Nerf teh Jack (Seriously, Machine gun, Mortar and Foxhole concepts) - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2004-02-12, 02:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Incompetent
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Nerf teh Jack (Seriously, Machine gun, Mortar and Foxhole concepts)


Very bored, can't sleep, inevitably my thoughts turn to PS. I couldn't think of a witty title so i thought of an eye catching one. Probably going to be a long post. I'm going to split this post up into 3 sections, Machine Guns, Mortars and Emplacements.

Machine Guns
I think there should be three types, light, medium and heavy. The light machine gun would use basic 9mm ammunition, loaded from you characters inventory. It's CoF would be similar to that of the Cycler and it would have a 75-100 round magazine. The trick here is you have to lock it onto a slot in your armor, possibly with an alt fire, possibly just by equipping it. This wouldn't take to long, but long enough to keep it from being abused in CQB. Once the weapon is locked in you could only move at walking speeds and would have a horrendous CoF while you do. (CoF expansion from walking would take far longer to reduce then from firing.) It would have a slightly better CoF while crouched, but the main disadvantage is the movement penalties. Turning speed would be similar to non-VS MAXes. It would have very little damage drop off at range, with point blank damage somewhere between that of the Cycler and Pulsar. Light machine guns are intended for the attacker, to provide suppressive fire against entrances and to provide a solid base of fire, while MA weapons would be used for the actual assault. LMGs would take up 3x9 inventory spaces.

Heavy machine guns would work differently. Heavy MGs would use either 20 or 25mm rounds (either or, I cant decide which would be better), loaded from the same boxes as vehicles, and would require a second person to load ammunition into it the same way you load a vehicles trunk. (With an inventory that could only hold a single spare box) A Heavy MG would take up a 3x9 space and would have to be placed on a 3x9 tripod, which could be deployed by the shooter or an assistant. Both would take a substantial period of time to deploy and would thus make it ideal for defense or siege warfare. The damage and COF stats would be taken from the vehicular versions, possibly with a slightly worse CoF. Note that the heavy MG is intended to work in a two man team, one person who fires and carries the weapon, while a second person carries the tripod and loads the weapon. The assistant gunner can feel free to blaze away with his weapon when his services aren't needed, he doesnt have to just sit there and stare at the ammo box. A very determined individual could solo with it, but only with greatly reduced effectiveness.

Medium Machine guns are a hybrid of the Heavy and Light MGs, and can be used either way. Medium MGs would use the standard vehicular 12mm ammunition boxes. They would take slightly longer to lock into your armor then light machine guns, and it would take less time to deploy their tripod and to make it ready for combat. A Medium MG could be placed on a heavy MG tripod if the need arose but the reverse would not be true. Medium MGs could be loaded either by a second person, or from your own inventory, but reloading loading from your own inventory would take noticeably longer. Medium MGs would have a slightly worse CoF when used in the role of a light machine gun.

All three would be packaged into a single three-point cert. Rexo would be required, as would MA. (Although anyone with MA could deploy /carry the tripod/ammo) Having them overheat could also be a possibility, with heat gaining relatively slowly but taking a long time to dissipate. Mediums and Heavies would have quick change barrels to reset there heat (heat would be tied to the barrels though, so if you switch a hot barrel back on the weapon would still be hot), lights would not. If the barrel melts, the weapon is useless and you have to get a new one. If you deploy a medium or heavy machine gun, you can leave it to go rearm or whatnot, but if you deploy another machine gun and/or tripod your current one will self-destruct. Machine guns can be locked just like a vehicle, and while your using it equipment pane will replace the default vehicle pane. Thats done. Minor note, if a deployed tripod is not equipped with a MG in less then, say, 45 seconds, it deconstructs.

Mortars
Mortars would be a nice, cheap, 2 point cert, which would give you too types, light and heavy. Rexo would not be a prerequisite, but MA would be. They would be deployed (and can be locked) the same way a medium or heavy machine gun would be, you drop it, it deploys, you can feel free to move about.

Light mortars would be usable by a single person, with the weapon taking up a 3x9 rifle slot. It wouldn't take very long to deploy, and it would use its own light mortar ammunition, from an AV sized box which would hold about 10-20 rounds. They would come in standard plasma/frag/jammer varieties, and do about the same damage as grenades with a slightly larger radius. It would have a decent ROF, and a very high arc. It would have a maximum range maybe 4/500 meters, and a minimum of around 50 meters.

Heavy mortars would are intended to be moved/used by two people, one too carry the baseplate, one to carry the tube. It's ammo would come from the AV sized boxes, but it would only have 5-10 rounds, with the three standard varieties available of course. The baseplate would follow the same rules as MG tripods and the second can feel to walk off, but should probably stick around since ammo isnt plentiful. It would do respectably higher damage then light mortar, and have significantly larger splash. It would have a slightly lower ROF then the light mortar, and a similar arc. It would have a maximum range of maybe 600/700 meters and a minimum of maybe 100 meters.

Now, the hard part is targeting. I have two different ideas. The first is that a squadmate can place a small deployable camera (CE required, ACE device, limit maybe 2) which he can point towards the target and give the mortar operator a small picture in picture on his screen with which to aim. (The mortar user could check the main map for approximate range/distance.) This would be tied to the platoon, and if there is more then one camera the individual mortar user could select from a list right next to the view window. The other is to add in a targeter, similar to the laspointer. When a target is painted, a compass heading shows up on the mortar users mini-map with the range to the target just below the mini-map, with graduated sights on the mortar to aim by. This would be tied to platoon as well. However the rangefinder would be slightly inaccurate, possibly around 30 meters in any direction. However the squadmate who painted the target cannot tell how far off the targeter was, and would have to correct by sight. The marks on the map would be color-coded and have the painters number on them, which would also be next to the range. Done for that, now to the end of that.

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Old 2004-02-12, 02:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Emplacements
Emplacements would be dug by a new CE tool (which is used up in construction) which takes up the large 3x9-rifle slot. Call it the Combat Entrenchment Tool, or CET. (Possibly require another two point cert on top of CE). It would dig three different types of emplacement, rifle, machine gun and mortar. Each emplacement would have two stages, basic (which just amounts to a hole in the ground with a few minor perks) and fortified (adds in alot more perks.) Basic emplacements would take perhaps thirty to forty seconds to deploy, while adding in the fortified components would take around a minute, during which time the engineer cant do anything else. Emplacements overall would not be very big, maybe around half the size of the current Bunkers, with a small ladder in the back so that you can climb into and out of like getting into a vehicle. (Although you can just jump into the uncovered ones.) Also, engineers can control their emplacements on the map. When they zoom in to the point where deployables show up, theres will show up yellow, at which point they can double click on them, deconstruct them. Covered bunkers also give the controlling engineer the ability to kick people out, can be locked to squad, and will only allow 2 people in. (where as the uncovered ones can hold as many people as can fit, even if you only want two in there.)

Each CE would get 2 rifle pits, with each able to hold two people comfortably. The basic version would offer full cover when crouched, and your CoF would always be the same as when you are crouching. The fortified version would add in a small roof to protect from Mortar rounds as well as heavy vehicular weapons (i.e. vanguard 150s and the like) and flail fire. Possibly deal significantly less damage with a total cap around 50 per shot unless you hit the view port or entryway. Possibly make it so the roof can be destroyed, by direct hits only and can be repaired by the troops inside with either BANKs or Nano Apps (troops can use either, Nano apps would be more efficient/faster, but a lot more people carry BANKs). The advanced rifle pit would also have a very slow regenerative affect, maybe one health/armor point a second (nothing too major though) and a small equipment terminal capable of giving out small arms ammunition, AV ammunition, medkits, engy/medic gun ammunition and possibly Decis. However such bunkers would be prone to attacks by grenades and rocklets, which would deal increased damage if they get through the view ports.

Each engineer would also get one machine gun pit, each holding one heavy or medium machine gun and it's two crewmen. The basic version would simply give much better cover, have a spot where you can deploy the machine gun without using a tripod and would offer a marginal cooling benefit. The fortified version would offer the same roof and regenerative benefits as the rifle pit, but the equipment terminal would be slightly tweaked. It would give out only the types of ammo used by the medium/heavy MGs, spare barrels, medkits and engy/medic gun ammunition. The fortified version would also slightly improve the MGs CoF. The gunners second would also have a small firing slot. It would also have the same vulnerabilities as the fortified rifle pits.

Mortar pits are much simpler, the basic version would just be a hole in the ground, deep enough that you have full cover while standing, which offers a convenient spot to deploy a mortar. The fortified version would offer a small terminal, which you could get mortar ammunition out off, and a slight regenerative benefit. This version could possibly have the ability to track mortar rounds landing within, say 100 yards, and then give the mortar user in the pit an approximate range and direction of the enemy mortar position, but with a slight time delay (between 15 and 30 seconds.)

Obviously all this stuff heavily favors the defenders, which is the point. The bunkers most likely need a nerf, but I decided to leave them powerful anyway since Im describing my ideal. I also have some ideas concerning Anti-Tank guns/emplacements, a few more deployables and handheld AA, which I might post later. I think thats about it, flame away.
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Old 2004-02-12, 02:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Nice ideas
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Old 2004-02-12, 02:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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hmmm this mortar indeeds sounds powerful. something I would like to see instead is the way you get a target is with a 3 point camera setup so you can triangulate the target correctly maybe they have to be 50m away from the target or so with 3 cameras on different vertices. not exactly accurate but in the general direction. Of course you do not have to stand there with the camera but you have to point it in the direction and then drop it.(Didn't add this to bust on your idea maybe just improve it a little. ) anyway great ideas

On second thought (This should show up as an edit.) I would like to see it where you could use the standard camera and get the general area you want to hit buit if you want to go allout and get pinpoint accuracy then you do the whole 3 camera option.

Last edited by JakeLogan; 2004-02-12 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 2004-02-12, 03:29 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Sorry incopetent, but the pits are out. The devs have said, in one of the ask the devs meetings, that the game engine will not allow trenches and tunnels to be dug into the ground. It would have to be a in game design and placed all the time. I do like the fox hole positions and stuff.

They kind of have them now, the bunkers in the game. The bunkers just need to be moved around to cover the base entrances more and have the emplacements added to them. I brought that up when they were talking about the force domes for base defense. Just before that in the same ask the devs, they mentioned making the bunkers more used able more appealing. I thought they should move them in to cover the base gates and the back doors, place the one way CC warps in them, give them a purch term for small arms and med and stuff, Add two to three 12 to 25mm enplacements to them(ammo similar to the wall turrets, ie infinate). Make the wall turrets on the bases alt fire with rocklets(automated in standard fire only) and add some interior on the center structure AA turrets(not automated). I think that would add a lot to a bases defences. For peeps that would bitch that would be to uber powerful: Bases and walled structures are suppose to be choke points that are easy to defend and hard to crack. Would make OBO a lot better also. I don't mean for this to be an OBO option only. Should be avail at all bases. That would give the game a more well defined and somewhat steady front line for battles. Would keep the battles out in the field. Large massed armies would have to coordinate to crack a base, 'cause the bases would be difficult to crack. So you could catch that army out in the field and take them down a notch or two before they got to the base.

For the CR's give them xp in another way. If I'm Commanding a squad, I don't want BR xp all that much, make my kills and my squads kills CR xp not BR xp.

Hell one nice thing to add to a base, which they attempted to do with the shield mod, add a damn door at the gate. Make it destructable, demo charges and armor, and repairable. If the defending army could push the invaders back to the gate they could close them out. But the attacking armor could still lob shells in on them. Infiltrators, infantry and maxes could come in the back door or hide out inside the base when the attackers are pushed back also maybe even hack the gate and be moved past it inside the gate. If the defenders have the shield mod it still would work in keeping vehicles out, but would allow half damage to the gate. I don't know, I think it would be a good idea.

edit: for grammer and added to the infiltration of a base with a gate

Last edited by FireWolf22; 2004-02-12 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 2004-02-12, 03:43 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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These ideas own. My only suggestion would be to get on the horn with Hayoo and figure out a way to tie in the rifle/MG/Mortar pit ideas with his emplacements. Think of how cool it would be to have machinegun pits on the front lines, communication posts closer to a base along with equipment and medical posts, and inbetween them, a line of rifle pits. It would be uber-cool trench warfare.
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Old 2004-02-12, 04:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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I like the medium machinegun idea. It could be carried to its destination but would have to be deployed - with the rules of CE determining where placement could occur. After deployment, the gun is not automatically manned - a person would have to 'use' it like they would get into a vehicle (perhaps the gun has an over the shoulder harness that could be animated, or something). The gun would have a 100 round clip, and a 'trunk' accessible like vehicle trunks with room for a box of rounds. A person could reload the gun by accessing the 'trunk' and placing more 12mm rounds in the gun - making the unit most effective as a crewed weapon. It ought to be lightly armored, though - AP rounds and up should make fairly quick work out of it.

The heavy machinegun is too large (and powerful) of a caliber to carry. If anything, it should be an open-field weapon towable by common-pool vehicles - how to implement that is anyone's guess, but a reverse loading like the Galaxy (where the towed vehicle stays put and the tower backs up) is what I had in mind.

Mortars: same as the machineguns - light mortars would be set up like the medium machinegun, and heavy mortars would be towable.
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Old 2004-02-12, 05:14 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Regarding Emplacements:

Don't have them dig into the ground, as there technically isn't any ground. It's just a 2d barrier that looks like a ground which keeps us from falling into nothing. Instead, have the Emplacements built on top of the ground, like concrete pillboxes just without the digging into the ground part. Mortar "pits" would be the same.

Also, the number of bunkers (and other emplacements) should be limited. In all honesty I think they should be preset, similar to, say, Enemy Territory, where the spot you can build them is marked off, and you can only build them in the given spots. Once built, each individual Combat Engineer should be able to provide one add-on to it. It would start with a single Light MG and nothing other than its innate protection. Each CE could deploy a Bunker Tool there, and depending on the mode it's set to, will add a single enhancement to it. For instance:

Upgrade MG's (adds another MG, to a maximum of 2 or 3, then upgrades them to Medium)
Medical Terminal (1 max)
Equipment Terminal (1 max)
Bult in motion detector at door? Something that adds defense.

Furthermore, have them made destroyable, but only with Boomers, to encourage infiltrators/infantry to serve as sappers. Vehicle weapons, regardless of their power, would not be able to damage or destroy the emplacements, making a completely vehicular assault a doomed endeavor. Would take 5 Boomers to destroy.

As for the mounted machinegun emplacements, I like it, but they NEED to have a protective guard covering their front. Being stationary in any FPS is inviting death, not only from infantry fire, but from snipers, who will be waiting anxiously for someone to be so stupid as to man the guns. Without protection from attacks, this idea will be dead in the water.

I'd also suggest considering general defensive barriers to prevent large explosives from being able to relatively easily shoot inside the bunker itself. Were a Vanguard to get its angle right, everyone inside would be killed, and the bunker would become a death trap. Not only that, but Magriders couldn't do the same. It would be unfair to the Vanu, because they don't have a tank which can make really big explosions.



Anyway, good ideas all-round.
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Old 2004-02-12, 08:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Vis, regarding towed weapons, I thought about it, but whats the point of wasting towing on a tiny little 105 Mortar when you could save it for something like a 105 Howitzer? Or wasting it on a puny 25mm machine gun instead of saving it for a 88mm flatline AT/AA gun? Don't waste towing on tiny little things that the infantry can lug around, use it for stuff that needs to be towed. However speed penalties for carrying heavy mortars or MGs are a possibility. Haven't really thought about armor for the weapons though, but Id go the route of making them tougher, you don't shoot the gun, you shoot the guy manning it.

Warborn, regarding the number available, with the steep cert cost of seven points, I don't think too many people would pick up the cert, so they shouldn't be too many. If you only allow them to only be placed in a specific place everyone will know how to outflank and defeat most of them in a week, especially since the devs love putting things in really shitty places. Not to mention it kills alot of the more creative uses too. Destroyable by boomers only I like.

Honestly, if they arent dug into the ground, they become death traps. There is a reason why people in combat zones typically live below ground. With a little creative coding they could probably pull it off, hell, we fell through the world often enough for a while. Ive done it often enough, Im well aware of how the ground is set up. Im confident that if the devs really wanted to they could pull it off.

Minor addition to the basic emplacements I left out before, they would have sandbags that rise up a little ways, with the firing slots in those, but they would be unprotected from above. I would want fortified emplacements to carry over the overhang from the bunkers in game now. It should be a one in a million shot with a tank gun to land a shell inside, literally. Your gonna have to pound the sucker for a bit and try to kill them off when the 15-20 splash that gets through on a near miss while theyre throwing concentrated AV fire at you. However, if you manage to get close with infantry you could bounce a few grenades in or shoot a few rocklets at the slot, and deal extra damage due to the confined space. As far as basic ones, well, thats what you get for not reinforcing it, sure you can clean up against infantry, but tanks will own you, plan ahead next time.

As far as protecting MG emplacements from snipers, the main defense is that you only show a very small part of your body in the first place, can easily hide and heal, and your weapon is built for suppressive fire. In all honestly sniping is a rip-off for most chars right now, it's balanced perfectly, but it's very specialized, so there aren't really all that many. PShield is getting a buff soon too, and since MGers job requires alot of standing still, it could also become very popular among them. They could also add a quick release function for lights and mediums in the field, so if they get sniped they can immediately cut and run, but the next time they secure the weapon to fire it takes a few seconds longer. Perhaps a small blasts shield for heavies? In the field heavies should be vulnerable anyway, theyre meant for defense. Dont forget Mortars either, they could end up being the snipers bane, and the machine gunners.

As far as your modular bunker idea, I like it, but I cant really think of a place to cram it in. Ive already gone more then a little overboard on the ones Ive got now. Thats the sort of thing Id want to put inside the base walls at the gate though.

I was considering adding some various defense barriers such as blast shields, dragons teeth, angle iron and barbed wire, but I decided to leave that out of these posts. I might put them in a later post.

Firewolf, Im well aware of what they said, this is concept, not gospel. It's how I think it would be ideal, Im not deluded enough to think any of this is going to make it into PS in a recognizable form, Im just bored.

Im going to go make a pathetic attempt at a visual reference right now.

Edit: OK, fuck the visual aids, if someone with talent wants to help send me a pm.
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Old 2004-02-12, 09:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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It's about time someone tackled the subject of the almighty Jackhammer. Allow me to go into several paragraphs on the subject...

jk ... nice ideas.
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Old 2004-02-12, 09:43 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Originally Posted by Incompetent
Warborn, regarding the number available, with the steep cert cost of seven points, I don't think too many people would pick up the cert, so they shouldn't be too many.
Didn't see the cert cost. I think it's too high, in my opinion. Seven certs would make your character pretty one-dimensional. I know, "that's the price you have to pay", but I really don't think things should be balanced by their cert costs. At most, three certs with CE as prerequisite would do it. I don't think the developers really want to force people into a singular role, and making it seven would basically make an Engineer and little else out of them.

If you only allow them to only be placed in a specific place everyone will know how to outflank and defeat most of them in a week, especially since the devs love putting things in really shitty places. Not to mention it kills alot of the more creative uses too.
If the locations aren't placed in really stupid locations then it won't be so bad.

As for the bunkers being able to be flanked, sure, but that's to be expected. Setup mines, spitfires, and guys with guns and sticks to ensure you can't be flanked easily. Making static defenses which have no vulnerability takes away a lot of the fun of cracking open a base.

Honestly, if they arent dug into the ground, they become death traps. There is a reason why people in combat zones typically live below ground. With a little creative coding they could probably pull it off, hell, we fell through the world often enough for a while. Ive done it often enough, Im well aware of how the ground is set up. Im confident that if the devs really wanted to they could pull it off.
People go underground in real life because a well built semi-underground bunker is harder to see, provides great protection from explosions except for direct hits (where even concrete would slowly become pulverised by prolonged barrages), and doesn't require much in the way of materials. It's a lot more cost efficient to dig into the ground, and plus, it's quick and relatively easy to do, which is important when you have dynamic battle-lines. Needless to say, however, these reasons aren't applicable in PS.

Anyway, I'm not sure how PS works on a technical level, but I really think that changing the ground itself to deform it would cause problems. Is it doable? Probably. Doable without any serious side effects or without requiring a huge time investment? I'm not so sure. Dave Georgeson said that deformable terrain was on his list of "things I wish I could add if I didn't have to worry about technical issues or anything", so it's obvious the desire is there, I just don't think it's feasible. As such, alternatives which require less work should be given some real consideration.

As far as protecting MG emplacements from snipers, the main defense is that you only show a very small part of your body in the first place, can easily hide and heal, and your weapon is built for suppressive fire. In all honestly sniping is a rip-off for most chars right now, it's balanced perfectly, but it's very specialized, so there aren't really all that many. PShield is getting a buff soon too, and since MGers job requires alot of standing still, it could also become very popular among them. They could also add a quick release function for lights and mediums in the field, so if they get sniped they can immediately cut and run, but the next time they secure the weapon to fire it takes a few seconds longer. Perhaps a small blasts shield for heavies? In the field heavies should be vulnerable anyway, theyre meant for defense. Dont forget Mortars either, they could end up being the snipers bane, and the machine gunners.
I'm not so sure people manning the guns would be much safer. I'd know exactly where they're going to be coming up next, as the emplacement isn't moving, and even if I don't kill them, I could easily surpress them by shooting them immidiately, forcing them to withdraw or be killed. And from the ranges snipers can engage targets from, I guarentee you a machine gun will be useless in surpressing me instead. Trust me, without sniper defenses, people manning emplacements are doomed. They will be easy targets for all snipers, experienced and casual.
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Old 2004-02-12, 10:05 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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I like the ideas. I think the mortars should be done tribes style, with a marker on top of your target (possible targeted by second person?). It would just be a straight line going into the sky, with a round target thing at the top where you place your crosshairs. If you put it exactly on the circle, then the mortar would land exactly on the spot the 2nd guy targeted.
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Old 2004-02-12, 10:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Nono, CE plus 2 more for entrenchment, balancing by massive cert cost is stupid.

As far as placement, how many bunkers do you see in decent spots now, i say get rid of those and replace them with real bunkers, with all sorts of MGs. and move them out to key chokepoints. Let players manually place close in defenses. Imho its more fun to find a ***** in player made defenses the "ah, were at faro, everyone know what to do?"

Well, my theory is that they wouldn't have to deform the terrain at all, they could just make it as a structure that extends into the ground. I'm not sure but I would think they could turn off clipping in localized areas, and simply make that part of the terrain transparent, or something like that, until they can come up with a less "hackish" way to do it.

For snipers, theres always friendly snipers, or a mortar barrage. Then again they could always just throw some camo nets over them. Make it so you can pull it left or right a little bit so they can't just sight the firing slots by memory.

Edit: Tribes style would just be an overgrown Thumper, I'd rather they make it a real mortar. More of a barrage/harassment weapon.

Edit for clarity
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