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  • Upcoming ESF changes

    Found this on the official forums:

    https://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/...-plans.138396/

    Obviously a work in progress, but looks interesting!




  • #2
    Re: Upcoming ESF changes

    It looks like they are buffing ESFs, and nerfing anti air lock on rockets, which results in a further buff to air. A truely baffling change.
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

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    • #3
      Re: Upcoming ESF changes

      It looks like they are developing A2A combat more. A few of the changes seem to be aimed at increasing the ESF ability to take on the bulkier crafts. I'm not sure about the G2A missile changes. Unless serious changes on range are implemented I can see this change really hampering G2A effectiveness against ESFs (if lock on range is increased to VD then we are talking business!). Hopefully they expand the 'lock on sweet spot' to counter act a close range fighter being harder to track as it flies past you.

      I like the other changes though:

      -The person firing rockets is spotted (like some real world sensors)
      -Number of incoming objects/missiles spotted on Minimap

      The Stealth Change, while I can dig it and think they are balancing it out better now, is a significant nerf to all Stealth Vehicles.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Upcoming ESF changes

        I think the main change will be the ability to act like a helicopter. With the lock-on missle needing to maintain eyes on target you will be able to peak out from behind cover, deliver your payload and then duck down again. Right now this is almost impossible to do with the fire and forget AA.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Upcoming ESF changes

          GLORIOUS. Although with a few oddities...

          -All of the lock-on warning/spotting changes alone will make flying much more fun, although they could do more with the beeping. The changes to lock-on mechanics look better, but I'm worried that expecting players on the ground to maintain a lock may be a little too much of a nerf, we shall see. On the other hand, I really hope they're never literally instant.

          -Experience changes, finally! Players can't suicide out of spite anymore.

          -Galaxy repair/rearm station... where's Randy!? Awesome change.

          -Stealth change, aww, I liked advising that 30 certs is all you need. It completely makes sense though, and they didn't simply move the ability to the last cert, all the previous ones reduce the distance that you appear on the mini-map anyway.

          -Fire suppression now sounds completely overpowered. It's auto-repair 2.0, instant health if you're nearly dead and a heal-over-time. Why on Earth did they throw that change in?


          -As for weapons, I'm undecided on the new additions and will have to see them in action. Both Mass Drivers and Coyote Missiles could very easily be over-powered or useless. Depends on how easy it is to hit Mass Drivers, and how the new A2A missiles compare to the current ones. Sounds to me like the current ones focus on burst damage, as you'd expect, while the new ones are a more consistent, steady stream affair - although easier to break the lock.

          Locust cannons sound very odd. Due to inaccuracy and spin-up, are they intending it to be anti-tank and good vs Galaxies and Liberators? If so, the DPS boost would have to be significant enough for pilots to decide not to take A2G rockets or (the now buffed) afterburners, which seems unlikely to me.

          -I'm rather baffled by the change to the fuel tanks; fighters are already incredibly fast with Racer and AB, while most top pilots regularly take AB as an excellent dogfighting choice.

          -Adding fall off damage to the nose guns :row__592: Fighting at range was easily the best way to kill top Liberator pilot/gunner combos. While I accept it gives them more of a fighting chance, it already took forever to kill the Liberator, giving them time to run away into safe territory or for their buddies to show up. As long as the damage drop off is small, maybe it'll be for the best. However, I'm worried by a drop off that starts at 150 meters, which is earlier than the Reaver shotgun-like weapon. I regularly shoot more like 500m to render distance. Either damage should drop off sharply by a small amount (preferable), or over an incredible distance (200m to 800m) by a moderate amount.

          -I think it fair that all empires get to kill ESFs with 1 magazine before certs now. However, with all this balancing going on, including fixing the Reaver's nose gun and normalising many stats, I wonder when our massive hitbox will be reduced. That is, if the hitboxes remotely reflect the models, which I'm inclined to believe but I'd love to see proof for.


          Final thoughts: I notice they haven't split Rocket Pods into anti-infantry and added a new A2G laser guided/lock-on or whatever for anti-vehicles, as they proposed. Perhaps it's still a work in progress. They also haven't changed flare mechanics or, at the very least, made them ammo based - but did say they wanted to see these changes first.



          |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Upcoming ESF changes

            Originally posted by Garthra View Post
            It looks like they are buffing ESFs, and nerfing anti air lock on rockets, which results in a further buff to air. A truely baffling change.
            I don't see any buff to fighters; A2G wasn't touched and A2A was simply changed.

            While it may be going too far, lock-ons totally had it coming. Both fire and forget and lock-ons are horrible, unfun and hard-to-balance mechanics - so they're ruling out the first. If you want to reach out and fight aircraft it's perfectly reasonable that you become vulnerable to ground targets, just as flak users do. Strikers, in particular, were incredibly powerful by putting so many missiles in the air, now they're not simply upgrades as that advantage over other launchers will be harder to achieve.

            Fighters have been (and may still be) forced into taking flares, with large gaps in how often they can be used.

            Originally posted by Toddshooter View Post
            I think the main change will be the ability to act like a helicopter. With the lock-on missle needing to maintain eyes on target you will be able to peak out from behind cover, deliver your payload and then duck down again. Right now this is almost impossible to do with the fire and forget AA.
            You can already do this, you just have to hang around until the missile hits the cover instead of breaking LOS with the person that fired it. I think there are other reasons this isn't seen much, including the A2G rockets being hard to aim at moving targets at long range and taking a long time to unload. If we had A2G laser-guided/lock-on missiles I bet this would be used a little more.



            |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Upcoming ESF changes

              I don't think the new fire suppression will be overpowered in any way. I think it's just intended to be an alternate version of the health regen systems. Your typical health regen system (like what I run on my A2A Reaver) is the more powerful heal but requires that I stay out of combat (or at least dodge incoming shots) to use it. The new fire suppression is instead a solid, on-demand chunk of healing with a long cooldown. You can use it to get yourself out of a bind, giving you a temporary combat edge, but you'll be waiting on that cooldown for a while and I doubt the intermittent healing will be as powerful overtime as the passive heal. Essentially, you're trading your long term sustainability for short term "burst" healing in the middle of a fight.

              Not sure if I'd use it, personally. That'll win a close fight or save a Reaver going down in flames, but the passive health regeneration is SO NICE. I only take it off when flak is an issue and I need the composite armour.

              The new weapons are interesting. The mass drivers will be great for harassing enemy aircraft from a safe distance, or chasing down the ones who try to run away. I imagine they'll also be pretty damn scary to get hit by, just because they'll take such a big chunk off. A squadron using these to harass enemy fighters from a distance could be pretty effective. I wonder how scary they'll end up being in the "switch off" fashion that we can use secondaries (IE, fire off a burst while the rotary is down to boost DPS). They could end up being potent close range supplements.

              The Coyotes sound interesting. A heavy burst of fire that requires a short range lock on. I think they're intended to be used in tandem with the nose gun. Unload the rotary, then switch to them while reloading to shred what's left.

              Not sure what to make of the Locust. It's either intended as a long range fighter suppression weapon, or as part of a heavy interceptor loadout. An inaccurate weapon with damage comparable to a nosegun but with a larger magazine? Sounds like it's built for laying into big targets.

              The fuel tank buffs make a lot of sense to me. Remember, a large part of their intent with this update is to segregate fighter air-to-air and air-to-ground loadouts more. Buffing fighters with proper dogfighting loadouts (like the new secondaries or afterburners) is a good way to achieve that. If you're farming infantry or tanks, you'll need proper escort or you'll be at a substantial disadvantage. No "one size fits all" fighter loadouts is a very, very good thing, IMO. It lets you make the air-to-ground dynamic more favourable to the aircraft by giving a clear counter in the form of dedicated interceptors.

              The nosegun falloff also makes a lot of sense in the context of this update. They've just given pilots a whole bunch of long range secondary weapons, so the nosegun can no longer be allowed to fill that niche or they're pointless. Bring the right tools to the fight and you can still bring down the big guys from a distance. Also, using the default nosegun instead of the rotary will go a long way to rocking that range advantage, for the bullet speed if nothing else!

              Speaking of noseguns... Scythes having faster bullet speed. That could end up being a huge buff... Scythes might actually be a threat to us now!



              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Upcoming ESF changes

                Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                I don't think the new fire suppression will be overpowered in any way. I think it's just intended to be an alternate version of the health regen systems. Your typical health regen system (like what I run on my A2A Reaver) is the more powerful heal but requires that I stay out of combat (or at least dodge incoming shots) to use it. The new fire suppression is instead a solid, on-demand chunk of healing with a long cooldown. You can use it to get yourself out of a bind, giving you a temporary combat edge, but you'll be waiting on that cooldown for a while and I doubt the intermittent healing will be as powerful overtime as the passive heal. Essentially, you're trading your long term sustainability for short term "burst" healing in the middle of a fight.

                Not sure if I'd use it, personally. That'll win a close fight or save a Reaver going down in flames, but the passive health regeneration is SO NICE. I only take it off when flak is an issue and I need the composite armour.
                Auto-repair is in the defense slot, while fire suppression is a utility; so you could have both, if you forgo flares.

                Fire suppression appears to be aimed at helping new to average pilots dogfight as it gives you health at no cost which will extend your uptime and give you a "second wind" in a fight. If these players alone were to equip it then my single complaint would be how unfun an instant health, and heal-over-time, button is while dogfighting - they're not interesting mechanics in the slightest. At least auto-repair is intended for out-of-combat use and, even then, highly certed it can sometimes kick in during a fight. However, the problem is if you actually make fire suppression (in its current line-of-thought) powerful enough for people to consider then you end up with all sorts of pilots taking it and they won't effectively narrow the skill gap anyway. If anything, a second wind will increase the gap by favouring the more experienced pilot.

                Pilots like a fair playing field where practice and teamwork matters (note the amount of Air-only outfits on Mattherson). On the one hand we have missile changes intended to make them a less irritating weapon, on the other we have fire suppression which is about to become irritating.

                Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                The fuel tank buffs make a lot of sense to me. Remember, a large part of their intent with this update is to segregate fighter air-to-air and air-to-ground loadouts more. Buffing fighters with proper dogfighting loadouts (like the new secondaries or afterburners) is a good way to achieve that. If you're farming infantry or tanks, you'll need proper escort or you'll be at a substantial disadvantage. No "one size fits all" fighter loadouts is a very, very good thing, IMO. It lets you make the air-to-ground dynamic more favourable to the aircraft by giving a clear counter in the form of dedicated interceptors.
                I suppose. But I still maintain that people already used it and you may simply end up with a dominant A2A option which reduces choice. Then again, as 2 of the other options are lock-ons I suppose I shouldn't complain.

                Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                The nosegun falloff also makes a lot of sense in the context of this update. They've just given pilots a whole bunch of long range secondary weapons, so the nosegun can no longer be allowed to fill that niche or they're pointless. Bring the right tools to the fight and you can still bring down the big guys from a distance. Also, using the default nosegun instead of the rotary will go a long way to rocking that range advantage, for the bullet speed if nothing else!

                Speaking of noseguns... Scythes having faster bullet speed. That could end up being a huge buff... Scythes might actually be a threat to us now!
                A whole bunch? They've given us the Mass Drivers, while the Locust will probably be short to mid-range (against large targets) due to CoF. Remember, its DPS is no better than the nose guns, so any CoF that makes you miss shots is a disadvantage (at least, when it's more than what you gain when the nose gun reloads and Locust does not). In the end, it's all about reliable DPS on target.

                Default nose guns... good point. After their CoF is normalised (ours wasn't as accurate as the other factions'), in addition to the other changes, it may be a more viable option.

                As to Scythes having faster bullet speed, I read some of the comments and Master's seemed like a good point to me:

                Their fire suppression buff would turn it into nanite auto repair 2.0......with fire suppression. We will see how that pans out....

                If all rotaries can 1 clip w/o magazine size upgrades....and the mossy has a larger ammo increase compared to the other ESFs, than that means that the mossy will be the aircraft to land 60~75 percent of their shots to kill you when the other ESFs will be in the mid to low 80's. Even if the numbers are inaccurate, the mossy will have the lower accuracy threshold to kill an ESF. IMO thats not balanced.....the only way to get ppl to not complain is make all proj. velocity the same.....make ttk the same....make percentage of ammo necessary to 1 clip the same.....change ROF/DAMAGE to give the ESF their faction specific flare while making VS be in the middle with DMG / ROF.

                NC - High DMG - Low RoF - 2.2 TTK - 80 percent accuracy needed with full magazine cert size to 1 clip an ESF
                VS Medium DMG - Medium ROF - 2.2 TTK - 80 percent.........
                TR Low DMG - High RoF - 2.2 TTK - 80 percent...........
                In other words, people will complain that TR have to aim less, that VS don't have to track as far and that NC have better TTK and do more damage at range. You can't simply play one style and avoid ending up in circumstances where one empire is going to have a small advantage. Thus, many players are going to complain whatever they do if they mess around with so many stats. This is less true for infantry as you can easily swap weapons, also A2A comes down to the wire much more than infantry or ground vehicle combat does, so the affect is worse.

                Side note: SOE also made sure to add weapons similar to what other factions get to downplay this issue, which is why regular gun play is pretty good. However, certain weapons stick out where choice is constricted, such as NC MAXes vs other MAXes. For some, this choice made each empire blend into each other; to me it was a great balancing choice and picking your empire still matters for which type of weapons you start with. Not everyone will unlock everything.



                |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Upcoming ESF changes

                  Originally posted by MrJengles View Post
                  Auto-repair is in the defense slot, while fire suppression is a utility; so you could have both, if you forgo flares.
                  Huh, I hadn't realized that. THAT'S interesting.

                  Fire suppression appears to be aimed at helping new to average pilots dogfight as it gives you health at no cost which will extend your uptime and give you a "second wind" in a fight. If these players alone were to equip it then my single complaint would be how unfun an instant health, and heal-over-time, button is while dogfighting - they're not interesting mechanics in the slightest. At least auto-repair is intended for out-of-combat use and, even then, highly certed it can sometimes kick in during a fight. However, the problem is if you actually make fire suppression (in its current line-of-thought) powerful enough for people to consider then you end up with all sorts of pilots taking it and they won't effectively narrow the skill gap anyway. If anything, a second wind will increase the gap by favouring the more experienced pilot.
                  I don't see fire suppression as either a big deal or as an especially newbie friendly tool. It's a "clutch" heal, very much an experts utility, that's most effective when you're on fire and going down. I expect that the amount of healing is not going to be so massive that it's going to be a significant issue with TTK... if it were instant, like it is now? Sure. But this isn't going to stop you from gunning someone down that you've got a clear shot on.

                  Ultimately, I don't think what amounts to a small, conditional health pool increase is going to play out too significantly when ESFs already get shredded like paper when a solid shot is placed on them.

                  Pilots like a fair playing field where practice and teamwork matters (note the amount of Air-only outfits on Mattherson). On the one hand we have missile changes intended to make them a less irritating weapon, on the other we have fire suppression which is about to become irritating.
                  Don't you think that's overstated? Fire suppression will be coming at the cost of flares, and between the two ESF lock ons and everything on the ground, that's significant. Sure, you can now manuever to avoid missiles more reliably, but that just means you can now more easily control your opponent's movement.

                  I suppose. But I still maintain that people already used it and you may simply end up with a dominant A2A option which reduces choice. Then again, as 2 of the other options are lock-ons I suppose I shouldn't complain.
                  All depends on the balancing, obviously, but I'm very much hoping that we'll see new air-to-air roles emerging from this.

                  A whole bunch? They've given us the Mass Drivers, while the Locust will probably be short to mid-range (against large targets) due to CoF. Remember, its DPS is no better than the nose guns, so any CoF that makes you miss shots is a disadvantage (at least, when it's more than what you gain when the nose gun reloads and Locust does not). In the end, it's all about reliable DPS on target.
                  There's the existing A2A missiles (which I might actually start using now that I won't feel dirty using a fire-and-forget weapon against other aircraft), and I interpreted the Locust as a long range weapon because it has high velocity bullets. In the description the intent is to be able to use it effectively at long range because fire rate compensates for the spread, and ineffective at close range due to the spin up.



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Upcoming ESF changes

                    The battles that are quickly over won't really be any different - that's the same as with the current Fire Suppression. I meant battles where either pilot could win, or one has a noticeable but not huge advantage. These get drawn out to the point that every little tap of damage here and there all add up, and an FS that grants both instant health and a HoT sounds like it could decide the winner of that battle more than auto-repair ever could.

                    If loads of pilots do take missiles in the Air, and the changes alone aren't enough to avoid them, then yeah, flares will be the most used. But I'm still counting on a lot of pilots taking afterburners for fun nose-gun fights and I bet FS gets a lot more use there. Taking afterburners is a good way of dealing with missiles in any case.

                    SOE seem to do that with some of their guns; it's long range because of high velocity but it's not because of CoF :row__684: Anyway, the spin up is supposed to impair high-speed dogfights, by the sounds of it fighting close range against Galaxies and Liberators will get you the most out of the Locust.



                    |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Upcoming ESF changes

                      That'd depend on the spread. They're big damn targets, after all.



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