PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - Ideas for the "Rich get richer" problem
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-03-24, 01:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #130
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Re: Ideas for the "Rich get richer" problem

Boomzor articulated the problem well here:
It's a persistent world. It won't reset 30 minutes after things go bad (well, save for a server crash, GM meddling and other such horrors). Things will stay bad until you and your empire do something about it.

If you don't get the tools to at least have a fighting chance, most will either hop to the winning side or just stop playing. The latter is very detrimental to the game as a whole.
And again here with the other side of the rich-get-richer problem...
That sort of illustrates the rich get richer problem, or actually the reverse: the poor gets poorer.
A few idiots squandering the resources in the rich empire wont make much difference because they will make up that loss quite quickly. They are rich.
On the other hand, a few idiots squandering the already strained resources in the poor empire could quite possibly be catastrophic.
This drives to the core of why motivating the empire with nothing is important, and why giving them something to reduce the risk associated with trying to fight a battle where the odds are heavily stacked against them is vital to solving this problem.

The reason I believe discounted (and in extreme situations free) vehicles are required is to lower the risk. As stated above, the rich side can afford to throw fully upgraded vehicles at the poor side. If the poor side can't even pull basic vehicles the only way they'll recover is if the rich-side leaves the continent. With only 3 continents in prime time I don't see that being a realistic situation, especially if staying on the continent generates more resources for them and could result in easy defensive kills. The rich side won't be going anywhere. So what is the poor side to do? The result will be people start having alternate accounts to play on other empires when things go south for their current empire. That is not good for the game at all.

Unless of course there are incentives to take that dire situation and turn it around. And we come back to motivating them to fight.

I think we can motivate people with two things.

1) Reduce or remove the risk associated with fighting that bad situation. This is why discounts are important. If the vehicles are super cheap or even free then they have little to lose by attacking. Moreover, they are now reasonably competitive with the rich empire in the short term. Obviously the discounts don't last after they start taking territory but the point is it gives them momentum and helps them get a reasonable foothold on the continent and some resource income.

2) Make taking territory against that empire more lucrative. IF the rich empire is sitting on most of the resources then it isn't too much of a stretch to say that an empire with a lot of territory has larger personal bonuses when capturing that territory. So reward the people that go out there and capture territory with significantly larger bounties. So for players after personal resources for their implants or cert tree advancement or what not, attacking on this lost-cause continent becomes a potentially very lucrative prospect. It also helps rebuild the resource pools of that empire so they can continue to wage competitive war since their discount bonus will be disappearing after they start getting territory.

As an empire gains more territory these bonuses that are intended to motivate them and give them a fighting chance quickly fade away. It's only for dire straights.

And resources are still important because the discounts I mentioned only apply to certain things. They shouldn't apply to implants or cert tree bypasses. So if you're worried about people abusing this or it making resources worthless, it won't. It's a short-term boost to help jump start the war machine and get it rolling. Once it starts rolling the bonuses and discounts go away.

There's a third option that I believe will help, and that is making it more difficult for a rich empire to hold onto its territory - by making it easier for other empires to capture.

I'd mentioend this idea before but essentially past a certain threshold in % territory owned it starts to modify the adjacency system's capture time modifiers, so it becomes easier for enemy empires to capture your turf if you start getting an excessive amount of territory. This is important because there's a lot of territories and an empire can capture any territory at any time, but the adjacency system protects deep territories and gives you lots of time to respond to them and makes it quick to recapture. If this aspect of the adjacency system starts to break down as you get more and more territory then it naturally becomes more difficult to defend a large empire without compromising the value the adjacency system normally provides.

Normally empires rely on the adjacency system to give them plenty of time to respond and recapture deep territories that are taken, but if that isn't as prominent when you have lots of territory then it becomes naturally more difficult to hold onto everything.

This is the third piece of the puzzle, and when combine them, I think you give an empire a chance to dig itself out of a hole and reward people for doing so. They get greatly discounted vehicles to push out with, the territories they take are worth more personal resource bonuses than normal, and they are quicker to cap. That's good incentive to get out there and turn things around rather than log off, switch sides, or abandon the continent.

Last edited by Malorn; 2012-03-24 at 01:52 PM.
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