This is a re-release of NetMech IV originally made by Evil Cow and the mechstorm crew...
The closest thing you can get to Classic Battletech for Mechwarrior 4 Mercs on the PC.
Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries
Netmech is a mod for Mechwarrior 4 Mercs that adds the Classic Battletech Rule set to the standard Mercs game so Mercs at last behaves like a real time version of CBT. This means the arcade game we know as Mercs now has a slightly more Simulation feel to it than most players will be expecting. True Sim fans will thrown on my use of the word Sim here and I would agree. This is not Falcon 4 or Microsoft flight Simulator or anywhere near as complex as those simulations are. Netmech is however more of a Sim than Mechwarrior 4 was. With lots of cool additions and features and more skill required on the players part to master those features.
We expect Netmech will primarily appeal to true Battletech fans who prefer it over the arcady feel the standard game has given to the Mechwarrior titles. Lets face it Mechwarrior only has the mechs in common with Battletech, if you think about it you will know thats true. I am not really a true battletech fan my self but work on various coops means I have studied Battletech more than some fans have but I feel Netmech has improved the game play and opens the door for a truly unique styles of play that will appeal to all Mech fans once they try it.
The biggest problem for me was that players quickly got in to the old Daishi rush routine within months of Mechwarrior 4s release. Because of the uber mechs in the game, players naturally flocked to the most powerful mechs at the expense of various other mechs and gametypes available. Then we saw the map cycles being chosen to suit those uber mechs and the game slowly lost all its best features and most of its fan base.
Today there are a few uber mechs most take on clear days with the sun shining brightly in to a game of Team Attrition or similar gametypes.
Its know wonder many players got bored and left the scene.
Netmech has taken this issue on and dealt with it by balancing the game according to FASAs own rules rather than our own preferred rules. The end result surprised even me. The annoying heat issue actually turned out to be its best feature when the Uber mechs suddenly could not go on one massive killing spree without shutting down. The gap between them and the weaker mechs closed to a more realistic level, in sense leveling the playing field a lot without limiting the Uber mechs firepower. They are still just as powerful but take more skill to use in Netmech.
So the Uber mech pilot in Netmech that does well will be a true Mechwarrior and not a Noob.
The other thing this solved was the Alpha Strike syndrome we all used to death, not exactly the way the mechs were ment to be, sured but a feature none the less. It was supposed to be rare yet its become very common. So Netmech heat scale means you can still Alpha Strike but the heat will shut you down, preventing you from doing it again too soon. So all is fair in the world of mech weapon balancing in this regard.
Another issue was light mechs, the player really had to role play these to be effective because they were never going to be effective without the play acting out the role of scout or recon. To do so was to sacrifice points for the sake of team play. And even then the team usually did not appreciate the effort. This practically forced light mech fans on to CTF servers where others like them could enjoy the style of game they preferred.
Well Netmech fixes that too, I have seen a flea taking on Assault mechs and winning simply because the Assault mech shut down whilst trying to hit the smaller, faster Flea. Accurate aiming is a skill players must learn because the heat will limit how often you can fire and that is enough to give the light mechs the chance they need to do well in almost any game. Now your own skill counts for something and will be recognized.
Of course the reverse is also true, I have seen light mech charge across the field of view of much larger mechs and get destroyed in one shot. Simply because the light mech player was stupid to go in to the open in front of a sniper. Some things do not change.
But that is how it should work, light mechs should be dangerous close up and their speed should be used to weave and avoid fire because its the one defense they have against powerful mechs.
The other problem we recognized and have tried to deal with is the ever increasing numbers of half empty Mercs servers. Netmech has brought players back to Mercs during the beta and we expect to see more return after release. But some servers will be running half empty and will be filled up with bots which puts players off joining those servers.
So we addressed that issue by making the bots more human and designing them to play like real players. We tested these against every set of lobby bots available for Mercs and the new Netmech bots slaughter them all in our tests in every game. We then told testers to take them on by joining the opposing bot team and seeing if they would swing the battle in the other bots favor. The words OWN and GOT MY ASS HANDED TO ME where repeated often by the most experienced players in our beta forum. So we know they work very well indeed.
What very few people fully appreciates is that because these mechs understand the mech they are in, they can be chosen as a clan might chose a team for a league match. Server admins will be able to configure their own bot teams via their selection of bot mechs in the lobby. So is perfectly possible to see servers running their own "All Star bot teams" to challenge Clans out there that need the practice. No more brawler style rush performed by every bot despite the mech it is in.
These are not actually features I am listing here but rather the effects of the features on the game play you will soon be experiencing. It has been amazing to see how much more combat like Mercs can be simply by apply the Classic battletech rules. I think you will be amazed too when you see it for your self.
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