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kataya
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 07:23
Hey all!

First of all, since I think this is my first official post since the game has been live, a quick introduction. My name is Matt Higby and I'm the Creative Director for PlanetSide 2, my job is to work with all of our game designers as well as the other team directors to help build the game. I'm also supposed to post on the forums and make funny movies on youtube.

I wanted to post today to talk about some changes to vehicle balance and especially air-to-ground gameplay. Air-to-ground interactions (and i'm talking about ground-to-air interactions with this too) are one of the most challenging balance touch points in the game. It's very easy with minor changes to make people on either end of this equation feel like they're getting hosed.

Goal for ground based anti-air:
We've talked before a bit about wanting ground to be an effective deterrent to air, and a very dangerous threat against pilots who are being risky (strafing, bombing low, hover spamming rockets, etc), but not necessarily be a hard counter to air. Ultimately friendly air power should be the best counter to enemy air power. I think that statement has been interpreted by some as us saying that the current balance is what we want, I want to be clear: that is not the case. Currently the air-to-ground balance is favoring air a bit too much, and aircraft have an imbalanced influence on the battlefield compared to ground.

In next week's update we're making some adjustments to the air-to-ground gameplay, some of these will affect ground vehicles and some even affect infantry vs infantry, but the main purpose is to bring air and ground into balance a bit more. None of these are enormous changes, but the cumulative effect should be closer to our goal of allowing ground to be an effective deterrent to air and a dangerous threat against pilots who are being risky.

Lock on Rocket Launchers (AV and AA):
- Range Increase
- Faster reload time (to compensate for lock on time)
- Now require lock on to fire

Flak:
- Minor damage increase
- Projectile speed increase

A30 Walker:
- Buffed Damage
- Faster Projectile

Rocket Pods:
- Decrease to the inner explosion radius: 3m to 1.5m. This is the center of the rocket explosion where the maximum damage occurs, so this will not affect direct hits. Effectively this makes the damage falloff at the center of the rocket pod explosion start closer to the center.

Flak Armor:
- Increase maximum explosion resistance for certed Flak armor from 25% to 50%. This makes Flak armor a more viable choice over Nanoweave for soldiers being attacked with explosives.

Decimator:
- New Heavy Assault common pool rocket launcher. High-damage anti-vehicle weapon, has a slow projectile speed and no lock on, but does massive damage to vehicles and other armored targets.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a very complex balance touch point, and we expect that balance changes will continue to occur to this area of the game until it feels great. We think these changes should help a lot to keep infantry and ground vehicles feeling competitive with their colleagues and enemies in the sky and will be a good first step in the journey of balance.

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback, questions and concerns.

http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/index.php?threads/upcoming-adjustments-to-air-vs-ground-balance.60507/

James24
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 10:16
The need to have a lock on to fire a missile launcher is going to have a massive consequence. I assume it means you won't be able to use the hawk against anything but aircraft meaning you will see less people wanting to carry it.

Really all they have changed then is mass group killing with rocket pods, killing individual people will still be as easy and just cert higher into composite armour and its back to how it was.

Decimator should be interesting.

Hovis
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 10:19
Decimator bodes bad for the days of farming infantry like a baws in a tank. Also means folks will need a specialised build for anti-air infantry. Gheeeeeeeeey.

James24
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 14:16
Decimator bodes bad for the days of farming infantry like a baws in a tank. Also means folks will need a specialised build for anti-air infantry. Gheeeeeeeeey.

If it is slow moving it won't be an issue, you can already quite easily dodge the dumb fire missiles anyway. If you let troops get really close you deserve to die anyway.

Deathwatch
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 14:42
It'll be interesting to see what happens with these changes. I am not certain if I like the no-lock-no-fire thing, but if it's faster reload, you can definitely hurt aircraft and tanks quicker. The decimator will be interesting too.

For the rockets, that's fine - less of a splash weapon but still deadly enough.

- - - Updated - - -

Oh, and will my walker actually become useful?!?!?! We'll see :)

Hovis
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 15:54
Flak/Walker/AA missile buffs + rocket nerfs means that the days of Airside are, if not over, are at least mitigated.

James24
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 16:10
We will have to see.

I reckon though, since the actual rocket damage hasnt been nerfed, only splash it will still be very easy to rack up kills.

With the AA missiles loosing their dumbfire you will see fewer people actually carrying them + once more pilots get certs they will have stronger composite armour negating the flax buff (unless it is a massive buff).

The only big nerf will be mass spamming groups of close standing infantry.


We will have to see how it plays out though, as the last "AA buff" patch actually reduced flak's effectiveness...

Hovis
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 16:26
Faster travel time and more damage is a heady mix for flak. More accuracy to farther away. I suspect that is to counter the Liberators as much as the fast jets.

Will see how it pans out. It's good news all round though. The game needs aircraft to be limited.

Rosa
Thursday, 6th December 2012, 20:11
Flak:
- Minor damage increase
- Projectile speed increase

A30 Walker:
- Buffed Damage
- Faster Projectile

About time ey Kat? :D

Deathwatch
Friday, 7th December 2012, 11:56
I reckon that aircraft remain very powerful, but this change gives the ground based vehicles/infantry a little bit more of a chance against them. It isn't a massive, over-the-top change that would nerf aircraft/rocket pods so that's a very good thing.

Hovis
Friday, 7th December 2012, 12:44
The big change is to the balance between infantry and aircraft, it's now shifted further to infantry. Balance between tanks and aircraft not massively changed.

Ludicrouse
Friday, 7th December 2012, 21:35
The biggest nerf to Air Power in this game was the sale on the other Burster MAX arm! :shinner: