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While Randall N. Bills had issued a ruling as Catalyst Game Labs' incumbent BattleTech Line Developer to the effect that all Hero 'Mech background information from MWO is considered canonical for (CGL) BattleTech, Assistant Line Developer Ray "Adrian Gideon" Arrastia later expressly clarified that the original designs from PGI are not canonical, regardless of any Hero 'Mechs or Hero 'Mech fluff associated with them. (There had been no original designs by PGI when Randall Bills made his ruling, which Ray Arrastia upheld when initially queried about the canonicity of the new original PGI designs though he later added the aforementioned caveat.)
As a result, the Roughneck design is exempt from the canonisation of MWO Hero 'Mechs and remains apocryphal.
A militarized BattleMech version of Achernar's Loader King IndustrialMech, the Roughneck is a low-cost heavy 'Mech intended for price conscious buyers such as planetary militias and down-on-their-luck mercenary units.
During the massive expansion in production to recoup the horrendous losses suffered during the initial Clan Invasion of 3049, while for the most part Achernar focused on its existing lines for designs such as the Enforcer, Dervish and Locust, one lead designer suggested the radical idea of transforming the company's popular competitor to Sitwell Corporation's Powerman into a true BattleMech. Despite the Loader King's superb reputation for taking a beating, many balked at overhauling the design with BattleMech-grade components and only the belief of the lead designer, and if rumors are to be believed a spot of blackmail against Achernar's CEO, got the Roughneck into production.
Weapons and Equipment
Weighing in at sixty-five tons, unlike many of the BattleMech designs produced by Achernar in the 3050s, the Roughneck is built almost entirely out of so-called Succession War era technology, with the only modern inclusion being CASE mounted in each torso. A 260-rated standard fusion engine propels the Roughneck at 64.8 kph, putting it in the common Succession War heavy 'Mech speed range. Where the Roughneck suffers most against more modern designs is heat dissipation, mounting only fourteen standard heat sinks. 
Featuring a mixed if short ranged weapons loadout, the Roughneck's primary weapons are an AC/10 and SRM-4 in its torsos, supported by a trio of Machine Guns and a head-mounted Small Laser. While tying it to supply lines, two tons of SRM and autocannon rounds provide adequate field endurance, only a ton and a half of rounds supporting three machine guns run dry quickly. 
- The 1B moves the left arm machine gun to the right arm, downgrades the AC/10 for an AC/5 that is mounted in the left arm and upgrades the SRM launcher to an SRM-6, retaining the head-mounted small laser. Carrying three tons of autocannon rounds, two of SRM missiles and a two ton machine gun ammo bin, save carrying only 12 heat sinks, structurally the 1B is identical to the 1A.
- A more significant departure, the 1C mounts an SRM-6 and machine gun in each arm, supported by a left-torso mounted LRM-10 and a right-torso mounted AC/5. Carrying two tons of SRM missiles and a single ton of reloads for every other weapon, the 1C boasts a modest increase in armor while mounting only ten standard heat sinks.
- A pricier and more fragile variant, the 2A is based on the 1A, replacing the standard engine 260-rated Extralight Engine. Matching the 1A's speed, the weight saved is used to bulk up the Roughneck 2A's weapon loadout, dropping the machine guns and AC/10 for an AC/2 in each arm and the right torso and upgrading the head laser to a Medium Laser along with adding two to the center torso. Identical to the 1A in all other respect, including mounting only 14 standard heat sinks, the RGH-2A carries three tons of reloads for both both the SRM launcher and its three autocannons.
- Another variant mounting modern equipment, the 3A is fitted with eighteen Double Heat Sinks to support a heavy energy weapon loadout. Retaining only the RGH-1A's head mounted small laser, the 3A mounts a PPC in each arm supported by twin Medium Lasers in each torso. In all other respects the 3A features the same ground speed and armor as the standard 1A.
- RGH-R Roughneck 'Reaver'
- The first of two Roughneck Hero 'Mechs, the Reaver is serious departure from the mundane mass-produced models, Achernar sparing no expense to build a Roughneck destined for the Class Six arenas of Solaris VII. Mounting an XL engine, Endo Steel structure, and double heat sinks, it allows the sixty-five-ton machine to mount Ultra AC/5 in each arm supported by a Large and Medium Laser in each torso, rounded out by a Streak SRM-2 launcher in the center torso. Featuring the same ground speed as the other variants, the heavier weapon loadout reduces the armor coverage provided, as well as only 12 heat sinks, although these are upgraded to double strength models. 
- RGH-PH Roughneck 'Powerhouse'
- Second of two Hero 'Mech variants for the Roughneck, the Powerhouse mounts a pair of Medium Pulse Lasers in the left arm in support of a twin SRM-6s in the left torso, an MRM-10 in the center torso and two LB 5-X ACs, one in right torso the other in the right arm. Clad in twelve and half armor and carrying three tons of LBX ammo, two tons of SRM and single ton of MRMs, such a heavy weapons loadout is made possible through the use of a 260 XL Engine, Endo Steel structure, twelve double heat sinks.
- Anaya Kone - Descended from exiled members of the Arkab Legion, while her parents and grandparents swore off ever piloting BattleMechs again, Anaya vowed to become a MechWarrior. Refusing to give up her dream even in the face of her parent's disapproval and lack of noble lineage, Anaya was finally able to pilot a 'Mech, albeit as a self-taught Loader King pilot. It was Anaya's refusal to give up and natural skill at the controls of that 'Mech that got her selected as the test pilot of the new Roughneck, the low-born and untrained Kone delighting using in her Reaver to defeat "real" MechWarriors in the arenas of Solaris.
- Archived here, with reference: Talk:MechWarrior Online#Randall Bills ruling
- In this posting on the official BattleTech Forum by Ray "Adrian Gideon" Arrastia, regarding the canon status of PGI-exclusive 'Mechs for which record sheets had been brought to MechCon 2018: "Those sheets are not official and those designs are not canon for the tabletop. CGL cannot use the PGI-created designs, no matter what “part” CGL or its employees play in the creation of the designs. When asked for confirmation, Randall and Brent stated that those were provided by a demo agent and they allowed it *this time only* as part of the hype at MechCon."
- In this thread on the official BattleTech Forum
- MechWarrior Online Roughneck Lore and Blueprint
- MechWarrior Online Roughneck Store Page
- MechWarrior Online "Holiday Bonus Info"