Balance Pass Post 1: Vehicle Weapons and the Harasser

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by joshua, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. joshua

    I’m going to be writing a series of posts that go over the balance adjustments that we’re implementing based on collected data and player feedback. These changes will start rolling out in the updates following the optimization patch. This first post will cover the vehicle weapons and heavy vehicle vs. light vehicle combat.

    Secondary Weapon Damage Adjustments
    • Anti-vehicle secondary weapons will remain the same against vehicles, but will see a slight drop in damage against infantry.
      • This corrects the cases where certain anti-vehicle weapons are outperforming anti-infantry weapons at the latter’s intended role.
    • Anti-personnel weapons will receive a damage increase at very close range against infantry and light armor (Harasser).
      • This gives coordinated tank drivers and gunners the tools to deal with approaching Harassers and infantry with C-4. The key word here is coordinated. We’re not giving tanks a free pass, just better tools and options.
    • More noticeable damage falloff is being added to vehicle secondary weapons, similar to infantry but with the range extended much further out.
    More information on the damage falloff
    Vehicle damage falloff will not be extreme. It will be just enough to better define the roles for the different weapon types. We won’t be changing any weapon roles, just getting them closer to where they should be.

    For example, the G30 Vulcan will perform better at close-to-medium AV combat when compared to the E540 Halberd, but the Halberd will be able to reach out and perform better at longer ranges. Players can equip either to match where they’re fighting or how they like to fight.

    The bigger change here is that the range of Harasser weapons is being reduced in comparison to the other ground vehicle secondary weapons. This means that the Harasser will have to put itself at more risk in order to output its full damage, which better fits its hit-and-run style. On the other side, the larger optimal range of the main battle tank and Sunderer secondary gunners will overlap with the Harasser's sweet spot, allowing those gunners to better protect their vehicles.

    Proximity Radar Change
    • Proximity Radar is being moved to the defense slot
      • Proximity Radar is intended to be the defensive warning against approaching infantry with C-4, but it’s become obvious that the other options are vastly preferred in the Utility slot.
      • We feel that moving it to the Defense slot makes more sense for the cert line and that this move gives players clearer defensive options to choose from.
    General Vehicle Weapons Balance Pass
    In addition to everything listed above, we’re taking a pass at all vehicle weapons in order to even out the performance and the various tradeoffs between the different faction weapons.

    Harasser Changes
    • Harassers currently have too much freedom in infantry areas because their high speed and acceleration allows them to recover and repair quickly. We’re going to increase C-4 and tank mine damage against this vehicle so that infantry can punish Harasser drivers who get too careless.
    • Harasser composite armor’s max resistance is being reduced. Not by much, just enough so that it will not out-tank a tank. The C-4 resistance buff on Harasser composite armor is also being removed.
    Upcoming Posts
    • Nanoweave and related features, like sniper rifles
    • Rocket launchers, underbarrel grenade launchers, and engineer turrets
    • MAX anti-vehicle and ability adjustments
    • And more to come

    Edit: Update with a few questions answered and some additional details

    You’re only nerfing the Harasser slightly?
    It’s important to note that we’re touching both sides of the vehicle gameplay. Things are being buffed against the Harasser and we’re also reducing the effectiveness of the Harasser. Some of the changes may look small when looked at individually, but they add up to a lot when working together as a whole.

    Harasser Repairing
    We’re not removing repairing from the third seat completely, but we are reducing the repair strength when repairing as a passenger inside of a vehicle. The Harasser will no longer be able to out-repair the damage done against it while in a fight, even if a tank misses one shot in between two other direct hits.

    The repair rate when the Engineer is outside of the vehicle will remain the same.

    Tank mines and C-4 against Harassers
    We don’t expect these to be the main counters against the Harasser. The damage increase is for the Harasser drivers who get too careless in infantry areas. Right now those drivers can afford to be careless because the penalties for playing that way are not high enough. These changes are intended to correct that.

    We are working on improving the hit detection of the tank mines. Also, infrared and thermal vision will no longer highlight tank mines. We realize that these changes will impact all ground based vehicles, not just Harassers, and we’re fine with this. Tank mines need to become a better defensive tool.

    What about x weapon?
    See the “General Vehicle Weapons Balance Pass” section. We’re doing a pass of all vehicle weapons. So yeah, your Enforcer Modified is being buffed.

    And some additional details not mentioned in the original post

    Aircraft weapons are receiving the same reduction in pre-resist damage as ground-based vehicles. Damage against vehicles will stay roughly the same, with tuning here and there to correct some balance issues.

    Harasser turbo
    Right now the very fast regen on the Harasser’s turbo allows the driver to get into favorable combat situations somewhat freely and then allows them to get away freely when the combat situation changes away from being in their favor. We’re giving the turbo a longer regen time so that drivers will have to be a little more strategic on when and where they use the ability.

    Additional Harasser composite armor details
    Like C4, the small arms (infantry weapons) resistance is being removed.
    The resistance against tank shells is also being reduced. More survivability will still be given when the armor is equipped, but not to the amount that it does now.
    • Up x 116
  2. Bvenged

    Me Gusta!

    Perhaps harassers need to be a bit more prone to coordinated small arms fire as well?
    • Up x 24
  3. NikkoJT

    I like. However, all the "not by much" stuff with the Harasser changes does have me a bit worried, because they're overpowered by more than "not much".
    • Up x 37
  4. yllom001

    Does this include the E-Mod becoming useful?
    • Up x 12
  5. Xale

    Can we rename the C85 Enforcer Mod to something that doesnt cause most of the player base to confuse it for the ML85 Enforcer.

    "Sledgehammer" would be the extremely obvious choice.
    • Up x 18
  6. BITES

    Must be a longer deploy time for TR Maxes right? .. Or NC shield being reduced to a Wok and 4 sets of chopsticks?
    Hrmmm .. that only leaves one option then.....
    • Up x 25
  7. Aegie

    Not one mention of ES balance issues and the continued neglect of NC arsenal.
    • Up x 13
  8. ShureShot

    Please consider removing the repair on the move for Harassers.

    This 'feature' is the reason they can go up against 2/2 tanks without fear.

    Even if the Harasser gunner misses half his shots against an AP lightning that hits all of his shots, the Harasser will probably come out on top because he can repair whenever the HP goes below half.

    If you make the Harasser crew find cover, jump out & repair, like tanks & lightnings have to do, it gives their opponents the chance to hunt them down & finish the job, and this will force Harassers to be more cautious and push the vehicle more into a suitable role (harassing instead of killing everything in it's path, the need for multiple Harassers to take out a tank, ...)
    • Up x 52
  9. Cinnamon

    Rear armour weakness for tanks is a problem especially when other vehicles have no special weakness.

    In practice it is not easy to hit fast moving harassers at a distance with tank weapons. Especially considering that you have to stand still and terrain is probably in their favour. On the other hand driving a harasser behind a tank and opening up with a vulcan is very easy. I am not really sure about how the advantage of being able to outrange their weapons will work out but it is something to try out I guess.

    I guess that one controversial point will be if this change means that halberd will no longer be able to one hit infantry at range.
    • Up x 12
  10. Kanil

    If my gunner abandons his gun in the middle of a fight against a MBT, I will be screaming at my ******* monitor.
    • Up x 2
  11. Aegie

    Get someone in the other seat dedicated to repair (MBTs cannot carry these).
    • Up x 2
  12. Qaz

    These sound very sensible. Seeing how this is a vehicle focused post, i'd like to mention that many vanu are still kinda unhappy about what has been done to the saron. It's not horrible, but there currently is also not really any rational reason to use it on you magrider. The majority of people who have voiced their opinion would like to have a long range saron back, with a dedicated short range variant being newly introduced.

    This is an issue of contention for tankers, and i'd ask that you at least reevaluate the value proposition of the current saron. primary sticking points are:
    1. as a short range weapon, the no drop faction trait has lost all relevance.
    2. it offers barely any improvement over the halberd. mags are forced into ap to be competetive at taking out tanks, and both the halberd + fpc and saron + fpc take out a prowler in 7.5 secs from the front and side, with the saron losing a LOT of utility at range.
    3. the extended firing time, especially in semi-auto mode, does not synergize with the semi-required peek, fire, strafe model many tankers are using specifically on the mag. it's not that important, but the magrider is at the bottom of the tank food chain at the moment, so even things like this have some value.
    • Up x 15
  13. Xale

    And watch him die a few seconds later.
    • Up x 7
  14. Littleman

    I like what I've read so far, though these are things I'm really interested in.
    • Up x 1
  15. HadesR

    A buff to ZOE :)
    • Up x 1
  16. Aegie

    Now you know how MBT drivers feel.
    • Up x 6
  17. Van Dax

    Jump jets !!!! woooohhooooo.
    • Up x 6
  18. MrMurdok

    Oh god. They're gonna buff the Enforcer Modified. Oh god.

    It would be really cool if they reduce the Harasser's armor against a particular weapon, for example the Kobalt, so you would get these 'dedicated Harasser hunters' with AP Vannies and Kobalts roaming the fields.
    • Up x 8
  19. Xale

    AP vanguard + ML85 and harassers soon cease being a local problem.
    • Up x 1
  20. WyrdHarper

    One of the problem with mines is that Harassers can avoid taking damage from them due to their speed. They set of the detonation, but they move out of range of the mine's detonation before it has the chance to do damage. Will we see a change to the way this operates as well? If you want to make mines a better defense against Harassers, I could see this becoming an issue.
    • Up x 12