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.