[Guide] MAX Review - Comparison of all 3 Empires

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by FrontTowardEnemy, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. FrontTowardEnemy

    So, I am seeing a lot of "OMG XXX Max is OP..." posts. At the moment the flavor of the month is the VS ZOE Max instead of the NC's ScatMax. I think that 99% of the players posting about OP Maxes don't have over 1000 certs invested in any Max of any sort, on any Empire. If you haven't used the Maxes with any degree of investment of certs, how can you know if it's OP or not?

    I however have used all three Empire's Maxes quite a bit. The Max play style suits me a little better than most others at the moment mostly due to the fact that I'm using an older laptop with a Core i7 2.53GHz quad core, 12GB of RAM and an Nvidia 360M GPU with only 1GB of RAM. The point being, I can't win twitch fights up close, so being in a slower Max works better with my hardware limitations. I'm going to get hit anyway so I need as much armor as possible.

    On to the Maxes:

    Full disclosure: I play VS the most, and have the most certs invested in my VS Max, but this was long before ZOE showed up. I was a long time PS1 player and I really enjoyed the VS's flexibility, focus on speed and agility and the adaptability of it's weapons etc. Too bad none of that made it through to PS2 lol...

    Anyway.. on with it:

    I think that everyone tries to play all three Empires the same and cries when one Empire's kit can't do what the other can. Instead, players should be focused on each Empire's specific strengths and play to that advantage.

    The NC Max's weapons are great. For the AI role, you really get an even broader selection of weapons because the shotguns can use slugs, which effectively doubles your AI options, giving you massive easy to aim firepower up close with the regular ammo, and very good medium range options with the slugs. No other Empire has this much selection and firepower when it comes to AI Max weapons.

    Raven missile launchers: quite frankly, I find myself using these vs infantry more than as an AV weapon, but whatever. The pinpoint accuracy at range is what's important here and I have used them quite often to hit infiltrators and light assault troops at over 100m with great effectiveness. Ravens vs. enemy Maxes in open terrain are really great.

    Falcon: meh. I don't use it. Poorly designed for the job at hand- slow projectile velocity, convergence targeting issues up close, not really good vs infantry, lousy DPS and easily avoided by vehicles at range. Raven is better at putting DPS on target in all respects in 'real world' use.

    NC's Aegis Shield: apparently most of the NC aren't old school PS1 players. The shield is awesome in the right situations. Now here's the trick: it's situational and for some reason players think that it needs to be great in all situations, not just one. Whatever. For what it's good for, it's absolutely awesome. Get a few of these and you can push down just about any hallway/corridor with a few engineers behind you. Done right they're unstoppable. Don't have a coordinated team to take advantage of this amazing ability? Not my problem.

    The TR: overall, I'd say they have the most versatile/well rounded Max options of the three Empires. The Mercy has an amazing effective range if fired in short bursts to keep the COF down. DPS wise it's great and of the three Empires, I think it has the most overall flexibility with respect to DPS on target over the widest range of distances: higher DPS than the VS guns at close range and higher DPS than the NC at long range. I'm still undecided about the Mercy vs. Blueshift at extreme ranges. I think at that point it's a toss up, with random luck being too much of a factor due to bloom and COF spread. Anyway, it's good. It's usable, both for close in work and at range and is a good choice for base assaults when you have to close distance across an open field from a deployed Sunderer.

    The Fracture: the ANTI-EVERYTHING gun. Seriously. It does everything right. It has a 10 round magazine, will kill most infantry with half a mag (per gun), does great AV damage to Maxes and vehicles and did I mention it has splash damage? The projectile velocity is great, it has very good accuracy, high rate of fire (compared to all other weapons in its class across all empires) and basically zero projectile drop. This is the weapon that the other two Empires wish they had.

    The Pounder: while it's the most specialized and least used of all the weapons, it's still very good in its niche as an indirect fire weapon. Again, no other Empire has this option, and it's a very effective one when used in the right situation. My kingdom for a proper automatic grenade launcher for my VS Max!

    The Lockdown special ability: again, I don't see why the TR don't like it and/or don't know how to use it. I usually find myself putting my back to a wall or rock etc. when using Maxes anyway so I don't get flanked/shot in the back. I find a sector of fire I want to cover and lock down. I rarely end up in a situation where I don't have the range of motion to fully engage/track a target to a completed kill, and I rarely get killed simply because I couldn't unlock fast enough and run away. By the time someone has me zeroed in, I'm dead anyway, lockdown or no. The lockdown coupled with the Burster = LOL. One of the main reasons I got into Maxes in the first place was due to Bursters and how much I enjoyed ambushing aircraft with them in PS1. The TR Max w/ bursters and lockdown 4 is absolutely LETHAL. Again, people complain and complain and they don't even know what kind of jewel they really have on their hands...

    Which brings me to the VS.

    VS AI: I really tend to use the Blueshift most of the time for AI work. I know, I'm weird like that. It ends up being the most flexible and the most effective at range, having the smallest initial COF and the best damage at extended range vs. the other options. Coupled with the VS's increased speed and ability to keep at range and flank targets, I like engaging at medium to long range so I won't get caught face to face with a Light Assault or Infil (or any other class carrying C4... which is pretty much every one except Medics if I'm not mistaken...) and losing a twitch fight and/or getting C4ed instantly.

    VS AV: Meh. The Comet is only barely better than the Falcon in that it holds two rounds vs. one. The Vortex is just horrible. It's just too hard to use and too ungainly and doesn't provide any advantage over the actual DPS on target of the Comet. It has no flexibility between AI and AV. In short, I'd give my eye teeth for a Fracture style weapon for the VS. You don't know how horrible all the other AV weapons are until you try the Fracture. And then all you want afterwards is a TR Max...

    Notice I wrote very little about the VS weapons in general. There's a reason for that: they're very boring, bland, there isn't anything special about them that stands out above anything else. The Vortex is a complete write off, the Comet is barely passable if at all and the VS AI weapons are just the same gun with slightly different (read: poor) stats. This is why the VS hardly used their Maxes pre-ZOE.

    The ZOE: it's pink. You should have pity on all ZOE users just for that fact alone. Anyway, the ability is probably the most usable and least situational of all three abilities, which is good. Particularly considering how weak the VS weapons really are. I forget how slow Maxes are until I play on my NC or TR characters since I pretty much live with ZOE on all the time. I never turn it off, and I think it's just fine this way as an always on option. It doesn't need a cool down, it doesn't need to eat away at your health while you're running it. The -20% raw HP is plenty.

    People who complain about the ZOE have probably never used it in earnest. Never put certs into it, never tried it, never examined it to see what makes it tick. One land mine: dead. One C4: dead. One Phoenix: dead. Decimator: dead. Infantry pecking away with their rifles? Dead. Snipers? Dead.

    ZOE Maxes are not *that* fast, and most definitely not "just as fast/faster than infantry" like most would have you believe. Not until you get 5/5 on the cert tree, and by that time, you're looking at 2000 cert points. Most people will never spend half that on ZOE, much less 2K. And then there's the inertia. Boy is it screwed up. Even while crouched I have a hard time begin precise while moving, particularly on ridge tops etc. where I'm trying not to fall off of a perch while shooting down aircraft etc. It's like there's a couple seconds of lag between the input and the result. It's really frustrating. So, even though the speed looks fast on paper, in actual use it's far more difficult to engage infantry up close than you would think. But again, most people have never even used a ZOE Max that's certed to 4 or 5 to even know what it's like first hand.

    I find that the 20% HP penalty really hurts. I have to really manage my armor because unlike infantry, I can't just run back around the corner and use a med pack or health booster and wait for my shields to recover. Unless you have nanite regen, every little tick of damage hurts, and it adds up quickly, particularly when you're traveling and have falling damage. It's a real pain in the ***. And if you choose nanite regen then you lose considerable staying power in a fight due to your lack of Kinetic Armor.

    In closing, I'll give everyone my best tips for fighting ZOE Maxes:

    Rule #1: understand that they can't regenerate their armor/health the way you can, even with nanite regen. Engage, damage them and then fall back to cover to pop a health pack, get your shields back up (HA) etc. and then re-engage. If the Max pilot is smart he'll keep pressing the attack and not let you regen your HP.

    There in lies the problem: reloading. Maxes have a fairly long reload, and if they don't kill you with the first volley, you have that time to re-health and either get away or attack from a different angle. Get in close where the inertia really makes it hard to track targets. When targets are literally toe to toe with you as a ZOE Max, the NC and TR Maxes are much easier to use/operate due to no built in inertia problems.

    ZOE Maxes are quick, but infantry is soooo much more flexible/agile. Particularly Light Assault. They're my first priority to kill as 99% of the time they have C4, and if not, their rifles can do plenty of damage to me quite quickly. You can kill a full health ZOE Max in two clips quite easily with a Carbine, and odds are your target isn't at full health anyway. You can probably down him with one clip if your aim is good.

    Oh yeah, and aim for the head. But this goes for all targets, not just ZOE Maxes....

    As always, I'm interested to hear constructive comments and discussion. I'd like to see other's input on the above and their experiences using all three Empire's Maxes. How do you use them, and for what roles? I'm always curious to see how other people use the same tool set in different ways.
    • Up x 6
  2. Eclipson

    The only thing unbalanced about ZOE atm is that it does not have a cool down timer. Meaning, the VS never turn it off, and it is used as a passive buff instead of an ability. There is no reason not to turn it off. It takes away the primary disadvantage of being a Max, mobility, meaning there is no real reason not to pull a Max. The buffs ZOE give would be fine if it had a cooldown timer. Its gone so far that when in squads and platoons, they don't even call it a Max anymore. They call out that there is a ZOE, because the VS MAX doesn't exist anymore, there is only ZOE. Adding a cooldown timer to ZOE is the only thing that can balance it, and hopefully SOE realizes this.
    • Up x 5
  3. Irrelevant--

    What people have such a big problem with is that it's more like a super soldier than a max. The drawback of a max is that it's slow and easier to hit, but has more health and damage potential than a regular softy. The ZOE, however, is quick, has huge damage potential, and despite all the VS pointing out it has a HP reduction, still has max-like health/armor. It's a HA on steroids that can be repaired.
    • Up x 4
  4. zealluck

    you sir are wrong. TR lock down is completely useless. I invested probably 5000 certs in my TR max and I deeply regret that. So tell me, when would you use Lock down? You use indoor? Nah, without mobility you can't keep distance with NC max, you will get shredded to pieces by their shotguns. You are an easy target to rockets and rear attack as well.
    You can try use it out in the open, but like you said: it's accurate at long distance when you burst fire. Do you need lock down for burst fire? Or do you use lock down when you are fighting tanks with Fracture?
    Well, it's slightly more useful when it comes to anti-air, but you better pray that they come at direction which you are facing.
    Yeah, you can beat NC max out in the open field. But the problem is: how many times have you seen NC max fighting in the open field? That's VS max's territory.
    Not to mention they also took away half of our additional magazine. It use to be additional 50 rounds, and is now 75.
    • Up x 2
  5. Taki

    Stopped reading the OP as soon as I realised it's just another bunch of bullsh1t posing as a valid opinion.

    Simple fact is that at the end of the day, Maxes are pretty much balanced one way or another - apart from the special abilities. ZOE is massively better than both Aegis Shield (which isn't at all bad, just needs a tweak or two) and Lockdown (awesome AA, rubbish otherwise).
    • Up x 1
  6. Weirdkitten

    More than a little biased with some comments that makes me believe you have very little time in at least NC maxes. Overplays the strengths of TR/NC weapons, underplays the strength of VS maxes - especially ZOE. In any case, MAXes in general and ZOE in particular need a good spanking with the nerfbat.

    Full disclosure: I play NC most of the time, I do have over 4k certs invested into MAX on my VS however :p
    • Up x 2
  7. notyourbuddy

    Contains so many factual errors that its probably a troll thread, but oh well.

    - VS Maxes do not have a long reload time. In fact odds are any basic infantry fighting against them will have a longer reload time on their weapons than the MAX. The only MAX vulnerable to long reload times is the NC MAX.

    - Your list of items that can one-shot a ZOE MAX is incorrect.

    - VS MAX can strafe forward, back, and side-to-side faster than infantry. There is no escape and you are certainly not more agile then them.

    - VS MAX can easily be repaired in seconds by any Engineer. This whole "MAXes don't have medpacks" argument is goofball. The speed of the ZOE allows him to go lone wolf Rambo and easily run back to an engineer in mere seconds whenever he needs health then zoom right back to the fight.

    - Comets shred through infantry. They have no bullet drop, a high velocity, and do not suffer from the same level of convergence/drift as the 1-clip Falcon. They are not comparable. The Comet is closer to the Fracture than that of the Falcon when discussing effectiveness.

    - You tell infantry to simply wait out the VS MAXes first volley. Dual Cosmos with extended mags is a 224 bullet hose that can fire non-stop for over 12 seconds. There is a little 3 second window before he can do it again.

    - And no the ZOE works in the MAXes favor in CQC situations as he can easily create a gap when the infantry tries to exploit the MAXes close range deadzone. NC/TR MAXes will probably stop shooting and try to melee out of desperation while a ZOE simply has to back-strafe for a second and murder the guy. Also allows the VS MAX to dance around his target causing havoc that the other two MAXes cannot.

    Mostly play an NC MAX so at least hugging corners and forcing the ZOE to get in close we can kill it. Feel bad for the TR MAX though as it is now simply outclassed by the superior ZOE kiddy toy.
    • Up x 7
  8. FrontTowardEnemy

    Reload times- For some reason I can shoot a ZOE Max with my NC6, take a bit of damage and then fall back to use a health pack and THEN, while the target is reloading (note I'm still on the same magazine with my SAW) I go around the corner and finish him off. Also note: Dual Cosmos is a joke. They're easily the worst VS AI choice in the game and a well certed HA with an NC6 will give it a very hard time toe to toe, if not win the engagement entirely. And any ZOE Burster is a dead man walking.

    One shotting a ZOE: tell me then where I'm incorrect? Also note I'm not taking into account Flak or Kinetic Armor certs.

    Agility and peak speed are not the same. Agility is the ability to change direction quickly. All infantry are more agile than a ZOE by the fact that no infantry class has inertia of any sort.

    I play quite a bit of the time with zero engineer support and depend solely on my ability to avoid damage. ZOE Maxes who are engaged while away from (massive numbers) of support are highly vulnerable to being killed quickly while they try and make it back to said support.

    I can kill ZOE Maxes with Fractures and Hacksaws no problem. A ZOE Max is sort of like a Lightning in a way- it's best against infantry. As soon as another Max shows up it's outclassed due to lack of HP. A ZOE is faster than the other Maxes, but not fast enough that it can simply outright dodge my rounds. Relatively speaking, it's still a fairly slow and large target. Even if you doubled it's ground speed, it would still be slow from a targeting standpoint.

    Comet vs infantry: it's better than the Falcon for sure, but that's not saying much. The Falcon is probably the worst Max weapon in the game, of any sort. I really have no use for it considering the Raven is an option.

    As far as the TR goes, I really don't use anything except the Mercy and Fracture with extended magazines usually. I use extended mags on these because I want mobility to chase my ground targets. With the Burster I use lockdown because I don't have to deal with terrain as much when I position myself well and have a clear sector of fire.
  9. FrontTowardEnemy

    I use lockdown most often while using the Burster, and occasionally while using the Fracture outside on ridgelines where I can get into a good defilade position, particularly if I'm above the target and firing down onto the enemy. Again, I use the ability where it's suited the best, and I don't try and use it where it doesn't work.

    That being said, I do use it a LOT. A Burster Max with lockdown 4 is just ridiculously awesome and I love it. Swatting Reavers out of the air with it is great fun, and you can drop Liberators extremely quickly. If you choose your location well, particularly where there's trees, you can hide quite well from aircraft and by the time they've pinpointed you, you've killed 3-4 of them and are out of ammo and it's time to move on and resupply anyway. The ZOE gives you away with bright glowing tracers on top of the pink disco ball effect.

    I just don't get how people have such a hard time using the lockdown feature. If I really have to adjust my sector of fire to a different area, I've always had plenty of time to do it before an aircraft came back from the opposite direction etc. Frankly, most aircraft never survive the initial flight over my position in the first place. They're dead as soon as they come into my field of fire.
  10. Vixxing

    You guys even considered what a fully uppgraded zoe costs? zoe lvl 5 =2750 2*blueshifts 2000 full kinetic armor 2750 thats 7500cr worth of uppgrades... Do i expect to kill some infantery with a 7500cr infantery slaughtermachine? YES

    Is it likely that someone that can invest 7500cr in a MAX is skilled? YES

    Should skilled players with expensive gear be a big threat? YES

    And even with that 7500 i cant do 1 point of damage against armor (its not like i can just buy Fractures and kill EVERYTHING) and can be taken out by 1 shot +some small arms fire with a stock HA (decimator+carv or whatever) in seconds... (stop whining and l2p)
  11. Kevorkian

    I started rofl'stomping at only 150 certs. 7500 certs is just overkill.
  12. Vixxing

    Id easy take you out with a decimator at 0 certs so... :)
  13. Bape

    Full of bull just another VS saying "Zoe is not OP and I like this "Faction" max more because it has this". I knew you were full of crap when you said slugs are a great medium range weapon lmao lol. I use slug in bio labs and 60% of the bullet just don't register so if you're saying slugs are really good medium range while you're main is a VS with blueshift you seriously gave me a lol of the moment.

    Any faction will say their main faction is either boring or up compared to the other faction so everything you are saying has already been said by many people. I hate my nc max and I mean everything about It and I prefer playing on TR/VS max.
    • Up x 1
  14. Kevorkian

    I died twice to them tonight, so I wouldn't doubt that for a second. Tarnished my 40+ kills and super saiyan kdr. I logged back on my NC character as punishment. :oops:
  15. Dingus148

    Really? I knew he was full of it when he said the HEG had any sort of advantage. There's a reason noone of BR10+ has a pounder on their MAX :p
  16. Rhiaci

    Thats a nice dream you had there. Any additions while you are at it? Maybe you took down a Magrider with your repeater while he was reloading?
    • Up x 2
  17. Vixxing

    40+ kills is a big deal to you? I get 50+ killstreaks with Parallax so nerf that to when your at it...
  18. Torok

    your review started properly but then fell in the real of derpness with thing like one phoenix hit = dead, one land mine = dead
    herp derp derpy, like you really have to leave the zoe always one before entering a doorway or when you're about to get hit, and one phoenix hit? Seriously ffs who the hell shoots a ZOE max with a PHOENIX, that's not gonna happen.

    Hear me out on this:
    If I run SLUGS on my Scatmax I will never, yeah Never win a proper MAX 1v1, you simply don't have enough damage, especially if you're running mattocks which sacrifices damage for accuracy, and the headshot multiplier is even lower on Scattercannons, Slugs are not Viable because they are too situational, our max is the Least
    Versatile of the three, and i would be fine with it, if only it were to dominate the Cqc as once, which is something it doesn't do anymore.
    and our magazines are so small that often you will even lose at cqc (<8 meters where we should dominate) 1v1 with a ZOE MAX because while you're moving like a snail he's fisting you so hard while running and shooting, you'll be dead before him, hell you will probably be powerless while reloading, and this is a Fact,
    there's no skill here, just superior mobility / constant dps output due to bigger magazines / better range effectiveness
    the NC max does stand a chance, but only if you've got hacksaws, which are in a bad spot right now, only useful for tower defenses
    when the base is already overrun, if you've got to go from let's say A to B you'll be dead weight on the open

    an improved reload time for NC max is needed, we have the smallest magazines and longest reload time, if not on all scattercannons atleast on one of them, i would gladly unlock it.

    P.s. not to mention the crazy hit-detection issue going on with scattercannons, which is the worst PITA in-game as of now

    aaaand ******** .
    If you're approaching a Hacksaw max with zoe on you're doing it wrong, yet if he doesn't have Hacksaws but
    the other scattercannons you will win even with ZOE on because of DPS, the situation now is that a NC max won't necessarily win against a ZOE max, which i would be fine with it if it wasn't that our max is supposed to win at CQC, because after that range we're screwed, see the point?
    Mattocks (ranged scattgun) = more versatile NC max but will pretty much always lose against a ZOE max even at cqc
    Hacksaws = i'll probably win against a ZOE max in cqc, (where i absolutely should) but won't do any good
    against anything past 8 meters, while your max is just as deadly at every range, while keeping the mobility

    what is your problem? you're speaking of a ZOE max just like it can only be played with The toggle ON,
    your argument is invalid;
    "as soon as another max shows up" does the NC max has a cloack cert somewhere that i've missed? is he coming down on you with a Drop Pod? we all know it's probably behind a corner waiting for you, which is then up to you if you have to face it or not with ZOE up, hell you can even just poke him and you will outdps him just by harrassing him at doorways,
  19. ladiesop

    The extra damage taken by ZOE does not push any weapon in the entire game to 1-shot if it did not one-shot before. What's more, the extra speed makes most of those weapons harder to hit with.

    There is a cut off where Flak will prevent 1 C4 and ZOE will put it back to one shot, but you can stop this with level 3+ Flak and is a non factor if you use kinetic or regen. Because the ZOE MAX is harder to hit with C4 and explosives, I would recommend kinetic anyway as bullets will hit you more (for AI MAXes, I think Kinetic is the most useful overall anyway, maxed out it has 160% of the health of a stock MAX against small arms).
  20. Kevorkian

    SPM 109.7
    K/D Ratio 1.04

    Yeah, sure thing boss....
    • Up x 1