Quick and dirty making of Titan Panther
Advantage – Jump core and a strong melee attack
Disadvantage – Unable to wield any primary weapons
So I played Titanfall with a couple of friends (fellow pilot over here)
and I can say it’s a good solid game. The controls are tight and considering how much emphasis there is on the maneuverability of the pilots, there’s rarely an instance where the controls didn’t do what I want it to. The titans themselves are a pretty interesting concept too but I was curious to a 4th titan that would shake up the dynamic a bit.
So Atlas, Ogre and Stryder are all bipedal titans which wields their primary weapons with their hands. It’s a standard fps set up that works but offers the same sort of gameplay for all 3. Panther varies it up a bit, bringing the sort of maneuverability the pilots have but not the titans due to their size and build but at a possibly expensive trade off. The obvious being a huge disadvantage in ranged attacks without a primary gun. The gun could not be mounted on the chassis either as it needs to remain lightweight overall for the engine to cope with all the movement. That also means it has a weaker armour than the Stryder and is very susceptible to damage forcing the pilots to approach the battle in a different way. It has a very fast base speed and a couple of boosts so it can easily outrun or catch up with other titans, so sneak attacks and catching them from behind are very important in this play style. The added jump core also allows it to scale buildings and pounce on titans from above (although you’d be hard pressed to miss a titan on top of a building). Being a melee focused titan, and its forearms having to be strong enough to propel itself up and around, it is able to momentarily channel its energy on a first attack strong enough to instantly deplete the base shields of titans allowing its consecutive attacks to damage the chassis directly. This means the pilot needs to make the first strike count as any misses opens it for a counter which could be lethal for the Panther.
Design-wise, you would notice that 3 of the base titans although different are sort of build upon the same principles which is essentially they are like little pods that houses the pilots and the limbs are built around the shape of the pods (think of portal’s atlas and p-body). Panther follows Stryder’s more box like shapes to imply it’s from the same design factory and that it is also a sort of glass cannon (a glass melee cannon). The pilot’s pod is located front and center. This gives it a better turn as most of the weight will be towards the front and a better field of view for the pilots at the expense of putting them nearer to danger. The majority of the engine is at the titans waist where it gives power to the back legs (and also there’s no space in the front and the chassis has to be kept minimal and light). Another common design among the 3 base titans are the sort of “camera-ball” which I assume are the primary cameras that gives the pilots outside visual feedback. It’s a weird decision, but I decided to stick it at the bottom of the pod. It gives the top a more streamlined look and a better field of view for looking down which is useful when stalking on top of buildings. This also means that there is a big blind spot above the Panther for pilots. Possibly it’s an arrogant design flaw as for the most part the Panther would always be on top of things and dropping down to attack a lot.