The Mech Touch Chapter 372


Chapter 372: Crazy!
Ves wanted to go crazy. Over the past two years, he gained so many new Skills and experienced so many new things. His enhanced Creativity constantly overflowed his mind with interesting mech concepts."I can finally unleash my wildest thoughts!"Naturally, he had to be somewhat discrete in his methods. If his products under the Crazy War Criminal account resembled his existing offerings under the Chasing Clouds account, then people would easily be able to draw the lines.That would defeat the purpose of operating a second account.Therefore, Ves had to adopt a different design method and avoid resorting to the same old methods."That won't be much of a challenge. As my Skills keep growing, so do my bag of tricks."Deeper knowledge allowed for more elaborate branching of methods. Perhaps when he used to be poorly skilled, he could only tentatively utilize a single method to solve a specific problem. Once his knowledge widened, he became more proficient in applying that specific method, but he also became familiar with alternatives."It's like traveling from Cloudy Curtain to Bentheim. Previously, the only way I could travel from star system to star system was to book a second-class ticket on an average passenger ship. Now, I'm still able to travel cheap if I want to, but I can also upgrade to a first-class ticket. Not that I need to, now that I have the Barracuda as my personal corvette."The same principles applied to mech design. With a broadened perspective, Ves could easily disguise his work by forcing himself to adopt different methods. Though the quality of his work would decline, trying out something different was still a useful exercise.Considering his options, he preferred to design a heavy mech rather than a light mech due to the wealth of design options available to him. Heavy mechs boasted vastly more weight and volume allowances, enabling Ves to stuff as many systems as he wanted onto a suitable frame."The only problem with this option is that it takes a lot of time to design a heavy mech."Even if he designed a variant based off an existing design, he would still have to spend many hours in modifying and optimizing his frame just to achieve a basic level of quality."It's no joke to design a heavy mech."Ves had never really attempted to design a heavy mech, even a virtual one. The only experience he had with working with heavy mechs was when he took part in the Young Tigers Exhibition. Charlotte Hoffmeister's Kirby made an unforgettable impression to Ves.He also remembered that his former classmate Patricia Schneider specialized in designing heavy mechs as well. Ever since she got snapped up by Master Null in the Leemar Open Competition, Ves hadn't heard any news of her since.It would be nice to get in touch with her again, he thought. They shared the same class back at Rittersberg and they had also been the only mech designers from the Bright Republic to have reached the finals in the Open Competition.Ves even harbored a tentative dream to collaborate on a design.Sadly, every message he sent to the woman disappeared into a black hole. Ves didn't know if Patricia received his message, let alone deign to send out a reply. The only thing he got out of the Clifford Society was that Patricia had never Leemar even once."She's likely taking her time to shore up her foundation."If Ves was a conventional mech designer, he'd be doing the same thing. Fortunately, the Mech Designer System cut short the time it took for him to expand his knowledge, so he had no need to go to school again.After a moment of consideration, Ves decided to make the practical choice and chose to design a light mech. Their smaller, slimmer builds left him with very little room for error, but it had the advantage that it didn't take too much time to slap a working mech together."It's not worth the effort if it takes more than a week for me to finish a virtual mech design."In this brief amount of time, Ves wanted to test his capabilities to the limit by rushing together a design that would successfully make an impact in the virtual market. In order to achieve the latter, Ves had to be creative and design a sufficiently shocking mech to overcome his second account's lack of renown.Now that he pinned down the weight class, he needed to decide on its star tier and archetype. While he was capable of designing modern 5-star mechs, Ves chose to take a step back and tackle the more modest 3-star range.3-star mechs might be outdated by more than two-hundred years, but that also made them a lot easier to work with, thereby speeding up his design process."3-star mechs are also much more widely sold than 5-star mechs."The latter may be more prestigious, but they didn't necessarily led to higher sales. Ves wanted to earn a modest sum of 20,000 DP in order to afford his next Mastery. While 5-star mechs came with higher DP caps, thereby ultimately earning Ves a lot more points, it would take months to get that far.Ves needed immediate short-term gains instead of long-term investments.As for the archetype, he thought about designing an aerial mech. He hadn't designed much of them, but his increased knowledge base gave him the option of working somewhat well with flight systems."I'll be designing an aerial production mech sooner or later, so it might be useful to get some practice."Thus, Ves settled on a aerial light mech. As for the type, Ves previously designed the Seraphim, which utilized a long-ranged rifle. Therefore, Ves thought about going for a melee type this time.In general, aerial melee mechs in the light weight class mostly consisted of skirmisher and scout role. They made for ideal mechs to ambush unsuspecting rifleman mechs that fared poorly in a fight up close.The problem with this combat method was that aerial melee mechs often got shot down before they reached their targets. Light mechs in particular only needed to be hit a couple of times before they started smoking.Skilled pilots worked around these limitations and ambushed their prey behind obstacles. They trained their patience to a level where they would be willing to hide atop a structure for days until an enemy mech passed by.Ves couldn't expect the kids who fooled around with 3-star mechs in Iron Spirit to do the same. They craved quick action and wouldn't put up with waiting for more than five minutes in the same spot.He knew this because his Old Soul and the DarkSpear virtual designs didn't really sell all that well. Even with the partnerships the LMC had struck with the local game centers, not a lot of players chose to pilot these mechs, even for free.In order to counteract his design's vulnerability to anti-air, Ves needed to come up with some sort of solution."Maybe a shield?"A shield in this weight class wouldn't be of much use. The better choice would be to adopt some sort of stealth or ECM system, but aerial mechs emitted so much heat that it would be impossible to hide it from the sensors of any decent mech.Ordinarily, a mech designer who faced this problem faced a dead end. If he went through with his choice to design an aerial melee mech, then he'd have to accept the vulnerability inherent in the type without any recourse.Ves was not an average mech designer. His ability already brought him in the upper ten percent of mech designers, and although it was extremely hard to climb higher at this point, he still refused to be stumped by this problem.He actually had a very crazy solution in mind."An aerial melee mech meant to fight up close needs some protection at the diving stage. Most often, they do so by putting their legs in the way of any incoming fire."Aerial mechs put much less importance on legs than landbound mechs. After all, even if their legs got torn apart, they could still move around the battlefield, although their balance would be out of whack.Therefore, the people who piloted aerial mechs had the tendency of using the legs as a disposable form of armor, to the chagrin of their mech technicians.Medium aerial mechs even possessed enough weight to crush any landbound mech if they stomped their opponents from above. This mode of delivering death from above was highly popular in virtual games, but much less so in reality due to the enormous costs of wrecking a mech's entire pair of legs.Ves wanted to take this concept of borrowing the falling force of a mech and adopt it to his light mech in a practical way. This would be hard, but Ves already had an idea in mind."A light mech can still crush any landbound mech as long as its dive is lengthy enough to build up a lot of momentum. Still, the light mech will usually come out as the loser of this exchange if its targeting a medium mech."In the worst case, it would be like throwing an egg against a wall. The egg would be completely demolished while the wall hardly noticed the bump.The story would be different if Ves replaced the egg with a pick."A humanoid light mech that flies in the air doesn't need a conventional pair of legs."Instead of designing a pair of redundant legs, what if Ves replaced it with a single broad spike with enough substance to make for a very sturdy lance?It would look like a mermaid mech, but instead of replacing the lower body with a flexible tail, Ves wanted to utilize a hard and tough spike built solely to pierce through armor from above."This will also solve the deficiency in armor concerning my mech type."If he added some sort of disposable armor or padding to the exterior of the spike, his light mech would be able to last even longer. Even if this disposable layer couldn't hold on for long, the spike itself consisted of enough solid mass to endure a beating.As for the upper body, Ves planned on arming his mech with a two-handed hammer. This would be the ideal weapon to deliver the finishing blow after it had come to a stop, preferably after having impaled through an enemy mech."A pair of knives won't have the reach to finish off an enemy mech impaled to the ground. Swords and spears won't cut it either as the amount of power behind each blow won't be impressing anybody."Light mechs possessed a lot less power than medium mechs. Against a decently-armored mech, their blows would more often than not bounce off the armor. Their mech pilots had to build up momentum or put the entire weight of their mechs behind their blows to inflict telling damage.For his experimental spike-legged mech, such an option wouldn't be practical. It had to finish off a damaged opponent from a temporary state of mobility. Therefore, even if such a weapon would add a lot to the weight, Ves decided to settle for a light but long-handled hammer."This sounds like a crazy mech."Ves leaned back in his chair behind his private workshop terminal and sighed. He decided to do his design work in the confines of his private workshop because he couldn't let anyone else find out about his second account.With Lucky swatting every spy drone that circumvented the other security measures every hour, Ves did not have to fear any further exposure."Still, it's not like I'm completely anonymous. The Clifford Society knows, and so does the shop that sold me this identity."That was why even if he had the option of incorporating technology derived from taboo weaponry, Ves purposefully chose to avoid going down this route. The 'war criminal' portion in his second handle merely represented his aspiration to break the conventional rules."I guess the System succeeded in corrupting some of my morals."