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Old 2014-06-21, 04:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Edfishy
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Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Higby explained on the PS2 forums how and why they're doing Hossin now.

The jist is that it takes the level designers 2-3 weeks to produce a "Amerish-quality" outpost, with that time roughly multiplied out by a factor of 80 to fully complete a continent. Higby describes Hossin's outposts at the moment as being 50% polished, 25% first pass, and 25% copy-paste bases, and refers to Hossins early release as an "Early Expedition" continent.

Well heck, I say you throw down some construction equipment and barrels and just make this a part of the game! Make new continents that "aren't fully established" a part of the game's lore.

For new "expedition" continents, I imagine it couldn't take much more than a month for SOE's artists to create the raw landscape. Cookie cutter in some PS2:Beta style bases and you're talking a new continent every month or so! (Ranik here even suggested a rudimentary base placement setup for Outfits)

I can understand with SOE's new locking mechanism that they might have qualms in the cases where new players might end up locked into "Low Quality" continent. That's why if expedition continents to be a thing, I'd have their mechanics different so they are locked / unlocked along with the "High Quality" continents, something akin to the battle islands.

What do you think? Are more "Early Expedition" continents an answer to PS2's continent problem?

Edit: I had previously misquoted that there were "80 outposts" that needed to be done per continent. This has been corrected!
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Last edited by Edfishy; 2014-06-21 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 2014-06-21, 04:27 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
ringring
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Originally Posted by Edfishy View Post
Higby explained on the PS2 forums how and why they're doing Hossin now.

The jist is that it takes the level designers 2-3 weeks to produce a "Amerish-quality" outpost, and there's roughly 80 outposts needed to be finished per new continent. Higby describes Hossin's outposts at the moment as being 50% polished, 25% first pass, and 25% copy-paste bases, and refers to Hossins early release as an "Early Expedition" continent.

Well heck, I say you throw down some construction equipment and barrels and just make this a part of the game! Make new continents that "aren't fully established" a part of the game's lore.

For new "expedition" continents, I imagine it couldn't take much more than a month for SOE's artists to create the raw landscape. Cookie cutter in some PS2:Beta style bases and you're talking a new continent every month or so! (Ranik here even suggested a rudimentary base placement setup for Outfits)

I can understand with SOE's new locking mechanism that they might have qualms in the cases where new players might end up locked into "Low Quality" continent. That's why if expedition continents to be a thing, I'd have their mechanics different so they are locked / unlocked along with the "High Quality" continents, something akin to the battle islands.

What do you think? Are more "Early Expedition" continents an answer to PS2's continent problem?
160-240 weeks is between 3 to 4.5 years to create a continent and I think they have 1 full time and 1 to 2 part time level creators at present.

The devs just have to do something.
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Old 2014-06-21, 05:55 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
BlaxicanX
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


I think that them needing 80 bases per continent is ridiculous.

I think that them needing 3 weeks to create one base is ridiculous.

I've always felt that there's too many bases, especially when you consider the ratio of # of bases versus the importance of any particular base. Aside from AMP stations, Tech-Labs and Biolabs, regular bases really have no significance aside from geological ones. There's really no reason for why every single base, or nearly every single base, needs to be custom-designed.

On each continent, a "template" for normal bases should be created, with just one or two minor variations. Then those templates should be C/P'd across the continent, shaping the terrain to fit around the bases. The only bases should require hand-crafting are the extremely important ones.
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Old 2014-06-21, 06:03 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Edfishy
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Not sure if it was even 80 outposts specifically that he was referring to, but just overall quality assurance. Full quote:

Originally Posted by Higby
...we've figured out that creating a "good" outpost in Planetside 2 takes about 2-3 weeks of level design, art playtesting and iteration time minimally, per outpost. Multiply that by 80 or so, and you'll get a good idea of how much work is required for a high-quality continent.
My bad... :c

Edit

Originally Posted by BlaxicanX
I've always felt that there's too many bases, especially when you consider the ratio of # of bases versus the importance of any particular base. Aside from AMP stations, Tech-Labs and Biolabs, regular bases really have no significance aside from geological ones. There's really no reason for why every single base, or nearly every single base, needs to be custom-designed.
Yeah, it does feel really weird doesn't it? Bases are literally stacked one on top of another. I've come to wonder if it wasn't done for two reasons:

#1. Shorten the walking distance towards another fight. Which was a miscalculation considering how outfit ops usually play out + spawn in transport.

#2. Reduce the impact of players popping into the distance by putting bases in the way. Honestly though, I never remember this being a problem in north Indar, or old Esamir.
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Old 2014-06-21, 06:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
Stardouser
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Originally Posted by Edfishy View Post

Yeah, it does feel really weird doesn't it? Bases are literally stacked one on top of another. I've come to wonder if it wasn't done for two reasons:

#1. Shorten the walking distance towards another fight. Which was a miscalculation considering how outfit ops usually play out + spawn in transport.

#2. Reduce the impact of players popping into the distance by putting bases in the way. Honestly though, I never remember this being a problem in north Indar, or old Esamir.

You know in your heart that it's to keep down time-to-engagement pacing to help appeal to other games' players. They could always have ridges and stuff to make a distance-breaker (responding to #2) but the players of certain other games just won't play if you can't spawn and be shooting/shot at within a certain number of seconds.
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Old 2014-06-21, 07:23 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
Edfishy
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


So let's come up with a HART transport that goes between bases or something.

Personally, I'm for a split between "Grunts" (free players) and "Elites" (paying players). Grunts play COD and are given quick travel to bases, while the rest of us play PS and rely on transportation. But that's a different discussion altogether... >.>
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Old 2014-06-21, 07:37 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
BlaxicanX
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


That's dumb.
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Old 2014-06-22, 02:28 AM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


80 bases per continent is fine, good even. Just increase the distance between them and make the continent bigger. Right now it seems very unrealistic. Instead of a continent, we have a county.
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Old 2014-06-22, 04:14 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
Figment
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Tbh, they should release continents with 60% copy paste... then refine later.

Terrain variety is more important than base variety.
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Old 2014-06-22, 05:44 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Originally Posted by Figment View Post
Tbh, they should release continents with 60% copy paste... then refine later.

Terrain variety is more important than base variety.
Didn't they imagine creating 2 new continents per year at the start? At this rate it will be one per year and this year's is Hossin.

Perhaps in the long run we'll get the continents but it's worthwhile recalling the quote from John Maynard Keynes about 'the long run'.
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Old 2014-06-22, 07:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Let's just get enough continents in to have a good Planetside continent locking system. Copy/Paste all you need to. Just get it done. The detail of all the different outposts and towers (other then landscape) are nice but let's not sacrifice the real Planetside meta-game any longer then needed please.

I agree about the amount of locations between major facilities too. Way too many if you ask me.
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Old 2014-06-22, 07:55 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


I like the idea of a continent with wilderness more than outpost outpost outpost base outpost outpost outpost base.
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Old 2014-06-22, 08:41 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
Blynd
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


I look forward to the day someone in the Dev team says

" we should make fewer outposts and space the bases our more, this would make creating continents much faster and allow for meaningful ground vehicle warfare. "

It maybe a while off but hell you can wish

I'd rather play on 10 half built continents then 4 fully finished ones forbade next few years. Hossin should have been released last year and then as with the costs so far upgraded as they went.
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Old 2014-06-22, 09:17 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
Warborn
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


More places to fight period doesn't mean much if those places aren't well-designed. Continents sitting empty because nobody likes fighting there doesn't add much to the game.
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Old 2014-06-22, 09:27 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
Stardouser
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Re: Higby's "Expedition" Continents


Originally Posted by Warborn View Post
More places to fight period doesn't mean much if those places aren't well-designed. Continents sitting empty because nobody likes fighting there doesn't add much to the game.
Somehow they need to get the game away from the siege mentality. Sometimes there are small fights in the spaces between bases, but not too often. Right now, the game is based on one side surrounding another side's base, and that's where most fights are determined - either you successfully get to where you can blast the defenders as they come out of the spawn, and in so doing hang on until it's capped, otherwise you get your vehicles blasted out from under you and driven off.

But if we could have 16 km continents with big distances between outposts, and (this is just a potential idea, not necessarily a suggestion) what if bases could be capped a lot faster? Outposts capture in 90 seconds max? Then there would be some value to interdicting enemy vehicles in the wilderness between bases, getting us away from the mentality of every fight must be one enemy laying siege to a base and blasting people coming out the spawn.

Of course, such a distance between bases would not appeal to the players coming from other games where the round lasts ~30 minutes and they just fast respawn deathmatch; but then these guys don't really like the current system of spawn suppression, surely?
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