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MechQuest: Analysis of 9/25/09 Release

Posted by The Peanut Master on October 12, 2009

Yeah, this is what happens when real life comes and gives a me a boatload to handle, both educationally and socially. Such is life, but everything should be taken care of by tomorrow. Anyways, this weeks release as a whole introduced a new and improved Assault Mecha, along with the beginning to the full-blown ShadowScythe invasion of Westion.

Assault Mecha Rebirth (Wednesday)


The Wednesday mini-release was devoted to reviving and updating the Assault Mecha minigame, which if you aren’t aware is the PvP system MechQuest uses. While the update everyone wanted to see to this outdated system wasn’t implemented (actual human PvP), every other possible enhancement was added, including credit/experience rewards, major bug fixes, streamlining the interface, implementing real random battle encounters, scaling to your level, a new victory message, and allowing you to post your victories to Facebook.


The Assault Mecha badly, badly needed an update, and this was just what the doctor ordered. Every possible upgrade that could have been made to the Assault Mecha was added, and the overall experience has just multiplied many times over. It’s good to see AE not forgetting about old aspects of MechQuest and making sure to update some of the important ones to comply with current, updated standards.


The only real con is certainly the elephant in the room: Still no real PvP. Yeah, I know, we’ve been told multiple times this will never happen and it’s just not possible with the engine, but I still can’t help but feel even a little bit disappointed that this truly awesome feature won’t ever see the light of day.

Grade of Release

9.0/10. Despite the obvious disappointment of no true PvP, this was a really good, solid mini-release, one the Assault Mecha sorely needed.

ShadowScythe War On Westion


The ShadowScythe have finally begun their direct invasion after the… events… of the recent Fire War. Simply put, Valoth and Co. are sending the most forces they have ever sent towards Lore, and it becomes apparent from the start that this is not our war to win. The war takes place in a side minizone, accompanied by our main man Sys-Zero, and also Tikala (who directs you to the Fire War), Sheriff Grif’th (who has some very unmotivated dialogue regarding our impending doom), and Qjik’Han (who is the weapons inventory, and starts with some various new weapons to motivate the war efforts).

All the action takes place with Sys-Zero though, as his close-up also includes two (2) war meters, one for the allies (us) and the ShadowScythe. This is the first two-sided war with the ShadowScythe in-game, and with the SS meter rapidly increasing, presents a very real chance for the war to be lost. Sys-Zero also allows you to fight a standard battle vs. the SS and access to a new quest, Mobile Bases, in which you fight through a barrage of enemies to get to a mobile base to destroy. The quest brings back environmental effects, as every so often a ShadowScythe Strafe will occur and you will take some damage from overhead SS attacks.

The other aspect of the war release is in a separate mini-zone accessible from Sys-Zero, only for Star Captains. This SC camp is run by Odessa Pureheart (with Agent Braddock and Professor Anastasia in the background) and in addition to the Battle button offers a first person shooter-esque minigame seen a few times in various forms before in the game. This time it’s once again similar but adds some ShadowScythe feeling to it, and it allows for a nice diversion from all the other war stuff going on.


Lots of fun things going on in this war, and there’s certainly a ton to like. The first thing that stuck out for me was the inclusion of a second war meter, effectively rendering this war losable (if that’s a word). It’s about time AE took this step, and adding a second meter gives the ShadowScythe more life, adds more motivation, and adds a ton of realism to the war as a whole. In addition, I loved seeing so many NPCs scattered around the war, as it really adds more interaction and realism to the environments. Each NPC serves a different purpose, and while some are more important than others, the sheer quantity of the NPCs is to be admired.

Having three battle options (regular battle, Mobile Bases, and SC shooter minigame) provides a healthy amount of options for farming the war, and the inclusion of a side SC zone should become the standard for all wars, as it’s a great idea and can really encourage people to upgrade to Star Captainship. The weapons released (albeit a bit late) were a nice inclusion and are all sufficiently powered.


My big con is with the idea for a war in the first place. We are just mere weeks from the conclusion of the marathon of the Westion Fire War (which happened to also come soon after the uber-marathon of the AvP War), so another war here and now is just major overkill and could have been delayed a few more weeks, or converted into a non-war atmosphere.

The only other things I was disappointed with was no new cutscene and very little plot development other than the obvious “ShadowScythe are invading and we’re DOOMED” storyline, although with everything else going on and the clear prospect of future plot development I can forgive this exclusion. There were also no new enemies released, although once again that isn’t such a big deal as there is a healthy assortment of SS enemies already in-game.

Grade of Release

9.0/10. A very impressive, promising start to the full-blown ShadowScythe Invasion Saga, and with all the groundwork laid out I’m very interested to see where AE takes this.

Overall Grade of Release

9.0/10. This grade wasn’t too difficult to determine, but it’s a well-deserved grade at that. Both the Wednesday mini-release and Friday major release combined to create a great week for MechQuest.


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