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Let Us Side-Step/strafe.


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Poll: Side stepping / strafing (460 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you think mechs should be able to strafe?

  1. Yes! Awesome! (74 votes [16.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.09%

  2. Voted No! I hate your idea! (356 votes [77.39%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 77.39%

  3. Other - discuss with a reply! (30 votes [6.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.52%

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#101 Shae Starfyre

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:46 AM

I like the concept, but I would want it to have serious movement affects.

Standing still and moving in that way should decrease your speed enormously. And if you are moving forward at 75% or greater max speed (or some high arbitrary number), side stepping is not possible.

However, as a quirk to mediums and lights, they might be able to pull it off or have a higher cap on speed detriments.

Jump Jets, another possible consideration of a negative impact when trying to execute or this would be built into the jump jets in some way.

One just has to be careful from a balance perspective, and a logical/realistic perspective of how a multiple 10's of tons of mech side steps and to what degree it is an effective tactic.

Personally, the idea is surrounded by the "I want to be able to evade a shot on the fly" mentality. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it could cause sweeping balance issues on the field. where light and mediums get a significant vantage over heavies and assaults to the point that moving in on an assault at a slight angle, side steeping timely, and keeping, more so, out of return firing arc indefinitely, would not be a good play for this game.

I can already, almost do this, when I am in the zone, with Jump Jets. Imagine a little spider, jenner, or hunch back just owning mechs because they can never get a bead on them; it's already difficult against a skilled light/medium...adding side stepping without serious affects on movement is a "I win" button.

That's my opinion.

Edited by Aphoticus, 30 July 2013 - 08:47 AM.


#102 Volthorne

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:55 AM

View PostLeafia Barrett, on 30 July 2013 - 04:37 AM, said:

Unless the mechs' feet are really ****ing flexible (and they don't appear to be, from what I've seen), walking across a hill laterally would definitely require some kind of ball or pseudo-ball joint. Otherwise, the mech would be forced to tilt to the side, simply because they would be forced to put their feet down flat, and considering how poor mechs' capabilities to tilt their torso back and forth is, I very much doubt they'd be able to tilt their torsos to the side enough to compensate (or if any amount of torso tilting would help, for that matter). Bending the knee doesn't mean that the feet tilt as well.

Because I'm lousy at explaining things, here's an illustration of what I mean. Behold my artistic prowess with GIMP!
Let's assume the mech can tilt its ankles 10° to the side. Any hill above ~10°...
Posted Image
is simply not going to work.

Believe me, I had considered that particular instance. However, the topic is specifically about side stepping, which implicitly requires the use of ball-and-socket joints on hips, and largely excludes feet (if you can muster enough momentum to throw 20+ tons of metal sideways a few meters, not having a large tilt on your feet isn't going to matter much). Therefore, that was largely a moot point when I was attempting to convey my logic (which also doesn't account for compression of the ground beneath you, provided there it can be compressed. A hill made of dirt or sand or ash would be much more accommodating to a 'Mech walking laterally across it than say, one made from granite, thus reducing the stress on ankle joints).

Edited by Volthorne, 30 July 2013 - 10:29 AM.


#103 Leafia Barrett

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

View PostVolthorne, on 30 July 2013 - 08:55 AM, said:

Believe me, I had considered that particular instance. However, the topic is specifically about side stepping, which implicitly requires the use of ball-and-socket joints on hips, and largely excludes feet (if you can muster enough momentum to throw 20+ tons of metal sideways a few meters, not having a large tilt on your feet isn't going to matter much). Therefore, that was largely a moot point when I was attempting to convey my logic (which also doesn't account for compression of the ground beneath you, provided there it can be compressed. A hill made of dirt or sand or ash would be much more accommodating to a 'Mech walking laterally across it than say, one made from granite, thus reducing the stress on ankle joints).

The point I was trying to make is that in order to have any sort of reasonable mobility, the mechs would indeed need ball joints/pseudo ball joints, making that action as theoretically possible as it is for a human. Now as for the weight aspect, that's where things get tricky.
Spiders can muster the force to fling themselves forward multiple meters per step, and an Atlas's stride length itself is probably a few meters in length, considering the sheer size of the thing. I could easily see a Spider lunging to the side (have you seen those things accelerate from a standstill?), as long as it stopped when it landed to regain traction- otherwise it'd just fall over sideways, more likely than not. And I could see an Atlas taking a sideways step about as large as it does a forward step (though obviously much slower- same speed for the step itself, but longer pauses between movements).

#104 skotsche

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:53 PM

I think for lighter more agile mechs it should be possible to make one/two side steps. Would give them a small advantage and actually fit to them being more agile than heavy mechs.

#105 Tombstoner

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

View PostFierostetz, on 26 July 2013 - 02:04 PM, said:

out of curiosity, why? I'd honestly like to hear various viewpoints on it. It would be handy for scouts, that's for sure. Or even the ability to lean to peek around corners.

i dont think anyone actually tried to answer why it's bad idea and it devolved into how it could or couldn't happen.

I think it would be a bad idea only because it would give superior mobility for lights and mediums.
its already easy to stay in the rear of an atlas and strafe its back armor. with the addition of side to side maneuverability it becomes OP. as it is the only real protection from a light in the rear is a team mate. side to side is over kill

#106 Clit Beastwood

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:56 PM

View Postskotsche, on 30 July 2013 - 12:53 PM, said:

I think for lighter more agile mechs it should be possible to make one/two side steps. Would give them a small advantage and actually fit to them being more agile than heavy mechs.


yeah - thats the reason i suggested it. i think most of the "go play hawken!" replies are from assault drivers. lighter mechs need to maneuver to live.

View PostTombstoner, on 30 July 2013 - 12:54 PM, said:

i dont think anyone actually tried to answer why it's bad idea and it devolved into how it could or couldn't happen.

I think it would be a bad idea only because it would give superior mobility for lights and mediums.
its already easy to stay in the rear of an atlas and strafe its back armor. with the addition of side to side maneuverability it becomes OP. as it is the only real protection from a light in the rear is a team mate. side to side is over kill


I'd like to see it as a perk specifically for mediums, I don't think lights really need it. There's been talk about maneuverability perks for meds - this could be part of it.

#107 Tombstoner

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:43 PM

View PostFierostetz, on 30 July 2013 - 12:56 PM, said:


yeah - thats the reason i suggested it. i think most of the "go play hawken!" replies are from assault drivers. lighter mechs need to maneuver to live.



I'd like to see it as a perk specifically for mediums, I don't think lights really need it. There's been talk about maneuverability perks for meds - this could be part of it.


Doable just map the side to side to the q and e keys. i would make this kind of movement slower than normal for balance reasons. of course that would have to be played tested to really determine speed before being op..

i kinda like the big bulky feel i get when piloting a mech of all sizes.

one way to counter it would be having a perk that granted rear facing weapons with a camera view for 2 ml's or arms that can face up and over the mech and point backwards.

#108 Belorion

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:46 PM

It doesn't matter whether or not its doable, its completely unnecessary.

#109 L Y N X

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:52 PM

No sidestep... go play any other FPS if you must have sidestep...I want MWO to be different from the rest.

Edited by 7ynx, 30 July 2013 - 01:52 PM.


#110 Clit Beastwood

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:14 PM

View Post7ynx, on 30 July 2013 - 01:52 PM, said:

No sidestep... go play any other FPS if you must have sidestep...I want MWO to be different from the rest.


go ahead and read the prior 5 pages

also - if you were on team speak... how would someone say your name? lynx? just a-wonderin

#111 Lord of All

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:22 PM

View PostFierostetz, on 30 July 2013 - 08:17 AM, said:

... Spending a pile of cash on this game has been much more fun than what I usually do over the summer, which is buy and rebuild a few motorcycles :)...


Now this is a funny coincidence as I was rebuilding my CBR1000F carbs when you posted this! LOL tried to post earlier but board was down.

#112 Clit Beastwood

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:33 PM

lol - I was rebuilding cbx1000 carbs a few months ago (6 of them!!!) - I didn't want to touch a damned motorcycle for months after that. doing a ninja 250's carbs this evening - replacing the stock airbox with pods because it takes an hour or more to get the carbs out with the stock airbox in there, maybe 10 minutes without it :) good luck with the cbr!

#113 orcrist86

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:38 PM

I voted No, but, I would like the mw2 jump jet controls back. With those you could hop sideways by jetting left and right. regular mechs lack this particular ability.

#114 Strum Wealh

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 04:24 PM

View PostTyphoon Storm 2142, on 30 July 2013 - 05:41 AM, said:

I would like someone explain to me how a 'Mech is able to turn on the spot, but not be able to make a sidestep. The same mechanics are used in both movements. EVEN THOUGH they supposedly have no ball-joints or such.

It could be done via a lot of rotation about the ankle joints - though, that places a lot of stress on a relatively small joint and would be generally slower and less efficient than using properly-actuated hips.

For example, if a Mad Cat (which weighs 75 metric tons, or ~165,347 lbs) with no lateral or vertical hip actuation (reference the image linked in my previous post) wanted to turn in place to the right:
  • lift the right foot, keeping the left foot planted
  • rotate clockwise about the left ankle
  • place the right foot on the ground, then left the left foot
  • rotate clockwise about the right ankle
  • place the left foot on the ground
  • repeat steps 1-5, swinging the lifted leg forward or back as appropriate to keep the feet laterally aligned
  • repeat step 6 as necessary to turn through the desired arc
Note, however, that being limited to such a turning motion would mean that the Mad Cat (in addition to placing a lot of strain on an ankle joint where the balancing plate is ~2 meters wide and the ankle shaft is maybe one-third of that) would not be terribly maneuverable - it would not be able to turn very far per step before losing its balance, which means lots of very tiny rotations and a corresponding number of steps, which translates into a lot of movement for very little, and ultimately very slow, progress.

View PostVolthorne, on 30 July 2013 - 08:55 AM, said:

Believe me, I had considered that particular instance. However, the topic is specifically about side stepping, which implicitly requires the use of ball-and-socket joints on hips, and largely excludes feet (if you can muster enough momentum to throw 20+ tons of metal sideways a few meters, not having a large tilt on your feet isn't going to matter much). Therefore, that was largely a moot point when I was attempting to convey my logic (which also doesn't account for compression of the ground beneath you, provided there it can be compressed. A hill made of dirt or sand or ash would be much more accommodating to a 'Mech walking laterally across it than say, one made from granite, thus reducing the stress on ankle joints).

Actually, side-stepping does not "implicitly require the use of ball-and-socket joints at the hips".
See the video of Aldebaran Robotics' NAO linked in my (other) previous post; it accomplishes a similar degree of maneuverability without apparent use of such a ball joint.

Here are a couple of close-up images of the NAO, allowing for a rather close look at the hip assembly:
Posted Image

Posted Image

The lower (gray) part of the visible joint rotates about the lateral axis (allows for the forward and back motion needed for walking/kicking/etc) as well as about the longitudinal axis (moves side-to-side; allows side-stepping) within the upper (white) part of the joint, which then connects with a second joint inside the pelvis that rotates about the vertical axis (swings the hips forward and back, as seen in the standing sequence in the video).
If anything, it's more like a universal joint.
Posted Image

Ball joints are not the only means of achieving the required flexibility, or of doing so with an acceptable (with regard to maintaining a humanoid form) degree of compactness.

#115 Typhoon Storm 2142

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for your detailed explanation. You make alot more sense than most people here. 'Mechs don't need balls.

#116 Leafia Barrett

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:17 AM

View PostStrum Wealh, on 30 July 2013 - 04:24 PM, said:

If anything, it's more like a universal joint.
Posted Image

Ball joints are not the only means of achieving the required flexibility, or of doing so with an acceptable (with regard to maintaining a humanoid form) degree of compactness.
See, this is kinda what I was getting at with the "pseudo-ball joint" thing I was saying - something with pretty much the same function as a ball joint.

#117 Lord of All

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 06:02 AM

View PostStrum Wealh, on 30 July 2013 - 04:24 PM, said:

It could be done via a lot of rotation about the ankle joints - though, that places a lot of stress on a relatively small joint and would be generally slower and less efficient than using properly-actuated hips.

For example, if a Mad Cat (which weighs 75 metric tons, or ~165,347 lbs) with no lateral or vertical hip actuation (reference the image linked in my previous post) wanted to turn in place to the right:
  • lift the right foot, keeping the left foot planted
  • rotate clockwise about the left ankle
  • place the right foot on the ground, then left the left foot
  • rotate clockwise about the right ankle
  • place the left foot on the ground
  • repeat steps 1-5, swinging the lifted leg forward or back as appropriate to keep the feet laterally aligned
  • repeat step 6 as necessary to turn through the desired arc
Note, however, that being limited to such a turning motion would mean that the Mad Cat (in addition to placing a lot of strain on an ankle joint where the balancing plate is ~2 meters wide and the ankle shaft is maybe one-third of that) would not be terribly maneuverable - it would not be able to turn very far per step before losing its balance, which means lots of very tiny rotations and a corresponding number of steps, which translates into a lot of movement for very little, and ultimately very slow, progress.



Actually, side-stepping does not "implicitly require the use of ball-and-socket joints at the hips".
See the video of Aldebaran Robotics' NAO linked in my (other) previous post; it accomplishes a similar degree of maneuverability without apparent use of such a ball joint.

Here are a couple of close-up images of the NAO, allowing for a rather close look at the hip assembly:
Posted Image

Posted Image

The lower (gray) part of the visible joint rotates about the lateral axis (allows for the forward and back motion needed for walking/kicking/etc) as well as about the longitudinal axis (moves side-to-side; allows side-stepping) within the upper (white) part of the joint, which then connects with a second joint inside the pelvis that rotates about the vertical axis (swings the hips forward and back, as seen in the standing sequence in the video).
If anything, it's more like a universal joint.
Posted Image

Ball joints are not the only means of achieving the required flexibility, or of doing so with an acceptable (with regard to maintaining a humanoid form) degree of compactness.


Funny, Even though it is correct that ball joints are not "the only method" to allow this movement, it is infact the proper (meaning most practical) method. But mechs with axles and planetary gears cannot make that movement period.

AFA universal joiints, well they are not load bearing. They are used to transfer momentum around an angle as the gif clearly shows.

Now please explain to me why I see ball joints in those pics you linked? Is your argument that they don't count if they are not in the hip but in the leg as in those pics? I don't see how those pics are relevant to this debate as mechs do not have those either.

#118 Strum Wealh

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:58 PM

View PostLord of All, on 31 July 2013 - 06:02 AM, said:

Funny, Even though it is correct that ball joints are not "the only method" to allow this movement, it is infact the proper (meaning most practical) method. But mechs with axles and planetary gears cannot make that movement period.
Ball joints, while useful (especially in organic set-ups, which generally have little alternative), are not always the proper or most practical method (which are not) of addressing the issue where mechanical systems (which can benefit from joint structures that aren't efficient in organic structures, as well as servos) are concerned - as demonstrated by countless humanoid robots, including the NAO.
Additionally, canonical images (that is, included in the TROs and rulebooks) include the Mad Cat in poses that imply that the planetary gear notion may have been depreciated.
Posted Image
(Note the offset of the thigh relative to the armored hip-dome where the previously-linked cutaway showed the "direct drive generator" that connects to the planetary gear to be mounted.)

View PostLord of All, on 31 July 2013 - 06:02 AM, said:

AFA universal joiints, well they are not load bearing. They are used to transfer momentum around an angle as the gif clearly shows.
While the example shown in the GIF may or may not be load-bearing, the ones used in the NAO's hip assembly (and, as is the point of the discussion, in the hip assemblies of at least some BattleMechs) clearly are both load-bearing and still sufficiently streamlined to maintain the humanoid form.

View PostLord of All, on 31 July 2013 - 06:02 AM, said:

Now please explain to me why I see ball joints in those pics you linked? Is your argument that they don't count if they are not in the hip but in the leg as in those pics? I don't see how those pics are relevant to this debate as mechs do not have those either.
Assuming you're actually looking at the pelvis and hip joints... to be blunt, you cannot be seeing ball joints in the NAO's hip assembly, because there are none.
In fact, here are some of the technical drawings from Aldebaran's own website:
Posted Image
Posted Image
The upper leg joints (L/R HipPitch and L/R HipRoll) are arranged in what is essentially a universal-joint-like assembly that permits both roll (swinging the leg in and out from side to side) and most of the pitch (rotating the leg forward and backward), while the pelvis joints (L/R HipYawPitch) "are physically just one motor so they cannot be controlled independently" and primarily allow for rotation of the leg about the vertical (green) axis as well as some additional pitch.

If you're seeing ball joints in the NAO's hip assembly, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate their presence.

#119 Lord of All

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

View PostStrum Wealh, on 03 August 2013 - 02:58 PM, said:

...If you're seeing ball joints in the NAO's hip assembly, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate their presence.

Damn board wiped out my post. Anyway, you correct I mistook that one angle round joint for a ball. apparently it only moves around 1 radius.

Posted Image

#120 Kell Commander

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:50 PM

I voted no and here is why:

Despite that this game takes place over 1000 years in the future and giant robots run around blowing each other up, they also try to keep a realism aspect in this universe. For a mech to be able to perform a side-step like you suggest, it would not only take a crazy amount of more complicated structuring of the mech's leg, but also an insane amount of effort by the pilot to keep the mech's balance while he does it.

For this universe that is just not a feasible action.

EDIT: The joints shown previously are fine if you don't plan on putting any equipment in the leg. However, jump jet's, heat sinks, even SRM's on some specific mechs get mounted in them. The joint would not allow for any controls to go past the knee. This would remove the ability to even move the individual feet plus making the knee a huge weak point on a MILITARY FIGHTING MACHINE. Weak point + combat equipment = BAD THINGS

Edited by Kell Commander, 03 August 2013 - 04:55 PM.






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