The above quote is from the dev David Bradley. While it's not what I would call ideal, it does mean that this game is not an arcade shooter. This ends the edit to this this post.
Because it is and will remain so, unless the targeting mechanic is changed. Watching the videos, two things just keep bothering me. The first is that the crosshairs don't move, the entire mech is moving around them but they are nailed to the center of the screen, which is typical of an arcade shooter. Yes, I know that previous MW titles did the same thing, but just because they did it, doesn't mean it was a good thing. The second, is everytime the mech fires all the beam weapons converge exactly where the crosshairs are, also something that only happens in arcade shooters.
Why should the crosshairs move, because they are super imposed on the viser of the neurohelmet so if the pilot's head moves they move, and it doesn't matter if the pilot is moving his head or if his head is being translated by the mechs movement, in both cases the crosshairs will move.
The second one requires a bit more explination as to why it's not acceptable in anything but an arcade shooter. So lets start simple with a rifle and a scope. Well make it a laser rifle to remove ballistics from this. Scopes must be zeroed for a specific range otherwise the crosshairs will never indicate where the beam will strike, in this case we'll say it's zeroed for 300m. Now think of a flat line, that line is the laser, on that line mark a point 300m from the starting point. Now we'll say that the scope is mounted 2in. above the rifle, so mark a point 2in above the start of the laser line. Now draw a line, starting from the point 2in above the laser and draw it straight through the mark at 300m on the laser line and continue into infinity.
This is your sight line. You'll note that the sight line only meets the laser at one point, that means without adjustments the crosshairs will only show you where the laser will strike when the target is exactly 300m away. If the target is closer, the sight line rises above the laser, which means your shot will actually be below your aim point. If the target is farther away, the sight line is below the laser, which means your shot will be above your aim point. And no you can't just mount them parallel and shoot 2in high and call it good, as the distance that would represent 2in in the scope will get smaller as the target get farther away, so can't just use a mil-dot and figure out how many dots is 2in.
Now the situation gets even more complex in a mech, the 'scope', ie your crosshairs are not mounted a fixed distance above the weapon, it's offset and they move with the pilots head. So the first the T&T(Target & Tracking computer) in the mech has to do is figure out how the pilots head is oriented in 3D space (the above rifle and scope was only in 2D), once it knows this it can figure out what you have under the crosshairs and range it. It will need to range it more than once to deterimine if it's moveing and in what direction, it can then figure out at what angles in 3D space each weapon needs to be at in order to hit that target, where it is if it's not moving or where it thinks it will be if it's moving and finally it can move those weapons to that alignment.
What does all this mean? Simple, it takes time to get weapons aimed and if you don't allow for that time then your weapons will not hit what your aiming at. How much time? Well rather than figuring out what all this would take in realtime, I would suggest we give it a value that just 'feels right'. For simplicities sake we'll assume that each part of the process remains a constant and call that time X. So it takes X time units for the weapons achieve alignment with whatever the pilot is targeting. That means everytime you move to a new target, it takes X time units for the weapons to align. It also means that if the target is moving or you are moving the weapons will only be aligned exactly with the crosshairs if the computer guessed the location correctly, which means the other mech had to continue moving exactly as before or the weapons will be off. The same goes for the firing mech, and it even more difficult for the computer to be right if both are moving.
Now you'll note that I haven't talked about ballistics, or things like gear lash and barrel whip, which will all add to the inaccuracy of targeting, yet I have shown that the weapons even if perfectly aligned with mounts that have no play in them, can not under most battle conditions be perfectly aligned to the crosshair at all time, it just can't be done. No, saying that the mech just constantly aligns them does not change this, it just establishes that there will always be a 'rolling' delay of X time units when you change targets and it will put excessive wear on the mechanisms that align the guns causing them to wear more quickly increasing the 'slop' in the system and therefore making it more inaccurate as a whole. Plus mechs use their arms for balance, just like we do, if they are constantly trying to aim the arm weapons this will make the mech's side to side movement greater for the pilot when moving. Don't believe me, set up a mirror that you can walk at and mimic the arms of a warhammer by holding them bent and ridgedly at your sides, you will see your head goes side to side far more than if you just walk normally towards it with your arms swinging naturally.
This is why the fps mechanic used in arcade shooters, is not and will not ever be a realitic method of aiming. It's point and shoot not aim and shoot, there is a big difference. One requires that you actually hold over your target till the weapons are aimed the other can be used to great sucess by people who can time their button press with the crosshair passing over their intended target.
So how else to do it? Well, I'm open to suggestions as my preferred method is probably to sim for most people. I would prefer that all the weapons aim points be tracked all the time and represented in the HUD with simple geometric shapes, when the crosshair is over the target you want you tell the mech to aim and those shapes 'snap' towards the crosshair, how close they get would vary, but think ball park, then they would continue to move more slowly towards the cross hair until they get realively close. If anyone wants an explination of this, I will, but as I figure it's too much for most people, I won't add further to this post's length. A far simpler means of doing it would just be a reducing cone of fire, but as I said I'm open to sugestions, I do however believe that the 'point and shoot' mechanic has to go or this is not any kind of sim.
Edited by OriontheHunter, 02 August 2012 - 07:39 AM.