PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - Spitfires
Thread: Spitfires
View Single Post
Old 2012-10-10, 05:49 AM   [Ignore Me] #63
Lieutenant General
Re: Spitfires

As Crator more or less indicates by naming one strategy that as of yet wasn't mentioned, I think some of you are skipping the part in establishing what it could all be used for and how it would have to be used in order to be succesfull at that task, before you make a judgment on if it should be in and how many one should get. In this case the creation of hot spots and forcing players to remove a mine (which is on display of your HUD by means of a number). This is an advanced scouting and guarding tactic used by outfits on resecure duty to effectively spread their presence over multiple locations.

Other things about CE that haven't been mentioned, are "infiltrator control and deterent", creating a tactical and stealthy CE deactivating and dismantling game for the infiltrator. The interaction between an infil and enemies by means of enemy CE is often underestimated. CE that is set off alerts enemies to the presence of an enemy of sorts. An infiltrator therefore has to minimize the CE they set off. In PS2, there's really no CE to be concerned about, so you can get pretty much everywhere, even as a snipefil you can easily get close enough to use the sniperrifle as shotgun (as long as you're not NC since you don't get a stupidly high rof for followup shots). (Speaking of shotguns, I noticed they're going to give them to infils... -.-' ). Well placed CE to a player with thorough awareness of their placement (should be visible on the map) then is a detection amplifier and location indicator. Strangely only good players are able to link properly between missing CE and enemy movements, probably because the response to the CE disappearance has to be swift to make use of it and you have to be able to relate CE disappearing on the HUD with where in the world they disappeared and relate them to the alert indicators on the map.

Another thing you could do with mines and spitfires is create denial zones in order to funnel players to other areas. For instance, I now and then made funnels where people from a distance saw all kinds of motion sensors, mines and tank traps and then would assume there'd be mines there as well. Instead, I concentrated mine placement in those areas where a player in a vehicle would go to avoid triggering the CE or minimizing the amount of damage taken. This is a very strategic use of CE that really outsmarts an enemy and requires both severe planning and behavioural observation, interpretation and prediction skills. Use of CE can therefore be a very mental skill that sorry to say, is far more advanced than shooting someone directly. Is there risk involved in placing it? It's not a direct confrontation no, it's an ambush, but to be effective, you have to help steer the player with further bait and incentives by firing yourself, as well as maintaining the CE's field integrity and unpredictability, which requires your continued presence. Furthermore, to make such things work, you have to be in an area that's relatively deserted, so you're very prone to getting outnumbered and overwhelmed.

CE can also be used as a distraction and decoy. Often I've placed CE fields (especially with Disruptor sensors) that lead enemies in completely wrong directions. Meaning they wasted valuable seconds looking for our AMS on the wrong side of a base before attempting a resecure, while we could make use of our actual AMS/Router combi that was left completely without CE. So yes, even harmless motion sensors and disruptor sensors can be used "out of the box" using reversed psychology to beat an enemy without making use of their intended function but simply pretending you're making use of the function.

Cerberus Turrets provided a passive defense against aircraft or at least something you don't carry a defense for in that particular class. In a game where you're as rigid as you are in PlanetSide 2 due to the classes, CE can give you an ineffective, yet light defense (not an offensive power) against types of units you're not carrying equipment for at that time. Cerb turrets didn't so much create a No Fly Zone, as they created a No Hoverfarm Zone.

CE can also be used against an enemy if you can set it off while they're next to it. Often killed enemies who sat next to or behind a Spitfire when I made the turret explode.

Translating to PS2, giving players time to react or passively defend something without being present at all times would have helped greatly during the whack-a-mole period. In PS1 you could leave a tower unmanned but semi-defended. It wasn't impossible to get in, but it wasn't a no brainer either. In PS2, the moment an area is left alone, it's ripe for the plucking again. CE provides a manner of consolidation.

So yes, simply stalling by shielding an area with a line of CE is one of the strategic uses, but it's not by far the only one. Imaginative use of CE leads to excellent gaming experiences.

Another thing you have to realise is that AI turrets are ineffective against moving targets at range, because they can't lead. Depends of course on projectile velocity (a continuous laser beam would therefore potentially be the most devastating even at low damage per second). Meanwhile, any turrets deployed by the engineer can not be used by anyone BUT the engineer, making the engineer, a support player, a stationary target that can't actually go out and support others if he has to go and man his own constructs.

If we look at CE in broader terms, there's a lot more to say for and about CE.

What annoys me about CE right now is that it's pretty much 100% useless. You can't make a minefield, which is really the only way to use mines effectively. Single mines are useless in a 64km2 map as you have to KNOW precisely where an enemy will be without the enemy seeing the mine. That leaves very little options and a highly reduced chance of the mine actually hitting someone. Another thing is that placed mines disappear constantly. Not only do you not know how many you can place, but even the ones you PURCHASE at steep costs disappear randomly - possibly even when you change class. Really?! You make me buy expensive, but ineffective equipment and then before you even have the chance of making use of it, it disappears.

2000 players each having access to 10-20 mines is FINE, if you provide sufficient countermeasures, make a single mine damaging but not lethal. But no, you can only carry one grenade too and it isn't even EMP. Do you honestly think anyone in this game will EVER use the mine guards for tanks? Who in their right mind purchases a mine guard if 99% of the threats you encounter are anti-vehicle missiles?

People who think that 2000 players with 10 mines each results in facing 20.000 mines are dumb. They really are dumb. First off, a third (33%) of those mines would be on your side. That leaves a potential of 13330 mines. Next off, half of the enemies mines are aimed at each other. That removes another 33%, leaving only a potential of 6670 mines to be aimed at you. Next you have to realise that these players will be spread over a wide front, where to guard a single outpost, you'd probably already need 200 mines in the open world, that sounds like more mines than they are if you have proper countermeasures. That means you're only going to see heavy mine defense in heavy concentrations of players. On top of that, to reach the full mine potential, you would require every player to play as an engineer constantly and have certed into mines and the resources available without wanting to waste that on tanks. In the end, you'll end up with an average of about 10-20% of the total amount of potential mines being used, of which you'd personally only encounter a fraction, which, if you have the proper countermeasures on you, you'd be able to disable with ease since they don't or can't fight back if you simply detect them early enough.

Note, 250 is the amount of mines a squad of players in PlanetSide could place on their own if they certed Fortification Engineering, 200 if they just had Combat Engineering. The amount of Turrets placed per squad 100 to 150, where in practice you already needed around 8 to even cover an area of 75mx75m and even those could be largely ignored or disabled in short time by a single player if they wern't defended. A single EMP grenade could, if well aimed and mines clustered, destroy 3 to 5 mines. A single Sunderer ramming its way across a mined bridge could take out 15 or so without even utilising the later EMP, which meant we often simply used a column of Sunderers to lead our advance across, sacrificing some players to beat the CE field, something you can do in a game. Countering them is not rocket science.

Which brings us to the next point: people don't even consider it worth placing, unless they plan on a long term defense, have time to do so, are outnumbered and need to be prepared well in advance. If they plan on moving on rapidly, which happens a lot in PS2, they won't bother placing loads of mines. Even if they do place them, they can't replace them rapidly after they've been destroyed, especially not if they cost even a tiny amount of resources. Were bases in PlanetSide ever completely covered in mines? Yes, if empires made a last stand base and had time to prepare and keep an enemy at bay. Was this infallible? Hell no.

As countermeasures, enemy players had loads of EMP grenades, CR3-5 and Sunderers had EMP blasts that could each destroy 20 mines in one blow in close proximity, while tanks and Sunderers could plow through a minefield without instantly dieing to a few mines. CR5s often took out entire fortified positions with Orbital Strikes. And that is beyond instant CE kills using well aimed frag grenades, or simply sniping them out of range (which VS and TR could even do with handpistols, at the cost of making very distinctive sound).

The same goes for Spitfires really.

The problem is the aversion of the people who don't want to think too much about non-direct player challenges and focus on shooting, with anything that's an indirect countermeasure to their style of playing. Because ultimately, these people see an infantry fight as an evolution of a gentlemen's duel with each player taking ten paces then turning around and shooting. They dislike the underhanded and often indirect guerrilla approach to combat or damage amplifiers by tripping an ambush they should have seen coming and brought countermeasures for.

Now, the problem I see with CE being implemented as in PS1 in PS2 has mostly to do with the PS2 class system being far too patronising, inflexibly rigid and limitations in ammo count. Not with the idea behind it at all. It just can't mix well with the current setup for player gear. Another problem is the ease of spawncamping that exists already, loads of CE would increase this problem. That though again is mostly a problem of poor base layout and countermeasures not being available in sufficient quality. Note also that mines and turrets couldn't be placed indoors in PS1, while so far, they can in PS2.

But really, which fool thinks a single, over time disappearing tank mine is effective in a game on a 64 square kilometer map with each empire casualy bringing 20+ tanks that each can take several mines before dieing? First of all, that means those mines have to be stupidly strong on an individual basis and to even be triggered in most cases would have to have both a large detection and blast radius, not to mention an insensitivity to being killed from a distance. Mines just don't work that way. :/

As others have indicated as well, Spitfires must be placed relatively protected, because they'll easily be killed from a distance. Hence these are really mostly only useful en mass in close quarters defensive ambush positions. That's what made the Shadow Turret so effective. But the majority of PS1 players were incredibly inept at proper placement.
Figment is offline