The next update for free-to-play MMO MechWarrior Online, scheduled for Feb. 19, will introduce the next phase of its matchmaking system as well as tweak cosmetic item purchases, Piranha Games' creative director Bryan Ekman announced on the game's official website.
Phase 3 of matching will go live "behind the scenes" on Feb. 5 so Piranha can run final testing. MechWarrior's current matchmaking system will turn over to the new system on Feb. 19, provided there are no major technical issues. The update will also place the mech Upgrades Tab into the Loadout section, allowing players to preview the effects of certain armor and upgrades before committing to a purchase.
Beginning Feb. 5, players can also permanently unlock patterns and colors for their mechs. Piranha will begin the process of issuing refunds to all players who have purchased vanity items since the Camo Spec customization feature went live in November.
Piranha Games also announced a new mech available for purchase: the Pretty Baby, capable of reaching 68 mph and bringing 80 tons of 340 XL engine power onto the playing field.
Ekman wrote that future updates will be released twice a month with more content, rather than as small weekly patches.
MechWarrior Online has been in open beta since last October and currently has no scheduled release date.