As the details of when and how MekTek will release MechWarrior 4 are being worked out, BattleTech.com felt it important to cover MekTek’s credentials for being involved in this seminal community event.
MekTek Development has been responsible for enhanced gameplay and stabilization techniques deployed since Microsoft first released MechWarrior 4 that continues player enjoyment years after the games original release.
MekTek has successfully deployed three major expansion packs for MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries known as MekTek MekPaks (MP1, MP2, MP3). These MekPaks were largely based on the idea that Microsoft deployed for Mercenaries, known as the Microsoft MechPacks. These MechPacks allowed the Mercenaries engine to run with more ’Mechs without compromising gameplay for multiplayer opponents who did not own these expansion add-ons.
In MekPak1 MekTek introduced 9 new BattleMechs, including the UrbanMech, UrbanMech IIC, Strider, Avatar, Stalker, and Blood Asp. Many of these new designs forced MekTek to develop engineering techniques to use existing animations in game in such a way that were never intended by the original developers. The UrbanMech and Strider designs were some of the most difficult to integrate into this engine.
In MekPak2 MekTek introduced 19 new BattleMechs, including such designs as the Dasher, Brigand, Commando, Solitaire, Hollander II, Black Hawk, Black Lanner, Grim Reaper, Grizzly, Man O’ War, Cyclops and Annihilator. MekTek was forced to go back and further balance some of the MP1 series ’Mechs. During MP2 development MekTek was able to further engineer the skeletal system used in Mechwarrior 4 which allowed them to enhance elements such as point of view in larger assault ’Mechs.
In MekPak3 MekTek introduced 6 infantry including Ballistic Infantry, Energy Infantry, and Missile Infantry for both Clan and Inner Sphere. MekTek also introduced 48 new BattleMechs, including the Razorback, Panther, Jenner IIC, Assassin II, Fenris, Blackjack, Centurion, Trebuchet, Hunchback IIC, Ursus, Yeoman, Catapult K2, Bowman, Orion IIC, Thug, Supernova, and Behemoth. This massive inoculation of ’Mechs into MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries took nearly 1.5 years to gameplay test and balance before releasing this patch to the public.
MekTek has offered the community a magnitude of weapons changes and additions in each of the MekPak series. These weapons required extensive testing and organization in order to ensure the best possible gameplay balance. Not all weapons were inducted into the MP series due to balance issues with this engine. However, more than 80 new weapon types have been included in the MP series to date.
MekTek has also offered dozens of new multiplayer maps for Mechwarrior 4, some of which were released with the MekPak series for the end user.
During the development of the MekPaks, MekTek had to deal with the increasing amount of hacks and engineered tools being used to destroy the gameplay experience of MechWarrior 4.
During the development of MP3 MekTek learned that Microsoft was terminating the ZoneMatch servers. MekTek moved to create what is now known as MekMatch (see: http://www.mektek.net/mekmatch/), a ZoneMatch replacement. While MekMatch does have some bugs, MekTek was able to release MekPak3 to the public and enjoy the community’s embrace with a working game browser.
It is worth mentioning that the MekPaks also required support for other languages. MechWarrior 4 was developed in two major language editions including a German and English edition. MekTek has always recruited German beta testers in order to translate all English text to German. During releases MekTek has also released German newsletters. MekTek has also provided detailed technical troubleshooting support for the MechWarrior 4 community during the release of all MPs including several different languages (e.g. Spanish, Danish, Chinese, and Japanese).