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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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Old 2013-06-25, 12:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
maradine
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


I think being able to set up a drop behind the lines or inside a well-defended base is a virtuous concept. I think bacon should be visible from much further, however, and possibly with directional cues on the minimap.
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Old 2013-06-25, 12:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


*cough*SOI*cough*
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Old 2013-06-25, 01:02 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


simple answer to the spawn beacon problem, destroy them. i see many allies running past them and not noticing them. i saw 5-6 people go but an enemy beacon only a few days ago, i saw it and immediately went and destroyed it. the beacon is the problem its the players most of the time. to stupid to destroy spawn emplacements like beacons or sundys.
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Old 2013-06-25, 01:05 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Originally Posted by bpostal View Post
*cough*SOI*cough*
They were *going* to have SOI. Higby talked enthusiastically during beta about dynamic SOI that would get bigger or shrink the more adjacent hexes you owned. I wonder how and why that fell by the wayside.... or if we can get it back, dynamic or not.

Getting the lattice blew my mind. I thought that was impossible. So now anything's up for grabs.
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Old 2013-06-25, 01:19 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
wasdie
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Originally Posted by RSphil View Post
simple answer to the spawn beacon problem, destroy them. i see many allies running past them and not noticing them. i saw 5-6 people go but an enemy beacon only a few days ago, i saw it and immediately went and destroyed it. the beacon is the problem its the players most of the time. to stupid to destroy spawn emplacements like beacons or sundys.
Sounds simple enough, but they only have be active for a few seconds for people to drop in. They can also be placed in a lot of really odd places that make them very difficult to get at.

The whole idea that you have this slightly controllable drop pod that falls vertically is the real issue. It bypasses defenses, can be used offensively against AMSs and other entrenched positions, and just generally mucks up the whole fight keeping it one large cluster until one side has a numbers advantage.

Instant action has a similar issue but it's far more random where you'll drop and a simple SOI could eliminate that issue.
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Old 2013-06-25, 01:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


well in my experience they are not hard to see, the big tron like glow up to the sky lol. alot can be got at but i agree with the dropping on vehicles bit. they should do damage imo. other then that a few organized people can wipe out drop podded troops as they dont load straight away. i have killed many from pods as they stand there, such fun. there will always be problems in a game such a this and there will be no easy solution. the best solution to 99% of problems tbh is communication and team work. which sadly i see little of.
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Old 2013-06-25, 01:59 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
bpostal
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


I've had issues where the squad beacon isn't showing up on my screen, even when other people standing next to me can see it.
Also, don't forget about squad deploy. Much longer timer sure, but it has the same functionality as the beacons.

And hey, who knows? Maybe we'll get the SOI and it'll help.
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Last edited by bpostal; 2013-06-25 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 2013-06-25, 11:28 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


The becon should be bigger to make it easier to kill (think BF3). The territory with reinforcements needed should be removed from the list once even population is achieved. Redeply is fine in my opinion. Perhaps they could have a system that makes it so that it can't be used for like 2 minutes in a new attack.
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Old 2013-06-26, 04:57 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Beacons not displaying properly, especially in big fights, is a problem - but other than that I'm happy with how they work.

Squads placing beacons in hard-to-reach places and dropping in reinforcements, while other squads try to locate and neutralise those beacons makes for a nice sub-game and helps to keep battles varied and interesting.

That said, I'm not keen on instant action or squad deploy allowing people to drop-pod in - IMO you should always require a beacon (or some other visible/counterable mechanic) in order to enable drop-pods. That way the other factions can always do something to counter/prevent reinforcements dropping in.

As for reinforcement/deployment mechanics in general - they're definitely needed for lone-wolf/casual/small-squad play. I'd have no objection to overhauling them to make them fit better with logistics/meta-game - but unless someone can come up with a clever way of doing that without just outright nerfing them, I think we'll have to stick with the current system for now.
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Old 2013-06-26, 06:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


I do agree that logistics vs battle flow is though to balance but the single feature that made me never go beyond trial when PS1 was launched was logistics.
I hated the absurd amount of down-time you had to put up with and I hated the downtime at the Sanctuary because of HART even more. In that game it felt that I was travelling all the time to get to a fight, only to get shot in the face.

So yes, there are absolutely battle flow problems with the insane amount of possibilities you have to flank any defenders but if anything, rebalancing logistics should not result in adding unnecessary down time.
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Old 2013-06-26, 06:37 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Hmm Im not seeing a problem with the spawn beacon that we have currently, from my point of view there are two ways to drop into a base that you are defending or attacking. There is squad deploy (requires no beacon) and puts you close to the squad leader. Then there is the squad beacon that is put down by the squad leader. Each has a cool down and I use often when it comes to keeping the heat up on the attackers or defenders. To better help with this I think they should make the squad deploy drop you outside the bases SOI, but the squad beacon should allow squad members to drop within the SOI close or on the beacon. I mean I dont see an issue with this, I mean defending a base is just that defending a base. Is there a way to completely secure a base no, and all I can say is welcome to PS2 . With the beacon defenders just have to get to it and take it out. With squad deploy its just the last of the rif raf trying to take or resecure a base. I currently think they should keep the current system, but tweek it just a little.
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Old 2013-06-26, 06:46 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Originally Posted by maradine View Post
I think bacon should be visible from much further, however, and possibly with directional cues on the minimap.
Agreed, Bacon is something everyone should be able to see. If this game had some sort of smell emitter we wouldn't need directional cues, but I'll settle for directional cues if it helps me find the bacon when it's only 5 ft away.
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Old 2013-06-26, 07:41 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


that "professionalism" feeling is immersion and tension, from slower paced gameplay.
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Old 2013-06-26, 09:32 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
wasdie
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Re: Three long overlooked problems with this game.


Originally Posted by Qwan View Post
Hmm Im not seeing a problem with the spawn beacon that we have currently, from my point of view there are two ways to drop into a base that you are defending or attacking. There is squad deploy (requires no beacon) and puts you close to the squad leader. Then there is the squad beacon that is put down by the squad leader. Each has a cool down and I use often when it comes to keeping the heat up on the attackers or defenders. To better help with this I think they should make the squad deploy drop you outside the bases SOI, but the squad beacon should allow squad members to drop within the SOI close or on the beacon. I mean I dont see an issue with this, I mean defending a base is just that defending a base. Is there a way to completely secure a base no, and all I can say is welcome to PS2 . With the beacon defenders just have to get to it and take it out. With squad deploy its just the last of the rif raf trying to take or resecure a base. I currently think they should keep the current system, but tweek it just a little.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that it makes base defenses useless. You're calling for the defenders to actually leave their battlements and entrenched positions to fight OR be forced to constantly have people dropping behind all of their defenses. That begs the question why we have bases at all.

Right now defending a base is just fatiguing. It's far too active and it's lead to all sorts of problems with the meta game. Each battle right now is too chaotic and lacks the flow which was an essential part of Planetside 1's gameplay which is sorely missing from this game thanks to these kind of mechanics.

The current system doesn't promote territory control as well as it should which lessens the point of why we have a lattice system and eventually continental locking. There needs to be a better front line aspect and having defenders leaving their defense and attackers bypassing defenses is not helping.

Others have suggested a SOI but I still don't know if this is enough given the ability to steer your drop pod with near pinpoint accuracy.
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