Improvement: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2012-04-15, 04:43 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Brigadier General
Xyntech's Avatar
Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

"Winning" will never happen in Planetside 2. It's an ongoing war for our enjoyment. Despite this, the idea of longer term goals and some extended persistence are things that keep cropping up in discussions.

Another couple of things that keep cropping up are the problems with footholds, and a desire from many to see continent locks make a return as one of the solutions to having some longer term goals and objectives.

The way I see it, footholds are in most ways pretty similar to sanctuary warpgates. The biggest difference is that you have no load screen to get from the base to the rest of the continent. I think this just streamlines things and doubt it will be too big a change in most ways.

However the biggest way footholds change things is by removing the potential for continent locks. You take all of the territory, but then both sides can immediately waltz out of their foothold and start taking it back. No time to breath or take the fight somewhere else.

So here is my idea to bring continent locks back.

The Idea:
First off, this will require more than 3 continents, so it will be a "down the road" idea. At least 4, preferably more, would be needed.

Each empire would control at least 1 foothold at any moment. No two empires could have a foothold on the same continent as each other. An empire could control a maximum of as many footholds as there were continents, minus two. One continent/foothold each for the other two empires.

To capture a foothold, an empire must:
A) Capture all territory on a continent
B) Vote during the time the continent is locked to decide which warpgate will be the new foothold

During the voting period, the continent would be locked and no enemies would be able to gain access or capture territory. Players of that empire would be able to spawn freely at all warpgates on that continent. After the lock timer was up, whichever warpgate got the most votes would be the new foothold. However, the other warpgates would then become broadcast warpgates that the other two empires could use to access and start attacking the continent once again.

To lose a foothold, an empire must:
A) Have at least one other foothold on another continent
B) Lose all territory on the continent to a single enemy empire

Simply losing all territory would not get rid of your empires foothold if the other two sides were still fighting it out on the continent. If one enemy empire does capture all of your territory however, you will be kicked off the continent back to one of your other footholds.

All empires would have a minimum of one foothold at all times. If pushed back to that last foothold, the continent would not lock and your empire would still be able to leave the foothold to try and capture new territory (perhaps with excessively long capture times on all territory not connected to the foothold).

What this idea would create is a longer term goal and persistence in the form of footholds that will probably not change as often as territory. When you log back in, odds will be reasonable that at least most of your footholds will still be the same.

Additionally, it will create a strong sense of propriety about true "home continents." Continents where an empire collectively decides that THIS will be the continent who's foothold they will protect at all costs. The continent which, if they lose it, they will fight the fiercest to take back.

Of course, you would not be limited to just one. If there were 10 continents, you could hold as many as 8 of them as your home continents at any given time. If there were 5 continents you could hold up to 3. Better start prioritizing which ones are your favorites.

Obviously voting is a touchy subject on things like "voting for leaders" and stuff like that, but I think it would be okay for something like picking which warpgate was your foothold. It's not something that would destroy your empire if the "wrong" one was chosen.

Voting could also be handled a few different ways. One being that everyone on your empire who is currently logged into the actual game during the voting time can cast their vote. Another is that anybody with an account can use that account to cast a vote, even if they aren't logged into the game at the time.

I tend to prefer the idea of only having players who are actively playing at the time being able to vote, since they will more often than not have been the ones fighting in the battle that won them the continent. But being able to cast a vote from your phone (one vote per account or whatever) would be another cool way to stay involved with the game when you weren't playing.

So give your ideas on what's right or wrong with this idea, how it could be improved, etc.

Obviously it's not something that's going to happen with just 3 continents, and I think that 6 continents would be a preferable minimum for the idea to work properly, but technically it should be able to work even with 4 continents.

4 continents would just turn it into a bit of a clusterfuck where two sides would be defending their turf and trying to take one of the third empires two continents, while the third empire struggled desperately to hold on to it's footholds and beat back the other two empires on their own home continents to try and deny them resources.

Could be a fun sort of a clusterfuck, but probably best if this idea had more room to work with. Maybe if enough people liked something like this, it could be worked into the 5 year plan. Maybe there is some variant of the idea which I haven't that of, that could be worked in sooner with just 3 continents.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 2012-04-15, 08:39 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
First Lieutenant
Immigrant's Avatar
Re: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

Generally I like the idea of one side being able capture entire continents and to force others off them for awhile. Also "home continent" idea has it charms... but I didn't play PS1 to know how this stuff really works and there are no comparable MMOs. Maybe it a bit too early for these ideas as you noticed yourself and suspect we'll be wiser after playing and experiencing the game for awhile when open beta launches.
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-04-15, 03:39 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Re: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

Cont locks were intentionally removed, not inadvertently removed.

1) Kicking someone off a continent reduces the size of the playable game world by removing it as a place of action. That isn't good.

2) Continent locks means you have to break into a continent, which was easy to defend, hard to do, which further limited things and led to silly tactics & intentional double teaming because you had to. In order to break into a continent you needed to hit a continent that the defender couldn't adequately defend. This usually led to either a steamroll of a continent with little opposition or a stiff resistance as they relocated to defend. Relocating isn't fun, and neither are any of these behaviors.

3) Time spent finishing a lock or breaking into a continent was dead time. It was tedious work that usually meant you didn't get any good fights for a while unless you relocated, and if you did that what's the point of the lock? All it did was remove a fight from you and the opponent and force you both to relocate, wasting time.

4) PS2 only has 3 continents to start the game, having them lock would severely limit playble land.

The whole point is to have an endless war. Pushing someone back to a foothold is accomplishment enough. You've already deprived them of many tactical options and resources with which to pull vehicles and upgrades and they're likely to relocate due to those reasons, but at least they have a foothold and can come back or at least attempt to keep up the fight.

The only real benefits of a continent lock were
A) enemy empires couldn't HART into the continent - and there is no HART in PS2
B) you get a benefit for owning the continent

A doesn't apply anymore, and B can be achieved with other means.

I had ideas about lock benefits (without actually locking the continent) in this thread:
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Old 2012-04-15, 04:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Brigadier General
Xyntech's Avatar
Re: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

Clearly having 3 continents at the start wont work for this idea, but presumably we will be getting more continents and locations over time. I'm hoping at least 1 or 2 new continents a year.

Planetside 1 fostered a strong sense of pride in ones home continents, which I think would be a worthy thing to carry over into PS2.

Having the footholds be impermanent would add a layer of choice, being able to decide which continents you wanted to be your home continents. It would also add a much stronger sense of accomplishment when retaking a lost continent, since you would be reestablishing your foothold itself, not just pushing out from your sanctuary warpgate.

This is a much longer term idea though. I think sticking to 3 continents for the life of the game would be really terrible, so I think it's safe to assume that we will either get more continents or the game will be mostly dead within a few years. What happens when we have 6 continents instead of 3? A single foothold for each empire on each of the 6 continents? I think the foothold idea is a good solution for when there are only 3 continents, but it will be far worse of a solution once there is more room to breath.

Continent locking isn't essential to the idea either. Replace cont locking with having it take an extra long time to cap any bases not touching a broadcast warpgate for a little while after capping the continent.

I like the direction you are going with your ideas in that thread Malorn. In actuality, I don't see much conflict between most of our ideas between the two threads. For example, the VS could have the foothold on a continent from a previous total victory, but the TR could be currently dominating a majority of the territory and be the ones who are gaining the continental benefit. Maybe the VS still got some additional homefield advantages of some kind, but not the major benefit.

My biggest concern is not with continent locks. My biggest concern is with fostering that sense of propriety which helped make many PS1 battles so fierce, as well as adding as many longer term goals and persistent elements to the battlefield as possible. Obviously there are a ton of problems with a "win" scenario, but having as many parts of the battlefield that are slower to change from moment to moment as possible will certainly make the game feel a lot more persistent. Nothing would be permanent, but you would have something to look at each time you logged in and say 'hey, we still hold X continent,' or 'nice, got a new continental benefit' or 'wtf, how did we lose that one? At least we still have Y and Z.'
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This is the last VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-04-15, 06:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
PlanetSide 2
Game Designer
Re: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

I think my next epic thread will be about scaling across servers and continents.

That's a big picture issue IMO. When you have prime time when populations are at their peak, best case all three empires are nearly maxed out on every continent, but what happens as more continents are added or as the populations change throughout the day and over time?

Locking is one way of narrowing content down to the appropriate size given the population. That was one nice benefit of locks - it helped focus the battles to a handful of continents to keep the population there. In PS2 they're going to use the mission system to encourage people to fight on a few places as the population gets low.

One disappointing thing was that they plan on having traditional "servers" in PS2 instead of having one unified world with lots of continents/planets to do battle on. I had hoped that PS2 was going to be like EVE where there is one universe where all players share but the conflict is localized. Then as more continents come along they can expand the universe. With only 3 continents to start the only way to do that would be to have duplicates of the continents, possibly with different starting positions (there's 6 possible configurations for the footholds for each continent). Then as new continents come along they can replace the duplicates with fresh continent.

This is a topic that seems most interesting to me at this time. It's a massive perpetual war, but how does it scale?
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Old 2012-04-17, 08:58 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
Brigadier General
Xyntech's Avatar
Re: Better Footholds, Continent Locks, and Longer Term Persistence

With only 3 continents, I have been pondering that. I am wondering if characters will be unrestricted as far as entering different servers.

Your main server full? Join another.

Unfortunately that would destroy much of the community aspect of logging into YOUR server to fight YOUR battle on YOUR territory.

We'll have to see how it plays out.

Ideas like mine may be a bit premature, but I don't think it's ever too early to start coming up with some of this stuff, especially with the 5 year plan they mentioned. But we will definitely have to see how 3 continents scales before we can now exactly how it will need to be improved in the future.
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