I want to discuss the issue of hover balance properly with the community and bring up points and real evidence as to why I and many others believe they’re wildly unbalanced compared to the rest of the game.
I invite any hover advocates to bring up points or counter points to arguments made in this post instead of the usually downvote spamming as a way to show they truly care about the balance of the game rather than just having a bias; comments belittling or not engaging appropriately will be promptly ignored as this tends to happen within such threads.
Speed and maneurverability
Currently hovers are able to traverse up to 95kmh on VII hovers, at first this would seem like it makes them weak to wheels which can travel at 120kmh but in-game this speed difference is almost irrelevant:
Look at the weights and acceleration, 4 tonne, 4 blue wheels and cheetah/falcon fused kami vs a medium cab 9 hover 13 tonne hover and the speed is barely anything different, and remember the hover can just and do that in any direction at will with little inertia, I chose one of the heaviest hovers just as an example here. A wheeled build would be the only vehicle capable of catching a hover in the first place, yet the directional movement of a hover makes it impossible given enough open ground to back up or simple make hard enough turns to render a wheels turning circle obsolete.
A hovers speed allows it to dodge most projectile weapons given a reasonable amount of range between the hover and the fired weapon, anything that isn’t a scorpion shot or hitscan can simply be dodged by moving erratically or simply moving out the way while the shot is in flight. Hovers don’t fight up close until the match is a guaranteed win so you won’t have the opportunity to hit them otherwise; flanking to get a hit can be possible but any competent hover can just back away, take you out of cloak and kite a player using any other movement type.
Getting a flank on a hover is simply hoping they’re making a mistake or not paying attention, which is impractical when talking about actual balance, being 75kmh allowed wheeled builds to actually hunt down these hovers that are now practically uncatchable if they simply keep a bit of distance; which can be done on most maps.
Hovers currently tilt more when changing direction or moving due to weight distribution being taken into account more than previously; but anyone also saying that ‘they’re a bit wobbly’ just aren’t mounting their weapons to negate this miniscule little issue, mounting weapons inside and sideways makes then not only negate this wobbly behaviour but also armours them much better -
This coupled with the new aiming system means anyone can just point and click while moving any direction they want effortlessly, I hate hovers and never learned to use them but even I can just happily fly these things using my left stick like an arcade game -
Not to mention that 4-6 hover builds will just fly on their back hovers perfectly fine no problem, you have either destroy an entire side, or all of them, they will also fly on 1-2 hovers if they mount them properly and put them in a linear position behind or in front of the cabin (as theyre the only movement part now allowed to be mounted on all sides of the frame) -
Powerscore, tonnage and power drain comparisons
For this stage I will only be comparing epic movement parts. Currently this is how all epic movement parts sit in terms of the above parameters:
150PS - Buggy wheels -10% power 600kg
190PS - Hermit wheels -12% 850kg
220PS - Hovers 4/7 -8% 650kg/-10% 1350kg
225PS - Bigfoot -20% 1250kg
230PS - Small track -12% 935kg
250PS - Claw - 9% 1400kg
250PS - Omni -12% 1300kg
300PS - Sabbath -15% 1650kg
300PS - Hardened track -22% 1850kg
360PS - Auger -28% 2800kg
360PS - Bigram -25% 1900kg
400PS - ML 200 -25% 2400kg
625PS - Armoured track -40% 4000kg
800PS - Tank track -55 4800kg
1000PS - Goliath track -70% 6000kg
Looking at these as a comparison to hovers you’ll see that they have the lowest power drain but not the lowest tonnage. Not only this but they have the 3rd lowest powerscore behind wheels; with so many more positive attributes than wheels, surely they’d have a higher PS (their ability to hover off the ground, not flip, omnidirectional movement, easy to just point and move with ease in any direction etc).
You can argue that they have low tonnage and low HP but both of these things are negated by how you can build hovers. Hovers are the only movement part with the ability to be mounted on all sides of a frame, this allows hovers to mount them deep within a build and even directly behind or next to a cabin while having spaced armour which can stick out way more than even 20 blocks in any direction. This amount of armouring can only be done to hovers, using super light armour as spaced armour; negating their low tonnage and low HP traits entirely.
Yes any build can use spaced armour, but hovers in particular can armour further above and below the base-height of its builds’ frame compared most other movement part; only legs can do this but legs have to touch the ground, meaning there is always a gap between the armour and the base of a leg. Hovers on the other hand can mount armour to block damage from even touching the underside the movement part itself, giving it more of an advantage of using spaced armour compared to all other movement in the game, further negating their weak HP parameter.
The flip resistance hovers get is a huge part of why hovers have an advantage over other movement parts and builds, they simply don’t have to worry about flying into or up/down walls and cliffs, even when tilted 90 degrees or more they simply pop back up and can stay on target the whole time:
I’m not an advocate for realism but if we’re going to use mass/centre of mass to define how builds move then 90 degree hovers or ones that are upside-down should stay that way or flip like any other build, when flipping by a teammate their hovers should shut off during the flip for 2 seconds and allow them to be set the correct way up, then turn back on. They would then act like a regular vehicle in that regard.
Hovers improve all weapons
Putting almost any weapon type on hovers will objectively make them more effective than any other movement platform. Apart from the obvious melee and mandrake every weapon benefits more from being on a hover build, the weapons can be more deeply armoured than other movement parts, they can be turned in all directions faster simply by looking, allowing all limited angle weapons to gain an extreme advantage.
The only things close to the mobility of a hover would be Omni wheels or legs. But why would you pick either of these? Omni wheels are slower on directional change and can only gain 5kmh which makes no difference in their performance in comparison, you cannot use as much spaced armour as a hover build due to being on the ground and theyre also higher powerscore and higher power drain; instead of 4-6 Omni wheels you can just as easily take 5-7 hovers for nearly the same powerscore, more armour and maneurverability.
Why would you use legs which are a huge target, much slower and less maneurverability. Both of these options (Omni and Legs) should have the advantage of being able to use more armour and have that survivability, but hovers’ use of spaced light armour just negate those balance aspects.
I think hovers stand out greatly as an unbalanced issue within the game; one that fundamentally throws off the entire balance within the ecosystem of items we use.
Before the recent update hovers could go 75kmh, even then it was hard for a wheeled build to flank or catch a hover, but it allowed them a chance to do so, now with their speed at 95kmh and higher flying height it feels nearly impossible when the hover user is competent enough to watch the radar and have some situational awareness.
I think lowering the top speed back down to 75kmh and maybe lowering their flying height would help with this issue. All of the above point accumulate to such a movement type that not only looks ridiculous but ruin the game balance even more than it has in the 5 years it’s dominated the pvp landscape at most powerscore levels.
Try to think of actual arguments and not just what-about-ism and finger pointing at other things in the game; as this usually is all hover advocates can come up with and it just furthers my points.