Thursday, December 8, 2005
My mercenary for charity auction still has no bids. :-( Get in the spirit of the holidays, and please bid. :-) The auction ends December 11th and 100% of the proceeds will go to charity.
Last night, I got my ass kicked in Battlefield 2. Argh. A rare event, I assure you. But I'm starting to see why so many forum goers at TotalBF2.com complain about the over-powered jet fighters, and why many Special Forces fans enjoy the expansion's jet-less combat over vanilla BF2. I guess I never saw the problem since I spent so much time flying the jets myself.
But jets really do seem overpowered, at least the strike jets anyway (F-15 for example). I was constantly spawning, getting bombed to death by an airstrike, respawning, and then getting rebombed. Not fun.
And it's not like it requires any great amount of skill in order to bomb people en masse when in these strike jets, either. You simply fly over your target, drop your bombs, and the amount of destruction you rain down is really incredible considering how little effort it takes to dish it out. To make things worse, ground forces have no real way to counter the jets, since the SAMs are so inaccurate. So that leaves fighter jets as the only way to shoot down a strike plane. The problem here is that most dogfights take quite a bit of time, 1-2 minutes on average. As a strike pilot, it's not too hard to evade a pursuer while at the same time, rearming bombs and performing multi-kill airstrikes.
So what can be done? Well, most people say that ground troops need better anti-air weaponry. I agree, but I don't think DICE should take this idea too far. Make the SAMs better, but not TOO much better. Anti-air weaponry is too computerised, too easy to use, and requires very little skill to use effectively. Some may disagree and say that a good SAM operator knows how to expertly time the missile launch, but I don't see this as a big thing to do. It's quite easy. Players don't like getting killed by some kind of low-skill "cheap" tactic (which is why people hate strike jets in the first place: it requires little skill to kill ground people with one.) So getting shot down by highly accurate missiles all the time could get tiresome.
So here are some ideas on how to make strike jets more balanced:
1. Weaken the uber bombs that the strike jets have. Strike jets should NOT be so highly effective against enemy infantry. I think their role should be that of a multi-role fighter: capable of shooting down helicopters, hitting armor, and blowing up assets. Anti-infantry should not be a a major role.
2. Give rockets to the strike pilot, not bombs. Rockets have limited anti-infantry use, but are great for destroying vehicles, as the game's helicopters show. This would really help balance the strike jets. Not to mention, rockets are really fun to use. And in case you didn't know, real strike jets can carry rockets, just like helicopters. Strike fighters can carry a lot more, too. So if this idea was implemented, strike jets could get maybe... 20 rockets on each reload.
3. Give the strike co-pilot the same camera-controlled missiles from the helicopters. The current missile in the strike jet is just too boring and difficult to use (I think the strike co-pilot role has got to be the most boring thing you can do in all of BF2) . Remove that weapon entirely. The helicopter missiles are much more fun and easy to use, since you can guide them through the missile's nose camera.
Well, that's it. My ideas assume that implementing radical changes to the game would be too time-consuming and/or difficult. So instead of suggesting any big changes, I just ask for current features to be rearranged or replicated elsewhere. I really hope DICE does something about the jets. Just a few minor changes and gameplay balance can be really improved.