Improvement: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeoff! - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2012-06-05, 01:40 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Zekeen
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Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeoff!


Alright, so recently I was watching the old first alpha footage when Higby was zipping around as a light assault. I have come to accept and love light assault and the 50 billion flying jetpackers we will be seeing, but then I started wondering "How can you limit the number of jetpackers without actually enforcing a limit on players?". I have come up with an answer that not only fixes this, but also fixes many other Light Assault balance issues, all with one simple feature type that improves gameplay as well! The idea is simply this:



Allow Light Assault to equip backpacks in place of jetpacks that give them enhanced support roles and extended combat capability.



Before I go into specific types of backpacks, I'll list the problems that this helps us go around.
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Light Assault will be nothing but jetpackers, meaning anyone using this class will be jumping around, distracting in giant hoards just out of coincidence. It's fine to be an annoying grasshopper hoard, but that should be a group pre-planned bit of fun, not just because they all have jetpacks.

Light Assault is "overpowered". Not in the sense of being able to kill, but in having too much they can do at once. Jetpacks are a very big tactical advantage, give them ammo drop boxes too and they have two distinct, large scale tactical advantages with no extra cost. As Higby always says, "There has to be a tradeoff!"

Light Assault is automatically the ammo drop class. This forces a bit of a support role onto the player, even though the class is more geared out for rushing combat. There should be a selection for how the player prefers to play, rather than being given everything. As it stands, players will be requesting ammo from fleeting jetpackers flying past without a care, as they choose to be attack centered, and their allies cannot spot those who will give support.
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Those are the problems, and here are the solutions. These are backpacks that can be equipped instead of a jetpack, so you can follow your team as an assistance or support role (but no drop in firepower, it is light assault after all). One VERY BIG subject I have to address on this idea though, is that EVERY support enhancing effect should have an individual bonus for the player. Being able to support your team has to give you an advantage, even if you are alone.

Ammunition Supply Pack - A backpack loaded with the ammunition for your allies. Ignoring the fact we don't know the final way ammo boxes will work, this supply pack will come with a few boxes, 1-3, and on top of that gives a considerable increase to the maximum number of clips the player can hold.

Radar Backpack - A backpack with enhanced sensors that help spot enemies in the area. This lets you see where incoming enemies are and spot enemies that shoot at you longer. It reveals their location for your allies, but the obvious radar antenna and large backpack expose you as a high risk to enemies. Do note, this is all MAP based revealing. Little red dots, with a higher view than normal individuals, and let enemies be revealed for longer periods of time when they fire from a location.

Ordinance Backpack - Rather than a direct support role, the ordinance pack increases the number of grenades and devices you can carry with you. Throw more frags, toss more smokes, it can be an individual or support role based on what you bring with you!

Command Pack - Rather than more obvious improvements the other packs provide, the Command Pack is much more subtle. It decreases command based timed abilities. Want your troops to reinforce by drop pod more often? Shave a couple of seconds off with this pack! Most likely, only up to 20% of the time would be reduced.


Light Assault, in its current state, would only be used for getting up, being annoying, and otherwise trying to fulfill a tactical role while dieing more and doing less.Jetpacks should be used for an offensive role and other packs for support and other light armor type roles you would expect. Using these backpacks, you could increase the tactical use of a light assault many more times than it is worth now. It also breaks up the use of jetpacks without adding cost, limitations, or anything else. Instead, players will choose other advantages, making a jetpack a less common thought and a more tactical choice.

Now, I know one problem with this feature, if you can call it an actual problem. Higby wants it to be easy to know where your support comes from. Engineer to repair, medic to heal, heavy assault and MAX to fight on the front, infiltrator to recon/sniper, and light assault to get in odd places and supply ammo. But in the end, jetpacks AND ammo drop are too much, and the jetpack could become too odd when massive numbers are around. Thus, we separate the ammo drop (which most rushing players with jetpacks don't care for anyways) and give more features that can be selected as replacements for the jetpacks.

These ideas turn a Light Assault role from - flying recon, advancing combat, resupply - to a more variable role of - Tactical Deployment -

If you want a more spread out idea of the Light Assault role, for all it can do, it'd be this - Resupply, Command, Advancing Combat, Flying Recon, Ordinance Support, Tactical Enhancment - In the end, the Light Assault GAINS abilities and roles instead of being limited, having some removed, or otherwise. Yes, the jetpacker would have "lost" ammo resupply for their fellow jetpacks squatting on top of a building with them, but the class would gain a more tactical definition of its role and be much more attractive to players. The risk of light armor and a lighter weapon for more tactical support is very tempting. You can now fly, resupply, grenade, find, and lead. I do believe that sounds better than being able to just fly everywhere and drop ammo boxes everywhere.

Last edited by Zekeen; 2012-06-05 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 2012-06-05, 02:14 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Hosp
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Light Assault is automatically the ammo drop class. This forces a bit of a support role onto the player, even though the class is more geared out for rushing combat. There should be a selection for how the player prefers to play, rather than being given everything. As it stands, players will be requesting ammo from fleeting jetpackers flying past without a care, as they choose to be attack centered, and their allies cannot spot those who will give support.
I think therein lies the self-balancing aspect. In PS1, you have dedicated people running around resurrecting people even though there's no hard class. So while you can see friendlies rush past you with med-aps, you still might not get a res. And there are plenty of reasons for this that range from incompetence to common sense.

Now, I'm not keeping up as well as i should be with developments, but to me it seems like they're trying to make LA the choice for field combat over the slower HA which is better geared towards CQB/siege and/or field support. So even if the class is flexible and has a role to play to begin with, it comes down to the individual (or outfit) to make it work better, or in your case, to use it as intended. Making it more flexible isn't the way to to balance what it's supposed to do.
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Old 2012-06-05, 04:11 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by Hosp View Post
I think therein lies the self-balancing aspect. In PS1, you have dedicated people running around resurrecting people even though there's no hard class. So while you can see friendlies rush past you with med-aps, you still might not get a res. And there are plenty of reasons for this that range from incompetence to common sense.

Now, I'm not keeping up as well as i should be with developments, but to me it seems like they're trying to make LA the choice for field combat over the slower HA which is better geared towards CQB/siege and/or field support. So even if the class is flexible and has a role to play to begin with, it comes down to the individual (or outfit) to make it work better, or in your case, to use it as intended. Making it more flexible isn't the way to to balance what it's supposed to do.
What I'm trying to do, is rework it to be more of a tactical choice than a "do the leftovers" role. Adding more features instead of removing them. Making Light Assault more of a "what role do I wanna play today" type thing. Diversifying it. Yes PS1 had everyone as self medics. But if they could resurrect, chances are they resurrected, they spent a LOT of certs into that, they'd be using it. What we have now is a massive number of ammo droppers appearing in the game. And, if like you said, most will be light infantry, then a better reason to split jetpacks and ammo drop, or else ammo drop will have no reason to exist with a majority of the field being ammo droppers.
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Old 2012-06-05, 05:22 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Warborn
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Honestly these seem like good ideas for the engineer class more than anything. They're already more of a support class, so these support abilities would be a great thing for them to be able to trade-off building or construction tools for.
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Old 2012-06-05, 08:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by Warborn View Post
Honestly these seem like good ideas for the engineer class more than anything. They're already more of a support class, so these support abilities would be a great thing for them to be able to trade-off building or construction tools for.
Well, I think some would be better for light assault, maybe command and ordinance. Some for engineer some for light assault. I wanna see some more alternatives to light assault apart from zipping around in the sky, give them something beefy or helpful for the ground. None the less, I stand by my ideas so long as a few could be used in light assault.
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Old 2012-06-06, 01:34 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
OutlawDr
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Carrying the extra ammo isn't really an engineers thing...even in real military units. Lets not make the engineer the catch all support class for everything that isn't healing.

I really like this idea. The light assault seemed very one dimensional ...even though it seemed like it could do a lot. Acting the role of the ammo mule and at the same time an aggressive jumpjest assault soldier seemed to counter each other. Splitting the the two plus adding others would allow the devs to better sculpt those roles within the light assault class.

Last edited by OutlawDr; 2012-06-06 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 2012-06-06, 03:52 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
Zekeen
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by OutlawDr View Post
Carrying the extra ammo isn't really an engineers thing...even in real military units. Lets not make the engineer the catch all support class for everything that isn't healing.

I really like this idea. The light assault seemed very one dimensional ...even though it seemed like it could do a lot. Acting the role of the ammo mule and at the same time an aggressive jumpjest assault soldier seemed to counter each other. Splitting the the two plus adding others would allow the devs to better sculpt those roles within the light assault class.
Exactly! I see Light Assault as the basic soldier, and the way I see it, the more roles you can give to a separate style of Light Assault, the more likely it is to be used. Heavy Assault and MAXes are all fine, but I think Light Assault really would feel good for more necessary roles such as command. Even though any class can be a squad leader or commander, having a very not invincible class give a small bonus will get commanders to take a balanced role when using it to enhance their squad.
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Old 2012-06-06, 02:07 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
OutlawDr
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


All the classes have various roles. Infiltrator has sniper, assassin, scout. Engineer point defense, vehicle and armor repair. Medic has full nurse maid medic or combat medic. Both MAX/HA have anti Inf/veh/air. Even within these roles they can specialize further. While light assault seems, again, very one dimensional.

As for your ideas on roles, I would condense them a bit and give Light Assault 3 unique roles to specialize in.
Ammunition / Ordinance
Radar / Command
Jumpjet / Fast Assault stuff

Last edited by OutlawDr; 2012-06-06 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 2012-06-06, 02:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
Zekeen
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by OutlawDr View Post
All the classes have various roles. Infiltrator has sniper, assassin, scout. Engineer point defense, vehicle and armor repair. Medic has full nurse maid medic or combat medic. Both MAX/HA have anti Inf/veh/air. Even within these roles they can specialize further. While light assault seems, again, very one dimensional.

As for your ideas on roles, I would condense them a bit and give Light Assault 3 unique roles to specialize in.
Ammunition / Ordinance
Radar / Command
Jumpjet / Fast Assault stuff
Hmmm, you're right, they could be merged without too much of an issue, couldn't they? It'd give more bonuses to the individual player taking on a role and expand the others without going too far. I never noticed.
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Old 2012-06-06, 02:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by OutlawDr View Post
Carrying the extra ammo isn't really an engineers thing...even in real military units. Lets not make the engineer the catch all support class for everything that isn't healing.
What real military units do isn't important. This game is about as far from how real military units do or would function as it gets.

Light assault isn't one-dimensional. They have a variety of weapons they can use and are easily the most mobile class in the game. They're going to be well-defined in the same way that MAXs and rexo will be. Engineers, conversely, are either vehicle fixers or defensive guys. Well, what if you're attacking a base? What if you're not using vehicles in your platoon? They certainly could use some infantry support abilities from what I've seen.

That said, different support gear for light assault would be alright I suppose. The issue I have with it is that, if you get rid of the light assault's jetpack and give it a support ability instead, then what exactly distinguishes them from an engineer? Two guys running around on foot using nearly the same weapons (engineers can only use carbines/shotguns/smgs right?) sounds like it'd be pretty redundant. I think, whatever options exist for the light assault class, they ought not get rid of its class defining feature in the process. It'd be like MAXs having an option that gets rid of their exosuit. Just ain't on.
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Old 2012-06-06, 02:46 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by Warborn View Post
That said, different support gear for light assault would be alright I suppose. The issue I have with it is that, if you get rid of the light assault's jetpack and give it a support ability instead, then what exactly distinguishes them from an engineer?

Well, while an engineer is more like a MAX/Vehicle medic, the Light Assault would be giving ammunition and heave slightly better weapons. And, if doing it as outlaw put it, they could get more explosives like grenades, giving them a more active ground suppressing role.

But really, I don't care who gets the ammo as long as it's not with a jetpacker, and the Light Assault can get other tactical improves at the expense of the jetpacks.

Far as the engineer needing more though, maybe allowing them to construct an ammunition CRATE, with more ammo, using the ACE tool but requiring a timed nano injection (aka, build time with repair tool), making the Light assault about carrying more ammo for themselves and dropping smaller ammo packs for others, while the engineer can set up a turreted supply base of sorts.
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Old 2012-06-06, 03:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


Originally Posted by Warborn View Post
What real military units do isn't important. This game is about as far from how real military units do or would function as it gets.

Light assault isn't one-dimensional. They have a variety of weapons they can use and are easily the most mobile class in the game. They're going to be well-defined in the same way that MAXs and rexo will be. Engineers, conversely, are either vehicle fixers or defensive guys. Well, what if you're attacking a base? What if you're not using vehicles in your platoon? They certainly could use some infantry support abilities from what I've seen.

That said, different support gear for light assault would be alright I suppose. The issue I have with it is that, if you get rid of the light assault's jetpack and give it a support ability instead, then what exactly distinguishes them from an engineer? Two guys running around on foot using nearly the same weapons (engineers can only use carbines/shotguns/smgs right?) sounds like it'd be pretty redundant. I think, whatever options exist for the light assault class, they ought not get rid of its class defining feature in the process. It'd be like MAXs having an option that gets rid of their exosuit. Just ain't on.
You could say medic and engineer are redundant if thats the case. Its ok to have multiple support classes, just like we have multiple direct assault classes.

Im pretty sure portable shields and anti-infantry turrets will be no slouches in a base attack. Im not too worried about the engineer. He doesn't need more stuff.

There just needs to be better tradeoffs. If a jumpjet LA can take ammo, it better be VERY limited. As in he might only get 4 consumable ammopacks that restore 25% of ammo capacity each, before needing to go back to the terminal to get 4 more. Or he can drop the jet pack and get more ammo/ordinance capabilities. Or he can drop all extra ammo altogether, and get a better jump pack.

Last edited by OutlawDr; 2012-06-06 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 2012-11-17, 12:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: Light Assault Backpacks - Ammo Drop, Radar Booster, and more! The Jetpack Tradeof


What ever happened to that rocklet idea? I think that would be a good addition personally. My logic is this: We have light ASSAULT and heavy ASSAULT. I think they should be a little bit similar in their capability. It seems to me that they should both clearly be assault guys, just one is a more stand still and shoot kind of killer, a less mobile unit with more armor and harder hitting weapons, while the other one is more of a run-and-gun mobile killer, with lighter armor and lighter weapons but more mobility.

Again, they are both assault, that is the important part. Their focus is versatility in combat, and that should be emphasized more so on the light assault class in my opinion. Light assault's weapons and armor should be more basic since it has an advantage with its mobility, but it should still share the heavy assault's capabilities in some way that make it valuable to a squad. The combat versatility, the ability to destroy vehicles and fight infantry is the main focus and reason that Heavy Assault is a valuable member to a squad. Although light assault has C4, frag grenades, and if you're lucky and your gun actually lets you mount one, grenade launchers, it is missing decent projectile explosives, which can give it more vehicle combat capability and a little bit more of a support role in infantry combat. Here's a little diagram-kind-of-thing to illustrate what I'm trying to say:

ARMOR:
HA: Heavy armor, less mobility.
LA: Medium armor, more mobility.
PRIMARY WEAPON:
HA: Light Machine Gun
LA: Carbine
EXPLOSIVES:
HA: Rocket Launcher, Anti-Vehicle Grenades, Concussion Grenades, C4.
LA: Smoke Grenades, Flash Grenades, Frag Grenades, C4.
SPECIAL ABILITY
HA: Nanite Mesh Generator
LA: Jumpjets

So, the armor balance makes sense. So does the primary weapon and special ability, but the explosives are where light assault is lacking, and they are a huge part of what makes heavy assault so useful. As you can see, the carbine is obviously a bit less powerful than the LMG to compensate for the light assault's high mobility, which is fine. The same thing should be true for explosives though; light assault should have a projectile explosive to deal with infantry and vehicles, although it may be a bit less powerful and heavy-duty than the heavy assault's rocket. This allows both classes to be good at what they are supposed to do: blow stuff up and fight. The only difference is that heavy assault punches harder and moves slower, while light assault moves faster and packs less punch. They can still blow stuff up, and that's what matters.

Last edited by Palerion; 2012-11-17 at 12:32 PM.
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