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MechWarrior 4 Free Release Delayed By Microsoft

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the time-for-a-game-insurance-reform-bill dept.

Microsoft 90

Vamman writes with a followup to news from 2009 that MekTek.net was going to release MechWarrior 4 for free after obtaining permission from Smith & Tinker, who licensed the MechWarrior rights from Microsoft. Now, almost a year later, the free release has yet to see the light of day, in large part due to Microsoft. Quoting: "... the Free Release is held up at Microsoft and it is unknown to us and our studio when the Free Release will be given the final go ahead. Due to the demands placed upon us by industry lawyers to release the Mechwarrior4 Free release we were forced to insure our studio at a premium rate to meet the Microsoft standard. Our insurance policy is a one year lease and we are unable to tap out of this policy until next fall. In addition to our insurance costs we are also struggling with our server costs. Currently, our server fund has run dry and staff and beta members are paying out of their pockets to help keep MekTek online. At this point we don't know from month to month if we will be able to stay online." Vamman adds, "MekTek has released a major update for their existing community, expansion MekPak 3.1. They are also promising their new expansion, MekPak 4, in a few weeks as open beta!"

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90 comments

Free Allergy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31724826)

Microsoft does have 'Free' allergy

You mean "Free Allegiance", free game from MS (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31730836)

MS did give away a pretty good game for free. Here is the wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiance_(video_game) [wikipedia.org] . It is now community maintained. You can download and play it now. You can get the game at http://www.freeallegiance.org/ [freeallegiance.org]

Antithesis of Free (1, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724830)

Microsoft seems to be the antithesis of free especially when you look at their Xbox network. They don't allow user-generated content at all. Perhaps, just perhaps, they don't want people coming to expect that you don't have to pay for everything.

Re:Antithesis of Free (0, Offtopic)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724894)

Hey! we have almost the same sig! Way to go!

Re:Antithesis of Free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31724942)

Hey, me too!

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724964)

You're clearly meant for each other.

Re:Antithesis of Free (0, Offtopic)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725212)

Clean shot! From the middle of the ring and past the goalie for the winning point!!

Re:Antithesis of Free (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725310)

Your

Re:Antithesis of Free (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725730)

You're == You are.

You are clearly meant for each other.

You're is correct.

You're an idiot.

Re:Antithesis of Free (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727042)

You're is correct.

You are correct

Re:Antithesis of Free (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727730)

Actually, it should have been "You're" is correct.

FTFY.

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31729626)

You're is correct.

You are correct

"You're" is correct. You're wrong.

Re:Antithesis of Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31735192)

WHOOSH!

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727578)

So who got the quote wrong?

Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master

I think is correct. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sid_Meier's_Alpha_Centauri [wikiquote.org] and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0292917/quotes [imdb.com]

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727874)

Ah, but my sig is a paraphrase, not a direct quote. Through maybe I should drop the quotation marks.

I could always go back to my sig about the affairs of dragons and ketchup but that just doesn't seem as social relevant to whats going on in the world today.

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724922)

Microsoft seems to be the antithesis of free especially when you look at their Xbox network. They don't allow user-generated content at all.

Halo 3? Trials HD? And that's just a few on top of my head, from Microsoft-published games. Granted, more than slightly lame compared to mods in PC games, but still, some user-generated content is better than no content at all...

Fallout 3 (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724952)

On the Fallout 3 forums it was specifically stated that the reason no user-generated DLC would be available on Xbox 360 was because of Microsoft's policies. Perhaps someone can dig up a citation?

Re:Fallout 3 (4, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725082)

Here [mtv.com] is an article that talks about why user generated content is restricted so much on an Xbox 360: Microsoft is afraid someone will draw a penis. So, no opportunity to community vett content before it goes to general consumption just ban it from everyone and leave the job to the professionals.

Re:Fallout 3 (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725256)

So only professionally drawn penises are acceptable to Microsoft for distribution?

Re:Fallout 3 (2, Funny)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725462)

Exactly. How would it look for Microsoft's image is screenshots of poorly drawn penises in their games were splashed all over the internet? No, only high quality penises will be allowed in their games.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727288)

Watchmen game [watchmenvideogame.com] professionally drawn blue penis for all!

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31731384)

Microsoft are scared that your penis will be bigger than theirs!

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726332)

Microsoft is afraid someone will draw a penis.

Right, young gentlemen, show of hands: how many of you have made... certain object shapes in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's level editor? ... Quit blushing now, young lads, this is a serious issue! Surely Nintendo is more conservative about these issues than Microsoft! Out with it!

In other words, I think such fears are sort of justified, but *ahem* sufficiently motivated people can, and will, find ways around the limitations, so I think Microsoft is being more than a little bit too strict here.

Re:Fallout 3 (5, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725188)

Epic also wanted community made maps to be added to UT3, and MS told them no.

Valve Software wants to release their DLC on Xbox Live for free, like they do on the PC, and MS literally will not let them do it.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725518)

Does Valve pay for the servers and bandwidth required to serve the DLC, or does Microsoft? I'm all for free, but if it's costing Microsoft money to distribute the stuff, I see no reason why they should give it out for free.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725964)

Because, unless I'm missing something, the only way that you can use DLC is through their store. There is an exception for PCs, as you can mod them, however if you're using the XBox, you're kind of out of luck, even if you want to download them from the internet.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726812)

That's pretty ironic considering that most Xbox Live games are using peer to peer networking, even though they charge you a subscription for it. If the company creating the content wants it to be free it should be. Paying for Xbox Live should be enough to give you the ability to download free content a developer wants to give out.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Haymaker (1664103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31731188)

Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but Xbox LIVE silver accounts are unpaid and "let" you buy content on the store.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727388)

Valve doesn't pay for the DLC servers on steam unless you download directly from them. The rest are local mirrors, selectable via the steam settings.

Do we pay for each match when it's hosted on EA or MS servers? Didn't think so, we pay for XBL subs so I think it's a bit rich to say we shouldn't be allowed to have free downloads.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725588)

Yet another reason why PC gaming is dead.

Also, does this mean DLC content is released on the PS3? Some more ammunition in the endless console flame wars.

Re:Fallout 3 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726102)

Wait. What?

PC gaming is dead because of the tons of content available for free? I don't think that having to pay for patches and being denied user-created content is a very good argument in favor of consoles.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31729002)

WOOSH

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31734388)

Yeah, he's not the only person that got whooshed on that one, because GP's post didn't make any damned sense.

Developers give you free updates and user-content on PC, but console companies won't let anything through their fingers for free, and so PC gaming is dead? Where the hell does this conclusion come from?

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31731810)

I imagine the tens of millions of people playing MMOs, 4X, RTS, and FPS games would disagree with you.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726348)

Uhhh they offer free maps and other DLC on Xbox live ALL the time. I never pay for anything on there. Sooo do you have some sort of source for this story about Valve software?

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727182)

As an xbox owner myself I have to debate the parent's claim, just how often is "ALL the time"? I can't say there has been a major DLC for a recent game that hasn't cost something in a bit now. (Unless you want to say things like gamer pictures for free are DLC)

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31729150)

Of course there are sources.

EuroGamer reported on it [eurogamer.net] , and it's quoting Valve's Chet Faliszek.

Note: This is for the already released Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 DLC, and not about the vaporware that is the 360 Team Fortress 2 update (which makes engine changes).

Re:Fallout 3 (0, Troll)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726278)

MS won't even allow developers/publishers give away content for their own games. Everything has to have a price tag on the 360.

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725776)

- Visual Studio Express Editions
- Windows API
- XAML Development Tools
- Microsoft Virtual PC
- Windows Movie Maker
- PhotoSynth
- Windows Defender Anti-Spyware

almost everything they release is free (except for windows, office, and visual studio pro)... granted it's all part of vender lock-in so that Windows stays #1 for market penetration, but you can't say they don't give out free stuff. (not to mention they mailed me a free office 2007 t-shirt for beta testing and a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and Office Standard 2007 for working in a retail store that sells it and doing their "training" on it)

Re:Antithesis of Free (4, Interesting)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725100)

Xbox 360 is the easiest console to do indie development for. Just look at XNA.

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725140)

No joke. XNA is awesome. However, indie dev != user generated content. Forza 3 seems to have plenty of opportunities for user generated content though, so clearly Microsoft isn't sitting in their heavenly throne frowning at all the game devs who want their players to be able to customize their gear a little. As far as custom maps/mods goes, I can envision a slew of technical reasons why that wouldn't be attractive to MS, in addition to the issues mentioned elsewhere of users drawing penises on every surface they can touch.
I don't think Microsoft is quite as anti-free as everyone seems to think. They just like control over what's free.

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31733232)

Forza 3 seems to have plenty of opportunities for user generated content though, so clearly Microsoft isn't sitting in their heavenly throne frowning at all the game devs who want their players to be able to customize their gear a little. As far as custom maps/mods goes, I can envision a slew of technical reasons why that wouldn't be attractive to MS, in addition to the issues mentioned elsewhere of users drawing penises on every surface they can touch. I don't think Microsoft is quite as anti-free as everyone seems to think. They just like control over what's free.

Forza 3's studio, Turn 10, is owned by MS. So, the rules are obviously different for a 1st party dev. Of course, this also means they take moderation of content very seriously, and hand out lots of bans for even relatively minor issues. They also are required to use only matchmaking with TrueSkill for public online play. The older games allowed players to set up PC-style public lobbies, but that went away with 3, likely at MS's request/mandate.

I think you're absolutely correct that MS just wants to control the terms. Sometimes it's good (keeping cheaters and douchebags off Live), and sometimes that's bad (killing free MW4).

Re:Antithesis of Free (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31734836)

Microsoft's XNA platform is really the only way a hobbyist could get something on a console. They're far friendlier to the amateur developer than Nintendo or Sony.

Extinguish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31724834)

Extinguish?

I'll come pay to play (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31724944)

I'll come pay to play; Just give me a "Donator Mech" that can unload a Macross Missile Massacre [tvtropes.org] at will and I'm in!

Re:I'll come pay to play (1)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728990)

That's basically what Alpha Strike did with any 'mech in MW2 and 3. I never played 4, but I'm assuming it's the same.

Damm, i hate being right. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725132)

I had the thought of 'microsoft will NEVER put out anything free thats any good' back when they announced this.

I'm a big mechwarrior fan and i own all their games. And holy crap its a pain in the ass to install mech4 series with all the packs, keys, drm, patches, updates, and other hoops to jump thru.
A free all in one pack would make it so simple.

Mechwarrior is also what got me started on piracy. The retail version had that horrible copy protection running sucking up resources and causing crashes. Kill that during the game and it runs fine.
Till the next game looks for it. And you have to reload. But the pirated copy didnt have any of that problem.

So mechwarrior was the first game i owned that i pirated. because the pirate version ran BETTER!

Since that day its been pirate first. Buy if its worthy. (Looking back, there were not a lot of them worth buying. maybe 3-5 games a year max.)

MechWarrior series (5, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725358)

I have to say, when Mechwarrior was owned by FASA it was an exciting universe, I had a lot of ideas. I played MW2 back in the day online. Was in a Merc group for online play and we did rather well. I mean think of it, there were clans, Federation groups, and merc groups. it had a money system and you could buy/sell things. They had planets setup that would produce so much a week, etc. it was a full economy that this gaming group did on their own. There was even travel time between planets, and you had to "own" your own ships.
I left it after a while, but I enjoyed it and thought that it was a fun experience. That is an MMO, IMO. Eve is okay in this area, but MechWarrior just had the stories and the background. When MW3 and MW4 came out I was hoping to see that they were still around. They kind of are, but not in the scale that I speak of above. People didnt like MW3 or MW4 in the dynamics it provided like MW2 did.
One day I hope for a MW Universe based off the MW2 online community, but it may never happen because WizKids made it the lamest piece of crap I have ever seen.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725418)

I agree with everything you said.
However, I wish the game could have been re-skinned to be more modern.l On the video I see on MekTek it still looks like something out of the 90's

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725528)

However, I wish the game could have been re-skinned to be more modern.l On the video I see on MekTek it still looks like something out of the 90's

In order to accomplish that the engine would need substantial updating. Essentially, the source code would have to be released, as it was for Allegiance [microsoft.com] . Only, I had never even heard of Allegiance until Microsoft released the source; Mechwarrior IV is one of the more popular PC games out there. And I, for one, will play the living heck out of it if it will run on WINE, and see if I can get back to the top of the Attrition and Team Attrition rankings :) My gigabyte mainboard produces black screens when trying to install XP, which I tried from several CDs and with multiple video cards, as well as two BIOS revisions. "It works here"... FU gigabyte.

Re:MechWarrior series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726118)

Try fiddling with the BIOS. Its not the motherboard, its you.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31731966)

Apparently, Allegiance is from Microsoft Research. They really don't seem to commercialize their software much...

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726036)

Honestly, I don't think MW3 & 4 are to blame for it, MW2 was simply made in a different era. I mean, back then MS Flight Sim was one of, if not *the* biggest PC franchise of all, yet the last one sold so badly it killed both the franchise and the studio that developed it. Racing sims, space sims, new installments in those genres used to get front-page ads in gaming magazines, nowadays you're lucky if they get a short review alongside the latest Bejeweled clone.

For whatever reason, PC gamers seem to have abandoned the 'sim' genre this past decade, and that includes the 'mech sim' subgenre that Mechwarrior belongs to. Sure MW3 & 4 weren't perfect, but for all their flaws they had enough improvements as well for me to say that each one was, overall, a better product than its predecessor. Unfortunately however, that wasn't enough to save the genre which is why we're here discussing the free re-release of an almost 10-years-old game instead of the big-budget sequel it deserves (and for the previously announced MW5, I'm still skeptical that it'll ever see the light of day).

Re:MechWarrior series (3, Insightful)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727524)

MW2 was simply made in a different era. I mean, back then MS Flight Sim was one of, if not *the* biggest PC franchise of all

The different era is the standardization of computers. Back with the early mechwarriors not even mouses were a standard on all computers. The standard PC didn't have a sound card. You bought a sound card specifically for games (which is why sound cards have gameports for joysticks). Every PC game released in that era required setting up. So an extra $50 for a joystick and dozens of keybindings wasn't considered that much of a pain.

Nowadays PC games are standardized, they assume you have a keyboard+mouse (or are using an xbox gamepad). With DirectX it's mostly seamless for controls, sound, and video. Joysticks are a very niche product. What's common about mech/space/flight sims is they all basically require a joystick. Gamers with joysticks nowadays are so few that the market is small.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728586)

The last serious giant robot sim would have been Steel Batallion. Which came with it's own control panel plus pedal assembly. (You cannot, in good faith, refer to the controller with came with Steel Batallion as a 'joystick.')

Good old joysticks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31728736)

I am 20 years old software engineering student and moved away from home about a month ago. As I was packing my stuff and rummaging through all the crates, I found a dusty joystick. I remember using one of those when I was a kid (some of the older people here probably would still consider me to be one...). I used that controller so much in games like Descent and MechWarriors (I just checked the Wikipedia. Seems like I was about 10 when MechWarrior 4 came out)... And then forgot that it ever existed.

Finding that was extremely nostalgic. I'm going to install MW 3 & 4 soon and see if that still works. I doubt that people younger than me have ever used one, though.

Re:Good old joysticks (1)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31729052)

My younger brother and sister (19 and 16) always had the joystick (a Gravis two-button) when we played Jazz Jackrabbit 2 or some stuff on emulators (Gunstar Heroes and Puyo Puyo, mainly) when we were young. But that's because we considered the keyboard to be inferior control device back then. Heh, that's certainly changed.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31731972)

The different era is the standardization of computers. Back with the early mechwarriors not even mouses were a standard on all computers. The standard PC didn't have a sound card. You bought a sound card specifically for games (which is why sound cards have gameports for joysticks). Every PC game released in that era required setting up. So an extra $50 for a joystick and dozens of keybindings wasn't considered that much of a pain.

This is only completely true for Mechwarrior, the original, which was only a DOS game. So was Mechwarrior 2, but then it became a windows game, and didn't require setup. What it DID require was that you had the right version for your particular video card; at the time, there was no Direct3D, and PC gaming wasn't yet using OpenGL. About the only games that actually came in a version for every card were Mechwarrior 2, and Tomb Raider. But if you ran Windows, sound and video configuration were taken care of for you. By the time Mechwarrior 3 rolled around, DOS was over and we were in the era of Direct3D. But even by the time of Mechwarrior 2, pretty much everyone had a mouse.

Re:MechWarrior series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31739794)

Sound cards have "gameports" not for joysticks but for midi keyboards.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726954)

I agree entirely - Battletech was my hobby and passion growing up, and it's not what it was under the reign of FASA. Wizkids just about ran it into the ground.

That said, compared to MW2, MW3 was beautiful but ultimately limited. The options for random scenario play was pretty constrained; it was a sterile environment compared to the first two games that gave you dozens and dozens of chassis' and planets and scenarios. MW4 was even worse - not only was it sterile, it was also unfaithful to the mech building mechanics that gave the franchise so much life in the first place. I installed MW4 and played it for an afternoon before uninstalling it and never looking back. The disappointment reached into my soul and extinquished the fire I'd been keeping alight for Mechwarrior. We had fun times, but those times are over.

Greymond below comments that the mechs look like refugees from the 90s... maybe that's for the best. That's where all the best memories are.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728026)

There certainly were plenty of things in MW4 that made it a lesser sequel to MW2... however I have to say the weapon customization based on hardpoints was actually a really good idea. I always thought it was strange that in previous mechwarrior games you could put every weapon on just your legs and torsos and get away with it. Now I know classic battletech let you do that too, but you also had random hit tables too so it didn't matter as much.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31729238)

MW4 wasn't "unfaithful", it merely incorporated more material (specifically, the hardpoint limitations and more faithfully applied the weapon reload times) from the Solaris VII material and Mechwarrior RPG books that FASA themselves wrote, in order to make you have honest choices between mech chassis.

Remember, in the tabletop game, if you want a "custom" 'mech, you have to either be (a) an elite front-line Clan warrior or (b) insanely fucking rich (Solaris champion, IS House, owner of a mech factory, etc). Most pilots have to use whatever stock configuration came off the assembly line that they got assigned to by their merc unit or army.

Yeah, it took me a bit to adjust to the "type-specific" hardpoints, but after a while they made some sense, and it added a bit more dimension to the possible choices of ride.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31734320)

The hardpoint system had much more in common with the loadouts in Mechcommander than Solaris VII. Sure, custom mechs are expensive. However, if that's the tack you're taking, why have hardpoints at all, instead of just stock configurations? More importantly, if you have an omnimech, say, why aren't all its hardpoints generic hardpoints, rather than having them typed like they do in the game? It would have bothered me less if IS designs had limited hardpoint configurations but omnimechs had full flexibility.

I think the reason they went down this path was actually laziness. They didn't like the look of missiles shooting out of a barrel and decided to prevent you from building configurations where that could happen, rather than spending more effort to make a system that would put a 3D model of a missile launcher there instead.

Also, reload times were used ever since MW2; it was not a new feature in MW4 by a long shot.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31737628)

More importantly, if you have an omnimech, say, why aren't all its hardpoints generic hardpoints, rather than having them typed like they do in the game? It would have bothered me less if IS designs had limited hardpoint configurations but omnimechs had full flexibility.

Because even Clan "Omni" 'mechs weren't all Omni? If you had read most of the sourcebooks, many of the Clan "Omni" mechs still were (at least as far as sourcebook/novel) limited to certain areas being Omni. Arms were especially good for this, as were missile pods, the torso sections were much less likely to be Omni-capable.

Omni technology is EXPENSIVE. Even for the Clans, only the top-of-the-line, front-line Omnimech forces got the "full omnimech" treatment. Most of the Clan units were either partial-Omni only, or were plain old "what you get is what you get" setups.

Re:MechWarrior series (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31740714)

I would dispute this. The limitations on what can be mounted where are pretty minor, and mostly pertained to autocannons and gauss rifles being unable to mount hand actuators, if I recall correctly (I believe that was specified in the old Batteltech Compendium). It was actually pretty rare and aberrant omnimechs that had fixed weapons (eg. the Adder's flamer).

I disagree that most clan units were only partially omni. In fact, by Battletech Master Rules standards, a unit is either all omni or not omni at all. Certainly, the TRO:3050 units were entirely omni (with the aforementioned rare exceptions of fixed weapons). It was not until TRO:3060 that we saw partially-omni units (a series of omni-vehicles fielded by Wolf's Dragoons, I believe). I challenge you to present a canon partially-omni Clan mech from before 3060. Also, the only non-omni Clan mechs even mentioned prior to TRO-3055 are IS refits with Clan tech.

Yes, omni-tech is expensive, but given the Clans are run as a command economy ruled by a warrior elite, I'm pretty sure they feel the tradeoff is worth having. Also, in many Clans even second-line freebirth units still had omnimechs (they were just told what loadouts they had to have). Eg, Pershaw telling Aidan that he had to mount hand actuators instead of ballistic weapons in Blood Name.

Fuc4? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725424)

May ALso want

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725426)

Sounds more like an insurance issue than Microsoft, but idiots tend to blame Microsoft the second its brought up.

And yes, even if Microsoft had nothing to do with this they would still have had to get that kind of insurance, thats insurance corruption morons.

Re:Hmm... (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725736)

Sounds more like releasing it for free means no income from MS to pay the insurance and server operating costs. Maybe the notion of a free game doesn't work if no-one pays for the server end of it?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726716)

No, that's not the problem. The server expenses aren't servers hosting the game. Not "JimBob's 16-player Jerkhouse". More "Click here to download" type server. Microsoft isn't going to lose a (real) dime releasing this for free -- Mektek would be the one incurring all the costs for distributing it. Microsoft is worried, I think, that they'll be losing (potential) dimes on it, because Free Is Bad. And, so, because they don't want to lose potential dimes, and because they don't want to axe the whole thing outright, they're just dragging their feet and in the process Mektek has been paying for months out the ears to make sure they're prepared at any moment for the release of MW4 for free.. but they don't have the cash reserves of income to continue paying for all that extra capacity. Microsoft successfully hemmed and hawed around long enough that the whole thing's going to fall through and they can pretend it wasn't their fault, that they had all intentions of following through and are investigating other avenues.

Re:Hmm... (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728042)

Microsoft already shut down the Zone match servers a few years ago, so currently they are paying nothing for upkeep. Mektek has is own matchmaking service set up and maintains the servers themselves I think.

To quote a great American philosopher (2, Informative)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725824)

"You fucked up! You trusted us!"
- Otter

Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725874)

Well, I'll be. You know, I hadn't even heard that anyone was planning on releasing this for free, so a few days ago I got it off a torrent. Looks like piracy was the way to go. Realistically, the game is already out there for free, no?

Financial angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31725898)

Is the release "free" for Microsoft?

I'm remembering when Stallone and Schwarzenegger used to have drinks & cigars to discuss release schedules so they wouldn't step on each other's toes. A free Mechwarrior is a game people will be playing instead of a bought game people would be playing. Either bought from Microsoft, or from one of Microsoft's partners.

Given that, I don't see any free game ever being released if it needs Microsoft's permission. It's directly against Microsoft's financial interest.

I mean, what, they're going to allow the release to generate some goodwill? Excuse me while I laugh my morning coffee against the monitor. Microsoft has built a huge business by never giving a damn about goodwill. Yeah, no -- it's not going to happen. Ever.

Re:Financial angle (3, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726370)

MechCommander 2, shared source release [microsoft.com]

This is the Shared Source release for MechCommander 2. This release contains all of the source code and source assets required to build MechCommander 2. This release can be used with the Microsoft XNA Build March 2006 Community Technology Preview (CTP).

They've given this away for free (with source code), so why not give away Mech Warrior 4 for free, too? It's not like the games are extremely new or anything

This makes no sense (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726184)

I've read the post and links three times. There is no statement of fact that makes any sense. At all.

I will now guess at what the problem is. The terms of the license from Microsoft require Studio MekTek to have some level of insurance -- possibly to indemnify Microsoft. MekTek doesn't have enough money to purchase said insurance. So the gating factor isn't Microsoft, it's Studio MekTek's lack of money.

And by the way, Studio MekTek doesn't have enough money to keep their servers running.

So what we have here is a plea for money.

Re:This makes no sense (2, Interesting)

Gwarsbane (905113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726336)

MekTek got the insurance a while back, but Microsoft still hasn't gotten back to MekTek for what ever reason. "Due to the demands placed upon us by industry lawyers to release the Mechwarrior4 Free release we were forced to insure our studio at a premium rate to meet the Microsoft standard. Our insurance policy is a one year lease and we are unable to tap out of this policy until next fall." Does that sound like MekTek didn't get the insurance? Everything was done on MekTek's end. We got everything we needed, we were waiting for Microsoft to sign off on the legal papers, and we've been waiting for a very long time.

Re:This makes no sense (1)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727938)

Indeed. Proof of coverage was shown months ago.

Re:This makes no sense (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728098)

Perhaps a series of simple fact filled statements would have been better.
1. We (MekTek) were required to purchase insurance indemnifying Microsoft before we could release the software.
2. We purchased this insurance on (date).
3. We notified Microsoft of this according to their instructions on (date).
4. Two weeks later we had not heard back from Microsoft.
5. We then contacted (name) at Microsoft on (date). ... and so forth.

Re:This makes no sense (2, Insightful)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727912)

Allow me to make some sense for you. In order to release the said software Microsoft requires all companies to have insurance coverage ($5000/year) incase everyone ends up in court so you can cover yourself with a couple of million in coverage - its a safety net for a bunch of lawyers. Anyone doing software distribution should have coverage especially if they are profiting - which MekTek isn't. MekTek has paid for the insurance under the agreement but assumed the release was forth coming much faster. That was months and months ago. This has been a growing case for most larger corps requiring smaller groups to have intense commercial liability insurance. A big strain.

Boo to Microsoft (0, Troll)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726266)

I thought Microsoft said it would fully 100% support free and open source software including games.

Thank you for proving that you are jerks once again Microsoft by stopping this free Mechwarrior 4 release. It could have been good public relations and got you more business. Now we FOSS developers are going to have to speak against you for some bad public relations and hurt your sales and business and reputation.

Only Microsoft can beat Microsoft in this way and put themselves out of business by 2017 [kuro5hin.org] , indeed!

Re:Boo to Microsoft (1)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31732002)

If you honestly think that a few pissed off FOSS developers are going to even slightly affect the sales or reputation of MS games, you are quite terrifyingly deluded.

Mechwarrior Living Legends beat them to the punch (3, Interesting)

StupidKatz (467476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726402)

With the advent of the open beta of Mechwarrior Living Legends [mechlivinglegends.net] , the "official" games may well be eclipsed by a fan-made total conversion mod for Crysis/Crysis Warhead. MWLL features, among other cool things, combined arms: air, mechs, infantry, and tanks are all playable and useful on the battlefield.

Re:Mechwarrior Living Legends beat them to the pun (1)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728014)

I'll wager that MWLL is as vulnerable in this situation as MekTek is whether they like it or not. Their agreement with Microsoft Canada was a game usage rights agreement which from what they posted long ago appeared to be a rather similar type of agreement to what MekTek has. These are vulnerable agreements for modders. If Microsoft can shut down the free release then Microsoft can shut down MWLL/Crytek pretty easily as well. Crytek took advantage and publicity and likely made some sales off it.

Re:Mechwarrior Living Legends beat them to the pun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31816048)

It's so not MW... just tripe for stupid FPS kids like your self. Stop smoking SO MUCH DICK.

Battletech/Mechwarrior - so much promise (1)

Anthony (4077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727380)

Battletech on the SNES was my favourite. It had a story line and you could customise your mechs for each mission. Mechwarrior I on the PC was clunky in comparrison, but it did have Inner Sphere Mechs which was great. Mech II had awesome cut scenes but no real customisability. FASA selling to MS sent it over the edge. I can understand the financial reasons, but the passion for the Battletech universe was never there. VR Battle Tech [wikipedia.org] was fun, but it died in Australia. Never got to gain full control of the cockpit. I would play a game that had the tactical and build flexibility of the tabletop game but kept track of conditions etc.

Re:Battletech/Mechwarrior - so much promise (2, Informative)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728088)

Not sure what game you played, but Mechwarrior 2 was the first battletech game where you had as full customization as you did in the board game, right down to placing each "critical" slot for each weapon and ammo installed. Of course mechwarrior 2 for playstation 1 didn't have this ability if I remember correctly, so the PC version may have had the advantage of full customization.

Re:Battletech/Mechwarrior - so much promise (2, Informative)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31728222)

Are you sure you played Mechwarrior 2? It was the most customizable of the lot, by far. It was also the Mech game with the best gameplay, single and multiplayer.

Microsoft is working out the details. (2, Funny)

517714 (762276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727666)

Once they figure out how to make it free and overpriced at the same time they will release it.

Bill Gates Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31729430)

Really? Still have that stupid icon?
Is it still 1995?

You're still saving bandwidth by not having photos on your blog? Just stupid icons like a borged bill gates?

The Borg and Bill Gates are no longer even relevant.
Much like this site.
I will remove it from my daily read list. Along with suck.com.

Re:Bill Gates Borg (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31730536)

Suck.com hasn't published since 2001.

Boy was it good though.

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