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Platform
Platform-Approach
Platform
Speed: 0kph?
Armour: Moderate
Armour Class: Moderate
Threat Rating: Significant
N.B.: The Platform was recently rebalanced, and now poses less of a threat than it did originally, especially to performance planes.
It is still fairly dangerous, but not as powerful as it used to be. Take this in mind when reading the information below.

Platforms are a stationary enemy with four extremely long arcs in the shape of a plus sign (+), and another four in a very close short range configuration that covers 360 degrees and thus 100% of the platform's hittable surface. Platforms appear to have about 4 or 5 shields of health, and appear to have an Armor Class of 0, and a very high Silhouette. The Platform returns with the advent of Legendary Combats, alongside the Proximity Mine and the Classic Bolo. Platforms appear only in the following Legendaries:

The Platform has an incredible amount of firepower at its disposal, and should be avoided by inexperienced pilots. They can be extremely dangerous for those not equipped to handle them, and are still a significant threat to those who are, although they are effectively stationary (Platforms appear to move at about 1kph, and most of their movement is rotation) so escape is usually easy. Despite recent increases to the platform spawn distance, it is still possible to spawn within range of one of the main guns, sometimes leading to players losing anywhere from 2 to 4 shields before combat has really begun. Attempting maneuvers to flee the arc will not help; one should always flee by manually turning away from the arc and accelerating to leave the arc ASAP. If you start outside of the arcs but are close and heading directly toward them. using Airbrake may give you enough time to make a sharp G-turn to avoid plowing into the Platform's guns.

Each platform has four massive main arcs (each one about four times the length of an unmodified Large Longarm) with high damage, accuracy (+50) and critical rates (80%). They are comparable to Large Howitzers, albeit they fire two shots instead of one, with each shot dealing 70 damage, rather than a single shot dealing 140 damage. These main guns are the most dangerous aspect of Platforms, which, without them, would just be very large and mostly ineffectual Proximity Mines. Instead, they are deadly gun positions, capable of casually swatting down even the mighty Bismarck and smashing overconfident Thunderbolts. Thanks to the abnormally high critical rate and boosted accuracy, not even the elusive Ingersoll can evade the Platform's might.

The main body of the platform is covered by four short-range arcs which are almost identical to the arcs on the Classic Bolo - this array of short-range close-in weapons systems or "point defense" guns do not present a huge threat to properly armoured planes, but it is still strongly advised that pilots avoid flying over the main body of the platform, as it may be able to strike your plane with it's main guns if you are unlucky;

Taking in mind that a plane fires all of it's guns at once, even if only one arc is lit up, and that this is true for pirate planes as it is for player planes, then it's possible to slip through in the short reloading period between each shot from the main guns when triggered by entering the firing zone of the short-range guns, allowing pilots to avoid taking extra damage if the platform cannot be destroyed in a single pass. The risks are high of course, so be careful and hold onto your hat.

Fortunately for those unwilling or unable to tangle with these terrors, their Bribe cost is fairly low. As mentioned before, the stationary nature of the Platform facilitates an easy retreat for pilots who feel they are in over their heads.

Movement Edit

Platforms have 3 apparent methods of movement: turning (clockwise or counterclockwise) their arcs toward a target ("normal" movement), sitting completely stationary for a period of time without turning ("stopping"), and occasionally platforms will also spin about 90 degrees in either direction in under a second. Platforms will also occasionally switch between counterclockwise and clockwise tracking while in their normal movement pattern, and may suddenly perform their spin at any time; when within their arcs' reach, be prepared for instant and unpredictable changes in platform movement, which will occasional result in unavoidable fire from the platform.

Platforms are also liable to sharply shift their rotation by a few degrees as if they were G-turning (this should not be mistaken for spinning, as the arcs do not pass over your plane, merely jump a few degrees at a time), so pilots orbiting within the arcs should stay on their toes. You know, as if you weren't playing with fire already.

Strategies Edit

Due to how platforms behave in their "normal" turning behavior, a pilot with good speed control can often circle a platform within it's arcs and remain safe as long as this behavior continues; the platform's arcs should follow at about the same speed its target is flying at, so as long as you don't fly too slow or too fast, it is possible to avoid its targeting. It should be noted that this tactic is very risky due to the platform's erratic behaviour; it may suddenly stop, spin and rake an arc across your plane, or start turning in sharp bursts as if G-turning. Pilots in planes featuring long side arcs directly perpendicular to their plane (such as the Lancaster or Hades) may even be able to get in shots on the Platform whilst orbiting it, but their Medium guns are unlikely to have the firepower to do any serious damage unless you are using Howitzers.

Planes with forward arcs are advised to orbit or circle from just outside gun range to wait for an opening, then fly down the gap. Remember that the platform's orientation is visible on the RADAR display if you can't see the arcs. As mentioned before, it is also incredibly important that you stay aware of any Proximity Mines in the vicinity of the Platform whilst attempting an attack run - your hull will take enough hits from the main guns, and mines are lethal. Be prepared to quickly abort your run if the platform starts turning again (this shouldn't be too hard as long as you try and stay roughly inbetween two of the main arcs), airbrake early so you can unload as much firepower on the platform as possible, then afterburn hard to avoid getting caught by the guns if you don't kill it on your first run.

Platforms have no Armor Class, very high silhouette, but a fair amount of Armor. This means that all weapons will deal max DPS, so using one's highest DPS weapons is advised, though in some situations the length of Longarms and Howitzers is preferred.

Spectre pilots should follow the same tactics as a forward-arc plane, but remember to fire as you pull away to get some hits in with your tail gun. Even a few extra hits can make the difference between a kill, failing the retreat, or having to make a second run... and the fewer runs you have to make, no matter what plane you're in, the better.

A short word on those thinking of "specializing" their plane for Platform Killing: Don't. These behemoths are too rare (comparatively speaking) to make it worth effectively crippling or at the very least significantly hindering your performance in almost all other combat situations.

Short List Edit

For any planes with a focus on forward firepower:

  • Take out the platform's support planes before you attack
  • Circle the platform out of range of the guns
  • Wait for the platform to stop turning
  • Start your attack run, but be prepared to abort if the platform starts turning
  • Remember to stay alert for mine positions - do not launch a run that will leave you fleeing over the mines
  • Airbrake and unload, then afterburn if the first run is not successful

Armaments Edit

Rebalanced ArcsEdit

Name Size Damage Shots Damage per Hit Shots per Second DPS Accuracy(+/-) Ammo/shot Ammo/second Crit Chance Default Crit Damage Crit Damage Bonus Length (px?) Width (degrees)
"Skyshaker" Howitzer N/A 100 2 50 1.33  ? 0 1 1.5? 5% 150% 0% 2800 10
Platform CIWS N/A 15 3 5 20 300 +30 5 100 25% 150% +20% 180 90

Raw Arc Data Edit

Heavy Cannon:
XML: <arc center="0,0" length="2800" width="10" rotation="0" accuracy="0" damage="100" ammoPerShot="1" firingRate="750" trackingSpeed="0" trackingAngle="0" critChance="30" critBonus="1.5" multiShot="2" critDmgMod="0"/>
Actual: <arc center='0, 0' length='2800' width='10' rotation='0' currentRotation='0' accuracy='0' damage='100' ammoPerShot='1' firingRate='750' trackingSpeed='0' trackingAngle='0' critChance='30' critBonus='1.5' multiShot='2' critDmgMod='0' />

CIWS:
XML: <arc center="0,0" length="180" width="90" rotation="45" accuracy="30" damage="15" ammoPerShot="5" firingRate="50" trackingSpeed="50" trackingAngle="0" critChance="25" critBonus="1.5" multiShot="3" critDmgMod="20"/>
Actual: <arc center='0, 0' length='180' width='90' rotation='45' currentRotation='45' accuracy='30' damage='15' ammoPerShot='5' firingRate='50' trackingSpeed='50' trackingAngle='0' critChance='25' critBonus='1.5' multiShot='3' critDmgMod='20' />

Pre-"Hidden War" ArcsEdit

Name Size Damage Shots Damage per Hit Shots per Second DPS Accuracy(+/-) Ammo/shot Ammo/second Crit Chance Default Crit Damage Crit Damage Bonus Length (px?) Width (degrees)
"Skyshaker" Howitzer N/A 140 2 70 1.33 210 +50 50 75 80% 150% 0% 2800 10
Platform CIWS N/A 15 3 5 20 300 +30 5 100 25% 150% +20% 180 90

Raw Arc Data Edit

Heavy Cannon:
XML: <arc center="0,0" length="2800" width="10" rotation="0" accuracy="50" damage="140" ammoPerShot="50" firingRate="750" trackingSpeed="0" trackingAngle="0" critChance="80" critBonus="1.5" multiShot="2" critDmgMod="0"/>
Actual: <arc center='0, 0' length='2800' width='10' rotation='0' currentRotation='0' accuracy='50' damage='140' ammoPerShot='50' firingRate='750' trackingSpeed='0' trackingAngle='0' critChance='80' critBonus='1.5' multiShot='2' critDmgMod='0' />

CIWS:
XML: <arc center="0,0" length="180" width="90" rotation="45" accuracy="30" damage="15" ammoPerShot="5" firingRate="50" trackingSpeed="0" trackingAngle="0" critChance="25" critBonus="1.5" multiShot="3" critDmgMod="20"/>
Actual: <arc center='0, 0' length='180' width='90' rotation='45' currentRotation='45' accuracy='30' damage='15' ammoPerShot='5' firingRate='50' trackingSpeed='0' trackingAngle='0' critChance='25' critBonus='1.5' multiShot='3' critDmgMod='20' />


Planes
Type\Tier 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Combat - - Phantom - Seahawk - Vengeance - Hades Avenger
Perf - - Marauder - Thor - Loki - Nova Ingersoll
Trade - - Nomad - Halifax - Bullfrog Leviathan KingFisher
Upgrade CR-4P - Excelsior - Seafire - Barracuda - Dauntless Mantis
Perf/Combat - Chapparal - Valkyrie - Mkii - Thunderbolt - Havoc
Combat/Trade - Mastiff - Bolo - Cyclops - Barashiki - Bismarck
Perf/Trade - KittyHawk - Requin - Cetacea - Lancaster - Spectre

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