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Old 2012-05-28, 07:42 AM   [Ignore Me] #16
Mechzz
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by kadrin View Post
I think it should be rather clear that neither Planetsides are infantry-centric, if they came in with that idea then they're already playing the wrong game, catering to them isn't what we should be doing.
I said "if people think" - I'm trying to interpret what happened to the game through the lens that Figgy has given us, and it makes a lot of sense to me. And to be clear, I include ground vehicles and one man fighters in my definition of "infantry". That probably wasn't clear, sorry for that.

Look at the graph of player numbers over time. That says it all. SOE borked the game totally over a year or two.
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Old 2012-05-28, 07:52 AM   [Ignore Me] #17
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by Stardouser View Post
But we have dozens of infantry centric shooter games. Why can't we have 1 strategic war game that's not crippled by people wanting it to be reduced in scale to an infantry game?
A thought that depresses me in my darker moments is that most people who play computer games don't, when it comes down to it, actually want a game where they have to think to be able to play.

The original PS1's beauty was that it bridged the gap and gave the clever bods lots of "friends" to play with. In my opinion there is a strong inverse relationship between game complexity and potential player base. Drive away the ones who are not interested in coordinated game play at your peril. There are less people who want to "get organised" when they play a game than you might think.
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Old 2012-05-28, 08:05 AM   [Ignore Me] #18
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by Mechzz View Post
A thought that depresses me in my darker moments is that most people who play computer games don't, when it comes down to it, actually want a game where they have to think to be able to play.

The original PS1's beauty was that it bridged the gap and gave the clever bods lots of "friends" to play with. In my opinion there is a strong inverse relationship between game complexity and potential player base. Drive away the ones who are not interested in coordinated game play at your peril. There are less people who want to "get organised" when they play a game than you might think.
I thought PS1 handled this quite nicely as well, you could always just instant action (which needed some tuning, because spawning at the closest tower when it just happens to be on the other side of the continent was bad), and you had the HART which allowed you to pick any hotspot to go to. They even reduced it's timer from 15 minutes to 2, anyone remember those days? Made you want to cry when you missed it.

But this whole, play a game without thinking mentality is what creates issues. It's like if Blizzard balanced Starcraft 2 by looking at Bronze league games instead of looking at grandmasters or the GSL/MLG. You can't balance a game around those unwilling to think. Unfortunately those unwilling to think are the ones that spend their money blindly on any new shiny game, and greatly outnumbered the rest of us.
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Old 2012-05-28, 08:08 AM   [Ignore Me] #19
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by Mechzz View Post
A thought that depresses me in my darker moments is that most people who play computer games don't, when it comes down to it, actually want a game where they have to think to be able to play.

The original PS1's beauty was that it bridged the gap and gave the clever bods lots of "friends" to play with. In my opinion there is a strong inverse relationship between game complexity and potential player base. Drive away the ones who are not interested in coordinated game play at your peril. There are less people who want to "get organised" when they play a game than you might think.
Sadly I agree.

The largest outfits were also the most "straightforward thinking" and "low treshold" outfits.

When suggesting alternative ways to attack when they were stuck, the minds of some of these people would implode. I once suggested Syndicate to attack Hvar (Interlink in the south of Extinction) from the opposite side as they were footzerging it from the tower and any vehicle they brought was brought in along with the rest of the units from the north by bridges. There was a lot of AA and strikers and their mossie attempts had failed. Ground vehicles they thought would be useless. For some reason nobody but my outfit ever used the many ramps on Extinction to attack through the canyons using amphibious Delis and Thundies either (we've often flanked snipers and bridges that way).

The south side of Hvar was undefended. There was next to no CE and all defenders were on the walls of the north side. A double Sunderer (single suicide sund ahead) would have been enough to breach it.

I got a lot of abuse from SynxBeerPirate then for suggesting they simply lacked the imagination to devise a plan to take the base and that - contrary to what they believed - they hadn't tried everything yet. Not by far. Instead, they gave up after a full 17 minutes of footzerg from the tower and went elsewhere because "drawing them off the map to Hossin was the only way to win Hvar).

Of course that plan failed too because it was too obvious. Oshur was lost by the time they reached Ghanon, since they forgot that they made up 40% of the NC pop on Extinction and were needed to keep TR contained in Hvar (which the TR had been content with due to low pop). After they left, TR took to the air, killed Bio Lab gen and left to resec Ghanon.

Last edited by Figment; 2012-05-28 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 2012-05-28, 08:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #20
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by kadrin View Post
I thought PS1 handled this quite nicely as well, you could always just instant action (which needed some tuning, because spawning at the closest tower when it just happens to be on the other side of the continent was bad), and you had the HART which allowed you to pick any hotspot to go to. They even reduced it's timer from 15 minutes to 2, anyone remember those days? Made you want to cry when you missed it.

But this whole, play a game without thinking mentality is what creates issues. It's like if Blizzard balanced Starcraft 2 by looking at Bronze league games instead of looking at grandmasters or the GSL/MLG. You can't balance a game around those unwilling to think. Unfortunately those unwilling to think are the ones that spend their money blindly on any new shiny game, and greatly outnumbered the rest of us.
Originally Posted by Figment View Post
Sadly I agree.

The largest outfits were also the most "straightforward thinking" and "low treshold" outfits.
OK, now that we've got a bit more insight into the player base we will have if we want to have high pops over a 4-5 year timeframe, anyone who hasn't read Figgy's OP closely (Figgy, you're excused ) needs to go back and read it from the point of view of someone who's not interested in "getting organised" when they log in to play their favourite game, beyond maybe squadding up. And put yourselves in their shoes when the BFR/Flail/GG pwns them. Then pwns them. Then pwns them. They don't get organised - they go and play CoD. or BF. or TF2. or..... you get the picture.

So, and I think this is crucial and worth repeating, any vehicle with more than 2 gunner positions runs a risk of wrecking the game by driving away this type of player who tends to feel they can't counter such vehicles.

There is a place for a FPS that bridges the gap, but for it to succeed I believe it needs to cater more to the lowest common denominator than to the "organised". And it must provide enough fun for the "organised" too, because they are sometimes the movers and shakers on the battlefield, the clever ones, the ones who invent new strategies.

And "strategy" does not equal "omg I got 10 guns in this bus"

Last edited by Mechzz; 2012-05-28 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:00 AM   [Ignore Me] #21
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


That's the thing, a lot of people design units out of how THEY want to use stuff. They look at what THEY want to do with it. Self-centered design won't work. If I was just thinking of my perspective, I'd not consider the zerg perspective too much, same for aircav. I realise however that these players are valuable to the game and it's vebry important to design the game such that they can play (without beocming too dominant). However, I fear the devs may be doing the opposite and underappreciate the unbalanced pop situations a bit by catering too much to zerg.

Providing stronger units to be more readily available with more territory (thus resources), next to more players reduces the competing strength of smaller pops. The resource system can indeed be a restriction, but to who? The larger pop or the smaller pop?

Normally with low power distance you can isolate and funnel enemies and change the odds that way: You can apply "Divide and Conquer", somehow cutting large enemy groups into smaller groups you can handle.

With huge "teamwork/endboss" units, this is however impossible as you cannot "Divide and Conquer" a Galaxy Gunship.

Last edited by Figment; 2012-05-28 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:28 AM   [Ignore Me] #22
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


I think you all have to remember that PS2 will not be PS1 with updated graphics. It is not like they just ported the GG over from PS1. It will have different damage and health stats.

And if you hate them really bad either:

1. Take the resource that spawns them away from the enemy
2. Put AA on every vehicle you have
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:30 AM   [Ignore Me] #23
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


This talk of infantry-centric has given me an idea. And I KNOW you are all going to hate on it, and Elfailo is going to come into the thread and say it's a terrible idea and say I am a terrible terrible person for suggesting it. And it's slightly not focused on the main point of the the thread. But.

Higbee talks about "Variety is good". And Mechzz points out that some people will think they are signing up for an infantry-centric game, and I believe that CoD and some BF3 players will want to MAKE it into an infantry-centric game without caring about people who like vehicle play. Now, I admit, Category 1, SOME people just don't want vehicles to be overpowered...like Figment. But Category 2, SOME people want vehicles to be target practice, or they don't even like the idea of vehicles. These I will call CoD-like players. I believe that people who want vehicles to be nothing more than target practice with more hit points, or who won't even PLAY the game because of vehicles, are a BAD influence on the game and need to be segregated from the main Planetside 2 population.

The question is, how do you segregate these people from the main PS2 population without driving them off completely? We still want them to play so the game can succeed financially and reward SOE for giving us all the dream game we've been wanting, right?

So. I suggest that SOE consider what I will call infantry only servers. Mechzz said he considers infantry only to be ground vehicles and 1 man fighters. I won't go that far, instead, I suggest that there be one or more servers which only have Infantry, quad bikes, and Sunderers and Galaxy Transports that have been specially modified for use on a server where there are no bombers, tanks, etc(whether this means less hit points Sunderers and Galaxies, or whatever it means). The reason to have quad bikes, sund/galaxy is simple, you cannot have a game world this big with NO transport. But this takes away tank/air rape and gives the CoD players a place to go. An infantry only server could also have different spawn times and other adjustments.

Now. You guys are already flaming me at this point, so I should say what the benefits are of having a few infantry only servers. If the players who want extreme infantry superiority are in the general population, they will constantly lobby for vehicle nerfs and make a general nuisance of themselves. I don't mean the ones of you guys who want infantry AA to be able to 1 on 1 with an aircraft; no, CoD-like players will be WORSE than that. And so, providing infantry only servers where these players can congregate and be contained will do much to improve the harmony of the overall Auraxis community. It will be easier for them to choose an infantry-centric server than to lobby for vehicle nerfs. And it would save greatly on forum arguments after release, because the availability of infantry-centric servers would also make whining about vehicles seem silly.

And, there is precedent for this. I have only played Everquest out of all the SOE MMORPGs, but Everquest always provided PvP servers. Right now there's only one, but in the golden era, EQ had Rallos, Tallon, Vallon, and Sullon. They EVEN had a temporary PvP server, called Discord, in honor of the upcoming Gates of Discord expansion,where PvP death was permanent. So, SOE is NO STRANGER to providing specialized servers designed to a specific purpose. And I can confirm to you that the 4 PvP servers, during EQ's golden era, definitely did serve as a magnet to attract the scum and villainy of the EQ playerbase. I know, because I was a proud Rallos player from 1999 to 2004.

And Planetside 2 should have a much larger population than PS1 did, so the idea that infantry only servers will take too many people away from the proper game itself doesn't seem valid.

Flame on.

Last edited by Stardouser; 2012-05-28 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:38 AM   [Ignore Me] #24
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Figment's point is more general that, I believe!

I believe he is saying "beware putting individual strong units in a game where most players have a low level of organisation and are playing in relatively weak, low-crew configurations"

That warning applies to PS2 as much as it did to PS1, and they failed to "get it" in PS1. So a warning is warranted.

There's a thread going on just now where people are moaning that it will be too hard to take hexes outside of the zerg, so "just popping over to cap the 10 hexes the enemy is harvesting resources for their mega death machine" may be easier said than done.

If we have to put AA on every vehicle we have, then we will get pwned by AV-wielding grunts and tanks on the enemy side. And that is Figment's point when it boils down to it - single overly powerful units can seriously destabilise the game.

SOE need to be very careful on this.
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:44 AM   [Ignore Me] #25
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by Mechzz View Post
Figment's point is more general that, I believe!

I believe he is saying "beware putting individual strong units in a game where most players have a low level of organisation and are playing in relatively weak, low-crew configurations"

That warning applies to PS2 as much as it did to PS1, and they failed to "get it" in PS1. So a warning is warranted.

There's a thread going on just now where people are moaning that it will be too hard to take hexes outside of the zerg, so "just popping over to cap the 10 hexes the enemy is harvesting resources for their mega death machine" may be easier said than done.

If we have to put AA on every vehicle we have, then we will get pwned by AV-wielding grunts and tanks on the enemy side. And that is Figment's point when it boils down to it - single overly powerful units can seriously destabilise the game.

SOE need to be very careful on this.
I have often thought that powerful multicrew assets show be slow, less maneuverable, and BIG. The problem, then, with a Galaxy Gunship, is not that it has multiple gunners, allowing it to deliver deadly concentrated fire, but that it's the same size as a Galaxy. I would think that something which performs the GG's role should be physically a lot larger, which would make it sluggish to turn, climb, dive and accelerate, as well as providing a big target to shoot at, which means that you don't necessarily need AA weapons, but that if it flies too low it will easily be hit by every tank gun for 600 meters.

And that's why I've always thought outfit airships with multiple gunners would be fine. They would be so big tanks can hit them with their regular gun despite bullet drop, and easily swarmed by mosquitoes who attack them from directly above or below(where their gun blind spots are).
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Old 2012-05-28, 09:53 AM   [Ignore Me] #26
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Originally Posted by Mechzz View Post
Figment's point is more general that, I believe!

I believe he is saying "beware putting individual strong units in a game where most players have a low level of organisation and are playing in relatively weak, low-crew configurations"

That warning applies to PS2 as much as it did to PS1, and they failed to "get it" in PS1. So a warning is warranted.

There's a thread going on just now where people are moaning that it will be too hard to take hexes outside of the zerg, so "just popping over to cap the 10 hexes the enemy is harvesting resources for their mega death machine" may be easier said than done.

If we have to put AA on every vehicle we have, then we will get pwned by AV-wielding grunts and tanks on the enemy side. And that is Figment's point when it boils down to it - single overly powerful units can seriously destabilise the game.

SOE need to be very careful on this.

The mission system can work out your first point. Or whatever changes we see at beta will.

If you hate vehicles with a lower team work ratio to power ratio show them who is boss by having a balance of AA, AI, and AV in your outfit and wreck shit up.

And for all we know the GG will have long reload times, little ammo, and less heath than a normal Galaxy.

I see the GG currently really one step above the Lib. I can see 20 of those with a 2 man crew having a very low team to power ratio.

Last edited by JPalmer; 2012-05-28 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 2012-05-28, 11:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #27
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


this thread gave me visions of Ubermenchen sitting in a flail spamming a base door from across the map... all day long. that guy easily spent 90% of his ingame time spamming flail at bases.
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Old 2012-05-28, 11:27 AM   [Ignore Me] #28
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Did anyone say BFR's weren't able to be killed solo? I've done it (with jammers and an mcg) and I'm sure many others have too.
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Old 2012-05-28, 12:19 PM   [Ignore Me] #29
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


(As qualification, I fully intend to become a member of a more structured/organized outfit or tactical/strategic unit for the sake of not being a slave to the zerg. However, I've had the lone-wolf mindset in other games in the past which had vehicles and similar power/counter imbalances, so I'll attempt to bring that experience into application below.)


I'll try to answer Mechzz's call for a newbie perspective on this, if I may:

If I log on as a standard BF/CoD player, disorganized and relatively mindless, my first act is to grab a gun and run to where the fight is. I might squad up, but I might not. I arrive at the front, ready to run-and-gun my way to glory and prestige. I see whatever enemy is directly across the field, bring up my irons, line up, and sh-...-IT A TANK JUST KILLED ME IN ONE SHOT WTF!1!!1 I CAN'T KILL A TANK! *Lather, rinse, repeat until ragequit or whinefest.*

The player type described above will hate tanks with a passion, not just in-game, but as a game mechanic. This leads to the aforementioned infantry-only lobby from a vocal minority, and to players of that type leaving the game/community.

It's also not even so much the matter that the tank can kill the player in an arbitrary period of time, but that the player can't, while alone and unorganized, without the necessary equipment, reciprocate. I believe this is what Figment was touching on, in concept, with his post: for the advanced, veteran player; things are overpowered based on analysis (and generally quantitative in some way) of what their power and influence is in the context of some level of organization, coordination, and knowledge; for the novice, things are overpowered based on impulsive reaction (purely qualitative) against that which kills the player faster than the player can in turn, in the context of no/little knowledge, thinking, and planning.

The challenge with the above implies that, in order to keep as many of those novice players as possible, 1) all frequently seen weapons/vehicles/etc. must be balanced both quantitatively and qualitatively, so as to permit the broad catering mentioned by Mechzz; 2) infantry-only servers should be provided to keep the typified players in their own little world; 3) the typified players should be given no concession and be allowed to leave the game freely without attempt at encouragement to stay in the game; 4) active efforts must be made to move players from the qualitative class to the quantitative class through outfit recruitment and such; 5) significant consideration and resources go into the development of map elements which cater to the typified players' style of play (such a thing could be a more urban region, for example, with narrow streets and block-to-block/building-to-building/room-to-room combat).


That's my newbie read on it (and I hope it's not totally wrong on all accounts).
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Old 2012-05-28, 12:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #30
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Re: "Endboss vs competitive combat"


Sorry, work got in the way, but I think Figment has hit on something here, at least in terms of vocalising issues in the way PS1 was managed and which SOE need to beware for PS2. I'll do my best to catch up now!

Originally Posted by Stardouser View Post
And that's why I've always thought outfit airships with multiple gunners would be fine. They would be so big tanks can hit them with their regular gun despite bullet drop, and easily swarmed by mosquitoes who attack them from directly above or below(where their gun blind spots are).
Stardouser, you've shown yourself as an imaginative, intelligent poster. I trust you would be prepared to accept the downsides you describe for the outfit airship. But I ask you to consider, how many others would? My own feeling is that such a "powerful" but "weak" vehicle would spawn interminable whinge fests about "balance" on these and the official forums leading to discontent, followed by the buff/nerf cycle as the rest of the game tried to cope.

Originally Posted by JPalmer View Post
If you hate vehicles with a lower team work ratio to power ratio show them who is boss by having a balance of AA, AI, and AV in your outfit and wreck shit up.
This thread isn't about what I, or Figment, hate. It's about the risks involved in having too big a range of vehicle powers in a single game where most of the players can't/don't want to achieve the levels of organisation needed to take on the bigger units. And what % of the player base will be in an outfit that actually thinks and reacts?

Originally Posted by JPalmer View Post
And for all we know the GG will have long reload times, little ammo, and less heath than a normal Galaxy.
Let's hope so, or players will become sick of the sight of them

Originally Posted by JPalmer View Post
I see the GG currently really one step above the Lib. I can see 20 of those with a 2 man crew having a very low team to power ratio.
The Lib (3 man crew, each with a gun) is already dangerous in its new configuration to the grunt/vehicle power balance. Obviously none of us know yet what the "truth" will be, but can you accept the idea that to be successful (i.e. gather a large and growing player base) the game needs to make solo or at least minimally-organised players feel competitive?

Originally Posted by WildVS View Post
He still does.
Someone who wants to do the same thing for what, 8 years? isn't a guide to how to design a game. Worse, a game that lets him do it is doomed to (financial) failure.





Originally Posted by Semisel View Post
...lots of well reasoned words!...
That's my newbie read on it (and I hope it's not totally wrong on all accounts).
Semisel, you may have been reading some of my posts. Thanks for making similar points, albeit more eloquently than I did. For what it's worth, the thing that made Planetside amazing for me was exactly the fact that I could be on a battlefield where tanks, trucks, buggies, reavers, mosquitos, liberators et al were all around me. I don't like the idea of instancing for infantry/light units just because some peeps want to play with the big toys.

Also, someone with more recent knowledge could say better, but I think the battle islands in PS1 were a failed attempt to do just that. So not a great track record for that idea. Who knows, maybe the different continent designs will help? Indar looks very unfriendly to infantry, whereas Amerish looks great, for example. But I would prefer if the Devs didn't have to segregate the player base. If they do, LOTRO will seem attractive again since I can go into zones which were designed for my "level"!
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