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Old 2012-12-23, 03:50 PM   [Ignore Me] #256
zib
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Not to hijack your thread or anything, but I have seen a lot of this on Waterson. My outfit which I won't say to keep to the OPs intention, has been thinking about trying to join some of the smaller outfits on our server to group up and do their outfit ops at the same times we do ours. My outfit is fielding about a platoon and a half on ops nights, but we have been trying to recruit more outfits to join us in an allied sort of way. We don't want to absorb all the TR players on waterson, but we would like to have a couple of outfits helping us.

If we got a few outfits to work together we could pretty easily stop an uncoordinated zerg. I agree with your post that it is hard to mess with a fully steamed up zerg rolling up the map, but a couple platoons of coordinated players( skill aside, just coordination) should be able to stop them. I don't think we should cap something like outfit size in a game that has a slogan of Bigger is better.

So I am going to suggest that we might want to start getting the smaller outfits to work together and try and build a planetside 2 community to counter issues like this.



Shameless self promotion, if you are TR on waterson feel free to send me a PM on joining with my outfit or coordination you would like to try.
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Old 2012-12-23, 05:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #257
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Malorn, I'll go through the points you wanted feedback on, but I'll stress that IMO they are all overshadowed by the one deficiency that I feel needs to be improved on first and foremost, that being the defendability of all bases, towers, and outposts.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
* Do resources need a bigger role? (in theory, a small outfit can better do resource denial with small territories)
I'll give this a blanket "yes" answer, if only because right now, resources usually don't matter at all.

I do remember you yourself, back in Beta and before you joined the dev team, posted a very long and thought-out thread about the PS2 resource system and its implications. Especially the expected possibilities of active resource-denial - or rather, lack of possibilities. Turned out that the system does indeed work just as badly as expected with regards to the role of resources as a strategic asset and target. However, that thread went on pretty long and spawned a good few ideas, might not be a bad idea to go back to that.

* Does territory capture need to be slowed down to allow for response, regrouping, and to wear down a zerg?
Maybe, but I don't think that's a huge issue. IMO the issue isn't too fast cap times, but the defenders being overwhelmed and pushed out too fast, i.e. the fight being over too quickly.

As for rapid response, better tools to read the map and assess territory statuses would help a lot tho. Proper hotspots and SCU status readings would be a nice start.

* Does defense need to be more rewarding XP-wise?
No. Well I mean, it would be nice, but the main reason people aren't defending is because defending sucks donkey balls! Not because there's too little XP to be had.

(As an aside tho, I wouldn't mind seeing the "facility defended" XP return, in a different form such as: Don't award it just because one enemy held one cap point for 5 seconds and then the base was resecured. Reward it only when the base was actually in danger of being taken, like when the defenders' cap bar was half or fully taken off, and then the defenders managed to fully secure it again, that would count as a resecure and yield XP. Unfortunately, that rarely happens, because once you've lost control of a base to that extent, you rarely get it back.)

* Do vehicles need to cost more resources to help reduce spam?
I don't think that would help a whole lot. Besides, that would hit the already weakened side even harder than the big bad zerg that's rolling over them.

* Do deployment options need to be reduced to encourage more natural concentration of force?
Possibly not a bad idea. If anything, it will make the fight in the big picture something it currently also lacks: predictability. Predictability of the zerg is a good thing in that sense.

Thinking back to PS1, you could show me the world map and I could accurately predict the flow of all major fights and frontlines for the next 1-3 hours, provided that all sides where just following the natural pattern of the zerg. The fact that this could be done was one of the foundations on which "tactical, off-zerg play" by smaller outfits were possible - you knew where your zerg was, where the enemy zerg was, who would progress in which direction, and thus when and where was a good opportunity for a small team to strike.

A big factor in this was the clear restrictions of where people could spawn. If you pushed them out of Aja, you KNEW their zerg would now all be spawning south, at Bomazi base and tower, NOT all the way east at Chuku. (God help me if I still got these base names right lol.)

PS2 battle flow, by nature of hexes rather than singular lattice connections, is not going to be able to be predicted in the same manner (even when we've gotten more experienced at PS2 map reading). But I think it wouldn't be bad to bring a little bit of that predictability back - because right now, the battle flow seems rather random, and that's not a good premise for small outfits to stage any operations on.

----------------------------------------------------------

HOWEVER, on to the main point.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
So when I see "undefendable" I believe it is because:
1) There are objectives in the exterior of the facility which can be influenced by the presence of vehicles.
2) The defender spawn is far from the capture point, meaning the defenders need to cross no man's land to get there while the attackers can park an AMS right on top of the point.
Well, yeah. That and even inside of buildings, you're rarely safe from being spammed by vehicles/aircraft.

It's kind of obvious, isn't it? (Obvious enough that people have flailed their arms since early beta saying "Whyyy are all the bases and towers sooo open??")

Regarding PS1 interiors, I think we forget how vehicle zerged the courtyards of bases were. I remember many a time I was camped into the base or tower, unable to get out without tanks and hovering reavers shooting into doorways the moment they were opened.
Except that in PS1, you then could still fight for the interior of the building. In fact, losing the courtyard was often only the beginning of the actual fight in PS1. In PS2, you get cleared out of the important building(s) once, and then you can't reinforce.

Bio labs are actually very close to PS1-style facilities and have the same rocket-spam on the landing pads as you saw in PS1 facility doors after the courtyard got overrun.
You say that as if it's a bad thing.

It's not too worrisome that the airpad area gets spammed - they can't cap the base from there, and can only help their infantry so much by spamming a little way inside the dome.

Now, I don't think the Biolab as it is now is all that great an example for a defensible base. It is defensible - much more so than any other base, outpost, or tower - but mainly because the entry points can be camped relatively easily by the defenders. Which again isn't great fun for either side. As soon as the attackers breach through at one point in significant numbers, the defense quickly falters because the rest of the dome is pretty open and suddenly you have attackers shooting you in the back at every turn.

What makes a base defensible?

- choke points (ideally several to be breached separately)
- defenders' ability to switch their attention from one choke point's defense to another as needed (this is basically what makes "small, organized" outfits so good at fighting at such bases)
- defenders' ability to reinforce quickly (i.e. spawn not half a courtyard away)

This goes for both infantry and vehicle combat.

I don't want to go into too much detail here how the base designs would have to change for them to become more defensible, as that isn't the topic of this thread. I do, however, believe that this is THE most important aspect for much of what doesn't quite feel right in the game as of yet.

Lack of base defensibility from the smallest to the largest bases is

- the prime reason for run-around-the-mill territory capturing as people can't be bothered to defend
- a big reason why small, organized outfits feel like they have no place as their being organized doesn't give them the edge they'd hope when trying to hold off similar or larger numbers
- a big reason why people often say that they have trouble finding "good fights"
- part of the reason why PS2 currently simply does not have a metagame on the "grand strategy" level

It's so important that I feel this is what should be addressed first and foremost. Pretty much everything else, from the resource model to spawn logistics, won't ultimately help if we keep those same "impossible to defend!" bases.

Figgy has been doing insane work on that end, like the case study of an outpost makeover (which I'd link to if I could find it here, duh). What that illustrates is that you don't quite need to rebuild the bases from the ground up, but you do need a serious overhaul of almost any and all bases in the game. That is a serious assload of work, and hence my hopes for some real improvement with the base designs are very slim.
(Besides, looking at what we have today, it really seems like they WANT bases to not be defendible and change hands quickly all the time.)

As an aside tho: Looking purely at the fight for the courtyard, I'd say that Amp Stations right now aren't in too bad shape. You've got vehicle choke points (gates); you've got shields blocking the gates whose generators must be taken out by infantry; you've got high ground for the defenders (which however can be circumvented by Light Assaults - the whole class makes defense harder in PS2); you've got defenders reinforcing the cy with vehicles easily (tho ofc the spawn room is in a stupid position, but defenders mitigate that by putting a Sundy in the central building).
Not all is terribad.
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Last edited by MCYRook; 2012-12-23 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Typos.
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Old 2012-12-23, 07:02 PM   [Ignore Me] #258
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Agree completely that there is no viable role for small outfits. It will definitely cause me to leave the game if not addressed somehow, I really hope Higby etc are reading this thread.

They should also realize that with their BF3 model, a huge percentage of the players of that game roll in a small clan or no clan just running with a couple mates.

While the idea of joining a large or even medium outfit is a shooter experience unique to PS2, I think there are a A LOT of players out there who just don't want to have to roll in a group that large to feel like they are contributing (and the same holds true for having to follow around the zerg).

I know I don't. I have been really frustrated the gameplay since the 2x XP bonus brought in more players. Steamrolling is good for certs but boring beyond all comprehension.
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Old 2012-12-23, 07:14 PM   [Ignore Me] #259
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Originally Posted by nailgun View Post
Agree completely that there is no viable role for small outfits. It will definitely cause me to leave the game if not addressed somehow, I really hope Higby etc are reading this thread.

They should also realize that with their BF3 model, a huge percentage of the players of that game roll in a small clan or no clan just running with a couple mates.

While the idea of joining a large or even medium outfit is a shooter experience unique to PS2, I think there are a A LOT of players out there who just don't want to have to roll in a group that large to feel like they are contributing (and the same holds true for having to follow around the zerg).

I know I don't. I have been really frustrated the gameplay since the 2x XP bonus brought in more players. Steamrolling is good for certs but boring beyond all comprehension.
I'm right on board with this. The game is starting to feel stale just steam rolling or being steam rolled. My non-Vet friends are still pretty wow'd with the game, but I know they'd have even more fun if we had options as a small outfit to really make an impact on the whole game.

Also, I think this thread has moved a little away from "Are big outfits bad for the game?" more towards "Small outfits have no purpose or role in the game. Fix this, SOE". Just my opinion, but perhaps the OP should be edited? There seem to be a few misinterpretations that are resulting in frustrated responses that don't contribute at all.
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Old 2012-12-23, 08:01 PM   [Ignore Me] #260
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


The reason the topics changed was because this topic brought up an integral part of whats missing from game play. Big outfits are not the problem. They are the consequence of what the problem is. That is the Defense and Base Design along with flow of the fight.

You can have the biggest or smallest outfit in the game if bases were made defend able and the flow of battle was predictable then the symptom of large outfits steamrolling a base would not be such a problem. It would allow small groups and even un organized groups to defend objectives.

At least then the defenders could have fun defending the objective and the attackers would finally take the objective but not at the expense of one or the other getting farmed. Or steamrolling the base.

This would also add more infantry combat to the game which it is missing.

Tweaking a few numbers to add remove XP or Limiting spawn points isnt going to solve this problem.

Last edited by MuNrOe; 2012-12-23 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 2012-12-24, 12:10 AM   [Ignore Me] #261
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Miss the days when one cloaker could force a large amount of people to move in to resecure.
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Old 2012-12-24, 12:22 AM   [Ignore Me] #262
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


I agree on the points that base design leaves a lot to be desired in terms of defensibility. Doors need to be added and spawn locations need to be in much more defensible positions in the bases. The SCU for every base actually helped a lot with the spawn camping problem in the early beta as it gave a base capture a clear point at which falling back was required. I still do not understand why it was removed.

The smaller outfits I feel are selling themselves short on effectiveness though. I am a member of the 666th but regularly play as a member of the Rapid Response Team. A group that runs at MAX 24 members deep and those 2 squads very rarely see each other. I have been apart of plenty of base holdouts with just 12 guys that finally ended when there were multiple Platoons of enemy forces hitting us with full on combined arms (Armor, Air, and Infantry). Those 12 guys were tying up 96 or more of the enemies troops plus vehicles. Any small outfit that can field 12 guys can do the same they just need to be well coordinated and (Like someone said earlier) Use their force multipliers to their highest advantage. 12 guys worth of first level anti tank mines well spread out can lock down a roadway, swapping a few of those guys to heavy assault and setting up an ambush to push the armor through the mines can shut down a darn decent size armor zerg. Things like that make a much bigger difference in the capture of a continent than one might think.

On a side note I hate to hear about whatever unfortunate business happened between the 666th and the PG. I have an old RL friend that plays with the PG and from seeing you guys around I know you hold your own. I can't speak for the DD leadership as I am not one but I'll be glad to share a trench with you guys any time.
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Old 2012-12-24, 04:47 AM   [Ignore Me] #263
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Originally Posted by Crator View Post
^ Oh yes, I don't disagree that the outfit member must be CR5 (which shouldn't be an outfit exclusive ranking). I do agree, to control the amount of global chat, that only CR5 outfit members can use global command channels. And also have a timer to use it again after using it.

I guess what I was getting at was a way to give outfits a command rank system of thier own to internally tier the CR5s in the outfit. A way to control which two in the outfit can use global at any time.
Regarding CR5 chat.
I'd suggested somewhere already (might be this thread) that /leader should be continental and /command should be global chat.

The cert price should be much higher (500)
(I would also like Outfits to be able to nominate 1 person per 100 members (up to 3 max) to represent them. But that doesn't fit the certs model until they give us outfit certs/experiences/resources)

Importantly I would like to see chat 'moderated' in the same way an IRC chat channel would be.

Outfit members and those that have bought either the /leader or /command cert ALWAYS join the channel. But can't speak.

Only current those actively Squad Leader or Platoon Leader get a +v (voice) in the channel, and the ability to use /orders or /comall on cooldown.



With an outfit leadership role I want to know what is being discussed in the channel. Usually I am a SL - but if other players lead I still need to read CR5 chat.

Last edited by Stanis; 2012-12-24 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 2012-12-24, 10:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #264
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Put the finishing touches on a video last night which talks about quite a bit of what we talked about in this thread. Should have it posted in a couple hours or so.
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Old 2012-12-24, 01:01 PM   [Ignore Me] #265
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


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Old 2012-12-24, 02:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #266
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Thanks for putting that together. I hope more than just the thread participants are watching.
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Old 2012-12-24, 02:05 PM   [Ignore Me] #267
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Originally Posted by Hamma View Post
Put the finishing touches on a video last night which talks about quite a bit of what we talked about in this thread. Should have it posted in a couple hours or so.
Look forward to watching that.



Malorn, obviously base defenses are horrid and the resource system doesn't really effect meta-g at all, but that's not really what makes me feel like an armed cow in a massive herd of faction cows. It all comes down to this:

My biggest beef as a medium-sized outfit guy is that there is pretty much no way to pick a fight.

No ballsy opening of continents, no gen holds behind the lines, no towers of doom. There's no way to give that middle finger to the enemy on your terms, and hope you and your guys have what it takes to hold them off when they come.

Right now it's just trading hexes. It's boring and predictable... as a platton/outfit leader there are rarely, if ever, any interesting options of how your guys can contribute. I will probably get flamed, but I really miss the option of starting up a TOD when all the main-front action was stale.
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Old 2012-12-24, 02:11 PM   [Ignore Me] #268
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


I haven't read it all but has anyone mentioned how crappy the game is in zergs? Infiltrators are forced into medium - close quarters combat due to draw distance limitations. People are rage quiting from the rediculous power given by HE weapons. Bases are proving to have horrible designs in terms of mass combat situations... And finally; Zergs high light how pointless it is to be a spec ops style player/outfit because the player/outfit become obsolete knowing any back hacking is not only boring, but easily undone.

I might be mistaken but Zergs destroy everything the game was supposed to have.

(I'm venting for the most part and when I feel like the devs are open to contructive input again, I'll add in my .02)
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Old 2012-12-24, 04:45 PM   [Ignore Me] #269
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


Good video Hamma.

I agreed with a lot of what you had to say apart from that you seemed to put a lot of emphasis on resources and tbh, I don't have any faith that they are a solution.

But, the identification of the problems was correct, there are no niches for smaller outfits and bases are not defendable.

(I thing the only base that consistently provides a satisfying fight is the Bio and sadly I don't agree with Rook that the Amp is fine).

One final thing to bring up. Imagine we have several more continents with current populations; several would be empty, surely, apart from a few people ghosting them to get capture xp. I'd say once we get more conts. the fixed XP gain from captures must be proportional to the difficulty of the capture, ghosts should get no xp at all for a cap.
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Old 2012-12-24, 08:32 PM   [Ignore Me] #270
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Re: Huge Outfits and PlanetSide 2


I don't think studios really care if there is majority vs. minority battles on any MMO. Such games are designed to supplement huge populations, so it's par for the course if you're outnumbered as that's what they want; small outfits don't matter. I won't touch on game-wide EvE influence contests as I think it requires a Roundtable discussion between the fans and the devs, though I do have some suggestions about territory capture to make it much less of a Turkey Shoot...

First, one functionality that should be removed is allowing people in vehicles to capture points. I've seen plenty of instances where enemy players, or even members of my own outfit in a heavy tank, Lightning or even a Galaxy can be in proximity of a node, fully protected by its armor, as it safely changes ownership! Now I understand the studio's concern about MAXes being allowed to but, essentially, enabling someone in a vehicle to do it when a MAX cannot is utter nonsense. Second, I don't think any outpost should allow a single player to take it; instead, at least two soldiers per node should be required.

Next we have defenses. In PlanetSide, typically an outpost's or base's defenses were such that, if they detected a nearby enemy, they would engage them without player intervention at all. It would be good if every outpost had self-repairing, hack-proof "auto turrets" that need to be destroyed in their perimeter, possibly separate from their manned counterparts, adding moderate protection from another empire taking it over with impunity. These could also be structured so that the larger or more elaborate the facility, the more deadly these unmanned turrets would be to an invading force. Once the area was captured, commanders could then change the nature of these turrets to AI/AV/AA. This would thus provide more of a challenge to players than them simply walking into an outpost and ghost-hacking without resistance.

Another useful mechanic would be that, depending on an empire's population-influence on the continent in relation to their rivals, a hitpoint bonus on armor and shields was provided to defenders' territory, so it is harder and requires longer for the enemy to capture them. Then if allied players successfully defended a facility, all turrets and shields were automatically repaired to full strength, to prevent overwhelming enemy forces from just invading after losing that particular capture phase.

On a more personal note, I would like mid-air Light Assault players to be flagged as aircraft when confronting AA MAXes. The fact that they are able to fly over the class should mean that their defensive type adjusts while they are airborne (perhaps negating shields against flak), giving AA MAXes a fair opportunity to kill them rather than a continued reliance on AI weaponry to prevail. Last but not least, whilst most energy weapons for the VS are "apparently" allowed to fire at infinite range, I reiterate my misgivings about damage levels being retained no matter how far the ammunition has to travel, and there should also be a tradeoff where infantry-based weapons should overheat for a few seconds after extended firing.
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