My case for Sanctuaries. (long read) - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2012-10-10, 03:12 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
IceyCold
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My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


I'm going to post this here before posting it on the offical forums. Would like some feedback.

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Foreword:

There are many threads involving the desire to have Sanctuaries return to the game, and most of them are simple and not very in-depth; which I feel is a shame because there are some big reasons to have them be included in the game. I will go over the reasons that the game would benefit massively from their inclusion and the reasons why the devs should really reconsider their current stance on them.

To note, this will be a long post. So if you aren't interested in reading then just a heads up I never include TL;DR.

Before we go any further there is an important fact that SOE needs to understand. Planetside 2 is attempting to fill the “session player” role that current games like BF3 and CoD tend to aim towards. This is a flaw in game design, as the scale and scope of the conflicts are not in favor of session play. Even if I can drop in with Instant Action, what I can really accomplish in 15-30 minutes is minute and not fulfilling to a session player because they do not usually get to see a conclusion to the events they played a part in.

Planetside 2 is a game that currently has no set crowd to appeal to. MMO players will feel at home with the longer play sessions but will have to adapt to the faster pace of the game; where as Shooter fans will feel in their element in the moment to moment gameplay but will have to change their playstyles to fit into a game which favors long campaigns and planned strikes over session based rewards and gameplay.

Therefore Planetside 2 is being forced to forge a new crowd to appeal to. And to do so it needs to embrace what it is and reject what it isn't. It needs to embrace elements that give it the epic feeling of a true world in the clutches of a never ending war; and reject the elements that detract from that.

Planetside 2; the worlds most ambitious MMOFPS, needs to build a world and not a game.


Footholds, a fool's errand:

As anyone who currently plays knows the current system uses footholds where each empire has a constant place on each continent. Although this system was intended to make it so players always have a chance on every continent, this system also negates the feeling of progressing battle.

As I have continued to play the game I keep wondering how much more interesting it would be to see a war that is being fought over a PLANET and not a CONTINENT. The current system's biggest flaw is since there is no movement across the continents they themselves feel more like BF3 servers and not interconnected fronts in a large war for a planet.

Footholds pull away from the feeling of a massive planet and instead push towards a session based feeling. There is no fear of losing one's last base, no final stand as the enemy forms around your final bastion on the continent praying that those who have already fallen will come rolling out of the warpgate to relieve you in your darkest hour. These feelings made Planetside feel like a war for a planet, not a skirmish for a chunk of dirt.

Finally, with footholds the devs are being corn-holed into building continents that favor 3 sides equally. This makes for boring world design; and once again takes away from the feeling that this was once a place with people living on it now torn asunder by the ravages of war and makes it feel more like a map made to fight over.


Sanctuaries, a case to be made:

Planetside 1 brought an idea to the table that was both good and bad; a continent that's sole purpose was a glorified lobby: the Sanctuary. At it's core the idea was a sound one executed poorly. Since the dev's saw more of the poor elements I would like to go over them for new players and vets alike.

Sanctuaries biggest glaring flaw was that they were not designed to be intuitive. Very large islands that had tons of open space that was rather useless considering the other tools at the soldier's disposal (the VR rooms). It also meant unnecessary long walks to the vehicle pads and terminals. Finally they were nothing but open space with several buildings that sat in a field of blank. That being said, the sanctuaries served a function that the current system just can not.

They were home. The sanctuary was where you logged out after a hard fought battle, they were the first sight as you walked out of those tubes after losing the final base, they were the staging area of massive tank columns and they were the beginning of every great campaign. They gave you the feeling of a base where your faction's leaders toiled away to fight off the numerous enemies waiting for you out there beyond that ever looming warp gate. They sold the world.


Planetside 2 Sanctuaries, an evolution:

What the first game's Sanctuaries lacked we can look back on and we have been given a chance to fix them, to bring back the feeling of a world and also to create the feeling of faction identity. With Sanctuaries in Planetside 2 we can create a world again, and not just a world but a moment when new players understand what they are fighting for and whom they fight against.

Below is a list of reasons to include sanctuaries:

> Sanctuaries give a real place to set up and prepare for a campaign, they give a staging area away from the enemy.

> VR training rooms and even things such as shooting ranges can be put in place. Allowing players to test weapons and vehicles as well as unlocks before buying them.

> Sanctuaries free up continents to take back the role of battlefields and not just glorified servers.

> MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR PLANETSIDE 2: Sanctuaries can be used to give factions identity and a feeling of purpose if done right.


I would like to make my case by creating the Sanctuaries for you SOE. Read below and see what I mean about creating a world, and try to envision the power such a thing could have for the new player.


The NC Sanc: The Hole.



Dug out of the hardened mountains of the Searhus Olympian mountain range using the advanced drilling platforms of the CoraMed Mining Corporation, “The Hole” has been home to NC Command for years since the beginning of the Auraxian War. Hidden from the ever watchful eye of the Terran Republic command satellites by over fifteen hundred tons of rock, the NC Command launches forays into Republic land free of fear of orbital response. Corporations own sections of the cave system, selling weapons and gear to freedom fighters and mercenaries alike, while massive armor columns and air fleets tunnel into the experimental Warp Bridge built by NC sympathizers working with Nanite Solutions. Through sheer force of will and Corporate funding the NC have carved out this gigantic complex of stone and steel, much as they intend to carve a free world for the inhabitants of Auraxis.



The TR Sanc: Fort Dominus.



Upon arrival of humanity on Auraxis, the Terran Republic felt the need for a strong military training ground as well as a deployment area in the case of any form of domestic uprising; and so Fort Dominus was constructed outside the Terran Capital of New Birmingham. Dominus was coined for it's grand scale and location near the D-01 warpgate, giving it the ability to deploy large forces to any sector of the globe. Large towering buildings dominate the skyline around the base, while inside Vehicle bays and barracks line the large open deployment line leading to the warpgate. Massive walls surround the base, forbidding any entrance to anyone other than authorized Terran personel. TR Command located in the central building of the compound watch as the map of their world glows with the lights of a thousand battles. Soon the rebels and dissenters will know the price for disturbing the peace of the Republic.



The VS Sanc: Brigg's Insight.



Named after the famed Xenobiologist which first discovered the Vanu artifacts and helped unlock the information hidden within, “Brigg's Insight” is an enormous extraterrestrial research facility remade into both a military complex and Auraxis' biggest research facility. The base is home to production facilities built and designed completely by Vanu engineers, barracks filled with ideological youth who wish to further the progress of mankind, and scientists who defected from the overbearing Republic and corrupt corporations of the Conglomerate. For the VS Command this war is not simply for a planet, it is for the future of the human race; and they will not, no can not accept defeat at the hands of men who would repress or monetize the progress of man. Technology is the future for not just the VS, but for all mankind.



Closing:

As I demonstrated, Sancs do not just serve a gameplay function by providing a base of operations and a place to log in and out of; Sancs offer a chance to tell the story of the game THROUGH the game without needing to use text or simple pictures. It creates a feeling of identity for the factions and allows the players who come into the game to have that sudden “WOAH” moment when they first step out of the Spawn Tube and into the world.

Please, developers, do not miss out on the chance to take advantage of a resource that could really help the game. I am currently enrolled for game art and design, and one of the things every instructor drills into you in every class is to use your game to tell the player what it is they are fighting/working for.

Thank you for your time. Icey.
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Old 2012-10-10, 03:27 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Sanctuary also had a practice area, that's important. Really important.
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Old 2012-10-10, 04:08 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Originally Posted by Buggsy View Post
Sanctuary also had a practice area, that's important. Really important.
I mentioned the VR training rooms, and I agree they were important and should be brought back.
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Old 2012-10-10, 04:29 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


I also wanted to add my reasons for the choices made for the sancs:

The Hole:

Putting the NC in an underground base shows the new NC player the strength and resolve of the faction. Able to dig out a massive base in solid stone and create a system to allow them to access the warpgates from underground, these are not things done by a weak force of rebels. On the flip side it allows the TR to paint the NC as cowardly terrorists hiding from the righteous Republic; and the Vanu to paint the NC as cave dwelling mongrels, no better than cavemen with fancy tools.

Fort Dominus:

In this case by placing the TR base next to a city it allows a TR player to see what the Republic is fighting for, it gives a visual representation of the Republic protecting the people of Auraxis from the evils of the other factions. For the NC and VS it is a perfect example of the Republics oppression; a base set next to a city to keep the people in the city from freedom of self and thought.

Brigg's Insight

Finally we have the Vanu base. A base built originally for research and the advancement of humanity; showing new VS players that the Sovereignty is working towards a better tomorrow through science and progress. For the Republic it is a prime example of the evils of the Vanu, a faction which claims to be working for progress while building nothing more than weapons and implements of war. For the NC it shows a faction that is more interested in long dead aliens than the good of the common man, arrogant self proclaimed enlightened thinkers who hoard knowledge in the name of a greater power.
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Old 2012-10-10, 06:16 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


I intend to post this on the feedback forums later this evening, so if anyone has any feedback or things they feel could be added I'd appreciate it.
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Old 2012-10-10, 06:20 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


I agree, I would prefer the sancs beng off the map. Plus that concept art is bad A.
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Old 2012-10-10, 06:58 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Wow amazing post. Bravo. Excellent summary and I agree 100%

+1

And the sanctuary ideas were the icing on the cake, great addition to a well written post
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Old 2012-10-10, 09:02 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


I didn't play PlanetSide 1 so I am not familiar with the sanctuary system, but from how you explained it, this sounds like a really good suggestion for the game. Great post!
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Old 2012-10-10, 10:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Sancs are needed,you need a base of operations
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Old 2012-10-10, 10:48 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Well said OP. Great sanc stories and artwork. A+
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Old 2012-10-11, 01:19 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Damn dude, you put a lot of thought into this, good job. I love the ideas and that art is awesome, did you make those pictures? I think SOE *wants* to do something awesome like this, but it'll really come down to whether or not they think spending the time on it is worth it.

For me the main selling point was the aspect of a "home" this would give players. If SOE was really bold they'd have some way for Outfits to buy their own headquarters somewhere in their faction's Sanctuary. Maybe even let them buy additional stuff to put in their "HQ" so when visitors of their faction wander in, the Outfit has some sweet bling to show off.
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Old 2012-10-11, 01:27 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
For me the main selling point was the aspect of a "home" this would give players. If SOE was really bold they'd have some way for Outfits to buy their own headquarters somewhere in their faction's Sanctuary. Maybe even let them buy additional stuff to put in their "HQ" so when visitors of their faction wander in, the Outfit has some sweet bling to show off.
the devs already talked about doing this within in 5 year plan, of course its more or less your outfit can have its own HQ.
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Old 2012-10-11, 02:29 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


OP - you've put some thought into it and those are some good ideas.

I think Higby has confirmed that the plan is (once Amerish is ready) for each faction to have a home warpgate on one continent... and then - the ability to invade the other continents.

It wouldn't be too much of a leap to go from home 'warpgates' to more customized areas like you suggest.

I'm all for SOE expanding the lore of Planetside... it's not something to be overlooked - and you can see they are trying to do that... even with the various base and outposts designs, there are starting to be little nuances and a bit of a story/purpose behind them.
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Old 2012-10-11, 01:59 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


Well I'm of the opinion that static footholds aren't a good thing, at least with so few Continents at launch...

...Fighting over the same turf over and over can get old really quickly you see.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing "space-borne" mobile Sanctuaries, giant space ships orbiting Auraxis going from Continent to Continent hot dropping troops.

Lore wise this would make sense, if you were locked in an eternal three-way war, would you want your most important installations stuck in one place?

Each could still have their Faction flavor and would work pretty much the same way that a land-based Sanctuary, as they're essentially just mini-Continents contained in a single large structure.
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Old 2012-10-11, 03:36 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: My case for Sanctuaries. (long read)


very well done post! Planetside 2 needs this, plus its better than feeling like a bunch of refugees hanging out in a warpgate...lol
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