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View Poll Results: Do you like the idea of altitude being a balancing factor?
I like the idea of AA effectiveness differing at high altitude vs low altitude 25 67.57%
I think that altitude shouldn't matter. 12 32.43%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-08-05, 07:03 PM   [Ignore Me] #31
Duddy
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


@Malorn

It is not my agenda to make the AA the same as in PS1, what I would like is some (significant) difference between all the AA Maxes.

You could make them all useful at close range, but I certainly don't want them to feel the same. I would like them to play differently, like they do now. Just perhaps without glaring issues like how the Sparrow is so weak close up. Perhaps your example from BFBC2 would be a fitting replacement for NC D:

How to differentiate them all otherwise is another question altogether, my example was only in a "If PS2 was PS1" sense.
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-05, 07:29 PM   [Ignore Me] #32
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


I'm hoping that AA max doesn't exist, at least not in the form it did in PS1

Instead I'd like to see MAXes as customizable weapon platforms where AA is part of a configuration for them, with possibly different AA options (lock-on, flak, etc). Sort of lame being shoehorned into a single role. I'd like to see MAX have the ability to choose their weapon systems and mix & match them. Part-AA, part AV, for example as an outdoor max. Sort of like how BFRs had different weapon options, only on a tiny scale with MAX with more customization options. Some options would cost more resources than others of course. I think jumpjets, shields, lockdown/overdrive, is a good mix of uniqueness. They would of course have some unique weaponry but I hope AA portion has some commonality.

MAX are definitely an area of improvement for PS2. Make give them more customization options, multiple weapon platforms, and tradeoff decisions. Ideally with some more room for skill in there too. I know folks complained they were too easy to play and I don't disagree. More options, more weapons with different characteristics. Adding in some different weapon configurations would go a long way to helping them balance out, especially if the AA options are rather similar. Again, I think AA is something that is too vital ot the balance of the game to have wide variance between the empires. There's room for flavor but it shouldn't be to the point where people hate flying against one empire or prefer flying against another due to differences in AA capabilities.
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-05, 07:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #33
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Raymac View Post
So, I'm curious, how do you picture this flak gun? Something hand-held? A vehicle? Something an engineer sets up in the field? Or maybe more like a base turret so it's only at bases?
Then the rate of fire? Are you picturing like a Skyguard or more like a Flail?

It does sound like something like this would have a bit of a learning curve, but most things do, so I wouldn't worry about that. Also, I'm imagining this as an addition to the AA that we know and love in PS1 like the Maxes and Skyguard, even the turret upgrades and cerbrus turrets. Those would be more geared for the lower altitudes, like you stated, and this new flak gun is for the high altitude planes?
Flak is the AA that I think is the most balanced in the game and easiest to balance. It's easy to put flak on just about anything. They mentioned AA weaponry on tanks. That's one of the things that I was thinking altitude should really matter. Tanks shooting down liberators and galaxies is pretty ridiculous but a tank having some flak to have some reasonable defense against reavers and ward off skeets seems fine if it is a tradeoff and they are sacrificing something like a 20mm to get it.

At its simplest I'd like to see flak with different ammo types or characteristics, like flak that has a short range but a short arming distance (low-altitude flak), or flak that has a long range but a long arming distance (high altitude flak). Making infantry choose between those types is critical. Most will choose short because that's the immediate threat - reavers/skeets. Same thing with tanks I think. let them choose the type they want to equip but make it a tradeoff decision.

I can see engineers putting down stationary turrets that are flak cannons to put up some reasonable defense, but those turrets would need to be manned.

Rate of fire and damage can vary between flak platforms. I think a stationary turret should be one of the strongest forms of AA because it is both vulnerable to many things like AV, snipers, and aircraft, as well as having a limited and unmoving field of fire. Hand-held infantry flak should be like the rocklet - limited burst, limited range/accuracy.

If any vehicle can equip an AA secondary weapon then I think the need for specialized AA vehicles is no longer necessary. So perhaps we don't have a skyguard anymore, instead we have Enforcers, Threshers, and Marauders with secondary and minor flak guns with short-burst fire.

The key there is that there's a tradeoff between using flak vs some other weapon so the vehicle is giving up effectiveness to shoo off aircraft. But that all depends on how effective the AA is, how aircraft handles, how effective aircraft are against ground targets, etc...lots of variables.

I'd like to see non-flak guns too, like quad-barreled machienguns or miniguns that fire bursts of rounds into the air requiring some amount of accuracy by the gunner. Those could be by their nature low-altitude effectiveness, but I think we need some variety in the AA other than just flak flak flak. Anti-Air machineguns should probably have a minimal angle

Then again, we could also emulate German 88's which were AA guns that proved to be highly effective artillery. Perhaps a gun platform could be AA or AV depending on Ammunition type. So an engineer could build a cannon and change out ammo. One ammo type might be a slow ROF very hard hitting flak round that you have to do range-finding and ajustments and then fire one shot. If it hits it sould damn near instagib any aircraft but its so slow and hard to aim that fast moving aircraft probalby don't have to worry abou tit. But those that hover...well, they could be screwed. Then if there's no aircraft the engineer swaps out the ammo and it become sna Anti-Tank gun. or it could swap out ammo again and be an anti-infantry platform.

I really like the sound of that multi-use cannon that has low RoF but high damage. Big downsid eis that its stationary of course.
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Old 2011-08-05, 07:49 PM   [Ignore Me] #34
EASyEightyEight
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Lot's of stuff.
Something like this may work. One could pick a primary weapons system, and then a weaker form of another primary as their secondary. Primary could be held/arm mounted and the secondary shoulder mounted (just would look cooler in my opinion.)

As for the previously unique faction abilities of the Maxes, they really should just be universal tertiary functions this time around. Pick one, but only one. SOE could introduce some new functions as well. I can understand wanting to give the factions more of an identity, but this one aspect of maxes was a glaring issue in my opinion.
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Old 2011-08-05, 10:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #35
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


It has been said the Forgelight engine will support volumetric clouds, and It was suggested that aircraft may use them to hide in. I see a non-issue for any concerns over AA if this cloud cover is thick enough and at the right elevation to split the z-axis of the world essentially in half. Air superiority being fought over above the clouds, while the ground war wages on below them. Targeting highflying aircraft through cloud cover would be very difficult as would trying to drop bombs/soldiers accurately through them, but not impossible. This all becomes more dynamic and interesting depending on the weather situation at the time.
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Old 2011-08-05, 10:37 PM   [Ignore Me] #36
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
It has been said the Forgelight engine will support volumetric clouds, and It was suggested that aircraft may use them to hide in. I see a non-issue for any concerns over AA if this cloud cover is thick enough and at the right elevation to split the z-axis of the world essentially in half. Air superiority being fought over above the clouds, while the ground war wages on below them. Targeting highflying aircraft through cloud cover would be very difficult as would trying to drop bombs/soldiers accurately through them, but not impossible. This all becomes more dynamic and interesting depending on the weather situation at the time.
To add to this, you could then add, either through implants or through deep tree specialization, some type of HUD overlay that allows you to see through said clouds. Perhaps you could just see the outline, or even maybe just an icon representing a target (no IFF, or again, maybe FF is handled through even deeper specialization). This would allow dedicated AA the ability to actually perform as AA, and allow dedicated bombers the ability to, for the most part, bomb accurately and safely; all the while not making either overpowered, as they will be required to sacrifice a great deal in order to achieve this.
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Old 2011-08-05, 10:48 PM   [Ignore Me] #37
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


You know after sifting through the site and sources and after looking at the VS max it seems to me that they may just make it more versatile as it may possibly be able to be airborne temporarily judging by the wings..

So that adds in an entirely new dimension in the realm of AA if you were to have counter air airborne maxes. I know its radical and a quite far fetched but just throwing that out there to just entertain the thought...
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Old 2011-08-06, 02:01 AM   [Ignore Me] #38
Senyu
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


People like to complain when something adds variety, difficulty, and new playstyles. I however support the high alltitude
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Old 2011-08-06, 04:04 AM   [Ignore Me] #39
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
It has been said the Forgelight engine will support volumetric clouds, and It was suggested that aircraft may use them to hide in. I see a non-issue for any concerns over AA if this cloud cover is thick enough and at the right elevation to split the z-axis of the world essentially in half. Air superiority being fought over above the clouds, while the ground war wages on below them. Targeting highflying aircraft through cloud cover would be very difficult as would trying to drop bombs/soldiers accurately through them, but not impossible. This all becomes more dynamic and interesting depending on the weather situation at the time.
This is what I hope to see. Double the average PS1 altitude ceiling and make the cloud level the midpoint between ground and the flight limit.

The higher up you go, the less effective AA will be, if only because you're either out of range or there's cloud between you and the ground.

But if you fly that high, you're going to be sacrificing your ground effectiveness. The only two vehicles that can even have an impact on a ground fight from that altitude are the Liberator or Galaxy. At that height your payload, whether it's players or bombs, is going to have a 8-16 second travel time.

I think a system like that adds a ton of depth to the air game without effecting the balance of the ground game.

Last edited by DashRev; 2011-08-06 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 2011-08-06, 04:09 AM   [Ignore Me] #40
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


I'm liking the mixed range AA idea. Could lead to variety options with Gal specialization. Mods to support high altitude drops, etc. PS1 AA can often turn into an off-switch, something I'm not a fan of for any unit.
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This is the last VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-06, 07:55 AM   [Ignore Me] #41
Malorn
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
It has been said the Forgelight engine will support volumetric clouds, and It was suggested that aircraft may use them to hide in. I see a non-issue for any concerns over AA if this cloud cover is thick enough and at the right elevation to split the z-axis of the world essentially in half. Air superiority being fought over above the clouds, while the ground war wages on below them. Targeting highflying aircraft through cloud cover would be very difficult as would trying to drop bombs/soldiers accurately through them, but not impossible. This all becomes more dynamic and interesting depending on the weather situation at the time.
That's a really interesting thought Nitro - cloud cover could naturally do altitude balancing as I describe without any other code changes necessary. It would also create very different flying characteristics on each continent if the weather patterns are different. Hossin might have low fog in many places, or Cery might have thick clouds up in those mountains. And all they would need is for cloud cover to break line of sight for lock-on weaponry.

I can see some rich gameplay as a result of that.
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Old 2011-08-06, 11:15 AM   [Ignore Me] #42
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


I think the AA is fine, now. Except that it doesn't have enough range to reach, well, aircraft, at high altitudes.
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Old 2011-08-06, 03:37 PM   [Ignore Me] #43
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


I like the idea of a multi-tiered AA system for PS2, but I think that limiting all AA so that it only affects low or high targets is a BAD idea.

I say this because not only does it feel like an arbitrary limitation to put on the longer range AA, but more importantly the larger-scale battles will always have a mixture of both low and high altitude aircraft, and if every form of AA out there can only hit one or the other you've effectively cut the amount of AA out there in half for any given pilot flying in the area. So you'd have to setup twice as much AA as would otherwise be needed if an "either/or" tiered system weren't in place.

So, rather than forcing AA to choose between one or the other, I envision more of a 3-tiered system, where all AA is effective at low AA, only some of it at mid-altitute and a very select few can hit high altitude. But the high-alt AA would also be effective at low and mid alts as well. So, assuming, say, a 700m flight ceiling, here's what I see:
0-300m - Infantry general AV , vehicle mounted machine guns (which IMO need to be much more effective at AA than they are in PS1), cerb turrets (w/ similar range to the cerbs in PS1).

300-500m - non-upgraded wall turrets, Tank/other vehicle mounted AA, Infantry dedicated AA weapon (think of a 3-shot disposable SAM, like a guided Deci only effective vs air), AA MAX lock-on weapons (all 3 empires would have this available)

500-700m - AA wall turrets, Skyguards, AA MAX flak-based weapons (all 3 empires would have this available)

EDIT: Actually, now that I think of it, as Nitro pointed out I like the idea of cloud cover being a natural way to cap the height at which AA is effective - at least lock-on AA - since maintaining a lock would be more difficult once you'd lose sight of the target in the clouds. However, you could still maintain the lock if you guessed the flight path of the evading aircraft corectly and your reticle still remains red. This would mean that FaF-based AA a la the SparrowMAX should probably not be in PS2 (but I don't like FaF to begin with so I wouldn't want it in PS2 regardless)

So flying into the clouds would help but wouldn't be a guaranteed way of escaping. And flak-based AA could still shot through the clouds just fine of course.
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Old 2011-08-06, 10:00 PM   [Ignore Me] #44
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by Erendil View Post
I say this because not only does it feel like an arbitrary limitation to put on the longer range AA, but more importantly the larger-scale battles will always have a mixture of both low and high altitude aircraft, and if every form of AA out there can only hit one or the other you've effectively cut the amount of AA out there in half for any given pilot flying in the area. So you'd have to setup twice as much AA as would otherwise be needed if an "either/or" tiered system weren't in place.
That isn't really true. In a altitude tier system, you're going to see more low-mid range AA, if only because low-mid range aircraft have more of an effect on the ground. It then becomes really unlikely that you'll see any less low-mid range AA than you did in PlanetSide 1.

So if the concern then becomes that you don't see much mid-high range AA, you can evaluate it one of a few ways:

1) Is that even a problem? Are the mid-high range aircraft having such a meaningful impact on the ground that they need to be hard-countered?

2) Is the mid-high range AA not accessible enough? Are players not using it because it requires too much of an investment to train for or is too time-consuming to acquire and set up at a base?

3) Is mid-high range AA just not effective enough? Is it easily accessible, but just too ineffective to be worth it?

Originally Posted by Erendil View Post
So, rather than forcing AA to choose between one or the other, I envision more of a 3-tiered system, where all AA is effective at low AA, only some of it at mid-altitute and a very select few can hit high altitude. But the high-alt AA would also be effective at low and mid alts as well. So, assuming, say, a 700m flight ceiling, here's what I see:

0-300m - Infantry general AV , vehicle mounted machine guns (which IMO need to be much more effective at AA than they are in PS1), cerb turrets (w/ similar range to the cerbs in PS1).

300-500m - non-upgraded wall turrets, Tank/other vehicle mounted AA, Infantry dedicated AA weapon (think of a 3-shot disposable SAM, like a guided Deci only effective vs air), AA MAX lock-on weapons (all 3 empires would have this available)

500-700m - AA wall turrets, Skyguards, AA MAX flak-based weapons (all 3 empires would have this available)
If high-altitude AA is just as effective at all flight levels, no one would ever seriously consider using anything but skyguards and flak addons.
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Old 2011-08-07, 05:17 AM   [Ignore Me] #45
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Re: Balancing Aircraft/AA with Altitude


Originally Posted by DashRev View Post
That isn't really true. In a altitude tier system, you're going to see more low-mid range AA, if only because low-mid range aircraft have more of an effect on the ground. It then becomes really unlikely that you'll see any less low-mid range AA than you did in PlanetSide 1.
You're making a huge assumption there - and a shaky one at that. With an either/or tiered AA system like the OP suggests, high altitude aircraft will will have a huge effect on the ground and will become a lot more common than you think in the form of high altitude bombing runs and Reavers/Mossies who will make divebombing strafing runs from up high down to the low-mid altitudes to fire, and then AB back into high altitude to escape.

So if the concern then becomes that you don't see much mid-high range AA, you can evaluate it one of a few ways:

1) Is that even a problem? Are the mid-high range aircraft having such a meaningful impact on the ground that they need to be hard-countered?

2) Is the mid-high range AA not accessible enough? Are players not using it because it requires too much of an investment to train for or is too time-consuming to acquire and set up at a base?

3) Is mid-high range AA just not effective enough? Is it easily accessible, but just too ineffective to be worth it?

I can tell you right now that not having a high altitude counter would be a HUGE problem. Were you around before the Burster MAX could hit flight ceiling, but after they nerfed the Striker so it couldn't either? The TR had no weapons that could hit flight ceiling and just 2 libs could shut down a TR courtyard with little opposition because it was logistically impossible to get aircraft from other bases up in the air fast enough and often enough to constantly chase away the libs. And the NC/VS knew this and used it quite often to their advantage. So yes, high altitude aircraft do need a hard counter.

The problem that I see is not whether or not high-altitude AA is effective enough, but instead it's the speed/versatility of aircraft, compared to how hard/time-consuming it might be to switch from low/mid altitude AA to high altitude AA. I think it'd be way too easy for aircraft to exploit the low/high weakness and constantly shift their attacks such that ground forces wouldn't be able to adapt and switch between AA types quickly enough.

Aircraft are already the most maneuverable units on the board and usually they get to choose when and where engagements take place with ground units. I'm concerned that the only way to counter altitude-shifting aircraft would end up being forced to prepare for both altitude contingencies, which would require setting up a lot more AA than what is required in a system where at least some AA can be effective at all altitudes. This would be especially true against organized air Outfits, where they could all coordinate all of their attacks so they come in either high or low. Hence my statement about having to deploy double the amount of AA needed for the same protection, since you won't know at what altitude the enemy will be attacking from until they arrive on the scene, and at that point it'd be too late to adapt should you be using the wrong type of AA.




If high-altitude AA is just as effective at all flight levels, no one would ever seriously consider using anything but skyguards and flak addons.
That is outright false. In PS1 we already have high-altitude AA that is equally effective at all flight levels, in the form of AA MAXes, AA Wall Turrets, and Skyguards. And yet people still use cerb turrets, hand-held AV, and vehicle-mounted machineguns as AA all the time.

In the system I outlined (which incidentally is quite similar to what we have in PS1), the weapon systems that can hit flight ceiling each have severe limitations: Wall turrets are immobile, AA MAXes are slow moving and have weak armour, and Skyguards have weak armour as well. So people that don't want to put up with those limitations will choose other forms of AA.

For example, maybe a Prowler team mainly wants to concentrate on tank warfare, but they want to have decent protection against air while doing so. So for them, mounting a mid-height AA flak cannon on their turret is just fine for them, since they're not out to hunt aircraft. They just want the AA to defend themselves in the event they get attacked by air.
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