PS: Devs looking for gameplay ideas

Saw this on the official PS forum (warning: the official boards for this game generally suck. Proceed with caution if you click the link)

Folks,
As you’ve seen from the first month, Planetside gets a fairly steady flow of changes and enhancements in gameplay on a regular basis. We’ve got some more already done or in progress for you, for instance the Liberator which is being balanced and tested right now, and we’d like to gather some suggestions from you the players on how we can further improve the gameplay.

We have two short term goals we’re looking at with this post/discussion in particular. We’d like to improve the defense value and reward of bases, and we’d like to add some new game mechanics which will drive a larger variety and diversity of play. On the first point we’re already in progress on higher rewards for kills made on defense, but there are plenty of other suggestions there we’re sure. For the second we’re currently looking at some form of base ownership to Outfits (probably not in a permanent sense, but more in the “we declare this our turf” sense). But we’d like your ideas there as well.

Please use this thread to post those ideas if you think they are applicable. We encourage them all, and will read them all. It will help us get the best use of the thread if people do NOT post saying how much they like or dislike this or that idea - we’ll start a separate thread for discussion of this one, please don’t make “me too” kind of posts here. Also understand that while we may respond to some ideas and not to others, that doesn’t mean any particular favor one way or the other - we’ll be reading all of the posts, and also looking at our internal ideas of course.

Our objective? By the end of this coming month we want to have a better variety of game play, more things to do, different ways to fight. Some ideas are doable in a short period like that month, some are much more long range, but we’d like to show some quick progress for you AND have some longer term plans in this area as well, so all suggestions will be considered.

-Rich “Twist” Lawrencep

It’s great to know they’ve identified the key areas that need improvement. I look forward to seeing what changes they make. Anyway, thought I’d post a heads-up because I know many in this forum have kicked around great ideas for how to improve it. If you want to pass them on to the devs, here’s your chance.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I’ve been playing since exclusive beta (since launch, mostly on Emerald). I like it a lot, despite a bunch of things that irritate me, one of them being the lack of real objectives or measures of accomplishment. For all the wonderful terrain, virtually all combat devolves into the same sort of base and tower attacks that are pretty much terrain independent. Not always true; there are some towers in particular that have nifty topography around them.

But in general, you don’t get the same different feel between, say, a base fight in Cyssor and one in Hossin that you get between Wake Island and Market Garden, or any two CS or RTCW maps for instance. That kind of focuses people on levels, and that gets old quick. Me, I like to fight so I go solo a lot for kills and play with my small outfit in squads for base capping. I join pickup squads when I want to, if they’re not peopled by morons. But I don’t focus on XP that much, though it’s hard not to, because there’s precious little else to hook on to.

Many people though are so focused on XP that they don’t play even remotely “strategically” or even tactically. That’s not their fault so much as it is the fault of the designers–if you have a concrete goal and more ephemeral goals as well, people will always go for the concrete; the ephemeral is kinda left up for grabs.

So I do hope they come up with ways to make the fighting itself–which when lag doesn’t kill the server is fantastic IMO–more meaningful.

One thing I don’t really like is the trend towards making the game “outfit-centric.” My outfit is very small (23 or so people) and hell most of 'em don’t play very much. But we tend to dislike huge kiddy-centric outfits of hundreds. But most of the high CR abilities like OS and EMP will eventually require outfit points–how is this going to affect small outfits, or guys with no outfit? And this idea about outfit “turf” wars is disturbing too–who’s going to be able to compete with the 700+ person outfits full of yahoos and good players alike?

TRIBES degenerated into a game where only the most hardcore of the elite could effectively compete. I hope that doesn’t happen with PS. I doubt it will–the need to keep that $13/month flowing in will mitigate against any true weirdness I think.

Tribes had an (initially unknown) exploitable feature that fundamentally changed the entire game – skiing. I don’t think there is an analogous element in PS, so it should be fine that way. It’s interesting to look back on that now. Dynamix had an opportunity to patch out or modify skiing but they chose not to and they effectively killed the game for new players. Then Dave Georgeson came onboard for Tribes 2 and took it upon himself to be “lead designer”, resulting in a well-intentioned but muddled mess that was made worse by post-release patching and gameplay changes.

From what I understand, Dave does not have this same kind of leverage with PS, so again, the game should evolve nicely as long as the developers do not let players steer development.

Never let players design the game. If you want a suitable analogy, think of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer created The Homer dream car:

I’m declaring this the best thing ever said about multiplayer games.