Battleframe

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This page was last updated during patch v1.1.1802r0. The current patch is v1.3.1869.
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Battleframes fall under the broad category of robotics knows as Mechanically Enhanced Kinetics, or MEKs for short. It had long been possible, even as far back as the 20th century, to supplement human motion with exoskeletons for increased strength, durability and movement. But all the designs had a severe weakness. Despite the advances in servos and material science, most advanced MEKs required too much power. They were often tethered, cabled to fixed power sources, or ran on batteries whose duration was measured in minutes, not hours.
Crystite changed everything, including MEKs. The unlimited power potential of pure Crystite energy made MEKs not only practical, but essential to everyday work and, eventually, warfare. Now there was plenty of energy to run exoskeletal armor and many other possibilities to boot.
MEKs quickly dominated in traditional heavy industries before the rise and dominance of AI driven robotics and molecular printing manufacturing. Commercial MEKs were often customized for mock competition such as racing, and later, dueling, in matches that became known as Holmgang. The MEKs were often run illegally in street matches with teenagers who would decorate their frames in bright colors and lighting much like 20th century street racing.
Of course, the military made the most use of MEKs, with their version of the technology called Battleframes. The military versions featured what became known as “ability enhancers” or “ability modules.” These are exotic circuits, power conduits and weapon systems that focus and harness the output of energized, rare, Crystite hybrids. They allow for spectacular feats such as faster movement, force waves, anti-gravity, heat, lighting and more. Not limited to offensive weaponry and mobility, Battleframes also incorporate on-frame tissue repatterning, which regens the user’s tissue as damage is taken, preventing immediate death.
Armies equipped with Battleframes are formidable in the extreme and capable of both light, rapid deployment combined with the power and devastation only matched by fully armored tank platoons. The correct term for a Battleframe user is Operator.[1]
List of Battleframe Classes
Assault
Biotech
Dreadnaught
Engineer
Recon

History

Initially announced Battleframes included the Assault and Medic frames[2]. At PAX East 2011, Red 5 introduced the Recon frame, bringing the total up to three[3].

The Engineer Battleframe was revealed at the Chinajoy 2011 expo, bringing the total up to four. However, in face of speculation that there would only be 4 playable battleframes, Red 5 developers later stated: "Four is a terrible number... We absolutely intend to expand the number of Battleframes available to players."[4]

On the October 17, 2011 episode of G4's X-Play, developers revealed the Dreadnaught frame bringing the frame count to five.

This category uses the form Battleframe

Battleframes (also known as frames) form the core of an Accord soldier's armor and weaponry. In terms of gameplay, the Battleframe determines your 'class' and general combat role.

General Information

  • The selected Battleframe effectively determines your class and playstyle in battle
  • Initially you have access to the five Accord Battleframes (Accord Assault, Accord Biotech, Accord Dreadnaught, Accord Engineer, and Accord Recon). Additional frames can be unlocked through the use of Pilot Tokens, a Pilot Licence, or through the use of Red Beans
  • You can switch to any Battleframes that you have unlocked at will at a Battleframe Station or a Battleframe Garage.
  • Shared equipment, like secondary weapons, and Battleframe cores are not locked onto a frame and unavailable if you switch to a different one. You can manually remove them from one frame and equip them into another.
  • Experience points gained through combat, missions etc. are uniquely attributed to the Battleframe that you are in when you receive it, and will progress the level for that specific frame.

Battleframe Components Breakdown

Different classes of Battleframes feature varying technology and components, but at the core, they share some basic essentials:

Frame:

The core of a Battleframe is its chassis, or frame. The frame is designed from the ground up with a specific goal in mind: Assault, Biotech, Engineer, Recon, etc. The frame is basically a hard inner skeleton upon which armor and components are affixed or bonded.

Cores are fashioned from molecular printing of a special honeycombed pattern of titanium that gives it strength and light weight. This type of construction of “Aero Titanium” would not have been possible with traditional machining methods, but since molecular printing can create pockets of air within the frame, it gives titanium even more strength, especially when these pockets are filled with Sintergel that aids flexibility and strength in the frame, as well as tremendous shock resistance. The Sintergel and titanium framework also has “memory” that helps retain its shape even after deformation.

Armor:

Armor varies according to the frame type. There are basically two major forms of armor that are bonded to battleframes.

Crystite Carbon Hybrids – These are formed into plates which are then affixed to the frame and designed for easy replacement in the field. The actual formula is secret, and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Carbon is a key element, but is often part of a more complex molecular formula (including diamond like properties) that have been found to react to seed crystite. The plates are literally grown in slabs, and cut to dimension with high energy Crystite powered lasers. The amount of energy to cut these plates is tremendous, and can only be found in facilities with large enough Crystite reactors to power the cutting tools. Hand held weapons, even Crystite powered weapons, therefore have a very tough time getting though this type of armor. The Arclight is the most expensive ship ever built because of its extensive use of Carbon(cy) in its hull plating to withstand the rigors of micro-meteor and much larger impacts encountered in space travel. Even in lighter frames, this material is still used in key areas to protect electronics and weapon systems.

Boron Carbon Fibre – Less exotic than Carbon(cy) armor plating, Boron Carbon Fibre can be printed into weaves or meshes and is extremely flexible. It is the fourth hardest substance known to science and is superior to kevlar in every way. This armored fabric is used extensively in the manufacture of the lighter series of Battleframes such as the BioTech and Recon. They are often supplemented with large sewn pocket strips containing Sintergel, a flexible compound or gel that absorbs damage. These strips can form large striated areas looking much like muscle fiber, to hexagonal and other exotic pocket patterns and structures.

Sintergel – Neal Stephenson coined the term Sintergel in the 20th century novel “Snow Crash.” To quote the author: “Feels like gritty Jell-O, protects like a stack of telephone books, but air flows through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest.” As science often drew inspiration from science-fiction, scientists have perfected very high energy absorption for modern Sintergel, and it is heavily used throughout modern Battleframe construction in both Frames and their armor systems. Sintergel is also used to combat the forces of inertia and g-forces that frame pilots endure. (©2000, used with permission by Neal Stephenson)

Aerogels – Lighter than Sintergel, neither gas or a liquid but somewhere between, and without its absorbing properties, aerogels are still an incredibly important part of Battleframe armor systems due to their high efficiency as thermal insulators. They nullify most methods of heat transfer, including convection, conduction and radiation. Despite their name, aerogels do not actually feel like gel substances. They are rigid, dry materials that weigh almost nothing. They can support great weight, and are used extensively to provide Battleframe operators with comfort against extreme heat or cold and weapons based on such thermal characteristics or radiation. They are often injected into suits or layered on the backsides of armor plating, as well as insulation around sensitive modules and electronics.

Crystite Core Generators:

Crystite Cores are what make MEKs and Battleframes possible. Without this form of energy, running a frame for any length of time would be highly impractical.

Crystite Cores refer to pure Seed Crystite which has been housed for power. The Crystite matrix is excited by an array of lasers of a particular frequency and energy output. The cut of the Crystite is critical to its activation, and is done to precise tolerances in a lab. The configuration and number of lasers used, their particular frequency, modulation and wavelength, all vary by manufacturer and can produce different tradeoffs depending on their design.

Battleframes have at least one core available to them, and heavier frames often have two or more.

Actuators:

Sometimes called drivers, actuators are what lend movement to battleframes. They are designed to amplify natural human movement and translate them into great speed and strength. There are two main forms of actuators found in modern, military Battleframes.

Servos:

These are high torque, highly responsive electric motors which can respond rapidly and accurately to the needs of Battleframes. They are compact and offer high efficiency and strength. As a result, they are most often used in heavier Battleframes. Servos, however, tend to be noisy, making them unsuitable for many kinds of stealthier Battleframes.

Movement Speed

Battleframe movement speed is affected by Servos, but different frames have varying relative base movement speeds.


Electroactive Polymers or Synthetic Muscle Tissue (SMT):

Where motors cannot be fitted for size or location constraints, such as on Recon or Engineer Battleframes, Electroactive Polymers are often used instead. Acting like real muscle fiber, these polymers contract when current is passed through them. For decades, the strength to weight ratio made them impractical, but again, molecular manufacturing techniques have made it possible to create EPSMT made from elastic carbon nanotubes. These muscles can flex up to 1000 times faster than human muscle tissue, and exhibit a lateral strength superior to steel and can operate in extreme temperatures.

Sensors and SIN:

Battleframes offer a variety of plug-n-play sensor modules which may be fitted as required by mission parameters. Of course, military grade SIN is available to pilots on all Battleframes, sharing cohesive and linked information with all combatants on the field.

Some more exotic Sensors are available for specialized missions, and these can be slotted and removed as necessary.

CPU (SmartGel Computing):

Computing in the age of Firefall is primarily accomplished through nanite components that chain themselves together into optimal computing structures and are capable of self configuration and repair. Tiny computational nanites are suspended in gels which act to both conduct heat away from the tiny machines as well as to provide exceptional temperature and shock resistance perfect for combat Battleframes.

Computational power is often measure in ml of computing power based on certain standardized nanite cores. The optimal shape of the vessel that contains these is a sphere, which allows for the most dense concentration of computation nanites and provides for the shortest path between nanite computational components.

Humanity is also experimenting with its first Quantum based computers. These are still extremely expensive to produce, and are only used for supercomputing calculations such as those required for Arcfolding.

Firmware:

Programming “gel” computers is very different from previous silicon wafer based CPUs from the 20th century. Code is not read and executed by SmartGel. Instead, code reconfigures the nanites suspended in the gel and effects a “hard wiring” of the nanite configuration. This is similar to old PGA (Programmable Gate Arrays) of old, but at a much more sophisticated level. Compilers produce code which the Smartgel interprets as it restructures itself into an optimal computation machine for the execution of the code required.

Battleframes require a tremendous amount of computational power to run, from performing Crystite power computation, flight controls, weapons systems, ECM countermeasure, movement and balance, SIN interfacing, etc. A Battleframe is likely to have many such gel cores spread throughout its frame and operating on redundant levels.

Ability Modules:

Ability modules form the heart of the unique capabilities of the Battleframe system. Ability modules are possible through the unique properties of hybrid Crystite. Each form of hybrid Crystite exhibits a different output of energy, from pure electricity to intense electromagnetic radiation and more exotic effects such as antigravity.

Ability modules shape and harness this energy to produce desired abilities on the battlefield. A precisely cut and tuned resonate Crystite hybrid is at the center of each ability module. This crystal is excited in the usual manner, by lasers, and the resulting energy is deflected through various conduits and components to channel and shape the output to the desired result. Some abilities are more complicated, and require that the energy of one hybrid is then passed through another.

There seems to be an infinite number of possibilities with hybrid Crystite, and new ability modules are being researched and produced all the time.

Jumpjets:

Jumpjets provide that extra edge of mobility on the Battlefield and astounding speed and agility. Propulsion is fairly orthodox with the exception of the fuel. Rocket engines and thrusters are embedded at key points of a Battleframe, and ignited to provide thrust. The exotic component comes from the compact fuel source provided by hybrid Crystite of various formulations. This fuel may only weigh a few pounds, but with an enormous thrust/weight efficiency ratio. The heat created by the reaction, and the fact that the lasers must recharge between bursts, means that thrust is limited in duration.

Repatterning Technology:

To increase survivability, Battleframes are equipped with medical repatterning systems integrated into their frames. Medical repatterning is the bio equivalent of molecular manufacturing. Instead of inorganic materials, repatterners sample the DNA of what they are reconstructing and are able to repair and replace damaged tissue at highly accelerated rates. While not capable of repairing extreme trauma in the field, repatterners on Battleframes can heal most wounds in seconds and keep soldiers alive and their health replenished, especialy when supplemented by additional field healing units or the presence and aid of a Biotech.

References

  1. http://www.firefallthegame.com/2012/08/02/battleframe-technology/
  2. Firefall FAQ
  3. http://www.firefallthegame.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?24-Recon
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CecduyHJFhU