What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

For feedback on the game code and design. Feedback on server rules and playstyle belong in Policy Discussion.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jacquerel
Code Maintainer
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:10 pm
Byond Username: Becquerel

What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by Jacquerel » #730561

Mechs have an identity problem- we just don't have anything to point at and say "this is what mechs should be like and what mechs are for".
Resultingly what we have are machines with no clear purpose.

It isn't obvious when you should make a mech. It isn't obvious when you shouldn't build a mech.
Largely speaking mechs are considered to be a functionally quite weak or trap option in most scenarios where fighting humans, and an insurmoutable obstacle when fighting a lot of things which aren't humans.
We have combat mechs which people advise you never buy as an antagonist because they're much less useful then holding a gun.
We have combat mechs which people get admin messages about building in every round because they make blob very difficult to win.
We have several mechs with utility functions which go unused due to their cumbersome movement and interface.
We have at least one mech made almost completely redundant by a modular suit present in the same department at the start of the round.

What scenarios do you expect that a mech should be used by the crew?
What do you think you should feel when confronted by an antagonistic mech as a crew member?
Is there a place for mechs which aren't just for killing things? What differentiates them from modular suits?
Should some of the killing function of some mechs also be migrated to modular suits?

Ignore, as much as you can, what the mechs we already have in the game are for right now. What do you think the answers to these questions should be? What should their expected place be, what should we be pointing at to say "this doesn't currently match up"?
User avatar
zxaber
In-Game Admin
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:00 am
Byond Username: Zxaber

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by zxaber » #730575

I think mechs should lean into being powerful but limiting. You don't get to use any handheld tools while in one, and you don't meaningfully benefit from any chems or other bonuses you can get as an organic humanoid. But you have a powerhouse vehicle that can mount helpful equipment or weapons.

So mechs should (and do) offer a good selection of tools or weapons but require you to leave the mech to accomplish other tasks. Rather than being a suit you can wear for the rest of the shift, it's a vehicle that you move in and out of as need be.

Combat mechs feel clunky because mechs are inherently clunky (which is part of the charm). I think the biggest takeaway is that combat mechs benefit from having infantry support but there's not an easy way to do that currently. For Nuke Ops, at least, perhaps a change to make their mechs automatically "shoot past" anyone with a syndicate inplant would help
Douglas Bickerson / Adaptive Manipulator / Digital Clockwork
Image
OrdoM/(Viktor Bergmannsen) (ghost) "Also Douglas, you're becoming the Lexia Black of Robotics"
MooCow12
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:08 pm
Byond Username: MooCow12

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by MooCow12 » #730601

They are a relatively lumbering platform that foregoes all stealth elements and straight up tells you what their abilities are and what they are geared to do (unless the concealed weapon bay for tot wasnt removed im too lazy to check)


They are harder to take down in exchange for having to specialize in their ability to manipulate the area around them weather that be them healing or harming or simply serving as a barrier.


The downside of them being inherently immobile and loud further serves to telegraph their presence and where they will have an impact.



From the pure perspective of combat, mechs are not good in a vacuum, they require support from other players or mechanics, this is because combat in the game is not always about being able to stay in a room and continue fighting (unless you are fighting blob or sieging down a department which are rare scenarios) its about being able to constantly relocate yourself so you do not get swarmed or are able to recover.


A good example of when a mech would shine as a persistent threat is when defending another party that has the braincells to actually stay close to a combat mech, if you attack the mech first youll use up alot of resources (ammo/laser charge/action cooldown) to be able to kill that mech and other players will be able to kill the attacker long before the mech is down, in contrast you cant attack someone else in presence of a mech without that mech getting an easy aim on you.

In terms of other mechanics mech users have an endless list of content to choose from to overcome their downsides.

Construction, one of the most basic mechanics in this game can vastly help a mech, sick of people outmaneuvering you? build a corridoor in an area that you intended to defend with the mech, this further telegraphs the area you intend to fight in but thats what mechs are all about. Why stop there, make a few bunkers or checkpoints around the station so if you do get overwhelmed as a mech pilot you have somewhere to safely retreat to and repair.

Want to escape people easier? one method that relies on cooperation is a quantum spin inverter, have it in your inventory and give the other linked inverter to someone else, tell the other person to activate it and throw it on the ground when you give them the signal on pda or radio, chances are your mech is tanky enough to last until the teleport happens, or use a circuit launchpad if you want to do this by yourself.



The reason we don't see combat mechs do that great is explicitly because in their best-case scenario, other players are avoiding them, they become area denial tools that punish bad plays and because of that they are incredibly healthy for combat in the game.



TLDR; Mechs are a way to have staying power in a conflict or scenario at the cost of telegraphing your abilities and limiting your ability to pick and choose your conflicts, you become less able to quickly manipulate the game world around you very quickly but you have staying power in situations that happen around you. Mobility is probably the most powerful attribute in the game since it lets you press on advantages, allows you to be in more places, and lets you pick your fights or escape bad situations and mechs have ways to overcome this downside already. Mechs just have an incredibly high knowledge ceiling when it comes to making the most of them where the skill/knowledge floor is just making them and using them as normal. This serves as an interesting twist that goes against the meta and general gameplay of most players and is healthy for the game as a different playstyle that you submit yourself to.



Also blob not having tools to beat mechs is because their obj damage is shit , same story with them not being able to break armored glass, same story with half of the blob strains (emp) being dogshit noob bait.
List of my favorite TG Staff.
Spoiler:
oranges wrote:who's this moocow guy and why is their head firmly planted up athath's ass
cSeal wrote: TLDR suck my nuts you bald bitch
User avatar
NecromancerAnne
In-Game Admin
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:55 pm
Byond Username: NecromancerAnne
Location: Don't touch me, motherfucker...

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by NecromancerAnne » #730608

I mean, utility mechs have pretty solid functionality. Ripleys are good all-rounders, able to do a bunch of things. Clarkes, despite some miners not liking them, are actually pretty cool for mining. Odys, despite half the equipment they could get being dogshit, are actually fairly useful for emergencies and during surgeries to keep patients alive and stable when they would otherwise die if not put onto a stasis bed.

Of all the combat mechs, I think only the Paddy has an actual defined use and it is a damn good one. Arrests, and particularly, mass arrests. And they're fun as fuck to use. You can equip them to function as normal combat mechs, and I find that to align well with their intended user; security, who do have to gear up in a similar fashion at times.

But all the other combat mechs? I literally cannot tell you what their specific purpose is other than being extremely robust at combat and only that. But robust primarily again; carbons, high health mobs that don't have heavy devastation attacks (so most things that aren't megafauna or really fast high damage demolishing mobs with maybe the exception of Space Dragons because of the following point), and extremely stationary targets like blobs, AI's and the Space Dragon portal (which allows the mech to then just kill the dragon).

That's a lot. They're generalists as far as combat solutions go.
GPeckman
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:19 am
Byond Username: GPeckman

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by GPeckman » #730611

MooCow12 wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:22 am Also blob not having tools to beat mechs is because their obj damage is shit , same story with them not being able to break armored glass, same story with half of the blob strains (emp) being dogshit noob bait.
I agree with 99% of your post but I have to disagree with this. Mechs have nowhere near the durability of plastitanium glass (which is pretty stupid tbh), and any mech pilot that tries to charge into a blob is going to get their ass kicked. Mechs are good against blob, but only because of their ability to apply constant pressure. You can just stay out of reach of the blob and keep shooting at it constantly for minutes on end before needing to recharge or get more ammo. They don't have the DPS to outright kill a blob mind you, but the constant pressure they can apply is valuable nonetheless.
MooCow12
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:08 pm
Byond Username: MooCow12

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by MooCow12 » #730675

GPeckman wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:30 pm
MooCow12 wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:22 am Also blob not having tools to beat mechs is because their obj damage is shit , same story with them not being able to break armored glass, same story with half of the blob strains (emp) being dogshit noob bait.
I agree with 99% of your post but I have to disagree with this. Mechs have nowhere near the durability of plastitanium glass (which is pretty stupid tbh), and any mech pilot that tries to charge into a blob is going to get their ass kicked. Mechs are good against blob, but only because of their ability to apply constant pressure. You can just stay out of reach of the blob and keep shooting at it constantly for minutes on end before needing to recharge or get more ammo. They don't have the DPS to outright kill a blob mind you, but the constant pressure they can apply is valuable nonetheless.
It was mostly on emp strain being dogshit noob bait and having shit aoe

Most things you want to emp are going to be far away from you (lasers/mechs)

The only thing youd want to emp that goes into melee (androids/augmented people/cyborgs) already get countered by reactive spines without MAKING YOU VULNERABLE TO EVERY DAMAGE TYPE
List of my favorite TG Staff.
Spoiler:
oranges wrote:who's this moocow guy and why is their head firmly planted up athath's ass
cSeal wrote: TLDR suck my nuts you bald bitch
User avatar
nianjiilical
In-Game Admin
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:30 am
Byond Username: Nianjiilical

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by nianjiilical » #730871

thinking on the topic and this thread, i think mechs should be

-expensive enough that making multiple of one type is a challenge
-very good at one specialized role, to where being in an upgraded mech should be better than a full toolset and non-mech equipment
-loud and unwieldy and clunky both to hammer home how much you're specializing on one Thing and for flavor/immersion

in those regards id argue the best mechs we have are the oddy and paddy: they're both extremely good at their jobs and have clear roles. on the other hand the clarke struggles to hold up against plasma cutters (especially with the new mining defense minigame), the ripley and gygax are kind of outclassed by the durand, the phazon and ivanov both have very cool gimmicks but basically just those gimmicks, and the honk is fine

if anything i think we should outright buff most of the mechs for their specific role and nerf their ability to do generalist stuff

-the oddy is again fine but id argue we could give it one or two more generally useful medbay equips, same with the paddy
-the clarke should be as good as, if not better than, a miner using top tier (non-megafauna) items; make it move fast on lavaland, give it deployable defense turrets to help with nodes, an even better plasma cutter, etc
-turn the ripley into the premiere engineering mecha, give it better versions of most advanced engineering tools, make using one the best way to construct or repair large areas
-i dont want to say 'remove gygax' but i dont really know what its role should be other than 'a really cheap punch suit'; if nothing else focus on the other three combat mechs' specific strengths. the durand should be The defensive tank mech, the phazon should be The reconnaissance and mobility hit-and-run mech, the ivanov should be The glass-ish cannon destroyer mech, and they should each be bad at the other two's strengths but fantastic in their own
-make the honk even more of an annoying piece of shit
-the centcom/syndicate mechs can stay generalists but im sure someone can come up with fun things to give the marauder to make it specifically a loud station destruction and breakin tool
human: ramon chivara
ai: shitpost generator
borg: shite-115
clown: donk tonkler
mime: beautiful noise

admin feedback thread

my admin policy:
Spoiler:
Image
User avatar
Not-Dorsidarf
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:14 pm
Byond Username: Dorsidwarf
Location: We're all going on an, admin holiday

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by Not-Dorsidarf » #730963

More than one Durand in a round should be the sort of thing that is difficult and makes other people yell at you for hogging the mats yeah, but material availability is kinda incredibly dependent on how fast the top tier of upgrades were rushed and applied to the ORM for mad ore dupes.

In general the more specialist and obvious the purpose of a mech is the better.

RIPLEY: Its been struggling for a purpose since Lavaland came out, and the loader mod thingie cargo gets seems to put it to bed now. Its not the miners mech, its not very useful for cargo, its fragile - its only real role is to be beaten up for experiments. Make it an engineer mech or put it to bed and rename the loaderMOD the RIPLEY MK IV
ODDYSEUS: Love the idea of more medbay equips. Maybe an autosurgeon module that will perform a selected surgery on a prone target over time, as long as neither the mech nor patient move/are moved but allowing the Oddy use other gear in the meanwhile.
CLARKE: Needs a rework now that mining is a wave defense game
DURAND: Honestly I think the durand should become an endgame mech for research, not just a little bit further than gygaxes. Give it an anomaly requirement like Phazons and let it be wild.
GYGAX: As has been mentioned, its just "the slightly cheaper slightly worse" combat mech. Speed and the wall-crash is interesting, but mechs are clunky enough that it'll probbably never feel worthwhile to have versus a durands tankiness given how equivalent they are to get.
SAVANNAH-IVANOV: I dont see this mech get used enough to have a feel for it.
Image
Image
kieth4 wrote: infrequently shitting yourself is fine imo
There is a lot of very bizarre nonsense being talked on this forum. I shall now remain silent and logoff until my points are vindicated.
Player who complainted over being killed for looting cap office wrote: Sun Jul 30, 2023 1:33 am Hey there, I'm Virescent, the super evil person who made the stupid appeal and didn't think it through enough. Just came here to say: screech, retards. Screech and writhe like the worms you are. Your pathetic little cries will keep echoing around for a while before quietting down. There is one great outcome from this: I rised up the blood pressure of some of you shitheads and lowered your lifespan. I'm honestly tempted to do this more often just to see you screech and writhe more, but that wouldn't be cool of me. So come on haters, show me some more of your high blood pressure please. 🖕🖕🖕
MooCow12
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:08 pm
Byond Username: MooCow12

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by MooCow12 » #731080

Gygax can chase down someone who has a damage slowdown durand cant.

Gygax can avoid getting swarmed, durand cant.


Gygax is the valid <hunt> mech

Durand is the one you spend half the round trying to make it less telegraphed via circuits and chems making an unholy chem-tech mech and if you dont youre just doubling down on being immobile
List of my favorite TG Staff.
Spoiler:
oranges wrote:who's this moocow guy and why is their head firmly planted up athath's ass
cSeal wrote: TLDR suck my nuts you bald bitch
User avatar
Bisar
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:45 pm
Byond Username: Bisar

Re: What are mechs for? What should mechs be for?

Post by Bisar » #731561

I feel that mechs are an artifact of pre-MODsuits, being kept around in consideration of players who have sentimental or self-serving reasons to like mechs.

It's my opinion that anything mechs do should instead be handled by an expansion of MODsuit functionality. If a MODsuit can't or shouldn't be able to do something a mech can do, it raises the question of why it's something freely available for roboticists to manufacture for the penalty of, what I understand, is being vulnerable to EMP and not being able to use in-hand equipment?

What's more, mechs seem to be the only crew-side ability that can't be taken from you by simply being out-played by another player UNLESS they take it before you get it. Your only options with a mech are to destroy it, flee from it, or die to it. Having a mech used against you is never in the playbook when you take a mech into a fight, and having a mech used against the crew is never in the playbook for crew who deploy a mech user EXCEPT in the very specific case of one specific antagonist buying one specific ability. Vice versa for antagonists who use a mech: The crew can't turn a mech on the mech user or on the mech users' team like they can a modsuit, a gun, a bomb, or a buff item.

Introducing a mech into a conflict narrows the options and the sandbox; it becomes about handling the mech, which has functionally unlimited ammo in any engagement timeline besides a blob, and whose melee weakness of being attacked from the back is completely mitigated by having any support for the mech user (crew or antags with weapons).

Final thing: Why is it faster to enter and exit a mech than it is to (de)activate a MODsuit? What's up with that?
Image
This is a photo of an area of 2 meters by 3 meters.
You can also see Ted 'GreyTide Ted' Metek on the photo. He is holding a camera.
You can also see Unknown on the photo, looking a bit hurt.
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users