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Author Topic: Producers Letter  (Read 11503 times)
Mrbloodworth
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on: November 20, 2007, 09:14:37 AM

Quote
Hello Everyone!

I went away for a few months in May of 2007 to help out the Vanguard Team and in that short period of time, Glenn Snyder AKA "Xahn" (the Producer that replaced me) moved up north to work on another project for Sony. So what's a guy to do when he sees one of the games he loves the most, looking for a new leader? I couldn't help myself - I threw my hat back in the game. So, I'm back on PlanetSide and I'm looking at the path we were headed in and reading up on the current feedback from the forums and from the community leaders to see if that path needs to be remarked.

So some of the things that are in the works at the moment (and Raijinn may have already given you a bit of information on them already) are some of the following:

Galaxy Gunship

Wow - We need the instagib weapon to knock these down! We're going to tune the armor down to about 66% of its current state. Also, we're going to look into removing the afterburner.

Buggies

We're going to give the buggies a bit more survivability versus Mines. Let's face it, no one is using them unless you're doing a module run - so we're going to see about making them more viable in the game. Enhanced Mine Detection - We're going to add a new implant that helps you detect mines and if you are in a buggy, the buggy will additionally add to that enhancement to detect mines sooner rather than....well, you know....before you blow up.

Balance Populations

For some reason, someone decided that the NC was fun again. Someone should find that person! Looking at the imbalance lately, we need to figure out what is the best way to stop the one way teeter-totter we have currently. We're going to look at some of the following to see if we can curtail this activity: Adjusting Respawn Rates; Adjusting Reuse Rates; Giving the other empires access to the higher populations weapons and vehicles; Base resources draining faster; Health Benefits; Spawning with limitations or with limited health, armor, stamina; "Surge" automatically on for lower populations; Propaganda; Making it impossible to drop a generator and make you have to fight for a base; etc...

Nevertheless, we're going to have to make it scale so that if populations continue to get out of flux, you will gradually feel the pinch.

TR Max

I believe Raijinn mentioned we're looking at giving the TR Max a capacitor that allows you to shoot faster without having to lock down while at the same time giving you a mobility burst. For me, I would hate to lose the lock down functionality so we may be leaning towards adding the capacitor while not removing the lock down functionality.

 

New Levels into PlanetSide

Xahn and other PlanetSide members revealed at the Fan Faire that we're going to put in new levels into PlanetSide. We're getting close to this now. We have a couple of levels that we are playing with to test out the different editors with the game (ie, testing out the development pipeline). We have a small level that we will need to test out with more population so you may be invited to patch up to the test server in the near future to tell us what you think about the game play and send us feedback for improvement. Even though we have a lot of indoor fighting, we think that the smaller game play maps will add another level to the "fun-factor". Outfit Wars - We failed in delivering the Outfit Wars properly and we're trying to keep that in mind with our new levels. Outfit Wars should have been hands off to us and we failed you with this deliverable. Therefore we're going to keep that in mind while creating new zones and arenas to settle the "best of the best" arguments in PlanetSide. We may not have it all completed by the time we start testing new levels but we will build up to give you the opportunity to challenge another squad or outfit in one of the new zones. Stay tuned...More to come soon.

Other items we are currently looking at starting:

    *
      Advancement on Hacking Skill
    * Advancement on Medical Skill
    * Damage pass on weapons - More details to follow but yes, we're going to look at doing a damage balance pass on all weapons. J

 

Thanks for your patronage and I look forward to your comments!

 
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Sky
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Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 09:55:15 AM

Translation: What the fuck was I thinking when I moved to the Vanguard team?!

bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 10:04:08 AM

Good luck. It's a shame none of my outlined problems are on his to-do list.

Also, the person who told everyone to play MC has 3 initials. I'll let you guess what they are.
geldonyetich2
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Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 01:16:00 PM

I'll probably give them a shot when they get the Fodderside/Reserves program back online.  Last time I was in the game, I was surprised how dated it seemed, this game we once boggled at the magazine screenshots (which turned out to be false advertising compared to the real thing) .  Also, the playerbase had largely degenerated into lazy-ass wusses who you might be able to goad into taking a drop pod to a warzone but fro the most part would just slam Quick Action and spend an hour fighting over a worthless tower somewhere.

Planetside could have been something, but they gutted the depth of the game when they killed the firing cones and their rate of change was too slow back when they had enough players to be worth retaining.
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Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 06:38:13 PM

Wake me up when you can drop and add certs at will.
geldonyetich2
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Reply #5 on: November 20, 2007, 06:43:56 PM

Actually, that time might be now.  Last time I was in the game they had the total respec option active every... what was it... 6 hours?
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Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 06:49:05 PM

Not good enough.
bhodi
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Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 06:54:26 PM

Agreed. I want to be able to re-assign my skills to fit any squad I may join.
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 08:13:13 AM

Wake me up when you can drop and add certs at will.


They are talking about a cert reset every week. I feel dropping certs at will would be a mistake.

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Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 08:51:14 AM

Being able to set up your certs at will is an essential part of what PS should be. With all the things the PS dev team has fucked up over the years, why would I think they got that correct?

But for most players I would bet they'd like to have some more flexibility. Hell, I wish they'd just ditch the experience system altogether. I mean, I played on and off for years but I think my main is BR13 or something. For two reasons: 1) I abhore people who play a tactical fps 'for exp', because it's shitty tactics and 2) I always had to log on an alt to change my role in the game, thus I might have played a lot more if I wasn't stuck with three subpar characters because I wanted some flexibility.

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Reply #10 on: November 21, 2007, 08:52:32 AM

They are talking about a cert reset every week.
"Hey, we need a pilot!."

"Ok, I'll fly."

"Why are you just standing around, get a gal!"

"Oh, I meant next week when I can recert again."

geldonyetich2
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Reply #11 on: November 24, 2007, 03:30:43 AM

I don't know, it sounds like a slippery slope to me.  Make it so players can respec their certs any time they want and it's pretty much equivalent to there being no certification system at all.  Go ahead, drive any vehicle, wear any gear, any time.  Why not?  It works for Tribes.  I'd like to say that Planetside would be in danger of losing it's MMORPG-like significance with such a change, but then again, Planetside never quite pulled off that MMORPG-like significance.  If I were in their shoes, I'd consider a free-to-play with paid-advantages system ala Korean MMORPG.
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Reply #12 on: November 24, 2007, 04:46:38 AM

Actually, in retrospect, Battlefield 2142 has pretty much made this game obsolete in nearly every significant way.  Sure, it can only support 64 on 64 battles, but good luck finding that many players in a single zone in Planetside these days.  They need to get cracking on a Planetside 2, using BF2142 as inspiration.  Giant floating fortresses in Planetside?  Heck yeah!
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Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 12:26:01 PM

See, this is where I get confused.

The exp system doesn't make PS a mmorpg, it confuses mmogtards into grinding exp.

The MASSIVE battles makes PS an mmo, possibly the single best implementation of the massive portion see to date. More people = better gameplay. Most mmo is just small party stuff, even 'big' raids are a joke compared to a 300-man 3-way battle raging.

PS is such a huge waste of potential :(

Mrbloodworth
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Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 12:49:30 PM

See, this is where I get confused.

The exp system doesn't make PS a mmorpg, it confuses mmogtards into grinding exp.

The MASSIVE battles makes PS an mmo, possibly the single best implementation of the massive portion see to date. More people = better gameplay. Most mmo is just small party stuff, even 'big' raids are a joke compared to a 300-man 3-way battle raging.

PS is such a huge waste of potential :(

Your confusing your terms.

Your right, the MMO part is = The MASSIVE battles

The RPG part is = The XP, and the Certification system, and the use of it to create "Builds" as well as having ALTS.

You remove that, and its just another FPS. A bad one at that (As in, compared to other FPS's).

I think a lot of people here wanting to be able to cert anything at anytime, are trying to play it as a pure FPS, when its not... Once you are immersed in the game/world, you will see why having the cert system the way it is is the right way to be. Everyone has unique ability's and roles, specialties ETC.. to bring to any squad.

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Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 01:54:04 PM

I think a lot of people here wanting to be able to cert anything at anytime, are trying to play it as a pure FPS, when its not... Once you are immersed in the game/world, you will see why having the cert system the way it is is the right way to be. Everyone has unique ability's and roles, specialties ETC.. to bring to any squad.
WHAT game world? As near as I could tell, it's "3 sides in an eternal struggle of taking and re-taking bases". Maybe there was a story there, if you dug deep enough, but it sure as hell wasn't told in-game. It was "Those fuckers with the broken chaingun weapon" "Those assholes with the anti-tank sniper weapon" and "Those guys with the super shotgun".

It's a massively multiplayer FPS, and giving the characters kill requirements to unlock additional abilities doesn't magically make it an RPG. You sort of need world immersion and story for that, and frankly, there wasn't any. Not that it's a bad thing; it is what it is. The 3 sides are completely identical as far as I could tell, right down to the damned 'staging area' with slight layout differences.

The cert system the way it is is you may think is the right way to be.. unfortunately, everyone else like myself got bored and frustrated with the limitation and quit.

Mrbloodworth
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Reply #16 on: November 26, 2007, 02:05:07 PM

I think a lot of people here wanting to be able to cert anything at anytime, are trying to play it as a pure FPS, when its not... Once you are immersed in the game/world, you will see why having the cert system the way it is is the right way to be. Everyone has unique ability's and roles, specialties ETC.. to bring to any squad.
WHAT game world? As near as I could tell, it's "3 sides in an eternal struggle of taking and re-taking bases". Maybe there was a story there, if you dug deep enough, but it sure as hell wasn't told in-game. It was "Those fuckers with the broken chaingun weapon" "Those assholes with the anti-tank sniper weapon" and "Those guys with the super shotgun".

It's a massively multiplayer FPS, and giving the characters kill requirements to unlock additional abilities doesn't magically make it an RPG. You sort of need world immersion and story for that, and frankly, there wasn't any. Not that it's a bad thing; it is what it is. The 3 sides are completely identical as far as I could tell, right down to the damned 'staging area' with slight layout differences.

The cert system the way it is is you may think is the right way to be.. unfortunately, everyone else like myself got bored and frustrated with the limitation and quit.



Essentially, what you are proposing is that say, in Wow, all equipment requirements be removed, from everything..levels, stats, race, class all of it...gone.

Planetside is not Unreal/quake. The cert system is there to reinforce this TEAM based game. While removing the possibility of one person being able to do everything.

Think of it this way, if Battlefield series is a "Class based" FPS, then Planetside is the "Skill based" Equivalent..allowing you to make your own load outs... And making your own load outs, or "Spec". This the same form of game play that is critical to game like WoW.

The removal of the cert system would completely remove one of the best aspects of this game. And no, you don't need a story for immersion, not in the regards i was speaking, what you need is other to play with, and over time, you and the others create playstlyes that complement each other.

I cant believe anyone would not understand this.

Also, the cert system has nothing to do with kill requirements for ability's. It has everything to do with gaining Battle experience (gained in many more ways than just kill count) points to IN CREASE YOUR OPTIONS. This is where it differs from RPG's.

Completely identical sides? Not even close.

Ah, i see where this comes from..... You seem only to have played in Pick up squads.

Quote
Agreed. I want to be able to re-assign my skills to fit any squad I may join.

If only you guys had experienced the glory's of an outfit, and regular squad...Thats the immersion i'm talking about. Seems you approached the game like a Traditional FPS...Solo. Rambo.

There was an entire culture that you seem to have missed, and i'm not sure your going to find it any more.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:13:22 PM by Mrbloodworth »

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Reply #17 on: November 26, 2007, 02:16:29 PM

You're trying to equate infinite respecs with removal of the spec system. Either you're deliberately misinterpreting what I'm saying, or you're simply... stupid. Let me spell it out for you.. again.

I don't have a problem with advancement (by earning spec points to spend on abilities).
I don't have a problem with reinforcing team based gameplay by providing a variety of abilities and a limited amount of spec points.

I want the ability to respec by going back to base and hitting a button, so that I can customize my character (but still having to balance my spec points) to better fit the loadout of my particular team at that very moment. It kind of sucks when say, the pilot has to go eat dinner. It really sucks for pickup groups. Want to have some fun with your squad and try something else? How about an all-air combat squad. How about a grenade-cloaker invasion? Frankly, the gameplay is fairly shallow, and you can't even do those two things without a week's lead time due to the crappy respec system.

Look, I get you like the game as-is and wish it wasn't dying a quiet death but try and see another perspective. We've already got hot-swappable implants, what's with the big resistance about spec points?

The sides are pretty much defined by the armaments, there doesn't seem to be any sort of backstory at all. I'm sure people have come up with it out of game but it doesn't impact the game universe at all. You've got "The side that uses hover tech" "The side that really likes heavy weapons and armor" and "Uh.. the third side". Seriously, you get a little blurb about what "your side stands for" and some posters on the wall (when they aren't showing intel ads) but that's the extent of it. They don't even have different architecture. It's all about red versus blue (versus green).
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:24:51 PM by bhodi »
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #18 on: November 26, 2007, 02:37:37 PM

You're trying to equate infinite respecs with removal of the spec system. Either you're deliberately misinterpreting what I'm saying, or you're simply... stupid. Let me spell it out for you.. again.

Its the same thing, also consider there are certification terminals in some bases. I understand what you want.

I don't have a problem with advancement (by earning spec points to spend on abilities).
I don't have a problem with reinforcing team based gameplay by providing a variety of abilities and a limited amount of spec points.

I want the ability to respec by going back to base and hitting a button, so that I can customize my character (but still having to balance my spec points) to better fit the loadout of my particular team at that very moment. It kind of sucks when say, the pilot has to go eat dinner. It really sucks for pickup groups. Want to have some fun with your squad and try something else? How about an all-air combat squad. How about a grenade-cloaker invasion? Frankly, the gameplay is fairly shallow, and you can't even do those two things without a week's lead time due to the crappy respec system.

Oh, i do understand. But i think your missing out (and probably will not get the chance to experience) what this system does provide. I never had an issue with respecting, and if any situation came up as you describe, (and they did even with a regular outfit/squad) alternatives were available. Part of this game was being who you were, and the play style you choose, with opportunity's to change over time, and also originzation of resorces (Troops). After all, this is a persistent world, not a session based game. When you joined an empire, you joined an army... See, part of the game was role playing a role...and one of the more traditional meanings....Part of the immersion i'm talking about. But i can see how you would want such an ability.

But in your system of respect on a whim, means that for an assault, if people wanted to, every single player could field a BFR. Thats not good.

Look, I get you like the game as-is and wish it wasn't dying a quiet death but try and see another perspective.

Oh, i love the game, but there are many things i would change personally, but getting rid of the concept of building your toon to a role, is not one of them. But i can see how with the lower populations, this would be appealing...but it was never really an issue. Its not uncommon for outfits to do a "Night", such as aircraft night or the like...and everyone would use an alt or the like.

The sides are pretty much defined by the armaments, there doesn't seem to be any sort of backstory at all. I'm sure people have come up with it out of game but it doesn't impact the game universe at all. You've got "The side that uses hover tech" "The side that really likes heavy weapons and armor" and "Uh.. the third side". Seriously, you get a little blurb about what "your side stands for" and some posters on the wall (when they aren't showing intel ads) but that's the extent of it. They don't even have different architecture. It's all about red versus blue (versus green).

Maybe to you, but after playing for years, i know your incorrect. Each empire is very different in strengths and weaknesses. Back story has a very small part in my meaning of immersion, i refer more to the community on the empire, outfit and squad levels.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:41:43 PM by Mrbloodworth »

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geldonyetich2
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Reply #19 on: November 26, 2007, 03:42:56 PM

It's hard to explain, but it's definitely there: There's a certain need in an MMORPG to provide substance beyond the game.  Planetside has always been very weak on this substance, it's part of the reason why the game never really caught on.  One of the few things it did right in this regard is allow players to create an identity based off of how they are certed.  With the certification system, you're an engineer also trained in use of the rocklet rifle and a mosquito pilot.  Without, you're just another battle rank 17 grunt.

However, I can also see the other side of this, that being the certification system creates an unnecessary hurdle in gameplay.  Your squad needs a Galaxy transport now, nobody has the certification for it, you're screwed.  You're facing an enemy with Assault rifle in close quarters combat and all you got is the sniper certification, you're screwed.  Examples like this illustrate that, while it's good from a quasi-Roleplay perspective of establishing a realistic feeling world to need certifications, in terms of gameplay it feels clunky.

In the end, I can only blame Planetside for trying to please both camps.  Early on, the focus was on persistence, tactics, and trying to create a meaningful-feeling world to fight over.  Now, they've retrofitted a zone to outfit everybody with pistols and cowboy gear.  Whether it was because they were unable to do it or simply lazy, they've simply stopped caring about creating a meaningful persistent world, and it's probably too late to go back.  Might as well drop the certification system too.
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Reply #20 on: December 02, 2007, 09:24:18 PM

I don't understand why they're giving more love to the fucking TR.

FFS, shit in this game needs nerfs as it is.

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Reply #21 on: December 22, 2007, 03:54:44 AM

IThere's a certain need in an MMORPG to provide substance beyond the game.  Planetside has always been very weak on this substance,

I don't think this is a MMORPG thing so much as an any-game-you-people-to-play-for-more-than-a-month thing.

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Reply #22 on: December 24, 2007, 08:05:56 AM

In the end, I can only blame Planetside for trying to please both camps.  Early on, the focus was on persistence, tactics, and trying to create a meaningful-feeling world to fight over.  Now, they've retrofitted a zone to outfit everybody with pistols and cowboy gear.  Whether it was because they were unable to do it or simply lazy, they've simply stopped caring about creating a meaningful persistent world, and it's probably too late to go back.  Might as well drop the certification system too.
Should give everyone lightsabers.

Games shouldn't have meaning. They're games. If you want to do something meaningful, go out and make something of your life and stop playing/making games. FFS.

geldonyetich2
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Reply #23 on: December 24, 2007, 01:14:23 PM

If you want to make a crappy game, the very first thing you do is decide it's meaningless.
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Reply #24 on: December 24, 2007, 07:52:25 PM

I think the word "meaningful" is a misnomer here. Planetside was good for what it was -- a massively multiplayer FPS with a semi-persistant world (since it resets) and just enough 'leveling' to keep people interested and subscribed... for a while.

If that's what you're going for, a game where you can just log in and kill stuff with your friends and make a temporary difference, it was plenty meaningful. If meaningful to someone else is a fully persistent sandbox world with flax and elves, well, obviously it failed.
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Reply #25 on: December 26, 2007, 08:35:04 AM

The leveling kept people interested? I thought it was the teamwork and fun firefights. Experience in this game led to people playing stupid. People would leave fun firefights or not defend bases because they didn't get enough experience for doing so. That's mmogtarded.

And who cares if you go to bed and all your 'work' is undone? The fun is in the fight, the results don't 'mean' shit.

I think PS's failings lie in poor marketing, not playing up the massive aspect of the battles. Where were the ads dissing BF1942 for being too small scale? 300 people! Then they made some poor design decisions and released a shitty expansion.

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Reply #26 on: December 26, 2007, 08:52:48 AM

The leveling kept people interested? I thought it was the teamwork and fun firefights. Experience in this game led to people playing stupid. People would leave fun firefights or not defend bases because they didn't get enough experience for doing so. That's mmogtarded.

And who cares if you go to bed and all your 'work' is undone? The fun is in the fight, the results don't 'mean' shit.

I think PS's failings lie in poor marketing, not playing up the massive aspect of the battles. Where were the ads dissing BF1942 for being too small scale? 300 people! Then they made some poor design decisions and released a shitty expansion.
I say leveling kept people interested only in the fact that leveling/achievement outside the fun of the fight keeps people interested longer than if it didn't exist at all. It's a powerful motivator, just look at MMOGs in general. People are willing to pay $$$/mo for it.

I personally don't care that my work was undone, but it seems geldon does. I was explaining exactly what you are saying -- meaningful is in the firefights with friends, a world doesn't have to be fully persistent to be meaningful.

I don't know about the failings from poor marking -- the game had quite a number of people playing it early on, but it was simply unable to hold those people in the game. I know several friends who played it and got bored. Perhaps better marketing would have spiked the early subscriber numbers, but in the long run, I don't think it would have affected anything since it's churn that is the problem. It's not like people were hurting for large scale battles like they are doing now; a larger number of subscribers would not have changed the fundamental flaws of the game that caused people to unsubscribe.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 08:55:57 AM by bhodi »
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #27 on: December 26, 2007, 11:48:32 AM

The leveling kept people interested? I thought it was the teamwork and fun firefights. Experience in this game led to people playing stupid. People would leave fun firefights or not defend bases because they didn't get enough experience for doing so. That's mmogtarded.

And who cares if you go to bed and all your 'work' is undone? The fun is in the fight, the results don't 'mean' shit.

I think PS's failings lie in poor marketing, not playing up the massive aspect of the battles. Where were the ads dissing BF1942 for being too small scale? 300 people! Then they made some poor design decisions and released a shitty expansion.

XP didn't do that, the introduction of Leader boards and and sites like Planetside stats did. They removed the "Empire" from the game, and turned the focus to "The one".

Here is why planetside suffered. It had no scripting system, the tools for its creation were just that, creation, not editing tools (in order to move just one single tree, all players would have to download the entire map package again). The engine architecture its self was NOT created with updating and new content in mind. It was basically made as a one off non-mmo game. Management of the game, sucked, from decisions, to resource allocation, to marketing.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 11:54:21 AM by Mrbloodworth »

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Reply #28 on: December 26, 2007, 12:56:21 PM

Exacerbated, maybe. But I can remember how many damned times I had to drop out of squads because I wanted to defend a tactically significant base and everyone else wanted to go zerg against another zerg somewhere to rack up BEP. Not to mention an outfit leader's retarded cousin leading the platoon because he needed CEP.

I liked the way you could customize your character the more you played, even if the limited options at first got old pretty quick. But exp made for seriously stupid tactical decision making.

We won't talk about the command chat channels.

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Reply #29 on: December 26, 2007, 01:13:09 PM

Exacerbated, maybe. But I can remember how many damned times I had to drop out of squads because I wanted to defend a tactically significant base and everyone else wanted to go zerg against another zerg somewhere to rack up BEP. Not to mention an outfit leader's retarded cousin leading the platoon because he needed CEP.

I liked the way you could customize your character the more you played, even if the limited options at first got old pretty quick. But exp made for seriously stupid tactical decision making.

We won't talk about the command chat channels.

Its all in who you play with, like every other online game.

Today's How-To: Scrambling a Thread to the Point of Incoherence in Only One Post with MrBloodworth . - schild
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Reply #30 on: December 26, 2007, 10:18:44 PM

Exacerbated, maybe. But I can remember how many damned times I had to drop out of squads because I wanted to defend a tactically significant base and everyone else wanted to go zerg against another zerg somewhere to rack up BEP. Not to mention an outfit leader's retarded cousin leading the platoon because he needed CEP.
Culminating in the commanders on your side getting pissed at you if you tried to blow the generators so you could capture the base quicker.
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