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BattleTech 1.8 and Heavy Metal Expansion Released

BattleTech Announces Heavy Metal Expansion

Paradox Interactive and developer Harebrained Schemes have just dropped the third major DLC pack for BattleTech. The new BattleTech: Heavy Metal is out now on PC. This new expansion includes a bunch of new content, including plenty of giant robots to blast around space in.

This new expansion borrows heavily from the typical Paradox Interactive style of content. The expansion has a set of paid content, but also packs in some new gameplay features as part of a free update. The 1.8 patch adds a bunch of new content, which you can find in the full patch notes below, but also the BattleTech: Heavy Metal expansion includes exclusive content. Contained within are 7 classic BattleMechs, 1 brand new “HBS Original” BattleMech, 8 new weapon systems, and a new linked Flashpoint campaign. This new campaign includes a new story as well.

This new set of paid content forms the bonus components of the update, but the basis of the 1.8 patch is much more expansive. BattleTech 1.8 includes a bunch of new missions and random events to add more flavor to the galaxy of the Inner Sphere. And yes, the free version of the update also includes a couple of new mechs, and some variants. There’s a Spider variant and a Locust variant specifically. As for new mechs, the heavy Marauder and equally stompy Warhammer have joined the fight as of 1.8.

The biggest new addition though is full mod support being formally injected into the game. BattleTech 1.8 introduces a formal modding launcher that’s directly integrated with the robot-smashing sim. Players will now be able to more directly interact with the base code for the game, making performance fixes and adding in new modded content much easier.

Balance adjustments and performance fixes are also in the patch. The developers have pushed in a ton of memory usage adjustments, as well as some fixes to a variety of UI elements. This should help improve slowdown in menus and in-game combat encounters. A small number of graphical issues with some effects have been dealt with too.

If you want to see more of the expansion in action, check out the preview trailer down below.

The expansion is live now on Steam. BattleTech: Heavy Metal, as well as the other major DLC packs, are all bundled in to the Season Pass. These expansions include

New Free Features & Content

Classic BattleMechs

  • MARAUDER (75 Tons) – perhaps the most iconic ‘Mech in BattleTech, known for its ability to hang back and snipe from a distance. Its Lance Command Module decreases the damage taken by it and its allies and gives a boost to Called Shots.
  • WARHAMMER (70 Tons) – known for dealing devastating particle cannon strikes, it exists to destroy other ‘Mechs quickly and efficiently. Its Optimized Capacitor Feeds increase the damage of all equipped Energy weapons.

Official Mod Support – With this release of BATTLETECH, we are introducing official mod support to the game and now support the ModTek format that the modding community is currently using. Mod locations are now external to the game, making them more portable and less prone to Steam interference and breakage. We’ve also added new mod management UI to the main menu to streamline mod use. As usual, use mods at your own risk. Some mods may not work at launch. In-game modding tools are not included.

  • Formalized mod installation location and process
    • We have included documentation on where to find mods, how to add/delete mods, and links to the BATTLETECH modding community.
  • Simpler mod injection process
    • The current approach effectively requires a mod for mod support to be enabled. Our version will integrate the mod loading process into BATTLETECH, allowing modders to focus more on mod generation rather than mod loading.
  • Support for most existing mods with minimal changes to their existing data format
  • Save game mod awareness. Save games that include active mods become unavailable if those mods are uninstalled or disabled.

New Maps – Two new maps bring even more variety to your contracts: Jumbled Karst (an iconic rock formation set between two valleys), and Boulder Field (rolling hills and rocks dot this battle scarred landscape)

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New contracts – Over 40 new contracts, including new recurring allied and enemy NPCs, and new contract variants that mix up the missions you’ve seen in new and unexpected ways. Battle a dangerous solo mercenary, train a group of overly enthusiastic rookies, and serve as the personal bodyguard of an arrogant noble.

New Events – We’ve added a slew of new mercenary travel Events to “enhance” your mercenary life.

New Star Map Weapon Store Filters – We’ve added a new filter dropdown to the star map that lets you view planetary industry by type and a tooltip that tells you what you can find in each star system.

Rebalanced Stores & LosTech – We’ve completely overhauled how weapons and equipment appear in our stores. Finding items is now more straightforward. We’ve also given LosTech items a boost in power to fit their legendary status.

New Mech Viewer – Get a close-up, rotatable view of your ‘Mech and customize its paint pattern directly in the Mech Lab!

New Merc Company Crests – Scads of new emblems to choose from for your mercenary company, drawn from notable factions throughout the Inner Sphere. Roleplay your heart out!

New Mech Variants

  • Locust LCT-1E – The 1E Locust packs only Lasers for its armament, for better overall damage without the risk of ammo explosions. It runs quite a bit hotter than other variants, though, so it works best with hit-and-run attacks.
  • Spider SDR-5K – The 5K Spider variant keeps the extreme maneuverability of its more common 5V cousin but adds some Machine Gun weaponry for close-in work. It’s still got very little armor, so it works best as a scout and spotter.

Additional Tutorial Slides – For new players, we’ve added some tutorial slides to an early story campaign mission to help smooth the on-ramp to BATTLETECH’s many options and tactical readouts.

Bug Fixes & Improvements

Combat Improvements

  • UI performance cost reduction
  • Fixed an issue where the game did not enter turn-based mode as expected when hostiles dropped in during Battle+ contracts
  • “Target Acquisition” contract type balanced to be a less punishing and more dynamic experience

Map Graphics

  • Many small map polish fixes – floating props, disappearing signs, assets clipping into each other, etc.
  • Fixed an issue which caused windmills to stop spinning when any one of them was destroyed

UI

  • Fixed and clarified invert mouse axis options
  • New targeting treatments for area of effect weapons
  • Evasion Pip coloring for COIL beam charging
  • New flashing elements to highlight the Assassin’s ability to ignore evasion
  • New combat ‘Mark’ to show targets hit by NARC, TAG, and other abilities
  • Mini-Campaign Flashpoint elements have a unique look and color to distinguish them
  • Improved Combat UI performance

Other

  • Memory use optimizations
  • Fixed an issue where Gauss Cannon was displayed as AC/10 on both Blackjack’s arms
  • Fixed an issue which caused weapon VFX to stop/impact before hitting the target

Known Issues

  • Small amounts of text remain untranslated
  • Rubble effects on Urban Maps may disappear, restarting the game resolves the issue
  • Entering bankruptcy causes problems with starting a new career or campaign in the same session, restarting the game resolves the issue
  • Thumper heat is not correctly previewed
  • Coil Beam heat and damage does not update in the weapon panel from the previous turn until you move your ‘Mech

Known Mod Support Issues

  • When mods have been enabled and then disabled or deleted, the overlay for save states is missing
  • Depending on the mod, a debug string may appear in the mod status window
  • Players using mods can run a skirmish match against players without mods installed
  • The revert button works on its first use; after that you may need to relaunch to revert mods
  • ‘Boulder’ and ‘Jumbled Karst’ moods display the wrong names in skirmish when mods are installed
  • Mods that contain other mods do not show up as bundled with their dependencies
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