Tinker - Mechanics

[This is part of my Tinker series. For an overview of all the articles, click here.]

I recently shared an article about Tinkers. From the rest of the source document, nothing was clear. I did my best to gather bits and pieces to make out how tinkers and their inventions work. Please take everything you read from now on with a pinch of salt. In Italics you’ll find “out of character” notes from me, Ekrem, that explains things from a player perspective.

In this document I will talk about some of the mechanics that the MECs will utilize before I move on to each converto kit.

The core of a MEC is the Converto. All tinkers will start with a basic converto (levels 1–10 until you pick your spec) that transforms damage taken, dealt and movement into power, which then can be spend for abilities. This bar will look like mana, the amount spent, the feel will also be similar but it won’t regenerate on its own.

Once they pick a specialization kit, their power type, what they can convert and the rates of conversion will change. A good tinker knows its MEC conversions well and will exploit the situation at hand to get the maximum power.

The specializations are as follows:

  1. KICK-Kinetic Impact Calculation Kit: Converts damage taken and dealt into energy, can divert power between defensive and offensive capacity, has a shield that lowers damage taken.
  2. BICK-Bio-Converter Kit: Spends power to drains wounds/afflictions but recycles some of the spent power saved as auxiliary resource, is better at converting movement into power.
  3. HACK-Heavily Armored Combat Kit: Has a variety of melee and range attacks. Spends power for these and converts damage dealt into energy.
  4. PICK-Portable Instant Construction Kit: Deploys turrets and bot factories. Deployed gadgets generate power, more as they stay alive.

Another important part is the steam level. With basic converto, your steam level will increase as you utilize various tools of the MEC and decrease if you press the right lever (basically all abilities increase steam level and one ability decreases it.) The higher your steam level, the harder you hit and the better your tools work. If you reach critical level, you’ll go into overdrive and hit way harder and you’ll burn everything around you for a short wile. Once that’s over, your machine will cool off and you’ll be back to your initial steam level.

I understand that this isn’t ideal, but it gives tinkers an option for tactics: If they need a burst, they can willingly go into overdrive. If they want to keep momentum, they need to make sure they keep the steam level in order.

Of course, depending on the kit, the way steam works will also change.

A different type of method for especially the BICK suit is what the tinkers call a “maintain” move. This is similar to how spellcasters channel spells with a few differences. Typically, a channeled spell will either have a resolution at the end or during the channel. Maintain moves can have something happen as soon as they are initiated (called an Initial Effect), during the channel (called a Maintain effect) or at the end (called a Resolve Effect) and these can affect each other. For instance, reaching a certain amount of damage during the Maintain can change the Resolve Effect.

Finally, there is the matter of equipment. Tinkers won’t really “bother” with using weaponry directly, but magic weapons will benefit them (similar to how spellcasters don’t really use their stave to hit people, but reap the benefits of magic on them.) Depending on the type of MEC, different attributes will be useful to the tinker. Or tinkerer. I’m really not sure which one is the proper word.

From what I understand, they prefer mail armor. Apparently it works better with MECs and actually helps absorb some of the shock the MEC receives. As for weapon, they seem to go for blunt weapons (all of which they use as maces), daggers (they find various uses for them) and for the KICK and HACK, they also use shields.

Of course, the main equipment for them is the MEC and what they put on them won’t even be visible. This is similar to druids changing shape. However, Tinkers are more fortunate than the druids in terms of “rigging the looks”, ie customizing their battle form. A tinker will typically have a garage, similar to how hunters have access to a stable. In fact, if Tinkers do form a union, maybe they’ll have a centralized HQ where they can store their MECs, similar to how the Death Knights are rumored to have a flying fortress. Regardless, they will purchase or steal MEC blueprints to build them or even purchase already-built ones! Certain MECs will be compatible with certain convos, others flexible for any situation. Some frames would even allow customizing colors, adding logos and so on.

In fact, I believe it’s possible for non-tinkers to use a few of these highly customizable MECs as they aren’t really made towards combat, but don’t take my word for it.

This covers a lot of main topics for the tinker. In the next articles, I will go in details for each MEC and give examples of some abilities.

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Ekrem Atamer

Ekrem Atamer

Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD