PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - How to make this game not only great, but amazing.
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Old 2012-06-08, 06:17 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
How to make this game not only great, but amazing.

So, I've just signed up for the beta, and I must say that so far this looks like a milestone in both MMO and FPS gaming. I'm sure a lot people are gonna love this game, and hopefully it will become a bit hit in general. What you're about to read is not at all criticism, but rather what I reckon could make it a revolutionary game, instead of a milestone within the genre.


Each faction has an emperor. The emperor serves as the overmind and leader of one faction. An emperor (or simply leader, if you will), is voted to power democratically by the players. This would mean election campaigns, the possibility of turmoil within a faction, and that the emperor in the end is not just a randomly picked 14 year old CoD-player, but someone who's actually worked hard for the seemingly impossible spot, and believes himself/herself to be capable of the job.

The emperor will have access to certain things no other players have access to (perhaps with the exception of a few chosen ones, say, an adviser or a general (which does not have to be a gameplay mechanic in it self if one chooses to do so)), such as:

1. Logistics, such as the total amount of resources and where it is being spent.

2. A "commanders map", where the emperor can issue commands to outfits, such as surgical strikes and advanced tactics.
[Inspired by Battlefield 2's commander function]

3. Messages to the public.

This means that each faction will have their of identity, and something interesting aside from the most important aspect of the game; the battles. Those who do not agree with the emperor's decisions might perhaps try to overthrow him (a good mutiny function would be extremely important). Considering that the emperor will most likely be someone charismatic, it would be exciting to see what sort of personalities would manage to rise to the top to rule.

Most importantly, this will make coordinating attacks and defensive maneuvers a lot easier. Those who wish to follow objectives and orders may choose to do so, and those who just want to play independently, can completely disregard this function if they wish, as mechanically, this would not mean that everything must revolve around this function, it would just strongly aid the faction's tactics on the battlefront.

A faction with an intelligent and charismatic leader would obviously be more successful than the others, as his tactics would be stronger, and more people might follow him. An emperor would of course not remain permanently in power, and would have to stand down either from mutiny or by his time of leadership coming to a natural end (time-based).

Cities and player housing

Each faction has it's own main city. Since the scale of Planetside 2 is already massive, I see nothing wrong with having massive cities as well. A city will have various districts:

1. A shopping district for purchasing armor and weapons, accessories, and various "cosmetics" (camouflage and visa versa).

2. A social district where players can meet and form outfits and squads, chat, plan out strategies together, and so on.

3. A player housing district. This is one of the features I'd like to see the most. Since the beginning of MMO's, one of the most sought after things have been player housing. My suggestion is that in each city, there is one or several housing districts where players with sufficient cash can purchase or rent their own housing.
I think the most important reason for this aspect is to give the players something to strive for (sort of like an end-game content), and ultimately give them identity. The housing should of course be customizable and accessible for other players if wanted.

4. An outfit district. Just like with player housing, another sought out feature of MMO's have always been guild housings, and I believe this feature would be the one with the most impact. Outfits, as far as I've understood, are to be a key element of the game. As I see it, each outfit must have a sense of identity for it to be fun. Mechanically, I think each city should have a limited capacity for outfit houses. This would mean that only the most active, skilled and resourceful outfits would be able to have their own residency. Some houses should be more expensive than others, some cheaper. Of course, the more expensive ones would go to the most reputational outfits on the server, while the cheaper ones could perhaps be smaller housings, more for the average, but still active outfits.

All in all, a city like this would create an amazing community, and community has always been what has created the best games. I could imagine myself playing for the first time and entering my faction's city, and seeing the house of the ... Let's say, the "Vanu Commandos", an outfit of Heavy Assault-only characters. I'd know that these guys are one of the top outfits on the server, and maybe I'd even set myself the goal of joining them once I'm strong enough (again, an end-game ambition). There could also be the possibility of a city being invaded by an opposing faction, perhaps if a certain faction is in possession of all it's surrounding land. This would of course require an immense amount of players, tactics and resources, and a successful invasion would not destroy a city, only perhaps stealing a huge amount of resources.

Sum up!

Now, I won't be surprised if a lot of people will disagree with me here. I realize that some people look forward to this game because they'll get to run around and blow up things in epic, ever-lasting battles. And that's fine. However, what I visualize here is a game where you can duke out amazing fights, which the game already nails at this point, combined with an element of something larger. In Planetside 1, one really good element was the hatred for the other factions, which encouraged the players to fight even more. For some, loyalty and dedication to your faction was one of the things that brought you back to the game. Giving the factions more personality with the addition of an elected leader would only ensure to amplify that effect. Player and outfit housing would create some great end-game content, and keep the players coming back.

I'll definitely keep a keen eye on PS2, but I do know that if something like this ever happens, it will most likely be one of my favorite games of all time. And hopefully, I am not alone on that
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