Why playing Anti-Air is a horrible experience

Discussion in 'Vehicle Discussion' started by Oddzball, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. So i finally sucked it up and bought the dual burster max.

    It was nice to be able to scare away every aircraft onthe battlefield in my mighty range.
    BUT thats about it.

    I have never had such a thankless unrewarding role.

    Lemme tell you how my 3 hour dual Bustermax session went.

    First off, I only died a few times due to rocket pods(No big surprise there) in 3 hours.

    Now for the rest of the experience, it was pretty much alll bad.

    Basically I was rolling around with a tank zerg that was taking points all over Amerish. They would roll up on a base, i would pop out of a sunder, and start laying waste ot the enemy aircraft in the area. Now to worthless ineffective point #1;

    In 3 hours I got 1 (Yes ONE) actual aircraft kill, and 25 assists. Hardly productive for certs, when I could have easily made more just rolling around in a tank or as an engi.

    I constantly ran out of ammo, and the damn engineers where to busy playing around in a circle healing tanks to bother giving me anymore. Which meant I got to make the fun trek to a sunder to rearm EVERY damn time I needed ammo.

    Oh and the BEST part? I was providing air cover for half the damn convoy(The other half was covered by a Skyguard) and I will be damned if some SOB in a Sunder for NO reason decided he wanted to make his completely EMPTY vehicle squad only and kick me out in the middle of nowhere, halfway to the next base. Which sucked as a MAX because it took forever to get anywhere on foot.

    The dual burster max is effective and accurate at keeping enemy aircraft out of the sky.(As long as you learn that you literally need to lead aircraft THREE screen inches) by like It honestly does a great job.
    I find it IRONIC that its actually BETTER than the Skyguard.

    But what is the incentive to wasting 3 hours as Anti-Air? I would have gotten FAR more certs and EXP as pretty much anything else.

    A few other problems? The ESF has to much damn health. If I empty a WHOLE CLIP into a ESF because he is hovering somewhere like a ****, he should be going down. that's 50+ rounds they can absorb, and still fly away. Ridiculous.

    In summary, it was a fun, somewhat frustrating at times, experience, but for the most part unrewarding. And that's the major problem with Anti-Air.
    • Up x 16
  2. Basically playing anti-air is like being the towel boy on a football team.

    You provide a much needed service, for little reward and almost no recognition, but SOMEONE has to do it.
    • Up x 10
  3. This a major problem with the state of ESFs currently in game. They are actually tougher than the MBTs in game.
    • Up x 11
  4. Fly a galaxy for a while. An AA MAX would make you rich by comparison.


    If you get into one thinking that, someone will have a fun time smearing you and your plane over half a hex of terrain.
    • Up x 1
  5. Hah! True, Galaxy pilots have it the worst when you think about it.
  6. Yup, that's absolutely true. The only cool thing I ever had with a burster max was yesterday: 5 other Other Burster Maxes teamed up with me at a tech plant and shot down all aircraft that came there. We were overwhelmed by the aircraft at the end, but until they got us we killed quite many of them or scared them away. Still, AA needs to get a buff and Burster MAXes need to get a reward based on the damage they do, not the kills.
    • Up x 3
  7. I think that would be fair.
    • Up x 1
  8. I feel your pain.

    I always adapt to fit the unfilled role in any situation. As a result, I end up AA gunning a LOT. Not much Exp to be had for such an essential job.

    Maybe all I do is "scare away" aircraft sometimes, but every second they are running scared is another second that they AREN'T strafing our troops, damnit!
    • Up x 1
  9. Worst part is that all of the following count as an assist at best:
    • Pilot plows himself into the ground when he's about to die
    • Pilot ejects from his plane when it's on fire
    • The plane's fire deals the final bit of damage (this happens all the time)
    • Pilot deconstructs his plane when it's about to die
    You're lucky if 1 in 10 planes that you shoot down actually give you kill credit for both the plane and the pilot. As shallow as it sounds that's a really lame feeling and it makes the role very unsatisfying. Just imagine how much whining we'd see on the forums if ESFs were just powerful enough to 'scare away' armor and infantry instead of actually being able to kill anything. Nobody would fly them.
    • Up x 2
  10. Yeah, AA can be really fun when your faction needs it desperately and you've got a nice setup on an aerial vehicle pad with other bursters and some engi support but the XP payout is abysmal.

    I was doing exactly that a few days ago and I was even having fun despite the fact air can more or less escape at will whenever they feel like it but after 45 minutes I noticed I had only gained 6 cert points so I quit to go roll armor and play HA with the occasional AI/AV MAX deployment.

    It's very sad that I can have fun doing something but feel pressured to quit because I'm not making any progress on cert points :(
  11. It takes 3 of the stock rockets found on the base HA class to kill a stock MBT.

    It takes 5 Grounder Missiles to kill a ESF.

    Or just shy of 100 rounds from a Skyguard.
    • Up x 2
  12. Thats EXACTLY the point I was trying to make.
  13. It's no fun at all, you play your part in the war machine and expect to get paid, but what you actually get is more trips to the resupply than kills or assists. Personally if i could i would drop every cert and 2nd burster arm bought and plow it into either Air or Tank warfare, its the only viable class choice.
  14. Long story short;

    This EXP problem is going to result in a lot of people who WANT to play support instead frontlining and ESFing like all the high BR "pros".

    The most vital and depth-granting roles in the game have no reward, and so no one will play them, and so combat will have no depth.
    • Up x 5
  15. I played a dual burster for a few hours defending a tech plant last night, a few thoughts:

    It's super difficult to hit ESFs moving laterally because the weapon explosion radius and range is not that great. They move so fast and with such great maneuverability that it is difficult to lead them at medium - long distance. Generally I was doing damage and getting a decent amount of assists but only killing bad ESF pilots or liberators who got too close to the base. I understand there is a delicate balance between aircraft effectiveness and AA, and I think generally AA defence of bases is fairly balanced - bad pilots get killed, good pilots can almost always get away unless they are under concentrated fire.

    The problem is that AA MAXs are absolutely terrible in the open and on the attack - they move slowly, are big fat targets, and are almost helpless against vehicles and heavy infantry with rockets. The skyguard is awful. We need AA that is effective in the open, and the skyguard should be fixed so it can adequately fill that role. People are complaining about weak AA now - wait until the majority switch from **** flyers with the vanilla machine gun to rocket armed veterans (that aren't randomly crashing because the default controls are so whacky). You can already see this a bit - good pilots are able to very quickly kill MBTs and other vehicles with rockets to the vulnerable rear hitbox, and then zoom away with very little risk. That said, I am not advocating for an aircraft nerf. I think the issue can be fixed by other means.

    My suggestions:
    1) Increase XP from killing / assisting on ESFs and Liberators. As it is, I don't think I was getting much more than what I would get for an infantry kill. We need some incentive for people to play as AA since it is a dedicated role, and for the speed of the game AA kills are few and far between.
    2) Buff the Skyguard so it actually worth using.
    3) Several times I saw a liberator crew brazenly land their aircraft in plain sight and repair it faster than i could damage it. That is BS, needs to be fixed, and it is a problem with ground vehicles, (usually sunderers) too.
    4) You should not be able to drop pod redeploy onto enemy facility roofs. Light infantry jump jets or gal drops are fine.
  16. Your skyguard is broken. Also, the base rockets do more damage because they're unguided. The guided AT launcher also does less damage compared to that.

    Probably because to 'scare away' a less mobile unit, you basically have to be unable to kill it, ever. AA only 'scares away' aircraft because if they didn't run, they'd be dead.

    It amazes me that argument ever passes from mind to keyboard without being deleted out of shame.
  17. You're completely missing the point. The point is that kind of gameplay is not fun, the analogy was only made to try to get pilots who don't use AA to see why it's not fun.
  18. I think I can sum up the problem with ESFs in one statement.

    They dont even fight each other anymore because its easier to kill ground targets than another ESF.
    • Up x 1
  19. This entire game suffers from the fact that vehicle kills aren't really highly rewarded. Just chew up masses of infantry, you'll have a fantastic KDR, craploads of certs, and contribute absolutely nothing to the fight, but hey, certs.
    • Up x 1
  20. There's a bit of a disconnect between both sides. AA guys want kills, they want credit for the work they're doing. It's completely understandable. However, most of the time they don't see things from the pilots point of view either.

    They want G2A F&F Launchers and AA Maxes more effective against aircraft, the issue here is that they're infantry. They're 1. Invisible at range, and 2. easily accessible. They also have long engagement ranges. Imagine how frustrating it would be as a pilot to get constantly killed by enemies that are everywhere- that you never see, because that's how it would be - how it was.

    Yes these are issues in the game engine itself, but they shouldn't be dismissed as such. They have a real and serious impact on gameplay. Infantry based AA should be nothing more than deterrence, at least until they've figured out a method of allowing a uniform engagement range on both sides.

    I readily admit that Vehicular based AA is extremely lacking at the moment. Infantry based AA has all of their strength, with none of their weaknesses. Hell, a MAX can take more of a beating from its target than a Skyguard can. That's just wrong on so many levels. I'd like to see Vehicular based AA platforms expanded in both power and adding new options, and infantry based AA diminished until the software can handle proper engagements between the two. Giving an AA based score bonus for dealing damage but not getting kills would also be a nice addition, even when vehicles are given proper firepower.

    As it stands, while the air to ground is as "balanced" as it has ever been, it's not a healthy relationship. It's leaving much to be desired on both sides. Pilots hate being torn apart by things they cannot see or defend against, G2A hates feeling useless with no real reward.

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