Friday, September 21, 2012

MasterUnitList v2.0

Ok, design work has now begun on the new MasterUnitList.  The official MasterUnitList was just updated, though buggy I think it looks a bit better.  They did implement quick strike cards, but they are all text and would require you do a screenshot, jump to paint, paste, then crop the image to print it.  I'm sure they did this to save CPU on the web server, storage on the web server, and probably most of all bandwidth, but oh well.

The MasterUnitList 2.0, well, my BattleTech Encyclopedia 2.0, will have a LOT of new features.  I'll list them here, feel free to chime in any ideas you may have for it:

  • A fully functional phpBB forum to discuss all things BattleTech, with far less censorship and moderation (if you want to be a mod, apply now!) as I am not a company :)
  • A fully functional real time chat engine that supports die rollers and I'll add any tables such as random unit tables, Xotl's tables, location tables, etc.  It should run on your phone, and may help people play.
  • Battletech record sheets for *everything*.  That includes things like warships, buildings, mobile structures, and even characters for ATOW/RPG.
  • The website and chat logins will be the same as the forum password.
  • You can create your own lists of units.  Create your own 2nd ACR, add all the units of any kind you want to the list, and print them out as QS, BF, or BT.  When you print, the output can be PNG or PDF.
  • You can share your unit lists with some people, or everybody.
  • The ability to search for units based on ANY criteria.  Want to find units with only 100 shots of MG ammo?  Done!
  • You lists of units also map to lists of characters, so you can give each unit a pilot from your list (or have them randomly generated).
  • All units in your list, as well as all personnel, can have all their attributes modified.  Want to use up some ammo on some units?  How about apply damage or do crits?  What about a refit?  Or give the unit some heat.  All will be implemented.
  • With a single click, you can get the BV of a unit list, the time it takes to repair it, the cost of repairs, my own strategic scale battleforce data for a unit of any size, average armor or damage over the whole unit, heck, the sky is the limit :)
  • A page to verify designs.  Not really a unit builder yet, but you'll be able to put in all the info, and it'll create a QS/BT/BF card, tell you the overall cost/BV/etc, and let you know if some rules  were broken in the design.
  • Battle simulator.  Specify 2 units, give a range, give pilot skills, give modifiers to hit, and the simulator will determine with those circumstances, which unit will triumph and how often.
  • Bug submission button on most pages to help me fix things you find that are broken.
  • I *might* give the ability to export to megamek/SSW/etc, but I'm not real sure yet.  If I do, I'll probably be able to create an entity list for megamek scenarios based on your own unit lists.
  • I *might* give the ability to upload your own record sheet backgrounds, but you'll have to spend some time configuring it if number layout is different than the ones I already did.
  • And more I'll find when I finish going through notes :)
Due to my new job making me come up at 6, and spousal commitments, the best ETA on all this being done I can give is about January, but don't hold me much to it, as variables get thrown into the schedule of life more than I'd like.  

I did find it kinda funny that the canon MasterUnitList had a dozen or more people listed as assisting with the project, and it is nowhere as complete or detailed as mine is with only me doing it.  I actually have all the stats for every unit, not just some horribly inaccurate and partial faction lists.

More to come soon!


  1. Well... I get the impression they work with the tools they have. Consider if you will the size and condition of the Record Sheets; 3063 when you and I got together to work on it. I was working with what I had. While cumbersome, it did the job.

    Furthermore, take the TRO itself. I started out on my own, writing a mile a minute. Entirely by accident I encountered a co-writer who knew scads more than I did about BT history, right down to unit designations. Then I had to go out and hunt down artists. Mistakes were expensive; I made them anyway. Then I had to sift through the limited number of people who (a) had the time, (b) had the interest, (c) had the BT knowledge and (d) were better writers and editors than I am.

    Do you have *any* idea how effing hard that is to do? They don't exactly grow on bushes, you know.

    Consider your own position, and how bloody unlikely it was for me to find a guy who was not only up to his neck in BT lore, not only wanted to make his own stuff, but was willing to subordinate himself as part of another man's project - and had the time and talent to do it.

    You are making an unfair comparison to those folks working the MUL. Did you mock my 550mb effort? No. Because you knew I was doing the best I could, and were willing to add a shoulder to the effort. Your best was light-years ahead of my own.

    These guys won't ask for your help, no matter how much they need it. So keep up your own efforts, but go easy on theirs. You are head and shoulders above most people when it comes to BT knowledge, programming skill and attention to detail, and you don't have to coordinate with anyone but your wife.

    I suspect they are doing the best they can.

  2. I don't mean to be hard on them, so I do apologize if any happen to read this, and got offended, they have a lot more rules to abide by than I do, and I'm betting only 1-2 of them can directly make code/database changes. If they came over to my "team", I'd write an interface so lots of people could make changes ;)

    But still, they have a dozen volunteers, I just have me. I have offered to help them, they consistently say they hate detail. I am surprised to see the QS cards, as that prevents any further sales on QS only products, but those cards are kinda crappy for people to actually use.

    Wait until I do my v2.0 though, the canon MasterUnitList would simply have no reason to exist anymore :)

    And just in case some official sorta person is reading this, the offer is always on the table to "use me" and my site/code, which includes things like upcoming warship/dropship/mobile structure record sheet generation, ATOW RPG generator, builders for everything, random system generators, etc, etc. They don't have to get me another forum account (well I already have one, muhaha, the benefits of having hundreds of IPs available at work) and I'd do an NDA and work with them, not against them.