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

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 12:48am

### Quoted from "potetr"

I don't think they intentionally tried to make the game more about squadwork. Had they designed the game with that in mind, I'd also expect more features that aid coordination.

Anti-vehicle weapons being weaker probably stems from vehicles in general being slower, and having weaker countermeasures, as to not make them useless.

The gameplay effect on larger gamemodes of slower infantry TTK was probably unforeseen, because it sounds good for 1v1s, and it is too, but in many modes Bf has a constant amount of players too high for sequential 1v1s to have an impact (due to playercount and spawning). However, the gunplay really shines in smaller gamemodes, I've found, even though there are issues with weapon balance, like Uranium and SomeRandomGuy have talked more about. In fact, Domination is where I've had the most fun, a mode I barely touched in Bf4. I bet I'd like frontlines too.

Zerging is probably also caused by how spotting (doesn't) work, massive score rewards for throwing bodies at flags, less transport vehicles, a large influx of new players in addition to less effective weapons (and map design)*.

*my playtime is too low, really, to comment with much confidence on the map design

Agreed, and I especially agree with the smaller modes playing very well. Domination has fantastic gunplay, and (aside from dedicated AT gadgets) all the classes feel really useful. I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of these design decisions come from the same root, which is that many people involved with development are from here and other elements of the BF4 comp community. A community that played on tiny, vehicle-less maps with 8v8 (and similar) player counts. I don't think they had any ill intentions for designing the game the way it is, quite the opposite, I think they put their all into improving the experience and making something that's logical and works well.

But at the same time, the primary influence wasn't so much "real" BF games (pubs with some coordination, 64 players, CQ or Rush), but rather tiny infantry modes, thinks like TDM, Dom, or Squad Obliteration. And these things play so differently they may as well be different games. The focus on 1v1s, the longer TTKs, and other elements look really good if you're focusing on this kind of play, and I think the most blatant example of following this style and mindset is Ammo 2.0.

Ammo 2.0's core premise was that Support is useless, and I should note that by saying this, 2.0 essentially calls Support "ammo guy" and nothing else. And looking back at BF4 I see where this comes from. Support was useless in comp, just like it would be useless in the same style comp in BF1. But why is that? Support is good at a number of things, having huge mags, having excellent suppressive ability, having ammo, having AT/demolition tools, and having indirect fire weapons. It also does a lot of things, but doesn't excel at any given thing.

But all of these things are completely useless for comp. Big mags are useless, suppression is useless, ammo is useless, AT/demo weapons are useless, and indirect fire weapons are useless, all while not actually being amazing at any particular thing. Why would you ever play Support in 8v8 comp? You wouldn't. But of course you wouldn't, because you're choosing to play a mode and style that automatically eliminates everything Support is useful for. Asking why Support is useless in a competitive mode setting is starting from the wrong end of the stick.

And unfortunately, I think starting from that end of the stick is where a lot of BF1's design direction came from. I don't see negative intention here, I just see trying to build the game as something it's not fundamentally supposed to be or play as.

### Quoted from "tankmayvin"

Why do people keep saying anti-vehicle weapons are weaker? They most definitely aren't. People are just sloppy about facings and they tend to go prone in the middle of open terrain where it's easy to counter-fire them.

Triple burst of heavy AT + light AT is the most powerful close combat anti-vehicle system implemented in a battlefield game. And this in the game where tanks are clumsier and slower than they have ever been.

Because they are, at anything past melee range. Yes the triple grenade tactic is powerful up close, but that's about it. Ranged AT options (or rather option, singular) are dramatically worse than BF4. Look, I know you're a super leet-pro tanker, but that's really not relevant here. In practice, in normal gameplay in BF4, you could decide you were going to take out an enemy tank, respawn, and go do it. Sure the double-RPG trick was insanely powerful and fast, but in no way was that the only powerful tool against tanks. The dumbfire launchers, the SRAW, the self-locking MBT-LAW, or the Javelin (on occasion) were all fantastic AT tools. The LAW is the slowest / lowest damage of the bunch, and the most comparible to the Rocket Gun. Except the SRAW self guides if it sees a target in its LoS, even after firing, while the Rocket Gun requires you to use a Bipod.

Infantry AT options at anything but melee range are awful to nonexistent, yet those longer ranged ones are exactly what are needed to let the user feel like they can do something about the tank.

"But tanks are slower/weaker/otherwise worse in BF1!" and/or "If ranged AT was as good as BF4 then tanks would suck" may both be true, but that's also irrelevant to this problem. I'm not trying to give a solution here, saying we should have BF4 AT weapons, I'm simply diagnosing the problem that is the setup of BF1 AT weapons, and why they, along with AA weapons and other tools in general, make each player feel far less useful than they did before. And therefore less motivated, less rewarded, and generally have less fun.

In BF4, I always felt I could jump in and deal with any tank or heli threat (even multiple at once) that was harassing our team, and most of the time it was very doable, even if I didn't manage it every time. In BF1, I never have that feeling. You see an enemy A7V and meh, I can't kill it.

Another irony of design here is that tactical decisions and manoeuvres are massively devalued in BF1, thanks to the generally higher TTK across everything, especially vehicles. The design philosophy of BF1 is supposed to emphasize smarter player over raw reactionary gunplay skills, yet that's the opposite of what's happened. The longer the TTK, the more emphasis goes to gunplay in the form of maintaining aim for longer, across more shots fired. At the same it time takes emphasis away from good movement and positioning ability, because the advantage of a good flank or position is nullified when you can't kill the enemy fast enough, giving them more chance to fight back, to simply evade and screw with you, and especially prevents you from clearing a group of enemies you successfully flanked.
Who Enjoys, Wins

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "BleedingUranium" (Apr 19th 2017, 1:06am)

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 1:32am

### Quoted from "VincentNZ"

I mean I am really ranting, but since release I feel more and more appalled by this game. Not because of me, but because I am basically the only one playing from my rather large friendlist and everyone I ask is deeply frustrated by this game and therefore quit. Yes, maybe it was wrong to expect another iteration in this franchise that is social and fun, giving the game a fresh direction is after all also a kind of creative progress. However I have no idea what the Devs had in mind for this game, what they are aiming at, what it should be at release and what it is supposed to become.

Some features are casual to a point that they are trivial, battlefrontesque at best, or totally irrelevant, which includes ALL social features, while others are so complex or complicated that the average player will never fully grasp them. We got a very blank slate of a game, neither fish nor meat, but not some fancy tofu either. The biggest issue I see though is the inconsistency, where every mode, round, weapon plays differently each time to a point it appears random. At the same time, the game is calculated to the last digit. Basically BF1 is a paradox.

Actually I got rather furious about BF1 in the last couple of days when the Battlefront news started to trickle in. Basically I feel they are throwing out another game, a successor to the most irrelevant DICE title ever created, with nothing going for it at release bar the license. With their main franchise people are rather fed up at the moment, yet they announce the next money sink. And I still have no idea where they want Battlefield to be in a year.
What on earth are you going on about?

The original pair of Battlefront games from other devs were extremely well received and hugely popular, and very much inspired by Battlefield.

Battlefront should have been extremely relevant, both to DICE and to
gaming. The failure of DICE to produce a really sustainably fun Battlefront game DESPITE their experience designing Battlefields is indicative that things are not really well in terms of how DICE is putting together their games from the holistic perspective. The fact that it flopped out is actually really bad news.

Clearly BF1 has similar packaging issues, and it's having a rough landing in terms of player counts.

I would take these two things as part of an overall indication that DICE has lost a bit of it's magic at making these open world shooters. Perhaps as Noct suggested there is a lack of coherent vision and follow through between groups within the dev teams.

The deprecation in built-in data tracking, gameplay rewards, and team/community stuff all seem horribly thought out.

People also seem so very willing to forget that BF4 was a fucking catastrophic mess on release and had the benefit of basically being a reboot of BF3, complete with maps lifted from BF2/BF3, etc. We gave them a full second chance and paid full price for it. And they botched it on release with BF4.

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 1:52am

### Quoted from "tankmayvin"

Why do people keep saying anti-vehicle weapons are weaker? They most definitely aren't. People are just sloppy about facings and they tend to go prone in the middle of open terrain where it's easy to counter-fire them.

Triple burst of heavy AT + light AT is the most powerful close combat anti-vehicle system implemented in a battlefield game. And this in the game where tanks are clumsier and slower than they have ever been.

Because they are, at anything past melee range. Yes the triple grenade tactic is powerful up close, but that's about it. Ranged AT options (or rather option, singular) are dramatically worse than BF4. Look, I know you're a super leet-pro tanker, but that's really not relevant here. In practice, in normal gameplay in BF4, you could decide you were going to take out an enemy tank, respawn, and go do it. Sure the double-RPG trick was insanely powerful and fast, but in no way was that the only powerful tool against tanks. The dumbfire launchers, the SRAW, the self-locking MBT-LAW, or the Javelin (on occasion) were all fantastic AT tools. The LAW is the slowest / lowest damage of the bunch, and the most comparible to the Rocket Gun. Except the SRAW self guides if it sees a target in its LoS, even after firing, while the Rocket Gun requires you to use a Bipod.

Infantry AT options at anything but melee range are awful to nonexistent, yet those longer ranged ones are exactly what are needed to let the user feel like they can do something about the tank.

"But tanks are slower/weaker/otherwise worse in BF1!" and/or "If ranged AT was as good as BF4 then tanks would suck" may both be true, but that's also irrelevant to this problem. I'm not trying to give a solution here, saying we should have BF4 AT weapons, I'm simply diagnosing the problem that is the setup of BF1 AT weapons, and why they, along with AA weapons and other tools in general, make each player feel far less useful than they did before. And therefore less motivated, less rewarded, and generally have less fun.

In BF4, I always felt I could jump in and deal with any tank or heli threat (even multiple at once) that was harassing our team, and most of the time it was very doable, even if I didn't manage it every time. In BF1, I never have that feeling. You see an enemy A7V and meh, I can't kill it.

Another irony of design here is that tactical decisions and manoeuvres are massively devalued in BF1, thanks to the generally higher TTK across everything, especially vehicles. The design philosophy of BF1 is supposed to emphasize smarter player over raw reactionary gunplay skills, yet that's the opposite of what's happened. The longer the TTK, the more emphasis goes to gunplay in the form of maintaining aim for longer, across more shots fired. At the same it time takes emphasis away from good movement and positioning ability, because the advantage of a good flank or position is nullified when you can't kill the enemy fast enough, giving them more chance to fight back, to simply evade and screw with you, and especially prevents you from clearing a group of enemies you successfully flanked.
This has already been flogged to death in the other tank threads and I think has been objectively demonstrated to be untrue. When you combine all of the things BF3/BF4 vehicles could do to mitigate damage a single infantry has objectively more damage output against a BF1 tank than the BF3/BF4 tanks. There are just a lot more tanks and thus more chance for idiots to drive them.

Miffy posted the vehicle kill data ranges for us. He showed that vehicles are generally scoring most of their kills at the edge of AT grenade tossing range. That is to say the very powerful thrown AT weapons are highly relevant to fighting tanks where they are doing most of their killing.

SRAW was shit vs armor. Javelin was only useful with laser designation (requiring that dreaded teamwork), MBT-law just doesn't have the damage output to kill a tank and was thus only really useful for repair gunners to throw on some easy dps between torching. So really that leaves you with the two dumbfire weapons, which only really had great damage against the rear. RPGs were typically a 5 hit kill. 6 with an APS deflect. Persistent use of smokescreen nullifies the rear hits too.

Relying on shit players for satisfying tank fighting is just bad design. And either way those shitty players are STILL dying in droves without accomplishing much so it's not like the tanks are such a player multiplyer.

For the planes, well, I'm not sure making infantry AA weapons the primary guns themselves was a great design choice. They made small arms excellent vs air in BFV too and you didn't get hordes of infantry shooting at derp-bombing jets back then either.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "tankmayvin" (Apr 19th 2017, 2:19am)

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 1:57am

See, I don't know how that could be though potetr. The solution to basically every vehicle or infantry related complaint on Conquest is to strictly play as a communicating squad. Squad-work effectively reduces TTK against everything which translates to less static exposure to enemy opposition and more movement which gives you a significant advantage. I interpret this as a violent shove towards squad-focused gameplay. I'm not saying that I'm right or anything, it's just my perception on the matter.

My best Battlefield moments have come through the linear and smaller game types namely Operations, Rush, Team Deathmatch, and Frontlines. Domination rounds usually end in 3-5 minutes whenever I play them, so I usually avoid it. Operations and Frontlines is where I have experienced the most team centric behavior because the action is focused and concentrated in a much smaller area, so it's easy to grab someone's attention for whatever is required.
To Aim Assist or not to Aim Assist, that is the question.

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### My "Contributions"

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 2:48am

My real gripe is that between the two potential ways of forcing teamplay, they took the boring, bland one that isn't nearly as fun.

BF1's system just makes you suck if you're not playing with anyone. Very few things in the game let you excel alone, even intensely dedicated roles are only average to good at best. There are a few exceptions, like the Rem 8 .35, the Automatico, Howitzer FT to a degree, and a few others, but most "specialized" tools and roles are in the vein of the Lewis and Huot, which are theoretically a bit better at something specific, but in a small way to a small degree. The Tank Hunter Attack Plane is this too, it doesn't excel at AT, it's average at best, but that just happens to be far better than every other option.

The other way of forcing teamplay is to make everyone good at what they do, and worse at everything else. You can argue that these two options are less completely different and more so on a sliding scale, but it's the same end result either way. Everyone being great at what they're supposed to do gives every player a sense of purpose and feeling that they can actually get things done, and in fact, makes it so. Instead of making players average-to-bad alone, they should be able to be good on their own, simply limited in the scope of what they can do.
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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 4:00am

### Quoted from "BleedingUranium"

I still strongly disagree with that BF4/BF1 AT comparison, though maybe I should expand the premise a bit. BF4 had a lot more that could take out a tank in terms of other options too. You could spawn another tank, and I consider that a relevant distinction because BF1 has dramatically lower armour and aircraft per map across the board.

Aircraft were also all far more effective than BF1 aircraft are against armour. The Attack Heli and Attack Jet demolished armour, while the Scout Heli and Stealth Jet could still harass them quite well with their guided missiles. It's also worth noting that Helis and Jets operate in two separate sort of environments, so even if a Stealth Jet was good against a Heli, the Jet couldn't pursue as a constant, and the Heli could always dodge and take cover. The flight style differences meant that the inferior in AA combat option (AH) could at least evade a SJ enough to keep doing his job.

In BF1 we have... two almost identical Bomber loadouts, which requires extreme precision, has to be dropped directly onto the target with a notable travel time, and is completely at the mercy of any plane that isn't a Bomber, as it lacks the advantages of a different fight model that benefited the helis. We also have the Tank Hunter Attack Plane, which tankfully has an actual projectile weapon, although it's of questionable damage with rather significant drop and especially drag, and is still simply worse than the Fighter.

Which brings me to yet another example of the forced teamwork of BF1. Rear gunner seats. Bombers or Attack Planes can deal with Fighters reasonably well, if only you have a gunner bitch riding in the back with you. Sound familiar? Yep, more of the same "everyone sucks alone" design at play here. You're food for Fighters... unless you have someone else. And oh right, none of the Fighters can do shit against armour, so guess what that means? Yep, Fighters dominating air and farming infantry.

Over and over I heard it repeated that things like Ammo 2.0 are needed so everyone has to be useful on their own, so no one ever has to rely on anyone else, but what do we have? Exactly that across so many things in BF1. This is why things like the A7V and Trench Fighter dominate as they do.

You can't be serious? I mean Jets were OP to the point of being totally broken in BF2, were extremely poorly balanced in BF3 and then nerfed to being fairly ineffectual in BF4.

The BF4 LGMs really weren't good vs tanks unless you could time it to pile on with other attackers. The scout ATGM was objectively a poor choice since the little bird was wasted other than for farming infantry and countering the enemy rotary stuff from farming.

Bomber is literally press a few buttons and click to win versus armor. IMO way easier to aim bombs than steer TV missiles. It requires no magical skill to bomb armor at all. Bombers with a tail gunner also require ganging on to defeat. They will shred everything but a bomber killer fighter 1v1 without issue. And no one uses the bomber killer because of infantry farming. Blast radius of tops is fucking massive.

Sure surviving vs air in the bomber requires teamwork. But the AH you state was so effective was also a team vehicle - it was never meant to be operational via a solo person seat switching. The scout helo also really required a repair team to be truly effective. Indeed littlebird meta required 3v3 crews.

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Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 4:12am

### Quoted from "BleedingUranium"

I definitely agree with this.

@tankmayvin

It sounds a bit rich to hear that players should suck by themselves and should have to play together because it's a team game, from the same person defending the epitome of solo play that is the A7V. I distinctly remember rather lengthy discussions about how an A7V that split the driver and gunner would be a far better fit for BF1's vehicle and gameplay sandbox. And I distinctly remember you defending that it was actually the only tank worth a damn, and that everything else should be as good as the A7V.

That's exactly the same thing we're saying about planes, about classes, and everything else in BF1.
Yeah because it would be literally unworkable and a total piece of shit versus "gameplay significantly harder when not working in a squad".

BF1 vehicle meta is based around random blueberries hot dropping into your vehicle - the attack plane is ONLY exception to this and it looks like this will be permanent.

Give that BF1 design is based entirely around random assholes inserting themselves without any possibility of VOIP, AND where scoring is entirely based on killing with assists not worth shit, totally separate multi crew vehicles where the gunner is separated from the driving would be a disaster.

Big difference between "hey, only attack this tank when it's not at 100% or other people are engaging it", to "point your nose in the general direction and scratch your nuts while this random dude may or may not actually shoot".

I never engage armor without infantry support in the Saint Chamond or A7V anyway, so the notion that it's solo play in the sense of being an independent actor on the battlefield is rubbish. It's just that no remotely decently BF player wants to use a tool that is 100% dependent on someone else. We're not talking say 25%, or even 50%. 100% for a split weapon vehicle. The closest analogy is shitbucket attack helos where the TV missile is doing all of the killing while the pilot just keeps it alive and fends off really agressive air. But at least there flying is fun and vaguely high bandwidth. Driving in BF is hardly "fun".

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