What's the most efficient counter to a solo A2G ESF, again?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Bonemiser, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. Bonemiser

    Asking primarily to learn. I get the feeling this is discussed a lot, and that pilots aren't willing to budge on it the same way Vanu wasn't willing to budge on 0.75x ADS Orions. A single player in a ground-pounder feels pretty heavily advantaged against a similar single player with 450 nanites to invest how they see fit.
    • Heavy Sweaties have G2A lock-on AVs, but considering it takes three shots, takes ages to lock on and even longer to travel to its target -- before chaff, or repairs, or just jetting away -- it's not the option you want. At least it's free?
    • Twin Burster MAX? This one's the real joke IMO since ESFs win the battle against their counter here no problem. Honestly blows my mind that anyone would willingly spend 450 nanites for this.
    • There's the Skyguard. It's mostly garbage but not complete garbage... either way, it's no AP HEAT. Low velocity and wimpy TTK really put it on the back foot. Isn't it weird that AP HEAT is a better anti-air than the anti-air weapon?
    • One of the better options: 200 nanites for a Ranger or Walker ANT (or 300 to put it on a Harasser). This seems... okay? Honestly this one's my go-to. It's not going to win the 1v1 effortlessly, but at least it can put a dent in them and "deter" them (LOL).
    • There's also the Engineer AV turret which is honestly way better for the price than everything else listed thus far: zero nanites, takes only a few seconds to set up, wire-guided and kills in one hit. The real shame here is those five seconds to set up really are agonizing when you need them gone on the spot, and it has a limited aiming radius.
    • Finally, the actually good option that will beat an A2G farmer every time: an anti-air ESF. Same nanite cost, same player cost, except you counter them with a different build that kills much faster.

    Am I missing anything here? Is there an option I haven't considered?

    Assuming I have it right, it just seems weird. Infantry can absolutely ravage Sunderers and compete against every ground-based vehicle, but suddenly when it's airborne the only option is to deter. What's up with that? I deter tanks by killing them for at most half the nanite cost, but the answer for someone in a ship is to either pull another ESF and outgun them, become a Decimator/AP Lightning Wizard, or whip out an Engi/ANT and pray they're cocky.

    You learn to play around A2G farmers, but it just strikes me as odd from the perspective of a newer player. I can't think of any other situations in the game where the best counter is to just pull the same thing.

    The deter meme is honestly the most whack part about it. Who invented it? Was it the devs?
    • Up x 1
  2. AllRoundGoodGuy

    I just run around with the g2a rocket launcher. No, I will not get kills, but usually the threat of a lock will make them run away, giving you time to run to cover. I just do my best to avoid them. It sucks that there really isn't a proper counter other then massed deterrents, but it is what it is. Like you said, you learn to play around a2g as infantry.
    • Up x 1
  3. UberNoob1337101

    The absolute best counter to an A2G ESF is an A2A ESF, you can give chase, have great DPS and once you deal with the aerial threat you can A2G yourself. The only one that costs nanites and is multi-role at the same time.

    Liberator is also potentially good if you're really good with the Dalton.

    While Deci/AP are good, they become irrelevant to A2G pilots if they reverse maneuver during A2G attacks. Only stacked flak and lock-ons have a good chance to kill them, and even then if they pay attention they will avoid fatal damage. The main factor to fighting A2G ESFs for the most part isn't your individual skill, but how cocky the pilot is (although landing Deci/AP shells takes a LOT of practice).

    I really wish we had somewhat consistent, powerful AA that depended more on the skill of the user rather than the lack of the opponent's awareness.

    With all that said though, going around with a squaddie or two in burster MAXes cleans up the air real fast, I think of it as "community service". Lock-ons can get some good kills if you have 3+ sources of AA and the pilot isn't overly cautious. There are ways to clean the air, but you'll have to put in much more collective effort to combat them.
  4. RabidIBM

    It's true that if you're alone on the task of AA you will struggle to get the kill. If you are in a low pop area and hear the engines coming, it's best to seek cover and Q spot. It takes a few seconds for you to render on their screen, so you do have a few seconds to get indoors or under a tree or whatever.

    If you are in a high pop area, you can draw the AA and just wait. It doesn't take long for the atg to show up if the fight is big. Again, you have the render advantage, ESFs move around so much that the game struggles to know what to render. They render on your screen before you render on theirs, therefore you should get first hit. Even if you don't get the kill, the assist exp from ESFs is juicy. If the fight is big, then the sky knights will be on the prowl, knowing that the large battle will draw the atg like a bug lamp.

    As for why you can instagib a tank, but not a fighter, well, because the tank game is broken.

    I'll give you the point that lock on should be scarier. ESFs have a deeper hit point pool than a light fighter should, as is also true of harassers and flashes. The lock on range used to be longer, but then the devs wanted to make their game potato friendly. Some players have to turn their render distances way down to make the game function, and the devs turned the lock on range down to what they figured this render distance would be on potato settings. The devs bent game play around being potato friendly, which I disagree with.
  5. Demigan

    When PS2 was launched the developers wanted more players to enter aircraft. They did this by purposefully nerfing all G2A weapons to become deterrents rather than weapons that kill.

    This has been a source of frustration for both aircraft and ground players. Aircraft feel they aren't able to approach fights as there is no real dodging ground fire once detected, ground players justifyably feel they fire wet tissues rather than something that kills.

    Unfortunately the priviliged position of aircraft has only been reinforced. Flak worked differently at first and if you surprised an aircraft with many close hits you could kill them before they got away, so they nerfed flak. To counter "plink damage" of faraway flak airceaft got a stronger fire supression ability. To counter plink damage and reduce the amount of LA pilots in aircraft they gave all Engineer pilots a free nanite auto repair. To counter plink damage all AA base turrets were neutered even further with their range cut to pieces. To help newbies learn to fly and detect enemies they added the Engagement radar to spot enemy aircraft, only for complaints from vets ti turn it into a passive ability allowing vets to pick stealth en-masse and hunt down the newbies without stealth with ease.

    It would be about time to rectify some problems with aircraft versus ground units:

    - make Engagement Radar take the defense slot. That way you have to choose between detecting players or being undetectable.
    - give ground units similar advantages as aircraft. Vehicles should get an auto-granted level of nanite-repair. Ofcourse this should open the possibility for all classes to boost a vehicle somehow, a hefty boost since you'll be sacrificing your repair ability.
    - add skillful G2A weapons. A good start would be to add the A2A noseguns as an option to the Lightning. They function vastly differently than the Walker and are skillful with more than enough damage to kill an ESF... If you can hit them.
    - add skillful G2A missiles. For example a laser-guided missile with a 2m detonation range flak warhead. Current flak has 8m detonation range for reference.
    - once such weapons start being successful and be more enjoyable to both use and play against, start altering deterrent weapons to become skillful weapons as well. For example the Skyguard could function as an AA auto-canon. Firing a small magazine of accurate, medium velocity flak rounds with a reduced flak detonation range.
    - make sure each G2A weapon has abilities to use against ground targets as well so they are useful to have before and after aircract show up. The infantry missile launcher could have the ability of the Scorpion to be detonated in the air and launch sub-munitions forwards into infantry or light vehicles. The Skyguard could be ideal to deal with long-range or high/flying infantry and be a great answer to deal with Harassers etc.
  6. JustGotSuspended

    Best counter a tank with AP rounds or a decimator/kraken (won't kill composite esfs though). C4 works as well if they're stupid enough to hover near a pad or the likes assuming the C4 isn't buggy.

    Avoid AA, it's a joke.
  7. JibbaJabba

    There is no counter to A2G. This is the way dev wants it.

    A2G is a protected playstyle. The game needs it to remain "combined arms" to sell that experience. The controls on ESFs are so ****** (hidden acceleration, no mouse yaw, wonky semi-auto hover jet engagement mechanics) that new players cannot easily adopt to become A2A players which is the logical counter to A2G.

    If you actually allow a decent counter to A2G, people will use it. The A2G farmers will quit because they've become accustomed to having no counter and were basically doing it to **** on others without effort or real consequence.

    So yeah, this is the way dev wants it.
    • Up x 2
  8. DarkStarAnubis

    ESF are like Harassers unfortunately: very fast and not easy to hit, so it is shoot-and-scoot all the time: come in low, pop-up, rack 1-3 kills, dive, take cover, rinse and repeat.

    If occasionally hit by ground fire or lock-ons: simply land after disappearing, repair and come back in almost no time.

    It is quite frustrating as puny infantryman, but quite satisfying for the Sky Knights...
  9. JustGotSuspended

    1-3 kills? Maybe for the harassers. But A2G? In one swoop you can get dozens of infantry.

    Also skynights are usually A2A pilots. They're a rare part of the community that can be somewhat respected - at least you can defend they have skills. They are really the arc-enemies of A2G pounders/stompers. Not comparable.

    Most the skilless ground pounders don't even get satisfaction from getting tons of ez kills from ground targets. They just enjoy the hate and salt they get. So if you encounter them, that's their fuel, don't give them any.
    • Up x 3
  10. Liewec123

    for TR folks, striker works wonders.
    for VS/NC a walker ant is good (and also pretty cheap)
  11. vonRichtschuetz

    Most people don't know this, but it's a relatively efficient deterrent for low skill A2G farmers.

    Light Assault Rocklet Rifle has burst capabilities. Takes around 3 magazines to kill an ESF.
  12. IcEzEbRa

    Dude, No, the best counter to any of the 12 vehicles in game is really NOT a solo infantry.
    I don't know what you mean by nanites, I assume you mean resources, which are a big part of what you can do at any given moment and situation. There are also certs, what you spend for upgrades on infantry, tools and abilities..and also vehicles, their weapons and capabilities.

    So YES, a soldier paying resources or certs IS paying for an advantage over you in whatever situation they think it is. And Outfit resources. But much is situational, and by class of soldier, or vehicle. Don't buy infantry weapons with your certs, invest in your class abilities, like shield for heavy, med tool or engi tool, jumpjets on lite assault, c4 etc....to have an advantage in certain situations is EXACTLY what they're for. But it is not a guaranteed win even if you have the advantage in ps2, as you will find.
  13. MonnyMoony

    One of the problems with A2A as a counter to A2G is that A2G weapons are too effective against other air targets (especially other ESFs).

    If you get a sweaty tryhard A2G farmer who has mastered the flight controls, reverse manoeuvre etc - they can still hold their own against a dedicated A2A ESF loadout that has a pilot of low to medium skill level.

    IMO, aircraft weapons should be made far more specific. If an ESF pilot wants to run a dedicated A2G loadout, that loadout should only really be effective against ground targets and they should be completely vulnerable to A2A (in much the same way as an AA Max is pretty much helpless against infantry or ground vehicles).

    Perhaps ground weapons/loadouts should also come with a more defined movement/maneuverability penalty too. Ground pounding weapons, hover airframe etc should be heavy and make the ESF sluggish. ESFs packing a ground pounding loadout should not be able to dogfight like an A2A fighter.
    • Up x 1
  14. Scroffel5

    why dont they just add special hitboxes that, if this were real, would absolutely destroy an ESF no problem? Things like the turbines or an engine or whatever, things like that. Boost the damage for those hitboxes, as if it were rear armor, make everything do decent damage to it if the ESF doesn't leave, and boom. Its a lot more balanced.
  15. FLHuk

    Battlezone 1998 - make the elite hovering ground pounding richard womble a sniping target in his pit of *****.

    I like the idea of ground pounders going primary on infiltrators and viki verki bob's your confused neighbour.
  16. MonnyMoony

    Yeh that could work - kinda like an ESF 'headshot'.

    Perhaps make the canopy the weak spot - that way the canopy wouldn't really be vulnerable from the ground when the ESF is at altitude, allowing skyknights to have their A2A fights - but if you get a sweaty tryhard A2G farmer hovering close to the ground, farming with impunity, it gives infantry a chance to land more deadly hits by concentrating fire on the canopy - which would be exposed.
  17. Scroffel5

    Exactly, and that forces the ESF to fight more like a plane at times with quick runs instead of hovering like a helicopter, which would be more risky.
  18. Demigan

    You should not be getting an advantage for certs at all.

    A newby should not lose a fight because they didn't have the upgrades, that is just adding insult to injury to a new player. PS2 should have redesigned to a sidegrade system. The basic loadout should be solid enough to rival any other enemy, anything else you buy is a specialization that sacrifices something else for that or a convenience for the player.

    As for resources, a solo infantry should definitely be able to defeat one of the 12 vehicles, by paying their own resources. There is no good gameplay to gain from letting vehicles pulp infantry just because you used resources that generate back automatically anyway, often exceeding the lifespan of the vehicle (but restricting it just means forcing people to play as infantry against the very vehicles that pulp them, not fun or fair either).
    And don't say "you've got c4!". C4 is extremely limited and only works on vehicles that don't pay attention. The fact that vehicles are so immune to most infantry attacks that they don't pay attention or use one of the half dozen ways to protect themselves from them speaks volumes about how much superior vehicles already are. We need new resource costing weapons for infantry. These can be in categories: single use like C4 and grenades, these persist after death and only cost you when you use them. And multi-use that persist until you respawn, like the MAX only not necessarily an entirely new class.

    You can have rocketlaunchers, recoilless rifles, grenade launchers, deployable high-power shields, permanent smoke generators for either on the ground or in the air, devices which distort the vision in the area the farther you are looking into it, plasma cutters, chemical/flamethrowers, weaponized computers to insert nerfing or damaging viruses into enemy vehicles, electrical and EMP attacks against vehicles (and infantry), weapons that scramble the vehicle or the driver etc etc.
    The amount of options to give infantry a fighting chance while still paying resources to destroy resources is massive, and should dispell the idea that infantry HAVE to be inferior to vehicles "just because".
    • Up x 1
  19. Mechwolf

    I use a ranger harasser, mostly because I'm just a good driver, but I'm also twice as agile as the lightning.
  20. Bonemiser

    This has been my opinion for some time, and what I had in mind when I wrote the thread to begin with. It just strikes me as so freaking odd that that's not the case in-game. If you have one guy that spent 350 resources for one thing, any one other guy should be able to pay approximately 350 resources for a hard counter to that thing -- whether it's C4, or a Skyguard, or a Burster MAX, or what have you. A2G is one of the few major exceptions to this, and IMO it's a major blemish on the game especially when it comes to easing the new player experience. New players don't even have the option to pay, because they don't have the counter at BR1 and won't get it for several hours of gameplay. It's a shame.