Before I start, LRF is a great role, when used in the right hands. I am not saying the role itself is useless, I’m saying that many pilots who fly LRF become useless in the games they play in.
This is a problem I have been noticing for a while, but only in the past few weeks to month has it really become an issue. Too many players are using LRFs in a single match. I know the idea was suggested to limit the number of LRFs per game, but that is unfair, as it would prevent players from using a role they enjoy. I do wish, however, that players would learn to use the role in a lower tier (t1 or t2) before using it in an upper tier (t3+). Far too many players take an LRF into a game and sit in spawn, trying to hit people. This is a huge mis-use of the LRF. The LRF has great potential, both as a sniper and as a heavy gunship. My problem with the LRF is when 2-5 people take LRF in a game, but they have no clue how to use the ship, so they sit in spawn trying to shoot people with the sniper/torps (and most of the time failing). This essentially reduces their team’s total player count, as there are that many fewer players actually helping the team do objectives.
Some players are truly excellent with LRFs (Tillo and Aspari to name a couple).
My suggestions are that something be done to either force newbies to use LRF is a better way (a way that benefits the team more) or to encourage players to actually learn the role, instead of sit in the back missing every shot.
1.) Reduce resistances (by maybe 40-50 points) while the LRF is within a certain distance of spawn (maybe within 4k of spawn). This would encourage the LRF pilots to move away from spawn, and take up more tactical positions where they are actually useful.
2.) Change the special module to make it better the closer you get (to an extent). Making it do far more damage at close-range (4k-6k away) than it would do at long-range (9k-12k). This would encourage LRF pilots to be closer to the action, without being in the middle of it. This way, LRF pilots would be forced to use their primary weapons if enemies attack, instead of never having to worry about players killing them, since they are sitting in spawn.
3.) Give LRFs a bonus when they are within a certain proximity to teammates. (For example, a 5-10% damage increase when 2k away from at least 3 teammates). This would encourage the use of the heavy gunship mechanic of LRF, and encourage players to stick with their team and provide fire support.
I’m sure these options present certain balance issues or possible problems, but they are just a baseline to get started with. They could easily be modified to work.
Leave comments on other suggestions you may have.