With the old DPV fast becoming obsolete, The Inner Circle commissioned a replacement program. Several bids were put forward, but in the end it was the two fully robotic candidates that would pique their interest: The first, dubbed Cobra was a quadrupedal walker- initially rumoured to be the favoured design due to its novel form of locomotion. Unfortunately the prototype's trials brought several flaws to light.
It's armament was a fully integrated fixed LASER, that utilised capacitors similar to the Obelisk of Light. This coupled with a sub-par targeting system meant that the Cobra couldn't reliably keep track of moderately fast moving targets. Resetting the firing sequence every time it turned to reacquired it's foe, allowing opposing hit and run units to run circles around the confused drone. If this fault wasn't bad enough it's initially impressive locomotion proved to be too costly to maintain for a unit of it's role.
Meanwhile the Viper, it's less grandiose competitor, would prove to be the more reliable nominee. Utilising a conventional wheeled design more in vein with those of a quad-bike. It too would eventually adopt LASERs as it's primary armament. However, unlike the larger hull integrated design of the Cobra, it chose to mount two smaller units on either side of a turret. This not only allowed it to have a full 360 degree tracking motion, it also made it easier to replace any potentially faulty weaponry. When the winner of the contract was finally announced, no one involved was surprised that it was a Viper that rolled out of the factory doors.
Unfortunately, as with all autonomous vehicles, they can only be repaired at a fully equipped service depot due to the delicacy of their AI systems.
- Before Public Beta 4, the Viper Drone was a quadrupedal robotic walker.