Spadar compares the old days of hover dogfighting with today and draws his own conclusions.
A well-respected member of the pilot community, Spadar is probably one of the last active first-generation aces remaining. He has been making many ESF tutorial videos ever since the game’s release in 2012 as well as conducting research on the game’s flight mechanics in general (check out his Youtube channel). More recently, after a hiatus from the game, he has swung himself back into the pilot seat. Spadar plays on Connery.
I actually occasionally get told (almost entirely by Scythe pilots) that I’m not as good in a dogfight as I appear in my videos. Something people don’t really take account of is that most of my dogfighting videos are from over six months ago, when the Scythe was comparatively much weaker than it is now.
Back then, to break it down in nutshell, all default nose guns had the same velocity (lower than the current), rotaries dealt more damage at mid ranges, and nerfs to maneuvering weren’t present.
The air game is much different now from what it used to be. Combat maneuvering matters relatively little. For the most part it just consists of drifting around with vertical thrust while focusing on hitting your target, changing direction every once in a while to throw off your opponent’s aim. Combat also tends to take place over much larger distances since the default nose guns are the go-to choice in most cases, further trending away from maneuvering as a requirement and towards accuracy.
The general tactic for any competent Scythe or Mosquito pilot engaging a Reaver should be to use his vertical thrust maneuvering to maintain as much distance as possible. The longer the range, the larger advantage you have. Though in this instance the only benefit the Mosquito gains is from its smaller hitbox, thicker tracer stream, and higher damage output over longer periods of time; whereas the Scythe has the smaller hitbox, thicker tracer stream, higher damage output over longer periods, and faster projectile velocity.
The Reaver’s strengths are greatly weighted towards close-range burst damage. But, as range increases and the duration of the engagement increases, the Reaver is at an increasing disadvantage. A dogfight between two “ace” pilots who have equal awareness of each other is unlikely to end quickly, and it’s not difficult to be aware of your opponent long before they’re engaging you. This is why we see the Scythe winning in one-versus-one dogfighting tournaments almost exclusively, since the Scythe benefits the most from long-duration, long-range engagements.
I find these dogfights stale and slow paced if I’m to be completely honest. As a result, I don’t really have much tolerance for “dueling” in the current air meta and, by extension, for the new generation of trash-talking pilots who constantly challenge me to duels when I take advantage of them in an open-air environment on Live.
In comparison, the dogfights of over six months ago were a bit different. The ranges at which you could effectively engage were much shorter, and you could maneuver with your afterburners for longer. This made the fight much more about positioning and taking advantage of your opponent’s openings than the current accuracy contests we have.