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MechWarrior Online Payment Concerns

An article on Polygon says that MechWarrior Online will leave the open beta testing stage late this summer, and discusses planned changes for the official launch version of the mech combat MMOG, including an entirely revamped version 2 of their user interface (thanks Augur). This also includes Community Warfare, which they call the "big daddy" feature of the game, offering an overarching metagame in the form of faction gameplay. In discussing the three types of players who participate in their game, Piranha Games creative director Bryan Ekman discusses how this may involve a mandatory charge for what they call "Merc Corps" players who team with your friends in the ostensibly free-to-play game. "We're looking at possibly charging a one-time setup fee," Ekman said. "This is just to make sure there's not a flood of one-player corps. We really want people who participate in this to be as engaged as possible. And we'll probably require them to have a premium time account, as a kind of dedication level." This has lead to some unhappy discussions on the MWO Forums, and has inspired a moderator to jump in and explain that although they know weekends are active times for their players (the game is currently running a double-XP weekend), the holiday weekend means there won't be an official response to the concerns players have raised about this for a couple of days:

Your Community Representatives are here to advocate on behalf of your concerns and suggestions. We've noticed a recent increase in discussion regarding an article released that implies that users will have to "Pay to play together." [Your words, not our's.]*

We want you to know that we sympathize with the variety of concerns generated by this article, and it we're doing our best as your Community Representatives to gather your feedback.

Long weekend: Please note that both our developers (PGI) and publisher (IGP) are located in Canada, where we are currently enjoying a longer weekend than normal (statutory holiday). Obviously we acknowledge that MechWarrior Online is enjoyed prominently in these off-hours, but we appreciate your patience in receiving a response from our developers until they have returned from their short break.

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