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Malorn & Higby on cont lattice/resources/benifits/alerts 
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Post Malorn & Higby on cont lattice/resources/benifits/alerts
Malorn wrote:
Facility Benefits

We've talked about Liberator and MAX for AMP & Bio lab (also Galaxy alternate of MAX), except there's a few problems. First, most players pull Liberators from the Warpgate, which makes the benefit useless unless it also applies to the Warpgate, which would mean tank spawning also affected by it. Not having Tanks, Libs, and MAX in a warpgated situation is a huge penalty, so we don't want to make warpgates affected by the on/off benefits. MAX at bio labs could work, but I've seen too many situations where MAX are the only option you have to fight off a vehicle zerg at a base. I think the MAX are just too important to battle flow to put them behind a benefit.

We've also talked about changing benefits to being a resource cost reduction (and jacking up the base resource cost), so for example you might be able to pull a MAX or MBT without the benefit but it would cost you your entire nanite supply to do it. That didn't go over well because it actually nerfs the benefit, and that is the only benefit players think is meaningful right now.

I do think PS1 has good ideas for benefits, like vehicle shielding in when in friendly regions, radar benefits, and turning equipment terminals and ammo pads/towers into repair & healing towers/terminals. For interlinks I like the idea of granting drop-pod-anywhere functionality for squad leaders to redeploy their troops on a relatively short cooldown to enemy territories. Radar benefit (PS1 interlink) might be useful, but I think it interferes too much with motion darts, scout radar, etc and would reduce the value of those tools in many fights.

Nanite Cutoff

This is basically a good chunk of Phase 2 resources. There isn't a quick-and-easy way to do this without putting in most of the infrastructure required for phase 2. The key part of that phase is moving resource generation from the warpgate to the nearest facility, with the resource amount being proportional to power level of the facility. Warpgates provide constant power flow so cutting off a facility effectively means you are draining it faster. It's not the hard cutoff you're suggesting, and it can be worked around by delivering ants to the facility that is cut off. But all that are strategic options which is what you want.

Continental Lattice

Going to receive a lot of hate for this, but I don't think the continental lattice is the great savior. In fact I think it will do significant harm to the game. This is coming from someone who extensively played that part of PS1 for years. To understand why I think this, you have to step back and look at the consequences of the system on gameplay.

From a battle flow standpoint it creates a lot of problems, and if PS1 was any indication it also leads to a lot of bad gameplay and downtime. The 2-way fights that it promotes usually led to an empire either having nothing to do or getting double-teamed, neither of which was a fun situation. I can honestly say about 90% of my force commanding in PS1 revolved around avoiding a double-team situation for my empire. I would have much rather spent that energy on continental conquest and out-smarting my opponents in an equal resource situation rather than trying to avoid double teams and force them on the other empires (and if you want more info about that, my manifesto covered it in detail, I'm sure a link to it is floating around somewhere). And if you did "win" you ended up ghost capping a lot or trying to jam as many people as possible into a continent, or having to pull many players out of an otherwise great fight to save some other continent to prevent a double team a few hours later. In reflecting on my time in PS1 doing that the resulting gameplay was not fun. From a strategic level it was interesting depth, but from a gameplay level it sucked. I think we can achieve the strategic depth in other ways without having to sacrifice gameplay.

That sort of takes me to something I wanted to touch on at the SOE AMA but didn't want to derail it or take away time from less philosophical discussion - the two types of players of PS2. There are players who want the strategic depth and want to play a grand strategy game out of this MMOFPS (let's call them 'strategists' for simplicity). And then there are players who give zero fucks about that and just want to have a good time (let's call them 'everyone else'). The latter is by far the majority of the player base. However, the former are typically the ones organizing events, outfits, and making the game more entertaining for the latter. But that's only true if the things the strategists do don't negatively affect the gameplay of everyone else. I believe PS1's continent system absolutely gave the strategists a more interesting game, but it did so at everyone else's expense, which is why I think it is bad for PS2.

At first glance it might seem like these two groups of players are fundamentally opposed, but I don't believe they are. I think we can give meaningful strategic options that can enhance the experience for the rest of the players without making parts of the game frustrating and miserable.

Similarly the old resource system is a good example of this in PS2. It gave this ever-so-miniscule amount of strategy (or perhaps the illusion of it) at the cost of a whole lot of shittiness in the game for the majority of players. If you played PS1, the change to the nanites reminds me a lot of what happened in PS1 when the acquisition timers went from 10 minutes to 5 minutes, and vehicles started getting bundled together for lower overall cert cost. Almost overnight aircraft started being much more prolific and tank battles bigger. The game was different, but overall much more fun.

Source: ... ?context=1

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Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Malorn & Higby on cont lattice/resources/benifits/alerts
Higby wrote:
The strategic value of resources on territories was never a particularly strong drive for holding them, and with the steamroll effect we felt like it broke more than it improved. That said, we did know that by removing it it'd take away some of the perceived meaning of territory control until we could put "something" back in. We do have the second phase of resources coming in a few months, which will add things like harvesting and securing resource nodes as strategic activities, more immediately I'd like to put better facility benefits in. We've been ideating better facility benefits for a while, but if you have ideas for some good ones that would make you stand up and pay attention to facilities under contention, please let us know! I like the idea of more unique benefits per facility in a facility type (i.e. Rashnu, Allatum and Saurva) would have unique benefits around a theme which stack or harmonize between them, rather than "eh, we already have tech, who cares if we lose Malaka".

Longer term (like, post resource revamp), we are starting discussions about a redesign we're calling territory 2.0. This is still early concept, but it involves attaching all outposts/facilities to a region group, which has a capitol facility (Capitols would be lattice linked to eachother, regions within the region group would not) and giving all outposts in the region group benefits which are local to the region group. That way we can create good, powerful, meaningful and localized strategic goals and hopefully mitigate some of the steamroll effect. An off-the-top-of-my-head example might be high powered AA batteries up on Ascent which are powered by maintaining control of adjacent regions. That's much longer term and challenging because we have to solve a lot of UX issues relating to peoples confusion when non-local changes affect local gameplay (see old adjacent territory control affecting capture times with the influence system, as an example).

We are going to be reverting the adversarial alerts back to what we had in July. There are some additional triggering/conditional criteira we need to make them work the way we want, so we're going to go back to something that worked better in the near term. The current alerts aren't really doing anything for anyone, unfortunately.

As a sidenote: we've talked a lot about dynamic base building, player base ownership and modification, etc. as discussed elsewhere in this thread, and we want to do it. A lot of us have been wanting to do exactly that since we first saw Starhawk at E3 2011. It's definitely one of the best long term "end games" that we can move towards. It's minimally several months of effort just to get started on something like that, and we have commitments for the next few months already on the resources who could do it. Basically, while we're going to be tackling that work someday, it's not going to solve the immediate "meaning and purpose" problems the game has today. What are some other ideas?

Higby wrote:
See WDS part 2 for a case study in what happens when we put tangible rewards behind territory control. The event was far from perfect for a variety of reasons, but it definitely seemed like once we put motivation to own and hold specific territory that was good enough to get people to care about, gameplay destabilized pretty thoroughly. Predictably, with the reward in place, especially a competitive reward, many people stop caring about seeking and maintaining fun gameplay. Only the reward matters, so they min max the score criteria while hating the gameplay that creates the entire time. This is a common problem with mmo reward design which is definitely affecting the way we design and integrate future rewards into the territory control areas of the game.

Higby wrote:
DeedleFake wrote:
True. I wasn't trying to directly contradict you per se; I just wanted to point out that rewarding ownership is more likely to produce good fights and interesting strategy than immediate rewards as soon as the base flips will. I think that was part of the idea with SalemBeats's XP buckets system, and it was one of the main ideas behind my continental capture idea.

I agree with you in general, but it's not quite as salient for the instant gratification crowd to not have an action produce an immediate reward/result. We aren't just making a game for people who are in it for the long term goals, if we were it'd make a huge amount of our decision making a lot easier.

Find me on Discord: ObsidianOne#2697

Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:10 pm
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