Mech designer levels
- Novice Usually in school or just one the vast majority are stuck at this rank.
- Apprentice Normally, novices and apprentices have only vaguely heard about design philosophy. From their basic textbooks, design philosophy embodied a mech designer's understanding of mech design and signified their unique insights that no one else could imitate. In truth, design philosophy embodied much more than simple understanding. Patricia knew a little more about the concept. Only those who developed their design philosophy past a certain point broke through to Senior and Master Mech Designers. All others stopped their advancement once they reached the limits of Journeyman.
- Journeyman could be said to have finished his orientation and make his first steps on a chosen path. Journeymen and Senior Mech Designers employed many advanced techniques in their designs that lower-ranked designers couldn't hope to emulate. The effect was similar but different from resonance in that it didn't take an expert pilot to draw out the potential of a resonating material. The former was called fake resonance, while the latter referred to true resonance. They had to design five original mechs to be called a Joureyman. Naturally, the designs also had to meet a minimum performance standard.
- Senior mech designers mostly preoccupied themselves with stepping out of the familiar and exploring the vast unknown that was shrouded in fog attempting to tread outside the boundaries of an existing path. To become a Senior who possessed great control over many applications, one needed to explore different options while remaining true to there own heart.
- Master To become a Master and realize a design philosophy, one had to find a way to transcend limitations and achieve the impossible.
- Star - Star Designers are at the Pinnacle of Mech Design, Renown across the Galaxy for their ability to design the highest quality of mechs, they tend to be highly involved with the upper Echealons of the MTA.
An average medium state-wide mech manufacturer only employed a couple of talented Apprentices or a single average Journeyman. A large sector-wide mech manufacturer on the other hand may only employ up to fifty mech designers spread into various teams. Only the larger mech manufacturers employed Seniors. The smaller ones usually made do with Journeymen as their lead designers. So from an outside perspective, employing several Seniors and more than a dozen Journeymen as well as a hundred Apprentices was massive overkill. An ordinary mech regiment employed up to a hundred high-ranked mech designers. Though most of them might only consist of talented Apprentices, perhaps a dozen Journeyman and a couple of Seniors sat at the top.
Journeymen can only psionically affect a range corresponding to a star sector at the start. As they develop their psionic power further, their range expands. Seniors are even more exaggerated in how many light-years their reach extends, while Masters can affect the entire galaxy and beyond.
Mech designer philosphy classifications ( from chapter 1253)
There are many ways to classify design philosophies, and sorting them by subject is merely one of them. In the MTA, it is not just the subject that matters, but also the grade.
- Class I: Whole performance, holistic, encompasses entire mechs.
- Class II: Offense-oriented.
- Class III: Defense-oriented.
- Class IV: Mobility-oriented.
- Class V: Endurance and efficiency-oriented.
- Class VI: Focus on a narrow range of mech archetypes.
- Class VII: Focus on a narrow range of mech designs. Most likely to become masters.
- Class VIII: Focus on a narrow range of tech, components or materials.
- Class IX: Irregular, unorthodox, unconventional, special. (Ves). They have difficulties advancing.
Design philosophy's are graded by difficulty, scope, ambition and other factors. most local mech designers have developed simple and basic design philosophies. They don't have much ambition and they are constrained by their environment. Therefore, they merely seek to make their mechs cheaper, more efficient, more resilient and so on. While their dreams are still admirable, their limited ambition means that it is actually relatively easy to realize their design philosophies.
Mech designers, even high-ranking ones, can constantly evolve and develop their design philosophies. Sometimes, their ambition swells and their grades automatically rise. Other times, they are getting on in their years and see no hope of realizing their impossible dream. By setting their sights lower, they don't have to overcome as many hurdles and have a much better chance of advancing to Master.
Low-grade design philosophies aren't necessarily weak, and high-grade design philosophies aren't omnipotent. It is all about how you use them and how you develop them. Even at Master, when you develop a low-grade design philosophy to an extreme, it is enough to break any high-grade design philosophy. Because it is less arduous to realize a low-grade design philosophy, there are many Masters who barely make the cut. This has caused the average strength of their group to be quite low. Yet I personally know of many so-called 'low-grade Master Mech Designers' who have come close to reaching the threshold of Star Designer. Once you reach this height, the grade of your design philosophy is no longer an accurate measure of your strength.
Rational mech designers
Mech designers who advance fast and are passionate are better at discovering new technologies and advancing design philosophies.
Rational mech designers curb their passion, and avoid becoming journeymen too fast. In exchange, they have better judgement, and they can assimilate other design phisolophies. One requirement to join the MTA's Design Department is being a rational mech designer