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The Operator: A Tutorial to Being in the Command Role



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#1 farmboy28

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:10 PM

Reposted from Mechaverse Forums.

With the shift in focus toward team based combat, the role of Operator, once not very important and delegated to NPC voices has now become a key part of Armored Core V. It's not too far fetched to say that if you don't have a good Operator, you won't be getting very far in the upper level matches. After having spent more than 20 hours on the two day online, I've decided it may be best to put up some tips and help those who plan or want to play the Operator Role.

The need also arose from the fact that Operator is the one position you can't play offline.

Please note that this thread incorporates data and observations solely from the online, so it is limited in scope, and will remain so until more information regarding ACV can be obtained. Because only two maps were available during the online, I will be be using theoretical scenarios and explaining situations using the Mining Area as my primary example. Use the knowledge I provide to devise strategies for other maps once ACV is available from either importing or when it hits the states on March 23rd.


Just Beginning – A History of the Operator and Their Role



In order to be an operator, it’s necessary to take a few steps back and consider the history behind this important position. Present from the very first Armored Core game, Operators are support personnel that serve as a mission command of sorts for Ravens. They are responsible for information and logistics, they had multiple tasks placed upon them: monitoring an ACs vital stats, constantly updating and informing the pilot of changes in combat situations, designating targets, allowing the pilot to focus on combat. In the past the role of Operator was given to the NPC (Non-Playable Character), but with the advent of Armored Core V, this important position has now been bestowed on human players.



As an Operator, you must serve not only in the aforementioned capacities, but you must also become a battlefield commander, giving orders and formations; to succeed, you must be sufficiently versed in the art of Operating in order to ensure that your team remains victorious on the battlefield. Although you may be fighting on the battlefield, this by no means makes you any less important to the team. You will have the most difficult job, making split second decisions and improvising (and sometimes winging it) as you go. When done correctly, you will get your team not only money, glory and land, but also the satisfaction that you have not only outfought, but also outthought your opponent. This tutorial is mean to ease new members into this difficult role. Although nothing is more valuable than first hand experience, a little bit of prior knowledge goes a long way to helping you on the path to becoming an Operator.




The Basics
In order to become a good Operator, you need to know what tools you have available and what all the symbols and icons mean.

Below is an image with highlights to show some things you need to know and essentially what you will be seeing as an Operator.
Click the image for larger size.
Spoiler



BEACON – The key instrument of the Operator, the Beacon is a point marked on the map by Operator denoting some sort of important point. It can be used to indicate where your Allies should go, mark approximate positions of enemies, and much much more. You have four available.

CURSOR – What you’ll be using to navigate the map, scan, and placed recons.

ENEMY – The title says it all. Usually, the enemy should be marked in red instead of green as shown in this image. Enemies can only be seen in recon range, and are invisible to the Operator otherwise.

ENEMY/ALLY DESTROYED SYMBOL – When an enemy or ally is destroyed, it will show a square with an X in the middle to mark its position.

ID Number – Assigned to each unit, this is what you use to identify each person. Its faster to say “07 move to point Bravo” than “SUPERKING move to that point” and lets you tell the difference between everyone. This can be changed if you wish. Merc’s are identified as M and a number between 1 and 4

MEMBER- Your ally, they will appear in green or blue.


MISSION OBJECTIVE COUNTER – Usually this will tell you what you need to do. For instance, if your target is to destroy 12 targets or do 250,000 AU of damage, it will be kept up to date here. Time is also kept just left of it.


MOVEMENT DIRECTION INDICATOR – A small circle on each AC, it indicates which direction an AC is facing.

MOVEMENT TRAIL – shows the approximate trail movement of an AC.

RECON RANGE - The giant blue circle is the total recon range of any given deployed scan mode or recon unit. You can not only deploy recon, but also see the recon range of your ally ACs when they enter scan mode and you can see anything they see. It shows enemy AC in that area, their orientation as well as other enemy units and their firing ranges and arcs. We will go in depth on that later.

Not Pictured
Enemy units (Non-AC) - Enemy units will appear as icons on the screen. The icon will be proportionally in size to what they are in the game. Therefore, a huge missile silo will be a larger icon than the sniper MT. Remember, they are only available if they are within the recon range. If you are defending a territory and have units stationed there, they will also appear the entire time.


Controls

Triangle, Square, X, Circle - these four buttons are your beacons, A, B ,C and D.
L2 – Marks a target. You can only mark one.
R2 – When the cursor placed over an enemy, it will give a detailed reading of the ACs stats.
R3 – When the cursor is placed over an ally, it will bring up a small camera of what that ally sees.
L3 - The recon unit deploy button. When used, a small area of the map and any enemies in that area can be seen. Ally ACs can see it as well if in scan mode. After initial deployment, it lasts approximately 10 seconds. Use carefully: even though you have an unlimited number it takes up to 10-15 seconds to charge and use again, meaning careless use will leave you blind for periods of time.
Control Sticks – Movement
Directional Buttons – Zoom and unzoom from map
Select - ???
Start - ???
L1 – Holding this while moving the right and left joystick will make the cursor move faster.
R1 - This is the Ally AC Overview and will bring up this screen when pressed.



Spoiler





The Headset/Microphone/Bluetooth - Communication


One of the biggest things an Operator needs in Armored Core V is to be able to communicate with his/her team. One of the non-mandatory aspects of Armored Core V, the Headset is very important for this reason. Communication is key in battle and the better you can do it the more organized you are and the more of an advantage you. Having played the first hour or so without a headset I found that I couldn’t do a whole lot other than leave beacons. This really affected us in certain missions, and even resulted in our loss once as I was unable to quickly relay crucial information to my team.



The difference between being able to speak and not is huge. With the ability to communicate, you can inform your allies and give commands on the fly very quickly and efficiently. With every action occurring in real time, speed is crucial, and the faster you can bark out a command, the sooner your team gets the necessary information and take the appropriate action. Your actions are more coordinated and harder to break or bypass, making it that much more difficult for your enemy.



This doesn’t just apply to Operators: team members, the ACs on the battlefield, should make sure to have one to. After trying a Bluetooth (which didn’t work) I finally got microphone to do the job. At that point on, things went very smoothly for the whole team. As such I would advise anyone whether or not they are an AC pilot or Operator to get either a headset or if they can’t improvise with a Bluetooth or even a simple microphone with a USB cable. To connect with a Bluetooth, go to settings on the PS3 XML bar and choose Accessory settings and Manage Bluetooth Devices. From there, install your Bluetooth and remember to check Audio Device Settings to make sure it’s on your Bluetooth. If it asks for a password, 0000 is the most common. For Microphone users, follow the instructions above, but go directly to Audio Device Settings instead and make sure its set to your microphone. I cannot stress how much this improves your abilities to coordinate and devise strategies in ACV.

NOTE: Sometimes its very hard to hear from the speaker, so I advise any to be Operator to use words when naming beacons because of how similar to letters sound. So A = Alpha , B = Bravo, C= Charlie, D = Delta would be an example.



Effective Operating


Teamwork and Strategy are the key pillars in Armored Core V. Knowing how to spot a weakness in the enemies defense (if you’re invading) and where to station your forces and where chokepoints are (if you’re defending) will decide whether or not you will be victorious.


There are currently four types of attack missions and five for defend. The first four are the same for both: Destroy the 5 Helicopters, Destroy 13 Turrets, Do XXX AU of Damage, and Take the Data Points (I don’t remember what the fifth for defense was). If you do online “story”, you will do the mission without enemy ACs; if you, however, decide to do online battle, you will most likely face a team of AC.


A mission can be completed in offensive missions by either completing the objective or destroying all defending ACs; failure occurs when all ally ACs are destroyed or time runs out. For Defensive, victory is achieved once all enemy ACs are destroyed or time runs out, and failure results if the enemy completes their objective. This tutorial will cover only battles involving ACs and assumes that you have a team of at least 3 ACs.



Speed – the importance or quick thinking, and rapid decision making


One of the most critical skills needed as Operator is the ability to make split second choices. This isn’t a turn based RPG like Final Fantasy, and even a hardcore RTS like Starcraft can compare to the speed that you need in order to succeed. You aren’t dictating to a NPC, you are commanding four real people fighting four other real people. In this environment, battle conditions can change in mere seconds, and you need to able to adjust so that you can provide your team with the information you need in order to win.



Overweapons – The potential role of losing an arm to do game breaking stuff


Unfortunately, Overweapons were not included in the demo, and therefore we have little to go by. Although videos have popped up on youtube, nothing replaces experience, so until then, I will be avoiding this section until I can get a good grasp on OWs.



Tactics – the need to strategize, offensively and defensively


Tactics are the key to battles, especially more so in Armored Core V. Now, don’t go reading some military books or look up some internet guides. Chances are if you do and try to apply them in game, you’ll be decimated. Real warfare and AC warfare are very different. You will have max of four units and winning relies on you either achieving the objective or wiping out the opposing force. Sometimes they will one and the same. This guide will give you the basic run down of what you need to know in order to execute a good plan.



AC Capabilities – Common Archetypes


The following is a list of common archetypes seen in Armored Core V and in no way shape or form constitutes all of them. Learn these and know them by heart: the quicker you can identify them, the faster you can make judgments based on your observations.



Tanks and HW -The god known as the "Heavy"
As a general rule of thumb, heavies are your team’s best friends in defensive battles. They can not only soak up huge amounts of damage from different weapon types but can also mount the heavier and more lethal weapons. Autocannon + Heatcannon tends to kill just above everything when your a tank. Your teams not going to get a lot of melee hits, but the hard hitting weaponry should make up for that. Tanks are especially useful when deployed at chokepoints and can limit the enemy’s capabilities and hold off larger numbers of enemies without too much problem. Their slow speed does not pose much of a problem as long you, the Operator, do a good job of keeping track of the enemy’s movements. Get used to these guys, because you'll be seeing mainly this weight class online.



LW - The nerf which killed a weight class


If you played online for the two days in which the demo had a server, you will notice that there were few if any people using lightweights. Why? Because there are simply too many disadvantages. A LW suffers severe stun when hit with certain weapons and its ultimate advantage in ACFA, the blade, has been nerfed severely. It has a much lower equip weight than in older games and can only specialize in one area of defense, whereas even a MW can do two. The speed boost for a LW is also not as significant as ACV focuses more on slower, team based combat and the boost mechanics prevents the notorious ACFA QB spam and god lag that let LW's reign supreme. This means that the LW is relegated to surprise ambushes and hit-and-run tactics. This becomes most apparent in missions like data point capture which require your team to stand near a bunch of data points for long periods of time. It’s not going to work. Stay away from lightweights when possible; they are simply too underpowered and underarmored for the job. Should be used only by experienced veterans.



The Midweight - Balanced, or not?


The good old MW, a trademark of the AC series and a favorite for beginners and veterans. The MW has received a minor nerf; equip weight is still lower than older games and allows for somewhat balanced defense in two areas. MW’s builds need to be well done in order to succeed. In a game where heavier is better, good designs are imperative to surviving a fight. Just about anything that’s not a heavy is vulnerable to the MW.



The Snipers - The quad and LW reverse joint; you'll hate them even more


Probably one of the areas that have gotten a good boost is snipers. With the introduction of the sniper cannon and slower speeds, these often times are the bane of HW units. The sniper cannon quad alone can kill a tank at maybe 6-7 shots while a LW RJ with its abnormally high jump height can backpedal and snipe like nothing else. The ability of the sniper cannon to hit targets at longer ranges as well as the bullet drop added in the game means it can serve in quasi-artillery roles. Like the HW, expect to see a lot of these, especially the quad sniper.



Defensive Play- Protection, Terrain, and Chokepoints
From this standpoint, the defensive team has the advantage. Not only can they stay in a relatively small area, they also have access to base defense such as turrets and MTs. This becomes more noticeable on higher difficulties where much more powerful turrets are available to defending teams.


When defending a target, there three main things to consider: your AC arsenal, the terrain, and your enemy.


There are two main areas to focus on when it comes to your team: the number of ACs you have and capabilities. Ideally you want a full four units, but there will most likely be times that this is not possible. In these situations, it’s necessary to avoid overspecialization as you have much less room to make mistakes; having all KE weapons when your enemy Is only weak to CE and TE will mean a slow and painful death as the enemy picks your team apart.



The Terrain – Chokepoints, turrets, and simple tactics to stay alive and keep your territory


The biggest thing going for your team will be that you have one thing the other side doesn’t: defenses. Depending on how far you’ve moved up and what level you are the number of defense and what types available will allow you to heavily fortify your positions. The more powerful ones have great firepower and AP, making them not only deadly but also a pain to take down. A lot of times this means that the enemy team will be forced to concentrate fire on the turrets, leaving them open to your teams AC for easier pickings. Use them to your advantage.



Lets take a look at the Mining Area map for a good example and also to explain my next topic: chokepoints.


Spoiler


The squares mark the approximate location of the starting points of the two AC teams.
Lines represent the possible routes that can be taken
Circles indicate possible choke points

In terms of defense, the Mining area is the best location to have a base, as it’s difficult to penetrate into the territory as it has many choke points as noted by the circles.

Choke Points (taken from Wikipedia) - a geographical feature on land such as a valley, defile or a bridge, or at sea such as a strait which an armed force is forced to pass, sometimes on a substantially narrower front, and therefore greatly decreasing its combat power, in order to reach its objective.


Long story short, by forcing a large enemy force, in this case 4 ACs through such a narrow point, you limit their mobility and firepower. The tunnel's seem above as noted by the arrows are very small, only as large as three ACs width perhaps and prevents the use of QB. They will be hard pressed to not only move, but fire as well as the space means that there is a higher probability of friendly fire. By stationing ACs right around that approximate area, you prevent your enemy from being able to advance. Attempting to press forward will expose them not only to your team's ACs but also your turrets. Turrets by default are focused around the tunnels to provide the best fire possible, and are stronger and bigger at higher difficulties.
The critical moments are right when the enemy ACs are about to exit the tunnel. The key is to prevent them from pushing forward beyond a few spaces and keep them stuck in the tunnel. Doing so forces them to either rush or retreat, with rush being the only real option I've ever seen executed. When done correctly, only two ACs with the correct build can do the job. 3 is optimal, and four is better, but only in certain circumstances.

Of course, you may ask, what happens if they use the canyon on the bottom edge of the map? As Operator, you need to make the decision: do I have a unit stand by near the chokepoint at the river or do I have the AC reinforce the 3 tunnel chokepoints? As an Operator, this is where using the L3, the recon comes in handy. With one click at the beginning of the match, you can locate all enemy ACs location and where they are heading. Optimal strategy involves placing one unit at the far left chokepoint (further down if you’d like, just as long as its inside the canyone) two at the three other chokepoints. One AC should stay somewhere in the middle so that in the case that any enemy units that come through the canyon and lets say AC1 is stationed at the canyon and cannot hold them back, AC2 can quickly head to AC1’s location and provide back up or help AC3 and AC4 at the tunnel entrance chokepoints to assist them. Defensively, beacons should be used to mark positions which your ACs should take.



The Short End of the Stick - Offensive missions and the difficulties in acquiring territory
If you’ve read up to this point, then you should be getting the message by now: defensive teams have the advantage. Terrain usually works for them, and turrets are a pain as they divert your attention and kill your AP at higher levels.
Luckily, just as heavies are a godsend for defensive teams, they’ll work in your favor as well. Now, at first this may seem a bit counter intuitive. You may think, wouldn’t four LW’s work better than four heavies? If the other side has HWs, then a fast and highly maneuverable attack force would be able to outmaneuver the enemy and simply focus on the objective, be it causing maximum damage or destroying certain targets. And in theory, that would work. Unfortunately, experience from playing online has shown that very few if any people have ever played LW.

Snipers, especially quads play a key role here. Although not necessarily required, a good sniper acts like kryptonite to a heavy, especially a tank. Tanks do not have scope abilities when using a sniper cannon, and their low speed makes them very vulnerable. Your average tanks boost speed is slightly slower than the the quads aiming speed with the cannon.

Usually this leaves you only two options with against Heavies

1. Rush (Objective first) - screw the enemy ACs, aim for the objective. This is often the fastest and most efficient way to get things done. When its heavy against heavy, battles tend to take a while. With a HW, you can afford to ignore the enemy and go straight for the important targets. Heavy weapons also mean that you can take down the targets faster as well.


2. AP Battle (ACs first) - This is ultimately where you'll be going if you don't choose option one. AP battles are long drawn out, and very risky affairs. When pitting heavies against heavies, loadout and skill will be the determining factors for you. Snipers are always a big help.


Non-Standard Battle Groups – When the enemy isn’t all heavy
While the HW is a favored unit now due to their new usefulness, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the only team you will face. That is why it is important to prepare for cases in which you do not face them. Unfortunately, there are simply too many combinations to note them all, so its best to remember what exactly each leg/weight class can do and mix up your strategy based on the information available.


General Rule of Thumb For AC Strengths (Or the Shotgun, Laser Blade, and Overweapon)
Here is a brief summary of the current structure of the abilities of the specific weight classes/ leg types. Note that this assumes equal skill levels. This may change as only a few parts were available in the demo.
MW > Quad & HW IF HW =/= tank
HW > LW, HW & Quad IF HW =/= tank & Quad=/= Sniper
LW > Quad
RJ > HW & LW
MW > LW

A Bad Situation - An Example of the Use of Operators
It's inevitable at some point you'll find yourself against a team or situation that doesn't look good. Suprisingly enough, the person best suited to puling you out of it is the Operator. Lets create a theoretical situation. You are the defending team in the Mining Area.



Spoiler

Unfortunately, things aren't going well. Your opponent had two tanks and simply blew through your defenses at the tunnels. You lost two guys while they lost one. They've destroyed all but two of your targets and are searching for them. Luckily, those two happen to be in canyon, and so neither they nor their operator can see it because they didn't bother to check or recon that area and also because they only used the tunnels, which means you are safe until they hunt you down and kill you. You only have two options: crush them individually or wait until time runs out. Enemy 37 is crossing the bridge right next to 26 and moving forward to kill 26. Enemy 49 is just north and preparing to cross the bridge to attack 85. The question: what do you do?



Answer? Take them down one by one.
Spoiler
You quickly scan 37 and find that it is weak to CE and TE weapons, which 26 and 85 have. You watch 49 for a few seconds and infer based on its speed, it is a tank and therefore if you prepare an ambush for 37 and move quickly, you can take out 37 before 49 reaches you. You set up beacons and tell 26 to fall to beacon C and keep 37's attention while 85 hangs back a bit.
Spoiler

37 advances and engages 26. Meanwhile, 85 comes from behind and unloads dual pulse machine guns on 37. 26 and 85 tear up 37 in 7 seconds. By the time 49 reaches beacon C, its too late. Congratulations! You can now choose either to take out the remaining ACs one by one thanks to them being spread out or hang back a bit and wait for time to expire.

Thanks to your great skills as an Operator, you can now win this match easy and kick back yet another invasion attempt.
Rejoice! And have some cake.


But don’t stop just yet! This tutorial isn’t over. Although we’ve gone over theoretical situations and scenarios and done the book work, the fact of the matter is that there’s nothing better than experience to prepare you. In order to conclude this tutorial, we will be examining a video of an Operator in action and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this particular style of Operating.
Thanks goes to Cloviz and Barilzar for recording the video and making it available.


An Analysis of An Operator in Action

http://www.youtube.c...d&v=riN3qGunah8

Summary
A the beginning, he identifies potentially dangerous targets and orders recons to be used in order to increase his ability to oversee targets on the battlefield. He uses his own Recon almost immediately in the general area of the opponent and the number of opponents. Using the beacon, he marks the approximate position of the first target while also marking them with L2. He then scans them and relays information as to their weakness while constantly requesting recons. He also uses the backview in order to actually see the battefield. When the enemy force splits up, he keeps an eye on potential trouble areas, such as when member 70 engages an opponent and monitors the situation. He also calls for support for 70 when things start to look bad.
All together a job very well done.

Clovis demonstrated just how involved an Operator needs to be in order to ensure that his team wins the battle. Often times, as Operator, you'll have to be even more minute and quick in your decisions and actions as the situation changes very quickly in real time.

And that concludes this tutorial! I hope it was helpful and allows you to be just a little bit better as an Operator.

If you have any questions or if there is something I didn't touch upon feel free to leave a post saying what you want to see or hear. If you'd also like to give a theoretical scenario that you'd like me to analyze I am up for that too. Use the images provided above and mark them up as you please to better help you. Even if its just on paper or paint and the map doesn't even exist, I'd be willing to take a crack at it.

MISSION COMPLETE! For now....

Edited by farmboy28, 29 January 2012 - 10:40 PM.

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#2 Harakiri Tiger

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:47 PM

You actually share vision with all recon units deployed on the field at all times, whether they're in scan mode or not. This is why it's incredibly important for all your team members who can bring recon units to bring them and actively use them. There are different types of recon units and they benefit the operator differently.

The orbiting (follow) type recon units grant the largest scan range at a whopping 300m and follow the AC around, but they also have the lowest duration and you can obviously only have one out at a time. This lets the operator see nearly a full scan radius (operator special scan radius) around the AC that has one orbiting above its head. These should be equipped by default if you have the weight space to equip them on every single AC and they should be actively used at all times. They're the simplest and easiest to use for players. Fire and forget style.

The next two recon unit types require more work to use properly in favor of the operator rather than just the AC pilot. These two are sticky type recon units and floating type recon units. Floating type units have the longest duration (by enormous margins) but also have the tiniest range. They clock in at about 100m scan radius. Floating type are released straight out of your AC's butt and do not move from that location. Sticky type are launched from your AC like a bullet and will stick to whatever solid surface they come into contact with. Sticky type have about 150m scan radius and have about double the duration of orbiting type recon units. What's important to note is that sticky type can have roughly three units out at once, which grants a lot of vision. What is even more impressive is that the floating type can maintain up to five on the map at once, which is an enormous amount of coverage.

Do you actually get more raw space covered by using the floating/sticky type? No. The orbiting type actually gives the most cubed space covered, but the orbiting type is totally focused on one spot. The sticky and floating can be placed in key points where you don't need a 300m radius and be spread out, granting vision of more important areas at all times. Both sticky and floating type recon units are much harder to use effectively to the advantage of the operator and AC pilot at the same time compared to orbiting (follow) type recon units. Effective and skilled or trained pilots should consider using either sticky or floating type recon units, barring they are not playing a close combat or highly maneuverable AC. Close combat and highly mobile ACs should nearly always bring orbit type recon units, unless they are purposefully playing a recon and harassment role. In those cases it is best to use floating type recon units and some form of ranged chipping weaponry like a sniper rifle.

I can not stress this enough, though. Always, always, always use your recon units in combat. It is immensely helpful to the operator because they're not required to scan every damn inch of the map. The operator, by default, can only see what your ACs see. What your ACs see. Visually. So if an opponent runs behind cover the operator loses vision of them too unless you have recon units out or if they scan that location. While the operators scan is large and mildy spammable, it is not spammable enough to cover an entire team who doesn't use recon units.

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L2 button is something everyone can use, including normal players. L2 marks a target, be it turret, MT, or AC. The target is marked with your emblem and number and everyone can see it. This is normally used by players to call out targets they are focusing on. The operator normally uses this feature to call out targets they want the entire team to focus fire, for whatever reason.

R2 button is also something everyone can use, though it changes for other players depending on their control scheme since they're actively on the field. The R2 button is how you select a target to get detailed information on them. The same as in scan mode. It's your RIGHT ARM ACTIVATE button in a default control scheme. Put your cursor over a target and press R2 to get a detailed readout on their AP, defenses, weapons and ammuntion, etc.

R3 button is for the operator only. With R3 you are able to put your cursor over your own allies and then hit R3 to watch their screen in combat. It's very good for keeping really boring and slow matches from being mind-numbing. It can also be useful for when your team is chasing someone, as it allows you to share one persons camera vision so you can give more relative directions like left, right, forward, behind you while also being able to still see with your operator scan vision. Just be sure to make sure you identify who you are giving relative directions to or you may confuse the entire team.

L1 can be held down to make your cursor move around the map faster. This is useful when you have to ping multiple spots at once or pull up info for multiple enemies in rapid succession. It becomes required if your team is having spread out fights all over the map.

I honestly cannot recall what the select and start button did, though I remember at least one of them being useful. I guess I'm just having a brainfart right now.

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Ok, so about AC classes. They're all sort of designed for specific roles in ACV. Not very specific, but more specific than in any previous AC game by a long shot. You can no longer expect a class of AC to deal with all other classes of AC, no matter how hard you try. It's not fully against you, but the battle is gauranteed to be uphill. Much like some weapons are just really terrible vs some ACs due to the defense system.

LW bipedal and RJ ACs are not capable of being straight killers anymore. You can still kill some AC types with them, but they're generally better at harassment and crowd control than they are at killing. Most ACs that you can kill with a LW of either kind will probably have an easier time killing you back, assuming they're of a relatively equal skill level. RJs can jump higher and carry more, bipedals can turn faster and have more energy. They both focus on harassment type play, being scouts, and killing specific AC types. Mostly other LWs and quadrupeds. If you attempt to use a LW of any kind as a main source of damage or some kind of anime style super murderer assassin you will likely die pitifully. They are pinpoint killers and hard pressure/harassment when used correctly. Their design is so that they can come swooping out of nowhere and help stunlock targets, kill people who aren't paying attention (such as sniping quads), or destabilize the opposing teams positions.

MW ACs are best described as relatively mobile, capable of effective damage output potential and variety, and very good at stopping KE damage. They're ideal at both fleshing out teams and taking out stationary defenses. That's really one of their primary goals, to take out defenses and flesh out teams. They're not actually very good at anything specific, but they're very capable of handling most things. They're incredibly good at killing LWs and quadrupeds of all kinds and decent against HW RJs. They are not quite so good at killing well set up HW bipedals and should avoid tanks at all costs.

HW biped and RJ ACs are mobile weapons systems. Their sole purpose is to bring mobile heavy weaponry to the field. Their defenses help them survive while under all of that weight stress, but are not capable of sustaining them with any kind of magic defense gouging. They still have one weak defense, unless they sacrifice gouging two defenses. In which case they open themselves up even worse to the actual ACs designed to kill them. HW ACs are very good at breaking stationary defenses and killing LWs, other HWs, and tanks. They stack up poorly to a properly equipped and setup MW or quadruped.

The LW, MW, HW bipedal and reverse joint classes form the core of an offensive team. Defenders in the game of ACV have an enormous advantage in local areas, but not in a full game state. Mobility is very important to winning an invasion when paired up against a highly capable team who uses custom turret layouts (as my team did). A well designed offensive team with a good operator can crack a solid defense by sidestepping their opponents strengths and attacking their opponents weaknesses. Learning how to sidestep in ACV is a big deal for offensive teams. Sidestepping is the act of identifying a position or point of strength in the opponent and simply avoiding it. ACV allows this in both opponent mobility, stationary defense, and even in their AC's actual defense stats. This doesn't mean that quads and tanks don't have a place in offensive teams, it just means they're not the core of an offensive team.

Quadrupeds are low mobility weapons systems. They're best fit with cannons and sentry guns and best on the defense. They have incredibly fast refire rates for their weapons, due to high stability, and can put out extreme damage at range. Their point of speciality is killing HWs and tanks, which are unable to dodge their rapid cannon fire and normally unable to escape the resulting stunlock. They specialize most extremely in killing tanks, which do not have the ability to fight back at extreme ranges and do not have the mobility to avoid their cannon fire for long. They're not very good against LWs and MWs, especially due to LWs ability to force them out of position. Note that setting up a line of defense around your quadruped with sentry guns goes a long way to keep LWs and MWs away from you.

Tanks are the end-all be-all solution to raw firepower. Their singular purpose is to put into play immense amounts of damage from multiple damage types. Tanks are best used on the defense and also benefit from sentry turrets, though not as much as quadrupeds. Their enormous defenses and AP make it possible to survive through almost any kind of standard aggressor weaponry as long as they are not stunlocked. More importantly, they are highly capable of killing mobile ACs due to their grounded turn speed bonus, ability to wield extreme damage weaponry, and absurd potential weapon variety. Tanks are basically good at killing anything they can reach. This has some downsides though. They have to be able to reach their opponents. Tanks are notoriously terrible at moving around the map, can not wall jump, and can not zoom in with cannons. This means they must seek to avoid long ranged combat of all types as much as possible. Their low mobility also makes them poor aggressor choices without a proper team and operator to support them.

Quadrupeds and tanks form the core of a defensive team. They allow your team to use the benefits of local defenders advantage, which means not having to always sidestep your opponents strengths and having support fire from turrets. They also have the load capacity to bring wildly outrageous amounts of damage and damage variety, which helps avoid issues with the opponents defense ratings. This doesn't mean that other AC types aren't useful in a defensive team, but that they don't form the core of the team.

Remember, these roles aren't set in stone for AC types, but they are things that the ACs are distinctly good at and for a team to be well balanced it should try to flesh out their teams while following these general guidelines. At least for the current state of balance.

--------------------------------------------------

Once I get the energy to write more I will.

Sex
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a female in her crotch until he feels satisfied.


#3 farmboy28

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

Tutorial updated. Thanks to Niji for reminding me of a few things and Barilzar for his Operator vid which reminded me of a few things I forgot.
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#4 Lonestar

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:39 PM

Excellent tutorial, but the thing that'd probably throw me off for a bit is what you explained as the weight classes.
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#5 farmboy28

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:41 PM

View PostLonestar, on 27 January 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

Excellent tutorial, but the thing that'd probably throw me off for a bit is what you explained as the weight classes.
Thanks! and would you mind elaborating?
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#6 Lonestar

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:01 AM

View Postfarmboy28, on 27 January 2012 - 08:41 PM, said:

Thanks! and would you mind elaborating?

I'm very very very used to making the lightest AC possible (due to my experience playing Armored Core 4 and FA online) that're still effective.
But at least now I can use my AC's designs for campaign.
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#7 farmboy28

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

View PostLonestar, on 28 January 2012 - 10:01 AM, said:

I'm very very very used to making the lightest AC possible (due to my experience playing Armored Core 4 and FA online) that're still effective.
But at least now I can use my AC's designs for campaign.
That may be problem as the LW has been nerfed quite a bit. But remember, this tutorial only describes general trends in weight classes; if you're very skilled, then you might have no problem kicking ass with a LW, as Barilzar has told me.
The other thing you should note is that we saw less than one fifth of the total parts in the demo (79 IIRC) meaning there is a good chance that there will be parts that are advantageous to LW but we simply haven't seen yet. That is also why I'll have to update this tutorial soon; I think part of it may be obselete when ACV hits the state and I'll have to correct based on that.

In short, don't worry! This tutorial is not written in stone and neither is ACV until the US release. It may be that the LW may not have been nerfed as badly as we think.
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#8 Pendragon

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:20 AM

I hope they buff the LW in patches.
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#9 farmboy28

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:30 PM

View PostPendragon, on 01 February 2012 - 01:20 AM, said:

I hope they buff the LW in patches.
Watch the vids online on youtube. TehGodlyPerfection uploaded a bunch, especially of LWs. LW + Shotties + ninjas are practically killing.

I'm going to have to rewrite my post, because based on what I've seen, 40% of my writing is now obsolete. Great.
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#10 Nemphtis

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:43 AM

Reading about your impressions on lightweight ACs is disheartening—especially the part about the speed advantage not being as great over the other weight classes. I'll be doing my best with the LW when the game launches in Europe but it sounds like it's going to be an uphill battle.

#11 farmboy28

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

View PostNemphtis, on 24 February 2012 - 03:43 AM, said:

Reading about your impressions on lightweight ACs is disheartening—especially the part about the speed advantage not being as great over the other weight classes. I'll be doing my best with the LW when the game launches in Europe but it sounds like it's going to be an uphill battle.
That assertion was based upon what I observed during the demo. I've almost rewritten the article and will post up the rewrite soon to correct that.
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#12 Kaleidoscope

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

So with sniping being a bane for Tanks and Heavies, so would a team that utilizes Heavier ACs would consider a LW or Counter sniper to eliminate that weakness to a degree? I have no idea how most of the game works, aside from what I've read and seen, which is why I ask. Also, Tanks can't use zoom, again from what I've read, are there any other classes that can't?

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#13 Red Shirt (Grayscale)

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

From what I know so far, only tanks can't zoom with kneeling weapons but you can fire twice at the same time, assuming you have another one on your other hand. The other classes can still kneel and zoom, but are mostly inaccurate compared to heavyweight RJs and quads. Quads, while being less mobile, still have superior accuracy and fire rate on kneeling weapons though.

As for either a LW anal rapist or another sniper, they might prefer the former instead unless they can cover their sniper effectively; the sniper could be done in seconds if a LW user that doesn't fuck around engages you in CQB; any short-ranged TE or KE-based weapon will kill you outright. I'm not sure if sentry guns can keep up with LWs though (assuming they know what to do with the terrain layout), but it might give you some time and increase your teammates' chance of covering you.

edit: added something.

Edited by Red Shirt (Grayscale), 24 February 2012 - 01:18 PM.






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