The benefit of Height over ground.
A tank on the high ground has many benefits, but also drawbacks. Over range height is your friend, as being able to hit targets afar without elevating the barrel keeps you in a safer zone. Thus giving that room for error in your ranging bursts with plenty of room to elevate and even hit further afield. Height also gives you a natural perspective- bound cover as the enemy has to fully elevate and adjust accordingly with not alot of room for error. With enemies encroaching on your position they are not doing themselves a favor as once they get under you - they cannot ht you. However, the same for you. But then again, staying out in the open trying to hit you also benefits you.
This poorly drawn diagram will hopefully help me illustrate my point.
On the ground, over range you have to elevate, and with elevation comes many problems, in-air flight time of the round being one. As the projectile flies through the air it obviously takes time. where as aiming dead on will travel faster. Straight lines and everything. Basically by the time the round has hit the ground, the target has moved considerably. Thats the trade off - Do you go high and try to act like artillery and land a few shots, or do you level out and go toe - to toe?. But why damage oneself if you choose the frontal option?.
Well, planetside 2 is made up of many varying degrees of cover - from rocks to tank debris or a friendly unit. However there are many things which could be considered "thinking out of the box". Mindset for this scenario being "Oh crap there is a bigger force and i need to do as much damage but keep alive long enough to do so."
Cover is a magnificent thing, but most prowler drivers seem to just get stuck in and take on the whole world not taking into account even though you see one enemy tank - there could be hundreds watching you. Even though you may catch one with his pants down - you are basically saying HIT ME HIT ME.
The following diagrams will illustrate, a few RL ways to hold firm and hold ground without exposing too much of your self.
This diagram shows the Turret up postion. This is basically all the turret showing. A smaller hitbox then a full showing vehicle but more then below. (See diagram below) However this allows the main armament to be brought to bare against the enemy.
The second, shows the secondary turret in a periscope-like position. For secondary weapons like the GMG, the grenade arc of fire can be used in relative safety to hit over the cover and into the enemys location. This also allows the secondary gunner and commander (in third person) to get a grip of the surrounding area and plan his actions carefully. Not to mention getting a few damaging hits onto the enemy whilst doing so.
Here is a better diagram i found.
Note - the hull is down creating a smaller hitbox for the enemy. If in this position and the enemy gets too close for comfort, or oblivious all together the below diagram will illustrate what can be done for an ambush / fight on your terms.
As you can see by the badly drawn drawing, jockeying back and forth is key. Why stay in sight whilst the tank reloads? why let him get a few cheap shots in? This ain't a "you hit me i hit you mmo-take it in turn like gentlemen game" This is kill or be killed or respawn and waste resources! - There's a war on y'know!.
Basically it also allows the engineer to reverse, also dragging your unknowing enemy around to say, perhaps into a landmine? (it appears certain members of brtd now lust for mines, even placing them under friendlies to - "make them better") or maybe even another prowler or a friendly sunder bus just minding its own business rocking back and forth because its bugged to hell.
And to finally, moving and closing with and giving the enemy a good shoeing. The scenario and mindset for this is that there is OPEN land to cover. The enemy may / may not have the high ground but hes in cover and giving you the good news constantly. Its time to get a grip and move forward before you loose your tank and have to foot zerg it for the next 10 minutes because you have not certed your cool-down timer. Its open ground and who knows what fiends lay ahead as you cross no mans land to almost certain doom. Or a landmine. Or a flip educing friendly vehicle. Stopping and planting roots and letting the enemy get a good lay-on of your tank is a big no no. For one he knows his POA (Point of aim) but as hes being a crafty bugger he is jockeying. So you need constantly adjusting.
So, there is an open field, a fiend on the hill and your elevation isn't quite there. You need to move whilst giving damage to the enemy or you will quickly be fired upon by every known being using the common sense of "Oh, hes still - im poo at this so ill just shoot this guy" Next thing you know your in shitstate. Fireing 2 rounds, which for that short duration before you move off will almost be inaccurate - your still letting the enemy know that your coming for him, thus making him aim all over the place to get his POA back on track. Over time, with closing the distance you will be able to give him the good news personally. Face to face. Even though you will be damaged and most probably about to die - you have done three things.
1.) Teached this fiend a lesson.
3.)Allowed friendly units to move forward. Thus preventing a turkey shoot.
The following diagram will explain.