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Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

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  • [INFO] Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

    Be aware, these balance posts are not patch notes. They are posted under the general section of the official PS2 forums for feedback (so may change slightly) and SOE's current plan is to apply them after the performance updates.

    Their longer term plans are also expected to be posted after the performance updates.



    Balance Pass Post 2: Nanoweave and Related Features

    May as well quote the whole thing this time:

    Nanoweave Armor
    For those not aware, how Nanoweave functions now:

    -When at max rank Nanoweave gives a flat 25% increase to the player’s total health pool.
    -This health increase causes Nanoweave to protect against the majority of damage sources. This includes damage types that have their own dedicated counters, like explosions.


    How Nanoweave will function soon:

    -Nanoweave will no longer increase the player’s health pool. Instead, it will apply a percentage damage resistance against infantry small arms and rapid-fire vehicle secondary weapons only.
    -Damage sources not included in the above, like explosions, will no longer be modified by Nanoweave Armor.
    -Nanoweave will no longer resist headshots. Against any weapon.
    -Against the applicable weapon types, max rank Nanoweave will remain the same strength as it is now (excluding head shots).


    We will be giving a cert refund when this change goes live. You can choose to repurchase Nanoweave Armor or spend their points elsewhere.


    Bolt-Action Rifles
    In a typical FPS game, the strength of a one-shot headshot is usually offset by either or both of the below:

    -Small scale levels with limited sniper lanes.
    -Some type of visual mechanic that calls out the sniper’s location.


    PlanetSide 2 isn’t a typical FPS game and neither of the above is a valid limiter given the size of our world and the scale of our battles. The massive size of our continents means snipers can be a threat from all directions, and a visual callout on each individual sniper isn’t possible considering the amount of players we render at one time.

    On the other side, giving snipers a 360° one-shot kill with unlimited range against all other players is not something we want to introduce into the game. Dying to a sniper that you never had a chance to see is a poor gameplay experience for everyone on the receiving end.

    So with the above in mind:

    -We are capping all one-shot headshots on a full health target at 150 meters.
    -Nanoweave will no longer apply to headshots, so the range limit will apply to all targets no matter what that player has equipped. This will give bolt-actions a more consistent feel when fighting within their effective range.
    -The 150 meter range is a starting point. It may be adjusted during tuning, and we’ll be monitoring the range once it is live to see if it needs to be adjusted to be shorter or longer.


    Explosions Post-Nanoweave Change

    -We’ve had to increase the max damage of some explosions in our game so that they would still be effective against Nanoweave-equipped players. For example, underbarrel grenade explosions are stronger than we would like.
    -Changing Nanoweave over to being a projectile resistance removes the need for the increased explosive damage. We will be doing a pass of all explosive damage and reducing some so that they work better in the game.

    My conclusions:

    -Flak armor will be more desirable when explosions start.
    -A resistance increase will make Nanoweave more synergistic with all healing.
    -Headshots more dangerous to Nanoweave users.

    -Sniping will feel better as knowing whether you'll get a one hit kill will depend on a set range instead of the enemies' loadouts.
    -Sniping will feel worse as 150m is still within range of other weapons. Hopefully they increase this before they change anything.
    Last edited by MrJengles; 11-14-2013, 02:39 PM.



    |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

  • #2
    Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

    Nanoweave: now more useless than ever! Well, at least I can get those certs back I spent on my Medic's max nanoweave when I first started playing, before I knew any better.

    I hate snipers just as much as anybody, but I think reducing headshots to 150m is just awful. If you are dumb enough to stand around, you deserve to get headshotted. Conversely, if you are a good enough sniper to be able to hit someone from 400m, while they are moving, well then you should be able to kill them. This is the type of nerf I don't like. "Skilled players are OP." If people have put time and practice into their craft (whether it be sniping, or flying an ESF, etc.) then they should have an advantage, based on their skill level. But SOE must keep all the plebes whining in their forums happy...

    Also, looks like they will be nerfing the UBGL soon... In before RAGE raging on this entire balancing pass (even though I agree with you in your raging)... lol
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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    • #3
      Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

      I don't like the 150m cap either; even people who rarely snipe, or don't at all, can see that's really short.

      As I say, these things may change* - there's already an uproar on the forums about the 150m cap - so it could be wasted breath for any of us. More importantly though, it would be wasted on these forums rather than SOE's.

      As with any changes to gameplay, apart from keeping people updated, this is a chance to discuss the game's direction, especially with regards to how it may or may not mesh with TG. I do like discussing balance with like-minded individuals but let's be careful not to get too heated.


      I think SOE were genuinely trying to make sniping more consistent but didn't realise the type of players PS2 attracts are more willing to accept snipers rather than get frustrated. Additionally, the limiting factors they mention in other games are part of the reason why snipers tend to be really hard to play effectively and end up a less useful class on average. People being used to that gameplay doesn't mean it's best, or that they should be aiming to replicate it with a similarly punishing distance cut-off. Indeed, PS2's scale offers the perfect chance to escape those issues and improve snipers.

      Considering their efforts on every other front to attract the sort of players that appreciate teamwork, tactics and combined arms, it would do their game a disservice to make snipers an exception by restricting them so much. While one hit kills out to infinity could be over the top, I think the limit would make more sense in roughly the 400-500m range. Contrary to some players' views, you are not helpless - indeed, it's not about you, it's about your team. Counter snipers, tanks and aircraft are all good counters and the playerbase knows this.


      *SOE underestimated the range at which regular infantry guns would be used during Beta, IIRC, and had to change all the damage drop-offs.



      |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

        I hit BR97 today so in truth it doesn't really matter to me what they did. Plus with my technique of sniping they could put it at 50m and I'd still get my fair share of head shots. But possibly, gone are the days when like this morning you could counter snipe the snipers at Rust Mesa sitting on the flight pads. They seem to want to place the skill of precise aiming in the reach of everyone now, which really seems to me like they are dumbing down the game since at 150m the bullet drop is nominal for all faction sniper guns. But who knows.........

        I do find this interesting though "Dying to a sniper that you never had a chance to see is a poor gameplay experience for everyone on the receiving end." Does this mean that a sniper can see you and you can't see a sniper? And since the infil has the cloaking option, then the chances that you'd see the sniper are pretty slim unless you happen to be looking in their direction at the time of un-cloaking. And given the situation that you wouldn't see the sniper does that mean that with the changes you'll have a better game experience getting head shot? :)
        Last edited by Rageq3a; 11-14-2013, 06:56 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

          It's odd that you say nano weave is now <I>more</I> worthless Randy. The general concensus was that it was the best upgrade you could get for most Infantry situations since the explosion nerf earlier this year.

          Citation- https://sites.google.com/site/planet...-heavy-assault

          It was preferred because it absolutely prevented head shot kills from snipers in all situations.

          That above fact is one reason why I don't get the belly aching on their forums about SOE suggesting that 1 hit head shots should be limited in some fashion. It's not like its a new thing, IIRC prior to this pass if you had Nanoweave 2 or 3 you were immune to 1 shot kills, at nearly all ranges!

          150m is small though.

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          • #6
            Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

            Really Wyatt............I have almost 3,700 head shots with the EM4 alone and head shot players up to BR100, it would be weird if all of those people had less than 2/3 nanoweave. But of course it's entirely possible.

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            • #7
              Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

              Anecdotal evidence

              https://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/...oweave.100458/

              Most people run Flak, its more cost effective, but between NW and Flak nothing else is important. I was probably wrong about NW 2/3, more googling is showing 4/5 is the area you want. 4 being the most cost effective. I like these changes to NW in general because it was incredibly better than any other suit slot (bar Flak). Simply the upgrades/sidegrades aren't balanced and this can fix it. Now on top of this they can reduce the destructive damage of explosives.

              My thought is that the sniper isn't going to be made useless if headshots result in 'barely living' targets beyond 200 meters. If this game were a more realistic shooter, sure I'd be upset, but for some reason the fact that this game is happening in a ScienceFantasyLand allows me to suspend my disbelief for arcady game decisions (where as I'm far far more critical against BF/COD). For example the MBT's HE round has been nerfed into the ground (the Prowler is one of the few that use it to great effect thanks to the double tap) and I can deal with that, even as a wannabe tanker. If an exploding round landed within 2 meters of a guy isn't taking him out I can understand that a bullet might not be doing it at extended ranges.

              Now, what is the render range of infantry? I thought it was around 300m right? 200m effective headshots sound good to me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
                I hate snipers just as much as anybody, but I think reducing headshots to 150m is just awful. If you are dumb enough to stand around, you deserve to get headshotted. Conversely, if you are a good enough sniper to be able to hit someone from 400m, while they are moving, well then you should be able to kill them. This is the type of nerf I don't like. "Skilled players are OP." If people have put time and practice into their craft (whether it be sniping, or flying an ESF, etc.) then they should have an advantage, based on their skill level. But SOE must keep all the plebes whining in their forums happy...
                I hate this attitude so, so much.

                Without even speaking to the specific situation in Planetside 2, just because something requires skill to pull off doesn't mean it's not game breaking, or deleterious to the overall experience. If a sufficiently skilled player can walk in and then everyone within 300m just dies without a chance to fire back, that's a big damn problem. It doesn't matter that doing so is a matter of enormous skill, they are RUINING THE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE ELSE. Skill should be rewarded, but it isn't an excuse for game breaking mechanics unless you're actively looking to cultivate an elitist, unwelcoming experience. High skill tactics, maneuvers, and tools should exist, but when you die to them you should be able to tell that you were outplayed as well as how you were outplayed, not shot out of the dark and left wondering what the #$^@ just happened. It's not pandering, it's good experience design. It's poor form to get the experience you're looking for out of the game at the expense of someone else's experience. And before anyone jumps on that, you can still LOSE while not having your experience ruined.

                As for "SOE must keep all the plebes whining in their forums happy", that's bull. If there's anything that's obvious from looking at the balance decisions they've made from patch to patch, the PS2 team has some quality designers and they're striking a good balance between listening to feedback and applying their own judgement. Yes, what is said on the forums is listened to and occasionally humoured. No, it isn't being designed by committee... they are filtering that feedback and it wouldn't matter if a thousand bleeting lambs demanded the same feature, if it was a terrible design decision I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do it. Their community managers are rolling their eyes and skimming those posts just like the rest of us.

                As for the specific changes...

                "Dying to a sniper that you never had a chance to see is a poor gameplay experience for everyone on the receiving end." I agree with the sentiment, and I think the problem exists (though not to a crippling extent, I've never had my experience ruined the same way a godly sniper in Tribes: Ascend or Counterstrike could do). I don't think it's a good implementation, especially given that the skill for hitting targets in the game is already magnified at range by bullet drop and travel time. I'm not sure what they mean by alluding to technical limitations that stop a sniper callout mechanic/visual effect from being viable (maybe something like a Halo-esque sniper trail that draws a line right back to the firing position), since as far as I understand it any bullet that could kill you is also being rendered. If that is an unsurmountable technical limitation though, I could at least understand where they're coming from with this implementation. I don't think the problem is acute enough to be worth implementing a fix like this which feels off, but at the same time it's really not that huge a deal. If you're good enough to land a headshot at that range, you're also good enough to land a follow-up shot quickly.



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                  About the nanoweave armor nerf:
                  I feel like this is good opportunity to upsell the shield recharge delay armor for medics. Since everyone will be getting back their nanoweave certs I encourage you to take a look at putting them into the shield armor on your medic. I've been running max shield armor for a long time and here's why: When you're playing a medic, as long as you're paying attention, you're always at full health unless you've just been shot because you can heal yourself. For about 8 seconds after you've been shot, you aren't at max health. With max shield armor, that time is cut in half. This lends the medic well to the idea of aggressive hit and run tactics. You can trade small amounts of damage with your opponent and then take cover, and then bounce back to full health/shields before their shield has even started to recharge. Using this tactic I consider my medic on par with a heavy in terms of offensive capability against infantry.

                  If you've never tried shield armor on your medic, i encourage you to try it on the test server.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                    Emrys is sort of on the same point I am about Nanoweave. By that I mean, other things in that slot are more useful from a practical standpoint. Max Nanoweave (which is quite a lot of cert investment) only gets you like one or two more bullets worth of damage. And how often does that actually make a difference? My contention is that other things in that slot are much more useful, like Emrys says having a faster shield recharge (much more effective hit points, like half of your overall hit points in fact, which automatically regenerate). Or, my (and I believe Assault9s as well) personal favorite, the grenade bandolier. Once I certed that up to being able to carry 3 Res grenades, I never looked back.
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                      The thing about nanoweave is just that it's ALWAYS useful. 12.5% increased total health, all the time. Aside from immunity to sniper one-shots from distances farther than 40 meters (and complete immunity to most rifles) 2-3 bullets can make a difference in a lot of engagements. As I'm usually running with a pretty tight squad with a fair few medics and AOE heals flying around, it doesn't bother me too much that I'm relying more on health than shields. Likewise I have plenty of ammunition from my engineers. I've run grenade bandoliers in the past, but I've found that I don't wind up using a second or third grenade all that often. I still do throw it on my heavy from time to time for 3x stun grenades if I'm storming a building, but not very often.

                      In particular nanoweave has been very synergistic with the heavy's resist shield. A full heavy with NMG and nano will have 1950 effective health, but a resist shield heavy with nano can have almost 2300 effective health. The new nano mechanics will probably be more in line with NMG, which begs the question why anyone would bother with resist, but that's another discussion entirely.

                      I run nanoweave on every class except the MAX because my most common deaths come from high burst-damage enemies at closer ranges. I don't commonly die to explosives, I find them avoidable in most circumstances, so I may just continue using nanoweave.

                      If nothing else, this is going to make headshots slightly more important in fighting at all ranges.



                      PS. I believe that 150m is too short for one-shot sniper range. I barely ever die to snipers as it is. (though again, nano may have a lot to do with that) It does sort of beg the question what the point of using the bolt-action rifles is if the majority of engagements are going to require two shots anyway...
                      Teamwork and Tactics are OP


                      Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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                      • #12
                        Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                        I think you'll find that those players who are good at head shots at range are going to be good at 2 body shots at range too. My 300m shots are usually body shots if the target is running (I get about 20% head shots when they are running too), and I can place 2 without any difficult. Sometimes the target requires 3 and unless they find cover quickly then they get 3. My point being that whether you get head shot, or body shot, dead is dead and the satisfaction from the kill will be no less for the good snipers.

                        With the proposed 150m head shot range they will place the likelihood of getting head shot in the hands of everyone, so if what I am reading is correct, you no longer have to worry about those 2 or 3 snipers out there. Now you have to worry about everyone within 150m.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Balance Pass #2 - Nanoweave, Headshots And Explosives (Post Optimization)

                          Oh. I don't think they are talking about all guns doing 1HKOs at 150 and under, just bolt actions. Treating infantry armor more like Vehicle Armor (or even Max Armor) opens up some very interesting opportunities. Depending on the exact numbers and mechanics you might see NW become more effective against bullets but completely ineffective against both explosions and head shots. This is a very interesting decision and I'm glad they are doing it. Personally, NW was simply the upgrade to get because prior to this potential fix it helped you live against all potential damage dealers. Why worry about Flak when NW4 gives you 1.2% health? In a game where Time to Kill rules and Close Combat means both combatants are engaging each other near simultaneously NW is a winning concept on almost all aggressive classes.

                          Indeed tied with the Resist Shield you had a huge buff to longevity as a Heavy. (@ Strait, I'd still always suggest Resist Shield because it isn't so critically contest sensitive. IE if you are to quick to put it on you lose effectiveness, where as so long as RS is on you are getting 100% effect) Personally, I'm glad that even despite being fully certed into NW you potentially are just as fragile as anyone else if hit in the head.

                          And about the Shield Recharge, I'd suggest it maybe . . . but it's value on the front line is minor. It is clearly a support function suit choice. Engineers in vehicles should have Flak (as splash from shells hitting your vehicle can kill you), Heavies should invest in NW, Light Assaults should do NanoWeave, Maxes should invest in either Armor depending on their purpose, and infilitrators could probably do better with the magazine upgrade.

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