Piranha Games and Infinite Gaming Publishing have announced some new competitive enhancements to MechWarrior Online by introducing 8v8 custom group match making, Electronic Counter Measure Suite warfare as well as the next Hero Mech, Ilya Muromets. In addition, players can outfit their cockpit with holiday-themed cockpit items including a Santa bobblehead.
"With the new 8-player group vs. group action and ECM, the competitive element in the game has been upped in a major way," says Bryan Ekman, creative director at Piranha Games. “Blending new content with the rich history of the BattleTech universe, we are excited to introduce Ilya Muramets CTF-IM Cataphract, the first PGI-crafted character, a resilient and balanced Hero Mech representing the Capellan Confederation.”
A press release says that phase two of Match Making marks the early stages of Community Warfare in the InnerSphere, allowing players to form eight player groups and take them into battle. Prior to this content patch, players could form groups with a maximum of four players; matches will continue to support 8v8 player combat and will not be weight class restricted to enable quick match launches. Additional Match Making functionality will be added in phase three, taking into the consideration the Merc Corp, competitive league players and additional requests made to date.
The new Electronic Counter Measure Suite (ECM) adds to the roles of Scours and Defensive support. Basically, it's an advanced electronic warfare suite that can be used to reduce the range at which enemy units can detect opposing Mechs on radar. In “disrupt” mode missile locks can take twice as long, forcing enemies to move much closer to you on their radar, and help counter the extended range of the Beagle Active Probe.
Ilya Muramets CTF-IM Cataphract, the first heavy Hero Mech since the close of the Founder’s program, is said to offer great flexibility and battle longevity with the most even mix of energy and ballistic hardpoints of any Cataphract chassis.
Named after the legendary knight of Slavic myths, Ilya Muramets has a pattern emblazoned with the noble Cameron Star of the Star League as a nod to his time with the Twelfth Star Guards and their connection to the SLDF. For the last 21 years he has been using Ilya Muramets to hunt down Federated Suns’ Cataphracts, meting out justice for their theft. Their salvaged remains have been used to repair and refit his own Mech to the point that it now operates with a unique loadout.