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Author Topic: The Fate of MWO  (Read 29704 times)

MarauderD

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The Fate of MWO
« on: 01 June 2019, 11:39:01 »
Developer town forum last night by PGI.  Things looking grimmer than usual.  Synopsis here:
https://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/273681-summary-of-todays-developer-update-with-russ-bullock-via-ngng/

Thoughts?

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #1 on: 01 June 2019, 12:18:00 »
Full disclosure, I haven't played MWO in a long time and it was only during initial beta.  I figured out long ago that the game for various reasons just wasn't for me.  And know thing this is a synopsis and I've probably missed plenty from the original source, but this part here is telling:

Quote
MWO by itself is not by itself enough to sustain a company of PGI's size. Lots riding on MW5. MW5 has to be successful to be able to carry on with Mechwarrior development. Hopefully we will see many more years of MWO, that depends to some extent on the success of MW5.

If you are trying to save one product by propping it up with another, then your business model is probably failing.

Caedis Animus

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #2 on: 01 June 2019, 12:56:15 »
I wish I could say I was surprised, but I'm really not. Mechwarrior's never really been done justice as far as games go in the first place.

And MWO was building the game off of an engine that it probably really shouldn't have been built on...
« Last Edit: 01 June 2019, 13:07:41 by Caedis Animus »

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #3 on: 01 June 2019, 13:04:40 »

I play about a few weeks a year for special events.
And I can understand how this situation has come about, MWO kinda lacks depth.

But still I have to congratulate them, many MMOs don't reach this age.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #4 on: 01 June 2019, 14:22:47 »
It's a mostly successful single entry for a new studio (at the time) that isn't a one-and-done model.  It'll still cost money to run, but they should diversify, and not keep relying on a single genre title if they want to make money.  MW5 might help, but only for short term gains.

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #5 on: 01 June 2019, 16:15:28 »
honestly lasted a fair while longer than i was expecting so far really. the reality is MWO is kind of lacking in a lot of areas and they don't have the talent in studio to really fix the underlying problems.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #6 on: 01 June 2019, 17:47:32 »
Being fair, seven years is a good stretch for any game to remain "active", especially an online PvP server. While I agree the news is not good, it's also something that was inevitable. MWO has been successful regardless and helped bring a lot of people into the universe while raising its profile considerably.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #7 on: 02 June 2019, 10:37:22 »
I was slow to get into the game, i didn't think i liked how to me nearly all the mechs were virtually a sort of OmniMech. Fire fights were brutal if you haven't played the game before.  That be said, i like some aspect of the community when people get on to play in matches.  I miss that sort thing, like how our forums were like before the big hacks.

PGI needs to revamp entire thing or diversify it offerings.  Some on MWO forums have said there been mismanagement behind the scenes. Frankly i can believe that too.

Problem is that people are highly likely to do a Quick Match verse say a Faction Warfare, which they used to have people behind scenes trying coordinate efforts when there were organized groups of significant numbers.

They need change the game up or plain revamp it.  Couple years ago Day 1 company was purchased Wargaming.net (aka the people behind World of (enter your genre))
I'm curious if they will end up making MechAssault style game, i heard rumors of such but i've not seen any solid info. All that said was that rumors of new MechAssault game is possible.



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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #8 on: 02 June 2019, 11:48:36 »
I found this online on reddit. Which is a discussion on what their talking about MWO in days ahead.
Reddit MWO Summary of the Development Discussion from May 31st

It's not great situation, I'm hoping MW5 will help them.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #9 on: 02 June 2019, 18:23:21 »
Having played MWO since the beginning, I have put a lot of time and money into this game.  I enjoyed it a lot too, having played mostly quick play matches.  However, it was mismanaged by arrogant developers.  Such things as a complete lack of advertising and the inability to program stuff like ammo switching are just baffling. Another thing that got me was how designs changed from concept art to the 3D model, which, to me, shows the inability of the art department to work together. And the community manager was non-existent.

But I had fun nonetheless, and I am truly grateful that they beat HG in court over the long-standing 'mech design issues. My hope is that the Battletech IP is unified in the future to give us even better games and other media. I want people to say that "Game of Thrones is Battletech in the middle ages", not the other way around.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #10 on: 03 June 2019, 12:41:52 »
I am truly grateful that they beat HG in court over the long-standing 'mech design issues. My hope is that the Battletech IP is unified in the future to give us even better games and other media. I want people to say that "Game of Thrones is Battletech in the middle ages", not the other way around.

Exactly this.  I had some fun, spent some money.  Game became a bit repetitive for me, and I think HBS' BattleTech is more my speed now.

That being said, I hope they can keep MWO afloat.
« Last Edit: 03 June 2019, 12:54:57 by MarauderD »

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #11 on: 03 June 2019, 13:31:00 »
To be honest, they brought it onto them selves.  Once they started nerfing Clan weapons to be equal to Inner Sphere weapons and then messed with the heat sinks, then missiles, ECM, Artemis...etc.  They killed it them selves.  Whenever I go on to game, I rarely see any of the call signs from six months ago.  Many of the teams are gone as well.  If they want to get players back, they have a LOT of work to do.  UN-NERF the weapons and electronics for starters. Allow mix tech for secondary.  BUT, I seriously doubt they will.  They brought their own game to an end.  Sad.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #12 on: 03 June 2019, 18:32:31 »
What do they want? They had a pretty cool simulator in the beginning. I truly loved the game. Problem is; PGI kept starting over from scratch in order to balance when attempted plans failed. Even then-- it was still pretty fun times. It had a long, mostly successful run. No game lasts forever.

I purchased MW5 for the co-op. I love playing with friends, and I hope this is enough to make the game compelling for a good long while. I invested what some would say is too much into MWO. However, I have loads of great memories dropping with old friends, friends from these boards, and even making new friends. Overall, I would do it over again. I don't play a lot of games, and while it lasted MWO was sort of my shtick. With the comparatively inexpensive initial buy-in for MW5 I think it will be a fantastic return on investment. Time will tell, but I remain optimistic.

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #13 on: 04 June 2019, 10:07:57 »
Did anyone snag the initial fluff news stories?

Heck, I am a backer and I probably have not played in 5 years and never activated my premium time (I was waiting for the Clan invasion).
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #14 on: 04 June 2019, 10:34:00 »
I was not that big into Mechwarrior games (not since the first anyway).  I'm much more a strategy, and turn-based strategy at that. 
But I find it ironic that MWO is simultaneously "They are just greedy developers" and "MWO isn't making enough money to keep it going." 
Being fair, seven years is a good stretch for any game to remain "active", especially an online PvP server. While I agree the news is not good, it's also something that was inevitable. MWO has been successful regardless and helped bring a lot of people into the universe while raising its profile considerably.
I'm guessing seven years is better than most would have been willing to bet real money on ahead of time.  As somebody that wasn't really in their target market but peripherally, I think they did pretty well with it.  I understand some/many fans have had issues with their communication and decisions. But as somebody that did pitch in for Star Citizen (for the single-player game), you've at least had a real game to play :)

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #15 on: 04 June 2019, 10:38:01 »
Lol, did Star Citizen too- I just need to update some cooling for my system.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #16 on: 04 June 2019, 16:31:08 »
Did anyone snag the initial fluff news stories?

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #17 on: 13 June 2019, 22:11:04 »
Huh, MWO doing bad? Been a while since i last followed any MWO news once again.

Meander thoughts and complaining about the game, along with hopes if there were clean slate successor:

Age-wise, expected. The game's old by multiplayer game standards. The game's at a point where it needs full refresh: New engine, new graphics, etc. Evaluate what was good (eg core gameplay), what didn't work, build a sequel with lessons learned. (Provided there's funds to do that, if not, oh well.)

For my part, i gave up on the game last spring. The new Solaris map looked terrible and ran like shit (hell, the game as whole is very uneven), and it wasn't any fun anymore.
But even before i had started to give up on the game. The balance was utter nonsense constantly. Power creep. Very few truly good build styles. Most of all, unfulfilled promises and ideas (i am a Founder, if low tier).

Honestly, most updates and additions to the game have been terrible for a long time IMO. The new and updated maps were too big for a game that is kinda slow for most part and doesn't really have objectives that would make whole map useful. Changing time of day wasn't fun either. Kinda neat to be sure, but not really something that works in an online game, time of day and weather should be part of an arena map's (like MWO's are) design, as they were originally.
New modes were bad, poorly thought out. It ultimately boiled down to death match no matter what, and frankly that's what MWO did best! Objectives weren't never its thing, not in my experience. They did work as something to direct players at certain parts of map, but i'd say that can be done in other ways while keeping the game about being a death match, map control and scouting could be a thing with control points for artillery beacons or the like.

As for faction warfare, they should've integrated quick play to it really. Say, a player pledges allegiance to a faction, and the matchmaking tries to search for others of that faction and/or mercs. Match results affect the universe map, and if there was no factions in the quickmatch (eg majority of players in either team didn't belong to one faction plus what counts as allies like mercs), then player stats are counted and contribute something to greater progress.
No comment on more direct faction warfare as the game has, dunno if it worked or not.

And there has been no real additions for the game for a long while. OK, the Solaris mode, but it was "more of the same with different twist". It would've needed refocusing, or something interesting that truly works with the base gameplay. What, i don't know, but i know it isn't "more objective-oriented modes" or "more of same with twist" or "more stuff" (like 'Mechs or weapons). Maybe AI armies or something? Actual "Information Warfare"?

But I find it ironic that MWO is simultaneously "They are just greedy developers" and "MWO isn't making enough money to keep it going."
Don't think it is really ironic, figure the latter follows the appearance of the former, whatever the reality.
The way the game's monetized makes it appear greedy ("more 'Mechs"), and the way the game's monetized plus the way it appears makes players not really invest into it, not after they've already got a lot of existing stuff.

Of course the devs need to make money to keep the game floating if not thriving, but how it appears to be done matters a lot, especially given that he game's monetization model is kind of old. There have been loot boxes and seasonal battle passes and "just pay for customization" kind of stuff after MWO was made, no doubt this feeds into people not being willing to pay for MWO anymore.

There's also that the game's rather niche, it has poor mass market appeal, especially considering what kind of modern competitors there are.

Some thoughts on hypothetical modern successor:

I'm inclined to think a modern successor should be playable without having to delve into customizing stuff or having to think too much about what 'Mech is good for what. Casual appeal, but without removing stuff that allows advanced players adapt things for their liking. Tricky, to be sure, finding the right balance. Certain amount of depth is necessary, i'm not sure a "shallow ocean" would hold players attention too long in multiplayer format (works in single player, consider Skyrim as an example of "shallow ocean").
Like, a player picks Centurion AL. OK, no matter, it has single heat sinks and whatever else, but they can use it. Once they've played enough, maybe they'll delve into customizing loadouts and whatever else. This would need radical rethinking of how the game's balanced to be sure. Or maybe the game should be "class-based" akin to a MOBA, with no customization, each 'Mech being a "class". Would be more radical departure, but if it might make for a better and more interesting game, why not try it?

I'm thinking a modern successor should probably be F2P (essentially demo) with B2P option ("full game"), with most sales being cosmetics or other ancillary stuff, probably seasonal model too. No monthly (or bimonthly or whatever) 'Mech packs, no gameplay impacting stuff for sale.
Probably less ambitious too (no faction warfare), focus on core gameplay.

TL;DR
Various thoughts i've probably not thought through. Game's old, needs reinventing at this point to revitalize it probably, ie a sequel, relaunch. No real idea how that could be done.
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Caedis Animus

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #18 on: 14 June 2019, 00:09:43 »
When you talk of refreshing the concept of a Mechwarrior game, I tend to think of a concept of a hybrid between Rainbow Six Siege with its roster of interesting and unique operators with unique abilities, classic Mechwarrior, and Titanfall's level of speed when in a Titan. The gameplay being faster-feeling and having more movement in the mechs themselves (Because even a lighter mech can feel slow as molasses) while still having relative locational damage with modifications to the old formula.

Examples of what I mean by the roster system and abilities;

A Mechwarrior with a 'dash' ability to sidestep in the midst of combat, or a Mechwarrior capable of dropping a seismic scanner system; Stuff like that. Sometimes with extra passive boons.

Said unique Mechwarriors each being able to choose from a certain pool of customizable mechs with customization somewhere in the ballpark of HBS Battletech, IE Mechwarrior Francis is capable of utilizing either a Centurion, Trebuchet or Dervish; While Mechwarrior Jane is capable of utilizing a Warhammer or Ostroc. Each having customization options in terms of loadout, paint, et cetera, and abilities tailored to the mech selection or vica-versa (IE a pilot with a REALLY STRONG ability may only get less-good mechs, something that occurs in Siege.)

I feel like the real stumbling block of modern (Non-HBS-BT) Battletech games is just a simple lack of major engaging mechanics or appearances short of, well, being a lumbering, melee-less brute. Having the option of melee-which frankly shouldn't be nearly as hard to balance/set up as people say it is-and speeding up the pace of combat, making the mechs act more 'lifelike' than 'walking tank' would likely do wonders for franchise outlook in the field of video games. Mechs in the books are described as bounding, striding, sprinting machines capable of shrugging off fire long enough to plow massive axes through the cockpits of even superior Mechs, capable of dipping and sliding and going prone and more, making it all the more baffling to me that the most expansive movement/motion option we've gotten in a Mechwarrior game was the option to crouch-something even the most modern game in the franchise fails to allow.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2019, 00:15:04 by Caedis Animus »

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #19 on: 14 June 2019, 09:24:07 »
Game's old, needs reinventing at this point to revitalize it probably, ie a sequel, relaunch. No real idea how that could be done.

honestly, this is the sort of thinking that hurt MWO their entire run. PGI had far too much preoccupation with relaunching features instead of doing new things (skills, maps, the friggin' weapons geometries) so they ended up with tons of updates, lots of fans complaining about them changing things and a hefty development bill all for the same overall amount of content. what the game needed was refocusing and probably replacing some of the leadership, but i never saw that as something possible.  :P
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #20 on: 14 June 2019, 10:08:24 »
I bought in to replay the invasion . . . heck, I 'have' some premium stuff but never did much- hate to see how much my system would have to update.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #21 on: 14 June 2019, 10:09:45 »
It all comes down to the money.  Their making enough to be long term sustainable i think.
Its a free to play game, they sell mechs (and variants), etc.  Game has alot mechs, but customization thing/omnimech thing devalues the Mechs, mainly the OmniMechs.  You can rip out and customize mechs at a drop of a hat. 

When Multiplayer Battletech game came out in the 1990s, the variants were fixed (yes i know, the clans weren't in that game.) Which gave value to a design.  Thus, you can't rip out Warhammer's PPCs or it's machine guns for other things. You could buy them. 

Only problem is, players are way too used to customizing their rides.  Being in fixed variants, limited OmniPods configs per model of OmniMech won't work unless it was completely new game.

Maybe MW5 could reintroduce that help money to keep the game going.   

PGI sure has it's problems running the business, but i've had my run into real gougers. MWO is nothing in comparison to them.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #22 on: 14 June 2019, 10:20:56 »
MW5 will be a soft reboot of MWO IMO
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #23 on: 14 June 2019, 12:36:23 »
No, that's not a good sign. A developer or honestly any company will look for consistent revenue streams wherever they can (see: airlines breaking out charges for bags and food). MW5 shifts the nature of the revenue they're relying on to a long tail model. That can work with exquisite discipline, but I keep seeing things like mid-tier studios either graduating out of middle status (Larian of Divinity fame) or getting bought by bigger publishers (like MS buying Double Fine or Paradox buying Harebrained Schemes). And these companies have reputations for being really pretty well run. Swen Vincke was very clear that it was a near thing that allowed Larian to survive to the point it could grow. And it took two breakout products funded by Kickstarter to get out of the middle tier.

It was clear to me that MWO was developed in the initial failure to fund MW5 as a way to sustain the studio and raise money slowly but consistently. That strategy may have played out for a number of reasons, but making the transition is going to be really hard and it looks like the market supports only a few different development models: be a huge AAA studio, be part of a major publisher, or be basically an indie group of <10 people.


As with several industries, game development is definitely one of those that if you want a small fortune, you must start with a large one. These things flame out fast and are difficult to survive in. Much better if you can throw your resources at something that only requires minor changes and allows your workers to repeat reliably (see: CoD, Madden yearly releases) than try to shoot the moon.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2019, 12:40:30 by Bedwyr »
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #24 on: 14 June 2019, 14:06:02 »
Answer to me or to the OP?
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #25 on: 14 June 2019, 14:09:16 »
Answer to me or to the OP?

OP, sorry.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #26 on: 22 June 2019, 22:28:38 »
This is slightly off-topic but I just realized Mechwarrior is a very rare example of a video game series where every entry was developed by a different company (Dynamix, Activision, Zipper, FASA Interactive, and Piranha).  I'm guessing this is a consequence of the Battletech license being passed around through the years.  Though technically Mechwarrior 1 and 2 had Activision as publisher and Mech 3 and 4 had Microsoft serve as publisher.
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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #27 on: 23 June 2019, 08:51:55 »
I feel like the real stumbling block of modern (Non-HBS-BT) Battletech games is just a simple lack of major engaging mechanics or appearances short of, well, being a lumbering, melee-less brute.

MWO has done decently well in the same era where Armored Core has been sorta flagging. Pushing in the direction of faster paced FPS (how many of those have melee and aren't explicitly melee-focused slashers like Chivalry or Mordhau anyway?) games probably isn't a great space to be in. Maybe Titanfall but the devs there went with Apex Legends after Titanfall 2, so I'm not sure if that's an example of a direction MW games should head in.

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #28 on: 23 June 2019, 13:12:48 »
MWO has done decently well in the same era where Armored Core has been sorta flagging. Pushing in the direction of faster paced FPS (how many of those have melee and aren't explicitly melee-focused slashers like Chivalry or Mordhau anyway?) games probably isn't a great space to be in. Maybe Titanfall but the devs there went with Apex Legends after Titanfall 2, so I'm not sure if that's an example of a direction MW games should head in.
The last Armored Core game released 12 days after MWO came out and the previous entrant into the franchise came out in 2012. Neither games ever received major changes like MWO did and suffered from the fact that Fromsoft changed gears from a more balanced company to one that focuses almost entirely on Soulslikes. Don't misattribute Armored Core's failings to fast gameplay when it lacks the developer attention MWO had, as piss-poor as PGI's balancing was.

As for saying that second bit; For starters, faster pace doesn't necessarily mean melee focused slashers (No idea why you brought those up), and fast paced shooter games are still the overwhelming majority when it comes to popular games, including mecha or no; It's simply better to have a game where it doesn't feel like the characters are moving through molasses. There is a damn good reason why nerfing a mech's agility in MWO was always met with horrendous backlash, and that's because that effectively nerfs the fun out of the game, and the sole reason why the heaviest mech I ever ran in MWO was the Linebacker. Nobody likes taking twelve minutes to get their main guns to turn to fire.

And on the subject of Titanfall as an example (I'm going to neglect Apex Legends because that's something that should have been stillborn, but we live in an era of Battle Royale games), I used it as an example for the level of agility I would expect a revised Mechwarrior game to have/should have, with little to no other elements thought of. If I don't, people deride me with distressing frequency for basically wanting Gundam Wing, for whatever reason, no matter how much I stress that I'm explicitly not thinking of that level of 'Fly everywhere and be super OP' (Like, seriously, how does faster-feeling movement and better visual speed feedback, both on the ground=Gundam?)
« Last Edit: 23 June 2019, 13:22:17 by Caedis Animus »

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Re: The Fate of MWO
« Reply #29 on: 24 June 2019, 04:43:37 »
The last Armored Core game released 12 days after MWO came out and the previous entrant into the franchise came out in 2012. Neither games ever received major changes like MWO did and suffered from the fact that Fromsoft changed gears from a more balanced company to one that focuses almost entirely on Soulslikes. Don't misattribute Armored Core's failings to fast gameplay when it lacks the developer attention MWO had, as piss-poor as PGI's balancing was.

Oh, I liked Armored Core in its heyday. But the fact remains it always had, relative to the market at the time, poor sales. Which was why the devs shifted gears; staying focused on AC was bad money through and through.

As for saying that second bit; For starters, faster pace doesn't necessarily mean melee focused slashers (No idea why you brought those up),

You brought it up:
"I feel like the real stumbling block of modern (Non-HBS-BT) Battletech games is just a simple lack of major engaging mechanics or appearances short of, well, being a lumbering, melee-less brute. Having the option of melee-which frankly shouldn't be nearly as hard to balance/set up as people say it is-and speeding up the pace of combat, making the mechs act more 'lifelike' than 'walking tank' would likely do wonders for franchise outlook in the field of video games."

No fast paced FPS has true melee (excepting the occasional knife attack or similar) other than the melee-focused slashers like Chiv, Mount&Blade or Mordhau.

...and fast paced shooter games are still the overwhelming majority when it comes to popular games, including mecha or no; It's simply better to have a game where it doesn't feel like the characters are moving through molasses. There is a damn good reason why nerfing a mech's agility in MWO was always met with horrendous backlash, and that's because that effectively nerfs the fun out of the game, and the sole reason why the heaviest mech I ever ran in MWO was the Linebacker. Nobody likes taking twelve minutes to get their main guns to turn to fire.

Nerfing agility gets backlash because nerfs in general always get backlash. I wouldn't take your stated preferences as anything like the norm: assaults are among the most popular class in MWO and lights are almost always 4th place in terms of active player count. Anyway, pushing into the space of every other arena shooter is probably a bad direction to take because it's already filled whereas "tank sim but with mechs instead" is relatively untrodden ground.

And on the subject of Titanfall as an example (I'm going to neglect Apex Legends because that's something that should have been stillborn, but we live in an era of Battle Royale games), I used it as an example for the level of agility I would expect a revised Mechwarrior game to have/should have, with little to no other elements thought of. If I don't, people deride me with distressing frequency for basically wanting Gundam Wing, for whatever reason, no matter how much I stress that I'm explicitly not thinking of that level of 'Fly everywhere and be super OP' (Like, seriously, how does faster-feeling movement and better visual speed feedback, both on the ground=Gundam?)

Well, they nickname them "big, stompy robots" for a reason...

 

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