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How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

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  • [INFO] How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

    Alright, it seems like we have been running a lot of anti-asset (AA or AV) squads lately with HAs with lock on missiles. And personally I was always a fan of the specific AV and AA missiles, because they do more damage. But it seems like I always have the wrong missile on hand (ex. Crow when a Lib attacks us). So I wanted to know just how much damage difference the various missiles do vs. various targets. So once again in the name of science, I went into my laboratory (VR) and did some testing.


    Testing Methodology

    I ran through each test at least twice (a test being a particular missile vs. a particular vehicle), from starting with a brand new spawned enemy vehicle each time (if it was smoking or I was unsure, I killed it off first so a new one would spawn). I also tried to pay close attention to friendlies in the area, and make sure they were not shooting at the same target as me. If I was unsure, I would move to a new target until they went away and/or repeat the test enough times until I was sure I was getting a consistent result.


    Results

    Numbers listed are count of missiles needed to kill. Where x/y is present, x is the number to set on fire, y is to kill. Some vehicles (heavy tanks primarily) take damage differently on their sides, front, and back and that is what S, F, and B stand for, respectively. A dash (-) means that missile type not valid and not tested (eg. AA missile vs. ground vehicle).

    Remember, these are stock targets with no upgraded armor. Real targets in game may require more shots if armored. Also, factor in enemy Engineers repairing, etc. So, if you are planning your asset denial squad salvos based on this, add a couple more missiles into each salvo for good measure.

    Annihilator Crow Hawk
    Liberator 9/10 - 7/8
    Scythe 3 - 3
    Magrider S:7/8, F:8/9, B:5 S:6/7, F:7/8, B:4 -
    Sunderer 6/7* 5 -
    Lightning 5/6 4/5 -
    Harasser 3 2/3 -
    Mosquito 3 - 2/3
    Galaxy 18/19 - 15/16
    * Sunderer set on fire badly by 6 missiles, but so close to death it blew up almost before I could hit it with a 7th missile.


    Conclusions

    A few things jump out at me here. Looking at the numbers of missiles it takes to kill a Gal, now you guys understand why I don't sweat them. lol Conversely, I understand why Reaver pilots freak when they are my gunners "WE ARE GETTING LOCKED" as it takes only 3 to down an ESF. lol This also illustrates one of the strengths of the Battle Gal (survivability) and why it can be a valid tactic. Conversely, we will never bring down more than one Gal at a time before they drop their cargo, and even to do that we would require about 2 squads full of coordinated missile fire (incidentally, when at the receiving end of a Gal drop, the best thing to do is not panic; just make sure you don't let them get any spawns, kill the vehicle terms if it is a big drop, eliminate their beacons otherwise, and just contain and then mop them up).

    The dedicated AV/AA missiles do give a bit more damage (less missiles to kill), but I do not think it is enough of an advantage to give up the flexibility of a universal lock on (the Annihilator). Also, it is not worth the costs in SC (or certs) to buy the two missiles instead of one. Therefore I am making the recommendation to all new HAs in our Outfit to only buy the one lock on missile instead of two and than spend those other certs / SC on something else instead (perhaps Pouch Suit upgrades to hold more missiles in your AA/AV setup). Because if you are working in a group and focusing fire, you will take down your targets anyway. And if you're not, you won't. One missile is not going to make a difference. And with the Annihilator, you have the flexibility to deal with both air and ground targets.

    One exception to that may be a dedicated AA squad camping the enemy warpgate and looking specifically for full Galaxies coming out. In that case only, there is enough damage difference with the Hawk to potentially make it worthwhile. The problem with that is twofold. I think most people have Annihilators, and not Hawks. And you would need a whole platoon doing that to be effective, which I think is not a good use of that many troops vs. the return you get on your investment (i.e., they could be better utilized elsewhere).

    If you read the description of the missiles, it says the dedicated ones (Crow and Hawk) fly a little faster. I was not very far away from my targets (shooting at them in VR from the platform) but I could not see a noticeable difference. Again, a small consideration that even if true I do not think outweighs the flexibility of having one missile to deal with both air and ground targets.

    And of course, remember to maneuver for that rear shot (or at least side) against enemy tanks whenever possible. But we already knew this from our testing with Harassers and Halberds.

    If anyone else has anything to add, by all means please do.
    Last edited by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL; 09-17-2013, 04:22 PM. Reason: suggest pouch upgrade
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw




  • #2
    Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

    Pretty scientific and professional. I like it a lot. Could you just check to see if lock on times/ranges are also equivalent?

    However, I do think that you are underselling the Crow a smidge because unlike the Annihilator it does not require a lock to fire. As such it serves as a pretty decent 'stock' Missile equivalent. As such I'd argue for the Crow to get some numbers for ground targets.

    Also consider that the Annihilator must obtain a lock before firing which limit's its capacity to purely AV roles, mostly at medium ranges.

    Have they implemented the new Lock On rule set yet? Or is that still down the pipeline?

    Also consider that the Crow/Hawk are significantly cheaper on both the SC and Certs wallet and I think other conclusions could be considered.

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    • #3
      Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

      YT, you make a bunch of good points that I did not consider. I bought the Crow and Hawk a while ago, after you buy it you can't see the price any more. If they are that much cheaper, perhaps other conclusions could be considered as you say. Same applies to not requiring lock and your other points.

      It took me a while to get to do this testing, therefore additional testing may take a while to get to as well. :) In the meantime, anyone feel free to chime in if you perform any supplemental testing as mentioned above, or if you have the answers to any of these questions raised.
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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      • #4
        Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

        I bought the Crow and Hawk because somebody told me the Annihilator sucks, but I always ended up having the wrong launcher for the situation. The option to dumbfire the missile was worth the cheaper price though, that way you aren't stuck in the water and need to fire early.

        Also, I think the reason why Reaver pilots freak out is that it may only sound like one missile locking on to them, but for all they know, it could be two or three missiles locking, an enemy ESF locking on, or some TR guy with a Striker. All they know is that they need to get out. Now.




        "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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        • #5
          Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

          Nice work, Randy! (+rep)

          I haven't done any testing in the VR, the following is just how I run my HA and my opinion of said launchers.

          I've cert'd all of the HA's launchers and, for the most part, I always run the HA with the Hawk AA missile launcher. Since it can be fired without lock-on, I can fire at armor out to mid-range (200-300M) and have some success. Again, I've never tested this but, I am pretty sure that the Hawk does the same amount of damage against armor as it does against air vehicles. I can also use it against MAX's and grouped up infantry to great effect.

          The only time I'll use the Crow AV launcher is when we have total air superiority and are facing enemy armor, or when I'm told to by the SL/PL. ;)

          The Annihilator is pretty sweet with it's ability to lock-on to any vehicle but, I just can't stand giving up the ability to fire without a lock. Pesky MAX's.. And, for those that purchase weapons with Certs, YT is correct.. the cost is a little prohibitive.


          For those that are interested, here's my opinion on the remaining 3 HA launchers:

          Shrike - I stopped using it once I unlocked my first launcher (Hawk AA). It's not bad for a purely indoor fight, like a Biolab. But, you'll probably stop using it after you get your first unlockable launcher too.

          Phoenix - Giant waste of SC/Certs. It does the least amount of damage out of all the launchers, I have trouble guiding it (similar to the engie AV turret, just feels 'wonky'), it's pretty slow and it runs out of fuel way too soon.

          Decimator - Awesomely powerful launcher. It has no lock-on, so you've gotta be pretty close and be able to compensate for it's projectile drop and the slower projectile speed to be effective with it. It's great for biolabs/indoor fights, as well as anti-armor ambushes.

          Again, thanks for the testing, Randy!

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          • #6
            Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

            Extremely useful data. Thanks you, Randy for putting in the time and energy to research.

            Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
            Phoenix - Giant waste of SC/Certs. It does the least amount of damage out of all the launchers, I have trouble guiding it (similar to the engie AV turret, just feels 'wonky'), it's pretty slow and it runs out of fuel way too soon.
            I want to defend the Phoenix a moment. You should probably not pull one if you plan on being in a close infantry fight. It will not go well for you. But as an artillery/ambush platform, the thing is insane. You can shoot from complete cover and strike targets up to 250m away, leaving the target with very little idea of where you are. In a major base assault, you can park a half squad of these behind a local rock and have every defending turret smoking in a few minutes.

            Plus, there is no small joy in "hunting" down a target who thinks he's safe from enemy fire. During one of our ambush evenings on Indar, a harasser ran some of us down as he was trying to break our position. I chased him up the road with the rocket cam and found him parked and repairing behind a rock. Nothing quite as satisfying as seeing him jump back in and frantically gun the engine just before the rocket hit his windshield.

            Ok, I'm done.
            In game handle: Steel Scion
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            • #7
              Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

              Awesome breakdown, Randy. I'll consider Annihilators more often in my AV squads... 5-9 of them in a squad would be enough to one shot a lot of targets and two shot anything short of a Galaxy.



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              • #8
                Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                A couple more quick points about lock-ons. It is my understanding that there are essentially two types of missile guidance in Planetside 2. The first is AV, which flies directly at the target. The second is AA, which some say leads the target but I believe it may just change direction quicker. (which may be affected by the rocket's acceleration figure, which is more than triple for AA rockets)

                The important thing is that the Annihilator (and the Striker) use the AA guidance even against ground vehicles. This is why these two rockets are able to hit moving Harassers while normal AV rockets cannot. (they simply cannot turn fast enough and impact behind the vehicle)

                I guess that's another point to the Annihilator.

                AA rockets (Anni and Striker included) also have a longer lock range - out to 500m vs 400 for AV lockons. (Another point for the Anni I guess)

                However, things change when we look at lock-on times, which are pretty darn important considering they dictate how long the enemy has to react. AT Rockets have a 2 second lock. AA Rockets have a 2.5s lock. Annie has a 3 second lock, so strike against her there.

                Annie does make a bit back though in reload speed, 4.7 seconds compared to 5.2 for every other launcher but the deci.

                Bizzarely, when it comes to rocket velocity, AV rockets have a higher max speed by 15% than AA or Annie rockets, though they start a bit slower and accelerate slower. (standby for some tests on this)

                Just because math so fun, I did up some DPS calculations.

                156 - Annihilator
                195 - Hawk (Lockon)
                208 - Crow (Lockon)
                288 - Hawk (Dumbfire)
                288 - Crow (Dumbfire)
                327 - Shrike
                351 - Decimator

                Keeping in mind that these are over a period of time, and that the higher-alpha weapons have even more dps advantage over the start of an engagement. This is why I like my Shrike. It's by far the easiest dumbfire to hit with, (deci has half-speed and lockons have doubled rocket drop in dumbfire) and it's a significant increase in damage if you're hitting.


                Long and short of it, where do I stand on the issue? Everywhere. I own every launcher but the Deci and the Phoenix, and I'm waiting for the Deci to come on sale again. I use the Shrike when I'm in a general infantry assault. It's the best firepower against infantry, turrets, parked sunderers, maxes, infantry, and at close to medium range where you can reliably hit vehicles with the dumbfire, it's safer and more effective than an anti-ground lockon. I don't usually pull another launcher unless I know I'm taking a dedicated role and then I take whichever specific launcher works well against the heaviest enemy presence. If the targets are fewer and farther between (or if there are harassers about) I go with the Annie.

                THAT BEING SAID, I'm a firm believer that if you are going to buy one and only one launcher, you should buy the Hawk (AA Lockon) because it is the only true jack-of-all-trades launcher. Great against air, fair against armor, and since it can be dumbfired, it's capable of use against infantry and turrets, and has more versatility when hitting ground vehicles at close to medium range. (no need to warn them with a missile lock, leave yourself exposed for three seconds, or let them kill guidance with smoke, also lets you jack up your DPS considerably against easy targets)
                Teamwork and Tactics are OP


                Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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                • #9
                  Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                  I will have to agree with Strait that in my opinion the Hawk is the must buy RL. It was my first RL and I use it in my normal 'ranged' HA kit. The Decimator is my more closer ranged RL of choice and the Phoenix is fun if difficult to utilize right due to its long reload times (travel time + reload time). The Phoenix actually has a damage multiplier against armor that puts it at a tie with the Decimator in damage output (ie 2000 pts of damage). But this is just me speaking as a HA in an infantry group, not a dedicated Anti-XYZ Heavy Assault Group.

                  With all of this in mind I think we should broach the subject that brought this discussion to the forefront: dedicated HA teams. I think ease of unlock would promote the use of Crow/Hawk for the fact of cheap multi-purpose loadouts. A core 'Anti-XYZ' group could be a potent tactical force and requires little in the way of supply: 6 HA's 1 Medic 1 Engineer could be the 'skeleton group', additional personnel added as needed. What situation would the group be employed in? Why? How? What is its ultimate objective? How long is it to be maintained?

                  Now all this being said I have a feeling that when the GU15 drops, with the significant changes being promised in lock-on mechanics, we will all need to adapt to the changing battlefield.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                    Straight, you are a number crunching FIEND.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                      Yeah he is. lol

                      Thanks guys for contributing all the other info, which now paints a much more complete picture. Like almost everything in PS2 there are a lot of "side-grades" instead of clear "up-grades." So, pick your poison depending on your play style and preferences. I think we have all done a great service to the Outfit and greater PS2 community by contributing all this info here, so be sure to point new players (even non TG squad/platoon mates) to this thread when they ask in game "what missile launcher should I get?"

                      Personally I can't hit anything with a dumbfire 200-300 meters out unless they are sitting still (and even then sometimes not, lol) so I prefer the lock ons for those stand off battles with armor (I will pull the Decimator if the armor is dumb enough to get close, and make them pay for their stupidity). And I have always thought the Phoenix does way too little damage to be useful, but a lot of people really like it; being able to stay behind cover is a good advantage. If that damage modifier vs. armor is true, then I might actually reconsider my position and buy that at some point as it is the only missile I don't have (might as well round out the collection, lol).

                      And yeah, I hadn't looked up the Annihilator lock on time, but just getting it recently it sure "felt" like it was taking longer to lock on than the Hawk/Crow that I was used to previously.

                      I would also like to defend the Shrike a bit. It's a good dumbfire at close-med ranges, it does the most damage of any rocket except for the Decimator (and only a little less damage at that, 1700 to the Decimator's 2000), but most important of all, it's the starting rocket and therefore everyone has it right out of the box. I will always remember Sparhawk telling me (when I was a noob in this game) "everybody just pull a default Heavy kit and kill this tank, the default missile is a good one." True then, and still true now. :)
                      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                      • #12
                        Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                        I think what a lot of it comes down to is skill level with dumb firing. If you're pretty good at dumb firing, take a hawk so you can lock on to air and dumb fire ground targets, and you'll have a little extra damage over the annihilator. If you're not so good with dumb firing, take the annihilator so that way you can at least hit the ground targets to provide a little more damage to ground targets. I think taking a crow is only good if you don't expect any air targets at all, because trying to dumb fire at air targets is absurd and if you can do that you might as well just grab a decimator and dumb fire at everything. So really I wouldn't recommend any 1 size fits all rocket to a dedicated HA team, take what works best with your skill level.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                          Originally posted by Emrys View Post
                          I think what a lot of it comes down to is skill level with dumb firing. If you're pretty good at dumb firing, take a hawk so you can lock on to air and dumb fire ground targets, and you'll have a little extra damage over the annihilator. If you're not so good with dumb firing, take the annihilator so that way you can at least hit the ground targets to provide a little more damage to ground targets. I think taking a crow is only good if you don't expect any air targets at all, because trying to dumb fire at air targets is absurd and if you can do that you might as well just grab a decimator and dumb fire at everything. So really I wouldn't recommend any 1 size fits all rocket to a dedicated HA team, take what works best with your skill level.
                          ^This.

                          +rep

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                          • #14
                            Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                            As an SL, having 6 annihilators in the squad would be a really nice ace up my sleeve. With other rocket launchers you've got less reliability for salvos or potential blind spots, and you need to be pretty amazing with your dumbfire launchers to hit anything at range. Sure, you're vulnerable up close, but if I'm running an anti vehicle squad I'm going to be up in a hill and having everyone suppress you from range, anyhow.

                            Of course, that's rarely going to happen in practise. Guided missile launchers are going to be of the "whatever they've got unlocked" variety so a squad will almost never be uniform in that respect.



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                            • #15
                              Re: How many (Annihilator, Crow, Hawk) to kill a (Liberator, Scythe, Magrider, etc.)

                              Despite the concept of 'whatever they've got on hand' being absolutely right I think that we could suggest 'cheap' side-grades. Furthermore the point of this game, while on the whole allowing you to do everything, is about specialization. If people want to try and organize dedicated squads/platoons with coordinated Certifications/Unlocks we should back them up.

                              Think about it this way, the 'Fast Break' requires specific capabilities to work on a basic level. On the higher level you want even more specializations. What can we hope to accomplish as coordinated group if we all aren't willing to say "I'm specializing here and I'm great for this role!". In that mind-frame I think we could, and even should, promote certain tools/certs/weapons as they pertain to tactical and strategic desires/needs.

                              For example a 'dedicated Heavy Assault team' could consist of people willing to be deployed, at any moment's notice, to utilize XYZ launcher against ABC target. The suggested 'handbook' (outline of tactics employed) would vouch for at least certifying both Crow and Hawks at the cheap '500' certs (compared to 1000 certs for the Annihilator) and would, with such equipment in mind, be able to advise specific and important tactics to be employed on the tactical level.

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