Misconceptions about Resource System, and why you are terrible at fixing it.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by UberBonisseur, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. UberBonisseur

    And by you, I mean 90% of the player propositions I'm seeing about resources.
    It has been a long time since a constructive discussion about resources wasn't brought up. Here it is.

    In other words, I'll try to debunk the most commonly observed suggestions about how to fix the resource system or balance things whether it's vehicles, rocket launchers and other stuff via the resources.

    Part 1: Misconceptions

    Will be short.
    Usually, the most commonly seen examples are:

    Just increase the resource cost !
    As it says.

    Give rockets a resource cost !
    Because there are too many rockets, duh

    I want resources when I'm logged off !
    It sure sucks to be broke when you just join a server.

    More infantry resources, I've got no C4 left !
    Yes, this stuff is expensive

    Add resource silos to hack/blow up !
    Moar objectives all over the map, it can't possibly go wrong...

    Part 2: Not-so-obvious problems
    A list of currently existing issues that would drive the above solutions into a wall of brick full speed ahead.

    • An empire's resource pool is as big as its playerbase
    Numeric superiority will determine the ammount of vehicle a faction can pull out, regardless of how you control the income. Each new player brings another 750 resources to the pool. Even if you control the income, you cannot control the ammount of vehicles stemming from population flux; one player leaves, another joins: More vehicles will come for you. See the last point.

    Just increase the resource cost !
    I want resources when I'm logged off !

    • Resources snowball for the winning faction
    Simply put, the more territories you have, the more resources you generate, the more vehicles you get; and getting out of warpgate lock can be an impossible task if your opponent has nearly unlimited resources and available tank spawns pretty much everywhere.
    You increased the tank cost by 2 ? The enemy still has 2 times your resource income. For each tank you lose, the enemy has a spare one.

    Just increase the resource cost !
    Give rockets a resource cost !

    • Active resource gain is ABSURDLY high
    In case you missed it, it works like this: If you are in a territory granting infantry resources, scoring 25XP in that territory will grant you 1 point of infantry resources.
    And that's not all; XP bonuses apply... on top of resource bonuses.
    A 50% xp bonus coupled with a 50% resource bonus goes up to 2.25x times the active resources earned.
    Now, we have:

    Itself. Affects resource balance in a negative way as a whole by setting a minimal gain for everyone that is both irrelevant to the strategic aspect, and inflates the real resource costs.

    • You can just refill elsewhere
    Out of resources on Amerish ? Your faction holds 65% of Esamir ? Just go there.
    And then, all 3 factions have a default continent for refilling their resource pool, where they hit the 50%+ population bar because everyone is too busy accumulating grenades.

    More infantry resources, I've got no C4 left !

    What about the silo thing ? Add resource silos to hack/blow up !
    That's twice the ghost hacking.

    Part 3: Solutions and ramblings

    Let's examine the resource balance in general. How things work, or, more accurately, don't.
    What parts of the game can be balanced by resources. What parts of the game should not be balanced by resource. How do you balance gain and expenses themselves.

    Divided resource pools: Not working

    Have you ever fought for a territory thinking "we need air resources, let's attack here !" ? I don't think so.
    On paper, it sounds interesting, on practice, no one actually cares.

    It's not just that. Grab a tank. Die. Spend 15 minutes on foot shooting people, spamming grenades, landmines and C4. Have resources for another tank. Tank dies ? Grab aircraft. Aircraft dies ? Grab another type of aircraft, your resource pool has been left untouched for hours anyway, it must be full.
    While the types of assets you can throw at the enemy are different, if you're going in a ESF, your ability to spawn tank won't suffer, and if you are playing as infantry, you'll still be able to grab vehicles afterwards.

    Infantry resources: It matters, too

    You WILL spend half of your time as a dude with a gun; not as a pilot.
    But infantry is not "free time". It's just as useful if not more; it cannot be treated as the cheap, costless part of the game. Infantry needs costs to be balanced; not that you should have to PAY to play infantry, but great power comes with great responsibility. If you are spamming landmines, you have to potential to murder infantry faster than someone who doesn't.

    HOWEVER, infantry also is cheap.
    On some occasions, you must use infantry when you can't use tanks; because you ran out of resources. That's why costs should not be forced for infantry to deal with enemy armor. You need that cheap potiential.

    Last point, stacking Grenades/Mines/C4 throws the balance out of the window.
    Some people will endlessly attack your AMS with C4 because they had a pile of 40 in their backpack.

    Individual resource consumption: A curse ?

    Simply put, it has not achieved much and usually won't. Let's say I want resources when I'm logged off.
    I'll just play, spend all my resources, get bored, log off. The day after, I log in, my resources are back.
    Resources, if they affect players individually, feels like one of those Korean F2P Energy bar, a way of limiting your playtime artificially once it runs out of energy, and refills with time.

    How are you supposed to control the flow of resources, if it's a variable entirely dependant of players, which are individuals ? Each individual is unreliable. Players come and go.
    The idea of saving up resources is unbearable for the player. It says; "do not play to keep playing".

    On the other hand, many players have refused the idea of a commonly shared resource pool, on the premise of "My team is stupid, it's eating all resources !". It can be true. It is also true that individual resources do not bring much the table either.

    Fixing resource snowballing: Income and reliability

    A simple concept to keep things in balance:
    If your enemy has 2x your income, it should be half as reliable.

    In this case, "reliable" would mean the resources generated do not automatically end up in your pocket. The enemy might have a possibility to deny a part of them. On the other hand, the faction that is pushed to the warpgate is less likely to lose resources, they would be more "reliable".

    For example, I've came up with the idea of increasing resource costs based on distance from warpgate.
    Which means spawning vehicles near the enemy warpgate is not a reliable way of sustaining the assault, while spawning them behind the frontline also means your vehicles could be intercepted.
    In both cases, a dominant faction isn't entirely sure to have a 1:1 Cost/Efficiency ratio.

    Phew, that was a big talk.
    Anyway, discuss ! Anything helps.

    And a cute kitten picture for reading all the way:
    • Up x 7
  2. Onetoo

    The problem I see with your idea, is that it would penalize ground vehicles much more than air. Air can easily fly across a continent in a short time, while ground vehicles are restricted in movement based on terrain (Amerish) and typically move at slower speeds anyway.

    Also, since there are 3 factions at play, it can be incredibly difficult for one single faction to push both of the other 2x groups to their respective warpgates (assuming the population is even remotely even). The faction that is trying for a continental bonus victory really needs all of the resources that they are getting to even have a shot at success.

    Thanks for the hard work you put into your post. It was easy to read and I will continue to think about what you have said and try to contribute if I'm able.
    • Up x 1
  3. UberBonisseur

    Yes, but I also thought Flak-trapping the warpgate would be more viable in return since most players will start from here so it compensates.

    Absolutely, 3-way fights do not allow for objective balance.
    While the reduced number of continents forces all 3 factions to stay close, I hope a continental lattice will be added as continents are opened. It wasn't that much of a problem in PS1, most fights occured between 2 factions.
  4. UberBonisseur

  5. FlameGankin

    I'm mulling a silo idea around in my mind, i'll post if your interested, might take me a bit though.
  6. Ash87

    Something to solve the whole issue of resource costs being greater the more territory you hold: The crown is a great position geographically, but a horrible place for resources.

    For this I have my own system of how this should work, and will use that to Explain my basic statement above. I am only doing this because it gives me something specific to reference. Basically, resources will flow out from the warpgate via pipelines in a processed form. The pipelines would have a node at each facility that needed to be defended, because taking or converting nodes would mean you shut down the pipeline of resources out into the map. Resources are brought to the warpgate by the same pipelines, but can also be brought in via converted Galaxies or Sunderers. The raw resources are extracted from matter pumps around the map. The matter pumps can be connected to the pipeline grid via a nearby neighboring territory, but can also be taken anywhere on the map. The flip side is, if you are not connected to the pipeline, you have to transport resources back to your warpgate manually. The matter pumps (Mass extractors, whatever you want to call them) will not have spawn rooms but can be flipped to any group.

    Now that we have that out of the way, how will resources flowing through pipes help? The option remains to bring processed resources to a base manually using a gal or a sunderer. But, resources also flow up lanes through pipelines. The pipelines would grant 1 of x resources to each base it passes up the lane, with the amount of resources traveling out of the warpgate based on the volume of resources in the warpgate. So the first bases right outside of the warpgate will have an ABUNDANCE of resources. As someone goes down a lane and reaches a junction, once the junction is hit the resources split down two pipelines evenly. And again at the next junction. And again at the next. What this means, is that once you have occupied 90% of the map, you will need to be bringing supplies in from the warpgate just to keep your bases operational at the front lines. Or you are using a Ton of sunderers. Once a base runs out of resources it converts to netural, but the bases that are inactive also build up resources in silos. These resources in silos are capturable if you capture the base, so capturing a resource rich base, could mean gaining yourself a large volume of much needed resources for tanks and aircraft. I'd also like to say that you should be able to steal resources from people with the common pool system, but only from outlying bases not from warpgates or whatnot. It'd mean another thing that people could do to "prep" a facility, and as the stream of resources into a facility means that it is supplied enough in a idle position to not drain it to neutral, it would mean stealing from the bulk supply, not as much ghost capping. Though you could steal behind your enemy, push them back, and watch them realize they are starved and have to fall back further. Amp stations should probably figure into this, as they have no real benefit now when it comes to holding them.

    So why would the crown be a horrible place to get resources? Because the trickle of resources that end up there, will be greatly reduced from the number of resources closer to the warpgate.

    That is my thought on the matter at least.

    As to your points, I have stated one of your misconceptions many times, the 'Just increase the cost' one. Simply put in a system like you are proposing where all things are one resource, and all people share the resource, that statement is obsolete. In that system, prices will have to be considered differently, so I wouldn't be so difficult on people saying that, as it is something that will be outdated sooner than later at this point.

    When it comes to putting a cost onto infantry spawning, I agree whole heartedly. I think that it should be extended to resource lacking bases having issues on how fast infantry can spawn there.

    Also any worldwide resource pool would solve the issue of going to Amerish to refill your resource counter, but that will require a continent scale lattice to implement.
    • Up x 1
  7. Zotamedu

  8. daxed

    Your idea is basically give the losing side more of an advantage instead of supporting the slippery slope by continually giving the winning side more advantages.

    It's a sound concept and yes that's how it should work.
  9. UberBonisseur

    Not on infantry spawn.

    Infantry IS free. It's cannon fodder. Meat.
    You spawn infantry because it's cheap. However, if infantry gets access to advanced tools, those should be expensive.
    By expensive tools I mean the obvious Mines, C4 and MAX units, but also anything that is engineering.

    The issue is that Rocket launchers can't have a cost because they are NECESSARY against vehicles.
    At this point we need a rebalancing of Infantry vs Tanks interaction before going into detail.

    The big question is; should you be "running out" of infantry resources and have no toys to play with, or use resources only to prevent people from accumulating resources inbetween two MBT spawns ?
  10. Ash87

    Do you think that drawing grenades, c4, tank mines, and max suites will account for enough resources to drain resources at a reliable rate? I'm asking here.

    But yeah, rocket launchers are carried weapons, not deployables.
  11. UberBonisseur

    If you merge all resource pools:
    You can prevent vehicle spam by playing "advanced" infantry.
    But you can't drain your whole pool or it messes up balance (upkeep)

    If you keep separate pools:
    You can run out of resources thus weakening infantry in an area
    But you can't prevent vehicle spam via resources

    Most players who spam MBTs usually grab one, die, and play infantry until they can spawn another one.
    If you're really good, you can find a compromise between those two.

    A global resource pool, in which you can run out of infantry toys.
    Without dooming your vehicle pool first.

    Maybe keeping 3 resource pools, Air Tank Infantry, but...
    Buying a C4 would cost
    100 infantry
    33 air
    33 tank
  12. Ash87

    The only thing is, how do you split resources amongst the 3. Are each weighted separately with a different base cost for Infantry resources and a different base cost for air? Are each weighed the same? What if people want -more- of one or the other.

    I'd say 1 resource would be a better way of doing it, that way you can play what you want to play without having to deal with each separate. And respawn should be automatically replenish your allotment. When that happens it'll mean, if someone is taking infantry supplies when they respawn it'll readily start draining base supplies.

    Maybe you should also be able to resupply from the silo if you want.
  13. UberBonisseur

    It's the idea of a shared resource pool among every player that just won't pass.
    No one is going to accept that someone else "wastes" resources by spawning. It creates conflict within a faction.

    Anyway, stacking infantry assets like grenades needs to go.
    Resources should directly be consumed when used, this is the first step to having resources that actually deplete.
  14. almagester

    I really like your ideas. What if resources were pooled (per player) by continent? "Out of Indar resources? Can't spawn or build things on Indar!" Resource drain would even be it's own form of continent locking.
  15. UberBonisseur

    That could work in the future; provided we have the PS1 continental links...

    At least it doesn't leave you butt-naked once you lose a continent and switch to the next one, while the attack enjoyed a huge income for the whole assault.

    Kitten picture.