MechWarrior: Living Legends
- This article is about the fan-made computer game conversion/mod. For the MechWarrior (RPG) adventure module, see Living Legends.
|MechWarrior: Living Legends|
|Development||Wandering Samurai Studios (2006-2013);|
MWLL Community (2016-present)
|Era||Clan Invasion - early Jihad|
|Series||MechWarrior computer games|
MechWarrior: Living Legends is an independently produced total conversion modification of the Crysis Wars game, now available as a stand-alone mod, which takes place within the BattleTech universe during the Jihad era. The mod mixes first-person and sim elements, creating an experience similar to BattleField 2142. Additionally, it also features a diverse selection of not just pilotable 'Mechs and battle armor, but also tanks, hovercraft, aerospace fighters, and VTOLs, making it unique for mixing combined-arms warfare with a BattleTech setting. It can be played using the free Crysis Wars demo, which is included as a stripped-down version in an all-in-one install package.
MechWarrior: Living Legends has been in development since December 2006, and was at version 0.7.1 Beta as of January 2013. As of August 21st, 2022, the mod has been brought to version 0.15.4 by new developers from its community, marking over a decade of continued development and support.
Originally, development was done on the Doom 3 engine, with the team switching to CryEngine 2 after the release of Crysis. The next major release after the initial one, version 0.5, dropped support for Crysis in favor of Crysis Wars, and was released in May 2011.
The final official version, 0.7.1, was released on January 16, 2013. Development by Wandering Samurai Studios halted due to a decision made by the project founders; rumors that this was due to pressure from Piranha Games Inc. were denied.
On October 8, 2016, given permission from the project's founders, members of the community released version 0.8.0, called the Community Edition, with the intention to revive the game and continue development. Since then, numerous updates have been released, adding a diverse assortment of new pilotable 'Mechs and vehicles - such as the Xerxes aerospace fighter, the Argus and Marauder heavy 'Mechs, the Kodiak assault 'Mech, and the Rommel tank - and new weapons and maps, in addition to constant fine-tuning and adjustments to make for a better experience. On top of that, the game has been made more easily accessible, with a completely redesigned game launcher and updating system, as well as an independent server browsing and tracking service.
Concerning single-player, the Wandering Samurai team had stated that development focus for the foreseeable future will be on the multiplayer aspect of the game, and that while a single-player component to MW:LL is desirable, no actual design or planning had been put into it. This still holds true with the new community-based development team.
Crysis and Crysis Wars Support
Prior to version 0.4, MW:LL was available only for Crysis. Version 0.4 introduced support for both Crysis and Crysis Wars. With the release of version 0.5, support for Crysis was discontinued, and the modification will only run in Crysis Wars.
GameSpy and Qtracker Services
In 2014, the GameSpy service, which provided the ability to browse servers while in-game, was shut down. In response, the MWLL community moved to a third-party solution called Qtracker, which could emulate the same service GameSpy provided. The Qtracker solution was ultimately integrated into the Community Edition version with the release of the 0.8.0 update.
With the announcement by the Qtracker developer that the service would be shutting down on August 1, 2017, due to DDoS attacks, the MWLL community developers moved to their own implementation of such services. The game can now operate independently from third-party services. This change was released in the 0.8.6 update.
Multiplayer is the main focus of the development team and as such is at an advanced development stage. Originally, multiplayer games used the Gamespy Arcade integrated into the Crysis engine. Connecting to multiplayer required a Gamespy ID, which would be created in-game for free and did not require a valid e-mail. However, Gamespy was discontinued in early July 2014, leaving many games that were dependent on it unable to allow their players multiplayer connectivity. A fix to this issue, specifically for MechWarrior: Living Legends, was created by the mod's community in the form of a separate game launcher-server browser that could connect players to popular servers. With the initial Community Edition release, this fix would later be turned into integration with the Qtracker service, which essentially completely replaced Gamespy's functionality in every way except the in-game interface. Sometime later, an in-house solution not dependent on Qtracker was developed and released in update 0.8.6, and later a fully redesigned launcher with an integrated updater in update 0.9.0.
A server can host up to 32 players in one of five game modes: Team Solaris Arena, Terrain Control, Test of Strength, Solaris Arena and Last Man Standing. However, due to stability issues, servers are encouraged to not run with more than 28 player slots unless they are equipped with powerful enough single-core processing hardware. Additionally, server admins have access to a multitude of server-side configurations and commands, such as moderation, some level of game mode customization, and even controlling map time of day in certain cases.
Team Solaris Arena and Test of Strength both pit teams against each other in a team-deathmatch scenario, with points awarded based on kills and damage dealt. The two modes differ in that Test of Strength starts a player with a set amount of funds to buy 'Mechs or vehicles that does not increase, while Team Solaris Arena awards cash in addition to points for dealing damage and refreshes a player's cash on respawn. As of the 0.8 community edition, players who make more money than their rank will start them with will respawn with the amount of money they died with. (e.g. a player dies with 60,000 C-bills, but is still at the lowest rank, which would spawn him with 43,000 C-bills, will respawn with those 60,000 C-bills)
The most frequently played mode, in Terrain Control teams battle over capture points on the map in order to deplete the opposing team's tickets, and the game mode uses the same rank and cash systems as in Team Solaris Arena. Depending on the map, different points will affect enemy ticket drain at different rates. Additionally, asset destruction will reduce tickets for the team that asset belonged to, depending on its ticket value. If a team runs out of tickets, the game goes into a brief sudden death-esque setting, where players on the losing team will be unable to respawn. The match will be over when the "sudden death" timer runs out.
Solaris Arena brings to life the arena battles on Solaris VII. Players battle each other in arenas like The Jungle and try to get first place by achieving the best overall score, while being commentated on by Duncan Fisher (voiced by George Ledoux). Last Man Standing provides a variation on this: the primary goal here is to become the sole survivor of the round, where points do not matter.
In all game modes, players initially spawn as battle armor (often shortened to "BA" among players), usually in friendly bases or 'Mech bays that allow for purchases. However, depending on the game mode and map, only certain bases will have facilities that allow for the purchase of a 'Mech or vehicle. For instance, in Terrain Control, the main bases players start with provide access to all weight classes of 'Mechs and vehicles, while some capturable bases only allow players to purchase weapons for their battle armor in a bunker. Some such bases do, however, also. In contrast, Solaris Arena will often only feature bases or hangars that allow the purchase of any class of 'Mech and vehicle (though some community-made Arena maps feature air-only bases). Many maps also include separate air bases allowing players to purchase aerospace fighters and VTOLs to take the battle into the air. Players receive a set amount of C-bills when they spawn according to their rank, with rank being gained as the player gains points through damaging or destroying opponents and capturing control points. Battle armor are armed by default with an integrated battle armor-scale SRM-2, a claw-mounted Machine Gun, and a Small Laser (which can be exchanged for a variety of dedicated weapons). Though the battle armor for each side is identical in role and performance, the Clan team battle armor is the Elemental, while the Inner Sphere team uses the Longinus. Both battle armor units use jump jets, as well as a secondary weapon pod, and when entering a 'Mech or vehicle (excluding APCs) all dedicated weapons - including the default Small Laser - are lost.
The game features a fairly large list of 'Mechs and vehicles available for purchase, and many more were planned for future releases by the Wandering Samurai development team. As of version 0.4.9 there were 22 BattleMechs, 9 vehicles, 3 aerospace fighters and 1 VTOL in the game. As of the official last release, version 0.7.1, there were 32 'Mechs, 12 vehicles, 5 aerospace fighters, and 2 VTOLs (not including the hidden Karnov VTOL) available. By version 0.14.3, the total asset count grew to 42 'Mechs, 20 vehicles, 8 aerospace fighters, and 2 VTOLs. Individual unit customization - i.e. a mechlab - is not available, but MechWarrior: Living Legends offers between six and nine variants of each asset's chassis for purchase, with different loadouts of weapons, armor and equipment. Unit customization was originally (under Wandering Samurai Studios) a planned feature to be implemented in a later release, however the new community developers have stated that this in no longer a goal. Instead, variants are designed to fulfill unique roles given their corresponding chassis' speed, weight, and cost profiles, among other considerations.
The lore of Classic BattleTech plays an integral role in design and development but is often a secondary concern to balance and the "fun factor", a necessity for any multiplayer-centric game. This focus on balance can be seen in the weapons configurations of 'Mechs and vehicles, many of which conflict with or ignore canon sources for the sake of balance. For instance, the Wandering Samurai team had stated that non-'Mech assets such as vehicles, VTOLs and battle armor were made purposely more powerful in relation to 'Mechs, as otherwise they would be far too weak or ineffective for players to want to use in games.
Both Inner Sphere and Clan teams are able to buy an APC throughout a Terrain Control or Team Solaris Arena game, with a limit of up to three such units per team. The new developers have stated that there are more units planned for future releases. Units marked with an asterisk (*) are those which have already been publicly released by the community-based development team. All unmarked units were added by the Wandering Samurai team.
Tanks and Hovercraft
- Behemoth *
- Goblin *
- Mobile Long Tom
- Regulator *
- Rommel *
- Schrek *
- Corsair aerospace fighter
- Hawk Moth VTOL
- Rusalka OmniFighter *
- Shiva OmniFighter
- Sparrowhawk aerospace fighter
- Heavy 'Mechs
Tanks and Hovercraft
The following list details the units originally intended for release by the Wandering Samurai Studios developers, which became officially canceled with the cessation of development of MWLL under WSS. Units marked with a single asterisk (*) are original assets that the Community Development Team have since revealed as planned for inclusion in future updates. Those which were originally planned by WSS and later revealed as planned (and/or ultimately added as per the above lists) by the Community Development Team are marked with two asterisks. Unmarked assets are those planned by WSS but not confirmed as planned by the new developers.
- Commando **
- Conjurer (Hellhound) **
- Hunchback IIC
- Kodiak **
- Marauder **
- Men Shen
- Sunder **
- Anhur VTOL **
- Karnov VTOL **
- The Karnov is a special case, in that it is technically playable - if very buggy - when placed in a custom map through the Sandbox Editor. Otherwise, it is hidden and unfinished.
- Xerxes aerospace fighter **
- Gnome **
- Kage *
- Phalanx **
- Sylph *
- A light battle armor was also planned by WSS, though specifics are unavailable.
- The Community Edition developers have mentioned that both Inner Sphere and Clan factions will receive the Nighthawk Power Armor (Light) as the default spawn-in asset in the future. *
MW:LL features numerous multiplayer maps based on various worlds within the BattleTech universe. Most maps have both Terrain Control and Team Solaris Arena/Test of Strength versions. These maps range from expansive deserts, restricted canyons and overgrown marshes to snowstorm-ridden valleys and the low-gravity surface of a rapidly spinning asteroid. In comparison to maps of previous and future MechWarrior games, those found in MechWarrior: Living Legends are many times larger, with some as large as eight kilometers by eight kilometers in area. The game supports custom maps made in the CryEngine Sandbox editor, which are usually automatically downloaded upon connecting to a server running said maps, provided the server has autodownloading set up.
- Main Page
- MWLL on ModDB
- Official FAQ
- MWLL Wiki
- Ultimate Resources List
- MWLL Discord
- AMA and interview with Kamikaze of WSS and community developers
- MWLL wiki's version history log with release dates
- Official clarification from MWLL founders on the subject of PGI involvement in MWLL shutdown
- Official announcement of transfer of development from WSS to the MWLL community developers
- News of GameSpy shutdown reaches the MWLL forums
- Latest news states that Qtracker will be shutting down on August 1, 2017
- Update 0.8.6 changelog includes move to MWLL's own GameSpy emulation service
- MWLL Art: The Uncompleted - An archived forum thread, detailing and showcasing the unfinished assets planned by WSS
- Official MWLL Twitter account suggests the Nighthawk PA(L) will see inclusion