Ground AA is boring and unrewarding

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Snorelamp, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Snorelamp

    I had to re-evaluate air and AA a little bit today - I don't think about it a lot and mostly see air as the occasional random death from the sky I had little chance to avoid and as a mostly separate thing from the ground game.

    Last night, I logged onto PS2, something I rarely do anymore but I figured I'd check out the changes. Striker is terrible, hitreg still bad, population seems lower...well anyway that's not the point.

    My lack of caring about the game that much anymore lead me to do something I rarely ever did - pull a lock-on launcher. I was at a base being harassed by multiple scythes and a lib, and infantry was having trouble reaching the point. It was annoying me just to watch them get farmed so easily.

    I quickly noticed air, or at least the pilots I was dealing with here, did not like being locked on. I didn't even have to fire my launcher much to make them go away. Many just blew flares and/or fled without getting hit. I did get some hits in but it didn't get me any kills. I probably ended up with some of the lowest XP/kills of the fight while I felt like I'd contributed a lot to our eventual successful defense of the base.

    My point is that it's clear being a "deterrent" can be extremely useful to your team. For the individual player and their XP gains however, it is terrible. And I think that's a problem in PS2 since this drives player behavior. It was only me and one other guy who eventually pulled a burster MAX dealing with probably 12-13 air. The rest of our team just didn't bother and I can't blame them.

    My second point would be that it was boring, so low reward + boring to use = people not bothering.

    I think we need more interesting AA options that actually kill air not just force them to fly away and repair. Of course, they'd have to more difficult to land hits with than a lock-on or a burster.
    • Up x 5
  2. asdfPanda

    No. Ground AA is supposed to be a deterrent. However, you can kill air if enough ground AA is grouped together.

    If you want to kill air as one person, pull an aircraft yourself.

    EXP, though, for air deterrence should be increased.
    • Up x 9
  3. Ztiller

    I really enjoy both using AA lockons and Burster MAXes. I seem to be am minority.

    Then again, i enjoy contributing to the team above farming certs which often feels like it makes me a minority.
    • Up x 1
  4. FateJH

    Some people find G2A AA boring but I find it enjoyable.
    • Up x 1
  5. Leon85

    Get the AA gun on the sundy. It works very well and for just 200 nanite you get a mobile AA platform.
  6. BetAstraal

    Retaliation = the anti-nerf key
    But why bother? Getting farmed used as a whining reason is much more fun.
    (not directed at OP)

    Practical example: 3 burster maxes will clean the air in 1-5 minutes completely, can switch loadout to deal with ground and re-switch if air comes back - insanely simple, yet apparently too hard to comprehend
    • Up x 2
  7. Whatupwidat

    I only find AA enjoyable when I get to drink the tears of ESF pilots.

    Lock-on GtA launchers might be "a crutch" - but just like a real crutch, it hurts when I whack you over the head with it ;P

    Fly safe
    • Up x 1
  8. cruczi

    I enjoy Skyguarding and using Walker on my MBT, but G2A lockons are way too simplistic and devoid of any skill based performance curve. The lockon mechanism should be more complex, require more interaction from the player in some way.
  9. ColonelChingles

    I never really figured this out... why should AA be a "deterrent" (as incorrectly as the word is used) instead of something that kills?

    Arguably if you really wanted to make AA into a deterrent, then it should be absolutely lethal to aircraft. Simply have a warning then for AA (like autospotting on the map), and lethal AA would then be an effective deterrent. Pilots would know not to enter that area around AA, and thus pilots have been deterred.

    Current AA does not work as a deterrent, because they're weak enough so that aircraft can generally do what they want... including attacking the AA directly!

    At any rate AA shouldn't be a deterrent at all... why would we ever want to do that? I'm trying hard to think of anything else in PS2 that acts as a deterrent instead of killing things... and I'm coming up with blanks.

    Liberators are not deterrents to tanks.
    ESFs are not deterrents to Liberators.
    Infantry are not deterrents to tanks.

    So why make AA a deterrent, other than that more pilots would die?
    • Up x 1
  10. patrykK1028

    I was thinking about buying Skyguard once. I trialed it... that was my most boring 30 minutes in PS2
  11. Zotamedu

    Only problem with ground based AA is that you cannot aim straight up.
  12. Yeahy

    A decent ESF can do wonders against a lib. 2 esf's can take one down easy.
    Infantry has rocket launchers, mana turrets, long range av such as lancer, c4 fairies, tank mines, etc.
  13. asdfPanda

    Why is "deterrent" used incorrectly in this discussion? Does ground AA not prevent, or discourage, A2G from being effective? Does ground AA not drive away ESFS and libs without killing them in the current state of the game? Why, conversely, does ground AA have to kill ESFs for it to be an effective deterrent?

    I can't say why AA should be a deterrent, other than the fact that the devs have made that design choice. IMO, it doesn't work all that badly, aside from ground locks requiring little to no skill to drive away ESFs from a fight, and ground AA scaling badly with larger fights to the point where air has no role in larger fights.

    EDIT: You and I have different interpretations of how effective ground AA is. However, ground AA is still very lethal, even moreso when combined with friendly air, as seen in these videos:

    And finally, a single G2A rocket launcher shot can take an ESF from full to little more than half health. Like I have said before, you can kill air if grouped up enough.
    • Up x 1
  14. ScrapyardBob

    Ground-based AA will always be a deterrent because the air can go away (at high speed) to get out of the kill envelope. If you make ground AA so powerful that a single rocket or half a magazine of flak can gib insta-ESFs, it would be bad for the game.

    All of this is why the developers give you XP for just doing damage to air units. Because they realize that getting a hard-kill is unlikely against units with so much mobility. Fortunately, that air damage XP is pretty decent (not great) in that I never feel like I'm wasting my time to pull AA for 5-15 minutes. If the air zerg is heavy, you can make a lot of XP in a short amount of time.

    Deterrence is not a bad thing. You need to realize that getting a soft-kill (driving the target off) is important. For every second that you can force an aircraft off-station and out of the hex, that is one less second that your ground forces are being bombed or your overwatch air units being harassed. If your side does not control the airspace over the front, you will likely lose the attack or lose the defense of that base.

    It's just a different pace of combat - clear the air out, drink coffee for a minute or two, wait for air to come flocking back.

    (Also why I feel the devs need to nerf redeploy-side and put the emphasis back on air vehicles as transport. Give me more things to shoot at!)
  15. ColonelChingles

    What is a deterrent? Well a deterrent is:

    So if an ESF can still run in there, drop its payload, and have to fly off instead of hanging around to farm, then we do not have a working deterrent.

    Generally speaking deterrents have a few parts:
    1) A known threat. It's a pretty bad deterrent if the person you are trying to deter does not know of the threat.
    2) A credible threat. The threat must be meaningful enough to deter the person from doing the action in the first place.

    Common examples of deterrents are nuclear deterrents (where the known threat of nuclear annihilation is enough to prevent nuclear states from going to war) and legal deterrents (where laws have harsh enough punishment and high enough enforcement that it discourages people from committing crimes in the first place). That's how deterrents work.

    PS2's AA is not a deterrent for a few reasons. First, AA is not really a known threat. You don't know it's there until it starts shooting at you or someone else. Second, AA is not a credible threat. One Skyguard is highly unlikely to take down a decent ESF pilot, much less a Liberator or Galaxy. Third, AA does not discourage pilots from doing what they want to do. ESFs can still engage ground targets (sometimes even the AA itself), just that they can't stick around and farm. Most Liberators could care less about AA like Skyguards.

    To make AA into a deterrent, you need to make it known (autospotted or whatever) and highly lethal (2-3 second TTK maybe). There should also be a 2-3 second time gap between when the AA is known and when it can engage. In this way pilots should see that there is AA in the area and that they should not fly there or they have an extremely high chance of dying. Poof, now AA is a deterrent as pilots are deterred from entering that airspace and attacking ground units.

    Pilots bring this up a lot, complaining that lots of AA can lock their single ESF out of large fights. The answer to this is that if you want to operate in an area with lots of AA, then you need lots of aircraft working together.

    Even over hot zones, if a squadron of ESFs comes in, then their losses tend to be low. This is because AA fire (unless extremely coordinated) gets dispersed over the entire squadron and no single aircraft bears the full brunt of AA fire. This can also be used to draw out enemy AA fire and then attack it with overwhelming numbers.

    I mean it's not even an aircraft thing... lone tanks getting close to large fights risk being instagibbed by 10+ HA's shooting rockets at them. Infiltrators moving by themselves are much more likely to die in a 48+ fight than they are in a 12- fight. The solution for all these problems is teamwork, and aircraft should not be exempt from this.
    • Up x 4
  16. DorianOmega

    Lock ons are what are lame about the anti air game (although imo a required part of it) , Flak cannons are much more interactive and lethal vs air, lets you actually get kills and thus the xp/kdr bump your looking for.
  17. Aldaris

    Sorry, but that still IS a deterrent. There is a massive difference between air that has to run off, and air that gets ignored. One of them can completely destroy a fight, the other doesn't.
    • Up x 2
  18. Alarox


    Also, tank shells.
    • Up x 2
  19. asdfPanda

    How so? Having to fly off because of AA means that the threat of AA is credible(risk dying if staying to farm).

    You say that AA has to be known to become a deterrent. Sure, making AA known and highly lethal is one way of going about making AA a deterrent, but it shouldn't have to be that way. You risk further dividing the air game from the ground game. Planetside 2 seems to be going for the combined arms angle; forcing pilots to entirely avoid fights with enough AA is detrimental to the overall scope of the game. In fact, this already happens enough in large fights.

    Secondly, AA becomes known after pilots enter a fight. Therefore, it is a known threat after the fact. Furthermore, the lack of awareness of AA makes AA more lethal, making the AA a credible threat.

    I diagree. The notion that AA discourages pilots from consistently attacking ground targets is discouraging pilots from what the want to do. Forcing pilots to play cat and mouse with AA is deterring them from their objective.

    Skyguards are effective, as seen in this video. The driver takes down plenty of enemy air, although, most of the pilots are pretty bad.

    Correct, coordinated AA is lethal, especially in larger fights, which should be the case.
    • Up x 1
  20. Tyrant103

    Not hard to comprehend, it's extremely boring and unrewarding and for this reason almost no one will do it. Did you read the title and post by the OP at all or are you autistic?

    I believe the XP reward for deterring air should be much higher.

    In Planetside 2, due to how AA works any pilot with basic intelligence can easily sweep in get their certs leave while taking abit of damage, reload, repair come back same **** all over again. Nothing wrong with that I guess but the poor fellow doing AA doesn't get ****.
    • Up x 2