More or less everything is in place by now regarding the mecha rules update, it'll just be a couple more rounds of testing with some editing passes until it is done. I can only really sit down to work on it during weekends and during the rare all-nighter in the middle of the week, so it'll be a handful of weeks more until it is here.
In the meantime, let's have a look at some of the content I've been hinting at but not actually sharing beyond super vague statements, starting with Mecha Attributes!
The six returning stats are divided into two sets. The first set is slightly weaker, so they tend to start higher and be cheaper to raise, consisting of Evasion, Threshold, and Penetration. The second set is slightly stronger, so they tend to start lower and be more expensive to enhance, consisting of Armor, Energy, and Accuracy.
Enhancement costs are 1/2/3/4/5 and 2/4/6/8/10. You can get enhancements during character creation with your starting 30 UP, but that is still not enough to top out an unit. Fully enhancing all your stats used to cost 40, now it costs a whooping 135. Suffice to say that is way over what one is expected to get over the course of an entire, super long campaign spanning months.
By contrast, most Upgrades are cheaper (they are bought fully enhanced, and often cheaper than at the current cost of the upgrade and enhancement combined) Weapons remain more or less the same as far as costs go, but you're probably going to get a handful of Cost 5 ones and call it a day.
Why such a radical change from before? Because getting all the enhancements was a crazy good idea earlier, to the point it wasn't much of a choice - unless you had tons of stuff to enhance, you just did it. These modified costs mean that you can get anything but not everything. You want to be the fast guy, or the glass cannon, or the energizer bunny, you can do it and it is your thing. You're special, not just a little bit better than the rest at something.
The Mecha Attributes Themselves
Evasion is very good early on, not so good later on. Tension is harsh on dodge tanks, and of course they live by trusting on the edge by the luck of the dice that they won't get hit. It is cheaper than Armor because it just isn't as reliable at nullifying incoming damage.
Armor is great at this whole keeping you alive business at all stages of the game. In a vacuum it is the best of all stats, but against real opponents there are just too many ways to punch through or counter high-Armor builds. It remains more expensive than Evasion, though, simply because most of the time it is better.
Threshold still equates to four points of health per point in it, which sounds good on paper until you realize having 40 total Threshold is worthless if you are getting attacked for 20 in round 1 because you can't soak for crap. It is a good supplement to the other defensive stats, so it belongs in the group of the cheaper ones.
Energy is probably the most surprising change here, as one of the most expensive stats. Each point of Energy is now that much more valuable, but in turn the things that do require Energy have been strengthened considerably. Abilities that restore Energy are more widely available now, but are not as reliable.
Accuracy, more expensive compared to Penetration because effects that grant the full rollover to it are more common. It is therefore a slightly better offensive stat, since a high enough bonus in it can counter both Evasion and Armor, though it can be replaced by lucky dice rolls.
Penetration is the other guy getting a big makeover, mostly because it is no longer rolled. As such, each point of Armor is that much better. But Penetration is super cheap to pick up and there's very little they can do to counter that if you go crazy with it.
Maneuverability is our seventh stat. Wait, what? Well yes, it is there as the 'skill' stat to handle what the other Attributes don't, things like Initiative, Jury-Rigging, and miscellaneous things such as using your sensors or managing Gear subsystems. It is rarely rolled, though, and is not a stat proper but instead uses your Genre Points as a base. As an optional mechanic, you can replace Genre Points with one of your pilot stats to actually let your PC do the fine manipulation of their Gear.
Currently Chassis types are going from one extreme of the speedy and energy-based type to the other extreme in being tanky and... tankier. That's gone. Every Chassis type has its own niche now. Personal is about speed and precision, Destroyer is about firepower, and Titanic is king of endurance. Dynamic gets to be the all-rounder of the bunch.
Kinda sorta. Destroyer can also be a pretty good all-around tank, Dynamic can be almost as good as the Personal model as a dodgy type, Personal can do better artillery than the Destroyer and Titanic... Well, they're really good tanks.
Now, some numbers: Non-Titanic starting Evasion values range from 5 to 10 (Titanic has 0), Armor goes from 2 to 7. Threshold is more or less as is now, Energy is at 5 or 6, and both starting Accuracy and Penetration go from 0 to 3 depending on the Chassis model.
You might have noticed that Hybrid is gone, and if you didn't then I am making sure you do right now. Yes, Hybrid is no more. It effectively got displaced in nearly every meaningful way by Dynamic, and so it went to a nicer place. A minute of silence please.
Okay, moving on.
What does this all mean? The summary is that the rock-paper-scissors effect of hyper-specialization is diminished, because doing so actually takes effort now. But at the same time if you do pull it off, by picking the specialized Chassis and sucking up the increased costs, you stand to reap better rewards from it because when you're good you're good.
On the GM/Designer side of things a lot of discrepancies with the combat math have been issued, and it is a lot tighter now. It used to be that all rounders would die horribly even against highly specialized attacks, but now they last about the same as defensive specialists against most things, and of course defensive specialists are shot down faster when they do get countered.
And that's a wrap for now, next up are Weapons.