Thursday, February 28, 2008

War Rock PX Item: M14 Anti-personnel Mine

Relax sonny, they're still there.

If you think these things will blow your enemies into vermilion clouds of gibs think again. This from the M14 Wikipedia entry: "while the blast wound from an M14 is unlikely to be fatal, it usually destroys part of the victim's foot, thereby leading to some form of permanent disability regarding their gait." True to that form, War Rock developers designed the mine to do minimal damage --- three mines won't kill a soldier having full health points --- but it does jar the enemy for a few milliseconds and permanently disables his ability to run until his next respawn; a severe disadvantage in a game where moving quickly and dashing for cover are two essentials for prolonged survival.

First time mine users may feel shortchanged when they discover the mines' weak damage factor. I felt that too but after playing with them for a few minutes, I soon discovered an immense tactical edge the things bestow --- they act as quasi-wards. (Or if you don't like the medieval fantasy analogy --- recon drones.) Everytime they blow up, voluminous smoke billows out. If you're hiding behind a corner, the smoke acts as an advance warning system. A dazed, wounded trooper will soon follow in its wake.

This soldier stepped on three of my M14s and still lived. A quick burst solved the problem.

How voluminous? This voluminous. It fills up almost half this room in Montana.

Also when player steps on them a global message will appear stating that a certain player's stamina points got damaged by mines; you'll immediately know their location regardless of where you are in the map.

They also act as a rearguard. You can cover one entrance while your mines are scattered at the other ones. This tactic is, needless to say, good only if paths to the area you are holding are few and you can easily predict where the enemy will likely be storming through.

Covering one doorway in Rusty Nails. Even if I wasn't looking, I would have still known a trooper just snucked in the other one.

This is a different player but it's still in the same map. I covered one area (the one in the preceding pic), and this soldier ran through three of my mines in this corridor. I ran up the stairs, leapt off the balcony, and surprised her.

The mines won't trigger if a teammate steps on them, which is good considering you can only three mines per spawn. They cannont be replenished by ammunition racks.

M14 mines are ineffective in dealing fatal damage to soldiers with full health ---- as they are in real life --- and I believe War Rock developers are wise in implementing it as such. To have done otherwise would have spoiled the game in many maps. However, the significant strategic advantage it gives is not something to be scoffed at.

Further reading:

M14 Mine Wikipedia Entry