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  • Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

    I'd like to talk about the transport helicopters, how they are used in game at the moment, how they could be used in game and what we can do outside of the in-game environment to bring them better into play.

    I don't want to get into rule discussion or whatever in this thread, it's my opinion that we in this community should not need a list of set rules to determine how we play a game, but instead I want to discuss what we can do as a community to better use this asset without anybody feeling that there is even a need for a set of rules regarding it.

    Let me start with a couple of quotes which I think will lead us nicely into this discussion.

    In THIS THREAD Fex said...
    Sorry, I'll expand on that one a bit. Let's say that Dredge gets in a transport chopper on Zavod 311, flies it onto the roof of D, lands it, gets out, and starts assaulting the flag from the roof. Maybe a few minutes later, his squad spawns on him, sets up a beacon. Kosher or not kosher?

    I've always been a little hazy on where exactly the line is drawn with the transport chopper rules. I don't really use it at all since it has very limited usefulness in conquest (in fact, pretty much the ONLY thing it's good for is getting to rooftops next to flags). I figured this might be a good place to get some clarification. I sometimes think that we carried over the rule from BC2 (back when transport choppers were really, really good), and now we're treating them like sacred cows when they're really just glorified taxis.

    The purpose of the transport chopper is to transport people. The only thing that makes the transport chopper any different from an amtrac or a RHIB is that there's only one on most maps, but for some reason, nobody bats an eye when someone takes a RHIB and beaches it on the shore of Paracel Storm, or when someone takes the amtrac to the highway on Flood Zone and then bails it there.

    Personally, when I see someone get in the transport chopper, fly it up to a building that is looking over a flag, land it in one piece, get out, and begin assaulting the flag, I think that's a totally valid use of the helicopter. I find it important to reiterate that I don't ever do that, and I'm not an admin. This is just my perspective.
    Fex makes some very good points, the transport choppers intended use is to transport people and inevitably given the current state of play, that person is going to get out of the chopper once they have reached their destination, be it on a roof top or otherwise. I do believe there is a distinction between someone flying over a tall building and bailing out, leaving the chopper to descend to its demise just so the pilot could get on the roof and someone who used it to access the roof but actually landed it, leaving the chopper intact... However that distinction is not enough to warrant that application as intended use. Dredge responded with...

    @fex, as for your Dredge/helo question. That is still bailing the helicopter for a strategic advantage because in doing so he has either a.) prevented the rest of his team the ability to use it for transport or b.) given then enemy another working chopper. Maybe even both. If you ever see him do it let me know and I will kick him
    This too is a very good point, and indeed true. After all, the transport chopper is no longer able to transport people on your team when it's parked on a roof top somewhere or even worse, in enemy hands. The problem it would seem though, is no matter where the location the pilot exits the transport chopper, be it on a roof, or on top of a cap point, the end result is largely and often the same. The chopper is either A) not able to be used to transport other members of the team any more or B) In enemy hands.

    The idea of how much of a valuable asset the transport chopper can be seems largely lost at the minute and I believe that there are two main factors which lead to this assessment.

    The first factor, and IMO, the most important, is communication. Specifically the ability, or lack thereof, of squad leaders to communicate with one another through the in game VOIP system. There was THIS THREAD created a while back regarding what we as a community could try and do to achieve better communication between CO & SL and SL & SL etc. There were some good suggestions made, but nothing really came to fruition. This is something that we really need to nail down to truly see assets like the transport chopper being used how it should be. If someone decides to want to provide dedicated transport, they need the ability to communicate with other units to organise that transport and realistically speaking, if the transport chopper is to be used in a way that is considered intended, this is what needs to happen.

    The second factor, I believe, is the server being in a ranked environment. This one shouldn't really be a factor given how, in my opinion, we as a community at TG should be applying ourselves to the game, but unfortunately I feel it is a factor. I'm not trying to blanket coat everyone here, but I do believe that if we were playing in an unranked environment then there would possibly be more of a willingness for someone to jump into the transport chopper and spend the entire round providing transport for their team. I know there is probably people willing to do it now, in a ranked environment, but maybe the points I made in factor 1 prevents it?

    I would love to see people providing dedicated transportation via the helicopters in BF4, particularly on the larger maps and it is definitely possible. I feel we as a community just need to nail a few things down so we can start to use this asset properly, as it was intended to be used. How awesome would it be to just call for a ride and have someone ready and waiting to provide the service. There's no reason why we cant make it happen... Maybe I've missed something or my reasoning for why it's currently not happening is incorrect, either way, I think we can make it so.

    /discuss
    It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

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    "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
    - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

  • #2
    Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

    Good thread Fine. I have no tangible proof but my wager on the lack of use for the transport chopper is tied to the ability to spawn on the SL. Most of the times players are respawning are on or near the flag they were just killed trying to take/defend. This provides immediate reinforcement of the troops on the ground.

    With the transport helo there is a wait built in due to any number of reasons.

    With that said. I'd volunteer to run transport all map if one was needed. Some of you may not get this but I've had Some of my best ARMA sessions flying troops up to the front in the transport helo. I know, I know. BF4 is not ARMA ....not by a long shot...nor will it ever be.

    So...I say...make your case as to why transport helo is better than SL spawn.
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    • #3
      Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

      The SL spawn could be a reason. Or indeed the wait you mentioned.

      But the map changes, as an SL (with no orders from a CO) maybe you would like to shift focus to a flag across the map because the flag you were defending is no longer under threat or has become over defended and you see an opportunity elsewhere to make an impact. As a commander, maybe you would like to move a squad across the map quickly to defend or attack another point. Having a dedicated transport option would open up your options further. If we could come up with a decent com system that we TG community members adhered to this could happen pretty quickly I feel.
      It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

      sigpic

      "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
      - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

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      • #4
        Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

        Originally posted by Finestyle View Post
        The first factor, and IMO, the most important, is communication. Specifically the ability, or lack thereof, of squad leaders to communicate with one another through the in game VOIP system. There was THIS THREAD created a while back regarding what we as a community could try and do to achieve better communication between CO & SL and SL & SL etc. There were some good suggestions made, but nothing really came to fruition. This is something that we really need to nail down to truly see assets like the transport chopper being used how it should be. If someone decides to want to provide dedicated transport, they need the ability to communicate with other units to organise that transport and realistically speaking, if the transport chopper is to be used in a way that is considered intended, this is what needs to happen.
        Great post Finestyle!

        I have to agree more with your first assertion than your second one (although it does have merit), and I'd like to add a little more to it if I may be so bold.

        Naming of squads. The inability to name a squad could also be a detriment to the transport helicopter being used properly in BF4. Coupled with the inability of SLs to speak directly with one another in-game, or even identify them on the team set-up screen (which is another P.I.T.A. that DICE has screwed up), determining who is providing dedicated transport is a major, major issue.

        If we had the ability to name a squad, creating a "Transport Squad" might go a long way toward seeing the issue of helicopters being used as a sniper taxi resolved. Additionally, it is very difficult to even coordinate among SLs if you can't easily identify them (and why doesn't the squad list come up with one key like it used to????), so using in-game chat is a problem. A commander could be helpful to solving this issue, if VOIP was crystal clear. There are so many tangents that this conversation could lead us down....

        How can we solve this problem so that it works not only for TG regulars, but more importantly for the casual TG player?

        "You milsim guys are ruining the game."

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        • #5
          Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

          Thanks for getting this started! :D

          I'm pretty much in agreement with you that the only way to squeeze more usefulness out of a transport chopper is for someone to stay in it the entire game (at least while it's alive) and act as a dedicated transport unit for all squads to use. (And, more importantly, to serve as a remote spawning point.)

          The ranked vs. unranked thing might play a role in why that doesn't happen, but it's worth mentioning that playing transport pilot is actually a pretty decent way to rank up. You get 25 per spawn and 75 per passenger kill, which is about the same as any secondary vehicle position (MBT/a-chopper). You also get all of the repair score if you're working alone.

          I think the main reason it doesn't happen very often is just because we normally play Conquest, and the transport chopper just isn't as useful in Conquest. During our mixed-mode session on Saturday, I played the dedicated taxi driver role in several games, because it's way, way more useful in Obliteration and Rush. And truthfully, it's a lot of fun - the transport chopper is basically a flying tank, and it's darned near impossible to kill the thing if the pilot is cautious.

          Another reason people like me are less likely to pilot the transport chopper all game long is because it feels like we're sort of lone wolfing. When I do it, I feel like I'm doing my squad a disservice, even if it's helping the rest of the team a little bit.

          I definitely agree with Disposable that dedicated armor squads help solve that issue. When I plan on playing armor/air, I usually try to jump through every squad until I find one with a bunch of other engineers/vehicles in it (especially the MAA, if I plan on playing air), so that I'm not depriving an infantry squad their 5th member.

          Anyway, I might take a few games tonight to just play a dedicated taxi role and see if I can squeeze any sort of usefulness out of it. Could be fun.

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          • #6
            Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

            Originally posted by fex View Post
            Thanks for getting this started! :D

            I'm pretty much in agreement with you that the only way to squeeze more usefulness out of a transport chopper is for someone to stay in it the entire game (at least while it's alive) and act as a dedicated transport unit for all squads to use. (And, more importantly, to serve as a remote spawning point.)
            Did not even bother to read the rest.

            This is a great idea!

            I would also suggest two informal SOPs here:

            The Pilot should alert the CO of his intentions.

            The Pilot should make regular written announcements regarding his service in the CHAT channel when he is standing ready so as to keep SLs informed of the transport option.
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            • #7
              Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

              Maybe we should allow the pilot to lock himself up in a squad so he does not accumulate a squad which he needs to lead but at the same time have ingame coms to the CO? And if he was just a squad member he would take away that slot from the squad with which he does not work together specifically anyway.

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              • #8
                Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                Maybe we should allow the pilot to lock himself up in a squad so he does not accumulate a squad which he needs to lead but at the same time have ingame coms to the CO? And if he was just a squad member he would take away that slot from the squad with which he does not work together specifically anyway.
                Good idea!
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                • #9
                  Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                  I almost posted on this very topic earlier but decided to hold off. There's more than one historical example of a raid crash-landing a chopper on an objective to achieve maximum speed and surprise. I would suggest there's a place for this to happen, but it needs to be a part of an organized action. Not "Sl flies over an objective, bails in mid-air leaving the chopper to crash while he parachutes down with his squad spawning on him". More "Squad flies the chopper to appropriate quick insertion location, lands it, clears the area around, destroys the chopper before proceeding with their objective, preventing it from falling into enemy hands."

                  Admins opinions might differ, but this is a non-suicidal real-life tactic used on special occasions with various means of transportation.
                  TG-3rd Special Forces is Active and Currenly Recruiting!





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                  • #10
                    Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                    Originally posted by Crux View Post
                    I almost posted on this very topic earlier but decided to hold off. There's more than one historical example of a raid crash-landing a chopper on an objective to achieve maximum speed and surprise. I would suggest there's a place for this to happen, but it needs to be a part of an organized action. Not "Sl flies over an objective, bails in mid-air leaving the chopper to crash while he parachutes down with his squad spawning on him". More "Squad flies the chopper to appropriate quick insertion location, lands it, clears the area around, destroys the chopper before proceeding with their objective, preventing it from falling into enemy hands."

                    Admins opinions might differ, but this is a non-suicidal real-life tactic used on special occasions with various means of transportation.
                    This is pretty much the exact scenario that comes to my mind when I try to envision the ideal, appropriate use of a transport chopper in Conquest. But apparently that is not an approved use.

                    I did try playing a dedicated taxi role tonight, and I noticed a couple of other players doing it, too. It was... okay, but it really wasn't very useful. I had maybe one or two people use me as a remote spawn point each game, and I feel like I would have been way, way more useful on the ground. Maybe the other people had a different experience. Honestly, though, I still just don't think that sort of behavior works outside of Rush and Obliteration. In Conquest, I still believe that the most useful and appropriate purpose for a transport chopper is to serve as a one-way taxi for a single squad to take to a single point. But again - I'm not an admin. Just my opinion.

                    Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                    Maybe we should allow the pilot to lock himself up in a squad so he does not accumulate a squad which he needs to lead but at the same time have ingame coms to the CO? And if he was just a squad member he would take away that slot from the squad with which he does not work together specifically anyway.
                    Ideally, they should be in an armor squad or in a very engineer-heavy squad, so that people can spawn in and repair every now and then.
                    Last edited by fex; 12-17-2013, 01:49 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                      I generally stick with the bird until either: A) she's gonna blow to smithereens, at which point I attempt a bail (which ends up with the chopper killing me as it drops from the sky half the time) or B) I RTB, land the bird, hop out, and let another squad make use of it. So with that said, if I am flying a transport, you can bet I'm doing runs between most of the flags. I'll usually do one or two passes to let people bail then fly onto the next flag.

                      I know the thread is about how we make use of the chopper, but I feel like I should address the issue of GUNNERS and PASSENGERS. Gunners should really be prioritizing ground and air-based anti-air units as first targets to kill or maimed followed by any infantry and/or armor. I usually get gunners who do the opposite and start blazing away at targets that are not a threat to the transport bird or at birds (yes, you've all seen them). Passengers (non gunners) should be engineer so they can assist in repairs or launch missiles at armor as we pass over/by. Instead, it's just a bunch of useless snipers who want to land on a rooftop, not play an objective, and snipe all day long.
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





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                      • #12
                        Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                        Awesome ideas in here. It'll be pretty difficult to implement with how heavy AA is in BF4, but I could see a dedicated transport pilot helping out a lot in flood zone and shanghai

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                        • #13
                          Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                          Originally posted by Kamikaze Cow View Post
                          Awesome ideas in here. It'll be pretty difficult to implement with how heavy AA is in BF4, but I could see a dedicated transport pilot helping out a lot in flood zone and shanghai
                          Exactly, those two maps are really good for the transport chopper. I don't bring it up very often, but a fully-loaded transport chopper is a *monster* at taking down other choppers. It's damned near indestructible, and there's room for two stingers + repairs + 2 AA miniguns.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                            Originally posted by Crux View Post
                            ... "Squad flies the chopper to appropriate quick insertion location, lands it, clears the area around, destroys the chopper before proceeding with their objective, preventing it from falling into enemy hands."

                            .
                            Sounds like an epic moment and a totally legitimate tactic!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lets talk about the Transport chopper...

                              Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
                              Sounds like an epic moment and a totally legitimate tactic!
                              Particularly if attacking from behind enemy lines. The chopper has got to go.
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