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The game was initially supposed to release alongside The Phantom Pain on September 1, 2015, but ultimately was delayed until October 6, 2015 for consoles and January 19, 2016 for PC.
Metal Gear Online 3 supports 16-player online battles for the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions and supports 12-player online battles for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. The core gameplay is heavily based on the mechanics present in Metal Gear Solid V with much the same equipment from the single-player game making its way in to Online.
Players can utilize the same tagging feature introduced in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and operates identically to the single-player feature. Players stay marked until they are either Fulton extracted or killed, and marking is shared between all team members. Players have the ability to use CQC in the same way it is used in the base game, and interrogating enemy team members also automatically marks other enemy combatants.
New to this iteration of Metal Gear Online is the "buddy" system which allows two players to salute each other in order to pair up. This allows players to assist their buddy, as whenever the buddy is aiming at an enemy that enemy is temporarily marked on the screen. Furthermore, buddies share a gauge that when at 50% allows one buddy to spawn on another and when at 100% allows the use of the E-RB WORMHOLE GEN. which permits one buddy to teleport directly to another.
MGO3 opted for the inclusion of a class-based system of gameplay. The game offers three classes; Scout, Enforcer and Infiltrator each of which have their own specialties and weaknesses. The inclusion of different classes is intended to balance gameplay, make MGO accessible to newcomers, and ensure that every member of a team has a vital role in a match.
Skills, now referred to as Abilities, make a return in MGO3, where they enhance the performance of a character or weapon. Abilities can be upgraded, and each one has three levels.
Similar to earlier MGO installments, the player is able to customize a soldier to be either male or female. The default character slot's appearance is derived from the facial features of the player avatar created during The Phantom Pain's story, however once players unlock additional character slots (to a maximum of 3), the new characters are fully customizable. Players will be given the option to choose from preset camouflage patterns for their fatigues in order to create a unique appearance for their MGO avatars, and headwear such as the Croc Hat, a fish hat and a squid hat.
In the PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One versions, players are able to form a party in order to enter matchmaking with the same team members across multiple games.
The in-game lobby takes place in an open world area, giving players the capacity to walk around the Jade Forest map while waiting for a session to start.
Eventually, after reaching a certain level, the player is given the option to ascend, which is depicted as a patch with an addition of a star indicating the current ascension rank. Upon ascending, the leveling cap is increased by one. There are three ascension levels in total, and each ascension will have the player "reset" their XP and level, as well as any and all equipment they had procured so far. There are also various unlocks that are available for ascending, with each ascension level having different unlocks.
|Ascension level||Level accessed at||Unlocks|
The Scout class is specifically designed for long range tactical support. Scouts generally use weapons such as sniper rifles, and when using the INT. SCOPE, enemies will be tagged faster than other classes.
The Enforcer class is designed for medium range engagements. Enforcers utilize heavy armor and weaponry in order to engage enemies from close to medium range.
The Infiltrator class specializes in stealth and CQC. Infiltrators are equipped with active stealth camo which they can use to engage enemies silently.
|Bounty Hunter||Teams win if the number of enemy team tickets is reduced to zero. Killing or Fultoning an enemy reduces the enemy team tickets by one. Fultoning an enemy increases your team's ticket total by the value of the Fultoned enemy's bounty.|
|Cloak and Dagger||Attackers win by recovering the Data Disc and uploading it at the Evac Point within the time limit. Defenders win by preventing the upload. Attackers are armed with only non-lethal weapons while defenders only have lethal weapons. This is an elimination mission. Once eliminated, you cannot return to the battlefield until the next round.|
|Comm Control||Attackers must capture Comm Links to download confidential intel. If the attackers complete the download within the time limit, they are victorious. If the defenders are able to prevent this within the time limit, they are victorious. Comm Links can be captured by staying within the effective range of the Comm Links until they change ownership.|
|Sabotage||Attackers must destroy or fulton the enemy Missile before the round expires. To access the Missile, attackers must first hack into the Terminals to deactivate the Electromagnetic (EM) Barrier that is protecting it. Once the Terminals are hacked and the EM Barrier is deactivated, defenders can choose to reactivate the EM Barrier or protect the Missile. (Included as a free update in March 2016)|
Like in the second iteration of Metal Gear Online, there was a survival mode which was released in the Version 1.11 update released on April 7, 2016. Winning several rounds will net the player with various prizes, including a GP reward and a rare color.
Equipment can be purchased with in-game currency known as Gear Points (GP). GP is earned at the end of every match and can also be used to buy different colors for equipment pieces, however some colors require the expenditure of Mother Base Coins instead.
- Main article: Metal Gear Online 3 equipment
Each character has four ability slots with each ability having three levels of upgrade. Level 1 abilities take up one ability slot, Level 2 abilities take up two ability slots, and so on.
When selected, maps can be chosen as regular size or "Rush Mode." In Rush Mode, the area of operations is limited in order to make enemy encounters more common. Players can also choose between a day and night option for each map. While the time of day does not change dynamically like it does in The Phantom Pain, random weather effects can take place such as sandstorms or fog.
- Main article: Metal Gear Online 3 Maps
Unique Character appears as a mission setting prior to beginning a game. If the setting is selected, one player from each team at random are picked and spawn as a unique character such as Snake or Ocelot. Unique characters have higher abilities, as well as unique weapons and actions.
|Venom Snake||Bionic Arm||Remote-controlled rocket propelled prosthetic arm. Comes in lethal or non-lethal variants depending on the chosen loadout.|
|Revolver Ocelot||Tornado-6 Revolvers||Dual-wielded revolvers that are able to ricochet bullets in order to hit otherwise protected targets.|
|Quiet||Wicked Butterfly / Sinful Butterfly|
In the December 2015 update, the player can be issued medals depending on certain actions they had taken. Each medal also nets the player with 1000 GP.
|Kill||100 Lethal Kills|
|Stun||Stunned enemies 500 times|
|Stunned||Stunned by enemies 500 times|
|Fulton||Fulton-recovered an enemy 250 times|
|Fultoned||Fulton-recovered by an enemy 25 times|
|Fulton Save||Fulton saved a teammate 25 times|
|Mark||Marked enemies 50 times|
|Marked||Marked by enemies 50 times|
|Interrogation||Interrogated an enemy 10 times|
|Charm||Charmed enemies 10 times|
|Walker Gear Destruction||Destroyed 10 Walker Gears|
|Amazing Throw||Achieved 1 Amazing Throw|
|Mission Play||Completed a Mission 250 times|
|Mission Won||100 Mission Wins|
|Playtime||Total Playtime of 20 Hours|
|Bounty Claim||Fulton-Extracted 10 Bounty Points|
|Disc Retrieve||Escaped with a Data Disc 10 Times|
|Disc Pickup||Picked up a data disc 10 times|
|Disc Defend||Protected a data disc 100 times|
|Comm Link Capture||Captured a Comm Link 500 times|
|Comm Link Neutralized||Neutralized a Comm Link 500 times|
|Comm Link Defended||Defended a Comm Link 25 times|
Metal Gear Online 3 was announced on June 13, 2013 and was developed by the newly formed Kojima Productions Los Angeles studio with some assistance from the main studio in Japan. On September 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM, Hideo Kojima tweeted that the Los Angeles studio had just showed him the progress of MGO3, and commented that it "looked promising." He later tweeted at 5:53 PM the same day that KoreP and the original designers of Metal Gear Online are checking in frequently with the development while also displaying a photograph of the LA studio. The next day between 9:51 AM and 1:09 PM, various Konami social media outlets on both Twitter and Facebook posted both Kojima's messages regarding Metal Gear Online. It was unveiled at the Game Awards 2014, with Kojima and Kiefer Sutherland personally attending.
On August 3, 2015, Konami announced that the release date for Metal Gear Online 3 had been pushed back. The console versions was released on October 6, while the PC version was released on January 19, 2016.
Metal Gear Online was revealed to be part of the TGS 2015 lineup for Konami, alongside Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (despite the latter already being released). These included four livestreams. The official MGO3 Twitter account also implied that a new mode would be unveiled during the event. During TGS 2015, the three character classes (Scout, Enforcer, Infiltrator) were announced as well as three game modes and five maps.
On November 4, 2015, Konami confirmed the closure of the Konami Los Angeles studio, formerly Kojima Productions LA, and that future development of Metal Gear Online and its patches would be designated to Konami's Japanese branch.
On December 24, 2015, developer's notes revealed a rebalancing of weapons, as well as the addition of customizable T-shirts for the player avatars.
On January 5, 2016, a developer's log confirmed that knives were being added as a weapon available to all classes, and for attackers in the Cloak and Dagger game mode. This decision was made after "frequent" suggestion from MGO2 players.
On January 12, 2016, it was announced that the PC beta for Metal Gear Online would launch the next day, on January 13.
The PC version of Metal Gear Online 3 officially launched on January 19, 2016.
Cloaked in Silence
The first downloadable content pack, officially titled Cloaked in Silence was announced on December 20, 2015. On January 12, 2016, it was announced that a new map based on Mother Base would be included in the upcoming DLC, with its name later confirmed as Coral Complex based on fan suggestion. On January 30, 2016, the official Metal Gear Online Twitter account detailed further content included in the DLC pack. It includes three new playable maps (Coral Complex, Azure Mountain, Rust Palace), introduce Quiet as a playable Unique Character and "custom combinable actions" known as Appeal Actions which serve as emotes in-game.
The official Metal Gear Online Twitter also announced that the DLC will release in March 2016. On February 9, 2016, the content pack's name "Cloaked in Silence" was confirmed. The DLC is priced at $3.99, with each of the three Appeal Actions packs to be sold separately at $1.99.
Metal Gear Online 3 takes advantage of the large maps the Fox Engine is capable of and features vehicles, which are known to include Jeeps, Trucks, APCs and Tanks, in addition to other usable rides like horses. This will take combat in a large-scale direction in maps that will support them - although it was confirmed that the maps featured in Metal Gear Online do not utilize the same open world map of The Phantom Pain. Kojima has described the multiplayer experience as "vast." The official Twitter account for Metal Gear Online confirmed that Team Sneaking (TSNE) will return. In addition to weapons and equipment previously demonstrated in MGSV, there will also be new weapons and equipment: Specifically, a plush husky pup that is programmed to yip, serving a similar function to the Magazines from previous games, including the previous iteration of Metal Gear Online, as well as a turret that uses Fulton balloons as ammo to remove players unless the balloons are shot down in time. The player can also select which soldier they'll play as via the iDroid. Players can also deploy a device that allows them to teleport in a fashion similar to Quiet's ability as seen in the TGS 2014 trailer for The Phantom Pain.
In a Japanese language interview with 4Gamer that was later translated by the official Twitter account of Metal Gear Online, Creative Director Kotaru Oki elaborated on some features of Metal Gear Online 3. Namely, the service will begin when The Phantom Pain is released, as it was the game's multiplayer mode;  It will have an estimate of between 12 and 16 players, although they are still working out the numbers to make sure not too many players are used; The multiplayer (ie, MGO3) will be developed by the Los Angeles branch, while the single player mode (ie, The Phantom Pain itself) will be developed by the main Kojima Productions branch in Japan, with the core system (ie, the Fox Engine) being the same each region; The pre-set radio from the Metal Gear Solid 4 version of Metal Gear Online was also confirmed to be making a reappearance, with pre-set radio dialogue; Instead of SOP from the second iteration, MGO3 will use the tagging system that was used in the main game of both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain; Independent maps for MGO with variations are also confirmed to be used; There will be dynamic weather conditions like in The Phantom Pain, although as the matches aren't intended to last as long, the players will be able to select the time of day before starting a match; Various modes from standard favorites will be used for the game, including Team Sneak; Selfies, as shown in the reveal trailer, are planned to be implemented via a camera feature; It is also confirmed that the fulton turrets and tagging weapons match up with how Metal Gear Online was intended to be played; It is also confirmed that there is sharing of content between MGO3 and MGSV, although not to the extent of it requiring one mode before receiving it in another. It is also confirmed that additional equipment, or at least hats, can be used to customize the characters, although whether it would be purchased DLC or done in a similar manner to the second MGO via a rewards zone is yet to be said.
Pre-ordering The Phantom Pain via certain outlets will net the player with a certain amount of bonuses: For the physical and digital Day-One Edition, the player will get an XP boost, while pre-ordering the Collector's Edition will net the player with the XP boost as well as gold-color skin options for both the Wu Silent Pistol and the AM-MRS-4, as well as a hat modeled after Metal Gear REX. The European versions of the Collector's Edition released both codes on a slip of paper, but the North American versions necessitated email via the store the item was preordered from to get the codes due to a production error. In addition, although Konami's U.S. customer support implied that the TPP voucher code would act as the same code as the MGO code, this did not occur. MGO's official Twitter account was notified of the problem and has resolved to get to the bottom of the situation. The REX Hat, Gold Wu Silent Pistol, and the Gold AM-MRS-4 were later released as free DLC via the PlayStation Network on October 9, 2015 for those who had bought the Collector's Edition. The gold skins are unlocked after the player achieved the rank of Level 4 and thus was able to access their weapons, while the REX Hat can be used immediately upon being unlocked.
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