Air Combat is too Difficult

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by urida, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. urida

    This may have already been addressed before and if so my apologies for the repeat.

    I've recently returned (at least for now) from a 3 year hiatus and I (re)noticed something that I feel is VERY strongly hurting the game. In fact years ago a large number of my friends quit or wouldn't try the game for this very reason. Air Combat is too hard. Flying is counter intuitive and aiming at the same time doubly so. Trying to fly on the continents is expensive and incredibly punishing. Its also the area where any attempt to impact a fight will lead to a clash with an experienced pilot, ending that experiment right quick. In short, its unimaginably difficult, expensive to try, and punishingly held by the skilled.

    Now I know a lot of you will say that I'm whining and/or I suck and/or I should just go and practice in VR etc. and you're not wrong. I do suck, in general at the game, and especially at air combat, no question about it. But I don't think that really changes anything. The required skill level to do any meaningful flying is way too high making it impossible for many players, even experienced ones. When you have a game that is meant to blend air, vehicle and infantry combat, locking out 1/3rd of the game can really ruin the experience. I hear more rage/despondency over air control than anything else, it just feels unfair.

    Alright I prob didn't write this post very well, but lets move on to what to do about it. At the risk of pissing off anyone who likes flying even more than I already have I think we need to completely rework the entire system. I'll be honest, I don't know what it should become, but I strongly feel it needs to be reworked so its mechanically easier/more intuitive. I also think it should be cheaper thereby making it easier to try and learn.

    Lemme know what you think, and if you think this is an issue worth talking about.
    • Up x 11
  2. chayne

    Flying is very hard because flight controls are terrible.
    • Up x 14
  3. UberNoob1337101

    I agree that something has to be done.

    Currently only VTOL combat+reverse maneuver is viable (as said many times before), and most other techniques are cool but mostly useless. If there was more depth and more possible variations (which would be suitable/intuitive to different kinds of players), then we'd probably see more ESFs in the sky. Shaking up the 5 year old air meta would be OK in my book.

    Libs, Gals and Valks are quite easy to pick up and have decent amount of depth, why wouldn't ESFs become the same is beyond me. They aren't really useful anymore, some of Lib's top tier weaponry got nerfed and Gal/Valk was always only a transport with some niche synergies. Making them more of a significant presence would be a step in the right direction IMO.

    It's also next to impossible to get good enough to contest some of the "pros", AKA the guys who camp the warpgate to stomp newbs so they can show off their E-dick. The fact that there are barely any spots to actually practice skills against equally skilled opponents without the fight being one-sided makes air combat almost impossible to master. I've heard people commenting that even though they know RM and have decent aim, as soon as they meet someone who knows what they're doing it's GG, which is a pretty clear sign that there should be a better way for pilots to hone their skills.

    It's a bit off-topic, but I'm also super pissed that AA got nerfed, Skyguard got nerfed for no reason, Lock-on range got nerfed, MAX bursters feel a little weaker (?). This might be a move by DBG to push more players to try air combat instead of using AA to counter A2G, but considering that almost nothing changed in the skies means that there's something wrong with current air combat.
    Definitely make it easier to learn and master, but I'm torn about reworking air. On one side, what will probably happen is similar to post-CAI (most pilots leave). But then again, anyone who has been on this forum for a while knows that pilots are... special, not to mention their complete unwillingness to compromise and keep everything as-is with half ***** arguments. It's also a tiny sub-community currently, so hard to say. I'd like to keep them and give new pilots a better chance, but I dunno if that's possible.
    • Up x 9
  4. LodeTria

    If you're proposing a system wide reset then you should at least have some idea of what you want in return. Saying "make it ez" is nowhere near good enough. Asking for this and having no clue on what you want is dangerous and self destructive.
  5. adamts01

    A new pilot wanting to participate but finding no way to feel useful to the fight is a problem. And this is something Daybreak needs to know and address. This is a logical place to relay his predicament.
    • Up x 2
  6. Halkesh

    The problem about air combat is there are a HUGE step that depend on skill. If you take ground vehicles for example, in a 2 noob lightning vs1 pro lightning, the pro have a chance to win, but it's below 50%.
    On ESF, since noob are already fighting against the control, let alone the weird bullet tracer when you hover, etc. The 2 noob vs 1 pro end in a clear win for the pro who barely took damage.
    Add noob-unfriendly loadout idea and you have the current situation.

    I think the default loadout should be changed so new player have better chances to win air-to-air combat.
    Remove engagement radar as a passive and add it on utility slot
    Engagement radar is no longer blocked by stealth, but it's range is set to 150m at all ranks. Engagement radar now have a fire supression system, half effective than the current FS.
    Rank 1 give 12% over 5sec, CD of 60sec
    Rank 2 give 12% over 5sec, CD of 55sec
    Rank 3 give 12% over 5sec, CD of 50sec
    Rank 4 give 12% over 5sec, CD of 45sec
    150 meter radar range is no enough to spot everyone easily, but the range is long enough to warn you from enemy ESF diving on you, also it's enough to locate enemy ESF in a dogfight (also a big problem for new player). In other words : experienced ESF pilot won't need the engagement radar.

    This should resolve a part of the problems.
  7. adamts01

    Look at the problems.
    • Difficult controls and maneuvers: So have analog lock motors in hover, remove mouse acceleration, let mouse yaw.
    • Difficult to hit targets: Add a gun with a little more wiggle room but much lower dps. Either enough spread to land some hits, a tiny flak detonation range or a slight aim assist.
    • Loss of target during a duel: That's one you don't hear about much but I agree it could be improved by making stealth a variable number, not a hard counter, so it would only delay the amount of time the enemy stayed hidden once in range. Engagement radar could counter some stealth.
    • Expense of dying in the air/not enough pilots to being with: 1/2 cost A2A ESF. There aren't enough A2A to escort Libs, not enough A2A to attack enemy A2G, and not enough A2A to keep a broad diversity of skill in the air. There just aren't easy targets for new players to happen across.
    • Unbalanced Faciton AA: Lockdown bursters and Strikers.... No other faction has AA that comes close to matching TR. Plus they have the Mossy, which is arguably the best ESF in many ways, the Scythe only has it beat in duels and anti-armor. It's ridiculous really.
    • The NC Factor: I had to throw this in there. Fix the Reaver.
    • Up x 2
  8. Icehole1999

    I put some certs into the Mosquito when I first started, because normally I'm a total boss at games with air combat. Being an effective combat pilot is hard in PS2.
    I inverted the flight controls and the whole experience improved somewhat, but not enough to justify wasting more certs.

    Fastest way to improve the air game would be to remove fire suppression and any type of auto repair.
    • Up x 1
  9. Lucidius134

    Make fire suppression like it is for every other vehicle at the very least?

    Make people land on fire like we did in beta
  10. Pikachu

    Found this twitter thing.
    • Up x 1
  11. adamts01

    Fire suppression is insane on ESFs, and there's really zero excuse for it to be double what every other vehicle gets. Fire suppression should put health at just above fire level on every vehicle, not this mess we have.

    I do love in flight repair though, and I'd be fine with every vehicle getting that ability if driven by an Engineer if that's what it took to make ground happy. In the air especially, you're constantly getting plinked from hexes away, and you can't just hop out and touch up your health like ground can, so I support Aircraft Synergy.
    • Up x 1
  12. strikearrow

    Sorry the problem for noobs is not engagement radar, it is stealth. I've heard there is a bug where lvl 1 stealth gives lvl 5 permanent stealth benefits right now, but I haven't tested it and I think the guy who told was a hacker actually, but who knows.

    Remove stealth from the air completely, make aircraft much louder and give everybody an auto spot on aircraft within 300m with ESFs getting free auto spot for enemy aircraft at 600m. Remove reverse maneuver completely and instead just give an all stop/ auto hover. Give ESFs and skyguards aim assist target box that tells you where to put the bullets for the selected weapon against any visible targets - like many air games provide. With those changes, pro v. 2 noobs is going to be a close fight.
  13. adamts01

    This sounds great. I love my variable radar signature idea, but admit the programming might be too much for Daybreak. This would be infinitely better than what we have and could be put in game tomorrow.

    Be realistic. The game has been out 5 years, you can't just say "**** it" and completely change the way air combat works. This could work, but it would have had to been tested in beta and implemented from the beginning. It would be like removing hip fire and adding a stamina bar for infantry. You just can't change a game that much 5 years down the road.
    • Up x 1
  14. Towie

    It's been mentioned many many times.

    It hasn't altered anything.

    I doubt it ever will.

    Sad but true :(
    • Up x 1
  15. Tovarisch Maxim

    I agree about flying is too hard.

    Atleast in battlefield games I have many key binding options, Planetside 2 lacks it.
    • Up x 3
  16. SixNineFour

    I think a good change would be to remove aircraft stealth completely and change engagement radar similar to how motion spotters worked. Only showing targets that move above a certain speed or fire a weapon or afterburner.
  17. iPervy

    Thing that helped me the most in flying is binding the mouse controls of veering up and down to my side mouse buttons. Makes flying infinitly more viable. No way I could play with the controls by default haha. Also bind the veering left/right to other keys which also helps a lot but took a lot of VR time to get used to.

    That all said though flying definitely is hard, but honestly not to sure what changes that can be made to make it easier with the current engine of the game. To me it really is a matter of alot of hard-on practice in VR then trial and error (and nanites) in actual play. Also watching lots of videos on cheap-ish maneuvers as well, but man that's incredibly taxing learning curve. On a side note, flying the Reaver and trying to be competitive in the air is terrible compared to the other factions.
  18. Halkesh

    Yes you can, it's called a rework.
    People knew you couldn't allow infantry to stay alive after being hit by a tank shell.
    League of legend reworked it's IG currency and made runes free.

    If it add good things to the game, there are no reason it couldn't be done (and with my first example you can see you don't even need to add a good thing to the game to allow such rework).

    Probably a hacker or a liar since the only stealth rank 5 that exist is sunderer only. ;)
    I can't agree more with your idea suggestion. Lock-for-accuracy system are a great idea. Same for radar/stealth changes.
    But about the reverse maneuver, can you develop ? If ESF have realistic aerial maneuver, how do you land without crashing ?
  19. strikearrow

    Well max rank stealth then I guess. It has been so long since I maxed it that I can't recall how many lvls it is ;p.

    Instead of reverse, the ESF just stops and hovers immediately, it does not move backwards i.e. reverse while facing forward. ESFs already defy physics (can anybody say stall), that it shouldn't matter that 1 button just stops it in midair, after maybe a 1/2 second slow down period, where it can rotate but never actually move in reverse or sideways. It would take another 1/2 second to begin accelerating again.

    The reverse maneuver is a bastardization of physics in that an ESF can rotate 180 degrees at high speed, while continuing in its original direction of travel and not stall. It's almost like they want us to think we're flying in space and away from any form of gravity.

    That way an ESF would have 2 options for A2G, direct flying attack - even slow or full stop. If it stops, then it's very vulnerable to AA and if not then it has only a limited amount of time before it has to either exit the area or come to a full stop. It can't keep doing the reverse maneuver or variations of it to stay on target constantly while being hard to hit/predict.
  20. Silkensmooth

    Leave air alone. The game is 5 years old. Why should Daybreak change the game to suit one group of people while completely alienating another?

    Every empire has an air platoon, and if there isn't one when you are on, just invite other pilots.

    If you are in a group then you can hang back and attack targets your group mates are engaged with.

    You can swap ESF with a friend and duel without weapons lock.

    The nearly limitless skill ceiling for flying is what gives it replay value. You can ALWAYS improve your aim or your evasive maneuvers.

    If everything is easy then it becomes very boring. If practice and skill don't make a difference then there is no reason to do it. Skill DEFINITELY counts as Infantry or a Tank. Go fight some of the better players as a new player and you are going to win just as much as you do in the air.

    This was my first fps game and i think i died 3k times before i got one kill as infantry.

    Another tip, ask the people who kill you for tips. Most pilots are happy to help. Its really not that much fun killing noobs, i'm happy to help anyone who asks in order to help others enjoy the wonderful air game in PS2 as well as hopefully eventually have some fun fights with good pilots.

    Everyone starts out bad at flying. It's hard and that's what makes it so great when you see yourself improving. You die a lot, until one day you find someone who isn't as good as you, and then another and another, and pretty soon you notice that most people aren't as good as you.
    • Up x 3