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Ramalina
01.15.2014 , 11:19 PM | #34
As a combat flight sim fan, and rather an old hand at them, I'm going to point out to any new GSF pilots that those who have discounted the importance of teamwork simply do not know what they're talking about, no matter how good their personal piloting skills are. Ships flying as teams do not scale in a linear additive manner. Meaning a team of two really terrible players should be able to handle two mediocre solo pilots with relative ease, provided they support each other when flying against the more dangerous opponents. The more geared and practiced you get the more this scales. Any combo of ships works as long as you stay close enough to support each other. Personally I'd recommend a 4 ship group, that seems to be the best balance between mutual support and having your side as a whole be able to respond to events across the map, but as long as you're not flying alone you can be flexible with flight size.

Of course having said this, a good question is, "what does close enough to support mean?" It means not more than a second or two of maneuvering to be able to threaten someone threatening your wing. Max weapons range +4 km might be a decent approximation assuming you have enough fuel to boost for two or more seconds. Advanced pilots can start bending the rules a bit in some situations and still not loose the benefit of team flying, for example with a scout plus gunship team the scout might be at max weapons range +12 km.

Flying as a team maybe doubles or triples your effectiveness, flying as a team with voice communications will easily double that.

I'd recommend trying to form groups to queue for GSF with. Get in chat, offer people the chance to join your group, recruiting may be easier if you point out that the queues often pop faster for groups than for solo queues. having a VIOP server of some sort your group can use is a bonus, but not a requirement. Be friendly and chat with the people in your group. MMO players typically have terrible in game teamwork and communications skills by combat flight sim squadron standards, and I'm including competitive PvP teams and progression raiders in that assessment. The first step is usually convincing your group members that they like each other enough to WANT to work as a team. Getting from there to the point where your wingman knows that if your shields are at 50% both of you need to bug out so that you can recharge your shields, even though your wingman could finish off that annoying enemy with just one more shot, well that's a very long road in an MMO population, but every step helps.

Someone who won't give up a kill to cover a wing's retreat is a crappy team flyer, but be optimistic, be friendly, help your teammates have fun moving in to that truly vast room for improvement that they probably have ready and waiting. If you eventually manage to build a team where everyone flies on the principle, "the most important person on the team is my wing," you should be routinely crushing all opposition in GSF, or if the other team is doing the same, at least holding your own against them.

A point that I think got skipped in earlier posts is a detail about resource management. You are not out of fuel and shields when your fuel and shields are at 0%. You are out of fuel and shields when your fuel and shields are 50%.
If your resources are depleted to the point where you can't maneuver long enough to replenish them, then you're basically dead. That means that you need to start working on replenishing resources before you run out of the resources you need to replenish your resources. You need time to regen, and in GSF shields and fuel are what you need to buy time. Fifty percent isn't a hard rule, but the more your resources are depleted the more likely you are to be killed before you have a chance to regenerate them.

It could also be said that if you are flying within 15 km of a gunship with a fully upgraded ion cannon you have zero resources. Dealing with that is sort of an advanced topic. For beginners, just try to keep something solid like an asteroid or satellite between you and any gunships.

It's been mentioned in other threads, but in terms of surviving the upgrades you want are ones that improve speed(engine power is the best speed improvement), shields, and turning ability. Defensive cooldowns are also a good buy in terms of survivability. At the high end skill and teamwork are the primary determinants of survival, but for a beginner tired of respawning survival related gear upgrades can make a huge difference.