risky, so we want to be sure you’re well-rewarded for doing so.

That looks like it hurt!
That looks like it hurt!

Probably more important than the damage of a melee attack is the instability it inflicts. Melee is by far the easiest way to knock another ‘Mech down. Especially if you outweigh the target, you can put them on the ground with just one or two attacks, leaving them vulnerable to further attacks and forcing them to stand up on their action instead of moving. And, of course, when you fall down, if your MechWarrior fails her piloting roll, she’ll take an Injury. Enough knockdowns and an enemy pilot could end up as a red paste inside the cockpit.

We also wanted ‘Mechs to be able to use some of their weapons in melee, but that led to a problem: even as powerful as punching was, short-range, high-damage weapons like the AC/20 were the kings of melee. We wanted melee range combat to be for everyone, not just the Atlas and the King Crab. So when you punch, you don’t use all your weapons.

This turned out to be an excellent opportunity to address a part of the game I wasn’t satisfied with: the small weapons. Machine guns, small lasers and flamers are woefully underpowered, underused, and generally a poor choice when you’re customizing. Especially when melee is so powerful relative to other weapons, why would you ever fire your small laser at all?

So the small weapons are simply incorporated into your melee attack. If you have them, and you punch, you also fire any small weapons you have. For a good time, get in close with a Firestarter and punch the enemy. You’ll also blast them with four flamers worth of damage and heat, on top of the punch itself. It’s pretty great, and gives ‘Mechs with high tonnage and small weapons (looking at you, Battlemaster) a reason to have the small weapons: the punch rips off the target’s armor, and the MGs spew possible criticals into the structure.  

We made up a fake Shadow Hawk with Flamers just to try this out...
We made up a fake Shadow Hawk with Flamers just to try this out...

I’ve talked about how we rolled most of the melee actions together into one overall “Engage” action, but there’s one melee attack we kept separate. We knew from the start that we’d be including the Death From Above attack as a special and deliberate action. It’s too iconic a moment to not let you choose it yourself.

If your ‘Mech has jump jets, and you’re within the melee engagement range, you can jump and land on top of your target, smashing them to the ground. It’s powerful, does a ridiculous amount of damage, smashes your legs up something fierce, and it looks really damn cool.

In a recent fight, I DFAed an enemy with my Shadowhawk (and let me tell you, the SH is nothing to sneeze at when you use it as primarily a melee attacker). I landed as the enemy ‘Mech’s head and center torso both turned black. I’d basically ripped it in half with the DFA. Mission accomplished.   

After several rounds of iteration (as always!), we're very happy with the state of melee in the game. It feels really satisfying to engage in, and ensures that the battles that make it to close quarters become bloody and decisive, rather than bogging down in frustration. We're excited for you to punch 'Mechs in the Kickstarter Beta next year!

Production Update

Mitch again. We’re still up to our eyeballs in work (gotta end the year strong) so to keep things focused we’ve put together a list of all the stuff we can remember doing since GenCon ‘16. Since we’re not going for a long verbose explanation of everything (or a super-high level overview of everything either) feel free to hit us up with questions in the ASK THE DEVS section of our forums on battletechgame.com and someone will try and answer you when they get some spare cycles. 

  • Updated, expanded, and refined the combat interface
  • Added multi-targeting (so you can split your fire between more than one enemy).
  • Added melee (including Death From Above)
  • Added commander abilities such as calling in airstrikes and artillery barrages
  • Added pilot skills and activatable combat abilities
  • Deepened the Line of Sight and detection mechanics to give more utility to careful scouting and misdirection; pilot skill determines how much information you can get from a radar blip
  • Implemented the first version of the MechWarrior inspiration system, where continued aggression allows you to build and maintain momentum
  • Created a plot system which allows maps to reconfigure certain areas based on the encounter that uses them, swapping buildings and entire installations to increase reusability
  • Refined our map-making process for missions to the point that we can create now a final map (on the design side) in a single day
  • Made a bunch of neat maps of both the highlands/alpine and lowlands/farm variety 
  • Began constructing many cool enemy encounters to place on said maps.
  • Tuned the bonuses and penalties from environmental features like forest and high ground to emphasize the role of terrain and positioning
  • Played a lot of BlazeRush at lunch
  • Added "Influence Map" system to allow the AI to select intelligent positions and orientations to move to
  • Increased sophistication of choosing weapons for AI attacks
  • Configurable AI Heat Management, with tactical withdrawals
  • AI “personality” support 
  • "Corridor Map" strategic (long range) pathfinding for AI units
  • Lots of work on weapon visual effects, including lighting effects
  • Lots of new audio effects
  • Added heat visual effects for ‘Mechs and environmental features
  • Added an audio emote system, greatly increasing and prioritizing the list of things MechWarriors could talk about in combat
  • Massive load time performance improvements
  • Lots of improvements to overall environment art process to allow for more polish control
  • Created new road system with several custom art presets to quickly lay out dirt tracks, asphalt roads, and even rivers
  • Fully revamped rendering with proper physically based rendering and atmospherics
  • Fog of war improvements, including the ability to coordinate visual effects with mood
  • Developed a system for mission “moods” which change the atmosphere, lighting, and colors
  • Set up a proper wind system with better visual results
  • Made our first pass at water with shallow and deep water effects
  • Built out a huge set of “environment stamps” for us to quickly create map landscapes
  • Major improvements to procedural placement of foliage and ground texturing
  • Revamped and improved environment surface rendering and visuals
  • Finalized a complete process for creating destructible buildings
  • Made lots of new buildings and structures
  • Created two full new “biomes” with distinct geology and vegetation sets
  • Made lots of small decoration elements like barriers, light poles, decorative vehicles, etc.
  • Made lots of new trees, bushes and foliage
  • Made lots of new rocks (Yay rocks!)
  • Tons of work on animations and ‘Mech functionality
  • Lots of new ‘Mechs fully animated, textured, and working in-game
  • Completed an opening cinema for the game. (No, you can’t see it, yet. We’ll release it when the project is ready to get some “buzz”.)
  • Planned out the entire single-player story campaign, outlined all cutscenes and story events, wrote the opening and closing cutscene scripts.
  • Planned out the entire mercenary simulation game, and started implementing the infrastructure to support it
  • Built the first draft of the user experience for the mercenary simulation game
  • Built the initial skirmish mode interface, allowing you to choose your ‘Mechs, map, and encounter
  • Ran our first internal multiplayer games!!!
  • Fixed a metric shit-ton of bugs
  • And even more things that I’m sure we’re forgetting... 

So what does all of this work add up to? In a word, “PROGRESS.” The team is focused, collaborating beautifully, and using their time very wisely. The passion for the work is obvious and we’re having fun making and playing the game. I’m pleased to report that the project reached an important milestone last week, as the team completed an Alpha version of the combat game and sent it out to friends and family for feedback. As mentioned in our last Kickstarter Update, this is a major step in preparing for our Kickstarter Backer Beta next year.

Now that the combat game has reached “Alpha” (note, just the combat game, not the campaign or multiplayer!) we’re rapidly expanding from that foundation, with development of the Mercenary sim-game, story campaign, cinematics, and multiplayer. And from a schedule POV, we’re tracking well towards our Kickstarter Backer Beta target. As a long time Producer and Executive Producer, I can tell you that this is one of the best managed games I’ve ever been a part of and that my overall confidence is quite high. Of course, that experience also tells me that shit happens and to expect the unexpected. I’m still not worried, though. The BATTLETECH team’s ability to “improvise, adapt, and overcome” is fantastic and I’m impressed by their ability to efficiently and unflinchingly attack any problem they encounter.

MERRRRCHHH!!!!!

Remember last update when I said this was gonna happen fast? Well guess what? BattleTechGear.com is LIVE! As in, right freaking now!

 

If you haven’t heard, thanks to a new licensing agreement with The Topps Company, (who own the intellectual property rights for physical goods) HBS can now able to offer a limited amount of BattleTech merchandise. Because we’re only able to offer a limited number of items, we want each of these limited editions to be special. Say hello to the first batch of items available now!

Again, due to limitations in the license and in order to ensure that none of the funding you put towards developing BATTLETECH is at risk, we’ve set a minimum order quantity for each item and will only manufacture exactly what you order. Think of it kind of like crowdfunding - until we have enough committed orders, we won’t make the item or complete your credit card payment, and then we’ll only manufacture what is ordered.

 

And Finally, A HUGE Thanks & Happy Holidays From HBS!

Thank so much for all your support this year. Making games is stupidly hard and I can’t tell you how much it buoys us to know you’re out there, excited to play what we’re cooking up and cheering us on towards the finish line.

We held our annual holiday party this weekend and it was warm and wonderful, as always. There’s nothing quite like a horde of well-dressed nerds descending on a local dive bar to make heads turn! This place had a pinball room, an old arcade games room, and a boardgame room, plus a full bar. As you might guess, we were in our element.

Have a joyous and safe holiday and we’ll see you in the New Year… of BATTLETECH!

-- Mitch and the gang

 

P.S. A Holiday Gift From MechWarrior Online

In addition to being fantastic hosts at MechCon a couple weeks ago, our friends at Piranha have sent along a little MWO holiday gift for everyone. Enjoy! 

Here’s A 3 Day Active Premium time GIFT CODE: “MechWarriorOnline_Gift_2016”
Here’s A 3 Day Active Premium time GIFT CODE: “MechWarriorOnline_Gift_2016”

Login to https://mwomercs.com/ and enter the gift code here https://mwomercs.com/profile/redeem  

This Gift Code Expires Jan 3rd, 2017.

Travis Walton, Yin Yee Lai, and 216 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. James Austin on January 14

      It's not looking too hopeful for any of the merch :/ we need to get 1500 orders for hoodies in the next day or so and that's the closest one to being completed.

    2. RC on January 12

      And the Jan 2017 BATTLETECH Dev Q and A is on Youtube! ^_^

      https://www.youtube.com/watch…

    3. RC on January 11

      HBS BATTLETECH Live Dev Q and A starts in an hour. 12pm noon PST... today. You know... in 60 minutes from the posting of this message

      http://twitch.tv/hyperrpg

    4. RC on January 11

      HBS BATTLETECH live Dev starts in an hour

    5. David S on January 10

      since none of the merchandise is close to the levels required I only hope this doesn't stop other attempts

      I also hope they will then try to sell the banners individually
      I know I wasn't going to buy a set for just a couple
      so please HB reconsider / retry banners

    6. Missing avatar

      Jon Webb on January 6

      I am curious, an update or two back you talked about beta starting about the 21st. I haven't heard anything about it. Any chance on an update for that? thanks! Sad to see how poorly the banners are to be funded :( I want to buy but looking sad for them.

    7. Missing avatar

      David Karl on January 5

      Finally got around to reading this update and holy sh*t it looks f*cking amazing.

    8. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on January 4

      @Dominic -- yes, the Gift Code expired on Jan 3rd (see the end of the update above)

      @Colin -- there are >so many< clans, houses, mercs and other factions that might have been included, but logistically and financially choices needed to be made. For future merch consideration, it does help to hear from fans, though, so thanks for letting your voice be heard.

      -- Brian

    9. Greg Singer on January 3

      Victor día should rock hard

    10. Dominic on January 3

      Did the redemption code expire on Jan 2, 2017 at 11:59:59 pm? Not working on Jan 3rd?

    11. Missing avatar

      Alan Eshelman on December 28

      Just read your Melee email and I'm EXTREMELY happy that you guys are taking the time to streamline and improve on the mechanics of Battletech. Don't fret the people complaining about the changes you are making; this is a game for 2017, not 1980, and you will do well to continue innovating and making your product more than just a 3D version of MegaMek. Kudos! I can't wait to play.

    12. Missing avatar

      theo c on December 28

      So... A commando punches an Atlas and almost knocks it down, but when a hunchback punches a commando it barely moves (other than its arm flying off)? Hmmm...

    13. Colin Jones
      Superbacker
      on December 25

      Just out of curiosity, why doesn't the Clan banner set include the Steel Vipers?

    14. Michael Smith on December 25

      @Richard Osterhout @Valashar It's not legal reasons keeping the Hatchetman out, it's that HBS doesn't plan on making any Mech models themselves (yet) and are relying on Piranha (MWO) to provide them. Piranha hasn't made the Hatchetman (yet) as such it is not included in the game.

      Thats not to say Piranha won't make it before HBS needs it, or that HBS won't make it themselves, but at this time there are no promises from anyone, which is why it isn't on the list of available Mech's yet.

    15. Jamie John Phillips on December 23

      The melee system sounds amazing for if there is eventually an expansion where a certain bear-like mech gets into the game.

    16. Valashar on December 23

      @Richard Osterhout - It's mentioned in the update that they don't /have/ the Hatchetman yet, for whatever reason (most likely legal stuff) but that they very much want to get it for exactly the purpose of its melee awesomeness.

    17. Missing avatar

      Richard Osterhout
      Superbacker
      on December 23

      with the melee feature, i don't see any mention of using a Hatchetman - will there be a special attack mode for this classic mech that's actually designed for melee with a hatchet??!?!

    18. Rob Abrazado
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      This is looking so cool!

    19. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      The Stackpole Squad is getting infernos more or less banned from our games. Custom Quickdraw (going from memory - Skunkworks isn't loaded on this PC and paper copies elsewhere)... Basically a stock quickdraw in speed/armor/etc, armed with four medium lasers, two SRM-4, and an SRM-6, mixed standard and Inferno rounds (but inferno for both launcher types). On a full spread hit, can do up to 28 heat damage, while the Quickdraw itself runs cold at full battery.Two of them, even at 75% spread, automatic shutdown. Icing on the cake, SRM and regular Medium Laser, exact same range profile, so you get into dancing range and just tango.

      HBS, don't let me build this mech in the game...it would be insta-win.

    20. David S on December 21

      never put srms with infernos - I think I tend to forget about them - use swarm loads lots though
      but I like the idea of an axeman with srms as you mentioned

      @HBS will we have inferno rounds available? imagine the graphics for it - it would be hot (pun intended)

    21. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      Oh, and never square off against Nippon-lance, my 4 Quickdraws of Katana company (part of Yaiba Batt.). Two of them cooked a Dire Wolf in a single round, and all my opponent could do was a combination of screaming and crying as his best mech and mechwarrior went poof.

    22. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      @David,
      I would agree the 2N has its uses...I have two of them in my 6th Alshain (albeit one of them custom load-out). It comes heavily to personal preference of course, but I just find that it lacks enough long-range firepower to be an effective support mech, while the close-in punch is diminished by what is spent on the LRMS (especially in explosion risk). Most of the time I would take a better fire support option like the Catapult, but over the years I have found a new kind of fun in doing the best you can with less-than-perfect choices of units - in this case, the Axman-2N has had some interesting encounters. But it is just that - an imperfect choice. If I'm getting in smacky-smacky range, I'd much rather a nice AC20 backing a hatchet than LRMs. Oh the damage those two dish out.

      Funny sidenote - that aforementioned custom 2N was designed to use SRM-6's and inferno rounds as opposed to LRMs. I have this Battalion (Yaiba Battalion - Flames of the Dragon) that every mech is Inferno-SRM equipped in some way, with a penchant for medium and short-range weapons. I sometimes call them the "Stackpole Squad" because most any mech in the battalion can cause a Mech to shut down from overheat in two or three salvos, some in just one. Put a lance on any one mech, and I can usually blow it up from reactor meltdown in one turn. The Axman is second-seat in its lance, with a Victor commanding, and two Trebuchets. Jumping flames of death. He so rarely needs (or gets) to use that axe...

    23. David S on December 21

      @Khell - I agree the 1N axman was better but I also liked the 2N as a surprise support mech - 2x LRM racks for support or until close then use the axe - for home games we changed out one of the LRMs for lasers making it even more brutal & if allowed that's how I would use it in this game

    24. Erich Cranor
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      Cool stuff. The use of small weapons to ice the cake on a melee attack is great. On the other side, if smalls are still looking for ways to justify their existence, shouldn't small weapons also be great against someone trying to melee you? Something like an attack of opportunity or maybe a short range overwatch that says "fire all available small weapons at anyone that gets adjacent". Of course gameplay trumps realism, but if small weapons looking to justification, it's a thought.

    25. Missing avatar

      Mango
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      You mention punching, kicking, shoulder checks, and DFA, but don't specifically mention charging. If you move a certain distance on your turn, will the melee attack be a shoulder check that deals increased damage based on that distance? (That seems like the most logical way to implement it to me.)

      Will players be able to see which melee attack has been selected by the system and override that choice?

      Will we know which melee attack will be made before committing to not firing our weapons?

    26. Robert Mills
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      Atlas punch to head, best punch

    27. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 21

      I would say Axman 1N is the better, but the 2N is inferior both in looks and stats. Long range missiles and short-range melee? No, go the Hunchback route and commit fully to being the most dangerous up-close monster you can be.

    28. David S on December 20

      @ Khell - no I agree not exactly the same but so similar I don't need a second Davion banner

      hatchetman - while it was good I always preferred the axman

      for statue I personally would love to see the Archer

    29. Steve "my-bank-account-is-hurting" Phy on December 20

      OMGOMGOMG! Looks so good already! Please, take your time in getting it the way you guys feel it should be. That's really the biggest thing. If YOU feel good about the final product, I'm sure we will too. Thanks for all the hard work and dedication! Happy Holidays and be safe.

    30. Missing avatar

      John Pfeiffer on December 20

      I would just like to point out regarding this first round of merch that the timing could be better; giving us a window of just a few weeks, right after the holidays, there's going to be a lot of people (myself included) who would otherwise contribute but can't because they're still tapped out from the holidays. :|

    31. Missing avatar

      Matthew Benning on December 20

      Hatchetman Hatchetman Hatchetman Hatchetman Hatchetman Hatchetman Hatchetman! You said my favorite word and gave me assurances that the Battlemaster is going to be worthwhile! I am even more enthusiastic for this game than I already was, and I was previously crazy pumped!

    32. Dale Allen Platt on December 20

      I am supremely impressed Folks!
      I have not looked forward to a new Game coming out this much since MWO....
      Keep up the good work and if we have to wait a little longer in order for it to be right, then so be it... Oh and, if I can manage it I will be ordering an Atlas! ;)

    33. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 20

      @David, these aren't the exact same banners as the KS rewards - no "House ______" on them.

    34. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 20

      @Harebrained
      Not part of the forums, so let me voice it here, Warhammer.
      As mentioned in the main comments section, Whammy has been the poster-child mech since Battletech launched, and all the way through 3rd Edition. The A-reprint of the CGL boxed Battletech game even had a Hammerhands as an homage to the 1-3E boxes (B-version the Atlas). If there's any Mech that signifies Battletech, in my eyes, it's the Warhammer. And now that the rights to reproduce the unseen aren't so lostech, might make a good 2nd model. (A second-place vote would be for Battlemaster, also a box-art favorite, and runner up if sticking only to 3025'ish era, Jenner, because Kurita FTW!!!)

    35. David S on December 20

      will you consider selling banners separately - I already got the Davion one with my pledge
      I just want steiner & kurita - why would I buy a full set which gives me 2 I don't want & 1 I already have

    36. Harebrained Schemes LLC 4-time creator on December 20

      Catching up on a few questions at once...

      Joel Li YiXiong: "Err, want to ask. Where to get the Atlas resin?"

      https://battletechgear.com/product/atlas-resin-sculpture/

      Khell: "[if] the clan banners fund beyond expectation, any hope for a second series?"

      We haven't nailed down what all the future products might be. If banners sell well in this first go, we could do more banner sets in the future.

      Khell: "[...] how far apart are these waves going to be spaced?

      New products roughly each month / 1.5 months - so likely a week or 2 after the last batch closes. But we'll see.

      Khell: "[...] is the Atlas the only resin mech making an appearance, and could you possibly give us some idea what else may show (or could it be a vote-able thing)?"

      Kind of a similar answer to the Banners question. If the Atlas does well, we'll likely do more statues. There's a lot of upfront costs for those figures, though, so we can't put up lots and lots of options on a whim to see what sticks.
      If there's a particular Mech you want to see considered, you should get some chatter going on the Forums, and rally fellow fans to your cause. We are watching and listening and we DO want to put forward a mech that will get the most positive reception.

    37. ThomasN on December 20

      Brutality! Crowd loves sock em robots! Thank you for doing that part, it always felt weird in Mechwarrior when you were next to each other and could only just look at each other and fire an occasional laser.

    38. Michael Barnhart on December 20

      @Jabberwok - the splash damage from the PPC would get you too, being so close. I can see very light weapons, but not the heavy ones, too much change of hurting yourself with them too.

    39. Geomancer on December 20

      I think this will be one of those have to try it and see kind of things once the Beta rolls around. I'm hopeful that Melee will be balanced instead of being so powerful it's the only "good" choice when you get into close quarters. As far as I'm aware, combat always seems to quickly result in melee range brawls just like the pre-alpha footage you showed.

      And since damage persists between missions, we really can't afford to 'win' yet have all our mech's trashed in the process.

    40. medivac on December 20

      BlazeRush looks a lot like an updated version of Rock N Roll Racing :) https://youtu.be/N8OgEzbJY7s Love it
      Great update, loving the communication, keep it up peeps \o/

      Medivac Scion of House Kurita

    41. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 20

      Merch!
      Merch merch merch.

      Questions for HBS...

      You phrase things as if other waves of merch may be forthcoming (internally squealing with joy at the hope of Diamond Sharks). If this is the case, how far apart are these waves going to be spaced? Such information helps us determine if we can go for broke now and hopefully have more money by the time round 2 starts, or if we might be in a situation where over-spending today blocks us tomorrow.

      Secondly, is the Atlas the only resin mech making an appearance, and could you possibly give us some idea what else may show (or could it be a vote-able thing)?

      $200USD plus whatever shipping costs is a lot of dosh, and while the Atlas is awesome, even us with high amounts of disposable income do have to be picky and choosy where the cash goes. If it turned out there was a whole series of these coming, it would entirely affect decisions as to which ones I'd get. I'd figuratively kill myself if I blew all my money on the Atlas only to then not have funds free for one of my favorite mechs should it show up as round 2 (*cough* Warhammer *cough*. And that same $200ish could also be almost six shirts today if I'm getting more favored mechs next wave.

      Information helps us spend better. =)

    42. Don Scherig on December 20

      Also it's nice to see the merc, but what I really want are the patches and hats that were sold with the KS. I need some Davion and Steiner to go with my Kurita.

    43. Khell
      Superbacker
      on December 20

      Awake now...time to unpack this whole update.

      First, melee.
      In general, I trust HBS to do what works best for the game and I have refrained for most of this project from commenting or criticizing the development aspects. They see the whole picture, we don't, and I'd hate to be pushy about any design aspect when we see only a glimpse and they the whole picture.

      Where Melee is concerned, I'm overall pleased with HBS's decisions. It's not 100% BTech accurate, but that's where you have to admit that fun trumps following a specific set of rules. My biggest issue was not being able to fire weapons AND attack, but reading further, I like the compromise. Make machine guns, flamers, small lasers functional as up-close punch augments is more or less entirely to theme. And making melee damage higher than canonical rules compensates for the lack of other weapons in that turn. Should Triple-Strength Myomer and/or proper melee weapons make it into the game, I do hope they become unbelievably overpowered, because they are supposed to be the physical form of something devastating like a PPC or AC20, and even with melee already upped in damage, HBS has it damn right that surviving to get close in needs to be rewarded. An Axman surviving to get in pokey-pokey range of an Atlas deserves to cleave that bastard in half. So please, my only outsider critique of melee is don't let the upped melee damage nerf true melee weapons down the road.

      Okay, not only outsider critique... DFA. I just hope Death From Above has an element of RNG failure that is higher than simply missing on a melee attack. DFA is supposed to be such a hail-mary move with as much or more risk to the attacker than the victim, that I'd just hate to see it as a "shows up every round" kind of move. And I don't want to see tactical mech combat turn into a game of Super Mario Bros, with a bunch of light mechs circled around a Catapult trying to stomp it into its koopa shell. DFA has to slightly favor failure over success, that's the nature of DFA. If you succeed, it's immensely powerful, but failure is more likely, and worse than having just done nothing.

      Merch talk on next post, this one already too big.

    44. Missing avatar

      Alexander Brown on December 20

      I like the ease of the "engage" command idea, but, I have a question: How does it determine the best choice? I mean, say I am a Banshee behind an Atlas. The Atlas has open back armor over its center and right torsos, and 8 points on the left torso and has 19 points of armor on one leg, and 14 points on the other. In tabletop, the choice would be obvious: Punch, because you have a 3 in 6 chance of causing a crit to a vital torso location, and a 1 in 6 of a head hit, while kicking has only a 3 in 6 chance giving a crit chance on one leg. How would the code look at this situation though?

    45. Missing avatar

      Mike on December 20

      The animations are awesome, especially the battle-damaged hunchback with sparks raining down from the missing limb. I can't wait to get my hands on this game.

      It's a big change to lose the option of firing and picking a physical attack, and hearing that things will be tuned to make it worth not firing sounds really promising. I felt that melee attacks in tabletop were less thematically exciting than they could be, I'm looking forward to seeing what can be done in this game. Off to a great start!

    46. Don Scherig on December 20

      Not sure how I feel with the rules changing from tabletop but I can live with it. Will charges still be in as well along with DFA?

    47. Thomas Wentt on December 20

      Very cool and I like the attention to visual credibility with the melee attacks.

    48. Laurent Maire on December 20

      I think having melee attacks be contextual is an excellent idea, lots of options that achieve the same thing is needless busywork, provided there is a nice variety of animations to keep it looking fresh and visceral. One additional attack I would like to see though, in the same vein as DFA, is a ram. Seems like an interesting sort of attack which would have specific requirements in terms of range and consequences and be like a all-or-nothing, table-turning kind of manoeuvre.

    49. Michael Trathen on December 20

      This melee system looks absolutely incredible! The idea of working in small lasers, flamers and MGs into the attack is nothing short of brilliant (and desperately brings a reason to use these things in anything other than tabletop).

      I'm glad to see it so streamlined, and I can't wait to see how some mechs fight when the fight gets dirty. The Catapult, for example.

    50. Missing avatar

      Miloš Stanojčić on December 20

      Melee gifs look awesome! And thanks for the premium time. :)