The ESF debate; the clue is in the [F]

Discussion in 'Vehicle Discussion' started by Mietz, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. ESF - Empire Specific -Fighter-

    The point is the ESF is a fighter, not a gunship. Its armament is severely over-stated in the game, thats why they are giving people so much trouble. The ESFs right now are doing the jobs of the Liberator.

    A F-22 can have either ~8 A2A or ~8 A2G missiles loaded (or several smaller bombs), a F-16 can have similar loadouts.

    Breaker Rocket Pods have 36 max ammo of which 12 are readily loaded, this is a comparable loadout to todays SuperCobra/Tiger gunship.

    The problem is that aircraft need to fulfill certain roles and those roles currently overlap too much between the ESF and the Liberator. Either the Liberator is the superior vehicle-killer (which I don't see) or the ESFs are, you can't have both. As far as I've seen, the Liberator is currently majorly under-represented in the sky.
    ESFs dominate because they have comparable vehicle destroying capabilities as well as superior maneuverability and cost. Thats where the threads about Liberators being crap comes from, they are only -relatively- crap.

    The problem directly lies that the ESF should be an A2A vehicle with limited ground support capabilities and the Liberator the vehicle-killer with limited A2A capabilities.
    Let the gunship be the gunship.

    Solutions (or, not and):

    Severely reduce Rocket Pod damage while keeping the current ammo load (doesn't solve it, just mitigates it)

    Reduce Rocket Pod ammo count to 12 with 4 loaded while increasing damage by 50% (this would stop rocket spam and reward accurate hits)

    Remove Rocket Pods and replace by 4 A2G guided missiles, 1 loaded at a time (proper air support for a fighter) OR replace with 6-8 unguided AV bombs that can be deployed at once (destroying tightly packed tank-columns)

    Remove Rocket Pods and all A2G capability from the ESF, buff Liberator A2G capabilities, buff ESF A2A capability (or make more diverse)

    Liberators were scary for ground-troops in Beta, now I don't really care about them. The idea would be to make Liberators scary again while making ESFs a nuisance for ground forces but deadly for air-targets like Liberators and Galaxies.
    This would actually create squad-based gameplay and cooperation as a liberator or galaxy should have an escort of fighters.

    The ESF right now does too many things too well, give us some clear diversification of roles.

    And yes, before anyone says it, todays Real Life (TM) fighters are multi-purpose, but they are limited in their armament and don't spray volleys of missiles everywhere in under 3 seconds, they perform precision strikes at high speeds.
    • Up x 13
  2. liberstors are underrepresented because they're way too easy to kill

    libs arent 'relatively' ****, they ARE ****.

    a single esf can kill an lib extremely quickly, and there almost nothing the lib can do about it. it cany outrun, it cant outfly, and its tailgun is woefully pathetic for the purpose.

    meanwhile ESf's can attack anyhting and everything in the game, and there's very little that can stop it from going on a rampage
    • Up x 4
  3. ESFs are overpowered because there is nothing they can't kill and there is nothing that's good at killing ESF except for another ESF.

    Rocket pods are what makes fighters so idiotic because those things are just good against everything. Even another fighter can be severely damaged if not destroyed with rocket pods.
    • Up x 4
  4. The problem is you people whine constantly.

    All night playing, only time I died to an ESF was flying one. While flying all I saw was LOCK LOCK LOCK LOCK, with no good way to evade. I suppose I could cram in the station cash and get flares, which would mean I get LOCK LOCK LOCK instead of LOCK LOCK LOCK LOCK. The airwar is a trivial part of the game.

    Added being you don't need to cert tanks and craft like you did in PS1 (mistake I think), I see armies of tanks, which have more impact on the battle field than ESF's do.

    I can't figure out what the whining is about. Do you REALLY die to ESF's that much?
    • Up x 1
  5. The ESF is not doing the Libs job, not even close.

    Yes, it can kill ground targets, but a Lib can deny an entire area of ground forces.
    • Up x 2
  6. I would much rather have dumb bombs than rockets. Say a bay that holds 1-4 powerful unguided, propulsion-less bombs. Infinitely more fun to use IMO, without the same ease as spamming rockets has.
  7. The difference is that Liberators have to hover overhead and drop shell after shell to really get to work, which makes them great at mopping up people who aren't prepared for them, but a heck of a lot more vulnerable to counter measures than fighters which can steak in, wreck someone and afterburn out of there in seconds. Also let's not forget that a fighter that's built for ground attack can also absolutely wreck any air unit.
    • Up x 2
  8. Remove rocket pods entirely, give ESF primary weapons an alternate fire dedicated to strafing infantry by making them able to fire on a reasonably wide linear path with low damage per shot, and a decent area of effect. That way they can provide ground support without destroying everything in their path while stil
    • Up x 2
  9. You're getting LOCK LOCK LOCK because too many players gravitated towards ESF rocketpods, meaning there are less targets on the ground, meaning more players are running around with anti-air because we are running out of ground targets to shoot at. There wouldn't be so much LOCK LOCK LOCK if rocketpods were NERFED NERFED NERFED.
    • Up x 3
  10. I have always said that ESF should only have 1 weapon

    the other option would be to give lightnings a 2nd weapon, but then MBTs would need a 3rd weapon..

    ESF = Lightning

    Lib = MBT (might come a 3 man MBT at a later point)
    • Up x 1
  11. If they just reduced the number of rockets and reduced the splash radius, they would become more of a tactical tool than just a spam and scoot weapon. Alternatively, if they made rockets fan out after a certain distance flown, gave them lower damage, reduced their individual explosion radius and increased the number of them (think Russian S-5 rockets), that would force ESFs to get in close and stay there longer in order to get kills. This makes them more vulnerable, making the rockets more of a support-type weapon and preventing ESFs from just spamming a few and boosting off.

    I have nothing really against removing rockets, but I don't think the devs will go for. I'd rather (and I think the devs would be more inclined to) see rockets altered so that they get less kills per salvo and are generally less effective (while still having enough of a purpose to justify the 1000 cert price).
  12. Removing rockets might be a bit much. How do ESFs gain XP then? Counter the relative handful of flyers while trying to survive the sea of ground units? Unless they add an XP bonus for escorting things like Liberators and Galaxy's.

    How about if an ESF stays within range of a friendly Liberator, it gains XP for protection. Similar to how Galaxy's and Sunderers gain XP for 'Deployment kills'. That'd give ESFs an incentive to focus on air rather than ground and it will give the Liberators/Galaxy's the anti-air aspect they need in the form of protection, while allowing them to do what they do best.
    • Up x 4
  13. There are less targets on the ground? What game are you playing? I don't think its PS2 if you think "we are running out of ground targets".
  14. I vote 4. But I agree that there would be a XP problem for ESF pilots. I am not sure how to fix that? More XP for air kills? Lower timer and costs so that there would be more fighters in the air?

    But you also have to face that if you decide to do one thing and one thing only in PS2, then there will be times where you dont have much to do.
    • Up x 1
  15. - Give Liberators a real AA gun for their tail

    - Reduce dmg of A2G pods against Aircraft nearly to zero

    - Tie the pods to the main gun. So if you choose A2G pods, you get the AntiGround nosegun.

    + maybe:
    - Make it so you have to have a minimum speed to fire rocket pods, so you cant just hover at one postition.
  16. That argument only works if you think that the air-engagement will stay the same after the changes, but it wont, players adapt.

    If you do 4. you will have -more- aircraft in the sky because someone needs to escort the enemy liberators too, so -you- get more targets to shoot at.
    Surviving ground units isn't the issue currently, the ESFs survive fine against most AA efforts effortlessly, the real danger to them are other ESFs, and it should stay that way.

    Also, why should you be more "safe" than a Lightning tank on the ground that can get rocket infantry swarmed, rocketpoded, MBT picked, or Mined? All an ESF has to deal with is other ESFs and the weak AA that is currently ingame.

    Sure, you will not get the excessive XP farm from taking out swathes of inf and armor anymore, but so what?

    It is indeed true that it feels like thee is either an assault aircraft missing or that the ESF has too many weapons available.

    Another way could be adding another specialized one-man bomber fighter with unguided bombs and removing rocket pods from ESFs.
    Or replace the main gun with the rocketpods, make them weaker and have more rockets.
    • Up x 2
  17. This issue is never going to be balanced as long as the current problems with the draw distance on infantry is there. There are threads on this, but basically - infantry AA can kill ESF and libs, but libs and ESF can't kill infantry AA, simply because they aren't rendered for the pilots. You can't shoot at something that isnt there. This is a problem for tanks and indeed infantry as well.... but for the pilots, it's a nightmare. You're getting locked on constantly, with no way of defending yourself against the threat, unless you actually ground sniff and become the prime target for every enemy in sight.

    But more OT; What i'd like to see be done with the ESF, is more skill based mechanic for evading incoming missiles. First I'd like to see incoming missiles that are locked on you on the radar (this could be a cert unlock), and at the same time make it a lot harder to make a missiles stop tracking you. But if you turn hard at the right moment, or do some other acrobatics (this makes the performance certs of the ESF more valuable), the missile loses track of you and it explodes instantly. And if that is too much to ask, at least give us a different warning signal for when the missile has actually been launched!

    Secondly, the flares have to be tweaked. ATM they act as ECM, not as counter measures to incoming missiles. Flares don't prevent locking on you, they should only interrupt the missiles tracking you and cause it to explode... and then only from missiles that have the flares between itself and what it's tracking. If we want to prevent locking, a chaff cert can be added, so instead of distrupting locked missiles, you prevent locking altogether for a short period of time.
  18. ESF was a term made up by the community, if I equip rocket pods it is now an Empire Specific Fighter/Bomber.

    People need to stop trying to fit PS2 aircraft into a real aircraft's role. They are a unique gun platform, more of an apache than a fighter. Maybe in the future when they add in more aircraft, then we can have this, but until then.
  19. Way to miss my point entirely and concentrate on what i especially said is not the point in my post.
    • Up x 2
  20. Well they combine the best of choppers & jets without their weeknesses.

    Would like to see a minimum speed for being able to fire rocket pods, so you get more of a jet-like style of fighting ground targets instead of this chopper like low speed hovering.
    • Up x 2

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