As a fair warning, this post goes into some philosophical details in order to convey my opinion of the underlying problem this game currently faces. So if you hate intellectual analysis, leave now. Now he's a philosophizer. Good businesses value their Human Capital Architecture. "Don’t you try and learn me", you’re thinking, but essentially, it’s how companies hire, promote, and incentivize their employees. You could say it is simply Human Resources, but it is the strategy of how a company handles their human capital in order to create a competitive advantage. So there’s more to the job than HR wants you to believe. Yes, we went to college for a degree in HR and now WE RULE YOU. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?! Ahem, sorry...back to work. HCA is segmented into three distinct categories upon evaluation: Capabilities, Behaviors, and Culture. With behavior, you need to encourage employees to meet their goals and even step outside the bounds of their job when necessary. This is sometimes known as “Organizational Citizenship” (more on that later). The point is, you need to create an environment (culture) that promotes the behavior you wish to see in your organization. In Planetside 2, this is the crux of the issue. It advertises its purpose as an MMO-FPS. We, as the “employees” in this analogy, are told the objective is to capture more resources and more land than the opposing empires. This is the intended behavior for its players - to cooperate with one another in order to capture objectives and secure resources. It’s plastered all over their advertising and how it differentiates itself from other shooters. The culture in which the game promotes, however, is at the exact opposite end of this spectrum and completely contradicts what the game claims to be. That culture is known as Certification Points. Planetside 2 is a game where its culture promotes behavior that differs completely from its original intent. Falling back on our HCA analogy, let’s say our company sells “adult toys” to independent shops around the continental US, Dong, LLC. Best. Job. Ever? Your company wants you to work together with your fellow salespeople to achieve record profits for the fiscal year and corner the market against your competitors. But the mode of incentive is commission based, so the more product someone sells, the more money they make. With limited territory, and therefore limited opportunity for sales, you can see where this is going. Hunger Games, but sexy. In Planetside 2, much is the same. You tell your players that they are to work together for the betterment of your empire. Capture the objectives and rule Auraxis! But in the same breath, you’re told your only true incentive is earning more certs to obtain items or abilities, which is done by killing the sh*t out of your opponent. Guess how many Vanu I slayed in order to secure the Lion's Den contract? But capturing objectives offer rewards too, right? Sure, but let’s take a look at this for a second, taking some very basic numbers and plotting them out for analysis. Let’s compare two scenarios that correspond to the intended behavior and the promoted culture. Each will involve similar conditions: a large-scale, primetime battle for a Biolab on Indar. For intended behavior, I’ll show experience earned for capturing the base compared to average time taken to achieve in an even fight. For promoted culture, I’ll show experience earned for cert farming inside a tube room linked to one of the base’s outposts. Capture ObjectiveTimespan: 1 hour (60 minutes)Experience Earned: 1000 (base)Rate: Once per occurrence (once in 60 minutes)Final Calculation: 1000 experience for 60 minutes.Farm from the Tube RoomTimespan: 1 hour (60 minutes)Experience Earned: Average of 125 per kill (factoring in menace/MAX kills)Rate: Average 1.5 kills per minuteFinal Calculation: 125 * (1.5*60) = 11,250 experience So tell me, loyal employee. What behaviors are being promoted here, and do they correspond to the culture that is advertised within the organization? I'm a lead farmer, motherf*****! Thought so. Remember the term I used in the first part of this post – Organizational Citizenship? When you go above and beyond to tend to a task that is outside your day-to-day activities for the betterment of your company, you are said to comprise high Organizational Citizenship. In Planetside 1, this could be attributed to fetching an ANT so your base didn’t deplete, or hopping out of the gunner seat of a tank to repair a MAX in the field. It is an indicator of job satisfaction and employee engagement. In Planetside 2, how high do you think a player’s Organizational Citizenship (or Empirical Citizenship in this case) is when they have no incentive to cooperate? If your reward is strictly to sell “adult toys” to as many dirty vagrants as possible at the cost of the welfare of your fellow salesmen, no matter how many get in your way, do you think they’d stop to help you if they saw you stranded on the side of the road? Guess how many sales I made while your pregnant wife was trying to wave down help on the interstate while you changed all four tires? No! They're beating you to the next sale. How many times have you seen a Sunderer driver stop to give a stranded soldier a ride in the field? Probably very few, because CERTS ARE WAITING AT THE NEXT BASE FOR ME AND I NEED TO GET THERE NOW NOW NOW! "Cert cookies are good in moderation", said no Cert Monster ever. Case in point, the issue is that the Free to Play model encourages players to cert farm rather than capture objectives because the risk doesn't match the reward. When weapons cost 1000 certs, what do you suppose players will do - farm certs by sitting in a tank shelling a base for hours on straight, or attack and capture an objective which is the whole underlying basis for the game? Why would I try to push out of a tube room when I can sit comfortably farming kills through the shield windows? If progress is strictly earned through certifications rather than your empire's overall accomplishments, then the play style will never change. You will always have campers and cert farmers until the reward of capturing objectives outweighs the reward of stat padding. Planetside 1 vets are frustrated because there was a sense of accomplishment and pride for capturing a continent or taking a base. It took hours, but the reward matched the risk and it felt awe-inspiring and empowering. Planetside 2 provides no motivation for objectives and is void of these feelings. The premise of the game - to capture more land and resources than the other empire - takes a back seat to earning your personal share of weapons and certifications. It didn't matter that there was no lasting point to playing PS1, you took or defended bases because it felt **** good when you overcame adversities and worked as a team in order to do so. PS2, you don't give two ***** about it because you need those certs to feed your addiction to progress and weapons like drugs feed your addiction to crack. "Whoa dude, like, I only need to smoke 5 more cert joints to get the AV turret. Why are you killing the SCU?"