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Old 2014-07-26, 04:26 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Mordelicius
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Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


This is a new version of a similar thread I posted last year: http://www.planetside-universe.com/s...ad.php?t=56506

There are obviously many reasons, but there's one that's sticking out as the primary root cause of players leaving PS2 in 2014: Developers has a propensity to 'fix' things that aren't even broken as a result breaking it themselves.

I'll give 5 examples:

1) Sniperside buff - Snipers were given a headshot kill at long range.
Effect: Newbs got farmed hard.

Before the buff, the snipers were fine for as long as I can remember. It had 2 advantages: stealth + long range hit + but they cannot one-hit headshot all.

After the buff, the snipers has 3 advantages: stealth + long range + instant headshot kill. Downside? Nothing. It doesn't need to be close to kill so what's the downside? The best way to balance this is not through death cam, but to remove their ability to stealth. Stealthers are for CQC infiltrators.

2) Liberator buff - Just because there was Lib update, the Liberators were given huge, gamebreaking buffs.
Effect: They destroyed all spawns and farmed everything.

The liberator was in equilibrium with PS2 gameplay since their AOE nerf. They were buffed for absolutely no reason. It was so bad that I didn't log on to PS2 for 3 months after a single destruction of my Sunderer spawn on the first day of the Lib update. I'm a Sunderer spawn specialist, I knew it was that horrible.

3) WDS Preseason 2 - Stopgap meta that interfered with the Alert meta and gameplay flow.
Effect: Server faction population imbalance and server migration.

The Alert meta was fine. They didnt' need to add this to invalidate the alert and give dual, conflicting objectives. This is aside from it disrupting the flow by rewarding caps of empty bases.

Back in Waterson, the VS would ignore the alerts that caused so much upheaval to the VS populace who hate losing. It's funny seeing them rage at us when we have 40%+ population on an alert, all to be shutdown when you point out they got 50%+ on the other continents ghost capping it.

When the VS narrowly lost WDS Preseason 2 to us NC, it was double blackeye to them because they lost the WDS and a lot of prime time alerts. These players packed their bags and move to Mattherson and Connery. Hence, that's why NC got so much population advantage after WDS Preseason 2 ended.

4) Quartz Ridge remake - The Quartz ridge was fully remade.
Effect: The grand flow between these suite of bases along these lanes were disrupted and broken.

Quartz Ridge + Indar Excavation + Coramed is an example of a suite of bases that almost act as a complex. If a faction takes all three, this faction moves on to the next suite. In this case the Dahaka complex or the Hvar complex. They introduced this base that ruined the suite and the flow is broken. Nowadays you very rarely see a faction move forward after taking Quartz Ridge. That middle road bisecting the whole base on the old Quartz Ridge alone helped facilitate the flow. Today, the whole vehicle swarm breaks up when this base is attacked and has to be remade again to move forward. Yeah, nobody bothers anymore especially towards Hvar.

Solution: Bring back the old Quartz Ridge and move this New Quartz Ridge close to the Seabed Listening Post lane and form a new suite of bases there.

5) New, extra lattice connections in Indar - The devs introduce new connections to a nearly perfect Indar Lattice lanes.
Effect: Zergs avoid fights and the sustained battles for a bases are gone since it is easy to circumvent chokepoints. Therefore, it is hard to find good, sustained fights in Indar anymore.

It's called Indarside for a reason. It's the quintessential continent. These new connections they added (ex: Quartz Ridge - Indar Comm, Regent Rock to NS, etc. are messing the battle flow in Indar.

The current meta in Indar Emerald is:
1) Who zergs/stack harder will win the base.
2) Who steals the undefended base will win.
Why? They introduced so many new connections that many bases will be undefended and that's where the Redeployside zerg goes. This is particularly true with the VS Emerald. They look for the undefended base, redeploy and rush to it en masse. If defenders notice and redeploy in time, these guys will disappear only to find the new vulnerable base. Rinse and repeat. And that's why alot of VS players are starting to lose faith with their leadership. NC Emerald has caught up with this lame strategy with a wack-a-mole counters. Redeployside intensifies.

Solution: Remove many of these new lanes you created especially the Quartz Ridge to Indar Comm, Regent Rock to NS,
and even the Ceres to Ti Alloys.

Indar was fine and a model for other continents. So why fiddle and ruin it? I've been arguing for the longest time, that it's the new Amerish lanes that need opening up since the major chokepoints are too close to each other. Instead, they opt to change the Indar Lanes that are already that great.

How are these 5 instances of blunders possible? The developers don't even play their game.
1) The devs don't know what to fix or not to fix since they lack personal gameplay connection to PS2.
2) They can poorly predict what are the effects of the changes they are making, since they can shallowly relate to the current in-game metas.
3) The devs overly rely on graphs and charts that doesn't paint the complete picture. (I'm sure that's how they arrived at the lane changes).
4) The devs are slow to respond because listening to and reading feedback is one thing, while understanding the implications and nuances of PS2 gameplay is another.

If one is to look at their latest PPA balancing fix, you'll realize how out of touch the devs are. It's akin to when they proposed rolling out damage buff to mines as a counter to the harassers (spoiler: mines don't even hit the fast Harassers in the first place ). They simply look at their graphs and say 'oh look mines vs harassers are low. Buff the mine damage! See what I mean when graphs don't paint the complete picture?

PPA has:
- high rate of fire (point quickly)
- long range capable (point from anywhere)
- no drop (point anywhere)
- AOE (point and forget)
- good damage (point and kill fast)
- high ammo pool (point and sustain point)

It's a perfect AI weaponry with no downside whatsoever. Their proposed "nerf" is to kill that ammo pool. This thing has been killing Hossinside with Magriders at every hill blasting buildings, chokepoints and spawn rooms.

Without the Lib buff, the sniper buff and even the WDS preseason 2, one can argue that Planetside 2 population would have continued to grow as it had early this year. Instead, the population skydived and they were forced to merge Waterson and Mattherson.

Now that Lib nightmare has finally been fixed, hossin released and PS2 running regular events and promos, population hopefully will rise again.

Finally, PS2 Devs, please stop fixing stuff that's not even broken. If the developers are really so averse to playing their own game, then at the very least don't make impromptu changes that the community has no opportunity criticize.

Post every minutiae of details of the changes they are going to make so it can pounded and pulverized with constructive criticism before it can make it to even to the PTS or worse Live servers. It it makes it out of PTS alive, at least the probability of it being completely broken and disruptive to PS2 ecosystem will be minimized.

Stares at Valkyrie, Air Harasser 2.0
....(hint: this vehicle needs sufficient downsides)
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Old 2014-07-26, 05:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
BlaxicanX
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


What's your source for these reasons being the primary reasons for playerbase reduction?
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Old 2014-07-27, 04:01 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
Mordelicius
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by BlaxicanX View Post
What's your source for these reasons being the primary reasons for playerbase reduction?
Sure. Using your own definition of the the word source, list as many possible 'sources' - that you can think of on top of your head - that can satisfy your question.

I'll pick the correct one from your list.
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Old 2014-07-28, 08:18 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by Mordelicius View Post
Sure. Using your own definition of the the word source, list as many possible 'sources' - that you can think of on top of your head - that can satisfy your question.

I'll pick the correct one from your list.
I ask because this seems less like "these are the reasons players are leaving the game" and more like "these are things that I don't like about the game but if I present them as more than just my personal opinion people will be less inclined to question them."

So I'll just ask you again. Do you have any data that would distinguish these grievances as being more than just your personal issues with the game?

- - - - -

As far as the current discussion, I think there's a difference between why people are bitching about the game versus why people are leaving the game. People complain about the game for a myriad of reasons- the game is not perfect and its issues are many- however, there is no game, especially competitive games, where that isn't the case.

The reason for why people are leaving the game in droves is the same reason for why people always leave popular MMO's in droves... because there isn't new content. People get tired of doing the same shit every day, and Planetside 2 is set up in such a way that it really emphasizes how much of a grind every game session is. On a macro level you quite literally do the same thing, with the same general goal every single day. That's true for most MMO's, however it tends to be hidden from the player longer by virtue of giving him a constant sense of accomplishment- in most cases, this sense of accomplishment is gained from completing quests. Meet the NPC, get a plot blurb from him explaining why the quest is important within the context of the universe, do the quest, meet the boss NPC who talks shit to you and kill him, then go back to the first NPC, get an earful about how your actions have made the world a better place, and collect your XP/gift reward. The objective of the quest, along with its locale and the NPC's within them almost always deviate somewhat- you don't often do the exact same quest twice, and you rarely fight the same enemies twice. In fact, as you level up you can even go back to told areas or do old quests and casually destroy enemy NPC's that you once found challenging, physically displaying to you how much your character has grown.

All of these things together give the illusion to the player that he's doing a variety of things that all contribute toward some final success, or destination.

In PS2, by comparison, it's never explained why these bases are important, and we can't even infer why they're important because the benefits of owning most of them are literally non-existent. So there's no real practical benefit of owning a base, and there's no in-universe implication that the bases are important either. That's a strike. Next, as capturing a base is basically our "quest", with each base being its own quest, there is no variety in our quests. Our objective is always the same, "kill everybody inside of it and hold onto the point until the base is yours", and our enemies are always the same. They may act different, since they're People and People can use different tactics, but the types of enemies are always the same. There is never a chance that we might fight a giant robot, or a weird monster, or something unique. It's always going to be predominantly chumps with guns, supported by tanks and planes, and they and their bullets always come in one of two color schemes. No variation-that's strike two. Strike three is that after completing a quest, we're given some exp, a 5 second voice over telling us good job, and we're then pointed in the direction of the next quest, which is exactly the same as the quest we just completed- with the exact same objective and the exact same enemies, perhaps just behaving a little differently. It's the same fucking quest, and you realize that, woah: it doesn't matter how many quests I complete. There will always be another quest to complete after it, and that quest will always be the same quest I just completed.

For some people, that's not game-breaking. I myself still play the game almost every day, and have been for almost two years now. But for looooots of people, that shit gets old eventually, and so they get bored and leave the game.

This isn't an issue exclusive to Planetside 2, in fact it's a common issue for most MMO's. The problem is that you feel it more with Planetside 2 because the game is exclusively a shared experience. In WoW, where you can only have X amount of people in a raid, or you can only have X amount of people in a PvP match at one time, there is no difference between 50,000 players in the game and 10,000 players. You interact with NPC's 90% of the time anyway. But in a game like Planetside 2, where are there no NPC's, and the only way the game can engage you, in any way shape or form, is via human players, it becomes very noticeable when the population dips and rises. Bases are either devoid of enemies and your time is spent capping empty buildings, or your faction is out-popped and you're getting reamed at every turn. Both capping empty base after empty base and getting pushed back by enemy zergs in battle after battle highlight to the player just ultimately pointless and repetitive this game is. It's only when we're in the middle of a good fight do we temporarily forget how ultimately meaningless the battle actually is.

So with that being the case, the game direly needs to do two things: A) it needs to compensate for the lowered population. This means it needs to merge servers (which it's already done), and cut out half the fucking irrelevant bases so that the already reduced player base isn't stretched so thinly across a continent, and B) it needs to focus on retaining what player base it still has, and the only way to do that is to improve the game's ability to hide the realization that you're basically doing the same thing over and over again. MMO's do this by providing fresh content- giving the illusion that there's always "something to new to do", and by making everything you do seem like an achievement and a progression. Alerts and continent-locking have done a lot to give us that latter feeling, but it's not enough. And the other half of the equation, new content, is sorely missing in this game. I understand that the PS2 dev team is undermanned, and I understand that it takes time to make new vehicles and new continents, but there comes a point where one has to simply realize that the video game industry is an extremely competitive environment, and gamers don't care about developmental problems. They're fickle people, and will jump ship to any game that looks more promising.
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Old 2014-07-31, 03:42 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
Mordelicius
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by BlaxicanX View Post
I ask because this seems less like "these are the reasons players are leaving the game" and more like "these are things that I don't like about the game but if I present them as more than just my personal opinion people will be less inclined to question them."

So I'll just ask you again. Do you have any data that would distinguish these grievances as being more than just your personal issues with the game?
Who said these are just 'personal issues' with the game? Saying it is a personal issues means I stand to benefit the most if these things are fixed.

Can you name from any of the 5 points I made where I can stand to benefit from more than any other players if they are to be fixed/remedied/avoided? And what are these benefits?

My points are about balancing:
- Gameplay (1&2)
- Battle flow (4)
- Lane flow (5)
- Server pop, faction pop stability (3)
And none of it is selfish, self-centered, self-serving. So your premise are all wrong.

Secondly, sure. Again I repeat, using your definition of data, can you make a list of examples of 'data' - that would differentiate them from these perceived (in your words) 'personal issues with the game'?

I'll pick the correct answer from your list.
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Old 2014-08-01, 01:48 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
BlaxicanX
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by Mordelicius View Post
Who said these are just 'personal issues' with the game?
I did. My assertion is that your argument lacks objectivity; my evidence is the complete and utter lack of any empirical data. Allow me to provide an example:

"People are leaving the game because they don't like getting OSK'd by snipers."

What data can you provide that points to snipers having such a detrimental effect to new player morale that it's producing a note-worthy influence on population hemorrhaging rates? Do you have anything at all to offer beyond anecdotes? If all you have are anecdotes, I can provide plenty to the contrary.
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Old 2014-07-26, 06:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
Calista
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


It's called repetition.
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Old 2014-07-26, 07:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
Mietz
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


The top cause of players leaving PS2 is as its always been since 2012: the Grindwall and the F2P model.
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Old 2014-10-14, 02:30 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
Buggsy
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by Calista View Post
It's called repetition.
Repetition that could have been broken with some defensive tools like the PS1 AMS, PS1 mines, PS1 spitfires, and PS1 motion detectors; know what I'm saying.
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Old 2014-07-27, 03:51 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


And here all along I thought it was just because it is a shitty game. Who would of thought there are actual reasons?
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Old 2014-07-27, 04:13 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


None of those are the reason I've stopped playing.
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Old 2014-07-27, 04:20 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


IMO This list doesn't have much (if any) merit to it. It sounds like personnel grudges and not hard data.
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Old 2014-07-27, 08:14 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
Mietz
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by HereticusXZ View Post
IMO This list doesn't have much (if any) merit to it. It sounds like personnel grudges and not hard data.
hard data is whats killing PS2
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Old 2014-07-27, 12:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by HereticusXZ View Post
IMO This list doesn't have much (if any) merit to it.
I gotta agree with Hereticus here.

1.) What buff are you talking about? Snipers could always one shot head shot people as far as I'm aware that sniper change they did in fact limited the range at which they could do that to people depending on the rifle

2.) I will agree with you on this one, that liberator buff was absolutely hell to play through but it's largely been fixed now and I'd almost say the lib has been overnerfed because of those three months.

3.) People actually cared about this?

4.) What your describing with vehicle zergs disintegrating here happened before the remake too. That's just quartz and it always will be as long as those chokes in front of the gates remain.

5.) I don't notice this one at all honestly. On Connery there are almost never big fights not happening for at least an hour or so on Indar. People are excited to fight each other not run away from one another because at the end of the day all people care about is how many certs they're getting.

And about your stab at the Dev's; perhaps I'm just a fanboy but I doubt anyone here understands the whole process the PS2 team goes through when they decide to balance something. Graphs and hard data certainly have a big role in it but they have also done a wonderful job of talking with the community. Do the changes we want always get through? No but at least they're not mysterious codemonkeys hidden behind bricks walls that we can only assume exist.

And lastly the PPA bit. I will agree that compared to the other two ES equivalents the PPA is downright broken. On it's own I think it could do with a slight nerf, magazine size getting obliterated is a great start and perhaps maximum ammo pool. Nerf it too much and no one will bother to use it and you'll be in the same situation that NC and TR face right now. Rather a small to moderate nerf to the PPA and a rework of the Canister and Marauder would do everyone better I think.
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Old 2014-07-27, 08:26 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
Mietz
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Re: Top cause of players leaving PS2 (2014)


Originally Posted by KesTro View Post
I gotta agree with Hereticus here.

1.) What buff are you talking about? Snipers could always one shot head shot people
As far as i know you couldnt one-shot headshot. The other player always stayed at like a sliver HP after the first shot, with stock rifles vs stock chars without nanoweave at optimal range. The only exception to this could be infiltrators themselves as they have 100 less HP i think.

In fact checking a backup of the weapon spreadsheet confirms this.

Afaik bolt-actions were specifically introduced to reward good aim but at the cost of long refire times and non-hitscan properites.

Last edited by Mietz; 2014-07-27 at 08:27 PM.
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