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Leonhardt

Tek's Meks: A Disappointment

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Lemme start off this long winded whining post  by stating that I LOVE the Mek. I am thrilled that we finally have Giant Robots in Ark to slap around the big monsters that plague our comfy dinosaur breeding simulator. And I've personally been suggesting that the Tek tier get mechas for years at this point, so I am extremely happy to finally get one.

But the actual implementation of the Mek is sorely lacking on all fronts. Lemme break down my gripes and give my insight as to how they could be better:

  • Presentation

Throughout Santiago's Survivor Notes, he hypes up the Mek as a super badass monster slapping machine, the spear that will pierce the Corruption and save humanity's future. Something like this should warrant a bit more fanfare and pizazz than the standard "Tamed a Dino" jingle. And it just boops into existence, standing up, fully charged and ready to go. Have it spawn in on its knees, or in its T-Pose and require us to actually power it up. Give us a bit more HYPE about this humongous resource dump. Have it stand up and flick its laser sword out. Make the monoeye flash. Make the reactor rev up loudly. Give us a little spice on this meat. Would also be neat to have a function to Power Down the mek, and have it sit down or kneel so you can store it neatly in a hangar.

  • Sound Design

Goes a bit with what I addressed above. Its hard to get excited about the Mek when it sounds like you're playing with a cheap toy. You should be able to feel its footsteps. Hard, heavy clonking that actually sounds and feels like a giant metal colossus taking a stroll. The pistol on it is also severely weak sounding. It sounds like a cheap laser gun you'd buy at a CVS pharmacy. Make it BEEFY. Yeah yeah, Santiago intentionally made the gun weaker than the sword, but that doesn't mean it has to sound weak. Same issue with the cannon and the missile launcher. Not enough beef. Where's the beef? I do think the sounds and feel of the sword is perfectly fine, though, so it's got that going for it.

  • Appearance/Performance

Initially I was turned off by the more alien appearance of what was supposed to be a human Federation battlemech. Looking like a big chonky Geth from Mass Effect. Its growing on me the more I use it, but despite this organic and agile appearance, it is slower and clunkier than a frozen turd. The Mobile Worker from Gundam Origin, which is a crane they tricked into walking is more mobile than this thing. Santiago what are you doing. I'm fine with having it walk as its standard movement. But don't make the sprint "Walking slightly faster like it has to poop" Let this big boy run. It has Jump Jets, which are neat, but you can barely use them from how fast they overheat, and the amount of maneuverability they grant leaves a lot to be desired. To remedy this, apart from allowing the Mek to actually Run, you could add a Jetpack on the back slot of the Mek, which would improve its Jump Jets, allowing it to fly, reducing the heat generated, and improving the cooldown of the Jets, maybe give it a Boost Dash ability to improve its running further.

Coupled with the poor sound, the pistol is also difficult to aim, and wastes most of its shots with its 3-round burst, most of which don't even fire at where you're aiming. It's honestly hardly even worth using. I don't think it even needed the gun if it was going to be made so clunky and unwieldy. It definitely needs some love and care to improve it. It should at least feel as satisfying as using the Tek Rifle or Tek Railgun. Personally I believe a monster killer like the Mek should have a beefier primary weapon to begin with, a Hard Hitting semi-auto Cannon/Rifle type weapon, like the Fabricated Sniper rifle but with a laser beam.

The back mounted gadgets also don't really feel satisfying. The Missile Launcher for example, fires the missiles from a random slot in the middle of the pack, instead of the big pods on the shoulders. It also doesn't fire anywhere near where you're aiming, and randomly targets enemies, sometimes completely missing the cluster of dinos you want it to hit. As with the other issues, the sound is weak and sounds impotent. The Siege Cannon is presented as a long range artillery piece, but it only fires straight, essentially a faster Rocket Launcher that requires a charge up. Strong indirect fire is a role not fulfilled by anything above the Catapult and Primitive Cannon. So allowing the Mek to actually besiege a base from long range without line of sight would give it another powerful combat role.

 

I really do like the Mek. I understand that the DLC was just released, and that changes are likely to come. But I feel this needed to be stated regardless.

Discuss.

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I personally really enjoy the meks. As far as what you said, The sound design could use some work, and a proper spawn animation would be epic, but really the only thing I would change mobility wise is making it so the mek doesn't do the shock absorb thing every time it falls down half an inch. That would make it much more enjoyable to ride.

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