Mechwarrior 4 Released for Free by Community

By Brian Leahy, Apr 30, 2010 7:00pm PDT Mechwarrior 4 is now available as a free download for PC gamers along with numerous improvements and an automated patching and content delivery system.

"Studio MekTek, in association with Smith and Tinker, INC., Virtual World Entertainment, LLC, Catalyst Game Labs, and Microsoft Games, is happy to announce the release of Mechwarrior4 Free," reads the game's website.

The Mechwarrior IP is owned by Smith and Tinker, which gave community site MekTek.net permission to release the game for free last year. Microsoft, the original publisher, gave the all-clear last week and the rest is history.

The free package includes:
  • 111 different mechs ranging from 20 to 100 tons.
  • 9 Battle Armor
  • 6 Infantry
  • 32 Beam Weapons
  • 43 Ballistic Weapons
  • 44 Missile Weapons
  • 7 Electronic Components
  • 3 different types of armor
Improvements made to the original game include:
  • Clan and IS Mech Pack mechs available in campaign
  • Mektek mechs and weapons added to campaigns
  • Zonematch has been replaced with MekMatch in all visible text and is the one and only mech-matching service
  • 5 new MekMatch servers to host and play on! You can change servers whenever you like. Each server has a dedicated community to cater to
    • League Server
    • New Players
    • Australia
    • Europe
    • North America
  • "Connect" and "Host" default to the last server chosen
For those that will be hosting games:

  • New features for dedicated servers like the ability to add a fixed number of bots to a dedicated server upon launch chosen in setup! Bot Levels can also be set. Default game length has been changed to 30 minutes instead of original 10.
Other Improvements:

  • Game loads much quicker and no longer requires a CD
  • Original mechs, Clan and IS Mech Pack, and Mektek mechs arranged alphabetically in Mechlab list (no longer have special symbols in front of the mech name except for Battle Armors and Infantry).
  • New Screenshot Folder for in-game screenshots (instead of the main Mercs installation folder where it was difficult to locate them).
Improvements on-screen:

  • LTRI (Long Tom Range Indicator) added when a weapon with trajectory is installed on a mech! Torso pitch angle in degrees is also shown! Even height of mech has been calculated and accounted for in range.
  • Mission and Computer Clock added as part of the UI. Mission Clock is a semi-transparent pie chart indicating how much time is left on a multiplayer map!
  • Additional Chat state. Besides the in-game chat box's normal and large size you have the option of completely turning off chat (disappears). Pressing the "y" or "u" key (general chat and team chat) causes the chat box to reappear!
Thanks, gameagog.

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Comments

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  • The "disc 2" error was something that cropped up in the pre-free-release. I believe they had fixed it in the free release patch, which last I knew was going to be .19, but it's difficult to say whether or not anyone got the thing fully patched before their ISP went down. The information to fix it was on their forums, but obviously, those are lost, too.

    Before the patch, you had to change where the game is looking for the discs in regedit if your default disk drive isn't D:\... There are like four entries in Windows 7, which make it a total pain.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Microsoft Games > Look around in there
    " > Wow6432Node > Microsoft > mektek.net > Set both MW Mercs and MW Editor just to be safe
    " > Wow6432Node > Microsoft > Microsoft Games > Same deal

    In total, I believe it's 4 entries for Win 7, and fewer to older versions (Vista not included). Of course, like I said, it's difficult to say how far anyone actually got in the download, but if you're messing around with it and run into "insert disc 2" then this is where you should start. Hopefully everyone can get updated and running if/when the servers come back online.

    Please be patient with them. It's been a year since they've been trying to get permission from Microsoft, and, as noted, it's an unpaid community endeavor.