[Guide] What the Lancer is, isn't and general know-how.

Discussion in 'Heavy Assault' started by Talthos, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Talthos

    The title, essentially. There are people who complain about the Lancer in its current form in Planetside 2. What I am here to explain is what the Lancer is, what it isn't, what it is generally meant to do, and some tips for people who may already use the Lancer.

    First of all, and this may have already been obvious, the Lancer is not your typical kind of "rocket launcher". With no splash, no lock on, and a charge system, it is definitely a BIG divergence from the usual "anti armour" weapon. What a VS Heavy should first lock in his mind, is that for all intents and purposes, the Lancer functions more like an "armour piercing sniper rifle". This is because the projectile velocity is on par with the most powerful bolt-actions (but lacks drop, unlike a bolt-action), and there is practically no shot deviation, making it incredibly simple to lead a target with when firing. Now, onto damage effectiveness.

    Spam firing the Lancer with level 1 charge shots isn't actually the most effective way to use the Lancer. One reason is because like any other semi-auto weapon, the Lancer is subject to recoil, and firing shots this way increases the likelihood that at least one shot will miss its target. And another, people in battle are much more likely to panic in their vehicle if they suddenly suffer a good chunk of damage from a random direction, making it likely that they will fumble their response. And lastly, the Lancer leaves behind a prominent tracer trail when firing, so firing two level 3 shots as opposed to six level 1 shots decreases the risk of having your cover location exposed. And like other launchers, the Lancer receives the same benefit for attacking the rear end of an enemy vehicle.

    Two level 3 shots are approximately equal to one traditional rocket from any launcher besides the Striker, Phoenix, and Decimator. Its effective range is actually quite far; observation and usage experience would indicate that its range is only limited by collision, and render distance. Essentially, as long as you lead your target correctly, and an enemy is in render distance, it can be hit with the Lancer. And a fun fact; two level 3 shots will kill a MAX unit, assuming it isn't being repaired by an Engineer, or has Flak Armour equipped (I haven't tested if the Lancer is affected by Flak Armour on a MAX, any verification would be appreciated).

    Another fun perk of the Lancer; the above strengths actually make it a viable non-lock-on weapon to attack slow or stationary enemy aircraft. One level 3 charge probably takes around 25-35% of an undamaged ESF's health away, and since there's no lock-on warning prior, it's a great way to surprise would-be lone wolf lolpodders.

    If you find yourself charging a shot, and the target moves out of line-of-sight, you can actually cancel a charge if you switch weapons while your still holding the fire button (Field-of-view can sometimes be slightly distorted if you switch weapons while scoped in, but scoping in then out again will fix it immediately). Accuracy from aiming in scope is retained even if you swap back and forth between the scope, and shoulder-fire. You can also delay the release of a level 3 shot for a maximum of about 2 seconds after the 3rd level is reached, allowing you to make any last second aiming adjustments for maximum accuracy.

    So essentially, the Lancer is not your run-of-the-mill rocket launcher. It has IMMENSE suppression abilities at medium to long range targets, or targets that can be fired at from cover. It isn't really meant to be a short range to point blank option, but this guide is mostly meant to explain the abilities, strengths, and niche position the Lancer has and performs well in right now.

    I hope this wasn't too tedious to read, and feel free to add any details I may have missed by replying, :)

    (All of this can also apply to the VS MAX Vortex, though a Vortex charges faster, cannot be scoped, reloads more quickly, has a 12 round clip, does SLIGHTLY less damage at all charge levels, and has a smaller level 3 delay before the shot is automatically released.)
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  2. Wobberjockey

    Good post.
    some experience talking here:
    • The lancer is NOT the tool of choice if you are trying to deal with armor by yourself. Use the S1, or a Decimator if you have access to it. especially at closer ranges.
    • in general, the lancer is a weapon of DETERRENCE, NOT DESTRUCTION. don't expect to get vehicle kills unless you land a full charge on the rear armor of a smoking vehicle
    • while it may be tempting, don't bother shooting infantry with the lancer. it doesn't do enough damage to justify the ammo used
    • the rocket bandoleer is almost a required companion for the lancer if you aren't sitting on an ammo pack. it does the least damage of all the rocket launchers in the game. (the trade off for being the easiest to hit with)
    • you are a MASSIVE sniper target while using the lancer. pop in and out of cover. the only thing more juicy is a NC HA using a phoenix
    • if you are shooting at a sunderer with blockade armor (look for the characteristic blackish plating), don't bother shooting at the rear of the sundy. the way blockade armor works, the rear armor can actually be MORE ARMORED than the sides or front. at max rank it's an additional 5 lv3 shots (!!!) to kill, or 15 ammo
    here is a handy vehicle TTK tool so you can see how much damage you will do on a given target with the lancer
    http://www.ps2calc.com/#vehicle1=Sunderer&vehicle1Upgrade0=4&weapon1=VS ESRL Lancer 3 charge
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  3. DevDevBooday

    Dont forget that a level 3 shot actually does more damage than 3 single shots

    Dont remember the exact numbers, but test it on VR yourself with tanks, you will kill a tank with less ammunition if you charge up rather than spam.
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  4. Talthos

    I definitely agree with point 1, it's an excellent support weapon to compliment the other traditional launchers; example, normal launchers get the vehicles down past half health, and Lancers finish them off when they attempt to back off. And I'm pretty certain the Lancer is actually pretty close in total damage in two level 3 charge shots to one normal rocket, though I could be mistaken.
  5. Wobberjockey

    Lv1 150
    Lv2 375
    Lv3 750

    so it takes 15 Lv3 charge shots to kill a max blockade sundy from the rear
    it takes 71 L1 shots.
    it's worth noting though that those 15 Lv3 shots will take 86 seconds vs 76 seconds for the Lv1 shots, but it will require 26 more rounds.

    the lesson here:
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  6. Ripshaft

    Good to see some lancer love - ever since my mouse died (gotta love how most mouse companies build their mice to fail after a year or so of heavy use now) I've been using a crappy 10 dollar mouse which doesnt work well with a weapon that requires fine aim, so the lancer's been on the shelf... but it's a truly wonderful weapon, and I'd normally run it all the time on my heavies unless I'm doing pure cqc stuff.

    The explicit benefit of the lancer is its extremely reliable damage on targets that would otherwise be extremely unreliably hit by any other weapons platform. It's also exceptionally effective at "peeking", so long as you know where your target is. Basically safe, reliable damage, often against things you wouldn't otherwise be able to damage.

    It's also worth noting that it will oneshots unarmored flashes, which makes it a hilariously effective and satisfying flash destroyer.

    It does demand a drastically different playstyle than the other launchers though, which throws alot of people off, myself included for awhile. Basically the things you enjoy about a regular launcher you will not be able to enjoy with this launcher, but if you give it time you'll find things to absolutely love with the lancer, in almost all situations.

    As I allude to above, the lancer's main drawback is that it's lacklustre in close quarters environments - mainly it cannot oneshot infantry camping the corners and cannot put off serious damage on a close range peek vs a max. However I was surprised to find it often useful in getting easy headshots on maxes that are not directly around a corner - and in that regard it's surprisingly effective. It's also far more effective at tagging body parts that are sticking out of cover than a normal launcher, which you'll run into quite alot, especially with those derpy nc maxes who love to sit by doorways.
  7. Talthos

    Quite true on that Flash bit, and I do hope you noted the bit where I mentioned "two shotting a MAX"?
  8. Ripshaft

    Wait whaaaaaa.... you sure on that two shotting maxes thing?... holy butts well it seems to be that way in VR. I've shredded my fair share of maxes with the lancer but I've never noticed that it 2 shotted - I've always assumed that they were damaged when I managed to do that... will need to test further lol
  9. Tentakewls

    I miss the little screen on the model that would show how many shots you had.
  10. FaLI3N

    I would like to add that it is amazing if you get yourself and 2 buddies down to a high-traffic air pad such as J908. Put a beacon down and coordinate two simultaneous 3-charge lancer shots on ESF as they come in to resupply or repair, insta-gib with no warning whatsoever. Have your other friend drop ammo down and have a field day insta-gibbing the best pilots on your server that the rest of your faction were having real trouble with whilst drinking the tears of your enemy.
  11. Ripshaft

    yeah =/ That was a neat little feature, made the gun look sexier too. The little screen that didnt work for months... then worked... then got broke again... then got removed entirely =/
  12. Talthos

    Yup, I'm 99.99% certain on the two-shot. I've never tested it in VR, I've simply figured it out from experience. I'll usually see a lone MAX either with dual Bursters, or otherwise lone wolfing it without an Engineer. Two charge shots will finish him, no headshots required. Also, I don't think the Lancer or any launcher gets a headshot bonus, unfortunately, :(
  13. Nakar

    Oh, and it's been touched on here, but: The Lancer scales up in group usage better than nearly every other launcher in the game. Six lock-on launchers can be defeated with one use of Flares/Smoke and clever piloting/driving, and require a lot of coordination to stagger properly to avoid wasted shots. Six Phoenixes require talented operators and that the enemy vehicle isn't moving too much. Six Lancers vaporize any vehicle their users can see with no warning and little hope of countering them. Call out a target, everybody charges up, goodbye vehicle.

    Also, lv1 shots are sometimes useful against evasive ESFs. Tap-fire very cautiously and try to tag them. A lv3 shot would do way more damage but landing it can be hard, and mostly you want to deter the ESF which is easiest when it's getting peppered by shots. No sane ESF pilot is going to think you easy prey and come in for a nice slow attack run, because they know doing that will lead you to just charge up and blast them. Let them know you're there and they will not sit still. On the other hand, if they don't know you're there, maybe they'll hover... heh heh.
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  14. Talthos

    That's pretty much the highlights of the Lancer in a nutshell. As for the tap-fire, if I think the ESF might flee after my first level 3 shot, I simply combine the best of both worlds. I hit it once with a level 3, then deplete the rest of the clip with the last three level 1 shots. This usually leaves the ESF at low health, if not just barely above burning, assuming all of the shots connected.
  15. Brainkrieg

    Agreed. I always hit them with a full charge shot first (usually its easier to him them with the first shot anyway, since they will most likely be busy hovering in one place lolpoding). Then depending on time I either charge again or start using single shots.
  16. Bl4ckVoid

    I'm getting plenty of kills with it, most of the time other people also shoot at the enemy vehicle. Yes, sometimes it is a kill steal essentially, but most of the time I contribute and get assists.
    It is the best long range launcher, but not really usable against flash or ESF or other fast moving target.
    Against moving targets always use uncharged shot. Not only is it safer, but if some of your shots miss, some will still connect. It is bad to miss with fully charged shot.

    Not mentioned in the guide, but very important: 3 uncharged shots kill an engineer turret. If you charge the shot against AI turret you will die, but if the turret is shooting at other people and not you, that can be done too, although getting of 3 uncharged shot is much faster.

    Lancer is not so bad at making you a sniper magnet, the Lasher is MUCH worse.
  17. Bl4ckVoid

    Mistake: It is not 3 shots against AI turret, but a full clip.
  18. Takoita

    I've had wildly different runs with the thing. Sometimes, I've been able to lay down the hurt on the enemies of Vanu and score some sweet, sweet points; sometimes I've failed horribly. It is a weapon that, IMHO, leaves a very nice feeling - it is good exactly as much as you are.

    I think that third level shot goes off a little bit too quickly - can't really hold it charged for long - and I don't remember ever using the second level, but other than that I don't have much to complain about. That ultra-thin fast accurate projectile is all kinds of sexy.
  19. Talthos

    Believe it or not, the 3rd level initially had almost ZERO hold time; it would release almost immediately upon reaching level 3. This was, of course, changed at the demand of the player-base. It also did a good bit less damage initially, but again, it also received a small buff that brought it into a competitive position. I'm sure we can all be grateful it hasn't gone the way of ZOE yet, :p
  20. Frosty The Pyro

    this needs to be corrected because it is very, very wrong. a level 3 lancer shot does 1500 vs ground targets, a stock launcherd does 1700, decimator 2000, and lock on 1500. two lancer shots is 3000, SIGNIFIGANTLY more than any one rocket, from anything. the air damage is, well, a little wonky but the end result is a full charge lancer shot does the same damage as a lock on rocket. (actually according to math and the wiki, its more, with the lancer hitting for 1250 on an esf, and a lock on hitting for 1000)

    you know blockade sunderers are actualy stronger from the rear right?

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