Hello, Currently there is a massive discussion, rage, fuss, arguing, face-palming, and tweaking of vehicle mechanics across the board to better balance the combined arms aspect of Planetside 2. Originally I was going to make this a thread about revamping the common pool Lightning. However, there was some things I thought of that could be considered for other vehicles as well in Planetside 2. Keep in mind these are all my opinions, and suggestions. Creative,constructive feedback is welcomed.The goal of my suggestions is to address the excessive armor spam associated primarily with zergs, the explosive ordinance encountered by infantry from vehicles, and provide a better experience for vehicle combat and utilization. BE WARNED THIS IS A PRETTY LENGTHY READ - BUT NOT TO BUZZCUT's DEGREE THE GENERAL FEATURES Games of Planetside nature boast, advertise the essence of team work in their games. However, these games always seem to overlook areas that can greatly utilize team-play. With that being said, I am an advocate of Vehicle Crews. Essentially vehicles being more set up like the Sunderer, driver (charged with driving and maneuvering the vehicle), and gunners (charged with aiming and firing the assorted weapon systems). This methodology can be applied to ESFs (Pilots and Co-Pilots), MBTs and Lightnings (Tank Driver (Commander), Gunner). Galaxies, Liberators, and Sunderer's already utilize this methodology; I don't see why the rest of the vehicles in the game can't utilize it. Now before you ESF pilots flip out, let me expound a bit. ESFs (Empire Specific Fighters) First, pilots just want have nothing to do beside flying around and maneuvering the aircraft, they should also have control over the nose gun. While the co-pilot main job is to operate any secondary weapons (rocket pods, a2a missiles) and countermeasures (flares, fire suppression system). In addition to, I think a new role for the ESF should be investigated/trialed - Scout VSTOL (Vertical/Short Takeoff Landing). It would be very cool for the ESF to have a block (loadout/setup) in which it could operate as a UH-6 Little Bird. It would come with jump seats to sit up to four passengers (who can fire their weapons), and could provide a nice fast reaction team that could assault outpost. In turn, when the ESF drops off the passengers it can stay to provide air cover with whatever weapon systems it has equipped - nose guns and missiles/rockets of choice. With that being said I think in addition to the ESFs having rocket pods, and air to air missiles, I think it would be only fair or right for them to have air to ground missiles (with lock on capability). In all, the ESF would serve a CAS role - Close Air Support of either Anti-Infantry, Anti-Armor - a Fighter role - engaging enemy air units - or a Scout VSTOL role - inserting infantrymen for raids. MBTs (Main Battle Tanks)The Vehicle Crew of a MBT would consist of three people. The driver (commander) - who unfortunately would control no gun. The main gunner who would control the main cannon and coaxial. The secondary gunner who would control the secondary turret. Weapon systems - in particular the main weapon systems and their munitions is where I am gonna receive some major hate, but here we go. Currently we have HEAT (default), AP, and HE. Vehicle enthusiasts for the common infantry man HEAT and HE are the bane of their existence primarily due to the one hit kill potential and the excessive barrage that is unleashed upon them from multiple vehicles. Because of this I think the main cannons of MBTs should be streamlined into the following options. HEAT should remain default, being a good anti armor and anti infantry solution, but not excelling in either one. AP, which essentially is KEP (Kinetic Energy Penetrator) or APFSDS (Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot) should stay as the pure anti armor solution. And instead of HE, Beehive or Canister Shot should be introduced. The utilization of Beehive/Canister Shot would remove the ability for MBTs to sit off at a distance and suppress infantry with overwhelming amounts of high explosive fire. Furthermore, it would force anti infantry vehicle blocks to get in close to make their shots count. Hence giving the infantry man a more surviving chance. It would also cut down on the amount of shells flying into key building in which controls points are located. If SOE must give out refunds for those that do not wish to accept the replacement of HE for Canister Shot, then I think it needs to happen. For currently most infantry players if they are to effectively survive in this game - the key suit slot to certify is Flak armor. And I personally am here to state that there are some other suit slots that I think are pretty ******* useful (primarily the bandoliers). But if you are a scrub, noob, whatever you what to address yourself as, why on Earth would you certify any bandolier out when Flak armor or Nanoweave provide you with much more survivability (which is much more important than carrying couple extra grenades, mines, c4s, or rockets). In addition to, the main turret should come with a coaxial machine gun gun for engaging soft target. Not only would this provide more chance of survival for an infantry man, but it would also provide better ammunition management. For the main cannon would be used primarily engaging other armor (unless you are using Canister Shot) and the coaxial would be used for infantry. Also the Canister Shot would be highly effective against greedy ESFs. LIGHTNINGSThese bad boys need a complete overall in my honest opinion. Here is what I have in mind. The Lightnings are meant to be the fast nimble hit and run vehicles that do have some armor. If you look at current military armaments you will see there are three sets of vehicles the Lightnings can adequately fill the roles: IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), Tank Destroyer, Anti Air. The vehicle crew for the Lightning would be two man. One driver, and one gunner. At default the main cannon could be a 30mm - 40mm HEAT auto-cannon. That just like the MBT's HEAT is good at anti-armor and anti-infantry but not great at both or one over the armor. And comes with a coaxial machine gun for engaging soft targets (infantry). First, the IFV Variant. The main turret for this variant should be a 30 mm non explosive auto-cannon or a single shot 50mm Canister Shot. That comes with a coaxial machine gun. Furthermore, I think the vehicle should have a ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) launcher for engaging MBTs and other Lightnings. However the ATGM would do diddly squat to infantry. Second, the Tank Destroyer. The main turret for this variant would be a 105mm cannon that fire AP - KEP or APFDS - rounds. It would come with a coaxial machine gun and an ATGM or better yet an ATacMS (Army Tactical Missile System) also known as an SSM (Surface to Surface missile). Third, the Anti Air. Skyguard needs to be reworked. Instead of just a flak spewing quad barreled auto cannon, what if we had a 25mm gatling gun in conjunction with dual guided missiles for SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense). Essentially the main gatling gun would be the range gun and the guided missiles would be the extremely close engagements alternative. With these variants, the turrets could be given faction specific touches. For instance, the TR IFV turret and AA turret can be more in the style of gatling guns, while the NC turrets are more like reciprocating cannons, and the Vanu turrets are spewing non bursting and bursting plasma. In the end, excessive vehicle spawning would be cut down do to the required man power needed. Excessive explosive shelling would be cut down do the combined replacement of HE with Canister Shot, and fewer vehicles. And vehicle loadouts would be more diverse, challenging, and team oriented. Just to be clear all countermeasure, utilities, performance slots and what not would remain the same, except for the fact that all tanks would have a complete composite armor package (like the Sunderer's Blockade Armor) - not just front, side, or top (that's just silly, especially since you are sacrificing mine guard protection). Your constructive feedback is highly welcomed. These are just some thoughts I had to better the combined arms aspect of Planetside 2. On another note, tell me what you guys would think of a self propelled mortar vehicle for indirect fire support (it could be an MBT or Lightning variant).