Thoughts on Koltyr, and Why it is Turning New Players Away...

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Cynicismic, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Cynicismic

    Greetings, PlanetSide 2 Community!

    Recently, the new and much anticipated small-scale continent Koltyr was introduced to this game, in the hope that it would encourage more new players to keep playing through the ranks. As you all know, DBG created a small-scale continent that new players will begin on, like the initial tutorial in earlier stages of this game's development, only Koltyr involves fighting actual players. The simplified level design of the bases on this continent is intended to introduce traversal mechanics, (lifts, jump pads, teleportation devices etc.); objectives, (generators, capture points, and SCUs), and specific layout elements, such as Biolab teleporter rooms of major facilities at a more controlled pace, (to quote the Koltyr development team).

    Furthermore, Koltyr is only available to players of below Battle Rank 16, (I think, if my short-term memory serves me well), which ideally will mean that new players will face off against new players. The skill level on Koltyr should, understandably, be low, and should be a more pleasant introduction to the game instead of jumping straight into the major continents.

    I was curious to know what the eagerly anticipated fuss was about regarding Koltyr, so I created a new TR character, (completely stock - I have not invested any money into the TR), and began to explore. Initially, I thought that Koltyr was a great place for newer players to get acquainted with the game, and for a number of reasons. Koltyr is, fundamentally...

    • Small - this means that new players can get familiar with travelling around the map without getting hopelessly lost. Because Koltyr's layout is so simple and so small, if a new players decides to wander around for a bit, they can easily find action again. It also means that if they decide to deviate from roads in their vehicles, they won't get massively lost like some new players do in the major continents. This also means that they can familiarise themselves with road and facility layout, and the design of the continent and its facilities are like simplified versions of those in the actual, large continents.
    • Simple - Koltyr is, as discussed previously, very small. This makes it more forgiving for the curiosity of new players. Branching from this, the simpleness of Koltyr's layout combined with more complexities of actual continents means that players can familiarise themselves with basic continent layout, as well as the layout of facilities. Koltyr has many simplicities that make it easier for newer players to start, though also has some areas that will provide tactical advantages, (for instance, cleverly placed Sunderer points where players can hide their deployed spawn vehicle). The simplicity of this continent combined with some aspects of basic complexity makes it more appealing to players starting out in this game.
    The initial introduction of this continent was made back in February this year. To quote PS2_Luke's thread OP on the topic...
    These are all very good ideas, and I must say that Koltyr has been well done and well designed, and should ideally encourage new players to keep playing. Its friendliness, the relatively small-scale battles, the lack of zergs and the layout of the facilities and the actual continent alike make it a good place for new players to get started.

    However, there is one major issue that I encountered during my brief time in Koltyr, and that was the extraordinary number of veterans who had created new accounts that were literally farming there.

    Because of the purchase transfer system, where if you purchase an in-game item with DayBreak cash, you have access to it across either all characters on one Empire, or in the instance of weapons, they are universally available across all Empire characters you make, many veterans had simply created new accounts on the same Empire, so that they had all their stuff. Everything, except for the Certifications they invested into their character. This means that they had their weapons of preference, their cosmetics, and their vehicular weapons also.

    To put it bluntly, Koltyr, at present, is a bloodbath, and is more counter-productive at the moment than actually useful.

    There were experienced veterans running around everywhere, using weapons purchased from their original character, and were rampaging over all new players trying to get familiar with the game. There were experienced snipers, Lightning and Harasser drivers, (all with their respective weapons from original accounts), and veteran infantrymen who were literally farming kills.

    Though the worst part of it was that there was a Liberator hovering over the facility where the most fighting was occurring. This pilot was your quintessential Liberator pilot - he knew what he was doing. However, he had his weapon load-out as he did from his original account, which included, if I recall correctly, a Tank Buster, an air-to-ground rocket launcher, (the Dalton, I think), and a rear-mounted A30 Walker. He, alongside his crew, dominated the battlefield. They were annihilating all enemies they saw, destroying ground vehicles and tanks before they even knew what was hitting them, and no-one could shoot them down because most pilots on Koltyr are inexperienced ones, looking to try out ESFs and gunships. They destroyed infantry, ground vehicles, and aircraft efficiently and ruthlessly; they left no means for they themselves to be destroyed.

    In short, Koltyr is more of a playground for experienced veterans looking for target practice on inexperienced newcomers, who may well be potential customers for DBG, and also may stay longer than five minutes also, instead of stop playing because they're sick of being a punch-bag for those who've been around longer.

    Fundamentally, and to put it bluntly...

    Koltyr is Driving New Players Away From this Game, Instead of Encouraging them to Stay...

    Well, when I say that Koltyr is driving new players away from the game, I really mean its current implementation at present is. Of course, the obvious question we can ask right now is "Will the farming wear off? Will, in time, less good players use the newbies in Koltyr as target practice?". There is albeit a novelty aspect to Koltyr for players who've been around for longer, and they want to see what the fuss is about, (I myself did also). However, there is also an obvious aspect to this that experienced players are intentionally using Koltyr to farm off the inexperienced players.

    Another question one may ask is if those using Koltyr as a farm will ever get bored, or one could argue that we should wait until they exceed the Battle Rank limit of Koltyr. Again, this is true, and I hope that numbers will decline as the months pass. However, never doubt that there will be some selfish players exploiting the new continent, ruining it for the new players, and using them as target practice, which in turn defeats the object of Koltyr somewhat.

    As I see it, DBG have left the job half-done. They've stopped players using the characters with which they have invested the most time into, which is a good thing, though have left the continent open to exploitation through the mechanics of the game market, and through the fact that they can just as easily create a new character and use that one to farm. This problem needs to be solved. It isn't fair to use the newbies and punch-bags and targets, and will ultimately turn more and more players off the game because Koltyr will be dominated by those with more experience.


    My solution to this problem would be to have a feature in place so that if any character associated with an account is over Battle Rank 16, no new characters made by that player will be able to access Koltyr. So someone with a Battle Rank 100 character can no longer create a new character that can access Koltyr, and harvest newbies in the supposedly training continent. If he wanted too, he would have to delete all of his characters over Battle Rank 16, which I don't think many people would do. A way around this would be to create a new account altogether. Though then these exploitive persons would have to start again from scratch, with no money ever being invested into the new account whatsoever. I don't think many players would take the time to create a new account, with standard everything and no DayBreak cash/money ever being previously invested into it, just to use Koltyr.

    If you have better suggestions, then please feel free to post them, though Koltyr is not providing the experience that it should be. It is being exploited, and this urgently needs to stop as soon as possible, to ensure that newer players stay in this game. DBG are losing potential customers, because I for one would certainly get fed up pretty quickly if I started playing a game, joined an area where I ideally am supposed to fight players of a similar skill ability, (i.e. totally new to the game), only to find myself being killed over and over again by experienced players exploiting the system. It will get dull for new players alarming quickly.

    TL;DR: Long post is long. Deal with it, ( :p ).

    Many thanks for reading, and I eagerly await your replies,

    EDIT: I apologise for making my posts so long. I like to put a lot of effort into them, and fully accept that it can be considered dull to read such a massive wall of text.
    • Up x 2
  2. Eternaloptimist

    I just posted something similar suggesting that resticting high cert weapons in Koltyr would be a benefit. I am using it as a pure training ground for a stock LA myself. It is still better than facing hordes of fully certed high BRs on the other continents though.
  3. Pelojian

    A better idea might be locking DBG weapon purchases and locking the use of DBG purchased weapons while in koltyr. if you want to use a weapon you've purchased for DBG in koltyr you have to use certs and you don't get a cert refund when you are no longer able to zone there.
  4. Gromwort

    I think Koltyr should be available either only when you have one character on your account below BR16 or when none of your characters is above set limit.It won't solve a problem completely but should help to some degree.
    • Up x 1
  5. Cynicismic

    I saw, and agreed with you as well. However, the point I am emphasising is not down to the actual weapons that one may take into Koltyr, (although this does form a substantial amount of my argument here), it's down to the skill-set that an experienced player will enter Koltyr with over that of a complete beginner. While money can buy you weapons, it cannot buy you the skill element of this game, and the knowledge required that'll make you a better player. Only time can grant you this, which is something the newbies have not had. Experienced players will use Koltyr at a far greater advantage than beginners because they have invested the time required to build up their skills. Newbies go in with nothing.

    As I said before, my argument relates more to the skill an experienced play will have over an inexperienced player. Take an example: we have two characters who are completely stock. One is a complete beginner, and the other is an alternate character created by a Battle Rank 100 player, (on his usual character). Who will come out on top? Who will have the tactical advantage? Who will know what to do over their competitor, and have the knowledge of game mechanics, and simple situational awareness? It's all well and good locking weapons purchased with DayBreak cash in Koltyr, though that will never take away the skill that an experienced player will have in comparison to an inexperienced one. While transferred weaponry forms a substantial amount of my argument, I think that if any character associated with an account is over Battle Rank 16, no new characters made by that player will be able to access Koltyr. This is because they will have the skill-set that beginners will not, which still gives them a considerable advantage.
  6. Tiedemann

    Sounds good to me. I already thought there was a lock in place (more than the create a lvl 1 dude and try again).
  7. Cynicismic

    While a good idea, this still leaves room for experienced players to enter Koltyr so long as they have a character below the rank of Battle Rank 16. The latter half of your idea, however, (regarding that Koltyr should be open to you so long as none of your characters are above Battle Rank 16) is a very good idea, and should also encourage newer players to choose a faction that they'll play as their main, seeing as that will be the one that they should ideally beat the Battle Rank limit of Koltyr with; this'll mean that they have to leave.

    Perhaps a reward could be issued alongside the standard Certification grant items when a player reaches Battle Rank 16 on Koltyr, as a "rite of passage" kind of thing. That may also encourage new players who are experimenting with each faction to choose an Empire with which to play as their main.

    Sadly, I don't think that there is a limit other than standard Battle Rank for the character with which you are trying to access the continent with. I think that the restraints need to be much, much tighter to reduce the numbers of highly skilled and experienced players from playing on Koltyr.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  8. customer548

    - If a player is on Koltyr and that his KD is higher than let's say "0.5", the player should be gently kicked to the other maps.
    - If a player buy any weapon or anything else than boosts or skins from the cash shop, the player should be gently kicked to the other maps.
    - Give access to Koltyr to players who have a new account only.
    • Up x 2
  9. Obstruction

    the issues being described are described accurately, but you have it backwards. Koltyr should have all purchasable items unlocked like a sort of level restricted live-fire VR. new players and smurfs alike can go there to try (and get hooked on) things like AP cannons, skyguard, MAX weapons, etc, and then know exactly what they want to buy or grind for on the live maps. in fact i'm not sure it should even be level restricted at all, except that it would become one of the most popular maps due to outfit training and scrimmages. maybe you could let smurfs stay until they level out, and higher levels get a 2 hour timer with a 10 hour cooldown.
  10. Ikarius77

    Very simple.

    Negate access to Koltyr if your directive score shows that your aren't a newcomer.
    • Up x 3
  11. Beerbeerbeer

    Good intentions gone bad.

    People will always find flaws in everything, including cheap and easy ways to farm or pad anything and everything. This game is notorious for implementing things without thinking about all the angles.

    I agree that people who already have an account should not be permitted in the kiddie pool, at all.
  12. Ikarius77

    Ok... agree... its impossible to avoid experience players who want create a new character to play in a rookie continent...

    but... what's the point to see a +1000 directive points player playing in koltyr ?¿
  13. Armcross

    This has to be address ASAP! For now there should be a dedicated admin or moderator to kick or transfer those kind of player ruining new player experience. In immediate future update a purchasing restriction.
  14. BaronX13

    First, to the OP, quite well thought out and fair post. Good job.

    To the point at hand...

    I think many of those veterans are currently on Koltyr simply because it is new. Basically, it's a new mini continent to check out. So I do believe that more time needs to pass for them to "get bored" of it to really make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.

    That being said, I totally agree. If in a reasonable amount of time this trend continues, it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Simply put, considering the skill curve of this game, a veteran with all stock gear can and will absolutely wipe the floor of a new player even if that new player had better equipment. That's just how things go. While I would like to believe that more experienced players would have no need or want to just slaughter newbies, the sad fact of the matter is that there are some people who will in fact go seal clubbing. No amount of equipment restriction, BR restriction, or even directive restriction will matter. The problem isn't what a character has, it's how skilled they are. Again, a veteran with a Beamer can slaughter a newbie with an Orion. Vehicles will compound the problem even more.

    So, when it comes to possible solutions it's rather difficult. Most solutions can slightly help, but won't solve the problem. About the only thing that will solve the problem is that the player will need to have a new account, with a single character slot to be allowed on Koltyr. After they reach the BR limit of Koltyr, then the rest of their character slots should be unlocked, and they should be moved to the main continents. While this won't be an end all fix (nothing ever is), most people won't want to make a bunch of useless accounts/emails just to go seal clubbing. At the very least, it will drastically reduce the problem.

    So, give it time to make sure it isn't just a "new shiny continent" fad. After a reasonable amount of time, it's going to need a solution that doesn't depend on restrictions of equipment, because it is the skill difference that is the problem. Otherwise, Koltyr will simply fail in its intended application.
  15. CorporationUSA

    Shoulda made a real tl;dr.
    • Up x 1
  16. Yuki10

    The big problem with it is that it is often used by PS2 veterans who come there to mess around. They level up in a few hours and just wrack the learning experience for new players
  17. Scr1nRusher

    He could have...... but he needed a clickbait title.
  18. Scr1nRusher

    New players can leave koltyr at any time and go to the other continents.
  19. johnway

    The quickest solution i can think of is to give a separate Koltyr for everyone to jump onto. Restrict the training one to those with 0 directive score and BR1. Everyone else is locked out and play in the main continents or go to the separate Koltyr for a quick instant bloody orgy of violence.

    The only disadvantage is whether we will truly see enough rookies/new players to populate koltyr. But on the other hand i assume that players are free to leave whenever they want (or are forcibly pushed out) once they got a feel for things or if things prove boring.
  20. Taemien

    Here's my solution:

    Delete Koltyr.. or at least allow it for outfit vs outfit skirmishes, like an instanced zone.

    Then drop newbies in the middle of the biggest fight on the map like we did in 2012. Maybe with a voice actor saying with a lousy eastern european accent saying "Welcome to Planetside" on their way down. Or even after their first inevitable death.

    I turned out alright, are we suggesting newer players are worse players than me in Nov 2012? I doubt that. They'll figure it out.
    • Up x 2