Class Balance - Wrel, Koolaid, and Youngblood

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by STLYoungblood, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Posse

    For me? Killing bad guys, the more bad guys I kill the more fun I have.

    In the same one, I main HA but there are situations where I find LA to be much better (tower attacks, bio labs, Vanu Archives), that's why I said it was situational (for me).

    Yes and no, there are some bases where having control of the roofs is very important, sadly, those bases are a minority, I'd love for that to change.


    This depends on the situation too, but I agree that the revive mechanic is ridiculously broken and that MAXes are there just to make the game worse.
    • Up x 1
  2. Aegie

    A good point- I guess what I was trying to impress is that if there was no way to revive or repair a MAX unit then I do not think people would play them very often. True, they would still be able to take more damage than a basic infantry and they could still be certed into different roles than basic infantry but they would hardly be what they are now.

    I tend to think of MAX more like vehicles and less like infantry.

    Anyone who has any meaningful experience with PS2 should know the only "strategy" that exists- Medic-Max-Engineer. IMO, however, this "strategy" relies very heavily on the abilities of the Medic and Engineer. A MAX crash without Medics and Engineers is often just a waste of resources (at least since they balanced ZOE).
  3. Phrygen

    guy is still a scumbag.
    • Up x 3
  4. PeanutMF

    Although not specifically discussed in the video, I also think the argument that class balance needs to be uniformly distributed is stupid.

    It might apply to some games but games with niche or support classes don't necessarily need this. In at higher level or competitive play in TF2 the most commonly used classes were Medic, Scout, Solder and Demoman. Less than half of the classes of 9 were used, but the others were used, it simply was that their roles were too niche to be used in all situations. But if utilised correctly for the short/situational times they were used those classes could be very powerful.

    Currently with the PS2 support classes I believe the engineer is in a much better place with regards to how powerful his support ability is compared to the effort required. Supplying ammo, a necessary but ultimately tedious task that is needed for logistics, is very easy, but hardly scales at all with the number of engineers, one ammo pack is usually more than enough. Repairing MAXes and vehicles is a very powerful ability that takes a lot of the engineer's time and is restricted in some way (heat), but scales well with the number of engineers you have. It requires the use of more engineers, scaling with the number of mechanised units you are using.

    With the medic, it requires hardly any effort at all to perform their support role, and on top of that they get the weapon class that has some of the most powerful guns in the game.

    It takes less than 2 seconds to revive a single person if you have a maxed out tool, you revive a MAX in ~4 seconds and then heave the rest of the heavy lifting to the squad engineer who has to repair the rest of the MAX's health. The medic's heal ability is an extremely useful ability (AoE heal is also a very good personal ability that basically eliminates personal attrition) which doesn't take very much effort but scales well with the number of medics you have, fortunately the TTK in this game is fast enough that having enemies re-appearing with full health after surviving an encounter isn't the end of the world if you have better aim/positioning/reaction time than them.

    However the effort required to bring a player back to life, which is basically godlike, is just as much as simply healing others (if not less), you can revive a MAX faster than an engineer would repair it from 1 hp, and if I'm not mistaken the time to revive infantry is faster or equal to the time taken to heal as well (which commonly means that they might be able to revive someone in the open at longer ranges where the average TTK is higher). Hell if you want you can just chuck in a grenade and revive as many people as there are in the radius with the press of a button. Not only doesn't it require much effort on the medic's part (there is no heat mechanic at all, and it takes sweet FA time), except for the token effort for MAXes that has been added now, but it also scales extremely well with the number of medics you have.

    Couple this with the inability for anyone (I mean anyone, not just some dude who gets a head shot with some super special sniper rifle or that one guy who equipped some silly proposed (?) acid grenade) to destroy corpses and effectively forcing them to either babysit them for the next 5 medics to jump on their ***** (only to have them all be revived with a grenade) or deal with the same person again and again it becomes absolutely infuriating that there isn't some sort of limiting factor reviving people in this game yet.

    If I could have a say with reviving, I would think that there should be some preparation required before a revive can be done, but keep the time to revive the same if you are prepared. So you can't just whip it out and revive someone in a flash in the middle of a fight, focusing it as an ability that might be used post-combat, but not during, at least not without placing you at risk. It should be a deliberate thoughtful action, not a mindless click/jump fest. The exact number of corpses that could be revived with a fully charged medic tool would be a pointless debate here as it is easy to adjust, I think the concept is more important.

    Perhaps requiring a charge that builds up when you hold out your medic tool and press alt fire, which diminishes over time (so you can't holster it and save it for much later in a pinch, or that could be an alternative medic tool cert line) and is used up as you revive a corpse. If you run out of charge you can still revive but it will take a lot longer.

    At the same time nuke revive grenades from orbit, since they are the anathema of the above idea. If those two changes aren't enough, then let people destroy corpses by damaging them after the player dies. Another thing would be make the revive sound affect different from healing, and distinct from background noise (more audible) so that you know what is happening and that the dude you just killed might be coming back again (and that there is a medic in the area).


    Uniformly distributed class population is stupid.

    Engineers balanced support class - easy (ammo) tasks don't scale well with numbers, hard (repair) tasks scale well. Unfortunately also has bad weapon class comparatively (bad for enjoyability of the class in infantry combat)

    Medics imbalanced support class - all tasks are easy, and scale well with numbers. Revive should not be so effortless to achieve, too powerful. Has best weapon class.

    Possibly add charge mechanic (not a heat mechanic, and not like the Lancer/Vortex charge, but where you spend time filling a charge bar that is consumed as you revive, but diminishes over time) to the medic tool, so that the penalty is taken before the revive, not after. This makes reviving a deliberate action that cannot be done easily during a fight.

    Destroy revive grenades with righteous holy fire.
    • Up x 4
  5. Axehilt

    Being unrepairable/unrevivable wouldn't really change much for MAXes. It wouldn't dramatically distance themselves from infantry (who often die without being healed or revived.) The ability to automatically win the first fight, and probably get another good ~2 kills afterwards (with same-skill participants all around) is definitely worth it in that context, and removing repair/revive wouldn't change that by any significant amount.

    Even without support, a MAX crash gains much more territory than you normally would. If it fails it's never due to class choice, it's always due to the outside factors (the defenders having some combination of skill, population, or base advantage.)

    If MAXes were outdoors only, you could think of them like vehicles and that'd be fine. But since they co-exist indoors, they have to be balanced with the indoors stuff or the result will be MAX-heavy fights (and MAX-heavy fights is what we see, because they're not balanced.) The reality is the game basically has an outdoor and indoor ecosystem, and while we see (mostly) balance in the outdoor ecosystem among the vehicles, indoors is dramatically different because there is only one overpowered thing. It's shallower, and it cuts into the value of even caring about infantry class balance (why even discuss it, if a trump card beats all infantry classes indoors?)
  6. Posse

    I agree with what you say, but making them unrevivable would be a good start anyway, and yes, MAXes being completely dominant indoors makes every other infantry balance discussion pretty worthless.
  7. Nitrobudyn

    You mean the teamkiller or the other teamkiller?

    What if the avenging guys awesome killstreak was ended by lightnings cannon? What if they know eachother? You see only one side of the situation and i don't think it is enough to tell who's the ****** here.
  8. Axehilt

    Why not solve the fundamental underlying issue instead?

    Since beta, MAXes have received a ton of non-fixes (cooldown, cost, slower revives, etc) which have failed to balance the class. It's the core attributes (damage+firepower) that make a MAX overpowered. Changes which don't address that core imbalance have historically failed to balance MAXes, and will continue to fail if we did things like make MAXes unrevivable.
  9. Phrygen

    one did it intentional, wasting his resources and the resources of the tank.

    The other was using thermal, could barely tell the difference between targets, and TKed unintentionally with splash when the friendly LA fell into his firing line. And they were arguing after in whispers so no they are not friendly. Maybe use your eyes when watching the vid, you would "see" the situation.

    Get over yourself.
  10. Posse

    You'd have to ask the devs, if it were up to me I'd remove one arm, but that involves deleting weapons that people paid real money for (you could also cut the damage of MAX AI weapons in half)
  11. Axehilt

    Well it's not like nobody's ever balanced a tanky class with damage-focused classes in a game before. MAXes can be balanced, the devs just have to be willing to fix the problem directly rather than dance around trying to let them remain overpowered while being balanced (which makes no sense.)
  12. Nitrobudyn

    It was a medic and.. what whispers? are we even talking about the same situation: 9:55-10:25?
  13. Phrygen

    the NC was in fact a medic when he died, the only visible target was an LA when that NC died. I was aware he used c4 to tk as a medic, but gave him the benefit of the doubt that he started as LA.

    Said NC argues in whisper chat at 10:45 with the lighting driver.
  14. Nitrobudyn

    I didn't noticed the whisper, You didn't noticed that he was a medic and yet You claim You know everything about the situation - i won't argue with that because it would be kind of pointless.

  15. Posse

    I seriously doubt they even understand how overpowered they are, that's the problem
    • Up x 1
  16. Ryme

    I think it's a conflict between the game design and the business model. Large scale combined arms games typically have defined roles to make each "class" feel more diverse and purposed. A game like BF may have different classes that you need to rank up individually, but the rate of unlocking for each is all timely and relatively quick.

    However, since PS2 is a F2P game, the rate of progression has to be adjusted to incentivize players to spend money while maintaining a general level of accessibility and flexibility to non-paying players, as not make the game "Pay 2 Win". This becomes all the more important and vital to such a large scale game, because insufficient player numbers negatively impacts the experience of paying players, potentially losing them as well.

    The end result are the cross role classes, and the state of 1v1 balanced infantry play conflicting against the 1vX balance of vehicles.

    This is further compounded by the fact that the game is titled "PlanetSide 2", distinctly tying it to the original Planetside. This means PS2 is expected to retain certain elements ( ie. MAXs) that were present in PS1, but may not actually fit well into the overall balance of the game they've created PS2.
  17. Phrygen

    His class was irrelevant

  18. Axehilt

    Getting hung up on class vs. role isn't a big deal and really has nothing to do with business model.
    • If Game A has classes which each fill 1 distinct role, that can be fine.
    • If Game B has loadouts which each fill 1 distinct role, that can be fine. (Note that a single class could fill multiple roles but that different loadouts are required to achieve that.)
    One advantage with Game B (Planetside 2) is that players can have a favorite class whose primary utility they enjoy, and then kit out their favorite class different ways depending on what the situation demands.

    Progression is another matter, and definitely one of PS2's flaws. Vertical progression is where spending time in a game makes you overtly stronger, like increasing your effective HP by ranking up Nanoweave. It directly reduces PVP quality, since winning ends up being more (by degrees) a contest of who played longer than who played better. PS2 has an uncomfortable amount of it in the form of things like Nanoweave (upgrading just gives you more HP) and certain weapon unlocks (until you have at least 1 long-ranged LMG, unlocking your first long-ranged LMG is a vertical upgrade.)

    Vertical progression isn't an automatic part of the business model. LoL's money comes overwhelmingly from playstyle unlocks (lateral progression,) and they'd do just as well without the very minor form of vertical progression they have in the game now (leveling up for talents.)
    • Up x 2
  19. Ryme

    I disagree. PS2's situation is that it is caught between being Game A and Game B.

    Being PS2 meant that it had to retain the class archetypes of PS1, a Game A. To better reiterate this point, go back to the video's discussion on MAX units. One of the first things they asked was why the MAX unit was in the game; it is basically a Lightening tank that can can fit in buildings and hallways. And while they went on to discuss on what role it should fill, they missed the most basic part of their initial question. Why are there MAX units in this game? Why put in this infantry/vehicle hybrid when there is already a more clearly defined "brawler" and AV class like in the form of the HA? If they were somehow essential to the flow of the game, it wouldn't be so hard to balance them. The simple answer is because they were an iconic element of PS1. This is why the game's design begins from a Game A state with the clearly labeled PS1 classes.

    But with PS2 now dependent on a F2P + Sub business model, it must attract and retain F2P players to sustain sufficient numbers to keep the paying players engaged. This means ease and scope of access to skirt around the label of "Pay 2 Win", making sure F2P players don't feel overtly penalized/restricted for not paying/subbing. Thus F2P players start with access to all the Game A classes and their respective roles.

    At the same time, SOE needed to provide an incentive for players to sub, which meant an extensive progression system, exclusive progression lines, and a contrasting progression rate that created an amount of progression content that warranted an ongoing subscription. But again, to avoid progression being interpreted as "Pay 2 Win" it had to be lateral. This results in the Game B state, with classes gaining loadout options that blur the roles assigned to the core classes.

    However, this also meant that players who invested soley in one class were rewarded with a character who was not just more effective at their core role, but could also excel in the roles of other classes. This inadvertently eliminates the need for "specialists" to develop the different classes, and warrants a Game A mentality of "us vs them" among the various classes. This is why even though everyone has access to every class, there are specialists who argue that "so and so" needs to be nerfed, or that it's inexcusable that their preferred class is less capable in a situation when another class is not (ie. Infiltrators wanting AV mines and C4).

    Also, I feel that PS2 is actually fairly good on limiting it's vertical progression in terms of Infantry balance. An invested and fully certed player does have a notable advantage over a new player, but is it not as insurmountable as it is in other games; try Blacklight: Retribution, where level/money is the difference between a weapon that requires a headshot to kill, and a weapon that can kill anyone if the bullet just grazes their toe.

    Vehicles are another matter, as I feel a preliminary problem in trying to balance them is deciding whether they are meant as a force multiplier tool or a class/playstyle unto themselves.
    • Up x 1
  20. PeanutMF

    It was a joke, I still don't like AI MAXes though.