This time last year the game was getting ready to triple its population. Today all that pop is gone.

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by NotsiMadz, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. NotsiMadz

    Before the Escalation launch last spring (March 11 2020), PlanetSide 2 had a global average population of 1,700 players.

    Today, the global average population is 2,200 players.

    Shortly after Escalation launched, the game got a ton of players, with the average global population peeking at 6.200 players, almost triple the current population and more than triple the population the game had before Esalation.

    For a game with a "normal" population hovering around 2.000 players, that's 4.000 players joining the game in addition. That's huge! The number of players that played this game, in less than one month, got multiplied by 3 !!!

    What's also huge is how many of them did not stay. That's 4,000 players who left a game that normally has only 2.000 players.

    ^^^^^^^ These are facts. Unless there is a mistake or unless I made a mistake, they are simple facts taken from this website :

    ie: you don't really get to argue those :p


    As a matter of fact, for once in an original post, starting a thread, that's all I will share, the simple facts above, this sentence, and one question:

    What happened?
    • Up x 1
  2. Pelojian

    it's not hard to figure out why they joined and then left.

    they joined because of the new stuff, once the shine of the new stuff wore off they were left with all the stuff they've already done/used hundreds of times and then decided to leave.
    • Up x 2
  3. RabidIBM

    It shows what snazzy marketing center pieces are and aren't worth.

    That said, going from 1700 to 2200 isn't bad either.
    • Up x 4
  4. MonnyMoony

    The problem with a lot of the "new stuff" is that it's mainly bee added for the benefit of high BR vets who invest a huge amount of time and effort.

    Bastion, OS, Collosus, ASP - none of this is available new or low BR players.

    There has actually been very little added for low to medium BR players - so they logged in, had a play with the few new weapons that have been added, then logged off again because they found that very little had actually changed (and if anything it's got worse as the vets now have even more powerful 'noob farming' weapons as anyone who has been unable to move out of spawn being bombarded by a Bastion will attest).
    • Up x 3
  5. Somentine

    Covid also just started, like a few weeks before the update launched, no?
    • Up x 3
  6. MonnyMoony

    Yep - which should have had a positive effect on numbers. A lot of people furloughed or not in school looking for things to do.
  7. Demigan

    Two reasons:

    1: it was the advent of many pandemic related lockdowns. People needed something to keep busy.
    2: it promised to bring the combined arms and teamplay that people had been yearning for, along with the rewards that people thought would make it worth it.

    Lockdowns have come, gone and come back again. However the promise of combined arms and teamplay was false. In fact it was worse than false, it rewards avoiding combined arms and the most popular teamplay boils down to "everybody go there". And the "combined arms" of PS2 is actually segregated arms. Sure you need them at one point or another, but you can barely use them together in a cooperative matter that really supports one another beyond "we got more guns pointed in the same direction".

    So go after that promise. People want that combined arms, people want that teamwork, people want those rewards for a deeper gameplay. But as has been proven time and again the current idea of teamplay and combined arms the masses seem to favor isnt what actually gives them engaging gameplay.

    Make teamplay an organic, supportive thing players can engage in quickly and easily. This should be the backdrop for the average population but also squads and platoons to use. Rather than "everybody go there" the leaders and sub-leaders can request specific small teamplay actions to be performed.
    Add the combined arms, which would heavily benefit from that teamplay. A simple example would be upgrading the map and minimap so scouting information becomes more valuable and players can quickly and efficiently give contextual information to one another. The best thing about such information is that it persists for a longer time and players can quickly determine which information is relevant for them or not (rather than voice comms which is only active for the duration of speech and will give many players information they cant use unless its extremely general ("everybody go there").
    • Up x 2
  8. DarkQuark

    Most corporations that directly make their profits from creative content (think movies, TV and games) have found that they can make consistent profit with over hyped marketing and sub par content which is far easier to produce. They take your money with a smile initially and then give an insincere apology afterwards.

    Big hits take hard work, talent and passion to produce. You have to discover these things in people which takes time and can be hit and miss. But if you throw out crappy BS that anyone can make and hype the crap out of it, people will still buy it.

    This causes popularity of products to be very much peak and valley. Huge interest when it's new and somewhat unknown but then once the newness wears off and folks get sick of whatever the junk is they leave until the next over hyped garbage comes by.

    Some companies still really care about putting out something of value created with passion but the bigger corps generally are all operating by a numbers game and content quality is not a factor.

    In summary, marketing is cheap and easy. Quality content is fraught with risk even though the rewards can be higher. The corps just prefer the more consistent profit.
    • Up x 2
  9. iller

    It is when you spend as much RESOURCES as they did on it and got nothing to show for it
    • Up x 1
  10. NotsiMadz

    yup, but isn't COVID still going on?

    edit -> what I mean is, if you look at the chart on fisu, the pop droped alsmot instantly. It was back do 2k in June
  11. Somentine

    Yeah, but that big spike was probably due to Covid + new update (alongside RPG taking over, supposedly promising more devs and dev time for PS2).

    So, more people to find something to do + new content + some hype from vets due to PS2 hopefully getting more focus and balance/content.

    It was a triple whammy in essentially a month's time.
  12. NotsiMadz

    That big spike was due to the launch of a lot of new content which was accompanied by quite a lot of marketing and communication (hype like you say). COVID surely must have helped boost those numbers a little too.

    But that isn't the question, the question is why did those players not stay in the game? And why did those players leave after such a short time?

    3 months after Escalation launch the population was back to what it was before; that's 4.000 players that played for a couple months and left (out of a "normal" population of 2.000)
    • Up x 1
  13. Pelojian

    newer players or older players. the most likely ones to suddenly pickup the game to see the new stuff is vets who have done all of the old stuff 100s if not 1000s of times to the point it becomes dull and they burn out on the game.

    face it the game has nothing that can really draw people in and keep them playing long term. in MMOs you can easily hear of players that have been playing 10 years or more and can tell you about the times they've stopped and realized how much time they have wasted ingame when they could be doing something meaningful in the real world.

    planetside does not have that and it does not help that the marketing says the game is about teamwork, strategy and big battles, when teamwork and strategy boil down to human wave tactics and follow the leader and big battles are essentially trying to outnumber the enemy.

    think about it.
    you come looking for teamwork, strategy and big battles, all you end up getting are the big battles.

    kinda like when someone acts in order to get a date with someone and then that someone realizes the person they thought they knew is something else entirely and then dumps them.

    the only hope for planetside at this point is if a decent dev team gets together and focuses on a true sequel to the series focusing on those 3 elements faithfully and not trying to chase and fail at acquiring a different demographic of players.
    • Up x 2
  14. Liewec123

    i think Rabid summed it up well,
    snazzy "ooo look! shiny!" things like OS spam and Bastions get people coming back to take a look,
    but they don't make people stick around.

    what the game sorely needs is a refocus back on to what made it great in the first place.
    player cap needs reverting back to 2000 (900 isn't good enough.), queues need removing,
    BIG fights! make more BIG fights and massively active maps.

    Outfit Wars are yet another example of an "ooo shiny" that everyone will get bored with super fast.
    • Up x 1
  15. ZDarkShadowsZ

    When a new shop opens up nearby and sells something we like, we go check it out. Maybe we like the service, or whatever it is that's sold, and then we make a decision, we either keep shopping there, or we don't. Same applies to this game.

    Every time there is an update, players come back and see what it's like. Players take time to make a decision on whether they like it or not. They then either leave, or stay.

    I think Covid has played a part in population as well. Many countries were in lockdown so it retained players for a little longer.

    With all of that said, I do think that while population is better than it was before the escalation update, it did kill itself. While Bastions were a long-requested feature in the game, the vision the developers had for them, and what they're actually being used for are two very different things. Most of the time I see bastions flying off towards the other two factions, hoping to net as many free kills as possible. Occasionally I see outfits using them for what they were designed for, but it's rare. Combine bastions with the pocket orbital strikes and it's enough to make anybody give up with the game. I left for a while too. I couldn't take it. I wasn't having fun.
  16. MonnyMoony

    Crucially - I think these things will actually discourage new players.

    1. These shiny new things can take months if not years to build up enough certs to unlock. I have been playing since launch, but only achieved ASP last year and still haven't been in a position to pull OS, Bastion or Colossus. Once a new player learns just how far away some of this stuff is, are they likely to hang around? Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing to have goals to aim for - I remember grinding to get my first bolt action and it felt like a genuine achievement when I got it, but I didn't have to suffer years of relentless farming which is what new players face these days.

    2. These shiny new things seem designed primarily to allow vets to farm noobs, making the game even more frustrating if you are just starting out. It was bad enough when players just had to contend with HEAT/HESH/PPA spam and the odd Banshee/Mustang AH/Light PPA ESF.

    It's frustrating enough as an experienced player with fully certed armour and overshields to be unable to make it 2 steps out of a spawn room due to a bastion camped overhead relentlessly bombarding the spawn room doors - heavens knows what it must feel like for a new player with zero equipment.

    It wasn't too bad for the first few years after launch as everyone was learning the game, building up equipment etc - but fast forward to today and there are vets who have all the equipment certed to the max, have learnt all the in-game exploits, hidey holes, idiosyncrasies, know how to handle their weapons to routinely land headshots etc - and they just relentlessly farm. IMO the game has become far less enjoyable as a result because the difference between noobs and vets (or even medium skilled players and vets) has widened massively - again not helped by all the shiny new stuff only available to vets.

    IMO some aspects of the game should be changed to reflect this fact (like the HS multiplier) to give new players a fighting chance and improve their Quality of life within the game.
    • Up x 3
  17. Thalestr

    This game is probably one of the most newbie-unfriendly games that I can think of. It's not a surprise at all why new players are rare and don't stick around. No friend that I've introduced the game to recently has kept playing.

    Let's just put it bluntly: Unless you're a veteran and sweaty player, you're just cannonfodder for everyone else. You're just food for their stats. There is just no way a casual or new player can complete with the amount of sweat dripping off so many of the veteran players, and this is absolutely not helped by the large array of cheap, unbalanced, and BS weaponry that exists purely to farm (A2G, HESH, etc). And this is without even taking things like cheating into account which has become a rampant problem that isn't being addressed.

    The game just isn't fun anymore. Personally, I don't play it that much because I just can't stomach it. I'm BR97 but I play casually an d I just cannot compete with most veteran players. I often find myself being insta-headshotted so often and so fast that it makes me feel like I'm back playing Insta-Gib for Quake or Unreal jfc.

    I'm tired of playing just to pad the stats of vets. I'm sure others feel the same too.
    • Up x 3
  18. MonnyMoony

    The game hasn't evolved to account for the huge (and increasing) difference between vets and new players.

    The game is much harder for new players today than it was at launch simply because the difference between an experienced and inexperienced player is so much wider now (caused in no small part by all the new features that are only really available to vets e.g. ASP, Implants etc).

    These things didn't exist at launch and as such the gap between players with some time under their belt and new players was commensurately smaller.

    There is always going to be a difference between new players and experienced high cert players, however the entry level player today pretty much starts where they always did, but the vet bar has been raised much much higher.
  19. synkrotron

    Regarding this game being difficult for new players.

    I found Planetside 2 was far easier to get into than the game I used to play, Battlefield 3. I literally died 100 times before managing to get my first kill.

    At least with Planetside 2 you are able to "take stock" of a situation and go somewhere else if something isn't working for you.

    Regarding the Vets farming Noobs... Some good points made, I guess.

    Personally, I am really rubbish, but, as a "Vet," I still manage to catch low BR players unawares. That's not to say that I deliberately seek out low BR players, because there is no way of doing that. But they are usually the ones that stand there in the middle of nowhere probably looking at the map or taking a sip of their favourite brew. I try to help, by explaining why I killed them so easily, but most probably think I am taking the Michael out of them.

    I always advise, once outside of the spawn room, keep moving... Just small movements are enough to put of a sneaky Cloaker.

    Regarding the amount of active players. I didn't realise it was so low. But, then again, I don't know what the figures are for other games.

    Regarding server population. Yeah, I recall there being some really epic 400+ fights back in the day. I had assumed that population was limited simply because the servers cannot cope.

    After queuing for five minutes (longer if you are "free to play") it does seem a bit strange that there are only one or two 96+ fights going on. You would think that there would be at least three, one for each pair of factions. I have experienced peak time sessions where there may be one 96+ (pair side) fight between one pair of factions and that is it. All other fights are less than 48 per side, with most as low as under 12 per side. And there are times when you can pick a base and capture it all on your lonesome regardless of having to queue to get onto the server.

    Regarding longevity...

    Surely, with a game that has been going for so long, people are going to come and go, and come back again. I find that I will go for weeks, even months without playing, and then I'll dive back in there for a while. I have a BR102 character, five that are at BR51, one which I started a couple of months ago which I managed to somehow rapidly progress to BR82 (double XP weekends and alerts definitely helped with that), and a brand new character, just because I thought I'd have a bash at playing as VS for a change. But there will come a time when I will take yet another break.

    My worry is, I suppose, is how long can Planetside 2 keep going with such a small band of hardcore regular players. I am only be a "casual player" but I will really miss this game when it finally does close down. I don't think that anything else I have tried comes even close to providing the amount of fun that PS2 has.

    Apologies for the wall of text! :D... I'm not sure if I said anything useful there haha!
  20. Somentine

    Same reasons that most people don't stick around, whatever that may be.

    Hype and Covid only brought in the players; the game still had to keep them on it's own, and it did keep a decent amount as the average players has gone up 500-800 over last year.
    • Up x 1