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Old 2012-03-28, 01:10 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
texico
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Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


I've said a couple of times now that I really like the hex territory system concept for PS2, which I think will improve battles on the actual continents, because of a more fluid front line and the ability to attack from different angles. However, one thing that's been bothering me is, it really seems like PS2 is focusing too much on continental battles, with "other" continents seen more as just different scenery to fight in.

With a foothold on each continent for each empire, why ever stop fighting on a continent? Why ever stop fighting on every continent? Everyone is going to have their favourite, and if they're free to fight on it from footholds, they'll try and start one there all the time. This is especially true if the game has a large population, and is free. Basically, there's going to be no progression through Auraxis in an attempt to conquer the whole planet. Higher population caps create big battles, but the battle for the whole PLANET with ownership of land on that planet exchanged in said battles, is what gave PlanetSide its massive scale. Without that system, it's just 3 independent (or however many) continents staging battles for said continents.


So, I think there should be a mix of the CONTINENTAL Hex-territory system and INTERCONTINENTAL lattice-link system, based on these ideas:

-Each empire has a single uncapturable foothold on ONE continent, which makes that continent their home continent.
-Each continent has warp-gates that link to other continents.
-The warp-gates are "capturable" by capping a warp-gate station, which allows an empire to use that warp gate to enter the "linked" continent. (and for example attack the WG-station on the other side before moving on to facilities on the new continent)
-Empires can spawn straight to WG-stations they own from anywhere
-WG-stations are shielded from attack UNTIL the empire that owns it loses all its facilities on the continent
-At this point, the empire is only spawning at the unprotected WG-station and is in danger of losing their place on the continent
-If the WG-station is captured, the empire can only re-enter that continent via their WG (because they still own the WG-station on the other side)
-Of course, the empire that's just booted them can now use the WG to enter the continent they've been booted back too, capture the WG-station associated with it, and therefore prevent the booted empire re-entering their continent all-together.


In this way THESE things are achieved:

-Each empire therefore has "semi-uncapturable" footholds on each continent instead (the WG-stations), which are permanent until the empire completely loses on the continent facility-wise.
-The only truly uncapturable footholds are the one single ones on each empire's home continent. These are basically sanctuaries, they're just on-map on the home continent.
-Therefore
-A, there's always a foothold on every continent for people to spawn straight into so they can "get to the action" straight away
-B, but the continents are still ownable... still capturable
-C, and the front line is maintained, cross-continent. Even if Empire 1 wins Continent A, they'll be battling from the WG to capture the WG-station on Continent B against Empire 2
-Any person hopping in for the sake of killing doesn't have to bother about all this fancy tactical stuff. They just spawn at a foothold on a contested map, as in PS2 atm, and head to battle
-The "link" system is therefore basically a fight over exits-entrances to continents, and not the system of progressing through a single continent - that's handled by the current system.


It also creates GOALS/Victory conditions:

-There's a clear continental goal - capturing the WG-stations which basically means they would then own the continent
-There's a clear intercontinental goal - "lockdown" all continents to "own" Auraxis <---------------------- This ups the scale a lot and makes it seem like a battle for the Planet as a whole
-The progressive scale of goals therefore goes something like:
-Hack territory > Hack a facility > Hack all facilities > hack WG-stations > Hack next continent > Hack all continents > Win... (rewards such as enemy weapons/vehicles???)



Solution to desertion and boring clean-ups:

- Of course, the problem with the link system is an empire abandoning a cont, so the other empire is stuck clearing up for an hour
- Therefore, implement a mechnanism whereby if Empire 1 has 100+ people, and Empire 2 has >5% of the population, Empire 2's territory and facilities can be hacked instantly
- So if an Empire suddenly deserts a continent, the other one can hack all their stuff in the time it takes to fly 1 person to every facility... 5-10 minutes?



This works fine with just 3 continents, but kind of diminshes the point, because there's barely any continents to fight over and each of the other two are home continents. The only cont you could "lock" down and control would be your own, while the other two, you'd just have to drive back to their uncaputable home-cont foothold. 9 continents would work much better, because 6 of them can genuinely be "owned" if all the WG-stations on each linked continent are under your control - the enemy can't use their corresponding WG's to get to the owned continent.


I whipped up some quick drawings on my tablet which shows how a WG is exchanged, if it's easier to see




















tl;dr - A link system between continents would help compliment the hex system within continents to make the game more cross-continent. Link system can be the losing and winning of WG's.

Last edited by texico; 2012-03-28 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 2012-03-28, 01:14 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Vash02
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


So basically PS1's system except the timers are cut to zero if the enemy empires pop is below 5%?

I think ghost hackers are going to love that.
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Old 2012-03-28, 01:19 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Skitrel
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


This has been a big worry for me also, though you're oversimplifying and forgetting core new mechanics, like resources. Resources aren't going to be static, they move around, different places have more value at different times. This will give incentive to holding different places on different continents, particularly if different factions value particular resources more than others because of the benefit towards certain technologies.

That said, you're right, footholds on every cont in essence turn every continent into individual servers for 2000 people, with the players on those continents viewing it as just where they play all the time. I feel like linking conts and the ability to travel to other conts while also removing 3 footholds per continent would create a much better "bigger picture" to the planet, as opposed to just continents feeling like individual worlds that are being played at any particular time.

I mean, the overall goal of the factions is control of Auraxis right? Unassailable footholds completely remove the concept of controlling the planet, it's just an impossibility. While I don't think anyone should EVER be able to control the whole planet, or even come close, I do think footholds remove the illusion of being able to achieve that goal.

I feel like that illusion is incredibly important in motivating us players.
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Old 2012-03-28, 01:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
texico
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by Vash02 View Post
So basically PS1's system except the timers are cut to zero if the enemy empires pop is below 5%?

I think ghost hackers are going to love that.

If there's 100 ghost hackers... yes. There has to be 100 people on the attacking empire to cut the timers. A few people ghost hacking can't.

The idea is to try and limit the time a large body of people have to spend without an enemy to fight.


But that was just a solution to "long clean-up" that people have cited as being boring about the lattice system, and it's a pretty speculative example, there might be problems with it I haven't seen. The main point was just to have a link system between WG's so that the continents are interconnected, but that that doesn't mean the hex system can't be preserved, because the link system would just exist between WG's.

Last edited by texico; 2012-03-28 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 2012-03-28, 01:28 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
texico
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by Skitrel View Post
This has been a big worry for me also, though you're oversimplifying and forgetting core new mechanics, like resources. Resources aren't going to be static, they move around, different places have more value at different times. This will give incentive to holding different places on different continents, particularly if different factions value particular resources more than others because of the benefit towards certain technologies.

That said, you're right, footholds on every cont in essence turn every continent into individual servers for 2000 people, with the players on those continents viewing it as just where they play all the time. I feel like linking conts and the ability to travel to other conts while also removing 3 footholds per continent would create a much better "bigger picture" to the planet, as opposed to just continents feeling like individual worlds that are being played at any particular time.

I mean, the overall goal of the factions is control of Auraxis right? Unassailable footholds completely remove the concept of controlling the planet, it's just an impossibility. While I don't think anyone should EVER be able to control the whole planet, or even come close, I do think footholds remove the illusion of being able to achieve that goal.

I feel like that illusion is incredibly important in motivating us players.

Yeah. Back before I joined PS1, when I was thinking about subbing, I would watch the live-update map of Auraxis on the planetside website. It showed the exchange of continents and how the fight was moving across Auraxis, who owned what. The fact that continents being exchanged on a planetary scale was really cool. On PS2, you would instead just be watching the movement of territory on each of the server-maps, which will seem like a reduction in the scale of the game.

Last edited by texico; 2012-03-28 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 2012-03-28, 02:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Without looking into the detail of your post I agree in general with it's thrust.

The thing about ps1 was that it was a game of different levels. The trick for the devs is to make ps2 more accessible for casual/new players but have the long term interest to keep people hooked for years as ps1 has done. - I tihnk they're doing the first but I don't know they're doing the second.

It would be great if in a few years time there were people saying that the ps2 experience had spoiled every other game because other games couldn't live up to it.
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Old 2012-03-28, 02:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Is it really considered ghost hacking if you're doing it as part of cleanup?
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Old 2012-03-28, 02:54 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


I also think that the system of one foothold per continent will reduce the feeling of a war waging across (not just in) the different continents. I am afraid the new system will feel too instanced..
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:13 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
basti
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by Vash02 View Post
So basically PS1's system except the timers are cut to zero if the enemy empires pop is below 5%?

I think ghost hackers are going to love that.
Easy fix: Rule only applys if there are at least 10 defenders on the continent. Would means you need at least 200 friendlys to have the defenders at 5%...
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:17 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
Vancha
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


I was going to post this in the "9 sancs" thread, but seeing as you made this in the meantime, I'll post it here instead. I think the issues in both threads are the same...namely, the lack of connectedness between continents.



Tada.

The big hexes are the continents, Indar, Esamir and Amerish coloured accordingly.

The red, blue and purple hexangles are TR, NC and VS footholds, or warpgates to their individual sancs...Whichever you prefer.

The small grey hexangles are generic warpgates and the lines are where they link to (ignore any overlap, links go in straight lines only.)

You'll notice warpgates are linked to their equivalent locations on other continents. The warpgates between the TR and VS sancs/footholds link to the warpgates between TR and VS sancs/footholds on the other continents.

This way, continents are connected. Hexes can be "linked" through warpgates, which means if you have captured hexes on the opposite side of a warpgate, they can be giving you a small resource bonus or something.

Last edited by Vancha; 2012-03-28 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


This still doesn't get around a very simple problem:

Yes, "continent locking" is a goal Planetside vets are familiar with, and think is a good idea.

HOWEVER, the devs have repeatedly stated that the reason they've removed continent locking is that it quite simply removes large areas of land from the fight, for all the reasons that players feel like it's an accomplishment.

You can do that when you procedurally generate over a dozen continents, and don't have the subscription numbers to demand that each continent remain full.

You can't do that when you're handcrafting 64 square kilometers per continent. That's a huge amount of developer man-hours sunk into a big space that you've just said isn't in play so that some of the players can have an arbitrary sense of accomplishment.


Here's another idea: Let's get in beta, and figure out what kinds of arbitrary, emergent goals the system that's in place will support!

Edit: Vancha, I was almost going to outright mention that I'm not opposed to having warpgates in addition to 3 footholds per continent. I think that's a fine idea, and a good way to shake up the concerns about 3-way stalemates with stagnant lines that are always in roughly the same place.

I'd put the warpgates midway between the footholds, as you've done, but I'd make it so that the warpgates link up one-to-one, and link them up such that continent A's warpgate adjacent to faction X and Y will link up to a warpgate on another continent which is adjacent to Z. This gives Z a route by which to flank the other factions on continent A, and shake up the battle lines if it wants to.

I point that out because your diagram appears to link warpgates between the same two factions on both sides, which I feel is less tactically interesting.

Last edited by kaffis; 2012-03-28 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:33 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by kaffis View Post
HOWEVER, the devs have repeatedly stated that the reason they've removed continent locking is that it quite simply removes large areas of land from the fight, for all the reasons that players feel like it's an accomplishment.
This is why I think they need to try to have all the fighting on one large supercontinent; because small continents are easily locked. And I know one of the objections to a supercontinent is the fear that people will concentrate in too large of numbers, but surely that can be avoided.

Anyway, with supercontinents, it should be easy to sneak behind the lines and cap back-bases, AND, they could still have warpgates that go to other places on the continent.

They could also, instead of having one supercontinent, put the continents physically close together and allow flying between them. It should take 10 minutes or so to fly that far, but that would be OK, because the enemy would have no idea where you're going to come from if that's the case.
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by kaffis View Post
I'd put the warpgates midway between the footholds, as you've done, but I'd make it so that the warpgates link up one-to-one, and link them up such that continent A's warpgate adjacent to faction X and Y will link up to a warpgate on another continent which is adjacent to Z. This gives Z a route by which to flank the other factions on continent A, and shake up the battle lines if it wants to.

I point that out because your diagram appears to link warpgates between the same two factions on both sides, which I feel is less tactically interesting.
I was going to do it in the way you suggest, so that TR+VS on Indar would link to TR+NC on Amerish would link to NC+VS on Esamir would link to TR+VS on Indar, but I thought the fact that every warpgate would lead to a different conflict composition might be too chaotic...But if it wasn't, I'd certainly prefer that, yes.
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:46 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by Stardouser View Post
This is why I think they need to try to have all the fighting on one large supercontinent; because small continents are easily locked. And I know one of the objections to a supercontinent is the fear that people will concentrate in too large of numbers, but surely that can be avoided.

...

They could also, instead of having one supercontinent, put the continents physically close together and allow flying between them. It should take 10 minutes or so to fly that far, but that would be OK, because the enemy would have no idea where you're going to come from if that's the case.
The problem with a supercontinent isn't *only* that people will concentrate in numbers that exceed targets and break stability.

It's also that creating seams between the servers on the back-end is very difficult.

Standard MMORPGs that take a seamless world approach do this by basically not putting anything of interest along those seams, so you don't notice the NPC pop-in as you cross over. You see the NPCs and data for the slice of the continent you're on, then you cross over, and suddenly you can't see those NPCs anymore, but now you can see NPCs on the new slice. If you don't stick NPCs that hang around within view distance of this, you don't have to worry about NPCs appearing and disappearing. Similarly, I've never seen an MMO that didn't "leash" NPCs when you crossed these boundaries.

FPSes will make it even worse, because instead of allowing a limited amount of cross-talk for the rare case where other players or NPCs approach a seam while you're near it, and you need to "see into" a new slice; with an FPS, you need to be getting updates about stuff on the other side just as often, and there can't be any lag, and you even need to do HIT DETECTION across that boundary.

That's the reason we've got 3 8km x 8km continents instead of one 14km x 14 km mega-continent.
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: Is PS2 going to be intercontinental enough?


Originally Posted by Vancha View Post
I was going to do it in the way you suggest, so that TR+VS on Indar would link to TR+NC on Amerish would link to NC+VS on Esamir would link to TR+VS on Indar, but I thought the fact that every warpgate would lead to a different conflict composition might be too chaotic...But if it wasn't, I'd certainly prefer that, yes.
I think that "chaos" would be a welcome component. Besides, the amount of chaos can be limited by who controls the gate.
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