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Beta Update and Beyond

Radarx November 8, 2012 User blog:Radarx

Creative Director Matt Higby just recently addressed the community about upcoming changes to capture mechanics and the meta game. Take a look!


Hey All -

The Dev Team is continuing to sprint to the finish line here on Planetside 2. With last week's patch we released our final launch continent, enhanced players ability to stick with their squad, added our twitch integration, fixed a ton of bugs and put in some big ticket optimizations.

This week's patch is going to be another huge one, with a lot of big changes to metagame, core gameplay, new items to unlock, updates to lots of areas of Indar, and of course tons of bug fixes and more optimizations! Are you excited yet?!

First up - Metagame Additions I discussed a lot of these changes in the metagame thread I posted a couple weeks ago, but these are the areas that are coming online this week:

Continental Domination With this week's patch we'll be adding continent domination benefits into the game. You'll get a global benefit that is acquired when your empire controls 100% of the contestable territory on a continent. This benefit will remain on every soldier in your empire until the continent is conquered by another empire.

In addition to bragging rights, the benefits are going to reduce your resource costs for Air vehicles (Amerish), Ground Vehicles (Esamir) and Infantry consumables (Indar)

Linked facility benefits: Each facility type will provide a benefit to connected territories. Some of these benefits will be useful in all regions, some will be more useful when combined with other facilities or outpost types.

Tech Plants - Provide access to MBTs from connected towers and facilities. You will always be able to pull MBTs from the warpgate in addition if you don't own a tech plant on continent. Biolab - Increased innate health regeneration (see below for more information) Amp Station - Increased turret heat capacity, so turrets can be fired a lot faster.

Finding a fight: One of the pieces of feedback we've heard over and over is that it's challenging to find a fight, with this patch we're fixing some bugs and adding some functionality on the map that should help to address that. Here you can see the new map region tooltip:


Now you'll be able to see the capture progress of any contested base on any continent in real time, as well as a measure of strength of enemy forces in the area (this has a bug on beta currently, that causes any base that's under contention to list "No Activity" - very helpful, right?). You can also see which benefits are currently present on the region and what benefit owning the region gives.

It's our hope that by showing the capture progress as well as an accurate depiction of enemy troop numbers will significantly help the cause of finding you a good fight.

Tug-of-war base capture and XP changes: This is a pretty major change to the way bases are captured in the game.

Currently bases are captured by a ticket race that is initiated when a base control node gets flipped and starts generating tickets, those tickets are then multiplied based on influence your empire has on the base. In this system two factors, control node ownership and adjacent territory control dictate the victor of the base capture. The ticket race method sometimes results in unintuitive victories where your empire has a clear advantage on a base, but because the other empire USED to have an advantage earlier in the fight, earned lots of tickets during that time and hangs on to one control node, they can still win the battle even though they're clearly out-muscled. Tug-of-war puts an end to all that.

With the new system, there will be three factors that determine the capture of the base, control node ownership, adjacent territory control and player leverage.

Player leverage will be the number of people you have simultaneously influencing a control node. More players near the control node = more leverage = you capture the base faster. We've greatly expanded the range which you can be influencing a node, these should feel a lot less restrictive, and allow you to effectively defend the point from different vantage points, not just stand within 10 feet of the node. Initially, most bases / outposts will allow 12 people to be influencing them at once, bases with only 1 control node will be able to have up to 12 people influencing that node, whereas bases with multiple nodes will have the number of players split amongst them. You can still capture the base by having one person at the node, but having more gives up to a 3x increase to the capture time beyond what is possible right now.

So, how is it a tug-of-war. Well, now the ticket count is zero-sum. This means that when a base is attacked, it starts off at 100% owned by the defending empire and the attackers have got to burn down the defender tickets at the same time as they increase their own. If they wrestle control back from you, they'll have to burn down your progress as well. For multi-control node facilities such as Biolabs, or outposts like The Crown, having people locking down the nodes becomes more important than just rushing to the next node to flip it, not only because the people posted up on that node are keeping it from being captured by an enemy, but also because they're helping to move the capture needle faster for your empire.

We're also making XP changes to the way attackers and defenders earn XP. As an attacker you'll earn XP normally for actions you complete in the course of attacking a facility, and you'll get a large XP bonus when the base is successfully captured. Defenders will earn bonus XP for all actions taken in the course of defending their base, but they won't get a bonus for re-secures or when the base is lost.

These changes combined we predict will result in a few positive changes to the base capture:

1) Less attacker and defender dead time - at a certain point in most battles the base is won, but the time it takes to secure causes some dead time for attackers and defenders. Attackers like to use this time to camp spawn rooms, defenders like to use this time to take pot shots at the guys camping the spawn rooms. Now that attackers can stack up on the point and capture 3x faster by doing so, we expect this dead time, and thus the spawn camping to be cut down quite a bit.

2) Re-secures are less taxing on defending players - between the control node reverting to the owner of the facility, and the tug-of-war mechanic, bases can be 're-secured' by defenders just by kicking the attackers out. The defenders will be able to leave immediately once the threat is removed, and the territory will naturally re-secure itself.

3) Less cleaning up after ghost cappers - now that capturing is more reliant on boots on the ground at the location, we expect to see a lot less of people grabbing a node and bugging out, forcing people to do clean up on bases that aren't really under contention.

Getting the tuning just right on this is going to be tough, we like what we've got so far, but we're going to rely on a lot of feedback from you guys when this goes live about what we can do to make it better.

We've got a bunch of general gameplay enhancements coming this patch as well:

Indar Polish and Outpost Revamps

We've taken a lot of the lessons we've learned on Amerish and applied them to some of the outposts and general flow of Indar. You'll see substantial changes to a pretty good number of outposts, including some being removed, replaced or added. The main outposts that have been modified are:

- Defunct Solar Hub

- Quartz Ridge

- The Crown

- West Highlands Checkpoint

- TI Alloys - Xenotech Labs

- The Palisade

- J908 Impact Site

We're not done on Indar, but these are the outposts you'll see changes on this week. In general these outposts should have more defensible spawn rooms that are less prone to camping (especially by vehicles), they have better overall flow (especially where / how vehicles can access them), and in cases of outposts like West Highlands Checkpoint and Quartz Ridge (which has moved about 750 meters southwest from it's current location) these now provide real defensible roadblocks for the empire which owns them.

Beyond the outposts, a lot of work has been done to add better roads and direction to Indar. You'll notice a lot of new road ways, a lot of non-road areas that are going to be a bit less traversable than they are currently for vehicles (so you stick to the roads!) and more integration of these outposts into the traffic flow we see when watching players move around the map.

New Sidegrade Weapons and Store Updates

With this we'll be opening up a few more sidegrade weapons, these will be the weapons that are available on the store day-1 of release. We're also putting in final pricing both in Cert points and Station Cash for items in the store. We're doing this because so many of you have asked what the prices are going to be for items in the game. You still will not be able to spend Station Cash during the beta, but at least this will give you a solid idea of the prices of items in the game. Just incase you can't wait, here's a preview:

Infantry and vehicle weapon sidegrades will range in price from:

48 - 720 Cert points 250 - 700 Station Cash

Cosmetics such as camo patterns and armor attachments (for infantry and vehicles) will range in price from:

50-1200 Station Cash

Consumable boosts for additional resources or XP will range in price from:

75 - 700 Station Cash

But Wait, There's More:

Here are a bunch of other changes going in this patch, in addition to a lot of bug fixes:

  • We're going to be fixing some bugs with XP granting, and changing the XP:Cert Point ratio to 500:1 to better reflect the rate at which players are earning XP and some of the new XP sources that have been added.
  • Cert prices are being further refined
  • Attachments on weapons have been adjusted so that they more correctly match the role of the weapon (i.e. long range scopes on long range weapons, reflex sights and laser dots on bullpups, as you'd imagine)
  • Empire specific fighter rocket pods have had their damage reduced
  • Liberator has been buffed, both in offense (105mm and Shredder turret) and defense (added resistance to flak.
  • Non-remote detonated deployable explosives such as tank mines and claymores will now stay in the world even if you switch classes.
  • MAXes will be getting some additional durability
  • Players will have basic health regeneration, this will kick in about 20 seconds after you've taken damage and take about 40 seconds to fully heal a very hurt player. It's not meant to replace combat health regen (like med kits, or medics)

As you can see, it's been very busy around here. We're really excited about these upcoming changes and hope you are too. As always, let us know what you think!

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