[Vehicle] Fixing and Expanding Lightning Cert Lines

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. ColonelChingles

    So a while back when we had a functioning Roadmap, there was a Lightning revamp that should have happened a few months ago. But it never did happen, even though the Lightning (and other vehicles) are in sore need of more balanced and interesting cert allocations.

    There are two main issues with the Lightning cert lines. First, the existing cert lines are not very well balanced. Second, for many cert lines there's only a few choices.

    1) Lightning cert lines are not balanced. The issue here is that out of the three vehicle slots for the Lightning (Utility, Defense, Performance), the vast majority of the cert lines are piled into the Defense slot (7/11). This means that there are "no brainer" choices for the Utility and Performance slots, but too many things to pick from in the Defense slot.

    At least in my view Utility items should be little gizmos or gadgets that you attach to the inside or outside of your tank. Defense items should be modifications to the armor/protection of your tank. Performance items should be related to engine/transmission/tread upgrades to your tank.

    So based on that understanding of what is a Utility/Defense/Performance item, the following organization makes more sense and is better balanced:
    Utility (4)
    IR Smoke
    Fire Suppression System
    Nanite Auto Repair System
    Proximity Radar
    Defense (5)
    Vehicle Stealth
    Reinforced Front Armor
    Reinforced Side Armor
    Reinforced Top Armor
    Mine Guard
    Performance (2)
    Rival Combat Chassis
    Racer Combat Chassis

    It's still unbalanced as to the Performance slot, but that's just because there are so very few choices for the Performance slot. Which of course leads to the next point that...

    2) Lightning cert lines are too few. We just need more balanced options for the Lightning. Overall, I would be totally happy if all cert lines were made into sidegrades instead of upgrades, but for now I'll just offer ideas within the PS2 system.

    Here are some example cert lines that I feel would be balanced alongside the current cert lines:
    Utility (4+4)
    Overdrive-An "F" based ability, this speeds up the Lightning for a period of time. Has a short duration of effect as well as a cooldown until it can be used again.
    Electro-Optical Jammer- This device automatically spots vehicles and infantry that are using anti-ground lock-on weapons, as well as increases the amount of time that such weapons need to lock-on.
    Laser Dazzler- An "F" based ability, this would temporarily blind (flash grenade effect) any vehicle or infantry that was using a magnifying optic (including lock-on sights) who was targeting the Lightning. Cooldown timer.
    Signature Spoofer- This device automatically replaces the auto-spot mini-map signature of the Lightning with another icon. The Lightning will still appear as an enemy on the mini-map if auto-spotted, but can instead appear as a Harasser, Sunderer, or MBT (pressing "F" changes the masking icon). Normal "Q" spotting will reveal the true icon of the Lightning. Pairing this device with Stealth will allow for a fourth "F" option, to have no icon at all.

    Defense (5+3)
    Slat Armor- This armor significantly reduces the damage of any HE, HEAT cannon or anti-tank missile (and to be fair the Lancer as well) but does not reduce damage from AP-type weapons (like tank AP cannon and Shredders).
    Explosive Reactive Armor- This armor can completely negate the first cannon shot/missile/plasma ball that hits the tank. After that the tank must wait for a time while the ERA automatically rebuilds.
    Light Composite Armor- This armor doesn't actually offer any additional protection to the Lightning, but instead allows it to achieve a higher top speed as well as rotation speed.

    Performance (2+6)
    All-Terrain Chassis- Independent track wheels and a series of springs allows for much smoother movement over terrain (a pseudo-Magrider effect).
    Armored Engine Chassis- This chassis doesn't actually make the Lightning go any faster, but makes it slightly more resistant to all damage (with an extra bonus resistance to rear damage).
    Wheeled Chassis- Instead of tracks, wheels! Significantly improved top speed, though traction is pretty terrible.
    Recoil Absorbing Chassis- Another non-movement related chassis, this one is designed so that part of the recoil of firing the main weapon is absorbed by the chassis and directed into the ground. As a result weapon recoil is significantly reduced.
    Fixed Cannon Chassis- Ever wanted to turn your Lightning into a Magrider (minus the cool hovering or side-to-side part)? Well now you can! The fixed cannon chassis means that you can no longer turn your turret beyond a few degrees, but there is pretty much zero recoil for the cannon, greatly increased frontal armor, and a bonus to rate-of-fire to boot.
    Spiked Climbing Chassis-With the addition of some nice climbing spikes, the Lightning can now scale steeper cliffs and crazier terrain. Not great for top speed or gas mileage though.
    So.... there you have it! Fun and interesting ways to rebalance the Lightning cert lines and add in new cert lines for a grand total of 24 different Lightning choices! Some of the possible combinations:

    Fire Suppression+Reinforced Front Armor+Fixed Cannon Chassis= Tank destroyer with incredibly tough frontal armor.
    Signature Spoofer+Stealth+Wheeled Chassis= Sneaky ambusher to entrap and kill enemy vehicles.
    Proximity Radar+Slat Armor+Armored Engine Chassis= Urban CQB tank to engage infantry in built-up areas.
    Overdrive+Light Composite Armor+Wheeled Chassis= Speedy flanker to rapidly move from one side of the battle to another.
    • Up x 3
  2. FieldMarshall

    Speaking of lightning certs.
    When in the lightning loadout screen, can we get rid of the button saying "Lightning Certs" That leads you to an empty "Lightning passive systems" page.

    The game is already confusing enough for newer players without stuff like that. Yeah, its minor. But still. Please dawg
  3. Govedo113

    Good suggestions but NAR and Stealth combined together would never happen- too OP.
    • Up x 2
  4. SpartanPsycho

    Yes please add all of this. Yet another good tank post from the forum tanker. Great ideas. Great layout.
    • Up x 1
  5. ColonelChingles

    Or... give the Lightning some things to go into the Passive slot! :eek:
  6. FateJH

    I recall them moving the Radar into Defense for a specific reason related to balancing of Vehicular radar (I think it was during the changes to all forms of in-game radar, during or just after the Stalker Cloak update).

    Edit: I think I remember now. The reason had to do with Proximity Radar and Vehicle Stealth occupying different slots.
    • Up x 1
  7. ColonelChingles

    Yea... I want to say it happened... December '13?

    My previous Lightning build was Proximity Radar+Stealth for the ultimate ninja Lightning. It was oh-so fragile, but on the other hand nice for precision strikes.

    At any rate there's nothing wrong with Radar+Stealth, because you give up any extra durability to pull that off. Radar strikes me as more a "utility" than a "defense" upgrade anyhow.
  8. z1967

    Seems like a lot of stuff to add for just one vehicle, but picking and choosing this kind of stuff could be great (at least moving around the current stuff we already have). Wheeled chassis sounds fun, like a harasser but not. Some of the other stuff seems like fluff but I would still use some of it. And aside from the really obvious external limits, not too many of these things would require a unique model (which would shave down dev time spent on the update).

    all in all, pretty nice.
    • Up x 1
  9. ColonelChingles

    Okay, so I looked into the "Passive Systems" thing you were talking about.

    Turns out that it's a leftover relic from when vehicles had pull timers and you could invest certs to reduce those timers. After the resource revamp, they got rid of the timers so most vehicles just have it empty.

    The only vehicles that still use it are the Sunderer (AMS) and Harasser (Turbo). The Valkaryie, being a new vehicle, doesn't even have a orange cert button to click on.

    So it seems like it would be very easy to simply remove that orange button for the Lightning (and other vehicles), but why dumb down the game and pass on an opportunity to make it more interesting?

    The "Passive Systems" are supposed to be upgrades for your Lightning that will always be "on", no matter how else you have equipped the Lightning. I generally don't like the idea of outright buffs (like increased HP, speed), but here are some ideas that might work:

    Hibernation Mode- When unoccupied, your Lightning does not appear on the mini-map if enemies are close by. Additionally the despawn timer (when your Lightning disappears due to being empty) is significantly extended.
    Accident Insurance- If your Lightning is destroyed by yourself or friendly forces, you can regain a portion of the nanites back.
    Bad Luck Insurance- If your Lightning is destroyed within a short time of having pulled it, you can regain a portion of the nanites back. Does not stack with Accident Insurance.
    Hornist License- Allows the use of the various audio horns.
    Deadly Debris- When your Lightning is destroyed, the debris from that Lightning stays for longer on the battlefield, until a short amount of time passes or if you pull another Lightning.
    Safety Repulsors- Hate being killed by geometry or running over friendly infantry? Now you'll never take or give geometry-related damage again (even to enemies)! Does not negate fall damage from great heights, or flipping upside-down.
    Minimap Autozoom- Toggleable option for your minimap to zoom out when you are over a certain speed, and to zoom in when you slow down.
    Air Mail- Driving underneath a friendly Galaxy allows you to attach yourself to the underbelly, and you can detach yourself with another button press.