I love Battletech. Given the multiple articles I’ve written on it, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear. Thank goodness Harebrained Schemes said that the game has been a big success for them, and are planning future content. The game has massive expansion potential, and today I’d like to go through some things I would like to see in the future.
The very first thing on my list was going to be difficulty mutators. Ironman mode and such. Maybe I should have written this sooner, because Harebrained Schemes already added those. I’ve yet to try them out, since I’m still working on a little article series about me ignoring the main story. But I’m excited to crank everything up to max and see how far I can get.
Better Save System
Every time you manually save the game, or when it auto-saves, it creates a new file. When too many files pile up, saving and loading are slowed down. I have to manually delete the files one by one, there’s no way to mass delete files. I propose that they at least add that functionality.
But HBS should consider redesigning the save system. I would suggest a slider in the options menu for how many auto-saves you want to have, before the game deletes the oldest file for a new one. I think 10 would suffice. I would also like to be able to choose whether I overwrite a previous manual save or make a new one. This is for people not playing on ironman mode of course.
Official Mod and Steam Workshop Support
I was surprised to find that this wasn’t in by default. The Shadowrun games had Steam Workshop support. I don’t know if it was some kind of legal issue or what, but it is disappointing. It’s good to see that HBS won’t get in the way of mods. So at least the people who know how, can still make them and distribute them elsewhere. But this means installing mods like in the old days. It’s not just a single button click away.
Darius Need to be More Helpful
More specifically, he needs to tell me that there are reinforcements approaching BEFORE they’ve already started shooting at me. Too many times I feel like this guy has it in for me. Yes, you’re picking up extra bandits on your scope, but only after they’ve entered range of MY sensors. How about the game tells me that there are reinforcements approaching when they’re getting near sensor range?
Selling Mech Salvage
How come the shops can sell me pieces of a battlemech, but I can’t sell it to them? I can only sell full mechs. What if I’m low on cash? If I’m in a pinch I should be able to sell some mech parts.
Reworked Evacuation Zones
The only time I ever use the evac zone is on one particular map where I would have to go all the way to the other side, to destroy one last turret to finish off the OpFor. Mostly I just clear the map. There’s only ever been one time where I was forced into a fighting retreat. Thankfully the evac zone wasn’t behind the enemy.
More often than not, the evac site is placed behind an enemy lance. So you’re better off fighting them anyway. I think the evac zones always spawn in the same place. I wouldn’t necessarily want to make its location completely random. Perhaps a solution would be to have several, predetermined locations, where it could randomly show up.
Enemy Pilots Willing to Eject
The enemy AI can be pretty suicidal at times. An enemy mech can lose all its weapons, plus a leg, but he’ll still hobble his way towards my mechs. My mechs can be in tip top shape but he still thinks he can melee the shit out of us and win. Let’s be real here. Have them eject. That opens up the possibility of a nemesis system of sorts. Luckily, the developers at HBS have said in a recent reddit AMA that they’re looking into such a mechanic. Start by giving the AI a sense of self preservation.
Missions with Tonnage Parameters
The game itself tells you: “Bigger is usually better.” I think you may be able to just drop the “usually”. I always bring the heaviest mechs I have, carve my way through the enemy, and complete the mission. There’s maybe one or two story missions that can make it beneficial, but I still finished everything by bringing the heaviest mechs I had.
There’s only one story mission where you really should bring a lighter, faster mech; but only if you want to complete a side objective. You get extra money for completing side objectives but the story remains the same. On my current playthrough I’m about halfway through the story and I have 100 million C-Bills. So money is no longer an incentive.
I say, keep the current missions the way they are, but in the future add missions that have certain parameters. One of these could be tonnage parameters that can affect payout. Perhaps the maximum allowed tonnage can be apart of the contract negotiation or different clients can provide varying amounts of unrestricted tonnage capacity based on reputation. By ‘unrestricted’ I mean that you can surpass the maximum ‘free’ tonnage, but would have to pay for it, affecting profit but increasing chance of success. Inversely, if you bring a lance that is below the amount of free tonnage, the difference is added to end mission profits.
More Random Mission Elements
Maybe you go on an assassination mission and the target really isn’t there. All you find is the lance that escorted it out of the area. Maybe you go out on a mission and a government that you have a low reputation with has placed a bounty on your head, or they’ve hired another mercenary company to find you and kill you. All of a sudden a lance of custom mechs show up to take you down. You can evac but they’ll be back. You can fight them, and some might evac themselves or eject when they realize they can’t win. *Insert aforementioned nemesis system*
Maybe you go on a mission that is really a trap and you’re forced to evac. Reinforcements won’t stop coming. Waves of lances keep dropping in with increasingly higher weight classes.
Also, how about some multi-mission contracts. I can imagine contracts that have more story attached to them. Perhaps some randomized elements or completion of, or failure of side objectives can make the contract end abruptly or expand to an extra missions.
I’m sure HBS will want to release an expansion with a new story to play through. I hope the story is multi-layered and can mutate based off actions of the player. I always wonder how different things could have been if I could have killed Victoria on Smithon. Maybe the failure of one mission doesn’t have to mean game over. Just an alternate follow up mission.
Near the end of the campaign you have to go on a mission that requires you to have two full lances. I want more of that. It’ll make using those extra mech slots in the mech bay more useful, since I’m not using them at all right now.
It could be that you have to attack a base, but there’s a very big garrison. So one lance goes out on a diversionary mission to draw some of the defenders away. On that mission, the objective is to keep the enemy units there for a set amount of turns before you can evacuate, or you can destroy all the units, if you can. Once that mission is over you switch over to the other lance attacking the base. You have a set amount of turns before the enemy units that left, turn. Unless they’ve all been destroyed. If a player is feeling cocky or just wants the challenge, give them the option to attack the base right away with no diversion. That’s just one idea. There are many more possibilities.
Speaking of multi-lance missions. I envision this in much the same way. It doesn’t have to be two lances in one mission. It could have the same effect as with the single player multi-lance missions. One player’s actions and/or achievements can affect the mission of the other player.
That’s all I got. Have you been playing Battletech? What do you think they should add and/or can improve upon? It’s already a great game, but it’s got all sort of potential.
Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and atwitter incompetent. “Commit war crimes and defeat Victoria with just medium mechs? Challenge accepted.”