Warning! Massive wall of text ahead. Basically I made this thing about 2 years ago (last time I played this game) and forgot about it until I was formatting the harddrive. I knew I never posted this so why the hell not? So bear in mind this is written from a couple years ago and I have not played since. If you want to hear the reason why a CO in a large outfit upped and quit the game completely, here it is TLR I hate forced population balance and refuse to play the game any further.. Hello there, this is Snow Sheltie, the retired Major from the now-dead outfit Phoenix Battalion. This is meant to be an eye-opener to a game I once loved to play, but due to a combination of poor or outright stupid development choices and what I can only describe as sociopathic behavior from the player-run outfits, I’ve quit the game for good in favor of other games. The fact that the developers seem to be fighting against the very thing that appealed to many players, including myself, in pursuit of the CoD crowd, is disheartening. I don’t expect this video to even reach the ears of developers or the players who are unknowingly encouraging this game’s downfall. To those who’ll listen, here’s what killed off one of the largest outfits in Planetside 2, and subsequently resulted in a loss a lot of players in the process. When it comes to game developers, no matter the time, no matter the game, I’ve noticed a pattern where developers either listen to a very small, niche group of players or ignore their player base entirely. Planetside 2 is no exception to this. I’m honestly amazed the game didn’t flop on launch due to the game’s combination of being a buggy mess (they released the game well before it was ready) and the abysmally overpowered aircraft which lasted for months before it was finally addressed. As I played the game over the years, I’ve grown to suspect that Daybreak games is wholly against the idea of large outfits, which is ironically the biggest appeal I had for this game. I can sum this up as a combination of the effort of the developers and the playerbase, particularly those in leadership roles within outfits. Devs VS The Planetside Philosophy First the developers. There’s been plenty of time to improve outfit management but they were never done by either Sony or Daybreak. Managing any large outfit in Planetside 2 is more of less a job. Initially the only way to recruit new members is to invite them directly to the outfit, which was the main way Phoenix Battalion recruited. In fact, it was through that very method of recruiting that Phoenix Battalion was able to grow and maintain a rather large active roster, especially when compared to most other outfits. Later on a recruitment page was added for people to apply to outfits, which was a nice addon. Removing players, on the other hand, was a complete nightmare. You could only select one player at a time to remove them, a job nobody wants to do when that number reaches fifty, let alone three hundred inactive players. The ability to select multiple players at a time would’ve been nice, but those suggestions fell on deaf ears. On the topic of managing players, outfits face a lack of ranking options. You can only set up five ranks max. The ability to add more ranks aside from the usual Private, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain would’ve made outfit management a hell of a lot easier and I can’t imagine this being such a monumental task that it couldn’t be done. It seems the devs just didn’t want to bother with adding more ranks. While these problems were annoying from an outfit management level on their own, it only affected administrative duties and wasn’t really a detriment to gameplay. Population balance, on the other hand became the death knell that has convinced me the devs hate large outfits. In short, if the population for all three factions on a continent is not even, then you’re forced to sit out on another continent or in the training room. This was an outfit killer. I had to listen to numerous complaints from dozens of players in the outfit who were frustrated that they couldn’t play with the outfit because of this stupid game mechanic. I found myself frequently waiting so long that I end up quitting the game on multiple occasions either because I ran out of time to play or I wasn’t going to wait for thirty minutes or an hour just to play with the outfit. Eventually I just stopped playing altogether, and judging by the outfit’s roster when I checked it out two years later, it looks like a ton of the other players in the outfit didn’t move on to other outfits. They quit the game as well. Hundreds of active players Daybreak managed to lose over this decision in PHX alone. I don’t know what sort of leeching it caused from other outfits or factions but I am curious how much damage this has done to the game in the long run. I honestly don’t think that Daybreak or the players who championed population balance are aware of the ramifications here. They seem to live in a bubble where they forget that we live in an oversaturated videogame market. There's plenty of other great games, some of them in the large scale warfare department, that are more polished and still in development compared to Planetside 2. Players Behaving Badly While the average player in Planetside 2 were more or less your typical fps players, the players holding leadership positions in the game were quite the pain in the *** as far back as the server merger of Jaeger and Waterson. I can honestly describe the behavior of many of these people as sociopathic or outright psychotic in a few cases. To explain how I have come to this conclusion, I will tell you of my experience when dealing with other players in leadership positions, particularly those in other NC outfits as well as the numerous mutinies PHX endured. I’ll also be making a few comparisons to EVE Online. Even though the two games are nowhere near the same genre, much of the ugly behavior I’ve witnessed in EVE has also reared its ugly head in Planetside 2. Also, I still play EVE. We’ll start with the rest of the NC. 2A – The New Conglomerate Leadership Phoenix Battalion started on the Jaeger server and our relationship with other outfits was of a friendly but competitive nature, particularly between the big three, VDRS, TRAF, and PHX. Other NC outfits, in general, did their own thing and for the most part cooperation was incidental at best. When Jaeger was merged with Waterson, Phoenix Battalion was one of just a few Jaeger outfits who survived the merger. I am not sure if it’s from jealousy or tribalism, but the Waterson outfits seemed to loath Phoenix Battalion and this was quite noticeable. I knew a number of other outfit leaders were saying some rather nasty things about Phoenix Battalion, and it was more than the usual ‘lol zergfit’ comment. Personally I didn’t care what they said but the rest of the NC could never quite understand why PHX had no interest in any of the ‘coalitions’ they tried to form. I guess it didn’t occur to them that insulting and berating an ‘allied’ outfit won’t convince them to sign up. Christ, the diplomats of EVE are a lot more professional than the average planetside leader and they’re famous for stabbing each other in the back all the time. Speaking of coalitions, the idea of fostering more cooperation between outfits in a faction is a good idea on paper, especially when I saw how poorly the NC ran on Jaeger with no cooperation between the outfits. The execution of coalitions in Planetside 2, however, has been nothing short of disaster. The problem that occurred with each coalition formed was that instead of creating a basic platform for outfits to better coordinate with each other, they wanted to effectively place all the outfits under the control of one or two players, or under the direct command of one outfit. If a significant outfit had no desire to play along with the coalition, a good amount of the coalition leadership will go out of their way to berate, insult, and alienate the offending outfit in an attempt to delegitimize and destroy the outfit, which is what PHX experienced again and again. The coalitions themselves never lasted long due to infighting but it didn’t stop people from trying. Because the consequences of winning and losing continents was (and still is) so redundant, I, and the rest of PHX Leadership, had more interest in having fun than winning. Planetside 2 is not EVE Online, a game where such alliances and coalitions are vital to your corporation’s very survival, especially in null-sec. Then there’s those crazy wormholers, but that’s a story for another time. The fact that the NC leadership has shown such distain over someone not wanting to play by their rules that they’ll go out of their way to destroy such people is a disturbing trend in the game, one that’ll dissuade all but the most insane players from taking on leadership roles in the game. And this game is in desperate need of leaders. One of the goals of Phoenix Battalion was to try to encourage and teach new platoon and squad leaders so the outfit could effectively run on its own without relying on a few key individuals to keep things running. If new leaders aren’t stepping up to the plate, the game devolves into just another Battlefield, and why play Planetside 2 and its glitchy mess when you can play a polished, established title and have as much fun, if not more?