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What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

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  • What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

    After a conversation with Randy last night I got to thinking about what it would really mean to make the game more strategically interesting. I suspect Randy and I will never agree on this point, but I've never felt that the number of base connections (IE, the number that was reduced with the introduction of the Lattice system) has been a significant factor in that. I'd argue that the lack of interesting logistics is more to blame. The problem is not that you can only capture 3-5 bases at any given moment, it's that you can only have an effect on those fights directly.

    Looking at the logistics as they stand, it basically boils down to the following: are enough people in the fight? Do you have enough Sunderers or other hard spawns? Do you have enough heavy assets like tanks and aircraft to tilt the fight? And most importantly, can you you get more of these, and how quickly? Defeating an enemy force largely comes down to reducing their spawn options and picking off their assets. I'd argue that neither of these are very interesting right now. You usually pull tanks from the same base (or an adjacent one) and the same goes for Sunderers. The act of denying or replacing these assets is almost entirely local. The logistics chain stretches MAYBE one lattice link away. Under those circumstances, it's pretty much impossible to influence a fight outside of actually diving into the front line and getting into the nitty gritty of it, and that's almost always a numbers game.

    So, how do we fix it?

    I think the lattice can actually be a boon, here. It's a reliable, slowly shifting front line that can be reasoned about in the long term and reliably provides a place to find large, interesting fights (which is nice for those people who aren't interested in the strategic game... crazy people, I know). We could use this as the foundation for more interesting stuff. By all means keep the main battles at a few big fights, but stretch out the supply lines and make the territories behind them interesting for more than just scenery!

    What if you had to pull Sunderers from main bases, like tanks? What if towers didn't give you access to Sunderers and MBTs? I'd argue that would present an interesting strategic opportunity to influence a fight by hitting critical supply lines. You could choke off the replacement sunderers and tanks by putting a squad or two at a chokepoint in the rear, and in doing so start to strangle the enemy force behind you. This in turn might spur a rearguard action from more organized elements of the other force. Hopefully, it would both provide interesting new avenues of approach to a fight as well as a place for smaller squads and outfits to inflict major harm on a larger force without having to engage with it directly. It'd also be absurdly cheap to implement.

    SOE's proposed resource overhaul also looks like it's trying to do this, to some extent. For those who haven't read it, the basic gist of it is to collapse everything into one resource type (and kill vehicle timers/stockpiled grenades and equipment entirely), and instead of getting a global resource intake from all connected bases on the continent you siphon resources off of the accumulated supply of territory you're currently in (or adjacent to, for attackers). Territories only regain resources when connected to the warpgate or when a new ANT vehicle/vehicle module is used to ferry raw resources from resource nodes on the map to the territory in question. In that way, territories cut off from warpgate or under heavy load will run out of resources to distribute to nearby troops unless an ANT run is made.

    I think it'll be a good start, but it'll only shine if resources are important enough that you can't do without. The system they describe won't bother aircraft too badly, and infantry can do fine without grenades, C4, or MAX units if it comes down to it. My ideal resource system would be extended to include special weapon types, spawning, revives, and other common actions so that an army without resupply grinds to a complete halt. Even so, though, I anticipate a lot of fun to be had blockading ANT units, camping enemy resource nodes, and running ANT escort.

    What do you guys think about the state of the strategic game? What do you think would make it more interesting?

  • #2
    Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

    Get rid of the lettuce.


    I didn't even read your article.

    I'm yanking your chain. :p haha

    I will read and make a serious reply later.
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


    • #3
      Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

      This has more or less been my opinion since the lattice went up.

      Maybe the lattice isn't perfect but it is far better then the whack-a-mole we had before, and it opens up some interesting options.

      The proposed resource revamp I see as a good thing (no more punishing players who specialize in one role) and I do think it will put a bit of a squeeze on cut-off territories. The inability to draw armor or MAXes will hurt pretty badly in any exposed area. In the ultimate bastion that is the Biolab, think of how much easier a push will be when the defender can't use MAX units, and can't counter your MAX units with C4, proximity mines or anti-vehicle grenades. No revive grenades to spring up a half-dozen zombies in your midst. It would be a game-changer in that scenario.

      Is there any word though on how this will effect Sunderers? Presumably a Sunderer would draw directly from the resource pool of the territory, but that would mean that no attacking sunderer would ever have resources. So there must be some way to circumvent that, perhaps sunderers have their own small resource pool?

      As far as making resources more important, nothing will ever be more important than the spawn timer. If the spawn timer for each base is linked to the amount of resources it holds, resources would become the most important element in an attack. That's a huge can of worms though that could wind up making defence either useless or ungodly powerful depending on how it is done. (Presumably Sunderers would have to obey some form of this system too, perhaps slower spawns the farther they are from a friendly base?)

      I like the idea of the revamped resource system. I like that it brings with it the promise of legitimate siege tactics, but I'll have to see it in action before I can really pass judgement. There's a lot of nuance there. There's going to be huge rage at players who waste resources if everyone is drawing from some sort of shared pool of resources. :/
      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".


      • #4
        Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

        The way I understand resource drain to be described is that its based on what territory you're in (or the nearest lattice link, if you're attacking). You still have the personal resource pool, and it pulls regularily as now. The power level of the territory itself, however, is drained based on the number of players being supplied, not how heavily they're using their resources. I think it was implemented that way to avoid any issues with people wasting resources.

        Re-reading some of the designer's clarifications, apparently the ANT vehicles will be visible on the continent map in some kind of global sense. No sneaking one of these things under the radar, if you're attempting a resupply run you can expect to be a target (and need an escort)

        Good point as far as Biolabs, but I suspect that infantry fighting in the open or in smaller bases won't really notice. Cutting off their resources would basically just stop them from throwing grenades, which isn't a huge loss. I'd really like there to be a small personal resource cost in spawning (and maybe a significantly smaller one for reviving) to add a noticeable resource cost to attrition that would allow you to eventually choke off an enemy force that bypassed its own supply lines. On the same token, I'd love it if vehicle weapons and repairs incurred small costs per use so that they need to be concerned with their resources instead of just paying the vehicle pull cost and ignoring resources until they explode.

        Slightly tangentially, I'd also like things like anti-vehicle launchers and empire specific heavy weapons to have additional resource costs for using or equipping them. In the former case, it provides a resource constraint on massed anti-vehicle spam, and in the latter case I'd like to see the ESHWs heavily buffed to compensate. Make them terrifying, iconic close-quarters weapons, but impose a heavy cost on them to both act as a balancing factor and to provide yet another hook towards making the regular player care about their resource supply.

        I disagree that the spawn timer is the be-all end-all here. In a Biolab fight, sure, but in most other fights respawn time is actually a much smaller factor compared to actually getting back into the fight, which is why medic revives are so powerful. I also agree that it's a pretty big can of worms... I know it added a lot to the unforgiving nature of PR to have the minute+ spawn times, but I suspect that the regular PR community is going to get VERY frustrated with anything that leaves them sitting on their ass waiting to press a spawn button (and I can hardly blame them).

        Based on the designer's public statements, I get the sense that the resource revamp is, in many ways, going to be a big experiment. They're avoiding explicit "if the power runs out you lose the base" mechanics in favour of finding out if they can make the regular resources matter enough that people care. I am very eager to see that experiment take place!


        • #5
          Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

          Remove Alerts.

          /thread :row__586:

          Interesting thread.

          I'm really going to miss having all that C4 etc. available but it's for the best.

          Still, I think they might be going too far if you can't stockpile consumables at all. 40 is too much, but with a constant resource rate and a limit on total resources per player, why would you ever stop using consumables? Resources would be wasted otherwise. A small stockpile would at least provide a bit of management so that you use few in the small fights but try to have as many as possible for larger ones. This would also reflect the fact that the importance of consumables varies in different fights, while still limiting you to ~5 so there's less spam. Maybe I'm wrong.

          My thoughts on small actions requiring resources:

          Spawning - What happens when you run out of resources? Everything should be done with this in mind. Also, if you still have resources, all this would do is limit your consumable use rather than affect spawns. You could still have a tide of infantry re-spawning faster than they can be re-killed.

          I take the point about waiting on a long spawn timer. In effect, it's similar to waiting for vehicle spawn timers (which they're getting rid of), only worse. Although you could always spawn quickly but further behind the front lines. There must be a way to make it acceptable...

          Reviving - This would make some players hesitate to revive blueberries and only revive their buddies. Systems like this should consider the selfish players and actively push them towards teamwork.

          Revives could do with some limiting as well but need it be resources? For example, everyone could have a limited number of revives per spawn -> 2 or 3 for MAXes, 3 or 4 for Infantry. This stops the unkillable army and means people will try harder to stay alive. Whereas resources would simply act as a cushion so that, most of the time, organised squads would still rely on revives and not care about dying. Or maybe a revive per X minutes instead of a finite amount... [Both open the possibility to adjust these numbers via certs].

          Repairs - What is the benefit? Again, I don't particularly like the idea of running out of resources - your vehicle would die to attrition with nothing you could do about it. If the drain rate was too low to run out of resources then it'd be useless.

          Vehicle Weapons - Same as above.

          Empire Specific Heavy Weapons - Ohhh no, no, no, no. We have a chain gun, a rapid fire shotgun and an area-of-effect gun (Lasher). If these weapons were inherently more powerful than others there would be a huge uproar. Why use anything else? It only costs you your grenades and people would have a horrible gun play experience trying to kill you.

          There's only a very narrow window for balance on weapons that kill you in ~6 shots. Anything that requires a major buff due to resource cost should be applied where there's plenty of room for balancing it out, I.E. SOE's idea for a 3 person tank that's more powerful but has a completely new rare resource type attributed to it (in addition to taking more people to man so it's hard to spam).

          Rocket Launchers - I'd be very hesitant about limiting the amount of anti-vehicle and anti-air options available. It isn't fun playing infantry that can't fight back. Heck, I've wondered about ways of going almost the opposite route and providing important weapons like these to players that haven't unlocked them, on a temporary basis, whenever the enemy attacks with a ton of assets.

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


          • #6
            Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

            Having some sort of mobile logistical mechanic would certainly mix things up a bit. There was a capture the flag element in one iteration of PS1 where you had to carry the core of one type of facility over to a neighboring base to flip the point. That made for some weird slow-moving zergs all clustered around one player, though. With the faster pace and more porous front lines of PS2, who knows how a logistics element, such as ANT runs would play out. You'd have to make it important enough that players would want to make the run and defend it, but also not so integral to game play that the lack of an organized logistics team would stop all forward progress on a continent.
            In game handle: Steel Scion


            • #7
              Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

              @ Jengles:

              I think any sort of stockpiling at all undercuts the idea of making a resource system meaningful. Be honest, do you REALLY care about your current infantry resource flow when you've got 20 C4 sitting in the bank? What the inventory does is just cause you to load up all the time you're not using resources for anything else.

              If anything I think it'd lead to less spam... I currently use my own stockpiles very thoughtlessly. If I knew I'd only be able to get 4-5 C4 out in a fight? I'd be VERY conservative about how I deployed it.

              My thoughts on spawning requiring resources are that if you ran out of resources you'd just be restricted to spawning at a base that HAD resources, though that could get a little hairy. Ultimately I'm just thinking that spawning/reviving is the single most important infantry capability, and if you want to make them care about resources at all you have to tie them together somehow.

              Maybe tying infantry spawn rates to resources IS the correct solution. If low base resources caused your respawn to take 20 seconds instead of 10, that could be a decisive advantage when your back is pressed against the wall. You just have to be really careful to make sure it doesn't become frustrating.

              As far as my thoughts on vehicles requiring resources to operate, I just don't think it's enough that they have to consider resources during the initial spawn and that's it. Vehicles should need to consider resources during regular operation. Not super expensive, obviously... repairing the armour or firing shots should be low enough of a cost that if a base is well stocked you never need to even think of it (IE, resource gain exceeds resource expenditure), which is kind of the mindset I have for most of the "small actions cost resources" ideas I'm bouncing around. But, by tying repairs and weapon usage to resources, you make vehicles vulnerable to overextending on their supply chain. If you stop gaining resources, you shouldn't be able to hold out forever, and the veteran pilot/tank drivers who can keep their vehicle alive for a long, long time need something other than spawn costs if they're going to ever care about being cut off from resources.

              Fair point on the heavy weapons. However, I've never felt that they bring much to the table as they stand BECAUSE they need to be balanced with regards to, say, regular shotguns. In PS1 they WERE the kings of close-quarters combat in large part because they were both tactically limited to close range fights as well as only carried by reinforced exo-suits, which couldn't pilot vehicles. The point you bring up about a second, rare resource type is something I've mused about a few times, though, and I think that'd be a perfect use case. Have a second resource type, your "vespene gas" as it were, and tag your "better weapons" with that. Haven't given a lot of thought to that yet, though.

              For rocket launchers, I think it's perfectly reasonable to inflict a cost-per-shot on these things. It both allows you to buff them a little more flexibly (make a decimator SCARY, but also have a higher per-shot cost, for instance). It's always bothered me that heavies get such powerful anti-vehicle/MAX weapons basically for free when everyone else is paying big bucks for C4 that's substantially less flexible. Keep in mind that when I say "resource cost", I mean "this won't make a substantial dent in your resources... IF you're well supplied". The POINT is to make it so that it becomes tough to defend yourself against a well-supplied enemy, but equivalent or better than now if you're well supplied yourself.

              My ideal scenario would be that every class would be engaging in some sort of resource expenditure in regular play that they'd miss if they got cut off. I don't think special equipment and vehicle spawns is sufficient incentive. But, I guess, we'll see when the system is finally implemented and pushed to live.


              • #8
                Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                I just don't know. I'll have to see how the resource revamp shakes out but it sounds like you're trying to put too much weight on resources. There's a balance to be found there, and if no resources means that a team can't spawn quickly, pull vehicles or maxes, use mines, C4 or grenades, use advanced weapons, repair vehicles, MAXes or turrets, heal or revive downed teammates, or even fire rockets, resources become the only thing that matter.

                The stance by SOE is that they don't charge resources for a class' primary skills. i.e. ammo and repairs for the engineer, healing and reviving for the medic, rocket launcher and shield for the heavy, hacking and sensor darts for the infiltrator, jet-pack and jet-pack for the LA... It helps to keep the roles of each class strong and defined, by not punishing them for using their class-specific skills.

                In particular, I think adding a resource cost to team-based skills (ammo resupply, repairing, healing, revives) would be a bad move. That's just going to encourage more and more selfish playstyles. Why would I repair that squad member's tank and reduce my own combat endurance? Why would I repair that blueberry MAX and risk getting bitched out by my MAX squadmates when I can't repair them? Why did that engineer shoot me when I stopped by his ammo pack? Why won't that medic heal me when he keeps healing the same four guys he's with? Why are people so mean?!?!!

                The thing I don't like about recurring costs for vehicles is that it turns vehicles into even more of a disposable item than they already are. Because your resource costs are front-loaded, survivability is very important in a vehicle. Say what you will about the vehicle timer system, but it made this aspect even more pronounced (if in a poor way). Distributing resource costs (presumably you'd have to reduce vehicle spawn costs to avoid vehicles just winding up horrendously expensive overall) lends itself to the same sort of spammy, borderline suicidal playstyle that dominates infantry warfare. That being said, encouraging vehicle drivers to be a bit more reckless might be a good thing?

                Either way, this resource system is going to drive up the number of players idling at warpgate (or other friendly bases) in order to recharge their resources. The whole reason that resources are gained through combat was to avoid this sort of mass idling. Idling was absolutely rampant during the beta (when resources were more important as well), but at least you could still gain resources at the same rate in frontline combat. Reduced resource gain in contested zones is going to push the average player away from contested zones and the frontline in general.

                I don't know the solutions to this, but it's a very complex issue, and it'll add up to a lot of player frustration if it's not well thought-out.

                Now how about this for the lattice system? I believe this is the way that it worked in PS1, how about bases that are cut off from a friendly warpgate slowly turn neutral, no matter how many points you hold? It creates the same end result - cut-off territories are eventually screwed unless they can reconnect - but without having to balance a hundred benefits/deficits to resources. Sometimes simplicity is best.
                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".


                • #9
                  Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                  The way the resource overhaul was described, they're moving away from "resources as bank balance" to "resources as the supplies you're carrying on your back". Resource loss is going to be more of a temporary thing (the number given is something like 10 minutes to completely refill your stock), so idling would not really be a thing.

                  Strait, you bring up a lot of good points, but here's what I'm claiming: one time costs for vehicles and infantry expendables is not going to be a substantial burden on a large force. They've got an infinite number of rockets, repairs, revives, respawns and resupplies and can just throw bodies at their problems because there's almost nothing an infantry force NEEDS to purchase to stay operative, and vehicles aren't going to be a big concern under the system they've described. Hell, air vehicles will just be pulled from distant friendly bases with good power levels, and ground vehicles have front loaded their costs. When you pull a tank column from a friendly base, you don't have any reason to care about resources, especially if you were just going to transition to infantry anyways. For resources to matter in a fight, they need to be impacting something that the army ALREADY ON THE FIELD cares about. If resources don't matter, then we don't get any of the strategic depth we're looking for from the mechanic and we might as well not have bothered.

                  Heavy weapons, spawning, and special kit like MANA turrets all seem like prime candidates, to me. I'd hate to see a chilling effect on the infantry gameplay, though.

                  I don't think charging for ammo/repairs on vehicles would make them substantially more disposable. If anything, the additional resource pressure would make you want to keep them alive MORE. But I think vehicles definitely need SOMETHING to keep them engaged in the resource game--at least, they do if you're thinking of them as dedicated battlefield roles instead of temporary force multipliers. Repairs and ammo seem like the sensible knobs to fiddle with... adding "fuel" would be a terrible idea, for instance.

                  And I think resources should be an absolutely critical aspect, when it does come into play. If you have a superior enemy force but you're able to starve them out of resources, you SHOULD be able to punch through, and an even fight should be swung heavily if one side can drain the other's supply. It absolutely should NOT be a case of "oh, I was out of resources that whole fight? I didn't even notice."

                  I realize this lands heavily on the hardcore side of things, but I'd love to see some Project Reality-esque gameplay here. I found a lot of joy in doing supply runs as a transport helicopter pilot, or being in a squad, running low on supplies, and needing to call in supply drops either for ammo or for building fortifications. Obviously, that requires some additional functionality to be able to resupply troops in the field (maybe with an ANT or Galaxy ability), but that kind of thing is something I'd really enjoy.

                  Of course, balancing anything so that it still works for the very important casual crowd (you know, the targets) as well as the people looking for a more hardcore experience is tricky... and super important. If the zerg isn't having fun, we'll soon be out of targets/cannon fodder.


                  • #10
                    Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                    Interesting discussion. Strait makes some really good points two posts above this one.

                    Keep in mind also the balance between Free To Play and Pay To Win. One thing I think SOE has done right is strike that balance pretty well so far, which is hard to do. But remember the current resource system can be boosted by applying boosts and/or membership. This allows more convenience to some players (asset users) in return for payment without destroying game balance completely.

                    And as far as C4, man I can burn through 20-30 pretty quick in one single big fight but I am probably at one extreme of the bell shaped curve as I specialize in taking out Sunderers with my Engi and/or LA. Although admittedly not all the time and yes it was a very big fight, at Crossroads or something like that, and the TR and VS (attacking from both sides, 3 way) just kept bringing Sunderers and it went on for like an hour or two.
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


                    • #11
                      Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                      That is a good point about resource boosts. They are arguably the only "Pay to Win" aspect of the current game, because resource boosts cannot be earned in-game. A paying player is flat out able to pull more vehicles/Maxes/C4 than a free-to-play player. It's not such a big deal now because resources almost never matter, but the more important resources become the more of a difference this makes.

                      I think the solution would be to get rid of resource boosts and put everyone on a level playing field.

                      If we're recharging resources in friendly back-territories this also effects the vehicle balance. Air power would see almost no effect from this - they're constantly re-arming and repairing at bases deep in friendly territory anyway. Ground vehicles on the front lines don't have the same luxury, they'd presumably need a supply line of Sunderers (which would have to carry their own resources) to operate. The entire column becomes bulkier, harder to navigate, and vulnerable (due to reduced repairs and ammo) whereas air power isn't effected at all. Infantry, with their instant teleport respawn, aren't effected to the degree that vehicles are either.

                      I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, there's just a lot to think about here.

                      For example, it really, really shifts the balance of power away from the attackers. Attackers have a more stretched supply line, then if they ever manage to take a base, they they're then attempting to assault from a base which is already depleted of resources into a fresh enemy territory stocked with resources. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just that it's something to think about. The strategic game would slow down a lot. Attacking forces would need supply chains organized to shuttle resources to the front lines and newly captured bases.

                      And don't get me wrong, I had enjoyable times playing logistics in PR... it was a good way to unwind, shoot the breeze. Wait around, go drop off some crates for a FOB, go drop off some ammo for the mortar teams. Even in PR though it wasn't terribly engaging most of the time. What happens when the team needs 20 ANT runs an hour from the warpgate to Dahaka (plus escorts!) to keep up their offensive pressure against the VS because they're bleeding the friendly territory dry?

                      I'm curious to see how this first iteration of the resource revamp works out for them. Strange as it may seem to say this, I find myself trusting SoE. The decisions they've been making have been pretty rational and reasonable. Planetside 2 has been growing better by the month since the release.

                      Oh, and we need 3-Man MBTs please.
                      Last edited by Strait Raider; 12-01-2013, 09:01 PM.
                      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".


                      • #12
                        Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                        I'm with you on trusting SOE with this. They've been making solid, measured design decisions and their hearts--if not necessarily their production schedule--is in the right place, and this is one of the most barefacedly ambitious games in recent memory.

                        100% with you about resource boosts. Right now it's a pay to win element that doesn't actually win you anything on account of resources being laughable. The moment they start being critical aspects of an assault that changes pretty drastically.

                        Every time I think about a resource system air is ALWAYS the odd man out because it's so damn GLOBAL. As it stands, they largely don't care about local resource strength--they're probably wandering over several different territories in the course of a single dogfight and can pull from warpgate in a pinch--so something else would need to bring resources into the air game. Local AA is one knob you could mess with... if AA is stronger in a territory with power, that's a concern for air units. If there was local radar that depended on power and gave an enhanced sensor range, that might help too. A dial that's also interesting is the bases they go to resupply at... if the safety or efficiency of the towers/bases they were using for resupply were taxed by their use, an extended air presence might be able to gimp those bases somewhat, forcing them to go further to resupply. I'm not sure how you could make that reasonable.

                        ANT runs won't be strictly from the warp gate... resource nodes will be scattered across some of the more remote regions of the map that don't currently see a lot of use. I think that means that the logistics train will be substantially shorter than what you're talking about, and even if the resource requirements become as high as 20 runs runs an hour (which would be pretty extreme) that might be manageable in that respect.


                        • #13
                          Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                          I've recently been giving this a good amount of thought and here is what I think would help the game a lot
                          -Keep the lattice system, fix the maps
                          It is BY FAR better than the old system and when it was implemented on Esamir it was a huge improvement, where it seems to ultimately fail is the most unpopular is on Indar.
                          Indar map design is just flat out awful for instance; most bases (aside from the major chokes) are actually harder to defend than they are to attack, (unless you hold the northern warpgate) you are forced to be constantly assulted at your critical structures and forced through horrendous choke points that cannot be circumvented. Lattice only extenuates this.
                          The best example i can find of this is Allatum bio lab... just look at the thing... its CONSTANTLY held and attacked by the other factions.
                          This brings me to my next point
                          -Change the difficulty of a defense based upon where the defense is coming from.
                          for instance Make Vanu Archives a difficult to attack from the North east but in the south west you can place plenty of advancement positions, and jump pads and places for sundies to hide from the base's defenses. Also make sure these 'extra defenses' on the south cannot be exploited by someone attacking from the north
                          Sorta like the guard towers built around Quebec city. Hard and reinforced on the front soft and squishy on the back.
                          -Discourage the 'Zerg' mentality.
                          This can be help by discouraging of the many 'unstoppable forces' such as sundy spam, Max spam(this has been partially taken care of), Gal drops(sorry randy)
                          Sundy spam can be slowed down through making them only obtainable from large vehicle spawns. This would increase both the defensibility and the offensiblity of large bases such as a tech plant.
                          -Max spam has, for the most part, been fixed when they increased the cost from 100INFres to 350INFres and the fact that they are very difficult to re-position.
                          The last part of that statement is where we find our problem... the Vanu don't have difficulty repositioning their maxes and once they overcome the resource adversity everything just becomes a laser light show of glowing pink leotards.
                          I looked up the vs max statistics and found out that ...
                          Infantry running speed: 6.5 m/s |ZOE MAX running speed: 6.5 m/s |MAX running speed: 6 m/s
                          Infantry walking speed: 4 m/s |ZOE MAX walking speed: 5.5 m/s |MAX walking speed: 3 m/s
                          Infantry backward walking speed: 3 m/s |ZOE MAX backward walking speed: 4.5 m/s |MAX backward walking speed: 2 m/s
                          Infantry strafing speed: 3 m/s |ZOE MAX strafing speed: 4.5 m/s |MAX strafing speed: 2 m/s
                          Now there are a few problems here...
                          1.) ZOE's actually walk and straph better than infantry
                          2.) where there is a 3m/s gap for the max's acceleration there is only a 1m/s gap for the ZOE
                          3.) the first level of ZOE grants ALL these speed benefits straight away for 150 certs. Most of the Vanu agree that this is the only thing important about ZOE
                          So the ZOE max is not only more powerful but also EASIER to re position than actual infantry units for a mere 150 certs
                          Ways they could fix this:
                          1.) make every level of ZOE break apart the speed
                          2.) At max level (which is really expensive cert wise anyway) make ZOE only perform as well as infantry in terms of all forms of movement (strafing might need to be lower)
                          How I think they should have handled ZOE when they implemented it seeing as the other 2 abilities are defensive abilities not offensive abilities
                          1.)add a 15%-35% damage increase to all non AA weapons (Release ZOE was 25%)
                          2.)add a small muzzle velocity increase (a size that would be worthless in the eyes of TR lockdown)
                          3a.)add a max damage increase of 20-30% damage increase (used to be 20% after but now its currently 30%)
                          3b.)add an increased strafe speed and walk->spring acceleration but make the damage modifier be 30-40% forcing a bit of learning curve on ZOE users
                          4.) force ZOEs to stop and perform a small half second to second animation (would probably look all super saiyan like or something) when they activate and deactivate ZOE to stop people from shutting it off to avoid damage.
                          all these attribute become better as the level goes up. this way the VS max would have served wonderfully as a long range and accurate defensive tool that would couple very well with the VS's insane sustained fire and low recoil weapons, not a hyper offensive super solider that can actually serve a better role than infantry and has no timer.

                          last but not least...
                          Now I know many people may have different opinions on this matter, especially people with fully cert-ed gals.
                          It is my opinion that galaxies are FAR too powerful in terms of a transport. However they serve quite remarkably as a pretty well balanced heavy armored gun ship so this got me to thinking...
                          Right now Gal's are capable of being pulled from warpgate and shipped directly into a location at (relative to sundies) high speeds without having to worry about terrain or landing.
                          That's all fine and dandy, that is the huge advantage to airborne infantry. My big problem comes with the shear amount of damage required to take a galaxy down. If someone wanted to realistically take down a galaxy BEFORE it got within deployment range of its target, they would require, either a very organized air squad camping their warpgate or at least 3 skyguards all focusing fire on that particular gal(even without certs put in). Skyguards are 1000 certs placing them at a pretty far reach from lower BR players who are more concerned with putting their certs elsewhere. Also what if that gal were to come in with friends? it would require 5-6 skyguards all focusing fire and hoping for the best.
                          Solutions to this that force gal piolts to be more cautious and require escorts while transporting for a drop:
                          a.)Introduce a new transport vehical (such as the LoadStar from PS1) that would have low firepower and about the same health as a lib, to be the 12+ man transport/full fledged vehicle transport. The galaxy would keep its armor but would only be able to carry 6 people and would require the driver to cert into ejectiontion systems in utility in order to drop from altitude.
                          b.)reduce the gal's carry size to 6, the armor to say a lib or slightly less and add another "payload" slot, that would determine what the galaxy could carry. the three options for this slot would be...
                          *Heavy armor(certable in level): this would increase the max health of the gal and, by the last level, the galaxy would have even more health than it has now (this would compensate for the lack of transport and make it more focused as a supporting gunship)
                          *Troop transport(certable in level): the first level would increase infantry carry weight to 12 and allow them to drop 200m without dying. Each level would improve the altitude allowed for drop until the final level which would negate any damage from any altitude(this would reduce the ability for zergs to constantly pull gals whenever they want dodge defenses and stresses escorts)
                          *Vehical transport(certable in level): ... oh this would be amazing for the game... At each level the galaxy would have a specific "carry limit" value and different vehicles would have different "carry weights" (ex: flash=1 harrasser=3 lighting=6 sundy and MBT=8) at the final level the galaxy would have a total carry limit of 12. To balance this (so you don't have para-trooping MBT's and Sundies) vehicals would not be allowed to exit the Gal until the landing gear is deployed the pilot would then open the the vehicle menu and eject the particular asset(which would materialize all 'nanite style' nearby). They would also have to make sure that transported vehicles would not be allowed passengers.

                          Now the reason I asked for this to be placed in a new slot known as "payload" is because the utility slot has a number of heavy gunship roles as well as the use of stealth or flak armor could be beneficial in a transport role.

                          Edit: I do aplogize for the super long comment ... got a bit carried away


                          • #14
                            Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                            Wow, there is so much here i wasn't able to read it all. But Ill generalize my thoughts:

                            1. A significant win condition and reward for that win. This is important because I see no point of a strategy if there isn't a goal significant enough to rally/motivate all to create/participate in a strategy. Don't really care what it is but I think it has to be significant enough that almost every player wants it. Other MMO's capitalize on this very well with collectibles, achievements, or tokens as unique currency for unique things etc. In my opinion, based on current prices, 10 - 25 station cash would work. I say this based on my belief that it would motivate 80% percent of players to not just participate but "TRY" to win. I would say it would even motivate me. But alerts as is, despite being a good first stab, is simply not enough to motivate me. I am content playing whether its for alert objectives or not. I suspect im not the only one that feels this way

                            2. More moving parts that are separate, have significant noticeable impact for those not present for the effort, but not essential so slack unheld in one aspect can be picked up in others. Sound vague? I know, its the philosophy I wanted to get across. If I am at some base/point/objective in the middle of nowhere I want my efforts there to matter to someones effort elsewhere. This actionable content can be at the base level, region, continent, multi-continent. Again, alerts take a stab at it by setting a win condition so to speak but its almost unnoticeable by the regular joes unless participating coalition leaders happen to pass on strategy progress to their platoons so efforts can be recognized. I'm talking more tangible objectives, similar to holding the gun deck on tech plants. You can flip a tech plant without bothering with the gun deck, but if defenders are using it, offense notices it and vice versa. Why because while the gun deck isn't a required objective it is however an optional force multiplier that has significant impact the the fighting in the area. The gun deck would be an example of base level actionable content.


                            • #15
                              Re: What would increase the strategic depth of the game?

                              VLAD, that last little bit is maybe worth additional discussion. Optional objectives off the beaten path add a lot to individual base assaults... generators, gun positions, etc. What if we took that concept a little bit further out? For instance, lets say two additional Lattice links were added to Indar: Indar Excavation <-> Hvar Northgate and Indar Comm Array <-> Allatum Broadcast Hub. This allows you to bypass Quartz Ridge and West Highland Checkpoint, respectively. However, both of those bases occupy strategically interesting terrain independent of their lattice links, as they control the main roads up that vehicles can reliably traverse. You might be able to assault the bases behind them with an airborne assault, or by bypassing them if you control one or the other, but your advance is severely hampered by not controlling at least one of these critical chokepoints. Hell, do the same thing for Dahaka Southern <-> West Highlands, allowing one of the bases on the chain to be bypassed but not both, and ensuring that at SOME point, an interesting piece of land will need to be fought over in order to progress. For added punch, eliminate some of the extra routes in those hills and beef up bases like Indar Comm and West Highlands to be like Quartz Ridge: walled fortresses that OWN the roads they sit on.

                              Zep's mentioning of Galaxies ties into this as well. A galaxy right now can actually deliver a pretty substantial and durable force, just due to interaction with a few other game mechanics. Aside from the fact that the troops are almost certainly getting to where they want to go, once they're there it's pretty trivial to hack a terminal and have Sunderer access. With enough people in the drop, it can feel completely indistinguishable from a regular invading force, where I think that airborne troops should feel like a substantially different animal. Restricting some aspects of their operation would improve how interesting they are strategically by requiring them to operate a bit differently from a better supplied force. If they can operate indistinguishably, they're therefore also capable of ignoring strategically interesting terrain.

                              How to fix that? My thoughts:
                              * Limit the ability of troops behind enemy lines to pull fresh Sunderers. Move the Sunderer to main bases and warp gates only, like I suggested earlier for other reasons. No major base gives attackers access to their vehicle terminals until they've lost a generator or two, so they'd be completely dependent on local revive and squad beacons until their friendly forces broke through and got them a Sunderer. An airborne force would therefore be a highly mobile but logistically fragile force, which I think is how they should be.
                              * Provide better anti-galaxy weapons for ESFs. If you have a Reaver squad dogpile a Galaxy right now, you MIGHT be able to take it down before it hits its destination if you caught it far enough out and the gunners weren't too great. If you've got a mixed ESF/Liberator heavy interceptor squad like I've tried running in the past, you can knock them down far from their targets... providing you've got a highly disciplined squad with a good spotter guiding you in in time. Either way, taking out Galaxies in a timely fashion is friggin' tough right now... tough enough that almost no Galaxy bothers getting an escort. Hopefully, the new Locust cannons from the delayed ESF update will do this for us. If a Galaxy has to watch out for specialized interceptor units, they'll need to be a little more careful in how and where they're deployed. IMO, having viable Gal-drop counter-play would go a long way towards making those tactics more interesting. Solid limitations and counters make for interesting strategy.




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