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Let's talk about Strike Fighters

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Let's talk about Strike Fighters
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Pherdnut's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 08:39 AM | #281
For the record, I've stopped playing. I really enjoyed it for a while but domination by premades, excess queue times, and near total lack of signs of interest in terms of continuing development got really old.

I'd try the following for strike fighters:

* Give them some kind of ECCM option to block missile evade options occasionally.
* Make them a lot tougher than gunships. Not a little bit tougher.
* They should have hands-down, the best main guns in the game. A nice passive accuracy boost would help newer players get past the learning curve and would make it easier to do some serious damage at that medium range window strikes are typically going to have the best shot of taking stuff down in.
* Maneuverability at least closer to competitive with scouts or at least temporary boosts/nerfs with reasonable cooldowns to make up the difference when you need it.

For the game in general:

* Everything is a little too squishy. Especially maxed out ships vs noobs, but really it should take longer for one player to take down another no matter what the skill/upgrade differences are. It's hard to learn anything when you die as fast as you do in an all-noob team vs premade and I suspect it alienates a lot of new players.

* Gunships are only a little bit OP. They're a part of the game now and it's not like you can just toss 'em out. I agree with these statements, but I still think they were a mistake. They have way too much impact on how the game needs to be played. Star Wars space combat is ww2 dogfighting in a very silly version of space where there's sound and pointless banking. They turn it into a hiding behind space debris simulator that often feels more like descent than X-Wing or Tie Fighter. I don't have a solution on this one but I do think finding ways to mitigate the issue would be wise if you guys actually want to breathe life back into GSF.

* Medals are broken. You want medals, play gunships and bombers. With strikes and even scouts at lesser tiers of upgrades to a degree, you're spinning your tires as far as upgrades are concerned. Successfully locking on with a missile and firing should count for something as it takes a lot of work and a lot of time and effort to do it and doing so puts pressure on people to fly out into open space and get murdered by gunships. It's no fault of the player that everybody and their mother can just ditch that lock but at least that creates an opportunity for somebody else to do the same. Damage done in excess of a ship's last hitpoint also shouldn't count towards your total. That really swings medal counts in favor of gunships and it's not fair given the lion's share of the kills they're already snatching up even though they'd be at a disadvantage without allies that aren't gunships.

* PVE Missions. With participation as low as it is, you need something to give new players an option to master the controls without getting stomped on constantly.

* There is something wrong with queues and queue times. I seriously don't just think it's low audience. It takes forever when I know there's other people out there looking for a game. And then when games do start it's often with laughably mismatched numbers of players.

* This is probably more of an @ the community thing but GSF guilds should seriously consider restricting their group sizes or just trying to queue up against each other when they want to fight as maxed out teams. Getting steamrolled by large premade teams all night long is in no way shape or form fun. It doesn't matter how well you try to do if it's a GSF conquest week and you're on a team full of meganoobs. It's one of the many reasons I put the game down months ago and haven't felt super-compelled to try and get back into it and I WAS into it. It's like the PVP servers. Do you want open-world PVP? Okay, so let's not grief the crap out of people at lower levels making it a really unpleasant experience for them and then gripe about low active pop when they all abandon the server.

* Don't give participation awards for GSF to other aspects of the game. You should always have to win to get anything. It's one thing to be on a team full of noobs. It's another thing to be on a team full of noobs who don't even give a damn. That's probably hurting GSF as much as it helps. Regular PVP is still popular enough that it can probably absorb bad behavior related to participation awards. GSF does not have the pop at this point.
Amurrka, Malfunction, Skeeve, Derp, Deeva, Orinj @Dreshdae Cantina


JasonSzeremi's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 08:44 AM | #282
I would have to say, a lot of what plagues strike fighters is the ineffectiveness of missiles.
In a recent match I was flying a T3 scout with thermite torpedoes (yes I know that's not a strike fighter...)
I locked and fired thermite after thermite on targets at a distance, most of them missed, some of them would have hit by my target didn't exist when they arrived, I finally got a non-part penalty. Someone voted me (probably several someones) for not participating, so I rushed in to do some laser damage... right into a bomber nest and I was shot down by a rail-gun drone using my missile break on my way out.
The vote kick stuck with me even as I struggled to get a gunship back to the firing line and I was kicked.

What does this have to do with Strike Fighter you may ask?
Strikes are amongst the ships that ONLY have locking missiles as secondary weapons... the T3 scout also does and the T3 bomber does also. So you have no alternative to missiles when you purchase one of these platforms, and 90% of the time when you use them against other fighters they miss or in the case of torpedoes, your target is either shot down or ducks behind something. You can be lobbing missiles like a mad man for an entire match and still get 'not contributing'. This is starfighter speak for useless pilot and useless weapon.

Oddly enough, missiles are attractive to new pilots, once they learn how to manage the lock. Because they don't require perfect precision. If you can keep the bogey inside the circle for long enough then you can launch one of these birds at a target and the missile mostly does the rest. People who have trouble aiming at a moving target, or who's systems (like mine) take inopportune moments to lag... especially when I am close to another starfighter I'm trying to shoot, can use these to be productive and contribute to the team.... I'm pretty confident trying to evade my missiles assisted those other pilots who got kills from my targets. But for a new pilot to be handed a weapon they can use and only find out it's useless against any half way decent pilot in a scout or gunship and you start to see why there's so much rancor and venom for gunships and good T2 scout pilots

Existing pilots usually fall into three pools: top aces, guys who get into a match and mop the floor with anyone not as good, usually in a gunship (every slug rail is the same) or a T2 scout (or is that really an interceptor?)
Average guys like me who might someday hit the top, and somedays I do, but those I call top aces usually mop the floor with my fighter's debris.
or noobs who are just learning. and don't know what works and what doesn't.

They pick the strike fighter because, the scout looks kinda thin skinned or they tried the scout and died very very fast.
Then the strike's substantial firepower lets them down. Even if they stick with it like me, they watch their kills go poof as someone else usualy has the burst damage to finish the job before your first or second missile hits, and the lasers don't deliver the damage fast enough.

If that isn't frustrating enough, teams of gunships, bombers and/or T2 scouts frequently humiliate even expirienced solo pilots cuing, the newbies in their strikes give up on GSF and cues stop happening, and for an hour or four, gsf dies on a server.

If strikes were the superiority fighters they have the potential to be (a generalist starfighter, with the firepower and missiles to engage anything on the map) New players and average players would be able to better contribute to their team with the ships we start with. We could buy and upgrade to new builds that worked rather then being told buying a pike or quarrel is suicide (paraphrase from an imperial pilot I met the other day)

We want new generations of gsf pilots to enjoy and learn the game at least long enough to get into our gunsights and add to our kill records.... without functional strike fighters, most noobs just quit.

So that's a peev of mine, that too many of the good looking choices you could make especially regarding strike fighters, are dead ends (no pun intended).

Missiles need to work better: a full second off the locking times perhaps, half or no cool down (for strikes only?)
the battlefield is dominated by ships using the secondary weapons that don't have a substantial cool down time: rocket pods, cluster missiles, and railguns. It also wouldn't bother me to get credit for participating when I fire a missile even if it's evaded by DF, a Manuver, or EMP field or if my target explodes before the bleeding thing impacts TY again gunships....

it would be truely nice if when my lasers do actually hit, they leave a bigger impression, then 'oh time to move, he scratched my gunship's shields'

As for pursuit boosting when I approach a gunship, I coast in quietly as I can in regular w and if I did have to boost in, he has a full tank of gas to run from me. I'm told scouts don't have this problem, their burst damage causes targets to explode before they can run, or their long legs can keep up even after boosting in to get close, letting them re-close for the kill while my strike has to lob missiles to keep the gunship running till he runs out of gas.... or gets smart and ducks behind something to recharge the damage I did to their shields. starting the whole fight over again...

as it is, the game is somewhat dominated by ships that 'get the drop' on the enemy, scouts with fast locking or non locking secondary weapons. Gunships that deliver a massive wallop from a huge distance with little to no warning, and bombers who are setting up death traps around corners and under satellites.... strike fighters who are supposed to slug it out, often don't survive those sneak attacks, but can go toe to toe with each other for minutes.

If the strike did more damage, even to each other, they would be more playable. Currently they are outgunned by ships that are lighter then them, and ships that have a range double or triple their effective ranges.
if their missiles ever hit it would only be 50% greater range then the torps but with the lock on times as they are anyone can avoid being hit by a torp.

tunewalker's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 09:19 AM | #283

20. Add crit Magnitude buff to Crit choice on Combat Command, Replace extra energy regen talent with extra damage talent. I think Combat command should be hybrid of BO and TT

21. Increase duration of Remote slicing to 12 seconds Base, Make its drain do 5% power from ALL systems PER second (that's 60% base for those wondering 75% buffed) This could be slightly overboard but hey its one way to make sure a system ability with a minute CD that only affects one target ACTUALLY AFFECTS said target.

Leyasu's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 09:45 AM | #284
I will make this quick.

During a warzone all players can compete even on a very basic level. This is because questing and doing flashpoints will teach a player the basics to using talents and abilities. For GSF a player can only learn how to fight in a player vs player environment. That means all new players must lose over and over again until they can be competitive. This negative reinforcements turns most of the player base off early and they are not willing to give GSF a second chance. GSF does have a tutorial but it is way to short for a player to be able to grasp how to be a successful pilot. As crazy as this sounds the game needs to add some sort of PvE for GSF. That way a player can hone his/her skills before competing with other players. Competition will become better and more players will take a shot at the GSF warzone if they are more confident in their own ability. If PvE is not an option then a better longer and more efficient tutorial mode that helps players become competitive pilots.

2. The game already has squadrons but they serve no purpose. The 4 man squads need to developed to be meaningful and useful.

3. Players need the option to que with full 12 man groups. If you can fill an entire team why not let the players fill the entire roster. Guilds can often coax and reward their own members to join large scale events. 12 man que is a must for guilds to help take an interest and promote GSF.

4. Better rewards personal and conquest. GSF having huge rewards or payouts makes it almost impossible not to get involved.

JasonSzeremi's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 09:52 AM | #285
Several good points were brought up that I would call a wish list, as in I wish it would happen but I'm not expecting it:

PVE GSF: Even if all you did was re-format the space missions for starfighters to fly in, or re-run old missions from X-wing, flying your starfighter against the computer for a change might bring more interest back to gsf, and it could give those pilots a reason to stick around when the ques die... ofcourse you could also have team gsf instances up against npcs just like we have on the ground.

A new Strike Fighter chassis, something optimized for the space superiority role, maybe with a cloaking device? players will go nuts over it for a few weeks, might even keep people playing gsf who have wandered off.

Did someone mention a cruise missile? what if the new strike fighter had that.... ofcourse it would probably force somebody to manually guide it, leaving their fighter dead in space? ala tow missile. Too much? try the next pie in the sky dream:

Space Vs GSF: this one's HARD... enabling a que where players select if they want to be in a starfighter (from their hanger) in a pilot's seat or in a turret on a class ship (or a capital ship) for some a new hope/battle of endor type fun. People with no gsf ships can man the guns while gsf pilots try to run fighter screen/intercept the attackers. It would take alot of dev time and could be amazing...

Stealth ships? they could be lightly armed like scouts... wait are scouts lightly armed? There are people with stacks of tokens banked for the day these appear. Although a new viable strike might bring em back.

Here's a big, not going to happen one, A way to target/see your allies health and condition, almost like the raid window or just being able to cycle through 'firendly' targtets. Healers especially like to know how someone's health is doing, and if you are someone's wingman it's good to know if they need help... knowing target of target wouldn't be bad either... seeing they are going up against Xcal you know they need backup.

CommanderKiko's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 09:56 AM | #286
Quote: Originally Posted by Leyasu View Post
I will make this quick.
I agree with your statement in full, but this has nothing to do with fixing strikers, which seems to be the main focus of this topic/probe. In GSF chat, I have talked about how GSF needs a PvE version and the ability to let older pilots "group up" with new pilots for the tutorial mission.

On the other hand, introducing a PvE mode that caters specifically to strikers could indeed give them the place they deserve without changing them at all. It's an idea.
GM of Defiant Industries LLC (GSF/PvP)
GM of Defiant Security Services (GSF, new)
- KikÚ, Bastion.

AlexModny's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 10:12 AM | #287 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Morning Flyboys and Flygirls!

Thank you immensely for all the feedback and discussion last week and over the weekend. Keep on going but I just wanted to pop in to let you know that we are reading and looking at options. No timetable but just an acknowledgement that we are here and listening/reading along.

Alex Modny | Assistant Designer
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JasonSzeremi's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 10:36 AM | #288
The idea of being able to cue up 12 man groups seems very nice if you are in the 12 man group, and I am every sunday I can be there on Shadowlands. But I've seen what it was like to receive an 8 man pre-made and I'm not really sure this would help keep gsf cues popping. If you know an unstoppable wall of average to ace fighter pilots is rolling, sometimes you just stop cuing.

as for strike fighters, I'm not really sure it's possible for them to become 'too good' as long as gunships are longer ranged, scouts are more manuverable.

ChillingFear's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 11:05 AM | #289
Quote: Originally Posted by AlexModny View Post
Morning Flyboys and Flygirls!

Thank you immensely for all the feedback and discussion last week and over the weekend. Keep on going but I just wanted to pop in to let you know that we are reading and looking at options. No timetable but just an acknowledgement that we are here and listening/reading along.

Cant speak for everyone but I honestly appreciate this type of post Alex, I hope this becomes a regular thing across all threads on the forums, I would prefer posts even if they are just acknowledging Dev activity in the forums then nothing at all. We are quick to post out the negatives and dislikes, so here is me pointing out a positive. Me likey

phalczen's Avatar

06.01.2015 , 11:19 AM | #290
Quote: Originally Posted by Pherdnut View Post
* Gunships are only a little bit OP. They're a part of the game now and it's not like you can just toss 'em out. I agree with these statements, but I still think they were a mistake. They have way too much impact on how the game needs to be played. Star Wars space combat is ww2 dogfighting in a very silly version of space where there's sound and pointless banking. They turn it into a hiding behind space debris simulator that often feels more like descent than X-Wing or Tie Fighter. I don't have a solution on this one but I do think finding ways to mitigate the issue would be wise if you guys actually want to breathe life back into GSF.
It's true that in the movies, you never see stationary starfighters sniping at other starfighters. It seems tactically unsound, given that most of the space battles occurred in mostly open space. That, and the fact that it would be an easy target for a capital ship. Which led me to wonder if Gunships were meant to be like a capital ship or even a corvette without the cap ship/vette development price tag. And if that was the case, and given that the prototypical bomber in this game is really an area denial specialist, should the Strike Fighter be designed as the prototypical ideal gunship killer?

No one would take a Strike over a T2 scout to kill gunships in the current game, and any change which affects distortion field or evasion stacking affects scouts as well as gunships, but it is an interesting thought experiment. Should a scout be more of a "pressure" type ship, to de-roost gunships but not necessarily destroy them, giving time for a strike to set up for the kill? How do we grant that role to strikes without nerfing scouts or gunships to do it?

I could imagine that with the right active copilot ability to affect 1-4 ability usage, and a short lock-on/short reload missile which has great utility, and the right blasters to achieve a reasonable burst damage cycle, strikes could do it. I would imagine that some upgraded flavor of In your sights, lockdown, servo jammer, or slicers loop could do it along with (? upgraded) interdiction missile and BLCs on a T2 strike. The T2 strike retains its vulnerability to scouts because of mobility. It can force some peels by virtue of cluster spam, but its more of the surgical strike specialist. The lack of a reactor means the T2 strike is still susceptible at range to GS, at close to scouts or other strikes, and must choose between better shields to deal with those threats or a charged plating/deflection build to survive mines. The common theme here is that the T2 strike needs burst damage capability which it does not currently have. It also doesn't help that you need to already be in close-to-mid range to use copilot abilities.

If the Gunship is ideal to address bombers at range, then the type 1 strike gets re-designed to be a good melee specialist, taking out bombers under the node that have LoS'd the gunship. This would include things like dramatically more accurate RFLs, or BLCs, or a shorter lock on concussion. Similarly, these changes would impact other close range fights. As a highly accurate close range weapon, buffed RFL, as already described by multiple experts in this thread and others, could conceivably be the anti-evasion weapon, along with ion canons, to make dogfighting in a T1 strike not just words in flavor text in the Hangar window. Yet this T1 strike retains some vulnerability to the enemy's ion-rail equipped T1 gunship, leaving the dedicated strike pilot a choice: continue to peel enemy scouts at the expense of some free GS deaths, or switch to your T2 strike to teach those GS a lesson in humility.

I don't know, just throwing more stuff out there.