[Suggestion] As an A2A pilot, I feel increasingly put out of a job

Discussion in 'Vehicle Discussion' started by Spadar, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. I have no concern with what happens on the ground. I don't kill infantry or ground vehicles unless there are no aircraft for me to deal with. Generally my playstyle revolves around removing the enemy air threat and letting the ground guys do what they do best.

    However recently it doesn't appear to matter in the slightest whether I attempt to remove the enemy aircraft or not in all but the smallest of fights.

    You see, ground units have a scaling factor that cannot be applied to aircraft. The recent trend of making G2A increasingly abundant and effective has had resounding effects on the atmosphere of the game. Let me explain.

    Imagine for a moment that we have one double burster max, and one A2G equipped aircraft. A decent pilot will kill the max in a couple of passes, even if the max is an equally skilled player. The aircraft will have moments of deterrence, but can always repair and come back.

    In this scenario, having A2A Aircraft is useful, because it is the most effective way to deal with enemy air.

    However lets increase the amount of maxes to 6, and add a couple of engineers in the mix. Suddenly the TTK on the aircraft is so low that even passing over head is a prohibitively dangerous business, and likely to get you killed.

    Could you get 8 aircraft to all charge in, specially equipped, to remove the flak encampment? Sure. Will it happen realistically? No. The amount of "skill" and coordination required to effectively handle more friendly aircraft in close proximity is vastly greater than it is to do the same with ground units. As you increase the amount of ground units, air units become more and more irrelevant. This is further compounded by the recent trend of Annihilator use by Heavy Assaults, and the addition of effective G2A platforms on every vehicle.


    All of this was meant to stop the relentless farming of infantry by air units. A problem which I must agree did exist, and for the most part has been "fixed". At the cost of removing any real influence aircraft can exert on a larger fight.

    Perhaps my pilot's goggles cloud my vision, but I don't believe that this was a good way to go about balancing air and ground. It condemns an entire playstyle into obsolescence.

    So what actually caused these problems?

    1. Rocket Pods:
    Very Short TTK against armor from behind.
    Equally effective against infantry

    2. Liberators:
    Doing what liberators do.

    SOE's response seems to have been "Wellp, air is effective against ground, so we should make ground more effective against air". The problem with making ground a highly effective counter to aircraft in all situations is that aircraft quickly become obsolete due to scaling properties.

    What would I have done?

    Simply put, I would have made the boundaries between the different roles aircraft can play more concrete. Liberators I feel should be a powerful A2G platform, but require friendly A2A support to be effective. Because of this I'll only be addressing ESFs, which I feel are the root of the problem. Instead of simple being "A2A" or A2G, you end up looking at the situation more like this:

    Specializations:
    A2A:
    Light Air:
    ESFs
    Heavy Air:
    Liberators/Galaxies

    A2G:
    Light Ground:
    Infantry/Flashes
    Heavy Ground:
    MBTs/Lightnings/Sunderers

    Now that we have different roles you can fulfill as an aircraft, the weapons need to be tuned to more precisely fit that role.

    Light Ground:
    We already have anti-infantry weapons in game, but the recent trend by SOE has been to make them more general purpose. I would go against this precedence. Decrease the effectiveness of all other ESF weapons against infantry and armor, and do the same for the AI primaries against other sources. Similarly the A2A Primaries should be more geared towards the units they're designed to fight. The default gun should be a sort of jack of all trades - master of none scenario.

    Heavy Ground:
    Rocket Pods make anti-infantry primaries fairly obsolete. They should be made into armor piercing rockets with minimal to no splash damage. The ESF A2A and AI primaries should have their effectiveness against armor decreased.

    Light Air:
    ESF vs ESF combat. In large scales this currently boils down to who brought more A2AMs to the fight. It's a stale resolution to what could have promoted high intensity combat. I would gear the A2A Primary towards being the ideal weapon to engage ESFs. In order to make a stronger distinction between A2A ESF and an ESF that has Rocket Pods and an A2A primary equipped, Extended Fuel Tanks should have their abilities expanded with useful certification lines.

    Heavy Air:
    As Pandora's Box has already been opened, and lock-on weapons are commonplace in the game, I feel they should be geared towards dealing with more heavily armored, less maneuverable targets. Decrease their maneuverability and make them consistently dodge-able through directly outmaneuvering the missile. Yes, this would make them fairly useless against highly maneuverable ESF, as they should be. However, their damage dealing abilities should be increased to make them far more effective than rocket pods against Liberators and Galaxies.


    Now that we have ESF roles sorted out, we need to address G2A roles. Compared to A2A, G2A should be a relative deterrence. It is the only way to not put aircraft out of a job. However this does not mean that you are defenseless, nor should you be.

    Light Ground:
    Lock-On Missiles:
    In general these should be geared towards dealing with the less maneuverable heavy air, and have little effect on all but the most oblivious ESF.

    Burster Maxes:
    Increase CoF, decrease projectile velocity, give them some recoil, leave damage the same.

    Burster Maxes should be "close range" AA units, geared towards dealing with A2G Specced Light Aircraft. Due to render/visibility issues, this is the role the must fill. Anything else makes the other G2A units comparatively useless.

    Heavy Ground:
    Skyguard/Stationary AA Turrets:
    Decrease CoF, Increase Projectile Velocity, Decrease Explosion Radius, Leave damage the same(Possible increase)

    These are the one G2A unit that I feel should not amount to a simple deterrence, but they need to be designed in such a way that they have a particular role to fill. These units, unlike the infantry-based Lock-On Missiles and Burster Maxes, are easily visible at long ranges. They are larger targets and have movement restrictions.

    They're also predictable. They can only be obtained at certain locations, and can be dealt with. Where infantry-based G2A platforms can appear at any sunderer or general infantry spawn point, these have far more restrictions to what can be done. If any ground unit should be geared towards denying airspace, it should be these.

    Other G2A Vehicle Mounted Platforms:
    These should be balanced on similar terms to the Burster, as a deterrence. Give the primary air denial job to the Skyguard.


    And there we have it. We promote different playstyles, give everyone their own unique job to do, and allow the game to have a more dynamic environment for air combat without completely destroying ground combat.
    • Up x 21
  2. as a vehicle driver/pilot i feel increasingly frustrated by the ammount of lockons ...
    • Up x 6
  3. As an unapologetic full time infantry farmer I too am annoyed with the lockers.

    Not that they actually stop me but the constant beeping is getting on my nerves.
    • Up x 4
  4. I think that launchers should cost resourses, but they should take down an ESF in a single hit.
    • Up x 1
  5. I think you have no concept of balance
    • Up x 4
  6. Or you could just stop insisting on ignoring the other 99% of the game and learn to do more than just play A2A ESF piloting?

    A dedicated A2A pilot is as bad as those infantry that refuse to play anything else in this game... it totally misses the point of PS2 and the myriad of gameplay that makes a well rounded player.
    • Up x 1
  7. I agree with most of OP's ideas. Many issues addressed well. If only SOE actually cared about the opinion of experienced players...

    One thing in particular always puzzled me:
    Why are MAXes longer range, much better accuracy and faster bullet speed than skyguard? It makes completely no sense, neither in terms of gameplay or logic. Skyguard: a large gun on a relatively stable platform (it's a bloody tank) easily seen from afar (renders at larger distance too, if I'm not mistaken); MAX: guns attached to arms of an upright standing bipedal vehicle - doesn't sound like something stable enought to launch pinpoint accurate flak projectiles at large distances, not to mention they can be pulled anywhere for less resources, only render at closer range and are hard to see. The double burster and skyguard shooting mechanics should really be reversed.

    As far as lockons go - sure, it's bad that suddenly attacker's skill does not matter, but as a pilot I only worry about A2AM. The G2A annihilator spam actually made my job of hunting infantry with banshee a bit more interesting, requiring to fly very low (so obstacles break the lock-on frequently) and make sweeping strikes from alternating angles. It is frustrating, but having to fly low is kind of fun.
  8. I don't like current A2A combat. I prefer giving close air support to ground units.
    If enemy has 6 AA burster maxes then don't force it. Try to eliminate enemies at the perimeter
    where you will receive less flak or go to another base. Come back when ground forces arrive to attack the base.
    In any case ESF cannot go on rampage solo against entire platoon. You have to wait for ground units and preferably another ESF pilot.

    I'd like if devs stopped introducing constant changes and instead would implement good social network interface. Revamp the UI in a way that promotes players joining squads/outfits and also introduce battle plan feature where you can organize your troops instead of having everyone doing his own thing.

    With the right team you can overcome most obstacles and another game balancing wouldn't be necessary.
    Also if factions got better organization then we could have a better perspective on how to balance the game.
    Current problem is that there are tons of CoD players who only wanna play infantry and then whine when they get farmed
    by vehicles. End result: lock-on launchers and other sh*t which make infantry zerg good against everything and there is little need for vehicles.
  9. And i think that all ammo for weapons on tanks, ESF and libs should cost resources preferably a few 100 resources pr shot...
    • Up x 1
  10. Mouse skills are not the only skills. To defeat an ESF you need to hit it 3 times with the most powerful lock-on launcher. This requires either organisational skills to get people together or 'rambo' skills to get in a good position, assess targets, wait for flares to go and get 3 stable lock-ons and launch missles at the right time, when pilot is less likely to evade.
  11. I like and agree with what you've written Spadar, but I don't think the Air game was meant to be at all layered or complex.
    I seem to recall Higby saying that in regards to being an MMOFPS, they're an FPS first. :p
    • Up x 1
  12. you can't get rid of rocket pods because rocket pods were so important in the first one, at one point does this game no longer be planetside?
  13. Spadar, I love you <3

    NoctD, right now all but the most persistent of us (like myself) are not seen in the air at all. And Spadar actualy adresses multiple roles in his post, not just his. For example, I am a primary + afterburner user that pulls his ESF on outfit demand, else I pretty much either Engineer support, Infiltrator, HA defense or MAX. At rare times you will see me in a Lighning or a Magrider. Also, what entitles you to force players to do all roles. Some people (gimping themselves) only enjoy one particular role in a game. That is quite enough to provide us a playerbase and SOE their needed profit, don't you think? This IS an MMO after all. You don't see players in MMOs doing EVERYTHING. I believe Planetside 1 actualy PROMOTED specialization on one solitary role that you did best, isn't that the case?

    The problems we face right now all stem from ESF secondaries, in turn we now have borked render distance and Anninhilator squads. For example, just yesterday on Mattherson Enclave camped the VS Indar WG with one. I assume this was their test / proving a point that the change in the last patch ammounted to exactly nil effect. Once i noticed what they were doing, I equipped my Light PPA and fired blindly at their general direction in the rock formations from the safety of the WG, if only to annoy them, before switching cont with my outfit.

    By the way, I don't use flares ;)
    • Up x 3
  14. Planetside 2 is about specializing into one or twi roles,
    At keast, that was it was suppose to be.

    Everything in the game should be viable and fit into a specific role.
    People like you contribute to unbalance.
    • Up x 1
  15. And Air is... MMO?.. *scratches head*
    I thought it involved "first person" and "shooting"...

    True in situations when your squad is the only one taking care of G2AM. Yet the issue with lockons is that any mid-size battle has multiple AH's all over the place (it being the most popular infantry class by a large margin). Due to versatility of the annihilator, many AH's often have it with them (if not, they can get it very quicky on resuply). Flying an ESF over such a base guarantees many lockons regardless of HA's on the ground cooperating or not. The result is pretty good deterrence without much sacrifice on HA's part, since they keep their effectiveness against infantry and tanks (unlike maxes and skyguards), not to mention that it's impossible to tell where the missile came from (unlike max's and skyguard's flak). And hey, you don't really need air kills, you need to keep the air away (repairing and/or waiting for flares is similar downtime to an infantry respawn); seeing as you get xp for any missile that hits, what's the problem with that?
  16. Ueah but everyone has annihilators/strongest aa launcher. You don't coordination. You just need everyone to see that ESF.
    You don't need any skills at all.
  17. I would love to see the annhilator nerfed just to make the guys at the enclave cry :D
  18. Yeah, I get what you mean. I guess what I meant to say is that it feels like a lot of the gameplay and development revolves around numbers and infantry.
  19. Not everyone, actually. I see my faction on my server fcked up by rocketpod spammers all the time, while there are only 1-2 guys with AA launchers.

    Spamming infantry with rocketpods + IRNV + radar requites no skill at all. Hunting ESFs down, staying alive and managing to hit them 3 times requires a lot more skills.
  20. This has to be the most degrading and idiotic mentality I've encountered so far; you guys really are convinced that vehicles can't be a specialization, much like BF3 does, but rather have PS2 be a stupid MMO version of CoD where getting a vehicle is just a lololkillfarm feature you get once in a while.

    The whole game right now offers three things: infantry, tank and air combat, all of which while pointlessly capping stuff. I guess your "99%" of the game remaining out of that consists of flipping planes at the warpgate? Or what is it? I'm intrigued.

    The only one here who's "missing the point of the game" here is YOU by saying such stupidities.
    • Up x 1

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