In light of the recent testing Faint and I have done regarding the behavior of lock-on missiles I would like to get a discussion going about what we think about them, as well as putting my own thoughts on the subject out there. I ask that you keep an open mind when reading this. I know that there is a rather strong distaste for "flyboys" in the community at large. I'm not looking for either side to get nerfed into uselessness, but instead I want to find a balance where the missile mechanics can be engaging for both sides. It currently leaves a lot to be desired. I think that as of the current state of the game, lock-on missiles behave poorly and have terrible impact on gameplay for both the person firing them, and the person being fired at. In order for those who haven't seen the tests Faint and I did, I will put the two videos below here: "Active" Avoidance, with the aircraft trying to deliberately and quickly move out of the way of the missile: "Passive" Avoidance, where the aircraft merely moves itself into a position where the missile will narrowly miss: From these two videos we can gather a few things: 1. In order for the missile to break lock, it must pass within a couple meters of the aircraft and miss on the client of the person that fired it.This is such a close margin that the hitbox of the aircraft becomes a major player in a hit or miss, and because of that leads to balance issues between the ESFs. 2. Due to latency and netcode, there are drastic differences between the locations of the missile on both clients. 3. Attempting to use afterburners to dodge often works against you, since it will push your aircraft on the enemy's screen in a slightly different way than you actually travel. Now that the description stuff is out of the way, I'll get into what I think needs to be changed: General Missile Changes: Applies to both A2AM and G2AM 1. Tracking methods The missiles currently merely accelerate towards where the aircraft currently is. Instead the missile should follow an intercept trajectory, making it less likely to miss a player who is merely unaware and drifting, and far less likely to miss a larger target such as a Liberator or Galaxy. 2. Limit turn rate In the two videos I posted before, you can watch the missile turn almost 180 degrees in its own footprint. This should NOT happen. Limit how quickly the missile can turn, and widen the range at which the missile will lose its lock. Once it misses, and it will miss less often on unaware opponents with change 1, it should be gone. 3. Increase Projectile Velocity Missiles currently travel slower than an afterburning ESF. You shouldn't be able to simply outrun missiles. Faster velocity and better tracking methods would make it so that only deliberate attempts to dodge the missile, and only those done with a decent reaction time, would cause the missile to lose its target. 4. Increase Ammunition Capacity These changes would make Lock-On missiles worse against a good pilot who could actively evade them in an ESF, but far more effective versus heavier targets like Liberators and Galaxies, and pilots who are fleeing or unaware. Because of the shift in what targets these are going to be more effective against, and the increased likelihood of missing on agile targets, I feel a 50% or so increase in ammunition would be warranted. 5. Buggy Lock-On Warning Tones: Often times you will not receive a warning for incoming missiles, and without any warning they are extremely deadly. This needs to be resolved as well. A2AM Specific Changes: 1. Lock-On Distance Certification: The range increase on this, compared to how many certs it takes to get it, is absolutely appalling. 50 Meters is the most that it can be increased by. These aircraft, at cruise speed, are traveling at a minimum (Scythe/Reaver Level Cruise speed) of 55m/s. You could extend your range by one second of travel at the highest rank, even less if you use afterburners. In order to make this certification on par with Lock On Time, you would need to significantly increase the range it grants you. I would suggest upwards of 150m, and even then it may not be enough. 2. Lock-On Cone: The lock on cone for A2AMs is enormous and removes any need to actually aim the missile. It is so wide that you can effectively aim the missile in third person by merely looking towards your enemy. It should be limited to the solid circle reticle you get. G2AM Specific Change: Missile Rendering: Missiles fired by infantry outside of render range will be invisible to the aircraft they are being fired at. A solution must be found where even if the infantry is not rendered, a missile will be rendered. Being taken down by invisible projectiles is annoying at the very least. This isn't much different than Tanks being taken out by invisible Dalton shells, which is another problem but I won't get into it for this thread. Some things to consider as possible additional changes: These are things that may or may not become necessary depending on how effective the other changes are. 1. Increase default range on AA Lock-On Weapons: This is iffy for me, but may become necessary to make them fill a more unique niche. 2. Increase Damage on AA Lock-On Weapons: Depending on how easy it ends up being for ESFs to actively dodge missiles, a missile hit may end up needing to become more devastating when it occurs. Higher default damage would also make them more punishing for Liberators and Galaxies. 3. Scout Radar showing missile locations: This is just an idea, but if Scout Radar could be upgraded to show the location of incoming missiles on the minimap it may make non-flare builds possible to use. Currently it is borderline suicide to run without flares. And that’s that. I’d like to hear what other people think on this subject, and where we would like to see missile behavior be compared to where it is now.