Upcoming adjustments to Air vs Ground balance

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Higby, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Higby Developer

    Hey all!

    First of all, since I think this is my first official post since the game has been live, a quick introduction. My name is Matt Higby and I'm the Creative Director for PlanetSide 2, my job is to work with all of our game designers as well as the other team directors to help build the game. I'm also supposed to post on the forums and make funny movies on youtube.

    I wanted to post today to talk about some changes to vehicle balance and especially air-to-ground gameplay. Air-to-ground interactions (and i'm talking about ground-to-air interactions with this too) are one of the most challenging balance touch points in the game. It's very easy with minor changes to make people on either end of this equation feel like they're getting hosed.

    Goal for ground based anti-air:
    We've talked before a bit about wanting ground to be an effective deterrent to air, and a very dangerous threat against pilots who are being risky (strafing, bombing low, hover spamming rockets, etc), but not necessarily be a hard counter to air. Ultimately friendly air power should be the best counter to enemy air power. I think that statement has been interpreted by some as us saying that the current balance is what we want, I want to be clear: that is not the case. Currently the air-to-ground balance is favoring air a bit too much, and aircraft have an imbalanced influence on the battlefield compared to ground.

    In next week's update we're making some adjustments to the air-to-ground gameplay, some of these will affect ground vehicles and some even affect infantry vs infantry, but the main purpose is to bring air and ground into balance a bit more. None of these are enormous changes, but the cumulative effect should be closer to our goal of allowing ground to be an effective deterrent to air and a dangerous threat against pilots who are being risky.

    Lock on Rocket Launchers (AV and AA):
    - Range Increase
    - Faster reload time (to compensate for lock on time)
    - Now require lock on to fire

    - Minor damage increase
    - Projectile speed increase

    A30 Walker:
    - Buffed Damage
    - Faster Projectile

    Rocket Pods:
    - Decrease to the inner explosion radius: 3m to 1.5m. This is the center of the rocket explosion where the maximum damage occurs, so this will not affect direct hits. Effectively this makes the damage falloff at the center of the rocket pod explosion start closer to the center.

    Flak Armor:
    - Increase maximum explosion resistance for certed Flak armor from 25% to 50%. This makes Flak armor a more viable choice over Nanoweave for soldiers being attacked with explosives.

    - New Heavy Assault common pool rocket launcher. High-damage anti-vehicle weapon, has a slow projectile speed and no lock on, but does massive damage to vehicles and other armored targets.

    As I mentioned earlier, this is a very complex balance touch point, and we expect that balance changes will continue to occur to this area of the game until it feels great. We think these changes should help a lot to keep infantry and ground vehicles feeling competitive with their colleagues and enemies in the sky and will be a good first step in the journey of balance.

    As always, we are eager to hear your feedback, questions and concerns.

    • Up x 59
  2. Gunnisson

    Sounds good :D

    Having said that, Higby, one of the main issues with Rocketpods was not so much their splash damage, but the IRNV optics. The fact that I can pinpoint every single enemy unit on the whole screen means I can instantly acquire targets, even on my periphery, and take them out with precision rockets. Any plans for this or working as intended?
    • Up x 6
  3. Darkian

    PRAISE HIGBY! finally those rocket podding noobs are getting a nerf!
  4. UltraBusta

    What about the poor little skyguard. :(
    • Up x 26
  5. greyfu

    If you are going to effectivley reduce damage to grenades, any chances of lowering the cert cost for Grenade Bandolier 2?
  6. Esch

    These sound like reasonable changes. Thanks for giving us an update.

    I've mentioned this in other threads, but I think one option that could be effective in balancing ground vs. air would be to lock the weapons on aircraft that are in hover mode. Fighters could still make passes with rockets, but not sit in hover mode and spam them out on ground targets. Bombers would require more skill to hit targets, as the Liberator would need to maintain some velocity to keep the bomber bay from locking.
    • Up x 1
  7. Gunnisson

    I think that's included in the Flak projectile and damage buff. Hopefully this will make the Skyguard viable.
  8. -CDL-Peacemaker

    Oh more skilless lockon spam? Cool.

    AA max needed NO buff. Skyguard did, alot.

    And now a new must have cert... flak armor.
    • Up x 3
  9. Sinist

    I still see the only use for Flak Armor as being if you are being spawn camped by Liberators or your AMS is getting divebombed by ESF's. And even then I would question putting it on. Because then what? I would feel naked once I got past the bombardment and had to go up against infantry.

    I assume the Decimator is Heavy Assault only.

    I'm not crazy about the change to lock on launchers having to acquire a lock to fire. I wish as a TR player I could have my Stryker. A good all around rocket that I can use against both ground and air. I will probably just use Decimator for tanks and Grounder for air vehicles. The anti ground lock on rocket is essentially useless now with these changes. You cant use it kill infantry anymore. You cant use it to kill turrets. You can't use it to kill hovering ESF's. And half the time you fire it at ground vehicles you have a lock on to, it just flies into the ground or the hit doesn't register. It was almost useless before, now it's mostly useless.
    • Up x 3
  10. General Sherman

    I don't fly and I'm rarely in a tank so honestly those changes don't excite me but as a repair engie that Flak armor boost sounds amazing!
    • Up x 1
  11. Mahakar

    Very nice, thanks for adressing the issue before the holidays!
  12. Mekhazzio

    What level of "massive damage" are we talking about here? The ATGM buffs are making them sound like they might actually be capable of doing their job, but if there's also a launcher capable of MBT rear armor one-shots....that starts to be a tough choice :D
  13. Verinas

    Looks like good changes, im hoping the lightning will be good after these changes. Maybe you can reduce its spread as well? :)

    Dont let the flak reach to far tho, same goes for G2A missiles, we still cant see what's shooting us!
    • Up x 5
  14. Havoc11

    Thank you so much for listening to our Walker feedback! That thing needed some serious love!


    The Flak armor Buff seems like serious overkill, doubling a value is a huge jump, don't you think grenades are going to be almost worthless after this ? Its now also going to take an entire clip of A2G Pod splash damage to kill a single infantry player.
    • Up x 2
  15. blazehalo

    Thanks for the great news. I think this is a giant step in the right direction for balancing these ongoing issues..
  16. Drstrangewolf

    hope the decimator image is good looking like how it was in PS1,, Duke nukem style rocket launcher
  17. Bags

    I don't want people to be able to fight back versus my tanks! :mad:
    • Up x 1
  18. DJPenguin

    this is fair.

    asking people to spend 1k certs on the deterrent and only 750 certs combined for the ESF's AA cannon and A2A missile hard counter is not.
    • Up x 2
  19. redshirt

    Lock on to fire... great, AA launcher which was already pretty meh vs tanks is now useless... and I can't dumb fire it at aircraft either while they hover spam after popping their flares. NICE *facepalm*
    • Up x 11
  20. Tiganos

    The return of the Decimator! Awesome. I do hope it does not totally one-shot tanks from the rear (tanks get obliterated hard enough as-is), but other than that...

    A30 changes were sorely needed, and is an indirect buff to Libs and MBTs, both of which needed more options against Air.

    50% reduction with Flak? :eek: That's utterly fantastic and probably better than anything else in the suit slot.

    Rocket pod tweaks seem good, more reward for good aim. Though sometimes it feels like the effective explosion radii in this game do not match the art very well.

    While the AV/AA launcher changes are not unexpected, it's a bit sad. It'll make picking one when loading up HA a lot tougher of a choice, and I worry I'm going to be basically strapped to an equipment terminal in order to be effective. I do wish the dumbfire rocket launcher was more effective (mostly just increased projectile velocity and less drop, similar to the AA launcher).

    I don't think Flak in general needed a buff; dual-flak MAXes are pretty flippin' scary. Skyguards needed more damage though. Increased speed is probably good as it just makes it easier to hit things. I would, however, like to see more (or some?) damage degradation on Flak. I don't mind getting lit up when I'm hovering, but getting absolutely wrecked from > 300m (generally by a MAX I can't see) is no fun.

    (edit: removed a word that turned into ****. I'm a potty mouth!)
    • Up x 6

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