Friday, April 19, 2013

What about the Fighter Aircraft?

The moment occurred way back at EVE Fanfest 2009, but it was something that made players take notice. The recently announced MMOFPS that would be tied together with EVE, Dust 514, had just revealed Fighter Aircraft. And although the dev who piloted it crashed twenty seconds after takeoff, the implications were obvious. The speed of the fighter, VTOL capability, the altitude it flew at [which was much higher than the tallest structures on the map] and the fact that it would probably have an assortment of weaponry options meant that it would be a force to be reckoned with. Here's a link to the footage if you havent seen it.

The only problem is that four years later, FA still have yet to make their appearance to the dismay of a large percentage of players. With its speed and the potential array of weapons, the FA is the dream of many Dust 514 mercs who are also skilled pilots. We wonder however, if air combat and ground combat will be separated like the are in Battlefield. While FA can attack tanks and other aircraft in BF3 its difficult for them to attack infantry. If FA retain VTOL like we've seen in past footage, however, they could be a nightmare for those of us with boots on the ground.

While tanks can often rule the current battlefield, many would argue that the skilled fighter pilot is the preeminent apex predator. The ability to drop in quickly and deliver mass destruction in a split second and then streak away in an instant are abilities few possess. Recent dialogue has focused on more vehicle balance and we happen to agree. The days of unlimited ammo for vehicles need to come to an end. Like we mentioned in our piece regarding HAVS, nothing on the Dust battlefield should have unlimited rounds. Not only is it inconsistent from a lore aspect, but its horrible from a tactical one. Can anyone imagine a FA with unlimited ammo? Able to spam devastating weaponry at will without ever concerning itself with rearming? As one of the threads on the official forum mentioned 'Weapon Spam from vehicles is the new Zerg Rush'. For that reason, we hope balance is at the heart of what we see from FA design. Here are some other questions we asked ourselves:

What about bombing runs? If ever there was an anti-infantry aspect to FA it is with bombing runs. The ability to damage an area is powerful indeed. While AOE weapons are necesary, we'd like to see them be skill-based and to be accompanied by a distinctive sound as well.

Will missiles be primarily AV weapons? Missiles do serious damage to vehicles at this stage. We can only assume the missiles from a FA would have lock-on capability. If this is the case they only would do splash damage to infantry. We wouldnt have much argument here.

Will Anti Air assets be critical? Yes. While aircraft will certainly counter each other. Adding FA makes assets that can attack them a necessity. Railguns would seem to be particularly effective.

What about ECM and Flares? For balance all aircraft would need a counter to anti-air. Perhaps we could see speed, maneuverability, ECM and flare modules as a means of aircraft evading those who would seek to destroy them.

Should fighters have low survivability? We say yes. The strength of FA lies in their speed & maneuverability. The tradeoff for that is protection. The last thing we'd like to see is FA hovering over an area with no fear of AV weaponry. Forge guns [and even swarms to a lesser degree] should give FA pilots nightmares.

As always, we'll continue to attempt to help promote and publish ideas that help establish, enhance and grow the Dust 514 community as much as we can. Have any ideas that need sharing? Would you like to join our staff as a writer? Be sure to contact us at


  1. +1 we want the jets!

  2. jets would be really sweet.

  3. Hell, Fighters, or Light Attack Aircraft as some have started calling them, are a primary reason I made a character for this game and got into the Closed Beta last year.

  4. cant wait for fighters!

  5. Add A10 style jets that aren't dogfighters but heavily armored/ shielded ground attack jets designed to do attack runs or hover depending on fitting.