Anti-heavy, heavy tank
Heavy ion beam
|“|| I love a laser show.|
|“|| A little too intense? Nah.|
The Refractor is a tracked vehicle that serves in GDI's Offense Class as a heavy tank in anti-heavy operations. Due to the unique requirement of its operation, the AT-414 is built on the chasis of a Mammoth Tank in order to support its movement. Its primary and only armament is the Skybeam Laser Cannon with a high yield that is capable of destroying large targets. This allows the weapon platform to deal with non-reinforced enemy structures as well as enemy Crawlers. As such, the vehicle is suited for assault operations though this was not its primary purpose.
Instead, the aim of the AT-414 was defensive, with the use of a forward placed reflective shield. These weapons created by GDI engineers consist of layers of different materials. The first layer is a crystal-lattice which is formed by an electromagnetic field which allows solid projectiles to pass through it without damaging the shield. As a result, this allows solid weapons to pass through the crystalline layer which is reformed by the electromagnetic energy field. The second layer is a honey-combed alloy of heavy armor that is built to withstand kinetic force as well as heat based weapons. This part of the shield means that kinetic weaponry simply bounce harmlessly off the heavy layer of armor. The third and final part of the forward shield is an 18-inch thick plate of metal composite which absorbs any remaining force that the first two layers did not handle.
Whilst the front shield is up, the Refractor is unable to fire its Skybeam Laser Cannon . However, after it redirects energy attacks back at their source, the shield can be lowered and the tank can use its primary cannon to finish off the wounded enemy vehicle. GDI engineers are also able to upgrade the shield plate and outfit it with a Mirror Coating. This uses a layer of plasma which works in conjunction with the electromagnetic field to redirect energy weapon fire at multiple targets.
However, the cost of the coating requires additional capacitators as well as a great deal of energy to be effective.
|“|| Hey, they're scratching the mirror!|
Unlike other GDI designs, the Refractor possess no ancestral vehicle and is a completely new design that came into development after the Third Tiberium War. This came after a desire to combat one common element on the battlefield; the presence of beam weapons that the Brotherhood of Nod continuously improved since the First Tiberium War. With the introduction of the Crawler on the field, GDI Central Command sought to produce a vehicle that would complement the mobile construction platforms. Thus, they began attempts at making a potent escort for the Crawler which gradually developed into the Refractor by the year 2073. These vehicles were designed to aid Crawler operations by providing a fast movable platforms capable of fighting against enemy beam weaponry whilst at the same time, not being burdened by heavy armor.
However, the design was not tested when it was fielded in the aftermath of the Battle of Gerlach Flats. At the time, a group of Orcas were brought down by a dust storm after assaulting a Brotherhood base. Stranded, the pilots were trapped in the sands and nearby, an Obelisk of Light was aiming for their position. At that point, the AT-414 Refractor came onto the battlefield where the prototypes were being field tested and the vehicles were placed around the half buried Orca's thus serving as a shield from the Obelisk. This allowed Engineers to be deployed and extract the stranded pilots. As the sand storm died down, the GDI position was seen by the Obelisks whilst the extraction process was occurring. At this point, the Obelisk fired its feared laser beam, but it simply bounced back as a result of the Refractor's shield and destroyed the Obelisk platform. With the emplacement destroyed, the AT-414 continued their advantage and dropped their front shields and attacked with their heavy ion cannons thus decimating the Nod base. Not only was it a victory against the Brotherhood but the actions of the Refractor saved a group of GDI pilots as well.
Since its successful first operation, the Refractor became the premier vehicle to assault fortified Brotherhood positions and is often seen alongside Mammoth Tanks as well as Mastodon's. In addition to serving in an assault element, they continue their intended purpose of protecting GDI Crawlers. GDI engineers attempted to replicate the shield process of the Refractor onto smaller vehicles but the weight of the front shields were incapable of being fielded onto a smaller platform due to the added weight. This led to the AT-414 serving a special place within the Global Defense Initiative's arsenal.
The Refractor's ability to deflect enemy projectiles and lasers is a valuable asset, so having them in Hold Fire stance is advised if you intend to use them in this role. Otherwise, they will drop their shields when firing. Its heavy armor is, ironically, particularly vulnerable to laser weapons, which the Refractor was designed to counter. So long as the mirrors are up however, it can deflect the fire straight back to the enemy, while taking little to no damage.
An upgrade allows for advanced Mirror Plating, giving it the Refraction ability. This allows it to refract incoming fire into several outgoing shots to hit multiple enemies, which can be invaluable against groups of enemies.
The Refractor's closest Nod equivalent is the Widow.
- An achievement can be awarded if the player uses the Refractor to damage 5 targets with a single beam.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 BETA UPLINK SERIES PART 6: Tier 3 Units
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jan. 30, 2010. Refractor Unit profile.