A Study On: Sunderers versus Rockets

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A Study On: Sunderers versus Rockets

This is part of an ongoing “A Study On” series by Kusibu about various facets of PlanetSide 2’s mechanics and balance. This article focuses on the Planetside 2 Sunderer resistance values as they relate to rocket launchers, and why this is significant.

I was testing out rocket launchers in the VR training area when I found a rather odd behavior – it seemed that the default “anti-armor” dumb-fire launcher was being outperformed by dumb-firing an anti-air rocket launcher. I repeated the test several times, and the results were consistent – the anti-air launcher was better at destroying sunderers.

This is significant because with the reduced damage, the standard dumbfire launcher is not capable of destroying a Sunderer with a normal rocket ammunition pool where either of the anti-air launchers can.

I went digging, and found out that the difference was due to the resistance values – the dumb-fire rocket launcher deals more base damage, but the lock-on launcher has a better resistance modifier. The reason for this, according to some sources, is apparently to balance out the Decimator, which has higher damage output and thus has a worse modifier against Sunderers to compensate on its being extremely effective against stationary targets, thus resulting in the dumb-fire rocket launcher being crippled by proxy.

You can see how this works out below:


Damage Resistance modifier Final damage
Dumb-fire 1,135 -12.5% 1,277
Lock-on 1,000 -50% 1,500
Decimator 1,335 -12.5% 1,502


As you can see, the dumb-fire rocket launcher falls very short due to a resistance modifier designed to balance out the high-damage Decimator’s performance against the sunderer. This doesn’t appear to be deliberately done to cripple the default dumb-fire and appears to be an oversight by the programming team. Regardless of the cause, this means the default rocket launcher should not be used against Sunderers. Instead, opt for either an AA or AV lock-on launcher (not the Annihilator) if you want versatility, or a Decimator if you want to be able to take out other close and easy to hit opponents (tanks very near a base’s walls or MAXes making a push).


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