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View Full Version : Battlefield 3: Planes, Copters, and crashing into the ground.



sabrage
07-11-2011, 10:45 PM
So as much as I'd love to hop in a jet and rain terror from the skies, every time I try to fly in Battlefield 3 it invariably ends up in one of 3 scenarios: flying outside the map, immediately getting shot out of the sky by an engineer, or triumphantly flying straight into the ground almost immediately. And that's only when I can find one before some other guy spawns right in it as I futilely run towards it. I find it incredibly frustrating that there's absolutely no way to practice outside of diving right in, so I guess I need to find a different game with a similar control scheme that I can practice in. I have Bad Company 2, and could feasibly get my hands on the older Battlefields, but that wouldn't really help me with the jet controls. Any suggestions? I don't really care about price; since this is simply to account for the shortcomings in another game, in all honesty I'll probably just end up pirating it and only playing until I get a grasp on the controls.

I tried my 360 controller and the keyboard, but the controls really aren't intuitive enough in any combination I've tried to grasp before I get blown out of the sky.

Nalano
07-11-2011, 10:47 PM
For jets I use WASD+directional, for choppers I use WASD+mouse. Both are all about never, ever, ever flying in a straight line.

I've noticed, lately, 8-man servers that promote "learn to fly." Haven't tried any of 'em, but it might be a good idea.

Ravenger
07-11-2011, 10:55 PM
Best thing is to find an empty server somewhere that's set to start when 1 person joins. I found a flying practice server that someone set up, which was really helpful when getting my controls properly working.

I would have been good if DICE had allowed you to play any of the maps in a practice mode where you can jump in any vehicle to practice controlling them and to get a good control setup. You wouldn't even need bots. However the bots mode of BF1942 and BF2 would have been a great way to get some practice offline.

Joseph-Sulphur
07-11-2011, 10:57 PM
First of all, use the mouse to fly the jet. A+D control the rudder, and it does help but to really maneuver the thing you need to use the mouse to control pitch and bank. Secondly, play small rush maps and fly the transport/scout choppers, they are easy to fly and you'll be less likely to be shot down. Thirdly, don't spawn in at base and wait to jump into a jet. You can spawn straight into a jet as soon as it becomes available. Wait on the spawn menu after you die. In order to get into the jet before other people click on it as soon as it appears in the spawn menu then press enter.

You will be shot down by missiles quite a bit until you unlock flares. That is a design flaw IMO, but don't worry. You'll get there eventually, all you need to do is spray and pray with the cannon and you'll soon rack up enough assists to get 300 points or whatever you need for IR flares.

Drake Sigar
07-11-2011, 11:18 PM
I've only played Battlefield 1942, but it was pretty much the same way.

westyfield
07-11-2011, 11:20 PM
You will be shot down by missiles quite a bit until you unlock flares. That is a design flaw IMO, but don't worry. You'll get there eventually, all you need to do is spray and pray with the cannon and you'll soon rack up enough assists to get 300 points or whatever you need for IR flares.

If you're flying a jet on a quiet server, you can machine-gun the unoccupied enemy vehicles on the ground for, I think, 100 points each. You'll quickly rack up enough points for flares.

Rii
07-11-2011, 11:37 PM
Air combat as it should be done:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-wFI9vTqto

Nalano
07-11-2011, 11:42 PM
Air combat as it should be done:

What the fucking fuck

Drake Sigar
07-11-2011, 11:45 PM
That. Was. Glorious.

duff
08-11-2011, 02:19 AM
Jesus Christ.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 06:57 AM
Having to unlock flares (never mind weapons beyond the cannon) is one of the stupidest design decisions in the game. The Super Hornet costs $55mil, sending it up defenceless is idiocy.

sabrage
08-11-2011, 06:59 AM
I think that in a perverse way the unlocks fit with the trial-by-fire nature of learning to fly, but after 4 or 5 games of losing the objective because I'm too busy dicking around in the air I'd like a less punishing intro to the controls.

Nalano
08-11-2011, 07:47 AM
Having to unlock flares (never mind weapons beyond the cannon) is one of the stupidest design decisions in the game. The Super Hornet costs $55mil, sending it up defenceless is idiocy.

Having one person have a $55 million jet and another have nothing but an AK74... that's balance.

Just play the game, fer chrissakes.

westyfield
08-11-2011, 08:12 AM
I tried something yesterday that seemed to work quite well. Move your mouse so it's close to your keyboard. Fly using the arrow keys, until you get an enemy more or less in your sights, then switch to using the mouse. Use the mouse to make the kill, or use it until they get away, then switch to third-person (wider view angle) and resume flying with arrows.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 08:24 AM
Having one person have a $55 million jet and another have nothing but an AK74... that's balance.

Just play the game, fer chrissakes.

That's the point, though, it's kinda hard to play if you have no effective weapons and no means of defending yourself. There was nothing wrong with the planes in BF1942 coming fully equipped from the off.

Kevin
08-11-2011, 08:26 AM
Having played Jane's F-15/F/A-18, Falcon 4.0, and DCS: A:10C, the planes in BF3 are harder to fly using a joystick compared to those purpose-built flight simulators. Unfortunately DICE has never heard of using the POV hat switch to look around the cockpit.

Helicopters on the other hand are a joy to fly for me, except it's just so damned easy for the ground pounders to counter them.

I sort of hope DICE has flares and A/A missiles unlocked for everyone at some point in the future so whoever you are, you have a chance. It seems pretty messed up a few months down the line someone new coming into BF3 is trying the jet and being pitted against someone who's a Jedi with it and has everything unlocked.

Rii
08-11-2011, 08:56 AM
It seems pretty messed up a few months down the line someone new coming into BF3 is trying the jet and being pitted against someone who's a Jedi with it and has everything unlocked.

Apparently this is called 'progress'.

coldvvvave
08-11-2011, 09:08 AM
I tried something yesterday that seemed to work quite well. Move your mouse so it's close to your keyboard. Fly using the arrow keys, until you get an enemy more or less in your sights, then switch to using the mouse. Use the mouse to make the kill, or use it until they get awa.
If you fly with keyboard only then why not just use spacebar to fire weapons?

Heliocentric
08-11-2011, 10:44 AM
Aiming while flying with arrow keys is like trying to eat pasta with canoe paddles.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 10:46 AM
I used to fly in BF1942 using my Saitek stick and WASD for throttle and rudder. Worked quite well!

Citruspunch
08-11-2011, 05:06 PM
I think that in a perverse way the unlocks fit with the trial-by-fire nature of learning to fly, but after 4 or 5 games of losing the objective because I'm too busy dicking around in the air I'd like a less punishing intro to the controls.

agreed.

I've found using a 360 pad better for Jets by a mile for general flying.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 05:30 PM
If you have a friend who doesn't mind waiting while you buzz around, you can go and do the helicopter co-op mission which will give you some good practice at flying. I haven't gone much further than that so I don't know if there's a fixed wing mission later in the list.

Colonel J
08-11-2011, 06:26 PM
Kinda related question while we're on the subject of flight. I was in a game where my team's Spawn Beacon was floating way up at altitude of a couple of hundred feet in the air, presumably someone threw it out of a heli? It stayed there for the usual duration. A bug exploit - or an intended feature of beacons for para assaults?? (weird, if the latter..)

Alex Bakke
08-11-2011, 06:55 PM
Jet tips:

1. Lock-on missiles are largely useless for taking out other jets. Unless they don't have flares (Which if they don't, they're likely inexperienced) It's relatively easy and a lot quicker to take out said jets with the cannon instead. It's silent up until the point when you fire, so you can sneak up on them (Providing they're not using the radar perk thing). One good burst will disable a jet.

2. Stay in third-person mode until you're about to try to lock on (But you shouldn't be doing that... ;) ) or when you're about to fire the cannon. Third-person mode is a lot easier to track an evasive jet with, and will do wonders for your peripheral vision.

The downside? You're fucked when you go into a hardcore server.

3. The best ways to avoid a lock from ground targets or helicopters are to either get as low as possible, and then burn straight back to your home base, or to get as high as possible (You risk stalling, though.). Jets are the only thing that can keep up with you, so assuming you're only being locked by ground targets you should be able to get away before they can even get a solid lock, let alone fire a missile.

4. The best way to avoid a crafty jet who's on your tail is to decelerate as much as possible. Most times I've tried this, enemy pilots don't suspect it and shoot straight past you. Beware of stalling, however! If you angle your jet slightly downwards you should avoid this.

If that's not working, here's another tactic: When banking hard to avoid a jet, remember that when you change bank direction to confuse him, you'll hover in the centre of his reticule for a second, making it easier to lock/kill you. When changing direction, bank perpendicularly to the last direction. Slightly more unexpected.

5. When being locked: Don't panic! There are three tones that sound in sequence when you're being locked:

The first is a low 'beep-beep-beep-beep'. This is fine. Do not panic. That means that someone's trying to get a lock on you, so you have plenty of time to maneuver away.

The second is a low 'beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep'. This tells you that you've been locked, and the attacker can fire a missile at any time. Once again, do not panic. You want to save your flares until the very last moment. If you pop them before he's fired, then you'll be at a disadvantage once he's relocked (Which takes less time after flares) and fired.

This is what separates the foolish from the calm. Experienced missile users will wait for the pilot to panic and use his/her flares. If this is the case, and you're following my tips on how to escape locks (above), then you should be able to get away in time before they give up waiting and fire.

The third, is a high-pitched 'De-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de!) DON'T PANIC. As soon as you hear this tone, you need to pop flares. This means that a missile's been fired at you. Or several! Joy. Just pop those flares.

When the flares are popped, you'll a 5 second (May be a bit more) period until you can use them again. That means that you need to get away as fast as possible from the source of the missile - Often the best solution is to just burn back to base.

6. If you're in a jet, you really don't want to be on the enemy's half of the map. Ideally you should be within a short distance of your home base most of the time. That way, you'll be over the bases' AA defense. (Assuming someone on your team is competent enough to be using it... Grumble grumble.)


___________

This is all probably very, very obvious. But I've killed a lot of foolish pilots/survived a lot of locks this way.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 07:16 PM
Kinda related question while we're on the subject of flight. I was in a game where my team's Spawn Beacon was floating way up at altitude of a couple of hundred feet in the air, presumably someone threw it out of a heli? It stayed there for the usual duration. A bug exploit - or an intended feature of beacons for para assaults?? (weird, if the latter..)

I think that's the point of spawn beacons, and it must be intended as I've had it several times. It lets you approach the location in a number of ways as opposed to landing in an easily anticipated spot for the enemy to shoot at.

Also, I know it's largely pointless nowadays, but is it possible to land your planes again? It was in BF1942.

Nalano
08-11-2011, 07:40 PM
I think that's the point of spawn beacons, and it must be intended as I've had it several times. It lets you approach the location in a number of ways as opposed to landing in an easily anticipated spot for the enemy to shoot at.

Yeah. Put a spawn beacon inside and you spawn on top of it. Put it outside and you airdrop onto it.

Colonel J
08-11-2011, 07:49 PM
Yeah. Put a spawn beacon inside and you spawn on top of it. Put it outside and you airdrop onto it.

Ah, thanks that makes sense. Nearly of the beacons I'd spawned to were indoors so the airdrop was a WTF moment the first time it happened. Another one to add to the list of Obvious Stuff in BF3 MP I Wish Someone Had Told Me From The Get-go.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 07:52 PM
The 360 version at least (as that's where all my friends are playing) comes with the smallest manual I've yet seen, a feat of some determination on EA's behalf. Very little is explained in the 'in-game manual' either.

How I'd love a manual of 15 years ago, with detailed descriptions of the weapons and vehicles and different things you could do... surely a Battlefield game deserves it?

Nalano
08-11-2011, 07:54 PM
The 360 version at least (as that's where all my friends are playing) comes with the smallest manual I've yet seen, a feat of some determination on EA's behalf. Very little is explained in the 'in-game manual' either.

How I'd love a manual of 15 years ago, with detailed descriptions of the weapons and vehicles and different things you could do... surely a Battlefield game deserves it?

Look, just because they spent $70 million on an ad campaign doesn't mean they can afford to hire a writer for $50k a year to make 100 picture-covered pages with basic English on them.

metalangel
08-11-2011, 08:03 PM
You're right, of course. How ungrateful of me.

psyk
08-11-2011, 09:03 PM
Gunning in an attack chopper with no 3rd person view kills spotting.

3rd person view = cockpit view WTF??

Dolphan
08-11-2011, 09:46 PM
I practiced a bit, still couldn't do anything, got frustrated and dug out my USB 360 pad wireless connector. Still hard, but much better - I've actually shot down a couple of planes! 3rd person view (default is clicking the right stick to switch, which is handy) is pretty good for flying around until you find a target to home in on.

Vandelay
08-11-2011, 10:48 PM
Yeah. Put a spawn beacon inside and you spawn on top of it. Put it outside and you airdrop onto it.

I think smaller maps might not have air drops. I would imagine none of the urban maps do, with them probably being reserved for maps with air vehicles.

I've only taken a helicopter and jet up once each and neither was particularly successful. The jet seemed okay to control, if all you want to do was stay in the air, but I never actually managed to even get near shooting someone else. Whilst flying the helicopter ended very abruptly, when I started going backwards straight after taking off.

Tams80
08-11-2011, 11:50 PM
You get used to flying helicopters after a while. In BF2 it took me a while; I flipped backwards pretty straight away at first too. Eventually I was zooming just above the trees and buildings blowing up half the vehicles on the map.

westyfield
09-11-2011, 12:25 AM
If you fly with keyboard only then why not just use spacebar to fire weapons?


Aiming while flying with arrow keys is like trying to eat pasta with canoe paddles.

This, essentially. Arrow keys allow you to manoeuvre better when you need to turn or climb sharply, mouse lets you fine-tune your aim for the kill. Unless you're using missiles, in which case you don't really need to be precise.

Moraven
10-11-2011, 07:20 AM
Been able to fly helicopters well, still got it from BF2. Was never good wit jets or planes in 1942, more of a tanker.

It is painful to get that first 400 points in a jet so you have flares. After that now I get shot to hell by more than one missle or have 2 jets on me. Was lucky enough to get a couple heli kills and Jet kill for those 1st points.


I wish they gave more points to Blackhawk pilots. I kept one up for almost the entire Rush map but you only get 10 (20) for assist points. Blackhawk with 2 gunners and 1 engineer is deadly.

Have had some crazy intense moments to control my disabled copter to land and repair it. They have been one of the most thrilling.

The Pink Ninja
10-11-2011, 08:43 PM
Hmmmm, my admittedly limited experience with BF2 is that

1) Fighters and choppers were damn hard to get and harder to fly/learn to fly

2) A good jet pilot is immune to attacks from the ground and can rip up/pin down a whole opposing team with bombs

Is this still true? For me they were pretty much the most annoying aspect of the game.

Spork
10-11-2011, 09:56 PM
In my experience aircraft aren't too hard to get because you can spawn into them. 32 player maps seem your best bet. Having a variable-sensitivity mouse helps for jets.

Jets don't get bombs, they do unlock rockets and guided missiles later on (I haven't got that far yet, but the missiles need teamwork) but until then you're limited to strafing runs with cannon, which aren't amazingly effective.

I didn't play BF2 but jets seem well balanced to me. I've never been really suppressed by a jet; choppers are better at it but a couple of good stinger crews can solve that. And it's amazing how many pilots forget about static base defences.

Just my 2p.

westyfield
10-11-2011, 11:23 PM
Jets were hilariously OP in BF2. They had cannons, air-to-air missiles, and unguided bombs that did massive damage. Add to that the F35's ability to hover and you essentially have a super-fast helicopter gunship where the gunner and pilot are the same person. Disadvantages were that all the weapons had limited ammo - from what I remember you got two sets of bombs, four missiles, and several thousand cannon shells. You had to fly over the runway slowly or land to rearm and repair.
They were, for me, easier to fly than in BF3. Much less vulnerable to anti-air because you had flares from the start and they lasted much longer, and the stall ceiling was much higher. Also, BF2's maps had more varied topography - there were more hills to hide behind.

Heliocentric
10-11-2011, 11:24 PM
In BF2 jets are good for two things, delivery and fighting jets, except the MEC 2 man fighter which is the iron fist of the god of war. I used to team up with a friend in that thing and it was insane, sometimes I even had a commander calling in targets for us and we flat out cleaned up... Regular jets never hurt anyone meaningfully though.

Moraven
11-11-2011, 12:30 AM
Hmmmm, my admittedly limited experience with BF2 is that

1) Fighters and choppers were damn hard to get and harder to fly/learn to fly

2) A good jet pilot is immune to attacks from the ground and can rip up/pin down a whole opposing team with bombs

Is this still true? For me they were pretty much the most annoying aspect of the game.

They can still be dominant if you don't have a couple stingers on the ground if your own Jet crews are out matched. Hard to use a heli when I have 2 jets with guns and missiles coming at me plus stingers from the ground. I can just spend my time evading and try to get a missile lock that I wont be able to follow up on after flares are gone.

Best defense is Mobile AA being in underneath where they engage.

The Pink Ninja
11-11-2011, 02:05 PM
I remember repated occasions where ground based missles were just easily avoided by the use of flares for entire matches.