MWO: A Failure to Communicate

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So I hear there's a major update for Hawken in the works?
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Time to play Living Legends.
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Oh, do tell.I haven't played hawken for a while, mostly because my laptop has issues with it.
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Refund request online! All systems nominal!
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Frankly, I'm surprised they made it this far without going bust.I hope their next commercial project is something more in line with their natural strengths and talents, like designing learning aids for the retarded.I also hope for a customizable mech game that supports OR and common sense.
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Nah. You can't design learning aids for someone smarter than you...
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All 10 people who play MWO are outraged. The rest of the internet realised it was a pile of donkey poop and deleted it.
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Hmm... a case study in how to run your game into the ground before it's even launched.
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Too good of an idea, too bad of an implementation. Amateurs run rampant on PGI. For the good of the company someone should put some reins on this guy's posting abiliti... Oh wait, nevermind, none of this will matter in a couple months.
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It lasted about 2 hours on my computer. Spot on.
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Why are MWO players entitled to know about and be in control of everything the developing company is doing?You should all play Blizzard games and learn how to just shut up and play with what they are giving you.
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Yup
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GoonsSwarm and IGP are responsible for third person view.I have it from verified, reliable inside-sources that we have none other than the GoonSwarm to thank for the inclusion of third person in the game. I know what you're thinking, but hear me out and you'll see how it all came about.Inside sources have explained to me that there are goon-sympathizing people working in the testing group at IGP and that the goons have members inserted into the internal testing group that reviews all the game builds before they go live. In fact, goon operatives have been spotted at both the PGI, but more importantly, the IGP buildings. IGP sightings are more important because it is IGP and not PGI that does the internal testing and gives the go-ahead to release in-game features. These inside operatives have worked in cooperation with the GoonSwarm leadership to coerce and intimidate PGI into their reversal on the third person view. How is that even possible?A coordinated emailing campaign of unprecedented size (in MWO) began where the Word of Lowtax (goon) players began flooding the PGI devs and IGP representatives with requests for third person view. This occurred at the same time as the inside operatives were making suggestions that it wasn't so bad and that with all the requests, it may be a good idea to move ahead with the idea of developing a third person alternative (see the soft-sell?) for those players who wanted it.The goon game testers in the internal group gave glowing reviews for the new system. Working toward a feedback loop fed by external requests and perpetuated by goons and goon sympathizers on the inside all of this culminating with the #savemwo open forum.We all know that to goons the only thing better than winning is ruining someone else's gaming experience. The goons do not play the game for the same reasons as the average player. They play as trolls, unapologetically and openly.For this reason, their leaders formulated a strategy. They sought to determine the best method of upsetting the battletech fans. First they found and adopted the Tetatae bird-aliens as their mascot (hence their Squaawk! battlecry). The Tetatae are the most-reviled characters of lore in battletech and generally considered non-canonical by Battletech enthusiasts.This persona in place, the goons then looked to see what other features of gameplay would upset, annoy or enrage the Battletech PC gaming purists and they found their perfect target in third person view. There has never been so visceral a reaction to a game change since MWO went public. There may never be again.I tell this to you all for the purposes of letting the blame fall squarely where it is deserved and that is in the laps of the GoonSwarm and their sympathizers at IGP.Figure 1a - http://pastebin.com/iPJtBgReFigure 2a - http://i.imgur.com/Vhefdvr.png
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As much as i normaly disagree with the mittani in general, this hits the nail square on the head. Good summing up.
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There are a lot of white knights coming out and calling all the people who criticize the game and PGI's handling "entitled elitists." and if that doesn't depress you, I don't know what will.It's FF14 all over again. The first time, not this new version.
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Also, friendly reminder: we will hopefully have Hawken coverage soon, especially because MWO is in the shithouse and Meteor Entertainment/Hawken is struggling to maintain any sort of market presence.It's a really great game, and if you haven't given it a shot, I highly recommend you do.
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What
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Please refer to the imgur link.And no, that is not my reddit account name.
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Hawken is fun, but does not give off the "I'm in a mech" feel MWO gave. That said, Hawken is pretty much the only worthwhile MW game at the moment other than MWLL
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It's actually awesome if you like fucking boring games!!
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Nomad plz.
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My hard drives getting full, and I need to make space. Now I know where the space is going to come from.
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Why is third person so hated? I mean the games shit as it is anyway, at least you could enjoy the visuals on your own mech.
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pay money for awesome paint job - "NO I WANT ONLY OTHERS TO BE ABLE TO SEE IT"
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Why should I know what is going on and give feedback and expect my feedback to be listened to in a continually developed multiplayer game?I think you know the answer. Hint: because that's a reasonable expectation.
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And because it is terrible walking televisions with guns. :DLiving Legends is Mechwarrior meets NetHack - die and start over, die and start over, die and start over.Neither are what I want.I want MWO with good, mission-type game modes (PVP only, not campaign), deep tactical gameplay, and as much of a sim as possible.
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Is the mechwarrior franchised cursed? The demand is super high for a semi-competent Mechwarrior/Battletech game but it seems whoever hold rights to it will only allow dribbling idiots to create the games.So, so sad.
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Wow...Just wow.Did goon sympathizers also get Bush elected by pressuring the US Supreme Court to stop the voting in Florida in order to troll the people of the US?How did the Goons fake the moon landing?It's really the Goons who run international Finance and Banking, not the Jews Huh?Grrr Goons!
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MWO Was pretty fun as a Mechwarrior game, But those games never had Mass market apeal. We mech fans did quite enjoy MWO until they started do some real questionable things. First Ghost heat Now an unwanted 3pv.
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Before anyone gets mad at Hendrick: he is copy-pasting an especially funny reddit goonspiracy.
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I gave up on this game months ago when they made it clear they didn't give a fuck about the IP or the community and were only interested in a quick buck. I wasted $120 - learn from me and don't waste your time or money. The combat was good at the time. The rest of the game has and will continue to be lacking. The blame rests solely on Bullock's Bollocks.
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What a trainwreck... Looks like game developers and game players belong to different worlds and continued interaction is fatal to them.
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Yeah, why should the beta testers expect any of their feedback to be listened to? It's not like that's what they're there for or anything...Oh, wait.
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Don't forget they are going to need some excellent lawyers due to a huge class action lawsuit possibly being filed against them.
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BUTTHURT DETECTED!
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This is all true and can easily be proven. The Mittani is not the true leader of this cult, he is solely the face.
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Hopefully all the whiners will have left MWO by the time the Clans arrive, good riddance!
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This is the dumbest conspiracy theory I have ever read, and I've read about lizard people.
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"can easily be proven."Well...?
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Yep, I dropped $60 (?) on this one, really enjoyed it for awhile, it had so much promise. But every opportunity for positive change, PGI managed to fuck up. Adding ECM? Great, now for a month until we patch it you will be completely shut down by ECM. Unnerf PPCs? OK, now PPC boating is the standard. Bought an LRM boat....ever? LOL. Oh, and don't worry about that minimap bug that made 1/3 games unplayable for 4 patches...we added new camo! The only thing PGI has been reliable on is releasing new mechs, and that only because it gives them a quick buck each time they release one.So much promise, and so much failure to deliver. Bastards fooled me good.
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man, I almost forgot about ghost heat what a steaming fucking pile!
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What a huge chunk of a mellow dramatic author. This Mechwarrior community sucks ass.
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Ah, the fabled 'white knight'."obviously not a PR professional."You, good sir, have a promising future in deadpan style humour.
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What did you even just say?http://tinyurl.com/mzecjpq
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They've ruined all the sci-fi of my childhood.....Star wars, ruined. Star trek, ruined. Now Battletech is shit too....
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Hilarious. Laughed more than at the article itself. Thank you.
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Battletech was always shit. We just didn't get that as kids.Seriously try rereading one now.
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I see what you did there.
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I am not so sure about that...
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Hawken is a blast to jump in and get some shooting done. The mechs in Hawken look and feel alive/nimble/animated where as in MWO it's like a chunk of wood moving about, stiff clumsy animation and movement simulation you'd expect to see in a 1995 era PC game. Seeing a MWO Mech JJ into the air the first time, I cringed...hell MW4 looked more "alive" then MWO...I do hope/wish/dream for a day when MWO or some other Mech game does a proper job, currently Hawken has MWO beat IMO for sheer visceral game play.Hawken = Better gfx, maps, movement, audio
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As an avid eve player, I've been watching MWO from the sidelines. Suffice to say I'm interested in the game. However, it's really unfortunate that I may never get the opportunity to have fun on this game. It takes a little time for a company to realize who is really signing that paycheck.This really is a great example of how great intentions mean nothing when coupled with poor judgement. Lots of poor judgement was involved in this debacle.
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There is in misleading players. Many people stayed and bought things because they were promised that there would be a 1PV queue only. Some people were originally brought in and convinced to pay because the game was advertised as being strictly 1PV only - the previous MW games that had 3PV in multiplayer had huge issues with it being unbalanced. This is bait-and-switch, pure and simple, and it is very much illegal in Canada. http://www.competitionbureau.g...It's probably illegal in the US too, but I can't say that for sure, as I don't know enough about my own country's laws to say one way or the other.
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Can't say for sure about the US, but it is definitely illegal in Canada, where PGI is stationed. http://www.competitionbureau.g...
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Now that you mention it, they did promise some misleading things throughout the development cycle, such as clan/corp wars, competitive play and a strategic map. Nothing actionable but false advertising nonetheless.
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This was not written by The Mittani. You might not have noticed yet, but he doesn't write most of the articles on this, his game news blog. Also, some of the writers for this site are members of opposing factions/alliances.
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Then PGI still hasn't committed actual fraud nor constructive fraud.
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So... breaking the law isn't breaking the law. That's pretty much what you're telling me. Unless I'm misunderstanding the conversation at hand. I'm explaining how what PGI has done can indeed be brought to a court of law. If we're talking specifically about if it's technically fraud to the exclusion of other broken laws, then I don't know enough legalese to say one way or the other.
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No, what PGI has done here doesn't meet the second - fifth elements of fraud. It passes the first element, though that's debatable.I'm not going to spend all day playing internet lawyer. Look up the elements of fraud (CJS, Am. Jur. 2d, any good torts book) and compare it to the ToS, beta agreements, and PGI forum posts for MWO.
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Actually this was timed perfectly; gave me fair warning so I had time to get my phoenix pack refunded.
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What some people call a lie could easily simply be addressed as a communication failure; they changed their mind on a development piece that they had originally said one thing about, but ended up doing another. That's a failure in the communication lines between developer and player, not some intentional desire to proverbially 'screw' the membership base.Fundamentally, the 3PV is a bad feature, yes. Hardcore players (like me) don't like it, no. That said, we are still in Beta, even if near the end, and if it's going to be a feature that gets used at all (even if in a separate queue), it needs testing. Rather than looking at this rationally, the 'vocal minority' reacted with all the tact and class of an angry teenager, which does even worse things for the game's image than a developer changing their mind without first telling the player base - something that happens in every single MMO out there.
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I'm playing more since alpha, and I personally think everyone who bitches about an additional feature that can be turned off is a retarded moron.As for them adding whatever they want, guess what it's their game.Get over it or get out, loser
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Tetatae are as canonical as the swamp people.Stackpoling reactors isn't. If this was true goons would have worked on getting Stackpoling in the game.
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well said! 3rd person doesn't bother me at all. What does is not being able to chose maps and weight limits.
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The goon/pubbie dichotomy is a binary condition and there is nothing in-between, by definition.
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it's some guy called Inattim
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The third person view is not really what is causing such a "sucking" sound to be emitted from the company in regards to this title. The real crunch time issue being that there has been 0 evidence they plan to add content to this, so all you really end up with is a cool looking game with all the same player mechanics as a world of tanks or an FPS title. Shoot stuff, go from point a to point b and capture the flag. There is nothing that differentiates it from its competitors aside from cool looking Mechs and a nice looking planetary environment. Those of us who read the fiction books and played all the previous titles I feel are being cheated by a very shallow implementation of the game's lore.
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Can you give a link on the subject? I loved Hawken but got tired of it long time ago as development seemed to move at turtle's pace, with just one new map released in about a year and tiny updates with few mech parts being the norm. It's beautiful, balanced and joyful, but tiny portion of content that's in it only lasts for so long.
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Deal with Sony much?
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Yeah, I'm torn reading this. On one hand, 3PV is fucking rubbish and a waste of dev time at best. On the other hand, 'failure to communicate' is Goonspeak for 'failure to design the game around us'. MWO will be better off without them.
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IMHO the issues of MWO "failure communicate" go far beyond just 3rd person view. Everything begun during closed beta tests, and a decision to go for an open beta.Ever since that there's been so many issues that it's just hard to believe. I really wish someone would bother to complete it all - all of the fails this game got (including balance) cause that can be an enormous bible of "what not to do" for any other game developers.
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Its been over a week since you posted but ill reply anyway. The biggest problems with MWO id say are,Mech fights are over too fast. If you don't bring a sniper mech you often die before fighting at all.There is little point in taking all but the highest damage weapons.There is little point to the game modes. and both really come down to team Deathmatch Due largely to the lack of respawns capping objectives becomes relatively pointless (Why try hard to take and defend a position when you can just murder everyone?)I don't really want respawns but the game modes as they are would benefit from themMostly Mechs are too squishy. The Lack of anything else on the map, Mechs dont feel giant when theres nothing small. Would you feel a giant on a planet full of giants? There are too many PPCsAnd here is a big rant read at your own peril.Online play was not a big part of the Old Mechwarrior games alot of the fun came in trying to keep your Mech alive while you fought your way past what was a small army of AIs, piloting anything from 10 ton APCs, 100 ton Tanks, Helicopters and Jets and of course Mechs. MW3 had great sprawling maps the seemed to go on for ever, the first operation would take several hours to play, but was in fact one huge map. So the over all game design just made the world feel big. Then there were some game play elements MW3 was my favorite so many of the thing's i liked most are there, ACs for example fired in bursts but also caused your Mech to recoil. but it didn't just vibrate and push up, depending on the side of the body the weapon was mounted, the Mech would twist or if I was mounted high tilt back. Mech warrior 4s weapon mounting system was a vast improvement over the openness of 3s no longer could you put 14 lasers in your left toe. So building a decent mech became more of a challenge and thus more engaging. In MW2 Mercenaries The way the handled progressing trough your Merc corps wallet was interesting and you found your self some times taking more risky missions to get that decent pay out. since you ablity to customize and buy mechs so limited by your cash it made every desicion feel has it had more weight.There are probably 100 other things i could say about MW, but if you read all that you now know I don't know how to write and i should never type so many words. But the real shame is most of the things i liked most in Mechwarrior were single player focused. What I've always wanted from a Multi player Mechwarrior is a co op campaign.
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You know, MechWarrior 2, 3 and 4 were fine enough. All had thriving communities that lasted for years, MechWarrior 4's community lasted for 9 years, almost 10 in fact, the community itself made sure it kept running by hosting its own servers etc!PGI are just morons.
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they had so much potential bringing old and new players with unique gameplay. Now? If anyone asked me MWO website, I gave them the website with message, "DO NOT go into the forum"
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Hawken subscribes to the Japanese style of mech. As you said, fast, nimble, no real feeling of weight. See Robotech. That always felt unrealistic as far as physics went. Something that big should feel like it has mass, substantial. Enter the Western style of giant robot combat, where giant, multi-ton robots feel like it. It's really up to personal taste.
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There's over 300 people in my guild.
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Out of context, yes, it seems silly. However, in Mechwarrior 4 and MW:LL, as I understand it, 3rd person fucked up competitive play. Badly. The promise of a MW game without 3rd person in THAT context isn't so silly.
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I'm not claiming that it's fraud by the legal definition. I'm claiming that it's breaking the (Canadian) law I posted before. (I dunno if there's an equivalent American law; I assume so, but you know what they say about assumptions.)
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Why is everyone here surprised...Piranhas track record of creating garbage should be pretty well known. They have destroyed everything they get their hands on, why would MWO be any different?!?
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I played MC, MCG, MW2/3/4. MBPT 3025, and I was soo hoping this game would be good...after dumping in a fair amount of money and taking a good look at how PGI kept adding more cash grabs and no actual content...i left early on...I'm glad I left...I hope they completely bomb the game and someone who actually cares can buy the IP cheap...
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I didn't get my fingers into this honey trap... I fell for Mechwarrior Tactics, from the same publisher. That isn't even going to get off the ground :(
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wow, for a game out for 11 days, sure is generating alot of nerd rage. Iam having a blast playing and dont see that 3rd person view is anything but a disadvantage not having a mini map and all. From what I see theyre hiring people and developing the game also.... idk
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It might be to the eyes of the beholder. I don't know if there is enough evidence to support it, but it could be a possibility. However, whether or not it happens or not, it's possible someone might file a lawsuit against PGI for false and misleading statements or possibly fraud. Now, I don't know if that might be the case or not, but many fans are indeed angry over this so called 'release' of this game.
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The game itself aint so bad, sure could be a lot better on the performance side but the gameplay is still fun...
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Same here. Wasted the $120 on empty promises from a piece of shit company (didn't know that at the time) on a product that thousands of people have been waiting for, for a very long time. The gods know we have been begging for a new installment of Mechwarrior that does it justice. Sadly, we won't be getting that from PGI. I haven't played it for months because it is so bad.
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*all 300 people are in my guild
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STOP PGI from ruining MWOsign the petition link below:https://www.change.org/petitio...
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In the wake of PGI’s decision to go-ahead and implement 3rd Person View, Russ Bullock has issued an apology to the Mechwarrior Online community as a whole. Needless to say, this has not gone over well. But why is everyone - Goon, Pubbie, and all the people in-between - reacting so harshly to an apparent good-will gesture?

Well, the apology begins with a rambling and poorly-edited wall of text that should’ve been at least three or four separate paragraphs, so for the sake of readability I’m going to break it into its most salient points for analysis and discussion.

"Today I wanted to post an updated explanation on the recent patch which added the third person view into MechWarrior Online. Although we have long known this was a contentious issue and adding it to MWO was going to meet resistance, there was also a major failure in community management and communication."

We’re already off to a poor start here, with Russ throwing poor Garth Erlam under a proverbial bus. By placing the blame for the company's communication failures squarely on the shoulders of his community managers first and foremost, Russ has attempted to absolve both himself and PGI as a whole for a lack of communication that has lasted for over six months. This is especially troubling as Garth has done a credible job responding to customer concerns to the best of his knowledge and ability.

"I will endeavor to explain how we got to this point. A couple of weeks ago I created a command chair post about “Why Third person” which explains the process in which we decided that adding a third person perspective was essential for teaching new players how to play MWO."

For those of you unfamiliar, the sentiment of that explanation was a good one. Attempting to improve new-player experience is always a laudable goal; but PGI would have been much better served spending time and effort following War Thunder’s example and producing a series of brief but comprehensive tutorial sequences to help new players understand torso twisting, how to re-center their legs to torso or torso to legs, or the arcane arts required to create and change firing groups.

Viewed in this light, PGI’s extensive work on a complex and contentious system which adds nothing but unnecessary complications to the new player experience does little more than show that the company as a whole has very little idea what their game actually needs. In attempting to explain PGI’s continued communications problems, Russ has accidentally admitted that they actually have a communications epidemic.

"Here is where we made a critical error with the community and it wasn’t because we don’t care about the community but quite the opposite, you could even say we cared too much."

I don’t even need to say anything about this. Just remember: PGI hurts us because PGI loves us.

Russ then spends about half a paragraph explaining the design process behind the controversial Third Person View, which is very good information that would have been nice to have had two or more weeks ago as a part of some sort of developer roadmap discussing the general direction and reasoning for the path PGI intends to take. Instead, it’s given to us far too late and buried far too deeply in Russ’s initial wall of text to calm the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Third Person View.

"Once this design started to come into focus both on paper and through early test sessions I think the overwhelming feeling in the office was very closely along the lines of “Wow were going to split the community into two different buckets for this?”"

This statement has two strong connotations. The first is that the “overwhelming feeling” in PGI’s office was “This sucks, nobody is going to want to play this.” The second is that MWO’s player base has diminished so significantly in the past few months that splitting the queue would make games impossible to find. These are both symptoms of PGI’s communications epidemic. The first because if a system isn’t fun it probably shouldn’t be pushed out the door no matter how much money has been wasted on it. The second because if a game is losing players two weeks before launch then something is badly wrong with the game as a whole.

"The feeling was that the original design goals had not been achieved 100% but very close to it and it was feeling like a non-issue from a competitive perspective."

The equally terrifying implication of this statement being: nobody is playing our game competitively anymore, so it hardly matters that this new system will destroy any chance of the competitive players returning.

"It was the intention at this point to communicate all of these findings to the community [...] This communication just never happened and I can blame staggered vacation time for various executives to other management types but regardless it was a failure."

Intent only matters if it’s followed with action, and this is why the players are finding statements from PGI harder and harder to trust. There’s a lot I could say about this, but I think this reaction from the Brown Sea sums things up adequately:

[]

"In the end Bryan put up a brief post after the feature went live which may have seemed like our attempt to sneak it in after the fact but it only came across that way because we missed the window we intended to use."

There are no words. Correction: There are words, but most of them are four letters long and would get you banned from the MWO forums if you used them.

"So here we are and all I can do at this point is reiterate that we truly feel we made the best decision for MWO and its future but this meant we needed to go back on previous statement and then we communicated it poorly to boot. […] there was never any meeting or particular moment at PGI where we decided that we would never provide the separate Queue’s for “Hardcore” […]. We simply decided that we felt it was likely not necessary and probably detrimental to split the community […]"

This statement is an admission that PGI has lied to its players. That it was done with good intentions does not change the damning nature of this admission, and worse, it also highlights PGI’s internal communications problems as well. In this section, Russ appears to state that the decision not to implement separate 1PV/3PV queues was made without any internal or external communication. While one might understand what Russ is trying to say, this isn’t the kind of statement that can calm a community. It’s a statement that only serves to highlight PGI’s allergy to solid communication.

"it’s not impossible that we will provide the segregation. But this is where I need to be real careful to not make the same mistakes again with some kind of promise."

"Please continue to get your hopes up for systems we’ll never implement; I’m starting to realize that the more carrots we dangle in front of you the less likely you are to actually quit."

"Since the patch went live we have played hundreds of matches, Ghost spectated hundreds more and have yet to see evidence of third person being used in any significant way."

The patch was released on 8/20/2013. This statement was issued on 8/21/2013. A single day isn’t anywhere near enough time for players to discover the best times to quickly toggle in and out of 3PV, or the best places to lurk where their blinking pyramid is least likely to be noticed. No matter how many times a match has been “ghost spectated,” the biggest thing this statement reveals is that Third Person View, like always-on Arm Lock and Throttle Decay before it, simply isn’t being used by people who know better. This likely means that, just like always-on Arm Lock and Throttle Decay, 3rd Person View actually serves as a newbie trap: a type of system that actively makes the new player experience worse as new players, who still lack any sort of tutorial to teach them such things, may not even realize any of these artificially-limiting features can be disabled via MWO’s menus.

To put this another way: If I were new customer, I would now have no way of knowing that MWO actually has a minimap radar. Let that sink in for a moment.

"I’m positive we will be more than willing to make any number of small tweaks and adjustments to third person as we go along."

I certainly hope so. You’re going to need a lot of them.

"In the end I think the community has shown amazing acceptance of our proposed direction of MWO if they feel it would be best for the future of MechWarrior Online and growing this great brand."

Target locked. Direct hit. All remaining good will destroyed.

"In Summary we apologize for the manner in which communication failed over the release of this major feature and in closing, it is still possible that a separate Queue will be created but the timing just isn’t right for that currently as we just need more time to gather conclusive facts about its impact in the live game sessions."

Taken as a whole, the reason Russ Bullock’s apology was ill-received is obvious: Instead of apologizing for anything tangible and offering their internal plan to help prevent such issues from occurring again; PGI has instead issued an apology to the Mechwarrior Online community as a whole for our continued failure to understand that PGI is going to continue implementing whatever they wish, regardless of any feedback they receive or evidence that suggests it might not be a great idea.

With Mechwarrior Online now about three weeks away from launch, this was a poorly-chosen time to implement a highly controversial feature. With little apparent effort taken to advertise or promote their game in the weeks leading up to launch, PGI has made themselves utterly reliant on both word-of-mouth advertising, positive reviews, and a strong new-player experience to bring in new customers. Antagonizing the “vocal minority” by breaking a promise from the earliest days of closed beta just weeks before launch curtails the first and also may very well cripple the game’s MetaCritic score. The game’s new player experience is in dire need of carefully-crafted tutorials not poorly-implemented vision modes that make the game harder for new players to play. Unfortunately, with launch rapidly approaching, crunch time is here, and it’s unlikely anything PGI does or doesn't do can make a meaningful difference.

Russ, I wish you and your people luck with review sites, because the way things currently stand you’re going to need all the luck you can get. And a capable PR firm. And a copy editor.

[name_1]
I'm a published BattleTech author who's also responsible for inflicting the "Let's All Play BattleTech and rewrite Inner Sphere history" thread on the Something Awful forums for the past 2+ years.