[Suggestion] New NS-500 SAM for Sunderers

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, May 8, 2014.

  1. ColonelChingles

    In order to understand why there should be the NS-500 SAM, it's important to understand the idea of a layered air defense. That simply means that you have a mix of air defense systems. Some for short range, others for extreme long range.

    In PS2, both flak and MANPADS are short-range air defense systems (and paltry ones at that). There's really nothing effective for engaging enemy aircraft at long distance. What the NS-500 SAM does is provide a balanced solution to that problem, complete with vulnerabilities that can be exploited by organized pilots and squads.

    The NS-500 SAM is a surface-to-air missile system that is mounted on the back of a Sunderer. It has mainly two modes. The first is the "road mode", or when it is moving from area to area.


    The second is the "fire mode", or when it is ready to fire.


    Characteristics of the NS-500 SAM System

    Long-range missiles- can achieve lock at almost render ranges.
    Fool-proof missiles- missiles cannot be fooled by flares and can navigate around most terrain.
    High-damaging missiles- two missiles can set a Liberator to burning.

    Must deploy to fire- needs to spend 45 seconds (less with upgrades) to deploy and undeploy.
    High resource cost- takes up the Sunderer's 400 vehicle resources, making it the second most expensive unit in the game (right after MBTs). More expensive than Liberators or Galaxies, that's for sure.
    Highly visible- when deployed or undeploying it is autospotted for all units within lock range. Additionally enemy aircraft which have been locked-on by the NS-500 SAM system will have a special tone that indicates it is a NS-500 SAM.
    Completely defenseless- lacks any of the armaments available to the Sunderer, meaning that apart from running people over it has no offensive anti-ground capabilities.
    Low ammunition count- only has a total of 6 missiles, for 3 launches before it has to rearm.
    Long reloads- the time between missile salvos is very long at 30 seconds (less with upgrades).
    Long lock time- the time to achieve missile lock is 8 seconds (more if the target has Stealth). However lock time significantly decreases the closer the target gets.
    Unable to AMS or resupply- due to missile storage, the vehicle cannot act as an AMS Sunderer and does not have an infantry resupply terminal. Still can carry 12 soldiers though, to negate the "your vehicle shouldn't be able to blow up my 1/3 Liberator" argument.

    Practical Usage

    First off the NS-500 SAM needs planning and preparation. Given the long set-up time, it needs to be in place well-before enemy aircraft have entered the area.

    Even once set-up, the NS-500 SAM needs to be picky about which targets it fires at. Shooting at ESFs might mean an easy kill, but that means that the NS-500 SAM would be vulnerable to the next air target that came along, like a Liberator or another ESF.

    But against enemy Liberators or Galaxies the NS-500 SAM would be highly effective. No more dread when watching an enemy Galaxy as enemy Gal drops are now preventable. No more Liberators smirking as they shoot from afar or retreat after sustaining light damage.

    So with the right preparation, defenses, and logistical support the NS-500 SAM fills in a gap of air defenses that needs to be covered.


    There are of course many counters to the NS-500 SAM that can be utilized by organized enemy forces.

    Ground units are perhaps the easiest. Sending in 2 AT Harassers to knock down a NS-500 SAM would give Harassers a more significant role. Not only would the NS-500 SAM be completely defenseless against enemy ground units, it wouldn't be able to undeploy quickly enough to avoid death. A literal sitting duck.

    Even air units would have some counter to the NS-500 SAM if they can't be bothered to coordinate with ground units. Mobbing the NS-500 SAM with ESFs would be a pretty viable option, as the NS-500 SAM shoots so slowly that it wouldn't be able to react to all the threats.

    Deterrence Capability

    Given the high visibility of both the NS-500 SAM and its slow missile lock, pilots should be well aware when they are flying into dangerous airspace. The NS-500 SAM is a true deterrence... unless pilots leave the area quickly or have a plan to destroy the NS-500 SAM, they will have a very high probability of dying themselves.

    Most pilots think that a deterrence simply means that the unit cannot easily destroy their aircraft... but this is not the correct definition of a deterrence. Instead, a deterrence is something that will result in a high probability of death if they do not immediately stop what they're doing. That's how deterrence works (see "nuclear deterrence").


    The NS-500 SAM adds a unique vehicle which takes skill and organization to use and to counter. While powerful, its severe limitations mean that it must work closely with other air defense units (like a Burster MAX or Skyguard) in order to effectively combat enemy air. Additionally it must rely heavily on other ground units and resupply units to protect it and keep it armed.
    • Up x 28
  2. Verviedi

    A missile that cannot be fooled by flares and instagibs from render range? No matter what drawbacks this has.
  3. Tcsisek

    should be tweaked so esfs are not OHK'd but are put into burning with about 15-20 sec before they explode and have to land.
  4. ColonelChingles

    That's sort of the point. The high visibility and long lock times though pretty much means if you're shot down it's 100% the fault of the pilot for not getting out of there or finding cover in time to break the lock.

    It's essentially got a big warning that says, "IF YOU DON'T LEAVE IN 8 SECONDS I'M GOING TO KILL YOU". So if you're still there after 8 seconds, can't say that you weren't warned.
    • Up x 10
  5. Verviedi

    It takes more than 8 seconds to travel 1000 meters in a Scythe without AB. You have to consider the fact that everybody will spam these. Visibility does not matter if I can get killed before seeing the thing. Also, this takes no skill to use, at all. It takes skill to remain in the air for more than a minute without crashing, so why exactly should any scrub be able to instagib people with far more skill than him?
    • Up x 2
  6. Frosty The Pyro

    while this IS a bad idea, not crashing is not hard at all.
  7. Verviedi

    The first time I flew a Scythe I got stuck upside down inside the warpgate hall. Never underestimate the power of newbinessz
    • Up x 3
  8. GaBeRock

    Getting stuck in the warpgate building/tipping over a lampost/trying to float upside down and screwing up are the most annoying things in the whole game. The experience dwarfs people farming you, lockon squads, and that one vs dude who shows up in the middle of the fight to screw you over. If it didn't happen so rarely, you'd see a whole lot more "nerf warpgate, warpgate op" threads.
  9. FaLI3N

    If they were not spammed then it would be a great idea. Would give ground vehicles a set target to take out so that air can move in and promote teamwork. Would get annoying from the air though if these things were used en masse.

    Afterthought, why don't you just use the coding of the sunderer no-deploy zone and give this a weapon specific HUGE no-deploy zone. Like at least 3/4 of its effective area and maybe a minimap icon to show friendlies there is already one pulled in the area to prevent people spawning useless ones.
    • Up x 2
  10. RaidsRUs

    I think I'm actually going to side with the flyboys on this one. I appreciate that you gave it a lot of drawbacks, Colonel; I usually agree with the stuff you have to say. This idea just makes me uncomfortable.

    I could almost say that I'd feel better if they were player-guided missiles rather than lock-ons that ignore flares, but I feel like that would still be too much. I'm really frustrated by air-tanks, too, but overall I think the benefits of this NS-500 are not justified by the sacrifices the sunderer crew would be forced to make.
  11. ColonelChingles

    To reiterate, the NS-500 SAM:

    1) Costs more resources than a Liberator or Galaxy
    2) Can hold more people than a Liberator

    Hence, according to the logic that Liberator crews often employ, it should be able to demolish air units with complete impunity. The only counter to this unit should be other ground units; air units are not meant to destroy the NS-500 SAM (just as how Liberator crews state that the only counter to Liberators are air units, not ground units). Although if you get enough air units then you can take out one NS-500 SAM... which is exactly how Liberators suggest you use Skyguards against them.

    It's only fair, right? After all the Liberator is justified in this fashion. The NS-500 SAM is simply a ground-Liberator.

    If you can't tell already, this thread is a bit satirical of Liberators. I think it's wonderfully hilarious that the NS-500 SAM is justified using the exact same reasoning as the Liberator (with actually many more downsides than the Liberator), but of course everyone says that it's a bad idea. That the high cost and crew count don't justify its terrifying power and lack of counters.

    Which is exactly what is wrong with the Liberator.

    But since I went through the trouble of rendering the darn thing, I might as well hope that some version actually makes it into the game. It can be considerably nerfed of course, but only if the Liberator is nerfed as well.

    You don't have to leave the area... you can also dive down to break the lock. It's not terribly difficult.

    As for skill, the skill in operating a NS-500 SAM is all in the strategy of placement. Put it too near the enemy front lines and you're toast. Put it too far behind your own lines and when your lines move up your NS-500 SAM will be useless. That's certainly a skill that zooming aircraft don't have.

    Spam prevention is a possibility. I predict that given its high resource cost and long cooldown timer, there will be no NS-500 SAM spam, just as how Liberators are not spammed.

    Oh what? Liberators are spammed? Oh. Oh dear. ;) Well my statement is still technically true I guess.

    Oh, uncomfortable is good. I want those pilots to squirm. To feel a certain terror when they start hearing that lock tone. Because that's how us ground pounders have been feeling all this time. Surrounded by inescapable explosions with no way to retaliate as ground units.

    I want them to feel what we've been feeling, and then maybe... just maybe... pilots will be a bit more understanding of why Liberators need a nerf.

    At any rate it won't be any more dangerous than a Liberator, so what's the harm in that? :p
    • Up x 5
  12. Verviedi

    Because it won't allow any air to enter the area within 1000 meters without getting instagibbed. Why not just nerf Liberators or remove them entirely?
  13. FaLI3N

    This guy. This guy gets it.

    Why even pull a tank if it will get insta-gibbed the second a liberator flies into the hex despite the fact it was 1000s of meters away beforehand? At least chingles idea is stationary, none of this instant death hard counter that follows you no matter where you go.

    But yer, lets just remove liberators entirely and replace them with an actual bomber.. not an eye in the sky god of death.
    • Up x 3
  14. Verviedi

    I don't think libs are the eye. I think they are the mouth that eats you.
  15. FaLI3N

    They eat you alright but I am talking about the almost complete lack of blindspots on the lib. Their only blind spot is up.. and they are up.
    • Up x 1
  16. QQlazors

    Why not just allow this as a single shot harasser weapon? Easy to destroy but yet 1 shot sets a ESF on fire and 2 sets a lib on fire.
    That gives harassers the role they need. A very fast anti air weapons platform.
  17. Frosty The Pyro

    Okay lets for a second ignore the balance issues, and look at some simple gameplay facts.

    lock on turrets are generally a bad idea from a gameplay perspective, as a turret you already cant move, lock on makes it so you dont particularly need to aim either, and then what are you really doing? Not a lot really, any maneuvering or positioning is already done, the player could be replaced by a simple AI and no one would notice the difference.
    30 second reloads, long lock on times, the player using this thing is spending the VAST majority of its time not doing anything. That is always bad from a game design perspective. Proper numbers could make it effective and balanced, but nothing would stop it from being boring.
  18. Tcsisek

    yoiu could also give it machine gun that do damage to infantry that it can only use when on the move.
  19. QQlazors

    Yea, lets mount a Hailstorm PDW on it!
  20. Frosty The Pyro

    which makes no difference to the primary purpose of being a stationary lock on turret most of the time.