Mechwarrior: Living Legends Pulls the Plug

Mechwarrior: Living Legends Pulls the Plug

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The well-known Crysis mod Mechwarrior: Living Legends is halting development, but its creators insist that there is no legal beef with Mechwarrior Online.

Mechwarrior: Living Legends, the fan-made Crysis full-conversion, has been kicking around for a few years, and while it never got a "full" release, fan mods tending to stay in beta forever as they do, and despite being a fairly popular mod, the developers announced a few days ago that version 0.7.0 would be the final release.

"We don't close our doors feeling any regrets; we close our doors knowing we've provided one of the most unique and in-depth Battletech/MechWarrior experiences ever created; with gameplay innovations and graphical fidelity that matches and even surpasses many AAA titles to this date," developer "Defender" said in a farewell message. "There will never be another experience quite like this."

So why shut it down? Nobody has actually said, but a not-entirely-unreasonable conclusion drawn by some seems to be that some kind of legal dispute between the Living Legends crew and Piranha Games, the studio behind the free-to-play Mechwarrior Online, is responsible. Both sides, however, insist that's not actually the case.

"First and foremost there has not, nor has there ever been, any legal action or threat of legal action leveraged against the MechWarrior: Living Legends development team. This was an assumption of a small amount of volunteers based on incomplete information," Living Legends developer "Criminal" explained in a followup message. "To clarify, the decision to discontinue development of MechWarrior: Living Legends was made by the founders and owners of the project. On behalf of all the people involved in MechWarrior: Living Legends we must sincerely apologize to all parties affected by this miscommunication."

In his own message on the Mechwarrior Online forums, Piranha Games President Russ Bullock insisted that his studio did not send a cease-and-desist letter to the Living Legends team. Bullock said he ran into the "mod leadership" at the 2012 Game Developers Conference, where they discussed the future of the Mechwarrior franchise as a whole.

"At this GDC in casual unscripted conversation I asked him 'Why are we splitting the community at this point?' We both realized that the MWLL community was small and it really wasn't competing with MWO but still each time a feature was added to MWLL that was in MWO it felt as though we were doubling up effort to restore this great brand," Buloock wrote. "I expressed that we were not trying to shut anyone down but asked him how we might meld the two communities better and even look to possibly hire on any great talent what was in that project... For a long time the IP was in the wind and MWLL is one of those games that really kept MW on peoples minds so the project and the individuals have our utmost respect."

"We discussed this topic for a little while but again it was friendly and there was no threats of shutting the mod down just more of a sense of 'Why are we doubling up efforts here?'," he continued. "After the show he contacted me expressing that they really wanted to finish what they started with MWLL and had a set of features that they would like to get done and asked if that was okay with PGI. They presented a very professional plan on the remaining work they wanted to complete and stated after that it would be time to stop production on MWLL. I thanked them for the plan and said that it all sounded great."

Bullock said he would get in touch with his Mechwarrior: Living Legends contact and update if anything else came to light, adding, "There was no combative relationship between MWO and MWLL, nor was there a cease and desist letter given."

The final Mechwarrior: Living Legends update can be had at mechlivinglegends.net.

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Jeez MW fans are just getting punched in the gut lately. First MWO turns out to be a massive disappointment with horrible balance and worse netcode, then Mektek gets rid of the free version of MW4 (they have been saying someone else is going to host it, but at this point that sounds a whole lot like bullshit), and now this. Such a shame to see this happen to a franchise I love.

To be honest it's hard to say what happened in today's increasingly screwed up legal framework. If there was a legal conflict at state here it could very well include a clause that required the person "losing" to close their service in such a way as to not impact the other one through community reaction. This is increasingly common nowadays apparently and lead to a lot of lies.

Basically if MWO was to threaten to sue MWLL, with no chance that MWLL could win due to the rights purchused by MWO, the best thing MWO could do would be to get MWLL to surrender quietly with the understanding that it would do whatever it would take to close down without causing them any grief. After all if MWLL was to close down and say "it's because of MWO threatening to sue us" right or wrong tons of Mechwarrior fans would be poisoned against MWO.

I've been hearing of a lot of deals that work out like that, due to the way the media has negatively effected companies that shut down fan-competition with legal action and never recover beause of it.

That's all pure speculation of course. From the way this reads it seems like the actual reasons are being talked around, just that they both decided quietly that for all of their work MWLL should just cease development.... which sounds odd to say the least, unless the MWLL team were being given jobs working for MWO but that doesn't seem to be
the case.

That said, I've done a bit of MWO and while it's decent for what it is, I'm kind of hoping someone will eventually develop an actual Mechwarrior MMO. Battletech has a pretty cool universe, and to be honest I could see a lot of potential for a persistant world game where you could play both in and out of your mech, develop skills for your pilot (personal combat and such) as well as ones for using your mech, and equip them both. Sort of like STO with mechs instead of ships I guess.

The problem to me with Mechwarrior/Battletech games has always been that they generally just turn into deathmatch shooters/MOBAs/Sims like we've been seeing here. I can understand why they inspire those, but to be honest I've felt it never realy comes with much depth or feeling that I'm in that universe. Not to mention that it was always a strategy game (with Mechwarrior originally referring to the rules to make it into an RPG like I'm describing) and despite the best efforts I've never felt it worked especially well as an action game as the defining concepts/technologies were based around a very mechanical, turn-based system. On a lot of levels it never seemed exactly "right" for people to be able to so easily dodge mech based weapons because they are in a light mech or whatever, even in the single player games, as a result I've actually felt a sort of WoW-like system actually makes sense in this context and allows for things like heat, accuracy, etc... to be more properly conveyed, as well as making the mechs that are supposed to be powerful powerful (going up in tonnage as you level or whatever). Most games make weight class a playstyle choice more than anything, and to me that's not right, if some 100 ton Assault Mech comes lumbering out your supposed to wet yourself in fear if your in a light mech, not go "woot! easy target, I'll circle strafe it and blow it apart" half the point is that even with big mechs reaction speed, combat computers, etc... are supposed to make that kind of stuff impossible, which is why movement was just a modifier to accuracy. There is pilot skill, but on a lot of levels (as the game used to explain if I remember) it's your combat computer against his, if your in a bigger and more advanced mech, three guesses who has the better computer, so guess who isn't dodging? :)

major_chaos:
Jeez MW fans are just getting punched in the gut lately. First MWO turns out to be a massive disappointment with horrible balance and worse netcode, then Mektek gets rid of the free version of MW4 (they have been saying someone else is going to host it, but at this point that sounds a whole lot like bullshit), and now this. Such a shame to see this happen to a franchise I love.

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

NightmareWarden:

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

I haven't actually played it, as the talk on the official forums made it seem not worth the massive download. As for the netcode from what I have heard its not uncommon to have to aim a few feet to the side of your target (even with lasers or if the target is stationary) to actually hit them, like a worse version of the "killcam looks nothing like what I was seeing" phenomena common in some Call of Duty games. Meaning that either the lag compensation or the hit detection is horrendous. Also the worst thing about the balance problems is that many of them are issues with the real money only mechs being horrifically OP, which doesn't bode well.

What about making Mechassault 3? Mechassault was a major contributor in getting Xbox Live off the ground. If I had a better(newer) PC, I'd be all over Hawken. I would like a western-style mech game to come to the consoles. Done right it would be awesome, with little competition, except from that Kinect game.

major_chaos:
Jeez MW fans are just getting punched in the gut lately. First MWO turns out to be a massive disappointment with horrible balance and worse netcode, then Mektek gets rid of the free version of MW4 (they have been saying someone else is going to host it, but at this point that sounds a whole lot like bullshit), and now this. Such a shame to see this happen to a franchise I love.

MWO is an awesome game, remember its still a beta so bugs are expected. I don't think the balance is an issue though.

OT: I get the feeling that living legends team may have been offered a job, or else decided it was pointless having 2 of the same game basically.

edit:

major_chaos:

NightmareWarden:

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

I haven't actually played it, as the talk on the official forums made it seem not worth the massive download. As for the netcode from what I have heard its not uncommon to have to aim a few feet to the side of your target (even with lasers or if the target is stationary) to actually hit them, like a worse version of the "killcam looks nothing like what I was seeing" phenomena common in some Call of Duty games. Meaning that either the lag compensation or the hit detection is horrendous. Also the worst thing about the balance problems is that many of them are issues with the real money only mechs being horrifically OP, which doesn't bode well.

Well you've been misinformed about the balance, as with most competative games people bitch and accuse of cheating when they don't win. I have all the founders mechs which are premium mechs, and I have free mechs and the free catapault K2 is one of my most effective and fun mechs to play. Premium mechs only give a boost to cbill income at the end of the match. No combat advantage.

Ah well, one of the best mods ever is no longer advancing, such is life.

I bet when it comes down to it, the reality is that jobs, kids and money happened more than any legal mumbo. The internet being what it is someone would have screamed very loudly has C'n'D letter turned up.

RUINER ACTUAL:
What about making Mechassault 3?

I think Mechassault 2 killed any chance of that happening stone dead.

RicoADF:
Snip

I'm just going on what I have heard. for the longest time all people on the forums seemed to talk about was the game being pay2wang referring to the Yen-Lo-Wang mech like it was some kind of "I win" button

It is a shame that the better product (MW:LL) is ceasing production while the shittier one is going forward. Hell I am a legendary founder of MWO and I am depressed that MWO is going forward for now.

major_chaos:

RicoADF:
Snip

I'm just going on what I have heard. for the longest time all people on the forums seemed to talk about was the game being pay2wang referring to the Yen-Lo-Wang mech like it was some kind of "I win" button

Trust me, you havent been misinformed, the game really isnt worth downloading with all the problems it has. But I will say this for the game, the hero mechs are NOT pay to win, they just make you more money as you play them and have slightly different loadouts.

They are a complete ripoff though for what they give you.

NightmareWarden:

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

Well the game is out. They released it to the public, are advertising it around the net, and are asking people to pay for premium time, and to buy premium items. The game is as released as it is possible for a game to be, the only difference between right now and the future, is the future will have more contect, but thats true for ANY MMO.

As for the problems, the game has balance problems, the netcode has light mechs warping around, and showing them in positions that are about 10-20 meters off from their actual position making it damn hard to shoot them. And a lot of the lights use ECM now which means you cant use lock on weapons to shoot them to score hits.

And there are no large maps or huge numbers of players, we have like 4 piss poor small maps that support 16 players at a time.

RicoADF:

major_chaos:
Jeez MW fans are just getting punched in the gut lately. First MWO turns out to be a massive disappointment with horrible balance and worse netcode, then Mektek gets rid of the free version of MW4 (they have been saying someone else is going to host it, but at this point that sounds a whole lot like bullshit), and now this. Such a shame to see this happen to a franchise I love.

MWO is an awesome game, remember its still a beta so bugs are expected. I don't think the balance is an issue though.

Dont lie to the people, MWO is a shitty game at the moment, and the devs really dont know what they are doing here, lets remember that their biggest contributions to the gaming industry have been Bass pro fishing and working on Duke Nukem Forever...

And read above, the game is as released as it is going to get, and the game has massive balance problems between PPCs not working, ECM completely negating two weapon systems, streaks being overpowered or completely useless (on non ECM Mechs that is) if ECM is running.

major_chaos:

NightmareWarden:

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

I haven't actually played it, as the talk on the official forums made it seem not worth the massive download. As for the netcode from what I have heard its not uncommon to have to aim a few feet to the side of your target (even with lasers or if the target is stationary) to actually hit them, like a worse version of the "killcam looks nothing like what I was seeing" phenomena common in some Call of Duty games. Meaning that either the lag compensation or the hit detection is horrendous. Also the worst thing about the balance problems is that many of them are issues with the real money only mechs being horrifically OP, which doesn't bode well.

Okay first thing first:

Real money mechs have no advantages over any other mech EXCEPT: they give you a bonus % on ingame money achieved during a match...

Thats it.. nothing more nothing less if youdont take into account the unique hardpoints that are still fitted with the SAME weapon all the other mechs can use.

A medium laser on a real money mech is the same as a medium laser on a normal mech.. its that simple.

Second: The netcode cannot handle mechs going faster then 140 kph... making them warp around the map. This in turn makes light mechs more durable then the heaviest assault mech in the game the Atlas. Simply because it depends on sheer luck if youre able to hit them.

The third point that makes the game currently not as fun as it could be is ECM. ECM is so powerfull that usually the team with the most ECM wins the match.

And the fourth point: Lack of content.

Only 4 maps with 3 of them having alternate (2 night versions and one "snow" version) makes the game old pretty fast. Only two modes: Deathmatch and Conquer deathmatch where its faster to simply kill the enemy team then to try and achieve victory by capturing stuff.

The game went into open beta to soon and the fanbase told the Devs so but i guess they needed to bring in the cash.

They really really need to bring in more maps and that asap... but sadly the next map is anounced for march.. with another one coming one month after. Add the other problems ontop of that and hawken looks like the better alternative especialy since it has faster gameplay with less micro managment.

Given the way MWO seems to be going, it looks like MWLL is still going to go out more feature-complete than MWO will when it inevitably peters out. :/

They probably just hired them, so they obviously gave up on MWLL.
Still sad for the franchise because MWO is the inferior game, perhaps they will somehow be able to bring it up a few notches but sofar the developments only went in one direction.

Mr.K.:
They probably just hired them, so they obviously gave up on MWLL.
Still sad for the franchise because MWO is the inferior game, perhaps they will somehow be able to bring it up a few notches but sofar the developments only went in one direction.

By my understanding, a few of the key devs of MW:LL actually work for Crytek and as MWO is using Cryengine 3 their contracts with Crytek were threatened if they didnt stop working on a mod that competed with a client.

FelixG:

Mr.K.:
They probably just hired them, so they obviously gave up on MWLL.
Still sad for the franchise because MWO is the inferior game, perhaps they will somehow be able to bring it up a few notches but sofar the developments only went in one direction.

By my understanding, a few of the key devs of MW:LL actually work for Crytek and as MWO is using Cryengine 3 their contracts with Crytek were threatened if they didnt stop working on a mod that competed with a client.

My understanding was there was alot of quiet threats made. Both legal and contract/job wise which both sides tried really hard to keep quiet about for different reasons. Of course publicly everything is sunshine and rainbows with public comments like "No, nothing is wrong we just decided to stop something we have been working hard on for awhile because we suddenly feel like it.". Yeah........ Not buying it.

Nothing about this feels even remotely right, at all.

Andy Chalk:

"First and foremost there has not, nor has there ever been, any legal action or threat of legal action leveraged against the MechWarrior: Living Legends development team. This was an assumption of a small amount of volunteers based on incomplete information," Living Legends developer "Criminal" explained in a followup message. "To clarify, the decision to discontinue development of MechWarrior: Living Legends was made by the founders and owners of the project. On behalf of all the people involved in MechWarrior: Living Legends we must sincerely apologize to all parties affected by this miscommunication."

And just in case anyone wants to hear what the farewell post said before they had to change it:

"To clarify how this situation came to be I'll go into a bit of detail about what's been happening behind the scenes to clear up any misconceptions. As Developers and Staff of Wandering Samurai Studios, we are, as of this point, no longer allowed to create future content based on the MechWarrior IP due to legal obligations on behalf of various rights holders. These rights holders own the Legally Binding, Non-Transferrable, Non-Commercial License Agreement with Microsoft and as of 2013 will no longer officially support the MechWarrior: Living Legends division of Wandering Samurai Studios. This is not a choice of the development team, this is a choice of the ownership and we have no control over the decision-making process. While we may not agree with the choice that must be made we respect their decision to make it, as without them, this project would have never come to fruition."

Also explains the entire weird "We had this really lovely, non-threatening conversation at the con where no one threatened anyone and than he, for utterly no reason, because no one was threatening anyone, contacted me with a list of things they would like to implement because oh look a sparrow!"-thing.

major_chaos:

NightmareWarden:

MWO isn't even out yet, so balance problems aren't that surprising. Sure it has been in beta for a while, but balance problems can always be ironed out. What is so bad about the netcode? I hare haven't played it, so tell me when you have problems? On large maps, when the huge numbers of players, general problems with lag, problems with projectile accuracy...?

I haven't actually played it, as the talk on the official forums made it seem not worth the massive download. As for the netcode from what I have heard its not uncommon to have to aim a few feet to the side of your target (even with lasers or if the target is stationary) to actually hit them, like a worse version of the "killcam looks nothing like what I was seeing" phenomena common in some Call of Duty games. Meaning that either the lag compensation or the hit detection is horrendous. Also the worst thing about the balance problems is that many of them are issues with the real money only mechs being horrifically OP, which doesn't bode well.

The MWO forums are more toxic than 4chan, ignore them. Balance is alright, the netcode needs work, but generally, it's where you would expect a beta to be.

Karadalis:

Okay first thing first:

Real money mechs have no advantages over any other mech EXCEPT: they give you a bonus % on ingame money achieved during a match...

Thats it.. nothing more nothing less if youdont take into account the unique hardpoints that are still fitted with the SAME weapon all the other mechs can use.

A medium laser on a real money mech is the same as a medium laser on a normal mech.. its that simple.

Do you want it to be pay to win? This is the perfect implementation of real money mechs, a unique variant with no real advantages.

Second: The netcode cannot handle mechs going faster then 140 kph... making them warp around the map. This in turn makes light mechs more durable then the heaviest assault mech in the game the Atlas. Simply because it depends on sheer luck if youre able to hit them.

The third point that makes the game currently not as fun as it could be is ECM. ECM is so powerfull that usually the team with the most ECM wins the match.

it's a beta, they don't have a programmer to fix the netcode yet, they are still trying to hire one. Perhaps they will from the MW:LL team. besides, the issues with it are horribly exaggerated. ECM has only just been released, patch wise, and it was a big thing to introduce, of course it isn't balanced.

And the fourth point: Lack of content.

Only 4 maps with 3 of them having alternate (2 night versions and one "snow" version) makes the game old pretty fast. Only two modes: Deathmatch and Conquer deathmatch where its faster to simply kill the enemy team then to try and achieve victory by capturing stuff.

Again, beta. When League of legends was released, it had 1 gamemode and 1, maybe 2 maps.

The game went into open beta to soon and the fanbase told the Devs so but i guess they needed to bring in the cash.

They really really need to bring in more maps and that asap... but sadly the next map is anounced for march.. with another one coming one month after. Add the other problems ontop of that and hawken looks like the better alternative especialy since it has faster gameplay with less micro managment.

Hawken is a completely different game. Hawken is CoD with a robot skin. and if they needed to bring in cash, who can blame them, would you rather they got shut down mid development?

I get really pissed off with all the complaints about PGI, they aren't a huge team, It's been in BETA. Your job in beta isn't to enjoy the game, it's to help fucking bugtest and iron out the creases!

At least the MWO beta has nothing like this:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121626-EA-Brings-Back-its-Harsh-Beta-EULA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3zESmcqwA

The game is no longer a true beta, especially when the devs say they aren't releasing updates because they want their internal testing team to go over the stuff to make sure its perfect before it goes out to the public. Beta testers are supposed to test things and find problems.

They already ask people to pay subscription for benefits and sell items for real money
They test the new features for the game extensively (supposedly) internally leaving little for us to test and find problems with
They have the game completely open to the public.

What exactly is their difference between Beta and Release? They are adding new content once every month in the form of new mechs, which is fairly easy to do, but every free to play MMO adds new features decently often to keep people interested.

The game is about as released as its possible to get, they just keep saying Beta to cover their asses from criticism, such as the fact that they are months behind schedule.

Saulkar:
Nothing about this feels even remotely right, at all.

Over the past months I've noticed the LL devs delete or sanitize any of their posts that even vaguely reference the situation - that by itself should be rather telling. Between the MWO and LL forums and 4chan, my understanding is that work on MWLL *had* to stop to avoid things getting ugly. It sucks, but this way, all the work that's been put into Living Legends so far will still be there, legitimately, for everyone to see and enjoy.

"That's life in the big city."

Shameless plug: Mechwarrior Living Legends can also be run on the (completely free) demo version of Crysis Wars. While development has now ended, MWLL servers are up. So y'all should hit the links in the article and go experience the best combined arms FPS yet conceived.

It's all so sad. Odds are good that MWO won't do so well if it even makes it out of beta. I'd give it another year or so, which is when the Clan Invasion is supposed to start. If they can last until the Clans arrive, they'll make it another 2 years.

csoloist:
MWLL servers are up. So y'all should hit the links in the article and go experience the best combined arms FPS yet conceived.

Been too long since I had a good battle in that game. Grabbing my Crysis Wars installation disk now.

MWO has also destroyed the free-download of Mechwarrior 4 (via MekTek) with its collateral damage.
Good ol' Microsoft. Apart from Halo, they have no fucking idea how to handle IP.

I want to like MWO, but it's so horribly imbalanced I don't even know where to start..
*sigh* Guess I'm going with Hawken after all.

 

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