The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

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The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Agent of Change on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:32 am

Or... The fine art of seal clubbing

Now as i start to write this I want it said that I am a believer in the "skill is the great equalizer principle", and I know I am going to get some serious disagreement from some as I lay out my musings here. I'm not trying to make a great statement or anything, I'm just curious to here what the community thinks and just to lay out some rough thoughts here.

Today I got my Swordfish.... I love it, It's awesome, and I did some serious damage with it, and for the first time since I was playing this game I thought, "wow my ship is really giving me an advantage." I set a personal best kill score in the first game out with it not even fully upgraded... something I had not even come close to doing before with any of the other new ships I've gotten. This is, admittedly, purely subjective but it got me thinking more about the role and subsequent effect of both Veterans and Ships in this emerging game.

I don't think that it any ship is broken, I will admit to some frustration at times when i get splashed by the same guy in a "better" ship over and over again. But, to be honest, those moments push me to strive for the next best trick, to hone my ability, to "get him next time". I am not one to yell HAX, or truly bitch about brokenness (I might say something tongue in cheek but that's my way). It does occur to me however that while skill is an equalizer, both great skill and high end ships do seem to add insult to injury to a great number of newer and less skilled players.

Back to my inaugural flight with the Swordfish, without the hours I have logged in the game and the skills I have developed I would not have done as well. I was online with Snubby at the time when I started to muse on this as a joke and he pointed out "how many times Have I killed you?" I was forced to admit he could bring me down... which while true Snubby a skilled pilot could bag me with intention and not by surprise with some consistency, not many of the other players we were on with could say the same, For me or him for that matter, and it is that to which I am speaking Skill has equalized US (the veteran pilots) but it equalizes (regardless of craft in most cases) onto a tier above most of the rest. I have said I don't consider myself a great pilot (I am not looking for praise here) I consider myself merely good and strive to achieve the level of the pilots we all admire for their skill.

What I worry about here is that the vets using the best against the rest might have a bot of a chilling affect on the game. for every pilot inspired to improve to stand their ground i would wager a more than a few get scared off of what seems like an insurmountable gap in ability, and gives them the opening to blame it on the ships we fly. Now the Devs have gone a ways to resolving this by allowing the rotation of free ships, I think it's great. But the Prestige ships in particular have this stigma.

This was largely galvanized in one of my last matches when playing with Ferc Polo we were accused by a number of players of using aim Hacks. Now I hate to be accused of cheating because I don't, but with Ferc in his Viper and me in my Sword fish we were cutting through them so easily it gave them, in their frustration, room to make the accusation. It's not right and I think the knee jerk accusations of cheating on the internet are sad and far to numerous but it still speaks to me of something that can hurt a growing community especially one in which I'm fairly certain cheating isn't even present in. It's not somethign we can really hope to stop but that kind of accusation is poisonous, it leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths, and this kind of game thrives on word of mouth, positive can help... negative WILL hurt.

I'm reminded of another part of my time in game today where a handful of us on vent jumped into a server together and just agreed to fly mambas (and again with G5's), there were a couple of of other people playing out side our group. We had fun with it, developed in some a new appreciation of the ship, and tested our skill. No one playing with us at that moment could argue it was equipment that led to this hand full of tagged players leading the boards. I also think of Loki mentioning several times on the other forum that he will pull out of the fray from time to time if things seem unbalanced.

As i said when I started I don't have a grand point to make just some thoughts that might spark an interesting discussion. I'm thinking for my part I might refrain from my heavier hitters in many cases for casual games (don't think for a second I won't hesitate to break them out against the likes of the forums members here though) and just keep my skills sharp by using whatever ship seems prevalent or equivalent to what I see in a match. I'm also not calling for some kind of code of conduct or anything... Just some thing to think about.
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Ferc Polo on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:40 am

That game with the Mambas I think I got more kills than the one we were accused of HAX
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Loki on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:12 am

I know what you mean.
Couple comments;
- I tend to avoid my Viper or Merlin unless someone else of relative skill is flying something comparable. Fewer complaints this way.

- I've seen a long line of new players driven off, likely never to return, by players like us with high kill counts and fancy hardware. There have been many, many discussions about match separation by rank, but we did't have the player base to make it feasible until the Steam Age. Hopefully soon.

- the higher tier ships have better weapons, more shields, and/or more speed. Even in the hands of a 1st day rookie it provides some advantage. Players like us know best how to maximize the advantages granted by hardware, whether it's quad-linked cannons, tracking missiles, or a sky-screaming rocket booster. These ships and the power they bring likely double or triple our kill count. Did you see the video by Abstractness? 69 kills in 15 min. In a Merlin. Could he have done it in a Mamba? Or even a Viper?

When was the last time any of us ran S&D in a Mamba? Deviant Saint and I tried it out the other day in a smaller match and we both scored considerably lower than usual, though still well above the rest of the average. (We had fun though, so that counts for something)

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Nyxy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:33 pm

I guess I should fly my Mamba more. In my defense, I don't have any other ships. Once I get the merlin I've been saving for, I'll upgrade my Mamba. I love rockets.
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by ratcharmer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:34 pm

Well . . . here's my two cents on this:

I'm an absolutely atrocious Swordfish pilot. I avoid using fighters with homing missiles as much as I possibly can and when I do I'm constantly fumbling with the lock on etc (does anyone else find it really counter-intuitive?). I normally pilot fast, agile ships and the slower ones (like heavy fighters) always throw me off.

Yet, even in spite of all that, the first time I ever hopped into a completely unupgraded Swordfish (during free week) I was able to immediately start stacking up kills--doing far better than I had been in my G5 (which was 3/4 upgraded at the time and I had been practicing with obsessively). The improvement in my performance was definitively NOT because I suddenly became better at the game the instant I climbed in the Swordfish.

I'll also toss in that when I first started this game I nearly gave up right away because the first few games were so frustrating.

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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Can-Swiss on Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:57 pm

Personally, i love the swordfish. I do think it gives me an advantage, but as usual, better skilled pilots take me out often. Regularily. Like they eat "Kill CanSwiss Brand" Fiber. Chew me up and spit me out.

But I am also still very much learning. Today, I faced Anger and If I am correct, he was in a Sidewinder. I got him i think once. He killed me over and over, and over, and I loved it. It forced me to get better. And by the end of the match I was (I think Anyways) a little harder to kill. Wonderful. Now I have to figure out what I did different.

As far as the homing Missiles, I use them up close and personal quite often in a way I would use rockets. Or, If I am taking someone off a team mates tail. Run in, Lock and fire then let open the guns. Its an insurance policy. By then I am usually so close to them when I fire them that we often loose the missile before it hits.

The A80, I snipe, use the Doubles before I unleash the cannon as well, Just further out, and don't often chase because I die. Often and easily. I change ships in mid game too, to throw off the people who seem to kill me more often. They run in Head to head on My Swordfish, and find out the hard way I am in the Honey Badger Wink

I know that I am getting better slowly, regardless of which ship. I fly certain ones over and over. But depending when and where, will switch it up. But if I am not improving, then I die.

I am predictable. I know that, and have to think outside the box at times. I take the same lines, Run the same groupings on CA. Predictable. I need to change it up. I know that, But I find myself not doing it once in a furball. I drift too often, run in too fast. Learning to change what I do is hard.

I rarely fly the mamba any more. Why? Dunno. I should. Maybe I need to make another account and just Fly the basic un-upgraded ships. To better myself. Progress or Die Wink

BTW, if you ever see me in a Bomber, its a free kill. Trust me. Smile
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Nutz on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:18 pm

I gotta agree. For everyone like me there are probably 3 more that can easily get scared off. I would think it probably happens more in an empty server than in a full server. The impression being that "wow a lot of people are playing and I'm new so I'll die a lot." I play a lot in the mornings and usually in my Mamba until some tougher competition comes in.
Sometimes in early morning S&D I'll hang back if the odds are stacked to allow for some 1v1. Or I'll go bust some turrets while other fight. I'll engage if someone comes after me.
Unfortunately it seems the nature of the beast. Many people just simply can't be bothered with learning the skills. They want to log on and be instantly better than everyone else. Then they get their feelings hurt if you kill them.
It is, however a bit humbling in a 1v1 Mamba vs Merlin going 2 for every 10.
Hopefully the Lobby/Team system will help with this. Maybe even have servers you can't get into unless you are over level 50. Or even level 25.

*I just re-read this while clicking submit and I realized I type in stream of consciousness. Hopefully someone can translate this. lol
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Ferc Polo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:59 pm

Lol Ratcharmer, the Swordfish is a death-machine. It adds 10+ kills to a player's score unless DMH or Prætor are around to target the aces. Many of us enjoy hunting the top players on the other team. It's more fun that way, keeps you from poaching our newbs too.


And, as an anecdote, when I started playing this game I found every good player I could and hunted them. I challenged Loki, X, and Abstractness to hunt me down on sight...forcing myself to fight only the best VERY QUICKLY made me a better player. Now, Abstract and X are MIA so I just love running into Snubby, Loki, Jiel and Foxhound. It means I'm going to have to TRY to not die, rather than face-roll the unwashed masses. Improving my skills is my number one concern. Assisting my team is second. Winning is distant third.


Last edited by Ferc Polo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Equipment Gap... or How I came to love the Big guns...

Post by Loki on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm

Ferc Polo wrote:Lol Ratcharmer, the Swordfish is a death-machine. It adds 10+ kills to a player's score unless DMH or Prætor are around to target the aces. Many of us enjoy hunting the top players on the other team. It's more fun that way, keeps you from poaching our newbs too.

Agreed. If you take the time to hunt an Ace, you usually end up spending a lot more time on one opponent and possibly losing. We tend to keep each other balanced, at least until one of us is sent back to the carrier.
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