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Old 2012-12-17, 09:28 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Electrofreak
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PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I know this is a lot to read, but please lend me a moment of your time and hear me out on this one.

PS1 vets will remember that in the first PlanetSide, when you captured a base, you gained XP that varied based upon how much combat took place within the SOI (Sphere Of Influence) surrounding the base while you were present during the battle. Long, protracted battles would reward those who stayed and fought hard (provided they were on the winning side) by providing a much higher XP reward than a shorter battle. Back-hacking didn't really provide much XP at all since there was little to no combat involved, and neither did showing up at the last moment as the base was captured.

Player kills worked a similar way. You got extra XP for killing a player who had been alive longer and had been making more kills. So when you snuffed out that guy who made mincemeat of 6 other guys in the tower you were defending, you got a good chunk of XP for your effort. PS2 sort-of does this for kill streaks, but it's still not quite the same. This system made spawn camping far less profitable than it is in PS2, as you only got a couple XP for killing someone who spawned a few moments ago. Kill whores will always spawn camp to pad their K/D ratios, but with dynamic XP gain at least they won't be pulling in ridiculous amounts of XP while they do it.

In PS1, the dynamic XP system didn't always exist... if I remember correctly, it was implemented after people started exploiting the static XP system by having a couple guys from opposing factions pick an empty base on the corner of a map somewhere and flip it back and forth for the static XP gain. PS2 had the same problem during beta, and the solution was basically to remove XP rewards for recapturing a base, and to provide XP bonuses made to kills when defending. Unfortunately, this is largely transparent and is one of the main reasons why defending is so unappealing to many.

I'd really like to see PS2 employ dynamic XP gain, only using the hexes instead of the SOI the PS1 bases used. There seems little reason to stay and fight in a protracted battle when you can just hop in a Reaver and fly over whatever base or outpost on the map is about to get capped for an easy chunk of XP in a matter of moments. And, for the record, there are some ways PS2 handles XP better than PS1 did, with kill assist XP and XP for destroying vehicles even if the occupant has bailed out of it, but without dynamic XP gain, it ultimately just rewards rushing the base that's about to be captured and farming Sunderers and spawn rooms.

Think about it; one of the main reasons we play is to gain XP, which gives us the certifications which we use to unlock new weapons and abilities. XP is the carrot being dangled in front of the playerbase, so if we fix the way it's handed out in a matter that better rewards strategic gameplay instead of farming spawns or just zerging towards whatever is about to be captured, we should see PS2 develop some greater depth in gameplay. It's not the answer to all of PS2's issues, but I believe it's a step in the right direction.

I've been wondering if dynamic XP isn't in the game simply because it hasn't been given the development time yet, or if it's a server computing load issue.

Truly, I hope it's the former rather than the latter.

EDIT - After some good discussion in this thread and some feedback from SOE dev (and former respected community member) Malorn, I've decided that I don't think we need to make EVERY aspect of PS2's XP system dynamic.

Here's my current proposed list of changes:
  • Leave anything class-based static (heal/revive/repair/resupply bonuses). This helps to simplify XP balancing.
  • Leave infantry kill payout at 100 XP (no dynamic), just include an XP penalty curve that ramps up to full XP payout within a certain number of seconds after spawning so spawn camping isn't profitable.
  • Include dynamic XP to attackers for base captures, rewarding XP based upon the intensity of the battle in the area.
  • Make defense bonus XP more visible to defenders by showing them that they're getting more XP for defending, encouraging them to stick around.

I think this is all we need to do, and I don't think it would be terribly hard to balance as none of it benefits any class over another, isn't crazy complicated (people will figure out that killing new spawns doesn't pay well), and dangles the carrot in front of attackers and defenders alike to promote epic battles.

After all, epic battles is really what PlanetSide is all about.

EDIT 2 - Victory! One of the main features in the upcoming January 30th patch is dynamic XP! Here's what Higby says is coming for us:

Originally Posted by Higby, post: 985680, member: 36
Experience (XP) system enhancements:
  • Dynamic XP system for player kills, players who have more kills XP earned on their current life are worth more XP. Freshly spawned players will be worth a fraction of the current kill reward.
  • Partial damage XP for dealing damage to vehicles that you don't end up killing
  • Population XP / Resource bonus moved over to continent population instead of global
  • Better display of XP sources for things like defensive bonuses & population bonuses
  • Rebalancing of XP rewards to help support tasks
http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/i...02-info.77203/

No dynamic base XP yet but it's a great start! I'm impressed that they went fully dynamic with kill XP as well as support XP, as it was the more difficult path in terms of development time and balancing than staying static. I really appreciate the effort!
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Last edited by Electrofreak; 2013-01-11 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 2012-12-17, 09:35 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
ShadetheDruid
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I think it would be pretty awesome to have it work like this, especially the part about only getting a few XP for recent spawners.

Even if they just implemented something simple in that vein (tiny XP amounts until you've left a spawn room and been alive for X amount of time), it would be better than what we have now (and likely wouldn't be hard or taxing on the system to do).
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Old 2012-12-17, 09:49 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I wholeheartedly agree, especially in relation to base assault. This means you won't get full xp for showing up just as it flips, and you won't get punished if you leave SOI (why was it always called sphere, it was a cylinder :P) before it turns.

This will also discourage xp-motivated backhacks.

I don't think dynamic kill xp is that important, since it's much harder to spawn camp in PS2 than in PS1. You already get bonus xp for ending kill streaks.
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Old 2012-12-17, 09:58 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I agree. Things like this are why I ask if they spent any meaningful time with the original.

This is another area of a hard lesson learned 10 years ago that's has not been incorporated and improved on for the original. Lessons learned and all that.

It was in the original, and the BF franchise does not do it, so it must be bad.

They still need to redesign bases, the designs promote spawn camping.

Originally Posted by CaptainP View Post
I don't think dynamic kill xp is that important, since it's much harder to spawn camp in PS2 than in PS1.
This has to be a Typo. Must be.

Last edited by MrBloodworth; 2012-12-17 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:04 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


100% agree.


I suspect we ended up where we have in PS2 because of the desire to simplify everything, capping a base where XP = X is very easy to understand.

capping a base where XP = (X*Y)*Z is less obvious.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:07 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Originally Posted by MrBloodworth View Post
This has to be a Typo. Must be.
What I mean is that you can't be killed right out of the spawn tube. Yes, vehicles can camp the entrances to the spawn, but you can always redeploy without dying.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:11 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Yeah, the dynamic XP would be better I think. New spawners should be around 20 XP and should go up according to the time+XP the enemy player has accumulated.

If the server can keep track of health points and kill streak bonuses, then it should be able to do this.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:12 AM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


meh I'm not to swayed ether way it's a nice idea though
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:16 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Originally Posted by CaptainP View Post
What I mean is that you can't be killed right out of the spawn tube. Yes, vehicles can camp the entrances to the spawn, but you can always redeploy without dying.
Spawn camping usually only happened at the end of a base fight in PS1, and usually didn't last long. In PS2, the spawns are easily accessed.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:21 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
Spawn camping usually only happened at the end of a base fight in PS1, and usually didn't last long. In PS2, the spawns are easily accessed.
Correct, spawn camping in PS1 was not about farming, it was to stop the OPFOR from re taking the base.
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Good idea ... been missing this myself in PS2.

I remember times in PS1 where spawn camping and killing a freshly spawned enemy gave you 1 or 2 XP (vs. up to 100-200XP when killing someone who had been alive for some time).
That made spawn camping just a waste of time (besides being lame anyway).
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Old 2012-12-17, 10:33 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I don't agree that camping the spawn entrances in PS2 is necessarily about farming. It always happens in relation to a base capture, and as such it serves a tactical purpose.

That being said, I agree that the spawn camping in PS2 is a problem, but the problem is rooted in base design, not the xp/spawn mechanics in themselves. Do you honestly believe that if they just reduced xp for freshly spawned infantry, vehicles would stop campig the spawn? In my opinion, it is a problem that the spawn unit is detached from the main base, and is isolated in a courtyard full of enemy vehicles. Vehicle dominance and lack of infantry battle is symptomatic for PS2 compared to PS1, but that is a whole other discussion.

TL;DR: Base design is broken, and reduced infantry xp will not fix vehicles spawn camping.
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Old 2012-12-17, 11:01 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


I liked dynamic XP, especially with vehicles.

I also liked shared XP, facilitated squad role specialization without getting left behind.

XP waypoint was cool, another tool for the SL to use.
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Old 2012-12-17, 11:02 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Originally Posted by CaptainP View Post
I don't agree that camping the spawn entrances in PS2 is necessarily about farming. It always happens in relation to a base capture, and as such it serves a tactical purpose.

That being said, I agree that the spawn camping in PS2 is a problem, but the problem is rooted in base design, not the xp/spawn mechanics in themselves. Do you honestly believe that if they just reduced xp for freshly spawned infantry, vehicles would stop campig the spawn? In my opinion, it is a problem that the spawn unit is detached from the main base, and is isolated in a courtyard full of enemy vehicles. Vehicle dominance and lack of infantry battle is symptomatic for PS2 compared to PS1, but that is a whole other discussion.

TL;DR: Base design is broken, and reduced infantry xp will not fix vehicles spawn camping.
I don't think you need to redesign bases to reduce the camping, although i do think a lot of bases would benefit.

Re-securing a base rarely happens due to it being so hard and unrewarding that most people simply move on to the next base.
In PS1 people had to guard the control point as a small organised group could get in to reset the hack, with PS2 there is just no need to defend like that.

If you reduced the xp for newly spawned people and provided some xp for standing on the capture point (or some other action around the base) then you will find a lot less people spawn camping.

At the moment the only way to gain XP after a base has been broadly secured is to camp the spawns.
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Last edited by Mutant; 2012-12-17 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 2012-12-17, 11:02 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: PS2 needs dynamic XP gain.


Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
Spawn camping usually only happened at the end of a base fight in PS1, and usually didn't last long. In PS2, the spawns are easily accessed.
If spawns were indesctructible in PS1, they would have been camped there as well.

I think spawn camping is enabled by accessibility, and either incentive or invincibility. Removing incentive (xp) won't stop spawn camping, because they will still be indestructible and as such people will camp them as long as people keep spawning. My proposal is to move spawn areas away from vehicles and into the bases, reducing accessibility.

The reason I don't have a problem with the spawn mechanics themselves, is because you can't camp like you could in PS1 (there is no debating this). When you spawn, you are safe. Before running outside, you can judge whether or not it's a good idea, and redeploy via the map if you are being camped. This stands in contrast to PS1, where you risked having a MAX in your face right as you spawned, and you were dead no matter what.
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