Changes to the specialist Irish are coming to Battlefield 2042. EA DICE announced the changes on their latest Inside Battlefield podcast. The big change is a significant NERF to Irish's APS-36 Shootdown Sentry.
Irish's sentry, as it stands currently, takes effect immediately once deployed (i.e. it starts shooting down explosives) and intercepts all explosives until such time that the sentry is destroyed. Basically it is an infinite explosive defense if it is not destroyed.
The upcoming changes are:
- There will be a "boot up" time before the sentry is active
- There will be an "active" mode where it can intercept explosives
- There will be a "inactive" mode where it cannot intercept explosives; aka cooldown mode
These are significant nerfs to Irish's sentry and I have some reservations. One of the long standing problems with Battlefield games is "explosive spam". Trying to defend a point? Trying to defend the little bit of ground you took over on attack? Prepare for a never ending flood of explosives being lobbed into your general area; especially in game modes like breakthrough.
Irish's sentry is critical in the current state of the game to combat explosive spam. Without the sentry confined spaces or bottlenecks would be unplayable. Anyone that has played a round of breakthrough without anyone playing Irish know how miserable the experience can be.
Pushing players into open areas exposes them to other Battlefield detractors such as vehicle campers and snipers. In modes like breakthrough it may become impossible to either defend or attack some points (attackers rely heavily on Irish's sentry to push forward and hold areas; resetting the sentry position a few feet forward as the push makes progress).
While the sentry is great for combating explosive spam it also has some areas where it can be abused. The most egregious abuse is vehicles camping just off the main battlefield protected from any long range anti-vehicle attacks since the rockets are considered explosives. In modes with out of bounds areas for defenders; attacking vehicles could park, drop a couple sentries, and be impervious to attack.
What confuses me most about the changes is that it hurts defending against explosive spam in close quarters but is not much of a deterrent against the abuse by camping vehicles. Vehicles are often far enough away that even with a cool down period the sentry is still a near-impervious defense. Outside of multiple players coordinating attacks there isn't much risk to vehicle campers still.
The developers also stated they wanted to improve the pick rate of Irish (and Dozer who they also covered in the podcast). As I see it there is even less of a reason to select Irish now than there was before. As an Irish fanboy; I can't see myself picking him if his sentry is gutted.
So in conclusion: what'd they do to my boy!? The only change needed was to make it so the sentry didn't stop rockets so vehicle campers couldn't sit untouched, but instead we are getting changes that will actively encourage more explosives spam...