Part 4: The Recon ClassThe Recon Class
Getting the Recon class out of the way early is important to me enjoying the rest of the games I play. Not that the Recon class is bad. As I mention in the video it can be an amazing class due to some of the really powerful gadgets at its disposal. The issue with the Recon class is the general pubbie (public player) population thinks going 1-32 is a boon to the team and a good use of their time. That's too bad as the Radio Beacon and motion sensor balls are amazing for rushing and capturing objectives, C4 takes out tanks with just two bricks and the PLD can turn the very average Javelin into a monster lock on weapon that kills tanks in two shots. The Recon's All-Class unlock is the Designated Marksman Rifle category of weapons (DMRs for short) that act as a semi auto sinper/assault rifle. They do pretty high damage but trade out a lower rate of fire (compared to ARs in semi-auto mode) and decreased usefulness at close range for a good medium to distance strength. Like Sniper Rifles they can Zero.
I explain it somewhat in the video, but Zeroing is kind of complex to describe easily. Imagine you are aiming at a target 500 meters away. You put your red dot directly on the center of the target and the bullet falls below the point you were aiming at. This is because BF4 has a ballistics engine, and each bullet is modeled to fall and and travel forward at different rates. This leads to bullet drop, and each sniper rifle and DMR has a different rate of travel and drop. This was in BF3 as well, and if you wanted to hit a distant target you would have to aim well above their heads and hope on really long shots. In BF4 you can hit the V button on PC, down on the D pad for consoles and change the Zero of the gun. Zeroing makes you "Zero" on a range. If I hit V enough times to set the range to 500 I'll hit more or less exactly where I aim, but my aim up close or at a greater distance will need adjustment. It's a really useful ability for the Sniper and DMR weapons so long as you remember to adjust it when necessary. It also means distance snipers are more potent than they were in BF3 in many cases, but most of the time they are still kind of useless and a drag on the team.
Recons start out with the PLD and C4. The PLD is an acronym for Personal Laser Designator. Pulling it out and looking through it at a vehicle will create a laser lock that lets engineers with laser guided weapons like Javelins and SRAWs to lock on to vehicles at great distances and do more damage per hit. If you don't have a gun mounted range finder this will do in a pinch to tell you what you should zero to. C4 will be discussed in depth in the Support video.
The Motion Sensor returns from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 where goons called it the Wiz-ball. It looks like and is thrown like a grenade, but instead of an explosion when it lands it pulses out and marks moving enemies on your team's minimap for a few moments before disappearing. Really useful if you are about to storm a building or taking a point. The Radio Beacon is a Recon class favorite. When planted it allows squad mates to spawn on that point instead of on you. If planted outside on a map with helicopters team members will paradrop in, but planted inside they just appear on the point. The beacon is very popular as a way to get on top of buildings or to stay there, as you are able to spawn on your own beacon if you die, so some players will use it to constantly spawn on top of the same building or in an advantageous sniping position. It can also be used to help assault points by planting it near an objective and letting your squad spawn again and again right near the fighting, but why use it for something useful?
T-UGS is like the motion sensor ball, but you plant it and it projects a radius in which it will sense motion. Best if you are expecting people to come your way or if you don't want to be surprised when someone attempts to sneak up on you. The SOFLAM is a plantable PLD that you can control remotely or that works on its own if a vehicle comes into its line of sight. These are pretty rare at the moment, but they can be potent with good placement and compliant engineers.
The MAV is an unmanned drone the Recon can control and fly around the map. It also functions like a motion sensor, and you can use it to put people on 3D spotting. In BF3 it was possible to kill people with it, even after a patch made it so you could only roadkill one person per MAV. In BF4 you can't harm anyone, but you can push people around with it. There was a glitch early in the game's life that allowed you to put down a SOFLAM and then fly a MAV or get into any vehicle with a cannon and be able to laser lock other vehicles just by looking at them, which was pretty nuts as players with no kills but dozens to hundreds of laser locks could reach the top of the scoreboard in a round for a while. Today, the MAV can still be used to blow up enemy explosives and troll users of said explosives
Claymores are plantable mines that will explode if an enemy crosses through any of the wires that shoot off it once planted. In BF3 there was no warning there would be a Claymore around a corner, but now you can see them coming, so it's even worse if you run into one.
Finally, the SUAV. This came with the China Rising Map Pack and it lets you fly around, spot and lase targets when launched. When China Rising first came out people realized you could roadkill dozens and dozens of people before the thing would die, which turned out to not be design intention and it was changed not too long ago.
Not a lot to say here, the first 3 are kind of whatever. The 4th lets you carry more C4 and to avoid motion detection, along with having better range with your own Wiz-Balls. Basically a class meant to assault vehicles and positions. Finally, the Sniper upgrades. Being able to hold your breath, lose a spot faster and keep enemies spotted longer is actually useful in a number of situations, but it is suited to sitting pretty far back and hoping no one figures out where you are shooting from.