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Old 2012-11-21, 04:13 PM   [Ignore Me] #16
Phrygen
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Large Zones relative to the map size, very difficult to defend, momentum of large troop numbers is key and somewhat easy, open range for snipers and tanks.
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Old 2012-11-21, 04:44 PM   [Ignore Me] #17
DirtyBird
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Interesting looking back on this.
I should add to mine.....Then Amerish came along.
Apart from last night just for something different, I rarely went back to Esamir once Amerish was released, even time on Indar increased.
Such a desolate, sparse, drab continent in comparison.
Small doses only.
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Old 2012-11-21, 05:13 PM   [Ignore Me] #18
Figment
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
1) Esamir is a continent that seems to have rapid conquest. What do you believe contributes to this?
Rapid conquest occurs from my perspective on three occassions. All have to do with lack of opposition and lack of stall time.

The three occassions where empires expand rapidly are:

South warpgate expansion: Typically a fight at Mani, which takes rather long and is the main objective for the north warpgate empires to ensure a basic frontier to keep the enemy away from the north west or north east warpgate. Control of Mani is essential in holding any ground in the north.

A fight at Mani results in 75% of the rest of the continent being completely outnumbered and ignored by both the NW and NE empires, which in turn allows the south to move unhindered up the middle and both sides. Once they got the central Tech, their march goes on.

NW/NE expansion:
After a Mani fight ends, the southern empire faces an overstretched frontline. They will not be able to hold the east especially, nor the west. Especially if they try to cling on to the tech in the middle. Both empires will quickly retake their near warpgate territories and any nearby territories. Typically they will lose one or two territories in the far north as a consequence of the Mani fight loss, however, they will need far fewer troops to retake those territories - even including Mani - because all the troops have already dispersed from it over a large amount of other territories.

The NW and NE armies after all, have after Mani no direct interest in cutting of the other warpgate completely: the concentration of enemies in those territories is simply too high and the chances of those empire retreating too great. Psychologically, the overstretched frontline is a much easier and more appealing initial prize to regain some resource breathing space for the next Mani fight.

NE expansion:
As described above, after the NW takes Mani, they will start to disperse over the territories towards the south, while NE regroups. Eventually the NW will face a heavier fight with the southern empire than the NE. This forces again a concentration of forces by the southern and NW empires - particularly due to their relative proximity in relation to south-NE distance and leaves the NE free to expand in the north, take Mani without much resistance, take the tech plant in the center and even cut off the NW empire from the warpgate.

2) Esamir typically has some large tank battles, many more than what I observe on Indar. Why do you suppose that is?
There's no choice. Infantry can hold a number of ridges, but can't effectively footzerg or use small vehicles to attack because of four reasons:

1. Distance: It's simply too far (time consuming), unrewarding and unappealing to walk between outposts. You can't even see the other outposts most the time and if you do they're on the far horizon and don't invite to go there.
2. Largely open field: They get picked off too easily if they try to cross it. Fast armoured units are far more suitable for this warfare. It is also much easier to flank a position on Esamir, because you can just drive around something on pretty flat terrain and often that allows you to ignore the main defense orientations (like Jaeger's Fist whose defense is pure south oriented - it will fall immediately to any attack from the north, even if that's a flank/pincer assault from the south). On Indar, chokepoints can be used to slow an enemy down. On Amerish, high ground enhances the defensibility of a position to slow the enemy down.
3. Enemy composition: The other empire brings armour in numbers too, there are no other counters than bringing a high number of your own armour to even get close to the enemy point you want to take. When you do, you will typically swarm and swamp the entire enemy outpost in vehicles and then the defenders can do very little about it due to getting vehicle spawncamped.
4. Warpgate proximity (MBT acquisition options): Especially if a fight happens in the proximity of an enemy warpgate, the invader from the warpgate has access to heavy tanks and the other empire does not. This means that they can quickly overwhelm the highly dispersed enemies in close proximity to their own warpgate at the loss of very few vehicles and press on against an enemy that probably has more problems with heavy tank acquisition (unless they control the Tech Plant). This makes it easier to sustain a tank group and push through. Especially with the higher density of friendly and better armoured numbers near a warpgate.

3) Esamir is sparsely populated with outposts. How does this affect the continental flow and is it good? Is it too sparse?
With less outposts, the total capture time required to go from one side of the continent to the other - especially when not facing or facing only little opposition - is severely reduced.

It also forces empires to focus on the shortest routes to the enemy warpgate a lot more, because these create the risk of getting your entire side cut off from the warpgate. You can see the difference between Amerish and Esamir in capture speed in the north and on Indar in the south even though the warpgates are in roughly the same position to one another.

Regardless, more territories means more time for an empire to regroup and reposition when players on said empire see an attack coming next to a natural stalling because of increased amount of cap timers. In contrast, it only takes three to four steps to reach each other's warpgate on Esamir.

This effect is even greater due to lack of natural borders like you have on Indar.

4) What are the most fun places to fight on Esamir and more importantly why are they fun?
Tough question to answer. There's very little effort involved in actually taking an outposts and therefore very little satisfaction to be gained out of offense or defense. That's made worse because any fun of conquest or pride of achievement is undone by the pointlessness of the capture.

If you try to defend a position you've just taken, you will be overrun by an enemy tank group. If you try to press on, your previous position will be overrun by an enemy tank group and fall even faster and cut your link to your own territory.

This is because you have to make a choice between two or three, if not four next attack vectors (four adjecent enemy territories) and one or two territories behind you that are being or have been recaptured by the enemy in the time it took for you to head over here. This is made worse because due to these territories also probably belonging to two enemy empires. Since the enemy you just defeated has the same choice as you, it is rather unlikely you will meet them half way and there's a good chance they just bypassed you to get to that other base behind or to the side of you. Strategically, it feels a bit pointless to press on and pointless to stay put.

Whatever you do, there's very little chance you can prevent an enemy from attacking your territory somewhere until you have so few territories left that your empire concentrates its forces again.

The hardest to take are the bases, because the third empire simply does not provide you with time to take them if you lost any. Particularly the middle one is often impossible to reach for the NW empire because they get flanked either in the north or west and will often be cut off.

5) What would you change to improve the consistency and flow of battles on Esamir? Why?
Good question.

Assuming there won't be a fourth warpgate in the south east for the eventual intercontinental stuff?

1. Changing terrain features:
Make the southern territory feel less distant to the NE warpgate by connecting the south and east rivers in the east, possibly while connecting the north east to the south east terrain directly. Currently the map shows a clear three staged obstruction from the NE to the SE. This mentally creates a big physical barrier that's unappealing to fight along.

2. Relocate the warpgates:
Possibly move the NE warpgate a little bit further south.

3. Create defensive bottlenecks to stall in between short distance warpgates:
I'm primarily thinking bunker lines and trenches to fall back to as infantry in passes, with largely impassable ridges in between. These more mountainous areas might be made more suited to ATVs and buggies than light and main battle tanks. These would control little buffer zones between the closest warpgates but would not be necessary at longer distances.

4. The implementation of a lattice to reduce options and force confrontations in the field between two enemies along a path:
This would allow for more accurate predictions, effective denial of ADJECENT territory to an enemy (which can currently be ignored).

5. Improve base defenses to ward off pure vehicle assaults:
Do not allow them to dominate the outcome of the outpost control battle, just the domination of the outpost's surrounding terrain. This would force an infantry invasion to take the outpost. It is imperative there is no vehicle spawn camping to accomplish this. Not from tanks nor aircraft.

6. More strategic high ground placed within the open fields for infantry to establish forward bases of operations:
These may consist of simple enclosures and a keep without spawns, per chance some tank traps, either way sufficient room for a Sunderer to quickly drive into and park (perhaps in a garage or an adaption of the typical base wall tower into a more fortified keep?). These could provide for more interesting field battles on foot as they would basically act much like the towers in PlanetSide 1.

7. Adjust amount of territories between warpgates:
Typically I'd increase the amount of territories if warpgates are closer to one another and have larger swaths of land be controlled if they are further away from one another. To ensure that these territories are fought over and enticing to fight over, the "long warpgate distance" bases should be relatively close to one another in the middle and control territory that leads to the proximity of the enemy warpgate: once they're taken over, they pose a bigger psychological threat.

I mean, if there's a large amount of buffer zones left, this provides the sense of "we got time" and "that takes too long/is logistically too hard". By placing the middle bases close together, one encourages the "nearest base principle" and then the longer warpgate distance also gets its zerg clash routes.

8. Stop using very square maps when using three warpgates:
Triangulation shows there's always one side that has the most easy to take homeland because it cannot be isolated into a corner as easily while the other two have a bit more playing room. A triangle would be most obvious, but you can also use bottlenecked areas, donut and "peace sign" shapes etc. Ever so slightly rectangular maps might create more proximity territory. It would also help to control corners of maps of an empire that controls a "central edge" warpgate by creating relatively sheltered and choke pointed corner areas there.

8. Lengthen the practical distance between two nearest warpgates:
By creating gaps and whirling paths in the hex grid along the nearest warpgate routes. Alternatively, islands (or territory surrounded by steep cliffs) only reachable by bridges can be used here to create a sense of ownership, easier defense and "too hard to go for every time".

9. Position the Tech Plant a bit further to the NW:
The NW empire will get flanked constantly. They will need shorter frontlines if they want to have a chance of taking the tech plant.

Main problem with doing that is this would probably increase the standard controlled area for the NE and south even more. Having a pivotal base in the center is not really fair if it's not an even shape map, like if it would be a donut shape for instance. Effectively, the double teamed empire (the double shortest warpgate distance empire) will have most issues here
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Old 2012-11-21, 08:56 PM   [Ignore Me] #19
Whiteagle
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Originally Posted by Figment View Post
1. Changing terrain features:
Make the southern territory feel less distant to the NE warpgate by connecting the south and east rivers in the east, possibly while connecting the north east to the south east terrain directly. Currently the map shows a clear three staged obstruction from the NE to the SE. This mentally creates a big physical barrier that's unappealing to fight along.
Now that I think about you are right, it's quiet the pain in the ass to move south from the North-east.

Of course, it's been awhile since I've bother to stay on Esamir, so I haven't looked to see if the Hex layout still favors latitudinal movement in the North half of the Continent.
That usually left any territory taken in the South vulnerable to whoever was encroaching from the West, be it the Northern or Southern corners.
Oddly, it never seemed the same for longitudinal movement between the North and South West Warpgates despite a similar Hex layout... but that might be due to better initial base designs...

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
2. Relocate the warpgates:
Possibly move the NE warpgate a little bit further south.
Yeah, it always seems like the Northern Warpgats are squished right against each-other...
Like you said, they always seem to be putting their energy into fighting over Mani, leaving the Southern gate free to rush West.

Personally, I'd swap the North-eastern gate with Nott Amp Station, then slice up the land between it and Elsa into vertical Hex strips with the controlling Outpost at alternating ends.

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
3. Create defensive bottlenecks to stall in between short distance warpgates:
I'm primarily thinking bunker lines and trenches to fall back to as infantry in passes, with largely impassable ridges in between. These more mountainous areas might be made more suited to ATVs and buggies than light and main battle tanks. These would control little buffer zones between the closest warpgates but would not be necessary at longer distances.
I don't know about the ridges, but I know I'd make the trenches big enough to swallow Tanks.

Then we could ether jump them in our Buggies and Flashes, or they could bring back BFRs as four legged transport walkers so we can re-enact the invasion of Hoth!

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
5. Improve base defenses to ward off pure vehicle assaults:
Do not allow them to dominate the outcome of the outpost control battle, just the domination of the outpost's surrounding terrain. This would force an infantry invasion to take the outpost. It is imperative there is no vehicle spawn camping to accomplish this. Not from tanks nor aircraft.
Well this is just common sense, but they have shown some improvement on this front.

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
6. More strategic high ground placed within the open fields for infantry to establish forward bases of operations:
These may consist of simple enclosures and a keep without spawns, per chance some tank traps, either way sufficient room for a Sunderer to quickly drive into and park (perhaps in a garage or an adaption of the typical base wall tower into a more fortified keep?). These could provide for more interesting field battles on foot as they would basically act much like the towers in PlanetSide 1.
I know it's the opposite of "high-ground" but I still vote for BIGASS Trenches.
Seriously, if the larger trenches were wide enough to drive down and deep enough to conceal a Sunderer, we could have a vehicle labyrinth where you'd ether be funneled over the few bridges or forced to navigate the treacherous maze.

...In fact, screw Esamir, can we have an entire continent based on this concept?

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
7. Adjust amount of territories between warpgates:
Typically I'd increase the amount of territories if warpgates are closer to one another and have larger swaths of land be controlled if they are further away from one another. To ensure that these territories are fought over and enticing to fight over, the "long warpgate distance" bases should be relatively close to one another in the middle and control territory that leads to the proximity of the enemy warpgate: once they're taken over, they pose a bigger psychological threat.
Indeed, this is one of the things Indar got right.
While people claim the Northern gate has an advantage over the two Southern ones territory wise, they fail to realise that territory is spread over much larger Hexes.
Larger Hexes allow a faction to advance across the map quicker...

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
8. Lengthen the practical distance between two nearest warpgates:
By creating gaps and whirling paths in the hex grid along the nearest warpgate routes. Alternatively, islands (or territory surrounded by steep cliffs) only reachable by bridges can be used here to create a sense of ownership, easier defense and "too hard to go for every time".
...While the smaller Hexes between the South Eastern and Western gates slow them down by forcing them to capture every little Outpost along the way.

Take my earlier suggestion for swapping the North Eastern gate on Esamir for Nott Amp Station.
Yes, this would put it closest to the Elsa Tech Plant but, by redistributing the intervening Hexes into small vertical strips, you'd require that faction to take FOUR Outpost to get there, never mind needing to compete with the other two for the nearest one.

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
9. Position the Tech Plant a bit further to the NW:
The NW empire will get flanked constantly. They will need shorter frontlines if they want to have a chance of taking the tech plant.

Main problem with doing that is this would probably increase the standard controlled area for the NE and south even more. Having a pivotal base in the center is not really fair if it's not an even shape map, like if it would be a donut shape for instance. Effectively, the double teamed empire (the double shortest warpgate distance empire) will have most issues here
I have to disagree with you on this...

Best you'd get out of me is maybe moving Elsa a bit West if the North Eastern Gate swapped out with Nott.

You see, right now the best strategy for the North Western Gate is to push to Elsa; It's a straight shot straight down the path of least resistance from the other two Factions.
Considering that there are already three Major Facilities within a stones-throw of that corner, it's a bit of a hard sell to move a fourth in.

Hell, I would almost argue to swap Elsa Tech Plant with Ymir Bio Lab, but I'm not sure if having the easiest control of all three Bio Labs is equal to having to fight through the other two Factions for MBTs...
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Old 2012-11-22, 12:50 PM   [Ignore Me] #20
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


I don't mind the wide open areas on Esamir as they encourage different kinds of battles that contrast Indar's, and thus offering a diverse gameplay experience. I have been in 50 v 50 stand-offs on open fields, using the berms and trenches to fall back behind, and it is great to see, and still there are areas that require your standard base raids and capping.

I also like the fights at 'The Pit' and other places that are "carved out of the ground;" fights that occur between interesting land forms. I was disappointed that their weren't any major caverns sunken into the ground; caverns so huge that highly skilled pilots could fly through them, and bases could be built into them. They wouldn't be like the caves that the vets seem to hate, but just slight, but pronounced, dips in the terrain. And some thick forest battles as well; I have yet to see a thick forest in Planetside 2 -not even Amerish presents this feature.

As for what makes a great battle? two words: CLUTCH MOMENTS.
I played BC2 rush with my squad for over 300 hours and one of the things that always made us come back for more was those last moment, 'hail mary' disarms; when the attackers are down to ONE ticket, and you guys are on the last mcom (bomb), which has been set off by the enemy. We would go in the building -or where ever it is, and shoot everyone, sweating bullets as one of us disarms to the tune of a chaotic bomb siren getting increasingly irritable. When that save was made, and the 'Your team won' comes up on the screen, there was no greater feeling in that moment; we were all just feeling a great sense of 'YESSS. I am not saying that BC2's mechanics should be copied, but that in whatever way PS2 can achieve ITs OWN brand of clutch moments, it needs to do so.

Battles in PS2 in contrast just consist of one mob rolling against another mob, with no high stakes and few limits. It never comes down to the the wire. The battles feel almost bureaucractic in their process, as one force simply advances through the stages of assembling, moving, killing, capping, reassembling, and moving again. Defenders have nothing to lose as nothing significant happens once a base is 'lost.' The defenders who just lost the base, can simply just keep trying until they get the recap.

A 30 minute lockout timer would GREATLY improve those circumstances, I believe. If I were at a base that I knew I would no longer have ANY access to if I didn't repel the enemy, that base would become all the more valuable to me, and I would probably be sweating bullets while I am trying to repel the enemy at my gates.

Also, how about having bases run on finite resources that have to be replenished, so that when the base is running low, it becomes open to barbarian invasions from the other factions? This would create yet another opportunity for clutch moments. Think about the doom and gloom looming in the air as your platoon is isolated in an amp station that is cut off from influence, and your base's local resources -some kind of power generator, or nanite generator, is running low. And if no one goes on a supply run, your base will soon be indefensible (let's say this is in the future where SOE actually gave walls to amp stations and made them NOT porous). The feeling my team would get if at the last moment, someone came speeding in with fresh supplies and ensuring a measure of continuity to our operations at that base, would be great.

Last edited by brighthand; 2012-11-22 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 2012-11-22, 06:32 PM   [Ignore Me] #21
Figment
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Originally Posted by brighthand View Post
As for what makes a great battle? two words: CLUTCH MOMENTS.
I played BC2 rush with my squad for over 300 hours and one of the things that always made us come back for more was those last moment, 'hail mary' disarms; when the attackers are down to ONE ticket, and you guys are on the last mcom (bomb), which has been set off by the enemy. We would go in the building -or where ever it is, and shoot everyone, sweating bullets as one of us disarms to the tune of a chaotic bomb siren getting increasingly irritable. When that save was made, and the 'Your team won' comes up on the screen, there was no greater feeling in that moment; we were all just feeling a great sense of 'YESSS. I am not saying that BC2's mechanics should be copied, but that in whatever way PS2 can achieve ITs OWN brand of clutch moments, it needs to do so.
What you describe here is a PS1 last ditch effort resecure with less than (one and a) half a minute on the clock, really.

With a set 15 minute timer, you needed to get a resecure hacker in there with enough time to pull it off. If successful, the defender resets the entire 15 minute timer and has a clear win even if you then still have to secure the base by getting it back up to operational status, if you can even beat the enemy out. Either way, you stalled them 15 minutes. You pulled it off.

Deadline pressure with an instant flip back isn't there in PS2. It's more likely you just give up because the task presented is not just monumental as it was in PS1 (single final push or single one chance pushes while fastly outnumbered were possible if played well), it's sheer impossible to pull of if you don't outnumber the enemy now.

Because it's not just flipping the points, which already is tricky even when guarded poorly due to the low ttk, the HUD warning on everyone's screen, influence you have no direct control over if you're at the consoles (have to hope randoms hold the adjecent terrain for you: unlikely) and the many zerglings present, it's also next to impossible to then keep on fighting for that last ditch chance due to the amount of pressure over time, the camping and the tug-o-war taking defenders out of the fight by putting them right next to cap points. The tug-o-war system is a bit more leniant than the ticket system in that respect, but I'd rather see tug-o-war apply only to attacking sides as the chances of being spawncamped are so damn high and logistics vs time after a retreat do not match extremely well.

Especially for a team that's smaller than the enemy, it's typically pointless and even hopeless to even try. :/


In PS2, we've had whack a mole, we've had tug-o-war, but we don't have LLU ("capture the flag with a convoy escort from base to base") or a plain hack (timer) and we don't have CCs where you get the feeling "we could dig in around here to hold out for minutes".

Tbh if the base timer was ten minutes hack and hold, with one CC in a defensible position, like in PS1, rather than 15... I wouldn't have a problem with it. Would be a bit tight to spot and mount a response in time, but eh... It'd be doable if we had an active command chat. Not saying "do this or else", I am saying, look at more alternatives.



In the case of Esamir, putting an LLU in the central Tech Plant, probably wouldn't be a bad idea (and less work than moving the entire base around).



What I don't like about outposts around bases in general is that they have no adjecency rules and typically get captured behind your back and again and again even if you try to retake them. Especially true for Bio Labs. You can say "well defend them!" Well sure... we try. But if you do, you die and respawn and walk back to it, it's already taken and you now have people spawning in the spawn behind you while you're in the wide open and trying to get back to a CC that's also being defended: you're in a crossfire with no backup. Those CCs of such outposts should be in buildings you have very little travel time to from their spawns and ideally should be part of a lattice to force a flow through them to get to the next area. There's so many of them, I'm not sure if that's really viable though. Either way, it's too chaotic and disconnected to organise a fight to and from a Bio Lab in particular. The other buildings are on the ground, so ther's a bit of direct flow and terrain to inch forward on. But with the Bio Lab, you can't both advance on the outpost and hold the teleport at the same time!

The teleports should be a time saving advantage you can conquer once you fought your way to the other outpost or infiltrated the facility to get reinforcements there - but it should be possible to regain control of a teleporter too. You shouldn't be handed control over both ends of it on a golden platter, that just benefits the attacker while it traps the defenders between two evils: either you can't counter-attack or you can't defend.

Last edited by Figment; 2012-11-22 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 2012-11-22, 10:26 PM   [Ignore Me] #22
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


This continent should be embraced as an armor map, but the bases need to be re-arranged to make it a bit more fair than, "Rule the Tech plant, Rule Esamir"

Each faction should be given a tech plant near their warpgate, providing each faction w/ easy access to Tanks to wage all out armor war with.
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Old 2012-11-24, 04:09 AM   [Ignore Me] #23
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Re: Metagame Analysis - Esamir


Originally Posted by Figment View Post
What I don't like about outposts around bases in general is that they have no adjecency rules and typically get captured behind your back and again and again even if you try to retake them. Especially true for Bio Labs. You can say "well defend them!" Well sure... we try. But if you do, you die and respawn and walk back to it, it's already taken and you now have people spawning in the spawn behind you while you're in the wide open and trying to get back to a CC that's also being defended: you're in a crossfire with no backup. Those CCs of such outposts should be in buildings you have very little travel time to from their spawns and ideally should be part of a lattice to force a flow through them to get to the next area. There's so many of them, I'm not sure if that's really viable though. Either way, it's too chaotic and disconnected to organise a fight to and from a Bio Lab in particular. The other buildings are on the ground, so ther's a bit of direct flow and terrain to inch forward on. But with the Bio Lab, you can't both advance on the outpost and hold the teleport at the same time!

The teleports should be a time saving advantage you can conquer once you fought your way to the other outpost or infiltrated the facility to get reinforcements there - but it should be possible to regain control of a teleporter too. You shouldn't be handed control over both ends of it on a golden platter, that just benefits the attacker while it traps the defenders between two evils: either you can't counter-attack or you can't defend.
Aye, there in lies the rub...

The domes of the Bio Labs are great as since they are an Infantry-only battlefield (unless someone is crazy/skilled enough to pilot a fighter in there) but, because they are off the ground away from the tanks, you are limited in ways to assault them on foot.

It's especially noticeable when the teleporters aren't working...

The is double troubling for defenders as well, since you'll only be able to exit from the air-pads in that situation if you want to retake the satellite spawns.

Originally Posted by MrSmegz View Post
This continent should be embraced as an armor map, but the bases need to be re-arranged to make it a bit more fair than, "Rule the Tech plant, Rule Esamir"

Each faction should be given a tech plant near their warpgate, providing each faction w/ easy access to Tanks to wage all out armor war with.
Actually, that wouldn't be a bad idea...
Switching the Bio Labs with Tech Plants would make the South Eastern corner much more valuable while making the constant struggle for the Major Facilities standing between the North Western gate and the other two actually worth while.
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