Mechwarrior4 Mercs issue and solution

Problem with the “mech packs” and MW4M… has posted two patches for the mech packs. On some machines (mine) the mech packs do not show up in the game after you install them. These fixers cause the packs to re-register and show up correctly.

Game worked fine for me.

What’s a mech pack?

Between MW4 Vengeance and Mercs, Cyberlore put out a pair of $14.99 “mech packs” that contained 4 new mechs, maps, and a piece of new equipment each. These are supposed to be compatible with Mercs - and are after that fix.

Personally I think it was a bad move to not just include these mechs in the new game and be done with it… but they can get $80 for the game this way I guess.

New mechs you’re missing unless you have the packs:
Cauldron Born
Arctic Wolf

Sadly, only usable in multiplayer. That’s why I think it’s so silly not to build them into the current game. The models are DONE and could easily have been just drag’n’dropped into the main game - but since they aren’t there are no hooks for them in the campaign.

Damn you Giant Robot Fighting game (GRFGs as I like to call them) fanatics!!!

Instead of working on ‘Majesty II: Taaaax Collector’, Cyberlore is spending it’s time working on silly “profitable” ventures like MW add-on packs. They should be pouring unlimited resources into this or there intriguing little turn-based java game Majesty: Treasure Hunt Jay Adan kept promising they were going to finish. Now there is a cash cow.

When I spoke with the Cyberlore people a few weeks ago (when they dropped off a gold of the game for review) I asked them about the Mech Packs. Their take is that creating new Mechs isn’t akin to new skins for Quake or what not, but is much more time and labor intensive. Lots of model-building, making sure it looks good from all angles (including from above), all the different weapon configs, all the new weapons, making sure it all works with the game, testing, etc. So they figured less than $15 for each pack wasn’t a bad deal (not that they had any say in how much the packs sold for–that’s a Microsoft decision I suspect).

The reason they’re not included in Mercs is that they’re not needed in Mercs–they’re purely optional and fun in Multiplayer and single player instant action. Personally, I wish they had had the time to make the Pack Mechs work in the solo campaign in Mercs, but even so, I really enjoyed the campaign and plan to play through again trying for a different ending.

How is salvage handled in Mercs? Is it based on the damage you do to the merc or is it randomized, like it was in Activision’s Mercs game?

Edit: Found my answer in a player review:

“In mech 4 your salvage is pre-defined for a mission, so it pretty much means you can do just about anything and be guarenteed a salvage.”

That’s disappointing.

Can you shoot off the heads in MW4?

I remember MechWarrior as being well-balanced. You could fire at the head for a faster kill, but repairing a headless mech cost 4x as much as repairing a legless mech.

I wonder what design decisions led the game to change over the years.

It takes, on average, around 3 months to build a new Mech from scratch. Of couse some are modifyed versions sharing assets with each other (compare the Loki and Thor side by side) but, yes, its a lot more than just skinning. Then theres also the balancing that goes on for weapon hard points. They have to take into consideration the TRO’s for the original PnP game, adjust it so it plays correctly in a real-time environment while satisfying a group of hardcore fans who can be more demanding than Trekkies and Starwars fanatics combined.

The “Mech Pak” idea is something thats been tossed about for years by fans but no one ever thought it’d be done but dam if they (FASA/Cyberlore) didn’t do it. Between both studios they’ve done a tremendous job of taking the series, dusting it off, and giving it a new life. MS also deserves kudos for staying off their backs so they could do their jobs.

Lastly, Mercs seems to be fussy about the newer detonator drivers resulting in some strange visual quirks. If you get this switch to the older 30.82 build which works great.


Lots of compromises in all of the MW games, for better or for worse. In the MW4 series, you can’t knock legs off and there are no instant cockpit kills. That’s for MP balance mostly, I’ve been told. I’m not sure I like it, but I can live with it. At least in Mercs if you get a big cockpit hit your HUD goes screwy for the rest of the mission. Legs won’t come off but get one crippled and no reverse and your movement is quite slow at least.

As for salvage, no one has done a really good salvage model with all the goodies being up to your skill/luck. The reason I suspect is mission design. The missions in Mercs do adjust to your progress–get there early and you’ll face less than if you took your time and built up your unit–but overall the designers plan for what you should have in terms of equipment, etc. Then again with the free market, there’s not much excuse for not having tons o’ chassis most of the time.