Aah, Piranha Games. When I learned that these chaps were tasked with bringing the mechwarrior universe back to life in 2011, I knew this thing would sooner rather than later collapse in a giant explosion of shitflinging, incompetence and lies. As a connoisseur of tears and drama, the future prospects had me on the edge of my seat. And deliver. they. did. I just had to chronicle the events that let to this disaster.
The community of MWO right now is in full riot mode, which these days translates into calling the developers "shitniggers", demands to do their job instead and of course slanderous forum signatures. PGI Lied, MWO Died read the flags of the revolutionaries, trying with force to topple the grey, monolithic vancouver-based establishment and free their game^tm. But how did it get so far?
As with all revolutions, this one has been in the making for a long time. In fact, there is probably a lesson in how to systematically alienate a previously fanatical fanbase to be found here.
Heat. It's a ressource that needs to be maintained or your mech will overheat and cease functioning. Obviously, the intention of introducing the "coolant flushing" feature to instantly remove any accumulated heat was critically eyed, as you would expect for any change to such a fundamental and important game mechanic. Because the coolant flushing feature had already obliterated multiplayer in previous games of the franchise, threads where created expounding on "getting this stuff right". Piranha games responded by promising not to include coolant flushing into the game.
They lied. This led to the first revolutionary war. Rage threads where created, quits where threatened but PGI calmed the rebellious peasants by promising
lower taxesnerfs to the system. However, the seed of distrust was sown and PGI being PGI, they just had to show the world their abilites as gardeners and water the fuck out of this thing.
The second revolutionary war triggered by the bulldozing of the general discussion forum. This can certainly be seen as a direct recommendation for course of action for certain other internet bulletin boards. Anyway, PGI followed up by maintaining that creating a bunch of sub-forums instead of GD would help with "cathegorizing threads". For the critics however, GD was nuked because of the tendency of its inhabitants to critizise PGI.
Concurrent with the forum nuke, the metagame shifted towards high-alpha damage. Weapon-systems that could instantly pop a mech were labeled "poptards". PGI responded by introducing jetpack rattle to make aiming harder. It actually succeeded in this, because the fucking rattleshit was causing motion sickness in most players. So PGI quickly rescinded on this change, leading to the 2nd raise of the poptards. And that's where the metagame still sits today.
However, PGI wanted to tackle poptardism for real and introduced a set of balance changes that would end the dominance of snipers. PGI smugly ignored all player suggestions - of which there were many - and instead introduced Ghost Heat - or Worst Shit.
The intricacies of Ghost Heat are too complex to dive into here. It is a classic case of developer trying to be clever when they aren't. The follow up by the playerbase was the first wave of cancellations. Preorders that performed charge-backs, where permanently banned from the game (and forums).
Out of prostest about the Ghost Heat changes, revolutionary splinter-groups formed #saveMWO to unite their power and force a process of feedback from PGI. The only PGI that ever directly responded to #saveMWO's demands was the then well-liked community coordinator Garth Erlam, in the usual “Passing this on up the chain.” manner. Other devs and mod-attachés had a more combative stance toward the revolutionaries, going so far as to creating a retardoland - with the caveat that not everything moved into there was retarded. In midst of the smoldering tensions between revolutionaries and the establishment, PGI ordered the increase of game size to 12 man per side, which groups focusing on the competitive aspect of the game quickly denounced as another change "exacerbating" existing problems.
Then disaster struck. PGI decreed the implementation of third person view, while the lack thereof was a cornerstone of PGI'S pitch for MWO. Shortly before the inclusion of the feature PGI calmed the masses by promising a "hardcore queue" that wouldn't allow people to use the TPV. This queue never happened.
Immediatedly after the patch went live, the forums exploded. While the explosion left nothing in its wake, a similar milder version from another time (and place) can be found here.
Russ Bollock, President of PGI issued a statement in response, that is notable for its display of incompetence, lack of formatting and underhanded insults. As coup de grace Russ Bollock put the blame on Erlam, one of the community's favourites. The letter was quickly dissected point by point. The thread containting the letter was of course quickly filled with the usual insults but also clear evidence of moderator censorship.
PGI Lied, MWO Died. PGI's community practices showcase a fundamental misunderstanding of both community management and freemium model development. PGI, itself inept at dealing with continuous development over extended periods of time and community management in general, quickly frustrated the community by handling MWO as a typical AAA game, that is: keep quiet and only discuss in vague terms. When called out about it, PGI doesn't want to and Erlam can't discuss. Last week PGI released an Ask the Devs in which they essentially state that their players aren't the players they are developing for anymore. PGI has completely reversed its stance on a number of features, for example coolant flush and third person view. Worse still, PGI still has not delivered features that many players consider as essential: a new UI, tutorials and lobbies to name just a few. The title's most awaited feature - Community Warfare, is still nowhere to be seen at the horizon. Right now, MWO is essentially the same game it was a year ago.
PGI promised a vision of Mechwarrior to the franchise's fans that led to the game's funding but failed to act up on it. The developer has stated it is no longer interested in that vision - a vision many people have invested several 100$ into. The game and PGI can't die fast enough, so that the Mechwarrior: Living Legends mod team has a chance on snatching up the IP (and code base - both games run on Crytek's cryengine).
MWO is a tale of anger and betrayal. A tale of a developer after the quick money without remorse. A tale of alienating your entire fanbase through shitty features, crap communitcation and lies. And as every tale, it has a moral:
Don't back shitty companies on Kickstarter, Jesus Fucking Christ.
Ging ziemlich heiss her in der MWO Community. War auf jeden Fall der Worst Case des Jahres, vergleichbar mit dem was letztes Jahr rund um War Z passierte.
ich habs mal angezockt, fands aber iwie öde. die steuerung war alles andere als selbsterklärend. und die grafik fand ich auch nicht prall. und das soll ernsthaft auf der cryengine 3 basieren? LOL! dazu fällt mir nix mehr ein
für free-to-pay war jedenfalls ziemlich wenig free-to-play drin
Wenn du den oben verlinkten/zitierten Beitrag liest, wirst du sehen, dass das Spiel eine Totgeburt schon vor dem offiziellen Release war.