Why ESFs are Despised, and Always will be

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Eclipson, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Crator

    I agree with the reasons the OP lists as to why a lot of folks dislike ESF. But, players need to get over it I think. ESF are difficult to pilot properly for most players, so there aren't that many to combat most of the time. And then, all you need to do is pull out AA and deter the air away from infantry areas. It's pretty rare that I get killed by ESF or air in general. And when I do, I usually can respawn and pull AA easy and get them moving out of the area.

    That would be nice actually. But then I imagining a larger number of the player base in the air all the time doesn't sound so great.
  2. John_Aitc

    I think A2G game play is fine as it stands right now. I think the problem lies in people on the ground ignoring air. Pilots should never be allowed to feel too comfortable when they are above an enemy ground force. If they do, it is infantry's fault for allowing them to operate freely.

    When you start to lose air superiority, more ground players should react accordingly. If you are in a farming situation, you should not keep spawning and running into a base, you should get to an adjacent base and return with a Skyguard or man an AA turret and clear those planes.
  3. Taemien

    What's the TTK on a sniper rifle? Instant? Not really. Look how long it takes to acquire the target then pull the trigger. Its not that much longer than a LMG, especially when I can round the corner and 3 shot someone at 600-750 RPM. And how much of an effect are you having with a sniper rifle in that case? Can you take a base like that? Can you help take a base in most situations like that?

    One person is one person. 12 man squad is 12 people. 48 man platoon is 48 people. The point here, you can't have something that is ridiculously hard to manage but gives ridiculous amount of -reward- or effect on the battle. Say they made ESFs harder to fly, like really hard. Their effect on the battle would have to be tremendous to compensate. I think we all could agree to that, at least.

    But then it comes to whichever side has the most of them. Because of their impact, they are needed if your opponent has one. You need two if your opponent has 2. When things are simple and easy (to use), and have smaller impacts, this isn't an issue.

    For example the MBT has a bit of an impact. Its big, its loud, it does damage, and its cool, right? It has an effect on the battle. But anyone can pull their one and meet it head on. Replace that with ESF. If the enemy pilot is somewhat decent, and you've only spent 2 hours in one. You might as well not try. You can't deal with it.

    That's a problem. Now one person equals more than the others. Now this isn't something we can always avoid, but we should mitigate it. The current situation is like that. Now.. we do have methods of dealing with such threats. But they are not fun, and not fair... for either the ground user or the pilot.
    • Up x 1
  4. Cz4rMike

    Not wrong at all. SOE did a lot of silly stuff, are you gonna stand behind their every decision? Of course it's a legitimate weapon. However it's also legitimate for me to think of you as a very bad player. Lock ons create a huge skill gap (or boost) and dumbs any fights down, that's why it's an OP weapon. Besides it in fact requires little to no skill.

    Why would I complain about you using a pistol? That's really a nonsensical comparison...

    I'm not complaining, I'm telling you how it is. Unfortunately your whole outfit are low-level players. And are proud of it (which is quite crazy). Like I said, you are no different than farmers.

    My answers in this color.
  5. zaspacer

    I agree ESF (unit with dexterity skill level as the dominant factor in survivability and impact on the battlefield) current gameplay is a bad fit for the *ideal* PS2 game. Because the ideal PS2 game is:
    1) huge playerbase
    2) combined arms
    3) tactical game
    4) Faction objective oriented
    Such a dexterity rewarding unit conflicts with tactics (because 1 ESF does not = 1 ESF), negating huge playerbase impact, and impairs access to combined arms (because most players can't play it at a competent level, and a small number of skill players can force Faction domination of the unit). And ESFs often ignore Faction objectives/support because they can and its more rewarding/safer as they can avoid Air counter units.

    But I'd like to reply to that in 2 ways:
    1) the game is FULL of things that are a bad fit for the ideal PS2 game. Just watch Server Smash, and you can see the only elements of the game that are built to work well in the ideal PS2 gameplay: Infantry dropped on point with Air or Beacons or Redeployside. At least the ESF is used heavily in Server Smash, many other vehicles are useless because of their travel speed, vulnerability, and lack of practical impact.
    2) the ESF even with dexterity as such a dominate factor in using it, are only as monstrous as they are because the game system itself is not built to curtail their impact. There is no Design effort to push (with carrot or stick) the ESF into battlefront duties, which means many ESF just fly around and evade their intended counters (which are at the battlefronts) and disrupt gameplay in areas not built for them.

    I highly approve of things like A2A only weapons (A2AM and Coyote) that can help equalize the lesser skilled players with the higher skilled players. Even if I do not use them often myself. They at least allow a certain number of pilots using them to compete with Aces at a more acceptable # ratio (noobs:Aces), something needed in a huge playerbase tactics game.

    I would suggest making the following changes to make Air a better fit for the game:

    1) Add Air Radar that lights up any Air unit that moves more than 1 space into enemy Faction territory (keeps them spotted on both mini-map and Main Map, of players in the Faction they in the territory of). This pushes ESFs more into their Faction's Battlefronts where the AA counters are. It reduces pressure on other units trying to move to the front within their own Territory, that are preyed on by Air (opening up more logistic play later for PS2). And it still allows Air to fly where it wants ("sandbox"), just with handicaps for doing so.

    2) reduce ESF Ammo supplies on some weapons (Hornet, LPPA, Saron/Needler/M20 Mustang). Lower Ammo supplies forces units to operate closer to Support to or to break from Battles more often. Rocket Pods have lower Ammo supplies, and this is good in that it forces ESFs to leave after sustained fire, giving their targets a break to setup defense before it returns. Ammo supplies are too high on Hornet, LPPA, Saron/Needler/M20. They are so high that players don't even have to bother Maxing out the Certs for Ammo supply, and they can just stay flying without resupplying for long stretches of time. If pilots want high Ammo supply Noseguns, they can use the M20 Antares/Locust/Kestrel which are slower time-to-kill, but larger Ammo/Mag (and if those then become just better still, then nerf those to be equally popular).

    3) reduce the Cert cost for Mag size increase on Noseguns. The skilled/overpowered players already have their Mags maxed. The new players are at a HUGE disadvantage having smaller Mags, and the cost is very high for them to even the playing field. We don't need EXTRA and UNNECESSARY boosts to experienced pilots on top of the basic skill advantage problems of the ESF. Even lowering these costs, players will still have plenty to spend Certs on (and want to do so) in the rest of the Loadout.
  6. Cz4rMike

    BTW I'm not against lock on weapons, I'm against how low skill they are. I understand some people can't (don't wanna) learn air2air combat properly and thus they rely on lock ons. However here I would add a skill to using lock ons - smaller reticle, less time to lose lock. So it would take AIMING skill. Which is nice.

    I don't agree there should be any weapon that allows you to compete with Aces when you are a beginner. Noobs shouldn't be able to win against better players, they should be able to learn (which is doable). Besides, using locks means noobs will never learn.
  7. lothbrook

    That post is a year old, you know back when the AV mana turret went out to 900m and was almost always invisible, lol.
  8. zaspacer

    I wrote a longer relpy, but deleted it on accident before posting. :/

    Anyway, here it is again:

    1) PS2 is a PvP Combined Arms MMO. In order for it to run well, it needs to limit how powerful a single player can be.

    2) Coyote and A2AM is a way to limit how powerful a single player can be. By making sure that the ratio of Noobs:Ace needed to kill 1 Ace is not absurdly high.

    3) I can appreciate that many pilots love the idea of a high dexterity and experienced pilot dominating the skies. But while that type of single player MASSIVE powerlevel works in RTS and Fighting games (where it only affects 1 or a handful or players in the game).

    A single player dominating does not work in an MMO. No single player can be allowed to rule the game against masses of others, because it diminishes either the MMO aspect (because the Masses now mean nothing if the OP unit stays able to massively affect others) and/or the Combined Arms aspect (because Combined Arms breaks if you simply nerf the OP unit to avoid the single player massively affecting others).

    As a Designer, this is why I like the Coyote and the A2AM. To even use them, players have to make the massive tradeoff of using G2A Weapons or Fuel Tanks: Noobs and their Faction must still sacrifice a lot to kill the Ace.
  9. Cz4rMike

    Yeah, but a single pro pilot won't be able to stand against 2-3 decent pilots. Also like I said, i'm not against lock ons, but there could be a skill to them, different type then flying requires, but it would make using lock ons challenging and rewarding. So I see no conflict in leaving them ingame, but making them skill dependent.
  10. Hatesphere

    And what is the paradoxical solution then, lock ons are meant to be a skill equalizer. How do you make them more skill Dependant and still keep that goal? If anything A2A lock ons are working as intended. They allow groups of less skilled pilots to remove lone wolf/ small group aces from they skies. And for ground to air lock ons they are practicly useless at most bases without flack support.
  11. Cz4rMike

    Maybe if you read my posts, you would know? Let me copy this for you.

    Aiming is skill.
  12. Hatesphere

    Aiming is only one skill. People tend to use lock ons so they don't have to go through the growing pains of the nose gun redicule just to compeat. Its not like the lock on box is huge, pretty sure its already been toned down once. In a 1v1 a skilled and aware nose gun user will usually pull out a victory on against a lock on user. Making the redicule smaller only swings the weapon back into ace territory.
  13. Taemien

    You my friend are starting to see the light. A little light, but a light nonetheless. I'm impressed, especially since I haven't delved into what really makes vehicle play.. well wrong. At least not in this thread.

    I'm going to go slightly off-topic in regards to the thread.. though not really since it ties in to what the OP said.. at least in the title.

    To put it simply you are entirely correct. Any vehicle that does not spawn or transport (aka anything not a Gal or Sundy) is largely Useless. That means MBTs, Lightnings, Flashes, Harassers, Liberators, Valkyries, and ESF's (these are an anomaly, as they are used by many in server smashes, but have actual limited impact).

    The reason for this is the only thing those vehicles can do is cert farm. They have the secondary use as a cert pinata to those who can deal with them. But basically its cert farmers farming cert farmers who are farming cert farmers. Yeah its a silly little phrase, but its pretty damn accurate.

    Server Smashes require a faction to take bases to win. Alerts require a faction to take bases to win. Taking continents for those bonuses requires a faction to take bases to win. Gals and Sundies facilitate base capture, no other vehicle does this. As you said, redeploying and getting on point are Paramount to winning a base.

    There are some bases that are open and allow for Tanks to bombard the point directly or air even. But these bases are rare, less than 10%. Most are small bases that take small minutes to capture. The rest of the game is all indoors where infantry must face other infantry to succeed.

    Sure someone can go on about how it takes a force to cross from one base to another and there might be a fight in the field. Competitive players don't do this. Only cert farmers meet in the field. Those intent on taking a base and don't need or want to cert farm will merely fly over the action on the ground in a Galaxy and drop directly on objectives. Heck my static squad does this and we're not even a full 12 man squad. Its -that- effective.

    The discussion I had with Cz4rMike about one person equaling one person was slightly a bit of a red herring in regards to what I actually believe in. I say slightly because I was speaking of hypotheticals and current gameplay. Not exactly what should be going on in game. Not really discussing what I believe should be changed.

    No amount of ESFs can stop a Platoon full of Infantry from dropping on and securing a point. Right now that requires 4 Galaxies. Even 48 ESFs wouldn't be able to stop that. You'd think they could. But that number would be banging into each other trying to get the kills. And they'd have to be very coordinated to get it to be pulled off. Of course if we're talking coordination, the platoon should be just as coordinated but we're getting off track. Point being.. you can't stop a Gal drop. Hasn't happened, won't happen.

    Does this mean the Gal is OP? Some might think so, its very tanky in what it can take. But nerf its HP, nerf its resistance and you won't stop it. Its 'OP' because it can spawn at the Warpgate and drop 12 people anywhere on the continent. Nevermind that it can spawn and respawn people. That's just a perk. Granted a very useful one. But lets be honest. We were Gal dropping LONG before the perk was available to us. And its not required to do everything I've said thus far.

    So what can be done? Gal has a role. That's why it seems OP. It has a role and the ESF, Libs, MBT, ect. do not. They are Underpowered because they do not have a role in base capture. None.. whatsoever. But why do people use them still?

    Because you can get directives and a ton of certs. You can also pad your KDR pretty nicely. I've seen someone touting a signature with a 17 KDR on it. Checked his stats and he has a combined kill count with infantry weapons of less than 50. Everything else was from a Lightning. Not many base captures though for someone of his BR. Which means he hasn't been near bases that cap, which is all that stat shows. And why would he? He needs certs and kills, he needs to go somewhere else to farm when one side dominates the other.

    Is that a bad player? Not really. Not contributing to their faction. But its a 'valid' playstyle. Besides, maybe they really like the lightning. They wouldn't be caught dead without one. So what is a player like that supposed to do if his preferred vehicle isn't useful, but is still fun to use? Well the answer is clear, keep on farming till something changes.

    And that's what I'm going to talk about next.. and briefly so I don't have to make this a two-post post.

    Give these vehicles a base capturing role. But make it so it is skillfully based, and not numbers based. You shouldn't have to field more vehicles than your opponent in this solution. And you won't, in fact it would only take one for small fights, and more for larger so you don't get focus fired.

    Redesign the bases to have destructible elements. Walls, floors, Bridges, and Ceilings. The point is, your vehicles can destroy these elements to allow your infantry to hit spots easier, or to cause the defenders to have to take a longer, more dangerous route. These elements can be destroyed by infantry but have LARGE resistance to infantry based explosives so it would take a long time. I'm talking like 4-5 tank shells would tear it down, but trying to C4 would take like 20-24 bricks. And I'm debating on whether or not to make them impervious to infantry stuff. The reason for this is these elements would NOT be required to be destroyed to take the base, they would simply make it easier.

    To give examples, destroying a ceiling in a biolab with ESF/LIb fire means a hole is breached allowing infantry to drop in.. directy on the SCU gen. Holes in the wall near shield gens at an AMP Station allow easy access from Sundies. Bridges or tunnels leading from spawn areas could be destroyed, forcing the defenders to come out of the spawn directly and exposing themselves.

    All of these elements can be repaired.. but only from locations that exposes the engineer to enemy fire. Meaning the defenders really need to work at keeping these things up before they are destroyed. And you know the best way of dealing with vehicles is simply to bring your own. So your tank fights, and dogfights in the air would be happening... but the great thing is.. they would have a purpose now.

    Of course, having a role means these vehicles would be used in different applications and may require rebalancing. But a good rebalancing.. one that means they are being useful in the grand scheme of things. In strategy, in tactics, and general competitive play. Not just cert farming roles. Cert farmers can still farm in them. But they would have more options available to them in those multi-thousand certed vehicles.
  14. Reclaimer77

    The Reaver was the most broken thing in any video game I've ever played. And it ruled Planetside 1 for years.

    ESF's in Planetside 2 are actually far worst. Because they can switch between two weapons, take on ALL targets, and have way more suvivability. Compounding the issue, AA in Planetside 2 sucks compared to Planetside 1.

    The OP nailed it 100%, and it's really sad the Devs can't see what a blight on the game ESF's in their current form are.
  15. Cz4rMike

    Of course more skiller player wins. But he needs to be times skilled than the lock on user. Making reticle smaller would not put it in "ace category". Aiming with lock ons is entirely different skill than aiming with nosegun (no leading needed). So effectiveness would stay the same, except one would need to learn to hold his aim better. That's all. Nosegun fighting would still require wider skillset than lock ons.

    Like I said, not everyone can learn to fly. But everyone can AT LEAST learn to aim, no? I don't see why an inexperienced pilot should have a way of defeating a pro easily... I'm used to competition / learning curve / challenge, not a workaround.

    ESF is best thing ever :p, I love it...
  16. zaspacer

    The key stat is the ratio of Noobs:Ace needed for Noobs to "deal with" an Ace. Also the stat ratio of Noobs:Gank Squad.

    They don't even have to technically kill the Ace or Gank Squad, just be able to disrupt him/them and counter their effectiveness on the Battlefield. Think of it like units in an RTS: each unit has something that can counter it (even if it takes a lot of those counters) OR if a unit has no true counter, then it has to be limited in its effect on the battlefield (either lower power, or it has a lot of downtime).

    This is why I also push the idea of less Ammo for Hornets/Needler/Mustang M20/Saron: force successful pilots to break off and have downtime away from the Battlefield. Gives the Battlefield some time without them affecting things, and gives them time to setup before he returns. I see this all the time while using Rocket Pods, and I think it's great. But when I use Hornets, I almost never have to leave the Battlefield because I have so many of them.
  17. LibertyRevolution

    When they changed tomcats from fire and forget, to having to constantly maintain lock, they made the skill floor too high.
    Give me back my fire and forget lockons, if could keep the enemy plane in my crosshair I would just use the nose gun!

    Anyone can kill a high skilled infantry or tank player they are fighting, it is not the same with air, and it should be.
    If I am fighting a pro infantry guy? I can put on a shotgun and level the playing field..
    Am I fighting a pro tanker? Sensor shield C4 fairy.
    If I am fighting a pro pilot? I have to keep him in my crosshair for 3 missiles lock and travel time, meanwhile he one clips me in .5secs.


    I have 3700+ hours of gameplay time in on this game, and I still cannot dogfight to save my life..
    It should be just as easy to use a plane as it is to use a tank or infantry, yet its not even close to the same skill floor.