How ESF's kill the fun

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Grimlore, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Grimlore

    I literally expect nothing to come of it but I figured I would post this anyway. One of the biggest skill ceilings in this game is mastering the ESF, its truly a difficult vehicle to play and yet when it is mastered it becomes the ultimate killjoy experience. Nice little base fights are sustained by natural barriers that keep vehicles out but nothing ever stops ESF's from barreling in and murdering anyone. I was doing a tower fight earlier and a truly spectacular ESF pilot single handedly using the default gun shut down the opposition. AA rockets where impossible, he kept moving tremendously fast. Bullet spread is somthing that prevents people from doing **** like this but its suprisingly completely absent from ESF main guns that can take down infantry in small bursts. The Solution, Add SOME! bullet spread to ESF main guns when they move, just alittlebit, Not enough to impact dogfights but enough to make it so they cant just non stop **** a whole group of ground infantry until they finally pull an AA max (who is very little threat to a skilled pilot anyway, and half the time they just leave)
  2. LaughingDead

    Well 2 things
    1: There are plenty of low skill counters for it, it's not like you require an ESF to kill one, just coordination and actual teamwo- Oh **** you might need an ESF.
    Seriously though, all it takes is lockons and potatos.

    2: Buildings are something that stops ESFs from barreling in and murdering everyone. Same with flak, other ESFs and lockons.

    Adding bullet spread to something already hard to learn as is, just adds more of a frustration factor and suddenly makes it so that specific guns are simply not worth using. Imagine if all of your ESF fights required you to be within 300 meters to be effective. That's like brushing shoulders in ESF terms. And if the spread is too little why even bother adjusting it? That's like sifting through code just to find the one bit of it that makes rockets have blue lights instead of yellow. Amaze.
  3. LordKrelas

    So the solution to a Lone-wolf, is an entire coordinated team.
    Unless it uses Flares, in which case, those Lock-ons fail to work at all: as that is a hard-counter to that entire class of weapon.

    Buildings; Have doors, Windows, and aren't everywhere nor available to vehicles.
    As well, TTK is enough that inside the seconds between buildings, that ESF can appear & kill.

    Flak, is a deterrent.
    With most sources costing equal or greater than the single Lone-wolf ESF.

    I dislike the bullet-spread on the ESFs, given their crap controls, let alone if it's enough to matter, Its just.. gah.
    And if it's not enough, It is not worth it.

    However, A Lone-Man Infantry, is dead-to-rights against AI, Vehicles, and other Infantry.
    A Lone-wolf Lighting, does not require a team to kill, Nor does it have a Counter-measure that completely disables AV weapons.
    Neither that Lighting or Infantry, has a hard-counter option, nor the speed to escape combat against any threat past itself.
    An Lone-Wolf ESF, can completely counter Lock-ons, Escape the battle inside a second, and has low TTK weapons.

    Only AA, requires Coordination.
    A2G? Lone-Wolf against group, that for some reason isn't suicide.
    G2A? Suddenly, you need a Group against a lone-wolf.
    AI? No, you do not need coordination.
    AV? No, you also don't need magical coordination.
    An MBT, solo-driven, isn't as capable as an ESF - an 450 Nanite MAX isn't even.
    • Up x 4
  4. User8888

    Air vehicles can't be countered at low population hours, i tried many time to spawn a sunderer and every time i was camped by a liberator and there is no way to counter it or to hide, i think im done soon with this game can't be bothered to be farmed and not be able to do nothing.
    • Up x 2
  5. LaughingDead

    Because infantry should be absolute supreme in numbers? For every 1 ESF there is god knows how many infantry, I'd probably say 20 because no one ever flies. So suddenly with this disparagement of infantry, you have to counter balance how powerful ESFs are.
    How often do you actually see a base with no buildings or an ESF actually dipping to peek you in doorways?

    You mean like a 200 nanite double flak bus? Or 350 nanite skyguard? Or 150 harasser with a ranger? I don't think you know how to count how many vehicles own flak and how much you actually need to counter an ESF.


    Duly noted, lowest common denominator dies to many many things, surprise unfound.

    IR smoke? In fact it cloaks allies near the smoke too, it's like super flares.

    If you're running a skyguard an ESF litterally cannot fight you. How exactly is that not a hard counter option? If you are inside a building, an ESF can do next to nothing to you. I'm pretty sure you're confusing "it can do things" with "it does too much thing".

    Guess we don't have medics, engineers or spotters for any reason except for solo ammo, healing, reviving and spotting.

    If you're a tank against a group of non heavy infantry, it's generally not suicide.

    sunderers? tanks? I feel like it's an issue that these vehicles generally DON'T need multiple people to kill them.

    MBT mains would say otherwise.
    Flashes? Harassers? GUNNERS? ??????

    And that seems like a bigger ******* problem. Why is this plane doing more than a tank, the tank should be doing far more than the plane, but that should be a better reason for MBt buffs.
    • Up x 2
  6. Exileant

    ;) The simplest thing to do for them is to Pull a Skyguard equipped Lightning, Ranger equipped anything, or a Dual Burster max. Stops wigged dogs in their white streaked tracks. For something so hard to play with, you would expect them to dominate. That is the balance trade off. This same principle goes for Flak. :D You do not have to die against ground targets, and when you do, it is usually due to, arrogance, greediness, or rage. :p Thank goodness in order for them to truly get kills, they have to stick around a bit. Just like it takes skill and Certs to be effective with an E.S.F. it also takes skill and Certs to be with flak style turrets. :)eek: I still have not figured out the Basilisk against fighters, but I know they are effective because I run into skilled Basilisk users more often than not, when flying. But then again it might just be because my ship is the sized of a building from the bottom. Either way, it is a monster in skilled hands. Hahahaha!) o_O I think the opposite is the case when it comes to Lock versus Flak and which one is better to use. I prefer my enemy using locks. The second I hear a beep, I am gone. ;) I then have extra time to flee from the missile because it has to travel to me; where as Flack is instant, blinding, and hits deceptively HARD. :confused: Trust me... E.S.F.s have it too rough already.... Especially Vanu's. Just practice with flak anytime you can. o_O You will learn it, and when you do? You will down them all day long. Heaven help them if you have a H.A. with you as well.
  7. LordKrelas

    I don't see Tanks, having this requirement, nor having hard-counters that disable AV weapons.
    Aircraft do, Which was the point: Air literally have a hard-counter to the very thing you just said. And only air.
    Not that Infantry need to be the solution to everything.

    How often do you not have an Instant Boost, and the ability to Find those bases, with an ESF?

    200 Nanite Bus, is incredibly slow, and is unable to evade or similar, Anything else on the ground.
    Which it is defenseless against, and the Air it even strikes, is capable of complete disengagement.
    It also will be mauled by the first Liberator that arrives - which can do it solo.
    That Bus also needs 2-3 Operators, the ESF is a single-man vehicle.
    Harasser, needs 2 people to operate or is static, suffering the same issue as the Sunderer unless manned.

    Flak is a deterrent.
    ESF's weaponry are killers - And it's on a frame able to always disengage from any fight it wants, at any moment.
    No land vehicle can press a button & run from a Pilot with a dedicated weapon.
    Air? 1 Button, and they've completely disengaged & survived their dedicated counter-weapon.

    AV Rockets are not typically affected by Smoke.
    You are not however, getting an non-locking Rocket to nail a Pilot who isn't a brick.
    A land vehicle also only can move in 1 dimension: a pilot can change elevation at will.

    ...You realize that Skyguard, has a deterrent weapon that preforms less than the before mentioned weapons right?
    And that ESF isn't dead-to-rights, but can disengage; That same lighting , can not ever disengage.

    This game does not exist inside a building;
    I can not drag a Building across a map; I can fire a flare however, which lets me Kill & grants immunity to said Lock-ons.

    Medics & Engineers, do not require actual Coordination to function.
    Your med-tool does not need the focus & coordination of nearby allies to begin working.
    A lock-on , not only alerts the ESF, but needs multiples to work; Which the single ESF can out-run, Fire a flare, or straight tank with Fire-suppression.
    Any ESF can also run twice the weaponry of an equally-priced Lighting Tank, at the same time.

    That isn't a squad coordinating against a single target.
    Their weapons work independently, and do not need a 2nd person to actually work - nor does their weapons turn-off if the Opponent presses a button.
    Unless you've seen a Sunderer or MBT's top-gun shutdown since a Plane flew by.
    As well; Those are all multi-crew vehicles, and ESF isn't. (past the flash, as flash is hilarious)
    A lighting tank can not preform as well as an ESF.

    If everything was ESF or Liberator levels, we'd have no gameplay past those vehicles alone.
    But yes, the MBTs are a bit down in some aspects.
  8. TR5L4Y3R


    yes a hornet esf from 300 to 400 meters totaly gives a scrap bout your super high spreading flakgun .. suuure ..

    even a default esf is rather capable to plink at you from range than any flak could ...
    in that case you are better of using walkers and even those are barely capable to fight off ESF´s ...
    but hornet esf´s against a single AA vehicle? nope no chance ..
    you need at least 2 to 4 of any AA sources to kill any ESF quikly .. and that is aleady the problem ..
    numberadvantage for infantry matters jack when they can´t hit the esf at the ranges it is capable of ..
    valks are even more a lost cause with engineers on rumbleseats ..
    libs? 3 to 4 of any propper AA source AND the aircraft needs to be in range .. if it´s only infantry with few HA´s carrying lock ons that squad is more than likely dead meat ..

    sunderers might be decent with dual AA but at the same time this makes them vulnerable against everything else ..
    neither rangers nor walkers do enough damage to scare off tanks from range .. if tanks close in that sunderer is screwed cause of the lack of low pitching for rangers/walkers .. meaning a sunderer while multiturreted and cheap is still at a disadvantage, requiring the crew in the worst case to get off the sunderer and if neccesary switch classes or to a max eventualy investing more nanites ..
    still a ESF with hornets is capable to destroy a AA sunderer from range without taking too much damage, at the very least it capable to survive staying mobile ... the best chance a sunderer has to survive is being deployed with shield ...

    let´s say that sunderer has 3 engineers, their standart mana turrets aswell as AV turrets can´t pitch high enough, them using sentryguns is both a further naniteinvestmeant and not enough in range compared to what the esf is capable
    archer is hard to use with its bulletdrop and easily dodgeable ...

    heavy assault have limited lock range otherwise too slow and high projectiledrop on most of their launchers

    maxes with flak have the same problem flak in general has on range: too much spread, and it is a high naniteinvestmeant
    gorgons lack both in range and RoF
    max second gen AV weapons lack the dps and aside from the vortex are easily dodgeable as is the VS max first gen AV weapon, the other first gen MAX AV weapons you can forget cause of their high projectiledrop

    i don´t think i have to mention the problems a light assault has to overcome defending a sunderer from a ESF ..

    medic and infil are incapable to do anything on their own against aircraft ..

    in short the the ground to air game is FOOKED !! ... not just infantry vs aircraft but vehicle vs aircraft, too ...
    sidenote infantry vs vehicles is also much more in favor of vehicles but not AASSS bad vs aircraft ..
    • Up x 1
  9. LodeTria

    Well, yeah the ESF does actually. It's much easier to kill a skyguard by sneaking up behind it with hornets than sitting at 400m hoping the skyguard doesn't notice you whilst you hit it with hornets & not get back damage.
  10. adamts01

    I agree ESF have it rough right now, small fights aside. But why does VS have it especially bad? Great front profile, great handling, average dps with the fastest reloads, Hornets that go where you aim them, and the PPA whish has more dps and sustained damage than the Banshee. It's a solid ESF in every way, and the best in a couple categories.

    I actually think bullet spread might have fixed ESF if done from the start. It's too late now. A2A combat is basically get good with the nosegun or zerg with Coyotes. Flying is relatively easy, while hitting targets is what separates aces from most pilots. Adding bullet spread makes landing some hits easier, especially since you have to aim with the a&d keys and built in mouse acceleration on pitch, and bullet spread limits how good you can get at shooting. But, to help people get in to flying they ruined air with air locks and Coyotes. What they should have done was introduce a crazy high fire rate nose gun with low dps and terrible spread. That would let all pilots land some hits while they learn to aim, but the low dps would keep vets from abusing the easy weapon.
  11. LodeTria

    Isn't that what the High capacity guns are? They have worse deeps and CoF but bigger mag so you spend les time reloading.
    They don't have High RoF though, but they do have no drop-off.

    Most vets don't use them cus they aren't good.
  12. adamts01

    A ton of vets do actually use them. They're the best option for nosegun ESF against libs. And they're pretty good when fighting other vets because they can shoot nonstop without reloading. All that up time yeilds better sustained dps.

    Anyway, think long range gun with half the accuracy, 1/3 of the dps, half the magazine size, damage falloff, and twice the fire rate. That would let anyone get some hits, would only tickle at range, promote the skills needed to progress (unlike Coyotes/air locks), and generally serve as a medium-skill gun to help beginning and average pilots not feel worthless.

    I think that's what the Skyguard should be as well. Flak has a 15 meter explosion radius, and a huge cone of fire. Leave the cone of fire, maybe slightly reduce it, maybe put 3 walkers on it to increase its fire rate to relia KY hit within its cone of fire, and let it dominate at tankbuster/shredder range, but taper off to a tickle at 450, where ESF cNt engage from and where movement should negate the Dalton's power. The trick would be tuning it so it wouldn't dominate Harassers and infantry.

    And there you go, easy weapons to use where esf can maneuver to avoid damage, and a skyguard that can shred close air and secure kills without being terribly annoying at range, all while being more fun to drive since it can work against other targets.
    • Up x 1
  13. LodeTria

    Really? I don't find that to be the case at all. Most use the defualts or rotarys, but I see very few using High capacity. When in a squad with decent pilots if they hear me using a kestral they always ask why. I always say "only for auraxium" cus I haven't yet and it's typically responded to with "my condolences" or something.

    Noseguns are pretty average against libs all around these days so I don't know why you'd use the HC for them when that wrmy thing exists in the tank slot, or if you wanna be a real ****ter lock-ons.
  14. TRspy007

    The thing with AA is that it's not only extremely expensive (AA max for example) it's also surprisingly ****. All AA does is scare pilots away, until they:

    1) Find a way to sneak up and kill you insta-fast.
    2) Realize their teammates took care of you and come back, since AA is even more useless against everything else.
    3) They just leave for a bit, repair, come back, repeat, since flak doesn't actually damage them that much.

    Honestly the air game is simply unfair. I can't tell you how many times I've decimated or shot dudes out the air in my tank, but against a skilled pilot its hard to even save myself. Air is highly agile, and does surprisingly huge amounts of damage. A single pilot can ruin a whole fight. I've faced zergs alone, but when there's air, it becomes almost impossible to do anything. They attack from impossible angles, can doge the slow firing rockets, destroy maxes.

    The worst is when one single-highhandedly shreds your mbt in 3 seconds. They attack from angles the turret can't reach, and people will say, "get AA" as your secondary, which then leaves you at a massive disadvantage against other tanks. The only way I found I can deal with these tryhards is calling a pro pilot from my faction. He's awesome and has my back, problem is he's not always on..
    • Up x 1
  15. xMeserionx

    AA does not require coordination, period. Pull a skyguard and you win vs. ESFs. Do you kill them? No because armor and air gameplay is different from infantry, its drawn out with armor being durable and air being evasive (mostly). Because ESFs have fixed guns (the direction they face is the direction they shoot) Getting them to run away via deterrence like lock-ons or Flak, is effective because they cease to attack and can only run away. Unlike Infantry play, outright destroying them rarely happens in a 1 on 1 which is, by design how it works but that is also why air deterrence xp is a thing. If an ESF is running decoy flares (rare these days), then it has a 30 second cooldown between uses, so if they come for another pass they have flares ready. Most ESF pilots will run Fire Suppression instead as it can up to 25% of the ESFs hp which is far better than a long CD lock-on break.

    To the OP: sounds like you're a noob, which is ok, so realize air disrupting your fight is their job. They're suppose to make things difficult, so you spend time deterring them with lock-ons and flak rather than capturing bases.
  16. LordKrelas

    Pull AV, and you actually kill the target.
    Let alone if you Pulled an equal price or more expensive Nanite unit.
    AA? You pull a specialized Skyguard, only designed for Anti-air firepower for the exact same nanite price, and you did not kill the target.
    Is it a victory, if your opponent is alive, and was only deterred for a moment? Not, if you were using AV or AI.

    ESFs have AOE weapons, with an incredibly short TTK on targets, with the ability to pack a secondary weapon.
    Deterrence.. just means they do not act as a Stationary gun-turret over that spot.
    Their fixed-mount nature, does not make Spooking an Nanite-vehicle capable of traveling across the entire map in seconds, with some of the more lethal weapons, auto-repair, built-in-radar & other features, at all worth the Nanite price.
    As said unit also does not lose nanites, nor is actually gone, Had it decided it was worth the Chip damage, it can still kill.
    The price for this specialization to even do this Deterrence is Total vulnerability to every Ground unit, with a nanite-price tag on top.

    You pull a Skyguard, it runs. If you don't lose that Skyguard, and stay in it, maybe it stops till you leave it.
    You lack a vehicle terminal, are already engaged, or... Can not pull a near-defenceless vehicle casually in a fire-fight..
    or the Aircraft is bright, it can completely deplete nanites, as the Skyguard is so specialized, and equal price, that Each pull is an entire ESF's price-tag -- While Deterring it, does not cost the Pilot anything but time.

    That Flare, provides a direct immunity to all Lock-ons for a period in addition when activated.
    Tanks wish they could do that to AV weapons.
    And that 30 second period, between the total hard-counter, is on a vehicle able to cross the map in less time.

    Fire-Suppression; Where they can instantly recover a massive amount of health.
    At a better value than Ground Vehicles.. for some reason.
    While packing the same amount of guns as multi-crew land vehicles, auto-repair & built-in-radar.

    Here's an idea;
    Air gets to have Deterrent-style Weapons only.
    Give them the Damage-Ribbons, Maybe they'll enjoy the rewards
    - Unlike vehicles & maxes, unable to reach every single fight on the continent inside seconds.

    AV & AI, are Killers.
    AA is deterrent...
    Air-based AV & AI, has the lowest TTK, and has firepower rivaling MBT weapons.
    Imagine if the Skyguard had the Dalton, and Pilots only had Flak weapons.
    Flak, is also a Buzz-kill; It's either useless & painful to the Operator, or painful to the Pilot.
    This pain is either from Constant chip-damage , or the stacking-effect where it finally kills: But does so in a BS manner.
    Flak is not fun at all, to use, or to be shot at by.

    Not to mention, it isn't fun, to pray you have a Vehicle terminal right-nearby, to spawn a Nanite-investment, that relies on the ESF deciding to stick-around.
    Otherwise, the Vehicle is.. near completely worthless, vulnerable to every threat, and not all that effective against Liberators.
    While the equal-price ESF, can take out MBTs - and can completely pick & choose their engagement, with the perk of Being able to Escape the best AA weapons, Past massive stacking of AA.

    Also, on the coordination bit:
    Might want to talk to the Other pilots, they mention... Focus-fire, Lock-Ons (which you need 3), and then skyguards.
    Which do not magically spawn in open-fields. An ESF going 300m\s however might as well teleport.
  17. Liewec123

    If anyone reading is TR then I'd reccomend ALWAYS using Striker when you're playing HA,
    TR are in the unique position of having one of the best AA tools in the game available without a nanite cost,
    It only takes 2 rounds to kill an ESF and it requires no skill atall,
    So yeah, HAs! Pull your strikers!
    • Up x 2
  18. adamts01

    I always thought the gun was trash myself. After a year off, I started flying again and have been dueling every top pilot I've had the chance to, and to my surprise maybe a third of them have switched to that gun. Granted, this is Connery, but some of those guys are no joke. If you're considering two good pilots, up close, it'll probably take 3-5 default magazines to get a kill. When you consider the extended mag, the long range gun has a sustained damage advantage, plus you can stay still and really pile on some damage while they're reloading. At long range it has a clear advantage. And most A2A pilots don't run wing mounts because fuel pods are such a HUGE advantage when you fight someone who can shoot. When you add that it's the clear winner for fighting libs outside Hyena range, it adds up to a solid choice. And then there's the ammo pool. Half of my time with a Rotary is looking for an ammo pad, and not even bothering to shoot at Libs because I simply don't have enough ammo to finish the job, or I don't want to be left dry in case another fighter shows up.

    I've never claimed to be a great pilot, so though I do thoroughly understand the air game, much of this position comes from what incredible pilots are saying. I'm personally a stock nose gun fan. I can't land hits as reliably with the long range gun. But when I do get a bead on someone with it I can see its potential, and I've fought enough guys who switch between that and default to see its power.
  19. tigerchips

    They're getting in really close because they know they can, this wasn't an issue when we could one shot ESF's with a lightning python AP. Another nerf that was not necessary and actually enable skilled players to one shot ESF's.

    Your best bet is to equip flak armour and bring out a heavy assault lock on weapon, or a Max equipped with anti-air flak. There is also the skyguard but you need land free of enemy vehicles. In some ways, one on one, it's weaker against fast moving ESF if the ESF spots you first. The skyguard sometimes fails to detect the vehicle with Engagement Radar, either because of long distance, a bug, or just not being able to spot the tag on the side of the screen quick enough.

    I sometimes bring out an Anti-vehicle engineer turret, takes more than one shot and requires target not to be straight up in the air. At least it's guided though.
  20. Exileant

    :confused: Well I am sorry you feel that way. :D If I did not know better, I would feel that way about the Basilisk.... We all have our weaknesses. This type of A.A. is yours. I know when I pull a Lightning they get destroyed dodging be darned. A.A. will not just scare people away. ;) Liberators and fighters think that is the case, which is why I bag so many of them. :p Next time you see me in Skyguard stance, please... OH PLEASE, do me the favor of believing you can outlast my punishment for that kill. Because you know.... it is only a deterrent. o_O The the thing about deterrents are, for or them to work, they have to be lethal. Nuclear and Hydrogen Bombs are a deterrent why? Because they are so destructive. :eek: Your Skyguard is the same. But again, it takes a lot of practice to learn proper precision and enemy pattern prediction just like the E.S.F. They even have a strong potential to take out infantry if you are within 30Gms. :confused: The rounds should explode against any surface..... it is stupid for them not to, but it can be explained in story, so I do not mind that they don't.... :( That much...

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