Populations: An Unpleasant Reality

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by BetaGuru, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. BetaGuru

    I will preface this post to say I love this game. I must, I've poured 32+ days worth of playtime into just my main character. Take what follows in that light.

    Its time we confronted the unfortunate reality that populations are hurting and something needs to be done about it.

    This game lives and dies on it's scale. If I want to play a shooter game with 32v32 players, with mixed vehicles and screen shake and all the rest, there are alternatives (and if we're being honest, those alternatives are better at that style of gameplay than this game). the reason I play PS2 as much as I do is because of its scale. That's what it brings to the table, after all. If the game cannot provide those huge-scale battles, the overall quality dips precipitously.

    I understand that this is not the case with everyone, but I think we can at least agree that the game is certainly not improved if, for example, you log in to find your empire outpopped 23%-32%-45% globally, where your best fight is being zerged to death on Indar, or ghost caps everywhere else. Nothing is more disheartening than getting all revved up for some Planetside only to find that, no, you won't BE playing Planetside today. At least, not the game you got into.

    Over time, games lose players as gamers move on from one interest to the next. It's inevitable. But I feel that we're more and more being confronted with the reality that we're past the point where the game can continue to operate the same as it always has. For over a year now I have considered Planetside to be a game that's simply not worth playing if you don't log in between 4-6pm (for my region) too much earlier or later and you find yourself in slim, meager, imbalanced fights. It's frustrating, and killer on morale.

    Obviously, marketing pushes could help with this, but SOE doesn't seem willing to go to bat for the franchise. User-driven marketing pushes could do a little good, but I've not seen great success from it in the past. Server merges are great way to give a short booster, but it doesn't last long.

    So what do we do? What can be done? I love this game and I want to play it. But logging in at 10pm and finding the game a ghost town, with no good fights, outnumbered everywhere... there MUST be a solution that can be found.

    The game's population already has difficulty sustaining a poplation cap on one continent. Will adding a fourth really do any help? After all the old players come back to check out the new biome and leave again, all Hossin will be is another continent people only play on when alerts roll around.
    • Up x 2
  2. minhalexus

    Where do you live and what server do you play on?

    I can always find decent fights except for early morning hours.
  3. Iridar51

    Same here. When I want to play some PS2, I have to look at the clock to check if it's even worth logging in.
    Game is playable only for six hours a day. Didn't expect to ever play one of the dying games.
  4. Alarox

    He's got a point. On Waterson for example, your timeframe for playing the game is about 1pm-1am. Passed either of those and the game is basically dead. The game really picks up only after 6pm or so IIRC.

    Meanwhile on Connery...
  5. GrandpaFlipfox

    Blame SOE for refusing to do any server merges. Why haven't Waterson and Matherson been merged for instance? Because they think some wait time during the prime hours is somehow more harmful to people's experiences than 16 hours of ghost town per day.
    • Up x 1
  6. Morchai

    I don't know if it's technically possible, but I wonder if they could link servers rather than merge them.

    For example, say they link Waterson and Mattherson. When a player logs on, he can choose which server he wishes to play on. During off hours, most of the players will all gather in one of the servers and the other will be largely dead. But, the players will be able to find a good fight on which ever server is the flavor of the day.

    During prime time hours, if the population became too great for a single server, the overflow would naturally go to the other server, easing queues and wait times.
  7. Llamar

    The new continent will also bring continent locking so playing on 1 continent won't happen any more. Or at least in theory.

    To be honest, I'm actually excited for Hossin. Can't wait to try some dog fighting in the trees.
  8. quatin

    The population dip has very little to do with content or balancing. When you see threads full of "nerf" this "nerf" that, you know the game is in a good state, because a lot of people are playing and the amount of whiners & general population is up. People who quit, don't say anything at all and just leave. When the forum is empty, that's when you need to worry.

    The problem is PS2 is an unstable game. Crash to desktops, server ping spikes, failing to render bug.There is always some sort of quality of life problem. The developers are too focused on releasing content and not on making a stable platform. It's always create an update, then send the fire trucks out to put out the fires. PS2 has the most rapid content updates I've ever seen in a F2P game.

    I would say, don't even worry about balancing. There's always some aspect of the game that's fun to play even when unbalanced. However, when you can't even play due to software bugs, then it's no longer fun.
  9. andy_m

    Perhaps SOE should lock all of the servers during certain hours. Then, instead of joining during any time of the day, only to find that only a few others have also decided to play at that time, we get everyone chomping at the bit to get on at a fixed playtime period. Say something like between 6pm to midnight in the week and perhaps a few additional time slots at the weekend.

    Sounds mad??? Yeah, I know, but I thought I'd chuck it into the mix and see what happens ;)

    (and I wouldn't mind betting that our families, friends and loved ones would be overjoyed with that concept hehe)
  10. maudibe

    Who would ever have thought that indar could be so one sided:

  11. Kid Gloves

    I find the big problem with PS2 isn't the population numbers, but the population imbalances.

    Logging in to 33/33/33 is awesome. The fights are great, the ebb and flow of the conflict enjoyable.

    Logging in to a 80/10/10 sucks. It sucks to be in the 80%, it sucks to be in the 10%.

    So given that SOE can't realistically control the population numbers without being so heavy-handed as to drive people away, ask instead what can be done to make the game more fun when you're outnumbered.

    Because if an outnumbered faction is having fun and kicking butt, they'll attract others who log in to stay. And then the faction will grow, and the fight will head towards the ideal 33/33/33.

    What I think we need?

    AI base defenses. More guns for a really small faction population, but an insignificant contribution to a larger one.

    A base with 4 AI-controlled gun turrets and four defenders has 8 guns defending the base. If it gets assaulted by 10 people, that's 8 guns vs 10. It's a lot more interesting for both sides than 4 v 10.

    But if the base is being held by 40 people and 100 show up? 4 extra guns on the base means squat. But ideally in that scenario those 40 defenders can either put pressure on the defenders in another location, or can bottleneck them, or whatever.

    It even means ghost-caps aren't 100% boring.
  12. maudibe

    Thats 60 % TR , 23% Vanu and 17% NC o.K..........nothing but TR zergs here. And...those numbers are not territory thats population.

    How about limiting the ability to play the continent of your choice in favor of a limit of 40% pop by any particular faction and they you have a choice of the other 2 continents to play on because you will be severly under popped on those for sure as A server never has 60% of one faction.
    TR wasnt limited by having no planes and tanks either, and of course no TR zerg would be complete without them.