I don't disagree that the game was rushed, but I do disagree that the game is 'half-assed' or 'baaaaaad.' They had to release early, that's all. This characterization that they're 'halfassing it and relying on modders to fix their game' is coming entirely from hypercritical internet people, most of whom have no idea how a game is made.
I think I have a pretty good handle on how games are made, thank you. I
am calling it half-assed and bad. The game was announced in December 2016, with an original projected release date in 2018. PGI already had years of experience in making a Mechwarrior at that point; there was a huge library of assets that they could draw on.
Basically, once they had finished porting assets from Cry over to UE, they should have been able to get a good head start on making missions and maps. You should be painfully aware of how much of an advantage that can be in game design.
Then the game was delayed. In December 2018, PGI pushed the release date back to September 19, then, in July, to December 19. So, with 3 years of development time, what was the game they shipped? A decent enough skirmish game, an economy and a whole lot of procgen to automatically generate what game designers didn't. A rudimentary story without any character and without any real characters. The contrast to Battletech, which has a design brief that is largely identical to MW5M is stark.
Measured against its kin, MW5M is disappointing. Measured against Battletech, it is downright insulting
They have plans for patching and DLC for months to come to add to their base game.
So does Anthem. Them announcing that they have a plan does not mean they will execute that plan.
If you want to look at game launches that were similar, how about No Man's Sky?
Hah. No. Try again.
See, No Man's Sky was disappointing because it was hyped up beyond reason by the developers and the community. It still shipped in a playable state, it still offered an experience that was fulfilling if you didn't really go into it with preconceptions.
MW5M exists in a different context. It exists in a context where the other MWM games and Battletech exist. These are games that all prominently featured curated content, that all had decent gameplay and rythms. For MW5M to discard all that in favour of what feels like a live-service skeleton is in no way comparable to what happened with NMS.
Mechwarrior 5 did ship most of what it was promising, and it looks like it has lots of room to grow.
I don't know about you, but I do not buy games based on what they could be 2 years after release. MW5 could become good with a bunch of work, yes. I'd still rather live in a world where PGI cancelled the game because it didn't come together or delayed it further than have it be released in the state it is currently in.
It doesn't surprise me that modders were able to quickly find a lot of easy adds to the game, because it looks like they had a lot planned that they had to cut for time, once you poke around the game files. Something like adding IK to mechs, as a mod, just requires the modder to hook up the plugin. Adding it to a game you intend to ship means you have to test and adjust it for each mech, on varied terrain. I don't doubt they intended to do it, and I expect the mod has all kinds of edge cases where legs go all weird.
They had 3 ****ing years
. They had all the models and all the skeletons ready to go from Day 1. Do not expect me to believe that it takes so long to port something from CryEngine to UE, or to get from that point to having a map generation pipeline set up. More importantly, these are not new problems that require deep research.