Ammunition -- How to add to the Planetside 2 Metagame with only minor changes First off, I want to say that I love Planetside 2. It is a fantastic game that does a lot of things right. That said, I would agree with many experienced players and people on the forums that worry that the game currently lacks an interesting metagame. There needs to be more tools to combat the zerg, and there needs to be more roles for squads and small outfits. However, I do not agree with the doom-and-gloom complainers, claiming the game is horrible. Planetside 2 is an extremely fun game, which can and will develop an interesting and deep metagame with only a few minor tweaks. My idea is only one of the many small changes that can add to the current metagame. I would love to see this implemented alongside many of the changes other players have already proposed. I will first list the minor tweaks associated with my idea, then I will discuss the implications of the changes, then the pros and cons of the changes. None of these changes require new models or 100% new functionality, so I am hoping they will be relatively easy to implement. Changes: 1) When a territory, or several territories, is/are surrounded by enemy territories (and therefore are not connected to that faction’s warpgate), they enter a state of being “cut off.” Here you see TR at Hvar, VS at Ceres Hydroponics, and VS at Coramed Labs currently in the “cut off” state. 2) When spawning at bases or sunderers in a “cut off” territory, players will slowly begin to spawn with less ammunition. Players will still spawn with all resource based consumables, such as medkits and grenades. Add a tooltip telling players they are receiving less resources because they are spawning in an area not connected to their warpgate. The following numbers and percentages can be adjusted, but here is an example of how this change would work: After 5 minutes of being cut off, players spawning in the cut off territory will spawn with 80% of their maximum ammunition capacity.After 10 minutes of being cut off, players spawning in the cut off territory will spawn with 60% of their maximum ammunition capacity.After 15 minutes of being cut off, players spawning in the cut off territory will spawn with 40% of their maximum ammunition capacity.After 20 minutes of being cut off, players spawning in the cut off territory will spawn with 20% of their maximum ammunition capacity.And after 25 minutes of being cut off, players spawning in the cut off territory will spawn with 0% of their maximum ammunition capacity. 3) The moment a territory is cut off, the bases’ and sunderers’ weapons terminals will not grant any ammunition when a player clicks on the Resupply button. Players will still be allowed to change classes, but the new class with have an equal percentage of ammo to the player’s previous class. The Resupply button will still replenish resource based consumables, such as medkits and grenades. Add a tooltip telling players that the Resupply button will not grant them ammo because they are resupplying in an area not connected to their warpgate. 4) After 15 minutes of being cut off, engineers spawn with only 1 ammunition pack. After 25 minutes of being cut off, engineers spawn with 0 ammunition packs. Clicking weapon terminal Resupply buttons in cut off territories will NOT replenish engineer ammunition packs. 5) Ammunition sunderers grant ammunition to surrounding infantry as well as surrounding vehicles. With this change, strategic placement of ammunition sunderers will allow defenders to hold a cut off territory for much longer than 25 minutes. 6) When in a cut off state, vehicle terminals can only spawn flashes and sunderers. This change will stop zerg forces from simply all pulling tanks and aircraft once they start running out of ammunition. 7) Once connection to the warpage is reestablished, an area is no longer cut off, and players will spawn with 100% of their ammunition capacity. Implications of the changes: 1) Well for starters, it does make fighting in cut off territories more difficult. For the first 15 minutes of being cut off, the changes will only create a larger emphasis on engineers and ammo sunderers, but otherwise the impact of the changes will be rather minor. However, from 15 minutes to 25 minutes, the changes will make fighting in cut off territory significantly more difficult (still doable, but difficult). This may seem like a nerf to defending the Crown (because the Crown is the most obvious example of a territory that is often cut off). In some sense, it does make completely neglecting the rest of the map to hold one territory more difficult. However, these changes have offensive implications and anti-zerg implications as well. Consider the all too common zerg push across the map. Hundreds of players swarm and attack a single territory (often in a straight line push into enemy territory). With these changes, a smaller and smarter force could circumvent the zerg, capture 2-3 territories behind the zerg push (cutting them off), and force part of the zerg to split off to retake the territory. The zerg would be forced to split up, or else in 15-25 minutes, they would be spawning with little to no ammunition -- neutering the push. Commanders will need to be more conscious of splitting their troops to take territories across their entire fronts, as opposed to simply taking their entire zerg force and pushing deep into enemy territory (as this tactic will make it easy to cut off their push). What these changes essentially do, is create the opportunity to seize the tactical offensive. American military historian Guy Chet defines the “tactical offensive” as offensively seizing a tactical position on the map, forcing the enemy to attack due to the position’s importance. In this way, the tactical offensive is both offensive and defensive. It is offensive because you seize a position. It is defensive because your position forces the enemy to attack you to try to retake the position. These ammunition changes will allow commanders to take the tactical offensive. By seizing territories between the zerg and their warpgate, smarter players/outfits will force part of the zerg to turn around and try to dislodge them. This will not only help break up the zerg, but it will add meaning to defense, and add more strategy to the metagame. Small outfits can be sent out to seize tactically important territory to cut off the enemy, or conversely, small outfits might be sent back to reestablish a link to their warpgate if their faction’s main force is the one being cut off. Here we see that if the VS or TR took Xenotech Labs and Regent Rock Garrison (the green highlighted areas), they would be cutting off the NC in Paris Amp Station, NS Research Labs, Ceres Farms, and Ceres Biotech. If the VS or TR managed to hold the line for 15-25 minutes, the NC Zerg push would most likely come to a halt. 2) The second implication of these changes is that it will add depth to defending in cut off territories. I want to reiterate, defending will not become impossible, but it will require more strategy. Once cut off, forces will need to decide if they want to send troops to reestablish a link, or if they want to try and hold off indefinitely. In the case of the Crown, defenders will probably try and hold off indefinitely. In order to do this passed the 25 minute mark, players will need to strategically place and defend ammo sunderers around the territory. I would imagine the best places at the Crown for ammo sunderers would be next to the sunderer in the vehicle bay, and next to the Crown’s spawn room. This way, players can spawn and immediately resupply ammunition. An ammo sunderer parked behind the Crown’s spawn room, protected by the surrounding walls. Due to it’s layout, these changes hardly make the Crown indefensible, but they do add a new objective for attackers -- destroy the ammo sunderers. If all ammo sunderers are destroyed, it momentarily cripples defenders that have been cut off for 25 minutes or more. Ultimately these changes would allow the Crown to change hands slightly more often, add another exciting element to defense, and make an extended defense of the Crown more of an accomplishment. The Crown stands alone. 3) For other territories, such as biolabs, defending passed the 25 minute mark would become extremely difficult. Forces would most likely NEED to send troops to reestablish a link. Having to split up troops might slightly alleviate the issue of bio-farm (or “biolab farm” where the defenders lock down the air pads with MAXes and turrets and farm the attackers as they come up). Margaret Krone has stated that the team is working on allowing galaxies to transport vehicles. When this change occurs, flying ammo sunderers up to biolabs will allow biolabs to set up very powerful defenses, even if surrounded for 25 minutes or more. As a quick side note, I will say that most/all territories need to become more defensible. This is a separate metagame issue, but it needs to be restated as often as possible. I hesitate to suggest giving attackers the ability to “cut off” defenders at the crown and biolabs, because these of some of the only defensible territories currently in the game. The lack of defense does not undermine my idea, but it would work much better with more defensible terrain. 3) The last implication of these changes is that it can allow us to get rid of the unintuitive influence system. As I understand it from listening to the developers, the influence system was put in place to give strategic importance to territories around large bases. These ammunition and “cut off” changes will better serve the role of making surrounding territories important, allowing us to get rid of influence. Why do we want to get rid of the influence system? - Influence is very abstract, unrealistic, and difficult to explain to new players - Influence makes estimating how long you have to get to a base and defend it very difficult. If my outfit wants to go back to the warpgate a pull galaxies to drop on a base and defend it, with influence system, the cap might start going incredibly fast, and we will be too late. - Without influence, we are one step closer to having accurate capture timers. It would still difficult to have timers due to the complexities of the tug-of-war system, but without influence, a timer could give us a range of time, such as “4:16 - 8:45 until capture,” depending on how many points the enemy holds at any given time. Pros and Cons Let's quickly list the pros and cons of these changes. Pros: 1) Adds a new level of strategy to the game 2) Can be used to split up zerg forces 3) The changes are intuitive and make sense in the context of war. Cut off from supply lines = diminishing ammunition. 4) Creates a situation where the engineer is extremely valuable. 5) Still allows for strategic defense. 6) Can allow us to get rid of the influence system. 7) Gives organized attackers a better chance to take the crown. 8) In the case of taking the tactical offensive, adds a very important incentive to defending a territory, and creates a role that can be filled by small outfits and squads. 9) The changes are all minor in terms of coding, and can be added to the game relatively quickly compared to adding new systems, terrain, or models. Cons: 1) There are few defensible bases currently in the game. If this becomes a tool for attackers to skip around defensible areas, that would be bad. This can be fixed by adding more defensible territories. 2) The amount of coding necessary might be more than I am estimating. 3) This probably isn’t enough to break up the zerg completely. Conclusion These changes will not drastically alter the Planetside 2 metagame. Forces are rarely cut off for 25+ minutes. However, the changes do give smaller forces/non-zerg forces a new option to help them deal with the masses. It also adds a new element to the macro level strategy for large outfit leaders to consider. Please feel free to argue with any of my ideas in a constructive way. I have put a lot of thought into these ideas, but I am sure I have not thought of everything. Please bring up any questions/concerns, and we can talk it out/find solutions. I am more than happy to edit my post based on your feedback, so that we can create a better proposition to give to the developers. Thanks for reading! Marty TL DR: Adding the ability to “cut off” enemy territories (and in doing so affect the enemy ammunition supply) would be a simple way to add to the current Planetside 2 metagame.