Community Interview with Jon Weathers - PlanetSide Universe
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Community Interview with Jon Weathers Bookmark and Share

We got a chance to sit down with Jon Weathers last week when we went out to visit Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego California. We talk Command, Squads and Medics in PlanetSide 2 during our exclusive interview.

Stay tuned tomorrow evening central time as we have a 40 minute interview with Matt Higby on everything from Dynamic Weather to the Mission system!

156 comments
2012-05-29 01:48 PM
Latest Comments
2012-05-29 11:35 PM
kaffis
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

If all you're expecting out of the mission system is something to "aim the zerg," then it's pretty clear why you don't think platoons will undermine it.

I anticipate the developers setting the bar higher than that, though. The mission system has the potential to be a tool for squad commanders to coordinate -- to see what others are already doing, and identify areas they can either help that effort, or see that it's well in hand and place their own efforts in another useful spot.

That gets undermined when the information isn't complete because platoons or outfits are eschewing it in favor of their own operational communications.

By walling their own plans off from the mission system, such commanders using other channels to coordinate *lessen the ability of others to synergize with their plans.* I don't see how I can help make that any more clear.

If you set out from the start to ignore the mission system, then, yes, it will be nothing but a tool to aim the zerg. And that's a failure. Let's not build tools to make it easier to ignore the mission system from the outset.

If nothing else, I'd hope we can have beta start without platoons, then use directed feedback and testing to make the mission system awesome. Then, once the mission system is complete and well-designed, the need for platoon communications could be evaluated; if there's little to no need, then don't bother implementing it and *potentially* upsetting the value of the mission system. If it is still needed *despite* the mission system, it can be added easily in late beta.

How is that a bad proposal?
2012-05-29 11:37 PM
SKYeXile
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

yea i dont think there will be typing out missions that would be crazy, it will be as simple has hit afew tick boxes and clicking a location imo, shouldn't take too long, they will all be variable things we can change etc. imo i think it will function much like a voice macro in PS1.
2012-05-29 11:40 PM
kaffis
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by SKYeXile View Post
yea i dont think there will be typing out missions that would be crazy, it will be as simple has hit afew tick boxes and clicking a location imo, shouldn't take too long, they will all be variable things we can change etc. imo i think it will function much like a voice macro in PS1.
Yeah. Tick boxes or dropdowns. You make a good point, hotkeys like old voice macros could be pretty slick.

But in any event, it pretty much has to be that way for any rewards to be granted or the game to even recognize mission completion.
2012-05-29 11:47 PM
SKYeXile
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by kaffis View Post
Yeah. Tick boxes or dropdowns. You make a good point, hotkeys like old voice macros could be pretty slick.

But in any event, it pretty much has to be that way for any rewards to be granted or the game to even recognize mission completion.
ya i think it would give some options like

Command:
attack
defend
kill

where:
at hex
objective (eg inkanam node 4 etc)
grid
at waypoint
in vercinity of waypoint

for:
time
for xx kills
etc

then i dunno about rewards(if anyway), that maybe customisable but open to exploits potentially.
2012-05-29 11:50 PM
Grognard
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by Higby View Post
Voice adds so much to the gameplay experience, but it's mostly the people who really love the game who get into using voice. Imagine if it was easy and ubiquitous, how much better of an experience the game would be for everyone. Obviously you have to be able to create custom channels, moderate them, turn off default ones and have quick ways to deal with people spamming you (friendly fire?) over it. I'd really love to make in-game VOIP in Planetside 2 robust and cool enough that you'll want to use it, and your clan will want to use it, so that way you're part of the same ecosystem as the guy whos trying the game for the first time and you can communicate with him easily and seamlessly. There are a lot of hurdles to jump over to make it happen, though.
Personally, for me, I think its very important to level the playing field. Outfits have always had the "voice-advantage" over squads/platoons that didnt. Now, that advantage is less, or gone, and I for one am gleaming with joy
2012-05-30 12:36 AM
LtCarman
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

That was a pretty solid interview...nice job Hamma and Jon! Just makes me even more excited about PS2. And I'm glad that we're finally going to see a well integrated VoIP system.

The only thing that's worrying me at this point is the auto-join squad system. It is definitely good to have the option there, but I hope that we can still form and join specific squads of our choosing. Now normally, I wouldn't be concerned about this, but it just brings back awful memories of BF3's beta where that was the only thing you could do. There was no option to manually join or create a squad.
2012-05-30 12:39 AM
Bags
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

If you can't make squads how could the auto-squad joiner put you in one?
2012-05-30 12:46 AM
LtCarman
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by Bags View Post
If you can't make squads how could the auto-squad joiner put you in one?
The way the BF3 beta did it, when you couldn't join any more open squads, you automatically formed a new squad.
2012-05-30 12:51 AM
Bags
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by LtCarman View Post
The way the BF3 beta did it, when you couldn't join any more open squads, you automatically formed a new squad.
I highly doubt this will happen. Auto-join is for those people who apparently exist that can't be assed to make their own squad or understand how to join one manually. The rest of us should be able to make our own squads.
2012-05-30 01:09 AM
Graywolves
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

I really can't see Platoons undermining Missions. You're going to want to place missions and use them so that your group actually gets rewarded for accomplishing the objective. This could actually harm coordinated group play from a leader's perspective as you might find a more valuable tactical target. But half your platoon has invested this time in the "Defend the outhouse" mission and it has 1-2 minutes left.

Now your team is divided in trying to win or do more than grunting vs gaining rewards.

Personally I don't think myself or my group would be effected by this too much as we would recruit players who prioritize fun and winning over farming.




As far as losing information from groups not being an open book or posting their missions...so what? Seriously. If you wanted to assess the battlefied I'm certain you can gather where the battle is happening anyways assuming we gain the proper map tools such as hot spots.

But seriously if a group decides that they want to do their own thing and strike behind enemy lines or w.e, so what? Any individual could do that too.


Telling an outfit of even 15 people that "We're doing this mission" isn't proper coordination. That's like just squading up and pointing everyone where to go with a waypoint and nothing more. So what's the point?

You're not gaining anything from coordinating together unless you can actually work in synergy by working together, getting to know each other, and having the proper tools to know where each other are. One of the most useful things about platoons is you had gold,purple, and orange 1-10. It's so easy to go "I'm down, orange 3 on minimap." as opposed to "I'm down, need rez, by the south east entrance behind some of those boxes, one of the green dots on your map."

If we went double digits with 20+ people it one squad it would just clutter up the map too far.


tl;dr - Platoon or higher command is a good tool that will possibly be required. If anyone would be harmed by the mission v outfit relationship (however unlikely there is a relationship to begin with) it would be the outfit.

-edit- There will never be synergy between coordinated outfits and scrubs. That's the nature of synergy, people who play together more often will play together better the more they do so. On top of this many outfits make their own SOP(Standard Operation Procedures) that in my experience are sometimes VERY different. The highest amount of synergy you're going to see between the zerg and Outfits is that one will influence the other in where to go from time to time (they both get to influence one another, some outfits won't, but some outfits will definitely try).

-editedit- We've already gone without platoons in the original Planetside before they were implemented. I don't feel Massing everyone together through the mission system provides a better benefit. It replaces the Command chat primarily but as far as coordination goes it's basically just a giant global waypoint.
2012-05-30 02:04 AM
The Kush
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Thanks Hamma! Awesome vid. And I know you said its not final but I really hope the ttk is increased
2012-05-30 03:43 AM
Logri
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

YES! Thanks for asking the question I submitted and it's even more cool that I got the answer I was hoping for

Hamma + Jennyboo = new personal hero of the day!
Looking extremely forward to seeing more of your footage
2012-05-30 04:29 AM
Captain1nsaneo
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Thank you for doing this, good stuff in that interview. Really glad to hear about platoons. Maybe we'll get battalions too, but we'll have to wait for beta to see if it's actually needed.

Quick note about the VoIP and about players. If you've not seen it yet I'd HIGHLY recommend watching this:
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/harassment
The guys who do that series are consultants for game companies and know their stuff. That episode is their thoughts on dealing with verbal harassment commonly found in games and more importantly how to deal with it. The idea of auto mute for people who are muted by large numbers of the base is something that should definitely be looked at.
2012-05-30 09:47 AM
LtCarman
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Originally Posted by Bags View Post
I highly doubt this will happen. Auto-join is for those people who apparently exist that can't be assed to make their own squad or understand how to join one manually. The rest of us should be able to make our own squads.
See, that is what everyone thought before the BF3 beta rolled out. No way would DICE do something as idiotic as that. DICE only decided to add that feature when the community went up in flames about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing to SoE to DICE at all by any means. In my opinion, SoE is a great developer in my book. It's just that squads in FPSs are important to me and I want to make sure that it's done right. My best memories in gaming have come from playing PoE2 (a BF2 mod) on the Tactical Gamer server (wish I could've afforded a monthly subscription back then for PS1). It featured squad play that I have never seen in any other game since due the either a lack of a squad system or a barely functional one.
2012-05-30 08:03 PM
Hamma
Re: Community Interview with Jon Weathers

Its a valid concern because as you said DICE failed and did it. I doubt SOE will make that mistake as important as Team Play is to PlanetSide.
Reply


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