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[ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

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  • Ytman
    started a topic [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Below is a write-up of only one part of an important change I think PS2 can bring to the table. There is an open SOE sponsored suggestion event and the winners would gain a seat, and voice, in a meeting with the developers. The below focuses on changing the mechanics of XP gain to deter zerg ghost capture and promote high risk battles for all factions. SOE is looking for quick and easy solutions that can enacted in a short amount of time. I feel tackling player psychology by revamping the reward system is one of the most reasonable suggestions.






    ON EXPANDING THE STRATEGIC LEVEL PLAY IN A QUICK MANNER

    To improve the METAGAME of PlanetSide2 one can only change the rulesets of the TACTICAL and STRATEGIC levels of play in order to provide a more dynamic battlefield.

    Tactically the game is quite solid and balance tweaks are all that are generally needed. The tactical battlefield is also quite diverse and is perhaps more limited by player behavior than anything else. So we will not waste much time on that. The tactical ruleset will redefine itself naturally over time and also changing the Strategic Level could impact the tactical level.

    Strategically the game is quite base and more nuance must be implemented to diversify the game’s experience and increase longevity. The core concept of the current Strategic Level of play is one of territory control. Territory is both a crucial element in gaining an upper hand and is the yardstick by which we measure success. Through the control of territory a faction gains benefits, while denying them from other factions, and also exerts more ‘INFLUENCE’ which is the main mechanic for strategic level territory play. Finally there is one more rule, ‘connection’. Territory only grants a benefit if it is connected to the warp gate through other owned territory.

    The current status quo of the game benefits a play style that too heavily focuses on territory ownership and not the more crucial aspect of war; destruction of the enemy army. Without getting too far into Strategic Theory and real world implications I will only use a quote from Napoleon to underline my point;

    “I see only one thing-the enemy’s main army.”

    It should go without saying that in a game that expresses the meaning of scale that our battles should focus on this. Few other shooters can dare to compete. However there is one mechanic that is being exploited by human psychology to avoid this one rule of war. The current certification reward system has an effect of creating a low risk - moderate reward scenario that all teams can exploit nearly simultaneously of each other. This is the ‘ZERG GHOST CAPTURE’. (We will ignore ‘spawn camping’ as it is being addressed with the LU2 Update)

    A Simple Problem

    A quick math example should prove a point. Killing a person grants a base of 100 XP. Taking a territory grants 250, 500, and 1000 XP based on the size of the base. Assume you have one large outfit for each faction. The NC outfit coordinates to overwhelm Amerish, the VS overwhelms Indar, and the leftover continent, Esamir, is taken by the TR.

    These outfits (or coordinated collection of outfits) are large enough to overwhelm the small enemy presence and the three hundred people strong, on each continent, begin to take the bases. For one small base those three hundred persons are granted a combined 75,000XP, certainly the persons who killed individuals were able to pad on 100XP here and there but to come near to that cumulative gained XP 750 enemies would need to be killed. Consider for a moment that an entire continent can not hold that many persons.

    For the largest bases this swells to a cumulative gained XP of 300,000XP which is equivalent to 3,000 enemies killed. If you were to capture all of Amerish with one 300 man zerg the cumulative points gained would be 6,3000,000 XP or 63,000 enemies killed. Small bases capture in minutes, almost regardless of influence, the medium and larger bases take longer, and influence matters more, but when unopposed the time to capture is still rather short. The general rule is that for any capture the cumulative XP gain is equivalent to 2.5x, 5x, and 10x (respective of base size) the size of the attacking force worth in deaths. This doesn’t even account for the fact that the defense is only rewarded by a slight percentage increase of its normal actions. The defense does not have a direct reward for repelling an attack. This should be changed.

    Here we can see how even an unorganized collection of small outfits and players would find it more beneficial to capture large swathes of land with little to no competition quickly. It pays out collectively more than any other possible outcome. Therefore it can be said that the metagame favors territory capture over actual battles. Obviously I am ignoring many other sources of XP in a battle, for example revives and heals. However as the battle scales to favor one side and the ratio is somewhere in the range of 10:1 the opportunity for the support roles to be important greatly diminish. Remember support roles are primarily effective in supporting battle actions and not capture actions.

    Well I think I can hear a few people saying; ‘but YT they are implementing a patch that changes the focus away from KDR to Score Per Minute. Are you suggesting KDR should be more focused on?’ The quick answer is not exactly. Keep on reading for the complicated answer and hopefully a solution.

    Finding a Solution

    The problem above is a simple one. It is the vast disparity in the rewards of the two main components of the game. Battle and territory control. There is no single battle that can grant the widespread cumulative gain of XP as an uncontested capture can. Remember battle is a highrisk situation where as uncontested capture is a very lowrisk situation. What would make more sense would be to reward highrisk situations significantly more than a lowrisk situation. In a perfect world a highrisk situation should have comparatively high rewards and a lowrisk situation low rewards.

    What exactly, though, defines highrisk?

    Highrisk is a situation where the chances of failure are either equal to or greater than the chances of success. Betting ten dollars on a coin flip is a significantly high risk. Betting ten dollars on a Professional Football Team versus a High School Football Team is terribly low risk and shouldn’t even be rewarded. Simple right? Likewise highrisk is a situation where the numbers of attacking/defending are comparative or equivalent. If both sides have an equal chance of winning then the risk of lose to either team is equally high.

    Strategic level behavior, capturing territories, then should be rewarded based on the difficulty of the capture just as much as the importance of the capture. So instead of a blanket 250 XP, 500 XP, or 1000 XP reward for capturing a territory introduce a multiplier that rewards higher risk scenarios.One means to accomplish this could be to use a generic ratio of attackers to defenders under the time it took to capture the base.

    So, for example if the attackers overwhelmed a significantly larger defending force and quickly capture a the territory they should be rewarded significantly more than a larger attacking force who very slowly slogged through the battle. Furthermore the person who just joined the battle should earn less than the person who joined the battle at the beginning.

    Now to incentivize larger battles, the whole point of this suggestion, is to offer a reward for these larger battles. I envision a ‘jackpot’ of XP. An amount of XP that is added to as the battle progresses. Without getting tied down to specific math right now just envision a general system that accumulates XP based on all the side’s positive actions; support or directly battle related while taking into account the ‘risk’ that side is taking. Your potential share of this battle’s XP is related to the amount of the battle you participated in and the amount of XP to the ‘jackpot’ you contributed. If you leave the area of the battle and it ends in victory you are still rewarded. This prevents an artificial loss of momentum.

    Finally, the defenders should be rewarded based on a time scale of the defense. Not all defensive actions need to result in absolute success. Rather the defense can buy time while troops in other parts of the continent regroup and ready their own attack or prepare a defence in the next territory. Failed attacks should garner no reward.

    Addendum: A Point for the Future
    Player progression is the solitary persistent feature in this game that everyone can fight for simultaneously, on either faction, and always win in some manner. No battle or continent lock persists in the way that our characters progress. Once something is unlocked it is ours forever. It makes perfect sense that people would rather progress their characters permanently than progress their faction for something that wouldn’t matter in a few hours.

    In the future, for the long term viability of our great virtual war, our factions and outfits must have their own sort of progression to reward ‘collective’ behavior. Only then will a real persistent Outfit/Faction based Metagame exist. Perhaps an outfit can gain special resources and spend them on orbital strikes or use them for building/maintaining an ‘AirShip’. Whatever it is, when the game incorporates something of progression that is persistent and can take multiple days/weeks/months to achieve, we will have created a grand expansion into a ‘CAMPAIGN’ level, a level above STRATEGY. Something that few games have ever attempted to do and something that would perfectly fit in the PlanetSide 2 universe.

  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Not my video but I thought it was good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Originally posted by Wicks View Post
    Hard to do don't you think. Also should an organised group that can successfully capture a biolab individually receive a lesser reward simply by virtue of having more people? Doesn't seem right or fair. Furthermore won't that encourage more disparate attacks or even borderline 'ghost capping' as groups attempt to avoid sharing the spoils and simply go off in different directions. To me that would be potentially anti teamwork, "Are you going to attack the Bio lab", "Err maybe, you?", "Don't know, how many have you got with you", "20", "Ok so your 20 + my 15 means we all get 4.5 points each, yeah not sure it's worth it" lol.
    I think I wasn't clear on the variables to consider.

    First, ratio of attackers v defenders, if 12 people overwhelm 12 enemies they've done something more harrowing than 120 people overwhelming 12 people.

    Second, length of battle or general difficulty, longer battles, which normally mean more people on both sides killed, should have more reward than battles that are over near instantly despite having equivalent combating forces.

    Third, strategic impact of capture, this is something that evil brought up, should be included as well. This means a capture that 'annexes' the enemy supply line or otherwise grants a strategic benefit beyond merely resources/land/influence.

    Fourth, individual impact of battle, did you capture a point, were you an MVP Medic? Did you destroy an enemy Sunderer and single handedly break the back of the faction's offensive force?


    I'm not sure that slogging it out over one objective should be rewarded more than capturing a whole continent. That sounds backwards. Look at it critically. The sides attacking/defending one objective are in essence completely ignoring their strategic position and leaving surrounding territories undefended to participate in a meat grinder. Doesn't sound very intelligent to me. Is it not more a case of numbers in the game itself. If you have a high consistent playerbase then you should be able to take a hit on one objective and defend all the while keeping an eye on the big game. Its a problem of an empty map is it not.
    Certainly the concept of ghost capture is implicit of not having enough persons to defend each front line on each continent. However to assume that high population must be well met on each continent for the game to work properly is an oversight. No server will be full each hour. The suggest solution is a scalable reward system that no matter what population a server/continent has rewards based on risk not safety.

    Put it this way, imagine XP as a 'bonus check' to doing something. Its smarter to pay 12 people a big bonus for something spectacular and risky than to pay 120 people the same amount each, so 10 times more cumulatively. Reward high risk proportionately higher than low risk.

    The catch is that if something is high risk you have the high probability of failure and no or little reward.

    I almost feel like its trying to fix a flaw the defenders exhibit by forcing the attackers to go to them on the point they wish to defend, rather than rightfully exploit the territory they have ceded. I am not sure you can fix Zerg's avoiding each other nor is doing so obviously desirable. Perhaps the only solution is to create your own large force hit the other Zerg head on and stop them, chase them even. I may not be reading deep enough into this, so forgive me but I honestly think it though the point spread or rewards may need tweaking it is a problem that is exacerbated by low population. Still thinking....
    A big thing that makes no sense to me is the concept that we are fighting over land and not against armies. Sure, a huge amount of a war is battlespace and maneuver, but in the end no battle ends without confrontation. Yet time and time again confrontation is merely avoided and we are rewarded for doing something that takes no challenge. The reward is so high that it creates an environment of large amounts of people who capture entire swathes of land unopposed because the other two factions are doing the same thing on different continents.

    Leave a comment:


  • Toddshooter
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Maybe they should claw back some of the points you earned if you defeated a base and it falls back into enemy hands within a certain # of minutes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wicks
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Yup I agree with much of what you say.

    Re this

    Rather the battle should be rewarded for its value not merely because a point flipped. A 12 man squad capturing a tech plant should be rewarded more than a 120 man zerg doing the same feat.
    Hard to do don't you think. Also should an organised group that can successfully capture a biolab individually receive a lesser reward simply by virtue of having more people? Doesn't seem right or fair. Furthermore won't that encourage more disparate attacks or even borderline 'ghost capping' as groups attempt to avoid sharing the spoils and simply go off in different directions. To me that would be potentially anti teamwork, "Are you going to attack the Bio lab", "Err maybe, you?", "Don't know, how many have you got with you", "20", "Ok so your 20 + my 15 means we all get 4.5 points each, yeah not sure it's worth it" lol.

    I'm not sure that slogging it out over one objective should be rewarded more than capturing a whole continent. That sounds backwards. Look at it critically. The sides attacking/defending one objective are in essence completely ignoring their strategic position and leaving surrounding territories undefended to participate in a meat grinder. Doesn't sound very intelligent to me. Is it not more a case of numbers in the game itself. If you have a high consistent playerbase then you should be able to take a hit on one objective and defend all the while keeping an eye on the big game. Its a problem of an empty map is it not.

    I almost feel like its trying to fix a flaw the defenders exhibit by forcing the attackers to go to them on the point they wish to defend, rather than rightfully exploit the territory they have ceded. I am not sure you can fix Zerg's avoiding each other nor is doing so obviously desirable. Perhaps the only solution is to create your own large force hit the other Zerg head on and stop them, chase them even. I may not be reading deep enough into this, so forgive me but I honestly think it though the point spread or rewards may need tweaking it is a problem that is exacerbated by low population. Still thinking....

    Leave a comment:


  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    No that makes perfect sense and quite clearly it is the metagame. However it doesn't mean its a good metagame.

    Conceivably a good metagame is one that rewards planning and purpose. Another point is rewarding proper use of battlespace to exert a good dominance of the opposing army. Currently the 'continent wide' metagame you described is a direct result of a 'not really there' rule set.

    Faction A takes Continent A.
    Faction A moves from Continent A to Continent B which is owned by Faction B.

    Faction B avoids Faction A and moves to continent A as capturing uncontested bases is quicker and grants more rewards than defending.
    Faction A must now go back to continent A to hold it, but the reward for holding it is cumulatively less than Faction A taking Continent B, which is now undefended, and then going back to Continent A and capturing it again.

    What you get is a constant cycling of 'ghost capturing' whole continents and a inherent benefit for avoiding large battles which all zergs tend to avoid each other. Yet the whole purpose of the scale of PlanetSide2 is to facilitate the large battles yet it rewards an equal battle far less than a lopsided battle.

    You gain 84 certs for capturing an entire continent of Amerish. You are lucky to gain 32 points slogging it out over Tarwich in a pitched battle against the Vanu.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no qualm with 'ghost captures' as a strategic point, that rule sets a good meta-game; I don't even have a problem with needing to keep an eye on global battlespace (though my squad members tend to get tired of hopping between continents rapidly :P), but what does not set a good metagame is a constant waltz of opposing zerg capturing the bases the enemy zerg just captured and left. The player psychology, and even the great 'hive mind' psychology, is that numbers grant victory and all victories are equivalent. Therefore Huge Numbers grant easier victory at the same reward.

    Rather the battle should be rewarded for its value not merely because a point flipped. A 12 man squad capturing a tech plant should be rewarded more than a 120 man zerg doing the same feat.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wicks
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Hitting isolated points and capping them because they are left undefended is to me the very definition of 'exploiting weakpoints' in your opponents defences. Defence includes understanding more than just your immediate surroundings obviously. After all who is at fault if one team grabs X position on a map yet doesn't have sufficient numbers to spread their influence and shore up surrounding territory, one can hardly blame their opponent for grabbing land that is undefended or uncontested. As such I personally wouldn't want to encourage a denigration of what is ultimately simply good practice, the question you raise, which I agree with is how to balance the rewards across all types of approach.

    I haven't explained that very well I suspect. Think of it like this. Isn't this part of the 'Meta Game', shouldn't all forces/outfits/platoons be keeping an eye across all continents to see if a 'Ghost Wave' is surging uncontested across a specific continent. Isn't that the very definition of inter continental meta game. Isn't the onus on the other forces to block these surges by relocating, thus giving more depth as you cannot simply focus on the battle in front of you, you need to concern yourself with the 'global battlespace'. Hope that makes sense, typing in a rush!

    Leave a comment:


  • Evilhardt
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Yea, but with your proposed system it would not be rewarded accordingly to it's importance either, would it? That's the point I was making! There is no question, that the current system is very basic and non-context sensitive, and thus bad.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    This is a very good point!

    A deep strike that isolates a huge swath of territory grants no further reward than a frontline skirmish or worse of yet a frontline stomp on an undefended base.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evilhardt
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Another thing I thought of: Sometimes it is important to cap undefended territories to cut off the enemy from vital supplies, if you want to conquer a heavily contested territory. Capping those undefended territories is then strategically very important, but you would not reward for helping your team a lot to win the actual battle in the territory you are cutting off...

    Leave a comment:


  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Planetside/c...ding_based_on/

    Up vote if you like the idea. Or just up vote cause we all know we want TG insiders in the game making process right?

    Leave a comment:


  • Belhade
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    I thought that was a good post, though a lot of the XP mechanics are beyond my comprehension at this point. I was thinking that there should be some equation that compared the attacking force and the defending force and gave XP as a function of some formula of the ratio, ie. you get little/no XP gain for ghost-capping an undefended base. Hell, in the interest of actually participating in battles, make completely undefended bases uncappable - but that's just silly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    Simple infographic. Each pixel is approximately 1 XP point.




    Apologize. The image's alpha background didn't translate.
    Attached Files

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  • Ytman
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    That argument is not mine; no where did I say that capping grants more than even fights. The argument is that ghost capping bases gives people an easy low-risk;moderate-reward and it touches on a very real problem with this geographically fixated simulation of combat. Let me simply restate the two points:

    #1.) War fighting is the the act of destroying the enemies army and ability to fight.
    #2.) Currently the strategic ruleset for PlanetSide2 rewards capture over conflict.

    My purpose with the numbers was to show that, for example on a low populated continent, one faction can show up and effectively steamroll and is rewarded with a cumulative 6,300,000 XP for combating no one. This behavior is seen on Mattherson in spades. Amerish and Esamir are normally only ever moderately populated and Indar is the only continent with large 'even' battles (as even as a 37%-22%-34% divide could go). Beyond Indar the continents of Esamir/Amerish tend to see a constant changing of battle as one large outfit/coallition hops to a continent and overwhelms it with little conflict.

    A 300 man zerg that ghost captures Amerish in under an hour nets a cumulative 6,300,000 XP. This is 25,200 certs and each individual gets 84; those 84 certs represent 21,000 XP or 210 kills. You may feel more accomplished duking it out over Tarwich for an hour as the Vanu constantly take it and lose it but when you come away from the battle with only 30 odd certs you need to wonder why the incentive of this game is so focused on quick and easy captures.

    The group, the whole army of your faction, benefits more by capturing a point uncontested quickly than being held up defending or taking a biolab.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evilhardt
    replied
    Re: [ARTICLE] YT's WIP for METAGAME SUGGESTION

    By and large I agree. But I have serious problem with your argumentation, that capping bases gains more XP than even fights... In the progress of an average 1000 points base capture I do like 10 - 20 kills + tons of assist and support points... so that would make for like 1700 points just for fighting... that is more then what the actual capture is worth. For the same reason I join large battles for farming certs and don’t go capture undefended tiles. I really don't see why capping would have a better (for the XP) XP/time rate than simply fighting and making kill- and support-points... Also, by incentivizing large battles even more the maps would get even more deserted, as you would have even bigger zergs, I think. I do see why you would want to enforce larger EVEN battles more and support this opinion. But a solution that would cause even bigger zergs and even less spread out forces I don't agree with. If there was a solution to split the zerg into smaller one, of which each is probably going to fight an equal smaller zerg, so you would have more smaller but even battles going on simultaneously, that would be a good thing to have.

    Apart from that I agree that the game definitely needs way more strategical depth.

    Leave a comment:

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