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Old 2013-01-02, 10:57 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Rahabib
Sergeant Major
 
Resources - making the lattice system better


Note: this is a revamp of my previous post

I have posted a few simple ideas about making the metagame work better until a better advanced system can be put in place. But this post is more about making a few slightly more major changes without completely scrapping the current system. Again, a major overhaul isn't going to work since many people have already invested heavily into the current system and scrapping it wont go over well with both those invested and the developers, so any comments should be about trying to meet the devs at least half way.

So, before I begin, I was thinking about some of the comments that Hamma pointed out in his video, as well as some of the things buzzcut posted.

There are several key problems with the game. First, resources are unimportant - Hamma pointed out that there needs to be a way to cut off resources, or make them more meaningful. Second, over population promotes the zerg. Third, the reward system is heavily biased toward XP/certs and nothing more (even continent locking is boring because its based on continent population rather than skill). Fourth, there is not meta strategy for territory control, which territory you attack is based more on the number of defenders than any benefit you gain from the attack. Finally, defense is both impossible and unrewarding.

Regions

So my solution to much of this is tweaking the hex system slightly to fix some of these issues. There are roughly 3 of each primary "bases" (bios, techs, and Amps) for a total of 9. Each faction has roughly one of each in their section of the map. My proposal is the creation of pseudo-regions. The purpose for these regions is that these 9 points are the only things that generate the bulk of the resources. All the outposts around these bases feed into the regional resources, but only if the primary base is held. This makes it so that if you lose one of those bases, simply controlling the outposts around it does not generate resources for your faction. The region itself should also only generate one type of resource so that factions can bleed types of resources by capturing these bases (adding more strategy to where to attack). So if you take a tech plant, you can cut off ground based vehicles. If you take a bio lab, you can cut off maxes and grenades.

Higher defenses, connected outposts

Since capturing these bases will mean a large portion of resources getting cut off, these bases need to be much more defensible. The lattice makes this much better than it was with the hex, but still there are many connections to have to defend. Since losing the outposts are not as important as losing the bases, small outfits can easily bring fights out to stop links as they are now, but now they can increase the number of resources generated.

So to clarify whats going on here, there are only 9 major points on the map (these can be increased to include large bases to increase this if necessary). Only these bases can collect resources. Surrounding outposts in the region generate additional resources only if the region base is also under control (so lose the base you lose all the resources for that region.) Another faction can slow resources for that region by capturing the surrounding outposts, but cannot collect the resources for their faction until the main base is captured (making defense more "profitable" for those that like tanks etc.) Also the warp gate generates some resources so if you are out zerged, you can still spawn some vehicles, but not as often - so you better use those vehicles to take back a base not to farm.

So how can you defend these successfully. Each base should allow anyone to spawn on regardless of where they are on the map, just like the warp gate. Also, it would be nice if there was an option turn on special notifications for regions that are under attack. So if the bio lab region is under attack, you get an announcer saying "A biolab is being taken, defend it!"), or perhaps tie this more to platoons (or larger) to manage and notify.

Finally, all forces in the region should get the XP gain for capturing the base. So if you are a small faction holding an outpost so that the rest of the team can get to the generators, you are contributing and should get a piece of that pie. This makes it so that smaller outfits can contribute by holding peripheral territory.

Over population issues - "Manufacturing"

Right now a server may be equal in population, but we all know each continent is rarely equal. So lets tie "manufacturing" as a resource. Actually, its already there, but its a "timer." Which currently isn't really a huge balance for those who just stay in ESFs all day without setting foot on the ground. So the idea behind "manufacturing" is that with a higher population, there is also an abundance of manufacturing vehicles, etc. meaning with increase productivity, there should be a slow down when it reaches too much. All this is getting at is that the timer goes up based on the percentage of people on that continent above 35%. So if Indar has a VS population of 45% the timers on all "manufacturing" would increase by 10%. This creates some incentive for those that want to farm, to do so on balanced continents.

So to recap, if a continent (not server) is over populated, the timers to spawn vehicles is increased, despite the fact they may have the resources to buy them. This makes it so that the zerg and zergees are both roughly balanced in vehicles and if populations are equal (just for arguments sake :P) the faction with the best skill to capture and cut off resources will do the best.

Other people have mentioned increasing spawn timers, I am not advocating this. This is simply a way to balance over population by giving factions on under populated continents access to supplies a little bit faster, giving them a little advantage to push back the zerg.

Reward system

XP, resources, and continent locks - there are three rewards for capturing territory, yet none of it really matters compared to XP/cert gain. We have already dealt with resources by locking them in to more defensible yet more important roles with regions allowing other factions to be able to really bleed other factions by taking major bases since now they are fewer and tied to only one type of resource. XP will be slightly more balanced since the reward for farming only comes after bases are secured - meaning its heavily tied to infantry holding and if its not, then they need to get out of the tank and maybe capture the bases if they want to keep using them. Also if a base is defended it should get XP (maybe with a dynamic system or just a flat XP if the influence sways to another faction then back to your side). Finally continent "locks" really do nothing. So the idea would be to drop resource gains from continent locking and instead introduce a new resource that can be used toward things like the carriers etc. So you can only have a carrier if you captured a continent and held it for 24 hours. So in other words, you have to hold the continent, not just cap and move to the next one. However, if you are doing well and can cap multiple continents then those resources go up faster.

Alerts

The alert system made the game have an objective, and I think thats great. However, at the moment it is THE only objective that matters. What this means is that if you have a biolab alert, all the other territories become peripheral to that alert. One faction grabs more than half the objectives and then turtles up - or all factions do it just to get some piece of the pie. With a meaningful resources system, it makes it so that you can now choose alternate to cut off resources to the enemy, making the enemy now have to spread out more and cover more than what is in the alerts.

Metagame - Strategy

Metagame is simply the way each individual battle links to one another in a meaningful context. Before it didnt matter where you fought, just the number of territories captured, and even if you held all of them, you got nothing in return. The alerts tied in an objective, but they are shallow (XP only) and random. With a new resource system, you know have real consequences for your choices, do you go for more tanks by attacking a tech plant or more air by going after an amp? No longer is it, well this base is too hard to well defended so we will go around and when they leave head in. Hopefully, a continent lock will mean access to restricted vehicles or supplies, or holding territories well gains better clan recognition, etc.

Epilogue - TL; DR
  1. Give smaller factions a place without joining the zerg (they can secure the outposts linking to regional bases), but they can join the zerg if the defense isn't doing much.
  2. Makes resources and map strategy more real.
  3. It increases incentive to defend bases (and outposts to cut off attacks).
  4. It also gives the defense the ability to get into position since it makes bases the main points.

This is not the end all to the metagame, its just something that meets the devs half way by simply tweaking the existing system and resources.

Last edited by Rahabib; 2013-10-10 at 10:17 AM. Reason: updated for lattice
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Old 2013-02-27, 10:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Rahabib
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Re: Resources and making hex system work better


More info:

Regions

As stated above, the territory system would not change thus making life easier on the development team. It would be nice to have minor changes to the map design since now outposts are a "link" to open the shield generator rooms, teleporter rooms, etc., but with the lattice, its not required.

Losing minor outposts are not as important as major bases and thus it increases the predictability of the attack. If they focus on a region, you can be rest assured you can regroup at a region's base. Losing an outpost will put a ding, in resources, so its better to spread out, but if you lose an outpost you can regroup easily at the base. Also with the lattice in place, spreading out defends the bases anyway since they cant back cap you.


these are just for illustration purposes. Some territories may need to be split up, etc.

You can now cut off resources by taking a base, and it will make a larger impact on both factions since it will take a while for the losing faction to retake the base. Winning and losing bases now becomes strategic beyond just +1000xp. since it will mean slower development of vehicles and supplies.

Defensibility

This adds another layer to the defensibility of bases, but not so much that it cuts off any chance to take down. To paraphrase how this works from above, you must control the majority of outposts in a region before the doors open to the shield generators or teleporter rooms, etc. to the main bases (amps, bios, techs). Bases like tech plants will have more shields put in place in order to increase the importance of taking outposts before moving to the main bases.


notice the red lines for extra shields. And yes, this has been requested many times before.

Because outposts link to important defensive capabilities, no longer can you simply attack a base while allowing connected outposts to remain defenseless. Smaller outfits can make a large impact on defense by retaking outposts and securing the defensibility of a base by securing teleporters and shield gens. Smaller outfits on offense can also attack and coordinate taking outposts to lower the defensibility of a base. This adds a bit more push and pull to the battles beyond just taking out Sunderers or camping spawn rooms.

The biggest aspect of how this relates to the metagame is that once a base is taken, you dont have to worry about it being retaken within 15-20 mintues (or often even less). It can last longer thus giving a greater sense of accomplishment once taken. Nobody likes taking a base, and then moving on, then after a few minutes looking at the map and thinking "WTF. We lost it already!" With a mission system, people can even warn others of losing bases much easier.

Over Populations

Right now we have two resource management issues to contend with - resources and timers. This doesn't change anything. When I refer to "manufacturing," its just describing what the timers are doing. When you cant spawn a vehicle due to the timer, its due to the manufacturing time to create a new vehicle. The only change to this, is increasing that timer only when a continent is experiencing a large population imbalance. While to some this may seem like artificially buffing one faction or another, it's just trying to level the playing field with a realistic approach (and I really dont care about "realism" in the game, but unfair fights leads to people not playing, which even if you are the zerg, the lack of a good fight is not fun). Only when your population has an unfair balance will it increase. If you have a 2% advantage, you wont see a difference. If you have a 5% advantage, you probably wont see a difference. If you have a 20% advantage - then you will notice it a bit, but not double the timers - it would be 18-20% higher which is not more than a minute or two. The exact numbers would have to be played with a bit.

The reason behind this isn't to punish a faction for being popular, its to help spread out factions more evenly across continents. So if you see Indar NC has 60% population and you want to use tanks a lot, you might want to consider helping out in Esamir or Amerish where you can spawn a bit faster.

Reward System

I wont get into this too much, since it is fairly self explanatory. In fact, I will say that, with resources meaning so much, you may not even need to give additional bonuses to defending bases; your reward is: you get to use vehicles/supplies.

As far as continent locking goes. Currently, its meaningless. Its more for bragging rights than any reward. So instead of resource bonuses, it should be tied toward extra curricular items like orbital strikes etc, carriers - you know the cool stuff. Even then you still have to generate enough continent resources to use them by holding a continent for long enough. I have never been a fan of locking out a continent for other factions, it just restricts where you get to play. I would rather "locking" be more part of the resource metagame than just bragging rights with a little rub in that the other faction (likely lost due to the fact it was taken during low pop times) cant play on that continent any longer. But maybe thats just me.

At a glance (TL;DR) again:
  • Use regions to consolidate resources into major pools (adds strategy to hold key bases since resources are now a controllable commodity) and direct the battle to major bases and using the outposts as access to the bases (increases defensibility).
  • Tie "manufacturing" bonus or penalty to the cooldown/timers to keep populations equal.
  • Tie alternative resources to continent locks like orbital strikes etc. instead of giving resource bonuses. (ie. if you want to use orbital strikes you need to hold a continent not just cap it and move on).
  • + more issues fixed (please read for more info) controls the zerg, gives smaller squads/outfits something a means to affect the scale of the battles,...

One last thing, if you guys care about a resource metagame vote up posts so that they are not buried on the roadmap.
http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/i...p.83018/page-9
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Last edited by Rahabib; 2013-06-27 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 2013-02-27, 03:55 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Aaron
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Re: Resources and making hex system work better


This post seems worthy of discussion. Not sure why no one is posting.

Your ideas are exciting and I think they would give more insight to how strategy plays out, is understood, and applied. Currently, the battles are a little more directionless then I'd like them to be, and the added emphasis to the importance of bases is welcomed. Anything to give more power to a strategic play is an up-vote from me.
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:07 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Rahabib
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Re: Resources and making hex system work better


Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
This post seems worthy of discussion. Not sure why no one is posting.

Your ideas are exciting and I think they would give more insight to how strategy plays out, is understood, and applied. Currently, the battles are a little more directionless then I'd like them to be, and the added emphasis to the importance of bases is welcomed. Anything to give more power to a strategic play is an up-vote from me.
Thanks Aaron.

For the rest of you guys, while the post is long, its long because I put a lot of thought and rationale behind the reason for the change and what it will do. The plan itself is rather simple and could be easy (as possible) to implement so we are not waiting 6 months to a year for a resource based meta game.
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: Resources and making hex system work better


Well, it does sound like it would make the resources mean something. I sort of have an issue with the defensibility portion though. The issue there is players will have to defend surrounding locations of major bases in order to break through to the SCUs at those bases. This means some players will have to sit and guard empty locations which is boring and no one will want to do. They will just move on to the next location they can attack while another empire recaptures the one you just took. See where I'm going with this? It's another ring-around-the-rosey which would result in there being very few times everyone can gather to take the big base.
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Old 2013-02-28, 09:56 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
Rahabib
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Re: Resources and making hex system work better


Originally Posted by Crator View Post
Well, it does sound like it would make the resources mean something. I sort of have an issue with the defensibility portion though. The issue there is players will have to defend surrounding locations of major bases in order to break through to the SCUs at those bases. This means some players will have to sit and guard empty locations which is boring and no one will want to do. They will just move on to the next location they can attack while another empire recaptures the one you just took. See where I'm going with this? It's another ring-around-the-rosey which would result in there being very few times everyone can gather to take the big base.
I do recognize the issue, and its not an easy fix for this. There are two ways to look at it. First, since connected territory is linked to a major base, for defense they act as an early warning system to get defenses to concentrate on defending a particular region. I think for defense its not as big of a deal as the offense who attack but must move on to the base as you are referring to. The main issue might be the amount of time it takes to retake an outpost so that ghost capping an outpost or two and shutting off teleporter rooms and shield generators doesnt happen. In otherwords, the offense would get more time to react to stop a flank attack. However, keep in mind, if you own the territory, the defense still needs to find an alternate route to get to that territory to shut it off - which means spawning at a friendly connected territory and running a sunderer to that territory and capturing it without the offense being able to defend it in time. Next, the offense only has to hold a majority of the outposts, not all of them, so if the offense can roll in and take more than the required outposts (and there will be some who will just for free cap points) losing an outpost or two wont matter, it will take a large counter attack to accomplish this.

Also, rerouting forces to counter attack has the same problems defenses have already, in that it re-routing large numbers to cut off the teleporters, etc. removes people holding the main objectives in the base, so once you lose the outposts, its hard to back cap and shut them off - but not impossible. This is where a good "spec-ops" outfit can really boost an attack or defense, by assisting the zerg but not necessarily joining it. However, it should be still challenging and take some strategy to find the best way to do so.

That said, linking outposts to bases isn't necessarily required for my idea to work. But without it, it just makes outposts unnecessary, and I wanted to make it feel like all territory is important. It would probably need to be play tested and perhaps tweaked. eg. increase number it takes to cap an outpost so that a single player cant do it, and implement some kind of regional outpost notification system to give warning when loosing or gaining outposts.
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