Frequently Asked Questions
Installation, Configuration and Troubleshooting
How do I install BTA, the CAB and all that?
There are written instructions on the wiki in our Installation Guide page or you can follow along with the video guide:
What is the BTA Pre-Cache? Do I need it?
The pre-cache is a tool for helping to install BTA for users who have issues with the full installer. You only need the pre-cache if your internet is too unstable to use the installer completely. Note that the installer is still necessary to use the pre-cache. To use the pre-cache, follow these steps:
- Run the installer. At the bottom is a button, Import Pre-Cache, click on that. It will warn you that this will wipe out the existing installer cache, this is fine, say yes.
- Let the installer run. From here, it is a normal BTA installation, follow the prompts accordingly.
My game has a problem, how do I find the logs to get help in tech-support?
- Open the BTAdvancedLauncher and press the Gather Logs button in the bottom right and save the zip file of the logs somewhere.
- Go to the BTA3062 Discord server.
- Navigate to the #ticketbot channel and follow the instructions in there to open a ticket which will take you to a new channel.
- Drag and drop your zipped logs into the new channel. If the logs are too big, host the logs on a file sharing platform such as Google Drive. Make sure you enable sharing permissions for others to view the files.
How do I activate the Debug Console?
How to Activate Debug:
1. Navigate to your Steam BATTLETECH folder.
2. Open BattleTech_Data\StreamingAssets\data\debug\Settings.Json.
3. Locate the code line: "disableLoggingOnLoad": true,
4. beneath the above line add the following:
"testToolsEnabled": true, - Ensure both qoutation marks and the comma are correctly copied.
5. Save Settings.json and launch BATTLETECH
6. To enable Debug in game Press "Control+Shift+Minus ( - )
Can I add another modpack to BTA?
The short answer is no. The large modpacks can not be played together, so do not add BEX, RT, etc to BTA and expect it to work. If you ignore the popup telling you that some mods didnt load and load a save/start a game you will bork that save and have to start over.
How does melee work in BTA now?
Melee has been totally overhauled as of BTA v6.0. Now, instead of simply walking up and hitting them and doing your "melee" damage, you have a choice of various kinds of melee attacks: charge, kick, physical weapon, punch, or death from above. Each one does different damage and has different attack rules. This post will detail them all in depth. If you prefer, you can watch an explanation of these changes here.
Melee has further changed as of BTA v7.3. Some ranged weapons will now fire when performing certain melee attacks. Please see the section below What weapons do and do not fire in melee? for a complete list.
Charge: Charging does the most damage of any of the physical attacks, by a wide margin, but also deal the attacker significant recoil damage and instability. Charges can be done at any range as long as you can physically reach them (so you can sprint to a charge). Charges deal damage according to the following formulas:
- Damage to Target: (attacker tonnage x 0.5) x number of hexes moved; Instability to Target: (attacker tonnage x 0.25) x number of hexes moved.
- Damage to Attacker: target tonnage x 2; Instability to Attacker: (target tonnage x 0.25) x number of hexes moved.
Charges deal damage in a cluster, not a single hit. The damage is divided into 25 point clusters and can hit any location on the mech (this applies for both attacker and target). You, generally, cannot charge a tank (but see below for details). Charges gain an attack bonus or penalty based on the difference between your piloting skill and the target's piloting skill. If yours is higher, you get the difference, or delta, as a bonus to the attack. If yours is lower, you get the delta as a penalty to the attack. Charges deal a lot of stab damage and usually, but not always, make both the attacker and the target unsteady on a hit and make the attacker unsteady anyway on a missed charge.
Kick: Kicks deal damage equal to the attacker's tonnage to the target and deal half that amount as stability damage. Kicking does consistent damage to a specific set of locations. Kicks can only be done if you can walk to the target, you cannot sprint to a kick. Kick damage is done as a single batch of damage and does not spread out like a charge. Kicks only hit legs and cannot hit any other body part. Kicks are specifically easy to perform and have an inherent +2 accuracy bonus. Kicks always make their target unsteady on a hit but also make the attacker unsteady if the kick misses. Any weapons not mounted on legs will fire during a kick melee attack.
Punch: Punches deal damage equal to half the attacker's tonnage and do stability damage equal to their tonnage. Although punches are low damage but have some special perks to them that other attacks do not have. Punches can only be done if you can walk to the target, you cannot sprint to a punch. Punch damage is done as a single batch and does not spread out like a charge. Punches have a special hit table and have a 1/6 chance to hit either arm, any torso, or the head. Punches can be performed with any combination of arm actuators but for each lower/upper arm or hand actuator the attacker is missing (or has had destroyed) takes a penalty. Hands are a -1 penalty, lower and upper arm actuators are a -2 penalty. Punches always assume the attacker is using their "best" arm (meaning their least damaged one). Punches do not make targets or attackers unsteady unless the stability damage would already do so. Any weapons not mounted on an arm will fire during a punch melee attack. Punches strip vehicle evasion by 3.
Death From Above: DFAs are similar to charges in several ways, including damage distribution and suffering return damage. A DFA can only be performed if you can reach the target with your jumpjets. DFAs deal damage according to the following formulas:
- Damage to Target: attacker tonnage x 1.5; Instability to Target: attacker tonnage x 1
- Damage to Attacker: target tonnage x 2; Instability to Attacker: target tonnage x 1
DFAs deal damage in a cluster, not a single hit. The damage is divided into 25 point clusters and dealt to the target according to the Punch table (that is, the damage clusters are distributed across the arms, torsos, and head). The attacker takes their return damage in 25 point clusters that deal damage directly to the attacker's legs. DFAs are affected by the piloting delta between the attacker and target's piloting skills, the same way Charges are. DFAs always make the attacker and target unsteady on a successful attack, but do not make the attacker unsteady on a miss (as that's essentially just a normal jump). No weapons (even support) will fire during a DFA.
DFA chance to hit will receive a bonus or penalty based on the relative skill of the two pilots involved.
Physical Weapon: There are three main physical weapons in BTA 3062, the hatchet, sword, and mace. There are a number of other melee weapons available as well but we'll cover the primary ones here. All three are configured to work with these new melee changes and all three have slightly different sets of rules, which follow. All physical weapons in BTA are hard-welded to their carrying mechs and cannot be repurposed elsewhere. All three do share one quality though: they all can only be performed within walking distance (you cannot sprint to a weapons attack). Any weapons not mounted on an arm will fire during a weapon melee attack.
- Hatchet: Hatchets deal damage equal to the attacker's tonnage and stability damage equal to half that amount. Hatchets hit on the full body table like normal weapons and have a +1 accuracy bonus when attacking.
- Sword: Swords deal damage and stability damage equal to the attacker's tonnage x 0.75. Swords hit on the punch table (that is, the damage is dealt as a single cluster and has a 1/6 chance of hitting the arms, torsos, or head).
- Mace: Maces deal damage equal to the attacker's tonnage x 1.25 and stability damage equal to the attacker's tonnage x 1.5. Maces hit on the full body table like normal weapons.
Special Notes (in no specific order):
- When pilots reach Rank 5 of Guts, they will gain the ability to make 2 punches at once. They will only have one animation but damage will be dealt twice. Similarly, there is a selectable skill at Guts Rank 8 called Juggernaut which, if taken, will enable a pilot to make two melee weapon attacks in the same way as they would a punch if they have Guts Rank 5.
- Melee attacks like this are actually fairly complicated under the hood and that can lead to some weirdness. You'll notice that sometimes you won't be able to make certain attacks despite being in normal range. This is because the attacks are partially tied to their animations and HBS BT will not allow certain animations sometimes. This mostly comes up when at a higher or lower elevation than the target. If you are too high above them, you cannot hit them with a physical weapon or punch. If you are too far below them, you cannot kick or charge them. Nothing we can do, just gotta roll with it.
- Normally, you can only kick a tank. You cannot do anything else to one due to their location on the ground lower than most mechs can realistically reach. However, this system can be a little buggy and sometimes the game will let you use other melee attacks on them. It's unintended but if it happens, cool, you got something lucky. Enjoy it.
- PLEASE NOTE: When you click on a mech to melee them, the system will automatically select the "best" melee attack from your available options. This is often a Charge due to its high damage and often good hit chance due to the piloting delta. If you want something else, you must manually select it from your options (this will become clear when you use the system or when you watch the attached video about melee). Be certain not to click too fast or you might find yourself charging in without wanting to.
What weapons do and do not fire in melee?
If a weapon has minimum range or does AoE damage, it does not fire in melee. Anything else is fair game.
The following weapons do not fire in melee:
- The Arrow IV
- The Thumper
- The Sniper
- The Long Tom
- The Mortar family
- The HVAC family
- The LB-2X/LB-5X (IS and Clan)
- The RAC family
- The UAC2/UAC5 (IS and Clan)
- The standard AC2/AC5
- The AoE AC10 and AC20
- The AoE Heavy Flamer
- Most of the Gauss family: standard, improved, heavy, light, and hyper-assault gausses. Exceptions: The magshot and Silver Bullet Gauss do fire in melee.
- The Thunderbolt family
- The Heavy, Light, and Standard PPC. Note: The ER PPC and Snubnose PPC do fire in melee.
- The Mech Grenade Launcher
- Inner Sphere LRMs. Note: Clan LRMs do fire in melee
- The ATM family
Note that what melee option you choose affects what weapons can fire:
- Charges and DFAs do not permit any weapons to fire (including support).
- Punches and physical weapons permit all non-arm mounted weapons to fire.
- Kicks permit all non-leg mounted weapons to fire.
My mech has a physical weapon, but the choice to use it remains grayed out, what gives?
For physical weapons to work the 'mech must have the appropriate lower arm and hand actuators, the 'mech also must be close enough that more than charge is available as a choice for melee attack.
How do playable combat vehicles like tanks and zeppelins work in BTA?
Combat vehicles, such as tanks and zeppelins, work a little differently than mechs do. This post will outline their quirkiness and differences as well as how to deploy them, how to get vehicle pilots, and what does and doesn't work with the vehicles.
How do I get combat vehicles?
You buy them from system stores and you can salvage them from missions. There will be generic vehicle lists and faction specific vehicle lists. Some vehicles, such as the zeppelins (the Dixon and Kirov) cannot be bought in system stores and are only available in faction stores.
How do I get vehicle pilots?
Vehicle pilots can be hired in the hiring hall like any other pilot. Vehicle pilots are marked with a (V) tag next to their pilot role (where it says Recruit, Outrider, Defender, etc). Mech pilots say (M), vehicle pilots have (V), and pilots that can drive both have (MV). Of note, the Commander is always able to pilot both mechs and vehicles (MV). Additionally, there are several ronin that can pilot vehicles: Axle, Blaze, Commando, Dragon 66, Giant, Hestur, Magestrix, Phantom, and Shade. There is also now a Tank Crew background option at career start that will start you with Axle and Phantom in your roster to ensure you have enough pilots to field your first two vehicles. Shade is also available from the Pioneering Comrades background starter option.
How do I deploy vehicles?
Vehicles can be deployed one of two ways, but only one of those ways is the right way (you'll understand what I mean shortly). Vehicles can be deployed either in mech slots or vehicle slots. To get vehicle slots, there are two new Argo upgrades that unlock vehicle slots. However, if you deploy a vehicle in a mech slot, it is controlled by an allied AI as your employer's faction using your vehicle and pilot. If you deploy via a vehicle slot, it is under your control like the rest of your units. Stick to vehicle slots, do not deploy in mech slots unless you're ok with it being AI driven.
What pilot abilities work for vehicles ?
As far as I am aware, almost all of them. The major thing that does not work for vehicles is Bulwark, which doesn't do much because vehicles cannot use the brace action, and Stone Cold, which doesn't matter because vehicles don't have heat as a concept. All other pilot abilities seem to function fine for vehicles.
What random stuff do I need to know about vehicles?
- Vehicle pilots do take injuries now. Huzzah!
- When a player vehicle is destroyed, I believe it is repairable on the Argo and you don't lose it permanently, though it's hard to test so I'm not 100% sure of that.
- Vehicles cannot be modified, you get what you get and you better like it.
The zeppelins seem weird, what's their deal?
The zeppelins are considered VTOLs, which means they float and behave a little weirdly. Zeppelins ignore terrain penalties and bonuses of all kinds. They do not suffer movement penalties for terrain, except on Martian and Lunar biomes, where they are heavily slowed down. Zeppelins are floating but they are considered on the ground for targeting purposes (i.e. they don't have absurd high ground benefits).
The zeppelins have this glowing white thing under their model, the hell is it?
Because of how the VTOL code works, that glowing white thing is a fact of life for floating units like the zeppelins. It is a combination of the "unknown enemy" and "unknown vehicle" sensor blip icons and cannot be removed. It's something we just have to live with.
Unique Skills For Vehicle Pilots
BTA has divided up the skill trees between 'Mech pilots (M) and tank crews (V). There is a set of generally shared skills as well as exclusive skills for both MechWarriors and tank crews. The following are the tank crew unique skills. The full list of skills and their descriptions can be found on the Skills and Abilities page. Certain pilots such as the commander may be able to access both, in this case they will apply regardless of which type of unit they are piloting.
5: Intensify Firepower: active skill, removes ability to move for the turn but the tank deals 30% more damage for the turn. Has a 3 turn cooldown and costs 30 resolve.
8: Perfect Targeting: passive skill, lets the tank ignore 2 evasion at all times.
10: Overwhelming Aggression: passive skill, grants the tank 20% bonus damage at all times.
5: Redundant Components: passive skill, reduces incoming critical damage chance by 50%
8: Brute Force: active skill, increases tank speed by 60 meters for the turn but at the cost of 10% of the tank's current structure each use. Has a 3 turn cooldown and costs 20 resolve.
10: Hull Down: active skill, removes ability to move for 2 turns but the tank takes 90% less damage for that duration as well. Has a 4 turn cooldown and costs 30 resolve.
5: Sideslip: active skill, lets the tank ignore all terrain bonuses or penalties for one turn as well as ignoring landmines for that turn. Permits hovers to move through trees. Has a 3 turn cooldown and costs 10 resolve.
8: Street Racer: passive skill, provides the tank with 20% flat DR at all times.
10: Spotter: active skill, targets a friendly unit instead of the user, allows the tank to chart a path for allied units, increasing their land speed by 60 meters for the turn. Has a 500 meter range. Has a 4 turn cooldown and costs 40 resolve.
5: Sensor Sweep: active skill, it permits an active probe-like ability. Has a 5 turn cooldown and costs 30 resolve.
8: Target Painting: active skill, targets an enemy unit instead of the user or friendly units, paints the target with a super-powered TAG effect, giving attacks against them a +3 chance to hit for 2 turns. Does not stack with TAG equipment. Has a 500 meter range. Has a 4 turn cooldown and costs 30 resolve.
10: Command and Control: active skill, must be used before movement, allows the tank to serve as a lance coordinator for 2 turns, improving player unit initiatives by 1 for two turns. Has a 6 turn cooldown and costs 60 resolve.
Holy shit, Battle Armor?! How do they work?! Tell me more!!
Yup, it's battle armor. How they work is a little tricky. Thanks to the work of our resident wizard AI, KMiSSioN, we have the ability to set them up in a specific way. Essentially, BA deploy in a squad of several units (Inner Sphere suits are in a squad of 4, Clan are in a squad of 5) and each unit has its own little life total. BA have a single critical location per "trooper" and when that location's armor/structure is depleted, that "trooper" dies. When every "trooper" is killed, the unit is destroyed. As you can guess, there's a lot of oddness with BA, so bear with me as I do a brief FAQ for them.
How many pilots do you need for a BA squad?: One.
Do they have their own mechbay screen?: No, they use mech slots, one slot per squad.
What gear can they use?: Anything you can fit on them, but they have very little tonnage to use. However, BA have a special raft of equipment, usually designated with "BA" in the name somewhere, that only they can use (it is restricted to BA mechs only via a tag, the ProtoMech tag [bear with me, this is necessary for behind-the-curtains reasons]). They also have their own tab in the weapon section of the mechbay (marked with a little space suit icon, at the end of the weapon section past support weapons).
How many kinds of BA are there?: There are six Inner Sphere suits: the IS Standard, Phalanx, Kanazuchi, Infiltrator Mk II, Void, and Fa Shih.
There will be one Clan suit: the Elemental. This may be delayed though, as I wait for a model for it. Gotta have the toad properlike!
Will I be fighting BA a lot?: No. BA will not be in general OpFor, because they're not super interesting to fight honestly. They're fragile and slow and lack heavy firepower. It's like fighting a Wasp except the Wasp has half the armor and a quarter the speed. Yikes.
However, BA will be attacking you in their best setting: urban ambushes. They can kool-aid man out of the buildings in urban environments in ambushes to strike you unawares. And it won't just be 1 or 2 squads. Expect 4-6+ squads, all at once.
How do I get BA?: Other than salvage in the aforementioned urban ambushes, you buy BA (they'll be fairly cheap, hopefully if the defs want to behave). BA squads will be for sale somewhat widely among the Inner Sphere. Among the normal planets, only the IS Standard will be for sale in general. The other five IS suits will be faction-specific (Infiltrator Mk II is Lyran/Davion, Phalanx is Marik, Fa Shih is Liao, Kanazuchi/Void are Kurita). BA equipment will be widely available everywhere generally, as making a BA-scale small laser isn't particularly hard.
For those of you who want to suffer, there is a Battle Armor start and any start that can start with a bug can instead roll a suit of Battle Armor. Good luck, MechWarrior.
Are they worth playing with?: Only you can answer that question, but yes, I think they're fun to use. Injuries are common and the suits are fragile, but they're neat on low-skull contracts. I wouldn't take BA to 3+ skulls though, unless you like suffering.
Wait, New Battle Armor Stuff?? Mounting and Swarming?? How Do?
First, Battle Armor can now hitch a ride on certain allied units, specifically on APCs or OmniMechs. All Battle Armor now have a new ability to mount up on APCs or OmniMechs. When this happens, the BA suit vanishes and moves along with the unit they're riding. They can then dismount on a later turn. Battle Armor riding on units can be damaged by incoming attacks so be careful with them, they're fragile. Mounting/dismounting does not use their action, so they can dismount and immediately act by moving and attacking, so maneuver them behind the enemy for a rear attack! Fast OmniMechs are great for this, give the Owens or the Fire Moth a try. To use the mount ability, simply select the BA and then use Mount (which is found at the bottom of the BA's weapon panel, scroll the weapon panel if necessary) selecting a valid APC or OmniMech within movement distance for the BA. To dismount, select the BA and use Mount targeting the unit they're already mounted on and they'll hop off.
Second, the mount ability may also be used offensively. Battle Armor can mount enemy mechs in a swarm attack. While swarm attacking, BA get to fire all their weapons, they will all hit, and they will hit a single focused location (you do not get to choose the location) but cannot shoot at anything other than the unit they're swarming. However, swarming does come with risks. Mechs can swat, roll or use erratic maneuvers to dismount swarming BA. All actions have to be done before movement and rolling eats your whole turn (because you fall down doing it) and offer a chance to remove swarming BA. Swatting BA is the less effective option and relies on having arm actuators (each one you're missing across the mech inflicts a penalty, so a Stalker is very bad at swatting BA but a Thunderbolt is pretty good at it). Swats have a chance to dislodge the BA as well as a chance to damage or kill BA troopers. Rolling is the other, more effective, method of swarm removal but involves intentionally falling to dislodge them. This is much much more likely to remove the BA and even damage or kill troopers but the mech ends up on the ground and risks pilot damage so it comes with risks. Erratic maneuvers involves moving after using the ability and has a greater chance of success based on the distance moved and if it was a jump. The AI is capable of and usually does attempt either a swat or a roll, so keep it in mind. To engage a swarm attack, select the BA and then use Mount selecting an enemy mech within movement distance for the BA and they'll swarm it.
- BA can be shot at while mounted up on your units. They're not immune to damage that way.
- BA can be shot at while swarming, but only with indirect capable weapons. This applies to if you're being swarmed too, such as by enemy BA during an urban ambush.
- BA cannot be shot at directly when they are occupying the same space as a mech but not attached to it. If a BA is swatted off, for instance, they end up in the same square as the mech they were swarming and that mech's body blocks shots against them. Swat them off then move away for the rest of your lance to focus them down.
- Swarming is most effective against mechs without arms, so something like a Stalker, since they can't swat well and they're likely to roll to get the BA off, which leaves them on the ground for your other units to hit them.
- Swats and rolls are percentage chances and not directly modifiable by equipment beyond arm actuators for swats. Even though that Stalker is bad at swatting, it *can* succeed at it thanks to the power of probability so be careful and plan your movements with this in mind.
I need some advice about BTA's Fundamentals, preferably in video form! Can you help me?
Sure can, person-I-made-up-for-this-post! A community member, @MangaMaD, has been putting together a series of videos about BTA's basics and will continue to make them over time. He has the backing of the team, you can consider these fairly official (I sign off on them as he makes them). Here's the playlist: MangaMaD's BTA Bitesize Tips
I need some early-game advice to get used to BTA! Help!
See our Beginner's Guide for a list of tips and suggestions to help make the game a little easier.
What starting options do you recommend?
See our Beginner's Guide for more thoughts on this, but since you're here - Tips from BTA 3062 creator BloodyDoves:
Ironman: Don't select this unless you're brave. Modded games can be unstable.
Friendly Fire: I don't use it but it can be fun
Starting Planet and Mech: This defines where you start and what you start with. I won't spoil it, but they're all quite fluffy and have appropriate mechs for the faction.
Parts for Assembly: I suggest 3-5 parts.
Mech Recovery: I like the default of 50%
Contract Payment/Salvage: Normal is the intended experience.
Commander Experience: 7000 is the intended baseline
Advanced Mechwarrior: this controls how often you see better random mechwarriors. Any option is good.
Pilots per system: I like 5-7.
Mechwarrior Progression/Exponent/Multiplier: Normal is my recommendation.
Lethality: Controls how deadly the game is. I like normal myself.
Starting Money: This is the biggest factor in how hard the early game is. I recommend 1.25 mil for an easier start and 600k for a harder start.
Mechbay C-Bills: I stick to normal.
Shop Selling Prices/Scrap Return: These also are a big economy impact. I like 15% to keep it a little tricky.
E-Cooling and how to add more
E-cooling are the additional heatsinks that can be added to an engines internal structure, with the engine size directly correlating to the range of e-cooling that can be installed. Any suitably sized fusion core can mount any e-cooling in its size bracket or any e-cooling that fit in smaller brackets, but can't exceed it's allowed size (e.g. the 300 core can mount an e-cooling +1 or e-cooling +2, but can't mount a +3 because the engine lacks the space for the extra heat sink).
Anything smaller than a 275 engine cannot mount e-cooling and any core smaller than 250 needs additional heat sinks to be mounted in the body of the mech (this will be covered in the next section). The minimum core that can mount e-cooling is the 275, which has the space for one additional heatsink.
E-cooling scales in with the size of a fusion core, in increments of 25. E.g:
275 rated engine: 10 heatsinks + space for e-cooling +1
300 rated engine: 10 heatsinks + space for e-cooling +2
325 rated engine: 10 heatsinks + space for e-cooling +3
Fusion Cores and heatsinks
All fusion cores must have a minimum of 10 heatsinks internally or externally, with extra heatsinks permitted in a mechs internal structure or potentially in the core itself (see E-Cooling above). The 250 core is the minimum sized core that can mount 10 heatsinks internally. Below this size bracket, the core size can't fit the minimum number of sinks and requires additional heatsinks to be added to the mech to top it up to the 10 (though these extra sinks don't cost any weight, until you go above 10).
Engines scale up or down in increments of 25 that permit additional heat sinks to be added the core. E.g:
200 rated engine: 8 heatsinks + 2 extra needed
225 rated engine: 9 heatsinks + 1 extra needed
250 rated engine: 10 heatsinks
275 rated engine: 10 heatsinks with the space for an e-cooling +1
How do I handle enemy evasion?
You'll want to use a combination of unsteady and sensor lock, combined with high ground advantage, to deal with enemy evasion. Making them unsteady strips their evasion, so use melee and missiles to batter them into the unsteady state, then hit them with the big guns.
Sensor lock strips some evasion too, stack that if you need to. High ground gives you bonuses to shoot at things below you and things below you get penalties to shoot you back (these apply to the enemies too, so if they're above you, they're more accurate and harder to hit).
The early game economy is hard, what do?
I recommend you take mostly salvage out of the gate, only taking cash if you have nothing to sell and you're about to go broke. Take engine cores and mech parts early, you can scrap parts for cash and mechs come fully assembled so you can get good gear that way.
What do the colors mean for targeting?
Red is front arc
Light blue is side arc (+ to shots, only hits locations on that side of the mech)
Green is rear arc (+ to shots, ignores damage reductions, hits rear armor)
When the change colors part way to the target, the shot is obstructed.
Purple is when the shot is obstructed both to and from the target.
I upgraded the Argo to give me more drop slots and now the drop screen is super messed up, what's wrong?
This is a known bug. Just save your game, then reload the save, and it'll be fixed right up. It's an unavoidable glitch with how we unlock the next drop slot. Don't worry, your game is safe.
I dropped on a Flashpoint with 5/6/7/8 mechs but I only got the first four! What gives?
Flashpoints are intentionally limited to 4 mechs only to help preserve balance in them since they were not designed with multiple lances in mind. This is intentional by BTA design.
Does my career end after the 1200 day timer runs out?
No. Career in BTA is infinite. You get a score and a small reward at the end of career's timer but the mode doesn't end. You can play forever if you'd like to.
What do the different colors of Mech parts in storage mean?
The striped color of the background represents the tonnage class of the Mech:
Gray stripes is Assault
Brown stripes is Heavy
Cyan stripes is Medium
Blue stripes is Light
The solid color of the Mech itself shows whether or not the Mech can be assembled:
Cyan mech means it is a completed Mech placed in storage. Unlike assembling from parts, it will not enter the Mech Bay with all stock parts installed. These mechs are also the ones which can be sold in the store.
Green mech means you have enough parts to assemble the Mech entirely with its own parts. Unlike vanilla, these completed sets will not assemble automatically as soon as you have a full set.
Yellow mech means that the Mech doesn't have a full set of its own parts, but you have compatible parts from other variants of the same chassis and can assemble the Mech by using up parts from other variants.
Gray mech means you do not have enough parts to assemble this Mech.
Purple mech means the Mech is a special variant that cannot use parts from other variants of the same chassis. These are typically unique Mechs that show up as assassination targets in Flashpoint missions, or as Flashpoint rewards.
How do I assemble a Mech using parts from other variants?
Clicking "Ready" with a yellow set of parts selected will open a dialogue box where you can select which other variants to take parts from, as well as displaying the additional credit costs of this "improvised" assembly. The dialogue box will allow you to abort at the final step of assembly, if you change your mind about assembly. The exact number of parts needed for a set to become yellow varies depending on the "Parts for 'Mech assembly" difficulty setting, but you will need at least half the parts to come from the Mech you intend to assemble. A set will only become yellow if you also have the spare parts of other variants needed to complete it in storage.
Where does BTA save your savegames?
BTA moves the save games to a somewhat more convenient location: BATTLETECH\BTASaves\cloud\C0\SGS1
My leg actuators/head components/upper arm actuators are destroyed and I can't find new ones, what do I do?
A lot of these do not need to be manually replaced, though the mechbay will yell at you. Just click Repair All then click Confirm and it'll fix them automatically. Anything shaded in light green like those components auto-repairs (also, fixed gear on mechs like the Avatar auto-repairs too), even though the mech bay will yell at you.
My mech is invalid but I don't know why, what's wrong?
Just click Confirm anyway. It'll give you a box telling you exactly what's wrong then you can find and fix it.
Why is my pilot still alive and the mech has been cored on 100% lethality?
Lethality settings is for being head capped not your mech being cored.
Performance Aides for BTA and BT in general
Check Performance Tips for ways to improve game stability and speed.
Why is my drop screen acting glitchy?
If you buy the upgrades that increase drop size, you need to save and reload to fix the drop screen glitches. Its just something that has to be dealt with to increase the number of mechs to be dropped
I want to find out who fields specific (canon) mechs or vehicles. Where should I look?
Check their individual 'mech pages. Each one lists what factions it appears with. Alternatively, check the Master Unit List here
The new faction tags are based on the official CGL data sourced from their Master Unit list.
To find out who fields a mech, either search for it on the MUL and check the civil war era factions or navigate to the factions page and check that factions civil war era entry. The vast majority of the BTA units use the Civil War faction tags, but there are some exceptions where no tags were present (like with Primitive mechs or extinct units), in these cases, the nearest equivalent set of tags are used (e.g. if a unit went extinct in the Second Succession War, it'll use the available tags from that era).
The only exceptions to this rule are Royal mechs - which deviate from the MUL in that they are used by ComStar and the Great Houses in BTA rather than ComStar and the Clans- and LAM's which use the 4th succession war tags to ensure they are spread around somewhat rather than solely fielded by ComStar.
How do you change ammo types and fire modes?
To shift ammo types being used by a weapon (and assuming you have the variant ammo equipped on the mech), click on the ammo box of that weapon's HUD entry, just to the left of the ammo count and to the right of the mode boxes. Weapons now say what ammo they are using so if it changes, you did it correctly.
To shift weapon modes (for weapons like Machine Guns or Ultra Autocannons), click on the weapon's mode box in the HUD. Weapons now say what mode they are in if they have multiple modes so if it changes, you did it right.
To eject ammo, hold down CTRL and click on that weapon's ammo box on the HUD. It will say something like Ammo Ejected above your mech. This is useful if the weapon is destroyed and you don't want to risk an ammo explosion. Note: the ammo bin will be refilled automatically after the mission is finished.
How does expanded initiative work?
It is just like the vanilla system of initiative, except expanded. The initiative system now runs from 10 to 1, instead of the old system of 5 to 1. Where light mechs used to go on 4, they now go on 9 and 8, based on their tonnage. A break down follows:
- Sub-20 tonners go on 10
- 20-25 tonners go on 9
- 30-35 tonners go on 8
- 40-45 go on 7
- 50-55 go on 6
- 60-65 go on 5
- 70-75 go on 4
- 80-90 go on 3
- 95-100 go on 2
The initiative boosting skill, Master Tactician, and the initiative boosting equipment (Cyclops Battle Computer, Command Console, and Command Mech quirks) all work normally. They increase your initiative by 1 stage (and the Cyclops increases your whole team by 1 like normal).
Can I add HotD, GentlePayloads, Colo's or any other mech assets to BTA?
In short, no. Many of those are already part of the CAB which the cab installer will install to one folder or have become vanilla/DLC mech models. They will conflict and will cause BTA to not work if you add them and start to border on piracy for those that are already included in BT since the various DLC or free updates added them.
The mechbay preview doesn't seem to recognize heat banks or exchangers, what's the deal? Are they broken?
No, they're not broken, they work just fine. The mechbay display doesn't show the right info for those, they work fine in-mission.
Why am I seeing Clan mechs survive huge numbers of engine crits?
Clan engines will not die from critting a side torso, but stacking crits there will still display.
Why is Clan balance the way it is?
I thought very hard about how Clan balancing should work. It is a well-known and widely agreed upon fact that Clans on table are brokenly overpowered when you look at the pure numbers. The Clan Large Pulse is very likely the best weapon in the game and it's not particularly close, nothing the IS ever gets comes anywhere near the best Clans can offer. Now, on table we have other balancing mechanisms (BV, scenario setups, etc) that we do not have here. Because we don't have those other balancing tools here and because it would be massively unfun to play against the Clan technology advantage (trust me I tried this, it was not enjoyable) since you have no tools to counterbalance them, I had to take a different tack to making Clans challenging but fair and still fun. To do this, I looked to lore and to history to see how Clans should have been to begin with.
BTA Clan balance looks heavily to lore, which my reading of indicates that the Clans generally value speed and short, sharp engagements that are won with overwhelming firepower and personal piloting prowess and not won with endurance or range advantage. Clans focus on dueling culture which, according to the laws of zellbringen, require that you always be facing your opponent and clearly within visual range. That to me says that Clan technology should be hotter, higher damage, and shorter range to encourage that kind of playstyle. It's why Clan LRMs have no min-range: they would be used to close distance and still need to be useful at point blank, where the Clans mostly fight. Clan technology in BTA was thus balanced accordingly to encourage Clan players to engage at closer range and to rely on overwhelming firepower (which Clan weapons easily provide) and personal skill (which the player provides with their greater skill than the AI has). Some Clan technology couldn't change (engines, endo/ferro) since it's too integral to stock loadouts, but weapons could be changed.
I understand that this isn't everyone's cup of tea but I did give this serious thought. In my and others experience the gameplay is still challenging and rewarding and Clan technology is still powerful and interesting. There are a few weapons I've definitely missed the mark on (the damned Clan Small Lasers are a recurring bugbear of mine) but that's why I'm still making tweaks here and there as necessary. While I appreciate that there are differing opinions, I really do encourage people to play with Clan tech in BTA as it stands before making too many judgments, to consider it in the wider balance of BTA, and to trust that I didn't do this out of some anti-Clan sentiment but out of a desire to produce a balanced yet still fun and challenging gameplay experience that was reasonably true to my understanding of what the Clans are and how they behave while also not repeating the mistakes FASA made back in the 80s (which multiple developers for the TT game have acknowledged over the years was a mistake and should have been done differently).
ComStar and the Clans are really hard, what gives?
ComStar and the Clans are considered late-game enemy factions. Missions against either ComStar or the Clans should be considered to be 1-1.5 skulls harder than displayed. We can't display higher skulls dynamically, so just keep it in mind as you play against those factions.
What are all these new abilities?! How work, what do?
We have added a new framework mod to BTA called Abilifier which allows heavy modification of the ability trees. With this in mind, BTA 7.0 contains our first pass at additional abilities. All the abilities you're used to are still there. However, when you go to select a new ability at rank 5 or 8, you will be greeted with a pop-up window that has you select from one of several options. You only get one of them, so read the options closely. The new abilities are detailed below:
BATTLELORD (Gunnery 5): Activated ability, grants the activating unit +15% damage and +2 weapon accuracy for the turn. Generates 30 bonus heat this turn. Has a 3 turn cooldown. Costs 20 resolve to use.
BALLISTIC/ENERGY/MISSILE MASTER (Gunnery 8): Technically three abilities but all do the same thing. Passive ability, grants +10% damage and +1 accuracy permanently for the selected weapon type (ballistics/energy/missiles).
PHANTOM (Piloting 5): Activated ability, grants the activating unit +2 evasion from movement for two turns. Has a 3 turn cooldown. Does not end the turn, must be used before movement or there is no effect. Costs 20 resolve to use.
INVISIBLE TARGET (Piloting 8): Passive ability, grants +2 hit defense at all times as well as makes the pilot immune to having evasive charges removed by sensor lock effects.
SHIELDED STANCE (Guts 5): Activated ability, grants +50% damage reduction as well as +1 initiative. The DR lasts for two turns, the initiative only applies to the following turn. Has a 3 turn cooldown. Costs 20 resolve to use.
BRAWLER (Guts 8): Passive ability, grants a +35% damage bonus to kicks,punches, and DFAs. Also, reduces self-damage from DFAs by 50%.
TARGET PREDICTION (Tactics 5): Activated ability, provides lancemates with +2 weapon accuracy for the remainder of the turn. Does not affect the unit that uses the ability. Has a 3 turn cooldown. Costs 30 resolve to use.
KNIFE FIGHTER (Tactics 8): Passive ability, grants support weapons a 33% boost to short and medium range brackets as well as +10% more damage. Does not affect heat damage.
What are the level 10 abilities?
There are four level 10 abilities, one for each skill. Their descriptions follow:
STONE COLD (Gunnery 10): Activated ability, grants +60 heat dissipation for the current turn but also reduces your initiative by 2 for two turns. 3 turn cooldown. Costs 20 Resolve to use.
LIGHTFOOT (Piloting 10): Passive ability, Lightfoot lets you use waypoint movement to plot a perfect path during a sprint and run over minefields without triggering them.
DEFENSIVE FORMATION (Guts 10): Activated ability, grants a flat 20% damage reduction regardless of cover or positioning for all friendly units (only affects the player, not allies). The DR lasts for 2 turns. 4 turn cooldown. Costs 20 Resolve to use.
EAGLE EYE (Tactics 10): Passive ability, grants a +33% bonus to sensors and sight ranges, as well as to the unit's long and max weapon ranges. Also grants a minor (roughly 2.5%) bonus to Called Shots. (Explanation: weapons have four ranges, short, medium, long, and max. Eagle Eye boosts the latter two range brackets by 25%, but short/medium are unaffected.)
How do I activate the Retrainer?
Shift-click on a pilot's skills tab in the barracks. If you have training module 2 and some cash, you can refund all their spent XP.
How do CASE and Inner Sphere XL engines interact? Doesn't the mech still die, making CASE pointless?
Yes and no. Even with CASE, an ammo explosion will still destroy the side torso of a mech with an XL. Losing the IS XL will cause the mech to be a mission kill. However, CASE will prevent the ammo explosion from transferring further into the mech, destroying the center torso. If you lose the CT on a mech in a contract, the odds of permanently losing the entire chassis go way, way up. CASE thus circumvents this loss chance by restraining the explosion. It's still a mission kill, but not a permanent loss.
How do sprint increases from skills and equipment like MASC work? The math doesn't seem right!
Sprint Distance is calculated by [Walk Distance] X [Sprint Multiplier]. By default, [Sprint Multiplier] = 1.5.
Certain skills, equipment, and chassis quirks provide a bonus to [Sprint Multiplier], and all such bonuses stack. For example, IS MASC adds 0.4 to [Sprint Multiplier] and Piloting 4 adds 0.1. A mech with IS MASC and pilot with Piloting Level 4 would then have a sprint distance of [Walk Distance] X 2.
Supercharger boosts [Walk Distance] only, and does not affect [Sprint Distance]. In contrast, the Easy to Pilot chassis quirks and TSM boost both [Walk Distance] and [Sprint Multiplier].
Where do I get a Monster?
You can only acquire a Monster from the mission named Monster Mash. Monster Mash is a contract that only spawns with Steiner as the enemy. It spawns anywhere that Steiner can be fought against and is a 4-5 skull assassination contract.
If you have Community Content enabled, the Monster LAM is also available however it is not found in the Monster Mash mission. It can spawn as an enemy unit in high skull missions against ComStar and the Lyran Commonwealth.
Enemy mechs aren't gaining heat damage from fire weapons and neither am I! What's the deal?!?
In the old system, before BTA v7.3, if a mech had 60 dissipation but only used 40 on its turn, that remaining 20 was simply unused that turn. If he was then hit with a flamer dealing 10 heat damage, the flamer's heat was added the the mech as if it was at neutral 0 heat, meaning the mech would go up to 10 heat from the flamer.
In the new system, starting with BTA v7.3, if a mech has 60 dissipation but only used 40 on its turn, then instead of being considered at 0 dissipation for the rest of the round, it is considered to be at -20 as the remaining 20 dissipation acts like a buffer for incoming heat damage. If that mech was then hit with a flamer dealing 10 heat damage, it would go to -10 heat as the "left-over" 20 heat would absorb the flamer's heat damage.
This applies to both the player's and the AI's units. If you want to overheat someone, you need to target someone who has already fired weapons and used some of their dissipation. Otherwise, if they haven't used any dissipation on their turn, then they have all of their dissipation ready to absorb heat damage, which will make your flamers ineffective against them.
We have a handy diagram, attached below, so you can see this concept in action.
What status effects generate XP for my pilots? How is that XP calculated?
See below for a short list of XP-generating status effects. The math is a little complicated, but here is a short explanation that hopefully clarifies things for you.
The math essentially goes like this: ContractXP * 0.025 * (EffectXP/20) ContractXP is based on the contract and is not obvious, but it's the bulk of your XP and is not affected by these changes. It just provides a base number to work on here. EffectXP is filled in by the status applied below. The rest of the math is simple to follow. Examples will be given below after a list of all the effects is provided.
There are three kinds of XP-generating effects: Sensor Lock/Active Probe, restricted effects, and bonus effects.
SL/AP is the easiest category to understand: sensor locking people or activating an active probe and hitting enemies with it both give XP. Sensor lock gives a flat 20 XP on every use. Active probes give 25 XP per unit hit. These effects do not use the above formula and just give you a flat number for doing them.
Restricted effects are effects that only apply once per source-target pair for the duration of the effect. Basically, your pilot can apply the status to a target and then cannot get XP from applying that status to that target again until the status wears off, at which point it can be applied to that target again. The restricted effects are as follows:
- C3 Master TAG: 25 EffectXP
- Standard TAG: 20 EffectXP
- Plasma status: 20 EffectXP
- PPC status: 25 EffectXP
- Narc Painter status: 50 EffectXP
- Narc Haywire status: 50 EffectXP
Bonus effects are effects that provide XP whenever applied, at any time to anyone regardless of who did it or if it has been applied before. These effects give very little EffectXP but you can apply the effects constantly so it usually works out. The bonus effects as follows:
- C3 Target status (getting an enemy inside of C3): 5 EffectXP
- C3i Target status (getting an enemy inside of C3i): 5 EffectXP
- ECM status (getting an ally inside of ECM): 5 EffectXP
- Static ER Laser status: 10 EffectXP
- Haywire Laser status: 10 EffectXP
- Acid status: 5 EffectXP
- Bees status: 5 EffectXP
- Tracer MG status: 5 EffectXP
- Mortar Flare status: 5 EffectXP
- Mortar Suppressant status: 5 EffectXP
Example 1: Pilot Bob hits an enemy Archer with a Narc Launcher, applying the Painter status. He will gain the following amount of bonus XP at mission completion (assuming the mission has a default of 2000 XP): 2000 * 0.025 * (50/20) = 2000 * 0.025 * 2.5 = 125 XP. He cannot gain XP again by hitting that same Archer with that same status yet, as it is a restricted effect and the status has not worn off yet.
Example 2: Pilot Bob gets three team mates into his ECM field. He will gain the following amount of bonus XP at mission completion (assuming the mission has a default of 2000 XP): [2000 * 0.025 * (5/20)] * 3 = (2000 * 0.025 * 0.25) * 3 = 12.5 * 3 = 37.5 XP. If his allies then leave his ECM bubble and he covers them again with it later, he would gain more XP since ECM is a bonus effect and can be applied repeatedly without limitation.
How does pilot-mech affinity work?
Pilots can gain affinity with mechs, which grants that pilot special benefits in the mech they have affinity with. Affinity is gained by doing multiple contracts in the same chassis, each mission in that chassis adds to that pilot's affinity with that chassis. At 5 missions, 10 missions, and 15 missions, pilots gain special affinity benefits. However, if you switch that pilot out of that chassis and start using a different chassis, the affinity with chassis A will start decaying, eventually vanishing completely. The numbers for affinity and decay follow:
Missions Before Decay: 3
This value defines how many contracts a pilot can go on before prior affinities start to decay. Affinities decay only when you take a contract in a different mech. Example: Joe has 10 affinity for a Penetrator. He then does 4 missions in a Dire Wolf. He would gain 4 affinity for the Dire Wolf and lose 1 affinity for the Penetrator (because the first three missions do not cause decay).
Missions Before Total Affinity Loss: 13
After 13 missions out of a mech, a pilot loses any and all affinity for that mech, no matter what it used to be at.
Max Possible Affinity With A Mech: 18
A pilot cannot have more than 18 affinity in any specific mech. Benefits stop after 15, the extra three are padding to resist decay.
Lowest Possible Decay: 2
A pilot will not decay past 2 affinity in a mech, regardless of missions outside of that mech (as long as 13 missions are not reached, at which point all affinity is permanently lost).
- Pilot affinities can be seen in several places. In the Barracks, hovering over the pilot in the pilot list will show you their affinities. Additionally, clicking on the Biography of a selected pilot and scrolling to the bottom will show their affinities as well as the benefits granted. Finally, on the contract deployment screen hovering over a pilot will also show their affinities.
- The rank 5 and 10 affinities are the same for all mechs: Comfortable (5, +1 piloting in contracts) and Attuned (10, +1 to all stats in contracts, stacks with Comfortable).
- The rank 15 affinities are all chassis-specific and are listed on that chassis's tooltip in the Mechbay (hover over that mech in the bay to see the affinity).
- Affinities are by chassis not by variant. All Shadow Hawks for example have the same affinity and you can swap a pilot between Shadow Hawks without decay setting in.
What is TisButAScratch and how do pilot hits work now anyway?
Injuries are managed by a functionality called PainTolerance. Essentially, pilot injuries have a resist chance based on the pilot's base Guts score, modified by various settings depending on how the injury was inflicted. The math goes roughly as follows (this math is under constant surveillance for balance):
Each point of Guts provides a flat 15% resistance. This stacks without limit (so Guts 10 is 150% resistance). This is then modified by various penalties depending on injury type:
- Head Hit: Each point of damage to the head will reduce Guts resistance by 3%. If the damage to the head does not break armor, then the damage is multiplied by 0.35 before calculating Guts resistance reduction.
- Ammo Explosion: The game will calculate the ratio of total rounds in the bin compared to current rounds in the bin. Guts resistance is then reduced by 1 for each percentage point in that ratio.
- Overheating: The game will calculate the ratio of overheat capacity (in other words, total possible heat, 150) to current heat value. Guts resistance is then reduced by 1 for each percentage point in that ratio.
- Knockdown: Knockdowns are considered a 6 damage hit for math and otherwise works the same way a head hit does.
- Side Torso Destruction: ST destruction is considered a 10 damage hit for math and otherwise works the same way a head hit does.
TisButAScratch (TBAS) is a new injury framework mod that BTA has incorporated. The remit of the mod is to make pilot injuries more interesting and to give some play to the concept of an injury. It does this by making injuries unique (so you break your left leg or get a head burn or a concussion, etc) and also allowing injured pilots to still be deployed on contracts if desired (they come with the injuries still). A full list of injuries is out of scope for this FAQ entry, there's a good number of them, but this FAQ will detail a few of the new mechanics involved in TBAS.
- Severity and Severity Threshold: Injuries have a severity to them, displayed when you mouse over the injury icon in the Barracks or deployment screen. Injuries can be severity 1 or severity 2. When a pilot accrues 6 severity worth of injuries, they die, regardless of pilot "health" remaining. This means that, if extremely unlucky, you can lose a pilot to three injuries. However, there are relatively few severity 2 injuries so this scenario is unlikely. Additionally, no injury prevents ejection and ejection does not cause injuries or increase severity. Finally, there is no way to increase severity of an existing injury, meaning your severity 1 broken arm will never escalate into a severity 2 injury.
- Debilitating Injuries: If a pilot takes 4 severity worth of injuries, they become debilitated. A debilitated pilot cannot be deployed further until fully healed, and the healing process will take an extensive amount of time. Try to not let this happen to pilots.
- Bleedout Injuries: In mission, it is possible to suffer an injury and have a pilot begin bleeding out. This is indicated by hovering over the injury icon on the pilot and is marked in red text on the popup that appears. Bleedouts take a variable number of turns, usually 2-4. If the pilot is still deployed at that time (i.e. is in the mech doing things), they will die. Bleedouts can be stopped by completing the mission or ejecting the pilot and do not carry over to other contracts with that pilot, they are only in the contract where the injury occurs.
- First Aid: In addition to ejection, bleedouts can be resisted via the First Aid skill that all pilots have under their Active Abilities. First Aid takes the entire turn to apply and costs a small amount of resolve, but will staunch bleedouts for 3 turns.
What is this "Size Delta +#" in my attack breakdowns? Where did it come from and how does it work?
The size delta is a scaling penalty or bonus to attacks based on the difference in size between the attacker and defender. For every 15 tons difference between them, the delta gains +1/-1. If the attacker weighs more than the defender, the attacker gets a penalty. If the attacker weighs less than the defender, the attacker gets a bonus.
Example 1: An Atlas is shooting at a Commando. The Atlas is 100 tons, the Commando is 25, meaning there is a 75 ton difference between them. The Atlas suffers a +5 size delta penalty (75/15 is 5) to hit the Commando. In return, the Commando has a +5 size delta bonus to hit the Atlas because of the 75 ton difference.
Example 2: A Grasshopper is shooting a Hunchback. The 'hopper is 70 tons, the Hunchback is 50, meaning there is a 20 ton difference between them. The Grasshopper suffers a +1 size delta penalty (20/15 is 1.333 and the delta rounds down) to hit the Hunchback and the Hunchback's return fire has a similar +1 size delta bonus to hit the Grasshopper.
Why did you change Called Shot?
Called shot has long been something I wanted to change. The reality is that called shot was significantly too easy to abuse, especially thanks to the existence of Inner Sphere XL engines which meant that a called shot to the side torso with any level of reasonable firepower insta-killed a mech. That's not a good place to be. The biggest issue was not the power of the effect, but the ease by which it could be accessed. Having free access to it with any and every pilot for no investment made it such that called shot was always the best possible thing to be doing with your time. I believe that powerful abilities should come with a cost, either opportunity or mechanical, so I asked for the ability to turn off the location selection popup. One of the community's many framework modders gave me that ability (name omitted to spare him frustration, take it up with me if you're not happy with this change) and I tested it for awhile. I've found that not having access to the location popup means that fights are a little riskier and that I have to purpose build a "called shot master" pilot. That's an opportunity cost that matters. I'll also note that in about 5-6 weeks of play, I never once felt like I lost a fight because I didn't have old called shot. The old called shot functionality also has not gone away permanently. It can be had with the Gunnery 8 ability Precision Master (which replaces Breaching Shot; if you already have Breaching Shot you'll need to retrain to get the full effect of Precision Master) which solves a second problem, namely that the Breaching Shot ability has been looking a little sad and under-utilized recently. This gives it a boost, which it needed. The old called shot functionality can also be found on the FCS Adv TC cockpit mod, which is an opportunity cost of another kind (it takes a cockpit slot, it takes tonnage [the Adv TC now weighs 2 tons instead of 1 ton], and there is the hurdle of acquiring it to begin with).
I've played fairly extensively with these changes and believe them to be in the best interest of BTA and of the experience I desire the mod to have. These changes are not necessarily permanent of course and may change again in the future.
I've Heard Some Pilots Have Unique Abilities and Affinities. Who/What Are They?
There are a select number of pilots who have unique abilities and affinities. All of these are BTA Team pilots or someone who has contributed to the community/mod in some way. Affinities are mentioned in pilot descriptions and abilities are found in the Passive Abilities tray in-mission.
Callsign: Ability (Effect)
- bloodydoves: Designer's Insight (+1 initiative)
- Aether: Support Master (+20% damage with support weapons, -50% crit with support weapons)
- taintedloki: Sensor Ghost (immune to sensor lock, -2 weapon accuracy)
- Wulfbanes: SRM Master (+10% damage and +1 accuracy with SRMs and Streak SRMs but -1 accuracy with anything else)
- t-bone: Kentucky Windage (ballistic weapons ignore 3 evasion but -4 accuracy with indirect fire and min range on all weapons increased by 60 meters)
- Turtrus: Laser Insulator (energy weapons generate 10% less heat)
- Shade: Melee Tyrant (+10% damage with kicks, punches, and physical weapon attacks)
- Tex: Hard to Kill (+2 pilot health)
- Grampa: Old Man of the Mechs (+10% damage with all weapons but -50 unsteady threshold at all times)
- Revostae: Hold Locks Please (+4 accuracy with indirect missile, -2 accuracy with direct missile weapons.)
- Scorch: INDESTRUCTIBLE (Scorch takes 10% less damage from all sources at all times.)
Callsign: Affinity (Mech; Effect)
- bloodydoves: Beats By Crab (King Crab; +10% weapon damage)
- taintedloki: Choppy Choppy (Hatchetman; +30% damage with the hatchet)
- Wulfbanes: Speed King (Commando; +15% sprint speed)
- t-bone: Warfighter (Corsair, any model; +10% ballistic damage)
- Turtrus: Radar Jammer (Crab; +2 hit defense)
- Shade: Shield of Faith (Valkyrie II; +10% damage reduction)
- Scorch: Can't Break Me (Cataphract; -35% crit chance when hit)
- Tex: Too Angry to Die (Awesome; +10% energy damage)
- Hellion: Little Purple Tank (Bushwacker; +20% damage reduction)
- LeFay: Wizard of Camelot (Merlin; 40% reduced sensor signature)
- Ridgeline: On the Wings of Angels (Wasp LAM/Stinger LAM/Phoenix Hawk LAM; +2 bonus accuracy in those LAMs)
- Pharaoh: Bring Your Pretty Face To My Axe (Berserker; +20% sprint speed)
- Raza5: Foundation's Edge (Mongoose; +10% energy damage and ignores 1 evasion with energy weapons)
- Revostae: Make It Rain (Archer; +10% missile damage)
- Virago: Minimizer (Battle Armor; +4 defense against being hit)
What are Specializations?
Specializations are bonuses awarded to pilots for doing specific things. A pilot can make progress toward any number of specializations, but can only have a max of 2 Mission Specs and 2 OpFor Specs. Once specializations are earned, they are permanent; there is no "decay" mechanic. Any specializations a pilot has achieved, as well as progress towards any specializations, can be seen by hovering over the large pilot portrait in the barracks:
OpFor Specs are bonuses awarded for destroying a certain number of units belonging to a particular faction. For example, after destroying 20 Lyran units, a pilot might be given a bonus that increases damage vs Lyran units, or even a discount in stores belonging to some enemies of the Lyrans. Available OpFor Specs for a given faction can be seen in the faction tooltips, either in the Command Center or the Commanders Quarters Reputation screen. The number in brackets indicates the number of kills required for the OpFor Spec to be awarded:
Mission Specs are bonuses awarded for completing a certain number of missions of a particular type. For example, after completing 5 Convoy Ambush missions, a pilot might do extra damage to vehicles on Convoy Ambush missions. Available Mission Specs for a given contract type can be seen in the contract type tooltip in the Command Center. The number in brackets indicates the number of missions required for the Mission Spec to be awarded:
StratComs are bonuses that are always awarded to your lance for NOT dropping your commander on a contract. Currently the only StratComs are +1 increased resolve generation, +1 better accuracy, or +1 defense against being hit (like having an ECM on every unit you field) when leaving the Commander in barracks. StratComs can be seen by hovering over the commander's portrait in the barracks and changed by control+clicking the commander's service record button:
What reputation do I need with a faction to access their faction store?
You need to be at 100 rep with a faction and be allied with them in order to access their faction store.
In vanilla, the Max Armor button didn't actually truly max your armor. It used your remaining tonnage in a specific set of ratios to try and fill your armor. Now, given that vanilla's mechbay was a simpler place, this basically worked and if you just stripped your mech before hitting it, it usually maxed you out as expected. However, because of the way it worked, it was not suitable for our needs. Because the BTA mechbay is more complex and has things like Ferro-Fibrous armor which change the way armor is calculated, the Max Armor button essentially didn't work. It would try to use your tonnage but couldn't use it all because of the armor and the ratio math it used was also all out of wack.
Because of these issues, we changed the Max Armor button to now actually max your armor, regardless of your free tonnage. Now, the button just ignores everything and sets your armor to full in every location, full stop. While also not perfect, this works better because it ignores weirdness like Ferro-Fibrous armor or strange ratios, it just does what the button says and calls it a day. This is intended on our end and we have no intent of changing it back to the way it was in vanilla because that functionality fundamentally doesn't jive with how BTA functions.
Where is Galaxy at War? Why doesn't BTA have it?
GaW is absent because we don't like some of the things it does so we have chosen to not include it. We do however have a new mod called WarTech IIC which functions in a similar way but without the online component. See below for a basic explanation of how WarTech IIC works.
What is WarTech IIC and how does it work?
WarTech IIC (WIIC) is our answer to the requests for a Galaxy at War-type mod that permits planetary control changes. This is a highly-requested feature for BTA and we're glad to be able to include it for players. WIIC creates what we're calling flareups that players can go join in with if they want, with the winner of the flareup gaining (or keeping) control of the planet in question. Some details follow:
Can I start my own flareups? How do flareups happen? No, the player does not start them (you're a mercenary, not a military commander for a Great House). Factions decide to start flareups themselves based on some complex internal math that makes them more likely to start flareups near the player's ship. This ensures there's always something happening nearby. There are two flareup types, the invasion and the raid. Invasions are marked as purple flashes on the map, raids are marked as blue flashes on the map. Invasions change the owner of the system being attacked if the attacker wins. Raids increase the global strength of the attacker if the attacker wins (this increases that faction's power in future flareups).
How do I get involved in a flareup? You fly to a nearby flareup. When you arrive in that system, you'll get a popup saying "hey, these guys are fighting, we can join" and you can go to the Command Center to join in. To join a flareup, the faction must not Hate or Loathe you. If your reputation is HATED or LOATHED, they will not hire you. Also, the three main Clans will not hire you for any reason. Once you hire on with a side in the flareup, you are stuck there until the flareup ends. You can leave but you take a reasonable reputation hit, so try not to do that. Flareups have strengths, so each side comes with X amount of strength to the fight. The loser of a flareup is determined by the first side to reach zero strength. Sides will lose strength naturally over time but player involvement can swing the scales. How does a flareup work once I'm in it? Once you start a flareup, you're locked in until it completes. Every few days, you'll get a contract offer from your employer (the faction you sided with in the flareup). You can either pass on the contract (in which case the fighting factions figure it out themselves, affecting their flareup strength dynamically) or you take the contract. If you accept, you are locked into it and cannot back out, you must complete it, so be sure to read the popup clearly to see what kind of contract it is before clicking accept. You then play the mission normally. Once you complete the contract, there will be a note on the ending score screen that tells you the outcome of the battle. If you win, the enemy faction loses some amount of strength in the flareup, making it more likely that your side will win.
When a planet flips, what happens? When a planet flips control, the employers for contracts and the shop owner changes. However, to see these changes, you'll need to travel away and back to the planet since they don't instantly change. The employers on that planet will be anyone nearby (so owner, probably the guys you took it from, the pirates, and possibly other nearby factions if there are any.
Can I keep my progress on the map from campaign to campaign? You sure can! In BATTLETECH\BTASaves there is a file called WIIC_systemControl.json. This file is overwritten the latest map info of your latest save. When you're done with a career, you can take that file and copy it into Mods/WarTechIIC and then start your new career. WIIC will then read that file and update the map in your new career with your progress on the map, meaning you can, over a long long time, wipe out the hated Capellans (for example) at last!
Why are vehicles not dying to a single crew compartment crit?
Short answer: it's supposed to take three crits to kill the crew which is now fixed and is now working as intended.
Long answer: several things that were not working properly including crew compartment crits got fixed in MechEngineer for several other features to work properly.
Is there an option in the mech bay to strip only weapons and ammo from mechs?
Great Question! Yes! Yes there is!
Hold CTRL whilst clicking the "Strip Equip" button in the mechbay to strip only the weapons and ammo!
How does mech salvage actually work?
When you destroy a mech you get some number of parts from that mech as salvage. That number fluctuates and varies based on how much of the mech was left when it was destroyed. The method of destruction, other than one specific type of destruction, does not matter (the only exception is CT destruction, which will be covered below). The number of parts also is based on the number of parts you require to assemble a mech.
Generally speaking, the parts remaining depend on how much of the mech was left when it was destroyed. The more you break the mech, the less is available for salvage. This specifically refers to body parts (arms, legs, torsos, head). We'll go through some basic examples (all using 4 parts for required assembly).
Example 1: You headcap a mech, destroying the head. The rest of the mech is fully intact. How many parts do you get? You will get 4 parts (assuming 4 to assemble). Only the head was destroyed, the other body parts are all there, nothing is taken out of the salvage pool.
Example 2: You kill an Inner Sphere mech by destroying its side torso and it had an XL engine. Only that torso and that arm were destroyed. How many parts do you get? You should get 3 parts (assuming 4 to assemble). Most of the mech was intact, so you get "most" of it as salvage.
Example 3: You kill a mech by annihilating it utterly, only the head and left leg are left. How many parts do you get? You will get 1 part (assuming 4 to assemble). You left very little of it behind, so you don't get much of it.
Example 4: You kill a mech by drilling straight through its CT, leaving the rest of the mech undamaged. How many parts do you get? You will get 1 part (assuming 4 to assemble). Center Torso destruction is the only exception as to salvage rules. Destroying the CT always gives only 1 part, no matter how much was left.
Example 5: You kill a mech by dealing the pilot enough pilot hits to kill them. You've destroyed the left arm and left torso. How many parts do you get? You should get 3 parts (assuming 4 to assemble). This is an example where, despite how they died, you still didn't leave the entire mech behind so you don't get the whole thing. Most of it was left though, so you get most of it in salvage.
Example 6: You headcap a mech, destroying the head and pilot with it. The rest of the mech is brutally savaged, missing a leg, both arms, and 1 side torso. How many parts do you get? You should get 2 parts (assuming 4 to assemble). This situation is another example where, despite the mech dying by pilot death, you destroyed a lot of it, so you don't get it all.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These numbers are examples only and can vary slightly. The salvaging is percentage based and each body part has weighting, so it has a little variability. The numbers also change up or down based on how many parts you require to assemble a mech (if you need 8 parts, Example 1 will drop 8 parts for instance, not 4, etc).
How does part salvage work?
Salvage is calculated as a function of the # of parts required for assembly (the setting you chose at career start, which we will call 'AssemblyParts') and the proportion of the mech NOT destroyed, which we will call 'RemainingPortion'.
Center Torso destruction always results in 1 part, full stop, regardless of settings or additional destruction. 1 part is also the minimum number of parts that can be salvaged.
Each mech part has a value associated with it which determines the parts proportion of the entire mech. The parts values are:
Arms: 0.75 each Legs: 0.75 each Head: 0.5 Torso: 1 each
This results in the total mech value of 6.5. Every part destroyed deducts from that 6.5. For example, destroying 2 legs would result in a RemainingPortion of 5.
The final # of parts salvaged is then calculated by AssemblyParts x RemainingPortion / 6.5 + 0.5, with any fraction dropped.
Using the above example of destroyed legs and assuming 4 part assembly, you would get 3 pieces: 4 x 5 / 6.5 + 0.5 = 3.57 -> 3
Destroying only the head with 4 part assembly, you would get 4 pieces: 4 x 6 / 6.5 + 0.5 = 4.19 -> 4
Destroying only the head with 8 part assembly, you would get 7 pieces: 8 x 6 / 6.5 + 0.5 = 7.88 -> 7
Why aren't mechs showing up in stores anymore?
In order for you to see and buy mechs in stores you must be at least friendly (40 reputation or higher) with that system's faction owner and you must be on a planet with a moderate or large population. Turns out the Houses won't sell their nicest gear to just any old merc.
What mechs can I get from the Ancestral Mech background?
It differs based on another choice you make at character creation. See Ancestral Mech for the options.
How does Resolve work in BTA?
Resolve in BTA is a per-pilot statistic, not a lance-wide statistic. What this means is that pilots track their resolve independently of one another. They still benefit from base resolve gain and from resolve-increasing effects such as mech equipment or quirks, but when they spend resolve they draw from their individual pools, meaning your pilots can have wildly different resolve values at any given moment, depending on your usage. Resolve sources are a little more interesting now as are resolve uses, all of which will be defined below:
Base Resolve Info: The Resolve bar now runs from 0 to 60, not 0 to 100. The Argo morale meter provides less per-turn resolve than it used to, with each slot on the morale scale giving 0/5/10/15/20 resolve (so the max morale on the Argo gives you 20 resolve a turn in-mission, etc). Notably, buying morale on the Argo is now more expensive than it used to be.
Resolve Costs: Precision Strike and Vigilance now both cost 50 resolve, with High Spirits being 40 and Low Spirits being 60. Most activated pilot abilities (such as Target Prediction or Battlelord) cost 20 resolve, with only Multi-Target and Sensor Lock remaining free-to-play, that cost does not vary with pilot spirits like Precision Strike and Vigilance do. The activated pilot abilities have had their cooldowns reduced across the board to reflect that they now cost resolve. Note that Precision Strike and Vigilance do not have cooldowns, so every pilot in your force can use them in the same turn, if you can pay for it on everyone.
Resolve Generation: While your pilots will gain resolve normally every turn from the Argo morale values, they can also gain or lose resolve due to in-combat actions. Without giving a precise breakdown of the costs (since they're likely to change), generally, killing enemies, blowing off locations, or DFA'ing the OpFor will generate bonus resolve for your team, where having those things happen to you will cause your pilots to *lose* resolve. If you have a mech with the Improved Communications quirk or the Encouraging affinity, those resolve bonuses apply to your entire force. Additionally, there is a modifier for your pilots Tactics score in their resolve generation. The math is complicated but essentially: more Tactics = more resolve for that pilot. This tactics modifier is *by pilot*.
How do I eject a pilot?
If your pilot is about to bleed out or your mech is in an unsalvageable situation, you might want to eject the pilot. You can do this by clicking the little, reddish, upwards pointing button in the lower left part of your screen, in the mech structure overview. Please note that this will destroy the head of mech and any added equipment in it which will need to be repaired and/or replaced prior to its next deployment.
What is the starting drop tonnage and the max drop tonnage in BTA?
Starting drop tonnage: 400
Max drop tonnage after all upgrades: 1,000
Are there special commands for the starmap?
Yes! There's a handful of special commands you can use on the starmap for various things.
- Hitting F1 will toggle all the systems you have not visited.
- Hitting F2 will toggle the map to show you systems by difficulty (largely not necessary now that we have the skull-rating filter at the top of the map, but it exists).
- Shift-click on a system will allow you to plan a jump route perfectly, if you want to do that for whatever reason.
- Ctrl-F will bring up a search box you can use to search by certain keywords (system name, system tags, factions offering contracts there).
How do the Airdrop Beacons and Contracts work? Also, what is an Airdrop Beacon?
BTA v11.0 introduces a new mechanic that permits the player to call down allied units straight into battle. This is done via the use of new mech components called beacons. Beacons come in four varieties, each of which permits the summoning of one kind of unit. The available units are Battle Armor, Tanks, 'Mechs, and Turrets. Each beacon must be equipped to a 'mech in order to provide the functionality. Using a beacon consumes that unit's entire action (including movement, you cannot do *anything* else on the same turn you use a beacon). Called in units are AI controlled and are considered allied to the player (so you're not summoning a wild card, you're getting a guaranteed ally). Each beacon has limitations on its call down in order to prevent undue spamming. There are cooldowns, per-mission use limits, resolve costs, and c-bill costs to using the beacons. Each beacon has descriptive text that will indicate these costs (the cooldown is seen after using the ability). Read closely.
The unit summoned by the beacons varies. Each beacon has a "default" unit that it can always summon, regardless of any conditions. The beacon description will also tell you what the unit is (BA: Inner Sphere Standard; Tank: Vedette; Turret: Standard Laser; Mech: UrbanMech UM-R60). However, you can acquire contracts that permit the beacons to call in different units. Contracts come in two kinds: permanent and one-use. Permanent contracts permit you to *always* call in the contract's unit if you like, as long as you have the permanent contract in storage on the ship. One-use contracts permit you to call in the contract's unit *once* after which you must purchase the contract again. All Battle Armor and Turret contracts are permanent contracts. There are a variety of permanent contracts for 'mechs and tanks, but there are also a lot of one-use contracts for 'mechs and tanks. To acquire contracts, you must visit stores. Tank, turret, and the odd permanent mech contracts can be acquired in regular stores on larger Inner Sphere worlds. All battle armor contracts are in faction stores (for the faction that sells the BA in question). Faction stores also sell one-use mech and tank contracts.
To use the beacons, select the ability from beneath the 'mech's weapon panel. You will get a bright green circle to select the location of your called unit with. After clicking to determine location, you'll then be asked to determine facing. Click again and hit "Confirm" and the unit will be spawned. If you'd like to select a non-default unit, hold Shift while selecting the location and you'll get a popup asking you to select the specific unit you want to spawn.
What is the difference between BattleMech and AirMech mode on a LAM and how do I transform into AirMech mode?
In BattleMech mode LAMs are just a normal mech. In AirMech, they transform models to their "plane" looking models and become extremely fast and ignore terrain entirely, but also are fragile and easily knocked down. Their Avionics equipment has the full details and permits them to transform on their turn (transformation can only be done before movement, if you've already moved you're stuck in that mode for the turn).
To transform between BattleMech and AirMech modes simply click the Avionics button in the weapons HUD at the bottom-right of you screen while in mission:
A full list of pilot skills and abilities can be found here.
These skills are available to both Vehicle (V) pilots and 'Mech (M) pilots
8: Precision Master
5: Sure Movement (renamed Sure Footing, effect unchanged)
8: Ace Pilot
5: Shielded Stance
5: Sensor Lock
8: Master Tactician
How do Strafing Runs work? Also, what is a Strafing Run anyhow?
BTA v11.2 introduces a mechanic wherein the you can call in an aerospace fighter to perform a strafing run against your enemies (and you if you're in the area, be careful!). This works much like the Airdrop Beacons in that you need a special piece of gear to use strafing runs, the Strafing Run Comm Suite (available randomly at the [[start of careers or in stores rarely), and in that there are special contracts that unlock other aerospace fighter options for your strafing run needs (these are available rarely in general stores). The Strafing Run Comm Suite has a turn cooldown between uses, costs c-bills to use, and costs resolve to use, all of which are spelled out in the ability and on the comm suite item itself so read carefully! The default unit for a strafing run, which is always available, is a Shilone Aerospace Fighter. The Shilone carries two Large Pulse Lasers, two Medium Lasers, and a SRM-4, and will usually fire at several different targets in the strafing area.
To enable a strafing run, you select the ability from beneath the mech's wepaon panel. You'll get a large yellow circle that you can use to select the starting point of the strafe. You then drag in the direction you'd like the strafe to move along until you reach your desired length or the strafe cannot be extended any further. Once done and selected, hit Confirm and the strafe will be locked in. Smoke flares will appear along the path of the strafe to indicate where it will strike, don't stand in the strafing area or you too will become a valid target. The strafe takes time to arrive and will actually spawn and attack two initiative phases after the one in which the strafe was locked in. If you'd like to select a non-default ASF, hold Shift while selecting the initial location and you'll get a popup asking you to select the specific unit you want to spawn. After that, continue as normal to complete the strafe lock in procedure.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- Strafes are a little weird and don't work precisely like you might expect. They do not shoot at *everything* in the area, just a few units, picked at semi-random by the strafing unit, usually whatever is closest to where the strafing unit spawned, so angle your strafing path carefully to get maximum effect.
- The strafing unit is a real combat unit with a pilot and can actually miss. It is not guaranteed to hit, though we've done what we can to make it likely to hit. To account for this, strafes can be called frequently and many times and don't cost many c-bills or much resolve, meaning you can feel pretty free to spam them out if you like. The comm suite itself is small and fairly light so you should have no issues mounting it to something fast and light.
- If you deploy a strafe on the last initiative phase of the turn, the strafing unit will appear and strafe after everything is done moving for the turn.
- It is mentioned above but we're making a special note here: STRAFES CAN HIT FRIENDLIES. DO NOT STAND IN THE STRAFING AREA. IF YOU DO AND COMPLAIN TO THE TEAM, WE WILL LAUGH ABOUT IT. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.
Why are my saves not cloud sync'ed across Steam, GoG, etc?
BTA does not use any of the game clients cloud syncing, it more often than not breaks the base game if you go back to play it for some reason, or tried out a different modpack (the infamous refreshing saves bug). Your BTASaves is always in the games install directory, the BattleTech folder in game library, in that folder there will be a BTASaves that your saves will be redirected to:
If you want to play your saves on a different (new perhaps) machine, copy the BTASaves folder and place it into the BattleTech folder on the new machine. DO NOT COPY IT INTO THE BASE GAMES CLOUD SAVES LOCATION. it will cause problems if you do that. Unfortunately there is no way around this. We moved away from using cloud saves because it always causes problems with modded BT.
What exactly is a Game World?
There are 8 game worlds in BattleTech Advanced 3062. A game world is anywhere that mech on mech gladiator combat takes place, such as Solaris VII as the most famous example. The eight game worlds in BTA are the following systems:
- Solaris VII (also known as Solaris on the starmap)
- New Port Royal
On a game world, you can find and purchase special items from the store that will give you entry into a Game World Duel. There are eight kinds of game world duels: solo and duo duels for each of the four weight classes: light, medium, heavy, and assault. Each weight class restricts what you can take into the duel, e.x. light duels force light mechs (max tonnage 35 tons per mech) and so on for each class of duel. The opposition in the duels are special "hero" mechs as well as arena-specific designs such as the Valiant or Juggernaut. The enemy pilots in the duels are a special Game World Gladiator who is extremely dangerous, so take them seriously.
When you purchase the duel item, it will immediately generate a contract in the Command Center (there is no popup, just go check the Command Center). Do these contracts before you leave the world, bugginess may occur otherwise. These duels only permit cash rewards, not salvage rewards, this is intentional and expected, so max out the cash slider when you accept the contract. However, there's a hidden counter that ticks up when you do a duel. Let's say you do a Light Solo or Duo Duel. This will set a hidden counter to 1. Each time you do a Light Solo or Duo Duel, it'll tick that up by 1. When that counter hits 6, you'll be rewarded with a loot cache giving you a random light hero mech, like the ones you can fight in the duels themselves. What's a hero mech? It's a unique customized mech with a unique loadout and special bonus "Hero Mech" quirk. The only way to acquire these hero mechs is through the duels. There are heroes for light, medium, heavy, and assault duels, each of which have their own hidden counter, i.e. doing a light duel does not increase the hidden counter for heavy mechs and vice versa.
That's it, that's the whole enchilada, that's what there is to know about the duels. Now, go forth and claim your title as the Arena Champion!
The Hell Is Airlifting??
So, thanks to the machinations of a dark wizard on the BTA Team, we now have the ability to produce a unit that is able to lift other units and fly around with them. It's not quite like Battle Armor in the VTOLs though, as the airlifted unit can be shot at by enemies directly and can also shoot back at enemies directly. That's honestly all there is to it: you can use a special VTOL to pick up your allied units and fly them around, dropping them off elsewhere. Imagine picking up an Alacorn and flying it to the top of a mountain to rain Gauss slugs down on your foes.
The unit that is capable of this functionality is called the Horskr Airlift VTOL and is purchasable from Inner Sphere stores much like other tanks and VTOLs. It comes with the Airlift ability. To use it, simply select the ability then select the unit you'd like to airlift. The Horskr then will fly over and pick them up. While lifted, the unit is unable to move but can take other actions such as activated abilities or weapons fire (if something is in its front weapon arc, it cannot turn in place to shoot at things). The Horskr can carry the unit as long as it likes and can take normal actions while doing so, such as shooting or using activated abilities of its own.
To put a unit down, you have two options: option 1 is to fly to your desired location and use the Airlift ability again which will put them down but will remove all evasion on the Horskr (can't be evasive while dropping a guy off!); option 2 is to set them down first thing and *then* fly around and take your normal turn (dropping them off does not end the Horskr's turn in this case).
- The Horskr, at this time, cannot airlift enemy units. That may change in the future but for now, it is limited to friendlies only.
- When the Horskr picks up someone, it will orient itself to their facing. Keep that in mind.
- While a unit is lifted by the Horskr, the unit will pin its facing to the Horskr's, so they're always facing the same direction. Keep that in mind for deciding on your weapons fire with the lifted unit (remember: lifted units can shoot and be shot!).
- If the Horskr is destroyed while carrying something, they will fall and take falling damage and stability damage (if relevant).
- The Horskr can lift most friendly unit types: mech, tank, turret, or BA.
- The Horskr can *not* lift superheavy mechs or other VTOLs.
How Does In-Mission Ammo Resupply and Armor Repair Work?
BTA v13.3 introduces in-mission ammo resupply and armor repair mechanics. To use these, you need to have the appropriate unit in your force (for ammo you need the J-27 Ammo Resupply Truck; for armor you need the Mobile Field Base). Once you have the appropriate unit deployed, all of your units will gain an activated ability (under the Active Abilities button on the hotbar) called Resupply. Here's how it works:
1. Select the unit needing resupply. From its active abilities, click on Resupply. 2. You will see a radius around the unit. Any legal resupply source inside that radius will be highlighted. 3. Click on the resupply source (the J-27 or Mobile Field Base), then click Confirm. 4. Both the resupplying and the resupplied unit will automatically shut down. They must remain shut down for 9 initiative phases. After 9 initiative phases, they can be restarted as normal. 5. That's it, you're resupplied!
- The J-27 and the Mobile Field Base do not have infinite resupply abilities, they both use a limited resource (that does cost you money at the end of the mission) to perform their resupplies. The Mobile Field Base uses Armor Repair points at a 1:1 ratio (1 point spent is 1 point repaired). The J-27 uses something called SPAMMY to perform its ammo resupply, this is a generic "ammo" that can refill anything at an inefficient rate. The precise functionality is a little complicated, but the upshot is that SPAMMY can refill anything.
- The Mobile Field Base can only repair *armor*. Structure damage, destroyed locations, and destroyed components will remain destroyed/damaged.
- The J-27 can refill most ammos. However, it cannot refill SPAMMY, Armor Repair ammo, the Arrow IV Davy Crockett, the Cruise Missile/50, or the Railgun. There *is* a unique ammo resupply unit for the Cruise Missile/50 though, the Burro Cruise Missile Truck, which you can buy from the Word of Blake faction store alongside the Kalki Cruise Missile tank.
- The J-27 *can* refill internal ammunition on weapons such as the Rifles, Cannons, Rockets, or Battle Armor weapons.
What is ScalingAIDifficulty (SAD) and how does it work?
ScalingAIDifficulty, or SAD, exists to make you SAD (kidding!). No, SAD is a system for making the AI more difficult based on player successes in missions. The core concept is to improve AI skill based on how well the player has been doing and to adjust it based on what has happened in missions (if bad things happen, the AI adjusts; if you crush the AI, the AI adjusts, etc). The basics of the system are that for each mission you win, the AI gains a SAD Point (exact number of points are adjustable via Difficulty Settings). Each SAD Point gives the AI a certain amount of stuff. Each time something bad happens to you (such as losing a pilot or a unit or withdrawing from a mission or somesuch), the AI loses some number of SAD Points. There are two Difficulty Settings available for SAD, one set at the start of a career and the other adjustable at any time. All of this is detailed below.
- The first setting is Initial Enemy Scaling and is set at the start of a career and cannot be adjusted afterwards. This just is a setting to say how many SAD Points the AI starts the game with. It has three settings: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Easy starts the AI with -5 SAD Points, Normal starts the AI with 0 SAD Points, and Hard starts the AI with 5 SAD Points. The default setting is Normal.
- The second setting is Enemy Scaling and can be adjusted at any time. This setting adjusts how many SAD Points the AI gains/loses anytime points are gained/lost. It has four settings: Disabled, Normal, Fast, and Faster. Disabled turns off SAD entirely. Normal sets the AI to gain/lose x1 points whenever points are gained/lost. Fast sets the AI to gain/lose x2 points whenever points are gained/lost. Faster sets the AI to gain/lose x3 points whenever points are gained/lost. The default setting is Normal.
SAD Point Gains/Losses: (all of the numbers below assume that Enemy Scaling is set to Normal, for Fast/Faster, multiply these numbers by x2/x3)
- Player Wins a Mission: The AI Gains 1 SAD Point.
- Player Retreats from a Mission: The AI Loses 1 SAD Point.
- Player Outright Loses a Mission: The AI Loses 3 SAD Points.
- Player has a Pilot Injured: The AI Loses 1 SAD Point.
- Player has a Pilot Killed: The AI Loses 5 SAD Points.
- Player loses a Mech: The AI Loses 3 SAD Points.
- Player loses a Tank: The AI Loses 1 SAD Point.
- Player loses a Battle Armor Squad: The AI Loses 1 SAD Point.
SAD Point Effects: For each positive SAD Point the AI has, it gains the following effects (they stack). If the AI has negative SAD Points, these are penalties instead.
- 1% Damage Reduction
- 2.5% AoE Damage Reduction
- +0.25 accuracy with all attacks
SAD Point Thresholds:
- The AI can have between 20 SAD Points and -5 SAD Points.
What are Factory Worlds?
Factory worlds are special planets on the star map that have special additions to their planetary shops. Factory worlds, as the name implies, are factories that produce things in-setting. What they produce is always for sale on them and what they produce varies between the factories (each factory makes something different after all). Some factories make laser or missile weapons, some make nothing but tanks, others are purely engines, and others have a mix of stuff. When you fly to a factory planet, it's recommended that you check the store to see what they make. Anything in unlimited amount is usually what they make, though if they make units there will only be 1 of each unit for sale at a time. Often, planets that make units such as mechs and tanks will also make things that those units use, such as weapons or engine cores or jump jets, etc.
There are two kinds of factories, denoted on the map with two different tags: Factory World and Factory World - Restricted. Factory World means it's a factory and it's open to the public: just show up and buy stuff. Factory World - Restricted means that it is restricted to only friends of the owning faction. A great example is Hesperus II, the most famous factory planet in Lyran space. Hesperus II produces a ridiculous amount of stuff... but only will sell to you if you're friends with the Lyrans. That just be how it is.
That's all there really is to say about factory worlds. It's pretty simple: show up, buy things, fly off to your next adventure. The factories themselves have a huge amount of content among them, often with mechs that aren't for sale anywhere else outside of faction stores, if that. There are entire planets that sell nothing but engine cores or huge racks of weapons for instance. Also, word to the wise? If you want a great selection (the best in the Inner Sphere), make friends with the Word of Blake and shop on Terra. Just a friendly piece of advice.
What is C3 and how does it work now??
C3 is an electronics system that links units together for better force cohesion. There are two C3 systems, standard C3 and C3i (or Improved C3). We'll discuss how both systems work in BTA in this FAQ post.
Standard C3 is composed of C3 Slave units and C3 Master units. The C3 slave is a 1 ton component that serves almost entirely to link the carrying unit into the C3 network (it also provides the carrying unit with very minor sensor/sight range bonuses). The C3 master is a 3 ton component that serves as a TAG-style weapon and comes with a special CT component that serves to link the master into the C3 network. A C3 master is required for a network to work. The C3 master also provides unique benefits to any units in a 120 meter radius around itself that are linked into the C3 network (via a slave or a master). Specifically it provides increased resolve gain for those units and it also permits those units to ignore 1 evasion with their weapon attacks against all enemy targets. However, these are the smaller benefits of C3, the major benefit is one gained by just being a part of the C3 network.
Units that are part of a C3 network calculate range to enemy targets differently than normal units do. Normally, units calculate range to the target from themselves, drawing a line from themselves to the target and calling that the range to target. However, C3-equipped units draw a line to the target *from the nearest C3-equipped in the network*, not necessarily the firing unit, as long as the firing unit is within maximum range on its guns and can physically reach the target. If the C3-equipped unit that is closest is actually within the firing unit's minimum range, then the range is calculated as being at exactly the minimum for those weapons (so there's no min-range penalties as the C3 system understands the firing unit is physically far enough away to not have min range penalties).
A practical example: Joe has a Cicada and a Nightstar, both of which have C3 slaves (linking them into a C3 network together). Joe moves his Cicada 3 hexes away from an enemy Catapult. On his next action, Joe decides to shoot the Catapult with the Nightstar, which is on a large hill 15 hexes away from the Catapult. However, because both units are equipped with C3 slaves, the Nightstar calculates its range penalties from the nearest C3-equipped unit to the Catapult, which is the Cicada at 3 hexes. Because the Nightstar's Gauss Rifles are within their maximum range, they can hit the Catapult as though they were only 3 hexes away. All other normal modifiers apply, but the range is considered to be 3 hexes, giving Joe's Nightstar a good accuracy boost despite the range. On the next turn though, Joe closes the Cicada to be adjacent to the Catapult. Now, when the Nightstar goes to attack it again, the range from the nearest C3-equipped unit is within the Gauss Rifles minimum range. However, C3 understands that the Nightstar is physically outside of min range and recalculates for the Gauss Rifles to be at their shortest non-minimum range distance so as not to give penalties.
As you can see, C3 is extremely powerful when used properly. However, C3 does have a critical weakness: it is cripplingly weak to ECM jamming. ECM of *any* kind, enemy or friendly, Guardian or Angel, that covers a unit instantly scrambles C3 systems, removing them from the C3 network. If jammed, a C3 will stay jammed even when removed from the C3 network unless the system is cycled off and then on again to re-link to the network (C3 Slaves and C3 Masters are activated components now, you can activate them in the weapon panel at the bottom, they start enabled automatically).
Improved C3, or C3i, is much the same as standard C3 in the range benefits. However, C3i has two big differences from standard C3. First, C3i does not have slaves and masters, just a single C3i system which provides area of effect benefits like a C3 Master does (specifically C3i provides a resolve gain bonus and a standard accuracy bonus to all C3i-equipped units in its radius). Second, and much more importantly, C3i is hardened against ECM and cannot be jammed by ECM either friendly or enemy. Otherwise, C3i behaves like standard C3 in terms of the way the range benefits function.
Hopefully, this is helpful in understanding how C3 works. Now, go out and engage with it!
What are the Sanctuary Worlds?
The Sanctuary Worlds are a new region of space on the starmap, complete with four new factions that inhabit them. These worlds and factions, as well as their technology, are entirely non-canon and unique to BTA. This FAQ will answer some of the most pressing questions for players as to how to interact with the Sanctuary Worlds and what their existence implies for BTA as a whole.
Question: Are they optional?
Answer: No, they're not an installer option. Yes, you can never interact with them if you don't want to. They're like the Clans in that if you never go looking for them, they'll never come looking for you either (technically, like the Clans, the factions can be random drop-ins during 3-way battle contracts, but that's it). If you don't want to interact with the Sanctuary Worlds, you have two options: -Option 1: Do not subscribe to MercNews at the start of your career. They are triggered to enter the map and start doing things by MercNews updates and without those events they'll never spawn. -Option 2: If you want the MercNews events but still don't want to interact with them, then don't interact with their WarTech IIC-powered war events on the map as they occur. The first wave of events happens in mid-March 3062 and is very obvious. Just ignore those events and don't participate in the wars and you'll be fine.
Question: Are they balanced?
Answer: Balance is a matter of taste but yes, I've tried very hard to keep them powerful and dangerous without being comically ridiculous. They're dangerous and I would not necessarily engage them with green pilots and bad starter mechs, but that's no different than my advice about the Clans so your mileage may vary. They're intended as mid-to-late game enemies and their space proper doesn't unlock until fairly late in a career accordingly.
Question: What combat units do they use? Do they have Battle Armor, for example?
Answer: The Sanctuary Worlds powers use BattleMechs (not OmniMechs), Combat Vehicles (such as tanks, hovercraft, and apcs), Turrets, and VTOLs in combat. Yes, they field VTOLs, bring a Rifleman. No, they do not use Battle Armor, you're welcome.
Question: Can I work for and ally with them?
Answer: Yes! The Sanctuary Alliance, the first faction you encounter, cannot be worked for. However, the other three Sanctuary Worlds factions (the Dane Sacellum, the Mallard Republic, and the Jacobson Haven) can be worked for once their space unlocks. They have unique faction stores, sell their own equipment, and many of the new mechs between them.
Question: Where is their space? I don't see anything new on the map!
Answer: The Sanctuary Worlds themselves, the planets, don't unlock immediately. They are hidden from view and travel until later in a career. The first batch unlocks in 3063, the second (larger) batch unlocks in 3064. This happens via MercNews events, so read the new events closely!
Question: There's not much story content here, what gives?
Answer: I ran out of time to make it. I had family coming soon and needed this to go out the door *before* they arrived. I have more story content, events and such, planned for post-release. I'd love to make a Flashpoint too, but my knowledge about that is limited. Never say never though!
Question: The stores on their planets have Inner Sphere stuff in them, what's that about?
Answer: They're much like the Clan shops in this regard. Making the stores *not* have IS stuff in them is actually a lot more complicated than you might think. When I was building the stores for BTA, I never considered that I'd ever want a store to intentionally *not* have IS tech in it so I never configured it so that's easily possible and I'm paying for that lack of insight now. It's possible to make them not have IS stuff, but it comes with some downsides that are annoying to try to fix. I'm working on it, but for now assume that merchants and trading ships beat you there and set up a market for IS toys.
Question: Do they have any new mechs or vehicles I can play with?
Answer: Yes! They have 17 mechs with new-to-BTA models you can salvage or eventually buy. They also have 1 new playable tank you can salvage or buy with a unique model that I think no one anywhere is using yet. Exciting stuff!
Question: Why does the Sanctuary's Supercharger boost run speed instead of walk speed like the Inner Sphere's Supercharger?
Answer: When the Sanctuary Worlds were founded, neither MASC nor Supercharger technology existed for BattleMechs. When they invented technology to accelerate a 'Mech's movement, they named it after the old supercharger technology from Terra that was used in cars. Just a case of convergent names and divergent effects.
Question: My drone cockpit mech got headshot and my pilot died! What gives???
Answer: The drone cockpit is not perfect. The "pilot" is remote controlling the drone via a neural connection. When the drone itself is destroyed the remote-controlling pilot suffers a terrible jolt of neural feedback, which is more than capable of killing. Try to not get headshot.
Question: It took you four months to make all this? Christ, you're fuckin' slow, hurry it up next time!
Answer: Yeah, took longer than I'd have liked, but that's life for you. Lot of "had to do other stuff" in the meanwhile. Also, I had the Big C for like a week which took me out of commission (not fun, do not recommend). It's here now though, so enjoy!
Question: You're the worst, this ruins BTA, I hate non-canon shit, fuck you, etc
Answer: Cool, no hard feelings, go enjoy one of the other major modpacks for HBS BT.
What is SPAM and how does it work?
SPAM is a newly added submod for BTA. The full name is SoldiersPiratesAssassinsMercs but we call it SPAM for ease of reference and because punny names are fun. What SPAM does is slightly complicated, but essentially it permits the dynamic replacement of OpFor factions with other, related, subfactions during the process of regular gameplay. It does this in a number of different ways, which I'll detail here because they have slightly different gameplay results. BTA uses SPAM for three main purposes: mercenary/pirate subfactions, major faction force divisions, and specialized location faction replacements. I'll detail all three in order.
MERCENARY/PIRATE SUBFACTIONS: For patch 15.2 I have made approximately 60 mercenary groups and pirate bands and I have used SPAM functionality to dynamically add them to OpFor lists as replacement or supplemental factions during combat. What this means is that almost every non-Clan "major" faction (such as Davion, Kurita, Liao, Taurians, Marians, Word of Blake, etc) has some number of mercenary subfactions with their own names, unit insignias, and unit spawn lists. These mercenaries can either *replace* the main faction or *supplement* the main faction during combat. Let's use a practical example: you, the player, drop into a contract against the Federated Suns. Some amount of the time, instead of facing Federated Suns units in this combat you will instead face one of their associated mercenary units (let's say it's the Federated Freemen mercenary company for this example). The Federated Freemen can either fully replace the Federated Suns units (meaning you face no true Federated Suns units but instead face only Federated Freemen units) *or* they can replace a MissionControl-added support lance to back up the Federated Suns main lance (in which case you face both the Federated Suns and the Federated Freemen backing them up). SPAM does this on the fly, you'll never be sure who you're facing today, though you are always more likely to face your intended OpFor than their pet mercenaries as the main force. For full clarity, against most factions (see below for exceptions) you have a 40% chance for them to be replaced by a mercenary faction and the support lance has a 75% chance to be replaced by a mercenary faction (note: if the main OpFor is replaced, any support lances are of the same group, you can't get two mercenary replacements in a contract).
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT ABOVE: There are three in-game factions that are a little different: Local Goverment, Mercenaries (the faction), and Aurigan Pirates (the local pirates faction). Local Gov and Mercenaries have always been considered to be "placeholders" for random no-name mercenary units who are sent out to fight you. However, because we now have more than 60 possible canonical mercenary companies for you to fight, they have almost entirely been replaced. When you drop against Local or Mercenaries, you have a 90% chance for total faction replacement to represent that there are real mercs running around working for whoever. The Aurigan Pirates are also a little different. They too have always been a "placeholder" faction like Local or Mercenaries and they too have a very high total faction replacement chance, in this case 70%, and the same 99% chance for support lance replacement. The reason this is a little lower is because there's only 6 pirate bands to call upon so having the "generic" Aurigan Pirates remain a thing seemed reasonable. If we get more unique pirate bands in the future, the Aurigan Pirates will likely receive the same 90% replacement chance that Locals and Mercenaries have right now.
'BRIBERY': With the above mercenaries and pirates, if they are exclusively a support lance and not a full OpFor replacement, you may be offered the opportunity to bribe them to leave without fighting you. You will receive a popup asking you how much you wish to offer them and the rough chances of success on your bribe. If you offer a bribe, they always take half up front no matter what (you lose this money, guaranteed). If they then accept the bribe, you loose the other half of your offer and they immediately withdraw from the battle. If they refuse your bribe, they laugh at you, keep the half, and shoot at you anyways. Different mercenary companies have different odds of accepting your bribe, based on their canon MRBC ratings (the higher the rating, the less likely they are to take a bribe). This is not easily communicated to the player, but assume that the big players like the Wolf's Dragoons and the Eridani Light Horse are unlikely to take your bribe while the shitty tier guys like Clean Kill or Bullard's Armored Cavalry are more likely to take your bribe. Also, all the pirates are decently likely to take bribes (because pirate).
MAJOR FACTION FORCE DIVISIONS: SPAM has other functions too, such as permitting large-scale faction divisions. You may have noticed above that I said "non-Clan" factions have subfactions. This is because the Clans use SPAM differently. See, in Clan culture and lore, there is a firm division between front-line forces and second-line forces. The front-line forces are the premier warriors of the Clan. They get the best assignments and the best Mechs (specifically, they get the good OmniMechs such as the Timber Wolf). The second-line forces are the garrison troops. They get no honor or respect and have to make due with IIC Mechs, old Star League gear, and old Golden Century refits and such. They rarely get OmniMechs and the ones they do get are old and rather bad (such as the Lupus). Using SPAM, I have replicated this division in Clan society. Now, when you take a contract against a Clan, let's say Clan Wolf, you have a chance of fighting either the front-line warriors (here called Clan Wolf) or the second-line garrison troops (here called Clan Wolf Epsilon Galaxy) and these two forces field appropriate units. Clan Wolf only fields advanced OmniMechs and other highly honorable Mechs (such as the Orion IIC which is given only to the best of the Clan) while Epsilon Galaxy fields old IIC and Star League stuff and fields almost no OmniMechs worth a damn. All four major Clans have this division (Ghost Bear, Jade Falcon, Wolf, Nova Cat). Each Clan has a 30% chance for full faction replacement on a drop (so Epsilon Galaxy will be the primary OpFor on a Clan Wolf mission 30% of the time) and a 60% chance for a support lance replacement (where they are backing up the front-line warriors).
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT ABOVE: The Word of Blake also has this same functionality but employs it for the WoB Protectorate Militia. Certain units are restricted to the cream of the crop for the Word of Blake (such as the Celestials, the Omega, the Nagual, etc) while the Protectorate Militia gets worse toys because they're the bulk of the WoB's military and don't get to have the really fancy stuff. The Protectorate Militia has a 40$ chance for full faction replacement and a 70% chance for support lance replacement.
BRIBERY: None of the above subfactions can be bribed.
SPECIALIZED LOCATION FACTION REPLACEMENTS: Finally, SPAM has one more functionality. Using SPAM, it is possible to have certain factions always be available faction replacements *or* be valid extra third-party hostile-to-all enemies but only on certain planets. We use this functionality in two places: the Chaos March and the St. Ives war. The Chaos March, if you're unfamiliar, is that group of neutral Local Gov planets in the heart of the Inner Sphere. On those worlds, no matter who you are doing contracts against, there are four mercenary commands that may show up to fight you. These forces are Winfield's Regiment, Jacob's Juggernauts, Lindon's Battalion, and the Tooth of Ymir (also, on the world of Northwind, you can run into the Northwind Highlanders because it's literally their planet). They can either replace the OpFor or they can replace the support lance. If they replace the support lance, they will *always* be set to hostile-to-all such that they will just shoot at *everyone*. It's called the Chaos March for a reason!
In the St. Ives conflict, the Eridani Light Horse was sent here by the Second Star League to try and pacify the region. The ELH can replace the OpFor or replace the support lance and can also be hostile-to-all, same as in the Chaos March. Note that even after Ives surrenders in 3063, the ELH will remain on those worlds to help keep the fragile peace.
BRIBERY: None of the above subfactions can be bribed.
Ok, that was a lot of reading, but it should give you an impression of how powerful and versatile SPAM is. If you want a detailed list of all the mercenary units and pirate bands currently active in the Inner Sphere and who they are working for, there is a list linked below. I hope that you enjoy the verisimilitude of the Inner Sphere and all the other mercs running around out there for your enjoyment! Have fun, MechWarriors!
Wiki Page Listing Mercenary and Pirate Units: https://www.bta3062.com/index.php?title=List_of_Mercenary_Factions_For_SPAM
What's the deal with Mech Bay 2??
Basically, Mech Bay 2 is a little weird. You'll need the upgrade to use it, even though you can see it from the start of the game; you can't move mechs between mechbay 1 and mechbay 2; when you pull a mech out of storage as a full mech, it can only go into Mech Bay 1; otherwise it works as you might expect. Because of Mech Bay 2's weirdness, bloodydoves made a brief video about how Mech Bay 2 operates.
Bullet Points for Patch v16.0 MechLab Update
In patch v16.0, BTA heavily updated the MechLab interface in many ways. This FAQ post covers most of the changes and only makes sense in context of coming from a patch before v16.0 *to* patch v16.0. Read on for more details.
1). There are five new hardpoint types (well, really four + one): Artillery, Melee Weapons, Bomb Bays, Battle Armor, and Omni. Omni hardpoints are just a visual convenience and work like they always have, it's just clearer visually. Battle Armor is also simple: all battle armor units now use the Battle Armor hardpoint and all BA weapons have been swapped to it, meaning things like the BA Support PPC are now easier to move around. The Melee Weapon hardpoint is purely visual, melee weapons are still all hardwired but now in salvage you can hover over a mech and see the orange hardpoint icon to know if a mech has a melee weapon. Bomb Bays are a LAM-only hardpoint for the bomb weapons that have been in BTA for awhile. They're now orange and take their own hardpoint, very easy to understand. The big change is the Artillery hardpoint, which applies to Thumpers/Snipers/Long Toms/Arrow IVs/Siroccos. These now take their own hardpoint, a dark red colored one, and no longer count as "ballistic" or "missile" weapons. If you had one of these on a mech before, you may no longer be able to use it unless that mech also gained the hardpoint (the only mechs that did were mechs that come with one of these by default). The exception is that artillery also fits on the Omni hardpoint (bombs, melee weapons, and BA guns do not). Note: a number of superheavies have also gained the Artillery hardpoint.
2). There is a new item type, the Weapon Attachment. These are a little complicated and I cover them in detail in the above video but basically they are small pieces of gear that "attach" to appropriate weapons and give the weapon a new mode with changed effects. Artemis IV/Apollo are now weapon attachments instead of cockpit items, the PPC Capacitor is now an attachment instead of a piece of generic gear, and every accuracy/evasion ignore TTS has been depreciated in favor of 13 weapon category specific FCS attachments instead. All of these are in faction stores, general stores, and are relatively inexpensive so you can easily acquire them. However, it does mean that if you have any of the *old* items (old ArtIV/Apollo/PPC Cap/TTS) they are now non-functional and listed as DEPRECIATED. You will need to remove them from your mechs and sell them (and in the case of ArtIV/Apollo you'll need to swap that ammo out until you can get the new attachments). Finally, there's a brand-new-to-BTA weapon attachment, the Laser Insulator, which attaches to lasers and reduces their heat slightly (this is also available in stores generally).
3). There are several changes to the filters in the MechLab for gear. Weapon Attachments have their own filter now, as makes sense. Bombs have their own filter as well. The Artillery filter now is *just* artillery hardpoint weapons, with things like Mortars/Bombards moving to other filters. Finally, the Support Weapon filter has been divided into two categories since one filter was getting unwieldy: "Physical" Support Weapons (uses the old icon from vanilla, contains MGs/Flamers/Sprayers/Mech Grenade Launcher/etc) and Energy Support Weapons (uses a new starburst icon, contains Small/Micro Lasers, TAG, COIL, etc). If something isn't where it used to be, just look around a little, it's still in there somewhere, promise. Some ammos have moved filters too to match their weapons being shuffled around, keep an eye out for where everything went.
4). The TTS head items are gone. Now, there are 13 weapon-class specific FCS weapon attachments that do a similar job. There are attachments for Artillery, Autocannon, Plasma, Mortar, TAG, MG, Thunderbolt, Gauss, PPC, Laser, LRM, SRM, and "Periphery" weapons. Weapons now tell you what attachments they can take (not every weapon can take an attachment, please check the description on your weapon to be sure). Most of these only increase accuracy and evasion ignore, but the TAG and MG attachments are a little different. TAG now adds damage to the weapon and the MG attachment adds 1 extra "shot" to each fire mode of the MG (so the MG now effectively has x2/x3/x4 instead of x1/x2/x3 for instance).
5). Artemis IV and Apollo need a little extra space to talk about. They now require attachments, as mentioned above, but they're also now *exclusionary*: if you have Artemis IV, you *only* have Artemis IV and cannot have other ammo types for the same weapon. Same with Apollo. Note that this only applies for launchers that can take Artemis IV/Apollo, other weapons can mount ammo as normal (so you can have a Streak SRM and a LRM using Artemis, for instance). To counteract this downside, they've been made more powerful to compensate. ArtIV now is more accurate and also includes a clustering modifier which means the missiles are more likely to group together. Apollo now is more accurate as well but also increases missile damage by 1 (standard MRM ammo is still inaccurate but also includes a clustering modifier by default so the missiles group together better, making it a reasonable choice compared to Apollo). Further note: if you have Artemis IV on one launcher on a mech, you need it on ALL launchers on that mech, since you cannot mount non-Artemis ammo on a mech with ArtIV equipped (same for Apollo, no mixing ammos).
6). Actuator Changes: OmniMechs now use standard base actuators instead of special "OmniMech" actuators, which served no real purpose anymore. If you have an OmniMech with hardwired lower/hand actuators, you'll need to store and re-ready it to fix them properly. Additionally, Quads now use leg actuators in all four legs! This means the old "front leg"/"hind leg" actuators are redundant and need to be removed for your quads to be drop legal. Easy, if a little annoying. Just pull them off and sell them.
7). The rounding for weights in the MechLab have been adjusted and you'll notice a little bit of extra tonnage on most of your mechs (to the tune of 0.0036 tons or something similar). This is expected, don't worry about it. Instead of hitting precisely 0 remaining tonnage, you'll generally be able to get to -0.001 tons remaining, which is basically zeroed out. This is not a bug, don't report it.
8). The actual icons for hardpoints has changed. Now, hardpoint icons are color-coded such that the relevant weaponry matches the color. Now (for example) the Energy hardpoint icon is green, just the same as any weapon *on* that hardpoint (such as lasers or PPCs). Additionally, up where the hardpoints appear, there are a few more icons that have a heat sink icon. The first one will say something like ``12/10``. This icon indicates how many total heat sinks your mech possesses. If you have less than 10, it will be colored red to indicate you have insufficient heat sinks to be drop legal. The second icon will say something like ``E 0/2``. This indicates if your mech possesses the ability to accept an E-Cooling item and how large of one if so (in this case, your mech can accept up to an E-Cooling +2 but currently has no E-Cooling equipped; if you had a E-Cooling +1 equipped the widget would say ``E 1/2``).