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PlanetSide 2 Sucks

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  1. DISCLAIMER!
  2. The post you are about to read is quite bias in favor of making this game closer to PlanetSide 1.
  3.  
  4. Developers: Despite the fact that many things from PlanetSide 1 will likely never return, I feel that lessons from this post can be applied into modifying and creating new mechanics for PlanetSide 2. I’m also quite tough on you guys. Despite that, I think you’re great people and doing the best you can, I just feel you’ve just missed the mark on many things. Some of these things most likely can’t ever be fixed. However, I hold out hope that some of them can, especially in the three year plan of PlanetSide 2.
  5.  
  6. Players: If you disliked PlanetSide 1 and think that PlanetSide 2 is a great game, you’ll probably disagree with most of this post. Please read the entire thread carefully and understand what I’m trying to say. Despite my obvious PlanetSide 1 bias, I still want PlanetSide 2 to have new mechanics and gameplay, I just feel it’s much too far from the original.
  7. I. Introduction
  8. First, I’d like to begin this by saying PlanetSide 2 is a game I eagerly anticipated for many years. I started playing the original PlanetSide in the early stages of its Closed Beta Test. From then on, I was hooked. What SOE produced so long ago was a FPS game with the depth of an MMO, but without any level or time advantage to stomp new players with better stats. It was a difficult game with a high skill cap. A small squad or even a single person could bring ruin to a full Galaxy drop. Base defenses could be managed with far inferior numbers with the proper tactics and skill.
  9.  
  10. When talk of a possible sequel to PlanetSide was coming, the thought overwhelmed me with happiness and excitement. I had to be one of the biggest fan boys for this game. I regularly hyped this game up to many friends and acquaintances. A full blown sequel to PlanetSide was coming. I’d explain to these people constantly why PlanetSide was so great. Now that it was getting a graphics overhaul and a fresh “modern FPS” take on gunplay and vehicle physics, everyone would want to try this game!
  11.  
  12. Unfortunately, many of the things that made PlanetSide great aren’t present in PlanetSide 2; way too many things. In this article I will discuss the flaws of PlanetSide 2, and the important depth, mechanics, and “magic” it failed to capture from the original PlanetSide.
  13. II. PlanetSide or ContinentSide?
  14. One of the most amazing elements of PlanetSide was that its title was representative of what you could actually expect in the game. The original PlanetSide is a MMOFPS in which the three empires fight for control over Auraxis on ten different unique continents. Each of these continents had specific biome types – desert, arctic, temperate, and volcanic. Since there were so many large continents to fight over, a global strategy was needed to properly organize your forces and persevere. Since there were so many continents, and thus, plenty of room to fight over, continents were capable of being entirely captured by an empire. These “continental locks” were not only extremely satisfying, but strategically important in the overall game.
  15.  
  16. On top of all of this, you had your own Sanctuary, a peaceful area which could be used for planning, rearming, and as a strategic rally point. I could best describe the Sanctuary as the calm before the storm. It was quite awe inspiring to see dozens of tanks, dropships, buggies, fighters, bombers, and other various vehicles and infantrymen gather up and prepare for war on the other continents. The Sanctuary was removed from PlanetSide 2 to get players into the battle faster. Despite the fact that the Sanctuary did little to slow down anything in PlanetSide, other flawed game mechanics in PlanetSide 2 are making getting back into the fight slower than in PlanetSide 1. I talk more about this in Section 5, which is entirely dedicated to this issue.
  17.  
  18. What PlanetSide 2 has done has eliminated the “Planet” from “PlanetSide.” Currently, the beta features one continent. While we have been promised three continents at release, currently SOE’s CEO John Smedley is thinking more around the lines of two. On top of all this, SOE has a stance where they don’t want continents to be locked so they don’t limit their players content, and force them to play only in certain areas. Don’t worry, you’ve already limited us to certain areas by making an exponentially smaller game. PlanetSide had several continents of each biome type. That way you typically had access to fight in a continent from each biome type. The new system in PlanetSide 2 is massively underwhelming and should prove a huge disappointment to my fellow PlanetSide veterans. In the original PlanetSide closed beta test, we had access to all ten continents and our respective empire’s sanctuaries. Additionally, the game’s mechanics and systems were largely fleshed out and around 90 percent completed. In the PlanetSide 2 closed beta test, we have access to one continent, and hopefully a second if we’re lucky. Not only that, the game plays like an alpha test, in regard to game mechanics, systems, and balance.
  19.  
  20. ·The amount of continents coming to PlanetSide 2 at launch is very underwhelming
  21. ·By focusing too much of it’s resources on only a few continents that you can never lock, SOE has effectively destroyed the global strategy that was a massive part of the original game
  22. ·Sanctuary, an iconic and useful area of the game, was removed for the wrong reasons and other flawed design decisions are slowing down getting into the fight
  23. ·PlanetSide offered more depth and better choices of where to fight; it was also very close to the final product in it’s early beta stages
  24. ·Comparatively, PlanetSide 2 still feels like an Alpha and features much less content and depth
  25.  
  26. III. Facilities
  27. In PlanetSide, facilities were the main focus of battles on a continent. While they could be quite spread out between a few bases, empires would fight for these facilities inch by inch. Epic battles would take place for hours. Eventually, fighting for the base would occur. Facilities in PlanetSide were very defensible. However, every single battle on PlanetSide wasn’t always a fair game in regards to population. This required both aggressor and defender to have both a well thought out strategy, in addition to clever and well thought out tactics to ensure victory.
  28.  
  29. Towers were another important point of contention in PlanetSide. They were an additional line of defense against attackers, providing an easier way to join the base defense. Not only that, they provided a few extra base turrets which could be upgraded to fierce Anti-Air or Anti-Vehicular weaponry. While not as defensible or crucial as facilities were, towers were still important and quite defensible with even small squads of infantry.
  30.  
  31. Enter Planetside 2. PlanetSide 2 facility fights just don’t have the same depth as classic PlanetSide. No longer do facility fights feel epic. They feel forced and repetitive. The amazing base flow in PlanetSide no longer exists. For example, bases were often taken in PlanetSide without even downing the generator. In PlanetSide 2, it just seems like a race to down the spawn generator and that’s that. Downing the generator in PlanetSide could be both a benefit as well as a detriment. Not only that, the defender’s advantage has been largely erased from PlanetSide 1 to PlanetSide 2. The original PlanetSide had a number of choke points that allowed even smaller outfits to utilize good tactics and player skill to hold bases against great odds. . A lot of these issues in PlanetSide 2 are because of poor planning and thought process going into their World and Level design. For those of you that have read Part 1 of my “Veteran’s response” series, I have gone into greater detail outlining and explaining these design flaws and how it’s negatively affecting PlanetSide 2. Here are the main points:
  32.  
  33. ·Numbers are too important in Planetside 2 compared to it’s predecessor, despite developer promise
  34. ·Hexes adjacent to major outposts/bases play too large of a role in Planetside 2
  35. ·Control points in Planetside 2 make base fights too number focused and ruin the magic Planetside 1 base fights had
  36. ·Bad level design make important objectives too easily captured/spammed/destroyed
  37. ·Level design flaws make base fights not work in a fun manner
  38. ·Mobile spawn flaws compound problem, and their proposed/upcoming changes won't completely eliminate issues
  39. ·Fights often don't last long enough due to capture mechanics/hex system, so you spend a lot of time traveling between fights
  40. ·Babysitting points and resecuring ghost hacks are NOT FUN
  41. ·Too much gameplay is outside
  42. ·The inside gameplay is effected too heavily by the outside gameplay
  43. ·The inside areas are underwhelming and too reminiscent of Battlefield
  44. ·People who want to enjoy Infantry only fighting have a hard time finding it
  45.  
  46. While I’m not allowed to crosslink my original post on these forums, feel free to find it via my profile. I go into more in depth discussion on these key issues and why they’re bad for the game.
  47.  
  48. IV. The PlanetSide 1 Certification System is superior to the one in PlanetSide 2
  49. The certification system from the original PlanetSide is much different than what you have in PlanetSide 2. The most important part of the PlanetSide certification system was the fact that it granted no power whatsoever. Having a higher battle rank never granted you more power. A Battle Rank 1 utilizing the same certification as a Battle Rank 20 at the same time could result in a victory for the Battle Rank 1. Why? Player skill determined the outcome of fights. A Battle Rank 1’s MCG and Rexo Armor was no different than that of a Battle Rank 40’s. This was one of the most brilliant design decisions that the original PlanetSide utilized. However, PlanetSide 2 has gone astray from this system. Certifications grant power. Implants grant power. A day 1 character is nowhere close to a year 1 player in terms of strength. This alone has killed one of the greatest things about PlanetSide, and while it hasn’t completely put PlanetSide 2 in the “pay to win” category, it has sacrificed superior gameplay for a terrible system that is a blatantly obvious way to cash grab.
  50.  
  51. Originally, PlanetSide had a Battle Rank cap of BR 20. This allowed your character a healthy amount of certifications to have an enjoyable play experience. However, this cap was also useful in preventing players from becoming too flexible, and encouraged teamwork and even specialized outfits. While you could forget certifications, it took a good amount of time that you usually couldn’t switch much to effect a single battle. When SOE raised the Battle Rank cap in later patches, they destroyed another great element of PlanetSide and created the “one man army” syndrome. High ranking characters (BR 25 and higher) essentially became human swiss army knives, as they had so many different options. While you couldn’t do all these things at once, you had the option to switch to any number of these things at the closest equipment or vehicle terminal.
  52.  
  53. The development team has said they wanted to do this system to prevent the “one man army” syndrome with their new class system. However, if you look at the many different options that is available to a brand new, Battle Rank 1 character, you can clearly see this problem is worse than ever:
  54.  
  55. ·Medium Assault (PS1 Certs: 2) (In PS2 as: Medic Weapon)
  56. ·Heavy Assault (PS1 Certs: 4) (In PS2 as: Heavy Assault weapon)
  57. ·Reinforced Exo-Suit (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Heavy Assault survivability/Heavy Assault carries Heavy Assault Weapon and AV Weapon simultaneously)
  58. ·Anti-Vehicular (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Heavy Assault AV Weapon)
  59. ·Sniping (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Infilitrator Weapon)
  60. ·Infiltration Suit (PS1 Certs: 2) (In PS2 as: Infiltrator ability)
  61. ·MAX Armor – Anti Infantry (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: MAX Class)
  62. ·MAX Armor – Anti Vehicular (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: MAX Class)
  63. ·Air Cavalry Scout (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Mosquito/Reaver/Scythe)
  64. ·Air Support (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Galaxy/Liberator)
  65. ·ATV (PS1 Certs: 1) (In PS2 as: Flash)
  66. ·Armored Assault 1 (PS1 Certs: 2) (In PS2 as: Lightning)
  67. ·Armored Assault 2 (PS1 Certs: 1) (In PS2 as: Prowler/Magrider/Vanguard)
  68. ·Hacking (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Infiltrator passive)
  69. ·Medical (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Medic abilities)
  70. ·Advanced Medical (PS1 Certs: 2) (In PS2 as: Medic abilities)
  71. ·Engineering (PS1 Certs: 3) (In PS2 as: Engineer abilities)
  72. ·Combat Engineering (PS1 Certs: 2) (In PS2 as: Engineer abilties, Boomer (C4) on every class except Infiltrator and MAX with easy to get certification)
  73.  
  74. That is a total of 46 certification points. Not only that, there are even more PlanetSide 1 certifications you can obtain such as Advanced Hacking and Air Cavalry Assault from very short times in gameplay. To get that many certifications in PlanetSide 1, you need to be Battle Rank 40, which unlocks every certification in the game. Battle Rank 40 is arguably one of the worst things to happen to the original PlanetSide. Many people thought raising the cap over Battle Rank 20 was bad because it allowed you too many options. However, Battle Rank 40 takes the cake. It granted you every single certification in the game, which was a large detriment to team play. Somehow, while trying to create a system that avoids this style of play, SOE has given it to you to begin with.
  75.  
  76. There’s another reason I feel the class system is flawed and has failed to accomplish what it was created to do. PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby has said the class system is also there for the player to be able to identifiy an enemy and what he has at his disposal. That design philosophy is flawed, considering that Faction specific air vehicles were added. How am I supposed to know if an enemy has Rocket Pods, Air to Air Missles, an anti-Infantry Nosegun or an anti-air Nosegun? There’s no way to differentiate this while flying. It’s too hard, and there’s just no time to accurately look at an enemy air vehicle and say “oh yeah, he’s got anti air missiles, I’ve gotta get outta here.” This same failed logic was applied to other vehicles as well.
  77.  
  78. In PlanetSide 1, you always knew what an enemy was capable of. For example, there were three air fighters. The Mosquito was an aircraft which had only a nosegun and light armor. The Reaver was an aircraft which had a nosegun and heavy armor. The Wasp was an aircraft which had a different nosegun, anti air missiles, and light armor. That was simple enough, but with PlanetSide 2 vehicle customizations, you never know what to expect.
  79.  
  80. Additionally, with all the new Infantry choices they’re adding, there’s no way to know if an enemy has C4, Medical Kits, what type of grenades, tank mines, ammo drops, spawn beacons, etc. There’s just way too many options that you could have to know what the enemy is going to employ, despite classes being easily distinguishable.
  81.  
  82. · The PlanetSide 1 certification system offered true and balanced customization
  83. ·PlanetSide 1 had no advancements that increased your power
  84. ·PlanetSide 2 is facing worse issues with “one many army” than even PlanetSide 1 after raising the Battle Rank cap
  85. ·The amount of options you have available on a new character in PlanetSide 2 would require you to be Battle Rank 40 in PlanetSide 1 to obtain
  86. ·The class system was partly made to show players what an enemy is capable of doing, but infantry and vehicle customizations are completely contradictory to this idea
  87.  
  88. V. Inventories and Player Looting
  89. This is one of the elements that PlanetSide had that I feel added to its grand depth. Both infantry and vehicles had inventories. Want to go sabotage a base? Fill up your Wraith with Boomers and hit the road. Want to hold off this tower a bit longer from the New Conglomerate but you’re trapped and running out of bullets? Loot a Jackhammer and some shotgun rounds off the nearest NC backpack. Inventories and lockers were a great idea and amazing system. It is one of the more MMO/RPG aspects they added into PlanetSide, but it fit well. It wasn’t an annoying system like RPGs have where you are stronger by leveling up. It was just cool and added another tactical element to the game. Why did they remove this system? My guess is that they’ve dumbed down a lot of the systems in this game for one reason: consoles. Anyone that’s played a bit of poker probably has some experience on reading people. Take a look at Smedley’s face in this video at 11 minutes, 35 seconds here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3THiEGpSbIU#t=11m35s. Yep, I’m totally expecting to see this game on PlayStation 4 in the coming years. I guess SOE decided it was too hard to manage an inventory with a controller, so they scrapped the system. Does anyone else miss the days of PC only platforms like I do? That’s why I’m glad there are still a couple good RTS and MOBA games out there. Long live the mouse and keyboard!
  90.  
  91. ·Infantry and vehicle inventories added to PlanetSide’s depth
  92. ·Inventories brought an element from RPG games without ruining the FPS experience
  93. ·Inventories added a tactical aspect to the game
  94. ·Inventories were likely removed so PlanetSide 2 could be ported to PlayStation 4
  95.  
  96.     VI. Getting Into The Fight
  97.     One of SOE’s big promises for PlanetSide 2 was getting back into the fight faster. This is simply not true. It was much easier to get back into the fight in the original PlanetSide. Instant Action was a better system in PlanetSide. Additionally, the AMS was available at every single Vehicle terminal in Planetside and was much more maneuverable and low key being a ground vehicle and having a cloaking bubble.
  98.     The way Instant Action is designed in PlanetSide 2 is too strong that they had to put it on a longer cooldown. It should have just acted like PlanetSide 1 where it puts you in a randomly owned Base or Tower that you own and is currently being contested. That way Outfits or Squads don’t have a feature that lets you organize a massive hotdrop every 30 minutes and completely ignore Galaxies, Sunderers, or other transpation. This has been and will continue to be exploited by organized groups of players. If you give them a powerful option like this, it will be used. Fights can last awhile, right? Well what if you Instant Action 200 guys simultaneously on a specific location. You can quickly end the fun when the opposing empire had little to nothing they could do to stop you. At least you can react to Galaxies and other vehicles; it’s much harder to do this in regards to Instant Action.
  99.  
  100.     The Galaxy as a mobile spawn in PlanetSide 2 is flawed. Regardless if it works well or not, there is just simply never going to be enough of them as there was in PlanetSide. Like I said previously, you could pull an AMS at any vehicle terminal and there was no requirement such as owning a Tech Plant or Dropship Center attached to it. In PlanetSide 2, you can only pull the Galaxy from Tech Plants or the Sanctuary. This is a huge deal. This actually makes getting back into the fight much slower, which is contradictory to SOE’s overall goal for letting you get back into the fight faster. This is before you even discuss that the Galaxy is harder to “leap frog,” has a massive profile, has no cloaking bubble when deployed, and requires flight to move. The developers still are oblivious to any of these facts as displayed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSw7OYiO5vk#t=29m20s and I’m not even sure that most of these guys spent a significant amount of time playing the original PlanetSide.
  101.  
  102.     The HART drop from PlanetSide is essentially what Instant Action is in PlanetSide. The ART drop had a five minute cooldown, and required you to be in Sanctuary to use. That was probably the slowest thing about getting into a fight exactly where you wanted to. The funny part is that it’s much faster to utilize this compared to the new thirty minute timer in PlanetSide 2. Not only that, the HART drop was balanced by the fact you couldn’t land in an enemy base’s sphere of influence, which prevented you from landing on top of any structure to easily infiltrate. Not only is Instant Action in PlanetSide 2 slower than in PlanetSide 1, it still creates balance problems even with it’s much longer cooldown.
  103.  
  104.     ·It takes longer to get back into fighting in PlanetSide 2 than in PlanetSide 1, despite developer promises
  105.     ·The restrictions and functionality of the Galaxy as an AMS contributes to this issue
  106.     ·The overpowered nature of the PlanetSide 2 Instant Action system have been compensated for incorrectly, as adding a long cooldown ruined its purpose while it still maintains its design flaws
  107.  
  108.     VII. Generator Holds, behind enemy line sabotage and why SOE’s Hex System has failed
  109.     In the original PlanetSide, the generator hold was a very strong tactic that was typically employed behind the enemy’s frontline which actually had a direct and massive impact on said frontline combat. Suddenly and without warning, you could find yourself unable to spawn Tanks, Reavers, Skyguards and other Tech Plant required vehicles. Your Interlink Radar or Vehicle Repair and Rearm stations could be shut down. The bases in PlanetSide had real benefits, and severing their connection to the main fight could be done by bringing down a Generator.
  110.  
  111.     Not only was this an amazing tactic that was extremely fun to pull off, the lack of “Ammo Kits” and the Inventory system made these have really interesting gameplay. Often times, players in MAXs would put extra Infantry ammo, Decimators, Repair and Health juice, and other miscellaneous things players needed to hold out in a generator hold. When people started running low, either a MAX or another fellow Infantry could drop ammo or whatever you needed to continue the fight. Sometimes you could get cleared out before everyone completely ran out of supplies. However, it was quite often the cause of your demise. This was a good thing, as it could often times be difficult to clear out a well-defended generator hold. Generator rooms were highly defensible with only one door to enter them from, so it created quite a great choke point to defend it from. However, those trying to break the generator hold would exploit the fact the room was quite small and try to flush out the defenders with grenades and other area of effect damage weapons.
  112.  
  113.     Another behind the scenes option was base draining, which allowed you to force a base neutral by making it run of of NTU, making it susceptible to enemy capture.
  114.  
  115.     What the PlanetSide 2 developers don’t understand about the Hex system and their desire to have backhacking is that these behind the lines efforts never required backhacking. There were reasons to go to bases behind enemy lines to do specialized tactics like this. It feels like everything they want you to do in the game comes straight out of Conquest and Rush modes in Battlefield.
  116.  
  117.     Now, I’d like to say a few things about the PlanetSide 2 resource system. Yes, there are supply lines in PlanetSide 2. Yes, you can technically cut them off to deny resources. However, even with resource caps being as small as they are, it’s hard to feel an impact from this system. The way it’s designed feels quite flawed and will never have as dramatic an impact as the cutting off the lattice in PlanetSide 1.
  118.  
  119.     ·There were benfits to attacking an enemy behind the front line even with a lattice system in PlanetSide 1
  120.     ·Generator holds and base drains were cool and interesting, unlike PlanetSide 2 backhacking which is mostly meaningless and based off a flawed system
  121.     ·Cutting off a lattice link with a tactic like the generator hold in PlanetSide had an immediate and direct impact on a main battle, whereas the resource and supply line system in PlanetSide 2 largely fails to do this
  122.  
  123.     VIII.Conclusion: Size Always Matters or Size Only Matters?
  124.     Size Always Matters. It’s the tagline for PlanetSide 2. While it’s true that size is integral to the MMOFPS genre, it’s not the only important thing to a game. I admit, the development team for PlanetSide 2 is trying to make the game be more than a large scale Battlefield. However, they’ve largely failed in this regard, and failed to live up to the PlanetSide name.
  125.  
  126.     The uprising of console games has taken a massive hit on the quality of PC titles. Particularly FPS titles such as the one this game(s) takes much of it’s inspiration from: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. Many PC titles, possibly including your own, have been dumbed down for the reason of console gamers. If you developers want the PC platform to explode again, make an amazing title that has some depth to it! The original PlanetSide was a great example of a game with amazing depth.
  127.  
  128.     By now, if you disagree with me from either a player or developer standpoint, you’re probably thinking “this is a new game,” “PlanetSide 2 isn’t supposed to be exactly like PlanetSide” or “most of these things will never happen.” I’m quite aware. However, I do hope that in the three year plan for this game that many changes will happen to make us PlanetSide 1 Veterans feel more at home in PlanetSide 2. Like I’ve said in my first post, this game is far too close to the Battlefield side of the spectrum. Please focus on pushing it back towards the PlanetSide side of things! Do your research, find out why PlanetSide was great. It wasn’t just because it was a MMOFPS. Just because you made Battlefield with a large persistant map and more players doesn’t make it awesome!
  129.  
  130.     I still have hope for this game, or I wouldn’t be writing this right now. However, the current day PlanetSide 2 and the near future of the game is not very encouraging. I truly hope that the three year plan not only brings back some of the original feeling of PlanetSide, but evolves on both PlanetSide and PlanetSide 2 and the MMOFPS genre as a whole. I’m looking forward to some of the sandbox stuff and other cool things that are planned for this game. Despite all of this, the current iteration of PlanetSide 2 is just a game I don’t presently see myself spending a lot of time with. Hopefully this changes, and the three year plan makes PlanetSide 2 a game that finally lives up to and maybe even exceed it’s amazing predecessor, PlanetSide. For Land. For Power. Forever.