Anti-Air: Easy or Not?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Abraham with Cheese, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Abraham with Cheese

    I have been a proponent of AA from the very beginning, recalling the horrors of the Lolpod Apocalypse I survived so long ago. Yet, all I see on the forums is everyone hating on aircraft or anyone who so much as dares to question the might of the Skynights has reasonable cause for concern about the might of Planetside 2 pilots and their gunners.

    I can't fly in this game, not due to a lack of skill, but because my current gaming rig cannot handle it (laptop, and not a very good one at that): my FPS takes a dump whenever I leave the ground for the open skies, so I tend to stay where I am of use, on the ground. As such, I have learned to become very, very proficient with AA rocket launchers, not only against aircraft, but also against turrets, vehicles, and even enemy soldiers at ranges outside CQC.

    2 shots will down most ESFs, unless they have equipped something otherwise to increase their health. Many Liberators flee like wusses whenever even one of my rockets hits them: after the 2nd or 3rd, they really high-tail it out of there. Pilots do not like to admit it, but they are afraid of our rockets, which happen to be perfectly balanced.

    I honestly do not understand why people always whine about AA. I mean, yeah, sure, a 2/3 or 3/3 Liberator coming at you with Tankbuster, Dalton and Bulldog can be very frustrating to counter in practically anything, or an ESF that just won't go away, but come on guys, it's really quite easy. Here's the steps to counter all AA in the game.

    1. Gain enough certs to buy your faction's AA rocket launcher

    2. Go to where there is enemy air

    3. Lock on and shoot at them, preferably from some sort of cover or in the midst of many allies

    4. Rinse and repeat until they fly off or are dead. If they kill you, respawn and repeat steps 1-3: easier for you to respawn and shoot at them some more than for them to be shot down, go to the right base, spawn a new vehicle (if they have the nanites, so if not they have to wait), and then pilot it back to that same fight, all the while avoiding enemy aircraft and other AA.

    5. If they will not leave you alone (following you, target the landing pad at your biolab, etc), get some fellow soldiers to help you take care of the problem, or just leave the fight.

    I know this is a really simple generalization, but I'd like to hear your point of view: am I totally wrong, or is there some truth to my statement?
    • Up x 3
  2. Imp C Bravo

    The thing is AA is easy to use. It literally requires bottom of the barrel skill. It is inexpensive cert wise. And any 3 or more people using it can kick any vehicle except the Gal out of the skys.

    However, it isn't rewarding, and it requires people to work together. Too things that take effort. People don't like effort. And more to the point, if they put in the effort and can't get any help it won't work. That's the big issue with AA. Even if you are keen on doing the job, you may not find others willing to work with you, and then you can't kill anything alone (all you can do alone is pull a skyguard or burster and just deter air -- which will work with just 1 person can do vs all but the upper echelon of pilots.)

    That feeling of helplessness (when in fact they are quite powerful when they get 1-3 friends) makes people cry on the forums.
    • Up x 4
  3. Pelojian

    no the real issue is cost for cost the ESF is more powerful all round even against it's supposed counter, if one skyguard had a good chance of killing a good esf pilot then it would boil down to which side brought coordinated people and force multipliers to win.

    skyguard should be a hard counter to ESFs considering it is highly specialized and the ESF is a generalist at worse and specialist at best.

    AA that costs as much as an esf and has half the weaponry, less speed should destory an ESF, if the ESf wants to win then it should bring a teammate and work together, same for a skyguard against a liberator or a skyguard against 2 ESFs.

    at the moment it costs more in resources and teamwork to beat one ESF with it's counter. ESFs don't want to have to use teamwork around a couple of AA sources they just want to farm kills and when too much aa is present they go pick on a small fight like a bully.
    • Up x 7
  4. Imp C Bravo

    I've never seen an ESF take a skyguard 1 v 1. I have seen multiple ESFs murdered by 1 skyguard....
  5. Obstruction

    the complaints around here are primarily stat-padder KDR and SPM complaints: 1. doesn't score enough points, 2. doesn't get enough kills.

    granted, if you are a pilot and know how air units move, and when they are vulnerable, you can get many kills with AA. or if you just practice it a lot, you will get good at securing the kill as one of many sources of damage, or at catching the airunits when they slip up on their egress. that mostly covers complaint 2 under learning to play or more generally, getting good with a particular weapon or at a particular matchup.

    but that first argument, that's the one i really sink my teeth into. people feel it doesn't get enough points, so they just get farmed by air units while trying to do whatever does get points, and then complain to get air nerfed via forum spam later. they do this rather than what basically amounts to playing the objective by using whatever means is required to clear the air and win the battle, take the point, whatever. no, they don't want to play that objective because it's boring to be a vigilant AA player, because it doesn't score points.

    what really gets me about this line of reasoning is that these are almost invariably the same guys who complain that air units don't seek to play the objective, and kick their platoon members (even infantry) for not blindly following the waypoint into a situation that both kills them and seeks no score towards leveling up.

    everyone else is supposed to give up their score and kdr to win the struggle of the planetmans, so are AA players.
  6. Matt0193

    It's a horrible circle, there's very little new blood taking to the skies because they're not given the opportunity to learn effectively, Infantry/Armour needs effective AA because without it Air just dominates, because it's so relatively easy to use, the less experienced pilots are fodder and just get trashed by it while the more experienced fliers just shoot off to another base rendering the AA that's just been pulled useless.

    It doesn't help that AA is the least rewarding activity you can do, usually the least SPM, usually a low KDR unless you hit the jackpot and get a couple of full libs rather than endless assists and it's generally wasted after a minute, which means people only tend to do it if it's an absolutely necessity.

    It's only a real problem when there's 4-5 Burster MAXes at a Tower scaring off all the Air, but then how is that any different to Lancers/Vortex/Ravens/Phoenixes/AV Turrets doing the same to Armour from cliffs?
  7. Pelojian

    Hornets can kill a skyguard if the user is careless or surprised while shooting at another air target. hornets do get me every once and a while but they tend to fail against me alot also. i just pelt their cockpit with flak and advance or reverse when they are attacking from the side (i position my skyguard's side to face their likely direction of attack)

    I only get kills from coordinated fire against air, damaged air retreating or inexperienced pilots that haven't mastered attacking and retreating with haste and precision.
  8. AlterEgo

    If I could change aircraft in any way in this game, I'd model them sort of like BF. They are fast, they can wreck, but A SINGLE rocket, and they're down. Glass cannons with a good bit of speed, if you will. Tired of landing a nice shot with my dumbfire only to have a skynight run away and activate nano-repair; I want to see them go BOOM!
    • Up x 1
  9. Imp C Bravo

    See, everything you said in here is intelligent and implies both skill and forethought. It is a strike contrast to what you said here with:

    You stated that ESFs are more powerful than skyguards, then go on to say that you kick ESFs off unless they surprise you. That really makes me go, "huh?" You have a weapon designed to stop Air, and say it stops air, but go on to say it isn't good enough? o_O

    I am fairly sure flak is not supposed to kill a plane strait out. You may want it to, but this is a war game. It is not about our individual KDs or Score. It is about helping your team win. Your skyguard kicks Air out of the area stopping them from farming your armor. Sounds to me like skyguards work :eek:

    As a pilot I will tell you, skyguards work. They kick us out of the air all the time forcing us to stop attacking your armor and either stay away if there is more than 2 of you, or try to sneak up on you if there is 1 of you. Either way, we are out of the fight not helping our team anymore.

    I will admit that the exp gain for g2a damage seems a tad low. Y'all should get rewarded more for the team play. However this wierd mentality of "I have a weapon designed to kill something, I should get the kill" is ridiculous. Infantry has weapons designed to kill armor. Just because a guy with a lock on RL starts shooting at your skyguard does not mean he deserves to kill you. By saying that Skyguards, since they are designed to kill air, should kill Air easily, you are ALSO arguing that HAs and rocket launchers should be able to kill armor easily.

    Imagine that, were only 2 rockets kills a lightning or MBT, how much armor would you see on the ground ever? Same for skyguards and air.
  10. JohnGalt36

    AA = Titan-150AP
    • Up x 6
  11. Pelojian

    It's a wargame and any weapon that should kill and isn't very effective breaks that. so what if i scare off an ESF? a minute later he's repaired and ether back in my hex or farming a hex with low population. when you kill a tank or an infantryman you end their killing and will delay the tank due to resource meanwhile if you deter an ESF they are out of fighting for a couple of minutes at most and by the time you kill them they can pull another.

    when you kill a tank the force the enemy can employ in that hex is reduced, when you deter an aircraft it repairs and is fighting there or somewhere else and the force the enemy can employ is unchanged.

    the balance triangle is broken in favor of air and infantry AV. one skyguard should be able to destroy an ESF sicne every other weapon that isn't AA is designed to kill. if the AA is too numerous or too skilled you should bring friends to leverage force against skyguards.

    right now air dominates all and it's only weakness f you can call it that is other air, that is the core of broken balancing.

    Air should counter tanks.
    tanks should counter infantry and other tanks.
    AA should counter hard ESFs and require teamwork for libs and gals.
    infantry should counter tanks with numbers and teamwork.
    • Up x 1
  12. Imp C Bravo

    1. I addressed this directly in the last post. Yes, a kill is more effective at hurting the enemy forces -- however, any weapon that stop the enemy from killing your team is effective. So what if you scare off an ESF? If he comes back you kick him out again. And again. You gets points the whole time. More importantly -- they aren't killing your team.

    2. Flawed logic. Because it can't stay in your hex, even if it goes elsewhere, it can't be deployed where you are. That's the point. The forces the enemy can deploy in your hex have dropped -- literally dropped.

    3. This is where meaningful discussion can be had. We can discuss the situations and checks and balances here and come to fair compromised conclusions about the balance.

    Side note: You also forget that air can be fired on from more sources than ground. More people can target air simultaneously. Sure, 1 skyguard is going to scare off an ESF. However, it's not just 1 skyguard if your team is playing right. It's skyguards, burster maxes, sundies, and HAs. All of a sudden you guys are killing ALL the air. That's the point -- air is balanced around being the target from multiple sources. I have NEVER entered a fight EVER where only 1 guy took shots at me. That's when yall start killing.

    Double side note: There are still a few things I said that you did not address. Are you accepting my other points as correct or just ignoring them? If the former, how does that change your opinion? If the latter, can I direct you to Bill O'Reilly in the 'No hard Counter to air' thread.
  13. Pelojian

    kicking you out of a hex doesn't mean squat if you can fly over to another hex of my empire and prey on small fights locally you are no longer a threat and skyguard's only use around non-air is killing infantry at close range. strategically deterring an ESF doesn't reduce the enemy's strength compared to killing a tank or several.

    If they are not going to make AA more powerful then they should increase the XP gained per deterrence XP tick and lower the damage requirement per tick. if they can't reliably kill air which they have specialized to attack then they should at least be rewards to equivalent xp to killing an aircraft would give if air is deterred.

    as for the rocket part, skyguards cost resources to pull HAs don't cost squat if the XP rate for deterring is garbage and we have to pay resource equal to an ESF just for a small chance of killing an expert one why shouldn't we ask for a buff to ether damage or XP?

    air piles up certs hitting ground why shouldn't skyguard AA be able to do the same?
  14. 0fly0

    You must have nice pilot on your server...

    Have fun watching this, if you want next time i can show you how solo liberator don't give a **** about skyguard and how they kill them, it's even more ridiculous...

    Anyways for the op you must have nice pilot on your server too, on cobalt the only guys i take down with AA launcher are br 20, the launcher is garbage, the time you're able to "start locking" is generally the time when the esf shot, most of the time good pilot are already gone the time you lock, not to mention A2G pilot use stealth and flare, they also can make manoever that take down the lock system for some reason (detection bug) and you need to start over, (i can keep going on the broken mechanic of the actual lock on tell me if you want more) if after all that you manage to shot (good luck with that first when you stand for 10 sec like a ******) you can cross finger for not shooting a mountain, bases or everything else and if by luck you manage to touch it (because you need to touch him before he move under cover), the guy just fly away and repair...
    People hate it because they learn to use it and know that you can only use it on weak target, you probably love it because you're new and you manage to take down a few low br who are not aware of the lock on weakness.
    • Up x 2
  15. Imp C Bravo

    ANyone can pull AA instantly and cheaply (free actually.) 2 people can do it in any small fight and end the Air problem. ESFs being able to go 'pick on a small fight' is a failing on the people they are killing. Not poor game design.

    Those are some interesting videos. Yes, you have demonstrated the theoretical kill time of a2g on an ESF and provide evidence that Hornet missles may be OP.

    If you sneak up on something you kill it. If a tank sneaks up on an ESF they kill it. If an infantry sneaks up on an infantry it kills it. If anything sneaks up on anything it has a strong advantage (with the exception of ESFs vs large air like Gals.) I don't see the problem with that. You snuck up on them. Why should tanks be immune to dieing when someone sneaks up on them?

    However, you make a solid point about Hornet missles. We would have to look at the specifics of travel time, viability in situations when NOT snuck up on, viability in situations having snuck up on one thing but getting shot by other things (and what), versatility, etc.

    Point of note, skyguard didn't start shooting until you had already hit them. TTK is not 4 seconds. TTK is the second you start your attack run -- not when you start firing.

    And I would love to see some videos about skyguards vs libs.
  16. Demigan

    And just because they cry does not mean they don't have a point.
    Seeing that solo AA is horrid and can only deter, and is a complete target for any ground unit and often can be destroyed by the very aircraft it's designed to kill, it's a bad system. What makes it an even worse system is that if you do get 1-3 friends with you, your power and ability to kill rises exponentially faster than any other unit, which causes the aircraft in turn to cry. There is no middle ground, no place where it's balanced for both AA and aircraft. Which is why the entire AA system needs an overhaul. Less easy hits by reducing flak range and making it possible for aircraft to dodge a lock by maneuvering rather than just hiding behind rocks, and more accuracy and DPS to actually be able to kill aircraft in return. This would benefit both AA players and aircraft players, who would then be able to operate in AA heavy territory (the famous 96+ battles they claim they can't fight at).

    As for the OP, just because you have one (time consuming) weapon that works does not mean it's balanced or a good system. Besides, by the time you've chased away your second ESF the first one returns after repairs, and 99% of the ESF carries fire suppression anyway.
    • Up x 2
  17. Pelojian

    unless an ESF is flying high most of the time a lock on will just hit terrain and you need two in order to kill an ESF, ESFs get warned which type of lockon is targeting them ground or air. as soon as the rocket leaves the launcher it's on predictive tracking which ESFs can make crash into terrain by diving or flying near cover.

    lockons against air should ether fly strait for a few seconds then track or they should fly up and then track far too often rockets ether crash into terrain or the ESF is in and out of danger before the lock completes.

    a counter that costs resources should be more effective compared to a free counter.
    • Up x 1
  18. ColonelChingles

    What about vehicle-based AA like the Skyguard?

    It costs nanites. As much as an ESF. You can't hide from aircraft in a vehicle (at least in the same way that infantry or MAXes can). You can't revive a dead Skyguard or switch the loadout afterwards.

    That's the AA that I have issues with. The Skyguard. It is completely underwhelming for those cost and limitations of the vehicle.

    That... really doesn't sound like a "victory" to me. :confused:
    • Up x 4
  19. Pelojian

    the only real deterrence comes from lethality as in good chance of death or total chance of death. why do you think the U.S govt puts up a stink when there's talk of giving out top line SAM equipment to nations the U.S may have to fight in future or take an intrested in fighting in the future?

    those top line SAMs are deterrence because any missiles that an aircraft can carry to try and counter the SAM sites or their radars are smaller and shorter ranged then the SAMs ability to detect and engage enemy aircraft with their own missles.
  20. Imp C Bravo

    I love so much about your post. I know AA has a point about rarely getting kills. I know they don't get rewarded appropriately for kicking aircraft out. I agree with them completely on those points. I am simply saying that the calls for "buff AA NAO" are short sighted and completely break the game. If things worked like you just supposed they should I, as a pilot, would be happy. It would also make me, when I AA people, happy. This post is a perfect example of someone that is looking to make the game fair and fun for everyone. You get all my likes +1 beer if I ever run into you in real life.

    This is true depending on the pilot and the terrain. There are lots of places in the game where pilots aren't escaping. And lots of places where they are. It depends on pilot skill. That being said -- yes, 1 lockon is a determent. However, 2 guys with lockons change the game. 3 really change it. Kind of like Demigan said -- AA scales ridiculously fast and planes are balanced around that aspect. The fact that AA is easy to pull makes this scaling easy to do as well. I am not sure that rockets should work the way you mention though. It makes pilots unable to avoid via skill. To buff AA and make it more deadly, we need it to require more skill from the users and more skill to avoid from the target (aircraft.)

    Make no mistake -- I agree there are a ton of things you can use to abuse AA and to marginalize AA. It works both ways, but it boils down to both removing skill from the dynamic. Any pilot worth talking to doesn't want that on either side of the coin. I, and many other pilots, are not arguing to weaken AA. We want it to be more a skill based interplay as well -- and in return we are happy to start eating more deaths from G2A for it.

    However, make no mistake, simply buffing 1 thing is not going to fix AA. People suggesting that are BSing you and everyone else for their own selfish reasons (See Bill O'Reilly. I'm sure he will make a post here soon enough.) Making skyguards insta-blap aircraft is just going to ruin the game. Changing the way they work and making skill more of a factor for their use, plus raising the skill ceiling for pilots in their options would allow skyguards to be more deadly and let AA users earn more kills.

    EDIT Speak of the devil.
    • Up x 3