Jump to content

Engines and Heat Sinks


8 replies to this topic

#1 ExAstris

    Member

  • Elite Founder
  • 393 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

Introduction:
In the classic TT, battlemechs are given 10 free heat sinks to represent the mechs basic capability to cool itself. Eventually, double heat sinks (DHS) were introduced and the canon simply adopted them as being part of the mech's engine.

Previous mechwarrior games have just given all mechs double heat sinks as standard equipment meaning they all have a base of 20 dissipation. This is not the case for MWO, as every mech released thusfar has its base configuration using single heat sinks.

Given that we will be buying new engines in MWO to change our speed, it also makes sense that we would also need to buy expensive versions of those engines to make our mech go from single heat sinks to double heat sinks.

The problem with this in terms of a balanced game with a gradual power-creep is that heat is a key limiting resource for the effectiveness of a mech in combat, and straight up doubleing that capability of the mech vastly increases its staying power without any other loadout restriction.

The following suggestion helps smooth out the power creep so there is not such a hard disparity between players with and without DHS, as well as provide a trickling incentive to keep purchasing expensive upgrades to our favorite mechs.


Suggestion:
As the Inner Sphere developes better cooling systems for its mechs, the engines slowly progress from single heat sinks to full-on double heat sinks. This will be represented by engines that have heat dissipation values between 10 and 20. Additional heat sinks added as equipment will still have the same values as in classic TT (1 slot, 1 heat, 1 ton, vs 3 slots, 2 heat, 1 ton), however, engines will have a variety of dissipation values that are balanced against their actual c-bill price, and only become available as the tech in the Inner Sphere progresses towards the DHS standard.

Example:
MWO launches with only single heat sink engines, i.e. every engine provides 10 base heat dissipation. DHS tech may exist as equipment and DHS equipment can be used in conjunction with SHS engines (which Davion cannonically did), however, at launch, no engines will provide DHS dissipation rates (i.e. 20 free heat just because the engine uses free DHS).
After some time has passed and players become more established (say a month or so), technology allows the development of engines that can dissipate larger base amounts of heat while providing the same weight/speed/volume of their predecessor engines. For the sake of example, say 12 heat instead of 10. These engines would be quite expensive, but provide an advantage to those who could afford them.
Eventually, once game and population growth allow it, heat rated 14 engines become available (perhaps lowering the price on 12 and 10 rated engines, because thats how tech progression works!). This process could be repeated a number of times based on how small the increments are, all the way up to the maximum full-on 20 heat dissipation for a full DHS tech based engine.

The upshot:
Everyone gets a power creep to look forward too, and meaningful upgrades to their mech, while simultaneously filling out and smoothing over the serious performance gap between SHS and DHS.

The downside:
Requires the introduction of engines without the base 10 or 20 dissipation rates into the battletech universe, along with the subtle distinction of the engine's total dissipation capacity vs the dissipation capacity of individual heat sinks considered to be a part of the engine.

#2 RedDragon

    Member

  • Legendary Founder
  • 1,339 posts
  • LocationKurpfalz, Germany

Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:38 AM

View PostExAstris, on 05 July 2012 - 10:22 AM, said:

Introduction:
In the classic TT, battlemechs are given 10 free heat sinks to represent the mechs basic capability to cool itself. Eventually, double heat sinks (DHS) were introduced and the canon simply adopted them as being part of the mech's engine.

Previous mechwarrior games have just given all mechs double heat sinks as standard equipment meaning they all have a base of 20 dissipation. This is not the case for MWO, as every mech released thusfar has its base configuration using single heat sinks.

Given that we will be buying new engines in MWO to change our speed, it also makes sense that we would also need to buy expensive versions of those engines to make our mech go from single heat sinks to double heat sinks.

The problem with this in terms of a balanced game with a gradual power-creep is that heat is a key limiting resource for the effectiveness of a mech in combat, and straight up doubleing that capability of the mech vastly increases its staying power without any other loadout restriction.

The following suggestion helps smooth out the power creep so there is not such a hard disparity between players with and without DHS, as well as provide a trickling incentive to keep purchasing expensive upgrades to our favorite mechs.


Suggestion:
As the Inner Sphere developes better cooling systems for its mechs, the engines slowly progress from single heat sinks to full-on double heat sinks. This will be represented by engines that have heat dissipation values between 10 and 20. Additional heat sinks added as equipment will still have the same values as in classic TT (1 slot, 1 heat, 1 ton, vs 3 slots, 2 heat, 1 ton), however, engines will have a variety of dissipation values that are balanced against their actual c-bill price, and only become available as the tech in the Inner Sphere progresses towards the DHS standard.

Example:
MWO launches with only single heat sink engines, i.e. every engine provides 10 base heat dissipation. DHS tech may exist as equipment and DHS equipment can be used in conjunction with SHS engines (which Davion cannonically did), however, at launch, no engines will provide DHS dissipation rates (i.e. 20 free heat just because the engine uses free DHS).
After some time has passed and players become more established (say a month or so), technology allows the development of engines that can dissipate larger base amounts of heat while providing the same weight/speed/volume of their predecessor engines. For the sake of example, say 12 heat instead of 10. These engines would be quite expensive, but provide an advantage to those who could afford them.
Eventually, once game and population growth allow it, heat rated 14 engines become available (perhaps lowering the price on 12 and 10 rated engines, because thats how tech progression works!). This process could be repeated a number of times based on how small the increments are, all the way up to the maximum full-on 20 heat dissipation for a full DHS tech based engine.

The upshot:
Everyone gets a power creep to look forward too, and meaningful upgrades to their mech, while simultaneously filling out and smoothing over the serious performance gap between SHS and DHS.

The downside:
Requires the introduction of engines without the base 10 or 20 dissipation rates into the battletech universe, along with the subtle distinction of the engine's total dissipation capacity vs the dissipation capacity of individual heat sinks considered to be a part of the engine.


Well, first I have to ask you from where you get your infos.

Quote

Previous mechwarrior games have just given all mechs double heat sinks as standard equipment

and

Quote

DHS equipment can be used in conjunction with SHS engines (which Davion cannonically did)


Both statements are not true. Apart from this, Double Heat Sinks were reinvented before 3040 and from then on went into mass production. At the point MWO starts, there will be no shortage of DHS, and I guess there won't be a "hard disparity between players with and without DHS" to start with, since switching from SHS to DHS will cost a bit of money, but nothing players can't handle with a few fights to gather the cash.

Edited by RedDragon, 05 July 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#3 JD White

    Member

  • Elite Founder
  • 41 posts
  • Facebook: Link
  • LocationUndisclosed Location

Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:53 AM

Nothing wrong with everyone in the IS starting with mechs that have single heat sinks and having to convert to doubles if they want to. Some mechs really do not need doubles at all. For some, it will make them much more powerful, as doubles will free up previous single heat sink tonnage for other stuff. *Catapult anyone?*

Besides, all engines start with base 10 heat sinks. However, for every engine rating factor of 25, one of those heat sinks do not need to be placed on the Mech, as its placed in the engine. Which makes having an engine rating of 250+ a good thing.

XL Engines really have nothing to do with what kind of heat sinks the Mech can use. Engine types and heat sink types are really two different systems. Think of it this way: Heat sinks are similar to a radiator on a car. You can always change the size of the radiator, or even the coolant flowing through it, to make it cool the engine better.

Expensive?

Yeah, and it should be. We just do not have the numbers yet for such a conversion, so we will have to wait and see how much it shall cost .

#4 ExAstris

    Member

  • Elite Founder
  • 393 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:54 AM

It is the case that Mechwarrior 2-4 treated DHS as standard equipment. Granted, 2 was clan mechs, and 3 and 4 both take place significantly post-invasion, but its still the case that flipping through the mech's loadouts reveals the vast majority (if not every single one) to be using a DHS engine. While the option existed to force a mech to run on SHS, I only ever cobbled together one configuration that actually benefited from it.

So yes, insofar as mechs came with DHS instead of SHS, the previous mechwarrior games treated DHS as the standard.

also,

http://www.sarna.net...uble_heat_sinks
Corrosive Coolant Experimental Double Heat Sinks


And I know the tech is around and in production as of 3049, but its pretty clear that the mechs currently proliferating MWO do not use them in their base configurations, and so we will have to deal with upgrading them, and the leap to DHS is a huge advantage.

#5 Nik Van Rhijn

    Member

  • Elite Founder
  • Phoenix Overlord
  • Phoenix Overlord
  • 2,905 posts
  • LocationLost

Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:12 PM

The majority of people will probably upgrade their mech with as much better tech as they want within an hour or so of logging on, even if they have to pay real money for it.

#6 Ilithi Dragon

    Member

  • Legendary Founder
  • 314 posts
  • Facebook: Link
  • LocationPennsyltucky

Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:45 PM

View PostNik Van Rhijn, on 05 July 2012 - 02:12 PM, said:

The majority of people will probably upgrade their mech with as much better tech as they want within an hour or so of logging on, even if they have to pay real money for it.


No, they won't. The majority of people in free-to-play games do not fork out a bunch of cash in the first hour to max out their ride; they spend what in-game currency they have buying the best they can, and then the go out and play with that, and refit new equipment as they get they unlock them or get the funds for them.

That will leave the relatively small group of people who play a lot, or pay a lot, able to quickly afford DHS, while those who play more casually, or who don't have gobs of money to throw wantonly at video games, will be left with SHS for much longer, leaving them at a very significant disadvantage.

What ExAstris is trying to do is provide a solution that doesn't cause such a major gap in player performance, by staging the upgrade to DHS engines, so that the upgrade curve, and the upgrade cost is more gradual, to help balance out the gameplay. Personally, I'm not convinced that it's the best solution, but the problem that ExAstris is attempting to address is a real one.

An alternative solution would be to, instead of forcing players to buy a whole new engine to upgrade to DHS's, give them the option of upgrading their existing engine from SHS to DHS technology. Instead of having to fork out the cbills to buy a whole new engine even though their existing one is perfectly fine, just to get the DHS technology, players would only have to fork out a relatively small amount of cbills to pay for the upgrade, which should be well within any player's means. It would also probably be more canonical, since the IS didn't just throw out all their existing 'Mech engines and run down to the local battlemech hardware store and buy brand-new engines with DHS technology, they refitted their existing engines to incorporate the new technology, whenever they could.

#7 Reoh

    Member

  • Legendary Founder
  • 959 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:29 PM

Ideally new players would be battling off against similar geared\experienced\equipped players. This would cushion the power creep for them to purchase a DHS refit kit for their mech, or if they bought a new engine with DHS instead. Perhaps in time the base starter mechs would already come with DHS if the disparity became an issue.

#8 ExAstris

    Member

  • Elite Founder
  • 393 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:54 AM

View PostReoh, on 05 July 2012 - 08:29 PM, said:

Ideally new players would be battling off against similar geared\experienced\equipped players. This would cushion the power creep for them to purchase a DHS refit kit for their mech, or if they bought a new engine with DHS instead. Perhaps in time the base starter mechs would already come with DHS if the disparity became an issue.


The disparity is a likely reason previous MW games have ignored SHS entirely, even in mechs that normally come with them. However, without multiple upgrade paths, MWO will have trouble keeping players around if they have nothing to work for, so I think it would be a drastic move to put all base mechs on a DHS standard.

Ilithi Dragon hit the nail on the head. I'm going for a gradual upgrade path. Other mech upgrades are far more gradual and have consequences. Putting in Ferro-fibrous armor gives you a few extra tons to work with in your loadout, but requires a huge number of critical slots to install. Double heat sinks on the other hand straight up double your sustainable firepower output and have absolutely zero loadout drawbacks (except in mechs with very small engines).

I'm OK with upgrading existing engines instead of outright buying new ones, but I think the cost needs to reflect the battlefield advantage, and therefore require some sort of investment. If c-bills is not the proper mechanic to balance it by, then we could look for something else. Perhaps rare technologies could have clearance levels attached to them. In-world this would represent commanders being unwilling to use their rarest and best equipment on scrubs. In-game this would provide players who have played longer access to more powerful or more advanced loadout options. The clearance level could be tied to total pilot xp, so that it would take some amount of play time to be able to gain clearance for full double heat sinks in your mech. This arrangement would also allow for the gradual upgrades of your mech's base dissipation rate by upgrading its base cooling system/engine heat sinks.

#9 Uri Brauer

    Member

  • Legendary Founder
  • 236 posts
  • LocationBristol, UK

Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:48 PM

Sounds like a viable idea to me. Might be too slow, though, given that we're starting in 3049.

View PostExAstris, on 06 July 2012 - 08:54 AM, said:

The disparity is a likely reason previous MW games have ignored SHS entirely, even in mechs that normally come with them.

...and that's the solution I've suggested in Ask The Devs #9. Less subtle than your approach, but quicker.

SHS do have their place (vs IS DHS, anyway) ... in assault mechs, where criticals become the limiting factor, rather than heat.

Edited by Uri Brauer, 06 July 2012 - 12:59 PM.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users