PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-03, 10:36 AM   [Ignore Me] #21
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Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions

Originally Posted by exLupo View Post
While not being able to ever "catch up" is bad, this is an example of a very common misconception of EVE's skill system.
If it's a "very common misconception" then its already failed. Regardless of whether I am correct (which I am), if the perception to new players is that they can't catch up then they won't sit around in forums debating it - they just won't play the game. Damage is done. Its a "misconception" that PS2 cannot afford to have.

It's not hard at all for a new player to catch up in one particular area. If your goal is T1 Battleships with T2 guns and 4s and 5s in support skills, you can get there. Don't deviate and dabble, just stick to your plan. Can your vet buddy also fly a covert ops boat, produce T2 missiles and run a 1000 man corporation? Sure. Does any of this matter when you're smashing your ships together? Not at all.
But it still takes years to do all of those things as well as a vet. Flying a ship well takes weeks. Flying a T2 ship months. Competing with a veteran who has those things - years. You already have the game knowledge and experience working against you as a new player. Add in the fact that the vets you're fighting have better skills and its not a very enticing prospect. It costs them new players.

If PS2 is the same way with specialized players spending a year or more to max out their tree and getting passive bonuses for doing so then its the same situation as EVE - new players can't compete on the same level of a vet without investing the same amount of time. And by the time they do the vet has moved on to other things and they have to play catch-up there too. It's a dumb system and gives advantages to people who already have the huge advantage of game experience.

Originally Posted by CutterJohn View Post
The original eve, when there was no t2, no level 5 prereqs, was pretty nice and didn't offer vets a giant advantage over newbs. A few weeks training got you to level 4 in most things, where you were 80 or 90% as capable as a dedicated vet.
Therein lies the peril of the EVE system. Look what they started with, and look what they ended up with. If PS2 does it from the start, it might not be a huge bonus to begin with, but it will become one as they increase training timers and increase bonuses as an effort to once again have specialization. The methodology is flawed and the reason they would even have to do that is because time-based power progression with a finite number of skills always converges. The only way to keep that system going is to expand the number of skills and slow down the training.

Eve started with a system that looks very similar to what PS2 is describing. What did they do when the skills converged and customization melted away? They added "tech 2" for the advanced skillset to reward people for specializing and customize further. But they used the same flawed system for it. So all they can do is make the skills take longer and increase the bonuses. Poor game design. PS2 should not follow in those footsteps.

I don't see a need for my character to be different than your character, because I'll play different, and if the classes and vehicles are properly balanced, there will be a good representation of everything on the field, because everything is useful. Just like the 9 classes of TF2 are commonly used, but seldom by any one person. If you want to be a special snowflake then practice hard and get good at what you love doing.
Great point - and another reason why "rewarding" players for investing in a skill tree with more power is unnecessary. They are getting better at it by using it. They are becoming "the best" simply by knowing the ins and outs of it in every way possible and putting in hundreds and thousands of hours of playtime in that area.

They don't need anything on top of that.

Its largely pointless though. Higdog said, not sure where the quote is, that you can spend more than a year speccing out a single class/vehicle. So. Unless you plan to be playing for 20 or 30 years, and they add nothing new in that time, it shouldn't be an issue. And if you do play for that long.. You earned it imo.
That quote of Higby's only makes me more worried that they are borrowing too much from EVE and following in their folly. If it takes a year to master something then it will take a year for a new player to catch up to the 1 year vet and be on an even playing field. It introduces a completely unnecessary new player handicap. Just as you said above in the previous quote I just responded to - players will specialize themselves and it is unnecessary. So why do it? Why bring these negative consequences into the game?

I see no compelling argument why this is good for the game. The only argument I see is "well, it's not that big of a deal...", to which I would say "if so, what's the value?" and "why do it then?". If its not that big of a deal players wont' see the value in it and will want more, leading to the "tech 2" of PS2 as they try to add more value in and further complicate the problem. I'd like to stop that now and have a design that scales and not one that will just dig a bigger hole, not provide meaningful customization and discourage new players.

There is another way they can do it while not having this bad behavior, which I identify in the OP. You can have the rewards, you can have meaningful specialization by looking at the same games they are already getting inspiration from - mmos like Warhammer, mmos like EVE (their ship customization, not their skill system), and fps like Battlefield (gadget slots and unlock mechanisms). The good designs are right there.
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