[Suggestion] Continent population balancing

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by GhostAvatar, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. GhostAvatar

    I think we can all agree that on most servers, the majority of people play on Indar. While this does make for some large epic battles on Indar, it also leaves the other continents to suffer and end up being capped by a large population imbalance for X faction or being ghost capped during off peak hours.

    SOE tried to fix this by changing the population XP bonus from server to continent populations. But it has ultimately failed as the continent population imbalance still exists on Esamir and Amerish as much as it did prior to the change. And when I speak of population imbalance, I am not only talking about faction imbalance on each continent, but also total population imbalance between the continents.

    I am just going to go dive right in and post my suggestion, before going into the reasoning (just for those TLDR people).

    1) Change the continent benefits from 10% discount for X Y or Z resource purchase to 10% XP boost. Example; if X faction has capped 2 continents, then X faction members get a 20% XP boost (regardless of being on either of those continents). This gives equal weight to the importance of capping each continent regardless of a players style of game play.

    2) Change the current faction population imbalance XP boost per continent so it is granted from the first % of imbalance. None of this 'you have to be at least X% under populated before we will consider giving you anything' rubbish. So if your faction is 20% imbalanced compared to the top faction, you get 20% XP boost. 2% population imbalance, you get 2% XP boost.

    3) Add in continent imbalance XP boost to all faction members on that continent, compared to the population of other continents. So for example if 40% of the total server population (regardless of faction) where on Indar, 35% on Esamir, and 25% on Amerish. Playing in Esamir would give you a 5% XP boost regardless of faction. While Amerish would give you a 15% XP boost.

    If you combine all three together you would actually give a big enough incentive to play (and try to cap) on a continent that is not owned by your faction, that is less populated, and that your faction is currently under represented in compared to the others.

    I actually sat for a while and tried to think about why so many play on Indar. Leaving Esamir and Amerish as virtual ghost towns, with only a few locations that have anything near a decent sized fight compared to Indar side of the game.

    Before anyone says that I play on a small server and that there server doesn't have that issue because it is so highly populated. I play on Miller (the server that all others where measured against prior to the merges), and yes while we do get a couple of hexs with enemy platoon detected (and even the odd one with platoons detected). Compared to Indar, where you can have several Hexs with enemy platoons detects (and just as many with platoon detected), Esamir and Amerish are ghost towns.

    With that aside I came to a couple of conclusions that I feel affect all servers. Firstly was the importance of the continent caps and also the benefits it provides to the players. Capping a continents is mostly meaningless to a player, due to the resource system currently in place. This is for two reason, one being that resources tend to flow so much that you never really feel the pinch enough to be worried about getting 10% off purchases. This especially applies to vehicle drivers/pilots, as the resources spent on there favourite vehicle are normally replenished by the time the cool down timer expires, or as long as they can keep there vehicle alive. The only benefit that has any meaning is the infantry discount (which happens to be Indar), due to not suffering from cool down timers for each purchase and how fast these items can be consumed by the players. Hence the draw to and the need for capping Indar over other continents.

    Now while that could be resolved by fixing the resource system, the other reasoning cant. That being an individuals play style. For some who like to play infantry, the discount on mech and air vehicles has very little meaning (hell, some people only get an ESF to use as personal transport to the front line and ditch it on arrival). This same continent specific incentive applies to both tankers and pilots, the only continent benefit that matters to them is the one that discounts there preferred play style. With that in mind, the first set of statistics that where released by Higby in regards to tank balancing showed that 85% of kills where by infantry. While that does not mean that 85% of the player base plays infantry, it is a good indicator that the majority of player play as infantry. Hence the draw for most people to play on Indar, being as the majority of people play infantry, Indar provides the infantry discount, and infantry resources are the only ones that have no cool down and are quickly consumed.

    Now while that explains what got the ball rolling on Indar, over the other continents. It doesn't fully explain why it is persistently always Indar that has the majority of the server population. Especially when the incentive for continent capping has a marginal effect on which continent people play. That goes a little deeper into the design flaws of the game and the continent balancing. The other reasoning is that Indar has the larger population in the first place that draws more people in, it is self-perpetuating. Players are drawn into Indar because there is always a fight to be found with ease, if you just want to play for fun. And there is always a zerg on zerg farm, for those who want to farm certs and grind XP.

    Compare that to the other continents, where you can spend more time trying to find a decent fight than actually fighting. It soon becomes a bore for those who just want to have fun and shoot at people. And for the cert farmers, well if the fun guys aren't playing there, then what have they got to farm? There only option is to go against that one zerg that is steam rolling the continent. Which honestly isn't going to get them the same amount of certs compared to the fights on Indar, because the battle will be 5 minute steam rolled fight - spawn camped - fall back to next hex and repeat same 5 minute steam rolled fight. Or they can go with the zerg and try to scramble over 20 other factions members to get that one kill, compared to the target rich environment of Indar. What needs to be done is to compensate the cert farmers with the additional down time compared to fights on Indar with additional XP to gain the same level of certs. This will start up more fights on these continents which (with the added XP) will draw in more of the fun players who just want to fight. Hopefully becoming self-perpetuating and balancing out the continents.

    What do you guys think?
    • Up x 1
  2. GhostAvatar

    Guess I should have labelled up the thread as AT mines need a nerf to actually get some kind of response.