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Old 2012-10-02, 05:38 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Helwyr
Sergeant Major
 
Lightbulb Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


There's been a lot criticism of PS2s Class system, particularly from PS1 players in that there's a lack of real specialization, or any sense of dedication to particular roles like PS1 had (pre BR40). I have a conceptual idea that I believe would resolve this without removing the class system and I would like to share it and hear your opinions.

The problem:

Currently everyone can be anything, all classes and vehicles in their basic form are open to everyone. This means that players can and will bring whatever class/vehicle that suits the needs of the moment and do so with ease. While there are means of enhancing roles via certs, this will only be a temporary limitation as there's no cap on how many certs you can have.

A secondary problem related to this is that certain abilities or combinations of abilities only really work well in gameplay if a small number of players have access to them and those players have to choose to sacrifice access to something else of value. The PS1 system with a BR cap of 23 or less made this possible, PS2s class system does not. The sort of abilities I'm thinking of are mostly the controversial ones, Galaxy AMS, Expert Hacking, A2A, and hybridization of classes as examples.

Finally SOE wants to make PS2 accessible, forcing players to choose a limited number of classes or vehicles at the start of the game isn't going to fly with SOE's plan. It's also unlikely they would abandon the class system at this stage of development. So, any changes can't remove the class system or mess with new player experience.

The Solution:

Specialization occurs optionally later in a characters development where only an advanced player will encounter it, and rather than just gain access to new cool stuff you have to abandon access to some of the classes or vehicles typically available to everyone to gain that access.

So, how would this work? There would be a number of Class and Vehicle Specialization that would open up once you'd maxed a particular cert or combination of certs. To access that you would also have to select an unrelated Class or sub section of Vehicles that you will no longer have access to, at all.

Using Hamma as an example who on this forum we're all familiar with as someone that loves flying the Galaxy. Also, those of us in beta know that the AMS on the Galaxy is something of a controversial topic, it may or may not end up in the live game, but if access were limited there would be fewer objections, so lets assume it's on the list of Specializations, lets call it "The Airborne Deployment Specialist" ...Hamma wants this, but now he has to close access to something else, picking one of the following...

The list being:
1) Heavy Assault
2) Light Assault
3) Engineer
4) Medic
5) Infiltrator
6) MAX
7) Aircav (ESF & Liberator)
8) Ground Assault (MBT & Lightning)
9) Support Vehicles (Galaxy & Sunderer)

Obviously in Hamma's case he can't choose option 9 as that's where the specialization is from. I've never seen Hamma in a video use an Infiltrator, so lets assume he picks this one, option 5. Now Hamma has access to certs that allow the Galaxy to work as an AMS, but he can no longer switch out to an Infiltrator or access any of their specializations.

The list of Specializations could be long, I'm not making a list at this time, as I'm sure everyone of them would be controversial and I don't want the focus of discussion at this point being on what ought to be on the list but rather the overall system.

Specializations could open access to more than one new cert, that's a balance issue. Players could have more than one Specialization, but they'll also be closing access to more classes and vehicles by doing so.

What if you change your mind? Well in addition to closing access to a class/vehicle a Specialization should also cost a decent amount of cert points to open it for use and subsequently improve the ability, just like any other certification. A player can scrap a specialization, but doing so does not refund those cert points. As such switching to and from Specializations isn't to be taken lightly, but it is possible.

End result is the new player experience and the class system remain intact, but layered on top is the Specialization system that transforms many advanced players into real specialist roles, giving a similar feeling in terms of end results to the original Planetside certification system.

Last edited by Helwyr; 2012-10-02 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 2012-10-02, 06:49 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Ghost Runner
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Well that is very well thought out and makes you think. I don't like level caps so every time that is brought up I cringe but your Idea doesn't impose that while still allowing specialization I like this Idea lets see where it leads.
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Old 2012-10-02, 07:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
Realmofdarkness
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


I personally dont like the idea to lock something out. I as a player would like to have the possibility to explore all the classes and play styles without having to play on different servers. I dont really see why there is a problem that players can switch hat after situation. A better solution in my opinion would then be that certs becomes more expensive the more certs you have. So you really have to pick those you love first(to get them cheap) and to get the last ones you will need to save a lot of money to get.
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Old 2012-10-02, 09:20 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


There was no Specialization in PS1 either. The big difference being in PS1 a single person could carry a small arsenal with them, that's more what the vets complain about with the hard classed system. They can't lone wolf as easily.

EX: My solo-sniper had - Med-App, Bank, Light Scout, AV, Bolt Rifle, a few different hand grenades, Med-Kit(s), +extra glue or med juice. Not to mention when i took the Command Harasser (TM) out, In the trunk there was extra Phoenix Ammo, Bolt Ammo, Med-Kits, Glue Gun and ACEs(assuming I had the cert). Depending how fast the lines moved I could be self-sufficient for about an hour before having to resupply (assuming something airborne didn't get me first).

What defined specialists in PS1 (and I've said this in beta forum as well) was what you as an individual decided to become best at. People had a tendency to know who was a damn good dogfighter, or cloaker or sniper etc.

The same will hold true in PS2 with time regardless of implementing some sort of mechanic.
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Old 2012-10-02, 04:42 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
Helwyr
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by Realmofdarkness View Post
I personally dont like the idea to lock something out. I as a player would like to have the possibility to explore all the classes and play styles without having to play on different servers. I dont really see why there is a problem that players can switch hat after situation. A better solution in my opinion would then be that certs becomes more expensive the more certs you have. So you really have to pick those you love first(to get them cheap) and to get the last ones you will need to save a lot of money to get.
Well you can't argue with personal likes and dislikes. Although I would say that the system I suggested does not close off a players ability to try out all the different play styles and classes, it's only deep specializations that require you also lose something, and even then it's not permanent you can change at a cost of those certs invested in that Specialization. What it really prevents is you being able to access everything on a whim, it doesn't prevent a player exploring all possibilities on a single character over time.

As to your suggestion certs becoming more expensive progressively as you get more and more certs: This would be an improvement over the current system, but ultimately without a hard cap (or a soft cap that is soo steep as to be the same thing) in that sort of system your only delaying the problem not solving it.
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Old 2012-10-02, 05:01 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
maradine
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Hosp has the right of it. In PS2, you are not gated from doing everything, you are gated from doing everything at the same time. When I'm in HA kit, I won't be raising the recently dead. When I'm in my medic kit, I'll be avoiding confrontation with vehicles. When I'm in a MAX, I pray I don't have to walk very far.
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Old 2012-10-02, 05:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
Helwyr
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by Hosp View Post
There was no Specialization in PS1 either. The big difference being in PS1 a single person could carry a small arsenal with them, that's more what the vets complain about with the hard classed system. They can't lone wolf as easily.

EX: My solo-sniper had - Med-App, Bank, Light Scout, AV, Bolt Rifle, a few different hand grenades, Med-Kit(s), +extra glue or med juice. Not to mention when i took the Command Harasser (TM) out, In the trunk there was extra Phoenix Ammo, Bolt Ammo, Med-Kits, Glue Gun and ACEs(assuming I had the cert). Depending how fast the lines moved I could be self-sufficient for about an hour before having to resupply (assuming something airborne didn't get me first).
To start with I have to say I'm not trying to create a system that is anti "lone wolf", although I would argue the system that I have suggested while definitely not hindering such players would in some respects enhance team work in PS2 not diminish it. Why? Because, by being a specialist in this system means you can't do something else, heavily specialize in say two classes/vehicles for total of 4 specializations and there's A LOT of things you cannot do. Which means in teams you're reliant on others to do the things you closed off to yourself by becoming a specialist, you can't just run to a term and switch to whatever is needed.

I look at your example from PS1 and wonder what the problem is? You specialized as an outdoor skirmish type Infantry and at some cost in certs: I count 22, which is a fair amount in PS1 when the cap was BR 20 or 23. There's got to be a lot of things you closed off to yourself, because a single PS1 character couldn't do all that and fly Reaver, Libs, drive tanks AMSes, use HA and special assault weapons, Max suits, Hacking and BFRs and so on.

My own main character in PS1 could only use one vehicle, the ATV, and that was still the case at BR 25, in fact since they introduced Expert Hacking at that point, I was even more narrowly specialized at BR25 than I was at BR23.

Originally Posted by Hosp View Post
What defined specialists in PS1 (and I've said this in beta forum as well) was what you as an individual decided to become best at. People had a tendency to know who was a damn good dogfighter, or cloaker or sniper etc.
I don't entirely disagree with this, but to me it's only half the story, the other half is the part you're rejecting. If it was the full story there would be no point having certs in the first place, they should just give them all to us on day one.

Last edited by Helwyr; 2012-10-02 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 2012-10-02, 05:48 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
Helwyr
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by maradine View Post
[...]In PS2, you are not gated from doing everything, you are gated from doing everything at the same time. When I'm in HA kit, I won't be raising the recently dead. When I'm in my medic kit, I'll be avoiding confrontation with vehicles. When I'm in a MAX, I pray I don't have to walk very far.

This isn't entirely accurate, in PS2 your only an equipment/Vehicle term away from being whatever you need to be at that particular moment. If you're in HA kit and need to revive someone you can just go to the terminal or AMS and switch out to a medic do the deed, and switch back to HA. Likewise with the reverse example.

In PS2 specializations are only there for moment and can on the whole be switched on a whim. Where as in PS1 you're at the very least stuck with a few Specialist roles for a play session.
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Old 2012-10-02, 07:19 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


"go to a terminal" and "near an AMS" are pretty big temporal restrictions, and arguably slower than getting offed in the firefight and then respawning at either of those in proper kit.
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Old 2012-10-02, 07:47 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
Helwyr
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by maradine View Post
"go to a terminal" and "near an AMS" are pretty big temporal restrictions, and arguably slower than getting offed in the firefight and then respawning at either of those in proper kit.
Most fighting currently occurs close to either a terminal or an AMS, certainly for anyone in a sizable organized outfit or fighting with "the zerg" at major contested locations. What would you say would be the typical travel time to terminal? I'd say no more than 30 seconds for a defender, maybe a little more for attackers. But essentially that boils down to PS2 gives you no more than around a minute of being limited to a specialization when it comes to Infantry. That can hardly be compared to what PS1 offered in terms of specialization.

If that wasn't the case we would have never have seen MAXes put on a timer and have Resupply stop instantly healing players at terminals, there would have been no need.
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Old 2012-10-02, 08:17 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


I'm fine with a minute. Let's use the medic-swap-rez example - the enemy bullet has now taken two players out of combat for an entire minute, vs. one player for 10 seconds.

Equally important - I reject the assertion that PS1 offered "specialization", for the same reason that I reject the assertion that cert-gating something that is overpowered is a solution. Eventually, you can cert every thing you want. Specialization is only a concern for low-level characters.
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Old 2012-10-02, 08:29 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
Yenni
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by Helwyr View Post
This isn't entirely accurate, in PS2 your only an equipment/Vehicle term away from being whatever you need to be at that particular moment. If you're in HA kit and need to revive someone you can just go to the terminal or AMS and switch out to a medic do the deed, and switch back to HA. Likewise with the reverse example.

In PS2 specializations are only there for moment and can on the whole be switched on a whim. Where as in PS1 you're at the very least stuck with a few Specialist roles for a play session.
I've always been a fan of specialization because it makes me feel like my character is more unique and, no-homo, a stronger sense of comraderie and defining sense of self.

As far as the compromise, I like it. I also like the current class system, as in, seperate distinguishable classes with defined strengths and weeknesses.

I feel people, however, are spoiled by MW and BF insta-class-switching and the OP's Idea is a clever way to not only add more meaning to all these cert points and weapon unlocks, but additional replay value due to having to reroll to obtain the higher up abilities.

For instance, I was looking at one of the infil's final cert's you can get under the cloaking ability. One gave recharged your cloaking after a kill and another made no sound when you un/cloaked.

These kind of "ultimates" at the end of each class's cert tree I believe should have bigger penalty than just added certs.
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Old 2012-10-02, 08:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
Helwyr
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by maradine View Post
I'm fine with a minute.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it what you're saying is essentially you don't want any real specialization in Planetside2, and like the idea of being able to quick switch into whatever it is you want at that particular moment?

Originally Posted by maradine View Post
Equally important - I reject the assertion that PS1 offered "specialization", for the same reason that I reject the assertion that cert-gating something that is overpowered is a solution. Eventually, you can cert every thing you want. Specialization is only a concern for low-level characters.
I don't follow what you're saying here could you elaborate? Sorry it just doesn't make sense to me.

Last edited by Helwyr; 2012-10-02 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 2012-10-02, 10:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Originally Posted by Helwyr View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it what you're saying is essentially you don't want any real specialization in Planetside2, and like the idea of being able to quick switch into whatever it is you want at that particular moment?
No, more like "in my view, proximity to the ability to class-switch is actually detrimental to getting shit done, and so I'm not worried about it being used as a crutch."

Originally Posted by Helwyr View Post
I don't follow what you're saying here could you elaborate? Sorry it just doesn't make sense to me.
A better summary would be "in a model where classes or vehicle types are locked behind cert gates, before you know it, everyone will have everything they're likely to play, so it's not a way to encourage specialization."

I am espousing the philosphy of giving everyone everything, and letting them spend points on making the things they like more effective. Arbitrary gates on gameplay types do not foster specialization for anyone that sticks around, only for the fresh-off-the-boat.

Last edited by maradine; 2012-10-02 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 2012-10-03, 07:54 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
Yenni
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Re: Creating Specialization within PS2s Class System; A solution


Truth.

If everyone can be everything (everything being all the certs that make you more effective) Than pretty soon It'll be just like Battlefield.

I understand that's not neccessarily a bad thing.

But that's not what I think planetside should be about.

WoW isn't about being able to switch to any class you want during the given situation. It's about "Owning" your class and realizing that it's not that your class CAN'T do what the other classes CAN do, but your class CAN do what they CAN'T.

Otherwise their's no sense of self. Nothing to take pride in. Instead of Crack spec-ops infiltrator, or a battle-hardnend shock trooper heavy assault, or a always reliable tide-turning medic, or high-risk/high reward shield-dropping/ flank destroying light assault, or a stalwart every-ready engineer.

Your just another dude logging on to a Battlefield match...eruh...I mean ps2 server

EDIT: What he means by specialization only mattering to be people "fresh off the boat" is new-players can only cert into a one specialty at a time to be the most effect, but after a while they can start up the next "talent tree" and the next one and the next one until they've grabbed everything worth having.

Last edited by Yenni; 2012-10-03 at 07:58 PM.
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