[Suggestion] More tasks for gunners

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Demigan, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Demigan

    Currently gunners in vehicles can do basically two things: spot and fire. That's not much and aside from the opportunity to fire a bigger gun than while on foot it can get very boring.

    Gunners in vehicles could easily get extra tasks, they have a ton of buttons at their disposal and each button could be allocated to a specific task.

    Example: shift is used for sprinting and in vehicles it's to use any afterburner fuel to accelerate. Keeping this trend alive a gunner could have an ability that boosts the internals of the tank. This could be anything from repairing the tank to a temporary speedboost or a stronger engine for climbing to higher velocity shells etc.

    Ofcourse you have more buttons, so you could allow a Gunner to use spotting devices like a directional radar pulse or firing a tracker so you can follow a target for a minute. Theres the option for using debuffs, alternate fire modes, buffs for the vehicle, buffs for nearby allies, passive deployables like a short-term shield generator or being able to relay information much more easily to nearby friendlies and more.

    To actually give the gunner something to do it would be best if the gunner has access to multiple of these abilities at once, but the energy to use them is shared amongst them all so you need to chose which one you use. Additionally some abilities could consume ammo in your magazine so you get the trade-off of firing another shot or using an ability.
    • Up x 2
  2. Talthos

    To be honest, you seem to be downplaying the vital importance of having a half-decent spotter, let alone one who has good situational awareness. Especially when both the gunner and driver use voice chat, enabling them to pick targets, and spot hazards that one or the other may have missed, like spotting distant tank mines or C4 fairies enemy Light Assaults attempting to flank the vehicle.

    Now, imagine how much more difficult it would be to be a combined gunner/spotter, if you had to juggle extra things on top of that. Hell, when both the driver and gunner roll as Engineer, it's not unusual to have them both exit the vehicle to speed up repairs, after taking some serious damage.
    • Up x 1
  3. adamts01

    Some extra reconnaissance tools would be slick. But top guns and MBTs are hard enough to balance as they are, so they shouldn't get any firepower/health buffs.

    Maybe a smoke grenade launcher? DB would have to fix smoke on potato settings for this to mean anything...

    A directional ping to EMP enemy sensors?

    A drone to recon the area ahead and ping vehicles on the map?
    • Up x 1
  4. AlcyoneSerene

    That would further boost squad or team benefits for fully manned vehicles. This makes solo players or new players that much more unlikely to try armor or look for gunners if the existing benefits of coordinated team or squad or outfit in vehicles receive even more amplification that can stack across vehicle types, so there's balance issues to consider.
  5. Vanguard540

    We have way too many lightnings and MBTs compared to what the game has to offer already. But I do like the smoke option, Arma 3 was already doing this and it was quite interesting especially when you had to get out to replace a tire. Let's not forget vehicles are already good enough.
  6. Demigan

    You are downplaying the capabilities of a Gunner.
    A Gunner is driven around by a dude who is controlling a gun, spotting enemies, pathing his way through the world, has to keep a higher situational awareness to make sure it can get to cover or prevent side/rear attacks and has control over an ability.
    The gunner has access to a gun and spots. Whooo boy can't have any more than that now can we? It's not as if the driver is already doing more and proving that a gunner could be doing more!

    Perhaps not firepower/health buffs, but definitely things that can enhance the gameplay like smoke. I like smoke especially as it can backfire and help the enemy rather than you which is a very nice thing gameplay wise. Similarily, a spotting tool could reveal the enemy but with downsides like the radar pulse being visible on the minimap or a visible effect in-game would allow enemies to also determine your position.

    I don't see a problem with that? "I lost because my enemy was actually using a gunner" shouldn't be a surprise. And it would actually make manned vehicles have a bit more of actual teamwork. Right now you can get by with a dummy who just does his own thing but happens to be attached to your vehicle. With more to do than just spot and shoot (or hold fire when the situation calls for it) a Gunner could synergise with the driver and surrounding players. Put down smoke so an ally can get behind cover, provide scans and other spotting mechanics for your allies and driver, place down short-term deployables that both you and your allies can use etc.

    Why would this make solo players less likely to try armor or look for gunners? "Hey everyone, you can now do more as a gunner". Newb: "Oh noes, I can be more useful than before? I'm out!". Or the Newb goes "My Gunner can do more for me now? Oh noes I'll stop looking for gunners!". <--- That is a light rephrase of what you are saying.

    Balance issues: The game is already imbalanced, but by upgrading gunner capabilities we can make it more fun for players to use it. Then we can see how we can improve the rest of the game, such as by allowing infantry to carry more types of resource-costing AV weapons (right now it's just C4 and AV grenades).

    This would improve Gunner-oriented vehicles more than Lightnings and MBT's (and Lightnings? They don't have a gunner! They just have a driver position! Do you even know what I'm talking about?). Harassers, Sunderers, Valkyries etc would all have more to gain as their primary means of offense is already using a gunner. Sunderers especially have two gunner seats and would give Sunderer gunturrets a much better value than just "shoot something with a bigger gun" as it would get more options.

    As for "let's not forget that vehicles are already good enough", this is about making the Gunner position more enjoyable. We can always give infantry other tools to even out the vehicle vs infantry game, such as resource-costing AV weapons.
  7. AlcyoneSerene

    It is a really cool idea, I'm all for it, except that it would be very hard to balance to not make organized play that much more effective than it already is against those who are starting out - vanilla vehicles, scouting for gunners, getting experience. If the game is too much 'find a great outfit who's online 24/7 who have mics and communicate well or stand zero chance' that's excessive.

    I say this from owning a lot of decently equipped vehicles across all factions, being part of outfits, adding good pilots/drivers and gunners to friends list, and with all that it's still hard to get gunners or gun for someone on the fly or when the situation calls for it, and then trying to lead a squad or be in sync with the squad and overall stuff going on.

    A 1vs2 of course one is likely to lose depending on loadout and scenario, but with a lot of extra gunner options it'll effectively become a 1vs3, or add so much unpredictable elements that even balanced fights end up RNG cause that extra 1 sec cool-down on, say, a vulnerability debuff cost them 5 rounds worth of damage.

    I do play other games with complex, stacking team abilities, and the gameplay degrades itself to an arena-type brawl that's chaotic, or organized and rigid to the point of boredom, at the complete mercy of a single under-performing player, or it simplifies itself with 'just DPS more.'

    Too much complexity in a fast paced open world game with a ton of stuff going on at the same time can easily go overboard.
  8. FateJH

    You actually seem to paint an argument that the driver position needs to start picking up the slack compared to gunner positions rather than the other way around.
    If you want to make gunning more enjoyable, then articulate why it's not enjoyable as it is; build on why it is claimed to be un-enjoyable as it currently stands. The range of responsibilities or synergies or laziness of the position with its interactions with the rest of the world isn't the main problem. There are three for me:
    1. Synergy with the affable hostage holder - the driver. This is very important to certain vehicles where the power of the top gunner is to balance out a cross-factional power balance to the vehicle's primary weapon. (My voice chat stopped working.)
    2. Vehicles where the gun position is treated more like a support weapon than a primary means of offense. Compare a Valkyrie's mounted nondriver-weapon against a Liberator's non-driver weapon, where, for example using the latter, the gunner position is typically considered the main cannon and the driver's weapon is a secondary. For the Valkyrie, the players seated in the back are the better weapons. It can leave the weapon feeling inferior against anticipated encounters. Even if you gave the position more to do, the fact that it's a weapon is of more consequence. If you created a non-weapon vehicle mounted support tool that takes the gunner's position, then that's different.
    3. Vehicles being restricted from going where Infantry want to go, resulting in the position is often considered a "left behind" or "left out" one. The latter sentiment is not dissimilar from the common armchair cost analysis that a player performing some behavior A is less valuable than that player just being on the ground to shoot at enemies.
    I suppose what I am saying is that the position needs to be perceived as better for the role it currently performs and the impositions it places on its user by performing that role first, not by layering a lot of new interactions onto it. That should be handled on a vehicle-by-vehicle case, not in a sweeping stroke.
  9. Demigan

    Being a random/not in an outfit and teamwork are not mutually exclusive. In fact, properly executed PS2 could be the prime example of how randoms can do teamwork because at it's core PS2 will constantly seperate your from your allies. Each time someone dies, you cannot wait around until they catch up again, and filling in those spots with capable randoms who can teamplay is vital.
    Microphones are great for small-scale teamwork, but it immediately falls apart in PS2's gameplay. The moment one person is talking, all 12 others in your squad are unable to communicate or neither of you gets heard. You need other types of signals that can be ignored by players who it doesn't apply to and is still available for everyone else. The spotting mechanism is a perfect example: You can see players on the minimap and in front of you highlighted, but any enemies that aren't within your immediate area or do not require attention still show up without taking away from your ability to spot the one's that you need to focus on. It's ever present yet not intrusive.

    Adding more for a gunner to do would by no means make it mandatory to play in an outfit, have microphone on (and proxy-chat would even deal with that situation better than an all-purpose chat like DIscord as it doesn't interfere with communications of other players) or require the player to be extremely adept at teamwork. All the gunner needs to do to teamplay is to know what situation he needs to use what item. Smoke launcher? Use it in these situations. Scan device? Use it when in those situations etc. It's not as if you need a microphone to do teamwork right now. There's more than enough players running around who when gunning can spot when you are trying to be sneaky and will only open fire when you do, or drivers who have the brains to see what direction their gunner is pointing when you hear him do a spot call-out to know that something is there. No microphone or other hands-on teamwork tools required.

    I am making the argument that the driver is spotting just as much as the gunner. The gunner is simply another pair of eyes who does not have to waste time on looking for routes and friendlies. At best he needs to be aware of friendly movement and pathing to predict what his driver is going to do, but it's not exactly mandatory for the average player. The driver needs to be aware of much more just to operate on a normal level than the Gunner.

    Need any more reasons than that?

    1: So give the gunner something to do besides be a synergy to the primary gun.
    2: So give the support-type guns more support to do, enhancing the position's value.
    3: So make sure the gunner position remains viable and valuable. One of the ways to do this is to rebalance vehicle vs infantry so that infantry does not need to be segregated from the vehicles to have fun.
    You can improve it's role by allowing it to better spot targets, provide support for the vehicle as a whole or allies nearby and more, all of which could be dependent on the weapon type equipped.
    Even if you did make the weapon straight up more powerful, which is basically what "the position needs to be perceived as better for the role it currently performs" means, it still would be a boring ride. At best top-guns can provide a power-trip, like the Vulcan when you maul someone from behind with it.

Share This Page