[PS2] Tutorial

I have criticized ArenaNet for explaining major game features with “go read the wiki.” PlanetSide 2’s entire tutorial is a link to YouTube videos on the launcher. Logging in, you are dropped directly into a warzone without an explanation of advanced features like “how to tell who is on your team.” You are told to go control the land for your faction without mention of how to do that.

This has a worse introduction than Dwarf Fortress. There are other games that start you without a tutorial or have a steep learning curve, but this one drops you directly into combat with experienced players rather than “start level one and figure it out as you go along.” On a scale of 1 to 10, the introduction gets a negative number for skipping both the tutorial and that entire space where the beginning would be. I was killed by teammates before seeing an enemy, then again before shooting one. The part of the game that every player will see seems designed to drive away new players.

MMOs strive to be a niche market by making the players work for it. If you want to play this game, you must go watch these videos and read these links on another site so you can know what is going on and how to play. It is a strange thing that almost every buy-the-box game gives you an introduction so that you can start off on the right foot, though they already have your money even if you never re-load the game, while this F2P+cash shop game is making it hard to get started, but they need new players to come back and spend money after their horrible first experience.

: Zubon

Down In Flames

I tried to reactivate my Planetside account, but they appear to have lost it somehow. My account only shows Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies now (both cancelled). I cannot create a new account because my CD key was already used (by me). So, no Planetside. The online customer support will only help me if I can give them the credit card number I used when I registered that account. I don’t have that credit card so I can’t tell them. I switched banks you see.

So any way, even though I have the original CDs and the key code, and the Station name I registed the key to, they can’t help me. I think I can remember why I stopped playing Sony Online Entertainment games. They could even look up my account and see it was me, but without the credit card number I originally used, no help. Whatever, I didn’t want to play that badly.

– Ethic

Going Planetside

[Planetside] Yep that’s right. I’m going to reactivate Planetside. I’ve been jonesing for it and with my limited free game time that is not being used by testing MMO’s being so … um, limited, I wanted something I could jump into and out of easily.

Planetside fits the bill at the moment. Anyone out there with a good squad that I can join and subsequently get us all wiped out, let me know.

I was just looking and I see they have a few expansions. I’ll have to read up and see how much they added. Looks like it is only another $9.95 to buy so not a huge deal. Perhaps someone can fill me in on the details and if they are important to have or not.

Nevermind.

– Ethic

Supporting Those Who Support You

[Planetside] The PS devs have done something wonderful for players like me that often find themselves in a supporting role. I spent many an evening doing ANT runs or repairing damaged vehicles and turrets. While getting a warm sense of being a part of the victory, there has not been any real rewards given for such activity. Rewards are normally handed out to players for “kills”. No longer. Enter the era of support XP.

Perhaps the short supply of healer-types in most MMOs can be solved with a solution like this.

I’ve included the post made in the PS forums for posterity, below:

In the struggle to dominate and control Auraxis, there are countless jobs and roles to perform. Many of these involve the support of your fellow soldiers and these actions have, up until now, been largely thankless. The tireless support personnel who repair damaged wall turret systems, provide support positioning Advanced Mobile Stations, or operating Galaxy and Lodestar vehicles have done so out of the desire for the greater good for their Empire.

With PlanetSide version 3.7 we will introduce rewards for such activities. These rewards will still be tied to when opposing forces are overcome, rather than handing them out at the time when the support activities are performed. Support activity will be recorded and, when the supported unit overcomes an enemy in the future, they will pass back a share of experience and possibly a merit worthy kill (depending on the factors of the kill). The unit scoring the kills will continue to pass back this bonus experience and merit kills for a period of time starting with their first kill after being supported. The length of time is determined by how much support they received. If the supported unit dies and respawns (is not revived) then they will no longer pass back support exp and support merit kills.

One exception to this delayed start of when support experience and kills are passed back and recorded is after a hot drop. The timer starts immediately after bailing from a Galaxy.

Each person that you support will track that activity in what you could consider a “support bucket”. The more you support them (for instance, the more times you repair their armor that was damaged by enemy fire) the more you fill in this bucket. How much this bucket is filled in will determine the size of the % of exp from kills that is passed back to you and for how long exp will kick back. The timer is dormant, waiting after the support is rendered (repairing someone’s armor, for example) until the supported soldier scores their first kill. This allows you to support someone and much later, when they start scoring some kills (and haven’t died in the mean time) they will still reward you for that support. Or, for example, if you repair base turrets and the fight eventually comes back to that base. When someone gets in that turret you repaired a while ago and scores a kill, they will kick off the dormant timer and now kills they score with that turret will give the person who repaired it a slice of the kill exp and possibly kill records toward Merit Commendations. Of course, if you were the repairer of said turrets and you logged off or left the zone, you would no longer receive support exp or merit kills.

There are 6 different categories of activities that can lead to your acquisition of Support EXP and assist kills counting toward support Merit Commendations:

1. Healing another soldier.
2. Reviving another soldier.
3. Repairing another soldier or vehicle either with a BANK, NanoDispenser or Lodestar.
4. Hacking a terminal or locker, or providing an AMS or Lodestar terminal for others to obtain equipment or ammunition.
5. Having soldiers bail from your Galaxy.
6. Providing an AMS for soldiers to spawn from.

The % share of BEP that comes back from through this system is completely outside any other exp distribution (squad exp split, etc.). The timer is currently a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes where kills by that soldier will have an extra % share of EXP go back to the person(s) who supported them.

To illustrate different scenarios, a few examples of each are listed below:

* Healing or Repairing: You heal a friendly soldier just outside the door to a hotly contested tower. You heal him for 25 damage and he now has a record on him that will start to feed you exp and assist kills toward merits. However, as the fight rages, the soldier you healed doesn’t die, but he does take more damage from plasma fired by the enemy out the door. You die trying to get in the door. Just because you died doesn’t affect the support you had done on the other soldier. That will only be erased if he dies and is not revived.

So, you respawn at the nearby AMS and come back. You see the soldier you had healed before and heal up the damage he took from the plasma, further filling in the “support bucket” and building a greater percentage of exp you would get from his kills (if and when he scores some). You then join the rush in through the door and your Empire captures the tower. The soldier you helped landed some hits, but never got a kill, so your “support bucket” on him has not triggered and is still dormant, waiting for him to score a kill.

Now, you head down toward the base and the soldier you helped gets a kill of an enemy on the wall. The EXP share from that kill is reported and saved up. If you had supported him more, you would have obtained a bigger % of exp share. The enemy that the solder you supported was a unique kill so it will count back as an “assist kill” to you, the person who supported him, and toward support Merit Commendations.

* Hacking: You are an infiltrator, sneaking through a lightly contested enemy base. You make your way to one of the nearby equipment terminals, hack it and switch out your armor to a MAX suit and head to the spawn tubes to tear some enemy forces up! Behind you another friendly has hot dropped on the roof, and comes down into the base and sees in passing that the equipment terminal is available. He swaps out of his Agile armor for his Rexo heavy grunt load out. By using a terminal that you hacked, you are now flagged as having supported him. When he scores his next kill (without dying) he will start off the time period where he will give back exp and assist kills back to you.

* AMS or Lodestar: You position a Lodestar where friendly vehicles are rearming their vehicles. Just like #2 above, just the fact that they use the equipment portion of the Lodestar functionality will flag them as you, the Lodestar owner, as having supported them. This is the same for the AMS, if someone uses your AMS to equip themselves. The Lodestar will also flag vehicles as having been repaired by you, much like scenario #1 above.

* AMS spawning: The AMS also will tag soldiers spawning at it as having been supported by the soldier who owns the AMS. So, when those soldiers go on to score enemy kills, they will pass back a share of exp and possibly assist kills to count toward support Merit Commendations. Even if the AMS is destroyed, friendly solders who had spawned at it would continue to give back these rewards until either their timer runs out, they die and respawn, you log out or you leave the zone.

* Reviving: Reviving fallen friendly solders will not only flag the person who revives them as having assisted them, but it will also keep their death from canceling all support related shares they are currently tracking from being cleared.

We will give you more information on this as the development continues.

~The PlanetSide Development Team~

I’m curious, does any other MMO out there reward support players in some way? If so, please share because I have not seen anything like this before.

– Ethic