Next Live Update news and status

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Higby, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Higby Developer

    Hey all -

    As many of you have probably already heard - our next live update is going to be a pretty big one. We have a lot of outfit features, such as Outfit Recruitment, Outfit Base Capture and Outfit decals coming, and we've also decided that it's about damn time to release Hossin and Continent Locking live.

    I wanted to drop by today to let you all know what you can expect from these features both in the short and long term, since they are being approached in a slightly different way than we've done in the future - especially for...


    You may or may not know that Hossin has actually been in development since before we launched PS2, so for us it's literally been a 2 year process to get this continent live. Since launching the game, and going through the process of redoing our facilities and outposts on all 3 of our launch continents, we've learned a tremendous amount about how to make levels that work for our game. Anyone who looks at the state of the Amerish levels (our most recent revamps) now compared to the Indar levels (our first revamps) should be able to see the improvements overall quality of the levels/bases we're generating now, those newer bases are our new quality bar, and we're committed to match or exceed that level of quality with all our future outposts. Along the way, we've figured out that creating a "good" outpost in Planetside 2 takes about 2-3 weeks of level design, art playtesting and iteration time minimally, per outpost. Multiply that by 80 or so, and you'll get a good idea of how much work is required for a high-quality continent.

    There isn't any other way to say it except to say that Hossin is not finished. If we wanted to "finish" Hossin without sacrificing the quality level we've established, it would probably be 3 months before it was ready to go live - we don't want to wait that long, and we don't think you want to either.

    So what is going live with the next update then?

    Right now about 50% of the bases on Hossin are "done" to the point that we're completely satisfied with the quality of the level design and visuals, about 25% of the bases are first pass - you'll be able to recognize these bases by their naming scheme, and another 25% are bases which are more or less staging areas, or stamped bases, identical to each other - this is an outpost we know works well, so we've put them in as placeholders. We expect these bases to function correctly, provide all the necessary utilities to make the game work - they're just not 100% up to our standards of level design quality quite yet - essentially they feel more like the bases on Indar than the bases on Amerish. Over the next few months, the level design and environment art team is going to continue to iterate the bases on Hossin and every couple weeks you'll see more and more of the continent getting completed and patched to live. In the meantime we're considering Hossin to be a beta, or Early Expedition continent. The continent will be fully functional, but the content is not 100% complete. Of course during this time we'll be especially interested in hearing feedback, suggestions and bug reports on the continent.

    Another reason we're going with this Early Expedition approach, besides just getting the continent to you earlier, is we know that we won't really discover what works and doesn't work in the continent until it's live. We've had to go back and redo a lot in our other continents once they were exposed to the masses and we expect Hossin will be similar. It makes a lot of sense to us to be doing that while we're actively developing the continent, instead of waiting for it to be 100% finished, before redoing all the stuff that didn't work exactly right. Some people are sure to ask "isn't that what PTS is for?", yes and no. PTS has been great for determining if features worked or not, if things are fun to use or not, but it's not great for figuring out large scale balance or flow issues. Players just aren't on PTS enough or playing legitimately there, even during events, for us to really figure out if some of these more complex balance changes or level flows are working well or not.

    Hossin might be the biggest single feature in this update, but everything else in it is really cool too, and since there have been a lot of questions about the other features - here's a brief rundown of what they are:

    Continent Locking - 1st Phase:

    In the first phase, continent locking will piggyback on the current continent domination rules. When a continent is captured, it will be locked to spawns and interactions of all kinds, and it will provide a benefit to the locking empire, similar to the benefit you get from domination now. This will limit the available continents in play down to the unlocked continents, no players, even the ones with the locked continent, will have access to that continent for the duration of the lock. Once another continent is dominated and locked, the lock of the previously locked continent will be broken, the warpgates will be rotated, and the territory set back to defaults. Players on the locking empire are now effectively defending their lock (and benefit) by ensuring that another empire does not lock one of the open continents.

    We have some more functionality in store for continent locking, including tying in alerts, and eventually making warpgates part of the capturable facilities along with home continents. We want to see how the basic mechanic of locking out continents from play based on player conquests will work and then build out from there.

    New Outfit functionality:

    Nothing makes Planetside 2 more fun to play than teamwork, and getting new players into outfits, and keeping outfit leaders flush with troops to fill their platoons is critical to the entire game working well. Outfit recruitment is a fairly simple system that allows leaders to list their outfits, and allows players to apply and be accepted to the outfit in an simple interface - we hope this will reduce the barrier to joining outfits for the approximately 50% of players who never do.

    Outfit decals allow you to select a decal for your outfit and your entire outfit to wear it. Simple as that. We're working on a way to allow outfits to use CUSTOM decals here too, but at first it will be based on the decals that the outfit leader has. Outfit decals are also used in a few places in the UI to show...

    Outfit Base Capture:

    With this update, whichever outfit has members that do the most in the course of capturing the base, earning kills, spawning troops, arming generators, etc. will be listed as the outfit that captured the base. This outfit will have it's name displayed on the map when you look at the region, on the tab screen, and their outfit decal will be added to the same banners that display the empire ownership right now (this part may be in a subsequent update, since it's coming in a bit hot). We are also discussing outfit benefits for "owning" the facility, such as reduced resource costs for vehicles, or reduced spawn times for infantry - although in the initial implementation it'll be bragging rights only.

    Whew, that was a lot to get through - hope you're still with me. In addition to these big ticket features, this update will contain the usual bug fixes and polish features. Our plan is to get this build up to PTS today following #MergerSmash, and to be ready to bring it live next week once we're confident things are working well - however, we will be keeping this build on PTS as long as we need to to ensure it's solid before it hits live servers.

    We're really excited to get these features and content out to you guys, and we're really looking forward to seeing your feedback on all the new hotness. Of course I want to heavily encourage anyone who is able to patch up PTS and kick the tires on these new features, the more folks we have check them out on PTS the better the update will be.

    If you made it all the way through, thanks for reading! If not, hopefully someone will post a good TLDR for you!

    See you on Hossin!

    Matthew Higby - @mhigby
    Creative Director - @planetside2
    • Up x 55
  2. libbmaster

    • Up x 17
  3. AirSuperiority

    Two things:

    1.) When are we looking at a harasser rebuff? Getting tired of barley being able to take out vehicles. Only my buddies in ECUS can use them but they need a few to be of any use.

    2.) Stop nerfing the Lib, and especially in places where it makes no sense. Ammo Cap really? Reducing that does not hinder our ability to destroy vehicles, just screws us over in terms of air fights. Dalton no splash but damage buff, great thats a nice one. But stop making useless nerfs. You keep trying to render everything useless.
    • Up x 8
  4. ironeddie

    Firstly Higby your posting in the wrong place. This isn't reddit. Seriously though thanks for putting this on your games forums.

    Secondly I like your new approach re hossin. And the honesty about it. I'm looking forward to it and excited by these new additions.
    • Up x 18
  5. Maelthra

    I always knew Higby was from the future. You shoulda loaded Hossin up on a flash drive or something and brought it back with you :eek:
    • Up x 19
  6. Tommyp2006

    Awesome! Can't wait for this update to go live! Will the Mattherson/Waterson merge be happening the same day as this?
    • Up x 1
  7. doombro

    The alert changes aren't coming next week? :( That was probably the thing I was most looking forward to.
  8. Alarox

    You guys are doing a damn good job. Thanks.
    • Up x 11
  9. danielpxp

  10. Schlauke

    In regards to outfit decals, who is considered outfit "leader" the character who created the outfit, or any character that has the maximum rank in the outfit assigned to them?

    If its the first one, will there be ways to transfer leadership to another character? As the character who created our outfit is not playing much anymore, which has not been an issue so far since multiple people have the "leader" rank in the outfit.

    Best regards,

    Schlauke, New Hope, Miller (PS2) / Werner (PS1)
    • Up x 3
  11. Eyeklops

    This is the problem. Creating continents with too many outposts.

    I would much rather have 8 continents with 30 bases each and a larger intercontinental lattice than 4 continents with 80 bases. Maybe that's just me. More open space for moving vehicular warfare. More space for air to move around flak free. Longer distances between bases to make vehicles more important for infantry travel.

    For the rest of your announcement, good job on the hard work. I look forward to seeing the changes play out on live.
    • Up x 23
  12. NinjaTurtle

    Thank you for posting this on the forums and not Reddit.... Well it's probably there as well but at lest it is here to
    • Up x 8
  13. Tobax

    With the base capture system... when the base says defended will it list the outfit that did the most or is it for capturing only?
  14. PWGuy93

    How Will OverPopulation be handled with Continent Locking?

    So now continents will get locked pushing the already overpopulated populations onto the fewer continents, making the overpopulation situation even worse, or will it? What's the secret feature that prevents this scenario?

    Before continent locking at least the overpop was somewhat spread out.
    What mechanism gives the underpop a chance at play?

    We will finally see lockouts based on population counts?
    • Up x 1
  15. Maelthra

    Maybe this is because I play on Waterson and the server merge hasn't happened yet, but...What overpopulation? :eek:
  16. PWGuy93

    Look at Connery at any given day, NC pop when I logged out was 40%, that pretty much around average now.
  17. Bardock-Sama

    This! Continents feel way too crowded with random buildings that seem to have no function whatsoever (from a non-gaming perspective).
    More open space would lead to some amazing long term clashes and allow players/outfits to do some great flanking manoeuvres. Imo continents with less outposts seems like a win-win situation when considering it would cut the development time of new continents by quite a bit of time.
    • Up x 13
  18. Pikachu

    We don't want 80 freakin' bases. Indar is wrong not right. 40 is a better number.
    • Up x 18
  19. Ranik

    I echo the sentiment from some of the other posters. It's a good idea to produce several "lower density" continents to go along with the current high density continents.

    Look at it this way. You have the three core continents which are all tied to an empire. Indar/Esamir/Amerish and then you have the frontier continents which are more open and mimic PS1 style map design while having a handful of PS2 style bases.

    The lower density continents would also provide a faster method of creating continents since it's mainly terrain and less base design.
    • Up x 7
  20. libbmaster

    More unique bases, bigger bases and more fighting ground in between.

    All of my yes.
    • Up x 20