Hossin, and the evolving role of the infiltrator

I would love to take the time to review all the bases of Hossin and discuss infiltrator-specific tips at each one. However, I lack the time and energy to do this, and I’m sure most of you would get bored reading it anyways.

But what I do want to explore is the evolution of combat on Hossin. While I haven’t spent as much time there as I need to yet, I’ve fought on enough of the bases to have a good sense of the differences in combat from this continent compared to others.

The first thing I noticed while fighting on Hossin are the choke points. Oh boy these bases can turn into meat-grinders! Some of them are indoors, and some of them lack good high-ground to take advantage of. But there are several, where the choke point has nearby trees, hills, or simple flanks that let you have open fire on the enemy, who is clustered behind a corner unable to advance.

As an infiltrator, choke points are one of the things we are best equipped to exploit. I personally prefer bolt action rifles for this, but semi-automatic weapons work nicely as well. The key is finding these chokes, finding a position to look down on said choke, and then farm while avoiding detection from other players. It’s not easy to do, but with a little creativity and persistence, there are lots of easy kills to get.

As a follow up to the choke point concept, Hossin strongly favors vertical height abuse. To the point that I am frequently pulling LA, dropping a beacon, and then redeploying as an infil. From bail-ESF’s/Libs to beacons or parkour (ala CuteBeaver), do whatever you can to take the high ground. Let your allies get farmed in the choke points. You are an infiltrator, a predator. Be the hunter, not the hunted.

Another thing I have noticed is that scout rifles and smg’s really shine on Hossin. The closer ranged combat, combined with frequent breaks in cover which make it hard to have line of sight on a location over a distance, means you are more likely to benefit from a weapon capable at 20m. I still use a bolt action often, but I snipe in CQC situations and am quick to draw the sidearm. If you aren’t comfortable with a BASR close up, consider the auto scouts, semi-auto sniper/scouts, or SMG’s.

The cover on Hossin is incredible. For this reason, using the deep cloak, either as a regular infil or a stalker, is powerful. The enemy will run right by you, utterly clueless as to your existence. Be creative, there are many ways to exploit this fact.

The devs have done a good job including infantry and vehicle terminals at many bases for us to hack, well as a variety of turrets. The role of the base hacking infiltrator is alive and well. I have on several occasions hacked out a pounder max from behind enemy lines to devastate armor. Again – be creative, and keep your enemy guessing.

Thats all for now on Hossin – it’s a very different continent compared to Indar or Esamir, where you have wide sniping lanes, and high exposure to vehicles. Combat there is either long range or extreme CQC,. On Hossin, you are forced into CQC – mid range fights, and ranged sniping opportunities, while present, are less common. I encourage all of you to think differently when playing on Hossin, adapt a swamp mindset and become the “predator”.

Happy Hunting!

Mustarde

The problem with attacking redeployside

Redeployside. A common phrase used to describe the practice of moving large numbers of infantry quickly from one place on the map to another base, which could be nearby, or on the opposite end of the continent. Nowadays, it seems many players seem eager to criticize this game design, crying out for more depth and “logistics”. A small voice makes the token mention that without the redeploy mechanic, the lone wolf or casual player would be left in the dark, bored and unable to keep up with the good fights.

But I think there is a critical aspect of “Redeployside” that is being overlooked. That is the sheer excitement of stacking up in a point building to fight off the hordes of reinforcements pouring in. Or looking at the map, and seeing that you have 90 seconds to kick an entrenched enemy out of your base. Many times, the mass redeploy strategy fails – yet we often selectively remember the times where it worked, claiming that the meta is broken and the game is shallow. There is a false notion that we should be lugging soldiers across the fields in sundies or dropping them in via galaxy. The truth is, the current meta of redeployment keeps lattice lanes active, and gives us all more opportunity to shoot at bad guys. In other words, it keeps the game FUN. Furthermore, there is strategy that is involved in redeploying, both as a defender and aggressor. And as I mentioned above, it is exhilarating to make a last minute push for the point.

Another rarely mentioned fact is that redeploying is strictly a defensive tactic. You will not capture bases by bouncing around the map to bases you already own. And I find that the most effective way to attack a base with your outfit is via spawn beacons or galaxy drops. Logistics in Planetside remains well and good for this reason. And as the attacker, you need to maintain those logistics to keep your soldiers on the front lines, or else the defenders will break your push and send you back down the lane.

The last thing I want to say is – what will happen if we start to punish or substantially change the redeploy meta? Here is my prediction: You and your outfit set up on a base, lock down the point and start your 3 minute cap. And no one shows up. The enemy is two lanes over, and they are not interested in spawning new galaxies, going back to the warpgate, and then flying over to stop your ghostcap. They will just wait until you leave, and then ghostcap the base back. Because at the end of the day, most of us are LAZY. We will take the quickest and most efficient method that is rewarding. If you punish redeploying too much, people simply won’t show up to your fight. All these champions of “Logistics” will be sitting on an empty point on an empty base wondering why their enemy isn’t driving a sunderer manually across Amerish to stop their offensive. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of player behavior, especially in this modern age of online gaming.

So that’s my criticism of current popular opinion. My suggestion? I do think there needs to be a pop % limit for redeploying into a hex. I would lean towards 55%, because many bases can be spawn camped with vehicles and air – so it seems reasonable that defenders can bring a slightly larger number of players in to a base. Once you break that 55% threshold, the redeploy option is no longer valid for that base – regardless of if your squad leader is in the hex. I also think that rule should only apply on hexes with 24+ in it – if there’s 12-24 in the hex, there shouldn’t be a redeploy % limit IMO. Once you break 24+ the ratio cap sets in.

I wanted to say something because I have heard very little in the way of “devils advocate” regarding the war on “Redeployside”. And quite frankly, some of the changes I’ve seen proposed, including Malorn’s approach of charging nanites – seem dangerous, and threaten the health of our battles. I want enemies charging into my killzone. I want that element of surprise – will GOKU storm this base or let us take it? Should I bring a medic or a lockdown max? Do we have enough harassers in the tech plant??? Logisticside will be a very boring game – sure it will have plenty of depth – but if I wanted to drive across an empty map I could just go play DayZ.

Oh, and I want to add one last thought – when do I redeploy? When my faction has too much pop in the hex. When I am being spawn camped to hell. When there are no good fights on the map/continent. I do not want to be punished for this, at the solo or platoon level.

I would love to hear your comments!

M

Emerald, and revisiting an old weapon, the KSR-35

I’ve been slacking HUGE on this blog.  Many apologies for that.  To be honest, it’s a bit hard to find new things to write about in the world of infiltrating.  I’m still at it, nearly every day, and it never gets boring, as long as good fights are to be had.  I just think that after 18 months there are not many things we haven’t discussed at some point.
So what have I been doing?  Well, a lot of my out of game energy has been going into the community, specifically regarding my server.  As most of you know, Mattherson was recently merged with Waterson and renamed Emerald.
Last week we had a server smash to compete for naming rights of the new server.  It was such a huge event, nearly 2000 concurrent twitch viewers during the Friday stream!   I was leading the NNG squad, in a platoon with 903, NNG, DARK and SG.  We had an amazing group of players, lead by the PL IamCommanderShepard, who is the leader of 903.  We had some very intense fighting up north at Freyr.  I streamed the entire battle, which you can see here:
The end of the smash was just as dramatic as the hype leading up to it – an overtime victory by Mattherson, capturing Esamir Muntions Corp.  There was a great deal of controversy following, as the officiators for the event miscounted and gave the win to Waterson, only to follow by giving it back to Mattherson 30 minutes later, by ONE single point margin of victory.  It was so close that Higby and the SOE team decided to name the new server Emerald, after the PS1 server.
The merge took place on 6/24, and Emerald is now the place to be in PS2.  The battles are huge and epic, and people are having fun at all hours.  It’s so hard logging out, because you just want to keep playing (as opposed to old Mattherson where the fights died pretty quickly after midnight or sooner).
It’s so much fun meeting new players and outfits, and hanging on to the old community  you came from.  I can’t help but brag about Mattherson every now and then in /y just to stir things up.  Planetside 2 has never been more epic and fun than it is now on Emerald.  And with Hossin on the verge of release, the game is now entering what I consider a golden age.
On a different note, I revisted an old weapon that I once considered the most worthless infiltrator weapon in the game, the KSR-35.  Since I had auraxium’d it last year in February, SOE has made several changes including removing scope sway and improving recoil significantly.  The end result is an accurate and hard hitting semi-auto rifle that lets me actually play the role of an aggressive infiltrator.  If you can land headshots, this thing will absolutely devastate enemies, and I have been cutting through them like butter over the last two days.  I have a completely new opinion on this rifle and will definitely be making a video with it sometime in the future.
Well that’s all for now, thanks for being patient with me as I fall behind on blogging.  There is definitely no shortage of things to talk about however!
See you on the battlefield!
Mustarde