Gamers Compete In First Ever Mechwarrior Online Tournament @ NVIDIA HQ

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After more than a decade in hiatus, Mechwarrior is back. Mechwarrior Online (MWO), developed by Piranha games, is the spiritual successor to the revered Mechwarrior series. Powered by the impeccable CryEngine 3, Mechwarrior Online is richly detailed and decidedly modern. It supports NVIDIA's TXAA technology, which cleans up jaggies and shimmering. Best of all, it’s free to play. To celebrate the revival of the franchise, NVIDIA invited the developers and gamers to its Santa Clara campus for a night of giant robot stomping action.

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MechWarrior Online LAN Party

At Friday 6pm, the lines started to gather. Gamers from all over California and many from out of state (even a few from Canada!) convened outside of Building D, home to Nth St. Café, NVIDIA’s dining hall. The single elimination tournament held between sixteen teams was projected to a large central screen. NVIDIA engineers wolfed down their dinner as they watched the spectacle. “This is better than the Olympics,” said one onlooker in a blue lab coat.

NVIDIA engineers watch big robots blow each other up after a hard day’s work designing chips.
NVIDIA engineers watch big robots blow each other up after a hard day’s work designing chips.

Mechwarrior Online is the first game in the series to truly differentiate between the different classes of mechs. While mechs in previous games followed a “bigger is better” paradigm, Mechwarrior Online gives each mech class a unique role. For example, the 35 ton Jenner—a light mech that was considered cannon fodder in the previous games—is fast, agile, and difficult to pin down in Mechwarrior Online. By providing frontline visibility, it also lets assault mechs rain down missiles on the enemy.

Mechwarrior Online features the latest DirectX 11 graphics and class based warfare.
Mechwarrior Online features the latest DirectX 11 graphics and class based warfare.

The unique classes were fully exploited by pilots on Friday; each team featured a mixture of light, medium, and heavy mechs with each pilot playing a unique role, closely mirroring the combat system in the Battletech board game and novels. In the final duel between team 2 and team 13, the latter prevailed, winning the tournament four kills to three.

When asked what was the key to their victory, team captain Gavin McClements responded emphatically: “staying together. Teamwork is key.”

The winning team was to set to receive a GeForce GTX 560 each until NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen threw in a twist—they could take home the card today, or, they could wait and be sent something better. However, if the latter choice were taken, the runners up team would receive the GeForce GTX 560s instead. After some deliberation, team 13 chose to go with the deferred prize, which turned out to be none other than GeForce GTX 680s. Both teams went home happy.

Team 2, the runners up, each received a GeForce GTX 560s.
Team 2, the runners up, each received a GeForce GTX 560s.

The winning team poses for a victory shot. Each player will receive a GeForce GTX 680.
The winning team poses for a victory shot. Each player will receive a GeForce GTX 680.

Mechwarrior Online is currently offering a Founder’s Program where gamers can gain access to battle mechs, badges, and in-game currency at a discounted rate. Veteran packages start at $30 with the Legendary package topping out at $120. All packages promise early access to Mechwarrior Online starting August 7th. If you want a stake in the future of the Inner Sphere, sign up today!

For more pictures of the event, check out the Facebook album.

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