by Alphaville Herald on 01/12/08 at 10:21 pm
Marine mech sub-division, railguns, fleet refit could lead to more immersive combat experience
by Metallicoe Dezno
I was contacted today by Alliance Navy officer luca Vasilopita, who asked if i would be interested in seeing and reporting on some new AN equipment. Of course, being a gadgets and technology fanatic, I couldn’t decline his offer.
I was teleported into the AN research and development area, which many called the Motor Pool. On first glance, I could see various builds surrounding me, each very interesting and highly detailed. Here is a snippet of my chat with Officer Vasilopita;
Dezno: So Officer Vasilopita, what has the AN got in store for their members?
Vasilopita: Right, well there’s quite a big forward surge recently in recruitment. For all of the problems in the world(s) (Digital and Real), we seem to be seeing a lot of advancements here in the Alliance Navy.
Dezno: Is that an AN mech?
Vasilopita: Yes, the re-designing of the Alliance Navy’s armored projects is one of the new ‘advancements’ we’re working on to bring the AN back up to scratch with the demand for high tech gash and fluff. Things that are already in service, such as the new fatigues are available for viewing all around us. The mech is still in the development stage, however there is a working model that the creation team are fiddling with animation wise.
Dezno: What will the features of the mech be, what firepower will it have?
Vasilopita: Mostly direct fire type things such as twin linked machineguns, grenade launchers, and the odd dumbfire rocket. We’re trying to keep the ‘smart’ capabilities to a minimum on this thing for the moment. Excuse the pun with it, but we don’t want to run before we can walk.
Dezno: Will this mech create a new mechanical division for AN? Or will it be issued to the existing heavy weapons team?
Vasilopita: As a testbed, we will be creating a sub-division within the Marines. If the Section is successful, then we could see a more populated ‘Division’ for things like mech’s in the future.
Dezno: What else have you been working on?
Vasilopita: Mr. McKinley here is currently wearing the new issue Air Division uniform, complete with high detail skin suit underneath.
Dezno: Oh right, that looks great! Are those weapons on the floor to be issued to all enlisted personnel?
Vasilopita: When they’re eventually rolled out, they will be for heavy weapons teams within Fleet Division and Marine Division. What you see is a ‘post modernised’ version of the Browning M2 machine gun, and a little something we call the R-22 Railgun, they’re designed to be used as stationary gun emplacements for defensive situations.
Dezno: So that gun will be rezzed then take control from an avatar?
Vasilopita: It’ll be attachment based, but only able to fire when deployed, forcing the avatar to be stationary when it needs to be fired. It’s a simple way of employing arms limitations in a group, making the immersion of a combat experience all the deeper – that’s what we hope at least!
Dezno: Oh, that’s fair. Will there be any specifically new advancements in technologies included within any new equipment by the AN?
Vasilopita: At the technical level, we hope so. Scripts for things such as the new landspeeder you can see on the rampart in front of us will bring about a new way to have physical vehicles in SL without breaching too many combat ‘regulations’.
Dezno: And to close, are there any more projects in development, not shown here, for perhaps other divisions?
Vasilopita: Absolutely, a prime example that would be hard to show you is the full Fleet refit currently being put underway. The full intention is to both roll out NEW ships, and upgrade the existing ones with more advanced scripts and technologies. It’s one of those pipe dreams that’s finally coming to life. There’s always been a bit of a stagnation problem with the Alliance Navy and equipment projects. This seems to be changing now that a few people have proven all it takes is a bit of elbow grease to get a project totally finished.
Dezno: May i ask, how many developers do you have in AN currently developing equipment and/or technologies to the advantage of AN and its combatants?
Vasilopita: I could only hazard a guess, but the more serious developers would probably ring in at about a dozen or so.
Dezno: And taking recruitment surges into consideration, how strong is the AN now statistics-wise?
Vasilopita: We’re just starting to see the first graduates, but at the moment we’re looking at about 26 recruits, which is steadily increasing by about half a dozen a week. I can only hope that we can match the numbers of the other groups, but with the benefit of the AN’s intense training and flair for being a bit ‘jammy’ with combat.
So, it seems like AN have some pretty exciting and effective equipment coming to AN personnel. Before I left, I seized the opportunity to ask luca about the new flight debates arising (story coming soon).
Dezno: Will AN be adopting any Air Assault/Defense changes to the upcoming debates over realistic flight patterns in aircraft?
Vasilopita: As of yet, the discussions on it have been very short lived. Although the prospect is one that the group as a whole is interested in, it’d be much more appealing than the current mouse assisted flight system. We’ve seen the dark side of that system in the past with groups such as the Vanguard zipping about in very annoying lines. Damned effective, but not very fun to fend off. Hopefully more ‘realistic’ systems would mean that Air Divisions across groups could benefit when it comes to dogfighting and so on. One can only hope at this point, but I do expect a bit more from this renaissance period within the military groups and community on the subject of aircraft.
Dezno: Thank you very much Officer Vasilopita, for showing me the new developments coming to AN soon.
So, it seems like AN are preparing to respond to the recent debates about flight patters/control too, along with other major militaries. If you would like to use some of the equipment mentioned here, or see it in action, you should visit Elshout with a gun and feel the wrath of AN!