I have always been a big BattleTech fan even through some of the mistakes made in it. Since I first played the board game in the 80s, ran a campaign and played early editions of computer versions. I even tried out the CMG version though I had to drop that due to both cost and another mistake in the history to support it, another big time jump forward as if the writers did not know what to do with the time period being used.
So of course when I finally heard about a couple of current versions being done, MechWarrior Online and MechWarrior Tactics, I have tried the first and found a way into Closed BETA for the second, due to NDA I will not discuss the second at all until Closed BETA is finished. But I have spent some time at the first, MWO being its acronym.
Initially it looked interesting and promising despite being in Open BETA. I spent my time playing and seeing how much of previous BattleTech games were a part of it. I did not expect a finished product but what they had looked alright. Took a bit to get back into the play style of a MechWarrior game, I had not played one in about a decade. I did expect it to be similar to the MechWarrior titles I had played and that would make it enjoyable.
Initially I did not participate in the Forums much instead spending my time there reading up on a lot of subjects including the broken issues that are to be expected. Since then, here and there I would drop a post on something. Slowly I looked for the broken things that needed fixing so I could write informed reports on them since I have done analysis and review on other games along with professional troubleshooting in some industries.
Then came one of the most broken things I have seen done in BattleTech.
They changed an ECM System so it provided what you would call Stealth abilities. The claim was that Long-Range Missiles were broken and certain people were complaining that there needed to be a fix so this was it. The effect was that adding the Stealth system made targets unable to be fire upon by anyone using LRMs without a special device that was not easy to use in a shooter, it also made enemies undetectable, negated a few other systems that were never a problem and finally when a unit with ECM was close to you, made it impossible to tell friend from foe.
Problem was the system it was based on was never this strong, it only negated a few systems a feature that it still did but some of these Stealth features are way too overpowered, only someone with no skill at all and zero team qualities would benefit from them. It forces people to play by a bad style where there is nothing but brawling in close quarters, tactics and strategy are largely removed from the game. There have been attempts to counter this massive change but not enough to counter what it does.
I will follow this up with an article about the LRMs since it relates to other games and military history, an article about ECM in full and an article about other things in MWO.