Per this post that PGI made in the forums a while back, there were some problems with people’s Elo ratings, and as a result everyone’s rating has been re-simulated with this patch. Honestly, I have to say that in a couple of hours of play I haven’t really noticed a significant change, but hopefully my experience here isn’t representative.
Finally, there’s some new command features in - players now get put into a lance of four Mechs when they join a game and one person per lance can take on a lance command role from the battlegrid. This allows you to place waypoints on the map in much the same way as the commander has been for some time, but only visible to your group of four. Perhaps of more interest is the lance status window that now shows up in the top left, that shows your lancemates' current health levels and grid references. In four-person groups, you’ll tend to be slotted into the same lance, which is fine, but if you’re dropping as an eight there’s currently no way to determine who will go in which lance. This is a bit of a shame, as I honestly see this feature of being more use in that queue. It’ll certainly be of value when we hit 12v12 games.
Speaking of 12v12, on a recent press call PGI confirmed that the next big feature coming to the game was going to be the long anticipated increase to player numbers. They also said that we should expect to see the option to pledge to a particular faction show up in two to three months, the ability to organize your own mercenary group two to three months after that, and territory control very soon after that. All of this, however, hinges on the completion of the much touted UI2.0.
Odds and Ends
For stat junkies, they promised that more numbers are going to become available - a public data stream and individual user heat maps are both on the to-do list, so you can work out why you are so terrible at robots while laughing at others for being terrible at robots. They even spoke a little about the Clans, stating they would be “more balanced than any previous version” and that “[their] goal is not to nullify anything from the Inner Sphere”. Which, if you’ll allow me some flippancy, makes me very interested to see exactly what a Clan machine gun array will do given they also said “We’re happy with the MG right now”.
They also announced a public test server would be arriving at some point in the future. This is an excellent plan, as it’ll mean they can gather data about upcoming changes with a decent number of users, and also identify bugs before they hit the live servers. They’ll certainly need this before the game officially “launches”. And finally, our esteemed editor couldn’t help but raise the question of a Tetatae bobblehead cockpit decoration - only this time PGI replied that such a thing would be possible with a “serious community push”. As a result there’s now a thread on the MWO forums to gauge interest that’s gathering a lot of momentum (both from the Word of Lowtax and from non-goons), so go there and let PGI know what you think. This is an interesting move from PGI that presumably opens the door for custom content tailored to particular groups, so other corps/clans/whatever would be well advised to make their wishes known!
(Editor's Note: Over 210 people have voted 'yes' for Tetatae bobbleheads since the poll went up. One notable voter is PGI's Garth Erlam. We will take this as a sign of PGI's intention to implement these things until the inevitable angry email stating otherwise.)