Gameplay: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance - PlanetSide Universe
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-07-23, 03:05 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

In the absence of the lattice and with the reveal of the territory control system and resource model I have several ideas around facilities, specifically facility benefits to keep them interesting and desirable in this new landscapeThe purpose is to add rich gameplay around the facilities by providing tangible benefits for capturing them, both for the local area and the larger continent-wide battle. The rest of this post is illustrated on the following core concepts/ideas:
  • Facilities provide two benefits - one local benefit that provides immediate and localized strategic value, and one continent-wide benefit that makes its capture beneficial to the larger effort on the continent. Since there is no lattice we can assume that a benefit a facility gives extends to the entire continent. The local beneift is intended to provide additional strategic value to the area around the facility, while the continent-wide beneift aids the entire empire on that continent.
  • Facility benefits are quite significant. They need to be for players to see the value of taking them and the value of depriving one from the enemy. Benefits should be roughly on the order of 25-33% improvement/reduction. This is balanced by the fact that these beneifts are scoped to specific strategic value. Facility benefits do not stack however. The reason to capture more of one type of facility is to deny its benefit to the other empires and to secure territory.
  • In order for facility benefits to have meaning there needs to ideally be a few more facility types than existed in PS1, or at least a better distribution. If there's too many of a single facility type (like Bio Labs in PS1) then its value goes way down. Ideally a given continent would only have 1-2 of any type of facility and never more than 3. For example, on a continent with 10 facilities we should see roughly 2 of each facility.
  • The facilities should generally be spread out so they are not immediately next to each other. However, this situation could end up providing interesting strategic value so there may be intentional exceptions. One example might be to put two factories near each other in a geographically central location with a bridge separating the two facilties. This would mean the empire that controls the center of the continent has greatly increase vehicle production capabilities, and two empires each holding one of the factories could lead to some epic battles.

I kept facility names the same when it made sense for familiarity.

1) Factory

The factory is a facility whose primary benefit is vehicle production. It does this with direct bonuses to vehicle production but also implicit production - it has several vehicle pads so vehicle throughput out of the facility is significantly higher than other facilities. Think of the Technology Facility in PS1 - it had this function. It had 2 air terms and 1 ground term, and if the base was heavily used it had close to triple the vehicle throughput than most other facilities. The only other facility that had enhanced production was the dropship center, which had 1 ground terminal and one air terminal. The others only had one shared terminal that led to much slower vehicle production. So this concept is around taking that localized benefit of increased production and making it a significant vehicle presence enhancer.

In addition to more production terminals the Factory also slightly reduces the vehicle terminal use and the time it takes to create a vehicle on the vehicle pad. This increases overall vehicle throughput for the empire by making all facilities produce a little faster and allow players to get back into their vehicles sooner after losing them.

2) Bio Lab

The bio lab builds on the idea from PS1 but makes it more significant. The bio lab is the infantry & max version of the factory. It provides a reduction in MAX suit timers as well as a significantly faster respawn time (on the order of 33% or so such that the savings are immediately obvious) for all friendly players on the continent.

Its localized benefit is that infantry passively heal while in the influence range of the facility, making it more difficult to capture when defended (I'm assuming that the layout of the base will also be designed around being rather defensible and not the generator-on-the-roof situation since the benefit is intended to be a difficult-to-capture base.

(I freely admit the localized benefit of the bio lab is weak and could use some ideas from the community.)

3) Amp Station

One concept discussed in the fan faire was "influence" as a means to acquire territory. It was also mentioned that certain facilities will exert more influence than others. The Amp station is an influence-enhancing facility. It literally "amplifies" the "Influence" of the empire's other facilities and towers on the continent, allowing them to take and hold territory more easily.

It also provides a localized benefit in that it itself puts out more influence than the other facilities. Its primary benefit is to make capturing and holding territory easier across the entire continent. Capturing an amp station should be a tactically significant endeavor allowing the control of several territories in the immediate area as well as overall more territory on the continent.

4) Refinery

Refineries are roughly the replacement for the dropship center. They're larger facilities, which combined with the separate air & ground terminals makes it a good all-around facility. This is the localized benefit. It is like a lesser tech plant in these terms, but it also provides a strong continent benefit.

Refineries provide a continent-wide reduced consumption of resources for build & upgrades (they make the resources you gain more potent and thus require less of it to get your upgrades). I'm thinking the rough ballpark for thi sis around 20% just to put a number out there. They allow an empire to do more with less, and flipping a refinery is a significant resource swing.

5) Interlink (aka command-and-control)

Interlink facilities in my vision are quite different from PS1. Do not provide the "interfarm" benefit. Instead they are intended to be command-and-control facilities and communication/coordination enhancing facilities.

The continent-wide benefits of the interlink are command/squad leader enhancement. It speeds up the cooldown on all timered commander/squad leader abilities (orbital strike, for example). It also increases squad-leader bonuses by a significant margin (33%-ish, just to throw a number out there which I'm not all that attached to).

The localized benefit of the interlink facility is that any territory "connected" via other territories + 1 territory out to the interlink facility gains enemy movement indicators. These are not the refined inter-farm abilities but rather high level indicators of how many enemies are in each territory. The idea is that the benefit of this is an early warning system to see where enemy troop movements are concentrated (think the "large" and "massive" indicators from PS1 only make them more granular and distributed across the hex grid). The "+1 territory" part of this benefit allows it to see along the main battle line where the enemy is concentrating. This is a local benefit because the enemy can sever it by isolating the facility from other territory through the capture of territory or influence.

Its hard to articulate the value of this facility, but it is intended to be something that commanders and squad leaders will want to have so they can make better informed decisions and better deploy their forces so overall strategic handling of the continent is better. They are the leadership counterpart to the Bio Labs & Factories.

6) Unnamed Facility

I have some scattered ideas on a 6th facility type, but so far nothing that is as clear-cut or has the synergy of the other 5. One thought is that this 6th facility has a training benefit - something like 33% faster cert training while you are on the continent & engaged in recent combat activity. This is sort of like a training facility, technology facility, or barracks. Could also bring back the Amp Station benefit from PS1 and have some shields but I think that isn't as valuable in PS2 where combat is spread out into the wilderness and not just base-to-base.

If those reading have ideas on what might work feel free to chime in.

I think we can probalby do with 5 facilities since there could be a better distribution (only 1 dropship per continent in PS1, I don't think we have that restriction in PS2, so we might see more).

Note: I intentionally left repair-rearm as a benefit off this list...I think that would be better served as a sandbox benefit to be provided by outfit-purchased structures, like air towers or maintenance bays or stuff like that. Lodestar-like vehicles can also provide that benefit as a teamwork perk.


So the way I have laid out the above facilities and benefits, 2 of the facilities enhance one of the core parts of gameplay - vehicles and infantry. Two of the facilities provide direct strategic advantage on the continent by making resources more efficient/abundant and making it directly easier to capture & hold territory. The 5th facility is a combination of the two, providing leadership-centric bonuses and strategic advantage. The last one is a handful of un-baked ideas. The purpose of this that even in the absence of the lattice facilities still have good synergy with the territory conquest and have tangible value.

I could use some community help with some of these ideas, particularly with brainstorming a 6th facility type and also coming up with a better local benefit for bio labs. Something infantry-oriented of course.

Thanks for reading!
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