Air units - manuverability, vision & cues

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Zan_Aus, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Zan_Aus

    I think after having played PS2 for a while now I've decided why I hate air power so much and see it as being so ridiculously OP. I play mainly as infantry (yes I know).

    Unlike others I don't really hate the weapons, I don't really dislike being blown to pieces by a Zephyr or Dalton, air power is always meant to be a deliverer of heavy ordinance be it in game or real life (although I do think rocket packs have too perfect a spread, they need to be more random, and inaccurate in their spread pattern). I think there could be less aircraft easily available (and Liberators less durable) but even this isn't the problem.

    What I do hate is that they have removed the factors that limit aircraft in both real life and other more sane games which contain more balanced air power. These factors are primarily:

    1) Maneuverability - In the hands of a decent pilot an ESF is more nimble than an infantry man or Flash. You can't run like a jack-rabbit amongst laneways and buildings keeping to cover in the hope of out-smarting the pilot. He doesn't have to do a bombing run, he just reverse-tilt-hovers over you and can reorient himself as quickly as you can. I was being chased by an ESF the other day while I was on a Flash weaving through some very tight canyons at top speed, didn't matter he just spiraled after me nose tilted down and blew me away as quickly as if I'd been standing still out in the open.

    2) Vision - You can't hide, you can't fold yourself down in some crevice in the rock and watch him pass by, he sees your red triangle even before he's reached weapon lock-on range and just sprays your area.

    3) Cues - there is usually zero warning of an imminent air attack, the planes are so quiet compared to engine or combat noise that often the first warning you will have is the death loading screen.

    There are some other issues like rocket launchers being useless etc but that's easily fixed.

    One of the big things the maneuverability problem does is eliminate any sort of commitment by the pilot. Things get dicey? No problems, peel off and be behind a mountain before anyone can respond, or do your run and rabbit around the nearest mesa avoiding all return fire. In a Liberator this combined with their sheer durability means you are doing it wrong if you die to anything but a pack of other planes.

    No such thing as a bombing run where the enemy have time to prepare, just pop over that mountain behind them nose down and pop off a blast. In a balanced game or real life the pilot would either have to fire from a long way out and get massive spread (a la bombing) or get in close (strafing) and risk his safety.

    This same maneuverability problem applies to a lesser degree to tanks, any tank can spin its turret almost as fast as a player can turn and certainly faster than a player can cover more than 10 feet running.

    I see a lot of complaint threads from pilots wanting render fixes for MAXs fixed and too be honest I think this is the wrong way to go. I think a lot of the infantry problem could be significantly addressed if they made infantry triangle markers invisible to planes (and smaller degree tanks) beyond certain quite limited ranges. This would allow infantry to hide and force a commitment from the pilot to fly real low to visually pick them out.

    The other is just a basic, significant reduction in turning speed on turrets of tanks and banking/turning of planes (also make it less practical to reverse hover). If tanks can't turn turrets quickly they will be hesitant to enter clumps of buildings/canyons/trees because if they get caught by infantry at point blank range then the infantry will rip them up with RPGs (same as real life today). If I meet a plane tank in a built up, urban environment then I have a better than even chance of getting away.

    While I know there are larger meta problems with resources and so forth, if you made the above two changes, as infantry I'd feel like I had a fighting chance to stay alive and, when in large numbers have a realistic chance of retaliation via SA missiles etc.
  2. Hamakua

    Battle Rank 65 ESF pilot here.

    I took the time to write out my perspective on each of your issues but upon reading your post a second time I realized this would be a better response.

  3. Zan_Aus

    While he's doing it slightly differently (spiraling runs rather than hovering)I think that video shows the literally risk free play that comes from the insane maneuverability of the aircraft. The NV is just a top off, no chance to hide.
  4. Kid Gloves

    Actually, what he is doing is primarily all the things you mentioned aircraft should do: strafing runs, not hovering in place, having to use his vehicle with skill. It's a lot harder than it looks; try it some time and see how easy it is to keep the crosshair on even a static target.

    I suspect the reason he's doing this is because he doesn't fancy being shot by HAs, AA MAXes, tanks, etc. A Lightning with the AP cannon can fairly reliably shoot a hovering ESF. It's a new sport of mine. So can HAs with dumbfire rockets. The fact that in this video no-one did was probably because it was a) part of a combined arms fight (did you see all the friendly infantry?) and b) the enemy weren't bothering with any kind of AA.

    Does AA need a buff? Yes, I think it does. Especially the Skyguard. Does AA need a massive buff because it is totally useless right now? No, not at all. AA is currently effective - its main problems are its a little hard to use, it gives next to no rewards aside from the satisfaction of a job well done and in the case of the Skyguard or Dual Burster it completely ***** you from performing any other role.

    AA still kills ESFs, though. Good pilots are harder to kill because, y'know... good pilots. Thankfully, for every good pilot there's 2-3 crap ones. At least.


    ESFs can be shot by regular infantry weapons and take damage. I've killed an ESF with my MANA turret. He was a scrub, sure, but he still died.
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  5. Dingus148

    I'd personally like to see FASTER ESFs...while this means more fun/maneuverability for pilots, it also makes strafing runs more difficult. Hovering ESFs are a joke though, I'd like to see that gone. They should operate either as helicopters or jets, not both (in my opinion). Jets seems like it would be more fun, and would give the lib the coveted ground-attack role.

    On the spotting note, I'd like to see a change there, perhaps with infantry (esp. infiltrators) being the ones who can spot targets for everyone else. There seems to be another thread for that discussion though, so 'nuff said here.
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  6. Zan_Aus

    See, that I agree with, make the ESF's more like jets, up the speed, make them more fun, like canyon running at Mach1 but reduce the hover and ability to farm troops. It would make dogfighting more interesting, or at least more adrenaline fueled.