Leonard takes a look at what the currently most powerful perk in PlanetSide 2 can do for you and your ESF.
For some twisted abominable reason, it was the 9/11 hotfix that broke a hell lot of things in the game, among them PlanetSide 2’s shaky lock-on and flares mechanics, rendering Decoy Flares effectively useless for a harsh long time. A horror scenario for any ESF pilot! And Sony was much, much too slow to react.
And it’s since the 9/11 patch that I’m on strike, a bitter strike that hinges on the basic principle — on the promise — of never running Decoy Flares again on any of my ESFs precisely because flares are useless and expendable, much too situational and far too cert-expensive in this game even if they do work perfectly, as intended.
New World Order
Running Fire Suppression over Decoy Flares is in itself not a new, ground-breaking idea. In fact, it’s as much an old hat as can be and was mainly favored by Mosquito pilots back in the day. Considering Terrans never ever have to face the much dreaded Striker missile launcher, that’s a rather clever loadout path to tread on.
Historically speaking, the perk has always shone in dogfights, practically serving you a health boost in the heat of battle on a golden platter with a big “You’re welcome!” pennant on top. With Game Update 13, Fire Suppression got buffed so hard that even non-Terrans will want to pack this perk up for use in their fuel pods loadouts.
Unlike ever before, Fire Suppression is now a truly universal perk. At the bare minimum, it provides you a beefy repair buff whenever you feel like it. At its best, it extinguishes any fire you got aboard, takes you instantly from the red zone into the green zone, then grants you the 5-second repair buff on top of it.
The other sweet thing: once the repair buff has faded away, (maximum) Nanite Auto-Repair is ready to almost seamlessly take over the rest of the repair job. A devilish perk combo well known to every Liberator crew indeed, and one that allows ESFs pilot more than any other loadout to go Light Assault without much of a drawback!
I bet that most of the time Decoy Flares just collect dust in that precious utility slot of yours they’re taking up. Decoy Flares only work — if they work — against lock-ons and missiles for a tiny window of time. Fire Suppression on the other hand always works against anything all the time and irrespective of threat or situation at hand.
Bumped up against something? Use Fire Suppression. Taking any chip damage? Use Fire Suppression. Being bombarded by flak? Use Fire Suppression. Gonna eat a missile? Use Fire Suppression. Need help in a thrillingly close dogfight? Dude, bro, just use Fire Suppression for the win! Can you honestly say all that of Decoy Flares? Of course not.
Under the bottom line, whatever situation you are in, Fire Suppression is never a dead perk to have nor ever a useless perk to activate. Its high level of versatility makes it the truly most powerful ESF certification line in all of PlanetSide 2 right after its big brother, Nanite Auto-Repair.
Not for the Fainthearted
Although it’s the much cheaper certification line of the two, Fire Suppression is not exactly for beginners. You have to be familiar enough with the nuts and bolts of the air game in order to even have the ability of being mindful enough, at all times, of potential lock-on sources and their potential directions or locations.
I’d argue that Decoy Flares proactively incentivizes pilots to overextend themselves, whereas Fire Suppression does not. How often have we experienced ourselves a story like “Aw, I have flares, I don’t need to disengage because of some wild lock-on” turn into a shitstorm of burning debris? Well, probably often enough.
With Fire Suppression installed, you are forced to be watchful to never overextend in that regard because you have to react to lock-ons immediately, otherwise you’re dead. “Stay low or stay high” is the golden rule for flying with Fire Suppression as well, but, more often than not, has to be taken to extremes here.
If it’s low, the nose of your ESF better kiss the ground during which you mostly use freelook in first-person view (middle mouse button) to scout ahead, sideways, and above in order to acquire targets. If it’s high, you’re usually 600-700m high (MSL) and thereby out of range of enemy infantry and armor but still within render distance for spotting ground armor.
In general you’ll find yourself in situations where you have to reverse-thrust in tight spaces and very close to the ground and to structures. If worse comes to worse, you still have your fuel pods to fall back on for a speedy retreat from precarious situations behind the next best cover or until you reach the next safe haven.
That’s it for this post. You can find links to helpful videos and other articles related to this topic further down below.
As always thanks for reading. See you on Auraxis!
- “Finding lockon sources and dodging lockon missiles” (by Hader)
- 4-Hour Livestream Session with Woodman’s SatoTR (by Sato)
- On Dodging Air-to-Air Missiles (by Leonard)