In a nutshell, Higby is tinkering with a different territory control system, one that is more akin to planetside 1 Lattice System.
For those who have not played planetside 1, the lattice system in the first game provided a more predictable outlook of the battlefield.
a letter from higby.
Greetings Auraxians -
Many of you have requested that we take a serious look at the shortfalls of our territory control, influence and base connectivity in order to ensure we're routing players into great fights and encouraging a better overall battle flow. We've taken that feedback very seriously and have been working behind the scenes on a few different ideas to make that desire a reality, most of which have been inspired by ideas from the community - including this one that we're ultimately choosing to move forward with. Many of you probably saw a tweet that I sent out several days ago showing the first steps towards limiting the connectivity between regions. I'm going to share a bit more progress and talk a bit about what our plan is for this, answer a few FAQs and talk a bit about how and when you can help with this.
First of all, here's a complete map of Indar with the current prototype connectivity that we're working with.
And here's a slightly more zoomed in image of a specific area:
What we're doing here, in a nutshell, is reducing the number of adjacent territories from an average of around 6 to an average of around 3. Smaller outposts will have 2-3 connections in general, larger "hub" regions will have 3-5. "But, why?" you may ask. We see several benefits to doing this which have also been brought up by many of your fellow players who are advocating for some of these changes:
- This Lane / Corridor approach means that rather than 5 different targets you can attack next or fall back to when defeated, we've got a more limited set of locations to fall back to. This will hopefully encourage fights to progress more often from outpost to outpost instead of "dispersing" after a large battle as often happens today.
- Defenders will have a better idea of what targets attackers will be gunning for next, that predictability should hopefully encourage more active defense of outposts and facilities, as well as allow for proactive deployment of combat engineering.
- Tactical severing of supply lines and base benefits will be more feasible as well as more understandable.
Along with this change we'll be adding & experimenting with several other features to both support and augment the changes to base connectivity:
- Making roads, bridges, etc follow the connectivity more logically than is displayed in the above map - this will involve changes to the connectivity above as well as some changes to Indar's layout.
- You'll also notice that each of the 9 primary facilities are now surrounded by 3 regions that used to be the "Forward Spawn" outposts, those will be turning into full fledged outposts and will be the only connectivity to the facility "core", which we hope adds a bit more back-and-forth to facility capture.
- Standardizing capture times - influence and # of players on the control point will no longer cause the capture time to fluxuate so defenders can have a better timebox to gather reinforcements or set up their next line of defense.
- Making facilities which are under capture contention no longer provide adjacency for capturing other territories. If you are playing TR and own Xenotech Labs but it is being captured by the NC, you will not be able to use it's connection to to Crossroads to begin capturing Crossroads until you've secured Xenotech.
- Enhancements to the Biolab and Amp station base benefits to make them WORTH cutting off.
- Showing more info on the map including:
- Generator status on facilities
- SCU status on facilities
- Friendly as well as enemy troop populations for each region
- Capture progress and time remaining on the map (in addition to the region "tooltip")
Now, before you start posting "Why isn't X connected to Y, it's connected to Z but that looks dumb!", this is just a first pass on the connectivity, and our next step is getting this played by you guys so we can figure out if 2-3 is the right number of connections or if 3-4 is better, or maybe 1-2! We won't know until you guys get a chance to really PLAY IT. Now, this is still at least several weeks from going live... however...
Within the next week or so (fingers crossed!) we will launch our new Public Test Server
. Once we have the Test Server up we will be putting this current iteration of the hex connectivity on there and asking you guys to come play it and let us know how it works. From there we will be making modifications, finalizing the plan for the Indar layout, integrating the other two continents into this flow, and iterating on the other features I mentioned above as well as tuning capture times, rewards, etc. We've been working on a plan to get a Public Test Server up and running for a while now and we'll have more details about how you can access the server as we get a bit closer.
As always, we're very interested in hearing feedback on this, positive, negative or neutral. We couldn't be making this game without you, our amazing community and your ideas and feedback.
Thank you, look forward to hearing the feedback on this system!