I want to preface this that I am an air main. I like CAS in GRB. But I am willing to accept that changes are needed. But any and all changes should start out small, they can always be tuned up in the future or additional changes can be added. I strongly beleive the best solution will be found via incremental changes and not dramatic ones.
Additionally, please remember, not all aircraft are “CAS” and not all “CAS” is equal in strength, some are definetly strong, but just because a few are strong, does not mean that all “CAS” are strong
Any suggestions like making bombs do less damage are simply unreasonable in my opinion, that would destroy the integrity of the game and I believe are totally unncessary, adequate balance can be acheived without resorting to such ideas
There are several mains areas in which I think improvements could be acheived without unnecessarily impacting either side
Currently. SPAA is probably too weak. So:
- Increase SPAA performance
- Lower the BR of most SPAA
- Increase the number of SPAA to fill in gaps
- Add more modern/capable SPAA
Additional improvements like
- Increase SPAA rewards
- Additonal SPAA value (like scouting, including maybe with a drone) would help early game too
Would encourage players to use them more.
There is also CAP. It is the most effective counter to any CAS but it currently costs way too much to spawn in a fighter to defeat other CAS aircraft. So making fighters cheaper to spawn would help to.
(Because CAP or CAS is such a grey area. Reduce SP cost of all planes, but increase base cost of all A2G weapons to compensate (you should not be able to first spawn either CAP, CAS or heli, but you should be able to bring in a half decent CAP fairly early game) )
Applying balanced “mitigation” to CAS
- All CAS to spawn on AFs (but there should be 2 AFs to choose between) (heavy bombers may need to keep air spawn, but they could spawn further away or at a lower altitude instead)
- Move Heli spawns further away, (beyond 6-8kms) (maybe even add heli spawns onto AFs, this would allow for AF AA to be re-activated)
- Increase SP cost of specific weapons (I.e the large bombs on Lancaster and Pe-8) by an appropriate amount
- Increase SP costs for the amount of A2G weapons carried (2x Hellfire would cost a lot less than 16 for example)
- Dynamic SP costs of A2G weapons on a case by case basis and from BR to BR (a 1k unguided bomb on a BR3 fighter is very strong, but a 1k unguided bomb on a top tier sub-sonic really isnt that strong)
- Increase Heli SP cost to prevent first spawn
- Remove strike drones (or change them to be recon only)
- reasonable changes (increases and decreases) to the base cost of aircraft, but on a case by case basis
- Add a small SP cost for targetting pods (increasing depending on what gen thermal it has 0-3)
- Exponential spawn costs for aircraft over the current ground max BR (so current 12 and 12.3 aircraft for example would have an SP cost multiplier as the max BR of ground is only 11.7)
- Decrease the SP cost of lower value A2G weapons as they become less effective.
(unguided weapons like bombs and rockets at low to medium tier are hightly effective, but at top tier, unguided weapons have more limited value, especially as you are more exposed to SPAA. Decreasing their SP Cost slightly might encourage them to be used over the more effective precision weapons at top tier)
Add scouting to Targeting pods (but doesnt provide SP) so players in planes might be encouraged to support teammates rather than use A2G weapons (maybe this idea, not sure)
There are also a few general areas of improvement that could help dramatically as well:. The biggest in my opinion is improved plane and especially heli damage models. Currently Helis can tank way more damage than they should be able to. Often continuing to fight long after they should be a smoldering pile of wreckage. So dramatically overhauling plane and heli damage models would both increase the effectiveness of SPAA (or even just close in weapon systems like MGs on a tank) But also just generally improve the quality of the game
Another area for change is Aircraft Battle Ratings. Currently their battle ratings are determined for both air modes and ground modes concurrently. This means that some aircraft have BRs that are too low in GRB so that they are playable in ARB or vice versa. Seperating the BR of aircraft for ARB and GRB would mean those that are performing well in ground modes can be moved up to a more appropriate BR but can remain effective and playable within air modes. Aircraft like the Su-39, A-10, Tornado, etc all seem to be impacted by this. Allowing for aircraft BRs to be adjusted specifically for ground would dramatically improve balance.
CAS is only perticuarly effective in WT because the gamemode is just well designed for it. Small cap points, predictable spawn points, overall small maps, etc etc.
- Add new gamemodes with different objective types
- Increase map sizes
- Dramatically redesign spawn points (making them both larger and more numerous)
Alternative gamemode options
To be honest. In my opinion, a big issue (maybe the biggest) with “CAS” at the moment, is that GRB is often the best place for it. Most strike aircraft/bombers just dont really have anywhere else good to go (especially if you dont like sim) This forces players into GRB, even if they arent too bothered by the gamemode.
So improving AAB, ARB and ASB to be better suited for “CAS” aircraft and maybe the addition of an RB EC type gamemode that would better suit CAS gameplay (SB is by far the best gamemode for aircraft like the Tornado, but its certainly not as good as it could be and not all like the restriction that come from SB) would perhaps reduce the amount of players using CAS within ground modes.
Additionally… Heli EC… It is such a bad gamemode (not only in design but in general buggyness) that I understand why no one would want to play it. Only reason I personally got to top tier in GRB was just so that I had a better gamemode to finally fly a heli in. So maybe a decent Heli gamemode(s), even if that is just a dramatically improved Heli EC. Would reduce the amount of helis in ground gamemodes (in my opinion, this is the number 1 reason for “heli spam” in ground modes currently)
As a bit of a side note on this topic. There are many more advanced A2G weapons that have yet to be added that would likely be way too strong currently and maybe impossible to ever truly balance in the future. Weapons like CBUs, HARM and advanced AGMs. But despite that fact. I do not believe these weapons should be omitted just for the sake of “ground balance” so as a possible solution to this, would be to disable these weapons within ground modes until such time they would be more balanced, allowing for them to be added far sooner.
A good example for this soon™ would be Brimstone. It would be a very fun weapon system to have on future British aircraft like the Tornado Gr4, but would be way too strong at the moment. So if it was restricted to air modes, and therefore ai targets. It could be added whenever without having to wait for ground to “catch up”. HARM, would also be a similar addition, AI SPAA in SB is way too strong currently, so a dedicated hard counter would be good (and allow for bugs to sorted out before adding to ground modes in the future)