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Strike Fighters are the new meta: more than many realize

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Strike Fighters are the new meta: more than many realize

gsummers's Avatar


gsummers
12.25.2017 , 07:05 AM | #1
Strike fighters are the new dominant ship: a better scout than a scout (missile breaks but with much tougher hull), a better bomber than a bomber (tougher hull and with missile breaks), and by far a better gunship than a gunship (protorps=new rail gun). Over time, I expect we will see matches come to be strike v strike matches only.

I have noticed the following trends:
1. The aces who used to fly scouts now fly strikes
2. The aces who used to fly gunships now fly strikes
3. The aces who used to fly bombers now fly strikes

The inexperienced and new pilots fly bombers, gunships, and scouts; and die.

Also, a personal note of frustration: plasma railgun has got to be the worst weapon in game now. I can hit a strike fighter with a fully charged shot for 1080 damage, and it takes the strike's shields down to only 50%. I have to get another shot in to even start to damage the hull. In the meantime, the strike will sit right in the line of fire and calmly fire a protorp and one-shot my gunship.

As I see it, the only solution is this:
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Danalon's Avatar


Danalon
12.25.2017 , 08:03 AM | #2
From my point of view:
A lot of people fly Strikes for different reasons. Some just want to see if they're viable, some because they always wanted to.
However the meta has shifted a little.
With more lockons around Bombers are played less because they're vulnerable to torpedos (also RFL/EMP). Bombers are still useful but they need a lot more protection from others now.
With more Strikes around, in most games there aren't enough Gunships to make a ball. Which was the only problem with that class, Gunships become stronger the more you have because (against an average group) Gunships can easily protect each other from any threat with little to no coordination.
With more lockons being used and DF becoming a "soft break" Scouts have to hide more and get better use out of their cooldowns. Also evasion doesn't help against missiles and with less railguns around the stat becomes less powerful.

Are Strikes THE NEW META? Maybe. Did they change the meta? Definitely.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
12.25.2017 , 10:25 AM | #3
The other day I did surprisingly well on my two scouts. In a domination fight I broke out my nova dive to get to the satellite quickly to cap it, I thought I would die rapidly thereafter...I didn't. In fact I got half a dozen kills and four assists. In a death match I used my flashfire and only died twice. I was the bane of a couple of opponents. I only got four kills, but I played bait.

I also did well using a bomber. As someone else pointed out in another thread: create a home base; take a sector of the map and make it a safe haven for your teammates. Gone are the days where a bomber could aggressively dominate a sector.

That said, strikes are far more prevalent than they used to be. And that is not a bad thing. GSF used to be a battle of snipers: Gunships and bombers making nests and daring scouts and strikes to try to get close enough to take them out. Now gunships and bombers are in a position of support, as they should be. Battles are mostly strikes and scouts dog-fighting with bombers creating safe haven home bases and gunships sniping when they can.
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Ramalina's Avatar


Ramalina
12.25.2017 , 10:31 AM | #4
Strike fighters still don't have the evasion or burst damage capability of scouts.
Strike fighters still don't have the area denial capability of bombers.
Strike fighters still don't have the range or the ability to preload shots behind cover of gunships.
Plus all of those classes have access to powerful utility abilities that strikes mostly don't have equivalents to.

Consequently, most genuine aces have no hesitation about switching ship classes when another class is more advantageous than a strike, which still happens in just about every game. An all strike team is not a really good team in terms of overall team ship choice. It's not something you'll see in top level play except as a theme event, and with strikes now viable in regular play, there's not much call for an all-strikes theme event.

Now that strikes are viable though, a lot of people who in the past would have flown other classes in order to be competitive, will happily opt for a strike in cases where any of several ship classes could work about equally well.



I'll point out that your Plasma scenario is mostly about the gunship pilot reaping the consequences of making a bunch of mistakes.


A skilled gunship pilot is going to charge behind cover, strafe out to take the shot, and then strafe back behind cover, meaning that the strike sitting out in the open is going to get off a grand total of 0 proton torpedo shots at the gunship.

Additionally, a skilled gunship pilot isn't going to opt for Plasma in the first case in that scenario, because a high raw damage, high accuracy, DOT based weapon is a really bad choice for doing quick damage in that case. Plasma is good as an option against high evasion low health targets like scouts and gunships. A strike in the open is an invitation for a gunship to: hit it with Ion Railgun, hit it with a Slug Railgun shot (for the piercing damage), or hit it with a Proton Torpedo (taking advantage of the range bonus gunships get, but strikes may have a faster lock time depending on build so it's a bit risky).

Without the CD on firing follow up shots Plasma would be potentially excessively good, because the DOT portion of the damage doesn't scale with charge like the initial portion. The design concern that brought up was that spamming 25% charge shots allowed you to put out 62.5% of damage with 25% of the time and energy investment, which is sort of like having Damage Overcharge for every shot and a crit every other shot if you average it out over time. The DOTs were changed to stack, both from a single ship or from multiple ships, and the CD was meant to keep DOT spamming from getting out of control. The damage distribution was also changed though, to put less on the DOT and more on the initial portion that does scale with charge, which also tends to help keep DOT stacking in check by lowering the DOT damage. Together it may have been a little bit too much of keeping Plasma Railgun in check, even with all the other buffs it got.

There may be additional tuning in the future to buff Plasma as it's currently a bit underutilized, but by the nature of its mechanics the current setup of Plasma is very much an anti-evasion build weapon. Strikes and bombers don't have evasion builds, so don't use it as a weapon of choice on them unless your only other option is Ion and you've already Ionned them enough to strip their shields and drain their energy, or unless there are several gunships using Plasma in a coordinated fashion so that you can stack DOTs despite the CD.
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Kinsha
12.25.2017 , 11:01 AM | #5
I got a chance to talk to some of the bioware team about GSF during a cantina event before 5.5 hit. It was very much the intention to shift the meat of the team to be strikes. They were intended to be and in my opinion have become front line combat ships.

Scouts are intended to be second line combat ships. They're still fairly deadly, but I think one the hardest adjustments playing scout ships is that buffs to strikes make them just as deadly to the scout. You can't just blindly joust and expect to come out alive, let alone unscathed.

As far as bombers go, I'll just comment on my observations for Domination. They're still very important, but tools to break up mine fields have become much more abundant on the battlefield. Emp hasn't changed that much functionally vs mine fields, but the amount of ships flying that can pack EMP weapons has gone up dramatically. Also people are still trying to play bombers humping the sats. There are times when its needed, but alot of bomber pilots need to expand their zone of control so that it protects the area around the sat, not just the sat itself.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
12.26.2017 , 06:06 PM | #6
OP substantially overstates strikes.

I think the weakest class right now is the bomber, and mostly because bombers kept most of their weaknesses while gaining a couple new ones in the meta. A great bomber is now rapidly beaten by any combination of good scouts that involves a good type 2 scout and any other thing, and their area denial doesn't meaningfully work against strikes (it never did, but strikes were absolutely useless before, so this weakness never mattered much). They have gained some survival versus gunships (because gunships can't roost nearly as effectively or as long as before), but the ability to hold a node long enough for backup to arrive has greatly decreased, and the power of a nest in TDM has gone down some. The first of these is IMO kind of a problem, the second is probably not. Girl bombers still do good jobs in TDM, and I think they are still fine there. Boy bombers have problems in Dom and I think these are mostly down to being unable to meaningfully land system mines in even light EMP situations. I'm not sure what would need to change to address this without messing something else up, and I'm also pretty sure that if you had a solid 8v8 you would definitely be running boy bombers just like before, so I'm not sure how much is down to ship and component balance and how much is down to just how the games normally go.

Gunships absolutely have jobs on any maps, doubly so on TDM. Scouts have jobs on all maps, and are great for Dom.
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Venlac's Avatar


Venlac
01.04.2018 , 10:01 PM | #7
Sorry, gunships are still the meta. After the small nerf they were rebuffed. Still no severe limitations to them and pray the other team doesn't stack them in a TDM.

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MaximilianPower
01.05.2018 , 10:27 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
Gunships absolutely have jobs on any maps, doubly so on TDM. Scouts have jobs on all maps, and are great for Dom.
...this.
Quote: Originally Posted by Venlac View Post
Sorry, gunships are still the meta. After the small nerf they were rebuffed. Still no severe limitations to them and pray the other team doesn't stack them in a TDM.
...and this. Strikes are finally the jacks-of-all-trades everyone wanted them to be, but gunships and scouts absolutely have a place in the meta. Sure, it's tougher to use these ships than it was pre-5.5, because you actually have to worry about an entire class that was barely on your radar before. But gunships remain masters of TDM (especially LS), and T2 scouts are still masters of burst. EMP and tensor scouts have roles, too.

I agree that bombers were hit hardest, but they remain useful. Beacons are critical in doms, and heals are key in TDM. A well-balanced team will typically include every ship class. That's something you couldn't say pre-5.5.

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Flusssaeure
01.05.2018 , 12:15 PM | #9
I agree and disagree with some statements here. The fact that there is still a debate if gun ships or strike fighters are dominating shows how much we figured out the post 5.5 meta, actually not as much as we like.

I however agree that stacking a single class is not the best way to go in a TDM. Gun ships, strike fighters and scouts all have a roll in a TDM and stacking a single class gives you advantages over some ships and disadvantages against others. If you stack one class you ask your opponent to switch to ships that are bad match ups for you. If both teams know what they do you see more ship switching in a TDM than in a DOM where you need some specific ships because of some specific components, most noteable Hyperspace beacon and Tensor, while in a TDM you try to adapt to the tactic of your opponent. Of course if one side is dominating the other they don't need to switch if there opponents don't find an answer. This is also the reason why one sided games are more about the experience gap between the two teams than about the chosen ships. If the opponent doesn't know what ships are good against each other and as a result can't switch correctly that is not the fault of the ships.

In the case of the bombers I definetly disagree that you need them in a TDM and especially because of a repair probe. First you die even faster than before 5.5, you often don't get the chance to get to a repair drone because you died to fast.Then as a reaction to the Proton Torpedo strike fighters more ships than before use Hydrospanner resulting in a lower demand for repair propes because many ships can repair themself. Of course it might be that you value the ammo refill however after you have weapon power ups even that is more useful in Dom than in TDM. So the resl question is how much do you like Railgun Sentry drones in TDM right now. The answer to that defibetly is tied to the gun ship or strike fighter meta question. If you think it is a strike fighter meta railgun sentry drone is pointless, if you think it is a gun ship meta that it has the same purpose than before 5.5.

Regarding the strike fighter versus gun ship meta debate my opinion is you need both but more strike fighters than gun ships. If one team stacks gun ships and the other strike fighters, the strike fighters can tank enough shots to close the gap to the gun ships and if the strike fighters get close the gun ships die. Of course strike fighters with a gap closer like barrel roll can do that better than ships with retro thrusters and strike fighters going for evasion can do it better than strike fighters who went with more hull points. But that is one of the points why stacking is dangerous you need answers for different situations and stacking usually don't give you that.

In my opinion per 4 ships you wan't 2 strike fighters 1 gun ship and 1 scout in a TDM.

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Greezt
01.05.2018 , 12:55 PM | #10
I don't know which server you fly on, but on SF (where I've been spending most of my time recently) and DM (where I come from) gunships are absolutely dominant in serious TDMs. Strikes can perform like scouts did in the old meta -- if you outclass the opposition by a lot you can carry really well in one in TDM and get great scoreboard performances, but if the enemies have 1/2 interdiction bombers and the rest are spread out gunships, there's absolutely no choice in the matter.

The meta hasn't changed in TDM almost at all. In Kuat TDM strikes are potentially useful as a peeling ship, and maybe in Iokath too, but the bulk of the force is still gunships. I'd be glad to see a match that proves me wrong on this.