Holy crap, I just realized, the Air game is pretty perfect right now!

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by DashRendar, May 10, 2014.

  1. DashRendar

    I had a moment of clarity today, and it was a beautiful thing. The air game has come a long way since release, and I think it's more or less perfect where it is right now. Each craft has a role to play now, and craft balance is pretty perfect too, with some slight issues.

    The ESF: An annoyance for the most part, a distraction from the fight that in and of itself is performing a supportive role for friendly troops by distracting enemies. The ESF is still capable of easily killing unaware ground targets, but due to its extremely small health pool and capability to be hurt by any damage source in the game, it is certainly not ideal for the job. The ESF is a one-man quick to engage quick to disengage antagonizer that can be very efficient at taking out enemy air units, especially coordinated attacks.

    The Lib: This is your primary damage dealer, as it can be kitted for just about any role, and is reasonably effective in all of them although it requires a reasonable amount of skill and awareness to be effective at all. The Lib has a much higher health pool than the ESF, but is much slower, so it is more vulnerable and has a particular weakness to ESF noseguns which makes the smaller faster ESF a working counter for it.

    The Galaxy: The backbone of the engagement. This is your troop carrier and fallback spawn point. The Galaxy has become very prominent in organized play due to its squad spawning ability which makes it a very mobile troop carrier that can drop troops onto a contested base and break a stalemate when executed correctly. On top of this, the Gal has a huge health pool and is decently kitted to deal with almost any threat, although due to high skill floor weapons and low agility, it is not ideal for this job.

    So that's the units, and the unit roles, but what is the air game? It's beautiful: The air game has become so great that there is generally a good assortment of aircraft types and in decent numbers in any given fight. Air is relevant to the game now. For instance: Gals are pulled to bring troops to the fight, which causes a knee jerk reaction by the enemy to pull Libs to kill the troops, which causes friendlies to pull ESFs to get rid of the Libs farming the troops, which causes the enemy to pull more ESFs to counter your ESFs and before you know it, the sky is full of Galaxies Libs and ESFs all brawling for air superiority and performing their roles until one side emerges the victor.

    If there's a few things that aren't quite perfect yet, it's ESFs A2A abiliity and G2A Flak.

    1. ESF have such low health that they're very dangerous to use, they mostly get used for suicide roles where you get a bunch of guys to suicide rush a pesky unit or encampment that you know will mean the death of most of you, but if it'll turn the battle then it'll be worth it. The ESF could either use a health buff, or keep it like it is and increase nosegun damage vs Libs and Gals. I'm talking a slight buff, like 4% against Libs, and 8% against Gals. Just something that would solidify the ESFs role as an A2A superiority fighter. ESFs are capable, but kinda weak against Ground targets now, but non-ESF air units have reasonable difficulty killing them, and I think that's fine as long as they get a small A2A buff just to sweeten the role. Composite Armor definitely needs a buff. There's really no reason for an ESF to choose Composite Armor, it just doesn't help in enough situations. It's fine vs. Flak, but it needs more resists like Walker/Bulldog resist or maybe something that will stop duh Doltan OHK :eek: (...maybe)

    2. Flak is a little weak now: NOT so weak that we need to bring back OP rangeless instant death Flak from release, that was horrible, but it could use a small buff as well because it's sorta laughable unless gathered in large numbers. Skyguard is more or less fine where it is, let the devs decide about that, but Bursters and to some extent base turrets could use a slight buff in close ranges. Maybe tailor the range dropoffs so that 150m is the convergence point between right now and post-buff. Under 150m Flak is buffed and over 150m Flak is made weaker to be more of a deterrent. Just because Flak is a little bit frustrating while you are trying to run away from a fight and you've got an ESF and 3 lockon G2A rockets on your tail and Flak is basically pretty rangeless if there are no mountains to hide behind.

    Anyway just some thoughts on the Air Game currently, as I think it has become quite good lately. I still suck for the most part in an ESF because of the low health, but they're not far from being perfect either.

    EDIT: Actually, I'll expand on my Composite Armor thoughts, because I think it could be an important part of the puzzle.

    ESF Composite: Fine vs. Flak because ESF needs to be weak vs. Ground, but needs a buff vs. Air damage sources. Walker/Bulldog resist is an easy choice, MAYBE ESF Nosegun, but that's debatable. Making ESF Composite Armor stop the Dalton oneshot would be great for the ESF, but that would be I think too damaging vs, the Lib. I think that would make a single ESF kill a crewed Lib too often, where it should take like 2 ESFs to efficiently kill a Lib. Either way, I'd actually be open to testing this if the Devs want to try it on the Test Server :eek:

    Lib Composite: Perfect. It helps the Lib be more resilient against Ground targets, but not air targets. This is role specialization at work. Perfect.

    Gal Composite: It's OK, not as good as Lib Composite, but better than the current ESF Composite for sure. I'm not sure what would make it better though. Maybe a Tank Buster resist?
    • Up x 10
  2. HellasVagabond

    Air game would be perfect if you didn't have an aircraft with 3 AA guns manned by 3 people that needs 3 x 150mm AP shells from a Vanguard and 5 x A2A missiles from a Reaver to be destroyed (Hint, it starts with L)........
    • Up x 21
  3. z1967

    To say it is perfect would be a lie. It still has some underlying problems but the majority of the previous ones have been solved. Guess there are a few other things that are blatant that need to be fixed but other than that I can see where you are coming from.
    • Up x 1
  4. DashRendar

    The Lib is SUPPOSED to be good against ground targets. Tanks need to die too yanno?
    • Up x 5
  5. Frostiken

    Airgame is **** right now. If a Liberator shows up to a fight that's got fewer than ~30 people per side, it will be unkillable and will completely dominate everything on the ground. The Liberator is a terrible design.

    Anti-air should trump air every day of the week, except maybe a suicidal Galaxy push. This is how it is in reality, so I don't know why we should be trying to redefine warfare roles except to appease useless hotshot airwhores who do nothing but ruin every game with aircraft they flock to. You don't fly fighters and bombers over anything that has anti-air defenses still active - you either knock them out on the ground or you use dangerous, highly specialized aircraft to run SEAD missions.

    Flak is garbage because flak has a hard-set DPS limit, and that DPS limit is enough to let just about any aircraft escape to repair. I can't count the number of times I've been rolling around in my Skyguard and had enemy ESF have absolutely no qualms with directly attacking me or just sitting there in extremely close range, and I have absolutely no chance whatsoever of killing them before they simply fly away. If Flak did extra damage at close range (or direct hits vs. proximity detonation) it would be less of an issue. But that's not the case right now. Currently you need a minimum of three Skyguards to stand any real chance of defending against just a handful of ESF and even then, the majority of them are just going to spam rockets from far away, land, repair, and do it over and over again.

    Liberators themselves are just a terrible, terrible design. Lose the pilot gun, for one. Secondly, the bottom turret is a replacement for a 'bomber' is just... broken design. The point of implementing a bomber in Planetside 1 - that dropped bombs, mind you - is that it had to overfly targets directly to attack them. This meant it had to fly a path right over the heart of a battle. This also gave it some inherent inaccuracy. Since the bombardier had very limited control to 'aim' the bombs, it meant that if the pilot was sub-par and didn't overfly the target exactly, the bombardier wouldn't be able to hit them. This is not what we have in PS2. In PS2, Liberators are armored more than MBTs and about ten times harder to kill. This would be okay if they had to overfly targets, but they don't. Liberators right now just have to stay on the edge of a battle with their belly tilted inwards, lobbing shells into the battle. This makes it effectively impossible to ever actually kill them, since they are so far away much of your flak is going to miss, you can't reach them with missiles, and even if you do, they can just run away that much easier.

    ESF are another problem in that they are not specialized enough. Again, let's go look at how the real world works - you can have ground attack aircraft, but they need to be able to fly low, slow, and thus be durable. This makes them absolutely useless for air superiority. For air superiority, you use aircraft that are extremely powerful, lightweight, and focus on that role. You don't use an F-15C to attack tank columns and you don't use an A-10C to shoot down aircraft.

    Instead what we have now is an F/A-12.5C. ESFs equipped with rocket pods and armor upgrades have absolutely no trouble shooting down other ESF. Of course, this was fixed in PS1, because they were smart enough to have TWO fighter aircraft - Mosquitos, which had terrible A/G capabilities, and Reavers, which were slow and unmaneuverable and were terrible at A/A. We need to strip a serious amount of speed and maneuverability from the current ESFs when they're running A/G missions.

    More importantly, we need to remove 98% of the ammo and in-flight reload capabilities from Liberators and ESFs. A Liberator should not be able to simply hover over a battlefield with dozens of Dalton shells in it. It should start with only 4 shells and be upgraded to a maximum of 10. All ESF rocket and missile weapons should be limited to a single volley before having to fly back to an air pad to reload.

    In fact, I also believe we should remove the ability for players to repair aircraft on their own. Force repairs to be done at an air pad as well.

    Again, this is how aircraft ******* WORK. You take out an airbase and you eliminate the ability of aircraft to rearm and repair. You cannot do field repairs on a fighter jet like you can on a tank.

    Finally, what we really, really really really need is an MBT version of the Skyguard - a heavy-duty anti-aircraft turret equipped with quad heavy autocannons *and* secondary lock-on anti-air missiles. Something that shows up to the fight and completely shuts down the entire air game.

    We need a 9K22 Tunguska.

    Flak is ****. Get rid of flak. I want an anti-air weapon that is skill based and lets me wipe out ESFs in a second or two of direct fire. There are dozens of ways to be one-hit-killed in a ground vehicle. We had a Sunderer full of people run over an anti-tank mine and instantly explode. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER that ground forces don't deserve weaponry that can one-hit-kill aircraft.
    • Up x 19
  6. HellasVagabond

    Yet it's effective against both Air and Ground targets.......And has way too much armor....
    • Up x 5
  7. Baracuda

    Libs are also SUPPOSED to be good against infantry AND aircraft by default! THE GRAND SKY GODS FROM ABOVE HAVE DECLARED IT SO! Because its a 3 man vehicle! It SHOULD be hard to kill and be able to kill everything with complete omnipotence!
    • Up x 7
  8. Frostiken

    These children would cry blood if they were forced to use PS1-style aircraft. "What do you mean I can't dogfight and spam rockets at everything! Why doesn't my bomber pilot have a giant autocannon that can frag anything on the ground in seconds? I have to fly OVER targets to bomb them? This is terrible!"
    • Up x 11
  9. DashRendar

    Lol. You have obviously never encountered a Battlegal. Maybe one day you will see one. Until that day, keep trying for that Lib nerf man!
    • Up x 2
  10. Paragon Exile

    If even a small percentage of people in a given fight pull AA, virtually any Liberator crew is doomed. Liberators are powerful and could use an adjustment or better yet, an overhaul of their design, but they're not this force of nature you make them out to be.
    • Up x 6
  11. HellasVagabond

    Gals are much easier to shoot down....Take more shots to kill but they are twice as large compared to the Liberator and much less fast & agile.....Not to mention that their firing arcs are nowhere close to that of the dalton.
    • Up x 2
  12. Paragon Exile

    OT; I agree to an extent OP.

    I feel Liberators could use a nerf in their AA abilities, as well as a few percent decreases in certain resistances (Perhaps let them get pinged by small arms fire for minor damage?), but aside from that and some issues with Coyotes, the air game isn't really the issue it's made to be.
    • Up x 3
  13. Frostiken

    lol ********. I'll bet you aren't willing to put a number with that 'small percentage'. 'Shooting down' does not equal 'damaging it so it has to go repair'.

    Not every fight is the brainless moron 100v100 zergs you apparently only participate in. Pulling the four Skyguards required to actually destroy a Liberator before it flies away is 15-25% of your forces in a small fight, and Skyguards come with far, far more caveats to their design than a stupid Liberator.
    • Up x 5
  14. DashRendar

    I agree the Tank Buster could use a decent sized adjustment vs air targets, but only air targets IMO. Maybe my idea to make ESF Composite resist Dalton shots would make people happier about Libs? Libs and Gals could use more passive Tank Buster resist also.
  15. Kalendric

    It's not in a good state right now I'd say as primarily a ground pounder. I'd say the biggest problem is that flak based weapons are boring to use, over specialized, rubbish at their job and most importantly far too expensive. Honestly, I'd be happy to keep them as they are if spawning a dedicated AA unit didn't eat up nearly half my resource pool.

    That's why Libs seem so powerful in small fights. I don't want to spend 350 resources to pull a burster max to fight a single Lib - it's a huge investment that in no way is going to pay for itself. The same with the Skyguard. Plus one of these things by itself isn't going to be enough to properly menace a Liberator or semi capable ESF Pilot so you're looking at at least two, probably three AA units to seriously threaten one air unit. That's a ridiculous commitment of resources in a small battle.

    I think they should make it so that the gun mounted on your vehicle or MAX determines the cost of spawning it. That way they can justify making the dedicated and limited AA units cheaper to fit the fact they're only any good (allegedly) at one job. If an AA Max then wants to swap to say AI weapons, well, he can pay for the weapon swap. I still think Libs and ESF's to a lesser extent are generally overpowered, but that's more to do with the unreasonable resource commitment I'm asked to make to fight them from the ground than any other reason.

    As for the Galaxy spawn change, I think that was a terrible idea. It puts far too much power into the hands of organized outfits versus the disorganized masses that the game relies on to reach the critical number of players for us to have a game of large scale combat. My outfit abuses the hell out of it as do all our rivals. It's like a giant unlimited beacon in the sky that the enemy hasn't a prayer of doing anything about unless they commit loads of air to deal with it. It should never have been implemented. From a personal perspective, I think the game lost something in it's sense of scale when rather than having the galaxy swoop in to pick up the squad you all hit the "redeploy" key and magically teleport into the sky.

    Alas once you've made a change like this for "convenience", it's hard to go back to the way things were.
    • Up x 5
  16. Paragon Exile

    Three guys with skyguards or dual Bursters will wipe the floor with any fool who gets within 200 metres (i.e. before his gunner has LoS). ESF's get demolished in 2 seconds with basically no hope of survival, and Liberators/Galaxies must immediately disengage or get trounced. I've seen this time and time again. This is completely ignoring AA turrets and lockons, which heavily disincentivise air traffic just by being up.
    • Up x 3
  17. Giggily

    My biggest issue with air in this game is that Libs are too versatile right now. The belly gun needs to get nerfed pretty badly.
    • Up x 4
  18. Frostiken

    So three guys need to disengage from a fight to willfully take command of a specific resource which has absolutely no capability whatsoever to defend itself, is highly specialized against just one single threat on the battlefield - a threat which has the option of controlling when and where it picks fights - and the only way it can destroy that threat is if all three players are working in extremely tight coordination. And all three players are instantly killed by a single brick of C4, which they'll probably encounter sooner rather than later since they're looking up at the damn sky and can't defend themselves even if they wanted to.

    Meanwhile the ESFs just land, repair, and change tactics to spamming rockets from far away, or the Liberators just keel over and lob Daltons into the battlefield from a safe distance, dropping behind cover when they take some damage. Oh, and then the base fails because 20% of your forces were playing anti-air and doing nothing else.

    You people are like cultists, I'm incredulous that you actually believe any of this that you're saying.
    • Up x 12
  19. DashRendar

    In order for combined arms to work you need to accept the fact that something you may not be interested in has the ability to kill you. Statistically speaking, your average Tankers have better K/D and SPM than your average Aircraft pilots, always have. Why do you think MBTs cost more? They do similar damage, are easier to use, and ignoring AV turret nests, are harder to kill
    • Up x 1
  20. Paragon Exile

    Except that they're in the fight for the duration, just shooting at different targets.

    Are you trying to tell me specialized units in a combined arms multiplayer game are supposed to rely on teamwork and co-operation?! :eek:

    Burster MAXes can swap their weapons, while Skyguards can engage infantry and light armour. Skyguards also have a much larger effective range than Burster MAXes due to their much better projectile velocity, menaing they can do their jobs for longer.

    Which is the whole point of air units.

    Except they can just be random idiots that happen to be shooting at the same target. Considering this happens literally thousands of times daily...

    And again, you're complaining about teamwork being needed to take down a vehicle. Do you also complain when people pull multiple AV MAX units and heavies to deal with encroaching tanks?

    Tanks just need to avoid enclosed spaces and have good situational awareness (lightnings also don't get killed by one C4), MAX units have flak armour, and can be repaired quickly and revived.

    Unless, god willing, they're actually with their allies, in the rear flanks away from obvious threats. Nerf teamwork!

    Fly over a base with two AA turrets, bursters, skyguards and heavies with lockons. Stay there for more than two seconds, then call back. Complaining that an ESF escaped a single MAX when it started shooting early isn't proof for your side.

    Have fun aiming that, and I hope... Owait! Render distance!

    There's no such thing as a safe distance; Skyguards can engage a Liberator and force them to disengage within the entire render distance. To avoid that AA, the Lib would need to fly wither very high, making his gunner's job very difficult (negating the point of the Liberator) or very low, blocking his gunner's LoS.

    And doing no damage to your friendly forces int he mean time. In other words, you just admitted flak was doing its job :p

    Even though that almost never happens.

    You seem to think that I think the Lib is perfect, it isn't. It needs to be less competent with AA (No Dalton OHK to ESF's, Shredder AA nerf, steeper drop with belly flops) and be made more relevant in larger fights.

    It's quite easy to hold my position when my allies aren't incompetent when it comes to dealing with aircraft. Maybe the NC could take a few notes, maybe stop us from winning 47% of alerts?
    • Up x 1