Greetings Folks, Romas here with a quick talk about the new Striker. I've just come off an hour of testing on the PTS with it and armed with the experience I've gained from trying to shoot down some very slippery pilots (thanks to both the NC and VS for providing some targets to shoot at) I'm going to attempt to explain what makes it better or worse than the alternatives available to the TR Heavy Assault. Lets start with some........ Pros: - It doesn't require a lock on to hit aircraft so it's capable of doing damage where an Annihilator would refuse to fire. - The rockets will track to aircraft if they get close enough meaning you have a much better chance of hitting one than with Grounder/ML7/Decimator. - It is able to dumb fire which gives it the potential to hit vehicles without the need for a lengthy lock-on which would normally result in your death. All pretty cool. It is an interesting middle ground between dumb fire and lock on functionality. Lets wander over to the pessimistic side of this post and look at the.... Cons: - The rockets move too slowly to reliably hit any aircraft moving in any sort of an evasive maneuver. Simple skidding, diving, or any change of direction really will condemn the rockets you just fired to oblivion. - The damage of the rockets aren't much of a deterrent. You can hit with 2-3 of the rockets but at any distance beyond 100m an ESF or Valkyrie can move away before the other rockets get in range to "lock-on" the vehicle. - The rockets do not track ground vehicles. This gives the Annihilator and Skep a serious edge at hitting anything beyond point blank range. - Rocket damage vs Ground vehicles occurs so slowly compared to an ML7/Decimator/Grounder/Skep that by the time you've launched your 5 rockets at the vehicle it's able to move aside resulting in much less damage than was possible with a single shot from the other launchers. - When fired "from the hip" The rocket fire is so inaccurate that it's a toss up whether your rockets will lock onto an enemy aircraft at anything beyond point blank. Not very cool at all. I want to like the "new" Striker but what it does is lackluster in every way it's supposed to be awesome. While at The Crown firing at ESFs, Galaxies, and Valkyries around 15-20 of us were unable to shoot down ESF's with mass Striker fire. It looked damned impressive but so does a belly flop. (Hint: Neither are very effective at anything but looking cool). When I finally pulled a Burster I was able to keep the aircraft at bay way better. In fact the enemy aircraft stayed far enough away that hitting with the Striker was as close to impossible as it gets. Conclusion: While neat looking it ultimately doesn't offer me anything that I can't get elsewhere. The only area it really performs better is that it will get SOME damage down where other launchers wouldn't be able to. That being said that damage is rather insignificant. I'd rather shoot at the ESF with a dumb fire than with the Striker. It just doesn't do enough damage to warrant all the fiddly leading the target business. If I want to lead the target I'll do it with an ML-7 or forget that all together and use a lock on launcher that will do away with that all together. How can it be improved? This is the tough one. It's damage would be a start. It just needs to feel like you're doing something. Improving it's chance to hit is also a great idea. The Lancer, as an example, isn't the most accurate when fired from the hip either but when you charge that puppy up it's able to make any vehicle pilot/driver crap their pants and look for cover. As it stands with the Striker you could shoot at that enemy vehicle but they can dodge/seek cover way too quickly before you get your full damage down. It will do a fair amount of damage to something when you do hit with all 5 rockets but the range you have to be at to accomplish this feat is right in the butter zone for another launcher; The Decimator.