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Old 2014-04-10, 12:36 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Mordelicius
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H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I haven't played Planetside 2 for almost a month (since the Liberator update; when my fully armored, fully upgraded, fully weaponized Sundy spawn get vaporized by a hovering Liberator in 3-4 seconds while me guarding it, the threshhold was finally crossed and I figured the Devs need more time to fix broken basic stuff that makes this game unplayable).

Just a quick list of things that made PS2 unplayable almost a month ago:
- Broken spawn (weapons not being tested on the sunderers first; it's one thing to treat the Flash like trash, but to a Sunderer it's a huge blunder).
- Broken respawn (being sent all over the place even if you're defending in the middle of the base).
- Broken redeploy - Sent to the other bases you didn't pick. Worse, sent to other continent.
- Game imbalances: eg Sniperside and persistence of low risk/high reward gameplay. Also, Sniperside, killed mass infantry charge since the headshot buff. Combined push as well, esp on bridges since us Engineers are getting sniped and we can't repair the maxes and vehicles. And healers are getting killed hence = dead push all the time.
- Faction imbalances: continued childproofing of a certain faction.
- Server imbalance: an errant tornado, aka WDS Preseason 2 caused much devastatiion by incidentally promoting server migration to a winning side and faction stacking.
- Amerish Latice is underdeveloped, causing alot of ping-pong battles between limited chokepoints (most of which are close to each other).
- Not enough GMs policing 5th column griefers, teamkilling and sabotaging vehicles and equipment.

So I figured, rather than keep posting/complaining about the same thing over and over, I'll just wait until they will eventually fix most of that and make PS2 playable again (more fun than it is frustrating), such as the planned balancing patch for April.

Then all of sudden they released a lot of details on their new sandbox, post-apocalyptic game H1Z1. That got me thinking of two things:

First point: Are still focused on Planetside 2? With many of the broken basic stuff, do they still have enough developers on PS2. And i'll surmise/speculate/wonder out loud, are they be moving people to this new project?

Because if a lot of the most basic gameplay is broken, it just scream lack of personnel.

Second Point: Alot of these features on this game is advanced and should have been on PS2.

- Buildable/Destructible "Fortresses" as Smedley would call it. I've always thought they would eventually add home Continents in PS2 with players being able to build their own bases and upgrade defenses like shields, turrets, drones, etc. But here, it's already built-in.

In PS2, you're not even allowed to park your Sundy on their magic No Deploy Zone, or even put mines Vehicle pad or a jump pad. Yes, that vehicle pad that 90% of time would be in front player spawning a vehicle, cannot be mined!

- Size of H1Z1 is of "several order of magnitudes" larger than PS2. I understand they will eventually have a seamless PS2, but then again, they already put this by default on the other.

- Modular features. I've always felt that vehicles in PS2 should have been modular, which means you can fix certain parts if the vehicle breaks, instead of just spawning a new one all of the time. It's one of the reason why I don't use vehicles in this game at all, except for the Sundy spawn and Flash scout/transport. In H1Z1, Smedley talks about being able to fix outlying vehicles with parts you must scavenge.

Overall, this, to me, sounds like game cannibalization. They cater to the same gameplay and audience, with the new one having the more advanced features. Thoughts?
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Old 2014-04-10, 12:46 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Ya... I don't think two games with different markets and fundamental gameplay is cannibalization.
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Old 2014-04-10, 04:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I don't agree with some of your points but being headshotted by a sniper gets my goat every time.

On the cannibalization thing. Broome has said that he's moved from PS2 to H1Z1 and we do know some developers have moved on, but that was when PS2 was in it's max creation phase, they surely don't need all the people now that they did a year ago.

I mean, would they need as many artists such as broome, most of the art work is done now I would think. Also, would they need as many programmers if the basic toolset is now there?

I would hope they're not cutting down on continent and level designers though. For me if there is one big problem it's the 'only three continents' issue.
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Old 2014-04-10, 05:44 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Forget H1Z1 leeching dev time mate, two words ...Everquest Next. That leeched probably half the team straight after planetside launched. They need to stop messing about with Hossin and release it, unless theyre waiting to release two conts at the same time and suprise us. Alot of time has been wasted imo on planetside 2 like devs constantly redesigned outposts and bases when there wasnt really any need, how many times will they do this ? They could of been working on the class updates/vehicle updates/ new conts instead.

And the PS4 release???? Everyday that goes by is money lost in that market.That needed to be out when the console was released, they'll be better games coming out soon that'll take away their desired target audience.

Remember with H1Z1 though and particularly Smeds comments, he said all this about PS2 when that was being developed as well and look how much got in. He is just hyping his game which i suppose is his job at the end of the day.
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Old 2014-04-10, 06:12 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I disagree with pretty much everything except for one lonely trivial point.

Does PS2 have some core problems, game breaking even? Yes, yes it does. So much so that I've taken a hiatus from time to time so I don't get burnt out, always able to return with a fresh face. The only complaint you list that has any credit to it is the issue with Spawn problems.

Beyond that I think the devs know what to add within the bounds of reason from what the players suggest and propose. IMO the biggest crippling factor preventing the devs from adding what's needed is there obsession with making the "New-Player Experience" as easy as possible.... We get it, players are the content but players won't stay long-term unless they have more incentive beyond just petty XP gain.



My wish list?

- Amerish has themed bases, now give those facilities mechanical purpose, Let us crew the Tumas Skylance Battery turrets, let the NC Arsenal fire a cruise missile that can impact the battle in neighboring facilities. All facilities in PS2 need to have tactical or strategic value beyond petty XP gain that makes them nothing more then a glorified paintball arena.

- Intercontinental Lattice both to get the main conflict away from Indar and so that taking a Continent might eventually mean something. Currently the 15% discounts are IMO /shrug, don't care. don't even notice that's a thing, it's insignificant.

- New Resource system, We know it's in the works, Make it a thing already!

- Multi-Crew Vehicles. It's a war machine that can kill whole squads or platoons easily, give it the complexity in requireing a proper vehicle crew, Force players to squad up, make friends, and join outfits if they want cert-machines!

- More vehicles! I really don't care if that role is already served, I wan't to see more variety in vehicles!

- Polish and add more faction specific themed weapons/vehicles.


But hey, everyone has a opinion on what can make this game great, dreamers gotta dream.



As for this H1Z1? It's a post-apocalypse zombie MMO, that theme is a dime a dozen, I don't care.... The only relation between PS2 and H1Z1 is there both MMO, that is in no way, shape or form evidence of "cannibalization" Only that there's a standard to defining what a MMO "is".
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Old 2014-04-10, 07:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by ringring View Post
I don't agree with some of your points but being headshotted by a sniper gets my goat every time.

On the cannibalization thing. Broome has said that he's moved from PS2 to H1Z1 and we do know some developers have moved on, but that was when PS2 was in it's max creation phase, they surely don't need all the people now that they did a year ago.

I mean, would they need as many artists such as broome, most of the art work is done now I would think. Also, would they need as many programmers if the basic toolset is now there?

I would hope they're not cutting down on continent and level designers though. For me if there is one big problem it's the 'only three continents' issue.

How about they let the art designers move to a new game after the Mauler, Sweeper and Piston get unique models. I shouldn't have to fire the weapon just to know what I'm using when I spawn with a shotgun loadout.
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Old 2014-04-10, 09:52 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I don't have an issue with sniping. Its not very often that I get taken out by a sniper and when it does happen, its because the guy made a good shot or I left myself open for it.

My issue is, and has always been, the Liberator in all its forms. The whole concept of these massive belly guns and the maneurability of these killing machines is ridiculous. Kudos to those gunners out there that have the angles and lead down to a point they can do it in their sleep and to the pilots that allow them to tear up heaven and earth, but their supremacy across all fields is too much. It's ttk on anything is the best while the negatives applied against it are minimal. No stalling, minimal gravity implications for having such a large weapon on its belly, not to mention the drag factor and implications on its flight across all vectors.

Most good fights are those that have very few liberators about. I don't mind esf, at least you have a descent chance of countering them or scaring them away for a bit.

Wouldn't be a bad option imo to be able to run Walkers or the AA dumbfire short range lockons on the wings of the Gal as instead of the drakes/bulldogs. The Gals biggest threat is the liberator with the ttk ridiculously low between the tanksmasher/belly gun/walker/bulldog combined with its much better range of speed and maneuverability, its a done deal more times then not. AA focused galaxies would be a nice addition.
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Old 2014-04-10, 12:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


PS2 is not that unplayable broken and imbalanced as you make it out to be imo.

Smedley's own words on PS2 cannibalization btw: "We continue to hire people for PS2 and it's got one of the largest teams in the company (far larger than H1Z1). We are 100% committed."

Whether that is true or not, there's also a potential positive side to this: Both games possibly reinforcing each other. This could be both in attracting additional audience (PS2 actually got me interested in EQN and the market for zombie survival games is pretty hot atm, which could spin off to PS2) as well as shorter development cycles (a player fort building system in H1Z1 makes it easier to implement in PS2).
Not to mention the upcoming All Access system that makes it attractive for SOE players to check out SOE's other f2p titles.

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Old 2014-04-10, 12:57 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


If were are discussing the details of PS2 development, then I really think they need to make a push when it comes to PS4. They should try to hire (try to see if the sony overlords will give some extra funding) more devs and more QA. The big thing they need is a marketing campaign that makes PS2 the sony answer to Titanfall. Its huge. Its epic. Its got similar mechanics to the popular battlefield. And the big one, its totally free (even without PS+). They should try to push it as the next big thing on console.

I would release in during the holiday season. Even if its ready prior, they should dedicate that time to extra cleanup as console players still haven't gotten the concept of "patching" down. Once they are ready, they need to make a box edition of some sort and sell if for $30-$60 that comes with a whole bunch of crap in it (boosts, guns, camos, etc). That way its on store shelves and raises awareness. It can even hold an instructional / tips and tricks disk to help the new player.
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Old 2014-04-10, 04:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


It all depends on whether H1Z1 was made by staff who were supposed to be working on PS2. You know... pulling a Gearbox?

My hunch is that PS2 devs have more than certainly "donated" time to develop of H1Z1, and the mention of PS2's team "hiring" and maintaining the "largest team" is in regards to the PS4 conversion crew (an excellent little politician-worthy obfuscation).

H1Z1 ultimately represents a way to help pay off PS2's $25 development debt though, and so aside from the fact that PS2's Beta 2.0 is slowed down a little (You can't tell me the terrain designer they hired to make the H1Z1 landscape couldn't have been working on Searhus), I think in the long run it's what keeps executives above Smedley from pulling the plug on PS2.

The PlayStation 4 launch of PS2 must go off without a hitch since it's the last great marketing push they can do to get PS2 back in the black. If H1Z1 helps prevent them from rushing it like they did with PS2's PC launch I think H1Z1 will be nothing but a benefit to PS2. ^^
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Old 2014-04-10, 09:27 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Or....maybe the more they work with Forgelight on other projects the more they can add to PS2? How about base building, how about crafting for level 100's and up, how about the random 4 faction AI invasions they talked about doing? I think the further development of Forgelight for other games can only help PS2.

Consider this everyone, in reality we have been playing an 18+ month Beta which will culminate with the real launch of PS2 when it hits the PS4. Also they are preparing to launch Hossin which means they will either need to do another server merge or they will need to lock continents of do something to maintain or increase server pops, something has to give. Not to mention we know they made the battle islands but that has gone silent.

E3 should let us know in a big way the future of PS4....and of course most likely there will b PS3 down the road as well.
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Old 2014-04-13, 04:34 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I think it will take players away, Dayz took all my friends away from BF3 and some other games, now they don't even bother with other shooters and just play Dayz and ARMA 3. These are time consuming and much more rewarding than conventional shooters and they will naturally suck players away.

I think it has the possibility of becoming what Planetside 2 should have been, a world we can create and have giant meaningful battles between huge guilds and then you'll have the solo people doing what they want to do inbetween it all.

I'm not bothered about Planetside 2 dying though, it already is dead, has been for awhile though, all my friends quit in December 2012 and never went back, the population died so quickly and so did the fun with it. SOE released the game is such a sorry state..
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Old 2014-04-13, 09:16 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


I'm not bothered about Planetside 2 dying though, it already is dead, has been for awhile though, all my friends quit in December 2012 and never went back, the population died so quickly and so did the fun with it. SOE released the game is such a sorry state..
I'm not gonna say PS2 is dead but it's nowhere where it was months ago. The most frustrating part of all of this is that they've fixed this already. They they nerfed the broken stuff (harassers, Zoe), they fixed the Sundy survivability problem and they even had that major performance patch.

For a brief period, Planetside 2 was actually growing in population again. Was there any major content update? Nope, they simply realligned the basics and just like that players like the game again.

Then, as soon as this happened, they kept trotting out broken stuff such as the Sniper buff, the WDS and the Liberator update. The sniper buff killed alot of player movement. The WDS not only killed battle flow and alerts, but also eventually killed server faction balance. The Liberator hurts the Sundy spawn too much.

On the subject of Sniperside alone, there should be low risk/low reward, normal risk/normal reward, or high risk/high reward. No more low risk/high reward like the ZOE and Harassers should be allowed.
- Low risk/low reward. Example: 3 vs 1. Average the xp from 3 getting on 1 kill is below the normal reward.
- Normal risk/normal reward. Example 1 vs 1.
- High risk/high reward. Example 1 vs 2. Fighting and killing 2 is high risk but you get double the xp if you succeed.

But PS2 still has 3 lifelines:
1) They fixed the basics before. They can fix it again.
2) A lot of the gameplay will be riding on the resource update and the intercontinental meta and future features.
3) Playstation 4 version. This will be big. Given that DCUO has 2/3 of their playerbase in PS3 and 1/3 in PC. It's proven to be their gateway game coming from consoles.

The problem with DCUO is PS3 cuts both ways. While DCUO arguably has the best combat mechanics for PvP in any MMO today. They don't do anything about open world PvP. They tried to implement open world PvE raiding but had to remove and scale it back since it was killing PS3. In short, PS3 is limiting what they can do with DCUO. Given Playstation 4 is new, my guess is this will bring a whole new generation of players to the game.

Originally Posted by EVILoHOMER View Post
I think it will take players away, Dayz took all my friends away from BF3 and some other games, now they don't even bother with other shooters and just play Dayz and ARMA 3. These are time consuming and much more rewarding than conventional shooters and they will naturally suck players away.

I think it has the possibility of becoming what Planetside 2 should have been, a world we can create and have giant meaningful battles between huge guilds and then you'll have the solo people doing what they want to do inbetween it all.
THIS! This is exactly what I'm talking about. I didn't use the word 'cannibalization' because it's a cool pun. It's the only apt and applicable word.

It's not the 'market' or even 'genre', it's the player type/roles. Hence, player base cannibalization. If you take PS2, there are only 3 player roles/types

Hardcore (Leader type)
their kicks: Leading, Organizing, Creating, Initiating, Instigating
examples: PSU, Hamma, Community Clash, Redditside, Vanulabs, Kogoros, Murdah, Moukass, Wrel, every outfit leader/officers etc.

Normal (Selfish type) no negative connotation here.
their kicks: winning and dominating (personal or faction.
examples: Most players: faction loyalists, 4th faction, Alert switchers, solo snipers, cert/kill farmers.

Casual (Social type)
their kicks: socializing, helping, supporting, being part of a group.
examples: players who play because their friends play. Players who love support roles. Players who like to help others. Players who like taking on tasks/order. Players who like to derp around (vehicle races, doing stunts etc.)

You take all that (make a Venn diagram it's really all the same) and slide it into their Zombie game and everything will fit. The only difference is that H1Z1 will have a PvE component so it will also attract player types that Craft/Farm/Hoard/Sell (some things that's not in PS2)

Secondly, you got feature set cannibalization.

Alot of these features are planned long term for PS2. Fortifications (build/destroy), Seamless large maps and now (just announced) a weather system.

Some argue this is actually a boon to PS2. It's possible. But then again, it's already built-in for H1Z1. How much more renovation will it take to get it to the same level? Which lead us to developer cannibalization. Sure, at best it's speculation and induction, but it's hard not correlate the quality of recent patches to the number of developers they still have.

If you look at the H1Z1 videos, you'll see Planetside 2 pistol animations. You'll see Planetside 2 suicide screen. It's difficult to shake off the notion that their attention and focus is now on this game and not on PS2.
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Old 2014-04-13, 01:20 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Originally Posted by Mordelicius
If you look at the H1Z1 videos, you'll see Planetside 2 pistol animations. You'll see Planetside 2 suicide screen. It's difficult to shake off the notion that their attention and focus is now on this game and not on PS2.
I'd pose that their attention should be on H1Z1, and not Planetside 2. Under the plausible assertion that they've used PS2 staff to do freebie work on H1Z1 (Smed says PS2's staff is bigger, but I'm sure the PS4 conversion team is rolled into that), it all comes down to the old saying...


"One in the hand is worth two in the bush"

H1Z1
  • Is launching with the correct expectation's management: "We don't really know what we're doing; help us make this game be awesome!".."Pls reddit!". Absolute honey for gamers.

  • Is a golden goose for SOE if it doesn't make the same mistakes PS2 did: e.g. too much potential and too few meaningful updates thanks to an overspent budget and understaffed crew.

  • Does not have PS2's launch difficulties thanks to the past year spent on upgrading the Forgelight engine. SOE can now focus on game features over performance improvements for H1Z1, and less staff working on PS2 means more toys for H1Z1.

  • Is easy to get your friends to play. Just say, "It's an MMO Walking Dead!", and you can probably even get your girlfriend/wife/kids to play too! Unlike PS2's competition with COD and BF, H1Z1 is also the simplest of your choices for zombie/anarchy games to play with buddies. (Arma having too much overhead, Rust being too rough)

    Explain PlanetSide 2 and you either get hardcore buddies who are either expecting some tactical depth, or the casual kiddies expecting immediately gratifying Battlefield-isms.

  • Depth and vision closer to what we wanted for PlanetSide 2. Player inventories, deeper, meaningful worldspace and engagements. Fundamentally, PS2's mechanics are that of a gimped casual gamer's Battlefield game (you could tell there was directional trouble when Higby and TRay struggled to play PS1 - at all - during one of their livestreams), and PS2's age is growing to the point where Battlefield games accomplish the niche better and look prettier.

    (I'd like to point out, however, that H1Z1's depth and vision are still tentative. We'll see how much SOE caves on the depth and mechanics when Early Access newbs complain about MLG Planetside players mobbing them at every turn!)

PlanetSide 2
  • Has one chance at success relying on some major overhauls, that could take well over a year to accomplish at its current stop-and-go pace and understaffed team. Even then, it succeeds only if it also achieves a smooth PS4 launch. (Hint: A smooth launch likely requires a mid 2015 release date ... what are the chances of that happening?)
Most Importantly
  • Smedley enjoys the stuffin's out of H1Z1. He was willing to show it in raw form without any of the corporate frills, and nearly had a nerdgasm in describing it. SOE (after cutting their teeth with PS2) has the tools and the talent to make a sick zombie game that the world wants. The fanbase for H1Z1 is new and unassuming, and PlanetSide 2's engine just lends itself to some mindless fun that is untapped by other AAA's.

    Put simply, I think SOE would have more fun making H1Z1.
Conclusion:
  • H1Z1 is likely funded off of PlanetSide 2's fumes. There's no way Sony headquarters wrote SOE a $25 milion check for H1Z1 considering PS2 is still in the red, and so if H1Z1 brings about a profitable launch that holds its numbers, it'd be for the best to put all of the staff into the golden goose.

    After H1Z1 can keep itself afloat, call a ṡpade a ṡpade and either put Planetside 2 back into Beta (just say the beta is towards a free expansion that is intended to fix all the things), or write PS2 off as a loss, bring it down to quality of life updates by junior staff, and start over with a Planetside 3 in a couple years after H1Z1 has evolved the Forgelight engine. Otherwise you risk further reputational damage as insulted PS2 fans pollute the H1Z1 community and help them to draw conclusions as to what awaits their wide-eyed "potential".

    (Alternatively hand PS2 off to another in-house studio)

    It would be great if they could accomplish both H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2, but financially that is likely only to happen if H1Z1 brings home the bacon for the next year or two. "Surely they can fund both!" you say? Upgrade now.
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Last edited by Edfishy; 2014-04-13 at 03:03 PM. Reason: * added "/wife/kids" to "girlfriend". =P *added link to previous topic on Guerilla Games
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Old 2014-04-13, 03:11 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
Dougnifico
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Re: H1Z1 and the cannibalization of Planetside 2


Everyone is so down right now, and that's coming from me! Right now, PS2 is not in a horrible state. Population seems pretty stable and I honestly don't see any glaring issues.

Snipers have more power, but they don't seem overpowered. I know sniping is a high skill playstyle and isn't easy. If you nerf it, don't nerf damage. Increase bullet drop to make shots more difficult.

Liberators seem to be in a nice spot. There are plenty of times where liberators can't even enter the airspace. Also, its a high teamwork vehicle, so it should be rewarding to use and I don't get killed by it enough to be rage inducing.

The biggest balance issue is the HA shield/I win button. If I'm a good shot, I should be able to burn them before they can auto-win. If I'm not on target, they should kill me. They are slow and have the superior firepower.

With regard to the types of players, some will migrate, but there are many who won't.
- First, FPS/war junkies. They just want a big fight to kill the crap out of the enemy.
- Second, Hardcore (leader type): Some of these find it more exciting to lead troop formations into battle than try to lead a society. Planetside is one of the only games where this can be done.
- Third, Normal (selfish type): Many of these want to constantly be in the action. H1Z1 will have a lot of down time compared to Planetside 2.
- Fourth, Casual (social type): H1Z1 is going to be a very hard game. Smed equivocated to the difficulty of dark souls. This appeals to the hardcore audience. I expect there will be many that try H1Z1 and be too intimidated.

H1Z1 will likely live by a group of very dedicated players. PS2, especially with console expansion, will have much wider appeal in the market's most popular genre.
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