Massively reports that the in-beta online game MechWarrior Online is selling a unique robot for charity. Vancouver's Sarah Parries, a five-year-old girl, loved watching her father play the game in a Jenner BattleMech and waste the bad guys. She especially got a kick out of the short-range missiles.
Unfortunately, Sarah died from cancer. The game's developers were so touched by her story, that they are selling a special 'Mech in her honour: Sarah's Jenner, with a paint job that only a five-year-old could come up with. MechWarrior Online is free-to-play, but you can buy this 'Mech for $10 and all proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. As of the time of writing, they've collected $28,730.
I now have an excuse to try out this game.
Besides, when I first heard of MechWarrior Online I remembered how I was really into EA's Multiplayer BattleTech 3025 when it was in secret public beta 12 years ago. (Anybody could join, but you had to know how.) The game was never released, but I have some war stories. Here is one of them, slightly fictionalized to fit the game's setting and my character, Go-cho
Sheaffer Journal of House Kurita.
Not too long ago, I
was defending one of our anti-spinward border worlds from House Steiner
with several of my fellow soldiers. The Elsies have been hitting us pretty
hard today, so we needed to keep this planet. After we left the dropship
and got a bearing on the enemy, we discovered that there was only one of
them. One lone Steiner Commando against us: two Commandos, a Javelin, and
me in my Spider 5K. Something must've gone wrong with their dropship's
launch systems, for we saw before landing that a full Elsie lance would be
waiting for us.
Common sense and our
samurai honour told us that this was a huge mismatch. The Elsie then
radioed us on a public frequency saying that he was a new recruit and asked
for a one-on-one fight. After a brief discussion with my lancemates, we
agreed to a one-on-one duel and I volunteered to go first. As I
accelerated toward the target and readied my weapons, I thought to myself "easy
The Steiner Commando
was waiting at the base of a hill, which opened into a wide open field. My
lancemates hung back to watch. Before he could do anything, I opened up
with my laser and got a hit on his right torso. He then fired an alpha
strike with full laser, missiles and a flamer, but I had an advantage, being
that my Spider can jump. I safely jumped out of the way (his missiles
didn't even lock) and pelted him from above with my machine guns. I
landed, hit him again with my laser, but he managed to turn around and get me
with his laser before my jumpjets could recharge.
This went back and
forth for a little while, with one of us sometimes getting a lucky shot and
taking out one of the other's weapons or ammo. The Steiner wasn't doing so
bad for a newbie. It eventually came to this: both our 'Mechs were
smoking, all weapons gone, legs, arms and torso all have taken severe
damage. But I can still move, and being faster than a Commando, I decided
to try ramming him, hoping that the collision will take out either his engines
or breach the chest.
worked. Both ways.
Just as my Spider
collided with the Commando, both our 'Mechs blew up. It was a glorious
mess, with both Commando and Spider parts strewn across the
From my ejection pod
above the wreckage, I heard my lancemates laughing over the team channel, saying
that was the funniest thing they ever saw. And all I could do was laugh
with them, the whole thing was just so absurd. But we had served the
Dragon, and the day was ours. I was picked up and we returned to our
dropship, and as my Spider was being repaired I vowed to myself that if I ever
see that Steiner Commando again, I would buy him a whole bottle of sake (or
Heineken or whatever they drink) for this battle resulted in me becoming
the first and only member of the 1st Draconis Combine Suicide