Light Assault: The Question

Discussion in 'Light Assault' started by Corezer, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Corezer

    So I've been thinking about LA changes a lot... but all I could think of for a long time was pretty random buffing to simply make the class stronger, without first laying the foundation of a goal, what do I actually want this class to do.

    So I sat and thought about that for a time, (a dangerous pass time, I'll have you know!) Now the wheels in my head have been turning since I made the decision to move in this direction when thinking of the class, and I'm slowly evolving an idea.

    No one:

    flanks like LA

    breaks choke points like LA

    and with explosives nobody bombs like LA

    but that isn't without all our weaknesses.

    no one has logistics problems like LA

    Once an enemy is aware of you, with the lack of indirect fire weapons, you are pretty much in a standup fight, and one of the weakest.

    Insertion into position is done pretty much solo, and is therefore inherently dangerous.

    When you die, you will most likely be using a spawn tube, beacon, or AMS and then going through the perils of reinserting yourself into your position again.

    our available equipment leaves us relevant in limited situations

    Now, let's examine why our strengths and weaknesses are our strengths and weaknesses and how to either enhance them or mitigate them.


    This one is pretty straightforward, we have more ways we can move and potentially more avenues of approach through that. Additionally, due to circumstance, we as humans have evolved to have greater perception along the X axis than the Y axis, so vertical movement does much to prevent our notice.

    Breaking choke points:
    This is, in my opinion, the strongest attribute that LA brings to the table. Choke points occur mostly where enemy and allied forces meet, with little way of getting around on another and roughly equal strength when considering both the numbers on each side and the available cover as well as susceptibility to grenades. Basically when a defense can hold off an attack while not being quite strong enough to push out and destroy their sunderer to stop the attack. Whether on attack or defense, LA is the best equipped to get around the choke point using different, possibly uncovered avenues of approach, and deal significant damage to the attack or defense allowing allies to push either out or in and end the fight.

    Using explosives:
    Because of the high alpha strike damage of C4, LA "Hot Dropping" onto vehicles and groups of infantry from ESF, Galaxies, Valkyries or terrain is a strategy that can be employed. The strategy works best from a crew vehicle where the spike damage is more likely to finish off the damaged vehicle that is not receiving the engineer attention it would get if damage were done quickly (by say, a tank buster) rather than a slow, less urgency inspiring weapon (like say, a drake)

    Next, we examine our weaknesses.

    We have the lowest combat sustainability of any class, while also having the least access to allied supplies and medical attention. The only class which comes close to the lack of kill power in their weapon is the Medic, who stays closer to allied supplies as well as providing it's own healing.

    Weak stand up game:
    We do not have the capacity to fight most other classes once our presence is made aware of. The only one who is disadvantaged in a standup fight against this assault class is an SMG infiltrator, provided the range is beyond 12m where they need an extra bullet to kill us but due to their 100 less shield we do not need an extra shot to kill them. Engineers in a stand up fight have the same weaponry and survivability with the added ability to spawn cover, with a machine gun sticking out the end, and all other classes have objectively better equipment and/or survivability. Any time you miss more than 2 bullets, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances such as explosions, you are in a stand up fight as anyone you have line of sight on, has line of sight on you. This does not take into account someone who just happens to be looking in the right direction at the right time and catches you while you get into position, where you are in a disadvantaged fight.

    The utilization of our strategy is inherently dangerous:
    As I stated above, a person can simply be looking the right way as you move and by coincidence alone you have gone from a powerful advantage to a disadvantage as they shoot your helpless body out of the air and press "Q" to ensure your entire mission is scrapped. Other threats include recon darts, proximity radars, players who actually know how to play and actively harden themselves from the threat the LA class presents, motion spotters which absolutely kill the class, along with the somewhat rarer and harder to deploy scout radar which also neuters the class.

    Lack of revivability results in reinsertion after most deaths:
    This is definitely a severe weakness of the class, and is so noticeable because each insertion is so inherently dangerous in itself due to the classes other shortcomings.

    Lack of equipment options leaves us with limited situations where we can be put to full use:
    So much of our equipment is so close range oriented that even in situations where we can get around the enemy bulge and break the choke point where other classes wouldn't be able to, we are largely ineffective because there is a lack of positions adequate for mounting our attack from.

    The Answer(s)

    Now that we have gone through what the Light Assault can bring to the table, and the costs associated with our givings, lets see what we can do to make this a class that can give more frequently, while costing less.
    • Up x 2
  2. Corezer


    So I've been working on this a good bit, trying to figure out a solution that enhances what I perceive as LA's current roles (infantry cluster disruption and specified vehicle elimination) and have come up with a list of changes that will result in LA being better able to perform it's role(s), while better directing the class' power so that this isn't as simple as 100m c4 throw distance (which while increasing the number of situations where LA can perform it's role, would be OP as hell)

    Currently, the class crutches hard on C4 for a couple of reasons.

    1) it is our only effective explosive (our grenades are made of flubber, our special nades don't work, and UBGL is not worth the sacrifice of a real gun) is C4. Because of this, in order to perform either class role, we need to be, on the X axis, at most 5 or 6m away from out targets, greatly limiting situations where an LA based counter is feasible.

    2) explosives are the only effective (as in not most effective, but the only one which has any effect at all) means of disrupting infantry clusters. Due to our inability to stay out of cover and how fast medics can pick players up, it would literally be impossible to do the level of damage to a group that would cause them to consider abandoning their position using small arms, be it Carbines, ARs, or even LMG's. The carbine is a personal defense weapon for use traveling between our friendly and objective positions.

    Now that we have that out of the way, here is my intent for changes that would actually impact the number of situations in which we can be used. For the sake of garnering support from other communities, I am putting compensatory nerfs first.

    1) C4 replaced with magnetic shaped charge. The shaped charge has a very small inner blast radius of 0.3m and drops to 0 damage by 0.5m in a frontal cone to simulate its effect. Damage is 1.25x the inner blast of C4. The charge is on a 10 second timer from stick (from throw) giving the vehicle driver an opportunity to kill the LA, and can be disarmed by the engineer tool in 2-3 seconds. There is also an audio cue of metal hitting metal upon stick, so you know what to do and have time to do it if the LA isn't guarding the charge. for physics these things would have no bounce to them. To compensate the charge is given coyote effect (magnetic) sticking the front to vehicles, aircraft, and MAX units within 2.0m (the inner blast radius of C4)

    This ensures several things:
    It will be much harder to "C4 Fairy" as your distance above them cant be too high or it detonates in the air, and it cant be too low or they get ample time to disarm and in that case you may as well land, put it on their tank, and shoot it.

    Strength in numbers is more effective, as LA can't hang around in LoS of a tank line for 7-8 seconds watching to make sure the charges dong get disarmed, and there would still be much less likelihood of an LA being able to get the perfect height to time the fall so it lands just as it goes off.

    If it doesn't land in the max damage range of C4, it wont do damage at all, meaning no possibility of "partial" hits on throws that are missed by a large margin still destroying a weakened tank.

    Much less usable as a trap, since we do not control the detonation.

    No (or rather very unlikely) vehicle multi-kills

    still cant solo a sunderer with blockade or deployment shield

    Can't insta-gib players in full health vehicles, even if I got to the perfect altitude to make them go off as they landed on your tank, there would be a good couple of seconds between explosions, or between audio cue and blast if I get 7-10 seconds above the tank and throw them in the same spot (which is undeniably difficult as jumpjet use constantly moves you forward) at least not in the same quick and cueless way as throwing 2 c4 from up high, and already having the detonator out and ready by the time they land.

    On the plus side:
    Coordinating with team mates is much more plausible, as the number of rocket hits required to take a tank down using 1 charge is reduced.

    More potential vehicle damage in your loadout

    Even though, as a direct combat tool, this is a weaker disposable than C4, due to the higher damage it is a better tool for surgically removing that one tank who got himself on top of a mountain to fire into your base, and is a bigger/better contributor for using LA in pushes against sunderers.
    I am fine with this, our mobility is supposed to be used for flanking and being sneaky, not for rushing headlong at opponents and hoping we don't get shot before we detonate. it gives up some of our overt combat ability, which is crappy anyway, and gives enough surgical capability to be noticed as an asset in that area. Plus the stuff is so powerful, we can't expect to hear our cries to be less situational to be heard. Right now C4 is our AI, AV, and AMax, all wrapped into one super strong but not often usable tool. That not often usable part is what keeps us from being thought of by commanders, and that super strong part is what keeps us from being more often usable.

    This change does however leave a big hole in our anti infantry play, which is where the next changes come in.

    2) Replace flash grenades. Flash grenades currently are ineffective, and even if they were made to work would only do a lesser job of what Concs are for, since flashed enemies can still dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge around to be harder targets than conced ones. Replace flash grenades with a v3 mini like grenade. each ranke of grenade bando will give you one more, not 3. The nature of the v3 is to provide a large, lower damage splash area, and more control over where they go due to low bounce mechanics, perfect for LA's job. Each grenade would cost 30 resources, or 90 for a loadout when u use them, 180 for 6 with grenade bando. 3 minis would have the expected killing power of 2 frags, which is not much if you're lucky, nothing for most people. The choice is between whether or not you want grenades that bounce around a lot for throwing against door frames, or if you want something you can throw into the middle of a group and expect it to blow up in the area you threw it. 6 minis when using max grenade bando is the same as 4 frags, so kill potential between the 2 types evens out, just the same choice as before.

    3) Replace Smoke Grenades (hand) Currently smoke is just crappy, and limited, and resource costing, UB smoke. My idea is the Nanite Cloud grenade. This grenade makes a big green cloud (cause nanites are green, duh) just like a smoke grenade makes a black one, but the nanites are programmed to attack anything inside the cloud. They hit for 1 damage every half second. The purpose of this is to get shields to blink often. UB smoke is an engineer thing to put between allies and enemies so enemies can't observe allied movements. This is to disrupt enemy clusters, they need to leave the area or risk being assaulted by allies, who can see them reasonably well even without HSNV scopes (enemies with HSNV can still retaliate by seeing out, and allies that go into the smoke can be seen just like enemies, to prevent the effect from having too much power) Basically it does the same thing as offensive smoke use with HSNV does, but without having to get everyone to equip HSNV, which just isn't plausible in most situations. It is also important to remember that players who's shields are down do not blink on damage.

    4) increase movement speed, while jets are active by 20% This isn't enough to cause de-synch issues, as a matter of fact it is still slower than max charge, but it does make out movements between friendly and objective positions a little faster and thus a little less hazardous. Obviously reduce fuel to compensate so distance traveled on a full charge remains similar.

    5) Remove UBGL from S carbines and ARs, and make UBGL, UBSL, and UBSG it into tools for LA. The devs have already shown that they can in fact put multiple rail attachments on a weapon. The current UBGL, while not as insanely lethal as the prior iteration, is still good for dispersing infantry formations, UBGL will be made to no longer penetrate spawn room shields, so it can't be spammed from inside, and starting ammo will be 1 in the pipe, 2 in reserve. UBSG/smoke can still be used by engineers and medics. On LA the underbarrel launchers are removed, but an S carbine gets 1 more shot in the selected LA tool by default. This keeps purpose for the S carbines on LA, less effective weapon for another grenade/shell/smoke. This gives our ability to disrupt infantry clusters some more reach, while not being quite as effective up close as dropping C4 on a group, our abilities are usable along a wider array of situations than just ones where we can get within 6m on the x axis, and are still potent enough to be thought of. Auraxium carbines will have their shotgun replaced by the selected LA tool. The tool is switched to by simply pressing the F key, releasing the F key will launch the shot and switch back. You can cancel the usage by switching weapons while holding F. quickly pressing F will result in a shot being fired as soon as the weapon is ready. in either case you will have to press F again to reload.

    These changes widen the number of bases where we will be able to perform our functions by a good amount, while not allowing the class to do as much damage in said occasions (while I C4 groups of infantry with glee, I can understand why they wouldn't want us insta-gibbing 4-6 people after maybe a 3 second prep time, in a majority of fights) Additionally, the class doesn't rely on just one tool (C4) for both AI and AV, so there is a more reasonable choice to be made in the utility slot. Basically while not becoming OP, we are relevant in more situations, which takes care of the weakness of being irrelevant in most cases

    While quick access to shotguns and grenades doesn't make us a heavy on the front line, we aren't as weak as support classes either.

    With faster jet speeds, insertion dangers are reduced, while discovery (combined with skillful usage of the Q button, motion spotters, recon darts, scout and proximity radars, radar bolts, etc.) still hurts the mission pretty gravely, and flying still isn't safe by any stretch as we still have poor means of retaliation.

    To summarize the effects of changes, by going back to my list of perceived strengths and weaknesses:

    We can flank quickly (and now actually more quickly, as opposed to simply more conveniently)
    We can disrupt enemy clusters (and now often enough to get remembered by squad leaders)
    We surgically remove vehicles we can maintain a position on

    We still need to move back and fourth between objective positions and allied positions often for supplies
    We still undergo great danger while doing that
    We still have to start from square 1 (spawn room) almost every time we die
    • Up x 2
  3. Iridar51

    While this used to be a problem, Regeneration Implant pretty much solved this problem. Though, naturally, not being able to use any other implant is a penalty.
    Supplies >> I dunno, as much easy it is for LA to infiltrate an enemy position, as easy it is for him to exfiltrate. Yeah, ammo tends to run out for LA, but I feel like it's not that LA has ammo problem, it's every other class that hasn't.
    For LA, ammo supply is a thing, as it should be. But for other classes getting ammo is trivialized.
    Uhh, no, that would be engineer. Which like LA minus the Jet Pack. Turrets and mines aren't exactly a direct combat weapons either.

    Everything else is spot on, I agree 100%. Great summary, Corezor.
    • Up x 2
  4. SeanFree

    Higby says that he saw Vonic kill a ton of people as LA so the class doesn't need any updating.

    Freaking Medic playing Higby.
  5. Iridar51

    I wonder which classes are actually the top scoring among top-tier players. I.e. who has higher K/D and SPM on average, BR100 HA or BR100 LA. That ought to clear things up.

    Even then, devs need to establish who are they balancing the game for, top tier players or everyone else.

    It's an eternal argument: should the game be balanced so only the top tier players can enjoy the balanced game, OR so that 3% of the playerbase have to deal with broken mechanics being abused by their 3% brethen, but everyone else can enjoy a balanced game? It's never that black and white, though.
  6. Corezer

    No, engineer has infinite ammo...
  7. UnDeaD_CyBorG

    The Medic, however, has ARs, which are pretty much the best Infantry weapon class in the game.
    There's plenty of people asking for ARs for light Assaults, even though that wouldn't really fix the purposelessness of the LA.
  8. Iridar51

    So? Engineer gonna drown the LA in the infinite shower of ammo? How often do you get killed by engineer and think "bah, he got me only because of his infinite ammo pool"?
  9. SeanFree

    I feel like they could find something to implement which applies to both sides though. Just look at the heavy shield. It both gives noobs a large health pool buffer over the other classes and makes l33t pr0 players nearly impossible to kill by putting them on another level when they're already naturally better at the game.

    I'm not saying we should get a broken, OP item for LA (because I want the game to be balanced) but finding something that can fulfill both roles well would be great. I feel like that item SHOULD have been motion darts back when the game came out but infils got there first...imagine a good LA with what is essentially wall hacks. I get chills even imagining it. Mmmmmm.
  10. Iridar51

    We can still get a thermal vision wallhack like in Blacklight Retribution:
  11. Corezer

    it was a statement towards combat sustainability, not prowess

    the fact is, the only one that would have ammo issues similar to LA if played off the main group like LA would be the medic. although with a more accurate and more damaging weapon at range it isn't quite as bad, plus the health part of logistics is taken care of with NRD.

    Heavies get tons of ammo, even the small mag LMGs carry more kill power, plus the resist shield used with their normal shields gives them almost the durability of a full HP LA at even 1 health, plus they can carry medkits without sacrificing their only anti max/vehicle

    infiltrators get a lot of kill potential in that bolt action, ASR users might run into similar issues as LA, but who the hell uses ASRs? and even for them at least they have options within the class

    I want to clarify something
    I am not saying that every weakness is a problem that needs to be fixed, I have my own ideas as to what can/should be adjusted and how, that's why I reserved a spot, but I want to see what the community thinks of class changes first. So, if you would be so kind as to instead of picking the weakness that you don't feel are a problem and expressing that, which serves no purpose as I never called them a problem, try picking something that you would like to see changed, and describe how one might change it. Same with class strengths, how would you build on them and which ones you would choose to improve or modify.
  12. Iridar51

    You're asking for Light Assault ideas or ideas for all classes? On the front of Light Assaults I can't really say anything I haven't said in other threads already: post 1, post 2. And in the recent thread about ARs, I make a case that carbines need to be buffed, or LAs should be given ARs.
  13. abaddun

    Well, we have to assert whether the light assault should receive a tool to increase the classes viability as a squad member, or increase its self reliance.

    Personally, I believe that the class fits the lone wolf persona perfectly, and I would love a tool that emphasises this, though in such a way as to at least provide some help to those around me.

    Perhaps a supply depot marker? Plant it on the ground, and much like a drop pod, a supply depot is delivered from orbit. Nothing too fancy, provides ammo and a small amount of health regeneration in a small radius and last for a few seconds. While being completely independent from the supply chain is a huge advantage, there will be inherent downsides, for example: A delay between planting the marker and the supply depot the ground, restricted to outdoor areas and visible whilst inbound.

    This can be broadened out into a number of different applications. For example: a single use personal spawn tube, a single use resupply terminal, a timed demolition charge etc.
  14. Lethal_Sting

  15. LibertyRevolution

  16. Vosrash

    Infiltrators that use ASR's are infiltrators that prefer to run with the group and still be usefull without completely giving up on all engagements beyond 25m as they would if they ran with an SMG. Since they are typically running with the group they then should have access to ammo packs from the local engineers, also with nanoarmor cloaking they could take ammo belt for improved sustainability during a flanking run if they so choose with minimal falloff in durability if they pick thier fights correctly, but you already alluded to that.
  17. Sandpants

    This Vonic??

    How is your enemies being a clueless and terrible a balance variable?
  18. Corezer

  19. SupaFlea

    put him in the open field attack or defending a position instead farming a tr capped tower with a silencer. and hes toast. LA isnt supposed to be silent farmer.

    I play LA 80% of the time as part of a full platoon usually. Honestly I wouldn't want LA to get AR, The Carbines fit our class, the problem is what we lack in assault combat yes we are light assault we are not called Recon so we should be able to hold our ground toe to toe with other classes head on depending on skill of the LA and the class you are up against. I try not to use my jet in 1 on 1s jumping over behind HA etc. but that's basically what our specialization gives us. HA's get a panic button, Medics get better primary and less useful panic button but if they evade can heal up and be ready to fight quicker to finish us off. SMG cloakers remain unseen till their smgs are at effect range most often leaving us little time for sustain fire on the head which is our ONLY means of surviving close encounters is to make sure you hit nothing but the head which is generally how i am lucky enough to go toe to toe against HS's even after they tap the panic button.

    I also think dual wield isn't the answer either, if that is still Higby's idea for our Utility. LA need a reason to be wanted in a squad and if like me your part of a organized outfit LA arnt rarely wanted, they prefer any other class even a sniper on occasion to a LA. if LA were given some kind of portable spawn tube just like the Router and beacon from Planetside 1, Obviously it would need to balanced some how with a longer timer than normal base or sundy spawn but a lot faster than spawn beacon. We need to be appreciated in squad rather just have as a secondary killer where most average LA camp a high point for kills till they run out of ammo and have no care or use as part of working outfit/squad
    • Up x 1
  20. Iridar51

    Yellow is Corezor's ideas, white - my summary feedback / commentary.

    Magnetic Charges -> While it may seem like a nerf, it is needed. I agree with Corezor's assessment that C4 overperforming in certain situations makes for an excuse to not buff us, so we keep underperforming in vast majority of other situations.
    Also C4's power forces us to basically form our whole class about it, we often even see people saying "if you remove C4 from LA, you might as well remove LA himself".

    Replace Flash grenades with V3 high explosive grenades with less damage, but wider AOE and less bounce -> Our new crowd control explosive. Where you would have used C4, now you can use these grenades, but from distance.

    Replace Smoke grenade with Nanite Cloud grenade. Basically same as smoke, but also does a sliver of damage and makes shields flicker, so the enemy is clearly seen in the cloud. -> I like it.
    It give us the team support aspect people have been asking for.
    It give us a way to engage multiple enemies at the same time without OP **** like HA's shields.
    It also helps to disengage and run away, or at least shift the odds in our favor. It puts both Light and Assault into Light Assault. It's awesome! Best idea ever.
    EDIT: It also makes smoke viable without the need for everyone / LA himself to use HS/NV.

    Buff вmovement speed and Jet Pack speed by 20% -> Desperately needed. It will make flanking faster and reinserting after death faster.

    Make underbarrel attachment a tool that goes onto all weapons, and can be quickfired by pressing F -> Sounds exciting.
    It would make sense for an LA to have a bit more oomph that's not quite as to have as a full blooded rocket launcher, but a quick-fired underbarrel one? Sounds like Light and Assault to me!

    EDIT: It also makes sense if the launcher is attached to the carbine from the RP side. When you fly on a jet pack, you don't want to deal with the hassle of taking out a tool from your pocket, and then putting it back. You want all your tools to be conveniently in your workspace, in your hands. You can't just fly with a light rocket launcher tube dangling behind your back.

    My only concern is that it lets us a bit weak against MAXes, but otherwise I'm liking all of these changes.
    • Up x 3