Walker/Mech/ Heavy Tank Ideas, anyone?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Wind_Walker, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. ColonelChingles

    Alright, I admit that mechs would be better at climbing trees than a tank. Ya got me there.

    It'd be interesting to see a tree-climbing mech in the game. Not very useful from a military sense, but interesting.
  2. thebigbortishbort

    You can pretend to be like the japanese and hide in trees , maybe jump out at unaware foes , i don't know about you but that sounds spooky
  3. thed1rt

    Sorry you spent so much money on World of Tanks.
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  4. Demigan

    I've explained this over and over again. Conventional warfare as you see it is neither balanced nor reasonable by the time we reach the technology levels as shown in the game.
    You've said so yourself, the reason why real-life aircraft vs tanks vs infantry is balanced is because of the costs and maintenance they require versus their use on the battlefield. And what do you know? These are the exact things that get cut out of the game first.
    Also you base balance on real-life, rather than game design and fun. That is a bad bad idea.
    Just look up a few episodes of Extra Credits, this one for instance is an important one for you:

    Infantry not being able to damage or disable other vehicles if they use team-oriented weapon is a bad form of counterplay. Designing vehicles with real life in mind rather than the user and the one it's used on is a bad way to design it.
    Just look at the repair gun! It's a perfect example!
    They could have forced every tank to move back to the vehicle pad and receive repairs there. Amount of fun for the user: not much. Amount of fun for the opponents, also not much.
    Now we put in a repair gun. The drivers suddenly don't need to return to base for repairs, and can actually repair in the field! Fun for the drivers has risen. But their opponents now have a chance to kill the engineers as they exit, they have a way to counter the repairs and even nerf the vehicle's firepower by killing it's occupants! That's good and solid gameplay designing.

    How about flaunting the laws of physics and making infantry receive fall damage from ridiculously small falls?
    You might be saying "but they can fall from much higher than a human without damage!" Well yes. That's because they are superhuman. They are build up from the ground with nanites. So this begs the question, why aren't they stronger. A completely engineered being could have an endo and exo skeleton, they could basically replace their skin with the armor they are wearing, then attach the muscle's to those. With combinations like that you could use your fingers to cut through steel plates. Even with 'just' spiderweb silk for a skin they would become almost impervious to knives. Basically a well-designed engineered being would be much lighter and still stronger and would be able to survive falls from extreme heights, maybe even terminal velocity falls.
    Why not make them the best combination of mechanical and biological parts? That would make them even better.
    Then there's the same questions to be asked about aircraft. Why do they even receive damage when they ram the environment? With nanite-build materials you could make them practically impervious to ramming the environment, or ordinary kinetic attacks. Same counts for tanks of course, so they would need to use new weapons. Things like... Nanites in their weapons? That explosion you see on AP shells could be a cloud of nanites that is trying to deconstruct a vehicle's armor in the space of a second, generating tons of heat while they are at work.

    This is incorrect for two main reasons.

    First, you're getting caught up on the classification of ships and are ignoring actual size and tonnage. Names don't mean much, but the "size" of ships does. Consider a WWII destroyer and a modern day destroyer.

    Fletcher-class Destroyer (1941)- 2,500 short tons, 114.8m long
    Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer (1988)- 10,800 short tons, 155m long

    So yes, our destroyers have gotten larger and larger. They carry more weight and are longer overall. It is true that they have less displacement than battleships, but it's important to point out that size still matters.[/quote]

    Of course size still matters! You can't build a canon capable of penetrating ship hulls on an ladybug. But as you so graciously point out in the next segment, efficiency is they key here. The bigbutt battleships weren't better than the smaller destroyers, so they started using smaller destroyers instead of battleships.

    Ah now you are at the end of your rope aren't you? You suddenly have to invent a weight limit and compare it to that. Yes of course if there's a weight limit the Mech will not be as good as a tank, that's why we have tanks and not mechs now. However this is a future scenario, and weight doesn't seem to be a factor anymore. Just look at Sunderers, large, heavily armored, floats more on it's wheels when crossing terrain than it is heavy. As I said, Mechs could very well be the destroyers of the future versus the battleships (tanks) we have now. Does it matter that they can carry lighter armor or less weaponry than a tank? Well in some scenario's it doesn't. So why not add Mechs?

    It can, it could, but a Mech can and could be less expensive and still as useful as a tank. The higher maneuverability, the smaller surface area required to stand on and the ability to withstand greater falls could be key in future warfare. Look at Titanfall, why would they use legged things? Well for one because those legs are instrumental in slowing down the Titan as it lands the last stretch. Second because those Titans seem far more agile in a city environment, capable of moving through small space quickly and traversing things like barriers without even noticing, where a tank would easily hit it's turret elevation restraints while traversing a lot of those barriers.

    And as mentioned earlier, why would that weight be required? A smaller and lighter destroyer is more efficient and still packs enough punch to at least go toe-to-toe with a battleship, due to the range and higher mobility (less weight that needs to be displaced) a destroyer could probably mess up even an battleship that's updated with modern weapons and armor.

    With enough force anything can break eventually. You might as well be saying "look I dropped this guy out of a plane and he broke his legs, see how legs are useless for landing?"
    Ok well let's see about that experiment: We know that there is a handful of people that have survived terminal velocity falls, or even falls out of the 7th floor onto concrete. So we drop, say... 1 million tanks from the 7th floor and see how many survive, then compare that to the amount of terminal velocity surviving humans.
    Funnily enough I can tell you right now that despite dropping more tanks than ever there were people to hit the ground at terminal velocity there will be less tanks surviving.

    Now I'll let you figure out what kind of misplaced argument I made here, and when you've done that I hope you draw the parallel to what you did.

    Again a wrong argument, and it actually proves my point rather than yours if you look at it the right way.
    Have you ever done the "eggsperiment"? It's that nice trick where people get to wrap an egg in various materials and then drop it from a roof to see if their egg survived.
    Now imagine some standard padding around both eggs, but one gets legs out of sticks and one gets treads out of sticks, we drop both of them... And the egg with legs will survive. Oh it's legs will break, or bend like the legs of a Mech would, but the egg itself will survive. That's because you have a longer distance over which you slow down the egg. The one with treads isn't so lucky, as the force isn't spread out over time but over a surface area of the egg, which it just can't handle. Even if you add some kind of suspension material between the treads and egg it would have a lower survival rate.

    Drop a tank from a height and it's treads survive, congratulations! The rest of the tank is scrap but at least the treads survived the blow!
    Drop a Mech from a height, it's legs bend ("break") and soften the blow for the rest of the vehicle. Result: Mech can keep going after a fall, tank is damaged, disabled, destroyed and probably it's crew pasted to the insides.
    You basically say it yourself: The legs take all the force. A Mech's legs are designed to take all this force, keeping the vital components (pilot, weaponry) alive and functioning. The treads instantly transfer it to the rest of the tank, meaning you basically have a early-car syndrom. Early cars were made sturdy as hell because people thought that if the car didn't receive damage after ramming another car then the driver woulnd't either. All it did was transfer more kinetic energy (which you are fond off) onto the driver and other components that aren't fond of sudden stops. Later they figured out they needed a zone in the car that crumples upon impact to extend the time you have to slow down and reduce the kinetic energy on the driver.

    Actually since the movement is mostly horizontal to start with the Mech wins big time when it comes to height because the tank spreads it's weight horizontally but the mech vertically. The legs for wings would not be there for practical flight but for the reduction of resistance forces (angled right it creates less wind resistance) and to reduce the amount of fuel necessary to stay airborne per second, meaning the Mech would get more flight time, however short both vehicles can stay in the air. The Mech would also have the advantage of being able to take more risks by flying higher on low fuel capacity as it's better able to withstand falls.

    Bigger treads means more weight so less weight for useful equipment!
    Let's let that one sink in for a moment, then see how ridiculous it is. Increase the surface area you can stand on means less weight you can carry? Sure the legs and treads both have additional weight, but with a strong enough engine this isn't a problem is it? Also consider that a Mech's engine has to power separate entities. One is the leg that's being propelled forwards, which is just the weight of the leg launched at a certain speed, and the other is moving the standing legs feet to propel it all forwards. Humans walk by constantly throwing one leg forwards and using it's weight to be dragged behind it, as well as making sure you fall forwards, only to catch yourself with your leg in time. So there isn't that much energy used in walking. The landing can also be absorbed like a human does to re-use the energy of your previous step in the next one. Efficiency for the win!

    And now do it on rough terrain that isn't build for it.
    Now also consider that when walking, your legs constantly have to carry the weight of your body, requiring muscles to do so. Compare that to cycling where you use the bikes frame to carry your entire weight, and you can actually use your weight to propel just the weight of your legs in a circle.
    Imagine if we build a metal frame that supported our bodyweight and we only had to propel our body forwards rather than carry it at the same time, this would be the case of a Mech. If we used an Oxycon you would see that the amount of energy required would be maybe 1/10th of what it is now, and a bike's inefficiency would suddenly become abundantly clear.
    Cycling is only efficient in the sense that you don't have to carry your weight and we have prepared the road around us. The moment a cyclist goes up a hill though you also see how the concept of wheels fail, as you can suddenly see what happens if you have to fight against gravity. You slow down and take more energy than any other person running as fast as he can. An uneven road is basically nothing more than one mass of tiny hills up and down. However the way you 'fall' into each hole means you bounce off the next rise, slowing you down and taking energy. That's why wheels are extremely inefficient, that's why tanks are actually extremely inefficient compared to legs. Of course there's a million reason not to use legs now, but when those reasons start to fall away as technology improves?

    Actually no, it's because we couldn't find a way to use that incredibly complex system of your legs in our own designs, and went for the simpler solution instead. We didn't even know how efficient our legs were with energy until maybe 3 decades ago, long after we invented the easy wheels. Misconceptions like the one you are making now are also a problem with how we see efficiency.
    Also you are trying to compare the energy required to propel something vertically to the energy required to keep something standing horizontally. You know that there are no muscles required to keep a tank standing, but you also know that there's a ton of strength required to keep the tank from collapsing in on itself. That's why tanks use treads rather than 4 wheels, 4 wheels wouldn't be able to carry the weight.

    Back to the bike. You aren't carrying the weight of the bike, the bike is carrying your weight. You are only propelling the weight of your bike and yourself forwards across the road. In a frictionless environment (space) all you would need is to overcome the moment of inertia and then it floats on forever. In a friction environment (a planet with a road, atmosphere optional) you have to overcome first the moment of inertia, then keep overcoming the friction forces that slow you down to keep going the same speed.
    The only thing weight contributed in this equation is the amount of force required to get it in motion. But that's the same regardless of you standing and holding the bike or sitting on it.
    I mean come on, imagine sitting on a bike all day but going nowhere, and compare that to standing still all day. Of course standing costs you more energy because you require more muscles to keep your weight up!
    So to recap: Sitting on a bike is only more efficient because the bike carries your weight for you, standing means you have to exert yourself and costs more energy. This does not carry over to a Mech, because you can use mechanical solutions to carry the weight that require no energy to run after you activate them.

    See above explanation. This is my freaking area of expertise, wheels are simple and useful on flat surfaces because you don't require muscles to keep the weight up. That's why we use wheelbarrows etc to allow us to move more weight without us having to carry it. But when you get down to it pound for pound and remove the energy required to keep yourself standing walking becomes massively more efficient.
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  5. Reclaimer77

    You know I always knew Chingles was heavily biased toward tanks and military vehicles, but I always thought he was at least a rational person.

    That seems to have changed.

    Maybe illustrations would help? He always likes posting real life pics in his arguments.

    We'll call this a Gallery of Things Tanks Suck at Doing. Or: Should Have Used a Mech


    OOOPS, a little steep eh?

  6. WTSherman

    You don't really help, Reclaimer, because you're even more biased the opposite way.

    You're both trying to argue absolute superiority, as if the correct thing to do is always use ALL tanks or ALL infantry (counting mechs as heavy infantry in this case).

    But there is no universal superiority here, it's a question of being fit for purpose. If you need to traverse relatively open ground at high speed in a heavy combat vehicle with minimal risk of getting stuck, treads are fit for purpose in that case.

    If you want to traverse very rough, vertical terrain and it's important enough to compromise on speed and power, then something with arms and legs is fit for purpose. Right now, that means infantry. If we developed mechs, we would probably use them for basically the same tasks as infantry. It's kind of like how you'd send neither tanks nor infantry to sea, because at sea you clearly want to use a boat. And likewise a boat is useless on land, unless you're within range of their main battery (in which case they become artillery).

    The biggest mistake fiction makes about mechs is they try to use them as tanks, but tanks are better at tanking. A mech is much more at home being treated as heavy infantry, where they can retain most of the advantages of being infantry while being tougher and stronger than a squishy human. The ideal size band is probably somewhere from MAX or Space Marine sized at the low end (power armor, essentially) to about twice a MAX's size at the high end (so ~4m tall with appropriate proportions, 5m would be pushing it).

    Any bigger and I suspect you'd start running into square-cube problems, which would cause you to lose your infantry-like traits. Once that starts happening it becomes a better idea to bring in a tank instead.
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  7. Reclaimer77

    That's like saying somoene is "biased" because they play Super Mario Brothers to save the Princess....

    This is an MMOFPS. I'm simply voicing the large majority position of anyone who logs into an FPS game. I accept vehicles are in the game, I want vehicles in the game, and I want people to enjoy them. I ENJOY THEM TOO.

    However it is not "biased" to want balance when the two mix.

    You and Chingles have this attitude that there is some "food chain", and you are at the top and we are on the bottom. That basically if you play infantry you are "plebs" needing to be farmed.

    Furthermore I am saying I don't want BFR's or mechs in this game. I'm simply pointing out how they could have advantages over tanks for military purposes. I even said I see them SHARING the battlefield. SHARING!


    I bet the guy sleeps in camoflaged Abrams A-1 pj's and bedsheets. Heavily stained ones at that....

    But yeah I'm biased lol. OK.
  8. Wind_Walker

    This. As a side note, wouldn't non-bipedal mechs be most effective in the scenarios that legs would be superior? Legs have their purpose from a terrain standpoint, but only two? A lot of on board CPU processing power would go to keeping that thing standing.

    I do agree that weaker-than-MBT mech would be best. At least now that I've seen the counter-arguments. Armaments would have to lie in the realm of harasser-to-viper lightning in terms of effectiveness.

    JJ's? On a mech, nope. It wouldn't make much sense from a realistic standpoint, or a gaming one. In mech only games such as Hawken or mechwarrior, sure, I'll go for it. But in open air bases where infantry is running around would create a lot more havoc rather than dynamic game play. I'll use your average amp station as an example. Before the gate shields are down, they have the freedom to enter the base. This is a given. Once those gates are down, however, tanks, harrasers, and even sunderers are restricted in where they can go. Buildings and blockades get in the way. For something that's essentially an uber-LA, it'd be no problem, and suddenly defense routes for the defending infantry spirals down to dwindling numbers. Not to mention how they'll be abused for safer spawn camping.

    These things would need to be faction specific, of course. We have enough NS items in the game as it is. The idea that it is only obtainable through farming the upcoming construction mineral (what was it, Quartzite?) Is pretty cool, and reasonable. They wouldn't be overly abundant like every new item in the game tends to be the week of its release, and I like the idea of more sources to obtain vehicles.

    There needs to be limits set though, and so far we have:

    •) Cannot have more armor than a tank. Must be less
    •) Cannot have more potent armaments than a tank. Must be less
    •) Cannot have utilities that overlap infantry (JJs, Heavy shield, and some other crazy stuff that was mentioned in the thread)
    •) Must be of reasonable height. 5m is a nice limit, but I'd personally set a hard cap at 6m, for futurism's sake

    EDIT: It'd be nice to have a strictly support vehicle, or one that assists in tactics. A nice example would be UT3's Nightshade. Can't fight in a head on battle, but damned if it doesn't have its place in the match
  9. Tormentos

    Yeah, let me stop you right there and point out that the Sunderer and Harrasser already have items to break through said shields. The argument about shields is a weaker one.

    As for the armaments, why not use a series of missiles? Vehicles come VERY short on missile systems. Imagine a swarm of smaller missiles being locked to a target, launched high into the air and then homing in from above. Also: a vulcan cannon as standard AI weapon. Mind you that this thing needs to be a two seater being pilot and gunner for said vulcan cannon. if the pilot is handling longe range weaponry while the gunner is handling short range weaponry, the two seats are balanced.

    It could also work ES with some mechs. Imagine the ES TR mech having a third seat on top for a MAX unit that would go into lockdown mode, yet has a 360° turnable platform, enhancing their turnwidth. They would be mobile, they would benefit the mech, lockdown couldn't be talked about being the easy target anymore and most importantly, the MAX wouldn't be redundant all of a sudden. The NC MAX could give the shield charge the of the mech a boost with their AEGIS shield generator, if they have a shield that is, and VS Maxes would enhance the mobility of the VS mech with their enhanced processor cores.
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