Seems to be a big 'ol patch-fest this week in MMO land. Yesterday, Blizzard pushed out World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Landfall, Patch 5.1 to the live servers. Today, Sony launched Rain of Fear - the 19th expansion for EverQuest. And we also saw the not-yet-released MechWarrior Online release a doozy of a patch.

MechWarrior Online Unleashes the Cataphract

Fans of up-close and personal mech combat have even more reason to be thankful this week, as MechWarrior Online gets updated with four new variants of walking fortresses. 

Fresh from the foundry is the new Cataphract mech: seventy tons of close-combat devastation. Featuring a top speed of nearly 65kph, this heavily armoured mech comes in four different variants, with each offering a mix of different hardpoints and weapon choices. 

For those of you who follow the MechWarrior lore, the Cataphract originated as a Capellan mech, before spreading throughout the Inner Sphere. It’s also lovingly known as the FrankenMech due to being made from the spare parts of other, less fortunate mechs.

Also included in the Thanksgiving Week update are two new modules: a 360 degree target sensor that will keep track of your current target, even if they manage to get behind you, and a booster module that will add 15% to sensor range. 

The Frozen City at Night completes the update, with this shadowy new environment setting delivering huge shooting lanes and fog-free firefights.

If you’ve been itching for the chance to beat Piranha at its own game, now’s your chance. Today (21st November) at 6PM Pacific/9PM Eastern, you’ll be able to play against the developer live on Twitch. Be sure to fire up their Twitch.TV channel beforehand to grab all the action.

Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor

MWO Open Beta Trailer

If you're enough of a MechWarrior fan, this MWO trailer probably made you giggle with a specifically awesome MechWarrior line. But, perhaps more importantly, the open beta is taking off, so if you never got in on the Founder's program or the closed beta, now is your shot to start playing.

And, incidentally, I'm downloading it as we speak.

Julian "Mirai" Williams

MWO Breaks $5 Million in Pre-Order Sales

MechWarrior Online's Founders Program is a really good way for eager Mech fans to get into the beta and the official game with a fancy new bonus. And apparently everyone agrees with that - Pirahna Games has announced that they have broken five million dollars in sales since it first went up in July. That means that around 70,000 people wanted to play MechWarrior Online so badly that they dropped huge amounts of money on preorders, primarily the top-tier Legendary kit. That's pretty good for a game that's going to be free to play on release. 

Julian "Mirai" Williams

MechWarrior Online Open Beta Starts The 16th

MechWarrior Online has been available to Founders for a little while, but not for much longer - Piranha Games announced that the open beta starts on October 16th. The Founder's Program ends just a little before then, midnight on the 14th. Up until then, the Founder's Program is still active, including purchases that net you a reserved pilot name, special mechs, and in-game currency.

Julian "Mirai" Williams

Heavy Metal Madness

There's been a lot of anticipation building for Piranha Games' upcoming MechWarrior Online.

Massive mechs going toe to toe and missile to missile is just inherently fun and the game looks terrific.

ZAM is very pleased to give you the chance to find out just how exciting the game is for yourself.

River City Returns To MechWarrior Online

As someone who played MechAssault, the classic MechWarrior Xbox game from a decade ago, this completely thrills me - the River City map comes to MechWarrior Online. It's not identical - it looks prettier (if ruined), it's bigger, and much of the area is indestructible, but it's the same idea. Multiple layers of hills, buildings, and bridges provide unique playstyle on the giant map, and the deep river adds complexity as it bogs down your movement but the water cools your heatsink. And, just in case you forgot, the Founder's Program is over September 6th. 

Who else remembers River City?

Julian "Mirai" Williams

Bring the Pain

MechWarrior Online is getting some excellent buzz due to its abrasive, action packed style and impressive visuals.

With the latest video, that in your face, explosively paced action is obvious.

Mechs Go to War In New Dev Diary

As interesting as dev diary videos can be, they can sometimes feel a little dry without a good chunk of gameplay.

The latest MechWarrior Online developer video certainly avoids that problem, with plenty of mech on mech battles to entertain. Missiles and lasers arc out in swathes of destruction to create some alluring fireworks, which I know built my anticipation for this upcoming FTP shooter.

MWO Showcases The Behemoth 'Atlas' Mech

Said to carry "a small mech's weight in armor alone" and dubbed "a skull faced terror," MWO has shown off the Atlas in today's video. For the uninitiated, the Atlas is a behemoth of a mech, with long and short range missiles, four laser rifles, and the incredible AC20 accelerator cannon. The Atlas is a mobile gunship, with more armor and size and weaponry than any mech in the game, but trades for it with incredibly slow speed and maneuverability.