Missile Gripes Pt.1

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Ok, so we haven't really had a good in-game thread in a little while. So I thought I'd start up my old gripes again as they seemed to be pretty popular. Today I'm going to gripe about the basic Missles we all know and love... or in some cases, we just know.

1. Javelin HS

Pros:

... I'll get back to you.

Cons:
For a missile that takes locking on time, this thing loses its lock way too easily. #1 you have to be directly on your enemies tail to even get a lock in the first place. So if the enemy turns, forget it, and once it loses a lock, it can go after you or a wingman.

How to evade: Move your joystick to the left... seriously thats it, list lazily to the left or right and that should throw it off.

How to use: Don't if you can. With a moving target, make sure you are close, really close, which makes it worthless against anything with a turret.


2. Imrec

Pros:
It doesn't lose sight of it's target until it runs out of fuel so no FF casualties.

Cons:
It's a little sluggish locking on.

How to Evade: Go evasive and hit your afterburners. I personally love when I have one of these on my tail and turn around, head straight at an enemy until, and then pull away at the last second. BAM!!!

How to use: Try not to be too close to anything with a turret, it can blow up in your face quite literally causing blindness for a split second.


3. IFF
Pros:
Love this missile. Fire and forget.

Cons:
Well... it goes after the closest target, which is not always the one you are chasing. I like to ditch these early in the battle to take care of a fighter screen.

How to Evade: Same as Imrec, but usually easier.

How to use: Wait until you have a lot of re blips on your screen... THEN LET LOOSE!


4.Dart DF

Pros:
No lock time.

Cons:
In some cases a bit slow and no guidence.

How to Evade: You know what, if you don't know how to evade a dumbfire, stop playing Wing Commander right now.

How to use: I know most people like to use these as secondary torpedos and sure you can... but it's more effective to use them against close fighters. Line it up, launch and KABOOM! Instant kill. Plus it impresses your wingmen.


5. Mace

Pros:
It's a nuke that can take out a shit load of enemy fighters or a capship.

Cons:
It can take you out just as easily.

How to Evade: Non- issue, usually they aren't used by wingmen. If they are... bend over, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye because you won't see it coming in time to do anything.

How to use: Timing is everything with these. Once you arrive at a nav point, target a group of enemy fighters and launch before they got a shot off. Once the missile is close enough, shoot it down. That should take out the enemy ships. Like I said, timing is everything, you launch too soon, all you get is a fireworks display. Too late, they shoot it down and it kills you. It's also good as a dumbfire torpedo.

Those are the basics. I'll post about the WC4/P ones later.
 

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
In privateer and wing3 i usually use Imrecs. While flying Thud or the Centurion Imrecs are the only thing you need... While flying a Longbow I tend to use IFFs because the bomber is not as maneuverable as lighter fighters.

I just LOVE to use Dubfires as well.. they are effective on stationary targets like transports or corvettes (wing3) but one can use them effectively on fighters too..
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
those proton torpedos in privateer are my favorites for sheer destructiveness and ability to fire in rapid succession (burst of 3, find new target)
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
The thing with Javelins is that they were never supposed to stand alone as a missile you would choose if you had your choice. Just like you would never choose to fly a Hornet or a Scimitar if you had the option of flying a Raptor or Rapier, or choose to fly a Hellcat if you had the option of an Excalibur.

The main selling point of a Javelin HS is that it was better than a Dumbfire.

Remember, in WC1 and WC2, you couldn't pick your missile loadouts. Your fighter would have set missiles on it. If it was a heavy fighter, it would have one or two "good" missiles (imrecs or FF's), and the rest would be Darts and Javelins. The Scimitar was a big upgrade over the Hornet (in some folk's eyes) because it carried the same two Darts, but 3 Javelins instead of 1. And 3 guided missiles instead of 1 is a definite improvement, even if they aren't very good guided missiles.

Remember, in real life, how good a missile is at shooting things down isn't the only factor in whether it gets used. Maintainability, safety, longevity, ease of repair, availability, and most importantly, COST, are all major factors in whether a missile gets used. In today's airforce, the AMAARAM (or however you spell it) is a superior missile to the heat-seeking Sidewinder. But some of our fighters still carry Sidewinders because they're much cheaper. If cost wasn't an issue, every pilot in WC Prophecy would have been flying Vampires, Devastators, and Lances.

Standoff flirted with this idea...if I recall correctly, in the prologue, all you have to play with are Darts and Javelins, because that's all a destroyer patrolling the backwater in a time of peace and disarmament would probably have.

One of the big complaints I had with WC3/4 is that you were allowed to customize your missile loadout to the degree you were, somewhat unrealistically. The war is being lost, missiles are probably getting scarce, and yet you can just load up your fighter with the rarest and most expensive missiles out there as often as you want? Maybe it was a perk of being Squadron Commander (or CAG? Was Blair the Victory's CAG?). But it basically led to your gripe...obviously, you'd never pick a Javelin when you could pick an Imrec or FF.

I recall hearing at some point that the plan was originally to have the better missiles require a beefier hardpoint, so that the Arrow only be able to carry Darts and Javelins. That would have actually made sense...it always struck me as odd that a smaller lighter fighter (the Arrow) would carry more missiles that were just as powerful as the ones carried by a larger, more powerful fighter (the Hellcat or Thunderbolt).
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
The thing with Javelins is that they were never supposed to stand alone as a missile you would choose if you had your choice. Just like you would never choose to fly a Hornet or a Scimitar if you had the option of flying a Raptor or Rapier, or choose to fly a Hellcat if you had the option of an Excalibur.
Yes I would! I love the Scim! No I'm serious!


One of the big complaints I had with WC3/4 is that you were allowed to customize your missile loadout to the degree you were, somewhat unrealistically. The war is being lost, missiles are probably getting scarce, and yet you can just load up your fighter with the rarest and most expensive missiles out there as often as you want? Maybe it was a perk of being Squadron Commander (or CAG? Was Blair the Victory's CAG?). But it basically led to your gripe...obviously, you'd never pick a Javelin when you could pick an Imrec or FF.

That kind of bothered me too. Using the missiles I hated with a vengeance was part of the skill of flying.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
gotta agree with plebefrosty on the scimitar.. I hated the rapier in wc1

Well hate is such a strong word. It was a solid fighter and I did like the Neutron guns. I usually refer to it as Nuetron Rapier. They just seemed to pack more of a punch then the guns on the Particle Rapier.

I love the Scim because of the rapid fire from the Mass Drivers, THAT WAS FUN! Also I dunno why, but the cockpit on that ship is still my favorite.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
One of the big complaints I had with WC3/4 is that you were allowed to customize your missile loadout to the degree you were, somewhat unrealistically. The war is being lost, missiles are probably getting scarce, and yet you can just load up your fighter with the rarest and most expensive missiles out there as often as you want? Maybe it was a perk of being Squadron Commander (or CAG? Was Blair the Victory's CAG?). But it basically led to your gripe...obviously, you'd never pick a Javelin when you could pick an Imrec or FF.

In WC3 there were desperate times, and I think costs would not be important in this case. You would throw at the enemy whatever you had. Now on the Intrepid that was different I think, and you also hear Pliers talk about "Dumbfires are easy to make and the warhead is big", As well as "Confed has shiploads of these", that would imply that it did matter to him somewhat, since obviously their recources were scarse(A good reason for Pliers to scrap the confederation Hellcats for spare parts). Possibly it was planned at some point that the intrepid carried only a limited amount of fighters, missiles, etc. But they scrapped that idea for gameplay problems like being unable to run the MIPS-mission if you had already scrapped all avengers earlier in the game.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
In WC3 there were desperate times, and I think costs would not be important in this case. You would throw at the enemy whatever you had.
If you take a moment to think about this, you will realise that your statement is a vast, vast, glaring contradiction. If times are desperate, and you throw whatever you have at the enemy, then costs of production are more important than ever.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
or choose to fly a Hellcat if you had the option of an Excalibur.

Or anything else. :p

I recall hearing at some point that the plan was originally to have the better missiles require a beefier hardpoint, so that the Arrow only be able to carry Darts and Javelins. That would have actually made sense...it always struck me as odd that a smaller lighter fighter (the Arrow) would carry more missiles that were just as powerful as the ones carried by a larger, more powerful fighter (the Hellcat or Thunderbolt).

I think it makes more sense the way it is... as far as I know, harpoints are just holes/racks to stick your missiles in, so as long as they fit I don't see any reason why more 'advanced' types wouldn't go in the Arrow's missile-holes. I suppose it was a bit strange that the Arrow carried as many missiles as it did, though.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
If you take a moment to think about this, you will realise that your statement is a vast, vast, glaring contradiction. If times are desperate, and you throw whatever you have at the enemy, then costs of production are more important than ever.

It depends on the source of your desperation, I do not think money or recources were limited, but only the time you had to use them. The weapons were probably being mass-produced, and if you score a higher killratio with Imrecs, you are free to use Imrecs, and for resupply you probably would not order anything but Imrecs or IFF's, no matter the cost of the individual components. In the pacific airwar the US were also rushing new, more advanced and probably more expensive planes to the frontlines because they would prove to be more effective.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
I think it makes more sense the way it is... as far as I know, harpoints are just holes/racks to stick your missiles in, so as long as they fit I don't see any reason why more 'advanced' types wouldn't go in the Arrow's missile-holes. I suppose it was a bit strange that the Arrow carried as many missiles as it did, though.

The missile probably requires some electronics so your targeting systems can interface with the missile, and maybe the arrow's systems could not handle them.
 

Farlander

Rear Admiral
I too, would fly the Scim over the Rapier. Not the Raptor though. That's the best ship in the game.

Truth. I was pretty disappointed when I actually got to fly the fighter in the game. The manual and the dialog built it up as the greatest thing ever, but once I got to fly it, it wasn't as good as the Raptor I was just flying. Oh well.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
The missile probably requires some electronics so your targeting systems can interface with the missile, and maybe the arrow's systems could not handle them.

Very good point.

On today's aircraft, it takes a lot more than just being able to physically bolt on to an airplane before a missile/bomb can fly on it. In general, before a given munition can fly on a particular aircraft, there has to be extensive design work to make sure every system of the missile interfaces with the control systems of the aircraft, plus 1-3 years of rigorous testing to certify all kinds of safety and reliability requirements. Now granted, I'm sure in wartime these requirements could be relaxed so the problem could be accelerated, but it's not just a simple matter of "if it fits, fly it". In fact, even getting attachment bolt patterns to line up across different craft can be a challenge.

It would be perfectly reasonable for some fighters to carry some missiles and not others, and I would think the easiest missiles to standardize across a wide variety of fighters would be Darts and Javelins, which presumably are totally self contained in their guidance systems, and don't need much interfacing with the firing platform.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
The missile probably requires some electronics so your targeting systems can interface with the missile, and maybe the arrow's systems could not handle them.

It would be perfectly reasonable for some fighters to carry some missiles and not others, and I would think the easiest missiles to standardize across a wide variety of fighters would be Darts and Javelins, which presumably are totally self contained in their guidance systems, and don't need much interfacing with the firing platform.

Yeah, I though about that, but it seems strange not to make the Arrow, as presented in WC3 capable of carrying all missile types. I think WC3 could have done the whole selection thing better than it did (more distinct ship classes, similar to Armada, for starters,) but the way they ended up doing it (fairly similar ships, one faster, one shootier, etc) worked pretty well with the current missile system.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Or anything else. :p

I think, as people that play these games over and over, we kind of miss the point of the Hellcat. Yes, if you know what you're up against, you'll take an Arrow, Thunderbolt, or Longbow instead of a 'Cat every time. If you have a need for speed, the Arrow is faster and more maneuverable, and almost as well armed. If you need firepower, the T-Bolt leaves the 'Cat in the dirt, and is only slightly more unweildy. And if you have loads of capships to take down, nothing tops a Longbow.

But the point of the Hellcat is that it could do any and all of those things at the same time, even if it did none of them particularly well. We know the best fighter to use in every situation, and it's never the Hellcat. But think back to the first time you played the game... you had no clue if you'd face corvette after corvette, swarms of light fighters, loads of Vaktoth, Paktahn making unexpected attacks against a Confed ally you'd happen upon, or a heavy cruiser. In this situation, better take a Hellcat, because nothing sucked more than trying to intercept fast things in a Thunderbolt, unless it was trying to take down a corvette (or worse, a cruiser) in an Arrow.

Also, the Hellcat was the only ship I found in WC3 save the Excalibur that could tangle with Vaktoth well. The Arrow's armor was too light to play with it's reargun, and it's weapons were too weak to punch through its shields. The T-bolt (and certainly the Longbow) couldn't keep up with them, given their tendency to afterburn away from you all the time. But the Cat could stay with them, ignore their rear gun, and punch through their shields and armor.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
But the point of the Hellcat is that it could do any and all of those things at the same time, even if it did none of them particularly well. We know the best fighter to use in every situation, and it's never the Hellcat. But think back to the first time you played the game... you had no clue if you'd face corvette after corvette, swarms of light fighters, loads of Vaktoth, Paktahn making unexpected attacks against a Confed ally you'd happen upon, or a heavy cruiser. In this situation, better take a Hellcat, because nothing sucked more than trying to intercept fast things in a Thunderbolt, unless it was trying to take down a corvette (or worse, a cruiser) in an Arrow.

... no i still took the Tbolt most times and faired pretty well. I used the Hellcat only when absolutely necessary. Which is why pretty much the entire first disk of WC4 Sucked.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It depends on the source of your desperation, I do not think money or recources were limited, but only the time you had to use them. The weapons were probably being mass-produced, and if you score a higher killratio with Imrecs, you are free to use Imrecs, and for resupply you probably would not order anything but Imrecs or IFF's, no matter the cost of the individual components. In the pacific airwar the US were also rushing new, more advanced and probably more expensive planes to the frontlines because they would prove to be more effective.
I don't think the war in the Pacific is a good analogy. The US was biggest industrial power in the world at the time, and it was trying to crush a backwards island nation (backwards? Yes, backwards - for all its progress, Japan just wasn't comparable to the US) as quickly as possible and with as few casualties as possible. On the other hand, Confed is nearing collapse - we know that if Blair fails, a few days later the Kilrathi overrun Earth once and for all. We also know the cause behind this - the Kilrathi had inflicted a huge amount of demage to Confed industries during the Battle of Terra campaign. I think it's reasonable to assume that costs of production are an issue.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
One thing that I'm surprised hasn't come up here more is the damage difference between the Heat Seeker and Friend or Foe. In general, most games give the HS missiles a much beefier warhead than the IFFs. You have to make a conscious decision considering the tradeoffs. A rack of slightly more difficult to use HS missiles packs a much heavier punch than a bunch of FF misiles that will just scatter around.

The different hardpoint 'sizes' thing did get implemented, although we mainly see it in terms of torpedo capable or not. But later in WC4, for example, you can pack Mace Missiles in the heavier slots and not in others.
 
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