2 years and it still feels like a(promising) beta.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Snorelamp, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Snorelamp

    This will be long and rambling but whatever I'm a bit drunk and on last night of a vacation without my main PC.

    Here's my TLDR though:
    • Lattice and other meta-focused updates have failed
    • Basic gameplay QoL has been neglected/suffered as a result
    • Devs should go back to basics for awhile, get the "core gameplay" into a better state

    To get this out of the way I begrudgingly admit I still enjoy a bout of PS2 here and there. I keep an eye on it, try new features and weapons, and watch youtubes of it. It's easy to jump in, but also easy to get burned out and frustrated with. I've even deleted my main in an attempt to completely stay away. Perhaps that was a mistake but we'll see. Every time I return it's not for long and I'm always disappointed in the changes overall. It's been a weird love/hate relationship.

    This game still has something no other FPS games have pulled off, so I tip my hat for that at least, but it seems like it's been mismanaged or just not well supported since release. And I worry that perhaps if PS2 is deemed a failure(outside of the PS2 fanbase I'd say this is a common sentiment now), we won't see anything else like it for awhile. As critical as I can be, I'm that way because I can't help but kind of care. Arg.

    The problem is that the gameplay and gameworld have evolved very little post release or even more specifically, post performance update. There's a constant up and down in quality as updates frequently make the game play significantly worse both in terms of balance and on the technical side, and then they fix things while they break other things. The performance update was major, and...then gradually the game got worse and worse after it, undoing much of that work and we're back to a state where it feels beta and clunky.

    The meta has been messed with here and there, but honestly I miss pre-lattice gameplay. I miss the old crown/crossroads/TI alloys center of the map. I miss experiencing a greater variety of bases and battle sizes on a daily basis, rather than the same old lattice chokepoints. It feels they've sped things up, strictly organized things, but without making any of it more fun or meaningful. The game wasn't ready for the lattice, and all it does is channel zergs much of the time. Small fights are hard to find and don't last long before they're over or become big. I know PS2 is more about "big epic battles" but it's nice to have some variety - plus after a certain point so many numbers tends to devolve things into a spammy mess and your individual actions matter less and less.

    Then there are many changes that really have just boiled down to extra UI junk. The game tells me all kinds of information I do not care about that it's becoming impressive in an odd way. It adds up and just makes things overly complex/messy. At least we could get more customization to reduce this. Most of it is not substantial, just distracting fluff. It also even goes against objective gameplay in many cases, as you're encouraged to farm with certain weapons or to try to improve your stats. All the directive stuff I could easily toss, why do they want me to play with bad weapons so badly? We already had auraxiums for players that wanted to torture themselves. Cleaning up and improving the basic UI... and maybe finally providing accurate weapon stats in game would've been a better use of time and resources I'd think.

    Continent and base design changes have also not done a lot towards solving problems. I think both Amerish and Hossin are both far too air-friendly and the continents are both rather unfun to play ground vehicles on. They also introduced a few new mind-bogglingly bad base designs, even if overall they offer more variety in base design that doesn't mean a lot if most range from "meh" too "ugh". There are some highlights, but sadly some of those highlights are in hexes that don't get a lot of action. Hexes not getting action, and some getting far too much, is another issue. But I'll cut this short - you get the gist.

    Nerf/buffs I'll admit have improved gameplay somewhat, but have also just been a little overdone, a little at a time, for a long time. So there are a lot of wet noodles and lower diversity in general as players flock to the still-useful weapons. Also, they've focused a lot on stat tweaking, rather than getting down to mechanic issues. Canister and Vulcan are great examples of this. Although the recent decision to turn Striker into coyote style rather than lock-on is a nice change of pace - hopefully that approach is not as rare in the future. But...then there's also the Spiker...so I'm not optimistic.

    The game also still has godawful aesthetic design(this is not same as bad graphics). Yes, you can find an occasionally sort-of screenshot worthy at-a-certain-angle landscapey view or whatever(spare me, please), but we've got old and ugly gun and armor models(many which were supposed to be placeholders...) and the color sensibility is awful. Sound wise they're not great either although the TR update was nice(NC needs one desperately now). The bases are still full of bad/impractical/stupid designs(see turret placements for lulz), copy paste, with very little in the way of atmosphere or ambient niceties. You take a piece of territory, and glowy stuff changes colors. Woo. They are extremely gamey and not even in a charming minimalist way.

    I can also hardly play with a vanu carbine the first person view of them is so terrible. Their MAX is also hilarious looking. I ended up choosing TR as my first faction purely because they were the least terrible looking - my MAX doesn't wear high heals and have salad ****** arms, and my infiltrator...well he's into S&M maybe but at least not the dorky bra NC has, or the hideous blue and yellow color scheme NC is stuck with that ruins most of the camo in the game. Okay...yes the Prowler is the stupid looking tank but eh, that's price I can pay. Oh and iron sights that suck...which actually kind of hurts but whatever I roll MAX instead of infantry most of the time 'cause it's just stronger infantry.

    Maybe I hone on this more than most as I'm an artsy fartsy type, but the game is an assault on my eyes sometimes. Some gamers try to downplay the value of all things aesthetic and focus solely on gameplay(which is certainly the most important thing), but bad aesthetics can really drag on you over time.

    Looking at the game from release to now, it just hasn't gone anywhere noteworthy or remarkable, and is definitely not living up to its potential. It's still a hop-in, hop-out open world TDM-ish casual game. Which I would be fine with if they'd improved on that more, but they've instead made much of those elements worse with changes meant to elevate strategy/"the meta" that simply failed to do so in any meaningful ways. Meanwhile the game feels clunky, unpolished, and ugly as well - adding to that "beta" feel like in my catchy title.

    I honestly think at this point they should just drop the grand strategy angle. It's not gonna work. Numbers rule, spam rules, and territory doesn't matter to most players - especially when KD and cert gain are such a common concern for players making cooperative/objective focused play take the backseat to individual worries.

    Instead, the new direction should be toward making basic gameplay more fun, and improving on quality of life things like general polish, aesthetic design, gun and vehicle mechanics' smoothness/quality, performance/hit detection issues, weapon balancing especially since we have tons of duds almost no one uses and some that are obviously overpowered(Orion...still)... and etc. etc. These sort of changes would get me playing more/more often than any of the attempts at improving the meta.

    Let it just be a more casual game, that looks and feels good to play.

    Maybe eventually it could be more of a grand strategy FPS, but without the basics I think I'll continue to watch the game's slow decline.

    Oh and maybe they should make it not suck so much for new players. It seems like it's always on their mind but they can't fully commit to this and just end up making only occasional half-hearted changes.

    That's the end of my rant, if you read this far I reward you with this cute picture of my dog:

    • Up x 9
  2. Leftconsin

    I just skipped down to the picture of the dog.

    Care to sum this up in a paragraph?
    • Up x 1
  3. Snorelamp

    Added TL: DR towards the top.

    Here's another dog picture:

    • Up x 6
  4. KenDelta

    Did not read a single word from that wall of text.

    Lattice isn't THAT bad.
    Hopefully QoL will get better with the upcoming patch.
    Core gameplay as in ?
  5. Crashsplash

    He likes hats.

    More seriously, you seems to concentrate on the exact opposite things to me. I want better game systems, I want an interesting game rather than a casual but I don't think those two things are mutually exclusive.

    But on the whole I think I've given up with PS2. I held out hope from a couple of years but it doesn't seem that the devs are taking the game in the right direction, for me anyway, but I do think you're going to get your casual game. Enjoy!
    • Up x 1
  6. SacredRay

    This is a forum. Unless the OP is completely incoherent and/or trolling, I feel it is disrespectful to brag that you didn't read an OP.

    The thing that really grinds me about this game is that true FPS skill is not rewarded due to a combination of bad mechanics and alot of poor design choices in the game. If you can't even have confidence in shooting someone dead when you clearly are in the position to, the game is bad. End of story.
    • Up x 10
  7. AssaultPig

    lattice was a good change

    there are some QoL problems but there has been steady improvement on this front

    core gameplay is pretty solid if a bit repetitive

    pre-lattice maps/battles weren't more compelling; there was nothing interesting about excessive numbers spilling into every surrounding base any time there was slight difficulty capturing anything. Fighting hung up in all the same places it does now, those places just became islands of one color in a sea of opposing color. With the lattice and underpopped faction can kinda use hard-to-capture bases as chokepoints.

    it's always been a casual game decided by superior numbers; it's never been anything else.
    • Up x 1
  8. NinjaTurtle

    I agree.

    As of yet we have "parts" of a meta. The resource revamp is less than half here. Territory does not matter one little bit. There is no real tactical advantage to any base aside Tech Plants so you can pull MBTs. There is no possibility to win through attrition. You get resources as a passive gain rather than having to harvest or recover them etc etc

    The lattice is fine, I'd prefer a hybrid of hex and lattice as this would add greater tactical depth rather than funneling zergs into choke points

    The cont locking if a great future meta, but as of yet it is just that a future glimpse of what the game will be. There is no real continental conquest, no battle island, no sanctuaries, no home continents. It is just the very bare bones

    And then there's the bugs and poor performance which after coming up to 2 years you'd think would be ironed out. The work done in OMFG has been undone by the patches since, that was a wasted 3+ months. The QA is dreadful

    I truly believe this game could be the greatest game EVER, but at every hurdle SOE either play it to safe or have simply prioritized the wrong things. This game is and probably will always be a "what it could have been"
    • Up x 2
  9. SacredRay

    Better consult your definition about what "core gameplay" means. In even the most forgettable FPS, the "Core Gameplay" is that you pick a gun and shoot someone. All other external factors come into play past that.

    In PS2, you cannot even do this alot of the time; lag + FPS drops (I don't get this), hit detection + packetloss (rampant for everyone) and some bugs... "core gameplay" is therefore anything but solid.
    • Up x 1
  10. Halo572

    No one is going to read past the title with that wall of text. Maybe bind it in leather and send us all a volume to cherish?

    And it is a 'what if' title.

    If you take what the advertising says and treat it in the same way as you would something a politician says then it makes sense.

    A deep, strategic, high skill, indepth MMOFPS.

    Or a low skill, instagib, no strategy past making sure you dominate your opponent with a high RPM/one hit kill weapon, TDM on a big map MMOFPS.

    I am struggling to maintain my experimental character, I want to get 1000 certs for an NC11 to test my 'never play where an enemy is less than 30m from you as you will be instagibbed' theory. The Mercenary proved adequate earlier in the week, but now is not working.

    That is difficult to test though, as the game is funnelled into combat less than 30m and I know by default I will be dead and I have already proven that theory on the previous 5 characters and 2 1/2 years on/off playing time.

    Nearly 800 certs, but the constant invisible snipers, heavies, maxes and aircraft better in hand to hand combat than infantry are so objectionable you give up because of the online experience.

    Then throw in that it doesn't seem that I am doing any damage and can only obtain kill assists and even scientific interest to prove something is not strong enough to bother.

    Delete Character 6 won't be too far off and I think it will be quite a relief.
  11. Aegie

    Cute dog is cute.

    Also, I agree. I have not been playing nearly as much lately (of course, I have been playing regularly since beta so that is probably to be expected) but yesterday I was trying to play at longer ranges and logged off soon after I got frustrated with all the spastic model movements that made playing at that range laughable.
  12. CDN_Wolvie

    I disagree with your final assessment that the game needs to go more 'casual'. If anything, that is one of the biggest reasons that brought us to its current state.

    Let's face it, the casuals have all left. Anyone still left wondering about the state of PS2 after 2 years simply is beyond being casual about this game.

    I disagree so much with this assessment, I recently uninstalled PS2 and installed PS1. Its better than PS2 in many respects (especially in base design) and if there was a way to have it be better supported monetarily while staying F2P, I would be behind that just like I used to be supportive of PS2 - I've given up all hope that there will be much use of the money I spent on PS2 anymore, the repeatedly worse hitching leading to such situations as crashing and killing my squad while flying my beloved Galaxy was the final nail in the coffin.

    And even despite how much better PS1 is than PS2, I have come across interviews with the PS1 Devs from just a few years ago where they say they didn't go as far as they thought they could with that ... meanwhile PS2 doesn't even break even with PS1 on the whole, let alone surpass it into the stuff it could have been better than its predecessor in.

    Please note, I say this as someone who played PS1 Public Beta first, then fast forward many years played PS2 since its Beta, because it was Free 2 Play and I missed out on the first one because paying subscription fees just isn't in the cards. 2 years of PS2 later, I find out that PS1 is now F2P ... so I finally get to give it a decent shot. Only to find its better than PS2 in most areas but graphics.

    Friends that have left PS2 long before I, are joining me to play PS1 and loving it too. *shrugs* Oh well, RIP still twitching corpse of PS2, all hail the undead lich king PS1. :p
    • Up x 2
  13. Noktaj

    Read the wall.
    I do agree with many things, while disagree with many others.

    What I feel to say is that SOE really need to STAPH putting in new content (who cares for the Valkirye?) and fix the darn game.
    I crash usually 2 / 3 times every gameplay session, FPS drops after 45minutes, server lags everytime during prime time, hit detection is horrible, DIRECTIVE RESET and WON'T EVER BE RESTORED, plus adrenaline shield is still not working and i can go on and on with the list of bugs.

    In this, I agree with OP. Game still feels like it's in beta.

    Plus, with the half-baked resource revamp, and directive grind, game is truly becoming MMO-TDM.

    They should hold everything and focusing on:
    1) Fix the bugs
    2) finish the resource revamp
    3) putting in the "territory 2.0" they are talking about with a mixture of lattice-exagon system.
    • Up x 2
  14. pnkdth

    The game feels just like any other MMO out there, features being added, balance changes, emergency patches, etc etc.

    "The problem is that the gameplay and gameworld have evolved very little post release." 1 new continent, 1 unique vehicle, just recently. Medic and engineer got fleshed out, infiltrator got more tools. LA deserve some attention still.

    I do agree with you on two points though, improving the feel of weapons/vehicles, and cleaning up the UI. This helps with the overall impression, and when something feels really good you can forgive other short-comings. However, coming back from a two months breaks I gotta say, compared to other FPS games, PS2 has changed my expectations forever, and all these other games feel so tiny and shallow.
  15. NinjaKirby

    Thumbs up to OP's post for being so honest and eloquently composed. I wouldn't actually call it a wall of text just because he didn't prettify it with colours and different font sizes - it contained good paragraphing and a great summary of his thoughts.

    It is frustrating there still isn't much to be fighting for after all this development time (despite it's gone Gold right, lol). I can live with lattice because there still is quite a few good small fights to be had, where team work and individual actions can count if you like that sort of thing.

    But yeah, Hit Detection is a REAL pain in the *** and needs fixing! Client stability for me is pretty good though (across both my different PC's), and Resource Revamp needs fixing fast.

    Regarding client stability, I know I'm lucky and a lot of other people get CTD's and all sorts of BS. We need these players to stay and support the game... so I basically echo Noktaj's 3 point list who posted above me.

    Get the game back in good working order, and get the meaty fundamentals finished off! Fighting for the sake of fighting is probably why I can't play for more then 2 hours at a time (Yeah, completing alerts is a challenge for me), because usually there isn't much to fight for and it wears one down fast...
  16. Iridar51

    If you think PlanetSide 2 has bad aesthetics, you should play Hawken and Warframe.
    Just look at this. These are the games I couldn't play because of how ugly everything is.
    • Up x 1
  17. Zotamedu

    The more cynical players have considered this a two year beta for the Playstation 4 version of Planetside 2.
    • Up x 3
  18. Elrobochanco

    Could not disagree more. Things may not always develop the way you would like, but the amount of change the game has had for the better is amazing especially compared to other F2P or MMOs.

    Dog pic saves the post.
    • Up x 1
  19. Champagon

    I am enjoying watching people finally see how the CoD crowd is ruining PS2. But slowly........maybe now people will actually start complaining in the RIGHT direction on the forums /shrug
  20. eldarfalcongravtank

    i can definitely agree with this. the HUD clutter is unbearable. you get a 24/7 infoglut even though you want to chill and just enjoy playing the game. the pile of information on the screen is not only unnecessary but also ruins the game's immersion a lot! completely turning off the HUD is not an option since you cant see the friendly doritos anymore and will only end up killing teammates. an option to turn off several components of the HUD would be a good start and a slider for the HUD transparency would be perfect

    the game design isn't atrocious as you make it out to be. but it could be MILES better. more authentic designs for soldiers, weapons and vehicles as well as more variety for gun models are a must. currently, this game is not a "gritty all-out war game" (as the devs call it) but a freakin comic show, only the speech bubbles for the characters are missing if the say something or kill someone

    THEN THERE ARE THE INGAME SOUNDS, THEY ARE MEDIOCRE AT BEST RIGHT NOW:mad: everytime i play a match of Battlefield4, i pretty much get eargasms listening to the realistic war soundscape. but in PS2 almost all sounds (both for the guns and vehicles) are boring and dont create any atmosphere that is crucial for immersion. they need to revamp any sound that is currently ingame, especially for NS weapons, NC weapons, vehicle weapons, vehicle engines (except for magrider and valkyrie which are awesome) and all voiceovers. soe better start sooner than later with this. sounds are something they neglect a lot and dont appreciate as much as for instance dice (developer of battlefield games) does