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|MSRP||Free to Play|
|Series||MechWarrior (video games)|
MechWarrior Online (MWO) is a BattleTech-themed online multiplayer simulation game by Piranha Games and Smith & Tinker for Microsoft Windows. MWO went into publicly accessible Open Beta on 29th of October 2012 and was officially released on September 17th, 2013.
It was originally intended as a reboot of the MechWarrior series of computer games and announced as "MechWarrior" (frequently referred to as "MechWarrior 5" by fans, as the series had four previous installments), with a single-player storyline. That concept fell through, and development moved to an online multiplayer game concept instead.
- 1 Canonicity
- 2 Development
- 3 Deshler Preview
- 4 MWO Setting
- 5 Gameplay
- 6 BattleMechs
- 7 Pre-order/Promotional Packs
- 8 Official Web Resources
- 9 Fan Sites
- 10 References
- 11 Media
MWO, as such, does not meet the current criteria for canon for the BattleTech universe. As an official product with a valid license, it can be regarded as apocryphal. In 2011, Herbert A. Beas II (then BattleTech Line Developer), confirmed in an official chat that MWO would not be canonical per se, i.e. it would not be in a position to add events, characters or other content to the canon of the BattleTech universe.
However, in 2016, then-Line Developer Randall N. Bills overruled this to an extent when he stated that the fiction relating to the MWO Hero BattleMechs was fully canonical for BattleTech. This technically only applies to the text and not to the visual appearance nor game stats.
Jordan Weisman, co-creator of BattleTech and co-founder of FASA, is also the founder of the software firm Smith & Tinker. He negotiated the BattleTech/MechWarrior license back from Microsoft, which had left the property sit idle for several years. Russ Bullock from Piranha Games was a long-time fan of the series and wanted to start a joint collaboration with Weisman. He contacted Weisman to develop a prototype project that would become the new iteration in the MechWarrior series of video games. Production of the new MechWarrior game first began in October 2008, when the two studios started discussing the project on pen and paper. After coming up with a presentation for a prototype scenario, both studios began ramping up a full-time team to work on the new game in March 2009.
A trailer with supposed in-game footage was released on 9 July, 2009, depicting a House Davion Warhammer fighting House Kurita invaders on Deshler in 3015. The words "in-game footage", clearly seen in the trailer, has caused confusion among fans. At the time it was created, the intent was to attract a publisher. So PGI used the UE3 game engine to demonstrate what a new MechWarrior game might look like. UE3 was stated as the logical engine of choice since the objective was to create a game for PC and Xbox 360. It was later announced that CryEngine3 would be used for MWO, making the trailer's in-game footage no longer applicable.
A second trailer was released based on the CryEngine3 game engine.
The Deshler storyline/campaign setting was subsequently abandoned in favor of an open online multiplayer game.
MWO casts the player as either an Inner Sphere mercenary fighting on behalf of any of the Great Houses available in the time period (the Draconis Combine, Free Worlds League, Capellan Confederation, Free Rasalhague Republic as well as both halves of the Federated Commonwealth - the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth) or as a member of the invading Clans (Clan Wolf, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Ghost Bear, Clan Smoke Jaguar, Clan Steel Viper and Clan Nova Cat) to either to secure or defend planets for their respective faction/employer. Players who accept contracts and align with a faction in Community Warfare earn Loyalty Points which open up various reward tiers for their continued loyalty. At present this takes the form of cockpit items and Mech Bays as well as steadily increasing volume of C-Bills, GXP and MC, but in the past PGI mentioned the possibility of unique camouflage schemes, discounts for weapons and 'Mechs preferred by specific factions, and even factional 'Mech variants and exclusive designs at the highest levels as being considered. Earlier discussions of Community Warfare also painted a plan to have detailed logistical system, with holding or capturing various worlds giving LP bonuses and discounts to material. Players drop solo, but can band together into units to fight together. Another feature supposedly considered for future introduction but as yet undeveloped was the use of unit coffers, a communal unit bank account, to purchase superior defenses or other aids to assist units in battle.
Initially, one of the more notable concepts of the game was that it is set in a 1:1 timeline with BattleTech universe in 1035 years, meaning the current real-world date equates to same day and month 1035 years later in BattleTech, placing the players right on the opening shots of the 3050 Clan Invasion as of 2015. The game forums previously had period news articles written by Cataylst Game Labs providing notable historical events supporting the passage of time to set the scene and mood of the Inner Sphere. This detail was abandoned after development of Community Warfare lagged far behind the fictional timeline's pace, with the timeline reset back to 3049 a number of times, with the available technology and 'Mechs had remained at the early Clan Invasion era period with anything introduced after 3052 excluded. As of July 2017 PGI progressed the game's timeframe to 3057 and the era of Operation Bulldog, while at the same time moving the available technology to the FedCom Civil War era of 3067 with 'Mechs, weapons and equipment from this time period to be made available to players.
MechWarrior Online currently offers two combat modes, Quick Play and Faction Play, with players, fighting in team of twelve players, defeat a similarly sized opposing team. At the conclusion of a match in either mode, the player's contribution to their team's victory or loss is tallied, earning C-Bills and experience points for both inflicting damage and defeating opponents, as well for assists, spotting and base captures.
MWO's experience system (also known as the Pilot Lab) is broken into two forms, 'Mech specific Experience (MXP) and General Experience (GXP). Both can be used to buy efficiencies, which represent the players in-game characters familiarity with the 'Mech, which provide modest benefits (for example 10% Acceleration rate, or a 10% increase in heat threshold). Each 'Mech has three efficiency trees (Basic, Elite and Master), the player must unlock the preceding efficiency level on three variants of the same 'Mech to unlock the next level; for example a player with a Jenner must unlock Basic on three variants of the Jenner before being able to unlock the Elite level of the piloting tree. This multi-chassis requirement has been heavily criticized by players, but the studio has thus far been immovable on this aspect.
Of the two, MXP is earned faster but is locked to the 'Mech variant it is earned with, while players earn GXP at a much lower rate but it can be used on any 'Mech the player owns. Players can trade MXP for GXP at 1 MC per 25 XP converted. GXP is also required to unlock modules. A physical counterpart to experience unlocks, modules offer different kinds of benefits (for example increased zoom, increased capture speed and 360 degree target locks) and have a per module GXP unlock cost as well as a C-Bill unlock cost per 'Mech. Once unlocked, modules can be slotted as per player preference.
As with many Free2Play games, MWO's economy is broken down into two currencies, C-Bills which can be earned in game and 'Mech Credit (MC) which can only be purchased via real world money. While most items can be purchased with C-Bills, they are considerably more expensive in comparison to MC prices, and certain items such as premium time, 'Mech bays, Cockpit items and Hero 'Mechs can only be purchased with MC.
The standard and default play method for much of MWO's existence, featuring one training and six active game modes available to be played over one of thirteen different maps:
- Skirmish - Straight up 12 vs 12 deathmatch, the match ends when all opposing 'Mechs are destroyed leaving one team standing. If this condition is not met upon game timer expiration, the team with the most 'Mechs remaining wins.
- Assault - 12 vs 12 base capture, each team features a small field base encircled by small laser fence boundary which the enemy must stand within to capture it. The match continues until one side succeeds in running down their opponent's base capture bar or all opposing 'Mechs are destroyed and thus unable to prevent full capture. Unlike Conquest, the Assault bases themselves do not regenerate/uncapture if left unattended, though capture attempts can be blocked by either a friendly 'Mech or enemy 'Mech being struck by weapon fire within the capture boundary.
- Conquest - 12 vs 12 resource capture, the match has 5 capture points each of which provides a steadily increasing volume of resource points when held by each team. Unlike Assault, each Conquest point can be reverted to neutral and recaptured if left unattended. The match continues until one side either reaches or is assured of reaching the 750 point capture limit, even if one team has been totally destroyed they can still win if the opposing team cannot prevent them reaching 750 points first.
- Domination - 12 vs 12 "King of the Hill" matches, victory is achieved by holding a key area around the center of the map. Each team starts with a one minute timer and needs to be alone and not under fire in the circular domination area to count down. Outside the domination boundary each team has two generators which if destroyed by their opponents each add fifteen seconds to their opponent's timer. Victory is achieved when a team's timer reaches zero, or the lowest timer value at match expiration, or upon total destruction of one team.
- Escort - 12 vs 12 asymmetrical attack/defense mode, attackers must prevent a heavily armored AI controlled VIP Atlas reaching the DropShip extraction point, following a number of randomly selected paths. The defending side receives assistance from turrets and ECM equipped spotting towers, though the attackers can capture and use the ECM towers against the defenders. Victory is entirely dependant on the condition of the VIP, the attacking side wins as soon as the VIP is destroyed no matter how many defenders remain, where even if all the defending side have been destroyed they can still win if the attackers can't destroy the VIP in time.
- Incursion - 12 vs 12 base defense matches. Each team in Incursion has a base made up four mobile field bases defended by destructible walls and turrets which they must protect while destroying the opposing team's. To avoid excessive base camping, each team's base also features three defense towers offering additional benefits (DropShip firing at opposing 'Mechs at their base, whole map radar sweeps and radar jamming) which must be powered by fuel cells generated from three points in the center of the map, each fuel cell powering a single tower for two minutes. Victory in Incursion is awarded to the first team that either destroys all seven enemy base elements or to which team inflicted the most damage to the opposing team's base when the match timer expires. Like Conquest and Escort, its possible for a team with all 'Mechs destroyed to win if the opposing team cannot inflict more damage on their opponent's base before the match ends.
- Testing Grounds - A single player training mode which allows players to learn and test piloting skills, weapons targeting, loadout charges and map layouts. Eight non-interactive enemy 'Mechs are randomly placed on the map to provide targets, no C-Bill or XP rewards are provided for defeating them.
Quick play is divided into separate queues for grouped and non-grouped players, with the game's matchmaker using a form of ELO to try and ensure players are matched to other players with a similar win/loss ratio to try to create matches of equally ranked players. Players may form groups of any size, from two up to twelve. By default the standard play matchmaker attempts to ensure each side conforms to a weight ratio of 3/3/3/3 (three 'Mechs of the same weight class) though will breach this restriction to avoid excessive wait times, or when players drop in premade groups. Players can select which game mode and which map they wish to play, the team leader's choice representing that of other players in their combined group.
Quickplay also offers the option of private matches for any of the non-training game modes. While free players can create private invite-only matches that mirror the standard game modes, players with active premium time can create lobbies with custom options such as restricted map selection, specific tonnage limitations, non-standard match time limits and locked view modes. If both team commanders in private matches have active premium time, they may also additional to launch with team sizes of less than 12, right down to pure 1 vs 1. Such 1 vs 1 matches also have access to a unique map - the Steiner Colosseum of Solaris VII. To avoid abuse, private matches do not award any C-bills or experience.
Faction Play - Community Warfare
The long awaited Faction Play, previously called Community Warfare, currently offers only one game mode played on two maps. Along with earning C-Bills and experience, players in Community Warfare also earn Loyalty Points, opening up increasing rewards if they remain loyal and contracted to the same faction.
- Invasion - 12 vs 12 attack and defense matches. Attackers must breach a heavily defended enemy base via one of two to three gates, opening the gates to allow non-jump jet equipped 'Mechs to pass by destroying large generators behind them, and then destroying three smaller generators before they can cripple the module powering a naval gauss cannon preventing the arrival of larger invasion force. Defenders are assisted by a large number of turrets scattered around the base. Unlike standard play where once players are killed they are dead until match end, Invasion features a drop deck where players can take four 'Mechs of any weight as long as their total combined weight is greater than 160 tons and less than 240 tons. Additionally, each time the attacking or defending player enters the field at either match start or "respawning", they are dropped by a Leopard-class DropShip after small arrival delay, the DropShips firing upon nearby enemies as they arrive offload, aiding defenders as the attacker push for the final assault or warding off attempted spawn camping of the attackers landing zone.
Unlike standard play which is random and unconnected matches, Community Warfare takes place on an interactive map of the Inner Sphere with players selecting a contract to either attack or defend various key worlds along each faction's borders. Some worlds are only available to certain players or units assigned to certain factions. If an attacking faction is able to secure a large enough volume of wins, ownership of that respective world transfers to them and the map's border changes in response, opening up or restricting which planets will become available for factions to attack or defend in future. Unlike standard play, Community Warfare features no ELO matching of any kind.
Individual units or clans within a faction may earn the honor of the planet bearing their tag if that unit scores the most points when attacking or defending the planet. One point is scored for every one member of a unit that participates in a victory battle on the planet. For example, if the A.C.E.S. and the Warpigs Mercenary Company are both attacking the same planet, and the A.C.E.S. are running two 12 man teams while the Warpigs are only running one 12 man team, and at least 53% of the points for the planet are taken before the next cease fire, the A.C.E.S. will win the planet since they had more people attacking it. The planet will now show the A.C.E.S. name next to it on the map as well as in the planet details. The A.C.E.S. will also have their name in the history if the planet should be taken by another unit in the future.
While very similar and heavily based on the tabletop game's construction system, MWO openly admits to having tweaked and changed armor levels, weapon damage, rate of fire, heat and ammo levels. BattleMech modification in MWO uses a mixture of the tabletop game's critical location tables and MechWarrior 4's hardpoint system, with 'Mechs featuring the familiar table layout but also having restrictions on what type and how many weapons can be placed in certain locations, primarily an attempt to avoid over-optimization and Boating. Restrictions also exist on the size or rating of engine that certain 'Mechs and variants can carry, and if they can mount Jump Jets, ECM or MASC. While the armor and engines of Inner Sphere 'Mechs can be heavily modified, Clan OmniMechs in MWO mimic their tabletop counterparts and feature "hardwired" components as a balancing mechanism. The modular nature of the OmniMech is instead represented in the game by allowing players to swap the hardpoints between configurations, so players can mix and match hardpoint layouts to suit their preference.
Each new player automatically receives four MechBays with which to store purchased BattleMechs, players either having the choice of selling an existing 'Mech to free up a slot or spending MC to purchase additional slots. Players can earn additional Mech Bays for reaching certain loyalty tiers in Community Warfare, and free MechBays are also occasionally offered as rewards for events.
PGI has formally announced the following BattleMechs will be included in MWO. 'Mechs that have been previewed (or are available for pre-order) but not yet released are noted below with an asterisk.
- Adder (Puma)
- Arctic Cheetah (Hankyu)
- Jenner IIC
- Kit Fox (Uller)
- Mist Lynx (Koshi)
- Piranha *
- Arctic Wolf
- Black Lanner *
- Hellspawn *
- Hunchback IIC
- Huntsman (Nobori-nin)
- Ice Ferret (Fenris)
- Nova (Black Hawk)
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Cat
- Stormcrow (Ryoken)
- Viper (Dragonfly)
- Black Knight
- Ebon Jaguar (Cauldron-Born)
- Hellbringer (Loki)
- Mad Dog (Vulture)
- Night Gyr
- Nova Cat
- Orion IIC
- Summoner (Thor)
- Thanatos *
- Timber Wolf (Mad Cat)
- Dire Wolf (Daishi)
- Executioner (Gladiator)
- Gargoyle (Man O' War)
- Highlander IIC
- King Crab
- Mad Cat Mk II
- Marauder IIC
- Warhawk (Masakari)
Originally a rarity, pre-order 'Mech packages have become PGI's primary means of funding the continued development and running costs of MechWarrior Online. 'Mech Pre-orders operate as a form of paywall style time-gating - 'Mechs are released to pre-order purchasers first, then made available for MC purchase then finally for C-Bill purchase. While ensuring all 'Mechs and almost all of their variants will be available to non-paying players eventually, the delay has grown to in some cases seven months between pre-order and C-Bill release.
Pre-order packs are also notable for including so-called Special 'Mech variants, though featuring the same stats and hardpoints these special versions of the primary variant feature unique visuals (sometime unique geometry, most often a unique paint scheme) as well as a lifetime per-match 30% boost in C-Bill earnings. These special variants are permanently locked to their included 'Mech Bays and cannot be sold, though they can be stripped and their equipment sold.
Initially billed as available for limited time in an attempt to drive sales, starting with the first Clan Collection the sale of packs became open-ended. Instead collections began to feature early purchaser bonuses such as cockpit items, patterns, C-Bills, modules and decals and in some instances even additional 'Mech variants to entice purchases prior to their in-game release.
Operation Inception - Founders Program
Likened to Kickstarter or other forms of crowd funding, the MWO Founders Program was a method for people to effectively pre-purchase game time and show their support for the game prior to its official release. The program also had the added enticement of Closed Beta access for those who had previously missed out on being selected. Three purchase levels were available (Veteran, Elite and Legendary) which offered a steadily increasing volume of in-game currency, premium account time and unique account/forum tags, Legendary also including the player's name in the game's credits. The Elite and Legendary tiers also offered "Founder's 'Mechs", exclusive versions of the first four playable BattleMechs in MWO (Atlas, Hunchback, Catapult and Jenner), Elite founders having to choose one while Legendary founders received all four. The Founders packs went on sale from June 19th 2012 with delivery from August 7th 2012 before being removed from sale on September 6th 2012.
On June 25th, 2013, Piranha Games announced the availability of a series of promotional packages titled "Project Phoenix", featuring four previously-Unseen BattleMechs: The Locust, Shadow Hawk, Thunderbolt, and Battlemaster. The program was expanded on August 28th 2013 with the announcement of the Saber Reinforcement pack, an add-on funding level which added the Griffin and Wolverine to "Project Phoenix". Similar to the original Founders' Program, players were able to choose between several pre-order packages to show their support for the then upcoming 'Community Warfare' expansion. Project Phoenix featured four standard purchase levels (Talon, Storm, Guardian, and Overlord) with the Saber add-on available for purchase after purchasing any one of the existing tiers. The program also had a Phoenix Loyalty Reward system, offering extra exclusive paint jobs and cockpit items as certain funding levels were reached.
Unlike the Founders Program where buyers could select which 'Mech/s they would receive at the Elite tier, each "Phoenix" 'Mech was locked to a specific price tier, with the more expensive tiers also including the 'Mechs from the tiers preceding it, the format most future four-'Mechs collections would follow. Additionally where the Founders Program merely offered the Founder's 'Mechs, Project Phoenix introduced the concept of providing two additional standard variants to allow buyers the means of unlocking the skills for each chassis purchased without additional cost.
The standard Project Phoenix pre-order content was delivered on October 15th 2013, while the Saber Reinforcement content was delivered on December 17th 2013. To date the Project Phoenix packs are the last time-limited pre-order packages, with both packs removed from sale on December 3rd 2013.
The Clan Collection
On December 13th 2013 PGI revealed the long awaited Clan OmniMechs, making them available for pre-ordering.
Initially the Clan Collection was roughly similar to the preceding Project Phoenix promotion, featuring a series of tiers offering a specific Clan 'Mech with its Prime variant (featuring a 30% C-Bill boost) and two standard variants, each higher tier including the 'Mechs in the tiers below it. The higher tiers also include a volume of premium time, exclusive badge and titles, signed prints of the concept art as well as unique bonus modules and an as yet unknown item referred to as Warhorns. A subset of the standard collection is the Gold Khan Collection, which offers a limited edition gold skinned version of a Prime variant along with additional bonuses.
The considerable cost of the higher tiers and Gold Collection triggered extensive level of debate and complaint from many MWO players, eventually prompting PGI to offer an "À La Carte" option, allowing players to purchase the OmniMechs they desired and skip those they did not, albeit without many of the discounts and bonuses of the Collections unless buying multiple in bulk, as well as including the top-tier Masakari Collection with any Gold Khan Collection purchase. Similar to Project Phoenix, the Clan Collection also received a Loyalty Reward system, offering bonus cockpit items and paint schemes was more people bought the Collections, certain items only available to those who bought a collection prior to a set date as further incentive.
Both the standard and gold collections were delivered on June 17th 2014. No end date for the promotion has yet been announced.
On September 15th 2014, PGI revealed 5 new Clan 'Mechs as part of Clan Wave 2. These included the Koshi, Fenris, Loki, Man O' War and as an "ultimate bonus" for those who purchased both the Masakari and Man O' War collections, the Mad Dog.
On February 20th 2015, PGI revealed 4 new Clan 'mechs as part of Clan Wave 3. These included the Arctic Cheetah, Shadow Cat, Ebon Jaguar and Executioner.
The Resistance Collections
Themed as an Inner Sphere response to the Clan Invasion, in mid October 2014 PGI offered a pack featuring four Inner Sphere 'Mechs: the Panther, Enforcer, Grasshopper, and Zeus for pre-order. Similar to the previous Phoenix and Clan pre-orders the pack included a variety of bonuses such as premium time, badges, titles, and faction content depending on the tier purchased. The faction content consisted of patterns, colors, warhorns, cockpit standing and hanging items for each of the six Inner Sphere factions. Delivery of the Resistance 'Mechs was staggered, with the Panther and Enforcer released February 17th 2015 while the Grasshopper and Zeus were released on March 15th 2015.
On the 29th April 2015, PGI announced the Resistance II Collection, including four new Inner Sphere 'Mechs: the Wolfhound, Crab, Black Knight and Mauler for pre-order. Offering similar faction content as the first Resistance collection, Resistance II also adopted the concept of a fourth variant only available for free within the Early Adopter period. The second Resistance Collection also had two additional Early Adopter pre-order inducements for players who also purchased the top-tier Resistance I Wraith and Resistance II Mauler packs, the first "Irresistible Deals" retro-actively offered additional fourth variants of the four Resistance I 'Mechs while the second was called the "Blood Pact" which offered an exclusive title, badge, cockpit item and pattern unlocks for the all eight Resistance 'Mechs. All 'Mechs, badges, and cockpit items were delivered by October 6, 2015.
Single 'Mech Packs
Offering a single 'Mech chassis rather than the four of previous collections, the first single 'Mech pack was the UrbanMech, developed and sold individually out concern such niche design would not be as popular as the MWO fanbase indicated or even viable on the battlefield. PGI started to switch to permanently to single packs with the so-called "Classics", PGI's versions of the Macross Unseen coinciding with the announcement of Catalyst Game Lab's development of new IP-friendly "Classic" re-designs. All succeeding releases, Clan or Inner Sphere, have been such single chassis packs.
Unlike the four 'Mech packs, the single packs are available in lower cost Standard and more expensive Collector variations, with the Special variation of the primary variant only available in the Collector tier. Starting with the initial Marauder pack, the single chassis packs also included the ability to purchase the Hero 'Mech for that chassis at a discount, and since the Kodiak pack the option of buying additional Reinforcement variants has also been provided. Similar to Project Phoenix's Saber add-on, the Reinforcement and Hero add-ons are only available for purchase if the buyer has purchased at least the respective Standard tier for that chassis.
- UrbanMech - On sale January 20th 2015 - Release April 7th 2015
- Marauder - On sale September 10th 2015 - Released December 1st 2015
- Warhammer - On sale September 28th 2015 - Released January 19th 2016
- Rifleman - On sale November 5th 2015 - Released February 16th 2016
- Archer - On sale December 15th 2015 - Released March 15th 2016
- Kodiak - On sale February 1st 2016 - Released May 17th 2016
- Phoenix Hawk - On sale February 25th 2016 - Released June 21st 2016
- Viper - On sale April 5th 2016 - Released July 19th 2016
- Cyclops - On sale April 19th 2016 - Released August 23rd 2016
- Night Gyr - On sale May 2nd 2016 - Released September 20th 2016
- Huntsman - On sale June 13th 2016 - Released October 18th 2016
- Linebacker - On sale June 29th 2016 - Released November 15th 2016
- Marauder IIC - On sale August 24th 2016 - Released December 13th 2016
- Bushwacker - On sale September 7th 2016 - Released January 24th 2017
- Supernova - On sale October 5th 2016 - Released February 21st 2017
- Assassin - On sale November 5th 2016 - Releases March 21st 2017
- Roughneck - On sale November 29th 2016 - Releases April 18th 2017
- Javelin - On sale January 17th 2017 - Release May 16th 2017
Other 'Mech Collections
MWO has a selection of sixteen Trial 'Mechs, two per each weight class for both Inner Sphere and Clans technology bases, that can be used at no cost. This also offers players the ability to try 'Mech types and variants before outlaying money to permanently purchase them. The primary downside with Trial 'Mechs is that their loadouts cannot be modified, placing them at a disadvantage against the customized and optimized 'Mechs used by the majority of MWO players. Also, while Trial 'Mechs earn C-Bills and XP as normal, players cannot spend the MXP earned while using them until they purchase that specific variant, with Trial 'Mechs permanently functioning as if no skill trees have been unlocked.
- (See also: Category:MWO Hero 'Mechs)
Similar in concept to Founder's 'Mechs, Hero 'Mechs are exclusive variants which can only be purchased for MC rather than C-Bills, offering both a unique paint scheme, a per-match C-Bill booster (currently 30%), and a custom hardpoint layout. Generally the intention is to showcase known historical or notable 'Mechs and MechWarriors from the BattleTech universe, but new custom 'Mechs unique to MechWarrior Online have also been introduced.
Notably, the descriptive texts for the Hero 'Mechs have since been declared fully canonical for the BattleTech universe. MWO Hero 'Mechs are invariably customized to some degree even when there was no indication in the original source material that the 'Mech in question was anything but a regular model, potentially creating a retcon.
- Adder - Cinder (Dirk Radick)
- Archer - Tempest (Morgan Kell) 
- Arctic Cheetah - Shard (Eva Hordwon)
- Assassin - DarkDeath (Dale Sandstrom)
- Atlas - Boar's Head (The build of this mech appears to be that of [Daniel Rondema] with upgraded technology.
- Awesome - Pretty Baby (Danielle Peterson)
- Banshee - La Malinche
- BattleMaster - Hellslinger
- Black Hawk - Breaker (Mar Helmer)
- Blackjack - Arrow (Michael Ubodo)
- Black Knight - Partisan (Ian McKinnon)
- Bushwacker - High Roller (Valten Ryder) 
- Crab - Florentine (Judith Faber)
- Cataphract - Ilya Muromets (Grigori Kovalenko) 
- Catapult - Jester
- Centurion - Yen-Lo-Wang (Justin Allard)
- Cicada - X-5
- Commando - Death's Knell (Bono Duganmare)
- Cyclops - Sleipnir (Ariana Winston) 
- Dire Wolf - Ultraviolet (Jin Mehta)
- Dragon - Fang and Flame (Donald Takeda and Martin Takeda)
- Ebon Jaguar - Esprit de Corps (Vesper Beckett)
- Enforcer - Ghillie (Daniel Waylen)
- Executioner - Cherbi (Gorman Bekker)
- Firestarter - Ember
- Gargoyle - Kin Wolf (Ulric Kerensky)
- Grasshopper - Mjölnir (Tor Miraborg)
- Griffin - Sparky (Elle Bennett)
- Hellbringer - Virago (Joanna)
- Highlander - Heavy Metal (Rhonda Snord)
- Highlander IIC - Keeper (Hazel)
- Hunchback - Grid Iron
- Hunchback IIC - Deathwish (Star of Rage)
- Huntsman - Pakhet (Calvin Deleportas) 
- Ice Ferret - Rainbow Crow (Karl Devalis)
- JagerMech - Firebrand
- Javelin - Hi There! ("Wildman" Bill Wilkes)
- Jenner - Oxide
- Jenner IIC - Fury (Zane Nova Cat)
- King Crab - Kaiju (Ivo Greenburg)
- Kintaro - Goldenboy
- Kit Fox - Purifier (Brett Andrews)
- Kodiak - Spirit Bear (Laurie Tseng) 
- Linebacker - Redline
- Locust - Pirate's Bane (Lori Kalmar)
- Mad Dog - Bandit (Russou Howell)
- Marauder - Bounty Hunter (Bounty Hunter) 
- Marauder IIC - Scorch
- Mauler - Knockout (Zachary Miles Hawkins)
- Mist Lynx - Ebon Dragoon (Sumner Osis)
- Night Gyr - Jade Kite (Timur Malthus) 
- Orion - Protector (Aleksandr Kerensky)
- Orion IIC - Sköll (Jaela Ward)
- Panther - Katana Kat (Minobu Tetsuhara)
- Phoenix Hawk Kuroi Kiri (Shin Yodama) 
- Phoenix Hawk Roc (Paul Masters) 
- Piranha - Cipher
- Quickdraw - IV-4 (Ivy Upsalom)
- Raven - Huginn
- Rifleman - Legend-Killer (Gray Noton) 
- Shadow Cat - Mishipeshu (Lucian Carns)
- Shadow Hawk - The Gray Death (Grayson Carlyle)
- Spider - Anansi
- Stalker - Misery The black color scheme and name hint that this is the personal mech of J. Elliot Jamison
- Stormcrow - Lacerator (Barbara Sennet)
- Summoner - Pride (Aidan Pryde)
- Supernova - Boiler
- Thunderbolt - Top Dog
- Timber Wolf - Warrant (Vlad Ward)
- Trebuchet - Loup de Guerre
- UrbanMech - K-9
- Victor - Dragon Slayer
- Vindicator - St. Ives Blue (Michael Jones) 
- Viper- Medusa (Dwillt Radick) 
- Warhammer - Black Widow (Natasha Kerensky) 
- Warhawk - Nanuq (Hunter Tseng)
- Wolfhound - Grinner (Phelan Ward)
- Wolverine - Quarantine
- Zeus - Skokomish (Stealth)
A mid-way point between MWO's stock 'Mechs and Hero 'Mechs, Champion 'Mechs are variations of a specific standard variant with a custom loadout and include a 30% XP bonus, purchasable only with MC. While the included weapons and equipment of each Champion variant differs from their standard counterparts, with loadouts based on the most popular or successful custom loadouts developed by players, they feature the same hardpoint layout as the variant upon which they are based unlike the unique hardpoints of Hero 'Mechs.
- Atlas AS7-RS(C)
- Banshee BNC-3M (C)
- Blackjack BJ-1(C)
- Cataphract CTF-3D(C)
- Catapult CPLT-A1(C)
- Centurion CN9-A(C)
- Cicada CDA-2A(C)
- Dragon DRG-5N(C)
- Firestarter FS9-S(C)
- Griffin GRF-1S (C)
- Highlander HGN-733C(C)
- Hunchback HBK-4P(C)
- JagerMech JM6-A (C)
- Jenner JR7-F(C)
- Kintaro KTO-18(C)
- Orion ON1-K(C)
- Quickdraw QKD-4G (C)
- Raven RVN-3L (C)
- Shadowhawk SHD-2H(C)
- Spider SDR-5K(C)
- Stalker STK-3F(C)
- Thunderbolt TDR-9SE (C)
- Trebuchet TBT-7M (C)
- Victor VTR-9S(C)
- Wolverine WVR-6K (C)
Sarah's Jenner (also referred to as "Sarah's 'Mech") was an exclusive charity offering by PGI in 2013 where all proceeds were donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Between the beginning of the campaign on 23 July 2013 and its closing on 20 August, it raised 122,200 US$. It was named for Sarah Parries, a girl who had died from cancer at the age of 5 and who had liked to play MWO (particularly the Jenner) with her father.
This 'Mech, designated JR7-D(S), is technically a JR-7D Jenner (in the MWO sense, featuring a 300XL engine, Streak SRMs, and a Beagle Active Probe in its basic configuration) with some minor quirks, and its camo pattern includes teddy bears, unicorns, rainbows, and similar imagery. As far as can be determined, it is not a Hero 'Mech but a special 'Mech unto its own.
Customer Appreciation - Loyalty 'Mechs
Starting in 2014, PGI celebrates the date MechWarrior Online left Open Beta as the game's effective birthday with in-game gifts provided to both active players and paying customers. Players who have played at least 100 matches within the eligibility date receive two million C-Bills, a 'Mech Bay and a birthday cupcake cockpit item. Those who purchased MC or had purchased one of the pre-order package within the eligibility dates also receive exclusive Loyalty 'Mechs, variants of existing or soon to be released 'Mechs which feature Special/Hero 'Mech style unique paint or geometry and 30% C-Bill bonus. The non-Loyalty versions of these variants are normally released in the lead-up next anniversary event.
- 2014: CN9-AH(L) Centurion (Purchased MC) - AS7-S(L) Atlas (Purchased any pre-order collection) - KGC-000(L) King Crab (Purchased any top tier collection)
- 2015: CDA-3F(L) Cicada (Purchased MC) - WVR-7D(L) Wolverine (Purchased any Inner Sphere collection/A La Carte) - Nova-D(L) (Purchased any Clan collection/A La Carte) - ZEU-9S2(L) Zeus (Purchased top tier IS collection) - Executioner-C(L) (Purchased top tier Clan collection)
- 2016: BJ-2(L) Blackjack (Purchased MC) - CTL-3L(L) Cataphract (Purchased any Inner Sphere collection) - Hellbringer-F (Purchase any Clan collection) - STK-3Fb(L) Stalker (Purchased 1 Top Tier or 2 IS Collectors Level Inner Sphere Pack/s) - Summoner-F and M (Purchase top tier Clan collection/2 Clan Collectors packs) - Ultimate Reward (Top Tier IS and Clans)
- 2017: UM-R68(L) UrbanMech (Purchased MC) - GRF-5M(L) Griffin (Purchased any Inner Sphere collection) - Kit Fox-G(L) (Purchase any Clan collection) - VTR-9A1(L) Victor (Purchased 1 Top Tier or 2 IS Collectors Level Inner Sphere Pack/s or six Resistance Hero 'Mechs) - Linebacker-H(L) (Purchase top tier Clan collection/2 Clan Collectors packs or 6 Clan Hero 'Mechs) - Ultimate Reward (Top Tier IS and Clans)
Official Web Resources
- MechWarrior Online
- Official MechWarrior Online Game Guide
- MechWarrior Online store page on Steam
- MechWarrior Online's Facebook
- MechWarrior Online's Twitter
- MechWarrior Online's YouTube
- Chat transcript found here; see also transcript on this article's Talk page
- In this thread on the forum for the BattleTech game by Harebrained Schemes (which is a different computer game from MWO, though the developers cooperate); see also transcript on this article's Talk page
- Charity Fundraiser on the MWO homepage
- IGN MechWarrior Q&A with Smith and Tinkers' Jordan Weisman and Russ Bullock of Piranha Games
- MechWarrior Trailer
- IGN Rewind Reveal Video