Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

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WildeHopps_Shipper
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Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by WildeHopps_Shipper » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 am

And I don't mean, like, Super Robots and Real Robots, because they're genres of mecha anime, not mecha archetypes.

I mean, like, if there is a team of non-combining real robots, e.g. the R-series units when separated or the ATX Team's Alt Eisen and Weiss Ritter, they're divided into character classes such as CQB/melee, ranged sniping, heavy siege, light recon, and engineering/support.

Why aren't mecha in Super Robot Wars divided into character classes, except for frame sizes and melee/ranged attacks?

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Seto Kaiba
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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:47 am

WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 am
Why aren't mecha in Super Robot Wars divided into character classes, except for frame sizes and melee/ranged attacks?
Probably because most of the non-original mecha in the games would be difficult to pigeonhole into a specific class due to having diverse capabilities. That level of specialization is fairly uncommon in shows where there are teams of mecha.
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WildeHopps_Shipper
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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by WildeHopps_Shipper » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:22 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:47 am
WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 am
Why aren't mecha in Super Robot Wars divided into character classes, except for frame sizes and melee/ranged attacks?
Probably because most of the non-original mecha in the games would be difficult to pigeonhole into a specific class due to having diverse capabilities. That level of specialization is fairly uncommon in shows where there are teams of mecha.
Uncommon?

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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:28 pm

WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:22 pm
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:47 am
WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 am
Why aren't mecha in Super Robot Wars divided into character classes, except for frame sizes and melee/ranged attacks?
Probably because most of the non-original mecha in the games would be difficult to pigeonhole into a specific class due to having diverse capabilities. That level of specialization is fairly uncommon in shows where there are teams of mecha.
Uncommon?
Yes. Mecha titles that focus on a small unit rather than a single mecha operating on its own tend to belong to the Real Robot genre, which doesn't often indulge in making robots that are specialized to a single role on the battlefield the way RPG character classes are specialized. You won't find many mecha that can ONLY do long range combat, or ONLY melee, or can ONLY equip heavy weapons. Most of them are multirole mecha with no shortage of weapons options.

For instance, most any Mobile Suit from the Gundam metaseries can change its combat role as easily as picking up a different handheld weapon... and most carry several. The same Zaku can easily switch between using a heat hawk for melee, a 120mm machine gun for short-range combat, and 175mm Magella top cannon, missile launcher, or other heavy weapon for long-range strikes. Full Metal Panic!'s Arm Slaves are the same in that regard... there's no difference between Kurz's M9D Gernsback and the others except that his is carrying the 57mm sniper rifle instead of the regular 40mm machinegun. Likewise, in Macross, any VF has a mixture of melee, short-range, and long-range weapons and can easily switch between them. In some cases it's even two different firing modes of the exact same weapon (e.g. the VF-27, YF-29, YF-30, and Sv-262's beam rifles) that cover short- and long-range firing.
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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by WildeHopps_Shipper » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:33 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:28 pm
WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:22 pm
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:47 am

Probably because most of the non-original mecha in the games would be difficult to pigeonhole into a specific class due to having diverse capabilities. That level of specialization is fairly uncommon in shows where there are teams of mecha.
Uncommon?
Yes. Mecha titles that focus on a small unit rather than a single mecha operating on its own tend to belong to the Real Robot genre, which doesn't often indulge in making robots that are specialized to a single role on the battlefield the way RPG character classes are specialized. You won't find many mecha that can ONLY do long range combat, or ONLY melee, or can ONLY equip heavy weapons. Most of them are multirole mecha with no shortage of weapons options.

For instance, most any Mobile Suit from the Gundam metaseries can change its combat role as easily as picking up a different handheld weapon... and most carry several. The same Zaku can easily switch between using a heat hawk for melee, a 120mm machine gun for short-range combat, and 175mm Magella top cannon, missile launcher, or other heavy weapon for long-range strikes. Full Metal Panic!'s Arm Slaves are the same in that regard... there's no difference between Kurz's M9D Gernsback and the others except that his is carrying the 57mm sniper rifle instead of the regular 40mm machinegun. Likewise, in Macross, any VF has a mixture of melee, short-range, and long-range weapons and can easily switch between them. In some cases it's even two different firing modes of the exact same weapon (e.g. the VF-27, YF-29, YF-30, and Sv-262's beam rifles) that cover short- and long-range firing.
Not just limited to character classes in RPGs, though.

You know the five-man band trope? Usually, when you get a Combattler V, or a Voltes V, or a Go Lion/Voltron or Daizyujin/Megazord, a five-piece combining mecha will most likely be utilized by an archetypal five-man band. Which means that if you were to apply the five-man band trope to a team of non-combining real robots, like how we got the Operation Meteor Gundams from Gundam Wing or the Team Rabbits AHSMB units from Majestic Prince, the leader would have been the melee specialist, the lancer would be the sniper, the big guy the siege specialist, the smart guy the scout, and the chick/heart the engineer/medic.

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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:52 pm

WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:33 pm
You know the five-man band trope? Usually, when you get a Combattler V, or a Voltes V, or a Go Lion/Voltron or Daizyujin/Megazord, a five-piece combining mecha will most likely be utilized by an archetypal five-man band.
Yeah, but that's the pilots.

Most, if not all, of the examples you listed for the robots are combining-type super robots for which the individual parts are completely useless on their own... to the extent that the audience has much cause to wonder why they don't save a heap of time and trouble by storing the robot in one piece.


WildeHopps_Shipper wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:33 pm
Which means that if you were to apply the five-man band trope to a team of non-combining real robots, like how we got the Operation Meteor Gundams from Gundam Wing or the Team Rabbits AHSMB units from Majestic Prince, the leader would have been the melee specialist, the lancer would be the sniper, the big guy the siege specialist, the smart guy the scout, and the chick/heart the engineer/medic.
Yeah, I know what you were getting at... but, like I said, there aren't many mecha titles that actually play it like that.

Most of the mecha anime and manga where you've got a small military or paramilitary unit as the focus will tend to be part of the Real Robot genre. That usually means that you can expect the protagonists to all be using mass produced mecha of the same model and/or variant because that makes maintenance, repairs, and plot replacements easier for everyone. For instance, in Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team all of the MS Teams use the RX-79[G] Gundam for each team member. In Full Metal Panic!, the entire MITHRIL West Pacific SRT uses the M9D Gernsback with only Sousuke ever changing to a different model. All the Black Knights in Code Geass used the Burai, and later Gekka, while every non-Irregular unit of Britannian Knights all use the same models (usually Sutherlands). The many units in Macross all use the same model of mecha: all 300+ pilots on the SDF-1 Macross use the VF-1, Fairy Platoon uses the VF-2SS for all of its members, Diamond Force has all VF-17s, Emerald force all VF-19s, Apollo Platoon has all VF-19EFs, SMS Skull Platoon all VF-25s, Xaos Delta Flight all VF-31 Siegfried customs, etc. In MOSPEADA all the Mars Forces troops use the AFC-01 Legioss. In Southern Cross all the ATAC troops used the Spartas. That level of uniformity and emphasis on versatility in equipment tends to make them difficult to assign a class to, since many of them can fill multiple roles equally well with at most a few minutes to change equipment.

You get a couple standout cases like the man-on-a-mission Gundam pilots in Gundam Wing or Gundam 00... but even then they tend to be much more well-rounded than an application of the Five Man Band principle.

Super robots, on the other hand, also tend to buck the trend since they're usually subject to New Powers as the Plot Demands, which makes them hard to pigeonhole into "classes" like that when a "melee" robot might suddenly whip a cannon bigger than itself out of nowhere without warning.
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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by AmuroNT1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:49 pm

Because trying to shoehorn everything into categories made up by a bunch of nerds on a self-indulgent website like TV Tropes is a terrible idea.
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Re: Why doesn't Super Robot Wars have traditional character classes?

Post by Kuruni » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:25 am

Well, TV Tropes' core idea is actually solid. It's cataloging story-telling tool often found in media. The problem is that many people don't stop at listing what they found, but actively try to shoehorn something else into each categories (TV Tropes is fully aware of it, as seen in Trope Decay and Square Peg, Round Trope pages). And guess what? Five-man band is indeed one of the most misused tropes (they have more broad version call The Team because Five-man band is actually very specific about each of the five members' role, not that it stop people from trying, as proven by this very thread).
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