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My rant
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 15:34   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default My rant

This was originally written as a response to dire strike's "homuncular (SP?) flexibility and battle suit control", which is still on the front page. Because of that, it references an article which dire linked to in his original post. I highly recommend that you read that topic before you read this one. It can be found here:

http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=16317.0

Not wanting to derail a perfectly good topic with my mostly incomprehensible rant, I decided it would be best to just start a new topic. So now you know why it starts with a quote. :P

[hr]

Quote:
Originally Posted by DireStrike
I've often pointed to the design of crisis suits as sort of an artistic whimsy on the part of the earth caste - there is no functional reason to design crisis suits that way, but it is done purely as service to form, showing prodigous manufacturing and design capabilities - the finished product is not always dictated by needed form, but also strongly by aesthetic value.
The crisis battle suit's design IS strongly affected by aesthetic values; the values of the sculptor who designed it.

Still, there is defiantly something to be said for the human (or in this case tau) form: it has an easier time adjusting to difficult terrain than many other forms, can handle objects easily using its opposable thumbs and has a central sensory unit that is raised well of the ground, away from most dangers.

There are however some things that defiantly need worked out with the crisis suit's design if it were to be a viable real-world combat weapon; for instance, why are the hands sunken inwards, making interaction with other objects awkward at best?

While I'm having a go at the hands, have you noticed that several of the weapons make it practically impossible to use them (fusion blaster and plasma in particular)at all? If they are not meant to be used, why include them in the design at all? Either make the hands practical, or cut them.

The head also has some very serious problems; the biggest of all is why it is even there. A battle suit has no need for a brain; it already has a driver and dispersed computer chips can handle balancing the suit, calculating thruster jumps ect. The cameras mounted on it would be largely useless as a) they are only mounted on one side and b) the design of the suit would mean that the could only 'see' what was directly in front and about 5 yards away from it (an exaggeration, but you get the idea). As it is now, the head is one very large target waiting to be hit with some shrapnel.

The overall dimensions of the crisis suit also would have to shrunk down if it were to be able to make use of cover. The current suits stands about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide including jump-pack (eyeball), which is far to large to be effective in most situations (particularly the storming of buildings, something that must always be done in a urban conflict zone).

Looking at that article, it seems that the body's 'control' system is capable of adapting to some very alien forms (elongated limbs, extra limbs ect.). If that is true, then why would you design a combat suit that so closely mimics your own body when you could produce an infinitely more efficient design? As someone mentioned in a very similar topic a while ago, you could have "a floating ball with guns". If unpaid volunteers with outdated technology cannot used to freakish and bizarre bodies with hardly any practice, then surly a extremely devoted combat veteran with all the benefits of advanced tau science can utilize something a bit more complex than a three toed jump-giant with guns(?).

And why does the pilot even have to be in the thing at all? They could use secured wireless wavelengths to deliver commands to a mostly robotic crisis suit operating independently. If modern technology is any clue, then the tau should be able to issue these commands from hundreds of miles away, or even from orbiting ships (think blue-tooth). There are obviously times when this would be difficult, but it is a viable idea.

[/nerdrant]
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 16:06   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

The danger of using remote control for critical battle systems is that if the enemy can crack your controls, you're in for a world of hurt.

Nothing is unbreakable. The ULTRA project in WWII should have taught people that unbreakable is only the result of an overinflated ego.

You want remote controlled crisis suits to fight the tyranids? Sure, maybe you won't take so many casualties for a battle or two. But I'm sure the hive mind can detect signals, and evolve a way to control, or just incapacitate those suits given time. The orks could hastily scramble a "Jamma" once they realized there was no one in the suit. Meks just need an idea and a hammer and all of a sudden it works.

And this is true with modern system too. We're using remote devices for surveillance and bomb detonation. But I cannot see any government trusting their multi-million dollar pieces of hardware to a remote control system that is susceptible to being taken over by the enemy.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 16:07   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

About the head I think that's the best place:the cameras are in the highest place on the suit,so they have a best view of the battlefield.They don't have a 360 vision,it's their only lack.

The hands:in my opinion the only purpose of the suit's arms is to hold the guns,that are attached ON the arm,the hands do not hold them.So I think that the suit's hands were made only for an aesthetic purpose.

The suit can be piloted in a really efficient way by a pilot inside it,who can really see the environment of the battlefield,and knows well what's going onaround him.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 17:53   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

-redbeard



There are defiantly major problems with remote controlled suits, but there are other ways to avoid having a pilot. You could have 100% mechanical suits that only require an occasional checkup to make sure it is still running.

-Valar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valar
About the head I think that's the best place:the cameras are in the highest place on the suit,so they have a best view of the battlefield.They don't have a 360 vision,it's their only lack.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Valar
The hands:in my opinion the only purpose of the suit's arms is to hold the guns,that are attached ON the arm,the hands do not hold them.So I think that the suit's hands were made only for an aesthetic purpose.
As it is now. In-game, hands serve no real purpose. However, in real battle, interacting with other objects (not just your gun) is vital. You must be able to grab hold of things to maintain your balance, you must be able to easily move ruble and other objects ect.

Besides, mounting the weapons on arms like that is unnecessarily complex and probably more vulnerable to weapons fire and shrapnel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valar
The suit can be piloted in a really efficient way by a pilot inside it,who can really see the environment of the battlefield,and knows well what's going onaround him.
The pilot-inside technique defiantly does work, but nobody can fault me when I say that it puts the pilot in unnecessary risk. Drone-suits would seem much more tauish to me, as they do not risk the lives of the pilots.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 18:11   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

You can see how the hands work on O'shovah on his blade arm. The fingers extend from that recess to be usable. That makes sense to me.

I do wonder about their bulk though. If the battlesuit is Tau super power armour (with jumppack and weapons), I would expect something more reduced and tau-y, like the stealth suit. But I guess that's dreaming since the new stealths are big. At least there's hope with the X-25.

I do think that broadsides need to be big to handle that firepower.
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 20:17   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

Drone-suits would seem much more tauish to me, as they do not risk the lives of the pilots.

You do realise that the average drone is about as intelligent as a squirrel? Although you could make machine suits work, with Tau technology the way it is it benifits the greater good much more to have a living pilot. (Too much resources and time to make it and check if it is still running)

You also have the Harry - Potter - house - elf problem. The Fire Caste like fighting. That is their purpose. It's what they were born to do. Take that away, and they have nothing.

What exactly is the phantom limb syndrome everyone else was talking about?
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Old 10 Jan 2006, 21:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

I have always really wished GW would make some kind of hands for the suits that we could use for conversions. I've had lots of ideas that would have worked if I hand bits to use as the hands...

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Old 10 Jan 2006, 23:11   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

O.k. so we elongate the suits hands and or destroy the overing to them. As for the head... It makes the suit look like a suit in my opinion. But however i would like the new stealths head on the Crisis and the stealth to just keep its own head. But that's another topic. As for size weell.... I do find it kinda looks as it the suit has breasts. And in no way do I mean to be sexist. But do we really want to reduce the size. I mean in model terms wouldn't you wnat all your models to seem threatening. And considering that the battlesuit is kinda like a mobile mini firebase wouldn't you want him big and able to see his targets?


Now we all know the position of the pilot in the suit. Sitting. but I would like him standing. Legs, with extra support for those long battles, in the top part of the crisis legs. Head just poking out, And arms the same as legs.
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Old 11 Jan 2006, 00:44   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

I like the current Battlesuit heads. Espescially the eyes/lenses. They look cool.
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Old 11 Jan 2006, 01:02   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My rant

I thought I explained it so well!

Phantom limb is where your limb isn't actually attatched to you, but your brain is so used to it being there it refuses to accept it isnt there. That is a potential problem with crazy, octoped-like suits... the Tau brain might get truely imaginary input from the non-existant limbs while the pilot is trying to have his coffee.

Another example is a guy in a motorcycle accident. He clenches his fist in his left arm because it hurts so much.

One month later, the limb has been amputated, but he still gets a feeling like he had a left arm and his fist was clenched. Textbook Phantom Limb.

The solution was to use a mirror box and clench his right fist. Then, when he unclenched his right fist, it looked like his left fist unclenched, solving his problem of a phantom limb.
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