A Big Reason New Players Quit

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Nighda Venesis, Jun 19, 2022.

  1. Nighda Venesis

    Over the years many things have been done to increase new player retention, whether it be creating official and community guides, improving default gear, renovating the tutorial area, even having it continue into the real game once said area has been passed, performance, game balance, and more. And while all of these are genuinely areas where concern exists, though I would say especially historically, and most relevant the closer to launch we look, many, but definitely not all of these areas are in a pretty good state at the moment.

    One thing however, which I believe to be one of the biggest factors that keeps new player retention from growing at the current time, what is bottlenecking progress in this regard, is the flow of the game; new players start off with a good tutorial that teaches them enough to get started with the good gear they start off with (arguably less so for vehicles, particularly in the nonweapon slots). However, without consistent, sustained battles to facilitate the ability for new players to practice and learn the rest of the game, it's not the new player who says no to planetside, but rather planetside who says no to the player. Fights dying instead of persisting and moving across the map defeats the purpose of this game, as sitting in menus looking for a new place to deploy is not too far off from a lobby shooter, except the game doesn't find a place for you to fight like they do. And in a game that is built around and supposed to be an open world continuous war on a massive scale, this reality can make it feel more stop and go than such lobby shooters, and poor management of the amount of continents and active lattice links doesn't help. Rarer are the instances like those early on in the life of the game where fights were beating and plentiful. So what changed?

    In the early days, as mentioned, the most relevant issues for player retention were the things listed above. At launch, there was essentially no tutorial at all, the game was at its grindiest, many couldn't even run the game in a playable state, and more. These days we are more in an opposite state where focus should be moved to the game itself. One of the biggest issues is that in attempting to solve the initial issues that plagued the health of the game is that side effects were created and compromises were taken: as a side effect of OMFG many bugs were created, most little, persistent, slowly chipping away at the sanity of players new and old, not giving a good impression to either, as well as, at least a perceived (I don't know the numbers, this might be false) reduction in the maximum amount of players per continent. Fewer players means fewer fights, less support for fights to increase their lifespan and temporal scope across the lattice. This reason, the flow of the game, is one that affects not just new players, but also those who have played for years, myself included, and it makes trying to play the game an annoyance in too many cases. Experienced Auraxians burn out, and both become disinterested. The lack of hype created through marketing is also a factor, however this growth is artificial, temporary, and not organic and sustainable. So what can be done to improve the situation?

    It appears the devs are currently taking a closer look at the spawn system, which is a good start. At the moment it's in one of its better instances depending on who you talk to; I would say so, but it certainly isn't perfect as vehicles still lack influence in the flow of players across the map, and the resulting lack of vehicles partly due to this and again lack of direct influence also in capturing and defending 90% of bases results in fewer spawn logistics and logistics defenders to keep a fight alive (the codex should also have an entries explaining exactly how such systems work). Server performance and stability, which has also recently been, and may continue to be a big issue, is also imperative to improve upon. I don't know what kind of hardware and drivers these servers are running, but over time it's important to ensure that they become more performant to increase player count on full scale continents to ensure that frontlines do end up feeling more well watered with fights. The state in this regard is decent currently, but still leaves lots of room for some areas to feel very empty, and sometimes literally empty. Bugs have also seen increased attention more recently, and I hope that more people can be hired to solve even more bugs; the rate is good at the moment, but should be better, especially since many of these have plagued the game for as long as some of us can remember. Having all of these persisting bugs fixed and the game working as intended would put many of us in a state of joyous disbelief and relief.

    What can the players do? Unfortunately, I don't think we can do that much at the moment. There are many factors which affect the flow of battle, and most of these are related to the game's systems themselves. What we can do, however, is keep a discussion going on this topic to let the developers know that we are interested in the refinery of this fundament. As experienced players we often discuss things which immediately frustrate us about the game like balance, and those discussions shouldn't stop, but it is these fundamental aspects of the game which need the most attention right now.

    Thank you for reading and considering.
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  2. TR5L4Y3R

    lack of consistent XP gain when you are not a good shot ... XP should be generally given by damage dealt (same with weapon directives)..
    weapon/platform balance is STILL out of wack
    aircraft dominating vehicles and infantry (dificould to get into for beginners/novices that don´t have a persistent interest in flying)
    vehicles dominating infantry,
    infantry being isolated in laticebases...

    LOTS of things costing too much certs to have to grind towards to ..
    alerts or gameplay not giving some boosts or small cosmetics for the player to feel rewarded to keep playing the game ...

    the devs of the game are SUPER stingy to give the player something for him investing time into the game ...
    • Up x 2
  3. MonnyMoony

    IMO - one of the reasons the game might be unappealing to new players is simply the learning curve.

    At launch and for a few years after - new players had a chance to survive and come out on top of encounters. We were all learning the game, accumulating gear etc. But we are many years into the game now and Vet players have accumulated all the best gear, learnt to handle specialised but devastating weapons, have bought many implants and learned all the synergies between them, have upgraded via ASP to give even more deadly options and have learnt all the idiosyncrasies and glitches in the game mechanics that given them an edge (e.g. which walls you can jump climb etc) - in some cases, an unfair one.

    All of this makes the game much much harder for new players today than it ever was.

    I think for PS2 to attract (and keep) more new players - the playing field needs to be re-leveled somewhat to account for this. Just a few simple changes like reducing the head shot multiplier or disallowing the deployment of med kits, shields or cloak whilst actively taking fire might go a long way (even a 0.25 or 0.5 second cooldown would stop sweaty try hard vets using such tools as an "I win" mechanism and would focus these things back to their intended use).

    I'd give EMP nades (and EMP thumper rounds) the ability to decloak targets again - like it used to be. I play infil a lot, but even I think this was a step too far.

    I'd give bases more teleporter rooms, tunnels etc, so that it's possible to get out of spawn easier - and i'd also place them in better locations. Many bases have teleporter rooms that are right next door to the main spawn room - which is completely pointless. IMO, medium to large bases should have 2 or 3 teleporter rooms or tunnels - and they should be spread across the base, not bunched up together.

    I'd also give bases more options for defenders to scale walls and ramparts (e.g. more ramps). Many bases are overlooked and are essentially kill boxes for HESH and Banshee spam.
    • Up x 1
  4. VV4LL3

    Main reason is competition curve. With many veteran players mixed among new players, there's a very steep PvP element that is hard to contend. The best game designs have curves that separate the new players from the higher skill capped players to prevent farming/ non-compete scenarios. Not many customers likes to play a new game and get demolished with no hope right out the gate all the time. Pretty simple. When OP weapons that are imbalanced are combined with great teamwork, the newer players really have little to no incentive to play. Who honestly would like to play a game and be the XP farm for veteran players? I've posted how the difficulty bell curve works before in gaming that appeals to most players -- which is the optimal goal from both a game development and business model perspective. You can't please every player, from the ultra incapable new player to the elite veteran, as they fall at both ends of the curve. The goal is to make a game for the lower 30% to advance 20% to the top of the curve, while also making a game that places the top to advance to the 70% mark. Pros hang around 80%-90%+, so no need to appease them anyways. New players though, in this game, are facing a very steep curve due to the monetary/ cert system and mixed skill cap player base interactions.
  5. Mechwolf

    From what I can tell on PS4, most players quit because they don't have other players to fight if they're TR. And they get outright swarmed by TR if they're not TR.
    • Up x 1
  6. VV4LL3

    Reference my statement on game difficulty.
  7. OneShadowWarrior

    Being spawn camped. One hit killed, facing a large zerg where server performance degrades and the inability to counter players who know how to cut your reaction time down by either crowding your space, outnumbering you or getting the instant headshot before you can react.
  8. synkrotron

    way back when, a group of lads who I used to play Gran Tursimo with pestered me to join them playing Battlefield 3

    I died 100 times before I got my first kill

    it took me many months to get to a point where I was managing to kill other players with any kind of consistency, although it was clear that I simply was never going to be good enough against younger players

    eventually, I gave up on BF3, but the bug to get back into first person shooters had bit

    after some research on the interwebs I found Planetside 2

    compared to BF3, for me, at least, PS2 was far easier to pick up and play, and get somewhere, as a crap player

    nowadays, if anyone who I kill more than a couple of times is interested, or able to understand what I am saying, I try to offer help and guidance by explaining why they have died to me so many times in quick succession
    • Up x 2