March 11, 2020 - Escalation (PC Mega-Update)

Discussion in 'Game Update Notes' started by RPG_Wrel, Mar 10, 2020.

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  1. RPG_Wrel Lead Designer

    Global PC servers will come down tomorrow, Wednesday March 11, 2020, at the following times:
    EU: 4am GMT (est. 16 hr downtime)
    NA/Asia: 9am PDT (est. 4 hr downtime)


    Welcome to Escalation
    We're excited to bring to you one of the largest updates in PlanetSide 2's seven-year history. If you're new to the game, or are a returning veteran, we welcome you to the fight for Auraxis. Outfits (or guilds/clans in other games) are an important part of the game's ecosystem, as they help acclimate new players to this grueling, endless war, and empower the strategic gameplay that sets PlanetSide 2 apart from other shooters. With the Escalation update, we sought to elevate Outfits and the communities that surround them by offering a new metagame atop the day-to-day war on Auraxis, a new system of Outfit armaments that we will continue to expand upon in the future, and a competitive space for Outfits who are driven to prove themselves the best on their server. With that said, let's go through the new features and content available with Escalation.

    Bastion Fleet Carrier
    An Empire's might and determination, symbolized in metal and voiced through cannon fire. The Bastion Fleet Carrier descends from orbit, ready to wage war across the battlefields of Auraxis.
    • With enough resources and time, any Outfit can now craft and call planetside this massive warship.
    • This fleet carrier comes equipped with shipboard turrets, command-based artillery systems, an interceptor launch platform, and can act as a spawn point for your entire Outfit.
    • A singular Captain commands this warship over the continent, maneuvering to protect its weakpoints and project its power.
    • Bastions require significant Outfit coordination and investment to call in, and each Empire can only field one at any given time.
    • Additionally, Bastions contribute to Empire Strength while deployed over contested territory.
    Calling your Bastion
    • Outfits craft multiple pieces of their Bastion in the Outfit Armory using resources they've secured through combat (those topics are covered further down.)
    • When enough time and resources are invested, authorized Outfit members will be able to use the Bastion Uplink Terminal located at every Warpgate to call down their Bastion.

    Manning your Stations
    • Using the F1 - F10 keys, you can select your seating on the Bastion.
    • The first seat is the Captain's, and seats 2 - 10 are turrets, and additional seats are for passengers. Bastions can hold a total of 48 players at any time.
    • The Captain uses waypoints on the map (or mini-map) to move the Bastion around the map, and order its artillery barrage. Captain must maintain this seat in order to continue issuing commands.
    • There are two types of mannable turrets aboard the Bastion currently. One is an anti-air/multi-purpose gatling, and the second is an air to ground cannon.
    • Any player who ejects from the Bastion will be mounted in an Interceptor class fighter with a unique loadout and built-in ejection seat.
    Taking it Down
    • Each Bastion has eight weakpoints located around the ship. Any anti-vehicle weaponry can damage these weak points.
    • Weak points cannot be repaired, but do have a regenerating shield layer that comprises a quarter of their total health pool.
    • When all weakpoints are destroyed, the Bastion will self destruct in a glorious fashion.
    War Assets and the Outfit Armory
    We've retooled the Outfit page, and centered it in the middle of the Nav bar. If you aren't a part of an Outfit, you can still click this button and be brought to the Outfit finder. If you are in an Outfit, we've got some new goodies to show you.


    Ever wanted to call in some vehicle support from orbit? Outfits are now equipped with new tools to impact the flow of battle, offer more strategic control, and add depth and variety to every soldier's gameplay experience.

    These War Assets are crafted on the new the Outfit Armory page using resources your Outfit has secured through battle. Some example assets include:
    • Steel Rain: Deploy your entire squad in a coordinated drop pod assault anywhere on the map.
    • Citadel Shield: A massive projectile-blocking bubble shield encases the area, providing room to advance, or defense against an incoming assault.
    • A.N.V.I.L.: Airdrop a vehicle of your choosing to reinforce your defenses, or mobilize your allies.
    • Orbital Satellite Uplink: Call for an Orbital Strike at your target location to crack an enemy armor column.
    War Assets take time and resources to craft, and Outfit leaders will have the ability to grant privileges to their Outfit members to craft and/or deploy these Assets and turn the tides of battle!

    In addition, we've given Outfits the ability to control which ranks are allowed to craft and use different assets of different types, and we've added three new customizeable ranks for added control.

    More information on War Assets can be found here:

    Securing Outfit Resources
    On the map screen, players will see new Outfit-based resources associated with each territory. These resources come in three rarities, Auraxium (common,) Synthium (uncommon,) Polystellarite (rare.)

    Capturing a base will always yield an amount of Auraxium, while claiming it for your Outfit will provide the resource ticks shown on the map every 5 minutes.

    Claiming territory for your Outfit is important, as it keeps your resources stocked, and is also amplified when starting or winning the Meltdown continent alert.
    • When a Meltdown alert triggers, the faction that started the alert will receive an immediate 5x tick of resources from bases they own.
    • When a Meltdown alert ends, the faction that won the alert will receive an immediate 5x tick of resources from bases they own.
    • Unstable Meltdown alerts do the same, but with only a 2x tick of resources from bases owned.
    • At the end of the alert, all outfit ownership is wiped.
    In addition, Expeditions can be crafted in the Outfit Armory that, for a small investment and some time, reward you with resources of a higher rarity.
    Expeditions must be claimed in the Nascent Expeditions office on Sanctuary.

    Nanite Systems welcomes you to Sanctuary, a neutral home for the war weary, a place of trade, and a staging point for future exploration and expansion. While in Sanctuary, all factions and allegiances are able to occupy the same space. Weapon use, and damage in general, is disabled in this zone.

    Sanctuary launches with two main areas, the Atrium, and Central Operations.
    • The Atrium is a spacious area with a view of Auraxis and beyond. It also houses marketplace vendors and various services.
    • Upstairs, Central Operations is run by Nanite Systems employees to coordinate the various day to day workings of the Sanctuary satellite.

    Various vendors and representatives can be found on board Sanctuary.

    Purchase Rare Weapons and Equipment.
    In the shop to the left, players can find SPRK-33, a vendor that deals in the new A7 currency.

    Throughout the world, players will occasionally find loose data that, once decrypted, can be collected for A7.
    Participating in a Meltdown Alert will also give players A7 based on how much time they've spent in the Alert. The victorious faction receives more, so fight your hardest.

    Trade Outfit Resources and claim completed Expeditions.
    In the center shop, players will find a Nascent Expeditions Rep. and an Expedition Coordinator that both deal with Outfit Resources.
    The Nascent Rep. allows for the trading of Outfit Resource types, converting them to greater or lesser rarities for a cost.
    The Expedition Coordinator will debrief Outfits who have completed Expeditions, rewarding them with Outfit Resources.

    Join an Outfit and purchase Outfit Equipment, Cosmetics, and Boosts.
    In the shop on the right, players will find an Outfit Recruiter and an Outfit Quartermaster that uses Loyalty and Merit to offer equipment to players in Outfits.

    While in an Outfit, each player now gains Loyalty by capturing and defending bases with their Outfit members (a reasonable force of enemies are required at these bases in order to count toward progress.)
    Loyalty acts similarly to Battle Rank, in that it increases over time, and isn't spent like a currency. The higher the Loyalty Rank of a player, the more Outfit Quartermaster items they'll have access to. Loyalty decays slowly over time, so be sure to keep showing up for Ops Night.

    Alongside Outfit Loyalty, Merit is earned in much the same way. Capturing and Defending bases with your Outfit provides Merit, a currency that can then be exchanged with the Outfit Quartermaster for boosts, equipment, and cosmetics.

    Outfit Wars
    In recent months, a small, short-lived wormhole had begun periodically appearing near the planet of Auraxis. Over time, the timing and placement became somewhat predictable, enticing Empires to venture through with expeditionary forces, eager to explore or claim what was hidden beyond.

    Outfits now have access to a new competitive environment taking place on a new zone called Desolation. Desolation is amidst an asteroid belt harboring ancient Vanu obelisks, far from the war on Auraxis.

    Each cycle allows Outfits to enlist, qualify, prepare, and compete once per month in a three-way skirmish hosting the most influential Outfits.

    • During the Enlistment phase, players are given the opportunity to opt-in to the Qualification phase, where scoring will take place.
    • Enlistment requires a modest resource investment to fund your trip through the wormhole.
    • When the qualify phase begins, all enlisted Outfits will then scramble to capture and claim territory to earn points on the scoreboard.
    • The outfits with the highest scores from each faction will be pitted against one another during the competition.
    • There are three brackets (gold, silver, bronze,) which means that, at most, up to 9 outfits (top 3 from each faction,) may participate in the war.
    • The prepare phase gives Outfits an opportunity to rally their members, and a finally chance to craft more War Assets to take with them for the trip to Desolation.
    Compete (War)
    • When the war phase begins, players can join the Desolation zone by opening the Outfit Wars UI window in the Outfit Menu, or by going to the World Map screen.
    • An Alert will then trigger on Desolation where Outfits attempt to capture and control as much territory as possible, which earns them points over time.
    • The Outfit with the most points at the end of the Alert (or the first to 500 points,) wins additional resources, rewards, and glory for their Empire.

    More information on Outfit Wars, including per-server launch times and scoring information can be found here:

    Empire Strength and Continent Meta
    To accommodate a more map-driven metagame, we've stepped away from the mid-continent events system, and made some changes to how Empire Strength is gained as the continent progresses. We may return with a replacement for events in the future, depending on how the Live gameplay turns out, but we'd want something more conducive to the map-based objectives of the game before doing so.
    • Mid-continent events (Aerial Anomalies, Maximum Pressure, etc,) have been removed.
    • Territory control of 41% now awards 5 Empire Strength.
    • Territory control of 44% provides an additional 5 Empire Strength, and this effect also occurs at 48%, 52%, 56% and 60% territory.
    • While a Bastion Fleet Carrier is hovering over contested territory, the faction will earn progress toward unlocking 15 Empire Strength. This process takes roughly 17 minutes to complete, and progress made toward this objective is not depleted when the Bastion is destroyed.
    • Eisa Tech Plant (Esamir) Empire Strength benefit from 30 to 25.
    • The Ascent (Amerish) Empire Strength benefit from 15 to 25.
    • The Crown (Indar) Empire Strength benefit from 15 to 25.

    Misc. Fixes, Changes, and Additions
    • Critical Chain will no longer stack indefinitely.
    • MAX units now correctly produce footstep audio.
    • Javelin NEST launcher has new firing audio.
    • Biolabs have thawed out, and are climate controlled once again.
    • Cloaked infantry/vehicles can no longer capture control points.
    • Bullet impact particles should now play when shooting grass.
    • Smoke trail on the Falcon projectile should no longer glow bright white at night.
    • Muzzleflash smoke on infantry weapons has been toned down.
    • Toned down smoke on various vehicle related effects.
    • Bullet shell casings have been scaled down.
    • Muzzleflashes on MAX weapons should appear on the muzzle of the gun on High and Ultra settings.
    • Blowing dust particles on Indar will now only play on high settings and have reduced scale and opacity.
    • Lights should no longer stay on for several seconds after bullet impacts and explosions expire.
    • Personal shield bullet impact particles should no longer obstruct your view in first person.
    • Burning DoT effect has been optimized.
    • Facility capture FX have been optimized.
    • Jetpack particles should no longer trigger in first person view.
    • Smoke particles on the Medic Shield Recharging Field have had their brightness reduced.
    • Added hover-over tooltips for all currency types on the loadout screen, showing how to gain them, and their maximum values.
    • Optimized the HUD health elements to reduce framerate spikes.
    • The Flail now uses the correct icon.
    • Fixed blue squares incorrectly appearing on the map and minimap for multiple Amp Stations across all continents.
    • The Tutorial has been disabled.
    • Fixed a physics crash that was the most frequent crash on Live.
    • Loosened up on continent faction balance restrictions a bit, as they were originally tuned for smaller player counts.
    Looking Forward
    Heyyyyy there, folks. It's been a long road to this point, and it feels like it's all been a bit of a blur at the same time. We're finally ready to introduce the Escalation update to you, which is the culmination of an absurd amount of time and effort committed by the new team. The hype drummed up for this update is well beyond what we expected, and the community's help supporting and promoting the title and the team has been more than we could have asked for. Escalation is important, not only for the state of the game, but also to set some new expectations for what you can see from us moving forward. You've noticed us interacting with the community more often than we have in the past, staying more transparent about what we're working on currently, and about what problems have been popping up here and there, and we've been taking more advantage of the public test server and private test groups as well. The team here wants to do great things with PlanetSide 2, and over the coming year, we intend to prove that out in the form of a better content cadence, revisiting bugs and unfinished systems, and dropping larger updates like this one every so often to keep players looking back our direction, regardless of what they're playing at the time. We'll get a chance to talk about future plans in later streams, so until then, thanks for playing, and enjoy Escalation.

    -Wrel, Lead Designer
    • Up x 16
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