The banter is back! The first fifteen minutes was what I've been missing for the past month.
Regarding the "next step" for FP, I would really like for Mercenaries' faction alignments to mean something. Bring back the Inner Sphere news ... over the course of time, a couple of houses (or clans) develop a conflict, start recruiting Mercs, and then have a short (maybe one week) conflict. Give creative rewards for participating.