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## Fighter Planes + Ranken Darts: A Balancing Disaster?

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Posts: 3,292

Date of registration
: Apr 26th 2013

Platform: PS4

Location: Arizona, USA

Reputation modifier: 15

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 11:44am

### Quoted from "SomeRandomGuy"

I find the varied armaments and gunners on the Attack Planes and Bombers to be much more effective at infy-farming than anything the Trench Fighter can accomplish. The bombs they drop usually have a wider AOE and have about 5 seconds shorter a cooldown compared to Ranken Darts (15s > 20s). A salvo from the Airship Buster is not difficult to aim at the ground and can mop up straggling soldiers quite nicely. Let's not forget that the Ground Support Attack Plane and all bombers come equipped with a 20mm autocannon which has great splash damage and a very fast cooldown.

I used to love flying the ground support attack plane (before the patch that neutered the gunner MG and dramatically increased the fighter's LMG damage), but now it's just about impossible to use because fighters are so dominant now. Which is understandable because that's their primary role after all, but I think it makes fighters the obvious go-to option leaving little room for variety. I really have little interest to fly anymore with BF1's plane meta the way it is. 'Spawn fighter or die miserably', yeah not for me.

And I agree that the 10kg bomb payload coupled with the 20mm auto-cannon is probably statistically better at splashing infantry than a single dart strafe, but the attack plane's survivability to deliver that damage is pretty much gone if a fighter is in the air or will be in the air. The way I see it, potentially higher damage output is meaningless if you're shot to shit or outright shot down before you can unleash that potential. This is why I consider the darts to be "better" at infantry farming, solely because of the aircraft they are on; an aircraft that can stay alive to inflict more damage. And pain and suffering :(

### Quoted from "SomeRandomGuy"

Besides, I personally think that players underestimate how important vehicles are in dealing with their counterparts. Using a vehicle also means one must commit myself himself XD to destroying any threats to his team's success within his jurisdiction, including other vehicles farming. Even if you don't have a suitable anti-vehicle loadout for the situation, eliminating the other air/armor is crucial.

Well yes and no. If there are no other counters being used or not being used effectively by your team, you're going to have to take up the challenge to get rid of the problem yourself. I would do this very often in BF3 jets just because AA launchers were pretty much garbage, so I distracted or destroyed enemy jets myself eliminating one less thing to worry about for my team. However, if other counters are being used and used effectively by your team then you shouldn't mind opposing planes/ tanks unless they pick a fight with you. You're likely better off crapping on enemy infantry to give your team the numbers advantage than focusing on a vehicle that your team has proven they can handle themselves.

### Quoted from "SomeRandomGuy"

Regarding ground-to-air interplay, the hard-counter methods to fighting aircraft are very defensive in nature and are not very interactive or fun. The Fighter Plane vs AA Truck duel can be, as I've mentioned, a near-perpetual standoff. The fight shifts towards aircraft when Bombers or Attack Planes fight the truck, who can tank a few more shells and can destroy the vehicle in 1 or 2 strafe runs. I'd like to see more interactive, direct counters to aircraft in the future regardless. A skill-based method of play that is enjoyable to fight as and against.

Totally, I've mentioned this before: there needs to be fun involved when fighting opposing vehicles. However, I have no idea how this can be accomplished right now. I enjoyed shooting RPGs at helicopters in BF3/4 because a direct impact would insta-kill it. It was fun because you actually had a skill-based, mobile counter to deal with them, I thought it involved skill anyway. I know there are others who disagree with this sentiment. BF1's rocket gun does a pitiful 35 or so damage to an attack plane and an abysmal 25 or so to a bomber, and you have to deploy the damn thing just to use it meaning you don't have a lot of opportunity to even get one shot off before the plane has passed. Planes are just a nightmare for infantry. The AAs can be destroyed and it's operator is constantly exposed to gunfire or strafing runs, bullets have to be multiplied just to annoy them, and it's direct counter, the AA truck, doesn't even have a dedicated spawn slot. Who is ever going to choose a highly situational anti-air asset over an A7V, and now St. Chamond, who are practically impervious to aircraft armaments that aren't specialized for AT purposes?

I swear, the stupid 'pick whatever the hell you want' vehicle spawn system is creating all these vehicle based problems BF1 is plagued with. There is no interesting tank meta because the A7V and St. Chamond exist and no interesting plane meta because the trench fighter is a thing. What these choices have in common is that they have unmatched versatility in dealing with their counterparts and infantry; they're good at both things instead of being shitty at one thing and amazing in another. Specialized choices won't get picked often, unlike infantry weapons, because their effectiveness is so situational that it's utterly boring when the situation they are designed for doesn't happen.

For example, I spawn a dogfighter because I notice another fighter in the air so I can have the potential advantage. I take care of the fighter, but no other enemy planes spawn for quite some time, in fact they don't spawn at all. Now I'm left to try and strafe infantry with a cruddy LMG (with a controller, and precision aiming with a controller is a BITCH). Bo-ring. I crash the plane because I can literally do nothing, except around 50 damage to a single soldier each, to make use of my specialized tool. Or you have something in the case if the tank hunter attack plane which is retarded-ly hard to use according to its intention and really isn't that great at AT in the first place. Also boring because it's highly improbable that you'll do any significant damage to tanks even after a couple strafes. I don't think I have disliked how vehicles work as much as I have with BF1. The infantry combat is pure greatness, and then the crappy functionality of the vehicle game just add a layer of suck to that greatness. Such a shame.
To Aim Assist or not to Aim Assist, that is the question.

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### Quoted from "Zer0Cod3x"

the Sebstalder is quiet good since it can 3hit kill at any distanc ,but In my opinion i actually thikn the sweeper is better, its got a really really fast firerate that can beat alll those Noobmaticos, Helregall adn shitguns in close quarters , and its also really accurate out to like l;ong range,. overall great allround gun, jsut my 2\$ tho

### My "Contributions"

Posts: 454

Date of registration
: Mar 25th 2014

Platform: PC

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 8

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 1:35pm

I dont understand why the ranken darts were buffed in the early days of BF1 retail.

What was wrong with them, except for under-usage because players were still unlocking and figuring out things?

Then they were nerfed, but only because they one-shotted airplanes. Their power against ground remained however. Now infantry are complaining and rightfully so. The problem is persisting for months now. No changes to it in patches, nothing. What is wrong with DICE?
RIP Sraw

Posts: 121

Date of registration
: Nov 29th 2016

Platform: PS4

Location: Florida

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 5

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 2:12pm

One thing that hasn't been emphasized enough is the fighters ability to evade ground fire, whether it be LMG or AA. Shooting at a talented fighter pilot is almost an exercise of complete futility. A quick barrel roll or sharp turn skyward and he's gone. I've spawned many AA trucks trying to rid an Ops of these pests and they're near-impossible to do any meaningful damage to, and that was before the (third) AA nerf.

Getting close enough to the objective is the only way to REALLY injure them when they swoop in, but that means near instant death from infantry and tanks.

Up and down. Bounce all around

Posts: 3,100

Date of registration
: Apr 15th 2013

Platform: PC

Location: Sweden

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 15

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 2:43pm

IMO, there are two factors to this problem:

1: the darts are too good and easy too use. You can drop them from the flight ceiling and still score kills. Either their dispersion should be increased, or their splash drop-off should be increased, to force fighters closer to the ground and the enemy when using them. This should make them more vulnerable to return fire.

The darts also reload too fast, you can pretty much strafe as fast as you can turn around, which is too good given how powerful they are. As a comparison, the rockets on the bomber killer take significantly longer to reload, and they are far more niche, harder to aim at their intended targets (due to weird acceleration), and have shorter range (due to TTL).

2: The trench fighter is the flavor of the month. It's partly because of point 1, which makes it easy to farm infantry, and partly due to how the fighter can be used relatively effectively solo even by players that aren't particularly good at flying. With the fighter you can survive in the air without being good at flying and/or without having a good gunner, due to how mobile it is. Both the ground support attack plane and the vanilla bomber are far better against infantry and armor than the trench fighter, but that requires the pilot to at least be somewhat good and have a good gunner.

It's remarkable how bad most trench fighter heroes are. I quite regularly spawn into the bomber killer and clear the airspace, without even having to rely on the speed boost. Many of the trench heroes are too busy doing strafes on the ground to notice you coming at them from the flight ceiling. It's particularly funny to kill them and then have them whine in chat about being "instakilled" by the rockets and call you a scrub for hunting them down with the bomber killer.

All in all, the darts need a nerf. Once they are nerfed we will probably see people gravitating award from the trench fighters. Also, if infantry started shooting at planes more regularly the squishy trench fighter would be a lot less attractive.

### Quoted from "NoctyrneSAGA"

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

### Quoted from "Watcher-45"

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

### Quoted from "LeGarcon"

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.

Holy War? No Thanks.

Posts: 2,795

Date of registration
: Jul 25th 2013

Platform: PC

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 16

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 5:52pm

Yeah I am annoyed by them, and I think they are oo strong since release, but I think the major issue stems from different things, mainly the fact that the fighter gets a good amount of kills, which many people play for, works with only one person and the other air options have diminished kill options and require teamwork and/or communication. Also while the other planes have AT options, their damage output is not enough to get the kills compared to the output and ease-of-use of Rocket guns and AT grenades. The kill counts and rewards that other air assets net usually does not come close, might be a bit more vital to the team though.

Furthermore, what I noticed is that multiple fighters often do not acitvely engage each other, which is rather unfortunate as this should be the dominant use of the fighter. I daresay the amount of time you need to invest to destroy afighter is not representative of the reward you get. Also you rarely ever get a kill on a plane, exit animations would help here as well as shared health between the pilot and the plane. I think a vehicle disable and/or inflicting a substantial amount of damage on a destroyed vehicle should net you kills and/or more points in general as well, so this would make people focus more on any vehicle and give rewards for using stuff that will likely not kill anyone.

I would propose, what I said before, and a maximum damage of 80 for the darts. So you would still always get an assist count as kill, or a kill on every previously damaged target. This would promote the use of fighters on objectives more, too instead of just farm runs. Could also endorse passive interaction with players on the ground.

Other than this it is just the FOTM and used so much because of the vehicle spawn system. This is mainly why we talk about it.

Salt Miner

Posts: 3,664

Date of registration
: Mar 19th 2014

Platform: Xbox One

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 16

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 6:25pm

### Quoted from "Oak_Beard"

One thing that hasn't been emphasized enough is the fighters ability to evade ground fire, whether it be LMG or AA. Shooting at a talented fighter pilot is almost an exercise of complete futility. A quick barrel roll or sharp turn skyward and he's gone.

For sure. Raw damage may be okay, but the ability for small arms to deal Disables to Planes needs to be massively more common than it is. If you see a Trench Fighter (or similar) coming straight and level for a run and you dump your MG into him, he damn well better end up with a Wing or Engine Disable before he can drop that load.

Removing the knockback physics from the AAs only made this problem worse too. Disables, knockback, and similar effects are the only things that actually deter aircraft; health doesn't matter whatsoever until it hits 0. AA should get the effect back (even if a bit lighter than before), but small arms should also get the effect to a small degree as well.
Who Enjoys, Wins

Holy War? No Thanks.

Posts: 2,795

Date of registration
: Jul 25th 2013

Platform: PC

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 16

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 6:28pm

Yeah what you say is true. I see the reasoning by DICE, but what I want to do with the AA is to get the plane rethink the strafe, not necessarily the kill. If you can not be 100% sure as the pilot that you can make that strafe because you cannnot maneuver properly you might try it later, from a different angle.

Posts: 2,015

Date of registration
: Jan 12th 2014

Platform: PC

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 14

Monday, March 20th 2017, 3:54am

You guys are aware that the dogfighter is excellent vs infantry if you use gravity tactics and zoom? It's a higher skill ceiling maybe, and the lack of flares makes it less able to farm without some external spotting but it's otherwise very good at squishy farming, and it shreds other air.

The trenchy is also at a terrific disadvantage vs any of the defensive guns. Competent gunners can usually swat them down in a shooting match.

Of all the air vehicles that can infantry farm with AOE derp-weapons, the trenchy is also arguably the worst. The autocannon attack plane is way better/higher uptime using gravity tactics, but requires a gunner to survive air to air combat. The bomber + nosecannon can farm stupidly well. Orbiting a hotspot = 100% farming uptime better than anything other than the saint chamond. But again that needs 2 people to work. So really the only advantage the trenchie has is solo effectiveness versus relying on that dreaded teamwork thing.

Using a trenchy and NOT deploying a bomber also means you've given up one your teams only hard armor counter slots. Similarly, using an AA truck robs your team of a meaningful tank slot. Good tanks will generally outfarm good trenchies and can also meaningfully cap. With the new Saint Chamond farming and spotting ability of the tank is unambiguously the most potent across all platforms in the entire game.

Air farming is also not all that valuable. While it's frustrating as hell, and capable of defensive flag clearing, and can rack up a good ticket lead, its not persistent like armor is, and thus can't convert farming to caps with the same effectiveness as tanks. And that heavily factors into just how powerful something is. IOW, people need to get over dying.

Posts: 315

Date of registration
: Jun 21st 2012

Platform: PC

Location: Moscow, Russia

Reputation modifier: 9

Monday, March 20th 2017, 6:14am

My suggestion: move Trench Darts setup from Fighter to Attack Plane:
2xTuF HMG
Trench Darts
Flares

So, on Attack Plane you choose between splash damage, ability to destroy buildings and damage vehicles or direct damage to infantry(20mm+trech darts are too strong combo, IMO).
4 setups for Attack Plane and only 2 setups for fighter seems okay for me. Trech Darts Fighter seems too versatile against average pub players, because it still powerful against attack planes and bombers(remember - average pub players, so in the most of situations gunners are not exist at all or trying to shoot infantry with LMG) and, of course, harassing infantry at ease - special thanks to recent AA nerf: you can only be taken down by AA only if it starts shooting you, when you're just started your strafing run, if you're already ascending - a couple of simple manevours will easily make you survive even against guy with brillian aim.
Sorry for my bad english - it's not my native language and I have difficulties with acquiring speaking/writing practice in my country. If I accidently insult you or say something wrong - I'm sorry, you can feel free to correct me.

Victorious

Posts: 1,111

Date of registration
: Jun 24th 2012

Platform: Xbox One

Location: The Winner's podium

Battlelog:

Reputation modifier: 14

Monday, March 20th 2017, 7:01am

The Trenchfighter is fine, any problem you are having is all on you, bud.
You have just read a Post by The World Champion and now feel smarter for doing so.
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1 : Warrior, Fighter
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