Part 8: The Support ClassThe Support Class
The last of the four classes in the game, and easily my favorite, the Support class has a very important role on the battlefield: exploding tanks with their infinite C4. Oh, I guess they can toss down ammo for their teammates as well, but nothing's better than jihad jeeping a tank and then running over to the LAV and tossing more explosives on that. The Support class wasn't supposed to even have C4 in this game, instead it would be Recon exclusive, but players successfully petitioned the developers to give it to both classes. Personally, I think C4 should be an all class tool in order to make it a bit easier to take out armor, and the fact you have to get damn close to do it is a high risk/high reward thing. Supports get exclusive access to the LMG (light machine gun) category of weapons. LMGs are generally going to have 100 rounds in a magazine/box, but this will vary. The starting LMG has way less and the M249 has 200. There is no large magazine option in the game, so if you like to spray and pray pick the support class.
That said, if you do spray and pray you will probably die. The LMGs have an insane hipfire penalty and some serious recoil if fired automatically. Short bursts of two to three bullets with a slight gap for the gun to recenter will generally yield solid hits and kills even at a distance. Even if you miss, there is a benefit to firing on someone with an LMG: suppression. Suppression is an effect I mentioned before, but didn't really discuss. If you fire the high powered weapons like the LMGs and sniper rifles, as well as vehicle mounted weapons, at individuals you'll deal suppression. Their screen blurs and their aim can be thrown off while under this effect. Because LMGs cause a ton of suppression and fire waaaaayy faster than a sniper rifle you can effectively make people miss you or others even if you don't hit them yourself.
Support unlocks the shotgun as the multi-class weapon, but I like to pair that weapon class with the Recon and basically use motion sensors to find enemies and clear them out. Give that a shot.
The support class has a nice array of gadgets, ranging from grenade launchers to airburst drones.
You start off with the XM25 airburst launcher. I show it off in the video, but this thing is excellent for killing snipers hiding on roofs or killing someone from behind cover. You aim at the object you want to shoot past, get the range set and then mouse over to where you want the grenade to go. Once fired the grenade travels past that point you designated and explodes. This can be difficult to use at a great distance as these things do have bullet drop to them, but if you compensate correctly you can land shots directly on people. It takes about four rounds to kill someone with the airburst, which is basically a magazine. Pairing this up with the Ammo Box is probably the best option. The XM can also take dart and smoke rounds, making it a shotgun with darts (no, you don't get to fire airburst spike grenades) and a smoke grenade launcher with the...smoke grenades. Wrote myself into a hole there.
The Ammo Pack will refill some ammo slowly and it is a starting piece of equipment. The Ammo Box refills ammo quickly and is permanent until you throw down another box to cancel out one of the active ones. The other major benefit of the box is that it will refill explosives at the same rate it refills bullets (but not at the same time, you need to be full on ammo to fill up on explosives), while the pack refills explosives slower. The major benefit of the pack is that it will fly to the nearest person who needs it when you toss it near allies, so people can't stop you from giving them ammo no matter how much they try. Worth noting that one of the complaints about the average support player is that they never toss down ammo. I do it all the time and everyone runs away like I'm trying to hurt them.
The Claymore is the same as the one in the recon class, it sends out wires that if an enemy runs through will set the thing off. Good for point defense, but still not great overall.
The Mortar is updated from BF3. No longer do you have infinite ammo, but no longer do you have to sit on the mortar to use it. Instead you plant the thing, run off to a safe area and use your iPad to drop explosives on people. The ammo for the mortar recharges at a pretty slow rate, but if you die the mortar stays where it was so you can just pull out the iPad again and keep using it, so more benefit right there.
The MP-APS is like the tank active protection system. It destroys incoming explosives and then has to recharge (after 2 destroys I think?). Too bad there's no point incentive to use it and a fairly long reloading period when you first plant it. You can't just toss it down and hope to block a tank shell that way, but it means it is only really useful on a couple maps or if you want to protect your snipers from airbursts and mortars on the top of a roof (don't encourage them).
The UCAV is a gadget introduced in China Rising. It works similarly to the drone Recon get, but it can be triggered to explode. Really useful for taking out people hiding on roofs.
Finally, we have C4. C4 is the greatest thing ever invented. C4 single handedly won the war. C4 was elected president 4 times (hence the name) before ascending into heaven on a smoke cloud created by blowing up a tank. C4 is a cure to all diseases and injuries. C4 is love.
Let me explain. C4 is a staple of sorts in Battlefield. Satchel charges were sometimes used, but they were more or less the same thing. C4 is a remote detonated explosive with no maximum range, so you can drop it and run across the map and still blow it up. C4 is useful for blowing holes in walls, creating craters to hide in and of course, for killing people.
C4 has a crazy effective range, so much that using it on a tank will probably kill you as well unless you have a clear exit path. Some of this is offset by the fact you toss it in BF4 where in BF3 you basically placed it on something if you were touching it, and if you weren't looking at a surface it would fall at your feet. Being able to toss C4 isn't a huge game changer to be honest, but it makes it easier to get two bricks on a tank as you can throw while you move towards it. You can have up to three C4 on the map at any given time, which is reduced from BF3, but more than enough to do all sorts of damage. You probably won't need them to be active long as the only reason to keep C4 on the ground or on a wall is to set a trap or to Jihad someone.
Jihading is pretty simple; you put a few bricks of C4 on the front of a jeep or quad or dirtbike, drive it at full speed at a tank or other vehicle and then exit the vehicle before collision. Your character can then detonate the C4 and kill the target. The maneuver is somewhat risky as one explosive will completely destroy you and engineers are everywhere, but it is oh so satisfying when you end some tank lord's kill streak or stop an enemy from capturing a point with a well timed quad. It is a defensive maneuver more than an offensive one, you probably won't survive the run even if successful, and you don't really gain anything but a few minutes of reprieve from tank shells. You could probably be more effective as a vehicle killer as a smart tank driver than someone Jihading, but it is addictive. The first time you angle a jeep into a tank and send them back to hell is one of those things everyone who plays the series should experience at least once.
Not much to say here. Support gets some decent upgrades. I love to toss down ammo boxes, so I usually run an upgrade that lets me keep an extra one on the ground at all times. Notice none of the perks increase my C4 count. Once again, C4 was supposed to be recon only, and DICE decided not to re-balance the upgrades to account for that. They also don't track C4 kills by support, so you can see it was high priority.