A Skirmish Beta Update is Coming! A Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test Is Coming, Too! And a Launch Window Update!
Skirmish Beta Update This Week
Great news! An update to our Single-Player Skirmish Beta is coming later this week (we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live). Thank you SO MUCH for all of your time submitting survey responses and discussing the Beta on the forums. This communication has been invaluable, and we've pushed a pretty significant set of gameplay & balancing changes to the Beta in direct response to your feedback.
The details will be in a complete change log and in your updated Beta Manual upon release, but here are some highlights:
- Evasion, Sensor Lock, and Evasive Move have received major revisions.
- Morale has been replaced with a new system intended to reduce the snowball effect of early game advantages.
- Weapon balance has been tuned on a variety of weapons.
- Crits are more frequent and powerful. Components and ammo now require only one crit to be destroyed, while weapons become damaged on the first crit (+2 Difficulty to-hit) and destroyed on the second.
- A/C damage has been reduced (previous: 25/50/75/100, current: 25/45/60/100) for AC2, 5, 10, and 20 respectively.
- Global heat has been tuned down by about 10%.
- Water doesn't increase heat dissipation as much (previous: 200%, current: 150%)
- Stability damage accumulates slower and also bleeds slower, and in larger discrete chunks.
- MechWarriors now have two abilities, which increases their usefulness and flexibility.
- An eyeball icon appears on enemy units if they will have LOS on you after you make the move you’re plotting.
Beyond these gameplay mechanics, this beta update also includes:
- A big, tasty update to AI that includes enemies using MechWarrior abilities, making called shots on prone or shut down units, using Death From Above, and generally messing up your life.
- A Settings Menu that allows you to change your settings and remap your keyboard shortcuts. (Currently only available from the Main Menu.)
- Some UI changes/enhancements both in combat and the skirmish setup screens.
Enjoy! And please continue to fill out your surveys after each match. They’ve proven very valuable! We'll publish a complete list of changes when the Beta Update goes live.
Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test This Week, Too!
Still more good news - the BATTLETECH Multiplayer Beta is almost ready for primetime! Before releasing it to our entire Backer Beta population, we’ll be running a Double-Secret Multiplayer Beta Test on Steam this week (it might NOT start the same day as the Skirmish Beta update) for those hearty souls willing to opt-in and help stress test the system in the wild. Are YOU a hearty soul? Cuz, we could use your help! Again, we’ll send out another Kickstarter Update when it’s live.
All Backers with Beta Access are invited to participate but by opting-in, participants accept that they may experience connection issues, crashes, and dropped games - that’s what you’re looking for in the first place!
Once we’re comfortable that we’ve eliminated enough bugs and issues (it’ll probably take a couple of weeks), we’ll shut down the Double-Secret Beta Test and automatically update the Beta for everyone to include 1v1 Multiplayer. Then, all of you can take your hard-won experience with the Single Player Skirmish Game and apply it against your wiley human opponents in stompy head-to-head action.
Launch Window Update
As you may remember, the original release estimate listed in our Kickstarter campaign was for delivery of the BATTLETECH Base Skirmish Game. With each additional Funding Stage unlocked - Single-Player Story Campaign, Expanded Mercenary Campaign, and PVP Multiplayer - more time and team members were added for the additional work.
We’d previously been projecting a late 2017 release but now that we’ve revised our AI & combat mechanics in reaction to your feedback, completed a thorough review of the work remaining on the game, and are poised to release the Multiplayer Backer Beta update, all indications are that Paradox & HBS will release BATTLETECH in early 2018.
Throughout development, the message we’ve received has been clear, “Don’t rush it, just make it great.” and we have taken that to heart. All of us - HBS, Paradox, and our Backers - share a deeply personal attachment to this project and we are committed to delivering a game that not only meets your high expectations but introduces BattleTech to a new generation of players.
With that said, I’m happy to report that solid progress continues across the project! We are now able to play the open-ended mercenary campaign “loop” and I have to say that when you’re counting your C-bills and caring about your MechWarriors’ health and survival, you approach combat missions differently which imbues every turn with a ton of dramatic tension. And the upcoming upgrade to our AI is going to make you think hard about how you engage the enemy!
As Mitch mentioned in our last update, we’ve made a ton of progress on all the component pieces of the game and this phase of development is all about bringing them together - the core combat game, the mercenary simulation aboard the Argo, the single-player story and cinematics, the open-ended mercenary mission system, the ‘Mech customization system… it’s a lot of stuff and it’s exciting to see it all getting stitched together and “upleveled” with art, audio, UI, and writing.
It really is an exciting time on the project and I can’t wait to share it with you when it’s finally done. Thanks again for all your support!