Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Wipeout Weapon profiles

Threaded View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Adelaide, Australia
    GMT + 9.5
    PSN ID

    Default Wipeout Weapon profiles

    So I've been thinking about doing a set of history and lore behind the weapons in wipeout. How they were conceived, how they actually work, the technologies behind them; that sort of thing.
    These profiles will be written carefully to match what is seen in HD. In other games the descriptions may become inaccurate.
    I've had to make some assumptions of course, and you will have to forgive me if I go back and edit previous entries so that they sit better with newer ones. That's the only way I can perfect it. xD
    There is also conflicting information, particularly with Wipeout 2048 including weapons even though they weren't allowed until the F5000 in 2080. I've had to sort of bridge the gap in a few places. Hopefully you won't notice.
    So, without further ado... and prepare yourselves, it gets pretty heavy!


    Speed/Weapon Pad

    The Patterned Energy Unit, or speed/weapon pad, is one of the staple features of any A-G racing circuit. It stands to wonder about the design and history behind these seemingly simple objects and the role they play.

    The pads were first discussed during the formation of the Anti Gravity Racing Championship in Nova State City, and they were lucky to be included at all. Given the somewhat messy and disorganised creation of the first Championship, there was never a complete formula put together to standardize the racing. As a result, many of the tracks were based on pre-existing road routes in the city and were simply modified and extended upwards. (This gave a lot of new-age construction technologies chances to come into the light.) The original function of the pads was proposed as construction began on one of the first circuits, although construction was nearly finished by the time the pads were ready, and in actual fact the installation of the pads was finished mere days before the construction was to be finalised and signed off. After this date, any further changes were not allowed under foundation law. (This rule was brought in to give prospective racing teams enough time to tune and hone their crafts before the events, and many teams were quite grateful for it, for reasons explained later on.)

    The proposal for the pads was lucky in itself. A group of young FIESAR employees working in the research and development sections of the corporation had been developing a technology called Energy Condensation for 7 months by this time. Their names were Roseanne Branson, Joseph Charlton, Niel Meadmore, Pat Leffler and Sabine Pine. The technology itself was a fairly simple concept, although it did have some difficulties in execution; the basic idea was to focus types of energy, usually electrical, at a certain point without needing a conductive surface. The energy is derived from sources in the near vicinity of the condenser. The focussed energy was generally found to be more powerful than a simple collection of energy such as in a capacitor; the condensing mechanism was capable of boosting the amount of charge or voltage in the energy as a side effect of the process used to contain it.

    This set-up was originally marketed as a potential decrease in energy needs, but as development continued the potential of the tech started to grow. By the time the Championship was being set up, Joseph and his team had left FIESAR and set up the company New Shift in order to pursue this tech along with a few other lines of R&D. The spark came in the form of journalist Samuel Green-Clarke; During a promotional tour FIESAR had invited him (and a bunch of other journalists) to five months prior, they demonstrated a simple version of the Condenser in amongst other tech. Being utterly fascinated by AG technology, Samuel noticed the similarities and remembered the condenser five months later when a marketing director asked: "What can we do to make the races more interesting?"

    Samuel saw the potential of the technology to provide energy to the ships and decided to go and visit New Shift that day. He outlined his plan, which was to use the condensers as collection points where ships could scoop up energy to replenish any they'd used. New Shift loved the idea and work began on the spot (although it didn't hurt that the technology made the races more environmentally friendly). Development continued throughout construction, and by the time the final peices were being delivered trackside, the units known to many as Weapon Pads and Speed Pads were completed, and the tech made its way into the formula for AG racing. They have been around ever since.

    The design of the pad is quite simple and has remained fundamentally unchanged through the years (although it has been made more efficient). The weapon and speed pads are just two variants of the same technology with slightly different applications.

    The speed pad is actually made up of two separate components: an Energy Condenser and an Energy Releaser. The condenser's ability to pull energy from the surrounding environment is not really relevant anymore and generally ignored, sometimes even actively prevented due to the interference they cause with some electrical equipment. Instead, R&D has boosted it's ability to contain a charge. They are often powered with a direct current and a few computer switches to prevent overflow or too much input voltage.
    Over the years, the Releaser has become more and more integrated with the main body of the unit; essentially it is a stable electrical connection connecting all of the condenser components. If one of the condensers is 'fired' (the energy is taken by another source e.g. a ship) it upsets the charge in the releaser causing 'ripples' of full or empty charge areas across the unit. This sudden change in voltage generally causes the rest of the condensers to lose focus all at once, sending energy everywhere to be collected by systems in the ship, and also causing a boost to the voltage of the energy. The condensers losing focus in this way is also the reason the input voltage needs to be regulated.

    These condensers can be seen on a modern speed pad as the blue panels embedded into the surface. Underneath the blue panels are tiny mag-field projectors used in focussing (they are, more or less, small rods of metal) and the releaser is contained directly underneath the steel plating on the outside of the pad. The energy itself is focused at a point slightly above each blue panel.

    The speed pads were lucky to be developed in time to be fitted into the AG racing 'formula' as the teams use that formula to build a ship, and it is the ship that is responsible for making the pads useful. All modern AG ships use the same system (it is regulated). Generally, magnetized cables or ports are used to collect and feed energy from the outside into the ship. These ports or cables are dedicated to speed pads, and are not used in interactions with weapon pads; the energy collected doesn't go through the ship's transference systems and is routed directly into the ship's powerplant, where it powers secondary boosters on the ship. This is quite easily seen during a race.

    The collectors themselves are often located on the underbelly of the craft, although in some models they are contained just underneath the outer hull. As an example, the classic (HD) FIESAR craft's collectors are visible as two ports extending out from the main G-Deflector (Go on, have a look!) and the classic Mirage uses two collecting wires attached to the underneath of the hull (They are striped red and yellow and easy to spot). However, in the classic Icaras craft, the collector region is contained in the main nose-cone, flattened against the side closest to the ground.

    The weapon pad is a more complicated version of the speed pad - it includes an important component called a pattern translator (hence the name Patterned Energy Unit) and often runs higher capacities and requires a bunch of extra electronics. It is generally a lot more expensive to make as a result. However, the core concept remains the same; it generates and stores energy. What makes it different is how the energy is collected and how it is used (and this is where the pattern translator becomes important). The pattern translator is connected to a computer that randomly decides which pattern to use next. In modern AG racing, there are 11 patterns.

    The pattern translator is activated during energy release. It releases a small bolt of plasmag (the same substance used in mag-lock strips) on the discharge in the air. The energy becomes minutely mag-locked and is thus forced into a certain pattern of current. The energy is collected by the ship's weapon collectors (separate to the speed pad collectors) and fed to the ship's transference system; this system then decides, based on the pattern, what the energy should be used for. Some weapons, such as the plasma bolt, use the energy directly; some, such as the leech beam, engage a smaller system that manipulates it and sends it out again; and some, such as the bomb, use all the energy at once to activate certain projectiles. Most of the weapons in this guide work by utilising the energy and combining it with other systems.

    The ship can still absorb any energy not used by weapon fire. When 'absorbing', the trans system on the ship needs to remove the encoded pattern; it does this by discharging the energy to the hull and then focusing it at specific points. Generally under-hull ports are installed at the corners of the ship, away from important gear. This is easily visible during a race, as a ship that is absorbing will feature bright flashes across the length of the hull and visible distortion caused by the plasmag dissipating.

    Well, first one is done. I hope you liked it! I'll continue if you guys like it. I'm hoping to finish all 11 weapons one by one, plus any support gear such as the pads here.
    Last edited by dreadofmondays; 12th July 2012 at 03:56 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts