Cosmetic items are an important element in many free-to-play games, offering a chance to earn a bit of money from item shops without disrupting game balance, and Hawken is no exception with several chassis components available to change the way your mech looks. Unfortunately there are no hats, rather a shame as I think giant battlemechs would look quite dashing wandering around in a fedoras or trilby. It’s doubly unfortunate as Hawken also offers emotes for its mechs, and the combination of a top hat plus a hat-tipping emote, ideally accompanied by a cry of “I bid you good day, sir!” would be a splendidly gentlemanly way of greeting friends and dismissing opponents. In fact you could get rid of that beastly shooting business altogether, I’d be perfectly happy just to wander around a map tipping my hat to other robots, rather like Charlie Brooker’s Pleasant Neighbourhood Simulator, only better, as it’s a scientific fact that giant robots improve anything.

Speaking of good manners, Twitter was set all of a fluster recently with news of a Kickstarter Project, Ever, Jane: The Virtual World of Jane Austen. An intriguing prospect, an MMO based around gossip and dinner parties instead of swords and dungeon crawls, I’m hoping the project secures enough funding, although the high tier rewards make me a touch wary; for $1,000, for example, “… your own estate rather than a cottage, the title of Baronet and your estate named after your character” smacks a little of pay to win (or perhaps more accurately cash for honours).

It being a scientific fact that giant robots improve anything, though, I humbly submit a setting for an expansion pack…

SCHTOMP

UND

GERSCHTOMPABILITY

A NOVEL


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a giant battlemech, must be in want of a wife. And a shoulder mounted gauss rifle.

At Netherfield Park the Fotherington-Autocannon family prepare to receive the visit of Colonel Short Range-Missile with considerable excitement.

Bzzzt-whirrr “WHY MAMA, DO YOU SUPPOSE THE COLONEL MAY CONSIDER ELINOR A DESIRABLE COMPANION?” said Marianne.

Clank-clank “AFFIRMATIVE” replied her mother, “THREE AND TWENTY IS CONFIRMED AS OF OPTIMAL SUITABILITY FOR A MATCH AND ELINOR IS POSSESSING OF MOST COMELY HEAT SINKS”

At this, Elinor became most flushed and did increase her coolant flow. “UPON MY WORD, I MUST OBJECT” she cried and spun upon her heel, activating jump-jets to leave the room, resulting in a tumble of lathe and plaster as she smashed through the ceiling.

Marianne projected a winking smiley holo-emote at the discomfort of her sister; “I DO BELIEVE ELINOR MAY HAVE FOUND SEVERAL DESIRABLE QUALITIES IN HER ANALYSIS OF THE COLONEL’S ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE”

At this moment a great crash from outside signified the arrival of the Colonel’s dropship, setting a swathe of lawn afire and crushing several petunia bushes in the process. The ramp descended on the remains of a laurel hedge and the Colonel deployed to the drawing room.

“MRS FOTHERINGTON-AUTOCANNON, MISS FOTHERINGTON-AUTOCANNON, MISS FOTHERINGTON-AUTOCANNON” said the Colonel formally, raising his robo-hat to each.

“COLONEL RANGE-MISSILE” replied Mrs Fotherington-Autocannon, “WE ARE MOST DELIGHTED THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO VISIT DURING YOUR RECONNAISSANCE OF THE ENVIRONS. WOULD YOU CARE FOR TEA?”

“AFFIRMATIVE”

Mrs Fotherington-Autocannon busied herself with the tea things, sweeping several cups from the table with the barrel of a PPC and incinerating the teapot with a flamethrower. “OH ELINOR” she called “I DO BELIEVE COLONEL RANGE-MISSILE SHOULD ENJOY TO HEAR YOU PLAY UPON THE PIANO-FORTE”

“WHY INDEED” said the Colonel “LADY ECM-SUITE ASSURES ME THAT YOUR RECITAL OF CLEMENTI LAST MONTH WAS QUITE EXQUISITE”

Elinor sat at the piano-forte, and was gracefully hammering the instrument into firewood with delicate blows from a pair of linked medium pulse lasers when Marianne gave a soft cry: “OH ELINOR! I AM UNDONE! I HAVE RECEIVED A BURST TRANSMISSION FROM MORTON COMPOSITE-ARMOUR AND HE… AND HE… HAS ENGAGED WITH AN ASSAULT-CLASS MECH ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF LONDON TOWN!”

Mrs Fotherington-Autocannon fell into a swoon, knocking over two bookcases and a sofa as Colonel Range-Missile hastened to her aid. Elinor clasped her sister’s pulse lasers between her own.

“MY DEAR SISTER” she said “HAD COMPOSITE-ARMOUR NOT LOCKED UPON YOU WITH HIS TARGETING COMPUTER?”

“HE GAVE ME MOST SOLEMN ASSURANCES THAT I WAS ATOP HIS TARGET PRIORITY LIST” her sister sniffed, “BUT I NEVER… NEVER DETECTED THE TONE OF A MISSILE LOCK WITH MY OWN SENSORS”

Posted by Zoso at 5:42 pm