Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions - Page 2 - PlanetSide Universe
PSU Social Facebook Twitter Twitter YouTube Steam TwitchTV
PlanetSide Universe
PSU: I give up.
Home Forum Chat Wiki Social AGN PS2 Stats
Notices
Go Back   PlanetSide Universe > PlanetSide Discussions > PlanetSide 2 Discussion

Reply
Click here to go to the first VIP post in this thread.  
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-02, 08:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #16
Malorn
Contributor
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by CutterJohn View Post
Not everyone agrees there is a disaster that is impending. Your interpretation is not the only one. If, years down the line, everyone has access to everything, my opinion will be Great! Finally!
We've already seen what happens years down the line, both with the time-based power progression and with when "everyone has everything."

EVE Online shows how time-based power progression turns out - with many alts and a lot of missed opportunities from players who wanted to feel competitive but know they can't possibly catch up to vets with many years of skill points. They're effectivley operating at a handicap which they can never overcome. This is bad.

When everyone has everything we get the behavior we are seeing in PS now where cert points become meaningless. There is no specialization, there is only the universal soldier. Even with classes you will still see a lack of specialization as every player has access to the same things at hte same time as every other player. Therefore your "customization" only goes as far as what class you choose to play. I do not believe that is what they are going for when they want a rich customization model.


You say my interpretation is not the only one, yet you have not provided counter-examples and reasons where my logic is flawed. Please provide these.


I also don't need to wait to see what will happen. Like the mathematical concept of limits, I don't need to actually count to infinity to see what value it is approaching.

For low values of t differentiation is possible with a pure time-based power progression, but as t -> infinity, all players will have the same set of skills. Thus purely skill-based differentiation fails because as time goes on differentiation and specialization decreases. The trend with a time based system is that player skill trees converge. This convergence is bad. You actually want the opposite with divergence so the possibilities and specializations available among the playerbase increase over time, not converge.

If options increase with t but total active options stays constant, then you have the opposite effect. Differentiation increases over time and specialization becomes more refined and meaningful.

What I understand of the current system is the former. What I am proposing is the latter. I dont' need to wait 6 years to see that the first system fails to achieve customization.


And I agree on personal taste in FPS games. I like that. I want that. I want a world where specialization is meaningful and valuable thoughout the lifetime of PS. Thus, this thread.
__________________

Last edited by Malorn; 2011-08-02 at 08:47 PM.
Malorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-02, 09:49 PM   [Ignore Me] #17
Maverick
Private
 
Maverick's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


For the most part I concur with Malorn.

Any power gain traits should be designed with express purpose of giving a player a way to build a character to fit a role that aligns with their favored play style with respect still for general balance of gameplay.

I am confident that the devs are aware of the importance of the game balance and will strive ensure it while providing an in depth experience, whatever your flavor.
__________________
Critical thinking does not necessarily mean agreeing or disagreeing with the other guy.
Maverick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 02:33 AM   [Ignore Me] #18
Raymac
Brigadier General
 
Raymac's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Dude, if it's too early to freak out about what these type of balance issues will look like at launch, then it is waaaayyyy too early to worry about what it will look like in 5-6 years.
__________________
"Before you say anything, prepare to stfu." -Kenny F-ing Powers

Raymac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 04:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #19
exLupo
Contributor
Sergeant Major
 
exLupo's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
EVE Online shows how time-based power progression turns out - with many alts and a lot of missed opportunities from players who wanted to feel competitive but know they can't possibly catch up to vets with many years of skill points. They're effectivley operating at a handicap which they can never overcome. This is bad.
While not being able to ever "catch up" is bad, this is an example of a very common misconception of EVE's skill system. 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.

Age in EVE equates very early on to power but that plateaus quickly. Eventually all age really means is role versatility. An old PS2 player could be able to grunt and pilot and infiltrate and drive a tank and... None of that matters when it's him versus a relatively new player in a stand up rexo/ha/med/engi* brawl. Will role versatility matter in the overall scheme of things? Of course. Does it matter when that relative, aggregate 20% is nullified? Again, not at all.

As an EVE player without any alts, the only place I feel like I'm missing out -is- alts and only then because I can't perform two independent actions at once. I don't like the game enough to pay for it 2x per month or grid enough cash to pay for it in game. I've never felt like my combat skills lagging behind my peers except when I choose to put points into Mining Drone Frigate 5 or max out my Astrometrics. I'm choosing versatility before power and even then I still catch up with them when they get their 4s and 5s and move on to logistics boats or command skills that I don't need.

I have no doubt that PS2 will forever suffer from the same fundamental "I'll never be able to play now that the game has been out for X." misunderstanding. Hopefully, like EVE, this won't be the reality.

*Skill stacking example for PS2 relative to EVE's T2 gunned T1 boat with viable support skills (armor, hull, shield, nav, cap, etc.)
__________________
There is no better cause to fight than the simple need that blood be spilled. Do not fight because you receive reward or praise. Fight because that other bastard exists solely to die beneath the heel of your boot.

And that was that.

Last edited by exLupo; 2011-08-03 at 04:28 AM.
exLupo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 04:42 AM   [Ignore Me] #20
CutterJohn
Colonel
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
EVE Online shows how time-based power progression turns out - with many alts and a lot of missed opportunities from players who wanted to feel competitive but know they can't possibly catch up to vets with many years of skill points. They're effectivley operating at a handicap which they can never overcome. This is bad.
EVEs skills provide a considerable advantage, both in direct bonuses, and in upgraded equipment you can use. Its not 20% more effective, total. Its 25% more hitpoints, more shields, more repairs, 25% more damage(Plus another 10% and another 10%), 25% faster RoF, etc, etc, etc, etc. Every single facet of your ship has 25% + bonuses associated with it, plus having those skills qualifies you to use tech2/tech3 gear that is wildly superior, and offers roles and capabilities completely unavailable to newbs in their t1 ships.

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.

When everyone has everything we get the behavior we are seeing in PS now where cert points become meaningless. There is no specialization, there is only the universal soldier. Even with classes you will still see a lack of specialization as every player has access to the same things at hte same time as every other player. Therefore your "customization" only goes as far as what class you choose to play. I do not believe that is what they are going for when they want a rich customization model.
The players themselves will specialize, because you don't just get good at everything as soon as you unlock it. Nor do you enjoy doing everything. It fails in PS1 because a few certs are must haves and clearly superior to other things in the most common situations. Infantry can easily fit all those important tools in their loadout and fill a variety of roles. Outdoors, reavers and tanks, backed up by AA, are the workhorses, and theres not a whole lot of reason to pick anything else, because those perform multiple roles admirably, without compromise.

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.



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.

Last edited by CutterJohn; 2011-08-03 at 04:47 AM.
CutterJohn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-03, 11:36 AM   [Ignore Me] #21
Malorn
Contributor
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
 
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.
__________________
Malorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 01:22 PM   [Ignore Me] #22
CutterJohn
Colonel
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
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.
But 3 months to get within 5 percent. Each level of a skill takes 5 times longer to train than the level before. 5% = is pretty much nothing. Its there for powergamers.

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?".
The reason they do it is the reason they do it in all games. Its not to make gameplay better. Its to get little addictive hooks in your brain so you play longer and pay more money. RPG has no place in a skill based fps. Never has.

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.
You actually didn't identify any bad behavior in the OP. You highlighted an issue specific to PS, that not all consider a really big issue, or at least do not think is an issue in the same way you do. I had no issues with the number of certs in PS. I wanted more. I don't care if people get good at everything and switch roles constantly. Good for them. Its a game. Have fun. Play as you will. So long as the vehicles and weapons are balanced such that everything has positives and negatives, and there aren't weapons that are clearly the best for a majority of the situations, all is good.

I don't want a mechanic that gimps my character after all the time I'll be putting into it to ungimp the rpg sludge out of it. If there needs to be diversity, then make it a natural diversity. Sure, keep the pure upgrades to a minimum, I don't really care about those. But I'll be annoyed if for some arbitrary reason my character cannot remember something he learned, when I certainly can.

Last edited by CutterJohn; 2011-08-03 at 01:24 PM.
CutterJohn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-03, 01:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #23
Malorn
Contributor
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by CutterJohn View Post
But 3 months to get within 5 percent.
3 months? Who wants to wait 3 months to get competitive? Already lost players.

The reason they do it is the reason they do it in all games. Its not to make gameplay better. Its to get little addictive hooks in your brain so you play longer and pay more money. RPG has no place in a skill based fps. Never has.
Also a flimsy reason. There are different and better hooks that won't cost them new players (see my OP). They're trading a perceived hook for new players. Not a good tradeoff.

You actually didn't identify any bad behavior in the OP.
You are correct. I described how they could have thier hooks and meaningful customization in a way that scales with the game and isn't detrimental to new players. I didn't want to go into why it is bad, that was already highlighted in other threads (see the 20% thread). I also stated that in the beginning.

You are still going on about how it's just not a big deal and you seem largely indifferent. Why are you easily contented with a mediocre design? Perhaps you think we should be discussing something else? Not important enough? You seem to be going out of your way to convince me there's no problem here but your only argument is not that it isn't a problem, its that it isn't a big problem. Why not give feedback and ideas on how to make it the best it can be instead of just being content with something you see as passable?
__________________

Last edited by Malorn; 2011-08-03 at 01:43 PM.
Malorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 01:58 PM   [Ignore Me] #24
Raymac
Brigadier General
 
Raymac's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
3 months? Who wants to wait 3 months to get competitive? Already lost players.
How many times do the devs need to say "a brand new player will be able to stand toe to toe with a long time veteran" before I stop seeing this arguement?
__________________
"Before you say anything, prepare to stfu." -Kenny F-ing Powers

Raymac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 02:11 PM   [Ignore Me] #25
CutterJohn
Colonel
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
You are still going on about how it's just not a big deal and you seem largely indifferent. Why are you easily contented with a mediocre design? Perhaps you think we should be discussing something else? Not important enough? You seem to be going out of your way to convince me there's no problem here but your only argument is not that it isn't a problem, its that it isn't a big problem. Why not give feedback and ideas on how to make it the best it can be instead of just being content with something you see as passable?
All of your hooks trade power for time too. Every single one. What they do different is make you choose where you will be gimped. Force you to shoehorn yourself into a particular playstyle. I disapprove of this. If I must spend time unlocking things, and I will be since theres no way they won't add progression, I do not want to be denied access to the things I unlocked. If I cert a tank, and want to switch to infantry, I expect to go to the appropriate terminal for the gear and get it. Not make a side trip to a third terminal so I can change up what certs I'm accessing at the moment.

Thats why I am going on. I fundamentally disagree with limiting the character in any way other than what you can physically carry/fit on your vehicle. Your ideas make the rpg aspects worse, rather than better. For me at least.

Last edited by CutterJohn; 2011-08-03 at 02:14 PM.
CutterJohn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 05:10 PM   [Ignore Me] #26
Rbstr
Contributor
Lieutenant General
 
Rbstr's Avatar
 
Misc Info
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by exLupo View Post
As an EVE player without any alts, the only place I feel like I'm missing out -is- alts and only then because I can't perform two independent actions at once.
That's my assessment of it too. The only reason I've wanted an alt is so I can do two things at once...training the main character to pick up new skills would have taken less time and cash than building an alt.

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.
Except you ARE wrong. You do catch up in all but role diversity. And even that diminishes over time.
As a very old EVE character now, I fly and shoot just about anything I'd ever want, I completely outclass even similar aged players in combat skills (as I have no inustry desire)...yet I get blown up by 3 month noobs and similarly aged, yet highly industrial, players regularly. That's because they play more and have the money to buy the really nice equipment.

EVE combat has certain time barriers to entry, but once you're qualified for a ship, the things that really matter are how much you can spend on it and how good you are at flying it. People are nearly always able to fly a ship FAR before they can afford it. The economy is EVE's power meter, not the number of skill points.
You can deny that all you want, but that's the truth.

EVE's skill system, and in fact the entire game, is designed for long term play. If a new player sees the skill system as a turn off, they won't like the game w/o the skill system either, the entire game universe would have to be changed to fit that whim because achieving things is as much about long term planing and politics as it is simply blowing crap up.

YOU don't like that long term strategy that the long skill system requires. Many do. That's not a failing of the game. It's an interest mismatch.

Obviously PS2 need not be designed for such scales. There is no reason that PS2's skills cannot be significantly shorter or cap at much lower levels than EVE's.

I mostly agree with you for the trade-off aspects for PS2, because I think it fits the scale of the game.
However, you are simply wrong about EVE - If EVE had taken the short term equality route it would simply not have had the same kind of player base longevity it has.
__________________

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

Last edited by Rbstr; 2011-08-03 at 05:15 PM.
Rbstr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-03, 06:31 PM   [Ignore Me] #27
Malorn
Contributor
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Raymac View Post
How many times do the devs need to say "a brand new player will be able to stand toe to toe with a long time veteran" before I stop seeing this arguement?
For low values of t (time) I'm sure their design and their statements are consistent. It is not true as t increases. So the argument will go away when their design is consistent with their statement.

More importantly I'm concerned with how the game scales. Think release + 1 year and they have a content expansion. Many players have converged and have most of the same skillsets providing the same passive power bonuses. There is no longer differentiation between players. What will they do? Well they already started down the path of power over time so they'll very likely continue down that path and expand and add more power bonuses. Just like EVE started with "not that big of a difference" it becomes a big difference and discourages new players.

The immediate feedback I got from my outfit mates on the skill system was the "never catch up" problem EVE has with new players. It is not a good system. Player specialization and customization decreases over time as everyone obtains the same set of bonuses, and it only widens the gap between new players and veterans. 2-3 years down the line you have new players who would need to invest an enormous amount of real-world time to just get to where the vets are, and by the time they do the game will have new certs and things exposed. It never stops, and the longer it goes on the worse it gets for new players. Now is the time to change that course and pick a system that scales with additional content without upsetting power balance. I propose one based on other games with similar systems (including PS1 and EVE - use their ship customization model instead of their skill gain model).

The game can still have unlocks over time just like games like BFBC2 have and very early on expose options to new players that give them some tradeoffs. they might not be "the best" possible tradeoff option for what they want to do, but its competitive and its something and they can work towards the bonuses important to them and have them in short order.

Originally Posted by CutterJohn View Post
All of your hooks trade power for time too. Every single one.
No, what I propose does not trade power for time. It trades power for power, with time unlocking additional tradeoff (power for power) options.

What they do different is make you choose where you will be gimped. Force you to shoehorn yourself into a particular playstyle. I disapprove of this. If I must spend time unlocking things, and I will be since theres no way they won't add progression, I do not want to be denied access to the things I unlocked.
OK I understand now. I think there's a misunderstanding. Nothing that I proposed is permanent. In my vision I expect anyone to change their specializations as easily as they could change implants in PS1.

There's also different types of unlocks. Vehicle and weapon upgrades cost resources and are on a different system, but bonuses that apply to your character's abilities and skills effectively work like implants. So you work up the cert tree and for simplicity lets say it only has 10 unlocks. You might have to make an implant-like decision and choose 3 of those 10 to run at any given time. If you want to change your style, go to a special terminal and change them.

It can be a lot more complex than that with mutliple categories and different types of agumentations. As I described in an earlier post on this thread I think it could even end up looking like the sort of rich customization you have with an EVE Ship. You have some constraints, but you have complete freedom to tailor the character within those constraints with whatever augmentations you have unlocked. The expectation is that those augmentations are different but ultimately lead to about the same "power", just with different scopes and maginitudes and some may have tradeoffs built into them just like EVE ship modules do.

The key observation is that instead of having small meaningless augmentations that everyone and anyone can have at all times you pick and choose much more meaningful augmentations that cater to your preferred playstyle. You can change them whenever you want, but there is some small inconvenience in doing so (going to a special terminal). The inconvienience exists only to make the specialization a quasi-stable decision just like implants are a quasi-stable decision.


If I cert a tank, and want to switch to infantry, I expect to go to the appropriate terminal for the gear and get it. Not make a side trip to a third terminal so I can change up what certs I'm accessing at the moment.
Definitely some mistunderstanding here - I'm not suggesting any change to the class system. If you are in the "tank driver role then you can drive a tank.

I'm suggesting another layer where you choose the power bonuses. Those power bonuses are significant and meaningful and because of the limited number and the decisions you must make, that will differentiate you from other players who will make different decisions.

Example, suppose you like assault rifles and choose to have an assault rifle damage bonus as one of your power augments. Whether you are a tank driver or a light assault infantry you get that bonus. If you occasional hop into a max suit or infiltrator then it won't be that useful to you, but if you do that with any regularity then you might have some differnet bonuses for those roles.

Its no different than if you were swapping implants. Some implants are more or less useful in certain roles. "Surge" for example is not a very useful implant for a MAX, but if you don't spend a lot of time in a max or while you are flying aircraft, but you may feel it is a worthwhile implant for the times you don't. Same deal.

Basically customization would have multiple levels.


Tier 1: Cert tree - unlocks OPTIONS
Class options, vehicle & equipment options, implant options, upgrade options, augment options

Tier 2: Implants - set of activatable abilities
Limited number, player chooses which activatable abilities they want. Darklight, audio amp, surge, etc

Tier 3: Augments - passive player bonuses (this is what I am proposing)
Limite dnumbe,r player chooses which augments they want. wide range of possibilities here to customize core character aspects. Rate of fire, movement speed, vehicle handling, etc. These can be significant bonuses.

Tier 4: Class - controls the set of equipment and vehicles to which a player has access

Tier 5: Equipment/vehicle upgrades - augments player equipment
Consumes resources to augment vehicles and equipment. Add gun sights, expanded magazine, more tank armor, etc.


As you move up the tiers you have increased levels of flexibility. Cert tree choices are the most permanent choices. Once you make them you can't go back and re-make them. Implants and Augments can be changed at certain places. Class can be changed very frequently, and equipment presumably moreso.

The only thing the player gains over time is the cert tree, which is options. There is no direct power, and all such power gains are player decisions - which implant to use, which class to play, which augments to run, and which equipment/vehicle upgrades to buy.


The main difference between what I have above and what we know of the game thus far is Tiers 1 and 3. Tier 3 doesn't exist to my knowledge at all and instead those agumentt bonuses are tied to cert tree decisions and are also very small, so small in fact that they aren't overly significant. I would like them to be not tied direclty to the cert tree and increased in magnitude, however to go along with that they would be limited in number so things stay competitive and to make those augment decisions meaningful, like implant decisions.


Edit: Rbstr, I'm intentionally not responding to your EVE comments because it's semantics at this point and the EVE system is way off topic for this. The point is that there is a perception issue and a set of time before a new player is competitive. The former is bad for the game, the latter terrible for the game.
__________________

Last edited by Malorn; 2011-08-03 at 06:34 PM.
Malorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 07:08 PM   [Ignore Me] #28
Raymac
Brigadier General
 
Raymac's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
For low values of t (time) I'm sure their design and their statements are consistent. It is not true as t increases. So the argument will go away when their design is consistent with their statement.

More importantly I'm concerned with how the game scales. Think release + 1 year and they have a content expansion. Many players have converged and have most of the same skillsets providing the same passive power bonuses. There is no longer differentiation between players. What will they do? Well they already started down the path of power over time so they'll very likely continue down that path and expand and add more power bonuses. Just like EVE started with "not that big of a difference" it becomes a big difference and discourages new players.

The immediate feedback I got from my outfit mates on the skill system was the "never catch up" problem EVE has with new players. It is not a good system. Player specialization and customization decreases over time as everyone obtains the same set of bonuses, and it only widens the gap between new players and veterans. 2-3 years down the line you have new players who would need to invest an enormous amount of real-world time to just get to where the vets are, and by the time they do the game will have new certs and things exposed. It never stops, and the longer it goes on the worse it gets for new players. Now is the time to change that course and pick a system that scales with additional content without upsetting power balance. I propose one based on other games with similar systems (including PS1 and EVE - use their ship customization model instead of their skill gain model).
So, when the devs say that PS2 will still be a skill based shooter and that a brand new player can compete with a long time player, you just think they are either full of shit, or don't know what they are talking about. If your posts weren't so well written, I'd say that point of view is just being a troll.

I'm giving the devs the benefit of doubt that they actually want to achieve their stated goals, and they arn't just blowing sunshine up my ass. Frankly, I think your argument of "I totally know how this is going to play out" is premature. The conclusions you are making are leaps in logic based on the assumption that the devs are either lying or incompetent.

Alot of what you've been saying has been based on your experience with EVE, and I've never played the game, so I concede that my knowledge of its mechanics are extremely limited. However, I'm sure that the combat between EVE and PS2 are completely different, so making an apples to apples comparison of balance is going to be inherantly flawed and therefore not worth as much stock as you seem to be putting into it. Basically, lets see what it will look like for PS2 before we start advocating for throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Then, to extrapolate that out several years and say, "well it might be good for year 1, but by year 5 the game will be forever broken" you have to ignore the fact that the game will be supported (much better than PS1 it seems) and problems can be addressed and fixed. I'm not going to redesign the automobile because I know the radiator will leak someday. I'll fix the radiator if and when it becomes a problem.

Look, you are obviously a very intelligent guy, and make well thought out points. I just think it's early to be concerned about issues 5 years from now that the devs are already aware of.
__________________
"Before you say anything, prepare to stfu." -Kenny F-ing Powers

Raymac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-03, 07:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #29
Malorn
Contributor
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Originally Posted by Raymac View Post
So, when the devs say that PS2 will still be a skill based shooter and that a brand new player can compete with a long time player, you just think they are either full of shit, or don't know what they are talking about. If your posts weren't so well written, I'd say that point of view is just being a troll.
That isn't my point of view.

There are several things to consider.

1) The information we have is incomplete. So the picture of what they see in the game design and the picture we see from their information they have provided will not line up in many places. This can lead to false impressions, so yeah I've got a bit of grain of salt. However, that's just a limitation we have to deal with and it shouldn't stop the analysis and giving of feedback.

2) I'm sure they are doing what they believe to be right to make their game successful.

3) Developers are still human. They get things wrong. Sometimes group think, inaccurate information, or a variety of other psychological phenomena is involved. Sometimes they didn't look at things from all the angles. Most common problems occur because things just dont' work out the way you expect them to.

Every game has notable screwups and poor designs. How many might have been averted if they had the right questions asked and the right ideas presented early in development? The PS2 devs seem to understand this quite well, which is why they have the 3-year plan. They're putting forth what they want to do so they have plenty of time to get our feedback on that so they can avoid problems like BFRs or taking the game in the wrong direction.

I hear what they say. I read what they type. I see the design they lay out for us. I don't think they're lying to us. I don't think they're being deceptive. I trust that they are competent individuals. However, I see gaps, inconsistencies, potential problems, and pitfalls in a small portion of what they have presented. Those same developers ASKED US for feedback. Higby reads these forums to see what people think. I'm giving them that feedback because...maybe they overlooked something. Maybe something won't pan out the way they expect it to. Maybe its not quite right. That's why we're here providing feedback, and that's why they're reading these forums.

I work on world-class software for a living - I know full well that sometimes developers get it wrong. And many times had the right question been asked or the right scenario discussed those things could have been averted.

I also know that sometimes its too late in a product cycle to fix a problem so the earlier you find it the better. Sometimes you have to deal with a flaw and once you ship that flaw you have to deal with it for a very long time. I am giving my feedback early and often on this so they have plenty of time to address it and PS2 is the best game it can be.


Look, you are obviously a very intelligent guy, and make well thought out points. I just think it's early to be concerned about issues 5 years from now that the devs are already aware of.
Thank you, and as I stated above, we do have incomplete information. Maybe i'm wrong. But maybe I'm not. Software development is a sensitive thing. There does come a point where something that is core to a game system becomes too etched to change, and if they got that design wrong beta may be too late to change it in the right way and instead we end up with a hack (like the lattice system from PS1). Maybe that hack will work out OK, but maybe it won't. The best option is to provide feedback on what we know, poke, prod, ask questions, challenge the assumptions. If the design is solid they'll have answers. But so far for this particular subject I haven't seen responses that make me feel more confident in their design. More information would help a lot, but from what we know, I'm worried about this problem.

And please don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the direction the game is going and I'm shocked, surprised, and very happy with most of what I've seen. I think they got their heads on straight for most everything. However, if I see something that seems flimsy and not as sound will speak up about it. I want the game to be successful as much as they do. I've been waiting the better part of a decade for planetside-done-right, and I don't want to miss opportunities to help make it the best it can be and be successful for the next 10 years. And that is precisely what I'm doing. I love this game, that's why I'm so passionate about having a lively debate about what we know of the game systems. Its healthy for the game. It keeps us entertained. And it gives the developers another angle on their ideas.
__________________
Malorn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-03, 08:56 PM   [Ignore Me] #30
Raymac
Brigadier General
 
Raymac's Avatar
 
Re: Meaningful Customization & Balance via Tradeoff Decisions


Thanks for taking the time to clarify your point of view to me. I don't think there is anything in what you just wrote that I would disagree with. I'm sorry for mistaking your kinda long posts for panic instead of just thorough explanations which is what they are. It's our job to provide feedback like you've been doing, and it's the devs' job to digest that feedback and weigh it accordingly. I'm with you in that I hope PS2 turns out to be the amazing game we've been waiting for.
__________________
"Before you say anything, prepare to stfu." -Kenny F-ing Powers

Raymac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply
  PlanetSide Universe > PlanetSide Discussions > PlanetSide 2 Discussion

Bookmarks

Discord

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 PM.

Content © 2002-2013, PlanetSide-Universe.com, All rights reserved.
PlanetSide and the SOE logo are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment Inc. © 2004 Sony Online Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
All other trademarks or tradenames are properties of their respective owners.
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.