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, 04:05 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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Old 2011-07-25, 02:38 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Master Sergeant
Kurtz's Avatar
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

good stuff. Agree there should be no more interfarming. Think Bio lab may no longer have a purpose. (edit: nm implants are still going to be a part of the game and I thought it was cool that you had to go to a bio lab to switch).

Last edited by Kurtz; 2011-07-25 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 2011-07-25, 03:14 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Lieutenant Colonel
DviddLeff's Avatar
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

Really like the ideas presented here Malorn, especially that you have both local and continent wide benefits for capturing each type of facility.

The local benefit you mention for the Interlink facility is similar to the Tactical Overlay on the map in the current game, something which is very useful if you have someone keeping an eye on it.

Regarding the Bio Labs local benefit, perhaps make it simply have two spawn rooms? This would make it harder to capture with infantry spawning in multiple locations, perhaps have one in the lobby and one in the basement, allowing players to spawn closer to the action.

The sixth facility I would have as a training facility as you suggest; allowing players to train faster is something every player is going to want to have captured.

In my upgrade project I suggested an Artillery Facility, but this would replace the OS entirely. I also suggested a Storage facility for enemy vehicles, but PS2 won't have vehicle jacking.
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This is the last VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-07-25, 04:06 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

Two spawn rooms on the bio lab is interesting. Makes it much harder to disable the spawn room when there's two in different parts of the base. It might have some one-way exits or something from the spawn room to the vehicle terminal for more rapid deployment.

It might also be the only place where you can changeout your implants, though I suppsoe the convenience of being able to do it there rather than going back to an uncap is probably sufficient in that regard.

Training facility would definitely be something everyone would want to have. But one thing I don't like is that it seems like too much of a personal benefit. And if training benefits are continent benefits then there's overlap there which might be a bad thing. It'd be hard to balance the two types of benefits and you might get pepole stagnating on a continent because they have the training benefit & the training facility. Seems like a potentially dangerous facility which is why I was a bit unsure about it.

It would also be hard to give it a continent/local benefit that actually assisted in taking the continent. I think that's the purpsoe behind the facilities - to be strategic locations that facilitate (pardon the pun lol) capturing of the continent, and also provide variety in gameplay of course.

So far the idea has been around different playstyle enhancers: Factory enhances vehicles, Bio lab infantry, and interlink command/leadership. The other two are direct control enablers, via resource efficiency and territorial influence. I think the 6th type needs to be another direct control enabler. We already have resources, already have influence. The others reduce timers and rates.

Perhaps the last facility is a type of continental capital that sits smack in the center of the map and is meant to be a convergence point for all three empires? Capturing that facility could have some sort of strong control benefit, although that would overlap with the amp station.

Crazy idea, but maybe the central facility can be like some sort of starport like thing (dropship center re-imagined) that ships the resources off-continent. Perhaps it periodically produces a set of bonus resources or something to whichever empire controls it, or provides a cross-continent benefit (2% resource efficiency on all continents). The local benefit for this facility is rather obvious - it's smack in the center of the map allowing you to exert control. Could have 2 vehcile pads so facilitate that.
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Old 2011-07-25, 05:50 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
Lieutenant Colonel
DviddLeff's Avatar
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

Space elevator gets my vote!

Like the idea of it increasing resource flow off continent. As it links up to space could have it so that it controls orbital mechanics; drop pods and orbital strikes could have their timers reduced for the owners.

The devs have spoken about possibly expanding into space combat (in the opposite way to EVE and DUST 514), these links would be a perfect start point for that...
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Old 2011-07-29, 02:18 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
Sergeant Major
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

All the ideas are great, except the 6th. The zerg will only go after it, it will become the new interfarm. Nothing should enhance leveling except the way the devs currently have it set up.

I still think there needs to be a dropship center of sorts. The localized benefit would be production of Gal's etc. The continent wide would be a sort of shuttle service. It'd basically be a HART that isn't a HART. It's a one way trip to any friendly base you choose. The shuttle would have a one minute thirty second rotation time. Shuttle waits for passengers for one minute, and once it takes off it takes 30 seconds for it to return to the dropship center.

The way in which it drops you off would be more similar to when jumping out of a gal. No drop pod, since you aren't dropping from orbit just a high altitude. You are dropped into a randomized location anywhere within the walls of the friendly base you chose.

Now, this part is under the assumption that spawning mechanics will stay the same, where you can only spawn at the nearest base/tower/AMS UNLESS you hit up a matrix term at a friendly base. The idea would be that a person could set up their DNA at the matrix term within dropship centers. This way, people (organized groups and zergers alike) could respond to distant base attacks within a reasonable amount of time. This way, everyone doesn't have to cert Mosquito to get around.

Last edited by Bravix; 2011-07-29 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 2011-07-31, 03:06 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
First Lieutenant
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

Liking the ideas. The thing about PS1 is that the benifits from facilities were a little noticed(at least for me). Ya i noticed when I didn't get my shield around a vehicle or repair but they needed something more and I love the ideas posted here.

The thing that can really seperate Planetside 2 from other shooters is the strategy in it. Personnaly I would love it to have a more boardgame like feel in terms of benifits of capturing territories, tactics, strategies, and more. If you add lot of depth to things like this it will naturally stand out and make it a much cooler game
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Old 2011-08-01, 02:08 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
First Sergeant
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

I do agree that the repair / re-arm benefit should not be included in base properties. Having this built into certain outfit created structures, engineering structures, or other vehicles such as the Loadstar will increase teamwork and offer more play style options.
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Old 2011-08-02, 08:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
Sentrosi's Avatar
Re: Facility Benefits, Function, and Importance

#1 Factory
I like this idea. Perhaps expand to have two dual air-terminals in different areas of the base along with two vehicle spawn pads.
The factory could have the benefit of repairs take 10-15% shorter and require less nanites to repair the vehicle, but only if someone is repairing.

#2 Bio Lab
If it follows along the same lines as PS1 the Bio Lab can be taken out with a simple Galaxy drop and blowing the generators. You lose both spawn points and you lose that benefit. Now if the generator room was located around or near a spawn tube area, this would probably solve this issue. I think the rest of the Bio Lab ideas are solid.

#3 AMP station
Perhaps the influenece it draws upon would be resource controlled? The AMP station has a resource gathering "silo" that draws nanite energy from nearby resource nodes along with infiltrating any enemy held territory that is "attached" to the node. This could make taking an AMP station a priority.

#4 Refinery
This is a great idea. I would almost approach this as having the same number of air and ground vehicle terminals. Also this or the Factory is the only place you can spawn larger assets, such as a Galaxy or a Lodestar (If it's in the game).

Also this could have a larger courtyard to rally up tank and ground assets in one location for easier coordination within squad/platoons. Or you can swap this with the Factory.

#5 Interlink (Command & Control)
This facility should have a C&C room strictly for the continent commander. Here the commander should have access to all the teams on continent, a rough idea of the enemy force on continent along with the reduced timers you suggested Malorn.

#6 Unnamed Base
This should be a benefit an outfit/alliance trains for. Not as a support for the empire. This would encourage people to stay within their outfit if they know that a certification be learned 10% to 15% faster than other outfits. Looking at it from a real world perspective, you can have all the book smarts in the world, but nothing counts toward learning more than having a skilled instructor in your discipline. In EvE learning was an individual skill, but I think you could apply it to an outfit benefit. So an individual could "learn" at a +10% accelerated rate, but the outfit benefit just added another +10% to the soldiers learning curve, making that soldier +20% faster than another soldier outside the outfit. These numbers were made up on-the-fly and can be tweaked a bit, perhaps a 5% cap on the individual and another 5% cap for the outfit. The numbers can be fixed after discussing more, but you get the general idea.

Last edited by Sentrosi; 2011-08-02 at 08:29 AM.
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