As we patiently wait for news of community warfare in MechWarrior Online, the community has certainly kept busy channeling its energy into various projects. I’ve picked my top five below, although, of course, as a member of the Word of Lowtax, I must admit to bias in my choice. Anyway, check out what MechWarrior fans have been up to!
#5. Run Hot Or Die — Player-Run Tournament
With MWO lacking community warfare or official PGI tournaments, how are we supposed to find out which merc corp is top dog? The answer has mainly been Run Hot or Die (RHOD), a community-run tournament that allows corporations to go toe-to-toe to see who comes out on top. While some teams have been leaving the tournament recently, that doesn’t change the fact that RHOD was the first time mechs lined up with rules and went at it in an organized manner. Many teams have put up YouTube videos of their battles, and the RHOD team has produced several podcasts. A simple Google search will show you both if interested. Their official website is here.
#4. No Guts No Galaxy — Player-Run Podcast
No Guts No Galaxy (NGNG) is a community-run podcast with 58 different episodes at the time of writing, and over one year on the air, predating even the start of the closed beta. They’ve had a multitude of VIP guests from MWO devs to CEOs of prominent merc corps. Beyond just the podcast, they also produce a comic and stream live.
A well-run production with the support of the community and PGI, they produce a quality product enjoyed the Inner Sphere over. Be sure to check them out here.
#3. Mechromancer — Word of Lowtax Mech Fitting Tool
MWO has had a terrible mech fitting lab in game from day one. While it certainly has improved, the quality leaves much to be desired. The community has stepped up with multiple homegrown mech fitting tools in the same vein as the EVE Fitting Tool for our favorite MMORPG spreadsheet simulator.
My favorite mech fitting tool is Mechromancer by Hubis. A web-based client hosted on the Word of Lowtax infrastructure, this tool is kept up to date and allows you to find out pretty much anything you need to know about mechs, modules, and combining the two. Among the features offered is the stats page, showing you vital statistics such as armor, damage, and heat characteristics, as well as the "Mechronomicon", an easy way to look at hard point loadouts for all the varieties of mechs.
Perhaps my favorite aspect to the program is how you can create a link for your build that will allow another player to see the exact build you made. For example, this is a link to my favorite stalker build for solo matchmaking, pictured above.
#2. Violent Combat Robot Show — Word of Lowtax Podcast
Compared to NGNG's more serious productions, the Violent Combat Robot Show (VCRS) is unapologetically a Goon creation (Hey! I did say I was biased in my choices). VCRS produces segments like the "Robot News", where they examine the most recent patches and community news, and "The Squawk Box", where the best of the worst posts from the official MWO forums are drawn through the mud and mocked for all to see.
However, the trademark of VCRS is an unrepentant attitude towards everything, but especially towards people who take themselves and the game way too seriously. Sometimes silly, sometimes scathing, the podcast does a great job of taking shots at people who deserve it, leaving you with a smile on your face at the end of the show.
#1. Let's All Play BattleTech and Rewrite Inner Sphere History — Something Awful's Let's Play Thread
With 35,000+ posts, 842+ pages and over two years of constant updating, the "Let's All Play Battletech" Something Awful thread by PoptartsNinja (PTN) is a MechWarrior cultural treasure.
PoptartsNinja, a published BattleTech author, is the gamemaster for an ever-changing BattleTech tabletop game with the players chosen from a months-long waiting list. Orders are discussed and given online, with PTN receiving them, calculating results, and posting updates. His fluff pieces describing the results of combat each turn are simply brilliant and add a level of depth rarely seen.
Over the two-year campaign, as the title suggests, PTN has been rewriting the history of the Inner Sphere. Important decisions made by each faction are decided by popular vote, and the success or failure of the players on missions has a direct impact on the narrative in the bigger story. As you can see in the current map below, big changes have been made from the MechWarrior universe you may be used to, such as the Draconis Combine and House Davion combining to form the Draconis Suns.
He also has done rather irreverent, but hilarious, "Let's Read" posts about some of the worst official canon books, going chapter by chapter, distilling pages of poorly written fiction into a few paragraphs of gems. If you are looking to waste a few hours, I can’t think of a better way than to catch up on the thread, as he has a hyperlink to every update in the OP. You will soon find yourself on the edge of your seat, going update by update to see what happens next.