Your current ALERT system does not work, here is why

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Zizoubaba, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Zizoubaba

    Your Alert system does not work, did not work, will not work if most of the players playing the game don't give a **** about it, don't care about it, don't participate in it.

    I don't care what you think or how you feel, I am telling you a simple fact that is simple to see and understand as illustrated by the latest Alert on Amerish, Cobalt :


    We can argue that players just want to farm, or just want to fight, we can argue whatever you want, it doesn't change the simple FACT that Alerts are not working, do not work, can not work if players don't care and/or participate.

    So please, change them, improve them, replace them with something new, or hell, if no one cares about them, then ***** delete them all together.


    I was very surprised to see that some people would look at this picture and not understand. So here's a series of pointers :


    -> As you can see an Alert is on going and there's about 30 mins left in it. An alert lasts 1h30 so basically we are reaching the end with 1/3 to go.

    (that is the subject of my post, Alerts. They are pretty much supposed to be "the big thing" in PS2. They give nice rewards even to losers and happen roughly 3-4 hours after a continent has opened. At the end, the continent is locked and a winner is declared which is why you might say this is the continent's "end game content". )

    -> TR is winning the Alert with 56% territory control (the faction with the most territory control wins). You will notice that the regions owned by TR in comparison to the other two factions is almost evenly spread, you could almost draw a line between the North East frontier of TR territroy and the South West frontier at Wokuk Amp Station and Tumas Tech Plant.

    This is is the opposite to VS and NC where you can see that the territory owned by these two factions is mostly focused on each other.

    -> The population is highest for TR with 35%.

    That is more than the other 2 however

    a) as a faction dominates, its relative population (I say relative because it could be not that its pop is increasing but that the pop of the other two are decreasing) tends to increase. Although since the latest Alert patches that doesn't happen as much as before.

    b) though we do not have gross population figures, you can tell from the lack of orange explosions on the map that the population isn't very high on this continent at this time. (orange explosions indicate big fights). That's important because with regards to pop balance, the lower the overall population, the less population balance actually tends to matter.

    c) at any rate if you were to add the NC pop to teh VS pop, you would get 64% pop, almost double TR's. If both NC and VS wished to win and/or wished for TR to lose, they could easily gang bang TR.

    -> NC cut off the VS East territory by takijng the Onatha biolab.

    Not only that but they are already ghost capping the lane to the East and capping the base to the North. This has cut off 10 bases for VS so strategically, it's a very very important move. Anyone who would care about the alert, any squad, platoon, outfit or "lone wolf" would

    a) have done something to prevent this
    b) be rushing to capture the biolab back
    c) try to work on a workaround by, for example, capping AuraxiCom Substation (which would in turn cut off NC allowing VS to cap the biolab back easily).

    However, you can see from the "lack of orange explosions" there is no big fight in any of these reasons. In fact, since I'm hovering my mouse over AuraxiCom Substation, you can see that there are less than 12 VS players there and only slightly more NC.

    It wouldn't take a big platoon to take AuraiCom back, or even the Biolab (it doesn't appear on the screenshot cause I can only hover my mouse over one place but there are less than 12 VS players and NC players in that region even though it represents the equivalent of 10 bases..)

    But all of this is only an "apéritif", and I could go on about the population numbers on the TR front that show that there are very very low numbers of NC and VS on the TR front, whether they are defending against TR or attacking TR. I can't really speak much about it because the screnshot doesn't show that information.

    However, a 10 year old would understand that IF (and thats the point) anyone cared about winning the alert, they would attack the winning faction that has more territory. Instead, and this is my last and final point, they focus on each other and fight in random bases just because there's a fight there.)

    -->If you look at the NC warpgate, you will see that the closest base immediately to the East is owned by VS. It has been cut off. For a while even as is illustrated by the timers of teh 2 bases NC is capping after the biolab.

    I can't remember its name but it's a 3 point large outpost and such is really hard to capture if it's defended a bit.

    Anyway, what I'd like you to notice is trhat BIG ORANGE EXPLOSION LOOKING DOT(s) that appear on the map at this location. They indicate that there is a big fight going on there.

    If you've noticed this, then you may also notice that there isn't a single other place on the map where this orange explosion appears. This indicates that there are no big fights anywhere on the map except for this location.

    I know its a long post and I know it feels stupid because I'm spelling out obvious things, but let us just say there has been a "demand" for hand holding from our less mentally fortunate and acute friends.

    So to sum it up :

    1/3 of an Alert left on timer, TR has highest pop but not that much, TR has most of the map and territory is almost evenly spread between VS and NC bases (draw a line from NE to SW), VS biolab is cut off making VS lose 10 bases (solution to that, get it back or cap AuraxiCom shows less than 12 VS players in both cases), but all of this is only part of the picture.

    The real deal is that orange explosion in a cut off base warpgating the NC while TR is dominating indicating the one and only big fight in the continent in the one and only base that perhaps matters the least as far as the Alert is concerned.

    So what's the problem?

    Well there's two cases :

    a) you care (players care) about the alert
    b) you don't care about the alert.

    Case b), not a problem.
    Case a), big problem (except for TR, although they might say they aren't having fun cause they aren't getting any good fights cause no one is fighting them) because not only are the VS and NC that do care about the Alert fighting a faction with highest population, but most of the members of their own factions are actively helping TR win..

    You can't play football if half of your team doesn't want to play.

    So what's the point?

    The point is that if the majority of players are not participating in a certain content, that "content" needs to take this into account so that the players who do participate can enjoy themselves. And if that isn't possible, then it is critical to consider changing the "content" all together.

    People who don't care about the alert are perfectly entitled to enjoy the game in whatever way they like and to ignore whatever content there is or to farm or whatever the hell they do.

    However people who do care about it and wish to play the game as intended by the DEVs who developped that content ARE EQUALLY ENTITLED TO ENJOY THEMSELVES.

    Your issue (DB) is that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. The player enjoyment of the game by people who don't care about your content is equally as important as the enjoyment of those who do. However, if the activities and gameplay of players who do care about the content has no or little influence over those who don't, the opposite is not true :

    where "players who care" about the Alert can try to win it without their actions having an impact on "players who don't care". The behaviour of "those who don't" has a huge impact over those who do, making it, like in this case, impossible.

    In short, people who don't care about the alert are making it impossible for those who do care about the alert ot enjoy the game. And it's not their fault.

    • Up x 1
  2. Eternaloptimist

    I found it a little hard to work out exactly what OP is saying in this lengthy post but I do not agree that alerts are a failure, although some are more fun to take part in than others.

    I stick with whichever faction I was fighting for when an alert begins because I take one of my toons at a time and play it until I reach the next BR before moving on to the next toon.

    I've been in a faction that was clearly not going to win but was worth fighting for second place rewards. Then, last night I was in NC that started out with most territory (51%) but had a hard time holding on to it. It was between us and VS but TR took a couple of territories from us right at the end (we and VS were both on 37% in the last 12 minutes) and we ended going down to second by 39% territory to VS with 35% to NC (TR had 23%, which was a big improvement on when they started the alert).

    All in all, an exciting alert with much hard fighting in large battles, whether you were interested in the alert or not. Second place rewards of 150 certs and 100 ISO, plus a spiffy shoulder badge, were merely the icing on the cake.

    Even when clearly not being in with a chance to win (or not caring) the fights are usually better during an alert. The worst scenario I've been in is when playing VS at some really low population, like 19%, when we are too weak to gain much (if any) territory or find a decent fight as the other factions cannot be bothered with us because they have some massive fights with each other to to keep them occupied.

    It will be an interesting diversion to get the chance to play a robot to see if that injects some interest (and additional population) in what would otherwise be a tedious situation due to being totally out-populated.
  3. Nexus545

    People not playing the alerts is big issue. It mostly comes down to people just going where the fight is and also leaders not really caring.

    The solution is to actually reward players in a way that affects the players. Currently the only significant reward is some certs. This is nice but people can farm more certs by sitting in a biolab meatgrinder rather than spreading out and winning an alert. There needs to be some sort of incentive that people actually want for playing an alert.

    The air anomaly alerts make sense. People who like to fly air vehicles get together and fight for dominance. Their reward is that they can fly more often because their vehicles are cheaper. I personally don't think it's a great reward and some people won't care because they don't fly. However, it's specifically targeted at a certain type of player and rewards them in a way that they might appreciate. The biggest challenge is that you need to find a way of rewarding all players in a way that won't shift the balance of the game too greatly.

    What about some sort of faction reward points (a new currency) that can be exchanged for ISO, Certs, resource boosts, faction specific cosmetics and maybe some faction specific gear. That way each individual player can use their contribution to progress something that matters to them. This new currency could be dished out not just by being online but rather actually track their contribution so people have to take part to be rewarded.

    Or how about a faction reputation system. Certain items (the ones mentioned above) can be locked behind a threshold that you have to meet in order to unlock.

    We just simply don't have enough players anymore to tailor make alerts for each type of player (like in the case for air anomalies).
    • Up x 2
  4. Zizoubaba

    That's fine, normally on forums there is a function that is called "SPOILERS" which hides lenghty walls of text but it doesn't exist here. My original post is above the line (and you'll find that it is considerably shorter than yours) ( _______________________) <- line and anything bellow it, or bellow the [SPOILERS] tag (or none tag) was intended to help those who read my post, looked at the picture and did not understand.

    Kinda like you actually, but since I'm a nice guy, I'll simplify "exactly what I'm saying in my lenghtry post" :

    edit -> this is the point of the OP but since I wrote it in the first couple of lines of the post I assumed you got that but just in case :

    Content in a game, or an event, or a game itself within a game that requires participants to function will not function if there aren't enough participants. You can't play football against a full team if half of your team isn't playing.

    In PlanetSide 2, during Alerts, not all players participate (that's normal). But if too many players in one faction do not participate, it screws the Alert for that faction and indirectly for the other two.

    This ruins the expeirence for those players, makes the game less enjoyable, and needs to be fixed.

    It's not all Alerts, and maybe you had a nice Alert, but it's most Alerts on Cobalt.

    Now for the rest; if players who care about the Alert try win the Alert, this has little or no effect on those players who don't care about it. (they can farm, they can build bases, they can find a good fight regardless of what the players who try to win the alert do.

    The reverse is not true however, since the behaviour or gameplay of those who don't care influences the outcome of the Alert. As a matter of fact, it can totally ruin it for an entire faction.

    In short, no one is judging the behaviour or gameplay of players, each and everyone does what they want, that's the beauty of a sandbox. But if we divide players into 2 groups, those who care about the Alert and those who don't, and since of course those who don't care about it should be able to enjoy the game and play the game, this also applies to those who do care.

    You want to farm? Awesome, go farm, but if everyone goes to farm, we lose the Alert and in a way that is unfair. This affects the enjoyment of the game of all those who do care about it. My point? IT SHOULD NOT, BOTH GROUPS ARE ENTITLED TO ENJOY THE GAME EQUALLY.

    While one group's gameplay has no effect on the other, the other's gameplay ruins it for the first one.

    The problem isn't with player behaviour, it's insanely predictable, the problem is with the design of the game.
  5. Ge0mancer

    I almost think what is lacking is a proper General for the faction as a whole. Maybe have it be an ASP Certification. When a General logs in they can choose to remove themselves from the direct conflict and instead get a greater amount of information to inform troop movements. Other people with the General cert could divvy up jobs or locations and people might be prompted to rate the quality of the General at the end of an alert. Obviously the logistics of it all would have to be worked out.

    Personally I think it would be nice to have someone in charge who might be able to make a call during a losing fight of "Fall Back to X location" for all the folk not in an Outfit. I mean there are times when Papa Vanu is chastising us for not fighting hard enough but there isn't enough direction in the people to make for a meaningful push so I die and die and die and very feel like there was a real fight to be had ad that gets frustrating.
    • Up x 1
  6. Ketenks

    Objective play needs to get revamped and generally buffed. The winner of an alert certainly needs to get rewarded more than the losers. I don't see the necessity of making 2nd and 3rd place disparage their winnings. That would discourage teaming up against the winner if 2nd and 3rd start fighting each other for 2nd. That will only make the winner win more often. 2nd and 3rd should each get the same rewards.

    The increased percent chance of item drops for participation during an alert should be the same increased chance for every faction per the time participated in the alert. I would do it minute by minute. Every single minute increases the chance by a regular amount. Then winners have a bonus chance on top of that participation chance.

    I think the same system should be applied to certs and ISO as well. Every player gets rewarded every single minute of participation for an alert. The winners get a bonus on top of their participation.

    The winners bonus rewards should not exceed more than 20% of the participation rewards.

    Rewarding loyalty will obviously directly contradict the value in winning. If there is any reward for losing that is, then you are effectively reducing the winner's bonus reward. So you can't reward loyalty. But you can force loyalty.

    If logged in during an alert then you can only switch between losing factions. If there is a close second this will probably increase the chance of second place winning. But the moment second place is winning they can't receive any more players and the new second place can. Every time you switch players, you are reducing your participation reward through time lost. So if the bonus reward does not exceed 20% then you manage how much time a player has to get any of that bonus reward before you've lost that amount by lost time, namely 20% of 90 minutes.

    So if the reward is 20% of max participation then lets say you get 1.5 certs per minute of an alert: that would be 135 certs for every player but the winner would only get +27 certs on top of that. Not enough? Make it 40%. +54 certs now. But this means that you have to switch to the winning team before there is 55 minutes left in the alert to have only 1 cert of that bonus reward. So it becomes riskier to get that bonus the longer time goes and after 36 minutes of the alert, then there is no value in switching at all given that you were logged on from the beginning.

    Players who log in with less time in the alert will obviously have more to gain from switching to the winning team. But the majority of players will have to think twice before they make the switch. And remember, they can't even switch to the winning team. So they will have to decide whether switching to the 2nd team will be worth the battle and time lost to win at all. And if not, then they reduced their total participation gain by taking that risk to begin with.
    • Up x 1
  7. Ketenks

    Since that post was long, I'll just say quickly here that this looks like a single instance of the losing factions choosing to go for second place rather than gang up for first.

    So this happened once. It doesn't mean the game is broken. How many times does this happen on Cobalt for you and at what times of the day and which days of the week? Now that information will shed more light on whether this is a problem or not.

    You can't complain about population imbalances when it isn't during high population times. If over the whole continent the battles only go so high as 12-24 then you are going to have some imbalances. Plus, are there other continents that have much bigger fights? People are going to jump ship to go to the highest pop continent anyway. So make sure you are snap shotting the highest population continent to begin with.
  8. Nexus545

    Players used to this sort of thing themselves. Back in the old Woodman days on release we had a website for NC Woodman outfit leaders to communicate with. The leaders of the bigger outfits formed a war committee and they made decisions on where to move squads to. I think we do need a role where a select few people on a faction can see where squads are and directly communicate with their leaders as well as issue orders to the smurfs.

    Also, is the order command even in the game now? I haven't seen it being used since returning.
    • Up x 1
  9. Zizoubaba

    Exactly, and starting by the missions that tell you to attack a base lol....

    The thing is, what you must remember, if you were playing back then and it really wasn't long ago, but this issue wasn't really an issue in the past.

    It wasn't really an issue when we had HIVES stocking cortium and a 41% trigger, and it wasn't so much of a an issue before that either.

    As far as I can tell, and as far as I can remember, this is specific to this type of Alert that was introduced only a few weeks/months ago (with before the shortening of the 4 to 3 hours time)
  10. Zizoubaba

    Nope, see, no one is complaining about the population balance. Honestly, if you are interested, I can reply to you properly and explain. However, since the post (which wasn'(t long, not if you don't take into account the SPOILERS) was too long for you and you don't know what we are talking about, I wouldn't want to waste your time again!
  11. Ketenks

    I was referring to my own post that was long, which was why I had 2 posts back to back talking about different things.
    • Up x 2
  12. LodeTria

    This is the natural result of "I just wanna log in and shoot guys" people demanding the game be catered to them & actually doing that. It is no secret that organised outfits have quit over time as the devs continue to ignore any semblance of higher co-ordination than "follow the marker" & instead catering to the "this vehicle killed me balance it plox" people.

    Though I should correct and say this was more problem in the SoE days, rather than the current crew just trying to fix this sinking ship.
    • Up x 3
  13. adamts01

    100% this. Build a simple game for casuals, and you get corresponding results. If you look at Insurgency, Arma, Project Reality, Squad.... These problems flat out don't exist. PS2 caters so hard to casuals, what with Spawning everywhere and no penalty for death, infinite ammo, quick and easy health regen, no need for transportation or logistics..... that of course you're going to get casual results.

    Scale is the one thing PS2 gets right. The single thing. But what does that matter if all you've accomplished was to scale up the amount of stupid? They really missed the mark.
    • Up x 1
  14. Rooklie

    I don't understand what the OP is trying to say. I didn't read it cause it was too long.

    However, I must say that it wasn't interesting, not fun, and I really don't see the point!
  15. YellowJacketXV

    My honest opinion is that folk don't care about alerts because all it gives is a few silly certs and maybe some cosmetic item no one cares about. Certain alerts, like the air alert, are both awesome and broken at the same time because of the snowball effect and because they give implants. Most other alerts are almost impossible to win without the entire playerbase gunning for them. So far, all they appear to do right now is exist to give a certain faction a small cert boost or a migraine.

    I think alert structure should change completely. Alerts should feel like something strange or unnatural has happened to the flow of battle. Or perhaps some random intel dropped that would provide some form of benefit to the factions.

    What if there were rogue NS robots spawning from a randomly-chosen base? Surely, NS would grant a reward for putting all of those rogues down.
    What if there was a spot amidst a barren location that would act as a perfect uplink zone to try and hack global satellites? Sure would make it easier hasten drop-pods across the continent.
    What if a supply truck was found in the middle of nowhere? Might be useful to fight for that, extra resources are always nice.

    But as it stands, alerts just all fit into the "bulldoze to the nearest hex grid and cap it" sort of zerg mentality. Whether or not this is just bad coders on the devs side or engine limitations is one thing, but at this rate I don't think anyone's throwing actual creativity out there.
  16. Robert Patrician

    I have noticed that most alerts are decided in the first 20 minutes and rarely change. Kinda like overwatch matches where one team gets wiped in the first 30 seconds, you know there's no coming back from that.

    I saw an alert where Vanu had 89% territory, with both TR and NC warpgated, and even population. How do you tell someone to keep fighting in that situation?
  17. Ketenks

    The good thing about it is there is always the next one. You've got to work at making it happen for your crew.
  18. Inogine

    Despite what you've said, OP, it's pretty much at the feet of the players involved. IE: everyone playing. For as many calls to "tactical thought" as I've seen people make in this game, there has been a severe lack of anything resembling that. The average gamer tends to just rush in to kill and get that general "Feels good man" feeling over anything else. Regardless of how much emphasis you place on things other than killing, there will still be those that pay attention to nothing but that.

    True, you can somewhat increase the numbers of players playing for objectives with the right approach, but there will always be a large number of folks in it just to kill and have fun with the weapons of their choice.

    So what are alerts? Alerts are the "TRY HARDER" moment in most of the sessions I've played. If continent capture came up, I often noticed a very large tick in maneuvering from both my forces and enemy forces I fought against. Lot more aggression back and forth. Now once one side starts losing a fair bit, I tend to see less dedicated players jump ship. You're not gonna stop that unless you stop them from playing your game. Period.

    I often see that in some of my friends to a degree when we start losing an alert. We'll fight doggedly all the way to the end, but we do tend to stop caring about land gains as that timer wears on and the winner becomes more apparent. More often than not, however, if it's a close race (And several alerts have been super close down to the minute and seconds fights) I'll often see and feel a lot more tension in the group. Lot more people calling out stuff in proximity and shouting for actions near hot spots.

    Is that gonna be constant? No. Course not. You'll end up with scenarios above where people are fatigued and just wanna plink for a bit without going into full on war mode. That's what that map screams to me. Odd part of the day, not as many players, and one side decidedly winning meaning most folks on the other sides have mentally given up and don't wanna push should a large fight come.

    Me and a buddy of mine are personally a-ok with the new alerts. They need some tweaking but they're pretty fine as it is and I feel they drive the game to be a lot more aggressive when they kick on. Not the air one though. That one's odd and foreign to me though it does have the effect of encouraging more air for me to fight though I'll never get into the air myself.

    The "Event system" that YellowJacketXV proposed is an interesting idea. It's not related at all the alert system and what it means for the game, but interesting. It'd need some severe thought however as it'd take away from the core of what the game sets itself up to be which is a war between the three factions. Those events proposed for example would either just annoying hinder the winning side in ways beyond their control or else take away manpower from the front for the same effect. Interesting none-the-less though Perhaps freeze territory gains during said events to have the factions "band" to fight off some aggressor? Shouldn't be a common event at any rate if it ever did make it in.
  19. saronyogg

    I agree current alert system is very unfair, specially to some factions that get double team many times
    For instance, yesterday the alert on hossin, emerald was going well, but the platoon leader either did want our faction to lose, or didnt care, but start to talks about politics nonstop (im not against to talk politics ingame or forum games, i dont understand why some forums dont want to talk about it) and we start to losing
    At first we were controlling 43% of hossin, by the end of the alert we had less than 20%.
    And the main reason to the people that want to try to win the alert is simple, THE REWARDS.
    Its obviously the cert and ISO (its very unfair that breaking down a duplicate implant only gives you back 25 iso, meanwhile manufacturing one damn implant you need a lot of iso) are the current main drive force to keep playing.
    • Up x 1
  20. Ge0mancer

    It seems to me that there something wrong with a system where a player logging in for five minutes at the end of an Alert gets more of a reward than someone who played for 85 minutes but had to log out before the Alert finished. What if you banked time for playing during an Alert and when you filled the bar the payout would trigger. Then you could provide a bonus to the winner of some kind (more time. Improved odds at the top tier prizes when the payout happens. Something like that.)

    Anyway, just a thought.
    • Up x 1

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