Author Topic: The Lightning - Little Love Tank  (Read 3142 times)

kalbuth

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The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« on: November 09, 2012, 12:29:49 pm »
Just gonna put some pointers on what is for me the best armor vehicle in the game, for one simple fact : it's the only one which is actually fun. And efficient, on top of it.


* Don't use the default gun. Default lightning is perhaps a-OK, but the low damage, multiple rounds with high recoil make it rather frustrating to use, which defeats the fun purpose of the vehicle

* 3 ground2ground options for the Lightning, all in all, they are all good :

a) the AP gun, Armor Piercing. 96 Certs. Deadly on tanks when shooting them on the back. Virtually no splash damage, direct hit required against infantry, but this direct hit is instagib. He is nearly on par with the MBT default gun for damage to armor.
b) the HE gun. High Explosive, anti-infantry specialist. 240 Certs. The awesomeness incarnated. My K/D skyrockets each time I use the bloody thing. It's actually not that bad against armored target, if you are in support of your main MBTs in tank fights, you can end up with some kills and will actually help the whole fight. As soon as ennemy infantry shows up, this is fiesta. The splash damage is big, and they drop like flies. A must have.
C) the HEAT gun. High Explosive Anti Tank. 480 Certs. Not tested yet. Apparently a mix of both above, said to be very good. To be confirmed.

* Lightning motto : Fast, Agile. This is its best asset in armor fights, you easily get around ennemy and shoot them in the back, unless terrain prevent you from doing that. It evades Fighter rockets and Lib spam far better than a tank. Actually, it's the vehicle which feels like Planetside 1 fun driving! You cruise along, dodge left, right and center, and unlike PS1 paper tank, you get kills. TONS of them

* Knowing the best overall gun, without being 480 certs, is the HE one, you eventually end up on a Anti-Infantry job mainly. Kit your Lightning accordingly :
 a) Stealth Defense Kit. You can add 1 full second to ennemy lock on time
 b) Smoke Launcher Utility Kit. 6 sec of lock-on launchers immunity. With this and above, lock on launchers are basically a non issue. Use speed and agility to avoid non lock-on fire, like no MBT can do. Span the annoying little infantry on their rocks. Or worse, their spawn doors ....
 c) Climbing Performance Kit. Remember you "easily get around ennemy and shoot them in the back, unless terrain prevent you from doing that"? Well, screw terrain! Climb everywhere, nothing is going to prevent you from coming in the back of the peskies. RAWR! This kit permits you to get everywhere, and most of the time, full speed.

* It's 200 resources. Need I say more?

* Skyguard is 48 certs. Well, it's free, basically.

* It repairs in 20 seconds. Just ** gniark gniark ** to this pesky HA who though he made a huge dent in your armor and is rushing you from 200m away for the final blow.


SOE has put a big emphasis on the ability of being able to to things on his own in this PS2. I say we should just embrace the concept.
Imho, a group of solo tanks are going to be more efficient than multicrew vehicle currently.
Or, more important, the overall fun/efficiency ratio (for math freaks nitpicking, use fun/suckiness ratio, it actually makes sense, unlike fun/efficiency :P ) is going to be higher.
We should operate in vehicle like we operate as infantry. Each on his own role. But working together (and slap me in the back when you see I again rushed alone in front of you.... or follow me :P ).
The Lightning permits that just fine. You can get AA, AV or AI depending on your kit. Seeing how AA is cheap, it could simply be a secondary unlock for those who really like the MBTs and want to preserve certs for MBT unlocks.
But a group of mixed Lighning buzzing around the battlefield, I'd really like to see the result, tbh.

Get Your Little Love Tank now!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 12:32:47 pm by kalbuth »

mrb

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 02:34:39 pm »
Sounds good! Although you should be careful with calling stuff "practically free". Just look how quickly you go through the 1000 free certs. The price indications SOE have given for live are pretty hefty (7 bucks for 1 sidegrade weapon is a bit ridiculous considering the alternative to the F2P model is a $60 game). So the current values will be subject to change. Also, cert gain will be halved.

If I'm doing relatively well I've noticed I'm around 7k xp / hour which would be 14 certs / hour on live. 12/hour is probably more realistic so we're looking at four straight hours gaming for one scope of 48 certs...

kalbuth

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 03:22:59 pm »
48 is the cheapest you can find on guns sold. This is the "nearly free" category compared to the rest.

They halved Cert per XP ratio, but I get more XP for certain actions (1K for base capture, for example) often. Lastly, I've seen my cert gain get slightly up, tbh.

Also, the alternate to the F2P model is a 60 entry price + 15/month sub. We are talking about a true MMO here, unlike T:A. The access to infrastructure does count. And is still free in F2P model. (admin and anti-cheat support, which are going to be ultra-important, remain to be seen if what I call "infrastructure access" is to be counted or not)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 03:24:59 pm by kalbuth »

mrb

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 04:17:28 pm »
Also, the alternate to the F2P model is a 60 entry price + 15/month sub. We are talking about a true MMO here, unlike T:A. The access to infrastructure does count. And is still free in F2P model. (admin and anti-cheat support, which are going to be ultra-important, remain to be seen if what I call "infrastructure access" is to be counted or not)

Yeah that's a fair point. That also includes regular content updates versus paid expansions.

That said, they're giving us roughly half a game. I hope the people on the forums saying "relax and stick with it, it will turn into a complete game after release when they get the initial customer base roped in" are right. But on November 20th you're simply not getting a game that would justify a monthly sub if it were a classic MMO.

Anyway, on topic: nice guide, it really makes me want to try out the Lightning! But since I'm not going to spend any money on the game initially I don't think I can afford indulgences like an upgraded lightning for the time being.  :)

kalbuth

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 04:30:37 pm »
I started with the 96 certs AP gun long time ago on my NC toon, you can get that pretty fast, tbh, but arguably, I play more than only once a week :)

When this happened, I had nothing to counter HA lock-on rockets, and still could do rather fine (in a time where lock-on rockets were really better than current incarnation)

I'm doing between 30 and 70 Cert per day currently, playing like at least 4 times a week.
Just to explain how I end up saying the Skyguard is free ;)

So yes, something I probably overlook, is that unlike MBT, Lightning has an entry cost (the needed upgrade on the main gun)

Raoh

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 09:08:02 pm »
Well, the title of 'Paper Tank' certainly still applies but - as you've mentioned - with the right equipment and tactics the Lightning can be pretty fun and effective.

I've tried to enjoy the default gun but could never do it, the spread and dip on it is terrible; more of an area bombardment weapon than anything else.

I've got to say though, going to the AP gun after only using the default one (or any of the others) is like night vs day; it even sounds like you'd expect a hard hitting gun too!

AP: The AP gun is pretty nice and similar in damage to a MBT hit and has a much straighter trajectory, you have to watch your ammo count though as you only get around 24 shells by default unless you cert into the + ammo certs. Infantry can be a pain but as Kal said, you can pretty much take most out in 1 shot if dead on (not sure about a full shielded HA).
You wouldn't really want to go in areas with too many infantry running around with the AP gun on, but you can cope if needed with smaller numbers and the odd guys as long as you're smart about your positioning and don't roll into confined spaces or where you can be easily surrounded, but you shouldn't really do that in most situations anyway.

HE: I tried the HE turret some time back and that was pretty good, with the blast range of the shell hitting, it's pretty damn nasty and seems to combine well with the radar utility that puts enemies on the mini-map (up to 50m range with top level cert in it), although I'd much prefer if they moved the damn spinning radar thing to the back of the Lightning and made it slightly smaller; far too distracting and funny looking stuck on the front of it. :)

HEAT: Only just picked this up the other day (thank you 1000 certs!) but haven't tried it in combat yet, but judging by the blast radius it does indeed seem like a good balance between the two above, and from some reports, is on-par or only very slightly behind (shot wise to destroy) the AP gun for damage on armour .

I think the smokescreen ability is going to be pretty important for the Lightning to have, especially when loads of people start to have lock-on launches.
Fully certed you can use that smoke every 15 seconds, which is pretty nice considering for 6 of those they can't lock onto you - not sure if you have to be in/near the smoke cloud for that to count or if it's just applies to your vehicle for 6 seconds, despite where you are in relation to the smoke - the latter I'd guess, as it would be easier for them to program.

As for the armour boosting attachments, I'd say the side armour would be the most useful considering alot of the lightning play is scooting around targets to get into position which exposes those sides - although top armour could be useful in heavy air environments but tbh, the speed at which air take out tanks right now I'm not sure how much difference it would make. :)

I compare the Lightning to a (good) sniper in many ways; you're quite fragile but with smart thinking, good positioning and frequent changes to location (predictability will soon kill you) will lead to good results - better head that small voice that often says "you should really move now" or "this is a stupid position to be in" as most deaths of mine usually occur when I ignore it. :)

It'll be interesting to see what they do with the tanks in the game and how much cosmetic stuff they introduce - I've played more hours in the Lightning than any other vehicle by far so I do hope they add as much as possible to allow people to really make their vehicles feel like their own - not with neon pink camo or anything but abilities and fine tuning. :)

I do wish they'd make the performance side more tweakable, for example, instead of only being able to pick one upgrade area, instead, allow a certain amount of upgrade points - for example:

10 points to spend.

Cert rank - Slot point used
1 - 1
2 - 3
3 - 5
4 - 7
5 - 9

Example in practice:

Hill climbing (rank 3) - 5 (-5-)
Top speed (rank 2)  - 3 (-8-)
Rotation Speed (rank 2) - 2 (-10-)

So as you can see, you could max out one performance area and put 1 point elsewhere, which is pretty much how it is now, or with this system, you could mix and match which allows you more flexibility (according to your playstyle) and a bit more variation between tanks - although more performance choices are definitely needed but that area could be expanded in no end of areas.

Some have suggested the Lightning needs more of a distinctive role or ability, or more than 1 to differentiate it a bit more from some one 1-manning a MBT - other than being more agile.
Certainly could be something to consider; some have mentioned some sort of limited stealth ability, which I guess could help it in the tank hunting/ambush area if implemented well so that it's not overpowered or too ineffective. They could also add different effects to the guns if they really wanted to make each suit their role; imagine the AP gun had a decent chance of (or each time hit on certain small areas, to encourage good aim and skill) that dropped the targets speed a great deal for x seconds or disabled it's engine for a very short period - just a few ideas.

Well they do have the upgrade/cert system in any case, so it's easy enough for them to introduce things to allow people to pick and choose.

It would be fun to sort our a Lightning pack some time- couple that with a sunderer for rearming and/or repairs would be nice.  :)

One last thing: they need to seriously sort out the Lightning's tracks by removing some of the front track guards or changing the tracks altogether as that thing gets stuck far too much, especially for something that's supposed to be nimble and use the terrain to it's advantage.

Anyone who's driven a Lightning for a while will have come across the small ditch of doom scenario and the high-pitched track sounds that follow. I can't find the video at the moment but there was a good one posted on the official forums of a Lightning getting stuck like this and then after a short while taking off high into the air and out of sight - some might say it's what Lightning drivers have to resort to now to be able to reliably kill air targets. ;)


« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 09:33:46 pm by Raoh »

Mauler

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 06:02:53 pm »
I do still love the ol' paper tanks, I've found that they're great for sniping enemies before they know you're there with the HE or AP rounds, but when ambushing tanks you'd better have some help close by or a good escape route ;)

And damn, I miss having a chaingun on these as a secondary weapon :(

Ypnos

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 05:41:52 pm »
Skyguard is most certainly not practically free, it's 1000 certs lol

Mauler

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 06:39:37 pm »
Worth it though, I think it just got buffed! :D

kalbuth

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 07:10:51 pm »
Skyguard is most certainly not practically free, it's 1000 certs lol
Text was written in beta, SG was really low priced at that time

kalbuth

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Re: The Lightning - Little Love Tank
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 12:15:31 pm »
FYI, apparently, today's Daily Sell is AP Gun for Lightning, for 350 SmedBucks.