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Old 2013-06-25, 12:28 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
wasdie
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Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Ok this ended up being a longer read than I wanted it to be, tl;dr is on the bottom.

All of us here know that the game still lacks that major feeling of progression that Planetside 1 had. The lattice has been a solid step forward in the right direction to bringing back the real feeling of progression but there are many mechanics in game right now that constantly hold back any major steps the devs take. Those two are the squad deploy beacon and the "reinforcements needed" selection on the spawn. Until these two are addressed, any further improvements to this game will not have the affect they could.

First let's talk the squad beacon. The idea on paper is great. Working together in this game isn't always easy. Moving your squad from point A to point B can be a real challenge. The squad beacon is a really good tool for bringing in reinforcements on top of you and reorganizing the squad. For a team based game this is a very useful feature, however its implementation has far reaching consequences that can be felt in every single battle.

The problem with the squad beacon isn't the idea, it's the execution. The squad beacon allows a steady trickle of enemy soldiers to be dropped from the heavens, by passing defenses and generally mucking up the front line. A large battle sees a constant stream of drop pods falling all over the place. This ensures that no front line can ever really be established and those fighting on the ground can never truly feel like they are in control of even a small section of the battlefield, thus eating away at any feeling of progression a fight may have. The constant raining of drop pods on both sides of a fight pretty much guarantee every large battle will feel like an unorganized TDM until one side clearly outnumbers another.

Squad beacons are used to drop pod soldiers on top of AMS sunderers to bypass all ground defenses and blow them up in a large kamikaze attack summoned from the skies. Squad beacons are also used to drop all types of soldiers within a base that is supposed to be defended, giving attackers easy access to the rear of defenders. Anybody who defends a base for more than 20 minutes knows how fatiguing it is constantly being rained on by drop pods never being able to establish a real solid defense.

Another thing squad beacons do is ignore logistics. All too often I see a steel rain of droppods land within the confines of what should be a defended base because a squad beacon was placed within. I've seen large groups of soldiers able to basically teleport between bases or across the map ignoring all logistics simply by utilizing squad beacons which plays hell on defenders and the general flow of battle.

All of this defense bypassing and logistics skipping ruins any sort of progression you may have in a battle. Instead of knowing where the enemy is and where they are coming from, you now have to consider 360 degrees of security despite the territory control, placement of AMSs, placement of static defense, armor pushes, or anything else by players because at any time a magic drop pod can land behind you and lay waste to you, your vehicle, or your AMS.

People complain about poorly defendable bases and this is a key factor to why the current bases are a nightmare to defend. All but the biolab which has squad spawn beacon immunity.

The whole "squad deploy" functionality acts pretty much the same only it's not as precise. It does contribute to the constant trickle of attackers and defenders littering the area generally messing up any potential front line.

Another major problem with this game is the whole "reinforcements needed" selection on the spawn screen. This is simply a way for large amounts of people to bypass logistics so they can get to a fight faster. Again, the idea is great. People don't like waiting to get into a fight and this was a way to help direct people from empty territories to larger battles. However the consequences have become severe. You can go from a defense of 1-12 players to 48+ in a matter of seconds without any indication that the enemy has been reinforced and no way to stop it. As an attacker this is extremely frustrating and it hurts the small squad ops by allowing a potentially well executed attack to be simply outzerged with no warning.

Adding to that "reinforcements needed" problem is the blatantly broken redeploy system. Either hitting redeploy or /suicide allows you to teleport to any spawn within a several hundred meter radius. This, like the other systems, allows for you to completely bypass logistics and decreases the need to better defend your existing spawn points or actually fight over territory for more control over the territory.

The problem with all 3 of these features is they bypass logistics. Many would argue that these are necessary evils to make it much easier for solo players and casual players to get into a fight and stay into a fight. However, when looking at this game from a more meta-game side of things these system play against the natural feeling of progression we got in Planetside 1.

The large scale meta game would benefit greatly by reducing the amount of ways a player can knowingly bypass logistics to get to a fight.

Quick and dirty fixes would include removing the reinforcements needed spawns from the list, preventing a player from deploying out of their current hex (with exception of being able to redeploy to their current spawn point), and implementing a HART like limitation on where drop pods can fall.

More elaborate possible solutions include shields over a base to prevent drop pods from falling into it, some sort of an anti-drop pod weapon system that is powered by a new base generator, and the whole "binding" system from Planetside 1 for spawns.

Either way I figured I would make this really long post about something I see that has been hurting the core of this game since before launch.

tl;dr Squad spawn beacons, squad deploy, "reinforcements needed" and the redeploy and spawn system are all working against the flow of battle, the progression of each fight, and the overall metagame. All further additions/changes to this game will continue to be hindered by these systems until they are adjusted.
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Last edited by wasdie; 2013-06-26 at 10:32 AM.
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