Is the lattice system in Planetside 2 bad? This has been a fiery debate between the players for several months now and it still doesn’t have a clear answer. I will discuss improvements that can be made to both systems to make them better as well as why the lattice is not a good thing for planetside.
The original system where players are required to have surrounding territory to capture a facility was good, but it could have a slight improvement. They should have added a clause that required players to stand around the point for it to capture. Should the players leave the capture point it flips back to the opposing team and begins to lose any gained progress. Adding a requirement to stand near the point would mean that there would be little ghost hacking because players would have to have support or be shot up by aircraft and tanks. If you add that to the fact that owning surrounding territory improves capture time ghosting would be a pointless endeavor, and this would encourage fighting over territory.
The lattice system makes it so that at any given time there are only a few options available for attack. This allows massive fights to build up along the lattice lines and this makes it easier for players to get in and fight quickly. However this also means that often fights consist of a large amount of spam which means there is less strategy and more of a don’t stop shooting attitude. This could however be fixed but the cost would be fairly great. In order to fix the problem of spam SOE would have to limit the amount of players on the continent. I know it would not be a popular decision but even lowering the player count by 200 an empire would make a big enough difference where individual battles could employ tactics.
Realistically removing a key part of the game isn’t an option because you cannot take the MMO out of Planetside, but SOE has already started to remove PS2’s core values. The other instance of this is found when they removed the surrounding territory bonus and later implemented the lattice system. Now you might think I am wrong but SOE had a few premises for PS2, one it had to be MMO, and it had to be a strategic game allowing outfits to work together to accomplish goals. Removing the ability to out maneuver an opponent or cutting off a base severely hinders outfits to act with tactics and strategy. There are other key values that SOE has to keep but those are not the ones in question of being removed.
Part of the problem here is the SOE is trying to draw in the casual COD player into PS2. In reality this will never work because most twitch or COD players will only play a game for a short amount of time, short being relative because Planetside lasts years. They also like quick fights and these fights tend to have less teamwork and more kill-whoring. So by catering to those players all they do is alienate their currently player base causing them to quit. Now once the twitch gamers leave there will be few players left to fill the ranks for the everyday need of MMO. Why is this important you ask? Well both of these styles of gamers the strategic PS2 and the twitch COD have preferences on whether or not they prefer the lattice. Generally speaking the twitch players prefer the lattice, while the strategy players tend to favor an open capture system. It isn’t because the strategy players like to ghost hack but because they have more options and they are able to flank and out maneuver their opponents. Where the twitch gamers just want a fight, they don’t care about using good tactics or learning much more than “point at head, shoot”.
Here are some reasons why the lattice is broken
- First off because of the limited links you either have 100:1 population advantage or 1:100 population disadvantages. This is ghosting but not by choice because we have nowhere else to go. I will admit there is a middle ground but usually you outnumber or are outnumbered.
- There is no strategy required, all you need to win is send troops to place, win go to next place, or send troops to place, lose, and try again. This brings me to the next point
- It is the same thing over and over, nothing changes often the fights themselves are at the same bases.
- Teamwork is non-existent because there is too much spam to react, plan, and attack with any real sense of accomplishment.
Here are some reasons why the lattice works
- Large fights can occur over one base. This means there are plenty of players to kill or be killed by. Everyone loves a big old fight with a massive amount of players.
- It, for the most part, eliminates ghost hacking of one player. Yes it still does happen, but I will say that because there is less access to the territory there is less ghost hacking occurring. Ghost hacking is not 100 players taking a point from two guys, rather one guy taking the point from no guys.
- Getting into a fight is very easy. There is little time spent looking for a fight because the locations are easy to spot and the fights continue for hours between bases making the fights constant.
No matter where you side in this discussion both systems have flaws, both systems need to be fixed and it is not likely to happen. SOE hasn’t been known to fix some of the obvious problems that have occurred in the past and that is why I think Planetside 2 will continue to struggle for quite some time. Even with all of that being said I still think that Planetside 2 will grow into its own and become a game that fits a niche. Something to remember is that not every game is built for every gamer, and once the short-term or long-term gamers leave the game will develop into something greater. Sooner rather than later I hope.
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