[17:58] <@Habeas2> Hello.
[17:58] <@Habeas2> And welcome again to our monthly BattleChat.
[17:58] <@Habeas2> As always, I’m your host: Herbert Beas. BattleTech Line Developer.
[17:59] <@Habeas2> This chat will run a minimum of one hour, during which time I will attempt to answer any and all questions, in the order received, to the best of my ability.
[17:59] * J_Schmetzer (Mibbit@cloak-A56590EC.dsl.dyn.smithvilledsl.net) has joined #BattleChat-Live!
[17:59] <@Habeas2> I do not keep a log, so if you want one, I recommend that you start logging about now.
[18:00] <DarkISI> As usual, I will be doing the log 🙂
[18:00] <@Habeas2> As usual, I ask that all questions be respectful. I will kick anyone who misbehaves.
[18:00] <@Habeas2> With that said, I welcome you all again, and open the floor to questions.
[18:04] <Gaiiten> Anybody else here in the void?
[18:06] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – There is no one. It’s called a void, after all.
[18:06] <Gaiiten> But there are voices …
[18:07] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – Then it is not void.
[18:00] <martian> There was a mention that new batch of Intro Boxes may contain refurbished miniatures. Could you comment on this?
[18:02] <@Habeas2> Martian – All I can truly say that this point is that, yes, it’s true. In an effort to address a few issues with the Box Set miniatures (including quality, cost to produce, and a few technical matters I can’t discuss), we are presently working on having new molds made for those miniatures.
[18:03] <martian> But ‘Mechs will stay as they are?
[18:06] <@Habeas2> Martian – Yes. The ‘Mechs will remain unchanged.
[18:07] <martian> Thanks
[18:02] <DarkISI> A question I was asked to ask: Will we receive new Record Sheets for all the old and new WarShips that exist in the BTU?
[18:03] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – Eventually. Yes.
[18:37] <Gaiiten> Herb, after the dramatic decimation the warship fleets suffered in the Jihad era, will there be new warships? While I love the new pocket warships and sub-capital weapons battle between true capital ships do have their own feeling.
[18:39] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – Yes. There will be new WarShips, but the PTBs in the setting have come to realize they can’t be used like WWII-era battleships.
[18:40] <Gaiiten> @Herb, so we will see more carrier-like capital ships?
[18:43] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – I would suspect as much anyway, with Pocket Warships assuming the role of escorts
[18:05] <J_Schmetzer> Herb, will you be attending Gen Con this year?
[18:06] <@Habeas2> J_Schmetzer – As BattleTech line developer, I am obligated to attend all GenCons.
[18:07] <J_Schmetzer> Does anyone know when the BT seminars are at Gen Con this year?
[18:10] <@Habeas2> J_Schemtzer – All CGL seminars are on Friday. The BattleTech seminar starts at 11 AM
[18:10] <J_Schmetzer> Ah. Good. It appears I will manage Friday and Saturday only this year.
[18:35] <Terminax> How are you guys doing ahead of the big game (GenCon)? If the stars don’t align for the ATOW companion, don’t sweat it.
[18:38] <@Habeas2> Terminax – Pre-GenCon is always psychotic. This year is no different. And we ARE sweating Companion! 😉
[18:08] <mib_onzzvd> What products are you hoping to still get out this year?
[18:10] <@Habeas2> Mib_onzzvd – A Time of War Companion, Interstellar Players 3, and Handbook: House Kurita
[18:48] <Gaiiten> Besides AoTW companion what sourcebook will be the next we can very likely expect? I hope so for an early release of ISP3 …
[18:53] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – The present plan is that IP3 would appear before Kurita
[18:51] <mib_onzzvd> Any more PDF only stuff do out this year? Any hints to what?
[18:12] <Gaiiten> A question to Protomechs, I prefer the more animal like design, will you continue this or will you introduce more of Mech-like designs (as the Satyr XP and Sprite)?
[18:13] <GhostBear> <Gaiiten> That assumes we even continue with Protos. If so, probably a continued mix of both.
[18:15] <Gaiiten> :s @Ben: Why not continuing introducing new PM designs?
[18:15] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – The ProtoMech aersthetics are likely going to grow as diverse as BattleMech aesthetics. SOme may seem more organic, but at the end of the day, they’re basically small-scale ‘Mechs, so expect more ‘Mech-like looks
[18:16] <GhostBear> <Gaiiten> I said “if.”
[18:20] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – What Ben said. Honestly, a LOT of the Society;s firepower in their uprising came from ProtoMechs, and the Protos never acheived full saturation with the various factions. Added to the fact that, at least under WizKids’ tenure, Protos were discouraged, we may not see so many of them. (Also remember: We’re talking unit sizes so small you can only do so much with them before they get redundant)
[18:22] <Gaiiten> Due the Protos, that is ok with me, however, with the new classes (quad and glider) there is far more potential than ever before for tis unit class.
[18:14] <mib_onzzvd> My group really loves Total Chaos would you even consider do a book like for the FedCom Civil War, Clan Invasion, or 4th Succesion war?
[18:17] <GhostBear> <mib_onzzvd>: Thanks! Everyone did great on that project. That said, probably not for any other eras. Look to the Era books for quick mini-campaigns instead.
[18:17] <@Habeas2> Mib_onzzvd – Honestly, that depends on how well TC sells. If it proves to be only lukewarm, it may not be viable for repeat performances, but I’m hopeful.
[18:17] <GhostBear> *shudders at the mass factchecking required for other era TC books*
[18:18] <Gaiiten> @Herb, thanks, @ Ben, when the Lord of Reavings said if my bells ring loudly alarm …
[18:18] <GhostBear> <Gaiiten> you’re waaaay too paranoid.
[18:16] <Mikecj> So who was the “breakout” character of the 2750’s?
[18:17] <J_Schmetzer> Mikecj: The what?
[18:17] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – That would be Amaris. He breaks out in so many ways, it tickles me.
[18:18] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – I’ll let Jason field that one. I think you’re referring more to FM: SLDF than anything?
[18:18] <Mikecj> I like the added depth the fat man got… apotheosis was an interesting plan. and I liked the numerous glitches that almost derailed it
[18:20] <J_Schmetzer> Mikecj: I don’t know. No one really stood out–the book was too big. If I were asked to write fiction on the era, I think Aaron DeChavilier would be most interesting…
[18:20] <Mikecj> For all the “simplicity” it was way too complicated with too many nested objectives. The worlds were it almost went South read very “real”
[18:21] <Mikecj> Jason- he “feels” like a real person, did you base him on someone?
[18:22] <J_Schmetzer> I didn’t invent him. And so far as I know, he only had about 300 words in a 250-page book.
[18:22] <Mikecj> Didn’t one of the books say he made himself look that way as part of the bumbling country cousin routine?
[18:24] <J_Schmetzer> Mickcj: you’re talking about in Liberation of Terra, then. I didn’t have any part of that. That would be praise for the Chrises, which is entirely deserved.
[18:25] <Mikecj> Oops, sorry Jason. The SLDF report was great, the treasure hunt for buried clues and hints why units defected and the gathering storm before the rebellion were well done
[18:26] <J_Schmetzer> Mikecj: No problem. It’s like any other book — some people love it, some people hate it, most people are silent.
[18:21] <JoeChummer> Speaking of the “fat man,” was Amaris truly fat, or is that just how he’s been demonized in illustrations over the years? 😉
[18:26] <@Habeas2> JoeChummer – I see Amaris’ look as a deliberate ploy to be underestimated, yes. But he was not healthy at all. I see him as about a physically fit as Londo Mollari from Babylon 5
[18:27] <Mikecj> Londo? That spins the whole story. Richard as Vir? 😉
[18:45] <Gaiiten> I was surprised to see that the factchecking of FM: SLDF was done by so few people. Was releasing the book so pressing to include only such a small cadre?
Year of the Star League:
[18:20] <Sranc> How have the “Year of the Star League” products been selling? Once it’s over, do you think we’ll be seeing more or less historical stuff in the future?
[18:23] <@Habeas2> Sranc – I have not looked at sales figures recently, but consider this: Once we complete the Star League era, we will have produced an Era Report, Era Digest, Historical, or Field Manual for the following periods to date: Age of War, Star League, Golden Century (Clan), Late Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, FedCom Civil War, and Jihad.
[18:23] <@Habeas2> ….That leaves the Early Succession Wars, Dark Age, and the future for us to explore, mostly.
[18:26] <Sranc> Habeas2 – Good point. But I’d love to see more Age of War stuff; it only got an Era Digest. Maybe that’s just me.
[18:33] <@Habeas2> Sranc – As noted, we felt the Age of War was too niche; after all, the BattleMech appears late in the game there.
Record Sheets 3067 Unabridged:
[18:24] <martian> When you listed products planned for this year, RS 3067 were not named. Does that mean they will be out next year?
[18:31] <@Habeas2> Martian – I must be frank about Record Sheet books. A) There are technical difficulties in their production which I cannot eadily explain here, but amount to ensuring fast delivery and good quality. B) Record Sheet books are regarded on my end of things as such a secondary product, that I tend to not count them as products, but more of a background entity that I have others handle for me,
[18:24] <Mikecj> Is there an event or era the writing team wants to explore but feels may be too niche?
[18:31] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – If you see a PDF-exclusive Era Digest instead of a print Era Report, you have seen a setting we consiered niche. 😉
Print Collection of PDF Products:
[18:22] <Cateran> Has there been enough sales of some of the PDF exclusive series to warrant publishing a print collection?
[18:28] <@Habeas2> Cateran – I’m not sure, really. We’re leery of compiling and printing the PDFs for a few reasons. Two of the biggest are the possibility of alienating everyone who faithfully bought the PDFs as they came out, and killing the PDF sales entirely. Instead, expect more “related print” work, like how the XTRs contributed to TRO: Prototypes, or how the Turning Points contributed to Total Chaos
[18:29] <Cateran> Makes sense. Was just wondering if I was the only old fogey who prefers dead trees in his hand.
[18:31] <Cateran> I do have the PDFs, and enjoy them, I just don’t do as well with reading on my computer (and I don’t have an e-reader yet… yes I’m slow to adopt tech).
100 Year Old ‘Mechs:
[18:29] <MadDogMaddux> I already bothered Herb about this earlier, but do any of you guys have a thought as to how many 100+ yr old Battlemechs are remaining active in 3085?
[18:30] <JoeChummer> So long as a ‘Mech hasn’t been completely cored, it can always be rebuilt, I believe. Only lack of parts and gumption get in the way of that.
[18:30] <J_Schmetzer> MadDogMaddux: given the thousands of unnamed and uncited planetary militias, ducal forces, mercenaries, pirates, etc. in operation across several thousand light years of space? My guess would be… some?
[18:30] <MadDogMaddux> LOL
[18:37] <@Habeas2> MadDogMaddux – Just saying here: If you are loking for an exact number of how many Unseens are left running around, we can’t ever say that. Exact numbers of BattleMechs is verbotten territory now.
[18:37] <MadDogMaddux> Herb, I’m definitely not looking for an exact number. I’m just wondering if servicing them would be a viable in-universe market
[18:39] <GhostBear> <MadDogMaddux> I’d say so. I know that many of the Combine’s military industry is geared solely on producing spare parts for its aging Mech forces.
[18:40] <MadDogMaddux> <GhostBear – Thanks Ben! That’s kind of what I was lookin’ for
[18:41] <@Habeas2> MadDogMaddux – Servicing them? Definitely. The Jihad saw an exploson in service depots, which is how a lot of that RetroTech appeared. And many Periphery realms are still at early 3050s-level factory levels, making them much closer to the 3025 period than those of the Inner Sphere, who likely now use Vicroe molds.
[18:42] <MadDogMaddux> Generally one would think that an explosion in a service depot would be a *bad* thing… 😛
Wars of Reaving:
[18:32] <Gaiiten> Ben, a post WOR question, do the Homeclans actively resettle/re-terraforming some of the lost planets or do their prefer to explore new worlds (as they seemingly to with the Nueva Castille and Hanseatic League)?
[18:34] Until its published, I cannot say.
If Money wasn’t an issue:
[18:33] <Mikecj> What would you (team) like to write if economics weren’t an issue?
[18:33] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Ah-ah. I had a whole story arc for BattleCorps planned around Amaris’ rise to power, and I’m not giving away more of my inspirations.
[18:37] <DarkISI> Mikecj – I know I will never be able to write it, but I would love to write a book solely focused on strange local cuisine in the BTU. 😀
[18:38] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – That’s…. horrifying!
[18:39] <DarkISI> Habeas2 – I know 😀
Hardets Product to Work on:
[18:38] <Mikecj> What was the hardest project to complete
[18:39] <GhostBear> <Mikecj>: It’s always the one you’re currently working on.
[18:40] <J_Schmetzer> Mikecj: the one you’re working on before you can get to the one you *want* to be working on
[18:42] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – What Ben AND Jason just said there. The book we’re working on always becomes the project we start to hate near the end. It’s probably very much like a pregnancy is to a woman, unless Hollywood has REALLY misled me there. And when you add the fact that there’s always a book on the horizon you CAN’T WAIT to get to, going through the labor pains is pure and utter hell.
[18:43] <Mikecj> 🙂 How do you decide which clues to drop into the books? Is there a consensus that we won’t give away the secrets of X until Y product? Like the disappearing battleship of merope or the vandenberg white wings? And now we have the green ghosts bedeviling IE
[18:47] <Mikecj> The five worlds were a great addition to the storyline
[18:47] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Thank you! I’m rather proud of them myself (considering the initial notion was a one-off short story idea)
[19:11] <Mikecj> Who was the last Primus to know about the 5?
[19:15] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – It was not a contiguous series of primuses, but the last ComStar primus let in on the secret was Waterly.
[19:17] <Mikecj> Back to the 5, how hard was it to weave them in? They fit as if they were there from Kerensky’s Exodus
[19:20] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – After my initial concept for the Five, it took a lot of conversations to solidify the extent of their impact and weave them into the story. Going through the ComStar sourcebook, however, I found tons of neat anchor points that worked, by just playing with all the red herrings they put in there. The Five even answered a lot of mysteries from ComStar’s history that ComStar itself didn’t know!
[18:47] <Mikecj> Who put the texas flag into the era report for a unit insignia? Im surprised Herb let it fly
[18:52] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Which report?
[18:53] <Mikecj> ERA 2750, 77th Royal Battlemech Brigade
[18:53] <Cateran> SLDF Era report had a unit with what looked like a Texas flag. Too lazy to go look which one, but I think it was the one based in the northern British Isles and good at crappy terrain/weather
[18:55] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – As pathologically as my hate for Texas, House Davion, and WarShips may sound, I’m far more professional when handling the setting than that. When the Terra Alliance formed, it had some heavy American influences. These eroded in the time of the Camerons (and died out completely around the end), including the Texans. Leaving them out would have been disruptive to the setting.
[18:57] <Mikecj> I remember you talking about how the “american” worlds of the hegemony had resisted the Houses to the point of extinction during the 1st SW
[18:57] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Ahahahahahahahaah!
[18:59] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – To be fair, a LOT of Hegemony worlds would have, but have you watched the average American have a debate about foreign relations? I swear, you’d think we couldn’t coexist with the idea that any realm would have power over us. Any of the TH member worlds based on that premise would, yeah, probably pull the “take the bastards with us” approach to planetary defense once they realized Kerensky abandoned them.
[19:00] <Gaiiten> But they would not have formed an defense alliance?
[19:04] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – By the time the Western Alliance and the Terran Alliance came along, the USA was kind of dispersed as a nation state, though the “live free or die screaming and shooting” mentality still managed to bleed out to some worlds. Trouble is, by the time the TH was in its death throes, organization was a lost cause. Remember, this is after Amaris ravaged the Hegemony and Kerensky had to shatter whatever infrastructure HE put
[19:07] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – (FInishing that thought above): Point is, by the time the other Houses came for what was left of the TH, there was no one around they could agree to rally behind. If the USA were a bunch of separated states now, I highly doubt they’d unite into one nation if, say, Mexico, Canada, Russia, and Europe all decided to converge on it. Every man for himself was more of the instinctive response.
[19:07] <@Habeas2> …But that’s politics that would likely make some uncomfortable, so let’s leave it at that.
[19:06] <Gaiiten> So these worlds were the most egocentric among the Hegemony`s worlds?
[19:12] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – I would put ego down as only part of the problem. The lack of a unifying leader takes more than just a bunch of ego problems; it tkes whole parties and broekn communications, and an inability to determine a real threat from a lesser danger.
[19:08] <Gaiiten> So something that could compared to the RotS downfall after the DA began?
[19:13] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – Exactly like the Republic when the HPGs went down, actually
[18:55] <Gaiiten> Anything new considering the ilClan? 😉
[18:57] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – Oh I gave enough away with the title alone.
[18:57] <Mikecj> So the Master is actually based on Herb? 😉
[18:59] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – The Master is based on a broad mix of influences.
New PDF Series?:
[18:58] <Sranc> Are there any new types of PDFs planned?
[19:00] <@Habeas2> Sranc – Yes. Several, in fact.
[19:01] <Sranc> Habeas2 – Can you tell us what they’re going to be called? Pretty please?
[19:09] <@Habeas2> Sranc – Well, at least one PDF series we keep wanting to start but placing on hold are the Adventures series, aimed at AToW players. Another is a special Notable Pilots Dosssiers series (slightly different in function and scope from the Lance Pack Dossiers). A third is–[Redacted]
[19:10] <MadDogMaddux> OOOOH! Very excited about [Redacted]!! I’ve always thought that’d be a great name for a sourcebook!
[19:10] <Sranc> Whoa mama, those sound cool.
Technological/Rules Level Advances:
[19:00] <MadDogMaddux> Between 3067 and 3085, a lot of technology that was faction specific became general use. Was that driven by a desire for gameplay to have parity, or simply a product of the storyline?
[19:05] <@Habeas2> MadDogMaddux – Gameplay parity–plus, we had a storyline that literally took everyone’s tech an scattered it
[19:05] <MadDogMaddux> Yeah, it was a great storyline too! I really enjoyed the Jihad. Glad to see that it was gameplay driven, tho.
[19:08] <Mikecj> How hard is it getting to advance the tech without unbalancing the game?
[19:09] <DarkISI> I would say “that’s what BV takes care of”, but then Herb would kill me. So I won’t say it 😀
[19:13] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – A lot harder the more we do it
[19:14] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – If BV worked, that would be great. As it is, it doesn’t work any more. Or at least it doesn’t work reliably and well. Tries too hard.
[19:06] <Mikecj> The Periphery March seems to be fairly popular, is there any more balkanization planned as we pass thru the DA?
[19:10] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – We’ll have to see when we get there
Manei Domini/Shadow Division:
[19:21] <Gaiiten> Will we ever be told what finally happened to the Manei Domini fugitives?
[19:21] <Knightmare> Or the missing Shadow Divisions?
[19:21] <@Habeas2> Gaiiten – Eventually……. Maybe. There are some mysteries just not meant to be resolved.
[19:22] <@Habeas2> Knightmare – See above. 😉
[19:22] <Mikecj> Are we sure Appollyon was killed on Gibson?
[19:22] <Mikecj> he’s pretty interesting
[19:25] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – In universe, nobody’s ever going to be sure. Metagame, Apollyon was vaporized.
[19:27] <Mikecj> Are any pop culture refernces specifically prohibited like the word “frak”?
[19:28] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – All things Star Wars, Star Trek, anything else that can sue us; anything post 1989 without approval.
Stars Playing BT:
[19:29] <Mikecj> Are there any “stars” that play Battletech?
[19:29] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – I heard there may be some, but I’ve not interacted with any that jump to mind