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  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2020

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Psientist.6437 said:

    The bit about "bullets" vs "shells" is pendantics. The statement to get a bigger bullet is wrong because bigger bullets are called shells?!?!? Aircraft carriers contributed to the doom for battleships because they could use range. Airplanes are a type of projectile weapon platform.

    Because, as it turns out, some things are bulletproof.

    Some things have also been shellproof, although there's a point at which putting more armour on something becomes impractical. On the other hand, there's a point to which "build a bigger gun" also becomes impractical, especially when talking about small arms fire. Which is, essentially, where I think the line between a machinegun and an automatic cannon is drawn: a machinegun can be realistically carried around and used by a single person, even if it starts to get pretty awkward with heavy machine guns. Cannons can't. So the line between bullets and shells is more or less the line between small arms and heavier weapons. Your statement to get a bigger bullet is essentially pushing something from being an infantry weapon to being a weapon for vehicles and fixed emplacements.

    As for the aircraft carrier vs missile boat distinction - yeah, the advantage of aircraft carriers is range, but the point there was that if it wasn't for aircraft carriers, the powerful navies of the worlds would still have capital ships. They'd just be big floating missile batteries that could carry bigger and longer-range missiles, and more of them, than their smaller counterparts. As it happens, though, once a ship gets big enough to be an aircraft carrier, it's more valuable as an aircraft carrier than as a battleship, missile-armed or not.

    An extreme example, but it shows the folly of absolute statements. "Bullet proofed" historical armour wouldn't necessarily hold up to every bullet. And even if it did, non-penetrating hits could certainly be enough to knock you around. But no armour was expected to be perfect - just good enough that you're better off with it than without it. And having materials that are as far above steel as steel is above bronze is going to substantially delay the point at which guns outmatch armour to the point where armour stops being worth wearing. Perhaps indefinitely - the "firepower always outmatches armour in the end" mantra is a popular one, and it's true if you're thinking about armour rendering you invulnerable instead of simply less vulnerable than you'd be without it, but historically the period during which personal body armour beyond helmets was abandoned was pretty short, it's just exaggerated in people's minds because it was most of last century. It wasn't until WW1 that the cuirass was completely abandoned, and body armour has been undergoing a renaissance in recent decades - in part because you don't need as much armour to protect against shrapnel, but in part because, guess what? Advanced materials! And when you get down to it, kevlar isn't actually THAT big of a step up from steel in terms of the ratio of its protective qualities versus weight - it's just that steel had been the best we had until then. I don't think Tyrians will be abandoning their mithril, orichalcum, or deldrimor steel armour any time soon. Maybe people who can only afford steel armour would also ditch it like in real life, but mithril in Tyria seems to be pretty common for an exotic fantastical metal.

    So, historically, as projectiles, guns and explosives evolved, armor offered less or niche protection. The change takes time.

    Because armour hit a hard block to its evolution around the 15th century. They'd pretty much hit the limit of what could be achieved with the materials they had at the time, within the weight that a soldier could bear and still be an effective fighter, while guns continued to evolve. With the advent of modern materials, personal body armour is starting to work its way back into a modern soldier's equipment, so the period where personal body armour was virtually nonexistent seems to be over, at least when it comes to armies of advanced nations. If medieval armoursmiths had a material that was as far in advance of steel as steel is from bronze, I'm pretty sure that armour would never have been dropped altogether.

    Melee weapons, meanwhile, benefit from advanced materials just as armour does. Lighter materials aren't as much as an advantage for weapons since with weapons it's important to have a certain degree of weight to the blow, but that can be compensated for by simply making the weapon bigger. Firearms, on the other hand, are more complicated - stronger breeches would certainly help, but it's not such a direct conversion of better materials = better weapons.

    Better materials directly translate to better gun weapon platforms just as easily as armor and melee weapons. We wouldn't have the historical evidence of firepower gradually and persistently out classing armor and melee if what you say is true.

    Not really, because the period where that transition happened was a period where materials technology was pretty much stalled. There were metallurgical improvements during the period, particularly once the Industrial Revolution started (one of the key parts of the Industrial Revolution was finding a way to mass-produce high-quality steel). Broadly speaking, the same metals were being used in the Napoleonic Wars as were being used in the Hundred Years War. For armour and melee weapons, quality is very dependent on materials: there's not much you could realistically do to improve on high-grade 15th-century full plate without making it out of a better material. For guns, there's a lot more that goes into it - quality of the propellant, design of the breech chamber, ammunition type, presence or absence of rifling on the barrel, and so on. Sure, making the breech out of a stronger material means they can get a more powerful shot out of the simple expedient of using more propellant... but even that only helps so far if you haven't figured out how to get the propellant to ignite in a manner that ensures you actually get full usage of the energy released. Now, let's look at gun technology in Tyria. It's a bit anachronistically all over the place, but we see a mix of flintlocks, revolver mechanisms, a couple of simple gatlings, and a few more exotic pieces. That puts the level available to most people at around the early to mid 1800s. There's still a long way to go to get to modern firearms, and a mithril breech just isn't going to fully close that gap.

    Now, to be clear on this, because there seems to be some misunderstanding here: This could certainly change. For the purpose of this discussion I'm considering the situation as it stands at the 'present day' of Tyria, circa Thirteen Thirty-Mumble AE. Could it change in another century ago? Certainly. Probably will, in fact. Which way, however, is hard to predict, since advances in gun design might also be matched by improvement in magic, further improvement in armour and melee weapon materials, and so on. We could see a future Tyria go anywhere from something similar to real-world battlefields to a Dune-like situation where melee weapons are back to being what's important because everyone has personal shield bubbles.

    If we to drill down into this, the rapid emergence of many gun types partially defeats your argument. Thyrian technology obviously evolves very quickly. Thyrians have had access to Mithril and such materials for a while. There are also many natural projectile users. Thyrian armor tech should already be near maturity.

    Maybe it is nearing maturity. Maybe there'll be some other breakthrough that we can't predict. Maybe it's already strong enough - how does mithril, let alone even more advanced Tyrian metals, compare to kevlar?

    To address a couple of specific points:

    @Psientist.6437 said:

    With projectiles, speed and mass are more important than hardness. Get a marshmallow going fast enough and it could destroy the Moon. Tyrian explosive technology may be in its infancy but we shouldn't expect that to last. Your assumptions about what bullets are made of are just assumptions and your focus on material is inaccurate. Why wouldn't there be mithril bullets?

    I've answered why there wouldn't be mithril bullets. In fact, you clearly haven't thought it through, but you've answered it. Speed and mass are what's important with projectiles (well... not directly, but I'll get to that in a moment), and while we don't have details on the properties of Tyria's fantastical metals, mithril in pretty much every other setting where it appears, going back to Tolkein, is described as being stronger and lighter than steel (let alone heavier metals that are often preferred for projectiles). It's basically fancy super-titanium.

    Now, you might say that this means it goes faster with the same propellant, and that's true, but now it's that moment I referred to. Whatever charge you have firing the bullet is going to impart a certain amount of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is proportional to mass times velocity squared. Momentum, on the other hand, is what broadly determines how hard a projectile is to stop, and that's just straight mass times velocity. If you fire a lighter bullet with the same kinetic energy, more of that kinetic energy equation is being taken up by velocity, which means that the momentum of the projectile is less. Density is also important both for resisting air resistance and for punching through armour, since if the bullet has a wider cross-section, it needs to displace that much more armour to punch through (and getting extra mass by making the bullet longer only goes so far before it starts creating other problems). So for armour, you want a material that's light but strong. For bullets, you want a material with a high density, since you want the frontal cross-section of the bullet to be as small as reasonably practical but to squeeze as much mass (and therefore momentum) into that cross-section as possible.

    Your argument here gets away from itself. If a massive projectile and a light projectile have the same momentum, the light one will have a lot more kinetic energy. If a light projectile and a heavy one have the same velocity, the heavy one has more kinetic energy. The bolded is a mess. You don't come anywhere close to making an argument against mithril bullets.

    Just asking out of curiosity, how many physics degrees do you have?

    In general, flashing the potential of a physics degree for a discussion of something as simple as momentum and kinetic energy is a good indicator that the degree doesn't exist.

    Hahahah.

    See, the physics of guns isn't my specialty (wasn't a course that was offered, that's something you're really only likely to go into if you specialise in gun manufacture - there might have been some in fluid flows but what I recall of that course focused more on the dynamics of jet engines), so I was worried that you might actually know something on the subject rather than bullcatting. Then you claimed that firing a lighter bullet with the same momentum was a simply matter of, well, firing it out with the same momentum. So, even if I'm lying, basic physics seems to be more than you know.

    Yeah, the maths is pretty basic physics. But it's apparently basic physics that you don't know. The maths for calculating the effect of a collision are a little more advanced, but to summarise - broadly speaking, in a direct collision, the more momentum, the more of that energy is likely to transfer into the target. In simple particle-particle collisions, lighter particles with high kinetic energy usually just ricochet with relatively little influence on the heavy particle (unless it's a photon striking with just the right energy to be absorbed). On the macroscopic scale, it's more complicated, but high kinetic energy and low momentum usually results in the kinetic energy going into heat, sound, possibly ricocheting or the projectile fragmenting, rather than into punching into the target.

    Mine's a little rusty, but I remember enough of projectile dynamics that if you fire projectiles of different masses out of the same gun with the same propellant, than assuming no changes in efficiency, they'll all be shot out with the same kinetic energy, as the chemical energy of the propellant is transferred into the kinetic energy of the projectile. Now, the "no changes in efficiency" is a pretty rough assumption, but broadly speaking, you can't just say "fire the lighter bullet with the same momentum".

    So let's do some maths. Let's start with the assumption of a 10g projectile being fired with 1kJ of energy. Solve for energy:

    1000J=(0.01kgv^2)/2
    2000J/0.01kg = v^2 = 200000
    v = sqrt(200000) = 447m/s
    P = 0.01
    447 = 4.47kgm/s

    Now, if we half the mass of the bullet (and skip a few steps):

    2000J/0.005kg = 400000
    v = 632m/2
    P = 0.005*632 = 3.16kgm/s

    Notable drop in momentum there. (Note that momentum is still conserved either way - the first case would have a higher recoil.) In order for the lighter bullet to be fired out with greater momentum, it would need to be fired out with greater kinetic energy. While, from the research I've done, the opposite tends to be true: for a given gun, heavier projectiles leave the muzzle with higher kinetic energy, probably due to limits on just how hard the projectile can be pushed before it leaves the barrel.

    Of course, APDS and APCR does work on the principle of getting a higher velocity with a lighter projectile - but this is because APDS also has a narrower, high-density penetrator, so the momentum per unit area is higher. Higher velocity projectiles also have the issue that they lose velocity more rapidly due to air resistance, so they lose penetrative power more rapidly over long range.

    Which is why, broadly speaking, the penetrating portion of a bullet or shell has generally been made of denser materials as technology advanced, working up to depleted uranium (and generally tungsten alloys for nations that prefer not to work with hazardous material). Mithril, if its properties are similar to other fantasy universes, would not be suitable for the penetrating portion of a projectile. Advanced projectile designs might use mithril for some components, but there's no evidence that Tyrians have developed AP ammunition more advanced than "a slug of the heaviest hard metal you can find". Maybe in a century or two. But not now.

    Why would it take a century or two? The evidence that Thyrians are limited to simple slugs doesn't exist. We see truly amazing projectile effects from all classes that couldn't be produced by simple slugs. Your evidence for lore is evidence of game mechanics designed to create balance.

    Simple slugs for armour piercing purposes. Yeah, explosive, poison-bearing, incendiary, and similar types of rounds existed. These are all relatively primitive - they were around during World War 1 at the latest. There's also weird stuff like lightning shot, but that can be attributed to having access to materials with magical properties

    Advanced AP rounds like APCR, ABDS, and HEAT didn't really start showing up until World War 2. There's no evidence Tyrians have developed anything like that. Yet.

    Your math is right but what does it have to with stronger Mithril breeches and the potential to use more propellant? Why wouldn't metallurgists who can already work mithril into armor and weapons not be able to shape mithril into guns immediately at the invention of guns? Same applies to projectiles. You can do simple math but your overall logic doesn't work.

    The math was to show a simple demonstration that using a lighter projectile with the same propellant means losing momentum.

    I've always acknowledged that stronger breeches could improve performance, but I think you're exaggerating by how much. Increasing the ability of the breech to resist pressure does not directly translate into a proportional increase in the momentum applied to the target - there are various inefficiencies that increase as the amount of propellant is scaled up that prevent this. The most visible - literally - is that a lot of the energy is lost when the bullet leaves the barrel - this is largely why longer-barrel guns have better performance. If the bullet is leaving the gun faster (and this applies to lighter bullets as well as to using more propellant, incidentally, so while my mats above assumed that the lighter bullet goes out with the same kinetic energy of the heavier bullet, the truth is that the lighter bullet likely actually leaves the barrel with less energy), the gas from the propellant escapes faster and less of the total energy from the propellant has gone into driving the bullet.

    There are also some physical limits as well - the bullet is never going to be accelerated faster than the gas pushing it along (and as it approaches that velocity, the amount of additional work done on the bullet by the expanding gas is going to start dropping off) and there's substantial resistance to accelerating anything beyond the speed of sound and once you do, a lot of kinetic energy starts being bled off in the form of shockwaves and the projectile will quickly decelerate back to below the sound barrier if it doesn't have some means of replacing that lost kinetic energy. I'm not sure how much these limits apply to firearms (although I do note that the calculations above suggest muzzle velocities above Mach 1), but they do provide additional sources of inefficiencies.

    The end result is that if you make the breech and barrel out of a more advanced material that resists pressure better, say 50% better, and take advantage of that by using 50% more propellant, you're not going to get 50% better performance. I don't know how much of a drop-off there'll be, but there'll be some.

    Conversely, however, if you make armour out of a material that resists pressure 50% better, than it IS going to perform 50% better, because the effectiveness of armour is pretty much defined by its ability to resist pressure.

    Again, we don't know the properties of Tyrian metals, but for darksteel and mithril, we can make educated guesses. Mithril is pretty consistently presented in fantasy where it appears as being lighter than steel, so it probably makes for an inferior projectile to steel (let alone copper, lead, and the like). Darksteel appears to be an alloy of platinum or some other metal found in platinum ores such as iridium, which would give a density similar to tungsten and lead. Orichalcum and Deldrimor steel we don't really have much to go on in terms of density - being even better for armour means it's probably at least not significantly heavier than mithril, though, and even if it was, both seem to be materials that are rare and expensive enough that you wouldn't want to be making every bullet out of it. Maybe you'd see the odd specialist armour-piercing round made out of it, similar to how APCR/HVAP was used in WW2 (namely, generally being issued in small amounts with orders to only use them when regular AP wouldn't cut it).

    Regarding the marshmallow example: Technically true, but we're clearly not looking at cee-fractional projectiles in Tyria. Broadly speaking, they seem to be similar velocities to real-world projectiles of about a century ago, maybe even a little bit slower.

    Do you mean c-fractional? I don't see why we couldn't see projectiles accelerated to relativistic speeds with magic. True we don't see it, but the reasons are arbitrary. If magic force fields can redirect or absorb kinetic energy then they should be able to add it as well.

    I've seen it spelled both ways. c-fractional is more technically correct, but I thought cee-fractional might be more recognisable to some sci-fi readers.

    Projectiles accelerated to relativistic speeds by magic might be possible, but like you say, we don't see it. I'm discussing from the perspective of what's in Tyria now, not what might hypothetically show up in the future.

    We've been focusing on combat between institutions and heroes. Perhaps guns would have a bigger impact on the lives of the magic poor.

    Perhaps, but where's the magic poor? Human armies have generally been presented as having magic-users as a significant minority at the very least. The White Mantle I'd consider an outlier (they essentially have a two-tier system, with spellcasters being channeled into the White Mantle proper leaving bandit forces relatively magic-poor), but you can look at Ascalonian ghost armies or several human factions in GW1 to get a broad idea of how common spellcasters are among human armies. Technology is generally presented as being an equalising factor when a relatively magic-poor group (such as the legions after the overthrow of the Flame Legion) are having to go up against someone stronger in magic... and they still use melee troops because their enemies aren't magic-poor.

    We see the bodies of the magic poor pile up everyday. Guns would eventually replace bows and melee weapons among the magic poor. To the bolded; your logic has magic poor melee attacking magic enriched melee and ranged?!?!? Because officer logic I guess.

    There is a degree to which engineers and guns in general appear to be more common among magic-poor factions, such as the non-Flame charr and outlaw groups such as bandits and Separatists (and the latter are probably motivated by stealing charr munitions). But if we're talking large-scale warfare... thus far, most known cases of large-scale warfare have had at least one magic-rich side, whether it's humans versus charr or the Pact versus dragon minions. Talking about magic-poor battles is like talking about real-world modern warfare without air power: sure, it can happen between really poor countries or between factions in a civil war, but if you're talking about major power conflict, it's going to be there.

    Most of the magic poor aren't soldiers but still need weapons to defend themselves. Guns would change their lives. I imagine there would be two levels of combat for any battlefield, the magic poor and magic enriched tiers. The magic poor would use the most powerful ranged weapons they could. Why would they want to engage magic enriched melee in close combat? In general, I think you are confusing combat mechanics designed to limit the natural advantages of ranged weapon platforms and narrative designed to create and reinforce class distinctiveness for realistic Tyrian combat lore. Which isn't a big deal.

    I'm thinking of battlefield scenarios here, where it's reasonable to consider that projectile countermeasures may be used. If you've got a soldier who doesn't use magic, then yeah, giving them a gun is a good idea. We actually see this with most 'magic poor' professions - warriors, engineers, even thieves (which have magic, but generally don't use it as attack spells) all use guns, while among spellcaster professions all we have so far is mesmers using offhand pistols. Problem is that if a few projectile-blocking or, worse, projectile-reflecting fields go up, those guns could become useless at best and dangerous to their users at worst. So you give your troops the best ranged weapons you can afford... but you ALSO give them the best melee weapons you can afford so that your troops aren't completely helpless when some cat-hole of a mesmer blinks into the middle of them while invisible, pops a Feedback bubble, and portals in that squad of Guardians.

    >
    In the context of lore, guns make shields for melee essential. In the context of large scale combat, that is huge. Guns would displace all unsupported magic poor and support would have to include shields. All shields below a threshold would also be displaced. The broad strokes of Thyrian combat is portrayed accurately but the role of guns isn't. The portrayal of guns in combat is shaped more by the demand for class balance and distinction. We already see projectile weapon systems that would change the landscape of war more than they are shown. Which, again, is good and necessary.

    So you'd have soldiers that mostly use guns when their opponents are magic poor, and switch to melee weapons if their opponents have countermeasures (or, as was largely the case pre-guns, their opponents have armour that can resist their projectiles). Your point being? Most significant opponents will have countermeasures. Heck, engineers can make shield generators now (probably by using magical materials as a power source), so the enemy doesn't even have to be spellcaster-heavy. A squad of scrappers with bulwark gyros could mess up projectile-based tactics just as badly, especially if they're also packing rocket boots.

    Either way, as things stand at the moment, how Tyrian warfare is portrayed makes sense. Armour technology and the existence of projectile countermeasures keeps melee combat relevant, for both the magic-rich and the magic-poor.

    @Psientist.6437 said:
    Powerful, natural explosives that the magic poor could create and use, not "guns", would transform Thyrian warfare. In some ways this is an easier story to tell. Magic would suppress the demand for natural explosive technology. The magic enriched would monopolize the supply of explosive technology. As well, material technology and magic enrichment would set a very high threshold for the power of the explosive. Projectiles that don't need natural explosives have already pushed the evolution of defense. Thyrians could build exotic rounds and guns, but guns would be toys or inconsequential at scale until explosive technology evolved past a threshold that magic set very high and long ago.

    Hrrrmn. I'm sceptical about this too - there's probably a practical limit on the size of explosives that would be practical for infantry to use.

    What I suspect would actually revolutionise Tyrian warfare is basically similar to what happened in the real world: mechanised warfare. At the moment, war vehicles are at a roughly WW1 level of use: they're present, but infantry still does most of the work. Even now, though, vehicles make weapons and pieces of magitech that are too big to be practical to be used by an infantry soldier actually useful in mobile warfare. With a bit of refinement and reconsideration of tactics, though, this could lead to a paradigm shift similar to that which occurred with WW2.

    I suspect infantry would still want to carry melee weapons, though. I don't think Tyrian warfare is ever likely to evolve into something quite like ours, because Tyrians have capabilities that we just don't have. Body armour will continue to be used, because material exists that makes it protective enough to be worthwhile while practical enough to be used. Swords will never be phased out entirely, because you have anti-projectile countermeasures and people who can teleport directly into your face from a starting point that's barely in range of most ranged small arms.

    More performance than substance. Now you are a rocket scientist.

    If weight limits the practical application of armor and projectiles can find their target, then speed and mobility dominate combat. There is no such thing as increasing armor weight and increasing the ability to chase something down! Mobility and projectile effectiveness dominate naval combat. Heavily armored battleships were never particularly effective. In WWII, these ships spent most of their time hiding or fleeing combat. The only way melee stays relevant in Thyria is by magically removing armor's weight dilemma and magically increasing mobility. Melee has to behave like range.

    The dichotomy you are implying between momentum and kinetic energy shows you either don't understand the concepts or are willing to imply bad physics to make a pedantic point about solid mithril bullets. Or is it cartridges or shells? It is impossible to increase velocity without increasing both momentum and kinetic energy. It looks like you know enough but not enough to understand that momentum isn't the most important property for a projectile. This would be especially true for energy based shields. Thankfully for your argument, you get to ignore or make up qualities for energy shields. You still don't have any evidence except class balance for the absence of AP rounds. You keep using what is actually class balance as evidence. Class balance treats the damage potential of bows and guns the same! Something about momentum maybe?

    At least we agree that what we see is accurate enough.

    edit: Momentum will matter most when the projectile is traveling. Once the projectile strikes, the potential for damage and armor piercing is dominated by material (not necessarily due to hardness), area of impact (the smaller the are the more energy is focused) and kinetic energy (how much energy can be delivered). It is easy to achieve more damage and armor penetration with kinetic energy even if there is a potentially smaller total "amor pentration" coefficient for one projectile over another. Momentum isn't as important for projectile power as you make it out to be.

    weathering's everything

  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2020

    @EdwinLi.1284 said:

    @Fipmip.7219 said:

    @Dawdler.8521 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    What I suspect would actually revolutionise Tyrian warfare is basically similar to what happened in the real world: mechanised warfare. At the moment, war vehicles are at a roughly WW1 level of use: they're present, but infantry still does most of the work. Even now, though, vehicles make weapons and pieces of magitech that are too big to be practical to be used by an infantry soldier actually useful in mobile warfare. With a bit of refinement and reconsideration of tactics, though, this could lead to a paradigm shift similar to that which occurred with WW2.

    Tank General: "We are bringing 1000 tanks into battle to drive a wedge through the enemy lines and take the enemy city!"
    Elementalist: "The city is gone, I just meteor showered it"
    Tank General: "... well we still got lots of infantry to deal with!"
    Elementalist: "Died from the same meteor shower."
    Tank General: "... enemy tanks?
    Elementalist: "Who the kitten even brings tanks to a battle where a single person can literally pull meteors from the sky?"
    Tank General: ":("

    I think this basically the short of it. While i think that individuals in the lore have not been typically capable of calling meteor storms on cities by themselves, I don't really see why, for example, the charr couldn't just streamline some sort of ritual to basically call down the searing whenever they please. With that kind of power playing at attack and defense, armies are probably put into occupational and guerilla roles. That being said, anet has no problem handwaving away that sort of reality, as we have seen time and again throughout the story.

    The charr made it clear they wanted their culture to be more about technology over magic. Magic is still used but not at the level of Flame legion.

    It is partly due to their belief toward separating themselves from Gods since Magic has such connection to it though history. Even those with Magical talent in the Charr army uses it more towards development of technology that allows people to combat magic based enemies over developing better magic abilites for magic users. After all, what better people to create warfare technology to combat magic users or magic based creations, such as the Ascalonian ghosts, than magic users themselves by applying what they know about magic and using that knowledge to create technology that can replicate it to equal power or better powers.

    The Charr reliance on technology could also partly explain their social structure. Technology is a group effort while their foes only need to depend on themselves. The Charr are also our best example of a narrative pitting the magic poor against the enriched. I guess my main point in all of this is that what we see happening to the Charr would be a universal narrative and we don't see it. Which is, again, fine. This is a themepark mmo.

    weathering's everything

  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2020

    @Psientist.6437 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Psientist.6437 said:

    The bit about "bullets" vs "shells" is pendantics. The statement to get a bigger bullet is wrong because bigger bullets are called shells?!?!? Aircraft carriers contributed to the doom for battleships because they could use range. Airplanes are a type of projectile weapon platform.

    Because, as it turns out, some things are bulletproof.

    Some things have also been shellproof, although there's a point at which putting more armour on something becomes impractical. On the other hand, there's a point to which "build a bigger gun" also becomes impractical, especially when talking about small arms fire. Which is, essentially, where I think the line between a machinegun and an automatic cannon is drawn: a machinegun can be realistically carried around and used by a single person, even if it starts to get pretty awkward with heavy machine guns. Cannons can't. So the line between bullets and shells is more or less the line between small arms and heavier weapons. Your statement to get a bigger bullet is essentially pushing something from being an infantry weapon to being a weapon for vehicles and fixed emplacements.

    As for the aircraft carrier vs missile boat distinction - yeah, the advantage of aircraft carriers is range, but the point there was that if it wasn't for aircraft carriers, the powerful navies of the worlds would still have capital ships. They'd just be big floating missile batteries that could carry bigger and longer-range missiles, and more of them, than their smaller counterparts. As it happens, though, once a ship gets big enough to be an aircraft carrier, it's more valuable as an aircraft carrier than as a battleship, missile-armed or not.

    An extreme example, but it shows the folly of absolute statements. "Bullet proofed" historical armour wouldn't necessarily hold up to every bullet. And even if it did, non-penetrating hits could certainly be enough to knock you around. But no armour was expected to be perfect - just good enough that you're better off with it than without it. And having materials that are as far above steel as steel is above bronze is going to substantially delay the point at which guns outmatch armour to the point where armour stops being worth wearing. Perhaps indefinitely - the "firepower always outmatches armour in the end" mantra is a popular one, and it's true if you're thinking about armour rendering you invulnerable instead of simply less vulnerable than you'd be without it, but historically the period during which personal body armour beyond helmets was abandoned was pretty short, it's just exaggerated in people's minds because it was most of last century. It wasn't until WW1 that the cuirass was completely abandoned, and body armour has been undergoing a renaissance in recent decades - in part because you don't need as much armour to protect against shrapnel, but in part because, guess what? Advanced materials! And when you get down to it, kevlar isn't actually THAT big of a step up from steel in terms of the ratio of its protective qualities versus weight - it's just that steel had been the best we had until then. I don't think Tyrians will be abandoning their mithril, orichalcum, or deldrimor steel armour any time soon. Maybe people who can only afford steel armour would also ditch it like in real life, but mithril in Tyria seems to be pretty common for an exotic fantastical metal.

    So, historically, as projectiles, guns and explosives evolved, armor offered less or niche protection. The change takes time.

    Because armour hit a hard block to its evolution around the 15th century. They'd pretty much hit the limit of what could be achieved with the materials they had at the time, within the weight that a soldier could bear and still be an effective fighter, while guns continued to evolve. With the advent of modern materials, personal body armour is starting to work its way back into a modern soldier's equipment, so the period where personal body armour was virtually nonexistent seems to be over, at least when it comes to armies of advanced nations. If medieval armoursmiths had a material that was as far in advance of steel as steel is from bronze, I'm pretty sure that armour would never have been dropped altogether.

    Melee weapons, meanwhile, benefit from advanced materials just as armour does. Lighter materials aren't as much as an advantage for weapons since with weapons it's important to have a certain degree of weight to the blow, but that can be compensated for by simply making the weapon bigger. Firearms, on the other hand, are more complicated - stronger breeches would certainly help, but it's not such a direct conversion of better materials = better weapons.

    Better materials directly translate to better gun weapon platforms just as easily as armor and melee weapons. We wouldn't have the historical evidence of firepower gradually and persistently out classing armor and melee if what you say is true.

    Not really, because the period where that transition happened was a period where materials technology was pretty much stalled. There were metallurgical improvements during the period, particularly once the Industrial Revolution started (one of the key parts of the Industrial Revolution was finding a way to mass-produce high-quality steel). Broadly speaking, the same metals were being used in the Napoleonic Wars as were being used in the Hundred Years War. For armour and melee weapons, quality is very dependent on materials: there's not much you could realistically do to improve on high-grade 15th-century full plate without making it out of a better material. For guns, there's a lot more that goes into it - quality of the propellant, design of the breech chamber, ammunition type, presence or absence of rifling on the barrel, and so on. Sure, making the breech out of a stronger material means they can get a more powerful shot out of the simple expedient of using more propellant... but even that only helps so far if you haven't figured out how to get the propellant to ignite in a manner that ensures you actually get full usage of the energy released. Now, let's look at gun technology in Tyria. It's a bit anachronistically all over the place, but we see a mix of flintlocks, revolver mechanisms, a couple of simple gatlings, and a few more exotic pieces. That puts the level available to most people at around the early to mid 1800s. There's still a long way to go to get to modern firearms, and a mithril breech just isn't going to fully close that gap.

    Now, to be clear on this, because there seems to be some misunderstanding here: This could certainly change. For the purpose of this discussion I'm considering the situation as it stands at the 'present day' of Tyria, circa Thirteen Thirty-Mumble AE. Could it change in another century ago? Certainly. Probably will, in fact. Which way, however, is hard to predict, since advances in gun design might also be matched by improvement in magic, further improvement in armour and melee weapon materials, and so on. We could see a future Tyria go anywhere from something similar to real-world battlefields to a Dune-like situation where melee weapons are back to being what's important because everyone has personal shield bubbles.

    If we to drill down into this, the rapid emergence of many gun types partially defeats your argument. Thyrian technology obviously evolves very quickly. Thyrians have had access to Mithril and such materials for a while. There are also many natural projectile users. Thyrian armor tech should already be near maturity.

    Maybe it is nearing maturity. Maybe there'll be some other breakthrough that we can't predict. Maybe it's already strong enough - how does mithril, let alone even more advanced Tyrian metals, compare to kevlar?

    To address a couple of specific points:

    @Psientist.6437 said:

    With projectiles, speed and mass are more important than hardness. Get a marshmallow going fast enough and it could destroy the Moon. Tyrian explosive technology may be in its infancy but we shouldn't expect that to last. Your assumptions about what bullets are made of are just assumptions and your focus on material is inaccurate. Why wouldn't there be mithril bullets?

    I've answered why there wouldn't be mithril bullets. In fact, you clearly haven't thought it through, but you've answered it. Speed and mass are what's important with projectiles (well... not directly, but I'll get to that in a moment), and while we don't have details on the properties of Tyria's fantastical metals, mithril in pretty much every other setting where it appears, going back to Tolkein, is described as being stronger and lighter than steel (let alone heavier metals that are often preferred for projectiles). It's basically fancy super-titanium.

    Now, you might say that this means it goes faster with the same propellant, and that's true, but now it's that moment I referred to. Whatever charge you have firing the bullet is going to impart a certain amount of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is proportional to mass times velocity squared. Momentum, on the other hand, is what broadly determines how hard a projectile is to stop, and that's just straight mass times velocity. If you fire a lighter bullet with the same kinetic energy, more of that kinetic energy equation is being taken up by velocity, which means that the momentum of the projectile is less. Density is also important both for resisting air resistance and for punching through armour, since if the bullet has a wider cross-section, it needs to displace that much more armour to punch through (and getting extra mass by making the bullet longer only goes so far before it starts creating other problems). So for armour, you want a material that's light but strong. For bullets, you want a material with a high density, since you want the frontal cross-section of the bullet to be as small as reasonably practical but to squeeze as much mass (and therefore momentum) into that cross-section as possible.

    Your argument here gets away from itself. If a massive projectile and a light projectile have the same momentum, the light one will have a lot more kinetic energy. If a light projectile and a heavy one have the same velocity, the heavy one has more kinetic energy. The bolded is a mess. You don't come anywhere close to making an argument against mithril bullets.

    Just asking out of curiosity, how many physics degrees do you have?

    In general, flashing the potential of a physics degree for a discussion of something as simple as momentum and kinetic energy is a good indicator that the degree doesn't exist.

    Hahahah.

    See, the physics of guns isn't my specialty (wasn't a course that was offered, that's something you're really only likely to go into if you specialise in gun manufacture - there might have been some in fluid flows but what I recall of that course focused more on the dynamics of jet engines), so I was worried that you might actually know something on the subject rather than bullcatting. Then you claimed that firing a lighter bullet with the same momentum was a simply matter of, well, firing it out with the same momentum. So, even if I'm lying, basic physics seems to be more than you know.

    Yeah, the maths is pretty basic physics. But it's apparently basic physics that you don't know. The maths for calculating the effect of a collision are a little more advanced, but to summarise - broadly speaking, in a direct collision, the more momentum, the more of that energy is likely to transfer into the target. In simple particle-particle collisions, lighter particles with high kinetic energy usually just ricochet with relatively little influence on the heavy particle (unless it's a photon striking with just the right energy to be absorbed). On the macroscopic scale, it's more complicated, but high kinetic energy and low momentum usually results in the kinetic energy going into heat, sound, possibly ricocheting or the projectile fragmenting, rather than into punching into the target.

    Mine's a little rusty, but I remember enough of projectile dynamics that if you fire projectiles of different masses out of the same gun with the same propellant, than assuming no changes in efficiency, they'll all be shot out with the same kinetic energy, as the chemical energy of the propellant is transferred into the kinetic energy of the projectile. Now, the "no changes in efficiency" is a pretty rough assumption, but broadly speaking, you can't just say "fire the lighter bullet with the same momentum".

    So let's do some maths. Let's start with the assumption of a 10g projectile being fired with 1kJ of energy. Solve for energy:

    1000J=(0.01kgv^2)/2
    2000J/0.01kg = v^2 = 200000
    v = sqrt(200000) = 447m/s
    P = 0.01
    447 = 4.47kgm/s

    Now, if we half the mass of the bullet (and skip a few steps):

    2000J/0.005kg = 400000
    v = 632m/2
    P = 0.005*632 = 3.16kgm/s

    Notable drop in momentum there. (Note that momentum is still conserved either way - the first case would have a higher recoil.) In order for the lighter bullet to be fired out with greater momentum, it would need to be fired out with greater kinetic energy. While, from the research I've done, the opposite tends to be true: for a given gun, heavier projectiles leave the muzzle with higher kinetic energy, probably due to limits on just how hard the projectile can be pushed before it leaves the barrel.

    Of course, APDS and APCR does work on the principle of getting a higher velocity with a lighter projectile - but this is because APDS also has a narrower, high-density penetrator, so the momentum per unit area is higher. Higher velocity projectiles also have the issue that they lose velocity more rapidly due to air resistance, so they lose penetrative power more rapidly over long range.

    Which is why, broadly speaking, the penetrating portion of a bullet or shell has generally been made of denser materials as technology advanced, working up to depleted uranium (and generally tungsten alloys for nations that prefer not to work with hazardous material). Mithril, if its properties are similar to other fantasy universes, would not be suitable for the penetrating portion of a projectile. Advanced projectile designs might use mithril for some components, but there's no evidence that Tyrians have developed AP ammunition more advanced than "a slug of the heaviest hard metal you can find". Maybe in a century or two. But not now.

    Why would it take a century or two? The evidence that Thyrians are limited to simple slugs doesn't exist. We see truly amazing projectile effects from all classes that couldn't be produced by simple slugs. Your evidence for lore is evidence of game mechanics designed to create balance.

    Simple slugs for armour piercing purposes. Yeah, explosive, poison-bearing, incendiary, and similar types of rounds existed. These are all relatively primitive - they were around during World War 1 at the latest. There's also weird stuff like lightning shot, but that can be attributed to having access to materials with magical properties

    Advanced AP rounds like APCR, ABDS, and HEAT didn't really start showing up until World War 2. There's no evidence Tyrians have developed anything like that. Yet.

    Your math is right but what does it have to with stronger Mithril breeches and the potential to use more propellant? Why wouldn't metallurgists who can already work mithril into armor and weapons not be able to shape mithril into guns immediately at the invention of guns? Same applies to projectiles. You can do simple math but your overall logic doesn't work.

    The math was to show a simple demonstration that using a lighter projectile with the same propellant means losing momentum.

    I've always acknowledged that stronger breeches could improve performance, but I think you're exaggerating by how much. Increasing the ability of the breech to resist pressure does not directly translate into a proportional increase in the momentum applied to the target - there are various inefficiencies that increase as the amount of propellant is scaled up that prevent this. The most visible - literally - is that a lot of the energy is lost when the bullet leaves the barrel - this is largely why longer-barrel guns have better performance. If the bullet is leaving the gun faster (and this applies to lighter bullets as well as to using more propellant, incidentally, so while my mats above assumed that the lighter bullet goes out with the same kinetic energy of the heavier bullet, the truth is that the lighter bullet likely actually leaves the barrel with less energy), the gas from the propellant escapes faster and less of the total energy from the propellant has gone into driving the bullet.

    There are also some physical limits as well - the bullet is never going to be accelerated faster than the gas pushing it along (and as it approaches that velocity, the amount of additional work done on the bullet by the expanding gas is going to start dropping off) and there's substantial resistance to accelerating anything beyond the speed of sound and once you do, a lot of kinetic energy starts being bled off in the form of shockwaves and the projectile will quickly decelerate back to below the sound barrier if it doesn't have some means of replacing that lost kinetic energy. I'm not sure how much these limits apply to firearms (although I do note that the calculations above suggest muzzle velocities above Mach 1), but they do provide additional sources of inefficiencies.

    The end result is that if you make the breech and barrel out of a more advanced material that resists pressure better, say 50% better, and take advantage of that by using 50% more propellant, you're not going to get 50% better performance. I don't know how much of a drop-off there'll be, but there'll be some.

    Conversely, however, if you make armour out of a material that resists pressure 50% better, than it IS going to perform 50% better, because the effectiveness of armour is pretty much defined by its ability to resist pressure.

    Again, we don't know the properties of Tyrian metals, but for darksteel and mithril, we can make educated guesses. Mithril is pretty consistently presented in fantasy where it appears as being lighter than steel, so it probably makes for an inferior projectile to steel (let alone copper, lead, and the like). Darksteel appears to be an alloy of platinum or some other metal found in platinum ores such as iridium, which would give a density similar to tungsten and lead. Orichalcum and Deldrimor steel we don't really have much to go on in terms of density - being even better for armour means it's probably at least not significantly heavier than mithril, though, and even if it was, both seem to be materials that are rare and expensive enough that you wouldn't want to be making every bullet out of it. Maybe you'd see the odd specialist armour-piercing round made out of it, similar to how APCR/HVAP was used in WW2 (namely, generally being issued in small amounts with orders to only use them when regular AP wouldn't cut it).

    Regarding the marshmallow example: Technically true, but we're clearly not looking at cee-fractional projectiles in Tyria. Broadly speaking, they seem to be similar velocities to real-world projectiles of about a century ago, maybe even a little bit slower.

    Do you mean c-fractional? I don't see why we couldn't see projectiles accelerated to relativistic speeds with magic. True we don't see it, but the reasons are arbitrary. If magic force fields can redirect or absorb kinetic energy then they should be able to add it as well.

    I've seen it spelled both ways. c-fractional is more technically correct, but I thought cee-fractional might be more recognisable to some sci-fi readers.

    Projectiles accelerated to relativistic speeds by magic might be possible, but like you say, we don't see it. I'm discussing from the perspective of what's in Tyria now, not what might hypothetically show up in the future.

    We've been focusing on combat between institutions and heroes. Perhaps guns would have a bigger impact on the lives of the magic poor.

    Perhaps, but where's the magic poor? Human armies have generally been presented as having magic-users as a significant minority at the very least. The White Mantle I'd consider an outlier (they essentially have a two-tier system, with spellcasters being channeled into the White Mantle proper leaving bandit forces relatively magic-poor), but you can look at Ascalonian ghost armies or several human factions in GW1 to get a broad idea of how common spellcasters are among human armies. Technology is generally presented as being an equalising factor when a relatively magic-poor group (such as the legions after the overthrow of the Flame Legion) are having to go up against someone stronger in magic... and they still use melee troops because their enemies aren't magic-poor.

    We see the bodies of the magic poor pile up everyday. Guns would eventually replace bows and melee weapons among the magic poor. To the bolded; your logic has magic poor melee attacking magic enriched melee and ranged?!?!? Because officer logic I guess.

    There is a degree to which engineers and guns in general appear to be more common among magic-poor factions, such as the non-Flame charr and outlaw groups such as bandits and Separatists (and the latter are probably motivated by stealing charr munitions). But if we're talking large-scale warfare... thus far, most known cases of large-scale warfare have had at least one magic-rich side, whether it's humans versus charr or the Pact versus dragon minions. Talking about magic-poor battles is like talking about real-world modern warfare without air power: sure, it can happen between really poor countries or between factions in a civil war, but if you're talking about major power conflict, it's going to be there.

    Most of the magic poor aren't soldiers but still need weapons to defend themselves. Guns would change their lives. I imagine there would be two levels of combat for any battlefield, the magic poor and magic enriched tiers. The magic poor would use the most powerful ranged weapons they could. Why would they want to engage magic enriched melee in close combat? In general, I think you are confusing combat mechanics designed to limit the natural advantages of ranged weapon platforms and narrative designed to create and reinforce class distinctiveness for realistic Tyrian combat lore. Which isn't a big deal.

    I'm thinking of battlefield scenarios here, where it's reasonable to consider that projectile countermeasures may be used. If you've got a soldier who doesn't use magic, then yeah, giving them a gun is a good idea. We actually see this with most 'magic poor' professions - warriors, engineers, even thieves (which have magic, but generally don't use it as attack spells) all use guns, while among spellcaster professions all we have so far is mesmers using offhand pistols. Problem is that if a few projectile-blocking or, worse, projectile-reflecting fields go up, those guns could become useless at best and dangerous to their users at worst. So you give your troops the best ranged weapons you can afford... but you ALSO give them the best melee weapons you can afford so that your troops aren't completely helpless when some cat-hole of a mesmer blinks into the middle of them while invisible, pops a Feedback bubble, and portals in that squad of Guardians.

    >
    In the context of lore, guns make shields for melee essential. In the context of large scale combat, that is huge. Guns would displace all unsupported magic poor and support would have to include shields. All shields below a threshold would also be displaced. The broad strokes of Thyrian combat is portrayed accurately but the role of guns isn't. The portrayal of guns in combat is shaped more by the demand for class balance and distinction. We already see projectile weapon systems that would change the landscape of war more than they are shown. Which, again, is good and necessary.

    So you'd have soldiers that mostly use guns when their opponents are magic poor, and switch to melee weapons if their opponents have countermeasures (or, as was largely the case pre-guns, their opponents have armour that can resist their projectiles). Your point being? Most significant opponents will have countermeasures. Heck, engineers can make shield generators now (probably by using magical materials as a power source), so the enemy doesn't even have to be spellcaster-heavy. A squad of scrappers with bulwark gyros could mess up projectile-based tactics just as badly, especially if they're also packing rocket boots.

    Either way, as things stand at the moment, how Tyrian warfare is portrayed makes sense. Armour technology and the existence of projectile countermeasures keeps melee combat relevant, for both the magic-rich and the magic-poor.

    @Psientist.6437 said:
    Powerful, natural explosives that the magic poor could create and use, not "guns", would transform Thyrian warfare. In some ways this is an easier story to tell. Magic would suppress the demand for natural explosive technology. The magic enriched would monopolize the supply of explosive technology. As well, material technology and magic enrichment would set a very high threshold for the power of the explosive. Projectiles that don't need natural explosives have already pushed the evolution of defense. Thyrians could build exotic rounds and guns, but guns would be toys or inconsequential at scale until explosive technology evolved past a threshold that magic set very high and long ago.

    Hrrrmn. I'm sceptical about this too - there's probably a practical limit on the size of explosives that would be practical for infantry to use.

    What I suspect would actually revolutionise Tyrian warfare is basically similar to what happened in the real world: mechanised warfare. At the moment, war vehicles are at a roughly WW1 level of use: they're present, but infantry still does most of the work. Even now, though, vehicles make weapons and pieces of magitech that are too big to be practical to be used by an infantry soldier actually useful in mobile warfare. With a bit of refinement and reconsideration of tactics, though, this could lead to a paradigm shift similar to that which occurred with WW2.

    I suspect infantry would still want to carry melee weapons, though. I don't think Tyrian warfare is ever likely to evolve into something quite like ours, because Tyrians have capabilities that we just don't have. Body armour will continue to be used, because material exists that makes it protective enough to be worthwhile while practical enough to be used. Swords will never be phased out entirely, because you have anti-projectile countermeasures and people who can teleport directly into your face from a starting point that's barely in range of most ranged small arms.

    More performance than substance. Now you are a rocket scientist.

    If weight limits the practical application of armor and projectiles can find their target, then speed and mobility dominate combat. There is no such thing as increasing armor weight and increasing the ability to chase something down! Mobility and projectile effectiveness dominate naval combat. Heavily armored battleships were never particularly effective. In WWII, these ships spent most of their time hiding or fleeing combat. The only way melee stays relevant in Thyria is by magically removing armor's weight dilemma and magically increasing mobility. Melee has to behave like range.

    The dichotomy you are implying between momentum and kinetic energy shows you either don't understand the concepts or are willing to imply bad physics to make a pedantic point about solid mithril bullets. Or is it cartridges or shells? It is impossible to increase velocity without increasing both momentum and kinetic energy. It looks like you know enough but not enough to understand that momentum isn't the most important property for a projectile. This would be especially true for energy based shields. Thankfully for your argument, you get to ignore or make up qualities for energy shields. You still don't have any evidence except class balance for the absence of AP rounds. You keep using what is actually class balance as evidence. Class balance treats the damage potential of bows and guns the same! Something about momentum maybe?

    At least we agree that what we see is accurate enough.

    edit: Momentum will matter most when the projectile is traveling. Once the projectile strikes, the potential for damage and armor piercing is dominated by material (not necessarily due to hardness), area of impact (the smaller the are the more energy is focused) and kinetic energy (how much energy can be delivered). It is easy to achieve more damage and armor penetration with kinetic energy even if there is a potentially smaller total "amor pentration" coefficient for one projectile over another. Momentum isn't as important for projectile power as you make it out to be.

    Obviously there are differences between kinetic energy and momentum. To understand the role of each in this discussion, consider the following. When a rifle is fired the bullet and the gun recoiling have the same momentum, but vastly different kinetic energies. The size of the rifle stock makes some difference, but it is the difference in mass that accounts for the bulk of the difference in danger.

    Even if there is a reduction in momentum and momentum were the crucial quality of a projectile, increasing velocity would give armor less time to redirect momentum or dissipate kinetic energy. Velocity increase armor penetration.

    weathering's everything

  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 23, 2020

    Portals would make projectile weapons even more effective. Open a portal and start shooting. In this case, anti-projectile shields could harm those attacked, not the attackers. Shields that reflect projectiles would be largely useless in group scale warfare. They only look effective because friendly fire is impossible. An attacker would need to shield every signal attacker. An attacker may even need one big shield rather than many shields. With many shields the bullets would create a storm that would increase the number of hits any shield took. Likewise, if a soldier can be teleported into the midst of their enemy, they are better off armed with a gun. The attacker would thank the person dumb enough to pop a reflect shield. Wouldn't need portals or teleporting either. Remove the completely artificial ban on friendly fire and guns accomplish the same effect with distance.

    On evidence for armor piercing rounds. As a people, magic poor Charr can stand their ground against the magic enriched. That is all the evidence we need that magic poor projectile weapon systems can counter a magic enriched foe. Extent projectiles must have armor piercing capabilities or the Charr couldn't even defend themselves against other magic poor.

    weathering's everything

  • @draxynnic.3719 said:
    our conversation

    First, you get the the physics components concerned and I apologize for making anything personal. Don't take this continuation as me trying to prove you wrong but as an attempt at building and understanding how the components come together.

    I will steel man my hard case and soft case of your general premise from your first claim that I called a mess.
    Hard case: Trading mass for velocity and momentum for kinetic energy makes a projectile less effective against armor. I was arguing against this case.
    Soft case: There are limits to the effectiveness gains of trading mass for velocity and momentum for kinetic energy.

    The soft case is easy to accept if we understand that in the context of projectile effectiveness, some of the useful properties of momentum are provided by velocity alone. Momentum increases a projectiles ability to resist wind and air resistance. Velocity decreases time spent in flight. Momentum increases the ability to conduct force through a smaller volume of armor over a time span. Velocity does the same by shortening the time span. Some of momentum's effect can be reproduced with shape. The evolution of projectiles in the real world has progressed as materials became stronger. Projectiles got faster and lighter as materials became stronger. The trade is always pushed to the limit.

    Mithril is a technology leap for projectiles as well. An all mithril bullet may not have enough momentum. All mithril hammers exist, so it is fairly heavy. A mithril bullet may only need a small inclusion. This wouldn't be a difficult bullet to build. Regardless, Charr technology wouldn't have to duplicate the evolutionary pace of real world gun and explosive technology. Magic power sources would drive manufacturing technology to a fairly mature level. Humans, magic enriched gluttons with their novelties, have already pushed the manufacturing technology for all metals to where complex bullets could be manufactured cheaply. Asurans would understand the physics. The evolution of guns in Thyria would most frequently progress as the manufacturing trope of rapid, small batch prototyping. Which is what we see! The evolution of guns on Thyria would be fast. Which is also what we see. So far, all of the leaps and bounds being made have been directed at the Elder Dragons. There is a lot of story to made from that technology after the the threat passes.

    I now have a new appreciation of the Charr as representing the magic poor.

    weathering's everything

  • Fipmip.7219Fipmip.7219 Member ✭✭✭

    @EdwinLi.1284 said:

    The charr made it clear they wanted their culture to be more about technology over magic. Magic is still used but not at the level of Flame legion.

    It is partly due to their belief toward separating themselves from Gods since Magic has such connection to it though history. Even those with Magical talent in the Charr army uses it more towards development of technology that allows people to combat magic based enemies over developing better magic abilites for magic users. After all, what better people to create warfare technology to combat magic users or magic based creations, such as the Ascalonian ghosts, than magic users themselves by applying what they know about magic and using that knowledge to create technology that can replicate it to equal power or better powers.

    My point is that there's no reason for this explanation because the Charr are pragmatic and they would surely realize that throwing away this sort of opportunity is shooting themselves in the foot. Also, that is only one example I gave, given such events as the searing and the sword of ascalon, its strange that such races like the more magically inclined humans and of course asura don't seem to have their own magical superweapons on standby. remember when the pacts initial solution to mordremoth was to start shooting with wild abandon into the treetops of a jungle? just straight up shooting cannons into it.

    Either way, it's besides the point. my argument is that to me this is what 'Modern Tyrian Warfare' would most realistically be like, but this thread is more about what I'd like to see the current standard of disbelief suspension to show us in the future.

  • The Greyhawk.9107The Greyhawk.9107 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 24, 2020

    @Psientist.6437 said:
    ~snip~

    Sorry for going off topic, but I'm curious about why you use 'Thyria' instead of 'Tyria'.

    Hate Is Fuel.

  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 24, 2020

    @The Greyhawk.9107 said:

    @Psientist.6437 said:
    ~snip~

    Sorry for going off topic, but I'm curious about why you use 'Thyria' instead of 'Tyria'.

    Isn't the planet called Thyria? I have been trying to get into the habit of using the name for the planet instead of the continent whenever the topic concerns planet wide features. There is a reason why I can spot pedantry.

    weathering's everything

  • Thyrian mithril may not have the same properties as Middle Earth's. If we held to Middle Earth's properties, mithril would not be ideal for heavy weapons. On Thyria, metals smelted and forged after iron don't seem to be stronger and lighter. They are used in fairly equal amounts across metal tiers. Though crafting mechanics, like combat mechanics, can't be used as evidence, we can make some assumptions that open possibilities. Darksteel, mithril, and orichulum could all give a strength advantage but without any or little weight advantage. They would be used for their magic enrichment potential.

    weathering's everything

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    So, I wanted to do a bit of revision and calculate the effect of doubling the pressure that the chamber can withstand (while also taking a break from the discussion, as it was getting a bit heated):

    It's probably closest to the work done by adiabatic expansion problem - the process of firing a bullet is probably fast enough that heat loss can be approximated as zero. Increasing the initial pressure in the chamber by a factor X, with all else being equal, would increase the adiabatic constant K by the same factor. For the purpose of this calculation, the energy lost after the projectile leaves the barrel is unimportant - it's going to happen, but the energy imparted is going to be dependent on the volume change (determined by the length of the barrel), not the time the projectile spends within the barrel. I'll spare the exact details of the equation, but suffice it to say that if you increase K by a factor of X, you're also going to increase the work done by the same factor.

    Not all of the work done is going to be imparted to the projectile as kinetic energy. Some of it is going to go towards imparting energy to the air outside the barrel, and some of it is going to go towards producing a kick. The first is probably fairly negligible. The second will depend on how the conservation of momentum equations work out, which is dependent on the weight of the gun and, if the gun is well braced, the weight of the object that it's braced against, but it's likely that this will also be negligible. So, to an approximation, increasing the chamber pressure by a factor of X will increase the kinetic energy by a factor of X.

    However, increasing the kinetic energy by a factor of X does not necessarily mean increasing the armour penetration capability by the same factor. Momentum would only be increased by the square root of X. Now, I've never done the physics of armour penetration, so while I know that momentum helps determine whether the kinetic energy is likely to be directed into the target rather than going somewhere else (like creating noise, heat, deforming the projectile, or even just bouncing off), I'm not confident in claiming that armour penetration capability is precisely proportional to momentum. So it's going to be increased by a factor between sqrt(X) and X. Increasing the ability of the armour to resist pressure by X, on the other hand, is going to increase the armour's ability to resist penetration by X, again with all else remaining equal.

    (I think, from what you've been saying, you've recognised the influence of momentum - keeping in mind that increasing kinetic energy will also necessarily involve increasing momentum as long as the projectile mass is kept the same, just not by the same factor. Note that against soft targets, kinetic energy is going to be more or less proportional to damage potential: once the skin has been penetrated, it doesn't matter if any further kinetic energy transfer is directed straight ahead or in other directions. Sometimes, in fact, against soft targets, it's good for the bullet to have a low momentum/kinetic energy ratio, so that more of the kinetic energy is transferred to the target rather than having the projectile come out the other side of the target.)

    That said, I think there's still a lot that's being approximated out by using these ideal equations. Over the distances we're likely talking about, air resistance is probably negligible. Friction of the gun barrel I'm not sure about - a spot of quick research, however, indicates that it is a factor. One thing I did notice in a spot of research was that firing a lighter bullet from the same gun usually has lower muzzle energy, which the above analysis certainly would not predict - I don't know if this is because lighter bullets are often used with a smaller charge or whether there is some inefficiency in the system that means that lighter bullets don't receive as much energy that isn't accounted for above.

    Doing a bit more research on internal ballistics, however, another flaw in the above analysis is that it assumes that ignition of the propellant is instantaneous, when that's not a good assumption. Generally, the bullet starts moving before the maximum pressure is reached. A lighter bullet is going to start moving faster, increasing the amount of work that is done before peak pressure is reached, and therefore decreasing the total energy imparted onto the projectile. I don't have the equations to calculate this effect - it'd probably be complicated enough to require a simulation, or at least more time spent with paper and pen than I'd be willing to dedicate to a forum discussion, to work it out. From the material I've found, slow burning propellant is actually a good thing - the ideal scenario is for the propellant to continue burning until just before the projectile emerges from the barrel. Which kind of kills a lot of the above discussion, if Tyrians have access to modern propellants. Black powder, however, burns relatively rapidly, and I think it's implied that this is still what Tyrians are mostly using. So I think the analysis above isn't too bad if we're still dealing with black powder, but using black powder does mean that we're not going to be seeing the performance of modern firearms.

    The big assumption, though, is that chamber strength is an important limiting factor in gun design. From the research I've done, though, that doesn't seem to be the case. Before modern internal ballistics, guns were tested to be able to handle a certain amount of overcharge, so they're not using the full pressure resistance of the chamber, although a higher pressure resistance might still have encouraged them to use more propellant while maintaining the same tolerances.

    One limitation that I have come across, which might be the reason why lighter projectiles would be given smaller propellant charges, is friction heating the projectile and causing it to melt within the barrel, thereby damaging the barrel by depositing residue inside the barrel. This seems to be a large part of the reason why modern projectiles are often jacketed in copper alloy: copper is a relatively soft metal with a high melting point, which minimises the possibility of damaging the barrel. All else being equal, the faster the projectile is within the barrel, the hotter it will get, so this sets a limit on how fast the projectile could be moving. The big breakthrough, therefore, would be a jacket material which has a higher melting point but which is still soft enough not to damage the barrel. As far as I know, there are no Tyrian metals that have these properties, although I do note that if darksteel, mithril, and so on are harder than steel, this could allow for the use of jacket materials that are harder than copper. Not sure off the top of my head which if any real-world materials might slot in here.

    So, the full analysis is that increasing the pressure resistance of the chamber and barrel probably doesn't result in a proportional increase in armour penetration, while increasing the pressure resistance of armour does.

    On the concept of mithril weapons: I don't think there's anything to contradict the idea that mithril in GW2 follows the assumptions of other fantasy settings of being a lighter material. The reason for this is that there are a lot of weapons in GW2 that are ridiculously large if compared to historical examples - particularly greatswords, hammers, axes, and maces. For comparison, the Krytan and Gallant sets are some of the most realistic, but even then, the hammer and axe are quite a bit bigger than historical examples. Now, if you imagine that they're being made of a material lighter than steel, than suddenly all those ridiculously oversized weapons start to make sense: not only can they afford to be bigger, they HAVE to be in order to maintain the same striking power.

    When it comes to the effect of magic:

    The idea that throwing up a projectile blocking field hurts both sides equally depends on exactly how the fields operate. If it's just a simple barrier, that would be true... but they don't seem to be. With a few exceptions, for instance, people seem to be able to pass through them freely. One possible interpretation is that the field provides magic that pushes projectiles in a particular direction, making them directional. A Wall of Reflection, therefore, might be able to be cast so that it reflects bullets coming from one side (presumably the direction of the enemy), while accelerating bullets coming from the other side (presumably the direction of the caster and their allies).

    Even if we assume that the fields are completely indiscriminate, however, I think their presence is going to encourage the use of melee weapons. For instance, if we imagine a hypothetical trench warfare situation, if you want to attack the other guy's trenches, laying down a whole lot of projectile countermeasures so you can cross no-man's-land safely is a pretty good move. Once you get into the other guy's trenches, melee weapons are actually a pretty decent option - one thing that isn't really represented in game is that it's hard to use a rifle effectively when someone's in your face with a bayonet, sword, or improvised mace (fairly common for trench fighting in WW1). Ranged weapons are still going to be nice to have, to be sure - you'd rather have them than not have them - but you wouldn't be able to rule out melee weapons entirely.

    It's also worth noting that we have some pretty strong indications that high-grade armour is enchanted, and if spells available seem to indicate that magic is better at protecting against ranged combat than melee combat, this might also be applicable to magic armour. Work some anti-projectile magic into the armour, and the result might well be armour that keeps up against projectiles, while still being somewhat vulnerable to melee weapons.

    (On the side discussion regarding naval combat - I think the thing you're missing is that bigger ships can have bigger engines. In practice, it actually often worked out that a bigger ship was faster than a smaller ship made with the same technology, if it wasn't also weighed down with extra armour or other equipment. So you absolutely could (and did) have torpedo boat destroyers that could be faster, bigger, tougher, and better armed (but more expensive) than the torpedo boats they hunt. For instance, if you look at post-WW2 destroyers and frigates, destroyers of the same generation are usually faster than the frigates, and the last generation of battleships were in about the same ballpark as modern ships at around 30 knots. Range is certainly important in naval combat, and that's why aircraft carriers replaced battleships - but if aircraft carriers didn't exist, we'd probably have missile-armed battleships instead, like the refitted Iowa class. Economically, though, there's no value in building and maintaining a battleship as a gun and missile platform when the same resources could go into an aircraft carrier. The Iowas remained in service for a while for extremely specialist roles, but only because they already existed.)

    @Dawdler.8521 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    What I suspect would actually revolutionise Tyrian warfare is basically similar to what happened in the real world: mechanised warfare. At the moment, war vehicles are at a roughly WW1 level of use: they're present, but infantry still does most of the work. Even now, though, vehicles make weapons and pieces of magitech that are too big to be practical to be used by an infantry soldier actually useful in mobile warfare. With a bit of refinement and reconsideration of tactics, though, this could lead to a paradigm shift similar to that which occurred with WW2.

    Tank General: "We are bringing 1000 tanks into battle to drive a wedge through the enemy lines and take the enemy city!"
    Elementalist: "The city is gone, I just meteor showered it"
    Tank General: "... well we still got lots of infantry to deal with!"
    Elementalist: "Died from the same meteor shower."
    Tank General: "... enemy tanks?
    Elementalist: "Who the kitten even brings tanks to a battle where a single person can literally pull meteors from the sky?"
    Tank General: ":("

    We can see that the 'meteor showers' called down by a single person just aren't that powerful, though.

    What you COULD do, however, is mount a Searing Cauldron on a tank so it has more mobility. That said, I do get the impression that Searing Cauldrons are a bit of a fantasy nuke - they require a lot of magical power to make (it's strongly implied that they involved drawing on Kralkatorrik's power, and even then it took a couple of centuries between the Flame Legion meeting the titans and the Searing happening), so it might not be feasible to just mass-produce Searing Cauldrons.

  • @Psientist.6437 said:

    @The Greyhawk.9107 said:

    @Psientist.6437 said:
    ~snip~

    Sorry for going off topic, but I'm curious about why you use 'Thyria' instead of 'Tyria'.

    Isn't the planet called Thyria? I have been trying to get into the habit of using the name for the planet instead of the continent whenever the topic concerns planet wide features. There is a reason why I can spot pedantry.

    Its my understanding that 'Thyria' is Old Krytan for 'Tyria' and that there currently isn't a special term to separate Tyria the continent and Tyria the world.

    Hate Is Fuel.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    We can see that the 'meteor showers' called down by a single person just aren't that powerful, though.

    What you COULD do, however, is mount a Searing Cauldron on a tank so it has more mobility. That said, I do get the impression that Searing Cauldrons are a bit of a fantasy nuke - they require a lot of magical power to make (it's strongly implied that they involved drawing on Kralkatorrik's power, and even then it took a couple of centuries between the Flame Legion meeting the titans and the Searing happening), so it might not be feasible to just mass-produce Searing Cauldrons.

    Well you where talking about the real world and WW2 - I added a real world flare on what a meteor shower actually is. It's not throwing rocks at someone.

    Either way that's only talking about the offensive skills. People seem to forget the defensive ones and it's not just for magic classes.

    We got skills that completely nullify any ballistic weapon. An army on foot would just use projectile destruction/absorption and be completely immune to tanks. Not to mention reflection, haha.

    But then again why even go as far as conventional warfare... I am pretty sure permanently invisible people that just pop up and instantly kill someone then go back to being permanently invisible renders secret manufacturing and leadership moot.

    gaggle - /ˈɡaɡ(ə)l/ - noun
    A disorderly group of Asura.
    "The gaggle of Asura tried to agree on whether a phase-shifted thermonuclear energy matrix was sufficiently powerful for a device capable of heating bread"

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Dawdler.8521 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    We can see that the 'meteor showers' called down by a single person just aren't that powerful, though.

    What you COULD do, however, is mount a Searing Cauldron on a tank so it has more mobility. That said, I do get the impression that Searing Cauldrons are a bit of a fantasy nuke - they require a lot of magical power to make (it's strongly implied that they involved drawing on Kralkatorrik's power, and even then it took a couple of centuries between the Flame Legion meeting the titans and the Searing happening), so it might not be feasible to just mass-produce Searing Cauldrons.

    Well you where talking about the real world and WW2 - I added a real world flare on what a meteor shower actually is. It's not throwing rocks at someone.

    Either way that's only talking about the offensive skills. People seem to forget the defensive ones and it's not just for magic classes.

    We got skills that completely nullify any ballistic weapon. An army on foot would just use projectile destruction/absorption and be completely immune to tanks. Not to mention reflection, haha.

    But then again why even go as far as conventional warfare... I am pretty sure permanently invisible people that just pop up and instantly kill someone then go back to being permanently invisible renders secret manufacturing and leadership moot.

    True enough. Personally, I consider it pretty clear that the spell called 'meteor shower' isn't calling actual meteors, but is a branch of fire magic, maybe with a bit of earth magic mixed in, that is similar enough to be given the name. Heck, the GW2 'Meteor Shower' is probably closer to the GW1 'Rain of Fire' in how it's actually used, but if you look at the early pre-release skill videos Meteor Shower used to have the knockdown, hence the name.

    Either way, you seem to need something like the Searing Cauldron to actually generate the level of destruction that a bombardment of meteorites would generate.

    And yeah, the defensive skills have been a large part of my discussion with Psientist. The presence of anti-projectile magic is going to make projectile weapons a lot less likely to take over altogether. On the other hand, such fields might not actually be as impenetrable as they're depicted in-game: it's possible that while they're fairly effective against small arms, heavier projectiles will go right through them.

    Similar comments apply to permanent invisibility: in most cases, I don't think it's actually supposed to represent perfect invisibility that can only be broken by specific means, but what we see is a combination of ArenaNet wanting stealth to be relevant in combat and the Guild Wars 2 engine not being designed to handle a realistic approach to stealth, so what we get is brief periods of invisibility (unless multiple skills and effects get stacked together so that you can maintain stealth long enough for those skills to recharge) that can allow setting up an attack. Even if it is genuine invisibility, though, we know there are magics and technologies that can break it, so they'd be used to protect important figures.

  • hugo.4705hugo.4705 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I like those kind of subjects putting things in perspective. To me, after reading op post, I don't think the battlefield would look like a simple ww2 trenches and this is why:

    Compared to real life, you have spells, protective magic shields protecting against projectile and some making you invulnerable for short time. Make a duo of a guardian and a warrior as example, those two honna rush the field, one protecting both from projectiles and the other will then once enough close ise its invulnerability to slaughter foes... kek.

    About the races themselves, I do think that norn/human/sylvari are weaker than the two others races: Charrs have most of the machinery and asura the technology.

    The personnal story has proven those two races are quite ingenious and good at inventing weapons: Mind controlled golem, an anti ghost rifle, inventing airships, holograms warriors, scrap cannons, charr tanks and cars, light cannon...
    If we want to be realistic, it is shown that asura can have personnel protective magnetic force field, that they know about holo walls or barriers, and golems. So basically they can make several squads of shock troops equiped with personnal holo shield, they could even be invincible: put a shield generator mounted on a moving platform toward the enemies and you can reach them without dying. Regarding charrs, the sylvari could prepare their hounds or oakheart, human their mages and soldiers and norn taking their spirit form; they all gonna be eliminated in a second by charrcopter, charr mortars and cannons, charr assault car or charrzookas.

    The most "epic" and lasting fight would happens between charr and asura. Human would be basically heavy fixed siege engines and spells, very easy to eliminate with a ranged bombs rain through copters or shot by light cannons.
    Sylvari are trees peoples, putting fire on the battlefield will throw them out of the competition.
    Norns may have help from the spirits, they will only be good at holding their positions: Ballistas rows protected by raven or any spirits.

    That whole thing to say, both army can rush toward the other by using protection spell. But if using spells in backlines, it is technically an infinte neverending war.
    But I will asume that spellcasters use their mental and will run out of forces rapidly: So basically each camp have to rush toward the other before the backforces are anhilated, so constant fight at middle, continuous one without respite.
    There is no need to hide behind dirt piles, just ask a mage to call a protective shield.

    Other techniques? Invisibility is impossible, ash legion too much good at detecting invisible presence, asura scanners detecting anything.

    Flying to bypass and attack from behind? Any flying machine would easily bypass catapults or mortars. But not head seeking charrzooka missiles or lasers.

    About siege machines, only charr and asura can make their ways in them and arrive toward opposite army.

    Teleportation? Mesmers, necro and thiefs in any races, but asura have teleportation gun and turrets they can even build a gate to arrive where they want.

    One of my big question, is that if such a war happens, assuming that waypoints exist, would they all be turned off during war, would the asura help the army offering more for aftermatch? Teleporting behind foes first lines through armies can decide to destroy them in case off.

    Shiny links, take a look!
    ->Ideas: Housing , Designing a new lounge , New GameMode
    ->Project: ASURAN/PRIMORDIUS EXPANSION available on WIKI.
    ->NEW: Crucible of Eternity path 4: Legacy on WIKI
    ->NEW Asurapedia

  • Fipmip.7219Fipmip.7219 Member ✭✭✭

    @hugo.4705 said:
    I like those kind of subjects putting things in perspective. To me, after reading op post, I don't think the battlefield would look like a simple ww2 trenches and this is why:

    Compared to real life, you have spells, protective magic shields protecting against projectile and some making you invulnerable for short time. Make a duo of a guardian and a warrior as example, those two honna rush the field, one protecting both from projectiles and the other will then once enough close ise its invulnerability to slaughter foes... kek.

    About the races themselves, I do think that norn/human/sylvari are weaker than the two others races: Charrs have most of the machinery and asura the technology.

    The personnal story has proven those two races are quite ingenious and good at inventing weapons: Mind controlled golem, an anti ghost rifle, inventing airships, holograms warriors, scrap cannons, charr tanks and cars, light cannon...
    If we want to be realistic, it is shown that asura can have personnel protective magnetic force field, that they know about holo walls or barriers, and golems. So basically they can make several squads of shock troops equiped with personnal holo shield, they could even be invincible: put a shield generator mounted on a moving platform toward the enemies and you can reach them without dying. Regarding charrs, the sylvari could prepare their hounds or oakheart, human their mages and soldiers and norn taking their spirit form; they all gonna be eliminated in a second by charrcopter, charr mortars and cannons, charr assault car or charrzookas.

    The most "epic" and lasting fight would happens between charr and asura. Human would be basically heavy fixed siege engines and spells, very easy to eliminate with a ranged bombs rain through copters or shot by light cannons.
    Sylvari are trees peoples, putting fire on the battlefield will throw them out of the competition.
    Norns may have help from the spirits, they will only be good at holding their positions: Ballistas rows protected by raven or any spirits.

    That whole thing to say, both army can rush toward the other by using protection spell. But if using spells in backlines, it is technically an infinte neverending war.
    But I will asume that spellcasters use their mental and will run out of forces rapidly: So basically each camp have to rush toward the other before the backforces are anhilated, so constant fight at middle, continuous one without respite.
    There is no need to hide behind dirt piles, just ask a mage to call a protective shield.

    Other techniques? Invisibility is impossible, ash legion too much good at detecting invisible presence, asura scanners detecting anything.

    Flying to bypass and attack from behind? Any flying machine would easily bypass catapults or mortars. But not head seeking charrzooka missiles or lasers.

    About siege machines, only charr and asura can make their ways in them and arrive toward opposite army.

    Teleportation? Mesmers, necro and thiefs in any races, but asura have teleportation gun and turrets they can even build a gate to arrive where they want.

    One of my big question, is that if such a war happens, assuming that waypoints exist, would they all be turned off during war, would the asura help the army offering more for aftermatch? Teleporting behind foes first lines through armies can decide to destroy them in case off.

    I'd like to point out that classes like warrior, guardian, etc. seem to follow the DnD design in which only a select few powerful individuals actually meet the requirements to be classed in such a way. Most people, e.g. the npcs you fight, are a sort of lesser version of these archetypes, and are simple mercenaries, guards, troops, traders, and so on. Only heroes like the player are the actual real deal. I'll admit this isn't something that is explicitly clarified, and there isn't much in the way of gameplay to differentiate other powerful npcs like rytlock and marjory from enemies, but it seems implied from the few times we see scripted abilities from characters other than the player. in any case, it's probably not feasible to recruit things like squads of guardians or armies of deadeyes.

    I would encourage you to read my other posts in the thread as well as some others, as the point of discussion has moved past most of what you have said.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fipmip.7219 said:

    @hugo.4705 said:
    I like those kind of subjects putting things in perspective. To me, after reading op post, I don't think the battlefield would look like a simple ww2 trenches and this is why:

    Compared to real life, you have spells, protective magic shields protecting against projectile and some making you invulnerable for short time. Make a duo of a guardian and a warrior as example, those two honna rush the field, one protecting both from projectiles and the other will then once enough close ise its invulnerability to slaughter foes... kek.

    About the races themselves, I do think that norn/human/sylvari are weaker than the two others races: Charrs have most of the machinery and asura the technology.

    The personnal story has proven those two races are quite ingenious and good at inventing weapons: Mind controlled golem, an anti ghost rifle, inventing airships, holograms warriors, scrap cannons, charr tanks and cars, light cannon...
    If we want to be realistic, it is shown that asura can have personnel protective magnetic force field, that they know about holo walls or barriers, and golems. So basically they can make several squads of shock troops equiped with personnal holo shield, they could even be invincible: put a shield generator mounted on a moving platform toward the enemies and you can reach them without dying. Regarding charrs, the sylvari could prepare their hounds or oakheart, human their mages and soldiers and norn taking their spirit form; they all gonna be eliminated in a second by charrcopter, charr mortars and cannons, charr assault car or charrzookas.

    The most "epic" and lasting fight would happens between charr and asura. Human would be basically heavy fixed siege engines and spells, very easy to eliminate with a ranged bombs rain through copters or shot by light cannons.
    Sylvari are trees peoples, putting fire on the battlefield will throw them out of the competition.
    Norns may have help from the spirits, they will only be good at holding their positions: Ballistas rows protected by raven or any spirits.

    That whole thing to say, both army can rush toward the other by using protection spell. But if using spells in backlines, it is technically an infinte neverending war.
    But I will asume that spellcasters use their mental and will run out of forces rapidly: So basically each camp have to rush toward the other before the backforces are anhilated, so constant fight at middle, continuous one without respite.
    There is no need to hide behind dirt piles, just ask a mage to call a protective shield.

    Other techniques? Invisibility is impossible, ash legion too much good at detecting invisible presence, asura scanners detecting anything.

    Flying to bypass and attack from behind? Any flying machine would easily bypass catapults or mortars. But not head seeking charrzooka missiles or lasers.

    About siege machines, only charr and asura can make their ways in them and arrive toward opposite army.

    Teleportation? Mesmers, necro and thiefs in any races, but asura have teleportation gun and turrets they can even build a gate to arrive where they want.

    One of my big question, is that if such a war happens, assuming that waypoints exist, would they all be turned off during war, would the asura help the army offering more for aftermatch? Teleporting behind foes first lines through armies can decide to destroy them in case off.

    I'd like to point out that classes like warrior, guardian, etc. seem to follow the DnD design in which only a select few powerful individuals actually meet the requirements to be classed in such a way. Most people, e.g. the npcs you fight, are a sort of lesser version of these archetypes, and are simple mercenaries, guards, troops, traders, and so on. Only heroes like the player are the actual real deal. I'll admit this isn't something that is explicitly clarified, and there isn't much in the way of gameplay to differentiate other powerful npcs like rytlock and marjory from enemies, but it seems implied from the few times we see scripted abilities from characters other than the player. in any case, it's probably not feasible to recruit things like squads of guardians or armies of deadeyes.

    I would encourage you to read my other posts in the thread as well as some others, as the point of discussion has moved past most of what you have said.

    I don't think this is actually the case. From what we see in both games, and the books and other underlying fluff, members of spellcasting professions are actually reasonably common in military service, at least among humans. For instance, in Drizzlewood Coast alone, we see several Seraph Mesmers casually maintaining portals in tactically useful positions, and the map is dotted with Dominion Snipers. Now, there's certainly going to be variations in actual level of skill - the PC is supposed to be one of the strongest fighters on Tyria, and the average Seraph mesmer or Dominion sniper is not going to be on the same level as a PC mesmer or deadeye. On the other hand, there are certainly some floating around that are quite powerful, even before the associated specialisation was available to PCs, such as the Pale Reavers.

    Such variance in individual ability is, I think, part of what keeps the norn relevant - while for a figure at the stature of the Pact Commander their race isn't a significant influence in their strength, the lifestyle of the norn means that the average norn is significantly stronger than the average strength of other races. Consider that, among the norn, accessing their racial elite skills is considered a fairly normal thing, while for a lot of other races, it's probably considered exceptional to have access to elite skills at all.

    Re: @hugo.4705 - I don't think it actually follows that asura and charr are clearly the most powerful races militarily. (Charr probably are, but humans seem to be close enough to be able to stalemate them.)

    With the asura specifically, they certainly have the most powerful magitech, but I think there are three things holding them back:

    1) Most of their magitech is essentially hand-made, rather than being industrially produced like the charr do. This hinders their ability to out-produce an enemy.

    2) The asura don't really have an organised military like the charr, humans, and (arguably) sylvari do, instead having a few groups that are essentially armed police backed by golems (and see #1).

    3) From ingame observation, while asura produce a lot of magitech, they don't seem to have many spellcasters who are individually powerful like humans, sylvari, and occasionally norn do. When you run into a particularly dangerous asura, what usually makes them dangerous is the golem suit they're in or some other technology rather than their magical power as an individual. This fits with comments that ArenaNet have made that asura have a very scientific approach to magic, while humans and other races have a more intuitive approach - asura were the first race to really embrace magitech, but they might not actually be as innately talented with magic as some other races (not that they'd ever admit it) - their scientific approach, in fact, might be in part a response to this. Asura have a higher proportion of spellcasters compared to most races (probably largely coming from their robust education system), but they don't tend to produce individuals that can shake the world through sheer magical prowess.

    The first two would probably be solved if the Inquest took over (although there would be other costs, likely including a certain stifling of innovation as the Inquest assumes direct control), while the third... may be a racial limitation.

    Historically, the big contest has been between charr machinery and human magic.

    In this respect, I think you're miscategorising humans as being a 'static' force. They'll set up siege engines when it's tactically valuable to do so, but compared to the charr, humans seem to excel at more mobile operations, as seen in Drizzlewood and as referred to in descriptions of how Ebonhawke survived the siege (short form - the Vanguard got very good at setting out and destroying charr siege engines before they could do significant damage to the walls). Magic means access to heavy firepower that doesn't require more than bringing a mage with the right skills, reinforcements that don't require more than access to a few bodies, invisibility (experience in hearts and such show it isn't perfect, but you still need to be fairly close to be caught with it, whether by an Ash Legion sentry or an asura security golem), shields that can at least provide a temporary defence against enemy fire, and portals to get out of dodge in a hurry (noting that the in-game limitations of where you can portal to don't seem to apply to NPC mesmers). In a static fight where the asura or charr have the opportunity to get their war machines into position, the more primitive siege weapons of humans would put them at a disadvantage (although humans HAVE been advancing in this respect, and they're supposed to be the best of the races at building fortifications... the fortifications of DR and Ebonhawke are actually pretty ridiculous when you compare them to historical fortified cities, although Ebonhawke's inner keep could have been better designed), but as was stated in the novels, humans are pretty good at not letting charr war machines get into range and remain in operation for long. For all their technology, the charr are probably at a disadvantage when they get portal-bombed by a magic-heavy platoon that portals back out again once they've done the job.

    Sylvari seem to have similar characteristics to humans in this respect - possibly more so, because while the most common 'regular soldier' profession among humans is warrior, among sylvari it seems to be rangers. I'd also note that the flammability of plants seems to be overrated - in fact, I think sylvari have been said to be no more flammable than humans, and the green plants used in their abilities probably behave similarly in that respect. Sylvari plant manipulation probably allows for more portable "siege equipment" than humans, but they also seem to be a lot less powerful.

    Norn are probably at the extreme here: they have basically no organised military forces to speak of, but between their stubborn individuality, knowledge of survival techniques, and probably having the highest individual strength on average of the five races, they'd likely represent a pretty mean guerilla force.

  • Fipmip.7219Fipmip.7219 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2021

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Fipmip.7219 said:

    @hugo.4705 said:
    I like those kind of subjects putting things in perspective. To me, after reading op post, I don't think the battlefield would look like a simple ww2 trenches and this is why:

    Compared to real life, you have spells, protective magic shields protecting against projectile and some making you invulnerable for short time. Make a duo of a guardian and a warrior as example, those two honna rush the field, one protecting both from projectiles and the other will then once enough close ise its invulnerability to slaughter foes... kek.

    About the races themselves, I do think that norn/human/sylvari are weaker than the two others races: Charrs have most of the machinery and asura the technology.

    The personnal story has proven those two races are quite ingenious and good at inventing weapons: Mind controlled golem, an anti ghost rifle, inventing airships, holograms warriors, scrap cannons, charr tanks and cars, light cannon...
    If we want to be realistic, it is shown that asura can have personnel protective magnetic force field, that they know about holo walls or barriers, and golems. So basically they can make several squads of shock troops equiped with personnal holo shield, they could even be invincible: put a shield generator mounted on a moving platform toward the enemies and you can reach them without dying. Regarding charrs, the sylvari could prepare their hounds or oakheart, human their mages and soldiers and norn taking their spirit form; they all gonna be eliminated in a second by charrcopter, charr mortars and cannons, charr assault car or charrzookas.

    The most "epic" and lasting fight would happens between charr and asura. Human would be basically heavy fixed siege engines and spells, very easy to eliminate with a ranged bombs rain through copters or shot by light cannons.
    Sylvari are trees peoples, putting fire on the battlefield will throw them out of the competition.
    Norns may have help from the spirits, they will only be good at holding their positions: Ballistas rows protected by raven or any spirits.

    That whole thing to say, both army can rush toward the other by using protection spell. But if using spells in backlines, it is technically an infinte neverending war.
    But I will asume that spellcasters use their mental and will run out of forces rapidly: So basically each camp have to rush toward the other before the backforces are anhilated, so constant fight at middle, continuous one without respite.
    There is no need to hide behind dirt piles, just ask a mage to call a protective shield.

    Other techniques? Invisibility is impossible, ash legion too much good at detecting invisible presence, asura scanners detecting anything.

    Flying to bypass and attack from behind? Any flying machine would easily bypass catapults or mortars. But not head seeking charrzooka missiles or lasers.

    About siege machines, only charr and asura can make their ways in them and arrive toward opposite army.

    Teleportation? Mesmers, necro and thiefs in any races, but asura have teleportation gun and turrets they can even build a gate to arrive where they want.

    One of my big question, is that if such a war happens, assuming that waypoints exist, would they all be turned off during war, would the asura help the army offering more for aftermatch? Teleporting behind foes first lines through armies can decide to destroy them in case off.

    I'd like to point out that classes like warrior, guardian, etc. seem to follow the DnD design in which only a select few powerful individuals actually meet the requirements to be classed in such a way. Most people, e.g. the npcs you fight, are a sort of lesser version of these archetypes, and are simple mercenaries, guards, troops, traders, and so on. Only heroes like the player are the actual real deal. I'll admit this isn't something that is explicitly clarified, and there isn't much in the way of gameplay to differentiate other powerful npcs like rytlock and marjory from enemies, but it seems implied from the few times we see scripted abilities from characters other than the player. in any case, it's probably not feasible to recruit things like squads of guardians or armies of deadeyes.

    I would encourage you to read my other posts in the thread as well as some others, as the point of discussion has moved past most of what you have said.

    I don't think this is actually the case. From what we see in both games, and the books and other underlying fluff, members of spellcasting professions are actually reasonably common in military service, at least among humans. For instance, in Drizzlewood Coast alone, we see several Seraph Mesmers casually maintaining portals in tactically useful positions, and the map is dotted with Dominion Snipers. Now, there's certainly going to be variations in actual level of skill - the PC is supposed to be one of the strongest fighters on Tyria, and the average Seraph mesmer or Dominion sniper is not going to be on the same level as a PC mesmer or deadeye. On the other hand, there are certainly some floating around that are quite powerful, even before the associated specialisation was available to PCs, such as the Pale Reavers.

    Such variance in individual ability is, I think, part of what keeps the norn relevant - while for a figure at the stature of the Pact Commander their race isn't a significant influence in their strength, the lifestyle of the norn means that the average norn is significantly stronger than the average strength of other races. Consider that, among the norn, accessing their racial elite skills is considered a fairly normal thing, while for a lot of other races, it's probably considered exceptional to have access to elite skills at all.

    Re: @hugo.4705 - I don't think it actually follows that asura and charr are clearly the most powerful races militarily. (Charr probably are, but humans seem to be close enough to be able to stalemate them.)

    With the asura specifically, they certainly have the most powerful magitech, but I think there are three things holding them back:

    1) Most of their magitech is essentially hand-made, rather than being industrially produced like the charr do. This hinders their ability to out-produce an enemy.

    2) The asura don't really have an organised military like the charr, humans, and (arguably) sylvari do, instead having a few groups that are essentially armed police backed by golems (and see #1).

    3) From ingame observation, while asura produce a lot of magitech, they don't seem to have many spellcasters who are individually powerful like humans, sylvari, and occasionally norn do. When you run into a particularly dangerous asura, what usually makes them dangerous is the golem suit they're in or some other technology rather than their magical power as an individual. This fits with comments that ArenaNet have made that asura have a very scientific approach to magic, while humans and other races have a more intuitive approach - asura were the first race to really embrace magitech, but they might not actually be as innately talented with magic as some other races (not that they'd ever admit it) - their scientific approach, in fact, might be in part a response to this. Asura have a higher proportion of spellcasters compared to most races (probably largely coming from their robust education system), but they don't tend to produce individuals that can shake the world through sheer magical prowess.

    The first two would probably be solved if the Inquest took over (although there would be other costs, likely including a certain stifling of innovation as the Inquest assumes direct control), while the third... may be a racial limitation.

    Historically, the big contest has been between charr machinery and human magic.

    In this respect, I think you're miscategorising humans as being a 'static' force. They'll set up siege engines when it's tactically valuable to do so, but compared to the charr, humans seem to excel at more mobile operations, as seen in Drizzlewood and as referred to in descriptions of how Ebonhawke survived the siege (short form - the Vanguard got very good at setting out and destroying charr siege engines before they could do significant damage to the walls). Magic means access to heavy firepower that doesn't require more than bringing a mage with the right skills, reinforcements that don't require more than access to a few bodies, invisibility (experience in hearts and such show it isn't perfect, but you still need to be fairly close to be caught with it, whether by an Ash Legion sentry or an asura security golem), shields that can at least provide a temporary defence against enemy fire, and portals to get out of dodge in a hurry (noting that the in-game limitations of where you can portal to don't seem to apply to NPC mesmers). In a static fight where the asura or charr have the opportunity to get their war machines into position, the more primitive siege weapons of humans would put them at a disadvantage (although humans HAVE been advancing in this respect, and they're supposed to be the best of the races at building fortifications... the fortifications of DR and Ebonhawke are actually pretty ridiculous when you compare them to historical fortified cities, although Ebonhawke's inner keep could have been better designed), but as was stated in the novels, humans are pretty good at not letting charr war machines get into range and remain in operation for long. For all their technology, the charr are probably at a disadvantage when they get portal-bombed by a magic-heavy platoon that portals back out again once they've done the job.

    Sylvari seem to have similar characteristics to humans in this respect - possibly more so, because while the most common 'regular soldier' profession among humans is warrior, among sylvari it seems to be rangers. I'd also note that the flammability of plants seems to be overrated - in fact, I think sylvari have been said to be no more flammable than humans, and the green plants used in their abilities probably behave similarly in that respect. Sylvari plant manipulation probably allows for more portable "siege equipment" than humans, but they also seem to be a lot less powerful.

    Norn are probably at the extreme here: they have basically no organised military forces to speak of, but between their stubborn individuality, knowledge of survival techniques, and probably having the highest individual strength on average of the five races, they'd likely represent a pretty mean guerilla force.

    I didnt say spellcasters weren't reasonably common, I just felt like pointing out that classes as seen from the create a character screen are probably much more powerful than usual. It seems that most dont actually meet the requirements to be a member of the class, due to the ease at which most foes are defeated and only seem to use 1-3 abilities resembling the profession they mirror. I make the comparison to DnD because a similar thing happens with the various redshirt npcs you meet, characters that are only shadows of the classes they represent and have only a small fraction of the abilities offered by that class. That being said, I think theres a vague difference between who actually isnt, for example, a guardian and who actually is but doesn't make full use of the abilities in game (braham). There also appears to be more implication with some NPCs that are actually referred to as their class (the deadeye from s4) vs NPCs that aren't (dominion snipers, forged sharpshooters). In usual anet fashion, this isnt too consistent either (white mantle mesmer, white mantle elementalist).

    Overall what I'm trying to say is that if all combatants actually were the classes they seem to mirror, combat would look a bit more like pvp does, and so therefore one shouldn't think of what battlefield combat should look like in terms of large numbers of guardians and elementalists and so on. I realize that I'm contradicting myself by making the gameplay be evidence of the lore, and I havent read any of the books so I could be simply wrong, so go ahead and correct me on that front if you can.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, I don't think there is such a distinction between a 'real' mesmer or guardian or warrior(!) or anything.

    What there is, however, is distinctions between those that are highly skilled (like the PC) and those who are not so skilled. An NPC who just uses a handful of skills from a profession is still a member of that profession, they're just a less skilled member of that profession.

  • This also feels like a case of Lore Vs Mechanics.

    Hate Is Fuel.

  • DaFishBob.6518DaFishBob.6518 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Yeah, I don't think there is such a distinction between a 'real' mesmer or guardian or warrior(!) or anything.

    What there is, however, is distinctions between those that are highly skilled (like the PC) and those who are not so skilled. An NPC who just uses a handful of skills from a profession is still a member of that profession, they're just a less skilled member of that profession.

    I'm of the opinion that for some professions, the PC is actually less skilled than their NPC counterparts but are just so battle hardened with greater knowledge of survival and tactics to be able to over come those deficiencies. While Skritt can throw out turrets on the fly, White Mantle Mesmers fight with their clones alone, Dominion Snipers aim from well beyond 1500 units away, ghostly Ascalonian Rangers can (still) throw traps, the equivalent PC profession can not do these things.

    Actually it would be more appropriate to describe the PCs and NPCs as having a different depth of specialization. Every PC can train themselves to dodge, pick up environmental items, use a glider, ride a mount, jump on mushrooms, consider different tactics before battle. NPCs have their place in the world at large though and are set where they are, so they are prepared for that role that allows them to perform some tasks that no PC can. That's how we get situations like Trahearne summoning an army of flesh golems, Sieran doing a z-axis teleport, Caithe being able to remain in stealth while attacking, Kasmeer being in the Mesmer collective, Logan maintaining a barrier that blocks some lethal great balls of fire, Queen Jennah being able to create a barrier around herself that makes her invulnerable.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, different degrees of specialisation is probably a better way of putting it. The PC has to keep themselves ready to cope with any situation they might deal with, so they can't afford to focus on doing one specific thing really well like someone who has a well-defined role as part of a military unit can.

    (It is worth noting that the White Mantle Mesmer trick is supposed to be more or less equivalent to what PC chronomancers do with Continuum Split, the White Mantle Mesmers just seem to be a little better at it.)

    With respect to the named characters, I think it is worth remembering that those named NPCs are supposed to be, if not equals to the PC, than at least peers. Thus, it stands to reason that there'd be some things they can do that a PC of the same profession can't, and vice versa.