Mechwarrior Online is currently top dog when it comes to two-legged robot stompery (sorry, Hawken) but till now it’s been a bit of a clusterf muddle on the battlefield, with your teammates marching off as soon as the round starts, never to be seen again. The teams that don’t stick together in Mechwarrior Online tend not to last long at all. So the addition of lances in the latest patch should go a long way to keeping you and your lancemates alive on the battlefield.
Mech lances work much like squads in Battlefield 3, they’re small sub teams made up of only a few mechs. Each lance has a lance commander and they have the power to issue orders to their teammates. Of course, those teammates are free to ignore that order but at least there will now be the appearance of tactical play.
Lances also have their own chat channel so you’ll be able to call in aid from your lancemates without your entire team hearing about the fact you marched right into the enemy’s artillery line.
The patch also brings with it a new series of mechs: The Highlander. An assault mech by design, the Highlander mechs are not fast, only managing 48.5kph on the flat. Granted, this is because they’re packing an inordinate amount of armour plating. The Highlander is essentially a mobile wall.
While they lack the equivalent firepower of the Atlas, meaning Highlander’s will need support when advancing, the sheer amount of ordnance required to take one down means that they can’t be ignored. As part of an advance lance they should be able to draw a lot of heat from their lancemates.
The patch’s already available to anyone in the game’s beta, simply boot up the client to get up to date.