Battletech by Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns)

Sometimes you just gotta spend the money to get the goods. Especially when it comes to big, stumpy robots.

Vote with your wallet. Big Stompy Robots for the People.

Do any of the mods bulk up the AI to more intelligently try and deal with your lance’s range profile?

I love the game but I felt like the AI would constantly close with me when they had a range advantage and I had overwhelming short range firepower. Made it a lot easier than having to try and manage position.

Does the game still take an Age to load? I would like to return with all the DLC at some point.

Yes, it does.

They improved the performance of the base game somewhat over time, although it is still slower than i would prefer. However, the added DLC then took some of those gains back. The urban maps in particular are slow to load. It’s unfortunate in that I feel the devs never really demonstrated technical mastery or efficient programming with their chosen engine, but the actual gameplay is really strong and the content ended up being quite plentiful with good breadth and depth. It’s not like a “buggy POS” kind of game but rather a game where you can feel the rivets occasionally straining under the load.

I can’t say if the mods do this or not, but in the BTA 3062 games I’m playing, the enemy tends to use its artillery and long range firepower quite well. They will close with you, but they don’t seem like lemmings at all.

My view is that the issue with the AI is derivative of the problems with the stock mech builds in the base game. Most of the stock mechs have a slapdash Rube-Goldberg kludge of weapon ranges, and the AI doesn’t seem to know how ot handle that. I’ve noticed that if you encounter enemy mechs with better / more focused layouts (like the S Jaegermechs with long guns or the Archer S with many missiles) you end up getting much smarter actions by the AI.

I haven’t played much BTA 3062 but one explanation for the better AI performance may be that the custom mechs designed by the modders have better / more efficient layouts than the stock kludges.

That does make sense. I play with stock mechs because I am an idiot nostalgia until the end game so maybe it’s harder for the AI to understand my range profile because it’s always somewhat mixed.

Okay, another question from a noob: I just played the (long) tutorial mission, and near the end I found myself facing a single heavy mech and a few turrets. Once the turrets were down, and the jumpjets on the heavy were disabled, it seemed like my only option was to pour fire into it until it went down.

Other options would have been:

  • I can’t do Precision Shots until I get Resolve, so no targeting the head with a called shot to try to take out the pilot
  • I can’t charge it and try to knock it down with melee (since it’s on a ledge)
  • I could have tried to focus on stability damaging weapons to try to knock it down for a called shot

I was wondering if I was missing something, and I think it’s having called shots at all times, like in other tactical combat games (Silent Storm, how I loved thee…).

A couple of things:

First this is where complex stuff like angle of attack comes in. One option in this scenario is to position your dudes so you can try to smack the enemy from the same side repeatedly to either take out a leg or at least a torso side. Just watch the red targeting outlines to see if you have a side shot.

Second, balancing damage versus stability damage is a thing. As you build mechs start to think about this. Missile boats can be a big help - always try to have one in your lance.

Thirdly in the long run morale and resolve are your friends. Try to settle events, set budgets and rebuild your ship to raise morale, without going broke.

This seems, anecdotally at least, to be a reasonable possibility. The 'Mechs in BTA 3062 are often very tightly focused.

Stability damage is so key. The majority of my MechWarrior injuries come from being knocked down. Using the ability that removes stability damage, taking skills that enhance stability, and avoiding rough terrain is always good to minimize the risk for your side. It stands to reason that forcing the enemy into unstable situations is a good tactic. And it is.

Weapons that have a lot of impact, like missiles or rockets, or autocannons, work well here. Forcing the enemy onto unstable terrain is good when you can do it. Melee, when you chose the right time and place and get lucky (:)) is great.

Where BTA 3062 shines is in the tools it gives you to do this sort of thing. Drop an AoE inferno shell on a group of enemies, followed by FASCAM mines delivered by LRM. Force them to move out of the heat through the mines, preferably on or into rough terrain. Use high-impact ordnance like artillery HE rounds with to-hit bonuses to deliver massive wallops to big targets. Take advantage of the array of melee options to keep your opponents off guard. The mod can be sluggish at times and glitchy in places, but overall it really does give you a lot of stuff to work with, stuff the AI uses decently as well most of the time.

Maybe I missed it, but is there a way to skip the travel animation?

I’ve decided after watching it several hundred times I’m completely satisfied with the idea of never ever watching it again, ever.

Spacebar will skip some of the travel cutscenes, but not the starship jump animation. That one is un-interruptible. In fairness, I think that’s to some extent a loading screen for the next system.

That would actually make some sense but sadly it also reinforces the problem with the “rivets under strain” nature of the game/engine, especially loading times. As an example, what exactly is being loaded when you enter a system that would take so long? It’s not a massive graphics load b/c you have to load the battle screen separately when you start a battle. It’s not the mission screen b/c the game still busts its rivets loading the mission screen when you go to the mission screen, even after the lengthy jump times.

I love the game but the performance is just not really that good. Sigh.

No disagreement from me. I think the engine (or the implementation of its usage for this game) is a little janky but I can’t really complain. It works well enough, and it’s one of my favorite games of the last few years. From my perspective it’s the best gaming bucks I’ve ever thrown at a kickstarter. Just love me stompy giant robot madness!

It’s built on Unity which is notoriously bad for loading times and general poor optimization.

I’ve seen several posts from people who have dug into it for mods that imply that it’s notably poorly written/optimized even for Unity. Which is not really a surprise to anyone, and I’m on the side that still loves the hell out of it, but… there is an alternate universe where the same exact game in the same engine runs substantially better, and I’d rather be there.

I’m not sure I will stick with 3062 because of how much it hurts the load times (I messed around with Rogue Tech a ways back and loved it but the load times ultimately killed it for me there).

That said, it’s borderline overwhelming (as Rogue Tech could be). As all of my Battletech knowledge comes from video games and I don’t remember much from Mech Warrior 2/3/4, and post those games a lot of these mechanics were more abstract (e.g. Mech Commander, and this game). I could use some tips on what to look for in gear/some explanations.

Like I know Laser/ER Laser/Pulse Laser. What I remember from Vanilla was that Pulse Lasers seemed very poorly implemented but I think they got better after the skill revamp and evasion changes. But I don’t know what e.g. Medium-X or Medium Pulse -X lasers are or whether I should be excited about them.

I’ve always been weak on Autocannons, and I think there are more options here than Rogue tech. IIRC Ultra ACs are higehr damage at the cost of range maybe? Rogue Tech had Rotary guns and I don’t know if those are cannon (heh) or here (but they were amazing). What is the role of the LBX-Auto? And is this doing AC ammo?

Should I be excited about Mortars? Is the Long Tom going to show up? I remember that thing feeling disappointing in Mech Commander. But they had that one light mech that just had a Long Tom and like a MG.

I have never remembered what was different about Streak missiles versus normal. I believe there are other options here and I recall a few things form Rogue Tech (like some missiles that were better at causing heat damage). I don’t even know if they did Streak launchers in this mod but I am wondering what is going to show up.

I do find that once a game is loaded and a career started, the load times get a little better. That might change on e.g. flying to a new system (at least for the first load there).

Currently the cheapest Season Pass is $35. Compare prices with, itad includes less stores.

Even cheaper in keyshops, but if you don’t like these there’s an option to turn them off on the website.