Why Are Logistics Being Eradicated Instead Of Embraced?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by MrJengles, May 28, 2014.

  1. zaspacer

    Gotcha. So, farming is always welcomed, though it's by no means a fixation. Especially because the game incorporates some ways to farm while engaging in interesting fights.

    This is definitely an example of some good Game Design by SOE. Setting up a system whereby players can satisfy grind needs *while* also pursuing subjectively interesting gameplay.

    Very cool to hear. I dabbled in PS1 at its launch, but only have that brief experience of PS1. And I don't have any experience of the game as it aged and developed. I really like to hear feedback from people who spent time in that game, how it developed, how it compares to PS2, the good/bad we might port to PS2, etc.

    When it comes to MMOFPS model to look at and pull from to make better games, the list is very short. True, PS2 is enough like some non-MMOFPS that it can pull from other types of games. But in terms of complete game system, it's a very short list to pull from.

    I think you hit the "key problem" nail on the head here: "Good fight", "worth staying", "have to choose", "XP or a good fight".
    1) Good fights are worth staying in
    2) Good fights are preferred in fun to following the zerg in steamroll capping
    3) Zerg in steamroll capping is usually better XP
    4) Finding a Good Fight AND Good XP is dificult

    The Designers should take a look at what non-XP gameplay players enjoy doing and like to do in the game. It will be subjective, but when you pool the info together, you will see that most of it falls into a limited number of the same answers. Then the designers explore tuning the game to:
    1) get players into what they like to do faster and easier (NOTE: this does not automatically mean teleport to battle, because if players enjoy figuring out how to get into battle then the game won't want to do teleports)
    2) tie rewards to what players like to do, so that players can do what hey want and get rewarded at the same time
    3) find ways to help stretch out the periods of enjoyed gameplay so that players don't get interrupted as much

    NOTE: it's important to not include XP rewards in their answers. Most people will enjoy getting XP and will think they like any activity that gives great XP... even if they actually dislike doing the actually activity. You want to untie XP from each actifvity, get a sense of what they like, and then re-attach XP to fit motivating players to do what they like.

    Likewise, it's important to take a look at what non-XP gameplay players don't enjoy. Then the designers explore tuning the game to:
    1) get players out what they don't like to do faster and easier
    2) untie rewards to what players don't like to do, so that players aren't being pushed into doing what they don't like just to chase rewards
    3) find ways to help shorten the periods of unenjoyed gameplay so that players don't get stuck for too long in gameplay they don't like

    NOTE: all activities should also be considered in terms of their "value" to the overall game as well. Some players may not like a certain activiy, but that activity may be crucial in order for others to enjoy the game. Such activities should have XP tied to them to give players motivation for doing them anyway. HOWEVER, it's important to take a hard look at the stuff people don't like and answer the question "does this need to be something players have to do? What purpose does it serve? And what purpose does it serve requiring players to do it rather than just automating it?

    Long ago on these forums I tried to explore the things various players enjoy. Let's take another shot at it:
    1) XP & character progression
    2) playing FPS style gameplay
    3) larger battle strategy (logistics, coordination, communication, team work, etc.)
    4) having and achieving in-game objectives (like cap a base, defend vs. AA, etc.)
    5) having and achieving achievements (unlocking unit/weapon achievements, etc.)
    6) getting and maybe trying new stuff
    7) helping others directly (like reviving or Ammo Pack)
    8) OCD activities (like repairing damaged things)
    9) personal improvement (being more successful over time through L2P)
    10) depth of gameplay (rich learning curve)
    11) griefing others
    • Up x 3
  2. MrJengles

    Totally agree. Organizing players and vehicles that can be seen forming up, then intercepted or protected, and reinforcing fights at the last moment - so everyone knows it's the players' speed and execution that made it work - is greatly satisfying and adds to gameplay in a way that simply teleporting never can.

    #1 is what SOE should be doing instead of making every Sunderer on the map spawnable (that's what they've done right?). All reinforcement options desperately need restrictions. I favor the queue as well, although I think it needs to be penalizing enough that squads really avoid using it. Otherwise, as you say, it'll block out the individuals it was intended for. If a squad can move from one side of the map to the other in 36 seconds without any risk they probably will.

    I think the system would be best balanced if people already strongly dislike teleporting around 8 players, and are fully convinced it's a bad idea for a full squad or more. So, I'd put it at 7.5 seconds per player. 1 minute for 8 players. 1min 30 secs for a squad. A platoon shouldn't even get a look in at a 4 min timer, so they would take 6 minutes.

    #3 I think would be too punishing. What if 3 guys redeploy somewhere and want to start using a beacon? It was okay for them to reach the fight, but not to use beacons for 5 minutes?

    The way I solved it in the OP was, as long as you're far away in another territory, you'd effectively have to enter the queue for that base and then you'd spawn on the beacon. Or you could just spawn at the base in which case you can use the beacon as normal.

    #4 is a nice idea, though perhaps not needed with timers as long as mine, I don't know.

    HART vs Redeploy

    Thinking the system over some more I'm not sure the distance based spawn would be worth it. Being able to redeploy to every base would be cluttered and confusing for newer players, some options would be more preferable such as major facilities and it'd take too long to get across the continent (I was thinking ~30 sec per base hop) making it reliably slow and annoying.

    Alternatively, the HART system would be simpler and cleaner. Similar to Instant Action but on a global timer and will take you to whichever base you choose, no matter how far away. On some occasions the timer would nearly be ready so it'd be faster than if redeploy were an option, and on others it'd be longer, which either means players would be more happy to use it or more convinced that transport is way better so it'd rarely be in an annoying spot.

    Additionally, it could be available only in the Warpgate which causes people to group up and talk or plan. Finally, perhaps factions could be warned when the enemies' HART systems are ready and be able to factor any possible uses into their planning.

    All around I think it'd be a better option to replace long distance redeploys.

    So this is the system I'm thinking of so far:

    • Redeploy options continue to be restricted to surrounding territories, the nearest tower and nearest facility.
      • However, the options do not update by redeploying. You have to physically move to a new territory.
    • All common forms of redeploy (so minus Instant Action and HART) cost a small amount of resources (roughly equivalent to using a grenade, probably best to wait for resource revamp) with the exceptions of:
      • Warpgate
      • Any spawns within the territory you are currently in
      • Any spawns within 150m (to account for being near an AMS / beacon etc. across the border
      • If in enemy territory, the closest adjacent friendly base and any player spawns in that territory (so it'll cost if you're further behind enemy lines with no adjacent friendly base)
    • HART system is added, allowing people to drop pod to any friendly base they choose that is NOT being contested.
      • Only accessible from the Warpgate
      • Has a global timer of 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Instant Action is unchanged
    • Reinforcements Needed now applies to deployed Sunderers in contested enemy territory.
      • Reinforcements option expires when friendly population reaches 48%, whether offensive or defensive.
    • Reinforcements Needed options now each have a global queue
      • This increases by 7.5 seconds per player
      • Players redeploying from another territory are subject to this queue for all common forms of redeploy unless they are within 200m.
  3. Tuco

    Lots of you guys throwing around fancy sounding terms like "logistics", and none of your ideas are actual logistics.

    In video game terms: Logistics is something that is highly visible, persistent, and interdictable by the enemy; the total opposite of Star Trek transporter technology.

    Logistics is not necessarily preventing the player from teleporting around from one area of the map to the next, but preventing the TANK/GUN/AMMUNITION the player uses from teleporting from one area of the map to the next, and TANK/GUN/AMMUNITION appearing out of thin air (nanites). This game's lore (nanites) was invented around star trek teleporter technology, give it up. These maps are too small for logistics anyways, wwiionline maps would have been perfect for it.
  4. MrJengles

    A lot of real world concepts can apply to video games since they're created to be familiar to us.

    The teleporting has to stop for people to start using the alternatives. As you listed, transportation of personnel fits the bill exactly, as does intercepting the enemies' movements.

    Also, limiting the places you can buy vehicles from is talked about a fair bit. And SOE are already planning supply lines.

    The maps happen to be far too large for teleporting, which ruins so many aspects that should be fundamental to Planetside.
  5. MrJengles

    Excellent ideas.

    I'm thinking along these lines now as well.
  6. starstriker1

    One of the lines in the wikipedia article you quote is "Transport of Personnel", which is exactly what's being discussed here. Logistics is the job of getting the things you need from where they are to where you need them, and one of the things you need in PS2 is players.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that transport of personnel is one of the most critical aspects of PS2 logistics because player counts win fights, and once players REACH a fight they don't suffer from a whole lot of attrition (players only leave a fight once they lose their spawns or decide to leave for whatever reason). That means that the deciding factor in the fight is how many people you can get to it. Right now, that's largely an organizational problem (and a solved one at that), because the actual act of getting those people from point A to B is trivialized. As long as you can motivate X number of people to go there, you'll get X people there, no additional effort required.
    • Up x 1
  7. Kid Gloves

    Nanites isn't a reason not to discuss logistics. Sure, nanites can magic-make a thing. But the lore should be considered extremely mutable in this regard, and should never be a valid excuse for poor gameplay. If the game can be made a better game experience by making some adjustments to some half-***** back-story or pseudoscience babble, then consistency with previous pseudoscience babble is not required. At all.

    The number of players who would quit in disgust if the lore about nanites underwent some changes in order to improve gameplay is probably zero, or as close to zero as to make no real difference.

    If the developers (or any number of players) can't come up with appropriate pseudoscience-babble regarding why nanites and logistics work together, I'll be very surprised. Especially since I could probably come up with two or three excuses over coffee, and I'm not even a writer.

    As for map size - resource logistics needs a map big enough that thing A is here and is needed over there. A single base is big enough to have a working logistics system. PS1 maps certainly were, and they're much smaller than PS2 maps.
    • Up x 1
  8. Exonis

    Too many bases that are too close to each other is another problem too.

    I think they need to remove some bases mechanically, but they shouldn't remove any bases geographically.
    Like, remove control-point and spawn from base X, but you could still stop there to set up a forward operating base with a Sunder, etc.
    I think that could do a lot to improve the meta.
    • Up x 1
  9. Tuco

    That's nice, but we already tried the, "Beg for a ride" or spend the next 5 minutes walking only to die before firing your first shot thing in wwiionline. It was a disaster, everyone got tired of waiting around for a ride so they spawned tanks instead. The ground population was 95% tanks 5% infantry before mobile spawning (AMS equivalent).

    Nope. In a FPS logistics should not be forcing the player to go the distance but the AI carrying equipment the player uses from going the distance, like an SCV in StarCraft.
  10. Bloodlet

    WWIIOnline also had a TO&E. so there were limits to the amounts of equipment in given areas and the distances were much greater than PS2.
  11. Scr1nRusher

    Nanite based systems exist......

    The concept of logistics as we know it, are thrown out the window.

    This isn't WW2 is space...... well somewhat but you know what i mean.
  12. Bloodlet

    Yeah but nanites take power which was modeled well in PS1. There were limits to how many things you could "magic" out of a spawn terminal in a PS1 base without someone resupplying the base.
    • Up x 1
  13. Axehilt

    To be fair, Star Trek transportation still is logistics. It's just that in videogame terms the depth of logistics gameplay is related to the quality of decision-making related to logistics things, and there's obviously a lot more decisions and interaction with your opponent's decisions if it's a visible/interceptable thing.

    Even the simple act of sending those 5 members of your squad to the north tower to man AA/AV turrets is a form of logistics, so saying PS2's continents are too small to have logistics gameplay makes no sense.
    • Up x 1
  14. Scr1nRusher

    this isn't PS1
  15. Tuco

    Star Trek teleportation is the anti-thesis of logistics. There is zero possibility to intercept it, and there's no investment in protecting a supply line that doesn't exist.
  16. Tuco

    Not with the FB ping pong mini-game.
  17. Akashar

    When I play, I sometimes have less than 15 minutes. Are you telling me that I should spend them walking/driving/flying instead of fighting? I like everything in this game, even walking/driving/flying, what I hate, is doing one of them when I would like to do the other. When I find myself stucked in an empty base because we repelled the attackers, I just want to be able to go where there is a fight, not walking for the few minuts I got left.
  18. Axehilt

    1. You quoted a textbook definition of logistics. It includes, "transport of personnel"
    2. I point out Star Trek transporters are an example of logistics (because they transport personnel and materiel)
    3. You claim it isn't logistics
    You can't do that. Don't do that. I've recently been told my cynicism increases my chances of dementia later in life and I needyou to behave rationally to help me rebuild my faith in humanity!

    Instead, accept that logically it's not only logistics it's the pinnacle of logistics technology. The holy grail of logistics!

    We don't need to lie about what logistics actually is to agree that what makes logistics fun in games is a different thing.
  19. Tuco

    Oh my god you are taking words too literal
    • Up x 1
  20. Canno

    When I started playing in Alpha, through beta, and in early launch the game was so much more enjoyable for several reasons. This is a bit of a nostalgia post but bear with me...

    Community is built on team work in a game like this. Community builds outfits. Community keeps players around - sometimes longer than they normally would be because they feel like they 'owe it' to their outfitmates. Happens in all MMOs.

    What SOE has done over time is taken away the need to work together within factions, by and large. Now I didn't read all 6 pages but I did see someone mention people that were professional taxis. It was a very thankless but important job that some people loved doing. Whether it was a gal pilot or a sunderer driver they spent a portion of their game time helping the faction in a way that gave them little reward in the way of certs but a lot of reward knowing they helped out.

    Before the lattice system you could, as an individual or small squad, 'ghost cap' or try to cap a base far away from the main battle line just to draw people away from the main fight. Again there was little in the way of reward in terms of certs but it was a fun and viable gameplay method that many enjoyed. They could contribute to their faction by relieving some of the front line pressure.

    You had your pick, most times, of small, medium and large battles.

    What's happened with PS2 is the removal of the sense of community and all the things that go with it. Professional gal and sunderer taxi drivers are a thing of the past. Most gals and sunderers you see driving around are 3/12 loaded, 4/12 loaded.. 1/12 loaded.. and few stop to pick people up. You have to jump in a sunderer it whips by you (hopefully doesn't hit you) and that's if it's not locked. The race now isn't to get people to the battle, it's to get to the front of the zerg and start farming. Before the changes that funneled everyone to the front line you had any number of random players piling in whatever vehicle was around so they could be ferried to the fight. Those were the times new players would be squadded or platooned up to make communication easier and helped keep folks together. This lead to players getting invites to outfits or at the very least learn a lot. It lead to fun chat and 'prefight' chatter as you approached the battle. It lead to memories of "things were good till the crap hit the fan." ESF and Liberators were escorts, not overlords of the hex.

    The introduction of the lattice system also decimated the community feeling because it removed the need for distractionary tactics. The need to better co-ordinate attacks on weak or open fronts. Actual tactics to a battle instead of meet here and ram ram ram.

    Spawning now is out of control. Defenders are actually at a disadvantage many times because the enemy can pull up a half dozen sunderers and maybe a galaxy above and just rain people in from anywhere on the map while bombing the heck out of it. Defenders typically have one spot to spawn from. It's why zergs roll over bases and people don't stick around to defend once the tide turns. Add to that the battles are now highly concentrated it's hard to bring in outside help due to the large concentration of ground and air. At best you get a counter zerg that pushes the attackers back... and they respawn at a different zerg.

    I can't imagine a new player in this situation. Spawn at fight available, 90% of the time a zerg, and not even make it out of the spawn room or if they're on the attacking side watch as multiple air and ground vehicles pound a spawn room while infantry stand around waiting for the base to flip so they can move on to the next one.

    There was a time I would try and take a small base to pull people away. Then I'd look up and see 12, 15, 20 galaxies loaded at 9/12,10/12, 11/12.. 12/12... ESFs escorting, Libs escorting.. and new something was going down and it was a beautiful thing to watch - enemy or friendly. Here comes hell.

    Not that there aren't good fights now, they're just harder to find. Seems like standard tactic is to overpop one continent and zerg bases. How there's not a cap on % you can have on a continent I don't know.

    If you've made it this far, thanks. :) What I'm basically saying is SOE has focused so hard on getting people in to the battle they've forgotten that there's the rest of what goes in to the game. They've forgotten what community building is and what faction pride is. The game ISN'T just about fighting, it's about getting there.

    Open the map up again, don't force everyone in to battles you think they want, let the players decide how it will go - it was way more fun that way. Or borrow from EQ - open a classic ruleset server and let's see what happens.
    • Up x 1