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Hau_ruck

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 1:22pm

Will DICE fix the support class?

So, I think it is obvious to anyone who has played support since launch that the latest patch severely weakened our class while leaving other classes mostly untouched. I have mentioned this is other threads, but considering the severity of the changes, I think it deserves its own separate discussion. So my assertion is this: With the massive nerfs to the airburst mortar, support now plays no significant role in BF1. With support making up one quarter of the game's infantry classes, this is devastating to the game's supposed balance.

These nerfs to the mortar include:

1. less accuracy on shots, resulting in the mortar relying mostly on the luck of RNG to accurately land hits, rather than target leading, situational awareness and precise timing, as was the case pre-patch.

2. Much smaller blast radius, combining with horrendous accuracy to make RNG even more important and preventing the mortar from performing its role of crowd control. This nerf also mostly eliminated the purpose of the airburst mortar, as its blast radius advantage over the HE mortar is almost imperceptible now. Why use a version that can't damage vehicles or stop infantry waves? Whereas the previous airburst mortar was accurate for one shot and then relied on RNG to hit with the fast followup shot, now even the first shot can fire wildly off target, making the mortar thoroughly unreliable.

3. Wind up time of roughly 5-8 seconds before being able to fire an even vaguely accurate shot. This prevents the mortar from being used mid-firefight unless RNG is on the player's side. Previously, a support engaged by a sniper or long range medic, could spot the enemy, then move behind cover and fire mortars at them to draw them out of cover and make up for the terrible LMG damage model. This is no longer possible, as the time between 2 accurate mortars is easily enough for the enemy to stroll up to the mortar and beat the user to death with a shovel. This change also makes mortar use tedious, as the player has to sit around with their thumb up their ass waiting for their gadget to work as intended. This is not the case with any other gadget in the game. Medics don't have to wait around for their revives to work. Assaults don't have to prep their AT grenades for 5 seconds before throwing them. This is blatant class imbalance.

4. The mortar cooldown now caries over between lives, forcing supports to stand around even more than they already had to. With no on-screen indication of when the gadget will be ready, the player is made to stand around pressing the gadget button repeatedly in order to be able to use their gadget. Again, what other class has to put up with this kind of mechanic?

I will now attempt to argue why the mortar, rather than ammo, was the heart of the support class in BF1.

As anyone who has played BF4 knows, ammo replenishment isn't very useful compared with powerful AT abilities or med pack/ revives. Ammo regen alone failed to make support relevant in BF4, and this is repeated in BF1. Luckily support can still replenish grenades fairly quickly, and gas grenades haven't been nerfed yet. This allows support to have at least some effect on objectives. As was the case in BF4, this will most likely be nerfed soon, leaving even the ammo bag useless. Even with the fast grenade regen, support still can't match med bags and revives. These medic gadgets are still so powerful, that ammo can't match up.

Unlike the ammo bag, the mortars crowd control firepower was the first support gadget in BF history to really act as a serious force multiplier and give support some way to contribute to objective capture. Whether the team was going after flags or mcoms, defending or attacking, the mortar could really help the team break through or break up enemy attacks. It punished lazy defenders or attackers who blobbed up around med bags and relied on sheer numbers. Now, with its awful accuracy and damage, the mortar can't perform this role. Med bags easily heal the paltry damage done by the one-in-five mortars that actually hits its target. Players can safely sit in place and assume the mortar won't be able to land 2 consecutive hits on the same place fast enough to counter the medic's healing abilities, and even if they do, the medic can just revive anyone unluckily enough to actually be killed by one of these things.

This leaves support in an awkward position. With their severe nerf hidden behind a "buff" to LMGs that is in gameplay terms mostly meaningless, Support is basically just a medic without the healing powers but with lots of grenades. Both have primaries effetive at mid-range and serviceable at close range. Support can restore bullets, medic can restore health. Support can fire ineffectually at infantry, medic can revive infantry. Which are players to choose?

Now, you might say other support gadgets are decent replacements for the mortar. While the wrench can be used to repair, this relies on there being a vehicle around. This is not always the case, and without coms, vehicles will often just drive off leaving the support standing there ready to die. the repair tool can't be the basis for a whole class. Ammo and wrench is just extremely boring to run.

The limpet mine is also sort of useful. Unfortunately, there is already a close range AT class in the game. Assault. Running with bad close range primaries and 1 limpet mine can't compete with good close range primaries and 2 AT grenades and dynamite/ grenade gun.

So what is a support to do? Be worse at AT than assault? Be worse at anti-infantry and objective capture than medic? What is the point of this class? Without the airburst mortar, support serves no purpose. Grenades spam can't be all support brings to the table. The original mortar was in no way OP, especially given the insignificant role that kills actually play in most modes. What the hell was DICE thinking? This awful change has completely killed my enthusiasm for the game. While BF4's later patches addressed imbalances, this BF1 patch seems to have done nothing but remove one class from the game for no reason.

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "Hau_ruck" (Nov 20th 2016, 1:34pm)


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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 2:07pm

There's already a huge discussiom about this in a separate thread, but I've posted my exact sentiments as well

The mortars are now nothing but glorified smoke machines and peeping devices. The nerfs to their accuracy made them much less effecient at killing, and conversely at effectively removing entrenched enemies from a spot

There was a massive backlash against Support gadgets in BF4, and it's only fitting the average casual player who only played certain maps and modes will complain en masse about a gadget fulfilling it's intended purpose

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 3:33pm

I agree that the mortar nerf was too heavy handed. Now it's awfully clunky, ineffective and straight up annoying too use.

Some changes that I would like to see for the mortar are:

Full accuracy for first shot, make spread accumulate from firing, not from both setting up the mortar AND firing. This should make the mortar more reactive since it can then get accurate fire on an enemy that just fled behind cover to finish him off.

Make spread decrease faster. 4 seconds to reach min spread is excessive and makes the effective damage output (on target) laughable. A medic with medpacks you can more or less tank a single mortar now.

Faster rate of fire (this also goes for the vehicle mortars). If this happens the faster spread decrease becomes less necessary. I'd be OK with mortars being somewhat innacurate if I could quickly saturate an area with mortar fire. This would be effective against infantry blobs and big targets (vehicles) but less effective against single infantry targets. This would also making running the mortar less of a chore since you would have to spend less time in the mortar and would have more time over for throwing ammo and laying down the dakka.

Make it possible to aim instantly after firing, instead of having to wait until the next shot is ready. This is more of a QOL change that will make the mortar less annoying. Effective DPS would remain the same, and it's already possible to reaim between shots, it's just that the minimap reticle doesn't update until the next shot is ready. So this would be more or less a UI fix, rather than a change.

Things people said

And reading Youtube comments still gives me Turbo Cancer.

It really is quite frustrating when Helen Keller sets up her LMG in the only doorway in/out of an area.

What kind of question is that? Since when is cheese ever a bad idea?

Hardline is a fun and sometimes silly Cops and Robbers sorta thing and I think that's great. Or it would be if it didn't suck.

Hau_ruck

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 4:04pm

tbh, I was expecting to get hate for this thread, but I can't for the life of me think of any use for support now, or any justification for this nerf. I was hoping maybe the nerf wasn't as bad as it seemed and somebody would be able to point out a way to make the mortar useful despite the changes. This doesn't seem to be the case.

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 5:18pm

Agreed. I played mostly support in BF3, BF4 and BFH (enforcer) and this version of the class is very very lacking. I dont see any reason to play support in BF1 over medic or assault, with their better (in my opinion) guns and gadgets. Even with the recent patch i still find LMGs underwhelming. I know some do very well with them but i just cant get the hang of them in this game. The mortar was a lot of fun to use and hardly over powering.

Typical Dice overreaction, instead of nerfing the damage OR the accuracy they go overboard and nerf both.

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 9:07pm

I definitely have to agree. As much as I love MGs (some of which still need improvement, mind you), Support as a whole is in a pretty terrible place right now. It's basically Turret Simulator, as an MG with infinite ammo is really the only thing the class has going for it right now.

The Mortar nerfs were all wrong. Like, as far away from how it should have been balanced as possible. I don't understand how, with how much the community has been involved over the last couple years (CTE and such) and people from here working for them, they could still botch the Mortar nerf this badly. Even Reddit would have done a better job than this. More SIPS, starting the cooldown once out of ammo (rather than once deployed), and a stereotypical whistling sound for incoming shells was all the Mortar needed.

With regards to the Wrench, the only reason that's remotely useful (and is still extremely situational) is because you can't spawn as a Tanker/Pilot. I'd argue you should be able to, but then Support would just be that much more useless.
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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 9:36pm

Support is still relevant for tank support, but that's a very niche role. The resupply of assault heavy AT weapons, medic grens, and scout flares and rolling a 5 man grenade spam is really still pretty amazing but that's conditional on a quality squad and not really enough draw to play the class.

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 11:07pm

Dunno what the problem is, the Madsen and (especially) BAR are better at "anti-infing" than the SLR´s at mid range, CQ abilities of the support are also decent depending on loadout.

NoctyrneSAGA

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Sunday, November 20th 2016, 11:26pm

2. Much smaller blast radius, combining with horrendous accuracy to make RNG even more important and preventing the mortar from performing its role of crowd control. This nerf also mostly eliminated the purpose of the airburst mortar, as its blast radius advantage over the HE mortar is almost imperceptible now.


Untrue.

HE Mortar


StartDamage 80.0
EndDamage 80.0
DamageFalloffStartDistance 100.0
DamageFalloffEndDistance 200.0

InnerBlastRadius 2.4
BlastDamage 60.0
BlastRadius 5.0

InnerBlastRadius 1.5
BlastDamage 50.0
BlastRadius 4.0


AIR Mortar


StartDamage 40.0
EndDamage 40.0
DamageFalloffStartDistance 100.0
DamageFalloffEndDistance 200.0

InnerBlastRadius 2.0
BlastDamage 65.0
BlastRadius 7.0

InnerBlastRadius 2.0
BlastDamage 65.0
BlastRadius 3.0


4. The mortar cooldown now caries over between lives, forcing supports to stand around even more than they already had to. With no on-screen indication of when the gadget will be ready, the player is made to stand around pressing the gadget button repeatedly in order to be able to use their gadget. Again, what other class has to put up with this kind of mechanic?


This was a staple in SWBF and was excellent at keeping spam of abilities to a minimum.

This was a problem in Battlefield where people respawn to circumvent long cooldowns.

Ammo regen alone failed to make support relevant in BF4, and this is repeated in BF1


Because regenerating ammo itself was irrelevant.

It was similar with BF2 vehicles. You were given so much ammo, you would effectively never run out.

Your health dropped to zero long before your ammo did.

If DICE wants ammo regen to be relevant, they need to reduce the amount of ammunition infantry carry.



If players actually have a chance of running out, regeneration becomes key.

Auto regen also gets to shine.

Yes you will run out more frequently than before.

However, you will now get that resource back much more consistently than before.

Support can fire ineffectually at infantry,


They fire very effectually at infantry.

If SMGs are considered effective enough then why are LMGs so much worse?

They have better BTKs and reduce their spread.

This lends them to clearly better ranged engagement ability than SMGs.



The spike in spread for SMGs is a range limiter that prevents usage beyond CQB.

The spike in spread for LMGs is a time delay that gives enemies a chance to retaliate against the strongest set of infantry weapons in the game.

Furthermore, the spike is only relevant when it does not provide a 100% hitrate, and the delay is not the entire duration before minSpread.

Always remember: you do not need minSpread, you simply need a spread that is good enough.



Let's not forget the fact LMGs exclusively can utilize a movement tech and can fire while moving without a care in the world.

While the wrench can be used to repair, this relies on there being a vehicle around. This is not always the case, and without coms, vehicles will often just drive off leaving the support standing there ready to die


Way to base effectiveness off dumb players.

Wrench is pretty much necessary for vehicle crews to repair through damage.

If there aren't vehicles around, probably should not use the wrench.



The same can be said for Medic. If Assaults are in short supply, switch to HE Grenades.

Reviving people without good AT is pointless in the face of vehicle dominance.

the repair tool can't be the basis for a whole class.


It was for Engineer.

Unfortunately, there is already a close range AT class in the game. Assault.


Assault also has the best RANGED AT in the game.

Rifle Grenades and K Bullets don't do as much as the AT Rocket Gun.

In fact, it is supposed to be THE AT class.

Other classes ASSIST.

So what is a support to do? Be worse at AT than assault? Be worse at anti-infantry and objective capture than medic?


Yes, it is worse at AT.

No, it is not worse than Medic at anti-infantry.
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This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "NoctyrneSAGA" (Nov 20th 2016, 11:35pm)


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Monday, November 21st 2016, 1:02am

Assault also has the best RANGED AT in the game.

Rifle Grenades and K Bullets don't do as much as the AT Rocket Gun.

In fact, it is supposed to be THE AT class.

Other classes ASSIST.


That's fine, great in fact, and isn't the issue. Rifle Grenades are useful at the same ranges as SLRs, and K-Bullets are useful at the same ranges as BAs. Limpets and MGs do not, in any way whatsoever, mesh like that. Limpets are fine in concept, but horrible for Support. Support needs an assisting AT option that works in Support's range/role.
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