Implants: Unforeseen consequences and the SPM disease

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by GrizzV, May 27, 2014.

  1. GrizzV

    Let me first say that the idea of implants is quite interesting to me, and I do believe that this game needs new mechanics, so I appreciate the attempt to introduce something new... shake things up.

    Also, let me be perfectly clear: This is NOT another argument about pay-to-win. Had enough of that.
    Personally I believe implants are not pay-to-win, but I know many disagree. Doesn't matter. Please leave the pay-to-win arguments out of this.

    This thread is intended to objectively point out certain side-effects of the new mechanic to gameplay, which may or may not have been anticipated. Onto business then:

    First, let me objectively look at implants: They provide a benefit, for a cost. Whatever that benefit is, big or small, the cost is that you have a finite resource that constantly drains while that benefit is active. Abstractly, the cost is power, the benefit is whatever your implant does.

    Given that it's a benefit, I want it. I SHOULD want it. It's a new mechanic, a way for me to improve my character, if only slightly, so having an implant should be something I want, something I strive for, something I work for to be able to have and sustain.

    Unfortunately, the constantly draining power is a detriment to certain play styles, and I will highlight certain use-cases below. The fact that XP, and thus score, per minute means more power favors play styles which maximize the score-per-minute play styles. Sometimes I don't care about milking XP and farming score. Sometimes I play for fun, which yields little XP, and thus cripples my ability to have the benefit from implants. Examples:

    1. Lone-wolf sniper: Anyone who's ever sniped in this games knows that in a big battle, it's useful to have a few snipers on your side. Keeps the enemies on their toes, knowing that if they stand still for a second, they get their head shot off. It's nice in a big fight as well as in a small fight to have snipers on your side.
    However, some people like to take the lone-wolf approach to sniping. I used to switch to my sniper and go behind enemy lines. I bought the ejection system on the ESF so I can drop myself behind enemy lines easier. I like to take my time to run AROUND a big fight, for that sweet spot, that one sexy location where I can have my way with the enemy front line. I often time would equip the ammo belt, and take a good 10-15 minutes just to run around the battle, and position myself such that I could wreck havoc with the enemy lines. I won several battles this way, but taking out all the medics sustaining the opposition in the hills, so my team could, by attrition, push and take the hill. Really fun, surviving behind enemy lines like that.
    CONS: With power constantly draining, why would I carry an implant? 20+ minutes of walking and positioning means I pay the cost of the implant for no reason. If you want to snipe, forget all this fun lone-wolf stuff, just stick with the pack, more shots-per-minute, more score-per-minute, more chargers.

    2. Stalker: I don't often do this, but it is a thrill to infiltrate the enemy lines, and hide. Dark-lights, cloak shimmering, lucky stray-shots, so many ways to get caught, and yet, if you take your time, if you're patient, and strike only when the situation is just right, it's quite exhilarating.
    CONS: If you take your time, you waste power. You just sit there, waiting, thinking: Well, I have 1600 power left.... now I have 1500... now 1400.... what am I doing here, need my fix, need to score some XP quick to have a chance at a charger dropping.

    3. Air-deterrent: So I pulled a sky-guard or an AA max to push back enemy air.... and I did... Now my guys are locked in an even fight, and the only reason we're still in this is because enemy liberators can't waltz in and demolish our sundies, because of me.... BUT, as an air deterrent, that implant is useless, and I get very little XP, since there is very little enemy air. If I want XP, I need to farm as a medic, not just sit back here waiting for the occasional ESF that will probably turbo its way out of my range.

    4. Defensive positions: We have 1 sunderer, and everyone's spawning at it. We're in this fight solely because of this one sunderer. The fight is even, and we're not really making headway, but we're trying. If two enemy light assaults work together to C4 this sundy, they will win the fight for their side. I know this, so I better hang back here by the sunderer and defend it, because if I nobody does, the tide of battle can be turned by some commando-like LAs. But why WOULD I take one for the team? What's in it for me? I sit here, waiting, maybe no enemies will go commando and rush the sundy, so I just sit here like an idiot while my energy slowly drains away, getting no XP, instead of going medic and farming certs on the front lines. Good strategic combat of leaving defensive positions as the column advances are discouraged by the fact that there's no XP in waiting for trouble to potentially come to you, and thus this resource is constantly wasted.

    5. The flip-side of 4: Commando. As a light assault, you know that you have the ability to infiltrate almost as well as an infiltrator in certain situations, and with C4, be MUCH more deadly about it. So if there's an enemy sunderer that you could get to, blow up, and turn the tide of battle in your favor, you should do it. Lots of XP in it. Downside? HARD! It's not always undefended, and it's not always easy to get to. So how about I try anyway? 2-3 of us trying? Dead over and over again while trying to get to that sundy to blow it up. Why would I risk dying so much and potentially never getting the job done? No XP in trying, meanwhile my resource keeps wasting away. I'll just go camp a corner or a tree and farm them as they come rushing out of the sundy, instead of trying to do what's best for my team and try my best to push the sundy. Why? Because once again, what's best for my team and for the battle is not best for me individually, so i'm not encouraged to do it at all.

    There are countless other scenarios where certain ways of playing the game are severely discouraged (i.e. the ones with less score-per-minute), while others are encouraged (have you ever seen 40+ medics cert-farming? go to any big biolab fight).

    Score-per-minute was always encouraged a little too much, and how you earn XP is a little lop-sided in this game, but that was emphasized by having a resource essentially tied to XP gain. You get chargers and all this "loot" stuff based on your activity, and certs to buy stuff also by activity.

    Implants didn't cause this problem. The fact that working towards wining a fight is not encouraged, and working for the benefit of the faction is often times not beneficial to the individual is just plain wrong. Implants simply add to this.

    I think the game needs a re-balance, and a way to reward working towards the good of the faction. One too many times I heard: "Leave their sundy alone, sit back and farm them" over proximity chat. The goal of a battle should be to win, not to farm kills.

    Any thoughts on the score-per-minute fever, the wasting of energy with many play styles, and/or possible solutions?

    TL;DR: If this is too long for you to read get out of my thread, you kids need to control your ADD or stop having opinions if you cannot sustain a chain of thought for more than 30 seconds.
    • Up x 9
  2. z1967

    So, implants the energy system for implants compounded the problem of playstyles with low cert gain? Is that what you are getting at?
    • Up x 4
  3. NCDaniel

    >caring about score.
    • Up x 1
  4. Garrum

    No, the energy system did.
    • Up x 1
  5. GrizzV

    Basically, yes.
    Implants are only useful some of the time, yet we pay the cost constantly, so the problem of: NEED TO MAX MY SPM is compounded. If I want my implant to be up and sustained, I need to maximize score and XP. It just added to the problem, really.

    How about you get a drop ONLY when you cap a territory? or ONLY when you defend a territory? Isn't that supposed to be our goal anyway?

    Energy is a goal now. I has to be a goal if I want my implant, and I SHOULD want my implant.
  6. GrizzV

    Right, sorry if I didn't make this clear enough: It's not implants that bother me, it's how we sustain them. The mechanic of the random drop plus the ever-draining resource don't fit planetside 2's xp model.
    • Up x 3
  7. z1967

    True, gonna edit my post because the energy system is really the foul part of implants.
  8. Corporate Thug

    After reading the thread "I don't use implants...Am I an isolated case", specifically this post it made me wonder how bad it is to not do very well at this game and be at an even bigger disadvantage. It does suck for the average player who isn't BR100 with tons of certs or able to make a decent SPM, but sadly this system won't be overhauled anytime soon.
  9. DrPapaPenguin

    Maxing out SPM was a theme going on long before implants were introduced, even if you reshuffle the way energy is awarded nothing will change. It's simply an extra reinforcement to such behaviour, and technically one that it didn't need in the first place as the certs were a reward in of themselves.

    And you know, farming sundies usually means that you have them firmly surrounded and under control, which means you have won the fight in any case. Therefore there's nothing wrong with earning a little extra credit before the fight is over.
  10. dedgaem

    i care about score. I don't wanna die virgin.
  11. Ronin Oni

    ^This is what he's saying...

    the ONLY problem I see with that is AA is too unrewarding.

    Sorry stalkers and long range snipers, but allow me to play the worlds smallest violin for you.

    Your XP gain is low because you're not doing much.
    • Up x 2
  12. NCDaniel

    You scored.
    • Up x 1
  13. Luke15g

    Yes, under the current system Implants do encourage playstyles that reward the high XP needed to maintain the charge to run them.
    Unfortunately, the majority of playstyles that give this needed XP fall firmly into the bracket of 'farming' where as roles geared more around supporting an attack/defense, some of which you listed, are in a way punished for doing so because they cannot support their implants.

    There are many ways the developers could resolve the issues with the current implant system and these have been discussed heavily already in the myriad of implant threads so I won't repeat them here, but until they address the issues I won't be using them.
    • Up x 1
  14. Alarox

    OP makes a good point, but being concise is extremely important when making a thread.
    • Up x 2
  15. LibertyRevolution

    So your complaint is that your low risk camp on some hill that took you 10mins to walk to playstyle, isn't paying enough drops?
    Good. Working as intended then.
  16. tekknej

    when i play the roles that i know wont bring me much SPM, i just don't use implants. or if i already stockpiled a lot of chargers before, i still can use them if i really need to.
    though i see that being a problem to newer players who are pushed even more to try and farm instead of playing how they like. but as already pointed out many times in this thread, that problem existed already. it just got a tiny bit more.
  17. FateJH

    I think the real problem is that people are placing too much importance on Implants. A lot of this sentiment is deriving itself from the suggested position that a working system allows for a typical player to be able to sustain a T3 Implant for their whole game session. The problem is that there are very few reasons to have to sustain any level Implant in most cases or even use them. No Implant is necessary for anything and most of them only offer marginal benefits.

    For example, why would a good sniper/Infiltrator need something that decreases their breath holding mechanic or check on their target's range? They should already be more than capable of accomodating those issues. The Implants are more like learning tools that assist one in getting better with a slightly more forgiving system, in this case, or a luxury of affording just a little more breathing room (no pun intended) when you afford it in energy.

    That's just the example of two Implants. Other mental exercises would play out different. You need to get that Sunderer you just pulled into battle and you need to do it safely or your platoon will never take the base? get out your EOD, slap it on, and start driving slowly but surely. Once you get there, you can take it off as long as you have good eyes. (That's another mental exercise.) The basic point I want to emphasize is that Implants as they stand confer insignificant benefits in marginal situations. They're situationally beneficial, not a functional necessity.
  18. Phyr

    Switch to a "don't give a f about implants" playstyle, and watch how much better life gets.
    • Up x 1
  19. GrizzV

    That's exactly right. I don't use implants because I can't be bothered to keep trying to maintain them. With my spm I probably could, but that's precisely the point of my thread: I should want implants, but I don't, because I have a very varied play style, and they feel like I'm wasting energy half the time.

    I'm high enough BR that I don't really NEED certs anymore, so I can afford to mix it up and play for fun, but the new energy mechanic is bringing the focus back to the xp grind.

    What would you say if chargers lasted longer, but were only awarded on base caps/def, every time?
    • Up x 1
  20. Goretzu

    With an on/off switch that postion would be fine (or the ability to swap them out anywhere either I suppose).

    In fact most of the issues with Implants (or rather Implants having consumable batteries) would be solved by the above.