Improvement: Complete Vehicle Overhaul - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2014-05-05, 10:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Complete Vehicle Overhaul

I posted a lot of these ideas on the official forums in my own thread and in other discussions, but I'd like to dump them all here to see what you folks think. Unfortunately, I have a habit of typing a lot. Apologies in advance.

After having spent hundreds of hours playing ArmA, ArmA2, ArmA2 with ACE mod, World of Tanks, War Thunder, Men of War, Company of Heroes, MechWarrior Online and other such games with advanced combined arms warfare, It's painfully obvious to me that Planetside 2 is doing vehicles wrong.

Right now, they function as though they were designed in 2001. They have a simple health bar and some ground vehicles have damage multipliers for hitting them in the sides, top or rear hitboxes. Great. I honestly believe that SOE can do better and we should certainly expect better in this day and age.

What I propose is that vehicles get reworked to house actual damage models, similar to War Thunder or World of Tanks. Perhaps nothing too complex, but definitely take a step or two in that direction.

I'd like ground vehicles to have external and/or internal components that can sustain damage or actually be disabled. Things like tracks, maglev controllers, turrets, engines, maybe even guns. For air vehicles, they could be engines and control surfaces that take damage.

Right now, there's very little thought or tact that goes into most vehicle engagements. You just herp-derp your way into the enemy's face, clicking as hard as you can until one of you dies. This is amusing at first, but not gratifying gameplay.

Ground vehicles need to be powerful but vulnerable. It shouldn't take six anti-tank rockets or missiles to destroy a tank. C4 is currently the best anti-tank weapon in the game with AT mines coming in at a close second. That's absurd. The C4 thing, not the mine thing.

Anyways, I would like to see less reliance on simplistic HP bars for ground vehicles and more of a reliance on armor values and components. Sure, HP bars can remain, but I want them to be secondary to armor.

Maybe a Lightning has something like sixty milimeters of armor which most AT rockets or missiles can penetrate with ease. Some vehicle secondaries would be able to penetrate this as well, like the A30 walker, skyguard or the basilisk. Adding side armor to the lightning increases its armor on the sides by an additional forty milimeters, perhaps. Or sixty or whatever number works. Suddenly those guns can't penetrate from the sides, only AT missiles, rockets and tank shells can do so. Now that lightning driver has to think more carefully about how he's presenting his vehicle to the enemy.

On top of that, maybe after the lightning's tracks take a few hits they become damaged, reducing the vehicle's top speed and how quickly it can rotate. These could be handled independent of each other or just as a single "tracks" component. Either would suffice. Maybe the tracks take a few more hits and break, locking the vehicle down until an engineer can nanite-beam them back together. Maybe the engine can also be damaged or disabled like this as well as the turret and/or gun. Instead of tracks, the VS magrider would have some kind of maglev generator in the front, back or sides somewhere. Or something like that.

As for air vehicles, they'd have similar components, but fewer of them. Just engines and control surfaces, I would think. Let's say I'm in a burster MAX and I'm firing at a mosquito...if enough of my flak rounds detonate within a reasonable proximity to its left engine, I would expect that engine to take damage and start working less efficiently causing the vehicle to veer to the side slightly. If the pilot fails to escape and I land a few more direct or indirect hits on that engine, it should break causing the vehicle to spiral out of control unless the pilot kills both engines and glides down to safety. How they'd glide is beyond me, could be one of those things they explain away with nanites...or maybe it's got emergency descent engines that slow its falling speed or something.

Regarding vehicle damage...I'd like to see it increased across the board. Vehicles should be mighty war machines. Right now, they feel far too expendable. Like there's no weight to vehicle warfare. They should be vulnerable as I explained previously, but rather powerful. Like, say a vanguard rolls up to a small outpost and it's got side armor panels equipped. Maybe that armor is thick enough that I can barely do anything with my AT rockets so I've got to figure a way around or above it to hit it where it's vulnerable. If I manage to flank this terrifying behemoth, it shouldn't take six rockets to destroy it, that's outrageous. Instead it should take one or two to disable or immobilize it(if I hit its engine directly) and a maximum of three or four to destroy it.

Granted, if this vanguard has a decent secondary gunner, I'd have a very difficult time getting behind it. Or even if it just decides to use its precious ammo to pepper the spawn area, liquifying my entire existence with terrible explosive force I'd expect to have a heck of a time taking it down. It could also just position itself far enough away that I'd have a really difficult time getting anywhere near its vulnerable points. That's the point, though...tanks should be terrifying...they should require superior tactics and/or teamwork to destroy and not this herpin' derpin' madness we've got right now.

Air vehicles are especially bizarre right now. They pack load after load of ammunition and practically blot out the sun with rockets. Instead, they should be flying in, unloading their payload then quickly retreating to repair and rearm. They shouldn't have sixty rockets or however many they can carry right now. They should just have eight...maybe sixteen. Whatever is actually visible on the vehicle >_>

These payloads, however, should be devastating. I mean, sixteen hellfire rockets should be more than enough to take out any heavy vehicle and anything that might be caught within the [relatively large]explosion radius.

Granted, they should also submit to the armor system explained previously. Maybe hellfire rockets are capable of penetrating only sixty milimeters of armor effectively and up to a hundred milimeters for half damage. Maybe if you're not landing direct hits on a vehicle, instead of destroying it you'll merely damage its external components. A lot of this stuff I'm suggesting would probably require a bit of testing to find the sweet spot(s) for what works and what doesn't. But it would be worth it in the long-run.

Now, I'd like to lump MAX units into this vehicle redesign because they're kind of a step between infantry and actual vehicles. Overall, MAXes right now feel like...they're not quite as good at killing infantry as the actual infantry classes and they're not really good at taking out vehicles either. The only thing they are good at is taking a lot of hits. This is a bit odd, I feel.

I'd like MAX units to be more potent. Their vulnerability is about right, I think...they can die pretty quickly if they're not careful but they're just not terrifying yet. I want a MAX to have that "oh shi-" factor inside of buildings and closed-off complexes that vehicles ought to have out in the open.

Basically, I want their weapons to be slightly more effective. TR chainguns don't function at all as you would expect multi-barrel guns to function. NC shotguns are nice, but what are they supposed to do at long range? VS MAX guns are...well, I don't have any particular problem with them, honestly. This might be because I don't play vanu all that much 'cause none of my friends like them >_>

In addition to a slight or moderate increase to damage output, I'd like MAX suits to have additional gun options. An NS or empire specific grenade launcher, long-range rifle, AT rifle perhaps and at least one alternate form of anti-air. This could either be larger flak rounds that fire more slowly but have a larger proximity explosion, a burster variant that fires high velocity armor penetrating rounds instead of explosive flak or some kind of singer missile launcher. Or all three. I'm a little obsessed with AA, not going to lie >_>

In making MAX units more powerful, I'd like transport options to be a little more limiting for them. Instead of taking up a normal seat in a sunderer, there should instead be two MAX seats on the sides in addition to ten seats for normal infantry. They should still be able to hitch a ride on a harasser, though and galaxies should definitely be able to carry at least four or six of them in the back.

Bringing a MAX or two to a fight should definitely be a tactical consideration, rather than something you do just 'cause you can then lose it 'cause nobody cares about being careful when you're zerging from base to base.

I'm sure there's more I could write on this topic, but I doubt many people will even read all of this nonsense so I'll just stop here. If you did manage to read all of that crap, I appreciate it. Go ahead and discuss it to your heart's content below.
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Old 2014-05-08, 12:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Lieutenant Colonel
DviddLeff's Avatar
Re: Complete Vehicle Overhaul

While I would love to see a more in depth damage model with components and the like, the problem is that unlike the games you mention, PS2 is massive, with thousands more players fighting, often across bigger maps.

If each tank and aircraft has dozens of hit boxes, the amount of data that has to be crunched will increase massively and the game could grind to a halt.

Or at least, that is my limited understanding of it.

However I would love to see what you have suggested make it's way in game, if the engine could handle it. And after all, World War 2 Online did a pretty good job of it.
DviddLeff is offline  
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