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#101 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 01:13 PM

But why legs instead of wheels, which are much more effective? The only thing I can think of that legs can do that wheels can't is going up vertical ladders, but that kind of requires manipulators, and even then, wheeled robots with manipulators can climb ladders as well. And if it's a hovering tank, that part is solved by just floating up the damn thing. The problem is that wheeled designs can be so much more well protected, and much faster as well. I just can't see what the use of a walking robot can be that can't be better done with another design. Scouting? I'd rather have mini flying drones with a video camera and a laser pistol strapped to it or a small wheeled robot that's really short that can travel faster than any legged robot of the same size with an array of sensors (motion sensors? IR? Radar?) and a heavy plasma strapped to it. heck, if heavy plasmas existed, and alien alloys could be manipulated into plates, we can build a prototype of these robots in a few days (you DO have the top minds in the world, right?).

Here's the biggest difference in terms of HWP. With wheeled robots, you can have the wheels built on the inside of the robot, and thus, have thick thick armour protecting the drive system, as well as all the electronics. However, with legged robots, you'd have vulnerable moving joints that are exposed to enemy fire. Meaning, even if you can get the robot to stand up straight and walk without toppling, aliens would be able to shoot off the legs of the robot much easier than cutting through the armour of a wheeled robot to hit the drive system. In addition, the robot with the wheels could be much much shorter in height, and thus be less of a target. Of course, I see no reason not to just slap on even more armour if it's needed.

One thing that has bugged me however is the design of the HWP on X-Com. If you have a robot THAT big, you ought to be able to strap on more than one plasma cannon that's weaker than a heavy plasma. heck, you ought to be able to mount three heavy plasmas onto the robot.

#102 NKF

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 02:21 PM

The sectopods didn't care about stability. ;) But for them, I imagine they had anti-grav stabilisers to compensate for the already light alien alloy plating.

Thinking about it, and completely ignoring real-world realism, legs do have some advantages. For one, they allow the robot to walk across terrain that a wheeled or tracked robot cannot. Imagine trying to get a wheeled robot to drive through rubble. It would be difficult. Tracked robots would fare a little better but it wouldn't be able to move over everything. Legs would also allow for the robot to jump short distances. Mind you, that's not to say you cannot make wheeled or tracked vehicles jump either (Jak 3's Dune Hopper comes to mind). Just need really powerful springs.

Edit: After some more thought about this issue, the weakness of legs (either bipedal or quadrupedal/half-spider-like legs) is a good thing. Just like how a few punctures for tyres and the tracks being damaged and running off the runners can cripple their respective mobility modes.

Regarding the weak spots, just like all the other modes, you can layer on more armour to protect the weak spots.

The height of the legs can make the tank easy to spot, but it also allows the tank to peek over tall fences without the aid of a periscope! ;)

Anti-gravity tanks are what the player strives to aim towards. It's the best and most expensive of the tank mobility modes with its own brand of weaknesses (opposing magnetic waves, or blowing up the anti-grav units) and strengths.

Hmm. Amphibious tanks...

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 26 March 2006 - 11:46 PM.

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#103 Snakeman

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:49 AM

Hmm. Amphibious tanks...


Might be fun for ambushes - Park it in a pond or lake, and have it launch ordinace similar to the way nuclear subs can launch missiles just underneath the surface of the water.

Of the walking robot variety, I've always felt the designs from the mechwarrior universe or the ED-209 thing from Robocop - even the Sectopod from the first game seemed feasible, but I suspect an insect approach would be much more stable. At least as far as giving a better evolutionary picture to units as you go.

#104 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 11:10 AM

The sectopods didn't care about stability. ;) But for them, I imagine they had anti-grav stabilisers to compensate for the already light alien alloy plating.

Thinking about it, and completely ignoring real-world realism, legs do have some advantages. For one, they allow the robot to walk across terrain that a wheeled or tracked robot cannot. Imagine trying to get a wheeled robot to drive through rubble. It would be difficult. Tracked robots would fare a little better but it wouldn't be able to move over everything. Legs would also allow for the robot to jump short distances. Mind you, that's not to say you cannot make wheeled or tracked vehicles jump either (Jak 3's Dune Hopper comes to mind). Just need really powerful springs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For navigating through rubble, I guess it depends on exactly how rubbly (is that even a word?) the terrain is. Wheeled robots would have trouble to go over a few big lumps of rubble, but if it's a completely rubbled terrain (aka, very uneven) wheeled robots would have an easier time than legged robots. That said, on uneven terrains, flying/hovering robots would be the best bet, especially for scouting. Nothing else would be able to move really fast through uneven terrain.

Perhaps hovercrafts (like, the real ones, not the X-Com ones) would fare better. But, does anyone have an example of a hovercraft small enough to function as a HWP?

Well, a few things to consider for jumping. How heavy would the robot be? That would limit how far you can jump. Secondly, how would it be able to land without toppling over, slipping, or break a joint? Actually, that would be amusing. "OMG! The robot sprained its ankle!"

Edit: After some more thought about this issue, the weakness of legs (either bipedal or quadrupedal/half-spider-like legs) is a good thing. Just like how a few punctures for tyres and the tracks being damaged and running off the runners can cripple their respective mobility modes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are self-sealing tires you know. And considering how many military vehicles use tires, wheels, and tracks, and how freakin' reliable they are, I'll stick with the tried and test. KISS principle more or less.

Regarding the weak spots, just like all the other modes, you can layer on more armour to protect the weak spots.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My point is that wheeled/tracked robots can generally have even more armour than a walking robot of the same size. Sure, anything can have more armour slapped on, but on a walking robot, it would be much, MUCH more difficult. Not to mention that more and more armour would cause a lot more problem with the walking mechanism than it would with a simple drivetrain.

The height of the legs can make the tank easy to spot, but it also allows the tank to peek over tall fences without the aid of a periscope! ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd prefer a periscope, so that I would have less of a chance of being spotted and shot at. heck, I would have a much smaller profile for them to hit with a periscope.

Anti-gravity tanks are what the player strives to aim towards. It's the best and most expensive of the tank mobility modes with its own brand of weaknesses (opposing magnetic waves, or blowing up the anti-grav units) and strengths.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would like to argue that anti-gravity tanks would take less time to research than a walking robot. From my understanding, the anti-gravity system is basically a minaturized anti-gravity system from UFOs. Once we figure out how to produce such a field to simply lift something up, replacing the drive system with the lifting device would be simple. It's the actual building that would be tough though, since you'll have to spend the time making the miniature anti-gravity system.

Hmm. Amphibious tanks...

- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hovercrafts? Could be possible if one that small could be made. Probably won't have much armour under it though.

Edited by SpaceBoy2000, 27 March 2006 - 11:11 AM.


#105 NKF

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:37 AM

For navigating through rubble, I guess it depends on exactly how rubbly (is that even a word?) the terrain is. Wheeled robots would have trouble to go over a few big lumps of rubble, but if it's a completely rubbled terrain (aka, very uneven) wheeled robots would have an easier time than legged robots. That said, on uneven terrains, flying/hovering robots would be the best bet, especially for scouting. Nothing else would be able to move really fast through uneven terrain.


That's true, but you're not going to get total-mobility vehicles right off the start of the game. You need some versatile but not necessarily perfect means of moving your tanks about, after all. I don't want to see legs being the ultimate form of mobility, I just want to see it be useful to fill a niche that the wheels or tracks cannot fill.

Well, a few things to consider for jumping. How heavy would the robot be? That would limit how far you can jump. Secondly, how would it be able to land without toppling over, slipping, or break a joint? Actually, that would be amusing. "OMG! The robot sprained its ankle!"


It would really depend on weight. Light HWPs with strong legs that have a good footing shouldn't have much of problem. Big wide surfaced feet might work, or even better the four-legged half-spider/insectoid legs would be even better. They'd have to be very springy to absorb the shock when the tank lands though. For really heavy tanks - forget it unless you've got anti-grav jumpjets or what have you.

Anyone remember Tripods? I don't. Well, except for the bit where there were these big robot-like-thiniges with three long telescopic legs that went about branded peoples' forheads. But that's neither here nor there.

There are self-sealing tires you know. And considering how many military vehicles use tires, wheels, and tracks, and how freakin' reliable they are, I'll stick with the tried and test. KISS principle more or less.


True, but the wheels and tracks are still their own weaknesses, as are the legs. Even with contingencies and good protection, any damage to the wheels, tracks or even the legs joints will incapacitate the tank's movement considerably. Excellent weaknesses to exploit and to protect against.

I wouldn't want the alien AI to be consciously aiming for the weak joints (except by flukes) or else they'd be too good at it as they'd be doing it all the time. But it would be handy for player vs player games.

My point is that wheeled/tracked robots can generally have even more armour than a walking robot of the same size. Sure, anything can have more armour slapped on, but on a walking robot, it would be much, MUCH more difficult. Not to mention that more and more armour would cause a lot more problem with the walking mechanism than it would with a simple drivetrain.


That's true, which makes the wheels and tracks more attractive to the defensive player. The legs would have not as much plating as, say, the tracked variant, but perhaps more than the wheeled.

I'd prefer a periscope, so that I would have less of a chance of being spotted and shot at. heck, I would have a much smaller profile for them to hit with a periscope.


Which is why I said it wouldn't make you a small target. ;) I was thinking of the tank crouching behind a wall, and then extending its legs to peek over it and open fire and then duck back down again. I suppose it couldn't be hard to modify a wheeled/tracked tank to have a raising platform for its weapon... Or maybe arm it with a mortar. Mmm, mortars.

I would like to argue that anti-gravity tanks would take less time to research than a walking robot. From my understanding, the anti-gravity system is basically a minaturized anti-gravity system from UFOs. Once we figure out how to produce such a field to simply lift something up, replacing the drive system with the lifting device would be simple. It's the actual building that would be tough though, since you'll have to spend the time making the miniature anti-gravity system.



It would still be costly to reproduce - unless you go with strapping a full blown UFO engine to a tank. ;) The best all-rounder mobility method will still be the hardest or costliest to obtain.

But worse still would my favoured idea for transforming legs that incorporate all the plusses of wheeled/tracked legs with bipedal/quadruped legs. I've been reminiscing about some silly giant robot movie. I think it was called Robot Jox or something. In that the American (the heros, naturally) robot's legs get damaged and it continues to fight by converting tank tracks. I thought that one bit was so awesome that I just can't get that idea out of my head. But believe you me, this would be more suitable to another game entirely.

Hmm. Amphibious tanks...

- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hovercrafts? Could be possible if one that small could be made. Probably won't have much armour under it though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I was thinking more along the lines of a submersible tank. Sort of like TFTD's Coelacanths and Displacers. Snakeman's pond ambush idea is pure genius - and hilarious at the same time. Miniature sea to surface/air missiles. Woosh!

By the way, just to be clear, I'm in favour of all the discussed means of tank movement. I just like to have choices and customability. I sometimes think I'd even be mad enough to go with a unicycle HWP...

Next: Robot arms! Or to use the more technical term I learned recently: End Effectors.

- NKF
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#106 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 08:06 PM

That's true, but you're not going to get total-mobility vehicles right off the start of the game. You need some versatile but not necessarily perfect means of moving your tanks about, after all. I don't want to see legs being the ultimate form of mobility, I just want to see it be useful to fill a niche that the wheels or tracks cannot fill.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, depends. I mean, in terms of going over rubble, a system like the Mars rovers would be superior to legs. That said, they'd have even worse armour, so I'll concede that point. However, I'd like to ask on which type of mission would you prefer a walking, less armoured and slower vehicle, but can climb over big rocks. And how exaclty climbing would work in game. Do you click or something? Do other units (aliens, other soldiers) have this ability too?

Another thing that just popped into my mind. Why can't Reapers ram through walls and fences and stuff? heck, why can't guys in Power Suits or Mutons do the same? I'm sure a wood wall isn't that hard to break through when you're a cyborg alien thing from heck.

It would really depend on weight. Light HWPs with strong legs that have a good footing shouldn't have much of problem. Big wide surfaced feet might work, or even better the four-legged half-spider/insectoid legs would be even better. They'd have to be very springy to absorb the shock when the tank lands though. For really heavy tanks - forget it unless you've got anti-grav jumpjets or what have you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, you see, my main "concern" is that a small helicopter style robot would be much better at recon and getting past obstacles. Or, slapping a jump jet onto a tracked design. As long as it does land on anything explosive, it ought to be fine...

True, but the wheels and tracks are still their own weaknesses, as are the legs. Even with contingencies and good protection, any damage to the wheels, tracks or even the legs joints will incapacitate the tank's movement considerably. Excellent weaknesses to exploit and to protect against.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, my main point was that you'd have more vunerable points in a legged design than a wheeled/tracked design. But you're right, an alien nade under any of these would be fatal.

I wouldn't want the alien AI to be consciously aiming for the weak joints (except by flukes) or else they'd be too good at it as they'd be doing it all the time. But it would be handy for player vs player games.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I must disagree. If they were shooting aimed shots, yes, I would like for them to be aiming at weak spots. But if they're shooting snap shots, then no, absolutely not.

That's true, which makes the wheels and tracks more attractive to the defensive player. The legs would have not as much plating as, say, the tracked variant, but perhaps more than the wheeled.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Why would the wheeled one have less armour than the legged one? Wheel systems are a lot smaller than tracked systems, and can support almost as much weight. If I had to rank them in terms of plating, it'd be tread>wheel>legs

Which is why I said it wouldn't make you a small target. ;) I was thinking of the tank crouching behind a wall, and then extending its legs to peek over it and open fire and then duck back down again. I suppose it couldn't be hard to modify a wheeled/tracked tank to have a raising platform for its weapon...  Or maybe arm it with a mortar. Mmm, mortars.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mortars are quite...inaccurate I think, in terms of the scale we're talking about. Plus, On a small vehicle like a HWP, I think we'd actually get the thing stuck into the ground if we mount a mortar onto it...

I suppose we could mount an extendable platform onto any vehicle. The weak point would be the shaft, but, heck, would be useful for scouting and long range "spray and pray"

It would still be costly to reproduce - unless you go with strapping a full blown UFO engine to a tank. ;) The best all-rounder mobility method will still be the hardest or costliest to obtain.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You know, here's what I was thinking for tank chassis:
1x1 wheeled/tracked HWP - Lightly armoured, really fast, can mount a pistol sized weapon, or strap a bomb to it
2x2 wheeled/tracked HWP - Heavily armoured, fast, can mount any weapon on it. Or strap a really really really big bomb. Say, 600 damage
1x1 flying HWP - Very lightly armoured, fast, can mount a pistol sized weapon, or strap a bomb to it
2x2 flying HWP - Moderately armoured, moderate speed, can mount a rifle sized weapon, or strap a bomb to it
1x1 biped HWP - Lightly armoured, moderate speed, can mount a rifle sized weapon, or strap a bomb to it
2x2 biped HWP - Moderately Heavily armoured, slow, can mount any weapon on it. Or strap a really really really big bomb.
2x2 hovering HWP - Very Heavily armoured, very fast, can mount any weapon on it. Or strap a really really really big bomb.

Explaination: Both the small ground HWPs should just about have no armour. Not made for direct confronatation, but more of a scout unit that does the spotting for snipers or whatever. Hovering engines are too big to fit into a small platform. Flying HWPs are mostly scout units, but the big one can mount a bit more heavier weaponry and armour.

But worse still would my favoured idea for transforming legs that incorporate all the plusses of wheeled/tracked legs with bipedal/quadruped legs. I've been reminiscing about some silly giant robot movie. I think it was called Robot Jox or something. In that the American (the heros, naturally) robot's legs get damaged and it continues to fight by converting tank tracks. I thought that one bit was so awesome that I just can't get that idea out of my head. But believe you me, this would be more suitable to another game entirely.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're crazy.

I was thinking more along the lines of a submersible tank. Sort of like TFTD's Coelacanths and Displacers. Snakeman's pond ambush idea is pure genius - and hilarious at the same time. Miniature sea to surface/air missiles. Woosh!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm, I can see quite a few engineering problems that would arise, most related to weapons. Shooting lasers and plasma through murky water wouldn't be...good.

By the way, just to be clear, I'm in favour of all the discussed means of tank movement. I just like to have choices and customability. I sometimes think I'd even be mad enough to go with a unicycle HWP...

Next: Robot arms! Or to use the more technical term I learned recently: End Effectors.

- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, balancing would be a really really big bitch. And yes, I do like mechas, but more of a Power Suit style kind of thing. If any of you read scifi a lot, I would love the Armoured Combat Suit from Jogn Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series. But, in terms of a big hulking robot, I must point out the problems that real engineers and military type people would probably see first. Since we are trying to leave in some sort of reality into this game...

Cause if we aren't, I must advocate a huge robot who can literally swat battlecrusiers out of the skies with it's hands

Hmm...I'm rather not have arms, and just strap guns all over the thing. But that's just me.

EDIT: Crappy forum and it's non-quote-parsingness

Edited by SpaceBoy2000, 28 March 2006 - 08:14 PM.


#107 NKF

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 02:20 AM

Ramming - absolutely briliant. You just make it so that when you enter run mode that your unit builds up speed over the first few tiles until you are at top speed. Assumign the end location is in the object you want rammed - you end up ramming it. This means you have to give enough room for your unit to build up speed in order to ram through said object.

---

Movement for robot leg HWPs would simply be point and click. Your HWP would simply scale objects that are big enough to impede wheels and tracks. I think the easiest way to look at it is that it gets a larger upper limit to its maximum step sizes.

If it's too steep to climb, it just stops. Scaling over uneven terrain like this would be a lot better for the four legged robots. In fact, I'd actually leave heavily armoured bipedal legs for the really heavy HWPs. Four legged HWPs are considerably easier to balance. Hmm, spider-bot HWPs.

Actual jumping would just be done in the same way your soldiers are instructed to jump.

As for the arm, I was thinking more of an extendable arm-like thingy that can be used to pick up and detonate unstable ordinance, or somesuch (i.e. misplaced proximity mine). A giant humanoid robot arm stuck on the side of the HWP is just plain wrong. ;)

---

Speaking of the armour and wheels, my thoughts were that the wheeled version would be constructed with the intent for a lightweight and speedy chasis. The tracked version would be for heavier and more stable models. But that was just one method I was using to differentiate between the two modes. But true, no one ever said that wheels couldn't be used for heavy vehicles or tracks couldn't be used on lighter vehicles that move at lightning speeds.

---

Outriggers. If we have a super-weapon with a powerful kickback, the HWP should be able to deploy outriggers to stabilise itself. This would fix the problem with the mortar knocking the HWP back, for example.

In addition it could be used on a winch attachment (mentioned in another thread) to anchor the HWP to the ground. Great for when you deploy the hook and pull something towards it, like a fallen tree, a large movable object or just to winch soldiers up to a high area. Imagine having your heavy anti-grav HWP fly up and anchor itself to the top of a cliff before droping a line for soldiers to climb up.

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#108 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 08:38 PM

Ramming - absolutely briliant. You just make it so that when you enter run mode that your unit builds up speed over the first few tiles until you are at top speed. Assumign the end location is in the object you want rammed - you end up ramming it. This means you have to give enough room for your unit to build up speed in order to ram through said object.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I'd imagine a Muton/Power Suit could probably rip apart fences with their bare hands anyways. We gotta add in ramming though.

Movement for robot leg HWPs would simply be point and click. Your HWP would simply scale objects that are big enough to impede wheels and tracks. I think the easiest way to look at it is that it gets a larger upper limit to its maximum step sizes.

If it's too steep to climb, it just stops. Scaling over uneven terrain like this would be a lot better for the four legged robots. In fact, I'd actually leave heavily armoured bipedal legs for the really heavy HWPs. Four legged HWPs are considerably easier to balance. Hmm, spider-bot HWPs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

One thing to keep in mind is the 1 x 1 HWP will be in reality and 3' x 3' wide, roughly around 1m x 1m. And 2 x 2 will be about 6' x 6' wide, or 2m x 2m. So, when thinking of "What can we climb over", keep this in mind.

Actual jumping would just be done in the same way your soldiers are instructed to jump.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My point is, how would that work? For all units, not just soldiers and HWPs.

As for the arm, I was thinking more of an extendable arm-like thingy that can be used to pick up and detonate unstable ordinance, or somesuch (i.e. misplaced proximity mine). A giant humanoid robot arm stuck on the side of the HWP is just plain wrong. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh...that's cool. Minelayer HWP. Really cool! I'd love to use that, since all my men are loaded with nades and mines usually.

Speaking of the armour and wheels, my thoughts were that the wheeled version would be constructed with the intent for a lightweight and speedy chasis. The tracked version would be for heavier and more stable models. But that was just one method I was using to differentiate between the two modes. But true, no one ever said that wheels couldn't be used for heavy vehicles or tracks couldn't be used on lighter vehicles that move at lightning speeds.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm, well, wheels would be cheaper I think, and treads would be heavier. Maybe treaded tanks would suffer a slight speed penalty, but have more "climb over things" capability?

Outriggers. If we have a super-weapon with a powerful kickback, the HWP should be able to deploy outriggers to stabilise itself. This would fix the problem with the mortar knocking the HWP back, for example.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mortars don't just knock you back, they kind of shove you into the ground. And you'd get stuck after a few shots.

In addition it could be used on a winch attachment (mentioned in another thread) to anchor the HWP to the ground. Great for when you deploy the hook and pull something towards it, like a fallen tree, a large movable object or just to winch soldiers up to a high area. Imagine having your heavy anti-grav HWP fly up and anchor itself to the top of a cliff before droping a line for soldiers to climb up.

- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's a great idea...except it'd be a bitch to program. Good thinking! :D

#109 Snakeman

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 10:06 PM

Yep, NKF's winch idea, the best HWP tool I thought :)

Combined with HWPs that can climb or hover, an invaluable tool for insertion/extraction of troops to hard-to-get-to portions of the map prior to flying suits - or even instead of them to give yourself harder challenges.

I like its uses too in terms of helping you modify terrain obstacles to suit your defensive needs.

About the submersable HWP ambushing from ponds/lakes - It can work, but I believe in a couple of ways. True in that I don't think it could work, while submerged, its ability to use plasma, lasers or bullets in that sense, but for missile ordinance, the same problem that was tackled for our at-sea submarines can be applied here, its just on a really small scale.

Something occured to me when NKF was mentioning the periscope thingy - A detachable, but functional turret. The main body of the tank would still be hidden, but the turret could raise up over a wall, small structure, bit of raised terrain, or the surface of the water, and have more ordiance to choose from in how you attack.

For balance, and for something like the submersable HWP, its weakness is mobility (I wouldn't think it matters if it were wheeled, tracked, or legs here), because once it fires, its position could easily be given away - on top of which, and unless it has a raiseable turret platform, presumably it could only fire one type of ordinance in the mini balistic missile or mortar category.

Edited by Snakeman, 29 March 2006 - 10:08 PM.


#110 NKF

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 02:09 AM

Was there ever a thread on non-combat tasks that a HWP can provide? If not, we should get one made and collate the ideas in there.

Cranes, storage space, spotlights, smoke canister launchers, handles for soldiers to hang on to, the winch, etc. There's a lot a HWP can do that goes beyond its namesake. I'm sure the number of non-combat functions a HWP can provide would be finite at best, but we can then elaborate on them. But that's for another time.

(And just as a note for those just joining this discussion - no, we aren't making the HWPs into super units to replace your soldiers. We're just discussing on how to make them more useful as a support unit for your troops - with heavy emphasis on 'support')

---

Speaking of mortars, I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about how real world weapons operate. But I seem to recall a 1980 Fleetway annual comic compilation I had with a WWII comic series called Trelawny of the Guard. There was one comic where German soldiers were operating a small mortar by manually dropping a mortar into a tube on light tripod-thingy. Highly inaccurate, but that was the idea, I guess.

I know a comic is not a good way to judge real world weapons by, but just how much of a kick back would something like that produce? Wouldn't a HWP provide a considerably sturdy platform for a manually loaded mortar? (Hey, super HWP weapons that require an operator to fire - now that's something I'd like. Gotta love these out-of-the-blue ideas you get during brainstorming sessions)

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Jumping - well, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with something reasonable as lots of other games have implemented it, be it in real-time or turn based.

I'd like to see a combination of automatic jumping and controlled jumping. Apocalypse had the first - such as automatically jumping over small 1-tile holes rather than wasting time running around them. Basically the unit will make a quick decision whether or not to walk or to jump across small gaps. If it's too large, it'll walk around.

For actual targeted jumping... hmm. Let's see. You just click on a jump icon and point where you'd like to jump. Then the unit will make a spirited attempt to achieve your order. It would have to take into account weight, jumping power, additional jumpjets (for the flying suit or hovering HWP, this would just be a very quick burst of the anti-gravs - saves power), the gravity of the playing field, the distance from the destination and other things. With additional TUs spent for greater distances/heights.

A running jump would involve targeting a location that's well beyond the unit's normal jumping range. Basically a combination of what I proposed for ramming. There are a few problems with this as well, but they can be refined.

Did any of that make sense?

- NKF

Edited by NKF, 30 March 2006 - 06:23 AM.

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#111 Snakeman

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 06:12 AM

Was there ever a thread on non-combat tasks that a HWP can provide? If not, we should get one made and collate the ideas in there.


Not sure if there was a specific topic regarding equipped HWP tools or not, best I could find was the approximate first mention of your winches :)

Loved your little sketch there btw. It also illustrates to me that HWPs don't have to exlusively be weapons platforms. Weapons could take a backseat somewhat for the inclusion of different useful bits. Others might lose the 'Heavy' or even the 'Weapon' classification altogether and just be utilitarian in nature like your sled concept.

http://www.xcomufo.c...?showtopic=4650

Your jumping ideas seem accurate enough from a play mechanics perspective. Although possibly to simplify things, when clicking a destination, a unit ought to take any obstacles into consideration and take the most direct paths most times.

I think that it should include jumping where appropriate, so that you don't necessarily have to issue a separate jump command. Granted, there are probably times where you would want more control of when and where a unit does jump. Perhaps all that is needed in this case - to know if a soldier could make a particular jump distance - is that, while the unit is selected (with probably as well, the jump command button selected), move the cursor (possibly a teeny graphic here of a dude jumping) to where you want it ending up - and have the cursor highlighted green or something to show you that yep, he could make it prior to issuing the command.

If the little cursor jumpy graphic dude is any other color, it probably won't make it, or there could be mixed and/or perhaps comical end results :)

Handy when you think you might have a particularly weighed down unit.

Edited by Snakeman, 04 April 2006 - 07:56 PM.


#112 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:19 PM

Was there ever a thread on non-combat tasks that a HWP can provide? If not, we should get one made and collate the ideas in there.

Cranes, storage space, spotlights, smoke canister launchers, handles for soldiers to hang on to, the winch, etc. There's a lot a HWP can do that goes beyond its namesake. I'm sure the number of non-combat functions a HWP can provide would be finite at best, but we can then elaborate on them. But that's for another time.

(And just as a note for those just joining this discussion - no, we aren't making the HWPs into super units to replace your soldiers. We're just discussing on how to make them more useful as a support unit for your troops - with heavy emphasis on 'support')

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, the "simple" way of limiting how powerful HWPs can become is to basically limit the amount of devices it can carry. Hardpoints would be useful. So, yes, you can mount a winch, but you'll have no more storage space. Sure, you can mount a spotlight, but you'll only be able to mount a small weapon, or no weapon at all. Sensible things like that would limit "overpowered" HWPs, and put them into more of a support role.

Speaking of mortars, I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about how real world weapons operate. But I seem to recall a 1980 Fleetway annual comic compilation I had with a WWII comic series called Trelawny of the Guard. There was one comic where German soldiers were operating a small mortar by manually dropping a mortar into a tube on light tripod-thingy. Highly inaccurate, but that was the idea, I guess.

I know a comic is not a good way to judge real world weapons by, but just how much of a kick back would something like that produce? Wouldn't a HWP provide a considerably sturdy platform for a manually loaded mortar? (Hey, super HWP weapons that require an operator to fire - now that's something I'd like. Gotta love these out-of-the-blue ideas you get during brainstorming sessions) 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's a nice site for you to read through:
http://www.globalsec...und/mortars.htm

Judging from this article, no, we probably can't mount mortars onto HWPs considering their small size. However, it seems like we have a new weapon for our troops...


As for jumping...sounds like a good idea. I personally won't be manually using it anyways, just having the program do it automatically is good enough for me.

#113 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 09:54 AM

eee guys... all in all, will we have an xcom mech? :D (please, say yes.... auuuuufffffff) :D

#114 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:01 AM

I don't see any realistic way of putting that in.

#115 NKF

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:49 PM

If you want mechs that badly, it would be probably easier to go all out and have actual mechs rather than try to turn a HWP into a full blown mech.

A HWP with mech-like features is fine and all, but in the end, it's just a miniature autonomous vehicle that goes out to support the squad. It's not a giant walking tank.

Besides, Xenocide is meant to be designed as a fully moddable game. So if all goes well, it shouldn't be that hard to implement big walking tanks post v1.0.

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#116 dteviot

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:39 PM

Also, I suspect a full blown mech would seriously stuff up game balance. Consider the possibilities of just power armour that would allow someone to carry (and use) a grenade launcher in each hand. With autoloaders, and carrying a large ammo supply.
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#117 Adun_Toridas

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:24 PM

oh just forget it... im loser.... bbbbuuuuuaaaaaaaa!!!!!! :(