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Outfit Wars Revamp Heads to PTS!

Posted by:  Charoplet 29.01.2021
Finally, we get information about Outfit Wars. PTS patchnotes are ready!

Riches and glory eternal beckons from beyond the wormhole, soldiers...welcome BACK to Outfit Wars!
For newer players, Outfit Wars is a competitive tournament cycle, first introduced in last Spring's Escalation PC update, for aspiring Outfits to prove their valor, earn rewards, and compete for the title of Auraxis's best.
NEW to this update (now available on PTS!), ALL participating Outfits will compete on Desolation throughout Qualifiers, with the top Outfits from each faction advancing to the playoffs.
This is a major change from our prior Qualification Phase, one intended to be more participatory, less disruptive to the main game, and ultimately allow every enlisted player the opportunity to battle it out on Desolation. Given the scale of changes going into this update, it's crucial we get it up to the Public Test Server for community playtesting and feedback before it hits Live. 
Read on for all the intel on the new Outfit Wars, including details on how qualification works, and the full PTS match schedule!


OUTFIT WARS 2.0 (ALPHA CYCLE 3)

In a slight change from prior Outfit Wars tournament cycles, Alpha Cycle 3 will consist of 4 primary phases:
Enlistment Phase --> Qualifying Phase --> Playoff Phase --> Championship Phase (Finals)
As every OW match features 48 players per Outfit, Outfits will need at least 48 members to be eligible (we've dropped that requirement to 12 players on PTS this weekend, and have also waived the normal resource requirement to enlist). There is no limit to the number of Outfits that can enlist, but there must be an equal number of Outfits per faction (if your Outfit's status is listed as "pending," you will be added to the Qualification Phase once an even number of Outfits have enlisted).
Important note: As soon as your join an Outfit Wars match, your account is locked to that Outfit for the duration of the War on that server. You will be unable to fight for another Outfit on that server until the War completes. Additionally, leaving an Outfit now zeroes out your Loyalty, and at least Rank 3 Loyalty will required to travel to Desolation for a match. The goal with these changes is to cut down on the amount of "ringers" participating in multiple Outfits. This was a major point of feedback from our first Outfit Wars Alpha cycles.


QUALIFYING PHASE  

New to this update, enlisted Outfits will participate in a Qualifying Phase that features weekly competitions on Desolation. Each week, Outfits will be ranked within their their faction based on their performance that season to date. They'll then compete that week in a 3-way match vs. two Outfits of similar rank from their respective rival factions, moving up or down their faction's leaderboard based on the results. 
Each match, Outfits will move up, down, or hold their ground on the leaderboards. 1st-place victories hold the most value, while 2nd or 3rd place is worth far less. Rank will be determined by overall record. After Qualifying ends, the top-6 Outfits from each faction will then advance to the playoffs.


PLAYOFF PHASE

At the start of the Playoff Phase, all but the top-6 Outfits from each faction are immediately eliminated, and all leaderboards are reset.
The scoring also alters slightly with the introduction of Victory Points. Each Outfit is awarded an initial number of Victory Points based on their finish during Qualifying:
Rank 1: 6 points
Rank 2: 5 points
Rank 3: 4 points
Rank 4: 3 points
Rank 5: 2 points
Rank 1: 1 points
This scoring system is intended to offer a slight seeding advantage for Outfits that finished higher up the Qualifying Leaderboards. Playoffs will consist of 3 weekly rounds, with the winners awarded additional Victory Points after each match (+3 for Gold, +1 for Silver, 0 for Bronze). Last-place Outfits will be eliminated at the end of each round, until there are only 3 Outfits per faction left standing. The 9 remaining victors will advance to the Championship.


CHAMPIONSHIP PHASE

The final competitive phase occurs over a single round of matches - it all comes down to this, soldier!
The top-3 Outfits from each faction (9 Outfits total per server region) will face-off in Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal matches, depending on their final Playoff performance. Rewards are accrued for every participating Outfit after the final matches end. To the victor go the spoils...

PTS SCHEDULE

We've scheduled an abbreviated Outfit Wars cycle on PTS so we can test every phase of the competition. The Enlistment Phase starts today and will run through the end of the week, with Qualifying matches kicking off on PTS this Saturday, January 30. Check-out the full PTS schedule below:

Enlistment
Starts immediately and runs until Sat, Jan 30 at 12:00am PST (late Friday night) 

Qualifiers (Match #1)
Sat, Jan 30 at 12:15pm PST or 12:30pm PST

Playoffs (Match #2)
Sat, Jan 30 at 2:00pm PST or 2:15pm PST

Championship (Final Match)
Sat, Jan 30 at 3:45pm PST
For instructions on how to download the Public Test Server, visit here.
On PTS, all Outfits will need at least 12 players to enlist, rather than the 48 required on Live. Enlistment resource requirements have been disabled, as have Orbital Strikes on Desolation. Characters must also be Loyalty Rank 3 or greater to join a match on Desolation (you can pickup free Outfit Loyalty and other currencies on PTS from the holographic Flash located on Sanctuary, next to Representative Ayla in the Atrium). And as a final reminder, players are locked into that character/Outfit as soon as they join their first match, much like things will work on Live. 

You can read up on all the details going into this update (including Outfit Wars rewards!) over on the patch notes, including additional changes to Indar, War Asset balancing, Deployables and more. We'll have more to share on the Live timing and Alpha Cycle 3 schedule later next week. 
As always, we greatly appreciate you participation on Test, soldiers, and look forward to hearing your feedback! It's almost time to show all of Auraxis your Outfit has what it takes to be the best - enlist on PTS now!

PATCHNOTES:

Outfit Wars Revamp
We've been diligently working on an overhaul to the Outfit Wars tournament layer that was introduced last year, and are pleased to announce the newest version of it.

Unlike previous cycles, all outfits now compete against one another on the Desolation asteroid belt during the qualifiers, instead of gathering resources in the sandbox. Where you rank compared to the rest of your faction changes based on your victories and losses during the qualifiers and the playoffs thereafter. Outfits of similar rank are pitted against one another, creating more movement up and down the ladder.

A detailed breakdown on phases and scoring can be found in this article: https://planetside2.com/news/ps2-outfit-wars-alpha-3-pts-january-2021

Rewards
This revamp also introduces a new delivery mechanism for rewards, and new rewards based on your outfit's rank during the season. When your final outfit rank is determined for the season, rewards are doled out based on your placement.

Some of these rewards are for the outfit itself, like War Assets or Outfit Resources, and others are personal, given to the participants. During the championship match, the outfit taking home the gold, silver, or bronze medals receive an additional reward atop their standard rank reward. Lastly, each player participating in a Desolation match is given 500 ISO-4 upon completion, similar to a standard alert. This happens in every match.

PTS TESTING INFORMATION BELOW
  • The PTS testing schedule is as follows below. All outfits with 12 or more players will be able to join in, though that number will become outfits of 48 or more when the update is released on Live.
  • Characters must also be Loyalty Rank 3 or greater in order to go to Desolation for a match.
  • You can receive free Outfit Loyalty and other currencies from the holographic Flash located on Sanctuary, next to Representative Ayla in the Atrium.
-PTS SCHEDULE-
This first run on PTS will be an extremely compressed schedule, consisting of only 3 matches total, taking place a single day. The goal of this test is to ensure each match can move through the steps without interruption, and that rewards get doled out correctly.

All of the times below are in PST.
Enlistment Phase
  • Starting Immediately
  • Ending Jan. 30 - 12:00am
Qualifiers (First Match)
  • Jan. 30 - 12:15pm OR Jan. 30 - 12:30pm
Playoffs (Second Match)
  • Jan. 30 - 2:00pm OR Jan. 30 - 2:15pm
Championship (Final Match)
  • Jan. 30 - 3:45pm
EXECUTION ON LIVE
When Outfit Wars heads to Live for the first time, we'll be running the final "Alpha Cycle" that will use a total of 6 rounds taking place over 6 weeks. We consider this a somewhat compressed schedule, compared to its "go-time" counterpart which is intended to take place over 10 rounds. From there, the plan will be to periodically run new Outfit Wars throughout the year using the same format. Ultimately though, the length of the Outfit War seasons will be something we get a feel for based on the interest from Live. Each new season of Outfit Wars will come with new rewards for the participants, on top of your standard bragging rights.


Continent Changes
  • Indar's Seabed Listening Post's control point can no longer be contested through a wall.
  • The continued barrage of Orbital Strikes to TI Alloys on Indar seems to have damaged the hardline beneath it. The base has become inoperable, and will require maintenance before coming back online.

War Assets
Made some minor adjustments to weights, crafting times, and costs to encourage use of some of the smaller assets, and bumped the cost of Orbital Strikes. We'll likely be taking another look at expeditions in the future.

Heavy A.N.V.I.L.
  • Weight from 25 to 10
Medium A.N.V.I.L.
  • Weight from 15 to 5
  • Crafting time reduced from 5 minutes to 2 minutes.
Light A.N.V.I.L.
  • Weight from 5 to 1
  • Reduced the number created per crafting attempt from 3 to 1
  • Crafting time reduced from 5 minutes to 1 second.
Orbital Strike
  • Polystellarite cost from 0 to 15

Tactical Deployables
Cortium Bomb
  • Can now be placed indoors.
  • Is no longer disarmed from taking damage.
  • Disarming is now done by interacting with the Cortium Bomb, requiring a 3.5 second channel.
  • Allies can also disarm this device.
Dev Note: Cortium Bomb is definitely seeing some meme use on Live, but being able to disarm it easily from any distance didn't create the tension it was originally intended to. Having this tool in the toolbox now means that players can intentionally create space, even in indoor fights, forcing a commitment from enemies while creating a mini-defense objective for allies. Allowing allies to disarm the device also reduces the possibility for trolling, and helps ensure that the device only gets placed when everyone is on the same page about its use.


Infantry
Burning Resistance
  • We've added a new "Burning" resistance (type 64) that is used for... well... things that set you on fire.
  • This includes Pillager's damage over time, Incendiary Underbarrels, Thumper Incendiary rounds, and the Hunter crossbow's Incendiary bolts.
  • At the moment, Flak Armor will not mitigate this damage, though effects that grant you overall resistances (Resist Shield, as an example) or armor buffs, will do so.
Dev Note: The way our engine works currently, is that resistances tend to dictate what audio you hear when damage is inflicted on you. Much of the damage over time dealt from incendiary weapons was using the common explosives resistance, which was meant for... well, explosives. So you'd periodically hear the "thoom, thoom, thoom," instead of a sizzle that'd be more indicative of your burning state. It does also present us with opportunities to use the burning damage type as a way to bypass some of the other resistances in the game, which helps further define a niche. Currently, incendiary's damage mirrors that of the common explosive, so no changes to the actual damage output of any of these effects, with the exception of protection provided by Flak Armor, which does not mitigate this damage type.

Fortify (Implant)
  • Standing still for 1/0.75/0.5/0.1 seconds now activates a 20% small arms resistance until you move again, down from 4/3.5/2.75/2 seconds.
  • Rank 5 of this implant continues to provide 50% resistance to common explosives.
  • Modified shield visuals, and made them personal to the player.
Dev Note: This implant was previously modified without making it into the patch notes several updates ago. In this update it receives adjustments that make it easier to use.

New Conglomerate MAX Weaponry
The changes below nudge the NC MAX's shotgun weaponry closer to VS and TR MAX in terms of overall viability. These shotguns continue to sacrifice damage per magazine and effective range for better burst damage in close quarters, but the penalties for doing so should be less severe now, and versatility should be improved slightly.

NCM1 Scattercannon - Hard-hitting, default shotguns.
  • Is now an automatic weapon.
  • Rate of fire from 120 rounds per minute to 130 rounds per minute.
  • Max damage per pellet from 125 to 130.
  • Min damage per pellet from 35 to 50.
  • Mag size from 9 to 10.
  • Reserve ammo from 81 to 90.
AF-34 Mattock - Extended range shotguns.
  • Is now an automatic weapon.
  • Number of pellets from 3 to 4.
  • Mag size from 12 to 14.
  • Reserve ammo from 96 to 112.
AF-41 Hacksaw - High rate of fire shotguns.
  • Rate of fire from 209 rounds per minute to 218 rounds per minute.
  • Min damage from 25 to 50.
  • Mag size from 9 to 12
  • Reserve ammo from 81 to 108.
AF-23 Grinder - High-capacity shotguns.
  • Rate of fire from 120 rounds per minute to 130 rounds per minute.
  • Min damage from 20 to 35.
  • Mag size from 18 to 22.
  • Reserve ammo from 126 to 154.

Vehicles
Colossus Heavy Tank
  • Tank Mine resistance (type 9) from -100 to -50.
Dev Note: This moves the total number of mines to kill a full-health Colossus from 4 to 6.


Visual Updates
The visuals on the following items have been improved. The details have been modeled in and improved upon, and the meshes cleaned up. In addition, we were able to move them off of older, less-used or unique texture sheets, which gives us savings in memory overhead, and the texture sheet they were transferred to allows us to give them a more modern look and feel.
  • Spawn Beacon has received updated visuals.
  • VS Proximity Mine has received updated visuals.
  • NC Bouncing Betty has received updated visuals.
  • TR Claymore has received updated visuals.
  • NSO's F.U.S.E. mine has received entirely new visuals.
  • The Engineer's Ammunition Pouch has received updated visuals.
  • Tank Mines have received updated visuals.
  • Medical Applicator has received updated visuals.
  • C-4 Detonator has received a slight update.
  • C-4 bricks have received updated visuals.
  • Engineer's ACE Tool has received updated visuals.

Misc. Changes, Fixes, and Additions
  • Made additional fixes to the strafing animation that should resolve the remaining "teleportation" occurring when firing semi-auto weapons.
  • Fixed an issue where using quick melee after firing a weapon wouldn't show the animation for onlookers.
  • Glaive IPC should no longer be missing a turret in some cases.
  • Removed the large Bounty notification in the center of the screen.
  • Updated the ANT minimap icons to follow the style of other vehicles in the game.
  • Nomad Armor (NC armor set) should no longer have clipping around the bracer area.
  • Headlights should now work on NSO vehicles.
  • Optimized particles on the Prowler's deploy animation, which was causing noticeable frame drops.
  • The Flash XS-1 (Tactical Deployable) has its own unique model now, a more lightweight version of the standard Flash, with a single seat.
  • Cerberus' (VS Sidearm) optics should no longer be floating.
  • The Ammunition Belt suit slot now functions with the SR-200 (NSO Sniper Rifle).
  • Thumper's reticle has been updated for better target visibility.
  • A new "Basic Banner Frame" can be purchased with certs or DBC from the Profile Screen, or the Depot.

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