Another Long Diatribe on How to Make PS a Better Game!

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Crazyfingers, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Crazyfingers

    Saw BuzzCutPsycho's post on reddit and it inspired me to finish up my own, now's the time for us as a community to brainstorm solutions so this game can be made as awesome possible! I didn't agree with all of his solutions, but there were tons of good ideas and he's spot on with what's at issue. Here's another personal take on the many issues surrounding this great game. I've enjoyed it over the past month, been compiling a list of things to talk about and finally put together this perspective of ideas. Hopefully it's not a bore to read, the issues have been hashed over many times, but it's the suggestions that make each of these posts unique and interesting, at least that's the hope! Anyway, enough of this intro blather, lets get into the discussion!

    Planetside 2 is an interesting beast of a game from an interesting beast of a developer. No game company has been marred or blessed in their lifespan like SOE by their players. They have a fervent and loyal customer base who has stuck with them through thick and thin, and the recurring monthly SOE business model makes catering to this relatively small but loyal slice of gaming their lifeline. Though they haven't fully recaptured their past glory as the kings of the MMO, they've stayed alive by learning to listen to their community. It's not the most lucrative, but it's steady, and that's fairly rare in this industry.

    Why am going over this random bit of info about SOE and what does this have to do with gameplay discussions in planetside? Because the internal struggle of keeping this loyal base and expanding their games into a larger mass audience is an obvious and core concern for this game. The original planetside players represents a VERY important consumer slice that may not represent a massive chunk of gamers, but are very stable, exactly what you need in an MMO. As such, we can see a lot of the original planetside in planetside 2, and we can see a lot of things brought over from planetside 1 that though they are a bit clunky and unrefined, serve to make the game familiar to this base. For better or worse this game is the sequel to the original MMO FPS. Much of SOE game systems are done not to make the game better, but familiar to their loyal user base. If these games are to break the mold and catapult to the level of success they have the potential to, design needs to be put 100% into make their games accessible and great in its own right. You can't muddy game design and hope for a product that's rock solid that will be a success for years to come to an expanding audience. The current design of planetside 2 feels safe, what's brought over to cater to the planetside vets feels clunky. Dated vehicle terminals, clunky map navigation, boring base mechanics and some of the rushed new systems feel clunkier still. Not in a rough sort of way, in a fatally designed sort of way.

    The sooner failing systems are gutted from planetside 2 and replaced with solid cohesive systems the sooner the game can start making a recovery in its meta game. The overarching objective and vehicle systems are a cancer to the game that could end up killing it in the short term if they absorb too much design time. The shelf life of games isn't very long and you only have so long to make a lasting impression. The best comparison for Planetside 2 in its current state would be Diablo 3. A Sequel, a Loyal fanbase, strong release sales, but fundamental flaws that could kill the game not long after release if they're not sorted quickly. Players are leaving fast and server pops are dwindling. Game dev takes substantial time and resources, there needs to be a solid foundation of ideas to move toward, as these systems work together to form an experience worth playing. For better or worse, planetside has more of these systems that can break the player's experience, if they come together the game could really sing, but if they fail, that's that much more game to be a terrible unfun mess. 99% of this game could be absolutely amazing, but it only takes 1 broken mechanic in a system to plunge it into mediocrity.

    Ok, before we jump into a laundry list of what's unfun and needs fixing, lets focus on the POSITIVES! What actually works and is fun in planetside? What are the gameplay scenarios we need to foster to make this worth playing in the long haul? I wouldn't be making this post if there wasn't a game underneath the current meta that wasn't an absolute blast to play.

    Infantry vs infantry is awesome... nothing else to add. If this game was nothing but infantry it would be rock solid, not planetside, but a solid as hell MMO FPS. I miss the initial week of combat at launch before everyone learned how to spawn vehicles, or end combat by actually taking over a base. It was an absolute blast when there was an established point of attack, and defenders in a region. Once in a while vehicles would enter the fray, but they served to accentuate the combat, not dominate it. Sure they would chew through 50 infantry at a time, but they were few enough in number that they did not snowball into a giant ball of death (we'll touch on this later).

    There was also tremendous variety of play that came from infantry in various region types. In large open fields, snipers would dominate and suppress forward progress, light assault could sneak in the sides and take out huge chunks of enemies with their explosive charges. The push would eventually get far enough forward that the heavy assaults would start to dominate and start pushing into the base. There's an inherent organic and fun nature to infantry vs infantry combat that makes it very special. This more than anything in planetside is good to go, but as stated earlier, planetside has many systems, and there are more places for this game to **** up than most. The current popularity of mass vehicles is suppressing the wonderful infantry heavy battles that once graced the majority of the battlefield.

    What else is fun? Vehicles, they're not all bad! Vehicles are ******* AWESOME.... in the right circumstances. Planetside often feels like a game with GM powers turned on for the players. Now what do I mean by this? Given the chance, players will ruin their own and everyone else's play experience by making themselves too powerful. It's the ultimate reason why there are rule sets in games, to create a fun, even playing field of multiple varieties. At any time in planetside, 50 players can spawn 50 tanks and liberators and just flat out decimate the entire enemy team. BUT! When there's a reasonable amount of ground and air power fighting off against each other, it is AWESOME. It's a totally different but just as exciting game experience as infantry combat, but doesn't have quite the same depth or polish and would say this would be best in a little more moderation than infantry combat. There's something awe inspiring about seeing 2 impenetrable offensive lines slowly whittle each other down in a battle of long ranged fire. Or a smaller skirmish of 1 or 2 tanks corner strafing in a small encampment, trying to position themselves for the killing blow, but being mindful of the slow guerrilla style attacks of nearby heavy infantry. Vehicle combat is definitely something worth saving, it just needs some tweaks at the top level to help the players create fair and fun engagements. The actual mechanics of driving tanks, buggies and sunderers is rock solid as is.

    Air! Air is fun.... sometimes. We're going over what works here, so lets save air discussion for later as it feels a little more rough around the edges in terms of core balance than the other two.

    Almost every system in this game is fun as hell in the right environment, the game is 100% salvageable, it's the overarching mechanics of objectives and resources that govern vehicular purchases that need tuning up. On top of all this, this game isn't very good at telling the player where to go or what to do, the players simply don't have a governing system to get them to a big fight which has resulted in the massive *********** of indar's crown which is the defacto "go to spot" where players can get some action. This results in mundane and repetitive fights. So here it is in a sentence what this game needs to do to be engaging for a massive number of players:

    "Communicate more elegantly where players can go for action while intelligently throttling powerful vehicles acquisition and objective exp gain for more compelling engagements."

    From here on out i'll be offering suggestions that seek to remedy these overarching issues while simplifying some of the bloat and creating dynamic combat situations in the many locals that this game offers. It's important to focus on what's fun and what works above while thinking of the mechanics to foster these compelling engagements. You want systems that nudge players to fun fights, but you don't want systems that take away all player freedom. What's the point of having a large open world game if players feel forced into certain areas? Lets brainstorm some systems that compel players into a range of scenarios, while leaving it up to them where the ultimately fight and how they fight to a reasonable degree.

    Issue #1 Base cap dynamics

    Three things need to happen to make base capping more exciting. As many have stated both defending and attacking need to be made lucrative in terms of exp gain, but equally important, areas of importance need to be prominent on the map so players know where to go to contest these areas, and spawning needs adjusting to maintain these long fights in a balanced manner.

    As it stands areas of contention will give X experience after being capped, and their contention times are determined by a muddy and confusing influence %. This does little to foster decent engagements and to the average player means nothing but a confusing modifier in how long it takes to cap a usually empty base that they may not even be aware of. Ideally we don't want players to go to an area to sit around and watch progress bars go up while they afk to surf the net, we want players to gravitate towards areas that need more players for defense or attack. What this means is an objective should entice players to defend if the offensive in the area is very strong, or if there are many players defending with no one to kill, entice players to come to the area to assault it. How can the game do this?

    Rather than flat capture bonuses there needs to be a dynamic point value assigned to an area easily read on the map to reward objective based combat. We don't always want the same areas to see action all the time and want to spice up play with new locals of interest. Imagine a system where territories grow in point value the longer they sit under any empire's control. Think of the "free parking" spot in monopoly with house rules, the longer the game goes on, the area accumulates in value until someone takes a massive pot. This same system could be brought over to planetside. Additionally, this system doesn't promote rapid fire capping of empty bases, because jumping from point to point would not be very lucrative, it's self regulating. Areas behind the front line would not increment in value to keep point tallies sane.

    These values are almost arbitrary in a way, they're the carrot on the stick, they lul the players in but it's the objective based combat many are after, the back and forth sway of battle over generators and cap points that gets us to log in. We don't want base capture mechanics because it's fun to watch a bar move up or down, they're the catalyst that starts the battle and can serve to offer new modes of play, their implementation must reflect this. So when a faction moves in to take a cap point, we want systems that foster a good head to head fight by attracting the right number of defenders or attackers.

    As for making defending a base lucrative this is an easy and exciting fix. Simply make the points up for contention for both the attackers and defenders. If the area is defended, the defenders get the exp instead of the attackers, maybe just a % like 50% to adjust for the defenders advantage of home base. At this point the base point value would go back to 0 to encourage battle elsewhere.

    These points are currently only bestowed at the end of the engagement when the battle is won, and objective play is barely incentivized. It's at a point where a large group of players are unaware of objectives even work because the personal exp gain is next to nothing. Two birds could be killed with one stone here by tying the capture point value normally given for taking the base with objective play. Take out a generator or flip a cap point? Your team gets 10% of the cap value right then and there, maybe with a boost for the players near the objective, removing this gain from the overall point value of the contested area. This serves to not only reward objective play but to give the other side a very real reason to defend the objectives while adding more moments of excitement and reward during an assault. Did the enemy team destroy your generator? BAM they just took 10% of your reward points from you. Want a bit back? Get in there and repair it! But expect some actual resistance since the other team doesn't want you stealing their points either!

    EXP modifiers: Not everyone cares for objective play and sometimes players just want a big massive battle without the fuss of moving around the map, this is where exp modifiers will help pull players into big action spots so there is incentive to fight in a big *** battle even if there may not be objective exp to be had and serve as another mechanic to drive players to a good even fight. This builds on the prior mechanic of dynamic point values for bases and would help build even fights in all locations be it objective based or not. Lets say there's a massive TR force in a region, like 60 units, displayed very boldly on the map for VS and NC to see would be a "x3 EXP" letting these factions know that any kills or any other exp giaining action they perform here will net them three times what they would normally get. This will seek to normalize battle populations and give players an incentive to fight the massive hoard. Players on the dominant team may even see exp detriments if the player population is too out of control. You may be thinking, "But 3x exp is too much people will get too much exp!" Keep in mind it's the vast minority getting this boost, and with such a boost it would likely be a bit short lived as more players should start funneling in for the bonus.

    It's exciting to think about how the above 2 systems could work together to create all kinds of highs and lows and reward players for all manner of play. I can envision a small elite squad of players who go after moderately saturated bases for quick exp acquisition, popping from base to base cashing in on bases before they're big enough to really register as "the place to be". Conversely, defensive play could be very lucrative, where players pop in fast and take back objectives for rapid exp cuts on the objective exp. Take a few objective points in a matter of minutes and you can steal a massive chunk of the contested areas point value in a matter of minutes, adding a twitch element to objective play that just doesn't exist currently.

    Such a system would require tuning of course, are bases being taken before they reach a point value that spurs the massive fights that this game screams for? Or do they go stagnant and players just bunny hop all over the map. Growth values could be tweaked, accelerated or decelerated at the high and low ends to ensure all manner of fights break out. The fact is that the current base mechanics are boring, somewhat uneventful, and do not promote a range of battle sizes. They are flat and imbalanced, favoring only assaults.

    Spawning! Sundy's are used a a crutch right now for offensive spawning. This is another area where too much of the control is in the players hands to create a good engagement. A well coordinated strike on a sunderer(s) can outright decimate an offensive's ability to stay in the battle. Vehicle mine cheese, as well as C4 can make any fight 1 sided in the favor of the defense, and currently they're incentivized to NOT kill the sunderers! Why kill the one source of exp when you're defending!? Imagine how bad it would be if they had an actual reason to repell the attackers for exp gain! There needs to be permanent outpost areas for offenses to spawn to keep battles interesting. These points should not be so close as to keep sunderers relevant, but it would be great if there were spawn systems in place to keep a good fight going and not relying on a well coordinated team to keep sunderers well placed and protected. I'm sorta glossing over this one but I don't want this post to spiral too far out of control, but spawning is an issue. I hate to request spawn timer adjustments, but this is another area where 1 sided fights could be evened a bit. Speed up the underdog spawn, lengthen the horde's, pretty obvious suggestion.
  2. Crazyfingers

    Issue #2: The vehicular death ball and the muddy resource system of PS 2
    This issue isn't isolated to planetside, in fact the term originated in starcraft 2, where the protoss could amass a ball of forces in the late game that could decimate any enemy force, it was often said that once the protoss amassed this ball of units, they had already won as nothing countered it other than another death ball.

    This issue is compounded further in planetside because it doesn't even take progress or investment by the enemy team to create this death ball! Just get 50 guys together and say "hey you guys feel like pwning anything and everything right now? Tank Line Time!" What's needed here is consolidation of the air, ground and infantry resources with cost modifiers based on how many of any given type are spawned by your faction at any given time. Repair mechanics also need adjusting to stop vehicles from snowballing into this massive ball of death.

    But I like pwning people in my tank! We all do, and it's core to this game, but the benefits of culling vehicles and air a bit far outweigh the cons of not being able to man a vehicle whenever you please. So how do we create combat scenarios where vehicles ADD to the combat without DETRACTING from it? It all comes down to creating relatively even numbers of vehicles for each side, pretty obvious, and ensuring even the best vehicle pilots at some point die, because 3 tanks in the right hands are sometimes more potent than a legion of pilots. We need to alternate ownership of vehicles so everyone has a chance to tear some ***. At present vehicles are dominated by a relatively elite few, and that's no fun for anyone, even the elite guys looking for a good fight. In order for there to be balance between infantry and armor, everyone should spend a little time in the trenches or the trenches eventually become desolate.

    The resource model for planetside 2 is overcomplicated and lacks depth because of this. This is one of those instances where less is more. I've been playing for a month and I still have no idea how resources are generated, just that I'm more or less powerless to change it. Lets consolidate these 3 resources into 1 type, opening the door for players to make meaningful decisions in their play where purchases influence each other and a more intuitive system for getting this resource back based more on personal actions than what the zerg of your faction does which you have no control over.

    Is your faction already dominating with tanks on that continent? Well now there's a steep cost modifier and it's going to take most of your entire bar to purchase one. It's your call if you want to buy a tank, you have the freedom to do it, but you wont be able to buy grenades, get a max, or get air in the foreseeable future because you bought that tank and once that tanks gone, you can't buy a tank for a loooong time unless armor dominance switches sides. On the flip side, if the enemy is dominating with air, you may get a very large discount to buy a Mossy to take down the enemy domination. You could buy the mossy back to back very easily to give substantial opposition to the enemy. Cert bonuses and premium membership would still work in this system to reduce ship costs in the same fashion. This system would also serve as an indicator for the player as to what they can expect on the battlefield. Currently if i buy a vehicle, i don't know what sort of resistance i'll find, this system would not only incentivise me to create resistance for heavy air opposition which makes for a good fight for everyone, but give me a heads up that i should be cautious with said vehicle.

    Next suggestion is to absolutely ditch the spawn timer, it serves no purpose when the system could be balanced around 1 well tuned resource system which is dynamic in a unified resource. By removing all this fluff we put all of the balance of vehicles into 1 uber system that can be tuned to near perfection. The current timer system more often than not prevent factions from putting up a good fight against overwhelming odds. If i go out and pwn with a tank 15 minutes later when they finally kill me I just spawn a new one, this system kicks you when you're down.

    Now I'm not suggesting the creation of a system that makes for an eternal stalemate, rather one that tries to help the underdog just a tad to get back into the fight, rather than creates a meat grinder for new players to be driven from playing the game. By all means, premium members should be able to spend most their time in their desired vehicle, but the current system is almost insanity. Lets strive for a bit more back and forth here and create some good fights for everyone.

    Finally, to fix vehicle and air deathballs, we need to make a % of damage unrepairable. Lets say 5% of all damage taken you cannot repair. So if you've been dominating in your tank for the last half hour, guess what, you're sorta hurting... you've repaired several times and gone back into the fight to pwn 10 more infantry with your totally overpowered tank fire, which is awesome! that's how vehicles should feel, overpowered death machines, but it shouldn't be eternal. After several repairs you can now only repair to a fraction of your max health and a single rear hit will take you out, your time of domination is probably near its end. After a long period of time of domination, there needs to be attrition. This opens some really awesome alternative stats for weapons and engineers. Maybe add a 1 time use thing for the owner of the vehicle to remove sustained damage, or create new weapons that do more than 5% attrition damage. Just a whole new avenue for potential unique items to be unlocked for the future!

    Lastly, sometimes you want a massive *********** of tanks, or a huge air battle of *** awesome! This is planetside, that's what this game is about! Make this resource system dynamic in this respect as well, not based off of ownership of territories as it currently stands, that servers only to make the strong stronger. Lets have moments in this game where everyone can spawn a tanks and/ or air for 80% off!

    "/yell Hey guys, tanks just plummeted in price it's tank battle time! Massive tank *********** at the crown!"

    Such a system could be randomized across each continent, so at any moment air may be favored on Indar, or vehicles at esamir, or maybe everything's super expensive on Amerish and it's infantry fight time! Any combination of price adjusting could occur to create truly dynamic engagements and when this is paired with the above revamps to base dynamics all manner of calculated well organized awesomeness could follow!

    Issue #3 Air Combat and Cheese in general
    I lumped air combat with cheese because more than anything else, air combat feels rooted in "cheese" play. What's "cheese" you may ask? It's when the outcome of battle is determined more by poor rock, paper, scissors balance than actual player skill or planning. Both combating air and fighting with air feels so hit or miss, you may fly out and encounter no resistance while dominating, or have an enemy crash into you from the side and have absolutely nothing you could have done about it.

    More than anything, the factor that's making balancing air complex is the unknown. You don't know where the major threat is when you're flying and you are that unknown threat. Maybe that's what makes air, air, but it feels too extreme right now. Air should both have a larger radar for enemies, but be revealed on the map. Adjusting damage by distance for flak and air would also go a long way to promote fair fights. At present Air and vehicles can snipe from so far away that they have absolutely 0 fighting chance to get cover or pose a threat, requiring air and vehicles to 2 shot infantry from very far away would help to create engagements, rather than farm fests.

    The skill cap required to repel air in most situations is also much higher than for other types of combat, if you can lead your target properly you will be an absolute anti air menace, totally overpowered in taking them down. On the contrary if you're like most players, you will be powerless to them and find them OP. There is too much extreme here, I feel hit detection on air needs to be made slightly larger and damage reduced to cull this disparity. Things like tank fire and heavy infantry rocket fire could be left as is as i feel this dynamic is pretty awesome, these shots are 1 in a 100 but so satisfying when you make them.

    And then we have things like anti tank mines, homing missiles and C4 that just feel terrribly out of place. Like there needs to be a "I win button" for those who want to pay for this stuff. But these counters are far too hard and as the player driving into the mines you feel powerless against them. These are the mechanics that are so out of wack that they could drive players from the game in a fit of rage. A better solution would be to have anti tank mines greatly increase damage taken by the vehicle for X seconds, maybe making a follow up rocket hit a 1 shot, but taking away their ability to stack and 1 shot kill a tank. This gives some sembalance of control of their death to the player rather than a rage enducing cheese kill while still giving the aggressor a chance for an easy tank kill, but not one while afk 2 miles away. The same can be said for large quantities of homing weapons. There are certain weapons in this game that can snowball and leave players powerless to their death, which just doesn't feel right.


    I think that's about it, I'm probably pushing it at this point for what's acceptable for 1 post anyway. Hope it wasn't too boring, a pain to read, or too offensive. As gamers we take all this stuff pretty personally because we're so passionate about it, this is just my own 2 cents of what could be done to make this game better over the coming months. Simplify certain aspects of the game, distill it so the play is organic and make finding a good fight natural and rewarding regardless of scale.

    If you made it to the end thanks for reading!
  3. alexm42

    Great post, I agree with most of what you're saying. I also think that the "attrition damage" idea is a really good one. I disagree with what you said about mines though. If a Vanguard hit a mine which under your system just made it much more vulnerable, it could just activate its shield and not have to worry about it. That being said, right now mines ARE overpowered. They need to be made area denial weapons rather than throw 2 down on an enemy deployed sunderer and BOOOM. They shouldn't be proximity based, they should be motion sensing. They basically work like cheaper, more powerful C4 in their current state since they can be thrown down on stationary targets and they go off.
  4. BeefNoodles

    I read about 50% of it. So far I like it, but you have to be more concise. A lot of what you say is fat that can be trimmed. I would try to cut it down severely, then repost it.

    If you aren't BuzzCutPsycho, people won't spend the time to read your long posts no matter how good your ideas are. Sorry man.

    I am enjoying reading it though
  5. Xuerian

    Ok, so. I read the first two posts. The XP bit was pretty good. A lot of nice ideas in there.

    Then it took a turn for the worse.

    Complication doesn't always mean depth, but making it lack depth because of this is just backwards.

    Aaand this is where I quit
    Step 1: Check "Resources" on the map
    Step 2: There is no step 2.
  6. Crazyfingers

    Thanks for the replies guys, glad you enjoyed the portions you read and it's unfortunate if some embellishments on what i felt were clunky systems drove you off of my post because I'm "noob".

    @Alex: good points, these changes would really kill the feel of mines being mines. I like the movement idea.

    @Beef: Not a figure head of the community but I'd like to think well thought out ideas can stand on their own, if we're not going to go into depth on our ideas and reason why in the overarching meta they make sense, then what's the point.
  7. Crashsplash

    I had a swift look at your point #1 - I think I agree but it's very long.
  8. Klagmire

    Get your degree in video game design and apply to SOE in austun texas.
  9. Crazyfingers

  10. PsychoBat

    I read your posts and I have to say, I really like the solutions you propose.

    I agree that the current AFK capping isn't the most interesting mechanic. Do I understand correctly that under your suggestion, the longer you manage to hold on to a base, the larger it's point pool becomes (making it more important to defend and to attack)? If so then that part I like. What I don't quite understand is when are these points rewarded. As I understand, whenever a conflict happens at that territory, whoever wins, gets the points. Doesn't that mean that there might be a small and unprepared attack against a good defense, defense wins easily and empties the pool which makes the territory low priority and doesn't allow conflict to grow?

    If you can, please elaborate a bit on that mechanic.

    If I understood the main point correctly though, I really like the idea of bases growing more valuable the longer they are held. For the attackers, the reward would be quite simple - the more "value points" the base has, the larger the reward for capturing it. For rewarding defense it seems a bit more difficult because as I mentioned in the first paragraph (and I might have misunderstood you), the defenders will get the "whole" reward even if they defend from a very small group of attackers.

    For defense I think there could be something more interesting then a one-time reward after a conflict. Perhaps an xp bonus while fighting on that territory that is proportional to the base's value. Perhaps allow upgrading of defense systems (turrets, shields) in bases that are at a larger value level. Perhaps really give a reward after each conflict that they defend from proportional to the size of the attack force.

    When rewarding for separate objectives (generators) it must be remembered that they can flip multiple times from one side to another and this flipping must not become farmable so attackers let defenders repair the generator for purpose for example just so they can get the reward for destoying it again. (That's not strictly in response to your suggestion, just something that needs to be considered when dealing with this.)

    I really like your suggestions about unifying all the resource into one and removing the timers entirely. That would make taking a vehicle a more difficult choice and you can't just keep rotating them. Also I like your idea about prices fluctuating depending on the amount of vehicles already in play. Some people have suggested limiting the amount of vehicles so you have to wait in a queue and the total vehicle amount is constant. I'm strongly against it and as you very well said, If I really really really want to take that tank, I must be able to. This will only mean that I can't take any other vehicles after that for a long time because the price of tanks is so high since there are so many of them on the continent at the time. It would work really well, I feel, although it will need to be balanced pretty hard since we might arrive to a situation where all the vehicle prices are constantly through the roof.

    I also agree that in that case, the vehicle timer can be removed. The resources will control the pacing themselves.

    I really like your idea about % unrepairable damage. That will help balance the vehicle numbers tremendously while also rewarding skill with longer operation times. If you're good at avoiding damage, you can keep going for theoretically forever, practically until your vehicle slowly wears out from constant damage received and repaired. It will also making attacking vehicles a lot more satisfying. Yeah, I'm getting spawncamped by a bunch of magriders but when I manage to hit one in the face a couple of times, 10% of that damage will remain and will eventually doom the driver into resource loss. This system would actually make vehicle drivers fear damage. Large amounts of camping and defending problems are because vehicle drivers feel invulnerable, since they can recover 100%.

    I actually think that air would not be needed to be changed too much. Think about it. The current problems with liberators not caring about AA damage, ESFs hovering above ground shooting pods at point blank range. All this would change if vehicles would actually have reason to care about the damage they receive above the "am I dead" treshold. Liberators and ESFs would actually start keeping away from areas with AA coverage because they don't want to further damage their vehicle. They can't repair it 100% each time anymore.

    Your final point of explosives I kind of disagree with. I feel that you should be able to blow up a sunderer with C4 if you manage to get into range and it's the defenses job to keep enemies away from their vehicles.

    As for mines, I kind of agree that they could be repurposed to area denial weapons. I would like for example if they would deal half the damage they do now but you could hold about 10 of them. You should also have limits on how close you can deploy them to each other. That way they could actually be used to create minefields before advancing attackers. It would also be nice in this case, if the mines would be persistent even after logoff (I hear it was that way in PS1). That would incentivize defensive minefields. And again, the unrepairable damage change would make these minefields meaningful because they would actually cause resource loss on the attacking side.

    I hope I managed to cover most of your points and I hope you let me know what you think of my comments.

    Again, thank you for these ideas. That kind of systematic problem solving is exactly what we need.
  11. Crazyfingers

    Right on Psychobat! Really stoked you like some of the ideas and thanks for the questions and insights on my other points. I get confused thinking about these ideas as a whole myself but i'll try my best to sort out these questions.

    Large defense squad letting small assault take base for easy recap exp:
    I doubt this would really be exploitable as a defense would only be able to take exp once an assault has actually flipped cap points in their favor and put the progress bar into their territory color (if that makes sense). The idea of a large defense force just letting in a small squad for several minutes is very slight. Also of note would be the other mechanic of bonus EXP for attackers in this area. If the attack was truly outnumbered there is incentive for others to join the fight as they'll see that big "X3 EXP" bonus on the map and know they can not only flock here for some good action, but very lucrative exp gain. A defense sitting around waiting to press their advantage could quickly realize they've squandered it.

    As for your concerns of farming objective flips, this is exactly the opposite of what would happen. So lets say the cap point has reached 2000 exp for the faction able to take it. When an objective flips the faction responsible for this takeover or generator destruction would get a % of this pool, removing it from the total. Attackers take out a generator? BAM 200 exp to that faction and only 1800 points up for contention left down from 2000. Letting objectives flip is the OPPOSITE of farming exp. The reward for these objectives isn't pulled from this air, it's pulled from the pool that everyone is fighting over making objective defense far more rewarding and diversifying the base play dynamics of the game.

    You may very well be right about vehicles not needing altering once a few changes are made to the game, it's easy to get swept away by the current state and overlook the changes incremental changes in other areas can make!

    As for sundy's sure, someone who flys in through harms way and manages to get off some explosives, yeah i suppose there needs to be a way to end these behemoths repaired and defended by a full platoon. But there have been other rage inducing moments where i spawn one and hit 2 right out of base and blow up in a matter of seconds from spawn. Maybe putting a timer on c4 and mines (if they're in an enemy territory) could solve this issue.

    And thank you too! I'm really glad you enjoyed the post!
  12. PsychoBat

    Thanks for a quick reply.
    Yeah, that 3x xp flag might lure in more attackers. Currently we often happen on bases almost capped by a small squad and easily remove them and cap the base back. I guess that wouldn't happen so much with the changes proposed as defense would rush in at a moments notice when a high value base is threatened.

    I'm a bit worried though if any base would get high value at all as even when a single enemy slumbers to a base, the fight will always escalate and one of the sides will get the rewards resetting the base. I think in order to allow high value bases to develop (if that is the intention), successful defense shouldn't reset the timer.

    But what will happen when the generator gets repaired and destroyed 10 times? Would the prize pool become zero?

    Yeah. I agree that mines should be a defensive tool, not offensive one. Minefields should form on friendly territories which are likely to be attacked, not on enemy territories.
  13. Crazyfingers

    Solid questions...

    I'm a bit worried though if any base would get high value at all as even when a single enemy slumbers to a base:
    This would all depend on how the system is tuned. Ideally we want planetside to foster a range of combat styles and sizes. Maybe there could be fail safes in place that could inject certain values into a base should Continental values reach lows, or larger bases could lay dormant at lower values and escalate rather quickly in the higher ranges and factions could play chicken waiting for someone to make the first move as it reaches a massive cap. There's also the possibility as many have suggested to make combat in an area boost its value (though this could become exploitable if not controlled). It's all a matter of tweaking values of linear vs exponential growth of cap values, among other potential nobs to ensure that the combat is dynamic and exciting. Having the defense of an area not reset the value to 0 would help to foster prolonged fights, I agree. But having them diminish it in the end helps a bit to spread out the fight.

    But what will happen when the generator gets repaired and destroyed 10 times? Would the prize pool become zero?

    I think this would be a necessary evil, unless of course point values can grow from battle in an area, but again this could become exploitable so maybe at some point it would reach 0 through diminishing returns, or perhaps more simply kept at a small enough value that it's not lucrative to farm and serves only to switch zerg vs zerg to an objective fight after a prolonged duration. In this situation, the full cap bonus would have been distributed to the enemy teams, each team only taking a fraction of the potential pot. It would be up to the squads who are focusing on objective exp to decide when the area has diminished in value to the point its not worth contending any more. Really hard to come up with ballpark values without having to be seen such a system in action and if it's still fulfilling to fight in these areas and have them peter out due to objective contention. It could end up being an interesting dynamic that alters the flow of combat maybe having alternative but not as lucrative wars of attrition that simply fade over time could be a nice alternative battle type. If not, objectives could have timers adjusted making it harder to reverse their ownership, repair times, etc.

    whew... again great questions, hadn't thought this far ahead yet
  14. Keiichi25

    Well, back in the original days of Planetside, the NTU silo was always something that required filling. Resources like pulling Air or ground vehicles were tapped from the NTU silos. The problem was, not many people wanted to supply it. The other problem was, attacking forces would bring AMS and use the local towers, and literally worked down the NTU silo until it drained for some fights. It made fights too short at times and difficult for the defenders.

    Right now, the current system does not support the process of a locked down resource system. Your explanation with regards to starcraft is fine, except you also have to presume that there is a fixed resource system that curbs it as well as the fact that in starcraft, you also dedicate a set amount of your resources to support the units you field, not just the resource to get said items.

    The real problem you see here is that the natural capping of resources is more dependent on the fact that resource gathering is hampered by something on a global decision. But since there is no overall commander or Continental Command, to task resources, it comes down to the individual to decide what resources is used and you will find that the individual is not going to use pooled resources properly either as you will see it rapidly depleted right off the bat instead of wisely used. So the only remaining thing is to give players their own level of resources, but again, most people don't see the 'critical' resource holding, so defending is not put into play as everyone is in for the 'kill and attack'.

    I have yet to see any game that actually actively encourages or rewards for defending without going on the offensive. And if you over bulk the defense, you make it less fun for the attackers. Hence why we have our current problem. Some defenses need to be put in, but not too many to make it literally impossible for the attacker to make a good push either.
  15. PsychoBat

    Yeah, it's quite important to keep resources separate between players as I believe a lot of people would take offense in other players getting vehicles with "their" resources and there would be fights on who should be allowed to take vehicles and who not.

    I haven't played PS1 but as much as I've been hearing about the NTU ANT system, I've really liked it. Maybe the ANT transports could make a return but they would not be connected to the global "resource" that will be used for getting vehicles and items but instead they would provide some kind of defensive resource that increases bases defensibility in some way.

    Lets say that each base has a "defense resource" pool that can be filled by ANTs from other bases. The more there is resources in the pool up to the maximum, defense would get increasing bonuses such as maybe turret health and rate of fire, decreased respawn time etc. When there are enemies in the base over a treshold, the defense pool would start to empty proportionally to the amount of attackers in the base and as it lowers, the defense bonuses would get smaller and smaller. That would make it important to organize ANT convoys to conflict territories to keep up the defense. The attackers can attack those convoys en route and thus slowly drain the defenders of their bonuses until they are able to take over the base.
  16. Keiichi25

    Well, the problem with the NTU ANT was that it wasn't really utilitzed that much unless it was for a base hold out near the end.

    Most people found refueling the NTU silos as a boring job as you had to get an ANT to a warpgate, fuel it up there. And with no transport vehicle, that meant driving ll the way to there to fuel it up, otherwise, a Galaxy or a Lodestar flying it in.

    The common tactic to prevent this short of air blowing the crap out of it, be it ground or in the air, was to mine around the NTU silo, which would then have people try to push out to EMP the area to give the ntu a chance to pump up the Silo.

    The problem still boils down to how do you get a very logical system to know that you are pulling an MBT for defense versus for offense.

    Don't forget, the point of the AMP station holding is also to boost turret heat sinking. The old Phalanx Turret system did not have a heat sink need and also required engineers to change the type of turret it is. While this system allows for specific turrets indefinitely, the heat system does not allow for continuous use despite the fact for the AV turrets the cannon reload time and AA is subjective to guessing if air is within range.
  17. Koldrin

    You present some great ideas. To summarize your post (accurately, I hope):

    • Infantry vs. Infantry
      • Fun, well-balanced, engaging. Don't change a thing. ■ Agreed 100%
      • Base defense should be more rewarding. ■ Agreed 100%
    • Vehicles
      • Fun when used as intended. ■ Agreed 100%
      • Imbalanced when used in large groups. ■ Agreed 100%
        • Balance could be achieved through a number of game-play adjustments:
        • For example, you could adjust vehicle resource cost based on how many vehicles your faction is running on that continent. The more vehicles your faction has, the greater the resource cost. ■ Great idea
        • ■ I feel that SOE could also reduce the rate of vehicle resource gain and boost the rate of infantry resource gain. At any given moment infantry should make up the bulk of a factions players.
      • Imbalanced when used against infantry for an extended period of time. ■ Agreed 100%
        • Balance could be achieved through a number of game-play adjustments:
        • For example, you could adjust vehicle damage so that an increasing percent of damage taken is non-repairable. This means vehicles would have a damage-based "shelf-life" beyond which they would not be repairable. This would force tankers to play infantry for periods of time. ■ Great idea
    • Air
      • Fun when used as intended. ■ Agreed 100%
      • Requires more skill than the average infantry/max/turret player has to effectively combat. This causes players too feel "helpless" against air which leads to air feeling overpowered. ■ Agreed 100%
        • Balance could be achieved through a number of game-play adjustments:
        • For example, new mechanics could be introduced making it easier for ground to target air. Not instant target, just mechanics within the skill range of the average player.
        • ■ SOE should upgrade the base mounted anti-air turrets in the game. Air should rule the skies between bases, hitting vehicle convoys and troop movements. They should be worried about flying within range of an entrenched base with manned anti-aircraft weapons. Currently they are not.
        • ■ SOE should also upgrade the anti-air capabilities of sunderers that have been deployed. They could provide serious anti-air cover but only when deployed and immobile.
    • Misc.
      • Mines should not be proximity based, but rather movement based.
      • ■ Perhaps mines could be spotted and disabled by engineers, only when they are moving on foot or riding a flash. This could give purpose to vehicle conveys being lead by infantry on flashes.
    • Up x 2
  18. Crazyfingers

    Yeah that sums up a lot of the class suggestions made by the above posters really well.

    Well summarized, Koldrin. And thanks for bringing a nice concise list to some of the madness in the thread.
  19. Crazyfingers

    Shameless bump, happy new years! :D
  20. Koldrin

    The resource gathering still exists, its just that in PlanetSide 2 it occurs behind the scenes, presumably automated by NPCs. Which is, honestly, how it should be in a FPS.

    Leave the grunge work to the NCPs and the fighting to the PCs.

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