Piranha Games president Russ Bullock went through regarding a third-person viewing mode in MechWarrior Online. Bullock addresses player concerns about the inclusion by detailing his own experience with the project and how he went from vehemently opposing a third-person view to arguing that its inclusion is necessary for the long-term health of the game.
One of the key elements to understand about movement in MechWarrior Online is that your machine moves more like a bipedal tank with an independently rotating torso. Bullock states that he's watched new players trying the game in first-person and third-person modes, and being able to see how 'Mechs move on the screen instantly translates to better play. He also remains adamant that the inclusion of this new view mode is not meant to unbalance the game by allowing players to see things outside of their normal fields of vision.
[Thanks to Dire Phoenix for the tip!]