The Difference between a MechWarrior and someone who pilots a mech.

 There is a difference between someone who is a MechWarrior and someone who simply pilots a BattleMech.  That difference is not one of skill.  There are some very skillful Pilots and some rank MechWarriors and vice a versa.  The difference is not one of affiliation.   Being a member of a unit, be it Clan, Inner Sphere House unit, Mercenary Unit, or Pirate, does not confer make the difference.  There are MechWarriors “roaming the range” of the gaming servers not attached to any unit, and there are pilots who fill the ranks of units.  The difference in being merely a pilot, or being a MechWarrior, lies solely in the attitude of the player.

 How the player acts and pursues his or her game is where the difference lies.  Identification of a MechWarrior is not difficult to do, but difficult to explain.  When playing with or against a MechWarrior, it can be “felt”. Some of the clues to spotting a MechWarrior follow.

  A MechWarrior follows the rules laid down by the host of the game (or the consensus) of the group playing the game.  If he or she is really against a particular set of rules or restrictions, they simply bow out, not saying much either way other than “I don’t play that”. An example here is playing UA (Unlimited Ammo).  If the host/majority has decided not to play UA, a MechWarrior will either accept or leave, not hammer away at trying to get the group / host to change their mind.  On the other side of the coin should a UA game be declared, the MechWarrior would again accept or leave, and not carry on a harangue about why they should not be playing UA. Another example is playing by “Honor Rules”.  Simply stated, these rules are as follows:

Ø      No shooting at a Mech that is downed.  A Mech can be knocked down by various things, heavy UAC (Ultra Auto Cannon) shots, LRM (Long Range Missile) hits or near misses.  If the Mech goes down, Honor Rules simple state that you let it get upright again before resuming to fight

Ø      No Legging.  Legging is where you INTENTIONALLY shoot out the opposing Mechs legs.  In MechWarrior 3 this is the fastest way to eliminate a Mech.  In MechWarrior2 Mercenaries it effectively takes the Mech out of action.  By legging, you reduce the capabilities of the opponent, thus making him or her an even easier kill.

Ø      Zelbrigen.  This is the concept of the one on one duel.  A “warrior” on each side engages a “warrior” on their opponent’s side.  These two fight until someone is the victory.  No one else interferes with the fight UNLESS one of the fighting units shoots at another unit (intentionally or accidentally) or someone does interfere.  The two “warriors” are assumed to have the skill and discipline to be able to control their shooting.  If not then…

There is any number of variations, but the three above, are the basic of “honor rules”.  The point being that once the rules are agreed to and the MechWarrior accepts them, he or she follows them.  Therefore a MechWarrior accepting the “bid” of “honor rules”  will not shoot a Mech that has fallen, will not target the legs, will not engage his or her wing’s target unless fired upon.

The use of “cheats”, bugs, or “hacks”.  This is a tough subject, because there are some flaws in the game (BUGS?  In MechWarrior 3??  NEVER!!! **Snicker**).  There is one “bug” that has been accepted generally as being of “honorable” usage, the Ammo Bug.  Simply stated, this allows the storage and retention of ammunition in the arms of your mech.  Even if the arms of your Mech are blown off, you still retain and can use the ammunition that was stored there. This DOES NOT apply to things like Heat Sinks…they are lost if the arms go away. As previously stated, this is the only “acceptable” bug that can be used in the game.  Anything else, cause a noticeable effect on the game play and the perception of the difference of a MechWarrior and a pilot

Using the other “cheats, bugs and hacks” is something that a MechWarrior would not do, because it denigrates his or her showing off of how good they are.  Yes, MechWarriors have a massive streak of pride in their skill.  They are good at something, energy work, ballistics work, missile work… something, even if they are not, they want to be.  They are willing and eager to pit themselves against anybody, to show that they are indeed good.  The use of cheats detracts from their skill.  How can they say they are good, if they use the “sparkler cheat” to allow them to pack a Mech with PPC’s and not have the heat / recharge problems associated with a PPC?

There are numerous other cheats, but this is not to discuss them.  In effect they all do the same thing, reduce a person using them to something less than a MechWarrior, because all they want to do is win at any cost.

A MechWarrior is an “honorable” person.  All the above comes into play plus more.

A MechWarrior is a person that you have enjoyed playing the game with, win or lose.  When a MechWarrior says “gg” (Good Game) he or she is giving you a compliment, because they enjoyed playing the game with you, and that feels good.  Good Game is said frequently, but there is a difference when it is meant.

A MechWarrior will genuinely feel bad that they have accidentally legged you (yes it does happen, fight against or even in a Strider, Owens, Nova (Blackhawk), you will hit the legs at least once or twice).  They will apologize as soon as they get a chance.

A MechWarrior will not “bail” with out saying something as to why, unless it is a problem with the game, their connection or something.  They usually are either having too much fun, or have been presented with a challenge to their skill that they want to resolve, even if they are being blown to bits all the time.

The point being made is that a MechWarrior is an “Honorable” person, which is another set of subjective definitions.

Now is the decision, which are you… are you a MechWarrior, or do you just pilot a Mech?