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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-03-14, 05:40 PM   [Ignore Me] #615
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Re: Tank drivers acting as gunners in PS2

I think that Figment and I are probably talking about the same thing, but I have a really hard time understanding him.

The webcast was informative, but I didn't see anything in there about the lightning being a superior tank. It had different tradeoffs and was listed as effectively the Skyguard of PS2 so it was the best ground-based AA, but it comes with the price of HP.

As far as equations go you can mathematically determine at what point a secondary gun needs to be better than a main gun in overall effectiveness to justify having it around.

Pure Tank vs Tank scenario:

Lets say tanks have 100 effective hit points.
Lets say tanks have 5 effective dps (to simplify damage, rate of fire, accuracy, etc). So normally a tank would take 20 seconds to destroy another tank, and all things being equal, the tanks would destroy each other in a 1v1 fight.

Now lets take two tanks vs 1 tank, same numbers as above.
The one tank still has 5dps and 100 hp,
the two tanks now have 10dps for the first 100hp, and then 5 dps for the second, assuming the one tank focuses one at a time (which would be dumb if he didn't).

The two tanks will destroy the one tank in 10 seconds. In that time, the one tank will do 50 damage. So the two tanks survive with one of them at half-health and the other full.

Now here's where the equations come in - at what increase in firepower to the one tank does it overpower the benefit of having two tanks and therefore justifying a single gunner?

The answer is right about 17 effective dps. If the one tank had 17 effective dps, it would blow up one tank after 6 seconds (102 damage), and lose 60 of its health in the process (10dps for 6 seconds). Then it would blow up the second tank after another 6 seconds, leaving it with only 10% health left (it took another 5dps for 6 seconds to blow up the second tank, for a total of 30). So our single tank was able to take out two tanks simultaneously and come out barely alive.

This is an ideal situation, assuming both gunner and driver were attacking the same target switched perfectly, and the other tanks were not exploiting vulnerable positions. So even in that ideal situation....

17 effective dps means that the secondary gun added 12 effective anti-tank dps. Relative to the main gun, that is 12/5 = 2.4 times the effective anti-tank dps as the main gun. Lets round to 2.5 to play it safe and to keep the math a little nicer.

So that secondary gun, at the intended role, needs to be vastly superior to the the main gun in order to justify having a gunner over a second tank.

For infantry it's a harder equation, but armor is easy to calculate. I expect a similar number though - the Anti-infantry mortar needs to be overall 2.5 times as effective against infantry in order to justify not having a second tank.

The only way I see them balancing this out is accepting the fact that running two tanks is always going to be the better option, making the secondary gun roughly equal or slightly better than the main gun. To achieve balance they use the resource system.

They do this by making it it much cheaper to have a single tank w/ a gun upgrade than to have two tanks.

Exmaple, suppose a tank cost 100 of some resource, but the AV gunner upgrade only cost 10 of the same resource.

So from a resource perspective it is more efficient to run tanks with gunners over two tanks.

That isn't to say that the secondary gun still isn't 1.5-2x better at its specific role than the main gun, but that combined with resources is where you balance it out by making it prohibitively expensive to spam stock tanks vs upgrading a tank to have an AV gunner and running fewer tanks with more firepower but doing so continuously due to the affordable resource cost.

Last edited by Malorn; 2012-03-14 at 05:41 PM.
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