[Suggestion] Thoughts on the Advanced Specialization Program

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by EWanderer, Jul 29, 2023.

  1. EWanderer

    So I just entered the ASP a few days ago. And while I had some thoughts on the system beforehand, I didn’t want anyone calling me out on not having put in the actual work to experience it for myself.
    With that out of the way let's begin. There are three areas of concern: ASP Entry Requirements, the matter of Nanite Discounts and lack of general options.
    But first let’s make clear what I think ASP could/should be: A way to shake up the gameplay options to each player. Best exemplified I would say with the various cross class unlocks. As such it really shouldn’t be a straight up reward or upgrade for anything.

    A.S.P Entry Requirements
    Which brings me directly to my first topic. I shall get later to the more questionable options, so for now let’s just think about the level 100 entry level. That is even for a good player for a very very long time. I play in a mid-fit and despite a lot of good players, I am one of the few with actual ASP rank. And I doubt without membership and excessive squad leading, I would be even halfway where I am today.
    And for what? Either some busted discounts that would have been nice earlier and now ill put me even more at an advantage over newer players, or some silly loadout options I could have had a lot of fun with a lot earlier.
    Planetside 2 has a hard time given its age and should utilize any low hanging fruit to make the game more appealing. A more accessible and perhaps even stronger A.S.P system could be such a fruit.
    Just make it an option for Level 25. That would in theory add another 4 ASP tokens, minus probably 1 for Prestige 1.1. But honestly that might not be such a bad thing as you will see.
    Another fun point would be that it would be an early selling point for membership. Just saying the bottom line and all.

    Vehicle Discounts
    Now out of all the A.S.P Skills there are probably none quite as contentious as the vehicle discounts. While they eat a good 5 tokens, I would argue that with Cortium spawns in the game only Heavy Air and Combat Armor for MBT remain necessary. Sure one might say discounts are right now a big selling point. Yet from a vet vs newcomer perspective alone, it just makes the game seem unfair. And they are so much of a straight up upgrade that they make other choices less tempting and hold the A.S.P system back.
    Here is a compromise: Group Light Air, Ground Transport, and Light Ground into a group and Heavy Air and Combat Armor into another. Limit picks to two from the first group or one from each group.

    More A.S.P options
    A.S.P should be all about enabling weird playstyles. So in that spirit let me throw in some more ideas for them grouped by class. Are they all good? Probably not, but it’s to make a point about how much more potential for weird specializations of individual characters we might get.

    • Repair Grenade. Medic gains the engineer's repair grenade as an option. While revive grenades are the goto for many medics especially for a more MAX focused playstyle this could be an interesting option.
    • Reserve Hardlight Barrier. Because heavies and engineers are not the only one, who could use some cover.
    • Ward Medic. Medic can equip Shield Recharge Field as a primary. This would effectively allow medic to carry 2 suit abilities at the expense of their primary weapon. Sure they can get Scout Rifles as a secondary, but non the less it would be a huge cut to their choices in exchange for doubling down on their medical power.
    • Fast Grip. Medic can equip Comfort Grip or a version that doesn’t confer the horizontal recoil benefits on all weapons. Swapping between weapons is a valuable asset for medics.

    Light Assault
    • Hacker Kit. Gains the level 1 version of the Infiltrator’s hacking tool. LA are as much about breaching enemy defenses as Infiltrators and as such should be permitted the option for this tool.
    • Heavy Crossbow Secondary. This is to complement the SMG Secondary. Rather than having a “Sniper” Primary and CQC secondary, you run a CQC and Sniper loadout.
    • Grenade Launcher. The LA can equip Stomper and Thumper instead of Rocket Rifle. While clearly a downgrade for AV and AA, I can only imagine the horror of raining explosives on Infantry from above.

    • Sapper. Gain access to anti-infantry and tactical mines.
    • AMR Alternative. Can equip an AMR instead of a rocket launcher. One could very well say this is a downgrade, since something like a decimator is just as well equipped to blast an MAX and definitely is more effective than AMR against armor, but it could be interesting.
    • Sniper Rifle Access. If anyone is a master at arms, it would be the heavy.
    • Backup Backup Weapon. Instead of a Rocket launcher, equip any other weapon available to heavy. You know about two chain gun loadouts, but have you tried dakka level 3?
    • Mana Turret. Heavy can equip a single use mana turret as an utility. A point hold tool that benefits from a heavy’s overall durability.

    • Impulse Grenade Access. They already use certain implants to get some extra jump height. And this is the closest to help with that outside of giving them some sort of mini ambush jump jet as a suit slot.
    • Quick-Det Flash Grenade Access. And for my next trick, I shall vanish in a flash.
    • Carbine Access. CQC Infiltrators could benefit from more weapon choices designed for fast paced action.
    • Heavy Crossbow Secondary. Yeah yeah, but what about stalker cloaking? Well compared to the burst of pistols, SMG and other sniper rifles, a crossbow has a rather horrendous TTK.

    They already have so much, even more so if we look at their overall tool kit, so not really much to add here.
    • Havoc Grenade Access. The opposite of repair grenades, how fitting.
    • Heavy Load. The engineer can equip their suit slot abilities into their primary weapon slot. Mana Turret plus Sentry or even more Hardlight. There are so many possibilities.

    Universal ASP Options
    • Armor West. Unlocks a suit ability that trades all shields and maybe health for armor. Can be equipped along a second suit ability (see punisher double rail attachments) to toggle. Armor can only be repaired, revived at only 25% health. Suffers from Havoc. Either add small small arms fire resistance (5-10%) or just make body/legs shot less effective by dropping their damage modifier by 5%-10%. Embrace your inner robot, could also be just an option for engineers or nso characters.
    • Universal Heavy Crossbow. All classes get to use the heavy crossbow. It’s a fun and not overly powerful weapon so why not make it an option much like scout rifle is on everything.
    • ACUB Support. The Adaptive Class Underbarrel becomes available to all weapons which support an underbarrel grenade launcher. This variant cannot be combined with other rail attachments. This variant shoots decoy grenades for Infiltrator ACUB is a fun attachment and while I have gone better with Punisher, I feel like making it more available could shake up the meta a bit. Though EMP spam wouldn’t be nice, I guess.
    • Adaptive Swap. Unlocks separate ACUB that correspond to the various classes. So engineers can pick up havoc, heavies cleanse, etc. Cleanse and havoc are already available grenades on directive weapons, if only for the punisher this could lead to a lot of flexibility and weird builts.
    • Air Access. NSO gain access to ESF of their current faction. Everyone else gets access to Dervish. While yes this could be a headache to program, when you could just as well play a different account, but it would just be a convenience. Why log out during prime time just to get access to ESF?
    • Tank Access. NSO gain access to MBT of their current faction. Everyone else gets access to Chimera. See above.
    • Implant Suit. Can put implants into suit slots. This would probably benefit vehicle drivers a lot, but could also shake up the meta on implant builds.
    • Illegal Arms. All classes can equip any black market weapon as a primary. Please don’t do this, this is just an idea for the meme that there are a lot of black market weapons.

    Final Points
    Alright I hope I got the idea across. Now there are some minor points I wanted to touch upon.
    • Small Refund Token. A 1000 cert variant that simply allows one to refund one ASP skill would be nice.
    • ASP point threshold. While I am very much in favor of never allowing a character to have every ASP unlocked at the same time, since it adds to the idea of customizing your character, should the range of options become to wide to reasonably allow making a build for each class, then there must be more A.S.P to be earned. Aside from another prestige rank, this could be done by one point per class directives or something along those lines.
    As always If you made it this far thank you for your time and feel free to throw in some of your own ideas or feedback. See you planetside!
  2. darktr00per4

    I do Agree with some points more than others, I see why they put ASP in the game to try and retain Vet plyers with a "Prestige" system but I do think for a lot of players like you said it is a long way off. I am not so sure about adding more weapons to the Infiltrator class as that class alone is one of many reasons why this game has reached a low pop of less than 2k in the last 30 days. Now I wouldnt mind seeing expansion of the Infil class to include an active radar when cloaked and a permanent cloak that locks you to pistols and only disrupts when you fire or move to fast. These two things could be more beneficial to the Infil class than adding more weapons.

    I do like the idea of swapping the rocket rifle out for the thumper or stomper because honestly the stomper is way better at AV than the rocket rifle could ever wish to be and it would make the Thumper more usable than it currently is.

    I am not sure about the AMR for the heavy as They already have a bunch of AV and Anti MAX armaments. it would be more like a step back than a step forward. I will say the AMR for body shots is meh ok but Headshots is a little OP on MAX units, But thats for another thread on why MAX units are useless now.

    Sniper rifle for a heavy - yes please, bring back my double bolt driver Load Out for PS1 so I can hot swap between them and relive the glory days.
    I wish the back up heavy weapons would allow for any player to equip as a cert right off the bat like the original game but equipping double chain guns wouldnt add anything as you can only fire one at a time. Just means you took up a slot you could use for a launcher.

    I think for engineer what would be a nice add on to encourage more teamwork would be to allow the engineer to place a second turret so that any squad mate or platoon mate can man that turret. Though a turret for a Heavy Assault seems a little out of class, maybe a different shape of headlight structure or another tactical item would be helpful.

    Maybe include medic revives for MAX units even though that should still be in the game to all players. Interesting ideas unfortunately unless the player count reverses its not going to matter.
  3. Aris12

    Interesting suggestions.
    I fully support lowering the entry level for ASP to lvl 25, this game requires excessive grinding to progress.
    Most of your additions/changes could IMO spice up the game in good ways.
    Some, however, would probably create griefer powder kegs.

    I have reservations about the following:
    • Giving HA access to AMRs: These things, right now, are incredibly annoying to be on the receiving end of particularly if you're a MAX, ground vehicle pilot, or non-NC aircraft pilot. Before proliferating AMR use, AMRs need reworking. Things like making MAXes reviveable, nerf their damage to ground vehicles, or instead of nerfing, grant tanks/Sunderers coaxial MGs FFS.
    • Giving LA access to Stomper: They are already annoying AF with the Rocklet Rifle. Can I get my coaxial Trawler for the Vanguard, have the TR get a coaxial Palisade for the Prowler, and VS get a coaxial Pariah? Give Lightnings a coaxial Basilisk?
    I would also consider the following (NOTE: These are going to be hella biased):
    • Vehicle discounts: If we go with your changes, then the vehicle discounts should be IMO buffed. Why? The Combat Armor/Heavy aircfat discount, for example, brings cost of MBT/Liberator/Galaxy down to 360 from 450 nanites. This is a 20% reduction in nanite cost, but only an 11% reduction in wait time. Its because of those ****** 10 extra nanites that when added to 350 (i.e., 7 minutes worth of wait time) gives you the current 360 nanites (i.e., 8 minutes worth of wait time). The power of discounts are only felt every 5th pull for MBTs/Liberators/Galaxies, because the extra 10 nanites by the 5th pull make up 50 (i.e. 1 minute worth of saved time). My point being, that the current discounts are not THAT unfair over the newbies.
    • Add a "Traitor" token: Basically, say you're me, and you're tired of the incompetent Zerg on your faction (In Connery that would be WTAC for NC, ohohohohho!!!!). Wouldn't it be nice to be able to at least temporarily switch to another faction, but, with your original faction's gear? I want to be on TR's side, drive a Vanguard, and K as opposed to TK the Vanguards/Reavers/Scat-MAXes on NC.
    • Add a "Contract Killer" token: Allows you to earn A7 instead of XP for scoring kills on bountied players.
    • Add a "CoD-style kill or score streaks" token: If you're Infantry (I), Attack Vehicle (V), Support Vehicle (S) and you get certain # of kills on other I, V, S, respectively in a row or amass certain score you get Outfit Armory rewards like being able to call ANVILs down, Steel Rains, place discounts for your faction, and yes, OS and Bastions! Caveat, as you near a kill streak, your location is continuously broadcast (with a slight lag time) to the enemy factions. The range at which you self-spot for enemies is proportional to the strength of the killstreak. The time lag, inversely proportional to the strength of the killstreak. Basically, I want people to be able to go on John Wick style killstreaks and have endless swaths of players come after them. 2nd Caveat, you can't go back to the Warpgate after certain # of kills. Only safe haven can be provided by player-made bases.
    • Up x 1
  4. FlashBang

    I played 3 years on and off. I have never subbed and think it is fine it is a nice grind and the levels fly pretty fast after. One thing I think they should do is promote directives and ASP skills better so players know they are grinding for something. I didn't know about any of it until I had already played like a year.
  5. JibbaJabba

    Being someone who has explored the ASP system up oneside and down the other :p

    I've got 4x guys in ASP 2, couple max level.

    No real complaints.

    Minor complaints:
    There should be another asp token during the unlock of ASP 2 like there was at the unlock of ASP 1. That last grind from 75-100 earned it.
    The cert cost to unlock is dumb. Lower it to like 1000. And I say this as a member who never had to pay it. Dumb.

    If there are any further changes it should be with a philosophy of "do more stuff you couldn't do" and NOT "do stuff more powerfully". If the latter, ASP becomes a mechanism to let veterans beat up on noobs. Not a good formula.

    Consider also options that cost more than a single token.
  6. KhlorosTesero

    Very large wall of text aside, IMO this is what i would do to change the ASP system.

    - Leave it at 100 to unlock ASP.
    - Award a single ASP point that is limited to a specific class once you unlock expert with that class. IE once you unlock Expert HA, you get an ASP point yo ucan only spend on the Heavy assault ASPs

    That would honestly fix a lot of issues, as for new things, a lot of the classes are actually fine as they are, the only class IMO, that legit needs more is the heavy assault, its probably the worst ASP class in the game. All they would need to do, in order to make it good though would be just give them an ASP point to take assault rifles. call it a day.
  7. Somentine

    I'd rather not have Heavy Assaults running around with ARs. They're already good enough with the AR-light LMGs like Orion, MSR-W, and Anchor/GD-22.