Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by AirPilot, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. chuck105

    Intriguing idea, and may in fact be correct. Still, VTOL aircraft are integral to the design of the game. Without it you'd have to have runaways everywhere, and then players would just camp those with tanks or rockets even worse than they do now.

    What's great about flying, imo, is that you have a chance to face your opponent, just like you do in other areas. They aren't some unseen menace that rips you apart, you can see their moves and react accordingly. You can learn from them, maybe they pull a move that throws you off, idk, like trying to reverse below or around you. Or circling around to cover a reload. You can see their fire, you can dodge.

    Ace pilots do basically the same things that good infantry players do when the ADAD strafe back and forth. It's not rocket science. Are you going to complain that PS2 should have "real" combat mechanics, so players have to stay still while firing ADS?
  2. WeRelic

    I was talking about the responses, not the OP. Not defending his stance by any means; but I don't wish to be lumped in, and I'm sure most actual pilots (the ones playing the game enjoying the changed meta) don't wish to be either. Most of those pilots aren't spoken for, or even worse, are spoken poorly for.

    That doesn't change the toxicity.

    It's pretty sad that they can't/won't use their own forum, but that is their own fault, and frankly, it's likely one of the reasons this community has always been fractured and toxic.

    It's funny, I hear you blaming pilots for not being able to adapt while conveniently dismissing the fact that the only reason we have a new situation in the first place is because people couldn't adapt. There is a word for that... Oh right; Irony.

    Half of the posts in this thread, and in a larger scope; most of the forum, are saying something about "Skyknights this" or "Skyknights that", how is that not generalization?
  3. Taemien

    I've been playing this since 2012, I used to fly with Recursion on Helios. I know the controls of the ESF well. My frustrations come from trying to teach friends how to do some of the maneuvers and wondering why the hell do I need to sit here in the VR for an hour or so teaching this?*

    I don't have to do this with a Galaxy (in fact one of my best pilots is self taught).
    I don't have to do this with a Liberator.
    I don't even have to do this with a Valkyrie.
    Or a Main Battle Tank.
    Or a Lightning.
    Or a Harasser.
    Or a Sunderer
    Or anything else.

    So what makes the Empire Specific Fighter so special? No other vehicle in the game is that complex. You say this isn't a flight simulator and you couldn't be more right. So why the need for complex maneuvers?

    And then it comes back to what I said with the asterix (*) by it. What's the point in teaching this? People b-tch and moan about air because they don't want to look up. They don't want to get in the air and deal with it. And we get sh-tty Air/Ground game as well, because of that fact.

    We have a niche airgame that is pointless. Yeah that ESF you're flying around in. Useless. Look at Scared Mesa Skydock. A sundy garage and two jump pads added to take it off the air list. I've always said we needed more bases like that. One that air can actually be a factor in. And then they gut it to be another ground base.

    How many bases have control points that can be influenced by air? I bet you know the answer to that. And could probably name them off. Because the number of them is rather low compared to the ones totally covered top and sides by walls and ceilings.

    ESF uselessness is two-fold.

    1. Base design kills it. Makes it a non-issue. And I'm not saying this as a pilot who can't get a kill at a base. I'm saying it as someone on the ground who ignores air overhead because its a non-issue. I'm serious. I don't carry G2A loadouts because they are largely not needed.

    This isn't always a 100%. Like I said there is a handful of bases where air can be an issue. But its so easy to stack AA that I can make it a non-issue if I need to. Course other vehicles suffer this issue too, not just air.

    2. Its cliquish elitist community and their defense of a bugged flight system. Seriously, if you all would embrace losing those systems, you could see the ESF buffed in other ways. That includes possible fixes to the first issue above. However it means dealing with threats much like other vehicles do. That means players who haven't spent hours of training and weeks of practice being a considerable threat.

    Skill and experience is only ever trumped by teamwork. But even then there is a possibility a newbie can get a kill. Thats the fact of life of infantry and even most ground vehicles. These bugged systems forgo that entirely. And that is why those who defend them wish to keep them. Unfortunately any buffs to ESFs causes issues since those 'elite' pilotds are generally untouchable (outside AA) and they become greater force multipliers in a given fight. So we have a reduced capability aircraft to keep the force multiplier from upsetting the balance.

    To put it shortly. The ESF is a underpowered platform with bugged controls that make up for it. And that's having ramifications across the game.

    I've ran with some high speed outfits in the past. One of the things I've noticed over the last four years is what works and what doesn't. If you want to farm kills and certs. Vehicles are the way to go. But you're not going to take territory with them, at least not quickly. Having won countless alerts capturing entire swathes of continents. Its never been done using main assault vehicles (MBTs, ESFs, Libs). But instead transports in most cases.

    When we did pull out MBTs or ESFs. It was when the alert was over and we were goofing around. That's what the ESF has been regulated to. I don't want to hear this bullsh-t where we don't know how to use them. These were good pilots. But they weren't needed in those coordinated events.
  4. zaspacer

    Well, it's not a bunch of manic fanboys like PS2 Reddit if that what you mean.

    I like these forums. I think it has good info and a good community. It's not my fault that most Devs ignore feedback from their players. When I was a Dev I didn't read the forums much cause we were so busy crunching and I never got around to reading/posting. Though I wish I had done so in hindsight. Regardless, I never dismissed the feedback of players, which I did see from feedback reports during beat. But it seemed most of my fellow Devs seemed to ignore feedback from players they got, almost everyone did not read/post on the forums, and outside of Design very few Devs actually played the game. And even in design it was only a handful of us the really put hours into playing it... and I think I was the only one who dumped hours in with the idea of actually testing and fixing stuff.
  5. ColonelChingles

    That actually sounds like a pretty good idea, actually. Runways and actual airbases would be nice additions to PS2.

    What it would do would be to encourage teamwork with air players. For example, pilots would require other pilots or anti-air to keep the skies clear over an airstrip so that friendly aircraft could take off without being harassed. Ground forces would be needed to secure the perimeter of the base.

    We could even implement more detailed rearming. Using handheld version of the new ANT mining lasers, pilots would transfer munitions from a tower to their vehicle on the runway. They would run over to the ammo tower, "mine" a helping of munitions, then run back to their aircraft and "deposit" the munitions into their plane. This would create extended downtime and vulnerability to aircraft, and also create a valuable task for ammo Sunderers to help pilots rearm more quickly.

    Capturing and attacking an airbase, of course, would be much more meaningful. Besides the warpgate, there might only be three or so airbases per continent. Taking an enemy airbase would mean that the enemy would not have easy access to air units or rearming air units, much like how taking a Tech Plant denies the enemy the ability to pull MBTs.
  6. Insignus

    What I've noticed is that ESFs are at their most powerful when they're being appropriately tasked. By this I mean that someone gives them a valid, group-based and straightforward objective, and directs them on it.

    Example: "Do you have hornets? Take a wingman and go watch the road leading from the next base, because they're trickling replacement sundies into the point. Let us know if they pull a convoy or if anything heavy is coming in."

    In that case, we've tasked the ESF to anchor on a location and deny it to enemy assets, which if they are successful, will damage, destroy, or simply call out enemy reinforcements. Its mobility allows it to keep a good chasing patrol and its operating envelopment (Mid-to-high altitude) will let it get good visibility. Sure, it can get countered when someone pulls a skyguard, but by that point I've forced one of the sundy drivers to waste 350 nanites, and is likely only pulling the skyguard because at least 1-2 sundies has been taken down before they got to the point. Thats an effective contribution to the team.

    Another example: "Our gals are heading to East River Sky Station. Bravo 4, I need you and Delta 9 to take your mossies ahead of us and get us a sitrep on the AA and Air situation. Blow out the AA turrets whether they're active or not, at the very least keep them busy. Alpha 9, hang back and cover us. Roam on the point and cover afterwards. Gal drivers, stay airborne as long as you can...."

    In this case, we've given two of our mossies the forward air mission to min/max their chances of success and to either clear the way or help narrow the valid approach for a Gal Drop. If they get there quickly enough, an angle can probably chosen that minimizes exposure for the Gals. Furthermore, if they can take down the AA turrets, the Galaxies can be kept airborne for longer, potentially letting us re-use them.

    The issue I find with actually implementing this is principally one of pulling chain on them. Unless the SL/PL has some other hold on them such as an outfit or personal relationship, the compliance factor is based largely on that ESFs pilots internal calculus on points vs. play. They aren't getting XP for running boring CAP (Unless they actually directly get a save) or recon missions (Which is why I task recon to Valkyrie pilots generally). Instead, their meta encourages them to seek targets, either manageable small fights for air targets or volume ground targets.

    These situations may or may not be aligned with the unit's location at a given time, but the mobility of the ESF also encourages them to "Wander" afield in search of these opportunities, which can put them out of position to respond to team needs.

    From a leadership perspective, this makes incorporating persistent ESF pilots challenging, and I've noticed SL/PLs asking for ESFs generally in conjunction with either warp-gate runs or in response to A2A: Both situations in which the initiating event is a directed mission that they can chain that pilot to for however long its needed, to minimize the time before they wander off, or on the expectation that the pilot will die and come back to ground pounding.

    2. The ESF community most closely resembles a skilled workers trade union to me, both in composition and in their interaction with the community. There's an enormous focus on credentials and the protection of what they've defined as the essential features of their trade. Things like the reverse manuever are almost treated like Cab medallions - a price of entry used to control the population of legitimate workers. The Cab medallion system, despite being a limitation on union membership, is supported by the union because it allows them exercise control over that industry, and artificially scale competition to ensure the profitability of their members, who in turn pay dues and support the organization. With ESFs obviously, there's no discernible formal organization or structure, merely an organic social structure that propagates through social media.

    To your point, I get the impression sometimes that there is a sense of satisfaction being derived from "Git-Gud" threads that is beyond the social expectations of pride in one's abilities, rather sourcing in general from a malicious desire to state "We know you can't compete, and don't forget it."

    Once those pilots learn the maneuvers and do compete, they become effectively captured by that system - trying to change it from within would invalidate their own hours of sweat and toil. This is against their interests, and because they're now in a community that is perpetually at odds with other segments of the PS2 community, reaching across and understanding why people have issues with the air game becomes difficult - the animosity often overwhelms legitimate discussion. Because its such a polarizing meta, finding neutral players to mediate it is also difficult.

    On the training aspect - I don't even bother training people using ESFs anymore. The in-game tutorial tries to get people to pull an ESF, but in my view, that just horribly complicates things, and if anything sets newbie pilots up for tragedy because they're given the implication that the ESF is at their skill-level, but in reality will just get them shot-down so quickly they may decide to stop flying period.

    The best training platform for flight maneuvers is the Valkyrie, IMHO. Its exceptionally good for basic flight training, and you can do in-expensive role and tactic training that simulates the Gal, and maneuver/gunner coordination training that prepares you for the liberator, all at dramatically lower cost in a platform with excellent collision dynamics and strong, forgiving maneuverability.
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  7. FigM

    I look at it differently. The old air gameplay was the only type of gameplay that actually had long term skill progression. In infantry you can become "pretty good" after just couple days - once at the top, it gets pointless. With ground vehicles, you can become "pretty good" within a month or two. Again, once you reach maximum potential, there's no sense in going forward, there's nowhere to go, it's just repetition from there on.

    In the old days air game, to become "pretty good" you needed about 6 months. That's 6 months old solid gameplay with a purpose - where you can actually feel gradual improvement, giving your a sense of purpose and a goal to work toward.

    If the bar is lowered and everyone can become good quickly, then what is the goal of playing? What is the purpose of endless grind if there is no sense of personal improvement?
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  8. zaspacer

    If the bar is lowered on the skill floor, then more players can get into the Air Game.

    We're talking about a Combined Arms MMO. In order for it to work well, it *needs* to have average and lower experience players be able to step into each unit and get at least a low level performance out of it. In ESF, this was not happening except for A2G under very safe conditions. Such a skill chasm is fine for a 1vs1 game like Street Fighter, or in a game that segregates players by Skill Level. But it fails to address scissors > paper > rock needs of a non-segregated Combined Arms MMO.

    At least with old A2AM we had a method for multiple low skill ESF players to team up to take on the power level of an Ace ESF. And now we arguably have that with Coyote (still waiting to see how the dust settles on it).

    The skill ceiling does not have to be low. It can be as high as you want. It just needs to have a power level that has diminishing-marginal-utility, such that each progressive tier of skill up gives an edge and not a auto-win. We can see these ESF Aces doing great moves to edge out their opponents, we just can't see solo ESFs camping a whole Faction's Air at their Warpgate.

    A low skill floor is also good because it gives players a meaningful entry point onto the learning curve. Super Street Fighter II Turbo has a high skill ceiling, but it has a low skill floor for people to start on the learning curve, and then many intuitive/easy/community ways to progress on that learning curve (ST is an easy community/game to get into). ESFs have a high skill floor, are exceedingly non-intuitive, cost a lot of Certs/$ to build out, have Resource costs that hard cap users on how many they can spawn, have a lot of high level players who farm/grief new players (often right outside their warpgate), etc. SOE/DBG is a mess for supporting New Players in general, but with the ESF they really drop the ball. Huge kudos to all the players who shared info with he community (and there are a lot of very generous experienced ESFers out there), that really does help a lot, but it's still a very brutal journey for would be ESFers.