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Orca and Apache refinements


Mystic~
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Hey,

We started what I thought was an interesting conversation at the end of the last PUG - how could we change or improve each aircraft to provide asymmetrically balanced aircraft for better air skirmishes and base attacks that might force people to consider more strategy and improve the enjoyment factor of using air vehicles for winning the game. Presently the running theme has been to gather up to 10 of each type and then apply an attack bonus, which is very difficult to counter or stop unless you have 3+ adv engineers already repairing the targeted building and it frequently causes the opposing team to also just build aircraft to counter it. I'm not sure if people really enjoy this or not? But I certainly don't anymore.

I try to see the aircraft from the perspective of the original C&C Strategy game Renegade is based on, the Orca was very fast and highly manoeuvrable, capable of taking down buildings and vehicles. The NOD gunship/hind was much slower but is based on the Apache in Ren and I'd see these as wanting or needing to be slower, with heavier weapons, heavier armour and effective against GDI tanks. Both are effective against infantry due to giving them both cannons and missiles or rockets. For GDI I'd want to see the Orca being faster than the Apache, lighter feeling, with some sort of better stamina or burst acceleration - more noticeable than whatever holding the spacebar currently does allow them to zip about - they would become much more fun to use. They would have lighter armour than the Apache but be faster and more evasive and their missiles I would see as being more precise or better guided than the Nod rocket pod and could probably shoot from longer distances, they would be harder to hit, whereas Nod would be easier to hit but has the better armour to enable it to stay in the air for longer.

I can see the need not to make one overly more powerful than the other, but I don't think they need to be so similar that they feel identical, let each side have its strengths and weaknesses in the air so they can be used differently. Should we have some sort of vehicle cap on air units so there's no more than 7-8? This would mean others in the team would contribute to an attack in other ways and not just one massive single pronged team air-raid. Orcas could do more hit and run style tactics, harassment or even dropping off units whereas Nod would do more hide and pop-up style attacks or hope to get in a good position for an attack in greater numbers.

MRLs are effective against the Apache and cheap to buy, whereas Nod has the LCG.

I wanted to add: The Apache cannon is an absolute op bitch against infantry - I think it's due to easy imprecise splash damage, range and magazine size. The Orca seems to expend its magazine quickly and it really requires very precise precision to kill someone.

Orcas are basically so weak they feel like paper cups falling out the sky - it doesn't take much from Nod to destroy one and I think it's down to both surprise factor of stealth tanks and SBH, but also the LCG being effective against air compared to the straight-shooting Gunner.

Do we really need snipers being able to do so much damage to an aircraft? There are enough things that can potentially shoot them down already.

It would be nice if new settings could be tested on some sort of small spare server or map without affecting the release game.

Feel free to add on ideas or suggestions of how to improve them or the experience of using air vehicles, what is missing, what works, what doesn't work and so on.
 

Edited by Mystic George
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Finally, he found someone who came up with the thought of Ork's mediocrity.

Apache, how not cool, taxis. Orcs really have problems, but not only in speed, but also in maneuverability (the speed of a helicopter turn). He is very clumsy on turns, he cannot escape himself even from artillery projectiles. In older versions, it was much faster, albeit more fragile. On arms, if you can close your eyes on a machine gun, then there is no rocket. They are not very fast and the damage is not very impressive, especially for heavy equipment and helicopters. What should be done? Not only to increase the speed of the Orc, but also the maneuverability of the helicopter by 50% compared with the Apache helicopter. Let the damage of rockets on equipment, helicopters and buildings be increased by 25%. Health can be left at 300-350, which makes it more vulnerable against air defense units. For Apache, leave the armor as it is, just like a weapon. Nevertheless, to reduce maneuverability and speed for impact helicopter of the Brotherhood.

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Nod tends to win aircraft maps because of the bullshit stank lock on being so overpowered against air, in the meantime Apaches can easily dodge mrls rockets the only real counters are Mammoth rockets (because you can't dodge these) and pics. I prefer orca's the ONLY reason i would want apaches over orca's is because of stanks. Also giving one lighter armour would be such a bad idea they already feel like paper with everything that can counter them.. hell even soldiers deal decent damage to them 🤣

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Thanks for the replies. What do @boxes and @yosh56 think? I'm not familiar with who the current dev-team are.

I prefer Orcas because they look good, but they seem to get swatted down like flys and it's a fashionable way to just waste 900 credits.

I hate that snipers can deal quite good damage from so far away to aircraft, and just keep doing it, I'd nerf this damage so it couldn't take out an air vehicle unless it was already on super low health, almost not worth wasting the shot and reload time on unless you see one already smoking. I'd make sure that light calibre assault rifle, humvee/buggies and officer minigun bullets just bounce off distances (possibly for both sides) and don't cause too much harm at close range unless being hit extensively for a longer period, forces people to get a vehicle or use one of the other classes such as rocket soldier, grenadier, flame trooper etc.

Manoeuvrability is something I think I tried to communicate using the video of the C&C strategy game, they can turn and avoid certain locked on rockets (rocket soldiers maybe) and I feel they should be able to glide, arc and curve around the sky similar to how a bob slay does so they are far more lively and dynamic but presently they feel like they can only mostly hover and fly in straight lines. It was always SAM sites that were the nemesis of the Orca and you had to take these out first for something to work, and this seems to work quite well already on most maps. The Apache should require far more time to do something similar like an arc trajectory and require more power else would stall and they're built different and should behave differently anyway.

Apache as a heavy gunship and the Orca as a fast attack aircraft, somewhere between a helicopter and a jet. I don't think they should be too similar, but each needs to know its head to head strengths and weakness, and they also need to take into account what a faction requires and what can asymmetrically oppose it on the other team so it's not too much of the same aircraft opposing each other with different model appearance and colour.

Usually, I favour the outcome of a stank versus an orca, it can be close if it's a straight head to head, but I do think their range goes too far.

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Maybe I have a skewed opinion as I don't fly them very often myself but both gunships already feel quite powerful, even their counters end up losing a fight vs them without extreme range, ambush tactics, or having numbers. And that's not even getting started the difficulty of countering mass apache/orca. By making either even more durable or faster you would exacerbate this problem unless their offensive capability was also nerfed.

My suggestion would be try and specialize them slightly more towards either anti-inf or anti-veh to further define their role. They currently both serve as potent anti-everything specialized in hit and run which matches the theme but leaves them in an odd state where they counter their counters, esp inf who can be deleted in a single volley if caught exposed. I am a very offense focused player and like to be in the frontlines so maybe my issue with them is only because they do well in countering my general playstyle.

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I agree with this, both a better missile count and also their shooting range I think should be greater than the Apache. However I think speed is the most crucial aspect missing from them, they crawl at a snail's pace across the sky despite having afterburners and almost anything can hit them. Try taking on a light tank on Lakeside and you make quite an easy target, they need to be faster and have much more versatility, responsiveness and manoeuvrability.

The Apache keeps/or gets short-medium range missiles, slower speed and possibly greater armour to be asymmetrically balanced.

Maybe the Orca could fire two missiles at a time rather than waiting for the long count and delay of 1, 2, 3, 4 to 1-2,3-4,5-6

I hope that if we keep this an active thread then at least the developers can keep eye on what peoples opinions are and some things can be considered for a future patch or build release. Obviously, we want to come to some sort of consensus regarding what is missing and not just throw in the desire for new pointless features.

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Join the discussion if you want to, share your personal opinion on the topic, I'm not expecting any sort of official developer response or have any expectations of things jumping some sort of work queue.

I do feel the Orca is pants presently and could benefit from more speed and weapon tweaks. The Orca can do quite well at close range with its MG and with the right player, but it doesn't compare to the Apache's "splash splash splash splash splash splash" you're toast cannon, which works well at both distance and close range.

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9 hours ago, Mystic George said:

Join the discussion if you want to, share your personal opinion on the topic, I'm not expecting any sort of official developer response or have any expectations of things jumping some sort of work queue.

They might be busy... ya know.. developing =p

 

I'm sure all well thought out ideas are read and considered at the least.

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I'm just updating this thread with more feedback based on the more that I play with the Orca. When it comes to air skirmishes Orcas are so slow, they have super low armour, super slow lock-on and an Apache has a longer-ranged cannon and can deliver a fast barrage of powerful rockets and even if they don't get a lock they still stand a good chance of dumb-fire hitting something. They're both very similar when it comes to base rushes, but this is the aspect I'd like to deter less of, or at least reduce their effectiveness.

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