Dice, there is a imbalance on all maps that include air assets that I simply can't shake. At times pilots seem to prefer to attack only infantry at just about 10-30' from the ground. If a solider gear is only for ground assets they have no choice but to respawning as there is no defense for air assualt. It's something that should be balanced out more.
Dice, there are not enough ground assets (specially in Operations) nor room for soldiers on the ground to carry specific weapons for both ground and air assets. Yet, the design of map tells us that ground troops have to still deal with both air and ground assets at the same time while still trying to play the objective. You cannot and should not make it the ground troops responsibility to deal with both ground assets (tanks) and air assets (all planes shooting ground targets from behind) at the same time. This is the imbalance. Soldiers have to joggle between tanks and sneaky pilots strafing easy ground targets from the back of a soldier (Operations make it easier for pilots to do this). This completely throws off playing the objective.
-- Dice: This is a Problem
Pilots are exploiting this mechanic of the game to farm higher then normal K/D by joining up as one separate team create a new mechanic "pilots" vs "grunts".
This could be an idea for a new "game mode" but it's something that we shouldn't be forced into when there are flags on the ground to capture or defend. Many here know it's common knowledge that pilots from both sides instantly join up to create this 3rd dynamic "pilots" vs "grunts" in which they farm for easy kills and high k/d.
There could be many examples but your own telemetry will show you this already when it comes to decent pilots.
-- Dice the Solution is Clear. All planes should have a Lowest Safe Altitude (LSALT) that is Out of Bounds (OOB).
Therefore, in order to alleviate the dual burned placed on soldiers on the ground, the exploits of pilots joining forces and to remove an unintented 3rd team here is what I purpose:
1. Create a lowest safe alt. of 1500' for all fighter pilots. This is a suggested floor but something that would allow pilots only able to see ground troops only when they are spotted. This can be done by making it out of bounds below that threshold.
2. Create a lowest safe alt. of 3000' for all bomber pilots. Again, they will only see ground troops if their team is actually spotting their opponents. This can be done by making it out of bounds below that threshold.
3. Make it easier for pilots to see each other while in the air. This will encourage them to engage each other more then just instantly looking for easy ground targets that cannot defend themselves.
4. Allow for more air assets to spawn once there is a LSALT in place. This will create more of a dynamic to playing Operations, etc that doesn't break game balancing.
5. Encourage dog fights by rewarding pilot team work (on the same team) if they take out all air assets of the opposing team. The winning pilot team will be rewarded by lowering the floor (LSALT) to by 500' for fighter pilots and 1000' for bombers. Once the other team spawns in air assets LSALT will rise again as a warning that enemy pilots are about to engage them. However, if one team doesn't spawn air assets at the start of a match the original LSALT rule will apply.
This will place concentration back on opposing pilots and creates consistent dog fights. This will also allow more fighter planes to spawn.
- Dice: The Conclusion
It's clear that ground troops need more AA placements. But that's just one side of the coin here. There are other dynamics of the game that need to be address. Perhaps this is more for the next installment of BF but ground troops should not be "fish in a barrel" as collateral damage to pilots. This dynamic has been imbalanced and it needs to be addressed. I've seen countless times where players would leave a server if they are consistently snipped by pilots. In the end this is, IMO, the best way to fix the exploit and imbalance without just adding "more AA". .
It's a basic assumption that telemetry tells you that most moderately skilled pilots having a higher K/D then ground troops for a reason. Hopefully, this gets implemented so that BF is fun again.