I always thought it would be fun to have custom Clan logos instead of the generic team images to pick from in multiplayer. These don’t do anything, it’s just for cool factor. They are located within \shelldb\netimg named icon01.pcx through icon10 so I guess we only get to have ten clans!
Okay folks, I am going through digging up and re-remembering some old knowledge about hacking Outwars.
First and foremost outwars.mml aka the multiplayer mission list. Lets open it up in a hex editor:
Very simple. Name of the .mis file located in /netmisn followed by some whitespace. I have added a few more:
The astute amongst you may notice hey ass isn’t a real mission, the game agrees and since there is no ass.mis it throws an error and immediately quits:
Lesson here being, don’t screw up the .mml file!
As soon as you add more than 15 entries to this file, the game actually renders a scroll bar but there seems to be some hard coded limit that prevents it from properly handling more missions. No matter, nobody is every going to play anything but anub1m anyway 😛
I use Facebook for two things: buying old cars and BattleTech minis. I forgot all about the Outwars Never Dies Facebook page. Lo and hehold, maybe due to the present apocalypse, there has been a flurry of activity in that page of late and I just happened to click into it. Exciting!
So, I promptly fire up a Discord and get a hold of OWReaper. He’s telling me someone had the source code to the game and someone else has a remake in progress and frankly my mind is fucking blown. This is exciting. So, I go ahead and set up a Bookstack to organize things.
One thing OWReaper mentioned was documenting some of the history of ye olde days playing on zone.com. I was going to put that in the book stack but I figure its very bloggy material so might as well put it here. Plus, if something comes to me I can fart out a quick post on my phone. So yeah, enjoy!
For a few months I’ve been on a bit of a BattleTech / MechWarrior kick. One of the things that crossed my mind is how disjointed most of the MechWarrior games are chronologically:
- The first releases, BattleTech: Crescent Hawk’s Inception in 1988 and MechWarrior in 1989 were sensibly enough set in the original or ‘classic’ BT time period in 3028.
- The sequel to BT:CHI, Crescent Hawk’s Revenge began right after BT:CHI but made jumps forward as far as the Battle of Luthien in 3052. This one covers a lot of ground.
- Next, released in 1995 the ground breaking MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat inexplicably advances the timeline to 3057. In a major departure the backdrop is in Clan space rather than the Inner Sphere. The story is basically completely unrelated to events in prior titles, and I’m not even sure if they are explained in-game / a link is made to earlier titles in-game.
- 1996’s MechWarrior2: Mercenaries reverts to a spheroid protagonist and takes a time machine back to 3044 and concludes at the Battle of Luthien .. uh, again.
- For 1998’s MechCommander and 1999’s MechWarrior 3 the timeline leaped forward to 3059 and finally from here on out the releases actually increment the timeline predictably. What a mess
Trying to wrap your head around any of that is a waste, not to mention the glaring differences from cannon that many of the games exhibit.
But hey why not figure out the chronological order and play them? So, here are all 18 games:
Game Year Published Plot/Era/Locale ------ ---- --------- -------------- mw1 3024-3028+ 1989 mw snes 3027 1993 bt: chi 3028 1988 Chara III (Pacifica) bt: chr 3028-3052 1990 Lyons, War of 3039, Luthien mw2 mercs 3044-3052 1996 Clan Invasion! mw 3050 3050 1995 Clan Invasion mw2 31cc 3057 1995 Refusal War mw2 gbl? late 3050s 1995 mc1 3059 1998 Operation Bulldog mw3 3059 1999 Post OpBulldog, Serpent mw3 pm 3060 1999 mcx 3060 1999 Post OpBulldog mw4: v 3062 2000 FedCom civil war mw4: bk 3060s 2000 FedCom civil war mw4: mercs 3062-67 2002 FedCom civil war mc2 3063 2001 FedCom civil war ma ~3067-81 2002 WoB Jihad ma2 ~3067-81 2004
I came across a great YouTube channel The Examined Life (of Gaming). You can tell this guy is a true nerd by his fofxStudios YouTube URL … my kind of guy! Well he happens to be as nerdy as I am about all things MechWarrior and has a great series of videos critiquing the games and going over their history. Check out the playlist here MechWarrior Retrospective