SOE, Balance Around the Core of the MMOFPS

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Littleman, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Littleman

    This is the post where I pretend to know the ins and outs of the problem and offer up a solution.

    It's no big secret that the greater portion of complaints and criticisms for Planetside 2 involve the relationship between infantry and vehicles, and between everything and aircraft, but mostly infantry and vehicles (including aircraft.) I know the developers are trying to make a mixed arms game, but I've come to the conclusion this attempt to make everything equal via rock-paper-scissors isn't working, or to put it another way, just because everyone can get into a tank/aircraft and believing infantry should be entirely vulnerable and helpless against everything bigger than them is horrendously flawed thinking.

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    These guys are the very basis of what everything in Planetside should be balanced around. This is why PS1 worked until BFR's were introduced: they killed the infantry dominance. Infantry are the core of the game, of an FPS. They make up the majority of your player base. People came to play a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter.

    Not a tank sim. Not a flight combat sim. A shooter. Most people came here to shoot things as foot soldiers, because that is the allure of the genre. It's why we still see a higher soldier to tank/aircraft ratio in game despite the pops regardless of whether or not it's primetime. The problem is that this game is extremely frustrating for the foot soldier, as there are very many methods of killing a soldier without him or her having any chance to meaningfully react what-so-ever. Sniper headshots, bouncing betties, rocket pods, tank shells, the freaking Dalton underbelly cannon, just to name a few. Their hard counters? Laughable. Flak that can't kill an ESF before it gets away is worthless, and those liberators will decimate everything before AA becomes an issue. Rocket launchers that act slightly more reliably than a standard issue RPG and worse: they're essentially the exact same rocket launcher across empires.

    You can not successfully balance a game around the triad of:

    Rock
    [IMG]

    Paper
    [IMG]

    And scissors
    http://1.bp.************/_fLoHwtvCkbQ/TQJYxkZ7FFI/AAAAAAAAAyE/wQ2emFuyZYk/s1600/DSC_0052.JPG

    This game needs to be balanced around one of these facets as the primary and the other two secondary to it. It's a first person shooter. Polish up the infantry experience, give it a new shine, make it satisfying and less frustrating, and I guarantee the population won't keep crapping all over these forums in the volume it has been since release.

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    These guys are the reason people play an FPS. They should be THE dominating force on the battlefield that tanks and aircraft act as support to.

    I was against it before, but now I'm for it: every foot soldier should have some effective method of engaging vehicles and aircraft without any investments, and no cooldowns attached to the methods. There can be weapon trade offs, like in place of a standard cycler my medic can carry a rocklet rifle into battle and my handgun will just have to act as an SMG (add those too, pistol slot preferably, weaker AR/carb.) HA rocket launchers should come standard with laser guidance. Not the same kind we saw with the striker in PS1 with homing capabilities, but rockets that always fly towards the horizon point of the cross-hairs. They can afford to be weaker per impact if they can more reliably hit their target, but not so weak their target has more than enough time to escape.

    Vehicles and their pilots need to die - including aircraft pilots - for the average infantry man to feel like he's making a difference. The timer/resource constrained units and their counter-measures should be powerful (this includes the skyguard,) but at no point should an infantry concerned player feel like he can't do anything worthwhile against armor and aircraft. That one burster arm doesn't cut it. The dumb-fire rockets are largely unreliable and ineffective, and C4 is positively suicidal (and expensive!)

    Please, SOE, shift the focus of balance on a central point, namely the infantry game, the meat and potatoes of any good first-person-shooter.

    EDIT: All images found courtesy of google search.
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