This 'Mech does not appear in the TRO:3063
(mostly because the only way we could improve on
the original Wraith involved a Marik chassis, Capellan
stealth armor and a FedCom targeting computer.
We ran out of handwavium while trying to finish
Good day to you all!
We are presently biding our time with the TRO, looking for ways to polish things up while we wait for our layout man Josh to make his reappearance. It is going to be a fair stretch, as he is currently overcoming difficulties I am not at liberty to discuss. However, the quality of his work, his reputation and his overall work ethic has convinced me that the wait will be worth it. I trust you will understand and feel the same way. Besides, his sweetie is pinch-hitting for him and so things are not at a complete standstill. I hope to have some samples of his work for next week so you can all see what he has done so far.
TRO Art Proofing
My original artist, as I mentioned numerous times, has been at times very derivative of other people’s work. In some cases the inspiration is actually better than the copy. I am currently attempting to contact one artist in the hopes that I can acquire the original art for the Privateer, a ‘Mech which appears not once but twice in the TRO and the White Knight. Of course, there is also a Plan B for any unpleasant eventualities, but we hope that won’t be the case.
Meanwhile, Ryan Rawlings has stepped up with an offer to take the remaining images provided by our initial artist and run them through a ‘proofing’ procedure which is intended to eliminate any remaining blatant copies of other people’s work. If the art is good enough, I will attempt to purchase it. Otherwise, I will have to replace it. Since about 60% of the original works have already replaced anyway, this is nothing new.
[Unfortunately, our art proofer has been busy and just today turned up four additional instances where 'inspiration' turned out to be tracing over someone else's work. I have already contacted four artists on deviantArt.com and expect to be emailing a few more [please, Lord, let it be only a few more] - before we are through].
[Frowny face here]
While payments go out for the remaining works, I have been considering colored versions of some pieces for internal color pages – I am not adding any new color pages per se, but simply condensing what we already have to maximize the available space. For example, the color pieces done by David Dryburgh can be fitted two to a page, rather than the one per page currently planned.
Eric presented me with a new piece that he re-did on his own. It is for the Isometrus, and to be fair, it looks more like a 25-tonner than the original art. However, I am not one to waste art and the old piece looks like it is actually a 55-65 ton ‘Mech (cockpit size relative to the overall ‘Mech is important). Bill Burt came up with an infighter that weighs 60 tons but is quite nimble. I feel it looks a bit like an improved Anvil without the jumpjets and a lot more armor.
It carries two large pulse lasers, four medium pulse lasers and two machine guns at 5/8/0. The machine guns are for anti-personnel work and will open up the mission profile a bit, but I prefer the version with dual AMS. I see a lot of missiles on the tabletop and it seems like that would come in handy for a ‘Mech which is trying to survive getting close enough to rip a hole in something.
I am going to run this by Geoff, my co-writer. If he gives the thumbs-up, we will include this in the TRO and pull the Zeus PE (again). I have gone over the Zeus in previous blog posts – no reason to justify it again, but yes, I will issue it later for anyone interested in seeing it.
BattleTech on Facebook?
If a tree falls in the woods and it doesn’t have a Facebook page, does it make a sound?
Some of you are familiar with Facebook. It is a popular social networking site. There has been at least one attempt to use BattleTech on Facebook: it calls itself simply ‘Mechwarrior’. I went to give it a look and I am sorry to say that a more wretched piece of ripped-off junk does not exist. But let the images (ugh!) speak for themselves. Feel free to click on the images to get a better picture of the dregs:
Above is a list of Offensive Weapons. Offensive is the right word to describe entries that don’t even begin to follow any sensible pattern. These machines have no ranged weapons to speak of, yet are thrown in there as ‘Light ‘Mechs’. These guys did not even bother to spell ForestryMech correctly – even after I pointed out the error to one of the designers!
As you can see, they aren’t into original art, either. This bit of ripped-off art is an Unseen Locust, cropped from Google no doubt.
Here is an entry under ‘Special Weapons’, a Star League-era Spector. Notice the image for the ‘Mech, like most of the others, is actually a picture of a miniature? At least it’s painted real purty…
…and it ought to be, seeing as it was lifted from CamoSpecsOnline, the premier source for professionally-painted official camo schemes.
This is why the designers snarfed all that art… and why the whole thing looks like something thrown together over a weekend. The only way you can get ahead in this game without spending most of your natural life at the keyboard is to spend real-world money on Action Points!
My advice to the designers has already been heard - and ignored. They don’t care about making a quality game, they only care about cranking out another Facebook app which soaks up money. My advice to anyone reading this who might consider trying this game is the same as the designer’s advice for buying Action Points – Don’t Waste Your Time.
BattleTech would be a good Facebook app, no doubt. Mechwarrior is not that app.
Catalyst Game Labs…
What can I say that has not already been said? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. I won’t subject you to the nitty gritty – you can get the details over The Gaming Den, under threads with ‘Shadowrun’ in the title. I have gone over the official CGL release concerning their status with Shadowrun and conclude that they no longer have the license. Magnificent spin on Randall Bill’s part but with the double-speak winnowed out, it appears a company called Lone Wolf has the actual license. CGL has an agreement with them, but they do NOT have the license to produce that game any longer under their own cognizance.
What remains to be seen is the status of the BattleTech license, and I suspect that too will be continued under a similar arrangement. That is, someone responsible will handle the actual license (and the money) while sub-contracting a portion of the work to CGL.
I have read that InMediaRes is ‘circling the drain’ and while that may be true, I have not seen or read anything that gives such a statement credibility. It certainly would seem to be the case, but like the rest of you, I can only wait. Suffice to say that if Shadowrun is any indication, BattleTech is here to stay. The same cannot be said of some of the people who have brought it to this unhappy crossroads. Or at least, one does hope.
Frank Trollman’s Choice of Words
I’ve gone over what I think of this guy – and why. I have even suggested how he could get the word out without pissing off the people he’s supposed to be rallying to the cause. His latest installment of information on recent events is a case in point.
Frank goes from listing the happenings and his own take on them to lambasting the Mormons in an attempt to link that faith with the behavior of Mssrs. Bills, Coleman and Hardy. By and large, it is a success. At least it was with me. I have seen what he describes and recognize it for what it is – more Inner Rings and more folks ignoring what they ought to do while doing their best to cover up. But I think Frank takes a wrong turn when he involves God in the proceedings.
It's a safe bet to assume the Mormons have about the same number of scoundrels in charge as any other established church. As C. S. Lewis noted, priests (of any faith) are wicked men like the rest of us. But notice I did not use the word ‘faith’. Nor did I say ‘religion’ or suggest that a belief in God – any version of Him – is a prerequisite to performing – or justifying - any sort of financial shenanigans.
Given the strict expectations of a Christian, I should think it quite the opposite. The offense here is not that certain men belonging to a certain church committed heinous deeds, but that they were Christians (of a sort) and they damned well knew better.
The Catholic Church is in much the same pickle. Any organization with mere men in it will come to grief sooner or later in similar ways. It goes from an assembly of the faithful to a bureaucracy containing portions that resemble an old boy’s club, complete with rules, secret handshakes and mysteries.
In short, it becomes just another, larger Inner Ring.
The Freemasons are famous for it. The Protestant Reformation began because of it. But then, the Freemasons don’t claim that what they are doing has the Almighty’s stamp of approval. The difference for Christians (and other faiths – I don’t really know) is that they have an instant check against such activity which is available at any time. If the Ten Commandments won’t do, you can always apply to their Author, who to date has been quite firm in His insistence that we follow said rules.
But that has not happened; apparently not in the case of CGL.
I don’t pretend to see into the hearts of the aforementioned individuals, but I will say this: if a Catholic archbishop can shuffle criminally naughty priests from one laity to another without a murmur, it’s possible something similar can be done by a Mormon Elder. And that goes for any other kind of hanky-panky. The blind eye is not as uncommon as people think.
I know you are an atheist, Frank. But you sound like a fool when you include the word 'God' in your speculations. I want to see justice done too, but you are not helping the case by sticking your foot in your mouth every other day.
Please, stick to the things you do know about - namely, Shadowrun and the latest depredations of certain old-boy gamers. Leave God out of your speech and you will sound more like the Voice of Truth and less like an ex-writer with a hard-on for the company in particular and religions in general.
Thanks for stopping by.