Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Concordia, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Concordia

    I played Planetside 2 religiously in 2014 and 2015. The game was amazing, a no player limits mmo combat game with 3 factions, massive customization, and that was casual friendly. And that's what I'm writing about today.

    Casual Friendly

    I left the game for a few years, and was surprised to see a couple YouTube ads pop up about it. Planetside 2 had not shut down. So I headed over to Daybreak, bought a 3 month pass (for the double XP and all), and jumped back into the game. I...was...shellshocked.

    My chosen class for the entire year and a half I played was a Vanu MAX (and occasionally a Vanu Engineer). I never played any other faction. I'm not a group person, I wanted a solo experience hybrid (having allies in the game but not necessarily interacting on a formal team). Planetside 2 delivered.

    The Vanu MAX allowed me to venture solo into 1-12 battle areas, or travel as part of a large blob/zerg. My configurations were Cosmos/Nebula for ground and Bursters of course for AA. My passive ability was HP regen (again, solo). And my active ability was 'CHARGE'. Now while the MAX was beefy it wasn't indestructable and a couple rockets torched it, a mine torched it, a tank torched it. Given that its movement is slower than a trooper when sprinting, having CHARGE enabled me not to just sit like a potted plant and be killed. Whether I'm getting out of dodge from an air attack, or get surrounded by much more mobile troopers, I had a chance to withdraw. I still died plenty, all the time, but at least I wasn't target practice and my death wasn't assured just because my class is not super mobile.

    So enter the last 48 hours. No CHARGE (removed in 2016 it seems), the replacement ability is crap (Emergency Repair), the MAX moves as slow as it did before, its COSMOS guns are nerfed, so effectively a class I enjoyed playing was relegated to mediocrity. I wondered when I signed in why there were hardly any MAXES on the field (Vanu or the enemy). This explains it. How could the devs just remove one ability and not balance the class accordingly? Not my game, but is my time, and I don't want to be a sitting duck all the time. So...

    I experimented with other classes. Light infantry, Infiltrator, Heavy. I goofed around with a harasser for a bit. I found that with the exception of orbital strikes or some such, I just die a lot when I'm running solo. The game has been refined and tweaked to force cooperative play, and significantly limited the entry of casual players just looking to join in on the fringes. Games oriented around team play are 'more' hardcore, not less. And that will contribute to newer players joining less, and the game continuously propped up just by loyal vets. The Devs talk about new people leaving, well like me, they don't want to die all the time (and don't see value in fighting against game design that doesn't favor a preferred solo playstyle)

    Now you as the veteran players might say good riddance. That's fine, as I'll remember fondly the much more balanced days of the game where casual play was encouraged. I posted once on the forums on my first day of playing Planetside 2 how much I was thrilled with this game. I could make a meaningful contribution without having to be in a squad as a new player. Now, it's an exercise in frustration, cool abilities have been replaced with forced team dynamics, and the game has become a method for teams to farm the very casual players that could disrupt them in the past.

    A note to the devs. Casual players have a shorter lifespan in games overall but will create content for your vets. The more you make the game friendly to newbies, the more fun both newbies & vets will have, the more vets will use microtransactions and log on. Vets have more stuff to shoot, newbies stand a fighting chance. Making the game hardcore and team focused, you excise a good potential new player base and vets fight vets, and you see the continual decline in players. Planetside 2 may be 8 years old, but that's not the reason it's bleeding new players. It's bleeding new players because the game is not friendly to new players. Eve Online has a similar problem.
    • Up x 4
  2. Liewec123

    we hear you.
    noone from the old team who made PS2 is still on board,
    and this new team have no idea what they are doing.
    they remove the good content, and add in bad content,
    they fumble at each and every turn, when they do add good content, they only half add it...
    NSO is the perfect example, a good idea half-developed over a year ago, with promises of progress
    and then abandoned entirely.

    you can still squeeze some of that old fashioned PS2 joy out of it,
    but the current devs are making it harder and harder every patch.
    • Up x 5
  3. UberNoob1337101

    Planetside 2, it's almost fun.
    • Up x 3
  4. OldSchoolD

    Very good description of the returning or new player experience. "Frustration" is what you get. Fun, you get not.
    • Up x 4
  5. OneShadowWarrior

    Yes, the essence of the game is in the solo player, but Rogue Planet listened to I have no clue and moved into Outfit Wars, Outfit Resources and then continued there Campaign, Mission and Esamir concept. Besides fixes and long overdue performance improvements, 2020 was very unexciting for Planetside.

    I been saying it over and over, nothing holds to the heart more true than my own character.....
    • Up x 3
  6. JustGotSuspended

    That pretty much sums it up
  7. Pikachu

    War Thunder player here?
    • Up x 1
  8. JibbaJabba

    Honestly man it sounds like you were enjoying the game by leveraging some gameplay elements that were overpowered.

    A good deal of the fun you were having was at the expense of others.

    Yes, dev took that stuff out.

    The game IS better for it but yes change is difficult.

    You can still have lots of fun in the game you just won't have some of those crutches. This is NOT an easy game. Your options to deal with this:
    1. Crutch on stuff that's imbalanced.
    2. Play with teammates as teamwork is universally overpowered in the game.
    3. Be patient and get good
    4. Quit
  9. JustGotSuspended

    I gonna disagree with this.

    The MAXes were meant to break choke points, help push fights forwards(or backwards) to prevent stagnation.

    Trade-off is that while you're being the big boi taking all the damage and helping your team push, you're mostly softening up targets for the heavies/medics behind you to finish off, because you're giving away accuracy and versatility to look scary. The old, old OP ZOE was a near perfect implementation of the MAX. People would see one enter the room, and go out the other. Falling back to a position to prepare to deal with the threat.

    Ofc, MAXes shouldn't be that powerful, they should require a certain amount of teamwork to accomplish something - and teamwork to counter them.

    But in their current state it's just too easy to kill them. Infantry with C4, a heavy, archer, explosive crossbow, orbitals.... honestly they die super fast, without accomplishing much. Basically a 1.5x heavy with slower movement, less versatility and accuracy. And because of that, the few times they are used is to strengthen choke points, not actually push them.

    Even when maxes were free (for that alert) barely anyone would pull them. They'd be mowed down near instantly if they did anyways.

    450 nanites is a lot. I would like MAXes to be buffed so players aren't afraid to charge with them. It should seriously take a lot of coordination and firepower to take out a MAX. There should really be a "WOW" factor when someone pulls a MAX, not just a "oh, a max, i'll just shoot at it for an extra second and it'll die".

    For the cost of an MBT, I really want those things to perform in a fight. To be clear don't want these things to become mini-bastions. I would like them to be the shields for the front line, to incite pushes. People need to see a friendly MAX and say "that's my chance to follow the dude and push", not "better get away from that dude cuz he's gonna get me killed with him". These things should shield allies, be the bullet sponges. Obviously they should be able to get a few kills, but I wouldn't mind if they lowered the accuracy/dps even more. The idea is not for them to get kills, it's to cause a panic, be the scary thing that gets players to fall back, and concentrates all the enemy fire as the friendlies follow up behind them. Kinda like an NSO max 2.0 without those infernal grenades.

    To prevent them from being spammed, the simple cooldown like there was in beta (and I have no idea why it was removed) would work fine. There could be a limit per hex of how many MAXes can be pulled from each side during a fight, but if MAXes are properly reworked, that wouldn't even be necessary. A single MAX would have enough of an impact on the fight, there wouldn't be a need to risk pulling more (and hereby inflicting a cooldown) on these players, who won't be able to pull another MAX for 15 minutes. The resources/cooldown would be properly managed to ensure that the platoon doesn't run out of MAXes when needed. Besides, MAXes wouldn't be a farming machine, since they would just be spitting bullets everywhere and scaring people, but not killing much, so most people wouldn't pull them.

    Otherwise, if MAXes are to remain as bad as they are, might as well make them free or near free. Seriously, I can get more kills quicker, safer and easier with a brick of C4, that costs a sixth of the price. And lol, I could pull an a2g esf for 100 nanites less and go on an infinite farming spree.

    Currently the infil is a much more unbalanced class than the MAX. The game can be easy or hard depending on how you chose to play. Ultimately, it's a sandbox mmo, so I don't mind seeing a bit of every class/vehicle playing. I would really like these different classes and vehicles to interact better, get worked on more (would be cool if we got aurax max weapons, or es looks for each vehicle) but whatever.

    I dislike people who send threats and wish harm on me or others for simply playing a playstyle they don't like. Everyone is entitled to a playstyle, that someone will consider "cheese/crutch". I would simply like these playstyles to interact better with the game, but there's no need to delete key aspects from them, or rework them incorrectly. Really, removing charge was the silliest thing. If people are using charge to run away from the fight, it means MAXes were already too weak to fulfill their role.
    • Up x 1
  10. Concordia

    Feedback below marked by **

    • Up x 1
  11. Axehilt

    Let's be clear: changing MAXes wouldn't improve the new/casual player experience. It would just change the mix of troops veterans ran.

    In the early days of Planetside 2 when I could charge immediately on top of casual Heavy players before they had a chance to respond, they experienced the same exact feeling of impossible-to-win that casual players currently feel. Charge was overpowered, period. As a player who wants to use MAXes more, I think it was a great change to remove it. (MAXes should be designed as a hulking Juggernaut. Speed should not be their strong suit.)

    The best improvement to MAXes to me would be:
    • Increase MAX survivability. (Some combination of more HP, more mitigation, and/or slightly increasing sprint acceleration)
    • Add a new Armor-Piercing Minigun (heavy weapon) which HA can use. It lets a HA go toe-to-toe against a MAX and win, but is mediocre against infantry (you can still win fights if you're skilled, but it's noticeably worse than any other weapon you could use.
    • Also since I think it should be widely available (because it's a critical part of the rock/paper/scissors) reaching BR15 on an NSO character should unlock the Armor-Piercing Minigun on all your characters (NSO chars would start with it, because it'd be an NS weapon, and NSO will be free to everyone at this point, so this makes it available to all)
    • Remove OS' ridiculous insta-killing of all MAXes in a 20-mile radius.
    • EMP should be similar to a concussion grenade on a MAX (EMP visuals instead of Dizziness visuals), in addition to preventing MAX ability use (including un-Anchoring TR MAXes), and slowing rate of fire. These effects should be proportional to the proximity to the EMP (like Concs), and OS EMP should also cause them.
    • Up x 1
  12. RabidIBM

    I wouldn't over react to the removal of MAX charge. I liked it too, I miss it, but we move on. The fact that some of the kit got added/removed/modified isn't what's ruining the experience for new players.

    The lack of a level playing field is the issue. New players are always going to be less experienced and have less kit unlocked. Those are just the nature of this style of game. The exploitable things that are part of THIS game's meta that don't actually make any sense are going to ruin the experience for new players coming in from other games. I'm not going to get into which things I'm referring to, we all know what they are, and we all know that someone is waiting to devolve this into "It's not an exploit! I'm just good!"

    Short of fixing the exploits so that newer players aren't at any more of a disadvantage than they already will be due to kit and being new, the only other thing I can think of is to add systems to ensure that players have a reasonable chance of being against players of their own experience and skill. That would be incredibly difficult to pull off in a game based on having an open world. Only thing I can come up with is to run side events during prime time with prizes up for grabs that high skill players would care about. This might draw the high KDR players out of the live server during prime time when large numbers of newbies might be logging in, which might give them a chance to not get smurfed on quite so hard.

    As for the higher skill players, I would think they would to have side events to sort out who's who among their own number. A sort of "are you good when against other players who are good, or do you only have a high KDR because you're more effective at smurfing?"
  13. Concordia

    What is the likelihood these dev people will actually do any of this?
    • Up x 1
  14. Demigan

    What strikes me is how many players here seem to think that at some point the game was living up to it's potential and balanced. For example with the comparison between the old devs and the new devs, but both were doing things wrong.

    The old devs buffed and nerfed things to the moon and back, rarely contemplating that there could be alternative solutions. Instead of offering infantry ways to avoid or defeat the wildly powerful vehicle fire they simply nerfed the vehicles, which made vehicle players feel weak (despite their still enormous power difference) and didn't make infantry feel any better about trying to take on that chunk of longer-range, high health, high-powered beast that was pounding their position.

    The new devs definitely are trying more diverse things, but their chosen path is terrible. The Outfit updates just made Zerging more useful on top of rewarding players to avoid fights and grief their opponents so they leave and let you take the base. The end rewards are supposed to be for all the teamwork but effectively are just rewards for the leaders of the Outfit who get to cash in a lot of kills in Bastions or throwing down OS's, with only a few actually helping their faction like a Sunderer ANVIL.

    PS2 has never reached that magical place of all it's promises. This is why infantry is still segregated from infantry on almost every base in the game, and those few places where vehicles can fire into the base the vehicles completely dominate it. This is also why aircraft are hated and actually detract from the gameplay: There's no good way to either fight them or avoid them should one be gunning for you unless you are a very specific class or vehicle.

    As for the OP's problem, it's his problem. He was using a toy that was OP, the combination of health, damage and an almost instant-escape button is too powerful. Is the current version of the MAX good? Nope, it was hit by the old devs and never really placed into a good role, they simply nerfed it instead like they did with all things PS2. In hindsight that wasn't surprising, all the money PS2 made was thrown to half a dozen failed projects that aren't even played anymore. There are plenty of ways a casual can enjoy this game without getting access to OP toys like the old MAX.
    Although it's a great loss to the game that Charge was simply removed, rather than given to the class that should have had it in the first place: The LA.
    • Up x 1
  15. JibbaJabba

    So the independent variable here is the Max charge? Without it you are now unable to contribute?
    I don't think so. I think the difference between then and now is now you are fighting players with 5 years more experience than before.

    If you keep thinking "oh it's X reason" that I'm not doing well when it turns out the reason is Y then you'll never do well. Recognizing the real reason doesn't magically fix it. It does reduce frustration and allow the journey to start though.

    I don't think the reason you are getting killed now vs then is the lack of max charge.
    My playstyle has been affected by this and many other things over the years. There is way too much to do in this game for me to really feel the loss. Good lord you should see what I used to do to people in the original NC max or the TR gatekeeper. Glad that got the nerf.

    But yeah you hit the nail on the head regarding why folks leave - The game is hard. No matchmaking. If you are new or have 5 years of rust and you come across a "skillball" squad, it's gonna hurt.

    The game is inherently unfair. Everything about it. You are outskilled (temporarily at least) and that's unfair. You have to fight back with the unfair yourself. Your #1 counter as a less skilled player: Numbers and teamwork. Can't kill that tough vet? 5 of you can. Screw him.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans man.

    The game is not outfit centric but it's definitely team Centric.

    Yeah, you can solo it but anyone with teamwork is gonna roll you. Those ^^^ really are your options and if you aren't willing to be patient or work with teammates, then yeah quit is gonna be the thing to do..

    I Hope you don't do it because the reward is big. And you know why you're here. Nothing else like this. But I'm not gonna sit here and lie or sugarcoat. The charge is gone, not coming back, game is harder now because the vets are good. Is what it is.

    On the plus side: Those vets can condense 5 years of experience into a couple months if you work with them to get-gud (but that's teamwork again... )
  16. UberNoob1337101

    Wait, vehicle mains were infantry all along?!?!?!?!?
    I like this idea, a non-jetpack ability on light assault would be interesting to have.
    Yes. At least everything under 8.0 BR is very fun, top tier is so unbalanced right now.
  17. Demigan

    Whoeps, I meant infantry segregated from vehicles. (but yes, take away the tough exterior and all you've got is infantry ;))

    Yes it definitely would. The delay between exiting and starting to use weapons is also significant. It would be even better if we moved away from C4 as the only utility-slot method to defeat vehicles and gave all classes alternatives to throw into that slot. Because you know what will happen: Complaints that a Charge LA with C4 will end the entirety of all vehicle existance! (ignoring the fact that without jumpjet these LA would need to use infantry paths to get there, and C4 only works from stealth not full-frontal assaults).
  18. DarkQuark

    Personally, I just log on and have fun. I don't care about the politics of the game or any drama. There is no sense in worrying about things you cannot change or stressing over things that don't matter. I hope the best for the game and I hope some of the issues get fixed but divorcing myself from stressing over mechanics, client-side stuff and cheaters etc has enhanced the fun factor for me in a big way.

    I just want everyone to have fun while virtually shooting each other in the virtual face.
  19. OldSchoolD

    There's no stress only frustration at what could had been of this game in better hands.
  20. Axehilt

    All depends on how reasonable they are. ;)
    • Changing OS damage bonus vs. MAX is likely trivial.
    • Similarly, changing MAX attributes to slightly improve their strength is also trivial.
    • Adding a new weapon type is a moderate-high amount of work.
    • Giving it away for free? Yeah that might not be reasonable. (The way companies justify the cost of producing new content like weapons is that it ends up selling just enough to be worth the cost.) However using it as the reward to drive players to level up their NSO characters (which benefits population balance which is somewhat important to the continued health of the game) makes it somewhat more likely
    • EMP causing concussion on MAXes probably isn't easy, but it depends on the system. (On my last game it was trivial to add an effect to a spell to cause it to do an extra effect just to certain target types, but I'd assume PS2 wasn't designed with that much flexibility.)
    You should've seen the other suggestion I almost made which was like Battlefield's Limited Tank Spawns:
    • Each base produces only a limited number of MAX suits.
    • Anyone can use that suit, and while in use new suits do not spawn to replace it. (Not until that player fully dies or leaves the base.)
    • If no suits are available, you can't pull MAX there.
    • But then it gets complicated with edge cases, where you need a dynamic number of suits available base don battle size (one for 1-12 fight, maybe eight for a 96+ fight), and I suppose AMSes also share that dynamic number.
    • Buff MAXes as before.
    Basically this version recognizes the "engagement width" that naturally limits tanks (and so even though people can pull endless tanks, they typically don't because only a few bases support 20+ tanks meaningfully engaging the base, and some walled bases don't support any tanks engaging (apart from the occasional Magrider-ninja). By comparison, MAXes have the same basic engagement width as infantry, and so there isn't really an inherent disadvantage to them if they end up being flat-out superior to infantry (which is partly why MAX crashes are powerful and a little degenerative). So then Limited MAX Suits provides a sensible limit where MAX crashing is only possible if you use a lot of teamwork (flying in MAXes from elsewhere) but MAXes can actually feel different from infantry again.

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