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  • Winning a battle

    I've been musing to myself about the flow of PS2 battles and how to understand and exploit them. I figured I'd check in with you guys to share my thoughts and get some feedback.

    The core realization I've had is this: Planetside 2 is a numbers game. That doesn't sound to revelatory, but hear me out. Obviously, whoever brings more people to a fight has a huge advantage. However, the realization I've had is that it's not like your traditional multiplayer game where a 10vs5 fight means you're guaranteed to be fighting two to one at all times... instead, population is an indication of how the battle is going as much as it is the influencer of same. Success often directly translates into a pop advantage, and screwups work against it. Moreover, the actual population isn't going to determine the victory condition. Even a vastly outnumbered force will just keep respawning indefinitely. Eventually, you need to find a way to reduce that population count to 0 if you want to win, and you can't do it just by killing them.

    Following this line of thought, winning a battle in PS2 is in many ways about population management, which brings us back to logistics. It's about denying spawns, organizing reinforcements, causing the enemy to pull out, and keeping people from committing to the fight in the first place.

    You can increase your population by bringing in more people (faction/outfit wide coordination), but the real decisive bits are in getting people not to stay in the fight. People will stop participating in the fight for a few reasons:
    • They can no longer spawn (kill sunderers on defense, SCUs on offense)
    • They're demoralized or ineffective (as in a spawn room camp, or a small pop advantage snowballing into a big one as people begin to quit the battle)
    • There's somewhere else they want to be (Another base they need to defend, pressure on an asset they want to protect, fear of losing their vehicles, etc)
    • They are unable to reach the fight due to some obstacle or interference (Say, there's a force positioned in such a way that they can't get to the fight at the objective without being engaged, like a tank brigade on open terrain)


    So a Commander's objectives shouldn't just be to hold or gain control of terrain. Instead, they should be trying to use the factors above against the enemy and prevent the same from being done to them, and taking territory would just be a necessary outcome in the pursuit of getting the enemy out of there.

    This is a little disjointed right now, but that's the gist. This might be blindingly obvious, but I'm sleep deprived and unable to really evaluate it at the moment.

    Thoughts?




  • #2
    Re: Winning a battle

    Yes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Winning a battle

      I've noticed that other factions (most especially VS) tend to surround the area with vehicles, particularly between the warpgate and contested territory / large or important battle. They will have (sometimes, not always) a lot more AA and/or fighter interdiction en route that we tend to run into (if you make a bee line for the obvious target, instead of taking a slightly more circuitous route as I often do, when time permits).

      I am not sure if the NC do that very much, other than those times you yourself SS were running interdiction type air squads. But yeah, that would be something to consider. Unfortunately, my experience in COMMAND comms when I was in game recently were pretty bad, for some reason the NC seem to attract all the trolls and therefore it's much more difficult for us to achieve even basic agreement on an overall plan, much less going for anything more forward thinking as you suggest. And that's a shame really.
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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      • #4
        Re: Winning a battle

        I'm dubious about the effectiveness of that kind of interdiction these days, actually, based on some recent results. The "reinforcements needed" spawn is often a substantially more effective way to get a platoon around the map to defensive fights than actually flying over (which I think is a really bad setup) and setting up any kind of interdiction effort is basically a waste of time if you're on offense. It can have some value in starving out an attack, but honestly you might be better off actually choking off the enemy logistics directly. It's very difficult to stop people from actually joining the fight now, which I hope will get changed. (If you want to see my thoughts on THAT, just check out the post on Reddit I made today.)

        To elaborate on my thinking here: to me it's an interesting shift in mindset from "win the fight" to "remove the enemy from the fight". The goal is ultimately the same and so are most of the methods, but it casts the actions we take to win the fight in a very different light. It highlights how Planetside actually DOES involve attrition at the battle scale, just in a bit of a strange way that has more to do with local spawn availability and individual morale than the traditional "deaths == attrition" model.

        Re: Command and trolls, yeah, we've got some real blowhards lately that make Snuggles look like a reasonable person to work with (Stew and WisdomCube come to mind) and I couldn't blame anyone for muting either of them. While they're both at least nominally interested in working for the betterment of the faction and occasionally have correct insights, they don't play well with others, constantly antagonize everyone, and throw a fit every time they don't get their way. I already know that several outfit leads like Aeflic have already tried to get them to cooperate productively but have since given up. They also both bring almost nothing to the field in terms of actual troops, so it's not like you lose any significant amount of backup by not liaising with them.



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        • #5
          Re: Winning a battle

          Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
          The core realization I've had is this: Planetside 2 is a numbers game. That doesn't sound too revelatory , but hear me out. Obviously, whoever brings more people to a fight has a huge advantage. However, the realization I've had is that it's not like your traditional multiplayer game where a 10vs5 fight means you're guaranteed to be fighting two to one at all times... instead, population is an indication of how the battle is going as much as it is the influencer of same. Success often directly translates into a pop advantage, and screwups work against it. Moreover, the actual population isn't going to determine the victory condition. Even a vastly outnumbered force will just keep respawning indefinitely. Eventually, you need to find a way to reduce that population count to 0 if you want to win, and you can't do it just by killing them.
          This. So much this. Rebirth, AMS, and spawn rooms all exhibit a 'projection' of troops. Obviously pure numbers matter, but over time its all about the rate of replenishment, IE prompt respawn and arrival.

          Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
          Following this line of thought, winning a battle in PS2 is in many ways about population management, which brings us back to logistics. It's about denying spawns, organizing reinforcements, causing the enemy to pull out, and keeping people from committing to the fight in the first place.

          You can increase your population by bringing in more people (faction/outfit wide coordination), but the real decisive bits are in getting people not to stay in the fight. People will stop participating in the fight for a few reasons:
          • They can no longer spawn (kill sunderers on defense, SCUs on offense)
          • They're demoralized or ineffective (as in a spawn room camp, or a small pop advantage snowballing into a big one as people begin to quit the battle)
          • There's somewhere else they want to be (Another base they need to defend, pressure on an asset they want to protect, fear of losing their vehicles, etc)
          • They are unable to reach the fight due to some obstacle or interference (Say, there's a force positioned in such a way that they can't get to the fight at the objective without being engaged, like a tank brigade on open terrain)



          So a Commander's objectives shouldn't just be to hold or gain control of terrain. Instead, they should be trying to use the factors above against the enemy and prevent the same from being done to them, and taking territory would just be a necessary outcome in the pursuit of getting the enemy out of there.

          This is a little disjointed right now, but that's the gist. This might be blindingly obvious, but I'm sleep deprived and unable to really evaluate it at the moment.

          Thoughts?
          Your observations are all about 31st Century logistics as they currently stand (hopefully that reddit thread is a sign of somethings being changed). As such you need to deny them their logistics; Spawn point destruction, spawn camping, interception and denial, and 'feinting' are all what you are describing. Just with the hitch of 'Rebirth teleportation'.

          Sadly SOE hasn't given us much to work with here. Some places have SCUs, most don't. Sunderers are already the focal points of many battles.

          The 'commander', and currently I don't think with the scale of PS2 a platoon leader counts, should always be finding ways to deny spawn/reinforcement but beyond coming up with ways to camp a spawn room, ways to take down an SCU, or how to destroy Sunderers I'm not sure there is enough depth to tackle this in a nuanced manner.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Winning a battle

            Sunderers are enough for Nuance, I think. They, in my mind, are wonderful examples of player driven objectives that emphasize the flow of terrain and have good win/loss conditions as well. The problem is that they're only useful in offense and midfield battles, they're rarely more than a sideshow on defense, if that.

            Basically, right now the defender is logistically impregnable. They'll have 100% spawn capabilities and as many players as they can organize to come to them. A successful attack, then, must either demoralize or distract potential defenders. Distracting them is pretty much only possible on the strategic scale, and requires coordinating on other fronts to force the enemy to prioritize something else. On the other side, the attacker needs to bring a critical mass of players into the fight and keep their logistics secure. There's still some options for frustrating defensive spawn logistics, but they're iffy. The best example I can think of is one op where we attacked the Esamir Tech Plant's NE satellite base and split the squads on opposite sides of the bridges: one on the point, trying to hold back defenders from the far end of the bridge, and the other on the hills overlooking the other side of the bridge, creating a crossfire. Defenders attempting to cross the bridge had people shooting them in the back, a pretty massive force multiplier, and addressing that issue required them to push in exactly the opposite direction up unfavourable terrain, all while under time pressure from the cap timer. It was a very successful maneuver, and makes me think that a certain kind of positioning might be effective against hard spawns if we can swing it:

            1) The element is in a position to severely frustrate an enemy push, perhaps by having a flanking position on their most direct approach or a clear line of fire on open terrain defenders need to cross. A good example might be the back doors of the tech plants... if you've got a team inside holding the back doors, the enemy already has a bit of a slog ahead of them to get inside. A flanking team on the OUTSIDE of the back doors in a position off to the side can fire upon enemies attempting to stack up or rush the doors and prevent a coherent breach.
            2) The element is NOT in the path of least resistance for the defenders. They want to go that direction anyways and they outnumber you, they'll happily bulldoze through. You need to be an irritant that can't be easily removed. The flanking team in the above example would be just enough out of the path of the defenders going towards the point to make them a bit out of the way to properly overwhelm and engage (though not too far out of the way... that example is NOT as defensible as I'd like).
            3) The element should be stacking enough local force multipliers in the form of defensible terrain and good positioning that defenders would need to spend significant amounts of time and manpower to displace them. This further discourages them from effectively removing the irritant.

            A defender has a lot more options. A small force attacking the base on the other end of the lattice link automatically forces a portion of the attacking force to backtrack and deal with it. Killing spawn options can deplete their local numbers outright. A flanking team can draw the enemy away from their objective. I think that end of the equation is already something we're pretty good at.

            Midfield fights are the most interesting. That's the only time both the attacker and defender are functionally equal in terms of logistics.



            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Winning a battle

              This subject has been approached, dissected, examined and then rehashed many many times in the various postings. Search under "flow of battle", "enemy attrition", "Sunderer denial" and you'll find it discussed. Using my own theories about how the battle progresses under actual battle conditions for days in succession, and actually sitting on a hilltop unnoticed and over seeing many ensuing battles, I can tell you what works and what doesn't..........but again those theories turned tactics have already been posted.

              If I may, there is too much shoulda, woulda, coulda and not enough actual "do this because I know it works"..........theory crafting is fine in the confines of your mind, but on the forums I believe that most people want a actual plan to follow or to try. As an example the "Fast break" was called a technique........not a theory or wish list. But maybe I'm just being old and crotchy..........

              But on a more positive note post a question about what you feel is a tactical problem and see if someone has a viable solution that they have tried and know works. Maybe by combining the collective knowledge of all of TG we can come up a guide for new SLs and PLs to follow................oh wait that has already been suggested and posted as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Winning a battle

                I agree with Rage. We have more then enough threads about every kind of tactic in the book. But I havent seen more then 3 used. We need to start using them in the game even if they fail, at least we tried. For example my armor squads, I dont post much about it except AAR's or loadout suggestions. I prefer to just try it out ingame. Not all my tactics were successful but at least I tried and now I know what works and what doesnt work. This is allowed me to come up with a solid play book that has offensive and defensive tactics for every situation.

                The fast break was only success when TG members who went on the forum were apart of it. The ones who didnt slowed the whole thing down. So any tactic here is already at risk to fail since a large portion of the outfit doesnt go on the forum except just to sign up.

                Sorry if I went a little off topic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Winning a battle

                  There is a place for this sort of discussion. It allows vague thoughts and intuitions to be compared, fact checked, and serve as a kicking off point for fruitful discussion and new tactical ideas. It does not have to be 100% immediately practical to be valuable. Impractical ideas often precede and inspire practical ones.

                  Neither is this topic entirely old ground. I can't recall a discussion about what victory in Planetside actually entails that covered all of these specific points, and even if we had the game has changed sufficiently since then to justify looking at it again.

                  If you don't want to deal with theoretical discussions and vague musings, you don't have to participate, but I think it's wildly off base to say it's unhelpful and attempt to shut such discussions down.
                  Last edited by starstriker1; 04-03-2014, 04:27 PM. Reason: Let's try that again with less sarcasm



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                  • #10
                    Re: Winning a battle

                    I'm not trying to shut any discussion down, thats the last thing I want. I just think it will be fun if we started using some of them. The person who started the topic can pick a day and ask for anyone who will be willing to be apart of the exericse and promote it using outfit chat so those who dont go on the forum can be aware. We cant force anyone to go on the forum but we can bring it to them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Winning a battle

                      Your right star..........there does need to be a place for people to place "vague thoughts and intuitions" on the forum. And it's up to the individuals reading the forums to take it for what it is. There are plenty of postings of people that have tried and true techniques, ones that work and get results for those interested in advancing their skills so I apologize for saying anything.

                      But in response to the "Neither is this topic entirely old ground. I can't recall a discussion about what victory in Planetside actually entails that covered all of these specific points, and even if we had the game has changed sufficiently since then to justify looking at it again." I have a BR51 0n the Waterson server which I've advanced 21 battle ranks in 3 weeks and have over 200 points per minute using the same techniques I've used since last year. It hasn't changed as much as you think it has.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Winning a battle

                        What does rapid BR gain have to do with winning battles? If anything rapid BR gain happens more readily in a stalemate or defensive farm scenario that keeps the XP coming but doesn't actually end the fight.

                        The significant change I was referring to was the "reinforcements needed" mechanic, which IS a significant change to the logistics scenario. Defenders don't need to attempt a drop or convoy to relieve a base under attack, they just teleport straight in from anywhere on the continent. That's a game-changer (for the worse, IMO) that needs to be taken into account in any discussion about the logistics side of the game. Winning an offensive fight now needs to achieved in spite of the enemy's ability to magically procure reinforcements at will.



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Winning a battle

                          I believe that the 'magically procure reinforcements' was in place when I first started the game, as in 'reinforcements needed' deployment and rapid deployment. So I'm not sure how that has significantly changed. Rapid Br'ing actually has a lot to do with winning battles, because I'm sure you understand the significant aspects of points are XP...........XP as in experience points. Therefore it stands to reason that experience gives one a more significant insight in how to win battles. Oh I'm not saying that one could spend a lifetime doing something and learn nothing..........but that would be a rare case. That's kinda the idea behind ranking up in the military.......the more experience the higher the rank, but even at that there are exceptions.

                          Example: Who would know how to win a battle? A BR 100 with 80 days (Auraxium time) in game or a BR 30 with 20 days in game. The BR 30 would argue the point, while everyone else went with the 100 to battle.

                          Another example: Sunderer deployment, there is an optimal distance from base in which to deploy one. And at most bases there is an optimal place to deploy one. So where do you deploy one and if defending where do you look for one? How can you tell where one is if it's not where you think it is? If defending, whats the best way to halt an advancing infantry surge? If the enemy has armor what's the best way to halt the armor surge? Same applies to an air surge? Yesterday at Regent rock the Sundy's were taken out but the enemy kept coming..........why and from where? Yesterday at Esamir a squad was caught in the open under a huge VS air squadron, what was the best way to protect your guys? (I'll give you a hint........not the way chosen)

                          Something else experience tells you is that if your PL'ing ro SL'ing and 'live in the map" then I have some bad news for you.........not every tank or ESF or infantry renders on the map. So if your making your decisions via the maps and don't actually have 'eyes on' then you losing half of the picture and making bad decisions.

                          Having a Alt on the Waterson server and being a BR52 in 9.5 days I can tell you that Battle ranking (the BR100 on the Matterson server) had a huge significance in reading a fight, preparing for a fight, and taking the advantage of the fight and winning it. And the experience of having days (in Auraxium time) in game allows you to advance in BR rapidly. Well my point has been made, so I'm dropping this discussion and only took it up again because your comment was at me directly.
                          Last edited by Rageq3a; 04-05-2014, 10:09 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Winning a battle

                            Optimum tactics = SOP = Predictability = Potential failure.

                            Dependent on force ratio you may not have the necessary numbers to take advantage of what would on first glance seem to be the optimum tactic/position/strategy. That optimum path then becomes sub-optimum and ineffective, why, because it's situational. It may be expedient and efficient to employ what may initially appear to be a sub optimum strategy because, a) that's what you're resourced for and b) the optimum is obvious and your opponent understands that too.

                            Battle rank = time and points acquired in THIS game. It can be 'ground out' like any other XP based system, it can be farmed. It is not a sole indicator of skill nor does it magically bestow someone necessarily with any degree of tactical wisdom unless they are of the appropriate mindset to absorb the lessons available to them over the course of acquiring that XP. In the very early days of PS2 I came up against very high BR players who clearly had played near round the clock and they were just as predictable as the aforementioned time piece.

                            Time spent and BR can contribute to knowledge, understanding and tactical skill but the proof is in what happens on the field. It certainly cuts no ice on the TG forums nor should it, what matters is the opinions/advice offered and the supporting evidence backing them up.

                            I'll be honest the semi regular 'BattleRank' talk is not what people should be focusing on.


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                            • #15
                              Re: Winning a battle

                              Nor was it my intended focus Wicks, I intended to illustrate that the time spent in getting to 100 on the Matterson server allows me to learn tactics and operations and strategies that placed me in optimal conditions to rapidly rank up on the Waterson server. Doing isn't the key but a part of the total package, observation and learning are what leads to experience. Which in my failed way was what I was trying to illustrate. At the same time let me say that I speak solely for myself therefore am specific to myself and usually don't speak in generalities.

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