Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2 - PlanetSide Universe
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This past Friday at the Ultimate Empire Showdown SOE announced a new partnership with MLG and the start of E-Sports in PlanetSide 2. Hamma posted up his thoughts on the partnership and what E-Sports could mean for the game.

And of course as always hit up comments thread or the comments on YouTube to give feedback. And don't forget to subscribe to our channel and never miss another video again!

25 comments
2013-01-30 01:31 PM
Latest Comments
2013-01-30 04:42 PM
DirtyBird
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Hamma View Post
Certainly one of the possibilities. Suffice to say it needs to be somewhere totally separate.
About to watch it but this is also my initial thoughts as well.
2013-01-30 05:31 PM
Chewy
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Hamma View Post
That's why I think PlanetSide 2 as a "spectator" e-sport on twitch could be bigger than actual tournies and ladders.
Agreed. Iv tried to get footage of good battles a few time, but never had anything turn out right. It was always just from my POV. A lone mans view of a massive battle. I shove my ass indoors when the armor comes or if Im not in a class to deal with the heat.

But, if (like you said) I had a free roaming cam Id be able to see the battle without being blinded by the fight. I vote on the god/observer cam being limited to a few that wont use it to help a certain faction. Maybe even have the cam a 100% of the time thing that needs an account with permission and takes its own character slot not linked to any faction (to let it enter any area and WG without the auto-kill happening). What it would take to get use of the cam would be up to the devs. Thinking about a simple application form that requires a YT/Twitch account, PS2 account, and another detail or 2 so that they could weed out most of the idiots and YT spammers looking for quick hits.

The cam would also let those with not so great PCs film things without FRAPS or the in game recorder affecting their gameplay.
2013-01-30 05:55 PM
Vashyo
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

I really dislike this cause it does slow down updates that affect the game as a whole.

How big of a portion of players from the community do competitive e-sports anyway? 1-2%? Sounds like a lot of hassle for a small crowd.

I think instead of just getting people in the game, they should focus KEEPING people in the game. I suppose we are getting more people as time goes by, but steamgraph doesn't show much increase, even the UES-event only got slightly more than a thousand players in the game, can't say much about people without steam but I wouldn't expect them to be a completely different demographic.


Just keep improving the game with new content and add mechanics to support the strategy and meaning in the metagame and eventually the games going to be so robust that you can't never go back to other shooters.
2013-01-30 06:10 PM
DirtyBird
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

With this esports idea have they given out any thoughts regarding balance?
I guess player numbers will be the same each team but is it a 3 way or 1v1?
Same BR or there abouts ie. not 60xBR50 vs 60xBR25?
Do they allow resources banked in the form of nades, mines, med sticks etc and how resources would be earned during the battle?
Maybe the ability to run a separate cert allocation for esports events?

Be interesting to see how they work it all out.
And does the Roadmap now have to consider implications to epsorts?
2013-01-30 07:17 PM
Hamma
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

I honestly don't see e-sports killing development time. The PS2 team is still huge.
2013-01-30 07:22 PM
Scourge
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

You briefly hit on the main reason that I have spoken out against the announcement. SOE cannot simply declare that PS2 is now an e-sport. Countless games have tried to do that now and every one of them has failed. MLG is a e-sport graveyard.

Planetside 2 will have one chance to prove itself as an e-sport. No one will ever take it seriously ever again if it isn't ready when it makes it on to stage.

It is hard to tell if SOE is investing in e-sports for the long term or the short term.
2013-01-30 07:38 PM
StraitDumpinSMF
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

I have a feeling some of the PS2 community thinks that "esports" = front page of twitch.tv with a $50,000+ 1st place prize. Well, it's really not. It started out very small.

esports is NOT just big stage tournaments with a live stream.
esports IS thousands of small online, large online, and live events.
there are thousands of tournaments every year.

I hope they don't just have Outfit tournaments, I would love to see some individual ones as well for the solo artists out there.

I have participated in prior Sony MMOFPS tournaments during the M.A.G. days on PS3. They were good times, mostly. They were individual tournaments based on kills, headshots, and experience during "X" amount of time. I would have liked to see some clan battles in M.A.G.

This should be interesting. Nice rant Hamma.
2013-01-30 09:52 PM
Crator
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Hamma View Post
That's why I think PlanetSide 2 as a "spectator" e-sport on twitch could be bigger than actual tournies and ladders.
Speaking of, what happened to that Morto guy?
2013-01-31 06:16 AM
Emperor Newt
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

*edit disclaimer*
This is largely written from the perspective on what most people understand under the term "esports" and "esports game". Maybe SOE uses another definition, I'm shortly addressing this in the last paragraph.
*end of edit*

As much as I have been involved in esports as a player as well administrating for years at a big eSport plattform, I still have my doubts. I fear that SOE is underestimating how costly esports can be and how little positive outcome can come out of it.

For one, as mentioned in the video, forcing to be an esports rarely works. Ever. EA has tried this in the past again and again, especially with their RTS titles. They put a lot of money into tournaments for those titles. They bought slots for those games at major tournaments and so on. Did it help? No. The games were dead once the funding ended. Some of them were even "esports suitable", but the "demand" simply wasn't there. And you cannot predict or force this demand. And esports game has to be able to survive on it's own, even when the funding end. Because if it does, the funding does not end. It might seem like a paradox but it's how it is.

The reason for failure of esports titles are several. For one, it's incredibly hard to build an "esports game". Even if you get the cirteria right (like spectator modes, and replays (which I doubt are somewhere near working in PS2)) you cannot predict an esports success.

Also stuff like timing and promotion is incredibly important. That's actually one of the few criteria were I think SOE might be successfull.

Another important point is, if you create a seperate esports game that works outside of the vanilla game that didn't work all too well in the past either. It's only a temporary "fix" for making a not-so-competetive game into a competetive game. Examples for this being the pro-mods used in Quake or Unreal Tournament. The problem being that they are a different game. They require rebalancing due to changes in team and map size and so on. Once the vanilla game and the "esport" game vary significantly people will stop playing one or the other. Mostly in the past it has been the vanilla game people loose interest (as new games come out) and then there is no new players coming in into the pro-mod and it dies a few years later. In terms of a F2P game I think it might be the other way round. A casual player won't care all too much for the competetive aspect and will never enter it. The competetive players will then lack a new input of players and the mode will bleed teams over the months/years and die out.
The only way to counter this is: funding, funding, funding so that it may eventually work out in the long run. I don't know if SOE has the money and the will to spend a lot of money only for the possibility that some day in the future those investments will pay out.

Also there are other issues: has one ever wondered how they would balance the whole thing? With cert unlocks we have the problem that those also mean having more power. It's nothing unbalanced but a stock Reaver vs a A2A Mossi, I think we all know how this will turn out.
So basically an esports mode has to be balanced somehow, which by the amount of unlocks is a hell of a job. A simple BR check won't do it. A solution would be that in eSports mode everything is unlocked. But then "preofessional" teams would not need to pay a single cent to have everything at their disposal. I doubt SOE is planning on that.

Then there are other points you have to keep in mind. Like team size. The "big warfare" shooters like the Battlefield series always start with 8vs8 in ladders because these are team sizes the games were build around. Problem being: managing 8+ people to train on a regular basis and have them all being online for matches is pain in the ass and never works out in the long run. All those ladders are then dropped shortly after launch due to too few teams and matches and are replaced by 4 to 5 man teams. And those, well, they simply aren't as much fun as it would be with 8 or more. Also the balancing often isn't quiet right if you change team sizes.
eSports with more then eight people is incredibly hard to pull of. The only current game I know being able to do this is World of Tanks, and even there it's down to 7 and it's not unlikely that the next season it will be down to 6 players.
There is a reason why almost all big esports games have a team size of 4 to 5 people. It's not a random number someone pulled out of their youknowwhere.

It might be a good marketing move but I doubt that it will be a thing that will be around for long. For this to happen the whole esports idea seems to artifically attached to the game itself. It could work, but I think chances for that happening are pretty slim.
We have seen more suitable eSports games fail misserably in the past.

So from my point of view, the chances of PS2 becoming a "regular" esports game as we know it are pretty slim to none. So if SOE does as Hamma mentioned in the video with several outfits battling it out in a seperate area which is not open all the time... where is this an esport? This is nothing the "casual" user can participate in. Maybe not even smaller or less known outfits. This is a marketing event, not an esports. One of the reasons why LoL is so big in esports is because every player who starts playing can participate in "LoL eSports" from the getgo. It's not like the eSport is something that exists outside of the vanilla game or runs only special times a week. Even if you are only a casual LoL player you are still participating in the Lol eSports, just on a amateur level. Just like in soccer/football. But it get's you interested because those "pros" actually doing the exact same stuff you are doing.
The more you pull an eSports outside of the vanilla game, the more players loose interest in following this.

It's nice that it should not intereferre with the normal player, but if it does not interfere enough with the normal player it's hardly an eSports game. So maybe the problem in the whole discussion is that the term is just wrong, it's not an eSports they are going for.
So yes, I agree with Hamma. A "spectator" event would make sense as a marketing event. But as an "eSports", which is open to everybody, this does not make much sense. At all.

If they want some better community feedback on this, they need to clarify what they are actually planning to do.
2013-01-31 08:12 AM
Hamma
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Great rundown Emperor Newt

Originally Posted by Crator View Post
Speaking of, what happened to that Morto guy?
He went insane on and disappeared off the face of the earth after SOE took the /planetside2 TwitchTV channel from him (Who didn't see that coming??)
2013-01-31 06:24 PM
StraitDumpinSMF
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

I think we need more information
2013-02-01 11:46 AM
Hyncharas
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

I would like to see MLG be successful, since that a few developers see it as the next step in MMO gaming even if a lot of us are left scratching our heads. But given the amount of "fair play failures" that happened during Ultimate Empire Showdown, I think they seriously need to consider how exactly this will play out. As TotalBiscuit and others experienced, a lot of technical problems occurred in not just trying to stream the event to fans, but simply providing gameplay all sides would actually enjoy. In a multiplayer match, particularly games like StarCraft II that Hamma mentioned, this is relatively easy since all players start with just enough resources to set up a base, before establishing forces to scout the terrain and then go on the offensive. Typically an RTS match with 1-on-1 pro players will last about 15 minutes.

Regardless of the MMO (that usually involves combat), however, a prolonged conflict to fulfil operational objectives is necessary or it becomes untenable. In PlanetSide 2 you’re dealing with thousands of players per side, each trying to maintain cohesive control of their forces, in order to maintain their advantage without losing ground elsewhere. Outfits are used to this more than most as they train to operate like a military unit – they have a strict chain of command, so people know who’s in charge and what they should be doing. Unfortunately when the majority of your assault force is unaligned players, which most of them are, years of prior experience has taught outfits that such players are interested in having fun. Not following orders from commanders that are boring.
The other problem is being able to push forward without having a small force sneak behind to deprive territorial control/supply lines behind them, and experienced players will know that being cut off by an opposing empire is highly effective. Traditionally an empire will fight tooth and nail for a base, before 90% of troops and armour moves out leaving a base mostly undefended when, a few minutes later, the empire that once held it takes it back with impunity. TR players will know this backwards, when they have fought for half a day to take a continent, only for the VS to swarm in by air and quickly overrun 15 territories in less than an hour!

So what can we do to properly manage an e-Sports campaign with PlanetSide 2 on a continent? Well for starters, people may have to be delegated to defend a major facility, maintaining a rearguard whilst missing out on persistent respawns from combat. This may sound deeply depressing for many who like to always be in the thick of it, but if it helps an empire keep the territories they have gained, sometimes sacrifices must be made. These could be handled by some major outfits hanging back to administrate unaligned players as other outfits engage, and then once a continent is captured, those groups that stayed behind to defend in the campaign’s earlier phase go on the offensive in the next. Perhaps the upcoming squad/platoon/outfit-based mission system will also cater for skirmishes in a more focused manner, providing players a chance to level their character, despite not entering massive battles.
2013-02-01 12:08 PM
Pella
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Good Video Hamma, Your best so far imo.

My view on Esports, And i have played many games competitively. Not on a Pro level. As Esports as what we know it as of today isnt the same 3+ years ago.

But, Games require Balance. And i am not talking about tank A is better than tank B ect. I am talking about Map balance on player numbers along with things like Nano Weave armor which offers a flat out HP increase compared to 0 certs. How fast a medic can rez. All these little things makes it imbalanced.

If they want Esports. My vision would be to have a new map with outposts. And have them instanced like Global Agender. And once that "Outfit" Has taken or defended that outpost/Base its locked down for a period of time. And each hex offers a global + Resource bonus for that entire empire.

But again there has to be a que system, Where each player selects there class, And outfits que for 12v12 or 20v20 ect.

This is the only way i see it happening.

Also Note: COD:BO2 Just announced a $1million pize pool for there ESL European Championship.

ESL is where they moneys at. MLG just got done big style
2013-02-01 12:57 PM
Rahabib
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

some of your points are valid in the video. I think that esports in general isn't the death of the game, and may even bring in a few people into the mix.

The one thing I do disagree with is that successful games occur organically. The fact is, while yes, many have not sought out to be an esport, the successful games remained successful because there were tools in place for fair competition to continue.

Counter strike(s): has HLTV, can record demos, can manage games well (ready up etc.), and has some degree of modding for maps etc. setting changes.
Day of Defeat(s): see above.
Quake: see above minus HLTV.
Unreal Tournament: can record demos, modding, settings.
SC 1 and 2: allows recording demos, modding for maps, etc.
LOL: can record games, not sure about modding - never got that far into it.

Recording is a big one because its the only way for leagues to maintain rules and enforce bans on cheaters.

Say what you will about SC2 dying, the fact is, it will probably still be played competitively, just maybe not on the same level as some other games. But honestly, PC gaming in general just peters out when something better comes a long or a game gets stale. The same will happen to PS2. Even CS everyone laments its fall but there will be diehards who will continue it on.

My point is, just because a game is fun online, doesnt mean it can be an esport. It needs an audience AND tools to make it viable.
2013-02-01 01:20 PM
Pella
Re: Instant Action E-Sports and PlanetSide 2

Originally Posted by Rahabib View Post
some of your points are valid in the video. I think that esports in general isn't the death of the game, and may even bring in a few people into the mix.

The one thing I do disagree with is that successful games occur organically. The fact is, while yes, many have not sought out to be an esport, the successful games remained successful because there were tools in place for fair competition to continue.

Counter strike(s): has HLTV, can record demos, can manage games well (ready up etc.), and has some degree of modding for maps etc. setting changes.
Day of Defeat(s): see above.
Quake: see above minus HLTV.
Unreal Tournament: can record demos, modding, settings.
SC 1 and 2: allows recording demos, modding for maps, etc.
LOL: can record games, not sure about modding - never got that far into it.

Recording is a big one because its the only way for leagues to maintain rules and enforce bans on cheaters.

Say what you will about SC2 dying, the fact is, it will probably still be played competitively, just maybe not on the same level as some other games. But honestly, PC gaming in general just peters out when something better comes a long or a game gets stale. The same will happen to PS2. Even CS everyone laments its fall but there will be diehards who will continue it on.

My point is, just because a game is fun online, doesnt mean it can be an esport. It needs an audience AND tools to make it viable.
Good points. 2 CS:GO 5v5s i played this month which we lost. Ended up us winning because each team had a hacker in them. ESL gave us the points and banned those players from competing in all ESL events for ever.

Not sure how SOE intend to monitor hackers. As of late they are slow to react.
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