Mechwarrior 4 controls set-up

edited May 2003 in Gaming

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    I got Mechwarrior 4 for cheap recently and it looks quite sweet. (Got Black Knight too, tho I haven't installed it yet.) I've been futzing around trying to get started with it -- I don't have much joystick-using experience, and the last MW game I played was MW2 (I think). So I got some questions... let's see if Nate or someone is out there listening. :-)

    My stick is a Sidewinder Precision 2. 8-way hat, and 8 other buttons including the trigger. When I first got the stick it was an unpleasant surprise to find out that it didn't have a "shift" button, but since it's nice in other aspects (and since Fry's didn't have any other stick that looked good to me) I've stuck with it. Unfortunately this means I'm sort of button-limited in MW4. I'm trying to set up a usable config; figured I might as well ask about it to possibly save myself the trouble of massive re-configuration later.

    I'm assigning one of the buttons to be the "shift" key. This lets me double-function the other buttons as long as I don't assign macros to them, since the MW4 controls setup can recognize shift-plus-button type input. The exception seems to be the hat; MW4 will allow me to assign things like shift-hat-up, but then in-game that will just behave like hat-up. Anyone know if there's a fix for that?

    If not, then that means I've got the 8-way hat plus up to 14 other button assignments (one of the 8 buttons dedicated to shift, the other 7 buttons able to be shifted). The main thing I'm trying to decide is which of the zillion MW4 commands are important to have at your fingertips, and which aren't.

    Right now I have the hat in its default behavior, i.e. using it to glance left/right/up/down.

    The main trigger is set to fire the selected weapon group (unshifted), or target whatever is in my reticule (shifted).

    Big button 2 up near the hat is zoom (unshifted) or coolant flush (shifted).

    Button 3 up near the hat is next weapon group (unshifted) or toggle weapon mode (shifted).

    Button 4 up near the hat is target next enemy (unshifted) or target nearest enemy (shifted).

    Button 5 is jump jets (unshifted) or crouch (shifted).

    Button 6 is next navpoint (unshifted) or toggle map (shifted).

    Button 7 is the shift key.

    Button 8 is toggle radar range (unshifted) or toggle passive sensors (shifted).

    So have I left out something important, or assigned something totally useless?

    A few of the things I'm specifically wondering about, after playing a little:

    - Is it really workable to use "next weapon group" to cycle among the groups, or should I just dedicate buttons to firing groups 1, 2, and 3?
    - Is it going to be important to be able to use groups 4, 5, and 6?
    - Is it important to be able to cycle through the camera positions (V on the keyboard)?
    - Is crouching important?
    - Is there often a reason to change weapon mode, i.e. to fire individual guns rather than groups?

    Well, that's the gist. Also, if there's a good website or forum for MW4, lemme know! Thanks...
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Okay:[/b]

    [quote]
    I got Mechwarrior 4 for cheap recently and it looks quite sweet.
    (Got Black Knight too, tho I haven't installed it yet.) I've
    been futzing around trying to get started with it -- I don't
    have much joystick-using experience, and the last MW game I
    played was MW2 (I think). So I got some questions... let's see
    if Nate or someone is out there listening. :-)

    My stick is a Sidewinder Precision 2. 8-way hat, and 8 other
    buttons including the trigger. When I first got the stick it was
    an unpleasant surprise to find out that it didn't have a
    "shift" button, but since it's nice in other aspects
    (and since Fry's didn't have any other stick that looked good to
    me) I've stuck with it. Unfortunately this means I'm sort of
    button-limited in MW4. I'm trying to set up a usable config;
    figured I might as well ask about it to possibly save myself the
    trouble of massive re-configuration later.

    [/quote]
    I didn't use a shift button with my MS FF2 joystick, so you may find in multiplayer that you don't often need those extra buttons.

    [quote]
    I'm assigning one of the buttons to be the "shift"
    key. This lets me double-function the other buttons as long as I
    don't assign macros to them, since the MW4 controls setup can
    recognize shift-plus-button type input. The exception seems to
    be the hat; MW4 will allow me to assign things like
    shift-hat-up, but then in-game that will just behave like
    hat-up. Anyone know if there's a fix for that?

    [/quote]
    Not to my knowledge.

    [quote]
    If not, then that means I've got the 8-way hat plus up to 14
    other button assignments (one of the 8 buttons dedicated to
    shift, the other 7 buttons able to be shifted). The main thing
    I'm trying to decide is which of the zillion MW4 commands are
    important to have at your fingertips, and which aren't.

    Right now I have the hat in its default behavior, i.e. using it
    to glance left/right/up/down.

    [/quote]
    Most people play multiplayer in 3rd person perspective, which allows you to look over hills easily, and which also makes the look left/right buttons fairly useless. The poor cockpit design in MW4 also tends to make those useless. Look down is only useful if you jump over people a lot, or attempt a lot of DFAs (Death from above, where you aim your feet at their cockpit to knock them down, quite difficult in MW4). I assigned my down to look behind me, where you can't fire but can keep track of your support or that little bugger circling you. I had up assigned to change my map status from radar to terrain I believe, which is sometimes useful if you aren't familiar with the map.

    [quote]
    The main trigger is set to fire the selected weapon group
    (unshifted), or target whatever is in my reticule (shifted).

    [/quote]
    Reticle targetting isn't generally that useful in multiplayer, especially in 3rd person where you generally run radar dark.

    [quote]
    Big button 2 up near the hat is zoom (unshifted) or coolant
    flush (shifted).

    [/quote]
    You may want coolant flush on a primary button, but I used my button 2 for zoom as well, it's a mission critical ability in MP.

    [quote]
    Button 3 up near the hat is next weapon group (unshifted) or
    toggle weapon mode (shifted).

    [/quote]
    I had my button three and four, near the hat, for firing weapon group two and three; usually if I have mixed ranges I assign them all to group one for the big alpha, the longest ranged weapons to group 2 for sniping, and the shorter ranged or continuous fire weapons to group 3 for infighting or rapid fire. This makes select next weapon group unecessary, as 'selecting' it only means it now fires on your main trigger. Toggle weapon mode I only found useful in the solo game.

    [quote]
    Button 4 up near the hat is target next enemy (unshifted) or
    target nearest enemy (shifted).

    [/quote]
    I had this on my nearest button for my left (Off) hand on the base of the stick. Target nearest can be useful in MP, but not terribly, so it's a good shifted action.

    [quote]
    Button 5 is jump jets (unshifted) or crouch (shifted).

    [/quote]
    Now here there's a bit of controversy. Evidently the joystick buttons provide less reliable input than the keyboard, so most people simply stuck their jets on the spacebar and used it for precision jumping; this is the tack I took as well although I also had a button for it. In general I found it difficult to jump precisely with my stick, and in the jump sniping style common in BK and Mercs the precision of your jump is crucial. You want your weapons to clear the hill without exposing more of your mech, or 'hanging' up exposed for too long. Experience will tell you what you find best.

    [quote]
    Button 6 is next navpoint (unshifted) or toggle map (shifted).

    [/quote]
    Not useful in multiplayer, I had button six (For me, caty-corner to my select next enemy and the furthest from my hand position) set to override shutdown. In BK heat isn't calculated correctly, when you reach the top of the scale any additional heat generated is not counted, so once you understand the timing of your weapons vs heatsink count you can take just enough heatsinks to cool you below the suicide point (8400 degrees I believe) and never worry about a suicide, barring lag of course, even if you constantly run in the red. Mercs fixed this bug and disallows multiple overrides, so it's less useful but still fairly crucial to have available so you can get that one extra shot off before you collapse into just a target.

    [quote]
    Button 7 is the shift key.

    Button 8 is toggle radar range (unshifted) or toggle passive
    sensors (shifted).

    [/quote]
    Radar range won't be useful in MP, and going radar dark (Passive sensors) will, so consider reversing that order.

    [quote]
    So have I left out something important, or assigned something
    totally useless?

    [/quote]
    There's nothing really useless, but... I think if you intend to do much MP you'll find several of those keys to be replaceable.

    [quote]
    A few of the things I'm specifically wondering about, after
    playing a little:

    - Is it really workable to use "next weapon group" to
    cycle among the groups, or should I just dedicate buttons to
    firing groups 1, 2, and 3?

    [/quote]
    I dedicate always so I can easily fire at any range at a moment's notice. Most MP mech configs are boats (i.e. all of one weapon type or range) so you'll mostly be using an alpha on your main trigger, but if you do mix you'll want to have that 2nd and 3rd group available instantly. Selecting weapon groups is slow and annoying, so I'm betting you'll want to dedicate as well.

    [quote]
    - Is it going to be important to be able to use groups 4, 5, and
    6?

    [/quote]
    No. Selecting weapon mode (Chain fire vs alpha) will be better than splitting your weapons into 6 different groups, especially since you'll rarely carry 6 different weapons.

    [quote]
    - Is it important to be able to cycle through the camera
    positions (V on the keyboard)?

    [/quote]
    Generally you're either a 1rst person player and stick to Force First Person servers, or you're always in 3rd person. Sometimes it's easier to line up long range continuous fire (Clan UAC2s for example) in 1rst person, but almost everything else is easier in 3rd person. That said, I play the solo game in 1rst person because it's just more fun that way, but for competitive purposes 3rd person is inherently superior.

    [quote]
    - Is crouching important?

    [/quote]
    Not mission critical, but occassionally useful. It's never the kind of thing you need to do instantly, but if you're behind a barely adequate ridge and someone just dropped 100LRMs on you it can definitely help to crouch and try to guide them into the ridgeline. Some people have mastered the 'jump crouch' and thus minimize their profile, but it's difficult to do and sometimes causes mis-jumps, which made me not ever bother to do it.

    [quote]
    - Is there often a reason to change weapon mode, i.e. to fire
    individual guns rather than groups?

    [/quote]
    Not often, the exception being the RAC weapons in Mercs (Merc, btw, is the latest expansion pack where most of the league play is currently) which will jam if fired non-stop.

    [quote]
    Well, that's the gist. Also, if there's a good website or forum
    for MW4, lemme know! Thanks...

    [/quote]
    A couple of sites I like, each with their own crowd:

    http://www.mektek.net/

    (Good maps and DLs, but been having hosting problems lately)

    http://www.mw4online.com/

    (Decent forums, good general info and news, some DLs)

    http://www.dropshipcommand.com/

    (A good MW4 crowd, but a better BattleTech crowd; if you're into the larger universe. Lots of stat monkeys here who can answer your any detailed question.)

    http://www.teambanzai.net/index.php

    (A very CP-like clan of Mechwarriors who host good Mercs servers and have decent forums and a very broad membership.)

    http://www.alpha-strike.net/

    (These guys make good custom maps, including some solo campaigns I believe)

    http://stats.zone.com/fcgi-bin/Display?gt=MW4&gm=all&uid=0&page=m&view=p

    (MW4 BK stats tracking for MP, the Mercs version is really inferior)

    http://db.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/mechwarrior_4_black_knight.txt

    (A walkthrough for the BK campaign. I doubt you'll need it.)

    http://www.talonsplace.com/ib3/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi

    (This is the webpage of the clan I'm a member of, there's very little here unless you're a member. ;-)

    That's, err, a ton to get started with. If you need anything else, ask away.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Thanks

    That covers it!
  • edited December 1969
    Mighty Fine Answer, Rams

    Hailz!

    I had been away from MW4 for almost a year, but I did get the latest MW4 Mercenaries and I play one or two MultiPlayer maps b4 I go to bed each nite.

    Since I ONLY play in first person mode.... My controls are set up a bit differently, and there is no need to go over them after what Ramses has done.

    I do LOVE the Force Feedback Effects in this game, and my MS Force Feedback TWO is the finest JS I've ever used.

    BTW... I have a practicaly new Saitek Cyborg 3D USB... NON-FF JS available for 20 bucks to whoever would like it. I'll even ship domestic for free. E-mail me if interested.

    N8
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Mighty Fine Answer, Rams

    I had been away from MW4 for almost a year, but I did get the
    latest MW4 Mercenaries and I play one or two MultiPlayer maps b4
    I go to bed each nite.

    I'm still pretty damn far behind in the MW product cycle apparently...

    S'ok, that about matches how far behind my skillz are. Yesterday I mastered "not moonwalking against buildings while I try to get the torso re-aligned".

  • edited December 1969
    Heh

    Any time you want a wingman for some BK action it's just a matter of changing CDs (And getting used to the heat bug again ;-).

    Ramses II
Sign In or Register to comment.