I don’t know who named the vehicles in Battlefield 3, but someone at DICE fucked up big time. They created a ground vehicle that mows down troops, aircraft, equipment, and (in some cases) enemy tanks, and they named it the anti-aircraft (AA) vehicle.
Silly developers. You should have named it the anti-everything vehicle (AEV).
And while my infantry and flying skills aren’t exactly up to snub, the “AEV” is all I need to tear up scores of opponents on land, sea, and air.
It’s called an anti-air vehicle for heaven’s sake, so if it didn’t own jets, helicopters, MAVs, and sad sack foes falling in parachutes, it would be a pretty big fumble. Luckily, the AEV shreds anything with wings, propellers, or jet packs from miles away. Exposed to open gunfire, enemy aircraft get ripped to ribbons in about three seconds of continuous shots at any range.
That’s right, if you can lead targets effectively, you can make short work of anything on the blue side of the horizon from a nearly unlimited distance. The AEV has an insanely high projectile speed, so bullet dropoff is low, meaning your only concern is getting your crosshairs the right distance in front of a far-off heli or jet. Luckily, the AEV has a nearly unlimited supply of ammunition and optional zoom optics, meaning you can spray and pray in the target’s vicinity until you start landing shots. Then it’s just a matter of maintaining that bearing and firing until your foe goes down in flames.
At mid to close range, firefights with flying enemies are a joke for a few reasons, the aforementioned damage notwithstanding. First, while your opponenets must generally align to your position to hit you with high-damaging missiles or bullets, you can fire at any angle at any time. A jet’s lining up to barrage you with rocket pods? Strafe out of the way; his rockets miss, while you can maintain an upwards storm of sorrow on his tender underbelly. A helicopter is trying to get out of your line of sight? Denied! The AEV has nearly unlimited LOS on any bogey. Unless the chopper’s gonna give up flying, he’s going to give up living.
To top it all off, the AEV has additional anti-aircraft capabilities, like a fast-reloading heat-seeking rocket launcher, smoke that dissipates locks against you, and a powerful engine for quick respositioning.
While the Abrams and its armored buddies are generally feared for their ability to demolish enemy troops, the AEV is no laughing matter in that category. Unlike the tank, which can’t aim into the air (its counter element, if you will), the AEV can aim at the ground. And when soviet soldiers are standing on that ground, they are quickly filled with about 30,000 rounds of “anti-aircraft” ammunition in short order.
Yes, a tank has splash damage, but it also has cooldown. An AEV can continuously fire for nearly a dozen seconds, more than enough to wipe an entire squad, group, or team off the Earth for good. And unlike a tank, the AEV can be parked on steep cliffs and still be used effectively, thanks to its high-angle guns. There’s no target too high or too low for the AEV, though it’s been known to put targets out of range… six feet under the ground.
I don’t know what kind of balance team works at DICE, but I imagine that team had a conversation like this during Battlefield 3’s development:
Dev 1: So, this AA vehicle mows down choppers and helis. Let’s lock its minimum angle of firing at 30 degrees.
Dev 2: I have a better idea, let’s not! Wouldn’t it be cool if it could shoot ground troops as well?
Dev 1: I guess. Sure, okay. But the tiny bullets it fires couldn’t take down heavily armored tanks, right?
Dev 2: Actually…
Yes, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the little vehicle that could can easily damage all land opposition, including enemy tanks. And while tanks will win in a head-on engagement with the AEV, it’s not hard to win against them for a few reasons:
- The AEV has a laser-like ROF and drop, so you can engage tanks easily at any range without guessing shell trajectory
- The AEV has much less down time, allowing continuous damage to the tank and nearby infantry
- An Engineer running an AEV can get out between tank shots to repair the AEV or lob a rocket at the tank
- The AEV is more maneuverable than a tank, meaning any terrain gives the AEV an advantage
If that’s not evidence enough for the superiority of the anti-everything vehicle, I don’t know what is. It slices, it dices, it single-handedly perpetrates genocide. So the next time you’re on Caspian and you see the most underappreciated vehicle unmanned, do yourself a favor.
Grab the wheel, fire up those guns, and watch the points come pouring in.