Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Negator, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Negator

    Howdy, I'm Negator, one of the Ops Leads for The Vindicators (VS) on Mattherson. A little background on me: One of three players that have organized our Outfit Ops every Tuesday and Thursday every week since launch (3-5 squads). Done a few outfit scrims, an MLG match, and a few other events. 10 years active army. 29.

    This post is long in coming and something I've been putting off for quite a while, and pertains to what i believe is the backbone of PS2: player leadership.


    Players ARE the content for our little MMOFPS, and it is the leaders, those one in one hundred personalities that rise above the rest to substantially increase the quality of play for those around them that guide said content. Without individuals willing to take the reigns, there would be nothing but mindless zerging. Hard to capture points would become absolutely impossible, epic moments in organization would be non existent, the game would devolve into zerg vs zerg in hours long grinds over small portions of the map. Never has a game been so reliant on the management skills, charisma, and dedication of so few in order to achieve its goals.


    Leaders are the crutch that the player base stands on. Going a step further, if players are the content, leaders guide that content, then Outfits are the ingredient needed to retain said players and maintain the social community and organizational requirements needed to meet the intent of PS2. Optimization and game play will do its thing, but community and social bonds will retain players like nothing else.


    Take a moment to consider the squad's you join and why. My money says you look for the same individuals over and over whom you know will guarantee you engaging, enjoyable gameplay. Maybe its a particular outfit. Those folks, those leaders that keep people moving forward towards an objective (whether in game or entirely made up), those few that combine tactical know how with a cool outlook and an entertaining demeanor keep you coming back. I'd wager that in the last year of PS2, most of you can't think of twenty of these people. maybe even just 10). Then consider the squads/platoons/outfits you have left, and I'll put the rest of my money on the leaders in those groups being terrible for various reasons.


    Outfit leaders have a daunting task, including the following:

    *Play often enough to be easily recognized
    *Play and understand tactics/strategy enough to be respected
    *Manage various tiers of people (joe blow gamer, suitable squad leaders, platoon leaders, mature outfit officers)
    *Keep the Outfit engaged often enough to keep them coming back
    *Maintain a particular social climate
    *Recruit every moment of every day (F2P game=high turnover)
    *Maintain a desired standard of play and discipline
    *Keep up with changes in the game and ensure subordinates are aware
    *Meet the expectation of leadership (ever been in that platoon with 48 people which goes silent when the current PL says he's leaving?)

    Leadership is hard. Mentally taxing. Rare.

    The lifeblood of this game.

    Entire outfits have come and gone on Matherson due to the action or inaction of single individuals. At launch, Matherson VS had maybe 10 outfits, each a juggernaut in its own right. Each could wield 1-2 platoons regularly, and faction wide organization was a daily standard. People were proud of who they were and were constantly operating to outdo each other. This is not quite the case any more. Outfits whose leadership became fatigued and couldnt develop replacements faded away. Drama killed others. Gone are the days of dropping in on a multiple platoon engagement and seeing only two or three outfit tags out there with a general feeling that the whole fight was being sharply managed by just a few aggressive individuals. Now, a good 50% of each fight is made up of players with no tags, or sporting an unrecognizable tag that will soon be nonexistent.


    To cite the most famous case, Buzzcutpsycho at his height commanded 21 squads, and pushed around 8+ squads five days a week. Not even a year in, he disappeared. Now, questions about his personality aside, there is absolutely no denying that fact that his people enjoyed their time. They unquestionably followed him. They were convinced they 'won' every single engagement. TE squad leaders frothed at the mouth during every fight, and that energy made its way down to every single member. The reached levels of discipline and large scale organization that no other outfit has matched. While loathe to admit it every outfit out there would love to reach these goals and some have, but the point is that they were met on the backs of a single man and a handful of players willing to become leaders as well. An unnamed developer in our teamspeak went so far as to say "BCP plays the game like it was meant to be played".

    For these reasons, I'd like to toss the following ideas at the Developers, all aimed at retaining leaders, making their job easier, and encouraging new leaders to step up to the plate.
    • Up x 12
  2. Negator

    More to follow
  3. Vindicore

    Come on Negator, post it up! ;)
  4. Thardus

    Love to see the "More to follow.", and I agree with you whole-heartedly. As far as I'm concerned, Ghosts of the Revolution IS Planetside. When I first started up Planetside 2, I joined them before doing anything else, and they are what make this game great. To me, going into a fight alone just doesn't hold any appeal... at all.

    I couldn't respect my leaders more, and I really appreciate how much work they do, whether outside the game, or while playing "Mapside".
  5. Lamat

    Leading platoons is tiring sometimes, especially public platoons. But it is vital to peaking new players interest in the game. I see too many higher BR players yelling at inexperienced new players, they look like idiots and are turning people off the game. We need more experienced players to pass on their knowledge and secure new players.

    Outfits need constant recruitment to thrive. Losing or gaining members has a snow ball effect.
    • Up x 1
  6. Laners

    Always a pleasure to run with this guy in command, VS on mattherson get along and work together very well if I may say so myself. I try to make due with my men, a challenge for sure but the thrill of organizing 5+ outfits to simoultaniously attack one base as one body never fails to amaze me.
  7. Negator


    -Weird, I cant edit my original postings. oh well, here we go:
  8. Flapatax

    It would be a lot easier to coordinate in command chat if it wasn't an embarrassing mess of military RP.
    • Up x 1
  9. RogueVindicare

    There's a timer after which you can't edit posts. It's only a couple of hours long.
  10. Zorro

    Wonderful! I have made my own thread on the topic, and I am glad that others recognize that improvement must be made.
    • Up x 2
  11. Lamat

    • Up x 1
  12. Negator

    Outfit Support

    1. Obvious Outfit search and application tab with sort-able information (numbers, ops nights, website, teamspeak, etc)
    2. Event Calendar
    3. Management tab that allows the organization of players (pre assigned squads, icon representing most played or preferred class, important select certifcations [squad beacon, AMS, ESRL, etc], vehicle preferences)
    4. Information on map representing location/accomplishments of particular outfits (say, a % representing each outfit responsible for a region capture when it is captured in order to make obvious the importance of organization and boost PR for recruitment's sake)
    5. If say, 24+ of a particular outfit are occupying a region, make that outfit's tag show when you hover over a region
    6. End of Alert win statistics displayed by outfit (#s participated? Regions Capped/defended? total/average kills?) for entire server to see.
    7. Able to see outfit tag in command chat/orders

    Squad Leader Tools
    1. Drag and drop or editable player spot assignments in squad
    2. Assortment of icons to represent squad objectives (make more obvious to non outfitted randoms the SL's intention) including enemy AMS, intended friendly AMS deployment location, axis of advance, enemy axis of advance, etc. Or allow SL to draw on map and only squad members able to see.
    3. System to easily identify who is on cooldown for certain vehicles (cursor hover over member?) - Specifically Sunderer, MBT, Scythe, Galaxy

    Platoon Leader Tools
    1. Expanded versions of all requested SL tools
    2. Average squad KDR (makes it clearer to the PL which squad might be having trouble but isnt relaying it-allows PL to cycle squads to grindy fights/hard to take locations in order to keep morale up)
    3. Mouse over information (# revives? tanks killed for tankers? etc. Something to give him an idea who are the workhorses)

    Leadership Awards/Encouraging New Blood/Rewarding Old Blood
    1. Cosmetic Awards, based on some combination of reasonable metrics, depending on award, including:
    a. Time in position
    b. Numbers commanded
    c. Numbers of outfit members commanded
    d. Rating system (say, every 2 hours a player is able to 'grade' their leadership, or perhaps a monthly vote system within an outfit)
    e. Average squad KDR
    f. Rank in outfit

    1.1 Cosmetic Awards:
    a. Capes with outfit 'decal'
    b. Big shouldpads
    c. Deployable outfit standard-A flag that is deployable similar to engi turrets, destroyable only by melee attacks (to encourage outfit on outfit aggression, IE: physically attacking and removing the opposition from the field. Enemy standards destroyed could then become a trackable statistic that surely will encourage rivalrys and outfit growth),
    d. Obvious helms (Roman mohawks, coms wiring, etc)
    e. Extra large decal (make the entire shoulder consumed by it)

    2. Hours spent leading tracked

    3. Leadership tutorial available at say, BR30 to discuss the importance of communication up and down, positive demeanor, realistic expectations (this is a video game, and it's name isnt ARMA), spawn beacons, squad leader responsibilities (squad having fun? proper objectives? squad transportation to target? available AMS? etc). I envision a thunderous voice doing the commentary, blood pounding war music in the background, and a machinima to top it off as the player exits, ready to take on the opposition at the forefront of battle, rather then a mere follower.

    4. Given the other ideas put forth that put emphasis on outfit participation and recognition, I'd expect more players to jump into the role.

    New Player Tools
    • Up x 13
  13. Negator

    still editing. be back soon
    • Up x 1
  14. Negator

    Sure, but the developers cant fix that. What the can do is make pertinent information more readily available so that the amount of verbal communication is cut down. What exactly do you take issue with?
    • Up x 1
  15. Zorro

    I have found it is best to complete a long thread in a word processor first and then copy-paste sections. That is much quicker and cleaner.
    • Up x 1
  16. Negator

    if i screw it up ill just copy paste everything over into something more readable and create a new thread. Shoulda done that from the start
  17. Lamat

    These are all great ideas.
  18. Pirbi

    Real leaders are there to serve, not to be served. And promoting the game means creating new leaders.
    • Up x 2
  19. Tenebrae Aeterna

    I really hate how these forums don't permit editing of the original post.
    • Up x 3
  20. Negator

    Well folks, it looks like the edit timer is set at 45 minutes. I'll definitely finish this up in word and repost.

    Pirbi, of course they are, but the gamer demographic isn't exactly a breeding ground for strong personalities that understand social interactions on the level required for PS2. A few rewards, however shallow, are just enough for gamers to invest hours upon hours to reach them (RE: WOW ACHIEVEMENTS). The majority of leaders I know, already had the personality for it. Maybe a third of them had to be coached into it, but the always present obstacle to developing leaders is simply getting them in the saddle and building confidence. The awards and recognition system I'd like to see should encourage folks to hop in that saddle and suck it up until they start grooving, and lets face it, outfits die once the patriarch loses interest.
    • Up x 2