MWO beta testers unleashed
MechWarrior Online was first announced with an ambitious trailer released in June 2009. Originally called MechWarrior 5, Piranha Games Inc. decided to launch the MechWarrior universe using a free-to-play model similar to to Tribes: Ascend. The MWO closed beta launched in July 2012. PGI's sudden removal of the Non-Disclosure Agreement blanketing the closed beta has allowed thousands of players to release videos and take screenshots for the first mech game to be in development in at least five years.
Plenty of people seem willing to bet money on an upcoming open beta release, but it's far from certain.
What makes MWO stand out?
Besides the giant robot theme and extremely popular intellectual property, MechWarrior Online is structured in a way reminiscent of World of Tanks, while utilizing the more modern Crysis engine. MechWarrior Online devs are working tirelessly on a 'role warfare' system that aims to balance top end gameplay. This should mean that the game won't be rife with the heaviest mechs availible and will instead reward the light scout, the medium skirmisher, and the heavy fire support roles.
What is still missing?
The galactic metagame reminiscent of World of Tanks 'clan wars' that PGI has planned, named 'Community Warfare', has not yet hit the beta. Community Warfare has two branches, the faction war and the border world conflict. Players swearing allegance to one of the six factions attempt to wrest control of buffer planets whilst players in mercenary corporations fight over fringe worlds using a contract bidding system.
Also missing are five of the 16 announced mechs; only nine have been sighted on the beta servers to date. The next patch to come out (scheduled for October 9th) is purported to contain a Crysis engine upgrade, along with a highly anticipated netcode tweak. October 16th will see the beta premiere of the tenth mech, yet to be announced.
Also missing from the game is more testers! If you're interested in participating in the MWO beta, there are hundreds of codes available from multiple sources. Good hunting!