Planetside 2's Culture Promotes A Different Behavior

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Stellus, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Stellus

    As a fair warning, this post goes into some philosophical details in order to convey my opinion of the underlying problem this game currently faces. So if you hate intellectual analysis, leave now.

    Now he's a philosophizer.

    Good businesses value their Human Capital Architecture. "Don’t you try and learn me", you’re thinking, but essentially, it’s how companies hire, promote, and incentivize their employees. You could say it is simply Human Resources, but it is the strategy of how a company handles their human capital in order to create a competitive advantage. So there’s more to the job than HR wants you to believe.

    Yes, we went to college for a degree in HR and now WE RULE YOU. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?! Ahem, sorry...back to work.

    HCA is segmented into three distinct categories upon evaluation: Capabilities, Behaviors, and Culture. With behavior, you need to encourage employees to meet their goals and even step outside the bounds of their job when necessary. This is sometimes known as “Organizational Citizenship” (more on that later). The point is, you need to create an environment (culture) that promotes the behavior you wish to see in your organization.

    In Planetside 2, this is the crux of the issue. It advertises its purpose as an MMO-FPS. We, as the “employees” in this analogy, are told the objective is to capture more resources and more land than the opposing empires. This is the intended behavior for its players - to cooperate with one another in order to capture objectives and secure resources. It’s plastered all over their advertising and how it differentiates itself from other shooters. The culture in which the game promotes, however, is at the exact opposite end of this spectrum and completely contradicts what the game claims to be. That culture is known as Certification Points.

    Planetside 2 is a game where its culture promotes behavior that differs completely from its original intent.

    Falling back on our HCA analogy, let’s say our company sells “adult toys” to independent shops around the continental US, Dong, LLC.

    Best. Job. Ever?

    Your company wants you to work together with your fellow salespeople to achieve record profits for the fiscal year and corner the market against your competitors. But the mode of incentive is commission based, so the more product someone sells, the more money they make. With limited territory, and therefore limited opportunity for sales, you can see where this is going.

    Hunger Games, but sexy.

    In Planetside 2, much is the same. You tell your players that they are to work together for the betterment of your empire. Capture the objectives and rule Auraxis! But in the same breath, you’re told your only true incentive is earning more certs to obtain items or abilities, which is done by killing the sh*t out of your opponent.

    Guess how many Vanu I slayed in order to secure the Lion's Den contract?

    But capturing objectives offer rewards too, right? Sure, but let’s take a look at this for a second, taking some very basic numbers and plotting them out for analysis.

    Let’s compare two scenarios that correspond to the intended behavior and the promoted culture. Each will involve similar conditions: a large-scale, primetime battle for a Biolab on Indar. For intended behavior, I’ll show experience earned for capturing the base compared to average time taken to achieve in an even fight. For promoted culture, I’ll show experience earned for cert farming inside a tube room linked to one of the base’s outposts.

    Capture Objective
    Timespan: 1 hour (60 minutes)
    Experience Earned: 1000 (base)
    Rate: Once per occurrence (once in 60 minutes)
    Final Calculation: 1000 experience for 60 minutes.

    Farm from the Tube Room
    Timespan: 1 hour (60 minutes)
    Experience Earned: Average of 125 per kill (factoring in menace/MAX kills)
    Rate: Average 1.5 kills per minute
    Final Calculation: 125 * (1.5*60) = 11,250 experience

    So tell me, loyal employee. What behaviors are being promoted here, and do they correspond to the culture that is advertised within the organization?

    I'm a lead farmer, motherf*****!

    Thought so.

    Remember the term I used in the first part of this post – Organizational Citizenship? When you go above and beyond to tend to a task that is outside your day-to-day activities for the betterment of your company, you are said to comprise high Organizational Citizenship. In Planetside 1, this could be attributed to fetching an ANT so your base didn’t deplete, or hopping out of the gunner seat of a tank to repair a MAX in the field. It is an indicator of job satisfaction and employee engagement.

    In Planetside 2, how high do you think a player’s Organizational Citizenship (or Empirical Citizenship in this case) is when they have no incentive to cooperate? If your reward is strictly to sell “adult toys” to as many dirty vagrants as possible at the cost of the welfare of your fellow salesmen, no matter how many get in your way, do you think they’d stop to help you if they saw you stranded on the side of the road?

    Guess how many sales I made while your pregnant wife was trying to wave down help on the interstate while you changed all four tires?

    No! They're beating you to the next sale. How many times have you seen a Sunderer driver stop to give a stranded soldier a ride in the field? Probably very few, because CERTS ARE WAITING AT THE NEXT BASE FOR ME AND I NEED TO GET THERE NOW NOW NOW!

    "Cert cookies are good in moderation", said no Cert Monster ever.

    Case in point, the issue is that the Free to Play model encourages players to cert farm rather than capture objectives because the risk doesn't match the reward. When weapons cost 1000 certs, what do you suppose players will do - farm certs by sitting in a tank shelling a base for hours on straight, or attack and capture an objective which is the whole underlying basis for the game?

    Why would I try to push out of a tube room when I can sit comfortably farming kills through the shield windows? If progress is strictly earned through certifications rather than your empire's overall accomplishments, then the play style will never change. You will always have campers and cert farmers until the reward of capturing objectives outweighs the reward of stat padding.

    Planetside 1 vets are frustrated because there was a sense of accomplishment and pride for capturing a continent or taking a base. It took hours, but the reward matched the risk and it felt awe-inspiring and empowering. Planetside 2 provides no motivation for objectives and is void of these feelings. The premise of the game - to capture more land and resources than the other empire - takes a back seat to earning your personal share of weapons and certifications. It didn't matter that there was no lasting point to playing PS1, you took or defended bases because it felt **** good when you overcame adversities and worked as a team in order to do so. PS2, you don't give two ***** about it because you need those certs to feed your addiction to progress and weapons like drugs feed your addiction to crack.

    "Whoa dude, like, I only need to smoke 5 more cert joints to get the AV turret. Why are you killing the SCU?"
    • Up x 100
  2. Threat

    I agree with this completely, and well done, but I don't know what to say.

    I'm waiting, and cert farming with my friends, hoping that the lattice and continent capping will allow them to add more incentives to actually fighting for the planet. Where taking a base isn't a race to blow up un-manned turrets, and healing turrets is actually being done to use them to defend. But with how resources have all become personal, and certs are not a way of spec'ing your character to fulfill certian roles but simply unlimited power...well, guess we're stuck with the darkside. Wait...god I really lose myself in my own ramblings....
    • Up x 1
  3. JDS999

    their should be incentives for total faction captures on a continent every x minutes. as apposed to have 6x plattons at the biolab and areas around the biolab with no activity, especialy when map is que. most battles happen in zergs and something needs to happend to change it i would think. so hard to find squad on squad battles and when i do the zerg comes along 5 min later to ruin my fun.
    • Up x 1
  4. Ash87

    You either like, write for, or should write for

    Excellent, succinct, and entertaining.
    • Up x 9
  5. Duff_Chimp

    I have policy to ignore posts that cite intellectual analysis and have that many photos... didn't read, couldn't care less.
    • Up x 3
  6. Cowabunga

    Interesting read and you're quite right - I like the fact that MAX units will be very appreciative if you step out of your sundy/tank to repair them or give ammo. No one expects you to do anything for them. Only that they should get out of the way of your vehicle before you run over them, so 'you' can "rush to X base to farm Y amount of certs" :) I hope they give better rewards for capturing bases ect.

    The new "hex lattice" system might be a step in the right direction. We'll see...
  7. Cowabunga

    "Posts comment no one cares about"
    • Up x 17
  8. smokemaker

    I liked the pictures
    But in reality
    score would not change my play
    I have always played for the kill
    My objective is to kill as many as i can without dying
    Not one part of me plays for a scoring system
    • Up x 1
  9. Rec0n412

    I logged in just to complement you on your post OP. Your post is very well written, and the logical basis is sound.
    • Up x 1
  10. W0rthy

    Nice post. Yeah you should get a lot more xp for capturing installations. It would even be cool if there was more xp the longer it was held by the enemy faction. say after 15 minutes double xp, after 30 minutes triple xp etc. And set the default capture value at perhaps 5000 xp.

    Also defending installations where the progress bar of the capture has gone over towards the enemy's side. Should yield significant xp, maybe 1500 xp. Right now it gives no xp whatsoever.

    The kill certs are fine though, it's the capture/defend certs that needs adjusting.

    Regardless of you could get more certs in other ways, i still heal teammates, repair enemy vehicles, drop ammo etc., and yes i'm one of the guys that almost ALWAYS stops up to pick up a guy in sunderer. Not only because of safety in numbers, but because it's just downright the right thing to do. But then i always think what if it was me who was standing there wanting a ride.

    The people who don't I just don't get.. are they playing that much solo side that they don't realize the fun in playing teamplay? It's shortsighted selfishness, because picking someone up in sunderer can actually ultimately mean the difference between dying early and taking an installation or not at the final outcome..

    I've seen that happen like that many times, you manage to snag an outpost and he kills the one that was sneaking up on you when you had your back turned etc. where you would otherwise have died, and a ****storm spawns there and you fight for like 30 minutes or more as a result.
  11. Duff_Chimp

    Why you post a picture of your mother? How is that appropriate?
  12. Torok

    Nice Thread! it explains completely how could planetside be released in the state it was back in november, and now that they monetized on our sweat (i hope enough) they are actually starting to work to giving us a TEAMPLAY game with Lattice and so on... but the increased XP value for vehicle was a big let down with no comparable assist xp increase aswell...
    i literally killed friends placing mines under sunderers the last 2x xp weekend and yes i do FEEL ASHAMED, but it was 8 Facking CERTIFICATIONS EACH SUNDERER!111!1

    i did leave battlefield 3 since no one PTFO ever, but hey planetside 2 feels alike sometimes :(
    i have hope in the developers and anyway the game is great even if only at farming certifications, something i often avoid but clearly not something people does because they aren't incentivated to do so...

    look at the Crown... who with a morale doesn't HATE THAT PLACE? everyone goes there for the CERTS,
    again nice thread and well said! i hope the developers actually see this, and while i'm almost sure they share your same thoughts & they were forced in making a game as we have it now (f2p must sell) they are working hard to deliver us a more strategic and teamwork oriented game.

    GO SOE GIVE US TEAMPLAYH and not in the form of COMPETITIVE PLAY! that is on a different level!
    • Up x 1
  13. Cowabunga

    So I take it this is your situation:


    Trying to paint a "picture" for ya, so you don't have to read too much.
    • Up x 4
  14. Czuuk

    Do you play chess? Why do you play chess? Is it not for the game? It's a journey.

    How about a nice game of chess?
  15. ManowarKills

    People that post in a thread only to say that they didn't read any of it? Those are Trolls. Don't feed the Trolls.
    • Up x 4
  16. Arenthas

    I skipped all the words and only looked at the pictures. Does this make me a bad person?
    • Up x 1
  17. Sulsa

    Loved it. LOLed a few times :)

    It's an analysis, not a solution but very well written!
  18. Badname3073

    Do they now confer PhD in Human Resource Science? Or Human Capital Architecture Science?

    EDIT: :eek:
  19. Aegie

    You could have cared so little as to not post so IMO, yes you could have cared less.

    I think the OP makes some great points- basic behavioral conditioning predicts that behaviors will gravitate towards those that reinforced. If certs are the rewards then behavior will tend to gravitate towards whatever results in the greatest cert gain. Of course, enjoyment is also a reward and this mucks up the simplicity of the argument a bit. Though, in general, I have to agree that PS2 does not appear to properly incentivize the gameplay they advertise.
    • Up x 4
  20. Phazaar

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