[Vehicle] What is "Combined Arms" and Why This Initiative Isn't

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. ColonelChingles

    There seems to be a lot of confusion with the Devs about this entire "combined arms" thing, as evidenced by the recent PTS changes. This thread is meant to explain what combined arms is historically, what it is in a modern 21st century context, why the "combined arms initiative" actually destroys any concept of combined arms, and what the "combined arms initiative" should be.

    To begin with, combined arms is the general concept that different unit types are more effective when used together than when used separately. That's all there is to it.

    In early warfare combat was dominated by simple foot infantry, so combined arms was fairly limited. Sure, you have archers/slingers and more melee oriented infantry, and their joint operations is probably the earliest ancestor to modern combined arms. You also had some of this with the introduction of pole arms. Nonetheless, this could not be correctly called combined arms as we know it today.


    The introduction of the mounted cavalry was a more significant change, because cavalry operated quite differently than foot infantry. Even then, the fighting tactics were not very sophisticated, both from a lack of military science and from poor training. For example, the Battle of Hastings in 1066CE featured archers, infantry, and cavalry, but each operated in a distinct and specific phase. First the archers would shoot, then the infantry would attack, and finally the cavalry would charge and break through weak spots in the line. That isn't true combined arms as we think of it today, where different units take part in combat simultaneously.


    After cavalry, field artillery was the next most important feature, taking a bit of the role of ranged archers. By the 18th century, infantry had been armed with firearms instead of their bows, spears, or swords. Cavalry had access to some firearms but largely remained melee. Artillery, however, allowed for the delivery of massive firepower to disrupt and destroy enemy formations. In the 1805 Battle of Austerlitz, artillery was used to great effect, especially canister shot against enemy infantry formations. Cavalry and infantry worked more closely together, though still in separate formations.


    The Great War in 1914 was the beginnings of what we view today as combined arms. Artillery-infantry coordination was the first to come, with infantry assaulting behind a "creeping barrage" of artillery shells. In this way, artillery greatly enhanced (in theory) the effectiveness of infantry. Armour also made its appearance in WWI (along with the effective death of the horse cavalry unit). While at first tanks were not used in a combined arms manner, usually assaulting enemy positions on their own, it was quickly discovered that tanks needed infantry support to consolidate and hold the land that the tanks had conquered. Tanks increased infantry effectiveness by being sources of fire support and protection, while infantry could guard the rear and flanks of early tanks. Besides armour, military aviation became more prominent at this time, though again generally did not operate closely with ground forces.


    The Second World War in 1939 showed the true power of combined arms. The Germans began the conflict with a fairly innocent weapon: the tank-mounted radio. Unlike with Allied forces, all German armoured units were equipped with a radio, which allowed them to call in artillery and air support or to direct infantry to threats. This made up for the fact that German tanks at the beginning of the war were actually inferior in terms of quality and quantity. It also showed the power of true combined arms, that a much smaller and technically weaker force could overcome the enemy when the strength of each tank, aircraft, artillerypiece, or infantryman was increased because they were used together. German combined arms quickly became the model to follow for all armies that could.


    The end of the World Wars marked a transition to an end to "great power" wars fought between near-peer countries. Instead, much of warfare after the Korean War turned to unequal conflicts or low-intensity operations. Only a few instances like the Israeli or Pakistani-Indian conflicts featured conventional armies locked in combat. Even in these conditions, however, combined arms became the preferred method of combat for those who could afford it, whether in tropical or desert environs.
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  2. ColonelChingles

    Before I go on, let's look at some common misconceptions about "combined arms".

    1) Because you can kill someone in PS2 with different weapons like a sniper rifle or a shotgun, it is combined arms already!

    By any reasonable meaning of "combined arms", no. Infantry small arms are generally lumped together in discussions of combined arms. Exceptions to this may be infantry-carried mortars (which makes them artillery) or infantry-operated heavy weapons. Combat engineers are also considered to be separate from infantry. In most other ways, however, all infantry are considered to be a single unit type no matter what small arm they happen to be using.

    2) PS2 has tanks and aircraft in the game... doesn't that make it combined arms?

    Combined arms isn't just the presence or proximity of different units... it is the purposeful employment of those units together such that each one is more effective than when used by itself. You could have infantry, tanks, and aircraft all firing on the same target more or less right next to each other, but without purposeful coordination it's very difficult to argue that there is combined arms. Units need to supplement each other's strengths and weaknesses for combined arms to happen.

    3) Combined arms isn't applicable to all sorts of battle. Some fights are just going to be one type of unit.

    A common misunderstanding, the most often permutation heard is "infantry belong in buildings while tanks operate out in the open". Current military doctrine is to use both armour and infantry (and all other supporting arms) everywhere, from the desert to the middle of a big city. Logically this makes sense. What infantryman wouldn't want a giant armoured cannon bristling with machineguns to back him up in an urban fight? And what tanker would turn down an extra set of eyes out in the flat desert, especially eyes that are difficult for the enemy to discover? Sure, infantry and tanks are weaker when outside of their optimal environment, but they are still nonetheless useful and necessary even when at such a disadvantage.

    4) Combined arms means that all units are equally efficient at combat.

    There's no world in which a 4 man infantry fireteam (2 riflemen, 1 grenadier, 1 LMG) is anywhere near as effective at killing things as 3 tankers in a MBT or two crew of a fighter-bomber. Heck, in much of modern combined arms combat there are certain roles that exist where those individuals might not ever fire a shot (for example, a forward air control team that doesn't want to give away its position). But just because infantry might not be as deadly as a tank or aircraft doesn't mean that they are unimportant... infantry are just as critical to combined arms success even if they aren't racking up kills.
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  3. Campagne

    The problem with this is that you don't really want "combined arms," do you? You didn't just read the PTS notes, get annoyed with the changes and say "damn you infantryside!!!1!," did you?

    Because real combined arms is exactly what you claimed that it was: Different unit types are more effective when used together than when used separately.

    Just because a whole bunch of vehicle weapons got nerf'd against infantry on the PTS doesn't mean they don't inspire or aren't a part of combined arms. If anything, they support it because vehicles would have a greater reliance on infantry support to make up for their weaker AV weapons while the infantry needs protection from the enemy's AI weapons.

    How close was I? Do I win a lollipop?
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  4. ColonelChingles

    Yes to the point where it was the patch notes that caused me to realise that the Devs really don't know what combined arms truly is.

    Sadly you lost it when you showed you were as clueless as the Devs as to the nature of combined arms. It's not about killing or damage, but to use each unit effectively given their unique differences. Making one unit artificially weaker simply to expand the role of another is not combined arms.

    Tanks would be strong, armoured, but relatively blind. Infantry are weak and squishy, but are cheap and numerous. By using infantry to fix the weaknesses of tanks (poor situational awareness) and tanks to fix the weaknesses of infantry (poor firepower and survivability) you have combined arms.

    Nerfing tanks such that tanks are just bad is not combined arms. That's just consigning tanks to the dustbins of combat so infantry can get on with their very much not-combined-arms game.
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  5. LaughingDead

    That (as chingles said) is a bit off.
    Ok so you have a tank, that tank kills other tanks and only other tanks, then there are no tanks, what then?
    Well this depends on infantry, as in, how effective is your tank going to be to infantry because logically that's the only thing remaining a constant in all fights. AI tanks are still relatively poor, making HE able to fight other tanks only lets you open more opportunities to fight infantry as you kill tanks, however HE is still poor and gives little to no difference to AP, which also shafts AP tanks now because HE or fights they would have won with the right setup and loadout are now up in the air even if they spec properly.

    Personally, I did not mind rock paper balance, HE lost to AP, it relied on infantry support to kill or help kill AP tanks which melted them. But now the guns are being rounded out, the topguns I mean, forcing tanks to use a HESH shell per one infantry is increadibly inefficient, also forces tanks to be far out from infantry fights which is why you see shelling tanks more often than supporting tanks, infantry is very much lethal to tanks, I don't even main vehicles or infantry and yet my vehicle kills are actually weighted on a higher count on my infantry than my AP loadouts, or just all my vehicles combined is less than my infantry (which is now 11k vehicle kills so far in total, yey), so in combination of tank to infantry nerfs, rocket launcher reload;capacity;dps;etc buffs, HESH (which is a dumb name imo) being a tankvtank competitor, AI topgun nerfs and rounding to fight tanks as well, marginalizing directional armor, and nerfing lock ranges, all this change will do is force more tanks to be shelling with slightly slower shells.

    They can defend themselves from AP tanks now, the range of topguns was brought in, damage to tanks by tanks was reduced so ranged combat gives you a lot of time to get to cover, forcing AP to get close which is also a bad move considering the tank can very much defend itself, etc etc.

    In conclusion, you just said, tanks got weaker so they rely on infantry more. But that's the thing, infantry is already self sustaining, self resupplying, self reviving, self preserving and is probably the best platform already to kill infantry next to AI ESFs. Now if they truly wanted more combined arms, why not have infiltrator tools that highlight infantry for aircraft or tanks? Or vehicles that deploy forward shields for infantry but can't fire while channeling it? There were so many ways to approach this issue of lack of teamwork, but devs picked to nerf and modify stat pools instead of add content or have more reasons to have different types of units instead of the heavy medic ball.
    But this misconception of "hur dur, vehicle mains just wanna kill everything" is just stupid. Why do we have suggestions for vehicle capturepoints instead of kill kill kill? Or ant swap stations, infantry vehicle interaction, oh no, the people who actually dedicate their time to vehicles do not care for killing everything they simply want roles that only they or mostly they fulfill. As it stands, if I can kill vehicles more with my infantry than my tank (which yes, ps2fisu does help clear that up alot) then why would I ever need to pull a tank?
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  6. ColonelChingles

    Okay, so enough with the history lessons. What does "combined arms" mean in today's 21st century warfighting?


    Well, combined arms is the goal of most modern armies and those who want to be modern. The past century of conflict has taught us that combined arms operations pays big dividends and smashes more traditional armies to bits. It is a losing proposition to have large, infantry-heavy armies. Likewise, tanks by themselves cannot effectively hold onto captured territory, nor deal with deadly threats like enemy aircraft and artillery by themselves. And various wars have revealed that while air support is valuable, air superiority by itself can never win a conflict.

    To being with, you have the basic types of units that each have a role in combined arms: artillery, aircraft, armour, and infantry.


    Artillery remains the "king of battle" after a few centuries, and continues to be the most effective unit at killing things. Generally speaking most casualties in combat come from being exploded by an artillery shell, and with modern GPS-guided weapons this can happen from extremely far away. However being far from the battlefield means that artillery is not nearly as reactive as the other units; fire missions take time to arrive and are much less effective against a freely-manoeuvring enemy.

    Good at:
    Blowing things up from really far away
    Preventing friends from getting blown up through suppression and smoke

    Not good at:
    Finding things to blow up from really far away
    Blowing up moving things
    Not getting blown up


    Aircraft are relative newcomers to battle, but these expensive units bring unique capabilities as well. Though incapable of sustained support like much cheaper artillery, aircraft can engage targets (including other aircraft) much more quickly. This allows them to find and destroy targets by themselves in ways that artillery cannot. However, being relatively thin-skinned and light enough to fly means that aircraft are highly vulnerable to any sort of damage.

    Good at:
    Finding and blowing up things
    Going to far away places to blow things up

    Not good at:
    Blowing up a lot of things for a long time
    Not getting blown up
    Not making wallets blow up


    The tank has changed much from its invention in WWI, but remains the premiere shock unit for direct assaults. Advances in various armour and defensive systems have hardened tanks considerably against all but the largest of threats, while they are capable of projecting more firepower than a platoon of infantry. Still though, despite many technological improvements from remote cameras and drones, being locked up in a giant metal box means that it can be difficult to find and see targets.

    Good at:
    Blowing up things right in front of it
    Blowing up things fairly quickly
    Not getting blown up

    Not good at:
    Finding things to blow up
    Blowing up things that are above or far away


    Ah, the good ol' footsloggers. The very first military unit continues to this day. Though no longer dominant, infantry continue to play a critical role. For starters, they're the least expensive unit (although manpower costs can dwarf equipment costs, you still have to pay for vehicle crews). They require the least training and can be deployed with the least support. Although they cannot shoot down stealth aircraft, destroy heavily protected tanks, or fire at artillery that is shelling them from miles away, infantry shines in its ability to dig into a piece of dirt and stay there. Moreover because they are so common, infantry often act as the eyes and ears of an army, finding targets for heavier units to deal with.

    Good at:
    Being inexpensive and numerous
    Digging in and not leaving
    Communicating what they see and their special feelings

    Not good at:
    Not blowing up
    Blowing up other things
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  7. Demigan

    Actually it is combined arms what they are doing.

    You said it yourself, combined arms is having multiple units cooperate to achieve a certain goal. Currently a tank doesn't need infantry to kill infantry. By nerfing vehicle AV weapons against infantry a tank is still capable of killing them, but infantry becomes more important for the tank to be around. Five tanks without infantry would essentially become weaker than 3 tanks with 2 infantry supporting it, which is the exact thing that combined arms is!

    However, you misunderstand the importance of balance in a game. While you prefer to go to "real-world" examples to balance things, making one unit type completely useless at common tasks such as infantry not being able to kill tanks in any way, shape or form, instantly leeches the fun out of the game for those players. Keep in mind that just about every single player uses infantry more than 60% of the time!
    Also you misunderstand. Infantry are very useful against tanks, even a tank operator himself with a youtube channel underlines the importance of infantry and how infantry AV weapons have become more important and destructive on the battlefield. Especially since things like explosive-reactive armor and anti-guided-missile weapons on top of tanks are extremely costly and often add several tons more to the vehicle, being very uneconomic most of the time. And that's ignoring the fact that Mechanical Infantry boosts the power of Infantry even more.
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  8. ColonelChingles

    Alright, so those are the units in combined arms. Again, because apparently I wasn't clear enough, combined arms is the deliberate use of multiple unit types to supplement eachother such that the weaknesses of each type are overcome. It is not, as I've tried to explain, simply using multiple units haphazardly or by happenstance. Nor is it the segregated, sequential action of multiple units. The following are examples of some combined arms relationships that should exist in the game.

    Air-Infantry Combined Arms


    While aircraft can carry a wide array of bombs and explosives, far more than what even a whole company of infantry can bring to the battlefield, they generally can't stay over the battlefield very long. Even rotary-wing aircraft like attack helicopters need to refuel. Furthermore because aircraft tend to be among the most fragile of combat vehicles, staying or circling in one place can be risky as it gives more time for the enemy to counter. Ultimately, this means that aircraft should not loiter for long. Combined with a relatively poor ability to find and track targets, this means that their window of engagement is relatively limited.

    Infantry make up for this aircraft weakness by acting as forward air controllers, using a variety of techniques to designate targets on the ground. Sophisticated tools and communication can allow for aircraft to make precise runs along safe vectors, using their limited payload the most effectively while reducing risk to the expensive aircraft. Infantry are ideal for this due to their small size, which makes FACs more difficult to root out.

    So aircraft give infantry units firepower, while infantry units reduce risk and increase the efficiency of aircraft.

    Air-Armour Combined Arms


    While armoured vehicles are great at dealing with threats that they can see, they are much more vulnerable against two types of targets: artillery and aircraft. Artillery firing anti-tank cluster munitions or precision-guided munitions can wreck tanks or at the very least greatly impede their ability to fight. And while most tanks are equipped with a roof-mounted machinegun nominally for anti-air usage, those weapons are relatively obsolete against missile-launching aircraft. These are two types of targets that armour, like infantry, have few defences against.

    While tanks generally don't have the situational awareness of infantry, in some ways they can have superior air control capabilities. Their communication equipment tends to be superior, and they have integrated laser range-finders as well as thermal optics. A tank or armoured vehicle in a hull-down position makes for an effective spotter, guiding in aircraft with armoured safety. In a pinch tanks can also assault air defence positions, being generally immune to the autocannon that anti-aircraft artillery employs.

    Aircraft have the speed to destroy far-away targets and can also establish local air superiority to keep enemy aircraft away. At the same time, however, they are severely hampered by ground-based air defences.

    So aircraft hit targets beyond the range of tanks, making up for the poor mobility of the heavy vehicles. Tanks can use their optics to guide aircraft, or destroy dangerous anti-aircraft emplacements with speed and efficiency.

    Air-Artillery Combined Arms


    Since artillery shoot from very far away, often times there are issues with accuracy. It can be difficult for the artillery to know if it is hitting the target or even if the target is destroyed already. While infantry can spot for artillery, there are times when the infantry is either too far away or not in the right position to see the target.

    Aircraft, as mentioned earlier, are often limited by the amount of munitions they can carry. The stealthy F-35, for example, can only carry 2x 1,000lb bombs if it wants to remain hidden from radar. This makes aircraft relatively poor at delivering sustained fire to a single target, or for engaging multiple targets.

    The natural relationship is for aircraft to act as spotters for artillery, helping to coordinate and adjust indirect artillery fires to maximise the firepower of the artillery piece. This is especially important in regards to enemy artillery, which needs to be destroyed to prevent counterbattery fires. Likewise, the artillery can safely knock out or suppress enemy air defences, reducing the risk to aircraft.
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  9. Littleman

    OP is making the mistake of assuming people want a real-world accurate combined-arms game. No, what combined arms means to most players is "infantry, tanks, and aircraft all shooting at each other." Simple as that. All the planning in the world to make tanks dependent on infantry dependant on aircraft dependent on tanks, etc. and it comes crashing down once the player is introduced to the equation. The vast majority are running solo.

    To make combined arms really work in PS2, everyone needs to have some method of being a threat to everything. HA have rocket launchers - a staple. LA rocklet rifles, not exactly the most dangerous but still an option. Engineers could have their anti-material rifles if they were buffed to punch holes into heavy armor. I suggest grenade launchers for Medics. Infiltrators really need to be able to hack vehicles. That would help cover the "infantry versus everything" side of things.

    Tanks generally need to be flexible to compensate. The MBT's are already fairly flexible, but the Lightning is a one trick pony that it really shouldn't be. It needs a secondary weapon. The harasser could probably use a rear mounted weapon. Can't remember the last time I've seen anyone actually ride in the back seat, even to repair.

    Aircraft are honestly only flawed by their flight controls more so than their kit or ground-based AA. Ground based AA is only as powerful as it is because the original counter to aircraft (another aircraft) wasn't working out. It was too troublesome to learn to fly properly for most they just gave up and SOE was forced to make flak cannons and lock-ons nightmare fuel for those pilots that did stay in the sky.

    The game really was meant to be infantry vs infantry, tanks vs tanks, and aircraft vs aircraft with some interplay between them. Like if one dominated the enemy's forces, they could supplement their other forms of combatants. Instead what we ended up with is tanks dominating infantry through random shelling, infantry dominating aircraft through tons of lock-ons and flak, and aircraft only having a place in relatively small fights because AA density just isn't that thick in a 24v24 and the opposing team can't exactly spare a MAX to hunt down aircraft. One flak MAX isn't much of a threat to begin with.
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  10. Eternaloptimist

    Combined arms is about co-ordination between the guy with the gun, the one in the tank and the one in the airplane to achieve a common tactical or strategic goal.

    There's your problem, right there - it's an organisation / planning / working together thing. I see micro level combined arms tactics all the time when organised outfits play as platoons and squads made up of infantry, vehicles and and occasional aircraft.
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  11. zaspacer

    I look at "combined arm" for PS2 as meaning what you've covered, but also in terms of meaning interaction of opposing faction units. Meaning:
    1) using different unit/loadout/role synergies in combinations to maximize operations
    2) enable and encourage the interaction between different unit and unit combinations on each Faction with single or multiple enemy units
    3) to do 1&2 with a level of depth and fun gameplay
    4) to do 1&2 with power boosts given to units operating in Counter roles, and power reductions given to units operating in roles they are designated as inferior at performing

    While I can appreciate the idea of Combined Arms on the real world battlefield, I don't want to either (1) lock away viable gameplay behind only specific units or specific unit combination working in tandem, or (2) create too many units that have very few effective counters in any random gathering of forces.

    We don't have radio in PS2 outside of Squad and Outfit. And radio in Squad is capped at so few people as to be inadequite to support sophisticated, on-the-fly combined arms. Which leaves us only with Outfit as the only tool large enough (3 of players wise) in coverage to support sophisticated combined arms.

    Unfortunately, PS2 fractures it's playerbase across isolated Outfits. Where 2 players on the same Faction cannot coordinate combined arms because they are not in the same Outfit. I have long argued/suggested opening the communication up to be pan-Faction, with dedicated, separate Faction-only Channels for Single Zone, Armor in 3-4 zone regions, Air on Continent, Command, etc. However, SOE/Sigil/DBG continues to be obsessed with only offering coop (and gameplay advantages) through the narrow gameplay of exclusionary faction/gangs/cool-kids-club.

    And, without this Faction Radio, we are in a state of mime-ery that makes me stress the importance of #'s 2-4 far above.

    I consider the Devs to lack almost any concept of complex inter-related systems. They are marooned with basic abilities of:
    1) derivation of existing shallow gameplay on various other games
    2) making changes that get them personally excited, relative to their very limited/stunted and very playing-favorites biased conceptualization of the game

    I find far greater aptitude of big picture cognitive understanding and open-mindedness-to-grasp on these forums than I ever did inside the halls of SOE (outside of a *very* few but notable people).
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  12. DeadlyOmen

    The definition of combined arms:

    Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different combat arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects (for example, using infantry and armor in an urban environment, where one supports the other, or both support each other).

    Any changes to the game which seeks to separate the different units is not enhancing combined arms play- it is the exact opposite.
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  13. Campagne

    If it's not about killing or damage dealt, then why do the nerfs matter? Obviously they do at least in a practical sense, but you're shifting the focus away from that. You imply that tanks don't have any meaningful differences that make them superior choices for some combat scenarios. I don't see how one could honestly say that, given the obvious benefits that armour has. (Which are of course, armour, speed, mobility, firepower, et cetera.)

    Check and check, but I've not seen anyone suggest any steps or measures to create a divide in situation awareness, yourself included. I may not recall, but I do suspect that you were likely quite outspoken about the thermals nerf/change, as most players were. I really don't see "realistic" visibility from within a tank being too popular.

    Infantry - Check and check, but cheap is arguable. Yes, in the sense that one can respawn infinitely without cost, but not in the sense that each infantryman is another player seeking entertainment and not to play as fodder for the upper elite. In real life, perhaps only to a politican could consider the copious amounts of human life burned away in war to be seen as "cheap." :p -- Just a side thought.

    I agree, nerfing them just so that they are bad doesn't serve a purpose. However, even if all the changes went through on the PTS, tanks would still be quite strong against each other and against infantry, even with the reduced lethality.

    P.S. In the future it may be a decent idea to type everything out on a word document and then just copy-paste each segment into different posts like you've done here. That way the flow of your post won't be interrupted by people such as myself. :p

    That's an easy one: Allies infantry an HE tanks no longer have to contend with enemy armour. ;)

    The old king is dead, long live the king. HE is the new AP, baby! Roughly the same AV capabilities but with the greatest AI potential. No reason to not use it outside of long-range AV engagements. Dumb change to be sure, but if anything that just makes tanks more powerful against infantry. (Again, against each other is a very dumb change.)

    One shell per infantry is the current AP rate, no one but infantry seems to be complaining about it. C4 and mines are very much lethal. Maybe a few dumbfires up the a$$hole, but then where's your supporting infantry? HESH is an excruciatingly stupid name. Personally I'm just going to continue to refer to it as HEAT.

    AI topguns nerfs are a bit suspect. Canister becoming useless once more, Halberd becoming the worst choice, even for NC? Why? 'Course, one has to consider the platform they're atop of, but personally I don't really think they were really so justified. (Maybe one or two small ones here and there.)

    Not a great change, but I'll have to see how things play out before I could really say more. Farmers gonna farm no matter what the developers do, short of making everything require great skill and effort to kill. (In which case RIP population.)

    AP can afford to keep a bit of distance with the higher projectile velocity, and indeed should with the slower reloads.

    Actually, AI ESFs are probably the best platform for killing infantry, followed by AP tanks. MAXes are in there somewhere. Infantry kill more because they can fit through doors and are the default. Infantry can already spot targets. They don't have any other combined arms tools because vehicles don't need infantry's help; Everyone has the same tools and benefits from them (mostly) equally. Sure infils have motion spotters, but vehicles get scout/proximity radars. Everyone has the same range and sight lines.

    Infatry don't get vehicles that primarily support them (besides the sunndy) because very few players actually care about helping and supporting others. One can be on the ground under ten medics and still have to respawn normally. I'm one of the best medics in the general area even as a non-medic class, because I at least heal myself. No one wants to hold an umbrella over someone else's head as their only task.

    Adding content is much more difficult and time & resource intensive than modifying stats, as much as we'd all wish for new stuff play around with. (And not just NSX junk either.)

    No, I disagree. There is no misconception; This is what the game is primarily about. As an infantry main, I myself want to kill everything and do at least try if victory for myself or my allies is plausible. Vehicles can do nothing but kill: They cannot even try in most cases to capture points. There is no other reason to use a vehicle if not as a transport or power multiplier. (Again, sunndies largely withstanding.)

    Players can suggest anything they want, but it doesn't change the current and past system of vehicles. You can kill more because you spent the majority of your time as infantry. Everyone takes advantage of an opportunity when one comes by, you likely carry C4 with you everywhere like many players do. Or at the very least you can hipfire a dumbfire at a sunndy or tank looking in the opposite direction. But no, grab yourself an AP MBT and go kill other vehicles if that's what you wish, they are plenty more effective than infantry outside of two-meter C4 range.
    • Up x 1
  14. ColonelChingles

    I strongly disagree with this. Making everyone effective against everything would absolutely destroy the need for combined arms, because all units would be equal. If it were so, then no unit would have real weaknesses, and no unit would need another unit to cover up for those weaknesses.

    Combined arms is rooted in the reality that an infantryman will never have the armour of a tank or the firepower of an aircraft, but will be much smaller and cheaper than those other two.

    If you buff infantry to be heavily armoured and to have significant firepower, then what reason is there to have a tank or aircraft? That's the thinking that kills combined arms.

    Sort of.

    The way PS2 is designed right now (which I intended to get into later) is that combined arms is simply not needed. You could totally play the game entirely with just infantry and do just fine against any number of other units (as is the obvious strategy during Server Smashes where tank are non-existent). That's because infantry are just too powerful.

    So can those outfits do combined arms things for the heck of it? Sure. But do they really need to? Probably not. I would argue that the game as it is can be played far more effectively just with a series of infantry Galaxy insertions.

    It's a sad thing when my outfit only does combined arms on "fun" days, but when it comes to more serious tactical operations we play the entire two hours as nothing but infantry.

    The changes I will advocate for will be to change the game such that an infantry-heavy force will be slaughtered by a combined arms force. This means that players are required to use combined arms, not just to do it for fun or role-playing.

    Nerfs and buffs matter because they cover up the weaknesses of each unit.

    Combined arms means using the strengths of different units to "cover up" the weaknesses of another unit.

    By eliminating the strengths of one unit and the weaknesses of another unit, you effectively remove the need for combined arms.

    For example, if we reduce the firepower and survivability of tanks and increase the firepower and survivability of infantry, we reduce the need for infantry to need tanks. On the reverse, if we reduce the costs and blindness of tanks and increase the costs and blindness of infantry, we reduce the need for tanks to need infantry.

    True combined arms is achieved not by nerfing/buffing strengths and weaknesses, but to take those strengths and weaknesses for what they are and design relationships around them.
    • Up x 1
  15. UberNoob1337101

    It's nit-picking time!

    The thing is, I disagree with this, since in the context of this game, different classes operate so differently and have such drastic advantages/disadvantages, they could be considered different types of their own. Now, that's not 100% modern combined arms and much more akin to Metal Age/Classical Age combined arms, but it still is combined arms.

    Legit question for everyone, do you guys legitimately expect that people are going to "purposefully employ" infantry/tanks/air in a way that isn't purely instinct-based when almost all of them don't use mics or just play for fun? This is the greatest argument to any co-ordination and deep tactics in this game, it simply cannot exist when the vast majority of players just want to be in a 96vs96 fight. It's a nice idea, but it's doubtful anyone that isn't organized is gonna make use of combined arms mechanics at all.

    Unless chat systems in-game and the map get MAJOR changes and the community is willing to embrace and use co-ordination (good luck with convincing them), they will only really affect 1% of the player base.
    It's definitely appealing for infantry for morale (hey, having a metal box kitted with guns is definitely appreciable and gives you an edge), but it's infinitely less appealing for the tanker, who's basically guaranteed to get blown up if the battle isn't in his favor by a land-slide. Tanks in urban environments are easy prey, they can be easily ambushed and crippled by anti-armor infantry and artillery, and the restricted movement and awareness doesn't help either.

    In urban environments and similar ones like jungles and forests, infantry can be almost as good by employing it's natural stealthiness and entrenchment advantages while being way less costly to maintain and manufacture/deploy.

    4) Combined arms means that all units are equally efficient at combat.

    There's no world in which a 4 man infantry fireteam (2 riflemen, 1 grenadier, 1 LMG) is anywhere near as effective at killing things as 3 tankers in a MBT or two crew of a fighter-bomber. Heck, in much of modern combined arms combat there are certain roles that exist where those individuals might not ever fire a shot (for example, a forward air control team that doesn't want to give away its position). But just because infantry might not be as deadly as a tank or aircraft doesn't mean that they are unimportant... infantry are just as critical to combined arms success even if they aren't racking up kills.[/quote]
    Depends in what scenario, I mean, this happened. Tanks were near worthless and infantry were superior due to their mobility in rough terrain and not breaking down/freezing tracks 24/7. There are also other scenarios where

    Also, if support is going to be a primary role of infantry (as I interpret it in your post), it needs to be actually fun and infantry need to get a bit of action themselves. Simply making tanks and air kill machines and making infantry a support to vehicles is not only a silly allegory to how most players would like to play games, but also very unsatisfying to infantry players (AKA the vast majority). Support needs to be made a bit more fun and a bit more attractive, because currently being a kill machine gives you more certs, more respect from other players and more recognition overall.

    And there can't be a single Chingles post related to tanks/infantry that doesn't end up basically saying "Damn infantryside!" or "Vehicles should be buffed to the point that they make infantry not fun to play and essentially glorified cannon fodder, because muh realism".

    Combined arms doesn't have to be done using a single, real-life based formula at all. There can definitely be other alternatives to achieve combined arms rather than sticking to real life.

    Actually, why would we stick to the narrowest definition of combined arms? There are plenty interesting tactics that wouldn't be considered combined arms by this definition, but very much include tanks, air and infantry and are all fun and viable. They don't necessarily have to complement each other, but one unit can adapt to reinforce the other's strength. For example, infantry can enter trucks, ATVs and the like to keep up with the pace of tanks and other armored vehicles and push through as fast as possible.

    Combined arms in this forum degraded into "this is how everything should play because my definition of it is superior than yours (and that's because I say so and you're a clueless person)".
    • Up x 2
  16. UberNoob1337101

    But I have a question, do units need to have weaknesses in the first place? If an infantryman is tanky and has quite a bit of firepower, but tanks are insanely tanky and air has immense firepower, that doesn't mean that tanks are worthless and that air is worthless, because in this scenario, if a team that has infantry/tanks/air fights another that only has infantry/tanks/air, the former will still win all the time if they utilize their strengths well.

    Upsides/downsides won't really affect group play, they only affect solo play when an infantryman fights a tank/air vehicle, in which case, an infantryman can fight back and even destroy an enemy vehicle if he plays well, this is a good thing as they aren't arbitrarily limited by what they are, skill still matters no matter what they are and infantry don't feel like they only exist to be farmed by vehicles.

    The game still exists to be fun and enjoyable and not a 100% simulation, even games like WarThunder that are as realistic as possible don't have extremely realistic elements like breaking down equipment and malfunctions, because it would be boring and frustrating AF to deal with such things that would get in the way of enjoyable gameplay.
    EXCEPT THIS ALREADY HAPPENS, this happens every single time on Emerald, NC has a whole load of infantry, VS decides to pull vehicles, guess what happens? VS wins all the time because they utilize vehicles! Combined arms is already very viable and a go-to if affordable outside of Galaxy dropping!
    • Up x 2
  17. Diilicious

    guys lets just go play arma 3.. seriously
  18. The Rogue Wolf

    Chingles wants to turn Planetside 2 into Arma 2832.
  19. Littleman

    And yet this is where you are wrong. Dead wrong. So wrong you shouldn't even be speaking on the topic anymore wrong.

    First: It's a game.

    People are playing to have fun, and feeling helpless before something is one of the most frustrating aspects of any game. DGC has done plenty of damage in that regard just from a shoddy balancing and design standpoint, but being a medic with my only option to engage armor is to either hope it's below a ledge and I have C4 or to go back to a terminal to join the teeming masses of heavy assault, that's miserable.

    But that's not all, it's not like 2 rockets will destroy a tank outright, not from the front or sides anyway, and every form of infantry brings a unique AT method. HA have the most straightforward in rocket launchers and lock-ons. LA bring lighter rocklet rifles. Engis have deployable turrets and COULD have the Archer with some tweaks. Like a tank plinker. Medics COULD have a grenade launcher, still lacking in range but not nearly as much so as a brick.

    Tanks conversely haul in high yield explosives to splash infantry to death. This is already happening.

    Aircraft are already having a hard time. They have the escape method, but when a fight gets to a certain size, there's just too much AA to operate in the air space. So much for combined arms.

    You want to see all three vectors of combat realized frequently? Make flight controls SANE and INTUITIVE. Nerf AA slightly now that more pilots should be up in the air spending more time fighting other pilots and less time figuring out how to even track them properly. Want tanks to have a bit more durability? All infantry need to have a reliable answer that isn't a couple of bricks, but a weapon to combat them. Medic is the only one missing out on an AT capable weapon. Infiltrator's should finally get their ability to hack vehicles.

    Also: Planetside 1 did it right. Hell, infantry could load their rifles with ammo that did damage to vehicles. It was impractical, but they could. And the VS had it easy in this regard (yet so few even bothered.)
  20. LordKrelas

    I can't really see how you can nerf A:
    - All AA needs to be massed in number to even work properly against the sole thing they specialized against.
    - All AA units are at a severe disadvantage against most targets beyond infantry.
    - All AA units die rapidly to any kind of aircraft, even while massed.

    Lock-ons, are basically the only weapon that can reliably keep up with aircraft's near unpredictable movements & speeds.
    And they have direct counters to them, in addition to simply driving them into objects or using turbo.
    A dumbfire requires a pilot to sit still for the entire flight - Aka requires the Pilot to allow it to happen.
    A lock-on, alerts the Pilot to the intent, but when amassed becomes fatal.

    - Aircraft when amassed are far more dangerous than amassed AA, as even Skyguards do not hold the power of a single aircraft.
    - Nor do AA have the sheer mobility & speed of aircraft, to strike & leave before any AA can even gather let alone kill them.

    Every aircraft has a rapid TTK on most targets beyond aircraft, and can kill any AA-specialized ground unit long before it kills them.
    Even an ESF can kill a skyguard: which gets comic the moment you pick a larger aircraft, the number of skyguards focus-firing required... and still the aircraft can escape & kill.
    Since the skyguard is an anti-aircraft tank requiring similar nanites, and is a one-pilot craft just like the ESF... but it lacks dual weaponry, the mobility of an ESF, and is vulnerable to aircraft, vehicles and slightly vulnerable to infantry.
    You'd think an AA-max would be what has this problem, not the largest AA available (Skyguard) to ground units.

    I agree on the aircraft controls however, as mother of ****... who was drunk setting those up?

    But beyond swarming AA, AA isn't able to function as anything more than a deterrent when massed.
    If aircraft are equal in number, or even slightly more than AA, the AA can not function at all, and even while functional;
    AA will take loses per attempt, severely, with each loss taking a massive chunk out of AA effectiveness in the region.
    AA also can not evade, nor can any ground unit beyond perhaps a Harasser any air vehicle, let alone hunt down aircraft.
    Which basically means aircraft are the controlling unit, with AA forced to be reactive in a defensive position.

    As even if the controls are finally simple: That won't make pilots not dominate the ground, with better weapons, mobility and survival odds in their favor not the ground.
    In fact, that will ensure they attack the ground more than each other... since only aircraft can chase aircraft properly.
    So GA-aircraft will be engaging & leaving as usual if any AA-aircraft enter, with if those chase them down.. more GA will replace them.
    As local AA needs severe numeric advantage, and for every AA unit, there is one less unit able to even defend that AA, or hold the base(s).

    One aircraft can destroy basically the ability to attack a point, or defend it due to lack of cover, and TTK in most bases towards aircraft.
    Unless the force goes reactive to that, with AA they likely won't kill it - And by doing that, they lose forces capable of defending the base since they need so much of it.

    And the likely hood of a pilot taking the less cert-granting job of flying around allied positions hunting aircraft rather than exterminating ground units... is poor.

    Too poor to expect it to be considered anywhere near practical.