Vehicle chassis construction

The vehicles currently have two problems:

  1. Small repairs are too hard
  2. Building deathmobile is too easy

Too hard repairs
So you have a car. The tires are pretty badly damaged (but not broken) and you want to replace the old wheel with this shiny new wheel you found. You could wait until the wheel breaks and you get the option to fix it with new wheel but you of course don’t want to wait for that.

Well it is easy to remove the old wheel: Mechanics 2, bolt turning 2 and some lifting.
Installing the new wheel is a bit harder with requirement of mechanics 3 and same tools.

But is wheel swap really hard enough job to require mechanics 3? Well in the current system you aren’t swapping the wheel. Instead you remove the wheel and then install a new wheel as if there never was any wheel there. So the skill requirement of 3 isn’t for swapping wheel but for rebuilding your car to use one more wheel. Which brings us to the second problem…

Too easy deathmobiles
So installing new wheels on a car requires only mechanics 3. Since wheel swap and wheel install are same job they have same skill requirement. And wheel swap can’t be made too hard so installing new wheels can’t be made too hard either.

Engine installing is another one. Installing inline-4 engine requires only mechanics 2.

The fix
My suggestion is to add new vehicle parts for bulding the chassis of the vehicle:
Wheel axle and engine compartment.

So to install a wheel you would first install wheel axle (high skill/tool requirement) and then you can install the wheel on that same spot (low skill/tool requirement).
Then you can remove the old wheel and install a new wheel one the same spot with low skills. But making a monstorous 8 wheeled deathmobile would require high skills to install new axles.

Same for engine. First install engine compartment (high skill/tool requirement) and then install engine on the engine compartment (low skill/tool requirement).

If I’m not mistaken you can already replace a wheel with another directly, but that actually takes longer than removing and installing the wheel for some reason. Or you could just repair the wheel itself with a welder…

There’s far more to a good deathmobile than wheels and an inline-4 engine though. The current requirements actually make a lot of sense for armor and tools and such.

There’s already a frame system in place for the “chassis”. Making special axles and engine compartments seems like far more effort than it’s really worth, and makes it even more inaccessible for people that aren’t already mechanics.

I would also argue that there are plenty of hurdles between starting a character and creating even the simplest vehicle.

Have you ever tried to raise mechanics from 0 to 3 or 4 without any books? It’s frustratingly difficult.

You have to find a welder or make one yourself, something that often takes me several in-game weeks, and I don’t think I’ve ever FOUND one, always had to make it myself.

Then you have to find or craft welding goggles, something else that often takes me a LONG time, in spite of being such a simple object.

Then you have to find the right vehicles with the right parts and take the time to piece them out and haul them to your staging location.

I would argue that getting to the point where you can fabricate any kind of vehicle takes long enough. And as he’s pointed out a deathmobile is a LOT more than all that.

All that work usually leads to me building a motorcycle and STARTING my deathmobile/mobile base which takes me WEEKS or months of grinding batteries/skills/parts to get where it needs to be.

The problem I see is that fixing kind of working car and building deathmobile are the same. So once you can start fixing the cars you could also start building the deathmobile.

By separating “this wheel axle that you can install wheel on” and “this is an empty frame where you can install the wheel” the fixing and building from scratch can have different requirements.

Except installing a wheel might only take 3 mechanics, but heavy duty frames take more and military composite armor takes like 5. Solar panels and turrets are all up there as well. You can build a car at low skill level but you can’t make a very good deathmobile.

Even if you could, it takes a lot of materials and time to build a decent deathmobile, which means you need to be very well established. Axles just don’t seem necessary, especially when it means building a bicycle or cart from scratch would require 6+ in mechanics, which is ridiculous.

Well fix for a bikes and carts would be to only require axles for car wheels.

And I think requiring mechanics 3 just to put new wheel to the spot I just took a damaged wheel off from is also ridiculous.

Well clearly the wheel changing mechanic needs fixing, but that’s not a reason to add a whole new level of complexity to vehicles which are already plenty complicated. The mechanics skill as a whole could use some changing, considering the books only go up to level 8 and there are some questionable choices for requirements.

That said, we should use the existing game mechanics to balance deathmobile building, not add new ones (if it even is unbalanced, which I don’t think it is) . This strikes me as a “realism cause realism” thing, which isn’t necessarily bad, but isn’t good for gameplay in this case.

There totally needs to be a way to reliably get your Mechanics past 10 that doesn’t involve spam building Mininukes, as well as a way to get your mechanics past that. Maybe not so much for the latter, but it’d be nice to be able to install that fourth engine…

Finding the parts to make welding googles is easier than finding a gorram wrench or toolbox. You can reliably find three pairs of clean sunglasses at any church. There’s nowhere you can reliably find any mechanics tools. The pool of possible items for hardware stores and garages is too large to depend on getting any one item.

But otherwise, yeah, finding the right parts is super time consuming