[Suggestion] Lock-On missile behavior is far from ideal

Discussion in 'Vehicle Discussion' started by Spadar, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. 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.
    • Up x 16
  2. Lock-On missile behavior is perfect, and flawless. I couldn't dream of a better way to fire a missile.

    Those videos just show skilled pilots.
  3. Pretty much agree with what is said :)
  4. Is breaking lock with proximity even intentional? Looks buggy to me.
  5. Personally I feel the G2A missles are were they need to be.

    - They act as a deterrant to ESFs harrassing infantry and smaller convoys without serious AA.

    - Once the ESF gets locked it has to flare, and 5s after flare it can be shot down and instantly die if there are 2x a2g manpods nearby. Takes no effort from the ground crew at all, and it lets the ESF escape aswell, its a draw.

    When it comes to A2AM I don't think they add anything to the gameplay but frustration. Why can't people use their noseguns for AA duty? There is no reason why A2AM should be in the game at all, ESF vs ESF is simply a duel, shouldn't be any need for crutches to "help groom overall game balance".

    If you have poor pilots you have to rely on skyguards, burstermaxes and manpods instead.

    They removed the lock-on for the vanguard ml85 missle b/c it felt cheesy and didn't really require anything from the gunner firing it. Tank vs tank should be and is about active aiming and using/abusing your surrounding terrain.

    Same should aply in the skys.


    Personally I think A2AM should require active guidance from launching to impacting, this will help ESF deal with liberators from a safe distance but not used to cheesy other ESF's in 1v1 dog fights. They should also not be able to 180 degree turn and spin around you several times before they home in.

    In larger air battles a2am completly ruins the thrill, I really don't see any reason to have them in the game as they currently are. ESFs are quite balanced vs ground nowadays.
    • Up x 2
  6. It feels like SOE didn't have the guts to extend lock-on range,so they kept it short and made the missiles slow but capable of infeasible maneuvers. It's all okay against hovering rocketpods, but that's about it. But even one that quickly moves into position and dumps a payload, then flares, then finishes emptying rocketpods...?

    You can't even dumbfire a G2A missile at a sitting target unless it's that close, and if you can't arc and must lock, the comedy is multiple people locking on a target that is best dealt with by a burster or Skyguard.

    If the G2A is meant to deter hoverers, I'm not sure how it's particularly different from the niche occupied by a burster MAX. Does SOE intend that the G2A lockons and the burster deal with the exact same target profile?
  7. first of all, id like to know what SOE had in mind when they created the missiles. some communication would be really nice.
    maybe they want them to be (practical) unavoidable?
    my personal opinion:
    spadar is right. i, as a pilot, dont want them to be the way they are. they behave unlogical and are a pain in airfights. changing them in a way that spadar suggests, would make them challenging and fun, while absolutely viable.
    • Up x 1
  8. I feel that A2A should easily miss when you're traveling into them, because they'd go past you and wouldn't loop back.

    They should be for finishing off targets that are running AWAY, not ez-mode wins in an active dogfight.

    I use them myself, only because I have to. I can fire them, then use my gun while reloading, and it does nothing but make me stronger. A pure upgrade. I'd be gimping myself if I didn't. But I'd love for them to be changed so they aren't the end-all-be-all-win-a2a weapon and actually took some thought into how you use them and how to avoid them.
  9. Honestly, I find A2AM almost laughable. They're currently pretty easy to either dodge or simply tank. G2A missles are hopelessly lulzy IMHO. I guess the A2AM are ok when your seriously outnumbered and you can scare off a newer pilot with them before engaging with the nose cannon. However, I find the A2AM basically useless. In the rare case I put them on I spend more time wishing I had pods than using them. I guess the occasional kill of an enemy ESF deep over their air screen is nice, but it's so rare you actually get that utility out of them.

    What I really wish is that they'd just buff the SPEED of the pods back to where they were in beta so we could go back to using pods more for A2A ... I realize Pod damage has been nerfed since beta and that's ok with me, but the speed and acuracy nerfs just seem so overdone in the current environment. /shrug

    As to changing the A2AM ... and G2A missles... any changes in this "ESF PITCHFORK HATE" environment Im sure would wind up as some kind of nerf to ESF, and I would fear it in my bones unless Spadar was doing the actual coding.

    Any one of the ESF nerfs or AA buffs weren't bad on thier own. The collective weight of them all thou has begun to chaff.
  10. One thing I wish for, both for G2A and G2G launchers, is the ability to pick a target and hold it. trying to lock on to one specific tank in a mass of them is frustrating as the launcher tries to acquire a new target every time you move the crosshair. You can be tracking a fighter across the sky and right as you are about to lock, it passes by another fighter and the launcher reacquires onto the new target.
    • Up x 1
  11. I find that the 5seconds of "Freedom" given by a popped flare isn't the correct amount...
    Whenever I get locked on, I wait for a few seconds to be sure their is a rocket on its way, pop my flares and then all of a sudden I am locked on again...
    The amount of times I have been killed this way is BS...
  12. I think the "target" needs more feedback about what going on.

    For each lock the target gets there should be separate LOCK indicator on the HUD (up to 5)

    The target must be able to differentiate between G2A and A2A locks.

    The whole process must be more detailed. The target should be able to clearly differentiate between following phases:
    1) attacker is in the process of locking
    2) attacker got the lock, but no rocket was fired yet
    3) the rocket was fired

    Attacker should know the distance to each rocket (and maybe location too, be able to see rockets on the minimap seems like a good idea)

    And finally, locking should break your vehicle stealth and spot you on the minimap. Maybe this one is an overkill, but it will give the victim a chance to react and counter-attack instead of fleeing.
  13. People ask yourself what the purpose of lock on a2am missle are with a gameplay pov in mind.

    It serves no purpose at all BUT lowering the treshold for beeing able to do DPS in air vs air combat.

    This is a FPS game where your actual hand eye cordination is what sets you apart from the other players.

    It is unacceptable the way it is NOW, when air currently is pritty balanced, not perfectly so but it doesn't have the same overwhelming feel, amirite?


    /edit


    Really there should be something called flying below radar, where esf's cannot lock on people flying below say 100 meters of height or something.

    There should be incentives to be skillful but room to be a derp. This would create some wiggle room.
  14. You keep beating a dead horse, Spadar, if they haven't bothered to recognize they screwed up the reaver, what makes you think they will listen about A2A?

    You waste your analysis and explanations on these forums, you will be better off forming a whine squad and just spewing nonsensical changes in order for it to happen.

    SOE should have your every post bookmarked to get an idea about what is going on.
  15. Using the A2AM and A2A nose canon, I completely dominated the TR mossies that were attacking yesterday.

    Think about this:
    There NEEDS to be a downside to using lolpods, no?

    • lolpods = cheap infantry kills (no way to live if you're infantry)
    • A2AM = not-so-cheap air kills (you can evade and flare, or even kill him before he kills you)
    All the pilots complain about A2AM when I bet they don't complain for getting cheap XP for farming infantry with rocketpods.
    +1
    I also do this, but this is a very bad tactic occasionally.

    Smart pilots only lock-on when close to you, which is usually after pumping lead into your chassis.

    Those seconds that you wait usually mean the missile hits. And just like that you're either dead or really close to dying.

  16. Downside to be using lolpods is that u cannot use external fuel wich lets you do much more evasive things in the air and burn away from people catching you with their rotary in a bad position ( most often from behind or below right ? ).

    A2AM cheaped the arial gameplay to a point where it just feels sad to partake at all. There is no aiming involved with a2am, this is a fps for god sake you cannot justify it at all. Rocket pods are not that godmode anymore, far from, most often it takes an entire pod to smash a mbt/lighting, 6-7 rockets to kill one infantry guy with flak armor and so on.

    It is not effective to farm infantry like before, better is to snipe them with the nose gun wich you have to aim.

    Pre the pod nerfs and pre the flak buff I could see why a2am where needed to quickly decimate the airforce before EVERYONE was flying, but now when flak actually have a bite and can kill you in 1-2 seconds if they focus fire you in a bad pos ( over extended, low speed, hovering, slow banking etc ).

    No defending the a2am unless you are unable to compete with rotary. Rotary means longer fights, where more interesting things can happend.

    Sneaking up on some dude from behind, locking him firing from 5 meters so he cannot flare then dumping the entire rotary in his back is not that fun after a while.

    Alternativly there should be a "flying below" radar, so you cannot get a lock when people are flying low, this has its own balancing factor aswell since flying low means your well within flak instant gib range. But also easier to break los from flak since they have less of a vertical angle on you ESF.

    What we have now is just bad gaming design.
  17. Dodging it requires you to know where it comes from in the first place, which is only true in such a face-to-face test-environment like you did. Can you even dodge a missile without outrunning it, while not hovering?
    Other then that i agree to your post. A2AM are ridiculous - especially the "180-in-yo-butt" backflip.
  18. These are some awesome suggestions. A "Below Radar" perk would be awesome and should be added to defense equipment. Good job on the testing and nice evasive manouvers!
  19. Just coupling the afterburner tanks with a jammer would be nice.
  20. I understand what you mean, but the A2AM are not easy for reavers to dodge. I have seen scythes fly circles around my A2AM, but I can't do the same even trying the same maneuvers. TBA this may be due to me not being as good of a pilot, Spadar, any chance you can make a test vid of dodging the A2AM with the reaver using the same kind of maneuvers you used in the scythe / any other maneuvers that you know work?(Edit~ I should watch entire videos before posting -_- but im at work lol) The only thing I have found to work myself (and its iffy) is to dive to the ground, then right before the missile hits you, pull up and fly to the sky and sometimes the missile will hit the ground.

    Like I said, I don't consider myself to be a 'pro' like spadar, but I am one of the better ESF pilots in my outfit (I will often offer to gun for someone when my ESF is on cooldown, and one of my outfitmates will be like 'no, your flying' and give me their reaver lol).

    What I would love to see is this (these are not new, or my ideas, but they are thoughts I have come to like and support).

    1. Faster missiles
    2. no more 180º turns for missiles
    3. Missiles showing up on radar or a change to the lockon beep that makes it faster as it gets closer.

    these changes (or basicly any of the above from spadar) should make missiles more of a long range weapon, dodge-able, and let you have epic nosegun fights.

    after watching the full missile dodge video, all I have to say is "Wow, that is really broken"

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