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Outfit Wars. Feedback from Outfit Leaders. Part 1

Posted by:  Charoplet 03.03.2021

Our website asked lots of Outfit Leaders across all servers about Outfit Wars. The questions were: Do you and your Outfit enjoy the qualification matches, what do you like and what you don't, and what aspects of OW need to be improved in the next season?

And here is their feedback:

[AR3S] Cheffeke (Miller, TR)

1. About this alpha cycle 3 - end of 2 weeks qualif
Sure we (AR3S team for OW) screwed by rules and ghostfits, but as I said to [CTIA] BilliBobBillsen, we have to keep in mind it's the first time they try that type of qualif phase, based almost fully on community's request. So 1) they did hear us. And 2) they did react in consequance.
So, lets try to stay humble and hope this will bring a better future in it.
I'm still with the idea to use members loyaulty to consider outfits' activity. Example:
If you set as a rule to subscribe an outfit that it need 48 active members in it (active members being equal to members with 3 of loyaulty), it will prevent a lot. I'd not setup this higher untill they add a concept of maybe alliance (will come back on that).
Anyway, in that tournament design, definitely fairness MUST be a priority.

2. About double teaming happening on Connery
It had to happen, it was obvious. But even without being as clear as P1GS and R18, such behaviour have already been spotted in OW alpha cycle 1 and 2. So why community and devs look still "surprised" or "chocked" about it. In a 1v1v1 with rewards (which confirm the competitiveness of it), everything is good to win.
Also, we all need to remember outfits have 8+ years history between them. OW won't drag it out. In fact, the opposite is happening, it might put it in a spotlight, as we saw already.

3. About why not 1v1 instead of 1v1v1
- Wrel said on something about it like it would be issue to have at the end (in 1v1 tournament format) outfits from same faction having to fight each other. Well... Why not ? Why is it a problem to have to fight against the same faction ?

4. Actual OW player experience
Well, when no shitty behaviors, the player experience is globaly good (and to watch too). I might be the only PL whom don't like play it as PL, because I'm a chess player (so I like to plan things), and in a 1v1v1, you almost can't plan anything because you have to predict reactions from 2 opponents. So it's strategically uninteresting for me (even you could say there is a lot of logistic stuff to deal with, but that's SLs and squadmates deal, not really PL one), but I think it's purely personal.

5. What to do with 1v1v1
Damn, pull out the competitive format. To prevent bad behaviour, I see OW 1v1v1 more as an exhibition gala match. Only outfits whom agree to play against each other can make up a match together. No ranking, nothing related to a real competition. See it as a gala, and also, for outfits, a kind of room between the casual live server playstyle, and a competitive approach.
You'll say: "some outfits will never be accepted in a match". Yes, that's the punishment for being a cancer in the community. You wanna play one? Then make peace with other outfits first, get respected as honorable people, and then you'll be able to touch that land of funny 1v1v1.
Also, those matches (I called "gala"), could be a nice window to promote the game, promote outfits, etc. Just forget reward for outfits. Reward is the view on twitch and outfits promotion.

And then, in a later project, you got point 6...
6. How to maybe deal with 1v1 format
There we can call competition. Some teams will stomp others, sure, as in any sport. You could create different format, implementing 1 by 1 : a setup between 6v6, 12v12, 24v24 and 36v36, and 4 maps (1 map single point base, 1 map with a full lane, 1 map with 2 lanes, 1 map with 3 lanes - distance between lane a bit closer than normal continent - using also construction and vehicule capture points). What about 1 format a year ? And for situation when a same faction match has to happen, implement a rule that makes, on those competitive maps, a TK not being one, and something like automatic camo specifically for the match (like let leader chosing from 3 or 4 very different camo, after chosing, all people from their outfit popping on that map unlocked for them for the match will see camo setup on armour, gun and vehicules). I'm not dev, so I don't know how much work. But it has to be tryed imo.

7. Bonus: let NSO char being integrated in factions outfits
Set it like they will wear the tag if they pop in the right faction, and can't join an outfit from another faction anyway (also considering in future, NSO for premium will be able to chose the faction they wanna play). So let NSO join also matches. Having real NSO player in a squad add some flavour (like with their specific MAX suit, and their futur ESF and MBT)
I'm not a dev, so I have no clew on how doable those things are. But if it can drive to something better than what we have now, fair enough

[FRMD] SeniorBrotherRo (Miller, NC)

Our matches were ok, they were twice an almost 1vs1 which makes the format better, less random. the sign up number of 48 is a huge hurdle that just isnt adapted to nowadays outfit circumstances. a variation on modes and numbers is necessary. they have to quickly implement an alliance system to diminish the influence of stacking within one outfit (which can easily kill the outfit culture on a server, see saltworks) and make a final decision on dbl teaming and how to enforce that decision. in general OW has a lot of potential but the devs are at the brink of wasting said potential

[SKL] RageTwisted (Emerald, VS)

For SKL, Outfit Wars was extremely fun before, and it is fun for us now. The matches this season compared to the matches last season have been a bit sub-par due to dropouts and low turnout from certain outfits. The new UI from Wrel and Co. is pretty cool and much more informative than an.xml post.

What could be changed: Flesh out some function to those pocket sections on desolation. The pockets on the edge of the map were probably supposed to be for construction, but instead they are kind of just useless and serve only as flat ground with low cortium spawns compared to the middle. It would be helpful to know how the points are calculated (give like an "X" points next tick) based on how many bases are currently being held by tr, nc, and vs etc. Some of these games are within 50 points and I'd like to know for sure how many points are being calculated per tick.

[BROS] WandererCJ (Cobalt, TR)

Referring to the New OW Season we are enjoying it a lot,even having multiple organising Troubles from developers side. The negative parts are understandable,cause it is called "Alpha Version", they are testing and gathering Feedback bringing on LIVE the most realistic/fast realizable offers. For us as an Outfit , the Outfit Wars became a huge motivation to go further performing our gameplay, sticking together and waiting for new Outfit Wars season to make ourselves a challenge on LIVE server. Like all the others, we didn't like the matchmaking due to the fact of having multiple semi-empty battle's,even if we had some great 1v1 Matches.
In my humble opinion, there must be more strictly requirements before Outfits are able to enlist themselves into OW,for example using those "Points System" from last Season taking top 10 Outfits being available to register themselves for participation. I would offer such scheme of double verification:
1) Registration for taking part and gathering "capture points" during 1 week.
2) Than top 10 Outfits from every Faction are able to take a part in Qualification Phase(playing already on Desolation)

[DIG] Maelstrome26 (Miller, VS)

Qualifiers is a bit shakey due to the outfits that signed up but didn't show - better in the playoffs as the deadfits naturally dropped off but they need to add some sort of requirement based off activity. ZERG for example had 62 members but only one or two actually play (it's DIG's NC outfit)

Future things like outfit wars need API consideration, ahead of time. We have a community willing to support their initiatives and are happy to make the tools to complement the experience. To their credit, they did make it easier for us now we are able to know what "zone" the matches are on. They can however do better and need to support their API better in general.

Thought needs to be applied for the smaller outfits. I recommend a bracket system as a good blend of achieving the goal of "small vs small, med vs med, large vs large" etc, and it should be easier to implement for OW than an alliance system, which will require a whole raft of backend and UI work to achieve, versus just making more brackets.

[1TR] CaptainCox (Emerald, TR)

I have enjoyed this season of OW and have not regretted enlisting my outfit in. The matches themselves, when against roughly equal population teams, are fairly interesting and quite fun. Desolation lends itself quite well to giving a place to each aspect of Planetside 2, which is something that no other game mode (even Live) has done so far. I definitely am worried that future matches will lean heavily on construction cheese, which negatively impacts infantry play, but we shall see. All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the matches and been impressed by their implementation.

That said, everything surrounding the actual matches on Desolation has left a lot to be desired. There were numerous mishaps and some simply bad decisions by the devs that caused more headache for outfits that was worth. For instance, initially having the start times be at 6PM local server time rather than 8PM, which was the overwhelming favorite. The desire, as expressed on Twitter by the devs, was to not impact Live prime time play. But for an event targeted at outfits to not be at the time that outfits have generally done their weekly events for the past 8 years seems counterproductive.

On top of this, having ghost outfits and then furthermore having outfits express their desire to un-enlist and them then being forced to play was very counterproductive. In a couple instances, we got a positive result, like with 69KD now fielding a full team. But there have been way too many 1v1v0s, or even a few 1v0v0s. That said, the developers have already broached a couple potentially effective ideas to fix that for the next season.
The last big complaint I have is the rankings. Due to the 1v0v0s, some teams will score 750 and win incredibly early, which ends up netting them out a win on tiebreakers. Take for example Emerald TR. We have 3 teams that have gone 2/0/0 (2 wins), but at least one of those teams had a first win against a 1v0v0. But because they "won" faster, they are ranked higher. It doesn't really make sense and kind of screws teams that had actual fights for both of their first matches. With a longer qualifier phase, this likely wouldn't be a problem. Or to just put outfits that have the same amount of wins/points at the same tier.

Overall, I have enjoyed the matches and the gamemode itself, but think the implementation of system surrounding it needs work. Side note, I'd love to be able to schedule matches against other outfits just casually after the season. The game mode is pretty interesting and would be very fun in a monthly casual outfit-to-outfit setup setting

[BHO] Mike33IsBack (Miller, NC)

Dev-team make the sigh-up minimum 24 players ingame-outfit-browser (not 48), before outfit-Leaders can sign up to the next tournament + , if then still have no Shows at a match (example minimum 20 people , at least then its kind of playable at least , make it automated built in) (punish that outfit , with no Crystals for their outfit-armory = 3 to 6 month penalty) (and all fights with no shows minimum limit of people show up is example 20 people or that outfit are disqualified and it have to be a rematch for all 3 teams or 1 team get a New match or rematch , it's not fair some outfits get 4 points for FREE , because they are lucky , they have 2 no-shows)(3 Nc-outfits on Miller-server did that) qualifiers should be minimum 3 match (+ 1v1 NC vs NC private match please)(give First NC-team black uniforms and the Second NC-team 2 white uniforms example, while they play the match)

[YLBT] MotongTR (SolTech, TR)

I collected some idea from Chinese players

1. Allow small-outfit play OW together
2. Multiple kinds of match, like air-only match.
3. Double team and ghostfit issue had to be resolved
4. Open Desolation on PTS to let people do test so player can fully show their skills but not get confused all the time

[BWAE] [3WAE] Shades (Emerald, VS)

Hello, Shades here; outfit leader of [BWAE] and one of the organizers for the [3WAE] team. To answer your question in length, I’ll start with myself first and then answer for the [3WAE] team.

Personally, I enjoy the 1v1v1 format from a more casual outlook. I think that desolation if labeled as more of a spectacle then an actual competitive event can be a great thing for PS2. This game has always needed an end-meta and it seems that outfit wars might be the thing that scratches that itch for the general playerbase that make up this game. From the combined arms, to the use of outfit war assets, and construction bases all in one format.. can lead to some epic battles on desolation as we saw last season with the KN1 comeback match. I feel like if the developers can really get a handle on who outfit wars really caters to and appropriately markets outfit wars as a fun casual spectacle and not an actual competitive event that we can really see something happen with the outfit wars format.

In regards to what I don’t like. I’ll start with the labeling from the developers that 1v1v1 is inherently a competitive format. In my opinion, it isn’t because of all the variables that come into play when we’re discussing a 1v1v1. I won’t write about it at length but to name a few… Outfits obviously can play kingmaker, outfit politics can determine whether or not an outfit has a “fair shot” winning at all (See last week’s match with R18 and PIGS ganging up on 00). As a result, outfits who’re unknowns or less hated or don’t have beef with other outfits are more likely than not to be the winners due to other outfits politicking around or playing kingmaker within the format.

In regards to what I think needs improvement for next season, For starters, outfit alliances are the number 1 thing that needs to be implemented for the next season. It is unreasonable to ask small/medium outfits to bring 48 players every week to an outfit wars and to maintain the numbers required to ensure you field 48 every week. People have other commitments and outfits shouldn’t be expected to maintain such a large roster of people just to play outfit wars. For example, BWAE, PRAE, and LWAE from emerald merged to make [3WAE] just to ensure that we had enough people to play every week.  Having outfit alliances is the way forward for this format as having outfits combine and merge just to play is a huge burden for the folks that run the various outfits/communities in PS2.

Now onto the 3WAE team. For the most part, our folks are having a fun time learning new things like how to fly in the sky and building construction bases. These are typically things that aren’t done very often on live and aren’t used in the same ways compared to desolation. It let’s the [3WAE] team really experience a different way to really play PS2 and overall it’s been a fun trip for them learning a whole bunch of new things they’ve never done before. In addition, events like these really build a sense of camaraderie within a community and I feel it’s really done that for the [3WAE] group. We seem to be closer than ever as outfits just from hanging out everyday and many of us have made new friends along the way. As for any negatives, I definitely can’t leave without spilling the salt as that is tradition in Planetside 2. Similar to what I mentioned previously regarding the negatives with this format; we did have a small number of folks in the [3WAE] team accumulate a little bit of salt over the reality of what they see as double teaming, kingmaking and etc but that’s the nature of this event and honestly part of the fun; at least in my opinion. In many ways, outfit wars represents live play but in a smaller scale. When one faction is dominating, the others fight that said faction, when one faction has a powerhouse of an outfit on; more likely than not that outfit is fought by both factions.Outfit wars was designed as a way to emulate live play in a more “semi-competitive” fashion and I think that’s something all players participating in outfit wars will have to consider. Yes, planetside 2 has a list of inherent problems when it comes to 1v1v1 but isn’t that why we play planetside 2 in the first place and part of the fun?

[BRTD] PastryGeneral (Miller, TR)

We have so far only played one "true" match. But I'd say that both the match and what preceded it was enjoyable for our members. The unique challenges of Desolation and the varied skillset of BRTD meant quite a few members were active in the formation of our strategy. It really was a chance for creativity and ingenuity to shine. Something we have seen not just in BRTD, but also many other outfits participating. The reins are really let go by the devs compared to the traditional gameplay.

The current version is definitely an improvement upon the previous iteration. Last time a lot of us sufferend burnout due to how the qualification process worked, which thankfully wasn't the case this time (or at least not yet). Organizing 48 people week after week, each time the date and time of a match changing is definitely a challenge. Something that so far has gone fine with us, but I worry that the current amount of matches might exceed the appetite of our members for OW. Thus hearing that the next qualification period will be even longer is not something that sounds appealing to me. As said before the unique challenges of desolation are definitely something that we like. There is also the issue of outfits registering for OW that don't actually participate in matches, which might mean outfits that actually could participate are left out.

Some of the issues named so far were the frequency and amount of matches and 'deadfits' registering. The first issue could be solved in a number of ways, from fewer matches, smaller team sizes and larger gaps between matches. Because desolation is a map clearly made for 48 players, I'd be for a solution involving fewer matches and at least a 2-week gap between matches. Deadfits registering is a tough issue. Brainstorming about it for a moment I'd suggest some kind of solution where members have to register for OW, or perhaps an outfit requiring a certain number of membering having a certain loyalty rank (if one wishes the system to be automated). Another improvement to desolation itself which I'd like to see is a greater chance for armor and construction to shine, which for instance could be done by having one or more capture points out in the open. For instance, having one between the outer donuts. But I'm getting ahead of myself there, I'm sure there are more creative ways that construction and armor could be given a greater role.

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