Warfare in 3049

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Information Warfare[edit | edit source]

Information warfare is about controlling the flow of information on the battlefield:

  • Knowing where your enemy is
  • Knowing the current status of your enemy
  • Understanding your enemy’s status
  • Sharing information between units

At the core of this is the BattleGrid. Essentially, this is the map that appears in your mech’s cockpit. It includes a top-down map showing objective and waypoint markers; unit markers for friendlies, enemies, and support units; and orders. Commanders will receive additional information via the BattleGrid and be able to issue orders through it.

Target information is based exclusively on Line of Sight/Detection (LOSD). Either you or a teammate (or a support unit) must be able to see or detect an enemy in order for you to have any information about it. If your team loses LOSD on the enemy mech, then the information you have on it will decay rapidly to the point that you lose all the information you have on that mech. The available information on a target is layered based on the type of modules you have installed in your mech.

There are several ways to get LOSD information on a target:

  • Direct line of sight
  • Radar
  • Satellite scan – an orbital scan of the entire battlefield; efficient, but limited to top-down line of sight. It won’t detect a mech hiding in a cave, for example.
  • UAV – works like a satellite scan, but localized to a smaller area
  • Detectors – little sensors dropped off around the battlefield by scout mechs
  • Support units

As an additional benefit to team-based LOSD, team members that don’t actually have line of sight to a target can still lock onto a target that someone else can see, and use indirect fire weapons against that target.

Each type of detection device can also have different modes of detection, including night vision, thermal vision (which works through obstacles), and magnetometer-assisted, which detects metal and metal density (this can be used to locate a shutdown mech hiding behind a building, for example). Some of these modes won’t be available at launch.

Targeting an enemy mech is one of the best ways to get information about it. The longer you target a mech, the more information you will get. Obviously, the modules you have installed will have an impact on the type of information you get. This information is automatically shared with your team, though they may need to have certain modules equipped in order to be able to view it all.

Radar will have both active and passive modes. Naturally, passive mode will have a reduced range, but will also make you much harder to detect for the enemy. Much of your other communication and information warfare equipment will not function while the radar is in passive mode, however.

Of course, there are ways of countering all this whiz-bang detection tech. Types of ECM that will be available include:

  • Spoofers – beacons that send out false target signatures
  • Disruptors – to disrupt or block modes, communication, target acquisition, and target lock
  • Surveillance – to intercept and decode enemy intel

Initially, ECM capabilities will be limited to methods of countering the opposition’s detection and communication capabilities. Over time other capabilities may be added.

Role Warfare[edit | edit source]

The basic idea behind role warfare is that in any team-based combat game or military conflict there are four essential roles played by combat personnel. (Note that this does not include the no-less-essential roles played by non-combat support personnel.) These roles are as follows:

  • Scouting – performing reconnaissance and gathering battlefield information to relay back to the main force
  • Assault – tactical forward units whose job is to seek and destroy enemy targets
  • Defense – holding ground against the opposition’s assault forces and protecting those in need
  • Command – Directing the actions of the friendly forces on the field

Before we dive into understanding how these roles are aggregated, let’s spend a little time just defining the roles a little more clearly. These descriptions come straight from the Dev Blog.

Scout[edit | edit source]

Scouts are the main source of information on the battlefield. It is their utilization of information warfare that is the key to the success of a team. Scouts need to get to the front lines as soon as possible in order to gather information as fast as possible. They should utilize fast moving BattleMechs which allow them to do so and at the same time allow them the opportunity to escape should the need arise. Advanced scout players will need to use scout modules to enhance their abilities to detect enemies and relay information.

Defense/Assault[edit | edit source]

The defense and assault roles are very similar in their core gameplay. The only difference between the two is how they want to balance their skills and modules. There are numerous configurations that will prove to be beneficial to either role being played.

Defense may want to skew their attributes to heavier armor and friendly assistance modules, while the assault may want to skew their attributes to targeting and assistance modules. Both roles need to be combat effective in both long and short range abilities.

Command[edit | edit source]

Command players are a special breed that will need to be "situation aware" of everything happening on the battlefield at any given time. It is up to the command player to let all friendly units know of key operational changes in plans or actions to be played out while in combat. The command player is always at risk due to the nature of the role and their dependency on the BattleGrid to issue orders and distribute information. It is because of this, command players should be protected by other players on the same team. Movement co-ordination is the key to the survival of the command player by making sure the command player is never left alone.

It is important to note that radar/information sharing has a defined range. This means that a command player cannot simply stand at their original spawn location for the entirety of the match. They must keep moving in order to make sure all members of the team are within communications range. Something else we have learned about command players is that the command screen will fill most, if not all, of their HUD when it is open. This means that commanders will be easy targets for opponents and will require protection.

Role Aggregation[edit | edit source]

The aggregation of a pilot’s role is based on a combination of the type of mech they choose to drive, the modules they use, and the player’s own skill and tendencies. Some types of mechs are better suited for some roles than others. Light mechs, for example, are great for scouting, but less than ideal for assault or defense. Players should carefully consider the role they wish to play in a given match, and select the right combination of modules, weapons, equipment, and mech to be able to fill that role. A player driving a light mech with a mix of scout and command modules could fill a defense role, but they would not be as well suited for it as someone driving a heavy mech with mostly assault/defense modules.

MWO Primer Contents[edit source]