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Old 2014-03-25, 06:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
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Continental Districts

In another thread recently, someone suggested that a global intercontinental lattice would simply be a scaled up version of the current intra-continental lattices, with home conts taking the place of home warpgates, and asked, if his suggestion is correct, why would a global lattice represent any advancement or add to the game. There’s plenty of discussion there about that specific element of the discussion (i.e., the virtue of a global lattice), and that’s not the point of this thread. It got me thinking though, would it be possible to make the intra-continental lattices a scaled down version of the global lattice, and thereby gain the meta-game elements many of us hope to achieve with the global lattice? After all, what makes them inherently different?

I think the main difference is that the continents are discrete blocks in the lattice; what’s more the discrete blocks have a limited number of entrances and exits from an otherwise self-enclosed loop of lattice. This allows for an easily recognized zone of control and also promotes the idea of capturing a discrete are before moving on to another. What’s more, the limited entrances to the lattice allow an empire to take a continent and secure it by taking control of the limited entrances. I think it is possible to recreate this same situation within the continental lattices we have now, and in doing so, inject some of the meta game many players are so desperately calling for, without having to wait for the multiple new continents which will been needed to get a global lattice working on a larger scale.

My suggestion is to map the continental lattices into districts, relative to each warpgate; the districts will then act as mini-continents, with all the properties of discrete lattice blocks discussed above.

(For the purposes of this post, I’ll be working with Esamir’s map; because I think it’s the most interesting. If there’s support for the idea I can extend it to Indar and Amerish)

First let’s consider how the lattices are currently designed:

The current lattice lanes are designed as pathways shooting out from the warpgates in individual lanes; each with a dedicated path to a base, which then has a dedicated pathway back to another empire's warpgate. Take for example Andvari, which is linked on a pathway directly to the North-West and Southern warpgates, with the obvious intention that the North-West and Southern empires (in this case, the NC and VS respectively) will be the primary combatants at this base, while the Eastern empire (TR) must work their way all the way across the continent in order to gain a link to fight at Andvari...

This leads to multiple issues: first it creates repetitive combat situations where there are parts of a continent that one empire rarely sees until the Warpgates rotate (which IMO is a cop-out fix for a bad game mechanic design). Another problem is that it creates a situation where is it futile for an empire to continue to attack/defend a lattice lane, once it is clear they've won/lost the base it leads to. For example, it is not uncommon for the hexes south of Elli to only change hands during ghost hacks, because the owner of the Southern warpgate knows if they aren't pushing Elli there's no need for them to worry about the hexes, and on the reverse side, if an enemy group is has Elli and sees the Southern empire advancing towards it, they need only keep en eye on them until they reach Elli, and then they can spawn in and defend (read: farm). Given that the Southern empire can only have one target if advancing on the lattice lane, there's no such thing as a surprise assault on Elli from the south.

A final problem is that because the lattice lines are so linear, it is not uncommon that when a line gets either dull or unwinnable; troops shift drastically across the continent to other fights, quickly and en mass. As a result of this, there is a noticeable absence of a feeling of cumulative progression in the game. Fights often spring up seemingly at random, and can disipate just as quickly if another lattice line looks to be providing better action (or if an alert starts, but that's another issue). It is this lack of building progression that gives the feeling that PlanetSide2 is not a game of empires waging massive campaigns against eachother, so much as it is a game of random Team Death Matches, which shift from location to location randomly.

Now for my modifications (pardon the less than stellar drawing):

Essentially what I have done is created 3 empire districts on the continent. These zones are highly interconnected, and each contains one Biolab, and one Amp Station. Each zone has three interconnections to other zones: one with each enemy empire's zone, and one with the Tech Plant's zone, which is treated as a neutral zone.

How does this help?

Instead of fighting on a given pathway directed only at a particular base; fights will instead focus on winning control of a district (and thereby warp-gating an enemy, or securing your own district, or else taking control of the Tech Plant). Because there are limited interconnections, it is now possible to push an enemy entirely out of your district and keep them out by moving into their district; of course doing so will quickly embroil you into their tightly knitted lattice meaning they can move behind you and try to back hack their way back into your zone and cut off your supply lines. Further, focusing your efforts entirely on one empire will leave you vulnerable to the other who may attempt to use that chance to attack you.

The idea is that while there will still be a back and forth movement of the battle front, there is a more defined target for a push (for attackers to cut off the defender's WG-links and then control the district. For defenders, to push the attackers back to their interconnection point; or perhaps to cut them off from that interconnection point, and try to 'pull' them out). I think this would lend it self to a feeling of cumulative progression, and metagame strategy that the game sorely lacks at the moment.

It's not as good as a global lattice, but it has the advantage of being implementable on the current continents, without having to wait for additional content to be created.

Cross-posted on the PS2 Forums
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Last edited by Mightymouser; 2014-03-25 at 06:48 PM.
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